[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 206 (Friday, October 24, 2014)]
[Pages 63649-63650]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-25356]



[Docket Nos.: 50-282, 50-306 and 72-10; NRC-2014-0236]

Northern States Power Company; Prairie Island Nuclear Generating 
Plant; Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact; 


SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering 
issuance of an exemption for special nuclear materials (SNM) license 
number SNM-2506 issued initially in July 1993 and held by Northern 
States Power Company, a Minnesota corporation (NSPM or the licensee) 
doing business as Xcel Energy, for the operation of the Prairie Island 
Nuclear Generating Plant (PINGP) independent spent fuel storage 
installation (ISFSI).

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2014-0236 when contacting the 
NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You 
may obtain publicly-available information related to this document 
using any of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2014-0236. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-287-
3422; email: [email protected].
     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. The request for exemption dated July 11, 
2013, is available under ADAMS accession no. ML13193A088.
     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: Pamela Longmire, Ph.D., Office of 
Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-287-0829; email: 
[email protected].


I. Introduction

    The NRC is considering issuance of an exemption for license number 
SNM-2506 held by NSPM pursuant to section 73.5 of Title 10 of the Code 
of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), ``Specific exemptions,'' from specific 
portions of the requirements of 10 CFR 73.51, ``Requirements for the 
physical protection of stored spent nuclear fuel and high-level 
radioactive waste,'' for the Prairie Island Independent Spent Fuel 
Storage Installation (ISFSI). Based on the results of the EA that 
follows, the NRC has determined not to prepare an environmental impact 
statement for the exemption, and is issuing a finding on no significant 

II. Environmental Assessment


    The licensee possesses a specific license under 10 CFR Part 72, for 
the storage of spent fuel in an ISFSI. The licensee is subject to 10 
CFR 73.51(d)(3), which provides in part that ``[t]he perimeter of the 
protected area must be subject to continual surveillance and be 
protected by an active intrusion alarm system which is capable of 
detecting penetrations through the isolation zone and that is monitored 
in a continually staffed primary alarm station and in one additional 
continually staffed location. The primary alarm station must be located 
within the protected area; have bullet-resisting walls, doors, ceiling 
and floor; and the interior of the station must not be visible from 
outside the protected area. A timely means for assessment of alarms 
must also be provided. Regarding alarm monitoring, the redundant 
location need only provide a summary indication that an alarm has been 

Description of the Proposed Action

    In a letter dated May 16, 2013 (ADAMS accession no. ML13140A105), 
NSPM requests an exemption from the requirement in 10 CFR 73.51(d)(3). 
The proposed exemption request pertains to the location of the primary 
alarm station. In the preparation of this EA, the staff used guidance 
in NUREG-1748, ``Environmental Review Guidance for Licensing Actions 
Associated with NMSS Programs'' (ADAMS accession no. ML032450279).

Need for the Proposed Action

    NSPM seeks relief from a provision of 10 CFR 73.51(d)(3) with 
regard to the location of the primary alarm station. NSPM maintains 
that the proposed exemption facilitates effective security activities 
at both the Prairie Island power station and the ISFSI, in that the 
exemption would provide uniformity and consistency in managing security 
at the collocated sites.

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    The NRC staff evaluated the exemption request in greater detail in 
its safety evaluation report (SER). The SER is withheld from public 
disclosure in accordance with 10 CFR 2.390 because it contains security 
    The NRC has determined that issuance of the proposed exemption will 
have no significant environmental impact. Additionally, the NRC has 
concluded that the Prairie Island physical security plan, should the 
Commission issue the requested exemption, will continue to provide high 
assurance that activities involving spent nuclear fuel and high-level 
radioactive waste do not constitute an unreasonable risk to public 
health and safety, pursuant to 10 CFR 73.51(b)(1).
    The proposed action will not have any environmental impact. It will 
not increase the probability or consequences of accidents. No changes 
are being made in the types or quantities of effluents that may be 
released offsite, and there is no significant increase in occupational 
or public radiation exposure. Therefore, there are no significant 
radiological environmental impacts associated with the proposed action. 
The proposed action does not affect non-radiological effluents and has 
no other environmental impacts. Thus, there are no significant non-
radiological impacts associated with the proposed action. Therefore, 
the proposed action will not have a significant effect on the quality 
of the human environment. Based on these findings, the NRC concludes 
that there are no significant

[[Page 63650]]

environmental impacts associated with the approval of the requested 

Alternative to the Proposed Action

    Since there are no significant environmental impacts associated 
with the proposed action, any alternatives with equal or greater 
environmental impact are not evaluated. The alternative to the proposed 
action would be to deny approval of the exemption. This alternative 
would have the same environmental impacts.

Agencies and Persons Consulted

    A draft of this EA was sent by email dated April 3, 2014, to both 
Ms. Aggie Leitheiser, Assistant Commissioner of the Minnesota 
Department of Health (MDH) (ADAMS accession no. ML14100A328) and Mr. 
Ron Johnson, President of Tribal Council for the Prairie Island Indian 
Community (PIIC) (ADAMS accession no. ML14100A354). The MDH response 
was received by email dated April 7, 2014 (ADAMS accession No. 
ML14100A098). The email response states that MDH reviewed the draft EA 
and had no comments. The PIIC response with comments was received by 
email on April 11, 2014 (ADAMS accession No. ML14154A335). Following 
revisions to the draft EA, it was reissued to MDH and PIIC for comment.
    By email dated July 25, 2014, the revised EA was sent to Ms. Aggie 
Leitheiser at MDH and Mr. Philip Mahowald, General Counsel for the 
PIIC. The MDH response was received by email dated August 11, 2014 
(ADAMS accession no. ML14266A174). The email response states that MDH 
reviewed the draft EA and had no comments. The PIIC's email response 
was received by email dated September 4, 2014 (ADAMS accession no. 
ML14251A373). The email response states that PIIC reviewed the draft EA 
and had no comments.
    The NRC staff has determined that a consultation under Section 7 of 
the Endangered Species Act is not required because the proposed action 
will not affect listed species or critical habitat. The NRC staff has 
also determined that the proposed action is not a type of activity that 
has the potential to impact historic properties because the proposed 
action would occur within the established Prairie Island site boundary. 
Therefore, no consultation is required under Section 106 of the 
National Historic Preservation Act.

III. Finding of No Significant Impact

    The environmental impacts of the proposed action have been reviewed 
in accordance with the requirements set forth in 10 CFR Part 51. Based 
upon this environmental assessment, the NRC finds that the proposed 
action, issuance of an exemption from specific physical security 
requirements in 10 CFR 73.51(d)(3), as further discussed in the safety 
evaluation, will not significantly impact the quality of the human 
environment. Accordingly, preparation of an environmental impact 
statement for the proposed exemption is not warranted, and a finding of 
no significant impact is appropriate.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 16th day of October, 2014.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Michele Sampson,
Chief, Spent Fuel Licensing Branch, Division of Spent Fuel Management, 
Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.
[FR Doc. 2014-25356 Filed 10-23-14; 8:45 am]