[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 53 (Friday, March 19, 2010)]
[Pages 13318-13319]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-6057]



[Docket No. 50-331; NRC-2010-0107]

Nextera Energy Duane Arnold, LLC; Duane Arnold Energy Center; 
Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering 
issuance of an exemption, pursuant to 10 CFR 50.12, from 10 CFR Part 
50, Appendix J, Option B and associated changes to the Technical 
Specifications (TSs) for main steamline isolation valve local leakage 
rate testing for Facility Operating License No. DPR-49, issued to 
NextEra Energy Duane Arnold, LLC (the licensee), for operation of the 
Duane Arnold Energy Center, located in Palo, Iowa. 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 impact.

Environmental Assessment

Identification of the Proposed Action

    The proposed action would exempt the licensee from certain portions 
of 10 CFR part 50, Appendix J, Option B. Specifically, the licensee 
requests to be exempted from the measured leakage rate for the main 
steamline isolation valves (MSIV), and associated inboard drainline, 
from inclusion in both the overall measured leakage rate for Type A 
integrated tests and from the sum of the local leakage rates for Type B 
and Type C tests as required by Appendix J, Option B, Paragraphs III.A 
and Ill.B, respectively.
    In conjunction with the exemption request, the licensee also 
requests approval, pursuant to the requirements of 10 CFR 50.90, of 
associated changes to the Duane Arnold Energy Center TS, Section 5.5.12 
(Primary Containment Leakage Rate Testing Program) that reflects the 
exemption to Appendix J requested above. Also, there is an additional 
proposed TS change to TS Section (Primary Containment Isolation 
Valves) associated with MSIV leakage testing requirements, which does 
not require a corresponding exemption from 10 CFR part 50, Appendix J. 
The change to TS Section, is included in the amendment request 
to remove the repair criterion for MSIVs that fail their as-found 
leakage rate acceptance criterion found in the licensee's Surveillance 

The Need for the Proposed Action

    The proposed action is needed to reconcile the requirements of 10 
CFR part 50, Appendix J, Option B and their

[[Page 13319]]

TS with the plant-specific testing methodology used to determine the 
MSIV local leakage rate.

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    The NRC has completed its environmental assessment of the proposed 
exemption and TS changes. The staff has concluded that the changes 
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. There will be no change to 
radioactive effluents that affect radiation exposures to plant workers 
and members of the public. The proposed action will be performed inside 
existing plant buildings. No changes will be made to plant buildings or 
the site property. Therefore, no changes or different types of 
radiological impacts are expected as a result of the proposed 
    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 or 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 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.
    The details of the NRC staff's reasoning will be provided in the 
safety evaluation supporting the amendment.

Environmental Impacts of the Alternatives to the Proposed Action

    As an alternative to the proposed actions, the staff considered 
denial of the proposed actions (i.e., the ``no-action'' alternative). 
Denial of the exemption and TS change request would result in no change 
in current environmental impacts. The environmental impacts of the 
proposed exemption and TS change and the ``no action'' alternative are 

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 Duane 
Arnold Energy Center, Docket No. 50-331, issued in March 1973.

Agencies and Persons Consulted

    In accordance with its stated policy, on January 29, 2010, the 
staff consulted with the Iowa State official, Melanie Rasmusson, Chief 
of the Bureau of Radiological Health in the Iowa Department of Public 
Health, who is the State Liaison Officer, 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 March 4, 2009 (ML090680040). Documents may be 
examined, and/or copied for a fee, at the NRC's Public Document Room 
(PDR), located at One White Flint North, 1555 Rockville Pike, 
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 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 day of March, 2010.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Karl D. Feintuch,
Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch III-1, Division of Operating 
Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2010-6057 Filed 3-18-10; 8:45 am]