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E-M:/ NRC alters security procedures at Palisades Nuclear Plant
- Subject: E-M:/ NRC alters security procedures at Palisades Nuclear Plant
- From: email@example.com
- Date: Mon, 28 Apr 1997 13:40:49 -0400 (EDT)
[Federal Register: April 28, 1997 (Volume 62, Number 81)]
>From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
[Docket No. 50-255]
Consumers Power Company; Palisades Plant; Environmental
Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (the Commission) is
considering issuance of an exemption from certain requirements of 10
CFR 73.55 for Facility Operating License No. DPR-20, issued to
Consumers Power Company, (the licensee), for operation of the Palisades
Plant located in Van Buren County, Michigan.
Identification of the Proposed Action
The proposed action would exempt the licensee from certain
requirements of 10 CFR 73.55, ``Requirements for physical protection of
licensed activities in nuclear power reactors against radiological
sabotage.'' The proposed action would allow implementation of a hand
geometry biometric system of site access control such that photograph
identification badges can be taken off site.
This environmental assessment has been prepared to address
potential environmental issues related to the licensee's application of
April 4, 1996.
The Need for the Proposed Action
Pursuant to 10 CFR 73.55, paragraph (a), The licensee shall
establish and maintain an onsite physical protection system and
Paragraph (1) of 10 CFR 73.55(d), ``Access Requirements,''
specifies that ``licensee shall control all points of personnel and
vehicle access into a protected area.'' It is specified in 10 CFR
73.55(d)(5) that ``A numbered picture badge identification system shall
be used for all individuals who are authorized access to protected
without escort.'' It also states that an individual not employed by the
licensee (i.e., contractors) may be authorized access to protected
areas without escort provided the individual ``receives a picture badge
upon entrance into the protected area which must be returned upon exit
from the protected area. * * *''
Currently, unescorted access into the protected areas of the
Palisades Nuclear Plant is controlled through the use of a photograph
on a combination badge and keycard (hereafter, referred to as badges).
The security officers at the entrance station use the photograph on the
badge to visually identify the individual requesting access. The badges
for both licensee employees and contractor personnel who have been
granted unescorted access are issued upon entrance at the entrance/exit
location and are returned upon exit. The badges are stored and
retrievable at the entrance/exit location. In accordance with 10 CFR
73.55(d)(5), contractor individuals are not allowed to take badges off
site. In accordance with the plant's physical security plans, neither
licensee employees nor contractors are allowed to take badges off site.
The licensee proposes to implement an alternative unescorted access
control system that would eliminate the need to issue and retrieve
badges at the entrance/exit location and would allow all individuals
with unescorted access to keep their badges with them when departing
An exemption from certain requirements of 10 CFR 73.55(d)(5) is
required to permit contractors to take their badges off site instead of
returning them when exiting the site.
Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action
The Commission has completed its evaluation of the proposed action
and concludes that the proposed exemption would not increase the
probability or consequences of accidents previously analyzed and the
proposed exemption would not affect facility radiation levels or
facility radiological effluents. Under the proposed system, each
individual who is authorized for unescorted entry into protected areas
would have the physical characteristics of his/her hand (hand geometry)
registered with his/her badge number in the access control system. When
an individual enters the badge into the card reader and places the hand
on the measuring surface, the system would record the individual's hand
image. The unique characteristics of the extracted hand image would be
compared with the previously stored template to verify authorization
for entry. Individuals, including licensee employees and contractors,
would be allowed to keep their badges with them when they depart the
The licensee stated that the hand geometry equipment selected for
use will meet the detection probability of 90 percent with a 95-percent
confidence level in accordance with Regulatory Guide 5.44, ``Perimeter
Intrusion Alarm Systems.'' This detection probability indicates that
the false acceptance rate of the proposed hand geometry system will be
comparable to that of the current system. Based on a Sandia report
entitled ``A Performance Evaluation of Biometric Identification
Devices'' (SAND91--0276 UC--906 Unlimited Release, printed June 1991),
and on its experience with the current photo-identification system, the
licensee stated that the use of the badges with the hand geometry
system would enhance the overall effectiveness of the security program.
Since both the badge and hand geometry would be necessary for access
into the protected area, the proposed system would provide for a
positive verification process. Potential loss of a badge by an
individual, as a result of taking the badge off site, would not enable
an unauthorized entry into protected areas. The licensee will implement
a process for testing the proposed system to ensure continued overall
level of performance equivalent to that specified in the regulation.
The Physical Security Plan for Palisades will be revised to include
implementation and testing of the hand geometry access control system
and to allow licensee employees and contractors to take their badges
All other access processes, including search function capability
and access revocation, will remain the same. A security officer
responsible for access control will continue to be positioned within a
bullet-resistant structure. A numbered picture badge identification
system will continue to be used for all individuals who are authorized
access to protected areas without escorts. Badges will continue to be
displayed by all individuals while inside the protected area. The
proposed system is only for individuals with authorized unescorted
access and will not be used for individuals requiring escorts.
The change will not increase the probability or consequences of
accidents, no changes are being made in the types or amounts of any
effluents that may be released off site, and there is no significant
increase in the allowable individual or cumulative occupational
radiation exposure. Accordingly, the Commission concludes that there
are no significant radiological environmental impacts associated with
the proposed action.
With regard to potential nonradiological impacts, the proposed
action involves features located entirely within the restricted area as
defined in 10 CFR Part 20. It does not affect nonradiological plant
effluents and has no other environmental impact. Accordingly, the
Commission concludes that there are no significant nonradiological
environmental impacts associated with the proposed action.
Alternatives to the Proposed Action
Since the Commission has concluded there is no measurable
environmental impact associated with the proposed action, any
alternatives with equal or greater environmental impact need not be
evaluated. As an alternative to the proposed action, the NRC staff
considered denial of the proposed action. Denial of the application
would result in no change in current environmental impacts. The
environmental impacts of the proposed action and the alternative action
Alternative Use of Resources
This action does not involve the use of any resources not
previously considered in the Final Environmental Statement for
Palisades dated June 1972.
Agencies and Persons Consulted
In accordance with its stated policy, on March 28, 1997, the NRC
staff consulted with the Michigan State official, Dennis Hahn, of the
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Drinking Water and
Radiological Protection Division, regarding the environmental impact of
the proposed action. The State official had no comments.
Finding of No Significant Impact
Based upon the environmental assessment, the Commission concludes
that the proposed action will not have a significant effect on the
quality of the human environment. Accordingly, the Commission has
determined not to prepare an environmental impact statement for the
For further details with respect to the proposed action, see the
licensee's letter dated April 4, 1996, which is available for public
inspection at the Commission's Public Document Room, The Gelman
Building, 2120 L Street, NW., Washington, DC, and at the local public
document room located at the Van Wylen Library, Hope College, Holland,
Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 9th day of April 1997.
For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission .
Robert G. Schaaf,
Project Manager, Project Directorate III-1, Division of Reactor
Projects--III/IV, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 97-10864 Filed 4-25-97; 8:45 am]
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