Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of NuclearPlants: Regarding Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, Units 1 and 2 (NUREG-1437, Supplement 35)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: March 2009
Date Published
: March 2009

Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation

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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 Title 10, Part 51, of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR Part 51). In the GEIS (and its Addendum 1), the NRC staff 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 Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) has been prepared inresponse to an application submitted to the NRC by PPL Susquehanna, LLC (PPL) to issue renewed OLs for Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, Units 1 and 2 (SSES) for an additional 20 years under 10 CFR Part 54. This 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 NRC staff's recommendation regarding the proposed action.

Regarding the 69 issues for which the GEIS reached generic conclusions, neither PPL nor the NRC staff has identified information that is both new and significant for any issue that applies to SSES. In addition, the NRC staff determined that information provided during the scoping process and the public comments on the draft SEIS did not call into question the conclusions in the GEIS. Therefore, the NRC staff concludes that the impacts of issuing renewed OLs for SSES will not be greater than impacts identified for these issues in the GEIS. For each of these issues, the NRC staff's conclusion in the GEIS is that the impact is of SMALL significance(a) (except for collective offsite radiological impacts from the fuel cycle and high-level waste and spent fuel, which were not assigned a single significance level).

Regarding the remaining 23 issues, those that apply to SSES are addressed in this SEIS. For each applicable issue, the NRC staff concludes that the significance of the potential environmental impacts of renewal of the OLs is SMALL. The NRC staff determined that information provided during the scoping process did not identify any new issue that has a significant environmental impact.

The NRC staff has determined that the adverse environmental impacts of license renewal for SSES 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 PPL; (3) consultation with Federal, State, and local agencies; (4) the NRC staff's own independent review; and (5) the NRC staff's consideration of public comments received during the scoping process and the draft SEIS comment period.

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

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