[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 84 (Thursday, April 30, 2020)]
[Pages 24040-24042]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-08798]




Notice To Conduct Scoping and Prepare an Advanced Nuclear Reactor 
Generic Environmental Impact Statement

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Intent to conduct scoping process and prepare an Advanced 
Nuclear Reactor Generic Environmental

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Impact Statement (ANR GEIS); public meeting webinar; request for 


SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will conduct a 
scoping process to gather information necessary to prepare an ANR GEIS 
for small-scale advanced nuclear reactors. The NRC is seeking 
stakeholder input and comments on this action and has scheduled a 
public meeting webinar.

DATES: The NRC will hold a webinar on May 28, 2020 from 1:00 p.m. to 
4:00 p.m. Members of the public are invited to submit comments on the 
scope of the ANR GEIS by June 30, 2020. Scoping comments received after 
this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the NRC 
is able to ensure consideration only for comments received before this 

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking website: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2020-0101. Address 
questions about docket IDs on Regulations.gov to Jennifer Borges; 
telephone: 301-287-9127; email: [email protected]. For technical 
questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT section of this document.
     Email comments to: [email protected].
     Mail comments to: Office of Administration, Mail Stop 
TWFN-7-A60M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-
0001. For additional direction on obtaining information and submitting 
comments, see ``Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments'' in the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jack Cushing, Office of Nuclear 
Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 
Washington DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-1424 email: 
[email protected].


I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments

A. Obtaining Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2020-0101 when contacting the NRC 
about the availability of information regarding this action. You may 
obtain publicly-available information related to this action by any of 
the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking website: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2020-0101.
     NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System 
(ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the NRC 
Library at https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the 
search, select ``Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.'' For problems with 
ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room reference staff at 
1-800-397-4209 or 1-301-415-4737 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays, or by email to 
[email protected]. The ADAMS accession number for each document 
referenced (if it is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time 
that it is mentioned in this document.
     Project web page: Information related to the ANR GEIS 
project can be accessed on the NRC's web page at: https://www.nrc.gov/reactors/new-reactors/advanced.html.

B. Submitting Comments

    Please include Docket ID NRC-2020-0101 in the subject line of your 
comment submission in order to ensure that the NRC is able to make your 
comment submission available to the public in this docket.
    The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact 
information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your 
comment submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at 
https://www.regulations.gov and will enter the comment submissions into 
ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove 
identifying or contact information.
    If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons 
for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to 
include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be 
publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should 
state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to 
remove such information before making the comment submissions available 
to the public or entering the comment submissions into ADAMS.

II. Discussion

    The NRC intends to develop a GEIS for advanced nuclear reactors 
with a small generating output and correspondingly small environmental 
footprint in order to streamline the environmental review process for 
future small-scale advanced nuclear reactor environmental reviews. The 
purpose of an ANR GEIS is to determine which environmental impacts 
could result in essentially the same (generic) impact for different 
advanced nuclear reactor designs that fit within the parameters set in 
the GEIS, and which environmental impacts could result in different 
levels of impacts requiring a plant-specific analysis. Environmental 
reviews for small-scale advanced nuclear reactor license applications 
could incorporate the ANR GEIS by reference and provide site-specific 
information and analyses in a Supplemental Environmental Impact 
Statement (SEIS), thereby streamlining the environmental review 
process. In SECY-20-0020 (ADAMS Accession No. ML20052D175), the staff 
informed the Commission that it plans to use a technology-neutral plant 
parameter envelope (or PPE) approach to bound small-scale ANR projects. 
For the purposes of the ANR GEIS, the staff considers a ``small-scale'' 
ANR as having the potential to generate up to approximately 30 
megawatts thermal per reactor with a correspondingly small 
environmental footprint. The actual bounding thermal power level of the 
ANR and the environmental footprint used in the ANR GEIS are topics to 
be determined during the scoping process.
    Because small-scale advanced reactors are not specific to only one 
reactor design and could be sited anywhere in the United States that 
meets NRC siting requirements, the NRC decided to pursue a technology 
neutral approach using a PPE. The PPE will consist of a table of 
bounding values or parameters for different reactor designs located on 
a site. In addition, a table of values representing the site parameter 
envelope (e.g., size of site, quantity of water used, demographics) 
will be developed to describe the affected environment. The ANR GEIS 
will evaluate the impacts of a reactor that fits within the bounds of 
the PPE on a site that fits within the bounds of the site parameter 
envelope to determine the environmental impact.
    An application that references the ANR GEIS will need to 
demonstrate that its project is bounded by the analysis in the ANR GEIS 
and that there is no significant new information affecting the 
evaluation. The application will also need to analyze the site-specific 
resources not resolved generically in the ANR GEIS. If the project is 
bounded by the ANR GEIS and there is no significant new information, 
the NRC will incorporate by reference the ANR GEIS and no further 
analysis would be needed for a resource that was resolved generically. 
If impacts to a resource have not been resolved generically by the ANR 
GEIS, the site-specific SEIS will evaluate the impacts to the resource.
    The NRC will not authorize construction or operation of any 
advanced nuclear reactors through the

