[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 54 (Monday, March 22, 2010)]
[Pages 13600-13606]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-6198]



[Docket No. 50-410; NRC-2010-0117]

Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station, LLC, Nine Mile Point Nuclear 
Station, Unit No. 2; Draft Environmental Assessment and Finding of No 
Significant Impact Related to the Proposed License Amendment To 
Increase the Maximum Reactor Power Level

    In accordance with 10 CFR 51.21, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission (NRC) has prepared a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) as 
part of its evaluation of a request by Nine

[[Page 13601]]

Mile Point Nuclear Station, LLC (the licensee) for a license amendment 
to increase the maximum thermal power at the Nine Mile Point Nuclear 
Station Unit 2 (NMP2) from 3,467 megawatts thermal (MWt) to 3,988 MWt. 
This represents a power increase of approximately 15 percent over the 
current licensed thermal power, and approximately 20 percent from the 
original licensed power level of 3,323 MWt. The NRC staff did not 
identify any significant environmental impact associated with the 
proposed action based on its evaluation of the information provided in 
the licensee's extended power uprate (EPU) application and other 
available information.

Environmental Assessment

Plant Site and Environs

    The Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station (NMPNS) site is in the town of 
Scriba, in the northwest corner of Oswego County, New York, on the 
south shore of Lake Ontario. The site is comprised of approximately 900 
acres that includes two nuclear reactors and ancillary facilities. NMP2 
uses a boiling-water reactor and a nuclear steam supply system designed 
by General Electric.

Identification of the Proposed Action

    By application dated May 27, 2009, the licensee requested an 
amendment for an EPU for NMP2 to increase the licensed thermal power 
level from 3,467 MWt to 3,988 MWt, which represents an increase of 
approximately 15% above the current licensed thermal power and 
approximately 20% over the original licensed thermal power level. This 
change in core thermal level requires the NRC to amend the facility's 
operating license. The operational goal of the proposed EPU is a 
corresponding increase in electrical output from 1,211 MWe to 1,369 
MWe. The proposed action is considered an EPU by NRC because it exceeds 
the typical 7% power increase that can be accommodated with only minor 
plant changes. EPUs typically involve extensive modifications to the 
nuclear steam supply system.
    The licensee plans to make the physical changes to plant components 
needed to implement the proposed EPU over the course of two refueling 
outages currently scheduled for 2010 and 2012. The actual power uprate, 
if approved by the NRC, would occur in a single increase following the 
2012 refueling outage.

The Need for the Proposed Action

    The proposed action provides NMPNS with the flexibility to increase 
the potential electrical output of NMP2 and to supply low cost, 
reliable, and efficient electrical generation to New York State and the 
region. The additional 158 MWe would be enough to power approximately 
174,000 homes. The proposed EPU at NMP2 would contribute to meeting the 
goals and recommendations of the New York State Energy Plan for 
maintaining the reserve margin and reducing greenhouse gas emissions 
with low cost, efficient, and reliable electrical generation. The 
proposed action provides the licensee with the flexibility to increase 
the potential electrical output of NMP2 to New York State and the 
region from its existing power station without building a new electric 
power generation station or importing energy from outside the region.

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    As part of the licensing process for NMP2, the NRC published a 
Final Environmental Statement (FES) in May 1985. The NRC staff noted 
that the impact of any activity authorized by the license would be 
encompassed by the overall action evaluated in the FES for the 
operation of NMP2. In addition, the NRC evaluated the environmental 
impacts of operating NMP2 for an additional 20 years beyond its current 
operating license, and determined that the environmental impacts of 
license renewal were small. The NRC staff's evaluation is contained in 
NUREG-1437, ``Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License 
Renewal of Nuclear Plant, Supplement 24, Regarding Nine Mile Point 
Nuclear Station, Units 1 and 2'' (SEIS-24) issued in May 2006 
(Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) Accession 
No. ML061290310). The NRC staff used information from the licensee's 
license amendment request, the FES, and the SEIS-24 to perform its EA 
for the proposed EPU.
    The NMP2 EPU is expected to be implemented without making extensive 
changes to buildings or plant systems that directly or indirectly 
interface with the environment. All necessary modifications would be 
performed in existing buildings at NMP2. With the exception of the 
high-pressure turbine rotor replacement, the required modifications are 
generally small in scope. Other modifications include providing 
additional cooling for some plant systems, modifications to feedwater 
pumps, modifications to accommodate greater steam and condensate flow 
rates, and instrumentation upgrades that include minor items such as 
replacing parts, changing setpoints and modifying software.
    The sections below describe the non-radiological and radiological 
impacts in the environment that may result from the proposed EPU.

