US nuclear regulator updates license renewal process of nuclear power plants

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has introduced new amendments to its environmental protection regulations governing environmental impact reviews of nuclear power plant operating license renewals.

NRC said the amendments will become effective in 30 days, but compliance will not be required for one year.

License renewal environmental reviews are governed by regulations implemented in 1996 and the NRC’s Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) for License Renewal of Nuclear Plants, NUREG-1437.

The commission noted that the amendments will redefine the number and scope of environmental issues that must be addressed and incorporate lessons learned from previous license renewal reviews.

NRC recently proposed a $70,000 civil penalty against the Tennessee Valley Authority for violating the quality assurance regulations at Watts Bar nuclear plant Unit 2.