Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants—Draft Report for Comment (NUREG-1437, Revision 2)

This publication has been issued for public comment. Comments will be accepted until May 2, 2023. To submit comments, please see Docket ID Number NRC-2018-0296.

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: Feburary 2023
Date Published: Feburary 2023

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

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U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regulations allow for the renewal of commercial nuclear power plant operating licenses. There are no specific limitations in the Atomic Energy Act or the NRC’s regulations restricting the number of times a license may be renewed. To support license renewal environmental reviews, the NRC published the first Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants (LR GEIS) in 1996.  Per NRC regulations, a review and update of the LR GEIS is conducted every 10 years, if necessary. The proposed action is the renewal of nuclear power plant operating licenses.

Since publication of the 1996 LR GEIS, 59 nuclear power plants (96 reactor units) have undergone license renewal environmental reviews and have received renewed licenses, the results of which were published as supplements to the LR GEIS. This revision evaluates the issues and findings of the 2013 LR GEIS (Revision 1). Lessons learned and knowledge gained from initial license renewal (initial LR) and subsequent license renewal (SLR) environmental reviews provide major sources of new information for this assessment. In addition, new research, findings, public comments, changes in applicable laws and regulations, and other information were considered in evaluating the environmental impacts associated with license renewal. Additionally, this revision fully considers and evaluates the environmental impacts of one term of SLR as well as initial LR.

The purpose of the LR GEIS is to identify and evaluate environmental issues that could result in the same or similar impact at all nuclear power plants (or a distinct subset of plants) (i.e., generic issues) and determine which issues could result in different levels of impact, thus requiring nuclear power plant-specific environmental analyses for impact determination. The NRC has identified a total of 80 environmental issues for consideration in license renewal reviews, 59 of which have been evaluated in the LR GEIS and their impacts determined to be applicable to license renewal for all nuclear power plants or a subset of plants. The LR GEIS also discusses a range of reasonable alternatives to the proposed action (initial LR or SLR), which would be analyzed in detail in plant-specific supplements to the LR GEIS.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, March 21, 2023