TMI Update: Jan 14, 2024

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NRC proposes streamlined environmental reviews for new reactor license applications

If finalized, the proposed rule would apply to any future fission reactor application and could reduce environmental review costs by up to 45%, Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff found.

Published April 25, 2024
By Brian Martucci
Inside Detail of Nuclear Reactor

Inside Detail of Nuclear Reactor E+ via Getty Images

Dive Brief:

  • The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission will seek public comment on a proposed rule governing environmental reviews for future nuclear reactors, according to an NRC staff memo dated April 17.
  • The rule would codify the findings of the draft Advanced Nuclear Reactor Generic Environmental Impact Statement, or ANR GEIS, produced by NRC staff. The technology-agnostic rule would “streamline the environmental reviews for future new nuclear reactors by presenting generic environmental impacts for those designs that fit within certain site and plant parameters,” the NRC said in an April 23 announcement.
  • “The Commission’s vote to codify ANR GEIS builds on agency best practices for environmental reviews and will enable the more effective, efficient and predictable licensing of advanced reactors,” Nuclear Innovation Alliance Executive Director Judi Greenwald said in a statement.

Dive Insight:

The proposed rule would apply not only to future advanced fission reactor applications but any future fission reactor applications submitted to NRC, “provided the application meets the values and the assumptions of the plant parameter envelopes and the site parameter envelopes used to develop the GEIS,” the commission said. 

The proposed rule distinguishes between environmental issues with negligible impact, which can be resolved through generic guidance governing all reactor applications, and issues with potentially greater impact, which require detailed, site-specific analysis. 

The vast majority of environmental issues have negligible impact, the NRC found. That means the proposed rule would “enable applicants and staff to use generic staff findings on 100 of 121 environmental issues in the ANR GEIS [that are] generally applicable to advanced reactors as the basis for their project specific environmental reviews,” Greenwald said.

That should free up applicants, NRC staff and public stakeholders to “focus on project-specific environmental issues for future environmental reviews for advanced reactors,” she added. NRC staff estimate that the proposed rule could reduce environmental review costs by up to 45%, E&E News reported.

In the staff memo, NRC Secretary Carrie Safford said the proposed rule must require review of the ANR GEIS every 10 years. The requirement’s language “should be identical to that used in the license renewal GEIS” for existing reactors, Safford said.

Because the proposed rule would govern any future fission reactor applications, Safford said NRC staff should “consider whether to change the title of the GEIS, with associated edits to the rulemaking package and draft guidance documents, to better reflect applicability.”

The proposed rule should also clarify that each application’s environmental review must incorporate site-specific issues raised by the review in a separate decommissioning GEIS, Safford’s memo said.

The ANR GEIS would not apply to “near-term fusion systems,” which will be regulated under a different framework, the memo said

Nuclear Regulatory Commission - News Release
No: II-24-012 April 25, 2024
Contact: Dave Gasperson, 404-997-4417
NRC Schedules Regulatory Conference with TVA To Discuss Proposed Violation at Sequoyah Nuclear Plant
Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff will hold a regulatory conference May 2 with the Tennessee Valley Authority to discuss a proposed violation at the Sequoyah nuclear plant, in Soddy Daisy, Tennessee.
The proposed violation, detailed in a March 2024 inspection report, involves TVA’s failure to establish, implement, and maintain adequate maintenance procedures for one of the plant’s emergency diesel generator’s exhaust valves.
The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. Eastern time at the NRC’s Region II office, Marquis One Tower, 245 Peachtree Center Ave. NE, Atlanta, Georgia. Members of the public interested in listening to the meeting can call 301-576-2978 and enter conference ID 488908054#.
Members of the public will have an opportunity to ask questions of the NRC staff or make comments about the issues discussed after the business portion of the meeting.
During the enforcement conference, TVA representatives will have the opportunity to provide their perspectives and additional information concerning this event before the agency makes its final enforcement decision.
No decisions on the final safety significance or any potential NRC actions regarding the proposed violation will be made at the meeting.



You're Invited! Join us May 4th


Hi Eric,

Miami Waterkeeper invites you to join us and our collaborators at Diver's Paradise on May 4th for our first-ever Scuba Clean-up. Enjoy a two-tank reef dive while removing marine debris from our underwater ecosystems!

The event runs from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. $70 per person for a 2-tank dive clean-up (does not include any dive gear) or $95 per person for 2 tank dives, including tank and weights.

Please arrive at Diver's Paradise dive shop (4000 Crandon Blvd. Key Biscayne, FL 33149)  at 8:30 am for registration. For further details on gear rentals and what to bring, Click Here.

Click to Register!

