NRC Resumes Review of Application to Build Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility in Texas

NRC is accepting additional public comments through Oct. 19 on environmental issues to be considered in its environmental impact statement, and the agency has given stakeholders until Oct. 29 to request a hearing.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission this month has resumed its safety and environmental reviews of an application by Interim Storage Partners to construct and operate a consolidated spent nuclear fuel storage facility in Andrews County, Texas.

The application was initially filed by Waste Control Specialists in 2016. The company requested that NRC suspend its review in April 2017, pending the anticipated sale of the company; WCS was sold to J.F. Lehman & Co. in January 2018 and, in March, WCS and Orano, an international nuclear supplier, formed Interim Storage Partners as a joint venture to take over the spent fuel storage project. The new company submitted a revised application to NRC in June 2018.

When NRC’s review was suspended last year, the staff was in the process of receiving public comment on the scope of its environmental review and had issued a notice of opportunity for an adjudicatory hearing. Those processes will now resume. The staff will consider all comments previously received on the scope of the environmental review; NRC is accepting additional public comments through Oct. 19 on environmental issues to be considered in its environmental impact statement, and the agency has given stakeholders until Oct. 29 to request a hearing.

The NRC staff expects to complete its safety, security, and environmental reviews in the summer of 2020.

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