For the second time, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has extended the deadline for submitting comments on the draft environmental impact statement for Holtec International’s application to construct and operate a consolidated interim storage facility for spent nuclear fuel and greater-than-Class C waste in southeastern New Mexico. As published in the June 24 Federal Register, the new deadline for comments is September 22.
The NRC said that given recent events associated with the COVID–19 public health emergency, it was extending the deadline to allow the public more time to develop and submit comments. The draft EIS was first made public on March 20, with an initial deadline for comments of May 22. On April 27, the NRC extended the deadline by two months, citing the COVID-19 health emergency as the reason for the extension.
NRC review: In the draft EIS, the NRC staff concluded that the environmental impacts of the project would not preclude granting Holtec a license for the storage facility, called the HI-STORE CISF. If approved by the NRC, Holtec would be licensed for the initial phase (Phase 1) of the project to store 8,680 metric tons of spent fuel in 500 canisters for a 40-year license period. Holtec anticipates subsequently requesting amendments to the license to store an additional 5,000 metric tons of spent fuel for each of 19 expansion phases to be completed over the course of 20 years. If granted, the HI-STORE CISF could eventually store up to 10,000 canisters of spent fuel.
Comments can be submitted through the federal rulemaking website with a search for Docket ID NRC–2018–0052. Comments can also be mailed to Office of Administration, Mail Stop: TWFN–7–A60M, Attn.: Program Management, Announcements and Editing Staff, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington DC 20555–0001; or emailed to Holtec-CISFEIS@nrc.gov.