United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants: Regarding Palisades Nuclear Plant - Final Report (NUREG-1437, Supplement 27)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: October 2006
Date Published:
October 2006

Division of License Renewal
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

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Abstract

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) considered the environmental impacts of renewing nuclear power plant operating licenses (OLs) for a 20-year period in its Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants (GEIS), NUREG-1437, Volumes 1 and 2, and codified the results in Part 51 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR Part 51). In the GEIS (and its Addendum 1), the NRC staff identifies 92 environmental issues and reaches generic conclusions related to environmental impacts for 69 of these issues that apply to all plants or to plants with specific design or site characteristics. Additional plant-specific review is required for the remaining 23 issues. These plant-specific reviews are to be included in a supplement to the GEIS.

This Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) has been prepared in response to an application submitted to the NRC by the Nuclear Management Company, LLC (NMC), to renew the OL for Palisades Nuclear Plant (Palisades) for an additional 20 years under 10 CFR Part 54. This SEIS includes the NRC staff’s analysis that considers and weighs the environmental impacts of the proposed action, the environmental impacts of alternatives to the proposed action, and mitigation measures available for reducing or avoiding adverse impacts. It also includes the NRC staff's recommendation regarding the proposed action.

Regarding the 69 issues for which the GEIS reached generic conclusions, neither NMC nor the NRC staff has identified information that is both new and significant for any issue that applies to Palisades. In addition, the NRC staff determined that information provided during the scoping process did not call into question the conclusions in the GEIS. Therefore, the NRC staff concludes that the impacts of renewing the Palisades OL would not be greater than the impacts identified for these issues in the GEIS. For each of these issues, the NRC staff's conclusion in the GEIS is that the impact is of SMALL(a) significance (except for collective offsite radiological impacts from the fuel cycle and high-level waste and spent fuel, which were not assigned a single significance level).

Regarding the remaining 23 issues, those that apply to Palisades are addressed in this SEIS. For each applicable issue, the NRC staff concludes that the significance of the potential environmental impacts of renewal of the OL would be SMALL. The NRC staff determined that information provided during the public comment period did not identify any new issue with a significant environmental impact.

The NRC staff's recommendation is that the Commission determine that the adverse environmental impacts of license renewal for Palisades are not so great that preserving the option of license renewal for energy-planning decision makers would be unreasonable. This recommendation is based on (1) the analysis and findings in the GEIS; (2) the Environmental Report submitted by NMC; (3) consultation with Federal, State, and local agencies; (4) the NRC staff's own independent review; and (5) the NRC staff's consideration of public comments.

(a) Environmental effects are not detectable or are so minor that they will neither destabilize nor noticeably alter any important attribute of the resource.

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