The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said Tuesday that environmental impacts of a new commercial reactor at the Bell Bend site in Pennsylvania would not prevent the agency from issuing a Combined License (COL) for the project, although further reviews are in limbo, having been suspended at the request of the designer.
The NRC said the agency and the Army Corp of Engineers have concluded that the environmental impacts would not prevent a COL from being issued for the site 70 miles northeast of Harrisburg, Pa., which is adjacent to the existing Susquehanna nuclear power plant already in operation.
In February 2015, the designer of the third generation EPR, light water reactor, AREVA, requested that the NRC suspend its safety review of the reactor. Talen Energy had applied for the COL license in October 2008, seeking permission to build a new reactor.
Consequently, the Bell Bend safety review and the U.S. EPR design certification review are on hold until further notice. Regardless, the final environmental impact statements, the NRC noted, supports the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers review of the Bell Bend COL application for the activities under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of he Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899.
The Corps will issue a separate record of the decision on the work proposed for the Corps' review.
The environmental impact review, which took into consideration consultations with other federal agencies, state, tribal and local governments and comments from the public, will be published soon in the Federal Register.
The final environmental impact statement is available for public inspection at the McBride Memorial Library, 500 N. Market St., Berwick, Pa., and the Mill Memorial Public Library, 495 E. Main St., Nanticoke, Pa. The Bell Bend application and general information about new reactor licensing are available on the NRC website.