In the past week Luminant’s proposed Comanche Peak Units 3 and 4 and UniStar’s proposed Calvert Cliffs Unit 3 reactors received environmental approvals associated with applications for combined construction and operation licenses (COLs) from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). 

The NRC and USACE completed a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the proposed Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant Units 3 and 4, concluding that there are “no environmental impacts that would preclude issuing the COLs” for construction and operation of the proposed reactors at the site, near Glen Rose, Texas. The USACE will use the information in the FEIS in making its federal permit decision in accordance with the Clean Water Act and Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899.

The NRC’s publishing of the FEIS is only part of the overall Comanche Peak COL review, the agency said on Monday. The agency staff continues to compile its final safety evaluation report (SER), which will include recommendations from the NRC’s Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards, an independent group of nuclear safety experts. The NRC’s five commissioners must also conduct a mandatory hearing regarding whether the staff’s review supports the findings necessary to issue the COLs. 

Luminant had applied in September 2008 for a license to build and operate two U.S. Advanced Pressurized-Water Reactors (US-APWR) adjacent to the existing Comanche Peak nuclear power plant; it supplemented the report in November 2009. The US-APWR is a large pressurized-water reactor with a design output of approximately 1,500 MWe. The US-APWR’s designer, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, filed an application with the NRC on Dec. 31, 2007, to certify the reactor. 

The NRC and USACE on Friday also said they had completed a FEIS for the COL of the proposed Calvert Cliffs Unit 3 reactor, finding no environmental impacts that would bar issuing a COL for the construction and operation of the reactor at the site near Lusby, Md. 

Unistar, a wholly owned EDF firm, has applied for a license to build and operate an AREVA EPR reactor adjacent to the existing Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant, approximately 40 miles south of Annapolis, Md. AREVA filed an application for the EPR on Dec. 11, 2007, to certify the design. 

Sources: POWERnews, NRC