[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 237 (Friday, December 10, 2010)]
[Pages 77010-77017]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-31085]



[Docket Nos. 50-266 and 50-301; NRC-2010-0380]

Nextera Energy Point Beach, LLC; Point Beach Nuclear Plant, Units 
1 and 2, Draft Environmental Assessment and Draft Finding of No 
Significant Impact Related to the Proposed License Amendment To 
Increase the Maximum Reactor Power Level

    In accordance with Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 
CFR) Section 51.21, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has 
prepared a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and draft Finding of No 
Significant Impact (FONSI) as part of its evaluation of a request by 
Florida Power & Light (FPL) Energy (the licensee) (now NextEra Energy 
Point Beach, LLC (NextEra)) for a license amendment to increase the 
maximum thermal power at the Point Beach Nuclear Plant (PBNP), Units 1 
and 2 from 1,540 megawatts thermal (MWt) to 1,800 MWt for each unit. 
This represents a power increase of approximately 17 percent over the 
current licensed thermal power, with a net increase of electrical 
output from 519 megawatts-electric (MWe) to 607 MWe for each unit, and 
approximately an 18 percent increase from the original licensed power 
level of 1,518 MWt. In 2003, PBNP received approval from the NRC to 
increase their power by 1.4 percent, to the current power level of 
1,540 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. The draft EA and draft 
FONSI are being published in the Federal Register with a 30-day public 
comment period ending January 8, 2011.

Draft Environmental Assessment

Plant Site and Environs

    The PBNP site is located approximately 6 miles (10 kilometers) 
east-northeast of the town of Mischot on the western shore of Lake 
Michigan, midway along the western shore, near the northeastern corner 
of Manitowoc County, Wisconsin. The City of Green Bay is located 
approximately 25 miles (40 kilometers) northwest of PBNP, and the 
Kewaunee Nuclear Plant is located approximately 4 miles (6 kilometers) 
north of PBNP on the shore of Lake Michigan. The PBNP site is comprised 
of approximately 1,260 acres (510 hectares), with 104 acres (42 
hectares) that includes the two nuclear reactors, parking and ancillary 
facilities. Approximately 1,050 acres (425 hectares) are used for 
agriculture, and the remaining land is a mixture of woods, wetlands, 
and open areas. Each of the two units at PBNP use Westinghouse 
pressurized water reactors.

Identification of the Proposed Action

    By application dated April 7, 2009, the licensee requested an 
amendment for an EPU for PBNP to increase the licensed thermal power 
level from 1,540 MWt to 1,800 MWt for each unit, which represents an 
increase of approximately 17 percent above the current licensed thermal 
power and approximately 18 percent 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 for each 
unit from 519 MWe to 607 MWe. The proposed action is considered an EPU 
by NRC because it exceeds the typical 7 percent 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 extensive physical modifications to the 
plant's secondary side to implement the proposed EPU over the course of 
two refueling outages currently scheduled for the Spring 2011 and the 
Fall 2011. The actual power uprate, if approved by the NRC, would occur 
in two stages following the 2011 refueling outages.

The Need for the Proposed Action

    The need for the additional power generation is based upon the 
goals and recommendations of Wisconsin's 2007 Final Report on 
``Strategic Energy Assessment Energy 2012'' for maintaining a robust 
energy planning reserve margin of 18 percent. In this report, the State 
of Wisconsin, Public Service Commission, forecasted an annual growth 
rate of over 2 percent in demand for electricity. The proposed action 
provides the licensee with the flexibility to increase the potential 
electrical output of PBNP Units 1 and 2 from its existing power 
station, and to reduce Wisconsin's dependence on obtaining power from 
Illinois via a congested transmission grid connection. The additional 
90 MWe provided by each unit would contribute to meeting the goals of 
the State of Wisconsin to provide efficient and stable nuclear 
electrical generation.

