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Diablo Canyon Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) License Application

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News

After the NRC issued the license for the Diablo Canyon ISFSI, the San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace and other parties filed a petition for review in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, asking that the NRC be required to consider terrorist acts in its environmental review associated with this licensing action. In its decision, dated June 2, 2006, San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace v. NRC, 449 F.3d 1016, 1028 (9th Cir. 2006), the Ninth Circuit held that the NRC could not categorically refuse to consider the consequences of a terrorist attack under NEPA and remanded the case to the NRC.

In response to the Ninth Circuit decision, the Commission issued a Memorandum and Order on February 26, 2007, directing the NRC staff to prepare a revised EA addressing the likelihood and the potential consequences of a terrorist attack directed at the Diablo Canyon ISFSI. The NRC staff has prepared a supplement to the EA and draft FONSI for the Diablo Canyon ISFSI. The staff is also publishing a "Notice of Availability of Supplement to the Environmental Assessment and Draft Finding of No Significant Impact for the Diablo Canyon Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation" in the Federal Register. The Notice of Availability provides an opportunity for the public to submit comments to NRC on the supplement to the EA and draft FONSI, for a period of 30 days after publication of the Notice.

Background

Diablo Canyon Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI)

On December 21, 2001, the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) submitted a license application to the NRC, requesting a site-specific license to build and operate an ISFSI, to be located on the site of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCPP), in San Luis Obispo County, California. The Diablo Canyon site consists of 750 acres within a much larger area of land owned by PG&E bordering the Pacific Ocean. The site is approximately 12 miles west-southwest of the city of San Luis Obispo, California.

The Diablo Canyon ISFSI will provide additional interim storage capacity for spent nuclear fuel and associated radioactive materials used to generate electricity at the DCPP. The spent nuclear fuel will be stored in large metal and concrete containers called storage casks. The dry cask storage system that PG&E plans to use at the Diablo Canyon ISFSI is the Holtec International HI-STORM 100 System. The HI-STORM 100 System is a canister-based storage system that stores spent nuclear fuel in a vertical orientation (the outer cask, inner canister and the fuel rods inside are, in effect, standing up). It is a passive system that does not rely on any active cooling systems to remove decay heat from the spent nuclear fuel. At the Diablo Canyon ISFSI, the HI-STORM 100 casks will be anchored to the reinforced concrete storage pads.

In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the NRC staff issued an environmental assessment (EA) and a finding of no significant impact (FONSI) for this action on October 24, 2003. On March 22, 2004, the NRC staff issued Materials License No. SNM-2511, and its related safety evaluation report, authorizing PG&E to receive, possess, store, and transfer spent nuclear fuel and associated radioactive materials resulting from the operation of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant in an ISFSI at the site for a term of 20 years. PG&E has begun construction of the Diablo Canyon ISFSI and currently plans to commence the transfer of spent fuel to the ISFSI in mid-2008.

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Draft Supplement To EA and Draft FONSI for Diablo Canyon for Comment

Document
Number
Title Comment Period
Close Date
Supplement to EA and Draft FONSI

Supplement To EA and Draft FONSI for the Diablo Canyon ISFSI

June 29, 2007

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Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, November 19, 2013