NRC releases environmental review of Sequoyah nuclear plant

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing for public comment a draft plant-specific supplement to a Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) related to 20-year license renewals for Units 1 and 2 at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Sequoyah Nuclear Plant in Tennessee.

Sequoyah Nuclear Plant (SQN) Units 1 and 2 are located in Soddy-Daisy, Tenn. Possible alternatives to the proposed action (which is license renewal) include no action and reasonable alternative energy sources, the commission said in a notice to be published in the Aug. 11 Federal Register.

The NRC staff plans to hold two public meetings during a public comment period that runs to Sept. 29 to present an overview of the draft plant-specific supplement to the GEIS and to accept public comments on the document.  The two meetings will be held at the Soddy-Daisy City Hall on Sept. 17.

“The NRC’s preliminary recommendation is that the adverse environmental impacts of license renewal for SQN are not great enough to deny the option of license renewal for energy-planning decisionmakers,” the notice said.

The existing licenses (DPR-77 and DPR-79) expire on Sept. 17, 2020, and Sept. 15, 2021, respectively.

SQN is a two-unit facility that began commercial operation in July 1981 (Unit 1) and June 1982 (Unit 2). The nuclear reactor for each unit is a Westinghouse pressurized-water reactor (PWR), producing a reactor core rated thermal power of 3,455 MW thermal.

All original SQN steam generators have been replaced. The last steam generator replacement took place in 2012. The TVA said that no plant refurbishment activities were identified as necessary to support the continued operation of SQN beyond the end of the existing operating license terms.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.