[[Page 77011]]

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    As part of the licensing process for PBNP Units 1 & 2, the NRC 
published a Final Environmental Statement (FES) in October 1970, for 
PBNP Unit 1, and in March 1973 for PBNP Unit 2. The two FESs provide an 
evaluation of the environmental impacts associated with the operation 
of PBNP Units 1 & 2 over their licensed lifetimes. In addition, in 
2005, the NRC evaluated the environmental impacts of operating PBNP 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 23, Regarding Point Beach Nuclear Plant, Units 1 and 2'' 
(SEIS-23) issued in August 2005 (Agencywide Documents Access and 
Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML052230490). The NRC staff 
used information from the licensee's license amendment request, the 
FESs, and the SEIS-23 to perform its EA for the proposed EPU.
    There will be extensive changes made to the secondary side of the 
PBNP related to the EPU action, but no new construction is planned 
outside of existing facilities, and no extensive changes are 
anticipated to buildings or plant systems that directly or indirectly 
interface with the environment. All necessary modifications would be 
performed in existing buildings at PBNP. Modifications to the secondary 
side of each unit include the following: Replacing the high-pressure 
side of the turbine; replacing all of the feedwater heaters, feedwater 
and condensate pumps and motors to operate at higher capacity; 
providing supplemental cooling for some plant systems; implementing 
electrical upgrades; other modifications to accommodate greater steam 
and condensate flow rates; and changing setpoints and modifying 
    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 PBNP. 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 directly 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 
PBNP. Also, there would be no land use changes along transmission lines 
(no new lines would be required for the proposed EPU), transmission 
corridors, in switch yards, or in substations.
    Since land use conditions would not change at PBNP, there would be 
no significant impact from EPU-related plant modifications on land use 
and aesthetic resources in the vicinity of PBNP.

Air Quality Impacts

    Air quality within the Point Beach area is generally considered 
good, with an exception occurring for a designated ozone nonattainment 
area. PBNP is located in Manitowoc County within the Lake Michigan 
Intrastate Air Quality Control Region (AQCR). With the exception of the 
8-hour standard for ozone, the Lake Michigan AQCR is designated as 
being in attainment or unclassifiable for all air-quality criteria 
pollutants in the Environmental Protection Agency's 40 CFR 81.350.
    There are approximately 650 people employed at the PBNP on a full-
time basis, and 150 long and short-term contractors. This workforce is 
typically augmented by an additional 700 persons during regularly 
scheduled refueling outages. For the EPU work conducted during the 
Spring 2011 outage and the Fall 2011 outage, there will be 
approximately 1,200 more workers supplementing the typical 700 
additional workers scheduled for refueling outages. The workforce 
numbers would be somewhat larger than for a routine outage and would 
take longer to complete, but would still be of a relatively short 
duration (approximately 68 days). A typical refueling outage typically 
requires 35 days to complete. During implementation of the EPU at PBNP, 
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. An approximate 727 
additional truck deliveries will be needed to support EPU modifications 
for the Spring 2011 outage, and approximately 774 additional truck 
deliveries will support the EPU modifications for the Fall 2011 EPU 
    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


    The PBNP is not connected to a municipal water system, and utilizes 
groundwater from the Silurian aquifer for potable and sanitary purposes 
withdrawn from five wells located within the plant yard. PBNP has 
approval from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources through the 
State's water appropriation permit program for groundwater withdrawal 
from wells with a combined withdrawal for over 10,000 gallons per day 
(gpd). Groundwater withdrawals from these five wells at PBNP have 
historically averaged about 6.5 gallons per minute (gpm) (9,300 gpd). 
While potable water in the vicinity of PBNP is drawn primarily from 
Lake Michigan, groundwater does provide potable water for smaller towns 
and rural residences in the plant region.
    Groundwater samples taken from PBNP's supply wells as part of the 
PBNP site environmental monitoring program have shown no contamination. 
There are no discharges to groundwater from PBNP requiring permits by 
regulatory agencies, and discharge of wastewater to onsite retention 
ponds ended in 2002.
    The EPU is not projected to increase groundwater use or liquid 
effluent discharges by PBNP during the operating life of the plant. As 
a result, local and regional groundwater users would not be affected by 
the proposed EPU. While potable water use would be expected to increase 
over the short term in association with the influx of the 1,200 
additional workers supporting EPU implementation activities, this 
potential increase would be within the capacity of PBNP's wells and 
would be unlikely to have any effect on other groundwater users. 
Therefore, there would be no significant impact on groundwater 
resources following implementation of the proposed EPU.

