There are no environmental impacts that would preclude issuing a permit for the Clinch River nuclear site, federal regulators said.
The final environmental impact statement (EIS) by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) was developed in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Nashville District, and is available on the NRC website.
The two-volume statement on the NRC website and associated reader’s guide are also available via the NRC’s electronic document database, ADAMS, under accession numbers ML19045A621 (the guide), ML19073A099 and ML19073A109.
The NRC held meetings in Oak Ridge, TN, in May 2017 to gather comments from the surrounding community regarding issues to include in the environmental review. The NRC held additional meetings in Kingston, TN, in June 2018 to discuss the draft environmental impact statement.
The NRC Commissioners must hold a mandatory hearing, expected later this year, before the agency can reach a final decision on issuing the permit.
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) submitted the Clinch River application in May 2016. The Early Site Permit process determines whether a site is suitable for potential future construction and operation of a nuclear power plant.
TVA’s application is seeking resolution of safety and environmental issues related to siting a potential small modular reactor at the site, located 5 miles southwest of Oak Ridge.
The 935-acre Clinch River Nuclear Site is located in Roane County along the Clinch River.
An early site permit is the NRC’s approval of a site for one or more nuclear power facilities. It does not authorize the actual construction and operation of a new nuclear power plant. That requires a construction permit and an operating license, or a combined license.
The NRC said the application and review process for an early site permit makes it possible to evaluate and resolve safety and environmental issues at a site before an applicant commits resources to the project. If an early site permit is approved, an applicant can “bank” the site for up to 20 years.