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ANR GEIS. Consultation required by Section 106 of the National Historic 
Preservation Act and Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act will be 
conducted and included in the SEIS for each application and will not be 
part of the ANR GEIS.

III. Request for Comments

    This document informs the public of the NRC's intention to conduct 
scoping and prepare an ANR GEIS for small-scale advanced nuclear 
reactors. The NRC is seeking input from the public and stakeholders 
regarding the parameters that the NRC should use to bound the small-
scale advanced reactors in the plant parameter envelope (including 
power level and size of the site) and the parameters that should be 
used to bound the affected environment in the site parameter envelope. 
In addition, the NRC is seeking input on resources or issues that can 
be resolved generically and ones that cannot.
    This document is being published in accordance with National 
Environmental Policy Act and the NRC's regulations found at part 51 of 
title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR). The NRC will 
first conduct scoping for the ANR GEIS and, as soon as practicable 
thereafter, will prepare a draft ANR GEIS for public comment. 
Participation in the scoping process by members of the public and 
local, State, Tribal, and Federal government agencies is encouraged. In 
accordance with 10 CFR 51.29 the scoping process will be used to 
accomplish the following:
    a. Define the proposed action;
    b. Determine the scope of the ANR GEIS and identify the significant 
issues to be analyzed in depth;
    c. Identify and eliminate from detailed study those issues that are 
peripheral or are not significant; or were covered by a prior 
environmental review;
    d. Identify any Environmental Assessments and other Environmental 
Impact Statements (ElSs) that are being or will be prepared that are 
related to, but are not part of, the ANR GEIS being considered;
    e. Identify other environmental review and consultation 
requirements related to the proposed action;
    f. Indicate the relationship between the timing of the preparation 
of the ANR GEIS and the Commission's tentative planning and decision-
making schedule;
    g. Identify any cooperating agencies and, as appropriate, allocate 
assignments for preparation and schedules for completing the ANR GEIS 
to the NRC and any cooperating agencies; and
    h. Describe how the ANR GEIS will be prepared, including any 
contractor assistance to be used.
    The NRC invites the following entities to participate in scoping:
    a. Any Federal agency that has jurisdiction by law or special 
expertise with respect to any environmental impact involved or that is 
authorized to develop and enforce relevant environmental standards;
    b. Affected State and local government agencies, including those 
authorized to develop and enforce relevant environmental standards;
    c. Any affected Indian Tribe; and
    d. Any person who requests or has requested an opportunity to 
participate in the scoping process.

IV. Public Scoping Webinar

    In accordance with 10 CFR 51.26(b), the scoping process for an EIS 
may include a public scoping meeting, which may help identify 
significant issues related to a proposed activity and to determine the 
scope of issues to be addressed in an EIS.
    The NRC is announcing that it will hold the public meeting as a 
webinar. The webinar will be held online and will offer a telephone 
line for members of the public to submit comments. A court reporter 
will be recording all comments received during the webinar. To be 
considered, comments must be provided either at the transcribed public 
meeting or in writing, as discussed in the ADDRESSES section of this 
document. The date and time for the public webinar are as follows:

                Meeting                      Date                  Time                       Location
Public Webinar........................       5/28/2020  1:00 PM to 4:00 PM (EDT).  Webinar Information:
                                                                                   Event number: 905642855.
                                                                                   Telephone Bridge Line: 1-888-
                                                                                   Participant Passcode:

    Persons interested in attending this webinar should monitor the 
NRC's Public Meeting Schedule web page at https://www.nrc.gov/pmns/mtg 
for additional information, agendas for the meeting, and access 
information for the webinar. Participants should register in advance of 
the meeting by visiting the website (https://usnrc.webex.com) and using 
the event number provided above. A confirmation email will be generated 
providing additional details and a link to the webinar.

    Dated: April 21, 2020.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Kenneth T. Erwin,
Chief, Environmental Review New Reactor Branch, Division of Rulemaking, 
Environmental, and Financial Support, Office of Office of Nuclear 
Material Safety and Safeguards.
[FR Doc. 2020-08798 Filed 4-29-20; 8:45 am]