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Draft EIS Issued for Two Proposed Nuclear Power Plants

February 2015
Draft EIS issued for two proposed nuclear power plants in South Florida
Conceptualization of Proposed Units 6 and 7 Superimposed on the Turkey Point Site (from FPL [Florida Power and Light Company]. 2014. Turkey Point Plant, Units 6 and 7 COL Application—Part 3: Environmental Report. Revision 6, Juno Beach, Florida. Accession No. ML14342A011.)
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PNNL's delivery of the draft Environmental Impact Statement for Combined Licenses for Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant Units 6 and 7 enabled its on-schedule publication by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for public review and comment in February. PNNL led the team that supported the NRC in preparing the environmental impact statement (EIS). Researchers in PNNL's Energy and Environment Directorate performed the impacts analysis for the more challenging sections of the document—hydrology, aquatic and terrestrial ecology, alternatives—and analyzed the need for power and transportation impacts of the proposed action. PNNL staff also coordinated the input from several other contractors supporting the NRC, pulled their contributions into the consolidated EIS, and edited and produced the entire document.

The draft EIS describes the environmental impact of building and operating two new nuclear power plants at the Turkey Point site south of Miami, Florida. Bob Bryce, PNNL Project Manager, said "the review was especially challenging because of the many demands for fresh water in South Florida, the proximity of the site to the Biscayne and Everglades National Parks, and environmental challenges associated with the existing power plants at the site." Adding to the complexity of the task is the challenge of considering the impact of global climate change and sea-level rise on the region; strong interest in the project from the National Park Service and other Federal, State, and local agencies; and the proposed use of a unique, cooling-water system that relies on reclaimed water from the City of Miami and disposes of wastewater to a deep geologic horizon.

The Turkey Point team recently received a congratulatory email message from Alicia Williamson, the NRC Environmental Project Manager, about the February 27, 2015 publication of the draft EIS. In the email, she thanked team members for their patience, hard work, and dedication. "This EIS was a difficult task due to constantly changing environmental conditions, input from various Federal/State/local agencies, unique/one-of-a-kind reactor technology, and a wildly unpredictable review schedule," she said.

The NRC conducts environmental reviews of license applications related to nuclear power plants to independently evaluate the environmental impacts of the proposed action along with alternatives. The three-year process includes the publication of a draft EIS for public comment and the next phase of the environmental review process: public meetings, response to public comments, and finalizing the EIS.

The Draft EIS can be found on the Turkey Point homepage of the NRC’s public website.

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