[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 6 (Monday, January 11, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 1116-1118]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-00163]

[[Page 1116]]



10 CFR Part 72

RIN 3150-AJ62

List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: Holtec International, 
HI-STORM Flood/Wind Multipurpose Storage System, Certificate of 
Compliance No. 1032, Amendment No. 0, Revision 1

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Direct final rule; confirmation of effective date.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is confirming the 
effective date of April 25, 2016, for the direct final rule that was 
published in the Federal Register on September 28, 2015. This direct 
final rule amended the NRC's spent fuel storage regulations by revising 
the Holtec International (Holtec), HI-STORM (Holtec International 
Storage Module) Flood/Wind (FW) Multipurpose Canister Storage (MPC) 
Storage System listing within the ``List of approved spent fuel storage 
casks'' to add Amendment No. 0, Revision 1, to Certificate of 
Compliance (CoC) No. 1032. This revision corrects the CoC's expiration 
date (editorial change), clarifies heat load limits for helium backfill 
ranges, clarifies the wording for the Limiting Condition for Operation 
(LCO) on vent blockage, and revises the vacuum drying system heat load.

DATES: Effective date: The effective date of April 25, 2016, for the 
direct final rule published September 28, 2015 (80 FR 58195), is 

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2015-0134 when contacting the 
NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may 
obtain publicly-available information related to this action by any of 
the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2015-0134. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-
3463; 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].
     NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public 
documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O-1F21, One White Flint North, 11555 
Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Solomon Sahle, Office of Nuclear 
Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 
Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-3781; email: 
[email protected].


I. Discussion

    On September 28, 2015 (80 FR 58195), the NRC published a direct 
final rule amending its regulations in Sec.  72.214 of Title 10 of the 
Code of Federal Regulations by revising the Holtec HI-STORM FW MPC 
Storage System listing within the ``List of approved spent fuel storage 
casks'' to add Amendment No. 0, Revision 1, to CoC No. 1032. This 
revision corrects the CoC's expiration date (editorial change), 
clarifies heat load limits for helium backfill ranges, clarifies the 
wording for the LCO on vent blockage, and revises the vacuum drying 
system heat load.

II. Public Comments on Companion Proposed Rule

    In the direct final rule, the NRC stated that if no significant 
adverse comments were received, the direct final rule would become 
effective on April 25, 2016. The NRC received public comments from 
private citizens on the companion proposed rule (80 FR 58222). 
Electronic copies of these comments can be obtained from the Federal 
Rulemaking Web site, http://www.regulations.gov, by searching for 
Docket ID NRC-2015-0134. The comments also are available in ADAMS under 
Accession Nos. ML15296A243, ML15296A241, ML15296A242, ML15299A281, 
ML15307A612, ML15307A615, ML15307A608, ML15307A609, ML15307A610, and 
ML15307A611. For the reasons discussed in more detail in Section III, 
``Public Comment Analysis,'' of this document, none of the comments 
received are considered significant adverse comments.

III. Public Comment Analysis

    The NRC received comments on the proposed rule, many raising 
multiple and overlapping issues. As explained in the September 28, 
2015, direct final rule, the NRC would withdraw the direct final rule 
only if it received a ``significant adverse comment.'' This is a 
comment where the commenter explains why the rule would be 
inappropriate, including challenges to the rule's underlying premise or 
approach, or would be ineffective or unacceptable without a change.
    In this instance, the NRC determined that none of the comments 
submitted on the proposed rule are significant adverse comments. The 
comments were either beyond the scope of this rulemaking or already 
addressed by the NRC staff's safety evaluation report (SER) (ADAMS 
Accession No. ML15124A644). The NRC has not made any changes to the 
direct final rule as a result of the public comments. However, the NRC 
is taking this opportunity to respond to the comments in an effort to 
clarify information about the 10 CFR part 72 CoC rulemaking process, 
and the limited nature of this revision.
    For rulemakings amending or revising a CoC, the scope of the 
rulemaking is limited to the specific changes requested by the 
applicant in the request for the amendment or revision. Therefore, 
comments about the system, or spent fuel storage in general that are 
not applicable to the changes requested by the applicant, are outside 
the scope of this rulemaking. Comments about details of the particular 
system that is the subject of the rulemaking, but that are not being 
addressed by the specific changes requested, have already been resolved 
in prior rulemakings. Persons who have questions or concerns about 
prior rulemakings and the resulting final rules may consider the NRC's 
petition for rulemaking process under 10 CFR 2.802. Additionally, 
safety concerns about any NRC-regulated activity may be reported to the 
NRC in accordance with the guidance posted on the NRC's public Web site 
at http://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/regulatory/allegations/safety-concern.html. This Web site provides information on how to notify the 
NRC of emergency or non-emergency issues.
    The NRC identified the following issues raised in the comments, and 
the NRC's responses to these issues follow.

