Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Direct final rule.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is amending its regulations to add the NUHOMS® HD cask system to the list of approved spent fuel storage casks. This direct final rule allows the holders of power reactor operating licenses to store spent fuel in this approved cask system under a general license.
The final rule is effective July 17, 2006, unless significant adverse comments are received by June 1, 2006. A significant adverse comment is a comment where the commenter explains why the rule would be inappropriate, including challenges to the rule's underlying premise or approach, or would be ineffective or unacceptable without a change. If the rule is withdrawn, timely notice will be published in the Federal Register.
You may submit comments by any one of the following methods. Please include the following number (RIN 3150-AH93) in the subject line of your comments. Comments on rulemakings submitted in writing or in electronic form will be made available for public inspection. Because your comment will not be edited to remove any identifying or contact information, the NRC cautions you against including personal information such as social security numbers and birth dates in your submission.
Mail comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, ATTN: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff.
E-mail comments to: SECY@nrc.gov. If you do not receive a reply e-mail confirming that we have received your comments, contact us directly at (301) 415-1966. You may also submit comments via the NRC's rulemaking Web site at http://ruleforum.llnl.gov. Address questions about our rulemaking Web site to Carol Gallagher (301) 415-5905; e-mail email@example.com. Comments can also be submitted via the Federal eRulemaking Portal http://www.regulatons.gov.
Hand deliver comments to: 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. Federal workdays [telephone (301) 415-1966].
Fax comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission at (301) 415-1101.
Publicly available documents related to this rulemaking may be viewed electronically on the public computers located at the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR), O-1F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland. Selected documents, including comments, can be viewed and downloaded electronically via the NRC rulemaking Web site at http://ruleforum.llnl.gov.
Publicly available documents created or received at the NRC after November 1, 1999, are available electronically at the NRC's Electronic Reading Room at http://www.nrc.gov/NRC/ADAMS/index.html. From this site, the public can gain entry into the NRC's Agencywide Document Access and Start Printed Page 25741Management System (ADAMS), which provides text and image files of NRC's public documents. 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, 301-415-4737, or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. An electronic copy of the proposed Certificate of Compliance (CoC), TS, and preliminary safety evaluation report (SER) can be found under ADAMS Accession Nos. ML052860036, ML052860043, and ML052860049, respectively.
CoC No. 1030, the TS, the underlying SER, and the Environmental Assessment (EA) are available for inspection at the NRC PDR, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD. Single copies of these documents may be obtained from Jayne M. McCausland, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, telephone (301) 415-6219, e-mail email@example.com.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Jayne M. McCausland, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, telephone (301) 415-6219, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
Section 218(a) of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended (NWPA), requires that “[t]he Secretary [of the Department of Energy (DOE)] shall establish a demonstration program, in cooperation with the private sector, for the dry storage of spent nuclear fuel at civilian nuclear power reactor sites, with the objective of establishing one or more technologies that the [Nuclear Regulatory] Commission may, by rule, approve for use at the sites of civilian nuclear power reactors without, to the maximum extent practicable, the need for additional site-specific approvals by the Commission.” Section 133 of the NWPA states, in part, that “[t]he Commission shall, by rule, establish procedures for the licensing of any technology approved by the Commission under Section 218(a) for use at the site of any civilian nuclear power reactor.”
To implement this mandate, the NRC approved dry storage of spent nuclear fuel in NRC-approved casks under a general license by publishing a final rule in 10 CFR Part 72 entitled “General License for Storage of Spent Fuel at Power Reactor Sites” (55 FR 29181; July 18, 1990). This rule also established a new Subpart L within 10 CFR Part 72, entitled “Approval of Spent Fuel Storage Casks,” containing procedures and criteria for obtaining NRC approval of spent fuel storage cask designs.