Non-Radiological Impacts

Land Use and Aesthetic Impacts

    Potential land use and aesthetic impacts from the proposed EPU 
include impacts from plant modifications at NMP2. While some plant 
components would be modified, most plant changes related to the 
proposed EPU would occur within existing structures, buildings, and 
fenced equipment yards housing major components within the developed 
part of the site. No new construction would occur outside of existing 
facilities and no expansion of buildings, roads, parking lots, 
equipment lay-down areas, or transmission facilities would be required 
to support the proposed EPU.
    Existing parking lots, road access, equipment lay-down areas, 
offices, workshops, warehouses, and restrooms would be used during 
plant modifications. Therefore, land use conditions would not change at 
NMP2. Also, there would be no land use changes along transmission lines 
(no new lines would be required for the proposed EPU), transmission 
corridors, switch yards, or substations.
    Since land use conditions would not change at NMP2, and because any 
land disturbance would occur within previously disturbed areas, there 
would be little or no impact to aesthetic resources in the vicinity of 
NMP2. Therefore, there would be no significant impact from EPU-related 
plant modifications on land use and aesthetic resources in the vicinity 
of NMP2.

Air Quality Impacts

    Air quality within the Nine Mile Point area is generally considered 
good, with exceptions occurring for designated ozone nonattainment 
areas. NMPNS is located in Oswego County which is part of the Central 
Air Quality Control Region covered by Region 7 of the New York State 
Department of Environmental Conservation. With the exception of ozone, 
this region is designated as being in attainment or unclassifiable for 
all criteria pollutants in Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) 40 
CFR 81.333.
    There are approximately 1,000 people employed on a full-time basis. 

[[Page 13602]]

workforce is typically augmented by an additional 1,000 persons on 
average during regularly scheduled refueling outages. For the EPU work 
in 2012, the workforce numbers would be somewhat larger than a routine 
outage, but would be of short duration. During implementation of the 
EPU at NMP2, some minor and short duration air quality impacts would 
occur. The main source of the air emissions would be from the vehicles 
of the additional outage workers needed for the EPU work. The majority 
of the EPU work would be performed inside existing buildings and would 
not impact air quality. Operation of the reactor at the increased power 
level would not result in increased non-radioactive emissions that 
would have a significant impact on air quality in the region. 
Therefore, there would be no significant impact on air quality during 
and following implementation of the proposed EPU.

Water Use Impacts


    NMP2 does not use groundwater in any of its water systems and has 
no plans for direct groundwater use in the future. There are no 
production wells on the site for either domestic-type water uses or 
industrial use. Potable water in the area is supplied to residents 
either through the Scriba Water District, which receives its water from 
the City of Oswego, or from private wells.
    Because of variations in the hydrogeological characteristics of the 
ground under the reactor building foundation, a permanent dewatering 
system is required for NMP2. The system consists of perimeter drains 
and two sumps located below the NMP2 reactor building. The dewatering 
system is designed to maintain the water table below the reactor 
building foundation at a stable level. The licensee asserts that 
implementation of the proposed EPU will not result in a change to the 
groundwater use program at NMP2. Therefore, there would be no 
significant impact on groundwater resources following implementation of 
the proposed EPU.

