[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 45 (Tuesday, March 9, 2010)]
[Pages 10834-10835]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-4676]



[Docket No. 50-397; NRC-2010-0084]

Energy Northwest; Columbia Generating Station; 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 one new requirement of 10 CFR part 73, 
``Physical protection of plants and materials,'' for Facility Operating 
License No. DPR-46, issued to Energy Northwest (the licensee), for 
operation of the Columbia Generating Station (CGS), located in Benton 
County, Washington. Therefore, as required by 10 CFR 51.21, the NRC 
performed an environmental assessment. Based on the results of the 
environmental assessment, the NRC is issuing a finding of no 
significant impact.

Environmental Assessment

Identification of the Proposed Action

    The proposed action would exempt Energy Northwest from the required 
implementation date of March 31, 2010, for one new requirement of 10 
CFR part 73. Specifically, Energy Northwest would be granted an 
exemption from being in full compliance with a new requirement 
contained in 10 CFR 73.55 by the March 31, 2010, deadline. Energy 
Northwest has proposed an alternate full compliance implementation date 
of May 15, 2010, 45 days beyond the date required by 10 CFR part 73. 
The proposed action, an extension of the schedule for completion of one 
action 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 Energy Northwest site.
    The proposed action is in accordance with the licensee's 
application dated January 27, 2010.

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 Energy 
Northwest security system due to manufacturing delays of one item at 
the vendor.

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-

[[Page 10835]]

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)].
    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 CGS dated 
December 1981.

Agencies and Persons Consulted

    In accordance with its stated policy, on February 1, 2010, the NRC 
staff consulted with the Washington State official, Mr. R. Cowley of 
the Office of Radiation Protection, 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 January 27, 2010. Portions of the document 
contain security-related information and, accordingly, are not 
available to the public. Other parts of the document may be examined, 
and/or copied for a fee, at the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR), 
located at One White Flint North, Room O-1 F21, 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 25th day of February 2010.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Lynnea E. Wilkins,
Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch IV, Division of Operating 
Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2010-4676 Filed 3-8-10; 8:45 am]