On May 5, 2004, and as supplemented on July 6, August 16, October 11, October 28, November 19, 2004; February 18, March 7, April 14, May 20, May 24, August 16, 2005; and January 24 and February 15, 2006, the certificate holder, Transnuclear, Inc. (TN), submitted an application to the NRC to add the NUHOMS® HD cask system to the list of NRC approved casks for spent fuel storage in 10 CFR 72.214. The NUHOMS® HD System provides for the horizontal storage of high burnup spent pressurized water reactor fuel assemblies in a dry shielded canister that is placed in a horizontal storage module utilizing an OS187H transfer cask. The system is an improved version of the Standardized NUHOMS® System described in CoC 1004. The NUHOMS® HD System has been optimized for high thermal loads, limited space, and radiation shielding performance. The -32PTH dry shielded canister (DSC) included in this system is similar to the -24PTH DSC submitted for licensing as Amendment No. 8 to the Standardized NUHOMS® System. The -32PTH DSC will be transferred during loading operations using the OS-187H transfer cask (TC). The OS-187H TC is very similar to the OS-197 and OS-197 TCs described in the final safety analysis report for the Standardized NUHOMS® System. The -32PTH DSC will be stored in a horizontal storage module (HSM), designated the HSM-H. The HSM-H is virtually identical to the HSM-H submitted for licensing as Amendment No. 8 to the Standardized NUHOMS® System. The NRC finds that the TN NUHOMS® HD cask system, as designed and when fabricated and used in accordance with the conditions specified in its CoC, meets the requirements of 10 CFR Part 72. Thus, use of the TN NUHOMS® HD cask system, as approved by the NRC, will provide adequate protection of public health and safety and the environment. Simultaneously, the NRC is issuing a final SER and CoC that will be effective on July 17, 2006. Single copies of the CoC and SER are available for public inspection and/or copying for a fee at the NRC Public Document Room, O-1F21, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD.
This direct final rule adds the NUHOMS® HD Storage System to the listing in 10 CFR 72.214 by adding CoC No. 1030.
The NUHOMS® HD Storage System, when used under the conditions specified in the CoC, the TS, and NRC regulations, will meet the requirements of Part 72; thus, adequate protection of public health and safety will continue to be ensured.
Discussion of Amendments by Section
Section 72.214 List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks
CoC No. 1030 is added to the list of approved spent fuel storage casks.
This rule is limited to the conditions contained in CoC No. 1030. The NRC is using the “direct final rule procedure” to issue this addition because it represents an improved version of the Standardized NUHOMS® System described in existing CoC 1004, and its addition to the list of approved spent fuel storage casks is expected to be noncontroversial. Adequate protection of public health and safety continues to be ensured. The amendment to the rule will become effective on July 17, 2006. However, if the NRC receives significant adverse comments by June 1, 2006, then the NRC will publish a document that withdraws this action and will address the comments received in response to the proposed amendments, published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, in a subsequent final rule. The NRC will not initiate a second comment period on this action.
A significant adverse comment is a comment where the commenter explains why the rule would be inappropriate, including challenges to the rule's underlying premise or approach, or would be ineffective or unacceptable without a change. A comment is adverse and significant if:
(1) The comment opposes the rule and provides a reason sufficient to require a substantive response in a notice-and-comment process. For example, in a substantive response:
(a) The comment causes the NRC staff to reevaluate (or reconsider) its position or conduct additional analysis;
(b) The comment raises an issue serious enough to warrant a substantive response to clarify or complete the record; or
(c) The comment raises a relevant issue that was not previously addressed or considered by the NRC staff.
(2) The comment proposes a change or an addition to the rule, and it is apparent that the rule would be ineffective or unacceptable without incorporation of the change or addition.
(3) The comment causes the NRC staff to make a change (other than editorial) to the CoC or TS. Start Printed Page 25742
Voluntary Consensus Standards
The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-113) requires that Federal agencies use technical standards that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies unless the use of such a standard is inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. In this direct final rule, the NRC will add the NUHOMS® HD System to the listing in § 72.214 (List of NRC-approved spent fuel storage cask designs). This action does not constitute the establishment of a standard that establishes generally applicable requirements.