Surface Water

    NMP2 uses surface water from Lake Ontario for the service water 
system and for a fish diversion system. As described in the licensee's 
application, the cooling water system for NMP2 consists of a 
circulating water system, which circulates cooling water through the 
main condensers to condense steam after it passes through the turbine, 
and a service water system which circulates cooling water through heat 
exchangers that serve various plant components. The service water 
system for NMP2 is a once-through system withdrawing water from Lake 
Ontario. However, the circulating water system is a closed-cycle system 
that uses a natural draft cooling tower. A portion of the cooling water 
from the service water discharge is used to replace evaporative and 
drift losses from the cooling tower. NMP2 has its own cooling water 
intake and discharge structures located offshore in Lake Ontario. The 
intake and discharge structures are located approximately 950 feet and 
1,050 feet offshore. The discharge structure is a two-port diffuser 
located 3 feet above the bottom approximately 1,500 feet offshore. 
Because the NMP2 circulating water system is closed-cycle, flows are 
substantially less than for a typical open-cycle system. During normal 
operation, an average total flow of 53,600 gallons per minute (gpm) is 
withdrawn from Lake Ontario, 38,675 gpm for the service water system 
and makeup to the circulating water system to replace evaporation and 
drift losses from the cooling tower, and 14,925 gpm for operation of 
the fish diversion system. Discharge flow from NMP2 ranges from 23,055 
gpm to 35,040 gpm during operation.
    The licensee estimates that cooling tower makeup water flow post-
EPU would increase by approximately 2,000-2,500 gpm; from approximately 
18,000 gpm to approximately 20,000 gpm. This increase represents 
consumptive use of water from Lake Ontario (e.g., due to increased 
evaporative losses). This loss is not significant when compared to the 
large amount of water that routinely flows out of Lake Ontario 
(approximate long-term average of 107,700,000 gpm). Therefore, there 
would be no significant impact on surface water resources following 
implementation of the proposed EPU.

Aquatic Resources Impacts

    The potential impacts to aquatic biota from the proposed action 
could include impingement, entrainment, and thermal discharge effects. 
NMP2 has a fish diversion system at the onshore facility to reduce 
potential impingement of fish on the intake screens. The proposed EPU 
is expected to result in a 2000-2,500 gpm increase in cooling tower 
makeup. However, this makeup water is drawn entirely from the plant's 
service water discharge, and service water intake flows would remain 
unchanged by the EPU. As a result, there would be no increase in 
cooling water withdrawn from the NMP2 intake structure. Therefore, 
there would be no increase in impingement from the proposed EPU and the 
increase in entrainment losses, if any, would be very small, and would 
remain consistent with the NRC's conclusion in the SEIS-24, that the 
aquatic impacts as a result of NMP2 operation during the term of 
license renewal would be small.
    The issues of discharge water temperature and chemical discharges 
are regulated by the State of New York with limits specified in the 
State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permit. According 
to the licensee, the temperature of the discharge water is expected to 
increase by a maximum of 2 [deg]F as a result of the EPU. In addition, 
a modeling study performed by the licensee in 2007 of the thermal plume 
of NMP2 indicated only a minor increase in thermal discharge would be 
expected from the EPU. Technical reviews and analyses performed by the 
licensee indicate that the combined service water and blowdown 
discharge from NMP2 would remain compliant with current limits in the 
SPDES permit for thermal and physical parameters during both normal 
operation and normal shutdown conditions.
    The circulating water system and service water system for NMP2 are 
treated with biocides to control biofouling from zebra mussels 
(Dreissena polymorpha) and other organisms, and with other chemical 
additives to control scaling and corrosion of system components. The 
licensee's application notes that several of the chemicals used for the 
above treatments are subject to specific limits in the NMP2 SPDES 
    Therefore, there would be no significant adverse impacts to the 
aquatic biota from entrainment, impingement, and from thermal 
discharges for the proposed action.

Terrestrial Resources Impacts

    The NMPNS site consists of approximately 900 acres, with over 1 
mile of shoreline on Lake Ontario. Approximately 188 acres are used for 
power generation and support facilities. Much of the remaining area is 
undeveloped, consisting largely of deciduous forest with some old field 
and shrub land areas that reflect continuing succession of old fields 
to secondary forest. As previously discussed in the land use and 
aesthetic section, the proposed action would not affect land use at 
NMP2. Therefore, there would be no significant impacts on terrestrial 
biota associated with the proposed action.

