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    NRC Rule: List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks


    August 8, 2022 - Targeted News Service

     

      WASHINGTON, Aug. 7 -- The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued a rule (10 CFR Part 72), published in the Federal Register on July 26, 2022, entitled "List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: Holtec International HI-STORM Flood/Wind Multipurpose Canister Storage System, Certificate of Compliance No. 1032, Amendment No. 8."

      The rule was issued by Executive Director for Operations Daniel H. Dorman.

      DATES: This direct final rule is effective October 11, 2022, unless significant adverse comments are received by August 25, 2022. If this direct final rule is withdrawn as a result of such comments, timely notice of the withdrawal will be published in the Federal Register . Comments received after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the NRC is able to ensure consideration only for comments received on or before this date. Comments received on this direct final rule will also be considered to be comments on a companion proposed rule published in the Proposed Rules section of this issue of the Federal Register .

      FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: William Allen, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards; telephone: 301-415-6877; email: William.Allen@nrc.gov or Andrew G. Carrera, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards; telephone: 301-415-1078; email: Andrew.Carrera@nrc.gov. Both are staff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

      * * *

      The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is amending its spent fuel storage regulations by revising the Holtec International HI-STORM Flood/Wind Multipurpose Canister Storage System listing within the "List of approved spent fuel storage casks" to include Amendment No. 8 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1032. Amendment No. 8 revises the description in the certificate of compliance for the Holtec International HI-STORM Flood/Wind system to clearly indicate that only the portions of the components that contact the pool water need to be made of stainless steel or aluminum. Amendment No. 8 also incorporates other minor editorial corrections.

      SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

      Table of Contents

      I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments

      II. Rulemaking Procedure

      III. Background

      IV. Discussion of Changes

      V. Voluntary Consensus Standards

      VI. Agreement State Compatibility

      VII. Plain Writing

      VIII. Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact

      IX. Paperwork Reduction Act Statement

      X. Regulatory Flexibility Certification

      XI. Regulatory Analysis

      XII. Backfitting and Issue Finality

      XIII. Congressional Review Act

      XIV. Availability of Documents

      I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments

      A. Obtaining Information

      Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2022-0105 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publicly available information related to this action by any of the following methods:

      - Federal Rulemaking Website: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2022-0105. Address questions about NRC dockets to Dawn Forder, telephone: 301-415-3407, email: Dawn.Forder@nrc.gov. For technical questions contact the individuals 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 https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, 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 PDR.Resource@nrc.gov. For the convenience of the reader, instructions about obtaining materials referenced in this document are provided in the "Availability of Documents" section.

      - NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents, by appointment, at the NRC's PDR, Room P1 B35, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Maryland 20852. To make an appointment to visit the PDR, please send an email to PDR.Resource@nrc.gov or call 1-800-397-4209 or 301-415-4737, between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (ET), Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

      B. Submitting Comments

      Please include Docket ID NRC-2022-0105 in your comment submission. The NRC requests that you submit comments through the Federal rulemaking website at https://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using https://www.regulations.gov, call or email the individuals listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions.

      The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your comment submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at https://www.regulations.gov as well as enter the comment submissions into ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove identifying or contact information.

      If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove such information before making the comment submissions available to the public or entering the comment into ADAMS.

      II. Rulemaking Procedure

      This rule is limited to the changes contained in Amendment No. 8 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1032 and does not include other aspects of the Holtec International HI-STORM Flood/Wind Multipurpose Canister Storage System (Holtec International HI-STORM FW) cask design. The NRC is using the "direct final rule procedure" to issue this amendment because it represents a limited and routine change to an existing certificate of compliance that is expected to be non-controversial. The NRC has determined that, with the requested changes, adequate protection of public health and safety will continue to be reasonably assured. The amendment to the rule will become effective on October 11, 2022. However, if the NRC receives any significant adverse comments on this direct final rule by August 25, 2022, then the NRC will publish a document that withdraws this action and will subsequently address the comments received in a final rule as a response to the companion proposed rule published in the Proposed Rules section of this issue of the Federal Register . Absent significant modifications to the proposed revisions requiring republication, the NRC will not initiate a second comment period on this action.

      A significant adverse comment is a comment where the commenter explains why the rule would be inappropriate, including challenges to the rule's underlying premise or approach, or would be ineffective or unacceptable without a change. A comment is adverse and significant if:

      (1) The comment opposes the rule and provides a reason sufficient to require a substantive response in a notice-and-comment process. For example, a substantive response is required when:

      (a) The comment causes the NRC to reevaluate (or reconsider) its position or conduct additional analysis;

      (b) The comment raises an issue serious enough to warrant a substantive response to clarify or complete the record; or

      (c) The comment raises a relevant issue that was not previously addressed or considered by the NRC.

