[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 244 (Wednesday, December 19, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 75065-75066]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-30528]

Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.


Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 244 / Wednesday, December 19, 2012 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 75065]]


10 CFR Part 51

[Docket No. PRM-51-29; NRC-2012-0215]

Rescinding Spent Fuel Pool Exclusion Regulations

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Petition for rulemaking; notice of receipt.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has received a 
petition for rulemaking from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts 
(Commonwealth or petitioner) requesting that the NRC rescind its 
regulations excluding consideration of spent fuel pool storage impacts 
from license renewal environmental review. The petition was filed on 
June 2, 2011, with the NRC's Atomic Safety Licensing Board (ASLB) in 
conjunction with a request for a waiver of the NRC's spent fuel pool 
exclusion regulations. The petitioner requested that, if the ASLB 
rejected the Commonwealth's waiver petition, the NRC initiate a 
rulemaking. On November 28, 2011, the ASLB denied the Commonwealth's 
waiver petition, and on March 8, 2012, in a Commission Memorandum and 
Order, the petition for rulemaking was referred to NRC staff. The NRC 
is not requesting public comment period on this petition at this time.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2012-0215 when contacting the 
NRC about the availability of information for this petition. You may 
access information related to this petition, which the NRC possesses 
and are publicly available, by any of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2012-0215. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-492-
3668; email: [email protected].
     NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System 
(ADAMS): You may access publicly available documents online in the NRC 
Library at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the 
search, select ``Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.'' For problems with 
ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference 
staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to 
[email protected]. The ADAMS accession number for each document 
referenced in this notice (if that document is available in ADAMS) is 
provided the first time that a document is referenced.
     NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public 
documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 
Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

Announcements, and Directives Branch, Division of Administrative 
Services, Office of Administration, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 
Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-492-3667, email: 
[email protected].


I. The Petitioner

    The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Office of the Attorney General, 
Environmental Protection Division has filed this petition (ADAMS 
Accession No. ML12254A005) with the NRC.

II. The Petition

    The petitioner requests that the NRC institute a rulemaking to 
rescind the regulations excluding consideration of spent fuel storage 
impacts from license renewal environmental review. Specifically, the 
petitioner requests that the spent fuel pool exclusion regulations in 
Sec.  51.71(d) of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) 
and appendix B to subpart A of 10 CFR part 51, be rescinded because 
these regulations ``generically classify the environmental impacts of 
high-density pool storage of spent fuel as insignificant and thereby 
permit their exclusion from consideration in environmental impact 
statements (EISs) for renewal of nuclear power plant operating 
    The petitioner argues that ``the appropriate vehicle for revising 
the conclusions that underlie the spent fuel pool exclusion regulations 
is a waiver [of 10 CFR 51.71(d) and 10 CFR part 51 subpart A, appendix 
B], because * * * many of the implications of the Fukushima accident 
for the Pilgrim NPP license renewal proceeding are site specific.'' The 
petition continues: ``[i]n the alternative, in the event that the ASLB 
denies the Commonwealth's Waiver Petition, pursuant to 10 CFR 2.802(a), 
the Commonwealth asks the NRC to rescind the spent fuel pool exclusion 
regulations across the board, in a rulemaking.'' The petition 
specifically states that, if the ASLB determines that a waiver is not 
justified, ``the Secretary should rescind the spent fuel exclusion 
regulations on a generic basis.'' The petitioner states that rescinding 
the spent fuel pool exclusion regulations is necessary to challenge 
``the adequacy of the environmental impact analysis and severe accident 
mitigation alternatives (SAMA) analysis performed by Entergy Corp. and 
the NRC in support of their proposal to re-license the Pilgrim nuclear 
power plant (NPP), in light of significant new information revealed by 
the Fukushima accident.'' The petitioner states that ``significant new 
information yielded by the Fukushima accident shows fundamental errors 
or oversights in the key environmental analyses relied on by the NRC 
for its generic designation of spent fuel storage impacts as 
insignificant. * * *'' The petitioner further states that ``[t]he 
purpose of the spent fuel pool exclusion regulations--to make a generic 
finding of no significant impact for all NPPs--would not be served 
where the Fukushima accident has demonstrated that environmental 
impacts of spent fuel storage are so significant and where the insights 
from the Fukushima accident have such a plant-specific application.''
    In an ASLB Memorandum and Order dated November 28, 2011, the 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts's request for a waiver was denied (ADAMS 
Accession No. ML11332A152). Subsequently, in a Commission Memorandum 
and Order dated March 8, 2012, the Commonwealth's petition for 
rulemaking was referred to NRC staff for appropriate resolution (ADAMS 
Accession No. ML12068A187). NRC staff has determined that the 
Commonwealth's petition for rulemaking has met the basic requirements 
set forth in 10 CFR

[[Page 75066]]

2.802(c). The petitioner has specified the regulations that it would 
like revoked. Additionally, the petitioner has stated its grounds for 
and interest in this action. Lastly, the petition sets forth the 
specific issues involved, provides views and arguments in favor of the 
petitioner's position, and provides relevant data to support the 
request to rescind 10 CFR 51.71(d) and 10 CFR part 51 subpart A, 
appendix B. Because the petitioner has satisfied the acceptance 
criteria in 10 CFR 2.802(c), the NRC has accepted, and will review the 
petition for rulemaking. The NRC is not requesting public comment on 
this petition at this time.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 13th day of December 2012.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Annette L. Vietti-Cook,
Secretary of the Commission.
[FR Doc. 2012-30528 Filed 12-18-12; 8:45 am]