Final Environmental Impact Statement for Combined Licenses (COLs) for William States Lee III Nuclear Station Units 1 and 2: Cover through Chapter 7(NUREG-2111, Volume 1)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: October 2013
Date Published: December 2013

Division of New Reactor Licensing
Office of New Reactors
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

Regulatory Division
Special Projects Branch
Charleston District
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Charleston, SC 29403-5107

Availability Notice


This environmental impact statement (EIS) has been prepared in response to an application submitted to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) by Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC (Duke) for two combined construction permits and operating licenses (combined licenses or COLs). The proposed actions requested in Duke's application are (1) NRC issuance of COLs for two nuclear power reactors at the William States Lee III Nuclear Station (Lee Nuclear Station) site in Cherokee County, South Carolina, and (2) U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) permit action on a Department of the Army individual permit application to perform certain construction activities on the site. The USACE is participating with the NRC in preparing this EIS as a cooperating agency and participates collaboratively on the review team.

This EIS includes the review team's analysis that considers and weighs the environmental impacts of building and operating two new nuclear units at the proposed Lee Nuclear Station site and at alternative sites, and mitigation measures available for reducing or avoiding adverse impacts. The EIS also addresses Federally listed species, cultural resources, and plant coolingsystem design alternatives.

The EIS includes the evaluation of the proposed project's impacts on waters of the United States pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. The USACE will conduct a public interest review in accordance with the guidelines promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under authority of Section 404(b) of the Clean Water Act. The public interest review, which will be addressed in the USACE's permit decision document, will include an alternatives analysis to determine the least environmentally damaging practicable alternative.

After considering the environmental aspects of the proposed NRC action, the NRC staff's recommendation to the Commission is that the COLs be issued as requested.(a) This recommendation is based on (1) the application, including Revision 1 of the environmental report (ER) and the supplement to the ER, submitted by Duke; (2) consultation with Federal, State, Tribal, and local agencies; (3) the staff's independent review; (4) the staff's consideration of comments related to the environmental review that were received during the two public scoping processes and the draft EIS comment period; and (5) the assessments summarized in this EIS, including the potential mitigation measures identified in the ER and this EIS. The USACE will issue its Record of Decision based, in part, on this EIS.

(a) As directed by the Commission in CLI-12-16, the NRC will not issue the COLs prior to completion of the ongoing rulemaking to update the Waste Confidence Decision and Rule (see Section 6.1.6 of this EIS).

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