[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 84 (Thursday, May 1, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 24595-24596]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-10018]

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. 79, No. 84 / Thursday, May 1, 2014 / Proposed 

[[Page 24595]]


10 CFR Part 51

[Docket Nos. PRM-51-31; NRC-2014-0055]

Environmental Impacts of Spent Fuel Storage During Reactor 

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Petition for rulemaking; acceptance and docketing.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has received a 
petition for rulemaking from Diane Curran on behalf of 34 Environmental 
Organizations (the petitioner), dated February 18, 2014. The petitioner 
requests that the NRC revise its regulations and consider, in all 
pending and future reactor licensing and re-licensing decisions, new 
and significant information bearing on the environmental impacts of 
high-density spent fuel storage in reactor pools and the costs and 
benefits for avoiding or mitigating those impacts. The NRC is not 
instituting a public comment period for this petition for rulemaking 
(PRM) at this time.

DATES: The PRM is available on May 1, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2014-0055 when contacting the 
NRC about the availability of information for this petition. You may 
access publicly-available information related to this petition by any 
of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2014-0055. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-287-
3422; email: [email protected]. For technical questions, contact 
the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of 
this document.
     NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System 
(ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the 
ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select ``ADAMS Public Documents'' and 
then 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 document 
(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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Tobin, Office of Nuclear 
Reactor Regulation, telephone: 301-415-2328, email: 
[email protected]; U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington 
DC 20555-0001.


I. The Petitioner

    Diane Curran, Harmon, Curran, Spielberg & Eisenberg, L.L.P., on 
behalf of 34 Environmental Organizations submitted a PRM dated February 
18, 2014 (ADAMS Accession No. ML14071A382). Section II, Description of 
Petitioners,\1\ of the petition states that ``[a]ll of the 
organizations are neighbors of existing or proposed nuclear power 
plants, and most have either intervened or plan to intervene in NRC 
proceedings for the licensing or re-licensing of nuclear power 
plants.'' \2\

    \1\ Petition on pages 5 through 10.
    \2\ Petition on page 5.

II. The Petition

    The petitioner states that the NRC, as a result of its post-
Fukushima proceedings, generated new and significant information 
bearing on the environmental impacts of high-density pool storage in 
reactor pools and alternatives for avoiding or mitigating those 
impacts. The petitioner believes that the NRC-generated information 
satisfies the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) standard for 
``new and significant'' information, in that the information is new 
because it has not been considered in any environmental study for the 
licensing or re-licensing of nuclear reactors and it is significant 
because it could affect the outcome of licensing and license renewal 
decisions for nuclear reactors, by altering the NRC's characterization 
of the impacts of spent fuel storage and/or by resulting in the 
consideration of measures to mitigate the environmental impacts of pool 
    The petitioner requests the NRC take the following actions to 
ensure compliance with NEPA in the consideration of this new and 
significant information:
     Republish for public comment the 2013 Revised License 
Renewal Generic Environmental Impact Statement, the Environmental 
Impact Statements for all new reactors; and the Environmental 
Assessments for all new certifications of standardized reactor designs;
     Duly modify the NRC's regulations that make or rely on 
findings regarding the environmental impacts of spent fuel storage 
during reactor operation, including Table B-1 in subpart A of appendix 
B in Part 51 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) 
and all regulations approving standardized reactor designs.
    The complete text of the petition is available for review as 
described in the ADDRESSES section of this document.
    Because the petitioner has satisfied the acceptance criteria in 
Sec.  2.802, ``Petition for rulemaking,'' the NRC has accepted, and 
will review these requests to determine whether they should be 
considered in the rulemaking process. The NRC staff is currently 
reviewing the comments on the draft Waste Confidence Generic 
Environmental Impact Statement (78 FR 56621; September 13, 2013) and 
the proposed waste confidence rulemaking (78 FR 56766; September 13, 
2013). The NRC staff will consider any insights gained from this 
ongoing review when analyzing the issues raised in PRM-51-31.
    The NRC is not requesting public comment on the PRM at this time.

III. Petitioner's Request To Suspend Licensing Decisions Until the NRC 
Has Completed the Environmental Analysis Required by NEPA

    The petitioner requests the NRC take the following actions to 
ensure compliance with NEPA in the

[[Page 24596]]

consideration of this new and significant information:
     Suspend the effectiveness, in any new reactor licensing 
proceeding for reactors that employ high-density pool storage of spent 
fuel, of all regulations approving the standardized designs for those 
new reactors and all Environmental Assessments (``EAs'') approving 
Severe Accident Mitigation Design Alternatives (``SAMDAs'');
     Suspend all new reactor licensing decisions and license 
renewal decisions pending completion of this proceeding; and
     Suspend the effectiveness of Table B-1, which codifies the 
NRC's generic finding that spent fuel storage in high-density rector 
pools during the license renewal term of operating reactor poses no 
significant environmental impacts and therefore, need not be considered 
in individual reactor licensing decisions.
    The NRC has determined that these requests are not part of the 
rulemaking process. The NRC will address in a separate action the 
petitioner's request to suspend these actions pending the NEPA analysis 
the petitioner believes to be necessary to address new and significant 
information generated by the NRC during its post-Fukushima proceedings.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 24th day of April, 2014.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Annette L. Vietti-Cook,
Secretary of the Commission.
[FR Doc. 2014-10018 Filed 4-30-14; 8:45 am]