Pacific Gas and Electric Company Diablo Canyon Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation

 
CONTENT

Federal Register, Volume 83 Issue 110 (Thursday, June 7, 2018)

Federal Register Volume 83, Number 110 (Thursday, June 7, 2018)

Notices

Pages 26501-26503

From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov

FR Doc No: 2018-12249

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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

Docket No. 72-26; NRC-2018-0108

Pacific Gas and Electric Company Diablo Canyon Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact; issuance.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering issuing an environmental assessment (EA) and a finding of no significant impact (FONSI) for its review and approval of the decommissioning funding plans (DFPs) submitted by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PGEC) on December 17, 2012, and December 17, 2015, for the independent spent fuel storage installation (ISFSI) at Diablo Canyon in Avila Beach, California.

DATES: The EA and FONSI referenced in this document are available on June 7, 2018.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2018-0108 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this document using any of the following methods:

Federal Rulemaking Website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2018-0108. Address questions about NRC dockets to Jennifer Borges; telephone: 301-287-

9127; email: email protected. For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select ``ADAMS Public Documents'' and then select ``Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.'' For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to email protected. The ADAMS accession number for each document referenced in this document (if it is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that it is mentioned in this document. In addition, for the convenience of the reader, the ADAMS accession numbers are provided in a table in the ``Availability of Documents'' section of this document.

NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Pamela Longmire, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-7465, email: email protected.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

  1. Introduction

    The NRC is considering the approval of the DFPs for the Diablo Canyon ISFSI. PGEC submitted an initial DFP and an updated DFP for NRC review and approval by letters dated December 17, 2012 (ADAMS Accession No. ML12353A315), and December 17, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15351A502), respectively. The NRC staff has prepared a final EA (ADAMS Accession No. ML18131A047) in support of its review of PGEC's DFPs in accordance with the NRC regulations in part 51 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), ``Environmental Protection Regulations for Domestic Licensing and Related Regulatory Functions,'' which implements the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). Based on the EA, the NRC staff has determined that approval of the DFPs for the Diablo Canyon ISFSI will not significantly affect the quality of the human environment, and accordingly, the staff has concluded that a FONSI is appropriate. The NRC staff further finds that preparation of an environmental impact statement is not warranted.

  2. Environmental Assessment

    Background

    The Diablo Canyon ISFSI is located in Avila Beach, California. PGEC is authorized by the NRC, under License No. SNM-2511, to store spent nuclear fuel at the Diablo Canyon ISFSI.

    The NRC requires its licensees to plan for the eventual decommissioning of their licensed facilities prior to license termination. On June 17, 2011, the NRC published a final rule in the Federal Register amending its decommissioning planning regulations (76 FR 35512). The final rule amended the NRC regulation, 10 CFR 72.30, which concerns financial assurance and decommissioning for ISFSIs. This regulation now requires each holder of, or applicant for, a license under 10 CFR part 72 to submit, for NRC review and approval, a DFP. The purpose of the DFP is to demonstrate the licensee's financial assurance (i.e., that funds will be available to decommission the ISFSI). The NRC staff is reviewing the DFPs submitted by PGEC on December 13, 2012, and December 17, 2015. Specifically, the NRC must determine whether PGEC's DFPs contain the information required by Sec. Sec. 72.30(b) and (c), and whether PGEC has provided reasonable assurance that funds will be available to decommission the ISFSI.

    Description of the Proposed Action

    The proposed action is the NRC's review and approval of PGEC's DFPs submitted in accordance with Sec. Sec. 72.30(b) and (c). To approve the DFPs, the NRC will evaluate whether the decommissioning cost estimate adequately estimates the cost to conduct the required ISFSI decommissioning activities prior to license termination,

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    including identification of the volume of onsite subsurface material containing residual radioactivity that will require remediation to meet the license termination criteria in Sec. Sec. 20.1402 or 20.1403. The NRC will also evaluate whether the aggregate dollar amount of PGEC financial instruments provides adequate financial assurance to cover the decommissioning cost estimate and that the financial instruments meet the criteria of 10 CFR 72.30(e). Finally, the NRC will evaluate whether the effects of the following events have been considered in PGEC's submittal: (1) Spills of radioactive material producing additional residual radioactivity in onsite subsurface material; (2) facility modifications; (3) changes in authorized possession limits; and (4) actual remediation costs that exceed the previous cost estimate, consistent with 10 CFR 72.30(c).

    The proposed action does not require any changes to the ISFSI's licensed routine operations, maintenance activities, or monitoring programs, nor does it require any new construction or land-disturbing activities. The scope of the proposed action concerns only the NRC's review and approval of PGEC's DFPs. The scope of the proposed action does not include, and will not result in, the review and approval of any decontamination or decommissioning activity or license termination for the ISFSI or any other part of Diablo Canyon.

    Need for the Proposed Action

    The proposed action provides a means for PGEC to demonstrate that it will have sufficient funding to cover the costs of decommissioning the ISFSI, including the reduction of the residual radioactivity at the ISFSI to the level specified by the applicable NRC license termination regulations concerning release of the property (10 CFR 20.1402 or 10 CFR 20.1403).

    Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    The NRC's approval of the DFPs will not change the scope or nature of the operation of the ISFSI and will not authorize any changes to licensed operations or maintenance activities. The NRC's approval of the DFPs will not result in any changes in the types, characteristics, or quantities of radiological or non-radiological effluents released into the environment from the ISFSI, or result in the creation of any solid waste. Moreover, the approval of the DFPs will not authorize any construction activity or facility modification. Therefore, the NRC staff concludes that the approval of PGEC's DFPs is a procedural and administrative action that will not result in any significant impact to the environment.

    Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended (NHPA), requires Federal agencies to consider the effects of their undertakings on historic properties. In accordance with the NHPA implementing regulations at 36 CFR part 800, ``Protection of Historic Properties,'' the NRC's approval of PGEC's DFPs constitutes a Federal undertaking. The NRC, however, has determined that the approval of the DFPs is a type of undertaking that does not have the potential to cause effects on historic properties, assuming such historic properties were present, because the NRC's approval of PGEC's DFPs will not authorize or result in changes to licensed operations or maintenance activities, or changes in the types, characteristics, or quantities of radiological or non-radiological effluents released into the environment from the ISFSI, or result in the creation of any solid waste. Therefore, in accordance with 36 CFR 800.3(a)(1), no consultation is required under Section 106 of the NHPA.

    Under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, prior to taking a proposed action, a Federal agency must determine whether (i) endangered and threatened species or their critical habitats are known to be in the vicinity of the proposed action and, if so, whether (ii) the proposed Federal action may affect listed species or critical habitats. The NRC has determined that the proposed action will have no effect on any listed species or their critical habitats because the NRC's approval of PGEC's DFPs will not authorize or result in changes to licensed operations or maintenance activities, or changes in the types, characteristics, or quantities of radiological or non-

    radiological effluents released into the environment from the ISFSI, or result in the creation of any solid waste.

    Alternative to the Proposed Action

    In addition to the proposed action, the NRC evaluated the no-action alternative. The no-action alternative is to deny PGEC's DFPs. A denial of a DFP that meets the criteria of Sec. Sec. 72.30(b) or (c) does not support the regulatory intent of the 2011 rulemaking. As noted in the EA for the 2011 rulemaking (ADAMS Accession No. ML090500648), not promulgating the 2011 final rule would have increased the likelihood of additional legacy sites. Thus, denying PGEC's DFPs, which the NRC has found to meet the criteria of Sec. Sec. 72.30(b) and (c), will undermine the licensee's decommissioning planning. On this basis, the NRC has concluded that the no-action alternative is not a viable alternative.

    Agencies and Persons Consulted

    The NRC staff consulted with other agencies and parties regarding the environmental impacts of the proposed action. The NRC provided a draft of its EA to the California Energy Commission (CEC or State) by letter dated April 25, 2016 (ADAMS Accession No. ML17107A273), and gave the CEC 30 days to respond. The State did not respond. The NRC also consulted with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by letter dated April 25, 2016 (ADAMS Accession No. ML16120A606). However, the NRC staff has determined that consultation under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 is not required because the proposed action is administrative/procedural in nature and will not affect listed species or critical habitat (ADAMS Accession No. ML17135A062).

  3. Finding of No Significant Impact

    The NRC staff has determined that the proposed action, the review and approval of PGEC's DFPs submitted in accordance with Sec. Sec. 72.30(b) and (c), will not authorize or result in changes to licensed operations or maintenance activities, or changes in the types, characteristics, or quantities of radiological or non-radiological effluents released into the environment from the ISFSI, or result in the creation of any solid waste. Moreover, the approval of the DFPs will not authorize any construction activity, facility modification, or any other land-disturbing activity. The NRC staff has concluded that the proposed action is a procedural and administrative action and, as such, that the proposed action will not have a significant effect on the quality of the human environment. Therefore, the NRC staff has determined not to prepare an environmental impact statement for the proposed action but will issue this FONSI. In accordance with 10 CFR 51.32(a)(4), the FONSI incorporates the EA by reference.

  4. Availability of Documents

    The following documents, related to this Notice, can be found using any of the methods provided in the following table. Instructions for accessing ADAMS were provided under the ADDRESSES section of this notice.

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    Date Document ADAMS Accession No.

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    December 17, 2012....................... Submission of PGEC DFP....... ML12353A315

    December 17, 2015....................... Submission of PGEC Triennial ML15351A502

    DFP.

    February 1, 2009........................ Environmental Assessment for ML090500648

    Final Rule--Decommissioning

    Planning.

    May 15, 2017............................ Note to File Re: Section 7 ML17135A062

    Consultations for ISFSI DFPs.

    April 25, 2016.......................... Consultation Letter ML17107A273

    (ML16120A553-RLSO).

    April 25, 2016.......................... Letter to M. Fris, U.S. Fish ML16120A606

    and Wildlife Service Re: NRC

    Preliminary Determination of

    No Effects Regarding the

    Diablo Canyon ISFSI DFP.

    May 11, 2018............................ Final EA for the Approval of ML18131A047

    the DFP.

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    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 4th day of June, 2018.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    John McKirgan,

    Branch Chief, Spent Fuel Licensing Branch, Division of Spent Fuel Management, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.

    FR Doc. 2018-12249 Filed 6-6-18; 8:45 am

    BILLING CODE 7590-01-P