[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 247 (Tuesday, December 27, 2005)]
[Pages 76470-76471]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E5-7867]



Tennessee Valley Authority

[Docket No. 50-390]

Watts Bar Nuclear Plant, Unit 1; Environmental Assessment and 
Finding of No Significant Impact

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering 
issuance of an exemption from Title 10 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations (10 CFR) part 50, Appendix E, Sections IV.F.2.b and c for 
Facility Operating License No. NPF-90, issued to Tennessee Valley 
Authority (TVA or the licensee), for operation of the Watts Bar Nuclear 
Power Plant (WBN), Unit 1, located in Rhea County, Tennessee. 
Therefore, as required by 10 CFR 51.21, the NRC is issuing this 
environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact.

Environmental Assessment

Identification of the Proposed Action

    The proposed action, as described in the licensee's application for 
a one-time exemption to the requirements of 10 CFR part 50, Appendix E, 
dated October 5, 2005, would allow the licensee to postpone the 
biennial, full-participation emergency exercise from November 2, 2005, 
to June 7, 2006. The licensee's letter requested an exemption from 
sections IV.F.2.b and c of Appendix E to 10 CFR part 50 regarding 
exercises involving the onsite and offsite emergency plans, as well as 
TVA's Radiological Emergency Plan Sections and The 
NRC staff has determined that the requirements of Appendix E to 10 CFR 
part 50, Sections IV.F.2.b and 2.c are applicable to the circumstances 
of the licensee's request and that an exemption from those requirements 
is appropriate. The licensee also stated in its October 5, 2005, letter 
that WBN will resume its normal biennial exercise cycle in 2007.

The Need for the Proposed Action

    The proposed exemption from 10 CFR part 50, appendix E, sections 
IV.F.2.b and c is needed because the planned full-participation 
exercise originally scheduled for November 2, 2005, was not performed. 
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, which normally participates in 
the evaluated, full-participation exercise, and the Tennessee Emergency 
Management Agency were unable to provide the necessary resources for 
the exercise due to the impact of Hurricane Katrina.

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    The NRC has completed its safety evaluation of the proposed action 
and concludes that the proposed exemption would not present an undue 
risk to the public health and safety. The details of the NRC staff's 
safety evaluation will be provided in the exemption that will be issued 
as part of the letter to the licensee approving the exemption to the 
regulation. The proposed action relates to the exercising of the 
emergency response plan, which has no effect on the operation of the 
    The proposed action will not significantly increase the probability 
or consequences of accidents. No changes are being made in the types of 
effluents that may be released offsite. There is no significant 
increase in the amount of any effluent released offsite. There is no 
significant increase in occupational or public radiation exposure. 
Therefore, there are no significant radiological environmental impacts 
associated with the proposed action.
    With regard to potential non-radiological impacts, the proposed 
action does not have a potential to affect any historic sites. It does 
not affect non-radiological plant effluents and has no other 
environmental impact. Therefore, there are no significant non-
radiological environmental impacts associated with the proposed action.
    Accordingly, the NRC concludes that there are no significant 
environmental impacts associated with the proposed action.

Environmental Impacts of the Alternative to the Proposed Action

    As an alternative to the proposed action, the staff considered 
denial of the proposed action (i.e., the ``no-action'' alternative). 
Denial of the application would result in no change in current 
environmental impacts. The environmental impacts of the proposed action 
and the alternative action are similar.

Alternative Use of Resources

    The action does not involve the use of any different resources than 
those previously considered in the Final Environmental Statement 
Related to the Operation of Watts Bar Nuclear Plant, Units 1 and 2, 
NUREG 0498, dated December 1978, and a supplement to the Final 
Environmental Statement (NUREG 0498 Supplement No. 1), dated April 

Agencies and Persons Consulted

    In accordance with its stated policy, on November 9, 2005, the 
staff consulted with the Tennessee State

[[Page 76471]]

official, Elizabeth Flanagan of the Tennessee Bureau of Radiological 
Health, regarding the environmental impact of the proposed action. The 
State official had no comments.

Finding of No Significant Impact

    On the basis of the environmental assessment, the NRC concludes 
that the proposed action will not have a significant effect on the 
quality of the human environment. Accordingly, the NRC has determined 
not to prepare an environmental impact statement for the proposed 
    For further details with respect to the proposed action, see the 
licensee's letter dated October 5, 2005. Documents may be examined, 
and/or copied for a fee, at the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR), 
located at One White Flint North, Public File Area O-1F21, 11555 
Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland. Publicly available 
records will be accessible electronically from the Agencywide Documents 
Access and Management System (ADAMS) Public Electronic Reading Room on 
the Internet at the NRC Web site, http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. Persons who do not have access to ADAMS or who encounter 
problems in accessing the documents located in ADAMS should contact the 
NRC PDR Reference staff by telephone at 1-800-397-4209 or 301-415-4737, 
or by e-mail to [email protected].

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 19th day of December 2005.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Douglas V. Pickett,
Senior Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch II-2, Division of 
Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. E5-7867 Filed 12-23-05; 8:45 am]