NRC supplements draft EIS on Seabrook renewal application

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued a draft supplement to an earlier environmental impact assessment prepared by the agency on a license renewal application for the Seabrook nuclear power plant.

Public comments are currently being accepted on the draft supplement, which does not alter the NRC preliminary recommendation contained in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) released in August 2011. In that report, which is a plant-specific supplement to the NRC’s Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants, the agency stated that the adverse environmental impacts of a 20-year extension for the Seabrook, N.H. plant were not great enough to deny the option of license renewal. The recommendation is based on, among other things, the NRC’s environmental review; the environmental study submitted by the plant’s owner, NextEra Energy Seabrook LLC; consultation with federal, state and local agencies; and consideration of public comments.

The supplement to the DSEIS incorporates new information obtained by the NRC staff since the report was published. It includes the NRC staff evaluation of revised information provided by NextEra pertaining to the severe accident mitigation alternatives analysis for Seabrook. In addition, the supplement updates the uranium fuel cycle section in the DSEIS in light of a June 8, 2012 federal court decision vacating the agency’s Waste Confidence Decision Rule, and it provides information on an analysis of new National Environmental Policy Act issues and associated environmental impact findings for license renewal.