Draft Environmental Impact Statement for an Early Site Permit (ESP) at the North Anna ESP Site (NUREG-1811, Supplement 1 to the Draft Report for Comment)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: June 2006
Manuscript Published: July 2006

Division of Regulatory Improvement Programs
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

Availability Notice


The staff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has prepared this Supplement tothe Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for an Early Site Permit (ESP) at the North Anna ESP Site (SDEIS) because Dominion Nuclear North Anna, LLC (Dominion or applicant) amended its ESP application, as described in Revision 6 to its application for an ESP. In Revision 6 (which was submitted to the NRC on April 13, 2006), Dominion described a new approach for cooling its proposed Unit 3. Under the revised approach, Unit 3 would use a closed-cycle cooling system, rather than the originally proposed once-through cooling system. The newly-proposed system would not use the 1376-ha (3400-ac) waste heat treatment facility for cooling. Dominion also proposed to increase the power level of both proposed Units 3 and 4 from 4300 megawatts-thermal (MW(t)) to 4500 MW(t).

The proposed action requested in Dominion's North Anna ESP 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 proposes a plan for redressing the environmental effects of certain site preparation and construction activities; that is, those activities enumerated by Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 50.10(e)(1), which an ESP holder may perform 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 SDEIS includes the NRC staff's analysis that considers and weighs the environmental impacts of constructing and operating a closed-cycle cooling system for Unit 3 and the increase in power for proposed Units 3 and 4 and mitigation measures available for reducing or avoiding adverse impacts. It also includes the staff's preliminary recommendation to the Commission regarding the proposed action.

The staff's preliminary recommendation, in view of the environmental impacts described in the Draft EIS, and the impacts reviewed in this SDEIS in relation to the changes presented in ER Revision 6, is that the ESP for North Anna Units 3 and 4 should be issued. This recommendation is based on (1) the ER submitted by Dominion, as revised; (2) consultation with Federal, State, Tribal and local agencies; (3) the staff's independent review; (4) the assessments summarized in the Draft EIS and this SDEIS, including the potential mitigation measures identified in the ER and in both the Draft EIS and SDEIS. In addition, in making its recommendation, the staff has concluded that alternative sites considered are not obviously superior to the proposed site. Finally, the staff concludes that the site preparation and preliminary construction activities allowed by 10 CFR 50.10(e) (1) would not result in any significant adverse environmental impact that cannot be redressed.

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