NRC issues final environmental impact statement for South Texas Project new reactors application

Source: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has completed its Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the proposed South Texas Project Units 3 and 4, reactors and concludes that there are no environmental impacts that would preclude issuing Combined Licenses (COL) for construction and operation of the proposed reactors at the site, near Bay City, Texas.

The NRC environmental review included public meetings near the site in February 2008 to gather comments on the scope of the review. The staff considered comments from members of the public, local officials, and representatives of state and federal agencies before issuing a draft EIS in March 2010. The staff held additional public meetings in May 2010 to gather comments on the draft EIS. 

The NRC received the South Texas Project COL application on Sept. 27, 2007. The applicant, Nuclear Innovation North America, seeks approval to build and operate two Advanced Boiling Water Reactors (ABWR) at the site. The ABWR is a 1,200 MWe design certified by the NRC in 1997.

The NRC’s publishing of the FEIS is only part of the overall South Texas Project COL review. The agency staff continues to compile its final safety evaluation report (SER), which will include recommendations from the NRC’s Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards, an independent group of nuclear safety experts. The NRC’s final licensing decision will be based on the FEIS and SER findings, along with a ruling from the five-member Commission that heads the agency.

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