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Northeast Nuclear Energy Company; Millstone Nuclear Power Station, Unit 1 Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering issuance of an exemption from certain requirements of 10 CFR Part 73 for Facility Operating License No. DPR-21, issued to Northeast Nuclear Energy Company (the licensee) for the Millstone Nuclear Power Station, Unit 1, a permanently shutdown nuclear reactor facility located in Waterford, Connecticut.

Environmental Assessment

Identification of Proposed Action

The proposed action would modify security requirements to eliminate certain equipment, to relocate certain equipment, to modify certain procedures, and reduce the number of armed responders, due to the permanently shutdown and defueled status of the Millstone Nuclear Power Station, Unit 1.

The proposed action is in accordance with the licensee's application for exemption dated March 13, 2000, as supplemented by letter dated May 1, 2000. The requested action would grant an exemption from certain requirements of 10 CFR 73.55, “Requirements for physical protection of licensed activities in nuclear power reactors against radiological sabotage.” Start Printed Page 39444

The Need for the Proposed Action

On July 21, 1998, the licensee informed the NRC that it had decided to permanently cease operation of Millstone Nuclear Power Station, Unit 1, and that all fuel had been permanently removed from the reactor. In accordance with 10 CFR 50.82(a)(2), the certifications in the letter modified the facility operating license to permanently withdraw the licensee's authority to operate the reactor and to load fuel into the reactor vessel. In this permanently shutdown condition, the facility poses a reduced risk to public health and safety. Because of this reduced risk, certain requirements of 10 CFR 73.55 are no longer appropriate. An exemption is required from portions of 10 CFR 73.55 to allow the licensee to implement a revised security plan that is appropriate for the permanently shutdown and defueled Millstone Nuclear Power Station, Unit 1.

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

The NRC has completed its evaluation of the proposed action and concludes that granting an exemption to those portions of 10 CFR 73.55, identified above, would not have a significant impact on the environment, given the reduced consequences of an act of sabotage resulting in the release of radioactive material contained in the spent fuel at a defueled reactor site.

The proposed action will not significantly increase the probability or consequences of accidents, no changes are being made in the types of any effluents that may be released off site, 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.

With regard to potential non-radiological impacts, the proposed action does not involve any historic sites. It does not affect non-radiological plant effluents and has no other environmental impact. Therefore, there are no significant non-radiological environmental impacts associated with the proposed action.

Accordingly, the NRC concludes that there are no significant environmental impacts associated with the proposed action.

Alternatives to the Proposed Action

As an alternative to the proposed action, the staff considered denial of the proposed action (i.e., the “no-action” alternative). Denial of the application would result in no change in current environmental impacts. The environmental impacts of the proposed action and the alternative action are similar.

Alternative Use of Resources

This action does not involve the use of any resources not previously considered in the Final Environmental Statement for the Millstone Nuclear Power Station, Unit 1.

Agencies and Persons Contacted

In accordance with its stated policy, on June 2, 2000, the staff consulted with the State of Connecticut official, Mr. Michael Firsick of the Department of Environmental Protection, regarding the environmental impact of the proposed action. The State official had no comments.

Finding of No Significant Impact

On the basis of the environmental assessment, the NRC concludes that the proposed action will not have a significant effect on the quality of the human environment. Accordingly, the NRC has determined not to prepare an environmental impact statement for the proposed action.

For further details with respect to the proposed action, see the licensee's letter dated March 13, 2000, as supplemented by letter dated May 1, 2000, which is available for public inspection at the Commission's Public Document Room, The Gelman Building, 2120 L Street, NW., Washington, DC. Publicly available records will be accessible electronically from the ADAMS Public Library component on the NRC Web site, http:\\www.nrc.gov (the Electronic Reading Room).

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Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 20th day of June 2000.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

David J. Wrona,

Project Manager, Decommissioning Section, Project Directorate IV & Decommissioning, Division of Licensing Project Management, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.

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[FR Doc. 00-16084 Filed 6-23-00; 8:45 am]

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