NRC finds no environmental impact for Palo Verde nuclear plant license renewal

Source: US Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission Staff has issued its final supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) for the proposed renewal of the operating license for the Palo Verde nuclear generating station’s Units 1, 2 and 3 in Maricopa County, Ariz. The report concluded there are no environmental impacts that would preclude the license renewal for an additional 20 years of operation. 

Arizona Public Service Company (APS) submitted an application to the NRC dated
December 2008 to extend the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station licenses by 20 years for each unit. Under NRC regulations, the original operating license for a nuclear power plant has a term of 40 years. The current operating licenses for Palo Verde’s Units 1, 2 and 3 expire on June 1, 2025, April 24, 2026, and Nov. 25, 2027, respectively.

As part of its environmental review of the application, the NRC held public meetings near the plant to discuss the review process and the draft version of the environmental impact statement. Comments were received and considered from members of the public, local officials, and representatives of state and federal agencies.

Publication of the final environmental impact statement does not represent final NRC action on the license renewal application. The agency staff is also finalizing its safety evaluation report (SER) on the Palo Verde license renewal. The NRC’s Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS), an independent body of experts that advises the Commission on reactor safety matters, will review the SER and make its recommendations before the agency makes a final decision on whether to renew the operating license.

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