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Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station; Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering issuance of an exemption from certain requirements of 10 CFR 50.54 and 10 CFR 73.55 and an associated amendment to Facility Operating License No. DPR-54, issued to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (the licensee), for the Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station, a permanently shutdown nuclear reactor facility located in Sacramento County, California.

Environmental Assessment

Identification of the Proposed Action

The proposed action would eliminate the security plan requirements from the 10 CFR part 50 licensed site after the spent nuclear fuel has been transferred to the 10 CFR part 72 licensed Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI).

The proposed action is in accordance with the licensee's application for a license amendment and exemption dated February 20, 2001.

The Need for the Proposed Action

Sections 50.54 and 73.55 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations require that licensees establish and maintain physical protection and security for activities involving nuclear fuel within the 10 CFR part 50 licensed area of a facility. The proposed action is needed because there will no longer be any nuclear fuel in the 10 CFR part 50 licensed facility to protect against radiological sabotage or diversion after the transfer of the spent nuclear fuel to the Rancho Seco ISFSI. Subpart H of 10 CFR part 72 establishes physical protection and relies on 10 CFR 73.51 to Start Printed Page 36018define the requirements for physical protection of spent nuclear fuel stored in an ISFSI under a specific license issued pursuant to 10 CFR part 72. The Rancho Seco ISFSI, which is located adjacent to the 10 CFR part 50 licensed site, has a separate NRC approved security plan to protect the spent nuclear fuel stored there from radiological sabotage and diversion as promulgated under 10 CFR part 72, subpart H. The proposed action will allow the licensee to conserve resources for decommissioning activities.

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

The NRC has completed its evaluation of the proposed action and concludes that exempting the facility from security requirements will not have any adverse environmental impacts. There will be minor savings of energy and vehicular use associated with the security force no longer performing patrols, checks, and normal security functions.

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 Rancho Seco Generating Station.

Agencies and Persons Consulted

In accordance with its stated policy, on June 18, 2001, the staff consulted with the California State official, Frank Hauck of the Radiological Preparedness Unit, 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 February 20, 2001. 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 Agencywide Documents Access and Management Systems (ADAMS) Public Electronic Reading Room on the Internet at the NRC web site,​NRC/​ADAMS/​index.html. If you do not have access to ADAMS or if there are problems in accessing the documents located in ADAMS, contact the NRC Public Document Room (PDR) Reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737 or by email to

Start Signature

Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 2nd day of July 2001.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Stephen Dembek,

Chief, Section 2, Project Directorate IV, Division of Licensing Project Management, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. 01-17037 Filed 7-9-01; 8:45 am]