Agreement State Compatibility
Under the “Policy Statement on Adequacy and Compatibility of Agreement State Programs” approved by the Commission on June 30, 1997, and published in the Federal Register on September 3, 1997 (62 FR 46517), this rule is classified as Compatibility Category “NRC.” Compatibility is not required for Category “NRC” regulations. The NRC program elements in this category are those that relate directly to areas of regulation reserved to the NRC by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (AEA), or the provisions of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Although an Agreement State may not adopt program elements reserved to NRC, it may wish to inform its licensees of certain requirements via a mechanism that is consistent with the particular State's administrative procedure laws but does not confer regulatory authority on the State.
The Presidential Memorandum dated June 1, 1998, entitled “Plain Language in Government Writing,” directed that the Government's writing be in plain language. The NRC requests comments on this direct final rule specifically with respect to the clarity and effectiveness of the language used. Comments should be sent to the address listed under the heading ADDRESSES above.
Finding of No Significant Environmental Impact: Availability
Under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, and the NRC regulations in subpart A of 10 CFR part 51, the NRC has determined that this rule, if adopted, would not be a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment and, therefore, an environmental impact statement is not required. The rule will add the CoC for the NUHOMS® HD System within the list of approved spent fuel storage casks that power reactor licensees can use to store spent fuel at reactor sites under a general license. The NUHOMS® HD System provides for the horizontal storage of high burnup spent pressurized water reactor fuel assemblies in a dry shielded canister that is placed in a horizontal storage module utilizing an OS187H transfer cask. The system is an improved version of the Standardized NUHOMS® System described in CoC 1004. The NUHOMS® HD System has been optimized for high thermal loads, limited space, and radiation shielding performance. The -32PTH dry shielded canister (DSC) included in this system is similar to the -24PTH DSC submitted for licensing as Amendment No. 8 to the Standardized NUHOMS® System. The -32PTH DSC will be transferred during loading operations using the OS-187H transfer cask (TC). The OS-187H TC is very similar to the OS-197 and OS-197 TCs described in the final safety analysis report for the Standardized NUHOMS® System. The -32PTH DSC will be stored in a horizontal storage module (HSM), designated the HSM-H. The HSM-H is virtually identical to the HSM-H submitted for licensing as Amendment No. 8 to the Standardized NUHOMS® System. The EA and finding of no significant impact on which this determination is based are available for inspection at the NRC Public Document Room, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD. Single copies of the EA and finding of no significant impact are available from Jayne M. McCausland, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, telephone (301) 415-6219, e-mail email@example.com.
Paperwork Reduction Act Statement
This direct final rule does not contain a new or amended information collection requirement subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Existing requirements were approved by the Office of Management and Budget, Approval Number 3150-0132.
Public Protection Notification
The NRC may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a request for information or an information collection requirement unless the requesting document displays a currently valid OMB control number.
On July 18, 1990 (55 FR 29181), the Commission issued an amendment to 10 CFR Part 72. The amendment provided for the storage of spent nuclear fuel in cask systems with designs approved by the NRC under a general license. Any nuclear power reactor licensee can use cask systems with designs approved by the NRC to store spent nuclear fuel if it notifies the NRC in advance, the spent fuel is stored under the conditions specified in the cask's CoC, and the conditions of the general license are met. In that rule, four spent fuel storage casks were approved for use at reactor sites and were listed in 10 CFR 72.214. That rule envisioned that storage casks certified in the future could be routinely added to the listing in 10 CFR 72.214 through the rulemaking process. Procedures and criteria for obtaining NRC approval of new spent fuel storage cask designs were provided in 10 CFR part 72, subpart L.
The alternative to this action is to withhold approval of this new design and issue a site-specific license to each utility that proposes to use the casks. This alternative would cost both the NRC and utilities more time and money for each site-specific license. Conducting site-specific reviews would ignore the procedures and criteria currently in place for the addition of new cask designs that can be used under a general license, and would be in conflict with NWPA direction to the Commission to approve technologies for the use of spent fuel storage at the sites of civilian nuclear power reactors without, to the maximum extent practicable, the need for additional site reviews. This alternative also would tend to exclude new vendors from the business market without cause and would arbitrarily limit the choice of cask designs available to power reactor licensees. This final rulemaking will eliminate the above problems and is consistent with previous Commission actions. Further, the rule will have no adverse effect on public health and safety.
