Notice of Intent To Prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Production of Tritium in a Commercial Light Water Reactor
The Council on Environmental Quality's implementing regulations for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and DOE's NEPA implementing regulations require the preparation of a supplement to an environmental impact statement (EIS) when there are substantial changes to a proposal or when there are significant new circumstances or information relevant to environmental concerns. DOE may also prepare a SEIS at any time to further the purposes of NEPA. Pursuant to these provisions, the NNSA, a semi-autonomous agency within DOE, intends to prepare a SEIS to update the environmental analyses in DOE's 1999 EIS for the Production of Tritium in a Commercial Light Water Reactor (CLWR EIS; DOE/EIS-0288). The CLWR EIS addressed the production of tritium in Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) reactors using tritium-producing burnable absorber rods (TPBARs). In the Record of Decision (ROD) for the CLWR EIS, NNSA selected TVA's Watts Bar Unit 1 and Sequoyah Units 1 and 2, located in Spring City and Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee, respectively, for tritium production. TVA has been producing tritium for NNSA at Watts Bar Unit 1 since 2004. After several years of tritium production experience at TVA's Watts Bar Unit 1, NNSA has determined that tritium permeation through TPBAR cladding into the reactor cooling water occurs at a higher rate than previously projected. The proposed SEIS will analyze the potential environmental impacts associated with increased tritium permeation levels observed since 2004; DOE's revised estimate of the maximum number of TPBARs required to support the current Nuclear Posture Review tritium supply requirements; and proposed changes to TVA facilities that may be used for future tritium production. TVA will be participating as a cooperating agency in the preparation of the SEIS. Any other agency that would like to be a cooperating agency in the preparation of the SEIS is requested to contact the SEIS Document Manager as noted in this Notice under ADDRESSES.