      (2) The comment proposes a change or an addition to the rule, and it is apparent that the rule would be ineffective or unacceptable without incorporation of the change or addition.

      (3) The comment causes the NRC to make a change (other than editorial) to the rule, certificate of compliance, or technical specifications.

      III. Background

      Section 218(a) of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended, requires that "[t]he Secretary [of the Department of Energy] shall establish a demonstration program, in cooperation with the private sector, for the dry storage of spent nuclear fuel at civilian nuclear power reactor sites, with the objective of establishing one or more technologies that the [Nuclear Regulatory] Commission may, by rule, approve for use at the sites of civilian nuclear power reactors without, to the maximum extent practicable, the need for additional site-specific approvals by the Commission." Section 133 of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act states, in part, that "[t]he Commission shall, by rule, establish procedures for the licensing of any technology approved by the Commission under Section 219(a) [sic: 218(a)] for use at the site of any civilian nuclear power reactor."

      To implement this mandate, the Commission approved dry storage of spent nuclear fuel in NRC-approved casks under a general license by publishing a final rule that added a new subpart K in part 72 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) entitled "General License for Storage of Spent Fuel at Power Reactor Sites" (55 FR 29181; July 18, 1990). This rule also established a new subpart L in 10 CFR part 72 entitled "Approval of Spent Fuel Storage Casks," which contains procedures and criteria for obtaining NRC approval of spent fuel storage cask designs. The NRC subsequently issued a final rule on March 28, 2011 (76 FR 17019), that approved the Holtec International HI-STORM FW System design and added it to the list of NRC-approved cask designs in Section 72.214, "List of approved spent fuel storage casks," as Certificate of Compliance No. 1032.

      IV. Discussion of Changes

      On July 30, 2021, Holtec International (the applicant) submitted an application to amend the HI-STORM FW System. The amendment includes the following changes:

      Update the HI-STORM FW System description in the certificate of compliance to clearly indicate that only the portions of the components that contact the pool water need to be made of stainless steel or aluminum; and

      Incorporate other minor editorial corrections.

      As documented in the preliminary safety evaluation report, the NRC performed a safety review of the proposed certificate of compliance amendment request. The NRC determined that this amendment does not reflect a significant change in design or fabrication of the cask. Specifically, the NRC determined that the design of the cask would continue to maintain confinement, shielding, and criticality control in the event of each evaluated accident condition. In addition, any resulting occupational exposure or offsite dose rates from the implementation of Amendment No. 8 would remain well within the limits specified by 10 CFR part 20, "Standards for Protection Against Radiation." Therefore, the NRC found there will be no significant change in the types or amounts of any effluent released, no significant increase in the individual or cumulative radiation exposure, and no significant increase in the potential for or consequences from radiological accidents.

      The NRC determined that the amended Holtec International HI-STORM FW System cask design, when used under the conditions specified in the certificate of compliance, the technical specifications, and the NRC's regulations, will meet the requirements of 10 CFR part 72; therefore, adequate protection of public health and safety will continue to be reasonably assured. When this direct final rule becomes effective, persons who hold a general license under Section 72.210 may, consistent with the license conditions under Section 72.212, load spent nuclear fuel into Holtec International HI-STORM FW System casks that meet the criteria of Amendment No. 8 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1032.

      V. Voluntary Consensus Standards

      The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-113) requires that Federal agencies use technical standards that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies unless the use of such a standard is inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. In this direct final rule, the NRC revises the Holtec International HI-STORM FW System cask design listed in Section 72.214. This action does not constitute the establishment of a standard that contains generally applicable requirements.

      VI. Agreement State Compatibility

      Under the "Agreement State Program Policy Statement" approved by the Commission on October 2, 2017, and published in the Federal Register on October 18, 2017 (82 FR 48535), this rule is classified as Compatibility Category NRC--Areas of Exclusive NRC Regulatory Authority. The NRC program elements in this category are those that relate directly to areas of regulation reserved to the NRC by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, or the provisions of 10 CFR chapter I. Therefore, compatibility is not required for program elements in this category. Although an Agreement State may not adopt program elements reserved to the NRC, and the Category "NRC" does not confer regulatory authority on the State, the State may wish to inform its licensees of certain requirements by means consistent with the particular State's administrative procedure laws.

      VII. Plain Writing

      The Plain Writing Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-274) requires Federal agencies to write documents in a clear, concise, and well-organized manner. The NRC wrote this document to be consistent with the Plain Writing Act as well as the Presidential Memorandum, "Plain Language in Government Writing," published June 10, 1998 (63 FR 31885).

      VIII. Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact

      Under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, and the NRC's regulations in 10 CFR part 51, "Environmental Protection Regulations for Domestic Licensing and Related Regulatory Functions," the NRC has determined that this direct final rule, if adopted, would not be a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment and, therefore, an environmental impact statement is not required. The NRC has made a finding of no significant impact on the basis of this environmental assessment.

