United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

NRC: Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants (NUREG-1437 Supplement 2, Part 8)

3.0 Environmental Impacts of Refurbishment



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Environmental issues associated with refurbishment activities were discussed in the Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants (GEIS), NUREG-1437 (NRC 1996). The GEIS included a determination of whether the analysis of the environmental issues could be applied to all plants and whether additional mitigation measures would be warranted. Issues were then assigned a Category 1 or a Category 2 designation. As set forth in the GEIS, Category 1 issues are those that meet all of the following criteria:

(1) the environmental impacts associated with the issue have been determined to apply either to all plants or, for some issues, to plants having a specific type of cooling system or other specified plant or site characteristics

(2) a single significance level (i.e., SMALL, MODERATE, or LARGE) has been assigned to the impacts (except for collective offsite radiological impacts from the fuel cycle and from HLW and spent fuel disposal)

(3) mitigation of adverse impacts associated with the issue has been considered in the analysis, and it has been determined that additional plant-specific mitigation measures are likely not to be sufficiently beneficial to warrant implementation.

For issues that meet the three Category 1 criteria, no additional plant-specific analysis is required unless new and significant information is identified.

Category 2 issues are those that did not meet one or more of the criteria of Category 1, and therefore, additional plant-specific review for these issues is required.

License renewal actions may require refurbishment activities for the extended plant life. These actions may have an impact on the environment that requires evaluation, depending on the type of action and the plant-specific design. Environmental issues associated with refurbishment that were determined to be Category 1 issues are listed in Table 3-1.

Environmental issues related to refurbishment considered in the GEIS for which these conclusions could not be reached for all plants, or for specific classes of plants, are Category 2 issues. These are listed in Table 3-2.

The potential environmental effects of refurbishment actions would be identified, and the analysis would be summarized within this section, if such actions were planned. Duke indicated that it has performed an evaluation of structures and components pursuant to 10 CFR 54.21 to identify activities that are necessary to continue operation of ONS during the requested 20-year period of extended

Table 3-1. Category 1 Issues for Refurbishment Evaluation

ISSUE--10 CFR Part 51, Subpart A, Appendix B, Table B-1

GEIS Sections

Surface-Water Quality, Hydrology, and Use (for all plants)

Impacts of refurbishment on surface-water quality 3.4.1
Impacts of refurbishment on surface-water use 3.4.1

Aquatic Ecology (for all plants)

Refurbishment 3.5

Groundwater Use and Quality

Impacts of refurbishment on groundwater use and quality 3.4.2

Land Use

Onsite land use 3.2

Human Health

Radiation exposures to the public during refurbishment 3.8.1
Occupational radiation exposures during refurbishment 3.8.2

Socioeconomics

Public services: public safety, social services, and tourism and recreation 3.7.4; 3.7.4.3

3.7.4.4; 3.7.4.6

Aesthetic impacts (refurbishment) 3.7.8

operation. These activities include replacement of certain components as well as new inspection activities and are described in Exhibit A of the Oconee Application for Renewed Operating Licenses (Duke 1998).

However, Duke stated that the replacement of these components and the additional inspection activities are within the bounds of normal plant component replacement and inspections; therefore, they are not expected to affect the environment outside the bounds of plant operations as evaluated in the final environmental statement (FES) (AEC 1972). In addition, Duke's evaluation of structures and components as required by 10 CFR 54.21 did not identify any major plant refurbishment activities or modifications necessary to support the continued operation of ONS beyond the end of the existing operating licenses. Therefore, refurbishment is not considered in this SEIS.

Table 3-2. Category 2 Issues for Refurbishment Evaluation

ISSUE--10 CFR Part 51, Subpart A, Appendix B, Table B-1 GEIS Section 10 CFR 51.53 (c)(3)(ii) Subparagraph

Terrestrial Resources

Refurbishment impacts 3.6 E

Threatened or Endangered Species (for all plants)

Threatened or endangered species 3.9 E

Air Quality

Air quality during refurbishment (non-attainment and maintenance areas) 3.3 F

Socioeconomics

Housing impacts 3.7.2 I
Public services: public utilities 3.7.4.5 I
Public services: education (refurbishment) 3.7.4.1 I
Offsite land use (refurbishment) 3.7.5 I
Public services, transportation 3.7.4.2 J
Historic and archaeological resources 3.7.7 K

Environmental Justice

Environmental justice

Not addressed

 

3.1 References

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10 CFR Part 51, Subpart A, Appendix B, "Environmental effect of renewing the operating license of a nuclear power plant."

10 CFR 54.21, "Contents of application - technical information."

Duke Energy Corporation 1998. Application for Renewed Operating Licenses, Oconee Nuclear Station Units 1, 2, and 3. Volume IV - Environmental Report.

U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). 1972. Final Environmental Statement related to Operation of Oconee Nuclear Station Units 1, 2, and 3. March 1972. Washington, D.C.

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) 1996. Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants (GEIS), NUREG-1437. Washington, D.C.

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