Environmental Reviews for Nuclear Power Plants


This course is designed to assist IRDP members in understanding the process for evaluation of environmental impacts for new nuclear power plants. In this course, the instructors will discuss the application of environmental laws and guidance to the licensing of nuclear power plants in the United States (U.S), which includes the U.S. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 and NRC’s regulation - 10 CFR Part 51. In addition, the instructors will address the range of environmental impacts related to the construction and operation of a nuclear power plant. Students will be instructed on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) processes for performing environmental reviews and for developing environmental reports such as an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The instructors will also provide information about guidance from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).


Course instructors will address the potential environmental impacts from the construction and operation of NPP on the following: land use, water use and quality, aquatic and terrestrial ecology, socioeconomics, environmental justice, cultural and historic resources, meteorology and air quality, radiological effluents, and postulated reactor accidents. In addition, the potential impacts of the nuclear fuel cycle, transportation, and decommissioning on the environment will be discussed so the students have a basic understanding of the environmental impacts over the life cycle of the NPP. The instructors will discuss how to perform the review, the use of acceptance criteria, and the application of monitoring and mitigation measures. The instructors will describe the site selection process, starting with the evaluation of alternatives and concluding with the selection of a preferred alternative - final site selection. The instructors will also lead the participants through a series of exercises to fully understand the environmental review process and the potential environmental impacts for potential sites.

The primary audience of the course includes the management and technical staff of the regulatory agencies responsible for evaluating and reviewing those environmental impacts.