United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Environmental Impact Statement for an Early Site Permit (ESP) at the Clinch River Nuclear Site: Draft Report for Comment (NUREG-2226, Volume 2)

This NUREG publication has been issued for public comment. Comments will be accepted until July 10, 2018. To submit comments, please see Docket ID Number NRC-2016-0119.

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: April 2018
Date Published: April 2018

Prepared by:

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

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Nashville District
Nashville, Tennessee 37203

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Abstract

This draft environmental impact statement (EIS) has been prepared in response to an application submitted to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) for an early site permit (ESP) for a site in Oak Ridge, Roane County, Tennessee, for new nuclear power units demonstrating small modular reactor (SMR) technology. The proposed action related to the TVA application is the issuance of an ESP for the Clinch River Nuclear (CRN) Site approving the site as suitable for the future demonstration of the construction and operation of two or more SMRs with characteristics presented in the application. The Nashville District, Regulatory Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is a cooperating agency with the NRC to verify that the information presented in this draft EIS is adequate to support a Department of the Army permit application, should TVA submit a Department of the Army permit application at a future date. The USACE is cooperating in the preparation of this draft EIS to streamline regulatory review processes, avoid unnecessary duplication of effort, and ensure issues and concerns related to impacts on waters of the United States and navigable waters of the United States are identified and addressed early in the NRC's review process. The NRC, its contractors, and USACE make up the review team.

This draft EIS documents the review team's preliminary analysis, which considers and weighs the environmental impacts of building and operating two or more SMRs at the CRN Site and at alternative sites, including measures potentially available for reducing or avoiding adverse impacts. This draft EIS also addresses Federally listed species, cultural resources, and plant cooling system design alternatives.

This draft EIS includes the evaluation of the proposed action's impacts on waters of the United States pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Appropriation Act of 1899. Upon receipt of an application, the USACE will conduct a public interest review in accordance with the guidelines promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the authority of Section 404(b) of the Clean Water Act. The public interest review, which will be addressed in the USACE permit decision document, will include an alternatives analysis to determine the least environmentally damaging practicable alternative.

After considering the environmental aspects of the proposed action before the NRC, the NRC staff's preliminary recommendation to the Commission is that the ESP be issued as proposed. This recommendation is based on (1) the application, including the Environmental Report (ER), and supplemental information submitted by TVA; (2) consultation with Federal, State, Tribal, and local agencies; (3) the review team's independent review; (4) the consideration of public scoping comments received as part of the environmental review process; and (5) the assessments summarized in this draft EIS, including the potential mitigation measures identified in the ER and this draft EIS.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, April 27, 2018