[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 164 (Wednesday, August 26, 2009)]
[Pages 43169-43170]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-20586]



[Docket Nos. 50-348 and 50-364; NRC-2009-0375]

Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc.; Joseph M. Farley 
Nuclear Plant; Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant 

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering 
issuance of an Exemption, pursuant to Title 10 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations (10 CFR) Section 73.5, ``Specific exemptions,'' from 10 CFR 
Part 73, ``Physical protection of plants and materials,'' for Facility 
Operating License Nos. NPF-2 and NPF-8, issued to Southern Nuclear 
Operating Company, Inc. (SNC, the licensee), for operation of the 
Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant, Units 1 and 2 (FNP), located in Houston 
County, Alabama. In accordance with 10 CFR 51.21, the NRC prepared an 
environmental assessment documenting its finding. The NRC concluded 
that the proposed actions will have no significant environmental 

Environmental Assessment

Identification of the Proposed Action

    The proposed action would exempt the FNP from the required 
implementation date of March 31, 2010, for several new requirements of 
10 CFR part 73. Specifically, FNP would be granted an exemption from 
being in full compliance with certain new requirements contained in 10 
CFR 73.55 by the March 31, 2010, deadline. Instead, SNC has proposed an 
alternate full compliance implementation date of December 15, 2010, 
approximately eight and a half months beyond the date required by 10 
CFR part 73. The proposed action, an extension of the schedule for 
completion of certain actions required by the revised 10 CFR part 73, 
does not involve any physical changes to the reactor, fuel, plant 
structures, support structures, water, or land at the FNP site.
    The proposed action is in accordance with the licensee's 
application dated

[[Page 43170]]

June 9, 2009, as supplemented by letter dated July 31, 2009.

The Need for the Proposed Action

    The proposed action is needed to provide the licensee with 
additional time to perform the required upgrades to the FNP security 
system due to resource and logistical impacts of the spring 2010 Unit 2 
and fall 2010 Unit 1 refueling outages and other factors.

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    The NRC has completed its environmental assessment of the proposed 
exemption. The staff has concluded that the proposed action to extend 
the implementation deadline would not significantly affect plant safety 
and would not have a significant adverse effect on the probability of 
an accident occurring. The proposed action would not result in an 
increased radiological hazard beyond those previously analyzed. There 
will be no change to radioactive effluents that effect radiation 
exposures to plant workers and members of the public. The proposed 
action does not involve a change to plant buildings or land areas on 
the FNP site. Therefore, no changes or different types of radiological 
impacts are expected as a result of the proposed exemption.
    The proposed action does not result in changes to land use or water 
use, or result in changes to the quality or quantity of non-
radiological effluents. No changes to the National Pollution Discharge 
Elimination System permit are needed. No effects on the aquatic or 
terrestrial habitat in the vicinity or the plant, or to threatened, 
endangered, or protected species under the Endangered Species Act, or 
impacts to essential fish habitat covered by the Magnuson-Stevens Act 
are expected. There are no impacts to the air or ambient air quality. 
There are no impacts to historical and cultural resources. There would 
be no impact to socioeconomic resources. Therefore, no changes to or 
different types of non-radiological environmental impacts are expected 
as a result of the proposed exemption. Accordingly, the NRC concludes 
that there are no significant environmental impacts associated with the 
proposed action.
    With its request to extend the implementation deadline, the 
licensee has proposed compensatory measures to be taken in lieu of full 
compliance with the new requirements specified in 10 CFR part 73. The 
licensee currently maintains a security system acceptable to the NRC 
and the proposed compensatory measures will continue to provide 
acceptable physical protection of the FNP in lieu of the new 
requirements in 10 CFR part 73. Therefore, the extension of the 
implementation date of the new requirements of 10 CFR part 73 to 
December 15, 2010, would not have any significant environmental 
    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.

Environmental Impacts of the Alternatives to the Proposed Action

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

Alternative Use of Resources

    The action does not involve the use of any different resources than 
those considered in the Final Environmental Statement for the FNP, as 
supplemented through the ``Generic Environmental Impact Statement for 
License Renewal of Nuclear Plants: Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant, 
Units 1 and 2--Final Report (NUREG--1437, Supplement 18).''

Agencies and Persons Consulted

    In accordance with its stated policy, on August 13, 2009, the NRC 
staff consulted with the Alabama State official, Mr. Kirk Whatley of 
the Alabama Department of Public 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 letters dated June 9 and July 31, 2009. The June 9, 2009, 
letter and certain parts of the July 31, 2009, submittal contain 
proprietary and safeguards information and, accordingly, are not 
available to the public. Other parts of these documents may be 
examined, and/or copied for a fee, at the NRC's Public Document Room 
(PDR), located at One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, 
Rockville, Maryland 20852. Publicly available records will be 
accessible electronically from the Agencywide Document 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 send 
an e-mail to [email protected].

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 20th day of August 2009.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Robert E. Martin,
Sr. Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch II, Division of Operating 
Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. E9-20586 Filed 8-25-09; 8:45 am]