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Notice

Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact Related to Exemption From the Recordkeeping Requirements of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) Part 50.71(c); 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix A; 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix B for the Yankee Atomic Electric Company License DPR-003, Rowe, MA

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AGENCY:

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION:

Environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

John Hickman, Division of Waste Management and Environmental Protection, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Mail Stop: T7E18, Washington, DC 20555-00001. Telephone: (301) 415-3017; e-mail: jbh@nrc.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Introduction

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering granting a partial exemption from the Recordkeeping requirements of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) 50.71(c); 10 CFR part 50, Appendix A; 10 CFR part 50, Appendix B; and 10 CFR 50.59(d)(3), for the Yankee Nuclear Power Station (YNPS) as requested by Yankee Atomic Electric Company (YAEC or the Licensee) on February 15, 2006, as supplemented on March 23, 2006. An environmental assessment (EA) was performed by the NRC staff in support of its review of the exemption request.

II. Environmental Assessment

Background

YNPS is a deactivated pressurized-water nuclear reactor located in northwestern Massachusetts in Franklin County, near the southern Vermont border. The YNPS plant was constructed between 1958 and 1960 and operated commercially at 185 megawatts electric (after a 1963 upgrade) until 1992. In 1992, YAEC determined that closing of the plant would be in the best economic interest of its customers. In December 1993, NRC amended the YNPS operating license to retain a “possession-only” status. YAEC began dismantling and decommissioning activities at that time. Transfer of the spent fuel from the Spent Fuel Pit (SFP) to the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) was completed in June 2003. With the exception of the greater than class C waste stored at the ISFSI, the reactor and all associated systems and components, including those associated with storage of spent fuel in the SFP, have been removed from the facility and disposed of offsite. In addition, the structures housing these systems and components have been demolished. Physical work associated with the decommissioning of YNPS is scheduled to be completed in 2006.

This Environmental Assessment (EA) has been developed in accordance with the requirements of 10 CFR 51.21.

Proposed Action

Yankee Atomic Electric Company (YAEC) is requesting the following exemption, for records pertaining to systems, structures, or components (SSCs) and/or activities associated with the nuclear power generating unit, Spent Fuel Pit, and associated support systems, from the retention requirements of: (1) 10 CFR part 50 Appendix A Criterion 1 which requires certain records be retained “throughout the life of the unit”; (2) 10 CFR part 50 Appendix B Criterion XVII which requires certain records be retained consistent with regulatory requirements for a duration established by the licensee; (3) 10 CFR 50.59(d)(3) which requires certain records be maintained until “termination of a license issued pursuant to” part 50; and (4) 10 CFR 50.71(c) which requires records retention for the period specified in the regulations or until license termination.

Need for Proposed Action

The requested exemption and application of the exemption will eliminate the requirement to maintain records that are no longer necessary due to the permanently shutdown status of the facility and thereby reduce the financial burden on ratepayers associated with the storage of a large volume of records.

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

The proposed action is purely administrative in nature and 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 the proposed action will have no significant effect on the environment.

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). Under this alternative YNPS would continue to store the records in question until license termination which would result in no change in current environmental impacts. The environmental impacts of the proposed action and the alternative action are similar.

Agencies and Persons Consulted

None.

III. Finding of No Significant Impact

Based on this review, the NRC staff has concluded that there are no significant impacts on the quality of the human environment. Accordingly, the staff has determined that preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement is not warranted, and a Finding of No Significant Impact is appropriate.

IV. Further Information

For further details with respect to the proposed action, see the licensee's letter Start Printed Page 37965dated February 15, 2006, (ADAMS Accession No. ML060550077) as supplemented on March 23, 2006. (ADAMS Accession No. ML060960065) The NRC Public Documents Room is located at NRC Headquarters in Rockville, MD, and can be contacted at (800) 397-4209. 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, Maryland. Publicly available records will be accessible electronically from the Agencywide Documents Access and Management System's (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 pdr@nrc.gov.

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Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 22nd day of June, 2006.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Keith McConnell,

Deputy Director, Decommissioning Directorate, Division of Waste Management and Environmental Protection, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.

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[FR Doc. E6-10355 Filed 6-30-06; 8:45 am]

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