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 E IV.F.2.b and c for Facility Operating License No. NPF-29, issued to Entergy Operations, Inc., the licensee, for operation of the Grand Gulf Nuclear Station (GGNS), Unit 1, located in Claiborne County, Mississippi. Therefore, as required by 10 CFR 51.21, the NRC is issuing this environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact.
Identification of the Proposed Action
The proposed action is a one time exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR part 50, appendix E, sections IV.F.2.b and c regarding conduct of a full participation exercise of the onsite and offsite emergency plans every 2 years. Under the proposed exemption, the licensee would reschedule the exercise originally scheduled for September 19, 2001, and complete the exercise requirements during the week of March 4, 2002.
The proposed action is in accordance with the licensee's application for an exemption dated September 18, 2001, supplemented by letter dated December 3, 2001.
The Need for the Proposed Action
10 CFR part 50, Appendix E, Items IV.F.2.b and c requires each licensee at each site to conduct an exercise of its onsite and offsite emergency plan every 2 years. Federal agencies (the NRC for the onsite exercise portion and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the offsite exercise portion) observe these exercises and evaluate the performance of the licensee, State and local authorities having a role under the emergency plan.
The licensee had initially planned to conduct an exercise of its onsite and offsite emergency plan on September 19, 2001, within the required 2-year interval. However, due to circumstances resulting from the national tragedy of September 11, 2001, the licensee was concerned that the performance of an Emergency Plan Exercise, including full participation of offsite authorities, would result in undue stress and risk to the general public and to plant personnel. Based on the concerns created by this extraordinary event, the licensee has decided to postpone the exercise.
Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action
The NRC has completed its evaluation of the proposed action and concludes that the proposed action involves an administrative activity (a scheduler change in conducting an exercise) unrelated to plant operations.
The proposed action will not increase the probability or consequences of accidents, no changes are being made in the types of any effluents that may be released offsite, 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.
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 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 GGNS.
Agencies and Persons Consulted
On October 5, 2001, the staff consulted with the Mississippi State official, Robert W. Goff of the Mississippi Department of Health, regarding the environmental impact of the proposed action. The State official had no comments. In addition, by telephone conference on September 20, 2001, the FEMA indicated support for a one-time rescheduling of the Emergency Plan exercise from September 19, 2001, to a date during calendar year 2002.
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 letters dated September 18, and December 3, 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, Start Printed Page 64481Maryland. Publicly available records will be accessible electronically from the ADAMS Public Library component on the NRC Web site, http://www.nrc.gov (the Public Electronic Reading Room). Persons who do not have access to ADAMS or who encounter problems in accessing the documents located in ADAMS should contact the NRC PDR Reference staff by telephone at 1-800-397-4209, or 301-415-4737, or by e-mail at email@example.com.Start Signature
Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 7th day of December, 2001.
For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Robert A. Gramm,
Chief, Section 1, Project Directorate IV, Division of Licensing Project Management, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 01-30833 Filed 12-12-01; 8:45 am]
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