[[Page 77012]]

Surface Water

    The PBNP uses surface water from Lake Michigan for its once-through 
cooling system for both units for its plant condenser cooling, 
auxiliary water systems, the service water system, and for fire 
protection. The cooling system removes waste heat from the condensers 
and other plant equipment, and discharges the water through separate 
flumes for each unit back into Lake Michigan. As described in the 
licensee's application and SEIS-23, cooling water is circulated through 
PBNP at 680,000 gpm, and will remain unchanged under EPU conditions. 
Thus, no change in PBNP's water use or on the availability of water for 
other Lake Michigan users is expected.
    Main condenser cooling water is withdrawn from Lake Michigan at a 
depth of approximately 22 feet (7 meters) from an offshore intake 
located approximately 1,750 feet (533 meters) east of the shoreline. 
The plant has two discharges located about 200 feet (60 meters) from 
the shoreline. Non-radioactive chemical effluent discharges into Lake 
Michigan are regulated in accordance with a Wisconsin Pollutant 
Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) permit (WI-0000957-07). The 
applicant submitted an application for renewal to the State in December 
2008. The current WPDES permit is valid until the new WPDES permit is 
issued. The licensee's evaluation stated that no significant changes in 
WPDES permit-regulated discharges to outfalls are expected from EPU-
operations. 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 chemical and thermal 
discharge effects. A permanent acoustic fish-deterrent system was 
installed around the intake structures at PBNP in 2002, to help reduce 
the influx of fish into the intake structure and to reduce potential 
impingement. The intake structures were originally constructed in areas 
of the lake devoid of fish spawning habitat or nursery grounds, which 
reduces the rate of entrainment. The proposed EPU will not result in an 
increase in water being withdrawn from Lake Michigan, nor will it 
result in an increase in the amount of water discharged to Lake 
Michigan. Therefore, there would be no potential increase in aquatic 
impacts from entrainment and impingement as a result of the proposed 
licensing action. The potential impacts at PBNP would remain consistent 
with the NRC's conclusion in the SEIS-23, that the aquatic impacts as a 
result of PBNP operation during the term of license renewal would 
continue to be small.
    However, the proposed EPU will result in an approximate 17 percent 
increase in the amount of waste heat discharged into Lake Michigan. 
According to a modeling study performed by the licensee in 2008, the 
temperature of the discharge water is expected to increase by a maximum 
of 3.6 [deg]F (2.0 [deg]C) as a result of the proposed EPU. While the 
cooling water thermal plume of PBNP is expected to be somewhat larger 
as a result of the proposed EPU, it is not expected to disrupt the 
balanced indigenous community of aquatic resources, and will have a 
negligible impact on Representative Important Species of Lake Michigan. 
The current WPDES permit for PBNP does not contain thermal effluent 
limitations. In addition, the NRC staff concluded in the SEIS-23 that 
PBNP was in compliance with its current WPDES permit, and was using the 
best available technology for the minimization of adverse environmental 
impacts from entrainment, impingement, and heat shock, and further 
mitigation measures would not be warranted.
    The circulating water system and service water system for PBNP are 
treated with biocides, sodium hypochlorite, and an electrolytic system 
adding copper to control biofouling from zebra mussels (Dreissena 
polymorpha) and to control algal growth. The NRC staff concluded in the 
SEIS-23 that there are no significant impacts of discharge of chlorine 
or other biocides during the license renewal term. The chemicals used 
for the above treatments at PBNP are regulated through the PBNP WPDES 
permit. The licensee has noted that they will maintain compliance with 
the WPDES permit and all other licenses, permits, approvals or other 
requirements currently held by the plant as a function of the proposed 
    The State of Wisconsin Coastal Management Program (WCMP) informed 
the licensee on March 16, 2010, that the WCMP has no comments on the 
project and will not conduct a Federal consistency review for PBNP as 
part of their WPDES permit. Therefore, there would be no significant 
adverse impacts to the aquatic biota from entrainment, impingement, 
thermal discharges, or from biocides for the proposed action.

