United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Final Environmental Impact Statement for Combined Licenses for Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Station, Units 2 and 3: Cover through Chapter 10 (NUREG-1939, Volume 1)

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Publication Information

Date Published: April 2011

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Office of New Reactors
Washington, DC 20555-0001

Regulatory Division
Special Projects Branch
Charleston District
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Charleston, SC 29403-5107

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Abstract

This environmental impact statement (EIS) has been prepared to satisfy the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA). The EIS has been prepared in response to an application submitted to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) by South Carolina Electric and Gas (SCE&G), acting for itself and for Santee Cooper (the State owned electric and water utility, formally called the South Carolina Public Service Authority) for combined construction permits and operating licenses (combined licenses or COLs). The proposed actions related to the SCE&G application are (1) NRC issuance of COLs for two new nuclear power reactor units (Units 2 and 3) at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station (VCSNS) site in Fairfield County, South Carolina, and (2) U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) permit action on a Department of the Army (DA) Individual Permit application to perform certain activities on the site. The USACE is participating with the NRC in preparing this EIS as a cooperating agency and participates collaboratively on the review team.

This EIS includes the analysis by the NRC and USACE staff that considers and weighs the environmental impacts of building and operating two new nuclear units at the VCSNS site and at alternative sites, and mitigation measures available for reducing or avoiding adverse impacts. The EIS also addresses Federally listed species, cultural resources, and essential fish habitat issues.

The EIS includes the evaluation of the proposed project's impacts to waters of the United States pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. The USACE will base its evaluation of the DA Individual Permit application on the requirements of USACE regulations, the Clean Water Act Section 404(b)(1) Guidelines, and the USACE public interest review process.

After considering the environmental aspects of the proposed NRC action, the staff's recommendation to the Commission is that the COLs be issued as requested. This recommendation is based on (1) the application, including the Environmental Report (ER), submitted by SCE&G; (2) consultation with Federal, State, Tribal, and local agencies; (3) the staff's independent review; (4) the staff's consideration of comments related to the environmental review that were received during the public scoping process; (5) the NRC staff's consideration of comments on the draft EIS; and (6) the assessments summarized in this EIS, including the potential mitigation measures identified in the ER and this EIS. The USACE permit decision will be made following issuance of the final EIS.

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