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E-M:/ Exemption at Palisades Nuclear Plant
- Subject: E-M:/ Exemption at Palisades Nuclear Plant
- From: "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <email@example.com>
- Date: Tue, 03 Oct 2006 21:40:46 -0400
- Delivered-to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Delivered-to: email@example.com
- List-name: Enviro-Mich
- Reply-to: "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <email@example.com>
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission publishes an
exemption from requirements concerning emergency
core cooling systems at the Palisades Nuclear Plant involving
the use of an alternate material for nuclear fuel rod
[Federal Register: October 3, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 191)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
[Docket No. 50-255]
Nuclear Management Company, LLC; Palisades Plant; Environmental
Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering
issuance of an exemption from Title 10 of the Code of Federal
Regulations (10 CFR) Part 50, Section 50.46, and Appendix K to 10 CFR
Part 50 for Facility Operating License No. DPR-20, issued to Nuclear
Management Company, LLC (the licensee), for operation of the Palisades
Nuclear Plant (Palisades), located in VanBuren County, Michigan.
Therefore, as required by 10 CFR 51.21, the NRC is issuing this
environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact.
Identification of the Proposed Action
The proposed action would provide an exemption from the
requirements of: (1) 10 CFR 50.46, ``Acceptance criteria for emergency
core cooling systems for light-water nuclear power reactors,'' which
requires that the calculated emergency core cooling system (ECCS)
performance for reactors with zircaloy or ZIRLO fuel cladding meet
certain criteria, and (2) 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix K, ``ECCS Evaluation
Models,'' which presumes the use of zircaloy or ZIRLO fuel cladding
when doing calculations for energy release, cladding oxidation, and
hydrogen generation after a postulated loss-of-coolant accident.
The proposed action would allow the licensee to use the M5 advanced
alloy in lieu of zircaloy or ZIRLO for fuel rod cladding in fuel
assemblies at Palisades.
The proposed action is in accordance with the licensee's
application dated October 4, 2005, as supplemented by letter dated June
The Need for the Proposed Action
The Commission's regulations in 10 CFR 50.46 and 10 CFR Part 50,
Appendix K, require the demonstration of adequate ECCS performance for
light-water reactors that contain fuel consisting of uranium oxide
pellets enclosed in zircaloy or ZIRLO tubes. Each of these regulations,
either implicitly or explicitly, assumes that either zircaloy or ZIRLO
is used as the fuel rod cladding material.
In order to accommodate the high fuel-rod burnups that are
necessary for modern fuel management and core designs, Framatome ANP
developed the M5 advanced fuel rod cladding material. M5 is an alloy
comprised primarily of zirconium (~99 percent) and niobium (~1 percent)
that has demonstrated superior corrosion resistance and reduced
irradiation-induced growth relative to both standard and low-tin
zircaloy. However, since the chemical composition of the M5 advanced
alloy differs from the specifications of either zircaloy or ZIRLO, use
of the M5 advanced alloy falls outside of the strict interpretation of
NRC regulations. Therefore, approval of this exemption request is
needed to permit the use of the M5 advanced alloy as a fuel rod
cladding material at Palisades.
Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action
The NRC staff has completed its evaluation of the proposed action
and concludes that use of M5 clad fuel would not result in changes in
the operations or configuration of the facility. There would be no
change in the level of controls or methodology used for processing
radioactive effluents or handling solid radioactive waste.
The proposed action will not significantly increase the probability
or consequences of accidents. No changes are being made in the types of
effluents that may be released off site. There is no significant
increase in the amount of any effluent released off site. There is no
significant increase in occupational or public radiation exposure.
Therefore, there are no significant radiological
environmental impacts associated with the proposed action.
With regard to potential non-radiological impacts, the proposed
action does not have a potential to affect any historic sites. It does
not affect non-radiological plant effluents and has no other
environmental impact. Therefore, there are no significant non-
radiological environmental impacts associated with the proposed action.
Accordingly, the NRC concludes that there are no significant
environmental impacts associated with the proposed action.
Environmental Impacts of the Alternatives to the Proposed Action
As an alternative to the proposed action, the staff considered
denial of the proposed action (i.e., the ``no-action'' alternative).
Denial of the application 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
The action does not involve the use of any different resources than
those previously considered in the Final Addendum to the Final
Environmental Statement Related to Operation of the Palisades Nuclear
Plant, dated February 1978.
Agencies and Persons Consulted
In accordance with its stated policy, on September 11, 2006, the
staff consulted with the Michigan State official, Mary Ann Elzerman of
the Department of Environmental Quality, 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
For further details with respect to the proposed action, see the
licensee's letter dated October 4, 2005, as supplemented by letter
dated June 14, 2006. Documents 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 O1 F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first
floor), Rockville, Maryland. Publicly available records will be
accessible electronically from the Agencywide Documents Access and
Management System (ADAMS) Public Electronic Reading Room on the Internet
at the NRC Web site, <A HREF="http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html">http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html</A>.
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 <A HREF="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</A>.
Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 26th day of September 2006.
For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
L. Mark Padovan,
Project Manager, Plant Licensing Branch III-1, Division of Operating
Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
[FR Doc. E6-16260 Filed 10-2-06; 8:45 am]
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