NRC names board to handle PSEG’s early site permit application

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will post a notice in the Sept. 30 Federal Register that an Atomic Safety and Licensing Board is being established to preside over the 2010 application by PSEG Power LLC and PSEG Nuclear LLC for an Early Site Permit on new nuclear capacity in New Jersey at an existing power plant site.

The NRC review team is processing an application submitted by PSEG Power and PSEG Nuclear for an early site permit (ESP) for a site located adjacent to the existing Hope Creek Generating Station (HCGS) and Salem Generating Station Units 1 and 2 (SGS) on the eastern shore of the Delaware River Estuary in Lower Alloways Creek Township, Salem County, New Jersey.

Because the applicants seek an early site permit, a mandatory hearing is required. The board is comprised of the following NRC administrative judges: Paul S. Ryerson, Dr. Gary S. Arnold, and Dr. Craig M. White.

Various other things have happened lately in this docket. For example, an August 2015 Supplemental Biological Assessment was filed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. As part of its review of this ESP application, the NRC is preparing an environmental impact statement (EIS). The EIS will include an analysis of pertinent environmental issues, including endangered and threatened species and impacts to fish and wildlife, the report noted. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Philadelphia District, is a cooperating agency on the EIS.

Issuance of an ESP is a process that is separate from the issuance of a construction permit (CP), an operating license (OL), or a combined license (COL) for that facility. The ESP application and review process makes it possible to evaluate and resolve safety and environmental issues related to siting before the applicant makes a large commitment of resources. If the ESP is approved, the applicant can “bank” the site for up to 20 years for future reactor siting but may not conduct activities defined as “construction” without receiving further authorization. An ESP does not authorize construction activities or operation of a nuclear power plant. To construct and operate a nuclear power plant, an ESP holder must obtain a CP and an OL, or a COL, which are separate major federal actions that require their own environmental reviews.

PSEG Power filed a July 2 “Revision 2” to the Quality Assurance Program Description for the Early Site Permit Application. Revision 2 to the includes a revised organization chart due to changes in the reporting relationships for the PSEG corporate and PSEG Nuclear organizations.

It is assumed that a new nuclear power plant at the PSEG site would generate a maximum of approximately 2,200 MW. Multiple high-voltage transmission lines currently connect the PSEG site to the transmission grid. A new onsite electrical switchyard would need to be constructed to support the operation of a new nuclear power plant.

PSEG Power and PSEG Nuclear are both units of Public Service Enterprise Group (NYSE: PEG).

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.