Terrestrial Resources Impacts

    As discussed in the Plant Site and Environs section, the PBNP site 
consists of approximately 1,260 acres, with over 2 miles (3 kilometers) 
of shoreline on Lake Michigan. Approximately 104 acres are used for 
power generation and support facilities. Much of the remaining area 
(1,050 acres) is farmed, and approximately 100 acres consists largely 
of woods, wetlands, and open areas. As previously discussed in the Land 
Use and Aesthetic Impacts section, the proposed action would not affect 
land use at PBNP. Therefore, there would be no significant impacts on 
terrestrial biota associated with the proposed action.

Threatened and Endangered Species Impacts

    Correspondence between the licensee and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service (USFWS) in connection with the PBNP license renewal 
environmental review indicated that no Federally-listed endangered, 
threatened, or candidate terrestrial or aquatic species are likely to 
occur in the vicinity of the PBNP site. However, two species that are 
Federally-listed, the endangered piping plover (Charadrius melodus) and 
the threatened dune or Pitcher's thistle (Cirsium pitchen) have been 
recorded in Manitowoc County. In addition, the dwarf lake iris (Iris 
lacustris) has been documented in Brown County, which is traversed by 
the PBNP transmission line. The USFWS determined that portions of the 
PBNP shoreline may be suitable nesting habitat for the piping plover. 
And there is critical breeding habitat designated for the piping plover 
at Point Beach State Forest, which is approximately 3 miles (5 
kilometers) southeast of PBNP, although no piping plovers have been 
recorded as breeding at this location. The bald eagle (Haliaeetus 
leucocephalus) (now delisted, but still protected under the Bald and 
Golden Eagle Protection Act) has not been observed foraging on or near 
the plant area, but bald eagles have been observed foraging on smaller, 
interior water bodies that may be found near the transmission lines. 
Regardless, the planned construction-related activities related to the 
proposed EPU primarily involve changes to existing structures, systems, 
and components internal to existing buildings within the plant, and 
would not involve earth disturbance. While traffic and worker activity 
in the developed parts of the plant site during the Spring 2011 and 
Fall 2011 refueling outages 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

[[Page 77013]]

PBNP 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 

Historic and Archaeological Resources Impacts

    Records at the Wisconsin Historical Society identify several 
historic and archaeological sites in the vicinity of PBNP and three 
sites on PBNP property. None of these sites have been determined 
eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places 
(NRHP). There are a number of historic properties in Manitowoc County 
listed on the NRHP and the nearest, the Rawley Point Light Station, is 
within 6 miles (10 kilometers) of PBNP.
    As previously discussed, all EPU-related plant modifications would 
take place within existing buildings and facilities at PBNP, including 
replacing two electrical transformers on an existing pad. Since no 
ground disturbance or construction-related activities would occur 
outside of previously disturbed areas and existing electrical 
transmission facilities, there would be no significant impact from EPU-
related plant modifications on historic sites and to archaeological 
resources located on and within the vicinity of the PBNP.