Can't make it? We have more events hereQuestions? Please reach out to Erin Cover at  

With gratitude,

Erin Cover, M.P.S. 
Education and Outreach Manager


This Earth Month, don't underestimate your impact: when our actions sync with millions of people, globally, we are driving change, and advancing resilience through climate action. We hope you can join us!

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Instagram Website

#EarthDay #PlanetvsPlastic  #ProtectTheWaterYouLove  #InvestInOurPlanet   

Nuclear Regulatory Commission - News Release
No: 24-026 April 23, 2024
CONTACT: Scott Burnell, 301-415-8200
NRC to Issue Proposed Generic Environmental Impact Statement for New Reactors
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has directed the staff to issue for public comment a proposed Generic Environmental Impact Statement rulemaking that is intended for potential use by applicants and the agency during new nuclear reactor licensing.
The NRC is proposing a technology-neutral approach for the GEIS to cover different reactor designs. It would cover any new nuclear reactor application meeting the parameters used to develop the GEIS. The proposed GEIS would streamline the environmental reviews for future new nuclear reactors by presenting generic environmental impacts for those designs that fit within certain site and plant parameters. If the rule is finalized, new reactor license applications would supplement applicable generic environmental findings with evaluation of project-specific issues.
The NRC will seek public comment on the proposed rule following its publication in the Federal Register. Public meetings and other methods to submit comments will be publicized when the proposed rule is published.


Nuclear Information and Resource Service

Dear Eric, 

Welcome to the Spring edition of the NIRS Newsletter! ICYMI (in case you missed it), we have some important updates and news to share with you this month, so let's dive right in.

1. Legislative Updates: S. 1111 and H.R. 6544

We continue to closely monitor the progress of bills S. 1111 and H.R. 6544, which threaten to undermine nuclear safety regulations and promote further nuclear expansion in the U.S. and around the world. These bills represent a dangerous step backward in our fight for a clean, renewable energy future. We urge you to stay informed and take action to oppose these bills.

2. In The News:

  • "Renewable Energy Shatters Records in the U.S." - Check out this insightful article from Scientific American highlighting the unprecedented growth of renewable energy sources in the United States. Read more
  • "Oppenheimer Japan Premiere: Christopher Nolan Sheds Light on Hiroshima and Nagasaki" - This thought-provoking piece from Vox explores the cultural significance of Christopher Nolan's latest film and its portrayal of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Read more
  • "Biden is marking Earth Day by announcing $7 billion in federal solar power grants" - Celebrating Earth Day wins with new federal funding of renewables. Read more
  • "These 18 Utah cities and towns still want clean energy, even as RMP backs off" - Communities in Utah plan to find their own clean power sources after utility recommits to coal. Read more

3. In The Movement:

  • Save RECA Campaign Gains Momentum - Join the #SaveRECA movement and stand up for justice for victims of radiation exposure. Together, we can fight for the extension and expansion of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act. Stay informed and get involved HERE.
  • Spring into Action with NIRS - As we celebrate Earth Day this month (April 22nd), you can spring into action and help support NIRS in our mission to promote a renewable energy future for all. Whether it's donating, forwarding this email and getting others to sign up for our email list, or sharing our social media posts–every action counts! #RenewableEnergy #EarthDay #NoMoreNuclear #NoFalseSolutions
  • April 26th marks the 38th anniversary of the Chornobyl disaster - What has changed in the landscape of nuclear energy safety since this meltdown? Turns out, not much–in fact, we have seen many recent rollbacks on safety measures in the US, first proposed during COVID-19 restrictions and continued in legislation like the Senate bill S.1111 and House bill H.R. 6544. 
  • Experience the powerful story of Radioactive: The Women of Three Mile Island - Now available for streaming on Apple TV and Amazon Prime. Explore the untold truths of nuclear energy, its impact, and the voices of those affected. #RadioactiveFilm

4. DUE MIDNIGHT TONIGHT!! Time Is Running Out! Take Action: Submit Your Comments on HALEU Acquisition

The Department of Energy is currently seeking public comments on the acquisition of High-Assay Low-Enriched Uranium (HALEU, “hay-loo”). This radioactive material poses serious risks to public health and the environment. We urge you to submit your comments to DOE EIS Document Manager James Lovejoy and voice your opposition to this dangerous acquisition.

Thank you for your continued support and dedication to our cause. Together, we can build a safer, cleaner, and more sustainable energy future for all.


Join the fight and follow us on social media!

Help us reach our matching grant today!

