[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 112 (Friday, June 12, 2009)]
[Pages 28071-28072]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-13711]



[Dockets 50-0416 and 72-0050; NRC-2009-0230]

Notice of Issuance of Environmental Assessment and Finding of No 
Significant Impact; Entergy Operations, Inc., Grand Gulf Nuclear 
Station, Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Issuance of Environmental Assessment and Finding of No 
Significant Impact.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Goshen, Project Manager, Division 
of Spent Fuel Storage and Transportation, Office of Nuclear Material 
Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, 
DC 20555. Telephone: (301) 492-3325; fax number: (301) 492-3342; e-
mail: [email protected].


I. Environmental Assessment (EA)

    Identification of Proposed Action: By letter dated December 22, 
2008, as supplemented March 20, 2009, Entergy Operations, Inc. 
(Entergy) submitted to the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission 
(NRC) a one-time exemption request from the requirements of 10 CFR 
72.212(a)(2) and (b)(7) for four HI-STORM 100 System Model 68 Multi-
Purpose Canisters (MPCs) at the Grand Gulf Nuclear Station (GGNS) 
Independent Spent Fuel Storage Facility (ISFSI) due to non-compliance 
with two of the terms and conditions of Certificate of Compliance 
(CoC)-1014, Amendment No. 2 at the time of cask loading. Section 
72.212(a)(2) limits the general license issued by 10 CFR 72.210 to the 
storage of spent fuel in casks approved under the provisions of Part 
72. Section 72.212(b)(7) requires that the general licensee to comply 
with the terms and conditions of the applicable CoC.
    In December 2006, due to a database error, Entergy loaded four MPCs 
with individual fuel assemblies (IFAs) that exceeded the maximum burnup 
limits and maximum decay heat limits specified in the CoC-1014, 
Amendment No. 2, Appendix B, Section 2.1. Additionally, the 
supplemental cooling required by the CoC-1014, Amendment No. 2, 
Appendix A, Section 3.1.4 for the four MPCs had not been implemented. 
Entergy identified the non-compliances on June 18, 2008, in an event 
report to the NRC, along with a preliminary evaluation that determined 
that fuel cladding temperatures had not exceeded thermal limits during 
any time during the affected period. The proposed action before the NRC 
is whether to grant this exemption request pursuant to 10 CFR 72.7.
    Need for the Proposed Action: Entergy requested the exemption from 
10 CFR 72.212(a)(2) and 10 CFR 72.212(b)(7) to allow continued, non-
compliant storage of the IFAs in the affected MPCs.
    Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action: The proposed action 
under consideration would allow Entergy a one-time exemption from 10 
CFR 72.212(a)(2) and 10 CFR 72.212(b)(7) for the four affected MPCs at 
GGNS ISFSI. Entergy's evaluation and a thermal analysis by Holtec, the 
fabricator of the cask system, determined that the fuel cladding was 
intact, and therefore, the integrity of the affected MPCs and the 
contained IFAs was not compromised. The heat loads in the affected 
casks have decreased to within the limits set by CoC-1014.
    The NRC staff concludes that the requested exemption has low safety 
significance and that, in accordance with 10 CFR 72.7, approval of the 
requested exemption will not endanger life or property or the common 
defense and security and is otherwise in the public interest. The NRC 
staff further concludes that approving the exemption request would have 
no significant impact on the environment.
    Alternative to the Proposed Action: The no-action alternative to 
the proposed action would be to deny approval of the exemption. Denial 
of the exemption request would require Entergy to unload the affected 
MPCs. Unloading the MPCs would expose Entergy's personnel to additional 
radiation, generate contaminated waste, and run the risks of a possible 
fuel handling accident and a possible heavy load handling accident.
    Given the risks associated with unloading the casks and that there 
are no significant radiological or non-radiological environmental 
impacts arising from the continued storage of the

[[Page 28072]]

IFAs in the affected MPCs, the NRC concludes that the preferred 
alternative is to grant the exemption request.

II. Finding of No Significant Impact

    The environmental impacts of the proposed action have been reviewed 
in accordance with the requirements set forth in 10 CFR Part 51. Based 
upon the foregoing Environmental Assessment, the Commission finds that 
the proposed action of granting an exemption from 10 CFR 72.212(a)(2) 
and 10 CFR 72.212(b)(7) will not significantly impact the quality of 
the human environment. Accordingly, the Commission has determined not 
to prepare an environmental impact statement for the proposed 

III. Further Information

    The document related to this action is available electronically at 
the NRC's Electronic Reading Room at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. A copy of the exemption request, dated December 22, 2008, 
can be found on this site using the Agencywide Document Access and 
Management System (ADAMS), accession number ML091470104. If you do not 
have access to ADAMS or if there are problems in accessing the document 
located in ADAMS, contact the NRC Public Document Room (PDR) Reference 
staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737 or by e-mail to [email protected].
    This document may also be viewed electronically on the public 
computers located at the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR), O1 F21, One 
White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. The PDR 
reproduction contractor will copy documents for a fee.

    Dated at Rockville, MD, this 3rd day of June 2009.
    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Eric Benner,
Chief, Licensing Branch, Division of Spent Fuel Storage and 
Transportation, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.
[FR Doc. E9-13711 Filed 6-11-09; 8:45 am]