      A. The Action

      The action is to amend Section 72.214 to revise the Holtec International HI-STORM FW System listing within the "List of approved spent fuel storage casks" to include Amendment No. 8 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1032.

      B. The Need for the Action

      This direct final rule amends the certificate of compliance for the Holtec International HI-STORM FW System within the list of approved spent fuel storage casks to allow power reactor licensees to store spent fuel at reactor sites in casks with the approved modifications under a general license. Specifically, Amendment No. 8 revises the certificate of compliance as described in Section IV, "Discussion of Changes," of this document, for the use of the Holtec International HI-STORM FW System.

      C. Environmental Impacts of the Action

      On July 18,1990 (55 FR 29181), the NRC issued an amendment to 10 CFR part 72 to provide for the storage of spent fuel under a general license in cask designs approved by the NRC. The potential environmental impact of using NRC-approved storage casks was analyzed in the environmental assessment for the 1990 final rule. The environmental assessment for this Amendment No. 8 tiers off of the environmental assessment for the July 18, 1990, final rule. Tiering off past environmental assessments is a standard process under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended.

      The Holtec International HI-STORM FW System is designed to mitigate the effects of design basis accidents that could occur during storage. Design basis accidents account for human-induced events and the most severe natural phenomena reported for the site and surrounding area. Postulated accidents analyzed for an independent spent fuel storage installation, the type of facility at which a holder of a power reactor operating license would store spent fuel in casks in accordance with 10 CFR part 72, can include tornado winds and tornado-generated missiles, a design basis earthquake, a design basis flood, an accidental cask drop, lightning effects, fire, explosions, and other incidents.

      This amendment does not reflect a significant change in design or fabrication of the cask. Because there are no significant design or process changes, any resulting occupational exposure or offsite dose rates from the implementation of Amendment No. 8 would remain well within the 10 CFR part 20 limits. The NRC has also determined that the design of the cask as modified by this rule would still maintain confinement, shielding, and criticality control in the event of an accident. Therefore, the proposed changes will not result in any radiological or non-radiological environmental impacts that significantly differ from the environmental impacts evaluated in the environmental assessment supporting the July 18, 1990, final rule. There will be no significant change in the types or the amounts of any effluent released, no significant increase in the individual or cumulative radiation exposures, and no significant increase in the potential for, or consequences from, radiological accidents. The NRC documented its safety findings in the preliminary safety evaluation report.

      D. Alternative to the Action

      The alternative to this action is to deny approval of Amendment No. 8 and not issue the direct final rule. Consequently, any 10 CFR part 72 general licensee that seeks to load spent nuclear fuel into the Holtec International HI-STORM FW System in accordance with the changes described in proposed Amendment No. 8 would have to request an exemption from the requirements of Sections 72.212 and 72.214. Under this alternative, interested licensees would have to prepare, and the NRC would have to review, a separate exemption request, thereby increasing the administrative burden upon the NRC and the costs to each licensee. The environmental impacts would be the same as the proposed action.

      E. Alternative Use of Resources

      Approval of Amendment No. 8 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1032 would result in no irreversible commitment of resources.

      F. Agencies and Persons Contacted

      No agencies or persons outside the NRC were contacted in connection with the preparation of this environmental assessment.

      G. Finding of No Significant Impact

      The environmental impacts of the action have been reviewed under the requirements in the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, and the NRC's regulations in subpart A of 10 CFR part 51, "Environmental Protection Regulations for Domestic Licensing and Related Regulatory Functions." Based on the foregoing environmental assessment, the NRC concludes that this direct final rule, "List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: Holtec International HI-STORM Flood/Wind Multipurpose Canister Storage System, Certificate of Compliance No. 1032, Amendment No. 8," will not have a significant effect on the human environment. Therefore, the NRC has determined that an environmental impact statement is not necessary for this direct final rule.

      IX. Paperwork Reduction Act Statement

      This direct final rule does not contain any new or amended collections of information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Existing collections of information were approved by the Office of Management and Budget, approval number 3150-0132.

      Public Protection Notification

      The NRC may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a request for information or an information collection requirement unless the requesting document displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget control number.

      X. Regulatory Flexibility Certification

      Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), the NRC certifies that this direct final rule will not, if issued, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This direct final rule affects only nuclear power plant licensees and Holtec International. These entities do not fall within the scope of the definition of small entities set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility Act or the size standards established by the NRC ( Section 2.810).

