Proposed nuclear reactors at Levy County site clear NRC environmental review

Source: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Jacksonville District, have completed the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Combined Licenses (COL) for the proposed Levy County Units 1 and 2. 

The NRC concludes in the FEIS that there are no environmental impacts that would preclude issuing the COLs for construction and operation of the proposed reactors at the site, near Crystal River, Fla. The USACE will use the information in the FEIS in making its federal permit decision in accordance with the Clean Water Act and Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. 

The NRC’s publishing of the FEIS is only part of the overall Levy County 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 Atomic Safety and Licensing Board is currently conducting a proceeding on challenges to the staff’s environmental review. The NRC’s five Commissioners must also conduct a mandatory hearing regarding the application and the staff’s review. All of these items must be completed before the NRC can reach a final decision on the COL application. 

Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN) submitted a COL application July 30, 2008, seeking permission to construct and operate two AP1000 nuclear reactors at the Levy County site. The AP1000 is a Westinghouse 1,100 megawatt electric pressurized-water reactor design the NRC certified in December 2011. 

The FEIS will be available on the NRC website. The NRC staff, in cooperation with USACE, gathered comments from the community near the site in December 2008 during the environmental scoping process. The agencies issued a draft EIS in August 2010 and met with the local community again in September 2010 for additional comments. 

The three-volume FEIS is also available via the NRC’s electronic document database, ADAMS, by entering accession numbers ML12100A063, ML12100A068 and ML12100A070 in the ADAMS search engine. In addition, a hardbound copy of the DEIS will be available for public inspection at four local libraries: 1) the Citrus County Coastal Region Library at 8619 West Crystal St. in Crystal River; 2) the Dunnellon Branch Library at 20351 Robinson Road in Dunnellon, Fla.; 3) the AF Knotts Public Library at 11 56th St. in Yankeetown, Fla.; and 4) the Bronson Public Library at 600 Gilbert St. in Bronson, Fla.

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