Socioeconomic Impacts

    Potential socioeconomic impacts from the proposed EPU include 
temporary increases in the size of the workforce at the PBNP and 
associated increased demand for public services, housing, and increased 
traffic in the region. The proposed EPU could also increase tax 
payments due to increased power generation.
    Currently, there are approximately 800 workers employed at the 
PBNP, residing primarily in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin. During 
regularly scheduled refueling outages the number of workers at PBNP 
increases by as many as 700 workers for 35 days.
    The proposed EPU is expected to temporarily increase the size of 
the refueling outage workforce by approximately 1,200 additional 
workers. The refueling outage would last approximately 68 days during 
two refueling outages (one for each unit). The majority of the EPU-
related modifications would take place during the Spring 2011 and Fall 
2011 refueling outages. Once completed, the size of the refueling 
outage workforce at the PBNP would return to approximately 700 workers, 
with no significant increases during future refueling outages. After 
EPU-related plant modifications, the number of plant operations workers 
would return to approximately 800 workers.
    Most of the EPU-related plant modification workers would relocate 
temporarily to Manitowoc County, 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. According to the 3-year average estimate (2006-
2008) for census housing data, there were nearly 3,200 vacant housing 
units in Manitowoc County that could potentially ease the demand for 
local rental housing. 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 region.
    The additional number of refueling outage workers and truck 
material and equipment deliveries needed to support EPU-related plant 
modifications would cause short-term level of service impacts on access 
roads in the immediate vicinity of PBNP. Due to the short duration of 
the outages, increased traffic volumes during normal refueling outages 
typically have not degraded the level of service capacity on local 
roads. However, an additional 727 truck deliveries are anticipated to 
support implementation of the EPU modifications during the Spring 2011 
outage, and an additional 774 deliveries are anticipated to support the 
Fall 2011 outage. Based on this information and given that EPU-related 
plant modifications would occur during a normal refueling outage, there 
could be noticeable short term (during certain hours of the day) level-
of-service traffic impacts beyond what is experienced during normal 
outages. During periods of high traffic volume (i.e., morning and 
afternoon shift changes), work schedules could be staggered and 
employees and/or local police officials could be used to direct traffic 
entering and leaving PBNP to minimize level of service impacts on State 
Route 42.
    NextEra pays a lump sum ``gross revenue'' tax to the State of 
Wisconsin in lieu of property taxes. Portions of this tax are based on 
the ``net book value'' of the PBNP and the amount of megawatts 
generated. The annual amount of taxes paid by NextEra would increase 
due to increased power generation. Future tax payments would also take 
into account the increased net book value of the PBNP as a result of 
the EPU implementation and ``incentive payments,'' should megawatt 
production exceed negotiated annual benchmarks as power generation 
    The proposed EPU would also increase local tax revenues generated 
by sales taxes and State and Federal income taxes paid by temporary 
workers residing in Manitowoc County. However, due to the short 
duration of EPU-related plant modification activities, there would be 
little or no noticeable effect on tax revenue streams in Manitowoc 
County. Therefore, there would be no significant adverse socioeconomic 
impacts from EPU-related plant modifications and operations under EPU 
conditions in the vicinity of the PBNP.

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 the proposed EPU at the PBNP. Such effects 
may include human health, biological, cultural, economic, or social 
impacts. Minority and low-income populations are subsets of the general 
public residing in the vicinity of the PBNP, and all are exposed to the 
same health and environmental effects generated from activities at the 
    The NRC staff considered the demographic composition of the area 
within a 50-mile (80-km) radius of the PBNP 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 PBNP, according to the U.S. 
Census Bureau data for 2000, comprise 7.6 percent of the population 
(approximately 722,000 individuals) residing within a 50-mile (80-
kilometer) radius of PBNP. The largest minority group was Hispanic or 
Latino (approximately 19,000 persons or 2.7 percent), followed by Asian 
(approximately 17,000 persons or about 2.4 percent). According to the 
U.S. Census Bureau, about 5.0 percent of the Manitowoc County 
population identified themselves as minorities, with persons of Asian 
origin comprising the largest minority group (2.0 percent). According 
to census data, the 3-year average estimate for 2006-2008 for the 
minority population of Manitowoc County, as a percent of total 
population, increased to 6.4 percent, with persons of Hispanic or 
Latino origin comprising the largest minority group (2.5 percent).
    Low-income populations in the vicinity of PBNP, according to 2000 
census data, comprise approximately

