This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

February 02, 2005

NRC to Accept Public Comments on Three Nuclear Plant Permits

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is advancing the "Early Site Permit" process for new nuclear plants at three existing nuclear plants sites: Exelon Generation Company's Clinton Power Station in Clinton, Illinois; Entergy Corporation's Grand Gulf Nuclear Power Station near Port Gibson, Mississippi; and Dominion's North Anna Power Station in central Virginia. The North Anna permitting process is the furthest along, with both the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and the draft Safety Evaluation Report complete. A public meeting to discuss the draft EIS, originally scheduled for January 26th, has been rescheduled to February 17th because of inclement weather. The NRC is also accepting written comments through March 1st. This is the only public comment period listed in the process, which aims for an NRC decision on the permit in June 2006. The public comment period for the Clinton plant is scheduled for March through May, with a public meeting on April 19th, to support an NRC decision by August 2006. The public comment period for the Grand Gulf site is scheduled for May through mid-July, with a public meeting on June 14th, to support an NRC decision by October 2006.

An Early Site Permit is a partial construction permit, good for 10 to 20 years with an option to be renewed for up to 20 years. Currently, none of the companies have definite plans to build new nuclear plants. See the NRC Early Site Permit Web page and the NRC public meeting schedule.

Meanwhile, one nuclear plant is actually under construction: the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is revamping its Browns Ferry Unit 1, a project scheduled for completion in 2007. The 1,200-megawatt plant in northern Alabama has been idle since 1985. See TVA's Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant Web page.

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