License Renewal Generic Environmental Review

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Overview

The Subsequent License Environmental Directorate (SLED) was established to implement the Commission’s direction to ensure that the NRC’s environmental regulations, supporting analyses, and guidance fully support the subsequent renewal of nuclear power plant operating licenses.

SLED is responsible for the leadership and developmental activities required to accomplish the following within 24 months: (1) a rulemaking to amend Table B–1, “Summary of Findings on NEPA [National Environmental Policy Act] Issues for License Renewal of Nuclear Power Plants,” in Appendix B, “Environmental Effect of Renewing the Operating License of a Nuclear Power Plant,” to Subpart A, “National Environmental Policy Act—Regulations Implementing Section 102(2),” of Part 51 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, “Environmental Protection Regulations for Domestic Licensing and Related Regulatory Functions;” and (2) an update of NUREG-1437, Revision 1, “Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants,” (LR GEIS).

To accomplish these objectives, SLED conducted a thorough analysis of the environmental impacts of subsequent license renewal (SLR) to expand the applicability of the License Renewal GEIS to SLR. As part of this update, SLED considered changes to applicable laws and regulations, new data, and experience in conducting similar environmental reviews to update the analysis in the License Renewal GEIS for initial license renewals as well. Additionally, SLED updated associated guidance for consistency.

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Commission Correspondence Related to Current SLED Activities

SECY-22-0024 – Staff's Response to SRM-SECY-21-0066 (First Rulemaking Plan)

As directed in SRM-SECY-21-0066, the staff prepared SECY-22-0024 to request Commission approval to initiate a rulemaking that aligns with the Commission’s orders CLI-22-02, CLI-22-03, and CLI-22-04 regarding the NEPA analysis of SLR applications, as well as to remove the word “initial” from 10 CFR 51.53(c)(3), and to revise the LR GEIS and Table B-1 and associated guidance to fully support SLRs. The staff submitted the rulemaking plan to the Commission on March 25, 2022 . On April 5, 2022, the Commission issued SRM-SECY-22-0024 approving the staff’s recommendation to proceed with the rulemaking, to be completed within 24 months.

SECY-22-0109 – Proposed Rule: Renewing Nuclear Power Plant Operating Licenses — Environmental Review

As directed in SRM-SECY-22-0024, the staff submitted the proposed rule (SECY-22-0109) to the Commission on December 6, 2022. The proposed rule would amend 10 CFR Part 51 by removing the word “initial” in 10 CFR 51.53(c)(3) and revising 10 CFR Part 51, Table B-1. To support the rule, the staff prepared an updated draft LR GEIS that thoroughly analyzes the environmental impacts of SLR and updates the analysis of initial LR to account for new information, changes in regulations and guidance, and the experience from recent plant-specific license renewal reviews. The staff also included draft associated guidance in the rulemaking package.

SRM-SECY-22-0109 – Proposed Rule: Renewing Nuclear Power Plant Operating Licenses — Environmental Review

SRM-SECY-22-0109, issued on January 23, 2023, directed the staff to publish the proposed rule that would amend Part 51 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, “Environmental Protection Regulations for Domestic Licensing and Related Regulatory Functions,” in the Federal Register and the revised NUREG-1437, draft Revision 2, “Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants,” (LR GEIS) for a 60-day public comment period. SRM-SECY-22-0109 further stated that the staff should modify the proposed rule and draft LR GEIS to explicitly state that the scope of the LR GEIS is initial license renewal and one term of subsequent license renewal and that the staff should include, in the Federal Register notice, a specific question asking whether the proposed rule should be expanded beyond two license renewal terms (initial and one term of SLR).

SECY-24-0017 – Final Rule: Renewing Nuclear Power Plant Operating Licenses — Environmental Review (Subject to Final Commission Approval)

As directed in SRM-SECY-22-0109, the staff submitted the final rule (SECY-24-0017) to the Commission on February 21, 2024. The final rule amends 10 CFR Part 51 by removing the word “initial” in 10 CFR 51.53(c)(3) and revising 10 CFR Part 51, Table B-1. To support the rule, the staff prepared an updated LR GEIS that thoroughly analyzes the environmental impacts of SLR and updates the analysis of initial LR to account for new information, changes in regulations and guidance, and the experience from recent plant-specific license renewal reviews. The staff also included associated guidance in the rulemaking package.