[[Page 77014]]

7,300 families and 40,900 individuals (approximately 3.8 and 5.7 
percent, respectively) residing within a 50-mile (80-kilometer) radius 
of the PBNP. These individuals and families 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 Wisconsin was 
$52,249, with 10.7 percent of the State population and 7.0 percent of 
families determined to be living below the Federal poverty threshold. 
Manitowoc County had a lower median household income average ($49,867) 
than the State of Wisconsin, but had lower percentages of county 
individuals (7.9 percent) and families (4.8 percent), respectively, 
living below the poverty level.

Environmental Justice Impact Analysis

    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). Radiation doses from 
plant operations after the EPU are expected to continue to remain well 
below regulatory limits.
    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 rental housing during the refueling 
outages that would include EPU-related plant modifications could 
disproportionately affect low-income populations. However, due to the 
short duration of the EPU-related work and the availability of rental 
housing, impacts to minority and low-income populations would be short-
term and limited. According to census information, there were 
approximately 3,200 vacant housing units in Manitowoc County.
    Based on this information and the analysis of human health and 
environmental impacts presented in this environmental assessment, the 
proposed EPU would not have disproportionately high and adverse human 
health and environmental effects on minority and low-income populations 
residing in the vicinity of the PBNP.

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 PBNP.

       Table 1--Summary of Non-radiological Environmental Impacts
Land Use.....................  No significant impact on land use
                                conditions and aesthetic resources in
                                the vicinity of the PBNP.
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, and chemical or thermal
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 the PBNP.
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 the PBNP.

Radiological Impacts

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

    PBNP uses 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. The licensee's evaluation of plant operation at the 
proposed EPU conditions shows that no physical changes would be needed 
to the radioactive gaseous, liquid, or solid waste systems.

Radioactive Gaseous Effluents

    The gaseous waste management systems include the radioactive 
gaseous system, which manages radioactive gases generated during the 
nuclear fission process. Radioactive gaseous wastes are principally 
activation gases and fission product radioactive noble gases resulting 
from process operations, including continuous degasification of 
systems, gases collected during system venting, and gases generated in 
the radiochemistry laboratory. The licensee's evaluation determined 
that implementation of the proposed EPU would not significantly 
increase the inventory of carrier gases normally processed in the 
gaseous waste management system, since plant system functions are not 
changing and the volume inputs remain the same. The analysis also 
showed that the proposed EPU would result in an increase (approximately 
17.6 percent for noble gases, particulates, radioiodines, and tritium) 
in the equilibrium radioactivity in the reactor coolant, which in turn 
increases the radioactivity in the waste disposal systems and 
radioactive gases released from the plant.
    The licensee's evaluation concluded that the proposed EPU would not 
change the radioactive gaseous waste system's design function and 
reliability to safely control and process the waste. 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 and the as low as is 
reasonably achievable (ALARA) dose objectives in Appendix I to 10 CFR 
Part 50.

Radioactive Liquid Effluents

    The liquid waste management system collects, processes, and 
prepares radioactive liquid waste for disposal. Radioactive liquid 
wastes include liquids from various equipment drains, floor drains, the 
chemical and volume control system, steam generator blowdown, chemistry 
laboratory drains, laundry drains, decontamination area drains and 
liquids used to transfer solid radioactive waste. The licensee's 
evaluation shows that the proposed EPU implementation would not 
significantly increase the inventory of liquid normally processed by 
the liquid waste

[[Page 77015]]

management system. This is because the system functions are not 
changing and the volume inputs remain the same. The proposed EPU would 
result in an increase (approximately 17.6 percent) in the equilibrium 
radioactivity in the reactor coolant which in turn would impact the 
concentrations of radioactive nuclides in the waste disposal systems.
    Since the composition of the radioactive material in the waste and 
the volume of radioactive material processed through the system are not 
expected to significantly change, the current design and operation of 
the radioactive liquid waste system will accommodate the effects of the 
proposed EPU. 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 and ALARA dose standards in Appendix I to 10 CFR Part 50.

