Spent fuel, long-eared bats included in latest Indian Point documents

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has asked for public comment on a draft supplement to the environmental impact statement (EIS) on the much-debated proposed license renewal of the Indian Point nuclear power station in Buchanan, N.Y.

Indian Point Nuclear Units Nos. 2 and 3 are two pressurized-water reactors (PWRs) located about 24 miles north of New York City. The Indian Point units generate approximately 2,000 MW and supply about 25% of power used annually by homes, business and public facilities in New York City and Westchester County.

Nevertheless, the nuclear plant’s proximity to the nation’s largest city is one reason that Entergy (NYSE:ETR) has encountered stiff opposition to a 20-year license extension for the units. The extension is opposed by many officials, including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).

Entergy Nuclear Operations submitted its license renewal application in April 2007, and the NRC staff issued its final EIS in December 2010.

The comment period will begin upon publication of a Federal Register notice by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), expected in early January, and will end March 4.

This is the second supplement to the Indian Point environmental report. It incorporates information obtained by the NRC staff since the first supplement was published in June 2013.

The supplement includes the staff’s evaluation of revised cost estimates for severe accident mitigation alternatives, new information on the plant’s impact on aquatic life in the Hudson River, and other environmental issues.

It also incorporates findings of the NRC’s Generic Environmental Impact Statement for Continued Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel, published in September 2014. Finally, the supplement describes new consultations under the Endangered Species Act regarding the northern long-eared bat and provides an update on the status of the operating licenses of Indian Point Units 2 and 3.

Comments may be submitted over the federal government’s rulemaking website, www.regulations.gov, using Docket ID NRC-2008-0672. They may also be submitted by mail to Cindy Bladey, Office of Administration, Mail Stop OWFN-12-H08, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, D.C., 20555-0001.

The draft supplement is Volume 5 of Supplement 38 to the Generic Environmental Impact Statement for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants. It and other documents related to the Indian Point license renewal are available on the NRC website.

Although the current licenses for the two Indian Point units have now expired, NRC rules allow the reactors to continue operating because the license renewal requests were filed well in advance of the expiration.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.