Affirmation Session - SECY-24-0017:  Final Rule - Renewing Nuclear Power Plant Operating Licenses - Environmental Review

Affirmation Session - SECY-24-0017:  Final Rule - Renewing Nuclear Power Plant Operating Licenses - Environmental Review (RIN 3150-AK32; NRC-2018-0296 (ADAMS No.: ML24137A213), which directs the issuance of the final rule and guidance, was signed by the Secretary of the Commission, Thursday, May 16, 2024.

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Rulemaking Schedule and Milestones

03/22 - 08/22 08/22 - 03/23
Doc Prep Proposed Rule
Document Development LR-GEIS, Reg Guide 4.2, Env-SRP Preparation of Proposed Rule Package Concurrence on Proposed Rule Package EDO Review of Proposed Rule Package Commission Review of Proposed Rule Package Publication of Proposed Rule
03/23 - 08/24
Final Rule
Public Meetings and Addressing Comments Preparation of Final Rule Package Concurrence on Final Rule Package EDO Review of Final Rule Package Commission Review of Final Rule Package* Publication of 10 CFR Part 51 Final Rule

*Due to the volume and technical complexity of the comments received, the staff needs additional time to ensure that comment responses and conforming changes to the associated guidance and final rule package are technically robust. The submittal of the LR GEIS rulemaking to the Commission has been extended from December 18, 2023, to March 7, 2024.    

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Public Involvement

The Commission approved and directed the staff to issue the proposed rule package in the Federal Register on March 3, 2023, and a sixty-day public comment period followed (3/3/23-5/2/23). During the comment period, the public had an opportunity to comment on the proposed rule, the draft LR GEIS, and associated guidance. In addition, the staff conducted six public meetings during the comment period.

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Docket Folders

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Documents Related to the Proposed Rule

Document Identifier Title Date
Draft NUREG-1437, Volume 1, Revision 2 "Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Power Plants" February 2023
Draft NUREG-1437, Volume 2, Revision 2 "Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Power Plants" February 2023
Draft NUREG-1555, Supplement 1, Revision 2 "Standard Review Plans for Environmental Reviews for Nuclear Power Plants, Supplement 1: Operating License Renewal" February 2023
Draft Regulatory Guide DG-4027 "Preparation of Environmental Reports for Nuclear Power Plant License Renewal Applications" (also referenced as RG 4.2, Supplement 1) February 2023
Draft Regulatory Analysis for the 10 CFR Part 51 "Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Power Plants" February 2023

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Documents Related to the Draft Final Rule (Subject to Final Commission Approval)

Document Identifier Title Date
NUREG-1437, Volume 1, Revision 2 "Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Power Plants" March 2024
NUREG-1437, Volume 2, Revision 2 "Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Power Plants" March 2024
NUREG-1437, Volume 3, Revision 2 "Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Power Plants" March 2024
Regulatory Analysis for the 10 CFR Part 51 "Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Power Plants" March 2024

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Public Meetings

Date Description

March 16, 2023

Public Meeting on the Proposed Rule – NRC Headquarters Area
Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center

5701 Marinelli Rd., Rockville, MD 20852
2:00pm – 4:00pm (open house 1:30pm – 2:00pm) Eastern Time
6:00pm – 8:00pm (open house 5:30pm – 6:00pm) Eastern Time

Transcript (2:00 p.m. meeting)
Transcript (6:00 p.m. meeting)

March 28, 2023

Public Meeting on the Proposed Rule – NRC RIII Area
Marriott Chicago Naperville

1801 N. Naperville Blvd, Naperville, IL 60563
6:00pm – 8:00pm (open house 5:30pm – 6:00pm) Central Time

Transcript

March 30, 2023

Public Meeting on the Proposed Rule – NRC RIV Area
Marriott Westlake Texas

1301 Solana Blvd Bldg. 3
Westlake, TX 76262
6:00pm – 8:00pm (open house 5:30pm – 6:00pm) Central Time

Transcript

April 4, 2023

Public Meeting on the Proposed Rule – NRC RI Area
The Alloy King of Prussia

301 West DeKalb Pike, King of Prussia, PA 19406
6:00pm – 8:00pm (open house 5:30pm – 6:00pm) Eastern Time

Transcript

April 6, 2023

Public Meeting on the Proposed Rule – NRC RII Area
Courtyard by Marriott Atlanta Decatur Downtown/Emory