[[Page 13603]]

Threatened and Endangered Species Impacts

    Animal species found on the NMP2 site are representative of those 
found within disturbed landscapes of the lower Great Lakes region, and 
include white-tailed deer and a variety of smaller mammals, reptiles 
and amphibians. Correspondence between the licensee and the U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service (FWS) in connection with the NMPNS license renewal 
environmental review indicated that no federally endangered, 
threatened, or candidate aquatic species are likely to reside in the 
vicinity of the NMP2 site. According to the licensee's application and 
information in the SEIS-24, with the exception of the Indiana bat 
(Myotis sodalis) and occasional transient individuals of the piping 
plover (Charadrius melodus) and the bald eagle (Haliaeetus 
leucocephalus) (now delisted), no other species listed by the FWS as 
endangered or threatened are likely to reside on the NMPNS site or 
along Nine Mile Point to the Clay transmission corridor. However, 
recent onsite surveys conducted by the licensee indicate that there is 
low likelihood of occurrence for Indiana bat and piping plover because 
there is no suitable habitat on the site or along the transmission 
corridor. Regardless, planned construction-related activities related 
to the proposed EPU primarily involve changes to existing structures, 
systems, and components internal to existing buildings, would not 
involve earth disturbance. While traffic and worker activity in the 
developed parts of the plant site during the 2012 refueling outage 
would be somewhat greater than a normal refueling outage, the potential 
impact on terrestrial wildlife would be minor and temporary.
    Since there are no planned changes to the terrestrial wildlife 
habitat on the NMPNS site from the proposed EPU and the potential 
impacts from worker activity would be minor and temporary, there would 
be no significant impacts to any threatened or endangered species for 
the proposed action.

Historic and Archaeological Resources Impacts

    As reported in the SEIS-24, the NRC reviewed historic and 
archaeological site files in New York, and confirmed that historic and 
archaeological resources have been identified in the vicinity of NMP2, 
but no archaeological and historic architectural sites have been 
recorded on the licensee's site. In addition, the New York State 
Historic Preservation Office confirmed that while there are no known 
archaeological sites within the plant site, the Preservation Office 
considers Nine Mile Point to be an area that is sensitive for cultural 
resources because of its environmental setting. However, as reported in 
the SEIS-24, a site visit performed by NRC staff in 2004 found the 
presence of archaeological remains associated with several mapped 
historic locations within the plant lands. For the proposed EPU, the 
licensee asserts that there would be no new land disturbance activities 
and there are no plans to construct new facilities or modify existing 
access roads, parking areas, or equipment lay-down areas. Therefore, 
there would be no significant impact from the proposed EPU on historic 
and archaeological resources at NMP2.

Socioeconomic Impacts

    Potential socioeconomic impacts from the proposed EPU include 
temporary increases in the size of the workforce at NMP2 and associated 
increased demand for public services and housing in the region. The 
proposed EPU could also increase tax payments due to increased power 
    Currently, there are approximately 1,000 full-time workers employed 
at NMPNS, residing primarily in Oswego County and Onondaga County, New 
York. During refueling outages approximately every 12 months at NMPNS 
(every 24 months for each unit) the number of workers at NMPNS 
increases by as many as 1,000 workers for 30 to 40 days.
    The proposed EPU is expected to temporarily increase the size of 
the workforce at NMPNS during the spring 2010 and 2012 refueling 
outages. The greatest increase would occur during the spring 2012 
outage when the majority of the EPU-related modifications would take 
place. Once completed, the size of the refueling outage workforce at 
NMPNS would return to normal levels and would remain relatively the 
same during future refueling outages. The size of the regular plant 
operations workforce would be unaffected by the proposed EPU.
    Most of the EPU plant modification workers would be expected to 
relocate temporarily to Oswego and Onondaga counties, resulting in 
short-term increases in the local population along with increased 
demands for public services and housing. Because plant modification 
work would be short-term, most workers would stay in available rental 
homes, apartments, mobile homes, and camper-trailers. Therefore, a 
temporary increase in plant employment for a short duration would have 
little or no noticeable effect on the availability of housing in the 
    NMPNS currently pays annual real estate property taxes to the City 
of Oswego School District, Oswego County, and the Town of Scriba. The 
annual amount of property taxes paid by NMPNS could increase due to 
``incentive payments'' should NMP2 megawatt production exceed 
negotiated annual benchmarks as power generation increases. Future 
property tax agreements with Oswego County, the Town of Scriba, and the 
City of Oswego could also take into account the increased value of NMP2 
as a result of the EPU implementation and increased power generation.
    Due to the short duration of EPU-related plant modification 
activities, there would be little or no noticeable effect on tax 
revenues generated by temporary workers residing in Oswego County and 
Onondaga County. Therefore, there would be no significant adverse 
socioeconomic impacts from EPU-related plant modifications and 
operations under EPU conditions in the vicinity of NMP2.

