The staff plans to look at information on Indian Point’s impact on the aquatic environment that they did not have at the time they released original environmental assessment in 2010, according to an NRC press release from March 15. The original assessment, the “Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)” was prepared for which requests the NRC to renew Indian Point’s Units 2 and 3 licenses for another 20 years each. Unit 2’s license expires in 2013, Unit 3’s license expires in 2015.
The NRC says it plans to issue a supplement to that EIS that assesses new information regarding impingement and entrainment, thermal plumes, and the Endangered Species Act. The information is provided by Indian Point and by the National Marine Fisheries Service.
“Entergy appreciates the opportunity to provide to the NRC additional data on the record that we believe helps demonstrate Indian Point will comply with environmental regulations under a renewed license,” reads a statement from Entergy, the company that owns Indian Point.
The NRC press release reads:
As part of the NRC’s original review of the license renewal application, the NRC staff assessed the environmental impacts of the plant if it continues to operate for another 20 years. During the course of this assessment, the NRC solicited comments from members of the public, local officials and representatives of state and federal agencies and tribal governments. The supplement to the Final Environmental Impact Statement, totaling more than 2,000 pages, was published on Dec. 3, 2010. The report recommended approval of a license extension for the plant.
One of the impacts studied for the assessment involved the plant’s effects on the aquatic environment. New information that will be evaluated for a supplement to the Final Environmental Impact Statement will include:
• Additional details provided by Entergy on the field data units of measure for impingement and entrainment. (Impingement refers to the trapping of fish and other aquatic organisms against intake screens by the force of the water being drawn through a cooling water intake structure, while entrainment refers to the drawing of small aquatic organisms through a cooling water intake structure into the cooling system of a power plant.)
• A new study completed by Entergy and submitted to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation characterizing the plant’s thermal plume in the Hudson River.
• New developments concerning the staff’s consultation under the Endangered Species Act with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) regarding endangered species.
As part of its review of the application, the NRC staff performed The Indian Point license renewal application and the final Environmental Impact Statement are available on the NRC’s website.
In addition, documents related to the application are available at the following locations: The White Plains Public Library, 100 Martine Ave., White Plains, N.Y.; the 185 Kings Ferry Road, Montrose, N.Y.; and the Field Library, 4 Nelson Ave., Peekskill, N.Y.