Comment 1

    Two comments received from one commenter requested the NRC deny 
this revision request, expressing concern with the thickness of the 
canisters. The commenter stated that European systems have a more 
robust design and that NRC should require the same. The commenter 
expressed concern that the

[[Page 1117]]

NRC's approval would not be protective of public health and safety.

NRC Response

    The comment is out of scope for this revision. It is a general 
comment recommending that United States' manufacturers utilize some 
design features used in some European systems. The European systems 
cited are designed for a different application than dry cask storage 
systems authorized by 10 CFR 72 Subpart K, ``General License for 
Storage of Spent Fuel at Power Reactor Sites.'' The HI-STORM FW MPC 
Storage System was evaluated by the NRC staff to acceptably protect the 
public health and safety on July 14, 2011 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML111950103). The Revision 1 changes were evaluated by the NRC staff to 
ensure that the HI-STORM FW MPC Storage System will continue to protect 
the public health and safety. These evaluations were performed in 
accordance with the NRC's existing part 72 regulations. Requests to 
revise the underlying part 72 requirements are beyond the scope of this 
revision request.

Comment 2

    Two comments, which read ``good'', appeared to indicate support for 
the rule.

NRC Response

    The NRC acknowledges the comments. Because the comments appear to 
support the rule, the comments are not considered significant adverse 

Comment 3

    Two commenters expressed concern regarding the vent size, stating 
that the vents are disproportionately small for such large casks, and 
poorly located. The commenters also stated that 50% blockage of the 
vents is unacceptable regardless of temperature, and that, instead, 
vents should be totally unblocked to be considered operable. The 
commenters also expressed concern with the protocols for vents that are 
not operable within 24 hours. The commenters also objected to a 
perceived inconsistent application of ASME code standards to the CoC.

NRC Response

    The HI-STORM FW MPC Storage System design, including the vent size 
and location, were evaluated by the NRC staff in the initial approval 
(ADAMS Accession No. ML111950103). The system was ultimately determined 
to be acceptable because the applicant demonstrated that the system 
could maintain the spent nuclear fuel below regulatory limits with up 
to 50% blockage of the inlet and out vents for an indefinite time as 
long as the spent fuel storage cask heat removal system remains 
operable. Although this revision includes clarifying changes to the LCO 
vent blockage language, there are no changes in this revision that 
impact the underlying analysis evaluated in the initial approval. 
Additionally, there is no specific information in the comment that 
would cause the NRC to reevaluate this analysis. Therefore, this 
comment is not considered a significant adverse comment.

Comment 4

    One commenter requested withdrawal of the revision due to concerns 
that the environmental assessment (EA) that accompanied the rule was 
inadequate. The commenter expressed concern that, because the EA for 
this rule tiered off of an EA performed for the 1990 rulemaking that 
added the general license for storage of spent fuel at power reactor 
sites, the EA is outdated. The commenter noted that using an outdated 
EA raises the question of whether the EA is valid in light of the 
Fukushima disaster that occurred in Japan on March 11, 2011. In 
addition to withdrawal of the rule, the commenter also requested that a 
new environmental impact assessment be commissioned, and that all 
current projects meet at least the minimum standards employed at 

NRC Response

    This comment is not a significant adverse comment as it fails to 
present any specific challenge to the EA performed in support of this 
rule. As noted in the comment, the NRC performed an EA in support of 
this revision. That EA tiered off of an earlier EA completed to support 
changes to the part 72 rule that added the general license provisions, 
but considered environmental impacts specific to this revision. Both of 
these EAs concluded with a finding of no significant environmental 
impact. This comment does not provide any specific environmental 
information relating to the storage of spent fuel at Fukushima that 
would invalidate the finding of no significant impact in this EA or the 
earlier EA or that would cause the NRC to reevaluate the environmental 
impacts associated with this revision to this CoC. Moreover, the staff 
is unaware of any information that would challenge the findings made in 
these EAs.

