TVA invites input on Clinch River plans

February 3, 2021, 3:19PMNuclear News

An advanced nuclear reactor technology park is hoped for the 935-acre Clinch River site. Image: TVA

The Tennessee Valley Authority is seeking public comment on its notice of intent to prepare a programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) on proposed actions for an advanced nuclear reactor technology park at the 935-acre Clinch River site near Oak Ridge, Tenn. The notice, published yesterday, is also expected to appear in this Friday’s Federal Register.

The consideration of a new nuclear facility at the Clinch River site “supports TVA’s mission statement and is another way to assess how to serve the people of the Tennessee Valley,” according to TVA.

Your turn: TVA is requesting comments on the scope of the PEIS, alternatives being considered (including a no-action alternative), and environmental issues. Comments are due by March 19 and can be submitted online, via email, or by mail to J. Taylor Cates, NEPA Specialist, 1101 Market Street, BR 2C-C, Chattanooga, TN 37402.

TVA recommends giving feedback electronically, due to COVID-19 teleworking restrictions.

Background: An early site permit (ESP) for small modular reactors at Clinch River was issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in December 2019. The permit closed several site-related issues for the deployment of two or more small modular reactors at a nuclear facility with a total output that would not exceed 800 MWe.

TVA began exploring the idea of an SMR project more than 10 years ago in 2009 and applied for an ESP in 2016. The NRC began formally reviewing the 8,000-page application in January 2017. The permit is valid for 20 years, until December 19, 2039.

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