Environmental Impact Statement for an Early Site Permit (ESP) at the North Anna ESP Site (NUREG-1811, Final Report)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: November 2006
Manuscript Published: December 2006

Division of Site and Environmental Reviews
Office of New Reactors
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

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This environmental impact statement (EIS) has been prepared in response to an application submitted to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) by Dominion Nuclear North Anna, LLC (Dominion), for an early site permit (ESP). The proposed action requested in Dominion's application is for the NRC to (1) approve a site within the existing North Anna Power Station (NAPS) boundaries as suitable for the construction and operation of one or more new nuclear power generating facilities and (2) issue an ESP for the proposed site located at NAPS. The proposed action does not include any decision or approval to construct or operate one or more units; these are matters that would be considered only upon the filing of applications for a construction permit and an operating license, or an application for a combined license.

In its application, Dominion proposed a plan for redressing the environmental effects of certain site preparation and preliminary construction activities; that is, those activities allowed by Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 50.10(e)(1), performed by an ESP holder under 10 CFR 52.25. In accordance with the site redress plan, the site would be redressed if the NRC issues the requested ESP (containing the site redress plan), the ESP holder performs these site preparation and preliminary construction activities, the ESP is not referenced in an application for a construction permit or combined license, and no alternative use is found for the site.

This EIS includes the NRC staff's analysis that considers and weighs the environmental impacts of constructing and operating two nuclear units at the North Anna ESP site or at alternative sites, mitigation measures available for reducing or avoiding adverse impacts, and public comments on both the staff's Draft EIS and the Supplement to the Draft EIS (SDEIS). It also includes the staff's recommendation to the Commission regarding the proposed action.

As part of the NRC review of the application, the NRC solicited comments from the public on the Draft EIS, which was issued in December 2004, and the SDEIS, which was issued in July 2006 in response to changes proposed by Dominion in Revision 6 of its Environmental Report. These changes involved adopting a different cooling approach for the proposed new Unit 3 and increasing the maximum power output for both of the proposed new units (i.e., Units 3 and 4). Volume II of this document sets forth all public comments received concerning the Draft EIS and the SDEIS and the NRC staff's responses to these comments, organized by subject matter. The comment letters on the Draft EIS are in the NRC's document management system (ADAMS) under accession number ML0514720560. Comment letters on the SDEIS are under accession number ML063060459. ADAMS can be accessed through the NRC's website at www.nrc.gov. Where appropriate, changes were made to the Draft EIS and SDEIS and are identified by change bars in the margins of this Final EIS.

The staff's recommendation to the Commission related to its environmental review of the proposed action is that the ESP should be issued. This recommendation is based on (1) the Environmental Report (ER) submitted by Dominion; (2) consultation with Federal, State, Tribal, and local agencies; (3) the staff's independent review; (4) the staff's consideration of public comments on both the Draft EIS and the SDEIS; and (5) the assessments summarized in this Final EIS, including the potential mitigation measures identified in the ER and in the EIS. In addition, in making its recommendation, the staff has concluded that the alternative sites | considered are not obviously superior to the proposed site. Finally, the staff concludes that the site preparation and preliminary construction activities enumerated in 10 CFR 50.10(e)(1) would not result in any significant adverse environmental impact that cannot be redressed.

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