TVA seeking public input on proposed advanced nuclear reactor power plant

Tennessee Valley Authority is asking for public comment on the environmental impact of proposed advanced nuclear reactor technologies intended for one of the TVA’s power plant sites.

The federal utility is considering installation of smaller advanced reactor technology for the Clinch River Nuclear site in Roane County, Tenn. Smaller modular and advanced reactors can offer the same carbon-free electricity as conventional nuclear power, but reportedly with a smaller footprint, lower financial costs and lesser environmental and safety concerns, according to proponents.

Late last year, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the TVA’s early-site permit for potentially putting a small modular nuclear reactor at its Clinch River site.

The TVA was the first utility nationally to receive NRC approval for an early site permit related to small modular reactors. The 20-year permit would allow TVA to begin planning on whether to build and operate a potential 800-MW facility near Oak Ridge, Tenn.

See PE’s full coverage of small modular reactor technologies

The federal utility currently has no plans to build a nuclear power plant, but the NRC go-ahead gives TVA flexibility if it chooses to pursue carbon-free electricity generation options.

TVA is asking for public comments to identify potential alternatives, information, and analysis relevant to the construction, operation, and decommissioning of such a park.

The park would contain one or more advanced nuclear reactors with a cumulative electrical output not to exceed 800 megawatts. TVA plans to evaluate a variety of alternatives, including a no-action alternative.

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TVA will host a virtual open house on March 1, 2021 from 6-8 p.m. EST. Detailed information is available at www.tva.com/nepa.

The public is invited to submit comments, which must be received or postmarked by March 19, 2021. Comments may be submitted in writing to J. Taylor Cates, NEPA Specialist, 1101 Market Street, BR 2C-C, Chattanooga, TN 37402; online at https://www.tva.com/nepa; or by email to nepa@tva.gov. Please note that due to COVID-19 teleworking restrictions, electronic submission of comments is encouraged to ensure timely review and consideration.

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