NRC to Review WCS Application, Announces Hearing Opportunity And Meetings on Scope of Environmental Review?

Nuclear Regulatory Commission – Press Release
No: 17-004 January 26, 2017
Contact: Maureen Conley, 301-415-8200

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has docketed and accepted for formal review an application from Waste Control Specialists to build and operate a spent nuclear fuel consolidated interim storage facility in Andrews, Texas. The NRC’s decision follows an acceptance review to determine whether the application contains sufficient information for the agency to begin its formal review.

WCS is seeking to store 5,000 metric tons uranium of spent fuel received from commercial nuclear power reactors across the United States.

The agency’s review will proceed on two parallel tracks – one on safety issues, the other on environmental issues. Both the safety and environmental reviews must be completed before the NRC makes a final licensing decision on the application.

The NRC’s Jan. 26 letter to WCS sets a schedule for its safety and environmental reviews, with a target of making a licensing decision by the third quarter of fiscal year 2019, assuming WCS provides high-quality responses, on schedule, to any NRC requests for additional information. The public will have 60 days from publication of a notice of docketing in the Federal Register, which will appear shortly, to submit requests for a hearing and petition to intervene in the licensing proceeding for the proposed facility. Details on how to submit those requests and petitions will be in the Federal Register notice.

The NRC will accept public comments on the scope of its Environmental Impact Statement through March 13. Details on how to submit those comments will be published shortly in the Federal Register and can be found below.

The NRC will hold two public meetings near the site of the proposed facility to take public comments on the scope of the environmental review. The meetings will be held

  • 7-10 p.m. Mountain Time, Feb. 13, at the Lea County Event Center, 5101 N. Lovington Highway, in Hobbs, N.M.
  • 7-10 p.m. Central Time, Feb. 15, at the James Roberts Center, 855 TX-176, in Andrews, Texas.

Anyone interested in attending or speaking is encouraged to pre-register by calling 301-415-6957 no later than three days prior to the meeting. The public may also register in person at each meeting. The time allowed for each speaker may be limited, depending on the number of registered speakers.

The NRC is also planning to hold additional scoping meetings at agency headquarters in Rockville, Md., during the week following the local meetings. Details are being finalized. Anyone interested in attending should check the NRC public meeting schedule for the dates and times.

Written comments on the EIS scope should refer to Docket ID NRC-2016-0231. Comments will be made publicly available and should not include identifying or personal information you do not wish to be disclosed. Comments can be filed via the federal rulemaking website; or by mail to Cindy Bladey, Office of Administration, Mail Stop: OWFN-12 H08, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.