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Nuclear Management Company, LLC, Palisades Plant; 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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The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering issuance of an amendment to Facility Operating License No. DPR-20, issued to Nuclear Management Company, LLC (the licensee), for operation of the Palisades Plant, located in Van Buren County, Michigan. Therefore, as required by Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), Section 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 give approval to the licensee to update the Final Safety Analysis Report (FSAR) to reflect a change in the licensing basis for the handling of heavy loads using the L-3 crane main hoist. Specifically, the proposed changes would credit the L-3 crane as a single-failure-proof design, meeting the guidelines of NUREG-0612, “Control of Heavy Loads at Nuclear Power Plants” and NUREG-0554, “Single-Failure-Proof Cranes for Nuclear Power Plants,” and the amendment would also approve use of the L-3 crane for below-the-hook loads up to 110 tons.

The proposed action is in accordance with the licensee's application dated January 29, 2004, as supplemented by letters dated May 14, and June 2, 2004.

The Need for the Proposed Action

The proposed action is needed to allow the licensee to increase the rated capacity of the spent fuel pool crane and incorporate a single-failure-proof design. Upgrading the crane is necessary to allow the loading of a new dry fuel storage cask.

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

The NRC has completed its safety evaluation of the proposed action and concludes that: (1) There is reasonable assurance that the health and safety of the public will not be endangered by operation in the proposed manner; (2) such activities will be conducted in compliance with the Commission's regulations; and (3) the issuance of the amendment will not be inimical to the common defense and security or to the health and safety of the public. The details of the staff's safety evaluation will be provided in the license amendment that will be issued as part of the letter to the licensee approving the license amendment.

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 the amount of any effluent released offsite. 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 it 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 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 resources than those previously considered in the Final Environmental Statement for the Palisades Plant, dated February 1978.

Agencies and Persons Consulted

On June 9, 2004, the staff consulted with the Michigan State official, Mary Ann Elzerman, of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, 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 January 29, 2004, as supplemented on May 14 and June 2, 2004. Documents may be examined, and/or copied for a fee, at the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR), located at One White Flint North, Public File Area O1 F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland. Publicly available records will be accessible electronically from the Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) Public Electronic Reading Room on the Internet at the NRC Web site, http://www.nrc.gov/​reading-rm/​adams.html. 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 to pdr@nrc.gov.

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Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 9th day of June 2004.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

John F. Stang,

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

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[FR Doc. 04-13524 Filed 6-15-04; 8:45 am]

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