Thursday, August 28, 2014

Commission approves publication of the Final Rule and Generic Environmental Impact Statement for Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel

Commission approves publication of the Final Rule and Generic Environmental Impact Statement for Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel


In a session this morning the Commission approved—subject to certain changes that the NRC staff must make—publication of the Final Rule: Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel, and it’s supporting document, NUREG 2157: Generic Environmental Impact Statement for Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel – Final Report.  The Commission’s instructions to staff, in the form of a Staff Requirements Memorandum, are available at No. ML14237A092).  Note that changes for the Continued Storage Rule and GEIS are in Attachment 5, which begins on page 82 of the PDF document.

The NRC staff will now make the changes directed by the Commission and will publish the Continued Storage final Rule and final Generic Environmental Impact Statement in September.  We will notify members of this e-mail list when publication of the final documents occurs. 
In a separate adjudicatory Order, CLI-14-8, the Commission lifted the suspension on final licensing decisions that was imposed in a 2012 decision, CLI-12-16, and authorized the NRC staff to issue final licensing decisions as appropriate once the Continued Storage final Rule becomes effective.  The Order also provided direction on the resolution of related contentions pending in several adjudications before the Commission and the Atomic Safety and Licensing Boards.  The Commission Order is available at

Staff of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Waste Confidence Directorate

NRC Approves Final Rule on Spent Fuel Storage and Ends Suspension of Final Licensing Actions for Nuclear Plants and Renewals

NRC Approves Final Rule on Spent Fuel Storage and Ends Suspension of Final Licensing Actions for Nuclear Plants and Renewals

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Tuesday approved a final rule on the environmental effects of continued storage of spent nuclear fuel and will lift its suspension of final licensing actions on nuclear power plant licenses and renewals once the rule becomes effective.
The Commission’s action signals the end of a two-year effort to satisfy a remand by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The court in June 2012 struck down the NRC’s 2010 revision of its “waste confidence” rule, directing the agency to consider the possibility that a geologic repository for permanent disposal of spent fuel might never be built, and to do further analysis of spent fuel pool leaks and fires. The Commission responded in August 2012 by suspending final licensing decisions on new reactors, reactor license renewals and spent fuel storage facility renewals. It subsequently directed the staff to develop a new rule and a supporting Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) within 24 months.

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Peach Bottom: Loss of Safety Function

That the loss of the ultimate hear sink (LOUHS) could simultaneously effect two units is a major concern.
Power ReactorEvent Number: 50395
Region: 1 State: PA
Unit: [2] [3] [ ]
RX Type: [2] GE-4,[3] GE-4
Notification Date: 08/23/2014
Notification Time: 20:19 [ET]
Event Date: 08/23/2014
Event Time: 13:00 [EDT]
Last Update Date: 08/23/2014
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
50.72(b)(3)(v)(A) - POT UNABLE TO SAFE SD
50.72(b)(3)(v)(B) - POT RHR INOP
UnitSCRAM CodeRX CRITInitial PWRInitial RX ModeCurrent PWRCurrent RX Mode
2NY100Power Operation100Power Operation
3NY100Power Operation100Power Operation

Event Text

"At 13:00 [EDT] on Saturday, August 23, 2014, both trains of the Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station (PBAPS) Emergency Service Water (ESW) System were declared inoperable on Unit 2 and Unit 3, due to a pin-hole, through wall piping leak. In accordance with 10CFR 50.72(b)(3)(v), this event is being reported as an event or condition that could have prevented the fulfillment of the safety function of systems that are needed to shut down the reactor and maintain it in a safe shutdown condition, remove residual heat and mitigate the consequences of an accident.

"At 19:22 [EDT], the station received verbal approval of a Notice of Enforcement Discretion (NOED) request. Simultaneously, the station is preparing an evaluation to support an emergent-relief request. 

NRC schedules meeting to discuss performance deficiencies at PPL's nuclear power plant

Susquehanna Steam Electric Station Unit 2 - Notice of Public Meeting on September 3, 2014

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Pilgrim is Marginal

Anti-nukers, congressmen fret over Entergy finances, requested subsidies

Recorder Staff
Monday, August 25, 2014
(Published in print: Tuesday, August 26, 2014)

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently reopened a year-old petition from anti-nuclear groups concerned about Entergy Corp.’s financial ability to safely operate its nuclear plants, including Vermont Yankee.

The original petition, filed before Entergy announced plans to shut the 620-megawatt Vernon, Vt., reactor at the end of 2014 for economic reasons, had called for NRC staff to seek detailed financial information from Entergy Corp., but after the company balked, arguing such scrutiny was beyond NRC’s purview, the commissioners backed down.

After a letter last November from Congressmen Edward Markey, D-Mass., and Bernie Sanders of Vermont to the NRC the agency has again sought financial information from Entergy.

The congressmen said “financial distress and the failure to maintain sufficient operating funds would be expected to signal the potential for future degradations in safety brought about by a licensee’s need to conserve funding.”

Meanwhile, Entergy last month reported a 55 percent decline in second-quarter earnings compared to the corresponding period last year, forcing it to eliminate 800 jobs nationwide.

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Routine Releases of Radioactive Materials for U.S. Nuclear Power Plants, (UCS, 8/14)

Routine Releases of Radioactive Materials from U.S. Nuclear Plants
Dave Lochbaum
Union of Concerned Scientists
August 2014
Revision 0

The idea for this material came during a November 2013 workshop on radiation monitoring conducted by the Bellefonte Efficiency & Sustainability Team (BEST) and the Mothers Against Tennessee River Radiation (MATRR) in Chattanooga, TN (check out
Thanks to Garry Morgan and Gretel Johnston of BEST/MATRR for reviewing drafts and providing very helpful feedback.

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Monday, August 18, 2014

UCS presentation to NRC on Fukushima lessons status

Good Day:

I made the attached presentation during an NRC Commission briefing on Fukushima lessons learned and status this morning. The chair and co-chair of the NAS committee that authored the report issued last week also made presentations, which are or soon will be archived (somewhere) on the NRC's website.

Dave Lochbaum

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