Oct 3, 2013

Nuclear Operations at Big Rock Point for Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing an exemption in response to a request submitted by Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. (ENO) on June 20, 2012, for the Big Rock Point (BRP) Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI).


On September 19, 1997 (ADAMS Legacy Accession No. 9709240386), CEC requested an exemption from the provisions of 10 CFR 50.54(q) that required emergency plans to meet all of the standards of 10 CFR 50.47(b) and all of the requirements of appendix E to 10 CFR part 50 so that the licensee would have to meet only certain EP standards and requirements. Additionally, in a letter dated September 19, 1997 (ADAMS Legacy Accession No. 9709240383), CEC requested approval of a proposed BRP Defueled Emergency Plan (DEP) that proposed to meet those limited standards and requirements.

The NRC approved the requested exemption and the BRP DEP on September 30, 1998 (ADAMS Legacy Accession No. 9810080019). The safety evaluation report (SER) established EP requirements for BRP as documented in the DEP. The NRC staff (staff) concluded that the licensee's emergency plan was acceptable in view of the greatly reduced offsite radiological consequences associated with the decommissioning plant status. The staff found that the postulated dose to the general public from any reasonably conceivable accident would not exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Protective Action Guides (PAGs), and for the bounding accident, the length of time available to respond to a loss of spent fuel cooling or reduction in water level gave confidence that offsite measures for the public could be taken without preparation.

CEC completed moving spent nuclear fuel and Greater-Than-Class-C (GTCC) waste into dry storage at the BRP ISFSI in March of 2003. On September 9, 2004, CEC submitted a request for approval of the BPR Emergency Plan to reflect that only an ISFSI remained at the site (ADAMS Accession No. ML042530611). The NRC approved the BRP ISFSI Emergency Plan on October 13, 2005 (ADAMS Accession No. ML052690042). The NRC staff concluded that the BRP ISFSI Emergency Plan met the emergency planning requirements contained in 10 CFR part 72 for an ISFSI not located on the site of an operating nuclear power reactor, and thus provided for an acceptable level of emergency preparedness. Since this approval, BRP has not requested nor received substantive exemptions from emergency planning requirements.

Revision 4 of the BRP ISFSI Emergency Plan, dated September 9, 2008 (Reference 13), reflects the current conditions, where only the ISFSI and its related support systems, structures, and components remain.

With the EP Final Rule, several requirements in 10 CFR part 50 were modified or added, including changes in §§ 50.47, 50.54, and appendix E. The EP Final Rule codified certain voluntary protective measures contained in NRC Bulletin 2005-02, "Emergency Preparedness and Response Actions for Security-Based Events," and generically applicable requirements similar to those previously imposed by NRC Order EA-02-026, "Order for Interim Safeguards and Security Compensatory Measures," dated February 25, 2002.

In addition, the EP Final Rule amended other licensee emergency plan requirements to: (1) Enhance the ability of licensees in preparing for and in taking certain protective actions in the event of a radiological emergency; (2) address, in part, security issues identified after the terrorist events of September 11, 2001; (3) clarify regulations to effect consistent emergency plan implementation among licensees; and (4) modify certain EP requirements to be more effective and efficient. However, the EP Final Rule was only an enhancement to the NRC's regulations and was not necessary for adequate protection. On page 72563 of the Federal Register notice for the EP Final Rule, the Commission "determined that the existing regulatory structure ensures adequate protection of public health and safety and common defense and security."

3.0 Regulatory Evaluation

In the Final Rule for Storage of Spent Fuel in NRC-Approved Storage Casks at Power Reactor Sites (55 FR 29181; July 18, 1990), the NRC amended its regulations to provide for the storage of spent nuclear fuel under a general license on the site of any nuclear power reactor. In its Statement of Considerations (SOC) for the Final Rule (55 FR 29185), the Commission responded to comments related to emergency preparedness for spent fuel dry storage, stating, "The new 10 CFR 72.32(c) . . . states that, `For an ISFSI that is located on the site of a nuclear power reactor licensed for operation by the Commission, the emergency plan required by 10 CFR 50.47 shall be deemed to satisfy the requirements of this Section.' One condition of the general license is that the reactor licensee must review the reactor emergency plan and modify it as necessary to cover dry cask storage and related activities. If the emergency plan is in compliance with 10 CFR 50.47, then it is in compliance with the Commission's regulations with respect to dry cask storage."

Please read on a follow: https://scout.sunlightfoundation.com/item/regulation/2013-24302/nuclear-regulatory-commission-entergy-nuclear-operations-inc-big-rock-point-independent-spent-fuel-storage-installation