[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 217 (Wednesday, November 10, 2010)]
[Pages 69136-69137]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-28395]



[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 one new requirement of 10 
CFR part 73. Specifically, SCE would be granted a second exemption, 
further extending the date for full compliance with one new requirement 
contained in 10 CFR 73.55, from October 31, 2010 (the date specified in 
a prior exemption granted by NRC on March 16, 2010), until February 28, 
2011. SCE has proposed an alternate full compliance implementation date 
of February 28, 2011, which is approximately 11 months beyond the 
compliance 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 reactors, 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 August 24, 2010, as supplemented by letter dated 
October 17, 2010. 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 from the regulation, if granted.

The Need for the Proposed Action

    The proposed action, a second scheduler exemption, is needed to 
provide the licensee with additional time to implement one specific 
element of the new requirements in 10 CFR part 73, which involves 
significant physical modifications to the SONGS 2 and 3 security 
systems. While the licensee completed much of the work required by the 
10 CFR Part 73 rule change at SONGS 2 and 3 by the March 31, 2010, 
implementation date, and has made substantial progress on completing 
the remaining item for which the previous scheduler exemption was 
granted, SCE requires additional time to complete all modifications 
associated with the single remaining item to achieve full compliance 
with 10 CFR part 73.

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    The NRC has completed its environmental assessment of the proposed 
action. The staff has concluded that the proposed action to further 
extend the implementation deadline for one item would not

[[Page 69137]]

significantly affect plant safety and would not significantly affect 
the probability of an accident.
    The proposed action would not result in an increased radiological 
hazard beyond those hazards 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 or emissions that affect 
radiation exposures to plant workers and members of the public. 
Therefore, no radiological impacts are expected as a result of the 
proposed exemption.
    The proposed action is an extension of the compliance deadline and 
will not result in any additional construction or major renovation of 
any buildings or structures, nor any ground disturbing activities, 
beyond the security improvements previously planned to achieve 
compliance with the new rule. No changes in the size of the workforce, 
or in traffic to or around SONGS 2 and 3, are expected as a result of 
an extension of the compliance deadline. Providing the licensee with 
additional time to comply with the revised requirements of 10 CFR 73.55 
would not alter land use, air quality, and water use (quality and 
quantity) conditions or National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System 
permits at SONGS 2 and 3. Aquatic and terrestrial habitat in the 
vicinity of the plant; threatened, endangered, and protected species 
under the Endangered Species Act; and essential fish habitat covered by 
the Magnuson-Stevens Act would not be affected. In addition, historic 
and cultural resources, socioeconomic conditions, and minority- and 
low-income populations in the vicinity of SONGS 2 and 3 would also not 
be affected by this action. Therefore, no changes to or different types 
of non-radiological environmental impacts are expected as a result of 
the proposed exemption.
    As previously noted, in promulgating its amendments to 10 CFR part 
73, the Commission prepared an environmental assessment of the rule 
change and published a finding of no significant impact (10 CFR parts 
50, 52, 72, and 73, Power Reactor Security Requirements, March 27, 
2009; 74 FR 13926). Thus, through the proposed action, the Commission 
would be granting additional time for the licensee to comply with 
regulatory requirements for which the Commission has already found no 
significant impact.
    For the foregoing reasons, the NRC concludes that there would be no 
significant radiological or non-radiological environmental impacts 
associated with the extension of the implementation date for one 
element of the new requirements of 10 CFR 73.55 for SONGS 2 and 3.

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 exemption request would result in no change in current 
environmental impacts. Denial of the exemption request would result in 
the licensee being in non-compliance with 10 CFR 73.55(a)(1) and thus, 
subject to NRC enforcement action. The end result, however, would still 
be ultimate licensee compliance with the requirements of 10 CFR 73.55, 
but with the added expense to both the NRC and the licensee of any 
enforcement actions. The NRC concludes that the environmental impacts 
of the proposed exemption and the ``no action'' alternative are 

Alternative Use of Resources

    The proposed 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 October 22, 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 above environmental assessment, which in 
accordance with 10 CFR 51.32(a)(4), is incorporated into this finding 
of no significant impact by reference, the NRC concludes that the 
proposed action constitutes an administrative change (timing) that 
would 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 letter dated August 24, 2010, as supplemented by letter 
dated October 17, 2010. Portions of the August 24 and October 17, 2010, 
submittals contain safeguards and security-related information and, 
accordingly, redacted versions of those letters are available for 
public review in the Agencywide Documents Access and Management System 
(ADAMS), at Accession Nos. ML102380401 and ML102920691, respectively. 
These 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 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, November 3, 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. 2010-28395 Filed 11-9-10; 8:45 am]