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Florida Power Corporation, et al., Crystal River Unit 3 Nuclear Generating Plant; Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact

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Start Preamble

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC, the Commission) is considering issuance of an exemption, pursuant to Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) Section 73.5, “Specific exemptions,” from the implementation date for certain new requirements of 10 CFR Part 73, “Physical protection of plants and materials,” for Facility Operating License No. DPR 72 issued to Florida Power Corporation (the licensee), for operation of the Crystal River Unit 3 Nuclear Generating Plant (CR-3), located in Citrus County, Florida. In accordance with 10 CFR 51.21, “Criteria for and identification of licensing and regulatory actions requiring environmental assessments,” the NRC prepared an environmental assessment documenting its finding. The NRC concluded that the proposed actions will have no significant environmental impact.

Environmental Assessment

Identification of the Proposed Action

The proposed action would exempt the CR-3 from the required implementation date of March 31, 2010, for two new requirements of 10 CFR Part 73. Specifically, CR-3 would be granted an exemption from being in full compliance with certain new requirements contained in 10 CFR 73.55, “Requirements for physical protection of licensed activities in nuclear power reactors against radiological sabotage,” by the March 31, 2010, deadline. The licensee has proposed alternate full compliance implementation dates of November 15 and December 15, 2010, for the specific requirements identified within the Start Printed Page 13321exemption request. The proposed action, extensions of the schedule for completion of certain actions required by the revised 10 CFR Part 73, does not involve any physical changes to the reactor, fuel, plant structures, support structures, water, or land at the CR-3 site.

The proposed action is in accordance with the licensee's application dated November 30, 2009 (Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML093370143), as supplemented by letter dated January 15, 2010 (ADAMS Accession No. ML100191801).

The Need for the Proposed Action

The proposed action is needed to provide the licensee with additional time beyond the March 31, 2010, deadline to implement specific parts of the revised requirements that involve significant physical upgrades to the CR-3 security system. The licensee plans a major security project that includes the expansion of the Protected Area (PA). Other plant modifications that are significant in scope involve the construction of new facilities, extensive design and procurement efforts, and work with high voltage cabling and the personnel safety risk associated with such work. These modifications warrant a thorough review of the safety-security interface and must be coordinated with the steam generator replacement outage that is currently underway at CR-3. In addition to steam generators, other large components (e.g., moisture separators and large heat exchangers) are being replaced during this outage, requiring movement of personnel and materials into and out of the PA.

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

The NRC has completed its environmental assessment of the proposed exemption. The staff has concluded that the proposed action to extend the implementation deadline would not significantly affect plant safety and would not have a significant adverse effect on the probability of an accident occurring.

The proposed action would not result in an increased radiological hazard beyond those previously analyzed in the environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact made by the Commission in promulgating its revisions to 10 CFR Part 73 as discussed in a Federal Register notice dated March 27, 2009 (74 FR 13967). There will be no change to radioactive effluents that affect radiation exposures to plant workers and members of the public. Therefore, no changes or different types of radiological impacts are expected as a result of the proposed exemption.

The proposed action does not result in changes to land use or water use, or result in changes to the quality or quantity of non-radiological effluents. No changes to the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit are needed. No effects on the aquatic or terrestrial habitat in the vicinity of the plant, or to threatened, endangered, or protected species under the Endangered Species Act, or impacts to essential fish habitat covered by the Magnuson-Stevens Act are expected. There are no impacts to the air or ambient air quality. There are no impacts to historical and cultural resources. There are no impacts to socioeconomic resources. Therefore, no changes to or different types of non-radiological environmental impacts are expected as a result of the proposed exemption.

Accordingly, the NRC concludes that there are no significant environmental impacts associated with the proposed action. In addition, in promulgating its revisions to 10 CFR Part 73, the Commission prepared an environmental assessment and published a finding of no significant impact [Part 73, Power Reactor Security Requirements, 74 FR 13926, 13967 (March 27, 2009)].

The licensee currently maintains a security system acceptable to the NRC and will continue to provide acceptable physical protection of CR-3. Therefore, the extension of the implementation date for certain new requirements of 10 CFR Part 73 to November 15 and December 15, 2010, would not have any significant environmental impacts.

The NRC staff's safety evaluation will be provided in the exemption that will be issued as part of the letter to the licensee approving the exemption to the regulation, if granted.

Environmental Impacts of the Alternatives to the Proposed Action

As an alternative to the proposed actions, the NRC staff considered denial of the proposed actions (i.e., the “no action” alternative). Denial of the exemption request would result in no change in current environmental impacts. If the proposed action was denied, the licensee would have to comply with the March 31, 2010, implementation deadline. The environmental impacts of the proposed exemption and the “no action” alternative are similar.

Alternative Use of Resources

The action does not involve the use of any different resources than those considered in the Final Environmental Statement for the CR-3 dated May 1973.

Agencies and Persons Consulted

In accordance with its stated policy, on January 20, 2010, the NRC staff consulted with the Florida State official, Mr. William A. Passeti of the Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Radiation Control 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 November 30, 2009, as supplemented by letter dated January 15, 2010. Attachment 1 of the November 30, 2009, and January 15, 2009 submittals contain security-related information associated with the physical protection of the CR-3 and, accordingly, is not available to the public. Other parts of this document 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 O-1F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland 20852. Publicly available records will be accessible electronically from the Agencywide Document 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 send an e-mail to pdr.resource@nrc.gov.

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Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 11th day of March 2010.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Farideh E. Saba,

Senior Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch II-2, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.

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[FR Doc. 2010-6065 Filed 3-18-10; 8:45 am]

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