Comment period on Texas SNF storage facility opens

May 11, 2020, 10:17AMRadwaste Solutions

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is requesting comments on its draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for Interim Storage Partners’ (ISP) proposed consolidated interim storage facility (CISF) for spent nuclear fuel and greater-than-Class C (GTCC) waste in West Texas. The NRC published notice of the draft EIS in the May 8 Federal Register with a deadline of September 4 to submit comments. The NRC said that it is extending the usual 60-day comment period to allow more time for members of the public to submit comments during the COVID-19 health emergency.

Comments can be submitted through the federal rulemaking website with a search for Docket ID NRC–2016–0231.

Environmental review: The draft EIS contains the NRC staff’s preliminary recommendation that an NRC license be granted to ISP to construct and operate the CISF to temporarily store up to 5,000 metric tons of uranium in commercial spent fuel and GTCC for a licensing period of 40 years. The NRC staff found that, for most environmental resource areas analyzed, the impacts of the CISF would be small, meaning that they are not detectable or are so minor that they would neither destabilize nor noticeably alter any important attribute of the resource. The NRC is also conducting a parallel analysis and review of the technical safety aspects of the ISP CISF, with a safety evaluation report scheduled to be released in the spring of 2021.

ISP, a joint venture of Orano USA and Waste Control Specialists (WCS), in June 2018 submitted to the NRC its revised license application for the CISF, which is to be located at WCS’s existing disposal facility for low-level radioactive waste in Andrews County, Texas. An earlier WCS license application for the project was put on hold in early 2017 due to cost concerns.

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