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AmerGen Energy Company, LLC; Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station 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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Start Preamble

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (the Commission) is considering issuance of an amendment to Facility Operating License No. DPR-16, issued to AmerGen Energy Company, LLC (AmerGen or the licensee), for operation of the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station, located in Ocean County, New Jersey.

Environmental Assessment

Identification of the Proposed Action

The proposed action is a one-time exemption from the requirements of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) part 50, Appendix E, Items IV.F.2.b and c regarding conduct of a full participation exercise of the onsite and offsite emergency plans every 2 years. The proposed action is in accordance with the licensee's application for an exemption dated October 8, 2001. Under the proposed exemption, AmerGen would reschedule the exercise originally scheduled for October 16, 2001, and complete the exercise requirements in calendar year 2002. However, the next full participation exercise will continue to be scheduled biennially from 2001. The licensee requested relief from section IV.F.2.c of Appendix E to 10 CFR part 50. Although the intent of the request is clear, i.e., the need to postpone the biennial exercise, the citation of regulations to accomplish that intent may not be complete. Section IV.F.2.b of Appendix E to 10 CFR part 50 may also be cited for completeness. The analysis in the Commission's Safety Evaluation encompassed the technical issues necessary to grant a schedular exemption from sections IV.F.2.b and c for the conduct of the biennial exercise.

The Need for the Proposed Action

10 CFR part 50, Appendix E, Items IV.F.2.b and c require each licensee at each site to conduct an exercise of its onsite and offsite emergency plan every 2 years. Federal agencies (the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for the onsite exercise portion and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the offsite exercise portion) observe these exercises and evaluate the performance of the licensee and 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 October 16, 2001, within the required 2-year interval. However, AmerGen has decided to postpone the exercise as a result of the ongoing national security threat in the United States, and the response, recovery, and other continuing offsite agency activities associated with the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center.

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

The Commission 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 Commission 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 dated December 1974 for the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station.

Agencies and Persons Consulted

In accordance with its stated policy, on November 8, 2001, the staff consulted with the New Jersey State official, Rich Pinney of the New Jersey Department of Environment and Natural Resources, regarding the environmental impact of the proposed action. The State official had no comments. In addition, by letter dated September 27, 2001, the Federal Emergency Management Agency indicated support for rescheduling the exercise.

Finding of No Significant Impact

On the basis of the environmental assessment, the Commission concludes that the proposed action will not have a significant effect on the quality of the human environment. Accordingly, the Commission 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 October 8, 2001, which is available for public inspection at the Commission'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, http:\\www.nrc.gov (the Electronic Reading Room).

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Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 13th day of December, 2001.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Helen N. Pastis,

Senior Project Manager, Section 1, Project Directorate 1, Division of Licensing Project Management, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.

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[FR Doc. 01-31215 Filed 12-18-01; 8:45 am]

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