EIS issued on proposed Bell Bend nuclear plant in Pennsylvania

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said April 26 that they have found no environmental impacts that would prohibit issuance of a combined construction and operating license (COL) to Talen Energy (NYSE:TLN) for a nuclear unit at the Bell Bend site in Pennsylvania.

The site is adjacent to the existing Susquehanna nuclear power plant, about 70 miles northeast of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The NRC staff conducted an independent assessment of the Bell Bend COL application. The environmental review will be published soon in the Federal Register.

The review took into account consultations with other federal agencies, state, tribal and local governments, and considered comments received during the public scoping process in 2009 and 2012. The staff also considered comments received on the draft environmental impact statement issued in April 2015.

The NRC staff conclusions are documented in NUREG-2179, “Environmental Impact Statement for the Combined License for the Bell Bend Nuclear Power Plant: Final Report,” parts one and two.

PPL (NYSE:PPL) submitted the application on Oct. 10, 2008, seeking permission to construct and operate a U.S. EPR reactor at the site. AREVA the designer of the U.S. EPR, requested that the NRC staff suspend its safety review of the U.S. EPR design certification application in February 2015.

As a result, the U.S. EPR design certification review and Bell Bend safety review are on hold until further notice.

At whatever point the Bell Bend plant should be developed, it would provide 1,600 MW of additional nuclear baseload electric power to the northeast portion of the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland Regional Transmission Organization grid.

Talen got the development rights to Bell Bend when it was spun off from PPL.

The final environmental impact statement supports the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers review of the Bell Bend COL application for the activities under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbor Act of 1899. The Corps will issue a separate record of decision on the work proposed for Corps’ review and authorization.

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.