130 Clairemont Avenue, Decatur, GA 30303
6:00pm – 8:00pm (open house 5:30pm – 6:00pm) Eastern Time

Transcript

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Other Relevant Documents

Document Identifier Title Date
SECY-21-0066 Rulemaking Plan for Renewing Nuclear Power Plant Operating Licenses – Environmental Review (RIN 3150-AK32; NRC-2018-0296)  07/22/21 
SRM-SECY-21-0066 Staff Requirements – SECY-21-0066 – Rulemaking Plan for Renewing Nuclear Power Plant Operating Licenses – Environmental Review (RIN 3150-AK32; NRC-2018-0296)  02/24/22
Commission Legal Issuance (CLI)-22-02 Florida Power & Light Company (Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Units 3 and 4) 02/24/22
CLI-22-03 Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC (Oconee Nuclear Station, Units 1,2, and 3)
Exelon Generation Company, LLC (Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, Units 2 and 3)
Florida Power & Light Co. (Turkey Point Generating Units 3 and 4)
Nextera Energy Point Beach, LLC (Point Beach Nuclear Plant, Units 1 and 2)
Virginia Electric and Power Company (North Anna Power Station, Units 1 and 2)
02/24/22
CLI-22-04 Exelon Generation Company, LLC (Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, Units 2 and 3) 02/24/22
SECY-22-0024 Rulemaking Plan for Renewing Nuclear Power Plant Operating Licenses—Environmental Review (RIN 3150-AK32; NRC-2018-0296)  03/25/22
SRM-SECY-22-0024 Staff Requirements – SECY-22-0024 – Rulemaking Plan for Renewing Nuclear Power Plant Operating Licenses—Environmental Review (RIN 3150-AK32; NRC-2018-0296)  04/05/22
SECY-22-0036 Rulemaking Plan for Renewing Nuclear Power Plant Operating Licenses—10-Year Environmental Regulatory Update  
(NRC-2022-0087) 
04/25/22
SRM-SECY-22-0036 Staff Requirements – SECY-22-0036 – Rulemaking Plan for Renewing Nuclear Power Plant Operating Licenses—10-Year Environmental Regulatory Update (NRC-2022-0087)  06/17/22
SECY-22-0109 Proposed Rule: Renewing Nuclear Power Plant Operating Licenses—Environmental Review 12/06/22
SRM-SECY-22-0109 Proposed Rule: Renewing Nuclear Power Plant Operating Licenses — Environmental Review 01/23/23
LR GEIS, Volume 1 Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants – Final Report, Volume 1 (NUREG-1437, Revision 1)  June 2013
LR GEIS, Volume 2 Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants – Public Comments – Final Report, Volume 2 (NUREG-1437, Revision 1)  June 2013
LR GEIS, Volume 3 Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants – Appendices – Final Report, Volume 3 (NUREG-1437, Revision 1)  June 2013
ESRP, Supplement 1 Standard Review Plans for Environmental Reviews for Nuclear Power Plants: Environmental Standard Review Plan for Operating License Renewal (NUREG-1555, Supplement 1, Revision 1) June 2013
RG 4.2, Supplement 1 Preparation of Environmental Reports for Nuclear Power Plant License Renewal Applications (RG 4.2, Supplement 1, Revision 1)  June 2013

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Subscribe to Generic License Renewal Correspondence

See Email Updates to subscribe to updates for all outgoing public correspondence on generic license renewal. This correspondence will include publicly available information of a general nature, specifically related to license renewal. For information on a specific application for renewal, see Status of Initial License Renewal Applications and Industry Initiatives for first-time renewals and Status of Subsequent License Renewal Applications for subsequent renewals.

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