[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 25 (Monday, February 8, 2010)]
[Pages 6224-6225]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-2668]



[Docket No. 50-263; NRC-2010-0045]

Northern States Power Company of Minnesota; Monticello Nuclear 
Generating 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 the 
implementation date of certain new requirements of 10 CFR part 73, 
``Physical protection of plants and materials,'' for Facility Operating 
License No. DPR-22, issued to Northern States Power Company of 
Minnesota (NSPM) for operation of Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant 
(MNGP) located in Wright 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 MNGP from the required 
implementation date of March 31, 2010, for two new requirements of 10 
CFR part 73. Specifically, MNGP 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 MNGP site.
    The proposed action is in accordance with the licensee's 
application dated November 3, 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 MNGP security 
system due to impediments to construction such as planned refueling 
outages and winter weather conditions.

[[Page 6225]]

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    The NRC has completed its environmental assessment of the proposed 
exemption. The NRC 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 NRC staff's safety evaluation will be provided in the 
exemption, 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 were 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 MNGP in 
November 1972, as updated by Environmental Impact Statement, Supplement 
26, dated August 2006 (NUREG-1437, Supplement 26, associated with 
renewing the operating license for MNGP for an additional 20 years).

Agencies and Persons Consulted

    In accordance with its stated policy, on December 17, 2009, the NRC 
staff consulted with the Minnesota State official 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 
redacted version of the licensee's letter dated November 3, 2009; the 
unredacted version contains safeguards information and, accordingly, is 
not available to the public. The redacted version, dated December 15, 
2009 (Accession No. ML100190133) 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 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 29th day of January 2010.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Peter S. Tam,
Senior Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch III-1, Division of 
Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2010-2668 Filed 2-5-10; 8:45 am]