Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants: Regarding Quad Cities Nuclear Power Station, Units 1 and 2 (NUREG-1437, Supplement 16)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: June 2004
Date Published: June 2004

Division of Regulatory Improvement Programs
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

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The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) considered the environmental impacts of renewing nuclear power plant operating licenses (OLs) for a 20-year period in its Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants (GEIS), NUREG-1437, Volumes 1 and 2, and codified the results in 10 CFR Part 51. The GEIS (and its Addendum 1) identifies 92 environmental issues and reaches generic conclusions related to environmental impacts for 69 of these issues that apply to all plants or to plants with specific design or site characteristics. Additional plant-specific review is required for the remaining 23 issues. These plant-specific reviews are to be included in a supplement to the GEIS.

This draft supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) has been prepared in response to an application submitted to the NRC by the Exelon Generation Company, LLC (Exelon) to renew the OLs for Quad Cities Units 1 and 2 for an additional 20 years under 10 CFR Part 54. This draft SEIS includes the NRC staff's analysis that considers and weighs the environmental impacts of the proposed action, the environmental impacts of alternatives to the proposed action, and mitigation measures available for reducing or avoiding adverse impacts. It also includes the staff's preliminary ecommendation regarding the proposed action.

Regarding the 69 issues for which the GEIS reached generic conclusions, neither Exelon nor the staff has identified information that is both new and significant for any issue that applies to Quad Cities. The staff determined that information provided during the scoping process did not call into question the conclusions in the GEIS. Therefore, the staff concludes that the impacts of renewing the Quad Cities OLs will not be greater than impacts identified for these issues in the GEIS. For each of these issues, the staff's conclusion in the GEIS is that the impact is of SMALL(a) significance (except for collective off-site radiological impacts from the fuel cycle and from high-level waste and spent fuel, which were not assigned a single significance level).

Regarding the remaining 23 issues, 15 apply to Quad Cities and are addressed in this draft SEIS. For 14 of the 15 issues, the staff concludes that the significance of the potential environmental impacts of renewal of the OLs is SMALL. The staff also concludes that for these issues, additional mitigation measures are not likely to be sufficiently beneficial as to be warranted. For the issue of electric shock from induced current along transmission line corridors, the staff concludes that the potential impact is MODERATE for one transmission line and that consideration of additional mitigation measures may be warranted. In addition, the staff determined that information provided during the scoping process did not identify any new issue that has a significant environmental impact.

The NRC staff's preliminary recommendation is that the Commission determine that the adverse environmental impacts of license renewal for Quad Cities Units 1 and 2 are not so great that preserving the option of license renewal for energy-planning decisionmakers would be unreasonable. This recommendation is based on (1) the analysis and findings in the GEIS; (2) the Environmental Report submitted by Exelon; (3) consultation with Federal, state, and local agencies; (4) the staff's own independent review; and (5) the staff's consideration of the public comments received during the scoping process.

(a) Environmental effects are not detectable or are so minor that they neither destabilize nor noticeably alter any important attribute of the resource.

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