[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 35 (Tuesday, February 23, 2010)]
[Pages 8150-8151]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-3498]



[Docket Nos. 50-498 and 50-499; NRC-2010-060]

STP Nuclear Operating Company

    South Texas Project, 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

[[Page 8151]]

Licenses numbered NPF-76 and NPF-80, issued to STP Nuclear Operating 
Company (the licensee), for operation of South Texas Project (STP), 
Units 1 and 2, located in Matagorda County, Texas. 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 STP, Units 1 and 2, from the 
required implementation date of March 31, 2010, for certain new 
requirements of 10 CFR Part 73. Specifically, STP, 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. 
The licensee for STP, Units 1 and 2, has proposed an alternate full 
compliance implementation date of June 30, 2010, 3 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 FR Part 73, does not involve any physical changes to the reactor, 
fuel, plant structures, support structures, water, or land at the STP, 
Units 1 and 2, site.
    The proposed action is in accordance with the licensee's 
application dated November 18, 2009.

The Need for the Proposed Action

    The proposed action is needed to provide the licensee with 
additional time required to perform the required upgrades to the STP, 
Units 1 and 2 security systems.

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    The NRC staff has completed its environmental assessment of the 
proposed exemption. The NRC staff has concluded that the proposed 
action to extend the compliance implementation deadline would not 
significantly affect plant safety and would not have a significant 
adverse effect on the probability or consequences of an accident.
    The proposed action would not result in any increased radiological 
hazards 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 13926). 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-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 staff 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 (March 27, 2009)).
    With its request to extend the compliance 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. The proposed compensatory measures will continue to provide 
acceptable physical protection of the STP, Units 1 and 2, 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 June 
30, 2010, would not have any significant environmental impacts.
    The NRC staff's safety evaluation will be provided as part of a 
letter to the licensee approving the exemption to the regulation, if 

Environmental Impacts of the Alternatives to the Proposed Action

    As an alternative to the proposed action, 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, compliance 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 STP, 
Units 1 and 2, NUREG-1172, dated August 1986.

Agencies and Persons Consulted

    In accordance with its stated policy, on February 1, 2010, the NRC 
staff consulted with the Texas State official, Ms. Alice Rogers of the 
Texas State Department of Health, regarding the environmental impact of 
the proposed action. The Texas 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 18, 2009. Portions of November 18, 
2009, submittal contains security related information and, accordingly, 
are not available to the public. Other parts of the 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, 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 16th day of February 2010.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Mohan C. Thadani,
Senior Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch LPLIV, Division of 
Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2010-3498 Filed 2-22-10; 8:45 am]