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Exelon Generation Company, LLC; Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, Units 2 and 3; Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact

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The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering issuance of an exemption from Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) part 50, Appendix R, Section III.F, “Automatic Fire Detection”, for Facility Operating Licenses Nos. DPR-44 and DPR-56, issued to Exelon Generation Company, LLC, et al. (the licensee), for operation of the Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station (PBAPS), Units 2 and 3, located in York County, Pennsylvania. Therefore, as required by 10 CFR 51.21, the NRC is issuing this environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact.

Environmental Assessment

Identification of the Proposed Action

The proposed action would grant an exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR part 50, Appendix R, Section III.F, “Automatic Fire Detection,” to the extent that they require the installation of automatic fire detection systems in certain areas that contain or present an exposure fire hazard to safety-related or safe shutdown systems or components. The licensee is seeking an exemption from the requirements for an automatic fire detection system for room 222, a Unit 2 feedwater heater room in the turbine building, and room 429, the Unit 2 and Unit 3 turbine generator hall in the turbine building.

The proposed action is in accordance with the licensee's application for exemption dated June 15, 2001.

The Need for the Proposed Action

The proposed exemption is needed in order to preclude dose exposure for workers during maintenance and testing of detection systems, and considerable expense, should plant modifications be required to be made.

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

The NRC has completed its evaluation of the proposed action and concludes that with the proposed exemption there will be an adequate level of fire protection and the underlying purpose of 10 CFR part 50, Appendix R, Section III.F, will be met for the affected areas of the plant such that there would be no significant increase in the risk of fires at this facility.

The proposed action will not significantly increase the probability or consequences of accidents, no changes are being made in the types of 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 nonradiological impacts, the proposed action does not have a potential to affect any historic sites. It does not affect nonradiological plant effluents and has no other environmental impact. Therefore, there are no significant nonradiological environmental impacts associated with the proposed action.

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

Environmental Impacts of the 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 significant change in current environmental impacts. The environmental impacts of the proposed action and the alternative action are similar.

Alternative Use of Resources

The action does not involve the use of any different resource than those previously considered in the Final Environmental Statement for PBAPS Units 2 and 3, dated April 1973.

Agencies and Persons Consulted

On August 15, 2001, the staff consulted with the Pennsylvania State official, Dennis Dyckman of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Nuclear Safety Division, 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 June 15, 2001. Documents may be examined, and/or copied for a fee, at the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR), 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 Public Electronic Reading Room). If you do not have access to ADAMS or if there are problems in accessing the documents located in ADAMS, contact the NRC PDR Reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, or 301-415-4737, or by e-mail at

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Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 28th day of September 2001.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

John P. Boska,

Project Manager, Section 2, Project Directorate I, Division of Licensing Project Management, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.

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[FR Doc. 01-24865 Filed 10-3-01; 8:45 am]