[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 25 (Monday, February 8, 2010)]
[Pages 6225-6226]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-2667]



[Docket Nos. 50-282 and 50-306; NRC-2010-0046]

Northern States Power Company--Minnesota; Prairie Island Nuclear 
Generating 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) Sec.  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 Nos. DPR-42 and DPR-60, issued to Northern States Power 
Company--Minnesota (NSPM, the licensee), for operation of the Prairie 
Island Nuclear Generating Plant, Units 1 and 2 (PINGP), located in 
Goodhue County, Minnesota. 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 PINGP from the required 
implementation date of March 31, 2010, for several new requirements of 
10 CFR part 73. Specifically, PINGP 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. NSPM has proposed an 
alternate full compliance implementation date of June 30, 2011, 
approximately 15 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 PINGP site.
    The proposed action is in accordance with the licensee's 
application dated November 5, 2009, as supplemented by letters dated 
November 30, 2009

[[Page 6226]]

(Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) Accession 
No. ML100050096) and December 17, 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 PINGP security 
system considering the time typically required to design and construct 
modifications of this scope, and the impediments to construction such 
as the planned refueling outages at both Units 1 and 2 and weather-
related issues.

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, as discussed in a Federal 
Register notice dated March 27, 2009 (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. In addition, 
in promulgating its revisions to 10 CFR part 73, the Commission 
prepared an environmental assessment and published a finding of no 
significant impact [Part 73, Power Reactor Security Requirements, 74 FR 
13926, 13967 (March 27, 2009)].
    The licensee currently maintains a security system acceptable to 
the NRC and will continue to provide acceptable physical protection of 
PINGP. Therefore, the extension of the implementation date of the new 
requirements of 10 CFR part 73 to June 30, 2011, 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 action, the NRC staff considered 
denial of the proposed action (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 Prairie 
Island Nuclear Generating Plant, Units 1 and 2, dated May 1973.

Agencies and Persons Consulted

    In accordance with its stated policy, on January 8, 2010, the NRC 
staff consulted with the Minnesota State official, Mr. Stephen Rakow of 
the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Office of Energy Security, 
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 November 5, 2009, as supplemented by letters 
dated November 30, and December 17, 2009. The November 5 and December 
17, 2009 letters and portions of the November 30, 2009 submittal 
contain security-related information and, accordingly, are not 
available to the public. Other parts of the November 30, 2009 letter 
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 20852. 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 send 
an e-mail to [email protected].

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 2nd day of February 2010.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Thomas J. Wengert,
Senior Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch III-1, Division of 
Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2010-2667 Filed 2-5-10; 8:45 am]