[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 113 (Monday, June 14, 2010)]
[Pages 33656-33657]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-14200]



[Docket No. 50-219; NRC-2010-0200]

Exelon Generation Company, LLC Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating 
Station Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering 
issuance of exemptions from Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations 
(10 CFR) Part 50, Appendix R, Section III.G, ``Fire Protection of Safe 
Shutdown Capability,'' for Renewed Facility Operating License No. DPR-
16, for the use of operator manual actions in lieu of the requirements 
specified in Section III.G.2, as requested by Exelon Generation 
Company, LLC (the licensee), for operation of the Oyster Creek Nuclear 
Generating Station (Oyster Creek), located in Ocean County, New Jersey. 
Therefore, as required by 10 CFR Section 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 grant exemptions to 10 CFR Part 50, 
Appendix R, Section III.G.2 based on 6 operator manual actions 
contained in the licensee's Fire Protection Program (FPP). The 
licensee's FPP requires that the identified operator manual actions be 
performed outside of the control room to achieve shutdown following 
fires in certain fire areas. The licensee states that each of the 
manual actions was subjected to a manual action feasibility review for 
Oyster Creek that determined that the manual actions are feasible and 
can be reliably performed.
    The proposed action is in accordance with the licensee's 
application dated March 4, 2009 (available in the Agencywide Documents 
Access and Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML090640225). By 
letter dated April 2, 2010 (ADAMS Accession No. ML100920370), the 
licensee submitted a response to an NRC staff request for additional 
information. In this letter the licensee identified that, as a result 
of clarifications included to Regulatory Guide 1.189, ``Fire Protection 
for Nuclear Power Plants,'' some of the operator manual actions 
included in the original exemption request no longer required an 

The Need for the Proposed Action

    The proposed exemption from 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix R, was 
submitted in response to the need for an exemption as identified by NRC 
Regulatory Information Summary (RIS) 2006-10, ``Regulatory Expectations 
with Appendix R Paragraph III.G.2 Operator Manual Actions.'' The RIS 
noted that NRC inspections identified that some licensees had relied 
upon operator manual actions, instead of the options specified in 
Paragraph III.G.2 of 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix R, as a permanent 
solution to resolve issues related to Thermo-Lag 330-1 fire barriers. 
RIS 2006-10, however, identifies that an exemption under 10 CFR Section 
50.12 is necessary for use of the manual actions in lieu of the 
requirements of 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix R, III.G.2, even if the NRC 
previously issued a Safety Evaluation that found the manual actions 
acceptable. RIS 2006-10 and Enforcement Guidance Memorandum 07-004 
(ADAMS Accession No. ML071830345) provided that exemption requests must 
be submitted by March 6, 2009. The licensee's proposed exemption 
provides the formal vehicle for NRC approval for the use of the 
specified operator manual actions instead of the options specified in 
10 CFR Part 50, Appendix R, III.G.2.

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    The NRC has completed its evaluation of the proposed action and 
concludes that the operator manual actions are procedural direction to 
take actions proscribed for response to a fire-related event at the 
plant and, therefore, cannot increase the probability of an event 
occurring or introduce a new or different kind of event. The operator 
manual actions restore or allow function of mitigative systems 
necessary to place the plant in a safe-shutdown condition. Therefore, 
the proposed action would not significantly increase the consequences 
of accidents. No changes are being made in the types of effluents that 
may be released off site. There is no significant increase in the 
amount of any effluent released off site. None of the manual actions to 
be performed are in areas that have radiation levels that would 
preclude entry. Further, the licensee stated that the highest expected 
dose during performance of the manual actions is 100 millirem (2 
percent of the annual occupational limit), and the majority of manual 
actions are not in radiological controlled areas. Based on this 
consideration, the NRC staff finds that there is no significant 
increase in occupational or public radiation exposure. Therefore, there 
are no significant radiological impacts associated with the proposed 
action. The NRC staff thus concludes that granting the proposed 
exemption would result in no significant radiological environmental 
    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-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 noticeable effect on socioeconomic conditions in the region. 
Therefore, no changes or different types of non-radiological 
environmental impacts are expected as a result of the proposed action. 
Accordingly, the NRC concludes that there are no significant 
environmental impacts associated with the proposed action.

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. 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 1974 Final Environmental Statement 
for Oyster Creek and NUREG-1437, Vol. 1, Supplement 28, ``Generic 
Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants 
Regarding Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station, Final Report--Main 

Agencies and Persons Consulted

    In accordance with its stated policy, on June 7, 2010, the NRC 
staff consulted with the New Jersey State official for the

[[Page 33657]]

Department of Environmental 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 March 4, 2009 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML090640225), as supplemented on April 2, 2010 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML100920370). 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 7th day of June 2010.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

G. Edward Miller,
Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch I-2, Division of Operating 
Reactor Licensing Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2010-14200 Filed 6-11-10; 8:45 am]