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Holtec International; Issuance of 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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Introduction

By letters dated January 17 and April 10, 2002, Holtec International (Holtec or applicant) requested an exemption, pursuant to 10 CFR 72.7, from the requirement of 10 CFR 72.248(c)(6). This requirement requires certificate holders to file an updated Final Safety Analysis Report (FSAR) to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or the Commission) every 24 months from the date of issuance of a Certificate of Compliance (CoC) for a spent fuel storage cask design. Holtec, located in Marlton, New Jersey, is the holder of CoC Number 1014 for the HI-STORM 100 storage cask system, and is seeking NRC approval to delay filing of an updated FSAR for the cask design. The HI-STORM 100 storage cask system is approved for use under the general license provisions of subpart K of 10 CFR part 72, and is designed for the dry storage of spent nuclear fuel at U.S. nuclear power facilities. NRC issued the CoC for the HI-STORM 100 storage cask system on May 31, 2000, (effective date). Holtec is currently required to file an updated FSAR by May 31, 2002, in accordance with 10 CFR 72.248(c)(6).

Environmental Assessment (EA)

Identification of Proposed Action

The applicant is seeking Commission approval to delay filing of an updated FSAR for the HI-STORM 100 storage cask system to the NRC within 24 months after the HI-STORM 100 CoC Start Printed Page 36271was issued. The applicant requests an exemption from the requirement of 10 CFR 72.248(c)(6), which states that “Updates [of the FSAR] shall be filed every 24 months from the date of issuance of the CoC.” NRC issued the CoC for the HI-STORM 100 cask system on May 31, 2000, (CoC effective date), which would require filing by May 31, 2002, to satisfy 10 CFR 72.248(c)(6). The proposed action before the Commission is whether to approve a delay in the filing of the updated FSAR, and whether to grant this exemption pursuant to 10 CFR 72.7.

Need for the Proposed Action

Holtec requested the exemption to 10 CFR 72.248(c) to allow sufficient time to incorporate the FSAR changes that are associated with its license application to amend the CoC for the HI-STORM 100 storage cask system. This license application and amendment was designated as Amendment No. 1 to CoC Number 1014. The Commission issued a direct final rule and a proposed rule to amend its regulations to include Amendment No. 1 to the CoC for the HI-STORM 100 in its list of approved spent fuel storage casks on March 27, 2002, (67 FR 14627 and FR 14662). A final effective rule is not expected to be in place prior to May 31, 2002. Therefore, Holtec has requested to file an updated FSAR within 60 days after Amendment No. 1 is issued (effective date of final rule), in lieu of May 31, 2002. Holtec stated that approval of this delay will allow the compilation of FSAR changes related to Amendment No. 1, with other FSAR changes that are allowed under 10 CFR 72.48.

Otherwise, an update to the FSAR by May 31, 2002, would not include FSAR changes associated with Amendment No. 1.

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

The Environmental Assessment for the final rule, “Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel in NRC-Approved Storage Casks at Nuclear Power Reactor Sites” (55 FR 29181 (1990)), considered the potential environmental impacts of storage casks that are used to store spent nuclear fuel under a CoC, and concluded that there would be no significant environmental impacts. The proposed action now under consideration would not affect the use of the HI-STORM 100 cask system to store spent nuclear fuel under the approved CoC, and in accordance with the regulations of 10 CFR part 72. Filing an updated FSAR to the NRC by a certificate holder is an administrative requirement and does not involve any radioactive materials or use of natural resources. Therefore, there are no radiological impacts or non-radiological impacts from a delay in filing an updated FSAR. Based upon this information, a delay in filing will have no significant impact on the environment.

Alternative to the Proposed Action

Since there is no environmental impact associated with the proposed action, any alternatives with equal or greater environmental impact are not evaluated. The alternative to the proposed actions would be to deny approval of the exemption and not allow a delay in the filing of the updated FSAR. This alternative would have the same environmental impact.

Given that there are no significant differences in environmental impact between the proposed action and the alternative considered, and that the applicant has a legitimate need to delay the filing of an updated FSAR, the Commission concludes that the preferred alternative is to grant the exemption to 10 CFR 72.248(c)(6).

Agencies and Persons Consulted

Ms. Alyse Peterson, Project Manager, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, was contacted about the Environmental Assessment for the proposed action and had no comments.

Finding of No Significant Impact

The environmental impacts of the proposed action have been reviewed in accordance with the requirements set forth in 10 CFR part 51. Based upon the foregoing Environmental Assessment, the Commission finds that the proposed action of granting an exemption from 10 CFR 72.248(c)(6) will not significantly impact the quality of the human environment. Accordingly, the Commission has determined not to prepare an environmental impact statement for the proposed exemption, and has made a finding of no significant impact on the environment for the proposed exemption.

Conclusion

The proposed exemption requested by Holtec will not authorize use of the HI-STORM 100 storage cask design specified in Amendment No. 1 to the CoC . Authorization will only occur if and when Amendment No.1 to the CoC, is issued by the NRC (effective date of final rule). In addition, NRC approval or denial of this exemption request should not be construed as an NRC predisposition to favorably or unfavorably consider any comments received on the proposed rule for Amendment No. 1 to the CoC.

For further details with respect to the exemption request, see the letters dated January 17 and April 10, 2002, which are available for public inspection at the Commission's Public Document Room, One White Flint North Building, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD, or from the publicly available records component of NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) under Accession Nos. ML020520212 and ML021070603. The NRC maintains ADAMS, which provides text and image files of NRC's public documents. These documents may be accessed through the NRC's Public Electronic Reading Room on the Internet at http://www.nrc.gov/​reading-rm/​adams.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 pdr@nrc.gov.

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Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 15th day of May 2002.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

E. William Brach,

Director, Spent Fuel Project Office, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.

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[FR Doc. 02-12992 Filed 5-22-02; 8:45 am]

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