Environmental Protection

NRC Asks for Comments on License Renewal Terms

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission will hold five public meetings in September and October seeking comments on the proposed rule to the environmental protection regulations, specifically the Summary of Findings on National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Issues for License Renewal of Nuclear Power Plants and the draft revision of Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants, NUREG-1437, originally published in 1996. The deadline for comments to be submitted on these documents is Oct. 14.

The proposed rule revisions redefine the number and scope of environmental impact issues that must be addressed in a nuclear power plant license renewal review. The NRC conducted public scoping meetings and collected comments over the past few years that were considered in the revised GEIS. In addition, knowledge gained and lessons learned from previous license renewal reviews as well as new information were incorporated in the revision. On a 10-year cycle, the commission stated it intends to review and update the rule as necessary.

The GEIS assesses the overall scope and impact of environmental effects associated with license renewal at any nuclear power plant site and it improves the efficiency of the license renewal process. Plant-specific supplements to the GEIS are prepared for each license renewal review. The NRC's environmental protection regulations stem from NEPA; which requires an environmental impact statement for major federal actions significantly affecting the quality of the human environment, such as renewing the license of a nuclear plant.

Concurrent with the rulemaking and GEIS revision, the NRC is publishing for public comment, a revised Regulatory Guide 4.2, Supplement 1, Preparation of Environmental Reports for License Renewal Applications, and NUREG-1555, Supplement 1, Standard Review Plans for Environmental Reviews for Nuclear Power Plants.

The NRC will hold public meetings in Georgia, Massachusetts, California, Illinois and Maryland. At these meetings, members of the public will have an opportunity to comment on the documents. NRC staff will be available to answer questions.

The meetings will be held on the following dates and locations:

    Sept. 15: DoubleTree Atlanta Perimeter, 6120 Peachtree Dunwoody Road, Atlanta, Ga.;
    Sept. 17: Boston Marriott Newton, 2345 Commonwealth Avenue, Newton, Mass.;
    Sept. 22: Hyatt Westlake Plaza, 880 South Westlake Blvd., Westlake Village, Calif.;
    Sept. 24: DoubleTree Oak Brook, 1909 Spring Road, Oak Brook, Ill. And
    Oct. 1: NRC HQ, Two White Flint North, 11545 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Md. (This meeting will be Web streamed to maximize access.)
Those who wish to make oral comments during the meetings are encouraged to pre-register and anyone with questions or special needs should contact Jennifer Davis, the NRC project manager at 800.368.5642, ext. 3835, or by e-mail. Meeting transcripts will be posted to http://www.nrc.gov/public-involve/doc-comment.html.

Comments on the proposed rule, draft revised GEIS and associated documents may be submitted over the federal e-Rulemaking Portal (Docket I.D. NRC-2008-0608); by e-mail; by mail to Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, D.C. 20555-0001, ATTN: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff; or by fax to 301.492.3466. Written comments on the draft revised GEIS should be sent to: Chief, Rulemaking, Directives and Editing Branch, Division of Administrative Services, Office of Administration, Mailstop TWB-05-B01M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, D.C. 20555-0001.

The draft revised GEIS is publicly available from the NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS). The access numbers for the draft revised GEIS is ML090220654; the draft Regulatory Guide 4.2 Supplement 1, Rev. 1 is ML091620409 and the Draft NUREG-1555, Supplement 1, Rev. 1 is ML090230497. Persons with ADAMS questions can contact staff by telephone at 800.397.4209, or 301.415.4737, or by e-mail.

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