Occupational Radiation Dose at EPU Conditions

    The licensee stated that the in-plant radiation sources are 
expected to increase approximately linearly with the proposed increase 
in core power level. To protect the workers, the plant's radiation 
protection program monitors radiation levels throughout the plant to 
establish appropriate 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.
    In addition to the work controls implemented by the radiation 
protection program, permanent and temporary shielding is used 
throughout the PBNP to protect plant personnel against radiation from 
the reactor and auxiliary systems containing radioactive material. The 
licensee determined that the current shielding design, which uses 
conservative analytical techniques to establish the shielding 
requirements, is adequate to offset the increased radiation levels that 
are expected to occur from the proposed EPU. The proposed EPU is not 
expected to significantly affect radiation levels within the plant and 
therefore there would not be a significant radiological impact to the 

Offsite Doses at EPU Conditions

    The primary sources of offsite dose to members of the public from 
the PBNP are radioactive gaseous and liquid effluents. As discussed 
above, operation at the proposed EPU conditions will not change the 
radioactive gaseous and liquid waste management systems' abilities to 
perform their intended functions. Also, there would be no change to the 
radiation monitoring system and procedures used to control the release 
of radioactive effluents in accordance with NRC radiation protection 
standards in 10 CFR Part 20 and Appendix I to 10 CFR Part 50.
    Based on the above, the offsite radiation dose to members of the 
public would continue to be within regulatory limits and therefore, 
would not be significant.

Radioactive Solid Wastes

    Radioactive solid wastes include solids recovered from the reactor 
coolant systems, solids that come into contact with the radioactive 
liquids or gases, and solids used in the reactor coolant system 
operation. The licensee evaluated the potential effects of the proposed 
EPU on the solid waste management system. The largest volume of 
radioactive solid waste is low-level radioactive waste which includes 
sludge, oily waste, bead resin, spent filters, and dry active waste 
(DAW) that result from routine plant operation, refueling outages, and 
routine maintenance. DAW includes paper, plastic, wood, rubber, glass, 
floor sweepings, cloth, metal, and other types of waste generated 
during routine maintenance and outages.
    As stated by the licensee, the proposed EPU would not have a 
significant effect on the generation of radioactive solid waste volume 
from the primary reactor coolant and secondary side systems since the 
systems functions are not changing and the volume inputs remain 
consistent with historical generation rates. The waste can be handled 
by the solid waste management system without modification. The 
equipment is designed and operated to process the waste into a form 
that minimizes potential harm to the workers and the environment. Waste 
processing areas are monitored for radiation and there are safety 
features to ensure worker doses are maintained within regulatory 
limits. The proposed EPU would not generate a new type of waste or 
create a new waste stream. Therefore, the impact from the proposed EPU 
on radioactive solid waste would not be significant.

Spent Nuclear Fuel

    Spent fuel from the PBNP is stored in the plant's spent fuel pool 
and in dry casks in the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation. 
The PBNP is licensed to use uranium-dioxide fuel that has a maximum 
enrichment of 5 percent by weight uranium-235. The typical average 
enrichment is approximately 4.8 percent by weight of uranium-235. The 
average fuel assembly discharge burnup for the proposed EPU is expected 
to be approximately 52,000 megawatt days per metric ton uranium (MWd/
MTU) with no fuel pins exceeding the maximum fuel rod burnup limit of 
62,000 MWd/MTU. The licensee's fuel reload design goals will maintain 
the PBNP 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 impacts 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 PBNP can withstand normal and 
abnormal transients and a broad spectrum of postulated accidents 
without undue hazard to the health and safety of the public.
    On December 8, 2008, the licensee submitted License Amendment 
Request (LAR) number 241 (LAR 241) to the NRC, to update its design 
basis accident analysis. LAR 241 requests NRC approval to use a set of 
revised radiological consequence analyses using the guidance in NRC's 
Regulatory Guide 1.183, Alternative Radiological Source Terms for 
Evaluating Design Basis Accidents at Nuclear Power Reactors. The 
analyses for LAR 241 are applicable for the power level in the proposed 
EPU. The NRC staff is evaluating LAR 241 separately from the EPU to 
determine if it is acceptable to approve. The results of the NRC's 
evaluation and conclusion will be documented in a Safety Evaluation 
Report that will be publically available on the NRC's Agencywide 
Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS).
    In LAR 241, the licensee reviewed the various design-basis accident 
(DBA) analyses performed in support of the proposed EPU for their 
potential radiological consequences and concludes that the analyses 
adequately account for the effects of the proposed EPU. The licensee 
states that the plant site and its dose-mitigating engineered safety 
features remain acceptable with respect to the radiological 
consequences of postulated DBAs, since the calculated doses meet the 
exposure guideline values specified in 10 CFR 50.67 and General Design 
Criteria 19 in Appendix A of 10 CFR Part 50.

