[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 49 (Monday, March 15, 2010)]
[Pages 12311-12312]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-5562]



[Docket No. 50-271; NRC-2010-0100]

Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc; Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power 
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 certain new requirements of 10 CFR part 73, 
``Physical protection of plants and materials,'' for Facility Operating 
License No. DPR-28, issued to Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. (Entergy 
or the licensee), for operation of Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station 
(Vermont Yankee), located in Windham County, Vermont. Therefore, as 
required by 10 CFR 51.21, the NRC prepared an environmental assessment 
documenting its finding. The NRC concluded that the proposed actions 
will have no significant impact.

Environmental Assessment

Identification of the Proposed Action

    The proposed action would exempt Vermont Yankee from the required 
implementation date of March 31, 2010, for several new requirements of 
10 CFR part 73. Specifically, Vermont Yankee 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. Entergy has 
proposed an alternate full compliance implementation date of September 
20, 2010, approximately 5\1/2\ 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, water, or land at the Vermont Yankee site.
    The proposed action is in accordance with the licensee's 
application dated January 21, 2010, as supplemented by letter dated 
February 17, 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 Vermont Yankee 
security system due to resource and logistical impacts and other 
    The licensee has requested a scheduler exemption to the compliance 
date identified in 10 CFR 73.55(a)(1) to implement the specific 
requirements stated in 10 CFR 73.55(e)(7)(i)(B) and 10 CFR 
73.55(i)(4)(i) for Vermont Yankee. The request for an exemption from 
March 31, 2010, implementation date to September 20, 2010, is based on 
completion of installation as well as testing and training of security 
personnel on the new features. This exemption will provide Vermont 
Yankee sufficient time for installation, testing, and training 
activities to be completed, considering initial permit delays, 
inclement winter weather construction delays and procurement delays.

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.

[[Page 12312]]

    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)].
    With its request to extend the 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 
and the proposed compensatory measures will continue to provide 
acceptable physical protection of the Vermont Yankee 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 
September 20, 2010, 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 action, the NRC staff considered 
denial of the proposed action (i.e., the ``no-action'' alternative). 
Denial of the application 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 action and the alternative 
action are similar.

Alternative Use of Resources

    The action does not involve the use of any different resources than 
those previously considered in the Final Environmental Statement for 
Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station, Docket No. 50-271, dated July 
1972, as supplemented through the ``Generic Environmental Impact 
Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants: Regarding Vermont 
Yankee Nuclear Power Station,'' published in August 2007. Final Report 
(NUREG--1437, Supplement 30).''

Agencies and Persons Consulted

    In accordance with its stated policy, on February 24, 2010, the NRC 
staff consulted with the Vermont State official of the Vermont 
Department of Public Service 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 21, 2010, as supplemented by letter 
dated February 17, 2010. Portions of the submittal dated January 21, 
2010, as supplemented by letter dated February 17, 2010, contain 
security related sensitive information and, accordingly, are withheld 
from public disclosure in accordance with 10 CFR 2.390. Publicly 
available versions of this document are accessible electronically from 
the Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) with 
Accession Nos. ML100270294 and ML100100541743, respectively.
    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 O1 F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, 
Maryland. Publicly available records will be accessible electronically 
from the 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 8th the day of March 2010.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
James Kim,
Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch I-1, Division of Operating 
Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2010-5562 Filed 3-12-10; 8:45 am]