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Consumers Energy Co.; Palisades Plant; Notice of Consideration of Approval of Transfer of Operating Authority Under Facility Operating License and Conforming Amendment, and Opportunity for a Hearing

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (the Commission) is considering the issuance of an order under 10 CFR 50.80 approving the transfer of operating authority under Facility Operating License No. DPR-20 for the Palisades Plant, currently held by Consumers Energy Company (CEC), as owner and licensed operator of the Palisades Plant. The transfer would be to an operating company called Nuclear Management Company, LLC (NMC). The Commission is also considering amending the license for administrative purposes to reflect the proposed transfer. If authorized to operate the facility, NMC, according to the application described below, will also act as the general licensee for the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation at the Palisades Plant, pursuant to 10 CFR 72.210.

By application dated November 21, 2000, seeking approval of the transfer, the Commission was informed that CEC has entered into a Nuclear Power Plant Operating Services Agreement with NMC. Under this Agreement, NMC is to assume exclusive responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the Palisades Plant. CEC's ownership of the Palisades Plant will not be affected by the proposed transfer of operating authority. Likewise, CEC's entitlement to capacity and energy from the Palisades Plant will not be affected by the transfer of operating authority. No physical changes to the facility or operational changes are being proposed in the application.

The proposed amendment would reflect the transfer of authority under the license to use and operate the Palisades Plant from CEC to NMC. Consistent with this designation of NMC as the entity authorized to use and operate the Palisades Plant, the amendment would also reflect that NMC would be authorized to receive, possess, and use the related licensed nuclear materials, including byproduct and special nuclear material. In addition, the amendment would reflect that CEC would be authorized to possess, but not use or operate, the Palisades Plant.

Pursuant to 10 CFR 50.80, no license, or any right thereunder, shall be transferred, directly or indirectly, Start Printed Page 79432through transfer of control of the license, unless the Commission shall give its consent in writing. The Commission will approve an application for the transfer of a license, if the Commission determines that the proposed transferee is qualified to hold the license, and that the transfer is otherwise consistent with applicable provisions of law, regulations, and orders issued by the Commission pursuant thereto.

Before issuance of the proposed conforming license amendment, the Commission will have made findings required by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (the Act), and the Commission's regulations.

As provided in 10 CFR 2.1315, unless otherwise determined by the Commission with regard to a specific application, the Commission has determined that any amendment to the license of a utilization facility which does no more than conform the license to reflect the transfer action involves no significant hazards consideration. No contrary determination has been made with respect to this specific license amendment application. In light of the generic determination reflected in 10 CFR 2.1315, no public comments with respect to significant hazards considerations are being solicited, notwithstanding the general comment procedures contained in 10 CFR 50.91.

The filing of requests for hearing and petitions for leave to intervene, and written comments with regard to the license transfer application, are discussed below.

By January 8, 2001, any person whose interest may be affected by the Commission's action on the application may request a hearing, and, if not the applicants, may petition for leave to intervene in a hearing proceeding on the Commission's action. Requests for a hearing and petitions for leave to intervene should be filed in accordance with the Commission's rules of practice set forth in Subpart M, “Public Notification, Availability of Documents and Records, Hearing Requests and Procedures for Hearings on License Transfer Applications,” of 10 CFR Part 2. In particular, such requests and petitions must comply with the requirements set forth in 10 CFR 2.1306, and should address the considerations contained in 10 CFR 2.1308(a). Untimely requests and petitions may be denied, as provided in 10 CFR 2.1308(b), unless good cause for failure to file on time is established. In addition, an untimely request or petition should address the factors that the Commission will also consider, in reviewing untimely requests or petitions, set forth in 10 CFR 2.1308(b)(1)-(2).

Requests for a hearing and petitions for leave to intervene should be served upon Arunas T. Udrys, Esquire, Consumers Energy Company, 212 West Michigan Avenue, Jackson, Michigan 49201 (tel: 517-788-2513; fax: 517-788-0768; e-mail:; and the General Counsel, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555 (e-mail address for filings regarding license transfer cases only:; and the Secretary of the Commission, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, Attention: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff, in accordance with 10 CFR 2.1313.

The Commission will issue a notice or order granting or denying a hearing request or intervention petition, designating the issues for any hearing that will be held and designating the Presiding Officer. A notice granting a hearing will be published in the Federal Register and served on the parties to the hearing.

As an alternative to requests for hearing and petitions to intervene, by January 18, 2001, persons may submit written comments regarding the license transfer application, as provided for in 10 CFR 2.1305. The Commission will consider and, if appropriate, respond to these comments, but such comments will not otherwise constitute part of the decisional record. Comments should be submitted to the Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, Attention: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff, and should cite the publication date and page number of this Federal Register notice.

For further details with respect to this action, see the application dated November 21, 2000. Documents may be examined, and/or copied for a fee, at the NRC's Public Document Room, located at one White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland. Publicly available records will be accessible electronically from the ADAMS Public Library component on the NRC Web site, (the Electronic Reading Room).

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Dated at Rockville, Maryland this 11th day of December 2000.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission,

Tae J. Kim,

Acting Chief, Section 1, Project Directorate III, Division of Licensing Project Management, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.

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[FR Doc. 00-32305 Filed 12-18-00; 8:45 am]