[[Page 77016]]

    The amendment is a change to a requirement with respect to 
installation or use of a facility component located within the 
restricted area as defined in 10 CFR Part 20. The Commission previously 
issued a proposed finding in the Federal Register (74 FR 17230) that 
the amendment involves no significant hazards consideration, and there 
has been no public comment on such finding. The NRC staff must 
determine that the amendment involves no significant increase in the 
amounts, and no significant changes in the types, of any effluents that 
may be released offsite, and that there is no significant increase in 
individual or cumulative occupational radiation exposure. Accordingly, 
the amendment will then meet the eligibility criteria for categorical 
exclusion as set forth in 10 CFR 51.22(c)(9). Pursuant to 10 CFR 
51.22(b), no environmental impact statement or environmental assessment 
need be prepared in connection with issuance of the amendment.

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 the PBNP.

         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 the 
PBNP, 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 the PBNP. Furthermore, the proposed EPU does not 
involve environmental impacts that are significantly different from 
those originally identified in the PBNP FES and the SEIS-23.

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 November 19, 2010, the NRC 
staff consulted with the State of Wisconsin official regarding the 
environmental impact of the proposed action. The State official had no 

Draft Finding of No Significant Impact

    On the basis of the details provided in the draft EA, the NRC 
concludes that the proposed action of implementing the PBNP EPU will 
not have a significant effect on the quality of the human environment 
because no permanent changes are involved and the temporary impacts are 
within the capacity of the plant systems. Accordingly, the NRC has 
preliminarily determined not to prepare an environmental impact 
statement for the proposed action. A final determination to prepare an 
environmental impact statement or a final finding of no significant 
impact will not be made until the public comment period expires.
    For further details with respect to the proposed action, see the 
licensee's application dated April 7, 2009, and supplements dated May 
13, 2010, and July 15, 2010 (on environmental issues).
    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].

DATES: The comment period expires January 8, 2011. Comments received 
after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the 
Commission is only able to assure consideration of comments received on 
or before January 8, 2011.

ADDRESSES: Submit written comments to Chief, Rules and Directives 
Branch (RDB), TWB-05-B01M, Division of Administrative Services, Office 
of Administration, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 
20555-0001, and should cite the publication date and page number of 
this Federal Register notice. Written comments may also be faxed to the 
RDB at 301-492-3446.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The NRC is considering issuance of an 
amendment to Renewed Facility Operating License Nos. DPR-24 and DPR-27, 
issued to NextEra Energy Point Beach, LLC, for operation of the Point 
Beach Nuclear Plant, Units 1 and 2, located in Manitowoc County, 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Terry A. Beltz, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation, Mail Stop O-8H4A, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, by telephone at 301-415-3049, or 
by e-mail at [email protected].

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 1st day of December 2010.

[[Page 77017]]

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Robert J. Pascarelli,
Chief, Plant Licensing Branch III-1, Division of Operating Reactor 
Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 2010-31085 Filed 12-9-10; 8:45 am]