[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 37 (Thursday, February 25, 2010)]
[Pages 8756-8757]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-3852]



[Docket No. 50-395; NRC-2010-0067]

South Carolina Electric and Gas Company, Virgil C. Summer Nuclear 
Station, Unit 1; 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 for certain new requirements of 10 CFR part 73, 
``Physical protection of plants and materials,'' for Renewed Facility 
Operating License No. NPF-12, issued to South Carolina Electric & Gas 
Company (SCE&G, the licensee), for operation of the Virgil C. Summer 
Nuclear Station, Unit 1 (VCSNS), located in Fairfield County, South 
Carolina. In accordance with 10 CFR 51.21, the NRC prepared an 
environmental assessment documenting its finding. The NRC concluded 
that the proposed action will have no significant environmental impact.

Environmental Assessment

Identification of the Proposed Action

    The proposed action would exempt VCSNS from the required 
implementation date of March 31, 2010, for two new requirements of 10 
CFR part 73. Specifically, VCSNS would be granted an exemption from 
being in full compliance with two new requirements contained in 10 CFR 
73.55 by the March 31, 2010, deadline. SCE&G has proposed an alternate 
full compliance implementation date of September 30, 2010, 
approximately 6 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 VCSNS, Unit 1 site.
    The proposed action is in accordance with the licensee's 
application contained in two letters dated December 11, 2009, SCE&G 
designation RC-09-0154 (Agencywide Documents Access and Management 
System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML093490316) and RC-09-0148 (NRC ADAMS 
ML093480496 and ML093480497). SCE&G's letter RC-09-0148 contains 
security-related information and, accordingly, is not available to the 
public. SCE&G's letter RC-09-0154 is a redacted version of RC-09-0148 
that does not contain security related information.

The Need for the Proposed Action

    The proposed action is needed to provide the licensee with 
additional time to complete the design, planning, procurement, 
construction, testing and project closeout activities for the required 
upgrades to the SCE&G security system, while simultaneously maintaining 
the current security defensive strategy.

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 
the VCSNS. Therefore, the extension of the implementation date for 
certain new requirement of 10 CFR part 73 to September 30, 2010, 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 

[[Page 8757]]

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 Virgil C. 
Summer Nuclear Station, Unit No. 1, NUREG-0719, dated May 1981 (ADAMS 
Accession No. ML072750234) and the Generic Environmental Impact 
Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants, NUREG-1437, Supplement 
15, dated February 2004 (ADAMS Accession No. ML040540718).

Agencies and Persons Consulted

    In accordance with its stated policy, on December 17, 2009, the NRC 
staff consulted with the South Carolina State official, Ms. Susan 
Jenkins of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental 
Control, 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 December 11, 2009 (RC-09-0154). The licensee's 
letter RC-09-0148, dated December 11, 2009 contains security-related 
information and, accordingly, is not available to the public pursuant 
to 10 CFR 2.390. The licensee's letter RC-09-0154 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: 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 18th day of February 2010.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Robert E. Martin,
Sr. Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch II-1, Division of Operating 
Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2010-3852 Filed 2-24-10; 8:45 am]