Environmental Justice Impacts

    The environmental justice impact analysis evaluates the potential 
for disproportionately high and adverse human health and environmental 
effects on minority and low-income populations that could result from 
activities associated with EPU operation at NMP2. Environmental effects 
may include biological, cultural, economic, or social impacts. Minority 
and low-income populations are subsets of the general public residing 
in the vicinity of NMP2, and all are exposed to the same health and 
environmental effects generated from activities at NMP2.

Environmental Justice Impact Analysis

    The NRC staff considered the demographic composition of the area 
within a 50-mile (80-km) radius of NMP2 to determine the location of 
minority and low-income populations and whether they may be affected by 
the proposed action.
    Minority populations in the vicinity of NMP2, according to the U.S. 
Census Bureau data for 2000, indicate that 11.8% of the population 
(approximately 908,000 individuals) residing within a 50-mile (80-km) 
radius of NMP2 identified themselves as minority individuals. The 
largest minority group was Black or African American (approximately 
63,000 persons or 7.0%), followed by Hispanic or Latino (approximately 
22,000 persons or about 2.4%). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 
about 3.5% of the Oswego County population identified themselves as 
minorities, with persons

[[Page 13604]]

of Hispanic or Latino origin comprising the largest minority group 
(1.3%). According to census data, the 3-year average estimate for 2006-
2008 for the minority population of Oswego County, as a percent of 
total population, increased to 4.4%.
    According to 2000 census data, approximately 19,600 families and 
105,000 individuals (approximately 8.4 and 11.5%, respectively) 
residing within a 50-mi (80-km) radius of NMP2 were identified as 
living below the Federal poverty threshold in 1999. The 1999 Federal 
poverty threshold was $17,029 for a family of four.
    According to census data in the 2006-2008 American Community Survey 
3-Year Estimates, the median household income for New York was $55,401, 
while 13.8% of the State population and 10.5% of families were 
determined to be living below the Federal poverty threshold. Oswego 
County had a lower median household income average ($43,643) and higher 
percentages (16.0%) of individuals and families (11.2%) living below 
the poverty level, respectively.
    Potential impacts to minority and low-income populations would 
mostly consist of environmental and socioeconomic effects (e.g., noise, 
dust, traffic, employment, and housing impacts). However, noise and 
dust impacts would be short-term and limited to onsite activities. 
Minority and low-income populations residing along site access roads 
could experience increased commuter vehicle traffic during shift 
changes. Increased demand for inexpensive rental housing during the 
refueling outages that include EPU-related plant modifications could 
disproportionately affect low-income populations, however, due to the 
short duration of the EPU-related work and the expected availability of 
rental properties, impacts to minority and low-income populations would 
be short-term and limited.
    Based on this information and the analysis of human health and 
environmental impacts presented in this EA, there would be no 
disproportionately high and adverse human health and environmental 
effects on minority and low-income populations residing in the vicinity 
of NMP2.

Non-Radiological Impacts Summary

    As discussed above, the proposed EPU would not result in any 
significant non-radiological impacts. Table 1 summarizes the non-
radiological environmental impacts of the proposed EPU at NMP2.

       Table 1--Summary of Non-Radiological Environmental Impacts
Land Use.....................  No significant impact on land use
                                conditions and aesthetic resources in
                                the vicinity of NMP2.
Air Quality..................  Temporary short-term air quality impacts
                                from vehicle emissions related to the
                                workforce. No significant impacts to air
Water Use....................  Water use changes resulting from the EPU
                                would be relatively minor. No
                                significant impact on groundwater or
                                surface water resources.
Aquatic Resources............  No significant impact to aquatic
                                resources due to impingement,
                                entrainment, or thermal discharge.
Terrestrial Resources........  No significant impact to terrestrial
Threatened and Endangered      No significant impact to Federally listed
 Species.                       species.
Historic and Archaeological    No significant impact to historic and
 Resources.                     archaeological resources on site or in
                                the vicinity of NMP2.
Socioeconomics...............  No significant socioeconomic impacts from
                                EPU-related temporary increase in
Environmental Justice........  No disproportionately high and adverse
                                human health and environmental effects
                                on minority and low-income populations
                                in the vicinity of NMP2.

