Comment period extended for Texas interim SNF site

July 23, 2020, 7:00AMRadwaste Solutions

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has extended the deadline for public comments on a draft environmental impact statement for Interim Storage Partners’ (ISP) license application to construct and operate a consolidated interim storage facility for spent nuclear fuel and greater-than-Class C waste in Andrews County, Texas. The NRC said the 60-day extension, to November 3, was to allow more time for members of the public to develop and submit comments in light of the events associated with the COVID-19 health emergency.

The details: The NRC originally released its draft EIS for the ISP interim storage facility on May 8, with a deadline for comments of September 4. The draft EIS contains the NRC staff’s preliminary analysis of the environmental impacts of the proposed facility, along with the staff’s recommendation that a license be issued authorizing the facility to store up to 5,000 metric tons of spent fuel for a license period of 40 years. If licensed, ISP would expand the site to store up to 40,000 metric tons of spent fuel over eight phases.

ISP, a joint venture of Orano USA and Waste Control Specialists, submitted a revised application to the NRC in June 2018 to construct and operate the CISF at WCS’s existing 14,000-acre waste repository site in west Texas. WCS first applied for a consolidated interim storage facility license in April 16, but later asked that the licensing be suspended after the U.S. Department of Justice successfully sued to block the sale of WCS to Utah-based EnergySolutions.

Comments: Comments on the draft EIS can be submitted through the federal rulemaking website with a search for Docket ID NRC–2016–0231. Notice of the extension of the public comment period was published in the July 22 Federal Register.

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