Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants: Regarding Catawba Nuclear Station, Units 1 and 2 - Final Report (NUREG-1437, Supplement 9)

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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. In the GEIS (and its Addendum 1), the 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 in response to an application submitted to the NRC by Duke Energy Corporation (Duke) to renew the OLs for Catawba Nuclear Station, Units 1 and 2 (Catawba) for up to an additional 20 years under 10 CFR Part 54 (Duke 2001a). This SEIS includes the NRC staff's analysis that considers and weighs the environmental effects 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.

Neither Duke nor the staff has identified information that is both new and significant for any issues for which the GEIS reached generic conclusions and that apply to Catawba Units 1 and 2. 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 Catawba 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 of SMALL(a) significance (except for collective offsite radiological impacts from the fuel cycle and from high-level waste and from spent fuel, which were not assigned a single significance level).

Each of the remaining issues applicable to Catawba is addressed in this SEIS. For each applicable issue, the staff concludes that the significance of the potential environmental effects 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 scoping process 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 Catawba are not so great that preserving theoption 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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