NRC Issues Draft Environmental Report for Limerick License Renewal

 

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is seeking public comments on a draft report that assesses the environmental impacts of extending the license of the Limerick nuclear power plant in Limerick, Pa. NRC staff will present the report and take comments at two public meetings May 23.

The meetings will be at the Sunnybrook Ballroom, located at 50 N. Sunnybrook Road in Pottstown, Pa., during which NRC staff will provide a presentation on the report and then accept comments. The first session is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. and the second at 7 p.m.

Limerick is the site of two boiling-water reactors owned and operated by Exelon Generation Co. LLC. The company submitted a license renewal application for the plant on June 20, 2011. The current operating licenses for Limerick Units 1 and 2 expire on Oct. 26, 2024, and June 22, 2029, respectively.

Under NRC regulations, the original operating license for a nuclear power plant has a term of 40 years. The license may be renewed for up to an additional 20 years if NRC requirements are met.

The draft report, known as a Draft Environmental Impact Statement, was issued April 30. As part of its license renewal application, the company was required to submit an environmental report. The NRC staff reviewed the report and performed an on-site audit. The staff also considered comments made during what is known as the environmental scoping process, including those offered at public meetings held on Sept. 22, 2011 in Pottstown.

Based on its review, the NRC staff has preliminarily recommended that the Commission determine the adverse environmental impacts of license renewal for the Limerick plant are not so great that preserving the option of license renewal for energy planning decision-makers would be unreasonable. This recommendation is based on the analysis and findings in the agency’s Generic Environmental Impact Statement on license renewal; the environmental report submitted by Exelon; consultation with federal, state and local agencies; the NRC staff’s own independent review; and the NRC staff’s consideration of public comments.

“Now that the Draft Environmental Impact Statement is available, we would encourage interested members of the public to review the report and provide us with their comments,” Leslie Perkins, the NRC Environmental Project Manager for Limerick, said. “They will be able to do so in person at our upcoming public meetings.” Page | 2

Those interested may pre-register to attend or speak at the meetings by contacting Ms. Perkins at 1- 800-368-5642, ext. 2375, or by sending an e-mail to leslie.perkins@nrc.gov. Members of the public may also register to provide oral comments before the start of each session. The duration of individual comments may be limited by the time available, depending on the number of persons who register.

Written comments on the draft report will also be considered by the NRC staff.