[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 35 (Tuesday, February 23, 2010)]
[Pages 8152-8153]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-3499]

[[Page 8152]]



[Docket Nos. 50-275 and 50-323; NRC-2010-0059]

Pacific Gas and Electric Company; Diablo Canyon Power Plant 
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 Nos. DPR-80 and DPR-82, issued to Pacific Gas and Electric 
Company (PG&E, the licensee), for operation of the Diablo Canyon Power 
Plant, Unit Nos. 1 and 2 (DCPP), located in San Luis Obispo County, 
California. 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 PG&E from the required 
implementation date of March 31, 2010, for several new requirements of 
10 CFR Part 73. Specifically, PG&E 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. PG&E 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 PG&E site.
    The proposed action is in accordance with the licensee's 
application dated December 4, 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 PG&E security 
system to meet the new requirements in 10 CFR Part 73. Implementation 
of the new requirements will involve physical modifications to the 
existing plant security system.

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 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-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 (March 27, 2009)].
    With its request to extend the implementation deadline, the 
licensee currently maintains a security system acceptable to the NRC 
and that will continue to provide acceptable physical protection of the 
DCPP 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, 2011, 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, 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 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 DCPP, 
dated May 1973, with Addendum dated May 1976.

Agencies and Persons Consulted

    In accordance with its stated policy, on January 20, 2010, the NRC 
staff consulted with the California State official, Mr. Stephen Hsu of 
the California 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 
    Portions of the December 4, 2009, submittal contain security-
related and safeguards information and, accordingly, is being withheld 
from the public. For further details with respect to the proposed 
action, see the redacted version of the December 4, 2009, letter 
submitted by the licensee on January 22, 2010. The non-proprietary, 
public version of this document 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

[[Page 8153]]

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.
James R. Hall,
Senior Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch IV, Division of 
Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2010-3499 Filed 2-22-10; 8:45 am]