Comment 5

    Comments were also received which neither supported nor opposed the 
rule, but instead, contained numerous questions about this CoC system 
and other similar CoC systems. Although these comments are not 
significant adverse comments, and in many instances fall outside the 
scope of this specific rulemaking, the NRC is taking this opportunity 
to attempt to address the questions received.
    One commenter asked about temperature values included in the 
Appendix A Technical Specifications (TS) page 3.1.2-2. The commenter 
noted that a previous CoC included one temperature value as 137 degrees 
F, while this CoC TS identifies it as 139 degrees F, but does not 
reflect it as a revision. The commenter asked which temperature value 
is correct and the implication of the temperature difference. The 
commenter also asked how relevant ambient air temperature is to 
underground systems such as the Holtec HI-STORM UMAX system.

NRC Response

    The temperature addressed in the comment is correctly listed as 139 
degrees F which is applicable to CoC 1032, Amendment No. 0. This 
temperature was changed to 137 degrees F in CoC 1032, Amendment No. 1. 
The HI-STORM UMAX is a different system from the HI-STORM FW MPC 
Storage System and as such has a different thermal design.

Comment 6

    Another commenter requested an explanation as to the vendor's 
statement in the application regarding additional flexibility 
associated with the limits to the use of vacuum drying to casks at 
lower heat loads.

NRC Response

    In the application for this revision, the applicant contends that 
lowering this temperature limit provides additional conservatism 
(margin) that would allow the applicant the flexibility to implement 
some changes under the 10 CFR 72.48 process rather than through the 
amendment process. The NRC staff evaluated the lower temperature limit 
in its preliminary SER (ADAMS Accession No. ML15124A644), and found the 
lower limit acceptable.

Comment 7

    Finally, there were several questions asked about the relationship 
between this revision and the HI-STORM UMAX system and/or the 
implications of the changes proposed here to potential uses at the San 
Onofre Generating Station

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(SONGS). Questions included whether this change addresses the impacts 
of using the HI-STORM FW system MPC-37 in the HI-STORM UMAX system, and 
whether it involves ``the proposed San Onofre configuration of only 
installing \1/2\ underground.'' The commenter questioned what CoC is 
approved for use in the HI-STORM UMAX system. Another question asked 
was whether this change allows ``MPC-37 canister thickness increases 
(such as a change from 0.5'' to 0.625'' proposed for San Onofre) 
without requiring a license amendment.''

NRC Response

    There is no relationship between this revision and the HI-STORM 
UMAX system. Each system is separately reviewed and certified in 
accordance with 10 CFR part 72. General licensees may use the certified 
systems identified in 10 CFR 72.214 subject to meeting certain 
requirements in 10 CFR part 72. Therefore, the changes in this revision 
are applicable only to the HI-STORM FW MPC system, CoC No. 1032, and 
are not applicable to the HI-STORM UMAX system that is intended to be 
used at SONGS. Nothing in this revision impacts anything associated 
with the HI-STORM UMAX system; therefore, this revision does not impact 
the thickness of the canisters in the HI-STORM UMAX system, or the 
placement of the UMAX system. Additionally, although this rule is a 
revision to the HI-STORM FW MPC system, nothing in this revision 
impacts the thickness of the canisters in the HI-STORM FW MPC system.
    For these reasons, the NRC staff has concluded that the comments 
received on the companion proposed rule for the Holtec HI-STORM FW MPC 
Storage System listing within the ``List of approved spent fuel storage 
casks'' to add Amendment No. 0, Revision 1, to CoC No. 1032, are not 
significant adverse comments as defined in NUREG/BR-0053, Revision 6, 
``United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission Regulations Handbook'' 
(ADAMS Accession No. ML052720461). Therefore, this rule will become 
effective as scheduled.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 31st day of December 2015.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Cindy Bladey,
Chief, Rules, Announcements, and Directives Branch, Division of 
Administrative Services, Office of Administration.
[FR Doc. 2016-00163 Filed 1-8-16; 8:45 am]