Radiological Impacts

Radioactive Gaseous and Liquid Effluents, Direct Radiation Shine, and 
Solid Waste

    Nuclear power plants use waste treatment systems to collect, 
process, recycle, and dispose of gaseous, liquid, and solid wastes that 
contain radioactive material in a safe and controlled manner within NRC 
and EPA radiation safety standards. Operation at the proposed EPU 
conditions would not require any physical changes to the gaseous, 
liquid, or solid waste systems.

Radioactive Gaseous Effluents

    Radioactive gaseous wastes principally include radioactive gases 
extracted from the steam condenser offgas system and the turbine gland 
seal. The radioactive gaseous waste management system uses holdup 
(i.e., time delay to achieve radioactive decay) and filtration (i.e., 
high efficiency filters) to reduce the gaseous radioactivity that is 
released into the environment. The licensee's evaluation concluded that 
the proposed EPU would not change the radioactive gaseous waste 
licensing basis and the system's design criteria. In addition, the 
existing equipment and plant procedures that control radioactive 
releases to the environment will continue to be used to maintain 
radioactive gaseous releases within the dose limits of 10 CFR 20.1302, 
Appendix I to 10 CFR Part 50, and 40 CFR Part 190.

Radioactive Liquid Effluents

    Radioactive liquid wastes include liquids from various equipment 
drains, floor drains, containment sumps, chemistry laboratory, laundry 
drains, and other sources. An evaluation performed by the licensee 
demonstrates that implementation of the proposed EPU would not 
significantly increase the inventory of liquid normally processed by 
the liquid waste management system. This conclusion is based on the 
fact that the radioactive liquid waste system functions are not 
changing and the volume inputs would increase less than 10%, which is 
not an appreciable increase when compared to the liquid radioactive 
waste system capacity. The proposed EPU would result in a small 
increase in the equilibrium radioactivity in the reactor coolant which 
in turn would impact the concentrations of radionuclides entering the 
waste disposal systems.
    Since the liquid volume does not increase appreciably, and the 
radiological sources remain bounded by the existing design basis, the 
current design and operation of the radioactive liquid waste system 
will accommodate the effects of EPU with no changes. In addition, the 
existing equipment and plant procedures that control radioactive 
releases to the environment will continue to be used to maintain 
radioactive liquid releases within the dose limits of 10 CFR 20.1302, 
Appendix I to 10 CFR Part 50, and 40 CFR Part 190.

Occupational Radiation Dose at EPU Conditions

    In-plant radiation levels and associated occupational doses are

[[Page 13605]]

controlled by the NMPNS Radiation Protection Program to ensure that 
internal and external radiation exposures to station personnel, 
contractor personnel, and the general population will be as low as is 
reasonably achievable (ALARA). For plant workers, the program monitors 
radiation levels throughout the plant to establish work controls, 
training, temporary shielding, and protective equipment requirements so 
that worker doses will remain within the dose limits of 10 CFR Part 20 
and ALARA.
    The licensee's analysis indicate that in-plant radiation sources 
are anticipated to increase linearly with the increase in core power 
level (approximately 15% greater than the current licensed thermal 
power), except for nitrogen-16 (N-16) which is expected to increase 
approximately 30% due to increased steam flow and pressure in some 
components. Shielding is used throughout NMP2 to protect personnel 
against radiation emanating from the reactor and the auxiliary systems.
    For conservatism, many aspects of NMP2 were originally designed for 
higher-than-expected radiation sources. NMPNS has determined that the 
current shielding design is adequate for the increase in radiation 
levels that may occur after the proposed EPU. Thus, the increase in 
radiation levels would not affect radiation zoning or shielding in the 
various areas of NMP2 because of the conservatism in the original 
design. Therefore, no changes are planned to the plant's shielding 
design and the ALARA program would continue in its current form.

