United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Safety Evaluation Report for the General Electric-Hitachi Global Laser Enrichment LLC Laser-Based Uranium Enrichment Plant in Wilmington, North Carolina (NUREG-2120)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: January 2012
Date Published:
February 2012

Docket No. 70-7016

General Electric-Hitachi Global Laser Enrichment LLC

Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

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Abstract

The report documents the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff review and safety and safeguards evaluation of the General Electric-Hitachi Global Laser Enrichment LLC (the applicant) application for a license to construct a laser-based uranium enrichment facility and possess and use special nuclear material (SNM), source material, and byproduct material in a laser-based uranium enrichment facility. The applicant proposes that the laser-based uranium enrichment facility be located in Wilmington, North Carolina, at the site of General Electric-Hitachi Global Nuclear Fuel – Americas nuclear fuel fabrication site. The facility will possess natural, depleted, and enriched uranium, and will enrich uranium up to a maximum of 8 weight percent uranium-235.

The objective of this review is to evaluate the potential adverse impacts of operation of the facility on worker and public health and safety under both normal operating and accident conditions. The review also considers physical protection of SNM and classified matter, material control and accounting of SNM, and the management organization, administrative programs, and financial qualifications provided to ensure safe design and operation of the facility.

In this safety evaluation report, the NRC staff concludes that the applicant's descriptions, specifications, and analyses provide an adequate basis for safety and safeguards of facility operations and that operation of the facility does not pose an undue risk to worker and public health and safety.

Potential environmental impacts associated with the proposed facility and its reasonable alternatives will be addressed in a separate NRC document, the final environmental impact statement, which is expected to be issued in February 2012.

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