      XI. Regulatory Analysis

      On July 18, 1990 (55 FR 29181), the NRC issued an amendment to 10 CFR part 72 to provide for the storage of spent nuclear fuel under a general license in cask designs approved by the NRC. Any nuclear power reactor licensee can use NRC-approved cask designs to store spent nuclear fuel if (1) it notifies the NRC in advance; (2) the spent fuel is stored under the conditions specified in the cask's certificate of compliance; and (3) the conditions of the general license are met. A list of NRC-approved cask designs is contained in Section 72.214. On March 28, 2011 (76 FR 17019), the NRC issued an amendment to 10 CFR part 72 that approved the Holtec International HI-STORM FW System design by adding it to the list of NRC-approved cask designs in Section 72.214. On July 30, 2021, Holtec International submitted a request to amend the Holtec International HI-STORM FW System as described in Section IV, "Discussion of Changes," of this document.

      The alternative to this action is to withhold approval of Amendment No. 8 and to require any 10 CFR part 72 general licensee seeking to load spent nuclear fuel into Holtec International HI-STORM FW System under the changes described in Amendment No. 8 to request an exemption from the requirements of Sections 72.212 and 72.214. Under this alternative, each interested 10 CFR part 72 licensee would have to prepare, and the NRC would have to review, a separate exemption request, thereby increasing the administrative burden upon the NRC and the costs to each licensee.

      Approval of this direct final rule is consistent with previous NRC actions. Further, as documented in the preliminary safety evaluation report and environmental assessment, this direct final rule will have no adverse effect on public health and safety or the environment. This direct final rule has no significant identifiable impact or benefit on other government agencies. Based on this regulatory analysis, the NRC concludes that the requirements of this direct final rule are commensurate with the NRC's responsibilities for public health and safety and the common defense and security. No other available alternative is believed to be as satisfactory; therefore, this action is recommended.

      XII. Backfitting and Issue Finality

      The NRC has determined that the backfit rule ( Section 72.62) does not apply to this direct final rule. Therefore, a backfit analysis is not required. This direct final rule revises Certificate of Compliance No. 1032 for the Holtec International HI-STORM FW System, as currently listed in Section 72.214. The revision consists of the changes in Amendment No. 8 previously described, as set forth in the revised certificate of compliance and technical specifications.

      Amendment No. 8 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1032 for the Holtec International HI-STORM FW System was initiated by Holtec International and was not submitted in response to new NRC requirements, or an NRC request for amendment. Amendment No. 8 applies only to new casks fabricated and used under Amendment No. 8. These changes do not affect existing users of the Holtec International HI-STORM FW System, and the current Amendment No. 5 continues to be effective for existing users. Amendment Nos. 6 and 7 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1032 have not been issued. While current users of this storage system may comply with the new requirements in Amendment No. 8, this would be a voluntary decision on the part of current users.

      For these reasons, Amendment No. 8 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1032 does not constitute backfitting under Section 72.62 or Section 50.109(a)(1), or otherwise represent an inconsistency with the issue finality provisions applicable to combined licenses in 10 CFR part 52. Accordingly, the NRC has not prepared a backfit analysis for this rulemaking.

      XIII. Congressional Review Act

      This direct final rule is not a rule as defined in the Congressional Review Act.

      XIV. Availability of Documents

      The documents identified in the following table are available to interested persons, as indicated.

      View table here: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2022/07/26/2022-15939/list-of-approved-spent-fuel-storage-casks-holtec-international-hi-storm-floodwind-multipurpose

      The NRC may post materials related to this document, including public comments, on the Federal rulemaking website at https://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID NRC-2022-0105. In addition, the Federal rulemaking website allows members of the public to receive alerts when changes or additions occur in a docket folder. To subscribe: (1) navigate to the docket folder (NRC-2022-0105); (2) click the "Subscribe" link; and (3) enter an email address and click on the "Subscribe" link.

      List of Subjects in 10 CFR Part 72

      * Administrative practice and procedure

      * Hazardous waste

      * Indians

      * Intergovernmental relations

      * Nuclear energy

      * Penalties

      * Radiation protection

      * Reporting and recordkeeping requirements

      * Security measures

      * Spent fuel

      * Whistleblowing

      Dated: July 13, 2022.

      For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

      Daniel H. Dorman,

      Executive Director for Operations.

      [FR Doc. 2022-15939 Filed 7-25-22; 8:45 am]

      BILLING CODE 7590-01-P

      The document was published in the Federal Register: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2022/07/26/2022-15939/list-of-approved-spent-fuel-storage-casks-holtec-international-hi-storm-floodwind-multipurpose

      TARGETED NEWS SERVICE (founded 2004) features non-partisan 'edited journalism' news briefs and information for news organizations, public policy groups and individuals; as well as 'gathered' public policy information, including news releases, reports, speeches. For more information contact MYRON STRUCK, editor, editor@targetednews.com, Springfield, Virginia; 703/304-1897; https://targetednews.com

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