The benefit of this rule to nuclear power reactor licensees is to make available a greater choice of spent fuel storage cask designs that can be used under a general license. The new cask vendors with casks to be listed in 10 CFR 72.214 benefit by having to obtain NRC certificates only once for a design that can then be used by more than one power reactor licensee. The NRC also benefits because it will need to certify a cask design only once for use by multiple licensees. Casks approved through rulemaking are to be suitable for use under a range of environmental conditions sufficiently broad to encompass multiple nuclear power plants in the United States without the need for further site-specific approval Start Printed Page 25743by NRC. Vendors with cask designs already listed may be adversely impacted because power reactor licensees may choose a newly listed design over an existing one. However, the NRC is required by its regulations and NWPA direction to certify and list approved casks. This rule has no significant identifiable impact or benefit on other Government agencies.
Based on the above discussion of the benefits and impacts of the alternatives, the NRC concludes that the requirements of the final rule are commensurate with the Commission's responsibilities for public health and safety and the common defense and security. No other available alternative is believed to be as satisfactory, and thus, this action is recommended.
Regulatory Flexibility Certification
Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), the NRC certifies that this rule will not, if issued, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This direct final rule affects only the licensing and operation of nuclear power plants, independent spent fuel storage facilities, and TN. The companies that own these plants do not fall within the scope of the definition of “small entities” set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility Act or the Small Business Size Standards set out in regulations issued by the Small Business Administration at 13 CFR part 121.
The NRC has determined that the backfit rule (10 CFR 50.109 or 10 CFR 72.62) does not apply to this direct final rule because this amendment does not involve any provisions that would impose backfits as defined. Therefore, a backfit analysis is not required.
Congressional Review Act
Under the Congressional Review Act of 1996, the NRC has determined that this action is not a major rule and has verified this determination with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget.Start List of Subjects
List of Subjects in 10 CFR Part 72
- Administrative practice and procedure
- Criminal penalties
- Manpower training programs
- Nuclear materials
- Occupational safety and health
- Radiation protection
- Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
- Security measures
- Spent fuel
For the reasons set out in the preamble and under the authority of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended; the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, as amended; andEnd Amendment Part Start Part
PART 72—LICENSING REQUIREMENTS FOR THE INDEPENDENT STORAGE OF SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL, HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE, AND REACTOR-RELATED GREATER THAN CLASS C WASTEEnd Part Start Amendment Part
1. The authority citation for part 72 continues to read as follows:End Amendment Part
Section 72.44(g) also issued under secs. 142(b) and 148(c), (d), Pub. L. 100-203, 101 Stat. 1330-232, 1330-236 (42 U.S.C. 10162(b), 10168(c), (d)). Section 72.46 also issued under sec. 189, 68 Stat. 955 (42 U.S.C. 2239); sec. 134, Pub. L. 97-425, 96 Stat. 2230 (42 U.S.C. 10154). Section 72.96(d) also issued under sec. 145(g), Pub. L. 100-203, 101 Stat. 1330-235 (42 U.S.C. 10165(g)). Subpart J also issued under secs. 2(2), 2(15), 2(19), 117(a), 141(h), Pub. L. 97-425, 96 Stat. 2202, 2203, 2204, 2222, 2224 (42 U.S.C. 10101, 10137(a), 10161(h)). Subparts K and L are also issued under sec. 133, 98 Stat. 2230 (42 U.S.C. 10153) and sec. 218(a), 96 Stat. 2252 (42 U.S.C. 10198).Start Amendment Part
2. In § 72.214, Certificate of Compliance 1030 is added to read as follows:End Amendment Part
Certificate Number: 1030.
Initial Certificate Effective Date: July 17, 2006.
SAR Submitted by: Transnuclear, Inc.
SAR Title: Final Safety Analysis Report for the NUHOMS® HD Horizontal Modular Storage System for Irradiated Nuclear Fuel.
Docket Number: 72-1030.
Certificate Expiration Date: July 17, 2026.
Model Number: NUHOMS® HD-32PTH.
Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 13th day of April, 2006.
For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
William F. Kane,
Acting Executive Director for Operations.
[FR Doc. 06-4115 Filed 5-1-06; 8:45 am]
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