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E-M:/ Detroit Edison wants to escape monitoring requirement at Fermi 2

Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>

Detroit Edison does want to install "accidental criticality"
detectors in all nuclear fuel handling areas.


[Federal Register: May 28, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 102)]
[Page 29256-29257]
>From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



[Docket No. 50-341]

Detroit Edison Company; FERMI 2 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 its 
regulations to Facility Operating License No. NPF-43, issued to Detroit 
Edison Company (the licensee), for operation of the Fermi 2 plant, 
located in Monroe County, Michigan.

Environmental Assessment

Identification of the Proposed Action

    The proposed action would exempt the licensee, in certain cases, 
from the requirements of 10 CFR 70.24(a), which, in part, requires a 
monitoring system in each area in which special nuclear material is 
handled, used, or stored, that will energize clear audible alarms if 
accidental criticality occurs.
    The proposed action is in accordance with the licensee's 
application for exemption dated April 27, 1998.

The Need for the Proposed Action

    The purpose of 10 CFR 70.24 is to ensure that if a criticality were 
to occur during the handling of special nuclear material, personnel 
would be alerted to that fact and would take appropriate action. At a 
commercial nuclear power plant, the inadvertent criticality with which 
10 CFR 70.24 is concerned could occur during fuel handling operations. 
The special nuclear material that could be assembled into a critical 
mass at a commercial nuclear power plant is in the form of nuclear 
fuel; the quantity of other forms of special nuclear material that is 
stored onsite in any given location (e.g., calibration sources or in-

[[Page 29257]]

core instrumentation that is not in use) is small enough to preclude 
achieving a critical mass. Because the fuel is not enriched beyond 5.0 
weight percent uranium-235, and because commercial nuclear plant 
licensees have procedures and features that are designed to prevent 
inadvertent criticality, the staff has determined that it is unlikely 
that an inadvertent criticality could occur due to the handling of 
special nuclear material at a commercial power reactor. Therefore, an 
exemption from the requirements of 10 CFR 70.24 in selected cases will 
not have a negative impact on the safety of personnel during the 
handling of special nuclear materials at commercial power reactors.

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    The Commission has completed its evaluation of the proposed action 
and concludes that inadvertent or accidental criticality will be 
precluded through compliance with the Fermi 2 Technical Specifications, 
the design of the fuel storage racks providing geometric spacing of 
fuel assemblies in their storage locations, and administrative controls 
imposed on fuel handling procedures.
    The proposed exemption will not result in an increase in the 
probability or consequences of accidents, affect radiological plant 
effluents or offsite dose, or cause any significant occupational 
exposures. Therefore, there are no radiological impacts associated with 
the proposed exemption.
    The proposed exemption will not result in a change in 
nonradiological effluents and will have no other nonradiological 
environmental impact.
    Accordingly, the Commission concludes that there are no significant 
environmental impacts associated with the proposed action.

Alternatives to the Proposed Action

    Since the Commission has concluded that there is no significant 
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 exemption, the staff 
considered denial of the requested exemption. Denial of the request 
would result in no change in current environmental impacts. The 
environmental impacts of the proposed action and the alternative action 
are similar.

Alternative Use of Resources

    This action does not involve the use of any resources not 
previously considered in the Final Environmental Statement related to 
the operation of Fermi 2 dated August 1981.

Agencies and Persons Consulted

    In accordance with its stated policy, on May 7, 1998, the staff 
consulted with the Michigan State official, Dennis Hahn, of the 
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, regarding the 
environmental impact of the proposed action. The State official had no 

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 
proposed action.
    For further details with respect to the proposed action, see the 
licensee's letter dated April 27, 1998, which is available for public 
inspection at the Commission's Public Document Room located at the 
Gelman Building, 2120 L Street, NW., Washington, DC, and at the local 
public document room located at the Monroe County Library System, 3700 
South Custer Road, Monroe, Michigan 48161.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 20th day of May 1998.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Andrew J. Kugler,
Project Manager, Project Directorate III-1, Division of Reactor 
Projects III/IV, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. 98-14102 Filed 5-27-98; 8:45 am]

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