[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 50 (Tuesday, March 16, 2010)]
[Pages 12580-12581]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-5683]



[Docket Nos. 50-361 and 50-362; NRC-2010-0101]

Southern California Edison Company, San Onofre Nuclear Generating 
Station, Units 2 and 3; 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. NPF-10, and NPF-15, issued to Southern California Edison 
Company (SCE, the licensee), for operation of the San Onofre Nuclear 
Generating Station, Units 2 and 3 (SONGS 2 and 3), located in San Diego 
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 SCE from the required 
implementation date of March 31, 2010, for several new requirements of 
10 CFR Part 73. Specifically, SCE 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. SCE has proposed an 
alternate full compliance implementation date of January 31, 2011, 
approximately 10 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 SONGS 2 and 3 site.
    The proposed action is in accordance with the licensee's 
application dated December 17, 2009.

The Need for the Proposed Action

    The proposed action is needed to provide the licensee with 
additional time to implement two specific elements of the new 
requirements that involve significant physical modifications to the 
SONGS 2 and 3 security systems.

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

[[Page 12581]]

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 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 
SONGS 2 and 3 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 January 31, 2011, 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 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 previously considered in the Final Environmental Statement for 
SONGS Units 2 and 3, dated May 12, 1981.

Agencies and Persons Consulted

    In accordance with its stated policy, on March 1, 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 
    For further details with respect to the proposed action, see the 
licensee's letter dated December 17, 2009. Portions of the December 17, 
2009, submittal contain safeguards information and, accordingly, a 
redacted version of the December 17, 2009, letter is available for 
public review in the Agencywide Documents Access and Management System 
(ADAMS) Accession No. ML093570268. 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 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 10th day of March 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. 2010-5683 Filed 3-15-10; 8:45 am]