Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants: Regarding McGuire Nuclear Station, Units 1 and 2 - Final Report (NUREG-1437, Supplement 8)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: November 2002
Date Published: December 2002

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) has 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 environmentalimpacts 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 in response to an application submitted to the NRC by Duke Energy Corporation (Duke) to renew the OLs for McGuire Nuclear Station, Units 1 and 2 (McGuire) up to 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 staff's recommendation regarding the proposed action.

Regarding the 69 issues for which the GEIS reached generic conclusions, neither Duke nor the staff has identified information that is both new and significant for any of these issues that apply to McGuire. In addition, the staff determined that information provided during the environmental review did not call into question the conclusions in the GEIS. Therefore, the staff concludes that the impacts of renewing the McGuire OLs will not be greater than impacts identified for these issues in the GEIS. For each of these issues, the GEIS conclusion is that the impact is ofSMALL(a) significance (except for collective offsite radiological impacts from the fuel cycle and high-level waste and spent fuel, which were not assigned single significance levels).

Regarding the remaining 23 issues, those that apply to McGuire are addressed in this SEIS. For each applicable issue, the staff concludes that the significance of the potential environmental impacts of renewal of the OLs is SMALL. The staff also concludes that additional mitigation measures are not likely to be sufficiently beneficial as to be warranted. The staff determined that information provided during the environmental review did not identify any new issue that has a significant environmental impact.

The NRC staff's recommendation is that the Commission determine that the adverse environmental impacts of license renewal for McGuire 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 Duke; (3) consultation with Federal, State, and local agencies; (4) the staff's own independent review, and (5) the staff's consideration of public comments.

(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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