Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed GE-Hitachi Global Laser Enrichment, LLC Facility in Wilmington, North Carolina – Final Report (NUREG-1938, Volume 1)
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Manuscript Completed: February 2012
Date Published: February 2012
Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental Management Programs
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation
Washington, DC 20555-0001
On January 30, 2009, General Electric (GE)-Hitachi Global Laser Enrichment LLC (GLE) submitted an environmental report to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for a license to construct and operate the GLE Global Laser Enrichment Facility. GLE submitted the remainder of the license application on June 26, 2009. The proposed GLE Facility would be located in the North-Central Sector of the existing GE property near Wilmington, North Carolina. The proposed GLE Facility, if licensed, would enrich uranium for use in manufacturing nuclear fuel for commercial power reactors. Feed material for the proposed GLE Facility would be comprised of non-enriched uranium hexafluoride (UF6). GLE would employ a laser-based enrichment process to enrich uranium to up to 8 percent uranium-235 by weight, with an initial planned maximum target production of 6 million separative work units (SWU) per year. GLE could begin preconstruction activities prior to the NRC’s licensing decision in 2012. If the license is granted, GLE expects to begin facility construction in 2012, and continue construction activities through 2020. GLE anticipates commencing initial production in 2014 and reaching peak production in 2020. Prior to license expiration in 2052, GLE would seek to renew its license to continue operating the facility, or plan for the decontamination and decommissioning of the facility per the applicable licensing conditions and NRC regulations. The proposed GLE Facility would be licensed in accordance with the provisions of the Atomic Energy Act. Specifically, an NRC license under Title 10, “Energy,” of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) Parts 30, 40, and 70 would be required to authorize GLE to possess and use special nuclear material, source material, and byproduct material at the proposed GLE Facility site.
This Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA), and the NRC regulations for implementing NEPA (10 CFR Part 51). This EIS evaluates the potential environmental impacts of the proposed action and reasonable alternatives. This EIS also describes the environment potentially affected by GLE’s proposal, presents and compares the potential environmental impacts resulting from the proposed action and alternatives, describes GLE’s environmental monitoring program and mitigation measures, and evaluates the costs and benefits of the proposed action.