[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 139 (Wednesday, July 22, 2009)]
[Pages 36274-36275]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-17385]



[Docket No. 50-219; NRC-2009-0320]

Exelon Generation Company, LLC; Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating 
Station; Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering 
issuance of exemptions from Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations 
(10 CFR) Part 50, Appendix R, Section III.G, ``Fire Protection of Safe 
Shutdown Capability,'' for Renewed Facility Operating License No. DPR-
16, for the use of operator manual actions in lieu of the requirements 
specified in Section III.G.2, as requested by Exelon Generation 
Company, LLC (the licensee), for operation of the Oyster Creek Nuclear 
Generating Station (Oyster Creek), located in Ocean County, New Jersey. 
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 would grant exemptions to 10 CFR Part 50, 
Appendix R, Section III.G.2 based on 20 operator manual actions 
contained in the licensee's Fire Protection Program (FPP). The 
licensee's FPP requires that the identified operator manual actions be 
performed outside of the control room to achieve shutdown following 
fires in certain fire areas. The licensee states that each of the 
manual actions were subjected to a manual action feasibility review for 
Oyster Creek that determined that the manual actions are feasible and 
can be reliably performed.
    The proposed action is in accordance with the licensee's 
application dated March 3, 2009 (available in the Agencywide Documents 
Access and Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML090630132).

The Need for the Proposed Action

    The proposed exemption from 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix R, was 
submitted in response to the need for an exemption as identified by NRC 
Regulatory Information Summary (RIS) 2006-10, ``Regulatory Expectations 
with Appendix R Paragraph III.G.2 Operator Manual Actions.'' The RIS 
noted that NRC inspections identified that some licensees had relied 
upon operator manual actions, instead of the options specified in 
Paragraph III.G.2 of 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix R, as a permanent 
solution to resolve issues related to Thermo-Lag 330-1 fire barriers. 
The licensee indicates that some of the operator manual actions 
referenced in the March 3, 2009, application were previously included 
in correspondence with the NRC and found acceptable in a fire 
protection-related Safety Evaluation (SE) dated March 24, 1986 (ADAMS 
Accession No. 8604070468). The remaining operator manual actions 
referenced were explicitly considered in an SE dated June 25, 1990 
(ADAMS Accession No. 9006280092), supporting a separate Appendix R 
exemption. RIS 2006-10, however, identifies that an exemption under 10 
CFR Section 50.12 is necessary for use of the manual actions in lieu of 
the requirements of 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix R, III.G.2, even if the 
NRC previously issued an SE that found the manual actions acceptable. 
RIS 2006-10 and Enforcement Guidance Memorandum 07-004 (ADAMS Accession 
No. ML071830345) provided that exemption requests must be submitted by 
March 6, 2009. The licensee's proposed exemption provides the formal 
vehicle for NRC approval for the use of the specified operator manual 
actions instead of the options specified in 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix R, 

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    The NRC staff evaluated the manual operator actions presented in 
the proposed exemption in NRC SEs dated March 24, 1986, and June 25, 
1990, and found that they maintained a safe shutdown capability that 
satisfies the requirements of 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix R, III.G. 
Therefore, the proposed action will not significantly increase the 
probability or consequences of accidents, nor does the proposed action 
introduce a new or different kind of accident. No changes are being 
made in the types of effluents that may be released off site. There is 
no significant increase in the amount of any effluent released off 
site. None of the manual actions to be performed are in areas that have 
radiation levels that would preclude entry. Further, the licensee 
stated that the highest expected dose during performance of the manual 
actions is 100 millirem (2 percent of the annual occupational limit) 
and the majority of manual actions are not in radiological controlled 
areas. Based on this consideration, the NRC staff finds that there is 
no significant increase in occupational or public radiation exposure. 
Therefore, there are no significant radiological impacts associated 
with the proposed action. The NRC staff, thus concludes that granting 
the proposed exemption would result in no significant radiological 
environmental impact.
    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 Alternatives to the Proposed Action

    As an alternative to the proposed action, the NRC 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 1974 Final Environmental Statement 
for Oyster Creek and NUREG-1437, Vol. 1, Supplement 28, ``Generic 
Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants 
Regarding Oyster Creek Nuclear

[[Page 36275]]

Generating Station, Final Report--Main Report.''

Agencies and Persons Consulted

    In accordance with its stated policy, on May 4, 2009, the NRC staff 
consulted with the New Jersey State official, Ron Zak of the Department 
of Environmental Protection, 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 March 3, 2009 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML090630132). 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 O1 F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, 
Maryland. Publicly available records will be accessible electronically 
from the 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 send an e-mail to 
[email protected].

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 14th day of July 2009.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

G. Edward Miller,
Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch I-2, Division of Operating 
Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. E9-17385 Filed 7-21-09; 8:45 am]