[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 15 (Monday, January 25, 2010)]
[Pages 3945-3946]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-1304]

[[Page 3945]]



[NRC-2010-0019; Docket Nos. 50-390 and 50-391]

Tennessee Valley Authority; Watts Bar Nuclear Plant, Units 1 and 
2; Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact

    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 the 
implementation date for certain new requirements of 10 CFR Part 73, 
``Physical protection of plants and materials,'' for Facility Operating 
License No. NPF-90, issued to Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA, the 
licensee), for operation of the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant (WBN), Unit 1, 
located in Rhea County, Tennessee. This consideration is also 
applicable to Unit 2, currently under licensing process. 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 impact.

Environmental Assessment

Identification of the Proposed Action

    The proposed action would exempt the TVA from the required 
implementation date of March 31, 2010, for several new requirements of 
10 CFR Part 73. Specifically, WBN, Units 1 and 2 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. TVA has 
proposed an alternate full compliance implementation date of September 
24, 2012, approximately two and half years 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 WBN, Units 1 and 
2 site that were not previously considered in the environmental 
assessment and finding of no significant impact made by the Commission 
in promulgating its revisions to 10 CFR Part 73, Power Reactor Security 
Requirements, 74 FR 13926, 13967 (March 27, 2009).
    The proposed action is in accordance with the licensee's 
application dated November 6, 2009, as supplemented by letter dated 
January 11, 2010.

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 WBN, Units 1 
and 2 security system because they involve new components and 
engineering that cannot be obtained or completed by the March 31, 2010, 
implementation date.

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 in the environmental assessment 
and finding of no significant impact made by the Commission in 
promulgating its revisions to 10 CFR Part 73 (74 FR 13967). There will 
be no change to radioactive effluents that affect radiation exposures 
to plant workers and members of the public. 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 of the plant, or to threatened, 
endangered, or protected species under the Endangered Species Act, or 
impacts to essential fish habitat covered by the Magnuson-Steven's 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.
    The licensee currently maintains a security system acceptable to 
the NRC and will continue to provide acceptable physical protection of 
the WBN, Units 1 and 2 as TVA implements certain new requirements in 10 
CFR Part 73. Therefore, the extension of the implementation date of the 
new requirements of 10 CFR Part 73 to September 24, 2012, would not 
have any significant environmental impacts.
    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, if granted.

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. If the proposed action was denied, the licensee 
would have to comply with the March 31, 2010, implementation deadline. 
The environmental impacts of the proposed exemption 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 WBN, 
Units 1 and 2, NUREG-0498, dated December 1978, and a supplement to the 
Final Environmental Statement (NUREG-0498 Supplement 1), dated April 

Agencies and Persons Consulted

    In accordance with its stated policy, on December 24, 2009, the NRC 
staff consulted with the Tennessee State official, Elizabeth Flanagan 
of the Tennessee Bureau of Radiological Health, regarding the 
environmental impact of the proposed action. The State official had no 

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 November 6, 2009, as supplemented by letter 
dated January 11, 2010. Portions of the November 6, 2009, submittal 
contain safeguards and security sensitive 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, Public File Area O-1F21, 11555 
Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville,

[[Page 3946]]

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 14th day of January 2010.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
John G. Lamb,
Senior Project Manager, Watts Bar Special Projects Branch, Division of 
Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2010-1304 Filed 1-22-10; 8:45 am]