The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will hold public meetings in states like California on proposed rule amendments related to the environmental impacts of the continued storage of spent nuclear fuel beyond a reactor’s licensed life for operation and prior to ultimate disposal (the so-called Waste Confidence rule).
The NRC will also take public comment on its forthcoming draft generic environmental impact statement (DGEIS), “Waste Confidence Generic Environmental Impact Statement,” that forms the basis for the proposed amendments. The NRC said in a notice to be published in the Sept. 6 Federal Register that it is issuing this notice in advance of the release of the proposed Waste Confidence rule and DGEIS in order to maximize public participation at these meetings.
The NRC plans to hold 12 transcribed public meetings during the public comment period to solicit comments on the proposed Waste Confidence rule and DGEIS. The NRC plans to publish the proposed Waste Confidence rule and DGEIS in September, and it will issue a notice of availability for the proposed rule and the DGEIS in the Federal Register at that time.
The DGEIS examines the potential environmental impacts that could occur as a result of the continued storage of spent nuclear fuel at at-reactor and away-from-reactor sites until a repository is available. The DGEIS provides generic environmental impact determinations that would be applicable to a wide range of existing and potential future spent fuel storage sites. While some site-specific information is used in developing the generic impact determinations, the Waste Confidence DGEIS does not replace the environmental analysis, performed under the National Environmental Policy Act, associated with any individual site licensing action.
The public meetings are:
- Oct. 1: NRC Headquarters in Maryland.
- Oct. 3: Crowne Plaza Denver International Airport Convention Center, Denver, Colo.
- Oct. 7: Courtyard by Marriott, San Luis Obispo, Calif.
- Oct. 9: Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa, Carlsbad, Calif.
- Oct. 15: Hilton Garden Inn Toledo Perrysburg, Perrysburg, Ohio.
- Oct. 17: Minneapolis Marriott Southwest, Minnetonka, Minn.
- Oct. 28: Radisson Hotel & Suites Chelmsford-Lowell, Chelmsford, Mass.
- Oct. 30: Westchester Marriott, Tarrytown, New York.
- Nov. 4: Hilton Charlotte University Place, Charlotte, North Carolina.
- Nov. 6: Hyatt Regency Orlando-International Airport, Orlando, Florida.
- Nov. 14: NRC Headquarters in Maryland.
In addition to the meetings listed above, the NRC staff intends to hold a meeting during the comment period in Illinois, with the exact date and venue yet to be arranged. The ten regional public meetings will start at 7:00 p.m. local time and will continue until 10:00 p.m. local time. The two NRC headquarters meetings will start at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time and will continue until 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. NRC staff will host informal discussions during an open house 1 hour prior to the start of each meeting.