Offsite Doses at EPU Conditions

    The primary sources of normal operation offsite dose to members of 
the public at NMP2 are airborne releases from the Offgas System and 
direct dose from gamma radiation (skyshine) from the plant turbines 
containing radioactive material. During reactor operation, the reactor 
coolant passing through the core region becomes radioactive as a result 
of nuclear reactions. The dominant radiation source in the coolant 
passing through the turbine is N-16. The activation of the water in the 
reactor core is in approximate proportion to the increase in thermal 
power. However, while the magnitude of the radioactive source 
production increases in proportion to reactor power, the concentration 
in the steam remains nearly constant. This is because the increase in 
activation production is balanced by the increase in steam flow. The 
implementation of the proposed EPU could increase components of offsite 
dose due to releases of gaseous and liquid effluents by up to 20%. The 
component of offsite dose due to N-16 radiation emanating from the 
turbine could increase by as much as 30%. The licensee calculated that 
the increase in offsite dose from radioactive gaseous and liquid 
effluents, and skyshine from NMP2 under EPU operating conditions is 
expected to be less than 1 mrem (0.01mSv) per year. The historical 
(2003-2007) annual doses to a member of the public located outside the 
NMPNS site boundary from NMP2's radioactive emissions ranged from 0.18 
mrem (0.0018 mSv) to 2.01 mrem (0.0201 mSv). These doses are well below 
the 10 CFR Part 20 annual dose limit of 100 mrem (1.0 mSv) for members 
of the public and the EPA's 40 CFR Part 190 annual dose standard of 25 
mrem (0.25 mSv). Therefore, while the offsite dose to members of the 
public under EPU conditions is expected to increase slightly, it is 
expected to remain within regulatory limits. Based on the above, the 
potential increase in offsite radiation dose to members of the public 
would not be significant.

Radioactive Solid Wastes

    The radioactive solid waste system collects, processes, packages, 
monitors, and temporarily stores radioactive dry and wet solid wastes 
prior to shipment offsite for disposal. Solid radioactive waste streams 
include filter sludge, spent ion exchange resin, and dry active waste 
(DAW). DAW includes paper, plastic, wood, rubber, glass, floor 
sweepings, cloth, metal, and other types of waste routinely generated 
during site maintenance and outages. The EPU does not generate a new 
type of waste or create a new waste stream. Therefore, the types of 
radioactive waste that require shipment are unchanged. The licensee's 
evaluation indicates that the effect of the EPU on solid waste is 
primarily from increased input to the reactor water cleanup system 
(WCS) and condensate demineralizers. The increased use of the WCS and 
condensate demineralizers is expected to increase the volume of spent 
ion exchange resins and filter sludge. The licensee's analysis 
indicates that the estimated increase in solid radioactive waste is 
approximately 7%, and can be handled by the existing solid waste 
management system without modification. Therefore, the impact from the 
increased volume of solid radioactive waste generated under conditions 
of the proposed EPU would not be significant.

Spent Nuclear Fuel

    Spent fuel from NMP2 is stored in the plant's spent fuel pool. The 
additional energy requirements for the proposed EPU would be met by an 
increase in fuel enrichment, an increase in the reload fuel batch size, 
and/or changes in the fuel loading pattern to maintain the desired 
plant operating cycle length. NMP2 is currently licensed to use 
uranium-dioxide fuel that has a maximum enrichment of 4.95% by weight 
uranium-235. The typical average enrichment is approximately 4.20% by 
weight uranium-235. For the proposed action, the core design would use 
a somewhat higher fuel enrichment (4.36%), which remains within the 
licensed maximum enrichment. The EPU fuel batch size would increase 
from 276 bundles to 352 bundles. The licensee's fuel reload design 
goals would maintain the NMP2 fuel cycles within the limits bounded by 
the impacts analyzed in 10 CFR Part 51, Table S-3--Table of Uranium 
Fuel Cycle Environmental Data and Table S-4--Environmental Impact of 
Transportation of Fuel and Waste to and from One Light-Water-Cooled 
Nuclear Power Reactor. Therefore, there would be no significant impact 
resulting from spent nuclear fuel.

Postulated Design-Basis Accident Doses

    Postulated design-basis accidents are evaluated by both the 
licensee and the NRC staff to ensure that NMP2 can withstand normal and 
abnormal transients and a broad spectrum of postulated accidents, 
without undue hazard to the health and safety of the public. The NRC 
staff previously evaluated and approved an amendment to the NMP2 
license (Technical Specification Amendment No. 125, dated May 29, 2008, 
ADAMS Accession No. ML081230439) which permitted full implementation of 
the Alternative Source Term (AST) as described in NRC Regulatory Guide 
1.183, ``Alternative Radiological Source Terms for Evaluating Design 
Basis Accidents at Nuclear Power Reactors.'' The licensee's AST 
analysis was performed at the proposed EPU power level of 3,988 MWt so 
that the design-basis accident analyses would be applicable to the 
proposed EPU being evaluated here. In its approval of TS Amendment No. 
125, the NRC staff concluded that (1) there is reasonable assurance 
that the health and safety of the public will not be endangered by 
operation in the proposed manner, (2) such activities will be conducted 
in compliance with the Commission's regulations, and (3) the issuance 
of the amendments will not

[[Page 13606]]

be inimical to the common defense and security or to the health and 
safety of the public. Therefore, there would be no significant increase 
in the impact resulting from a postulated accident.

Radiological Impacts Summary

    As discussed above, the proposed EPU would not result in any 
significant radiological impacts. Table 2 summarizes the radiological 
environmental impacts of the proposed EPU at NMP2.

         Table 2--Summary of Radiological Environmental Impacts
Radioactive Gaseous Effluents  Amount of additional radioactive gaseous
                                effluents generated would be handled by
                                the existing system.
Radioactive Liquid Effluents.  Amount of additional radioactive liquid
                                effluents generated would be handled by
                                the existing system.
Occupational Radiation Doses.  Occupational doses would continue to be
                                maintained within NRC limits.
Offsite Radiation Doses......  Radiation doses to members of the public
                                would remain below NRC and EPA radiation
                                protection standards.
Radioactive Solid Waste......  Amount of additional radioactive solid
                                waste generated would be handled by the
                                existing system.
Spent Nuclear Fuel...........  Amount of additional spent nuclear fuel
                                would be handled by the existing system.
Postulated Design- Basis       Calculated doses for postulated design-
 Accident Doses.                basis accidents would remain within NRC

Alternatives to the Proposed Action

    As an alternative to the proposed action, the NRC staff considered 
denial of the proposed EPU (i.e., the ``no-action'' alternative). 
Denial of the application would result in no change in the current 
environmental impacts. However, if the EPU were not approved for NMP2, 
other agencies and electric power organizations may be required to 
pursue other means, such as fossil fuel or alternative fuel power 
generation, to provide electric generation capacity to offset future 
demand. Construction and operation of such a fossil-fueled or 
alternative-fueled plant may create impacts in air quality, land use, 
and waste management significantly greater than those identified for 
the proposed EPU at NMP2. Furthermore, the proposed EPU does not 
involve environmental impacts that are significantly different from 
those originally identified in the NMP2 FES and the SEIS-24.

Alternative Use of Resources

    This action does not involve the use of any resources not 
previously considered in the FES.

Agencies and Persons Consulted

    In accordance with its stated policy, on March 2, 2010, the NRC 
staff consulted with the State of New York official regarding the 
environmental impact of the proposed action. The State official had no 

Finding of No Significant Impact

    On the basis of the EA, 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 action.
    For further details with respect to the proposed action, see the 
licensee's application dated May 27, 2009, as supplemented on August 28 
and December 23, 2009, and February 19, 2010.
    Documents may be examined, and/or copied for a fee, at the NRC's 
Public Document Room (PDR), located at One White Flint North, 11555 
Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland 20852. Publicly 
available records will be accessible electronically from the ADAMS 
Public Electronic Reading Room on 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 at 1-800-397-4209, or 301-415-4737, 
or send an e-mail to [email protected].

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 16th day of March 2010.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Nancy L. Salgado,
Chief, Plant Licensing Branch I-1, Division of Operating Reactor 
Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2010-6198 Filed 3-19-10; 8:45 am]