In solidarity,  

The NIRS Team 

Diane D’Arrigo 

Denise Jakobsberg 

Tim Judson 

Ann McCann 


Small Modular Reactor Projects Fuel National and International Security Risks
WASHINGTON, D.C. – NEWS ADVISORY – A new report from nuclear expert Sharon Squassoni from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University (GW) analyzes the national security risks of new nuclear reactor projects proposed for the U.S. and abroad. The GW report will be released during a live video-based news event on Tuesday, April 23rd.
Renewed interest in nuclear energy as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions led to the United States and 21 other countries pledging in 2023 to triple nuclear energy by 2050. They devoted zero attention to the national security implications of such a huge expansion. Drone strikes against Ukrainian nuclear power plants are the most recent example of nuclear plant vulnerabilities, but other national security risks will accompany significant nuclear growth, including nuclear weapons proliferation, energy insecurity and nuclear terrorism.  Small modular reactors will not reduce those risks.
News event speakers will be:
·Report author Sharon Squassoni, research professor, Elliott School of International Affairs. After serving in the State Department, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and the Congressional Research Service, Squassoni has focused research on reducing risks from nuclear energy and nuclear weapons at GWU.  A member of Pugwash, she sits on the boards of the PIR Center, the Wisconsin Project, and the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation. She recently co-founded the Climate-Security Initiative.
·Jane Nakano and Dr. Mariana Budjeryn will comment on the report.  Nakano is senior fellow at the Center for Strategic & International Studies and an expert on energy and climate change. Budjeryn is senior researcher at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center and author of Inheriting the Bomb: The Collapse of the USSR and the Nuclear Disarmament of Ukraine.
·Stephanie Cooke, former editor of Nuclear Intelligence Weekly and author of In Mortal Hands: A Cautionary History of the Nuclear Age, will moderate the session.
A live, two-way video-based news conference with full Q&A on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, at 1 p.m. EDT. A streaming version of the news event will be available later that same day at
RSVP to participate in the news event by registering here. Reporters will be provided a link to participate directly in the event, including the Q&A period. Reporters who elect to participate by a traditional dial-up phone call will be in a listen-only mode for the Q&A period and can pose questions after the fact. The Q&A period will be reserved for members of the news media only.
Alex Frank at (703) 276-3264 or

The Elliott School is one of the world’s leading schools of international affairs. Located in the heart of Washington, D.C., its mission is to educate the next generation of international leaders, conduct research that advances understanding of important global issues and engage the policy community in the United States and around the world.

Indian Point owner sues NY to overturn law banning radiological water in Hudson River
Thomas C. Zambito New York State Team
The owners of the shuttered Indian Point nuclear power plant sued the state of New York today, claiming a law banning the discharge of radiological water into the Hudson River is a “blatant infringement” of the federal government’s role in nuclear safety.
The lawsuit filed by Holtec International in U.S. District Court in Manhattan asks a judge to declare a law signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul in August unconstitutional.
It claims the measure, backed by Democratic lawmakers from the lower Hudson Valley, was billed as a way to protect real estate values in river towns when the true intent was to regulate radiological health and safety.
“This false pretense does not change the fact that the State is attempting to regulate matters with a direct effect on radiological safety,” the lawsuit says.
Earlier versions of the bill mentioned possible health risks caused by exposure to radiological material. The final version did not.
Months after the law was signed, Holtec announced that if it wasn’t allowed to dump a million gallons of radiological water used to cool nuclear fuel into the Hudson it would need another eight years to tear down the plant, extending its timetable to 2041.
“The failure of New York State to respect Federal Law, and follow the facts and science of the issue, left us no other means for remedy,” Holtec said in a statement issued today. “The passage of the bill has already delayed the planned completion of the decommissioning of Indian Point an additional 8 years, which hurts the local community’s desire to see the project completed and the property returned as an asset for economic development in the region.  We look forward to the legal process moving along on this important decision.”
Environmental groups, including Riverkeeper, claimed the best course was to house the water on the 240-acre site in Buchanan.
But radiation scientists told the USA Today Network last year the low levels of tritium that would be released into the water posed no danger to public health. The plant’s previous owners had used the Hudson to make similar discharges during the nearly 60 years the plant was in operation.
A Hochul spokeswoman declined to comment on the lawsuit

Ukraine to manufacture components for small modular reactors


Ukraine to manufacture components for small modular reactors


Ukraine will be manufacturing components for small modular reactors, as Ukraine's state nuclear energy regulator Energoatom and Holtec International have signed an agreement to that effect.

Source: Ukraine’s Energy Ministry

Quote: "The agreement involves the establishment of facilities in Ukraine for the production and manufacture of nuclear systems, structures, and components for small modular reactors, as well as storage and transport systems for spent nuclear fuel. It also covers other needs for the use of nuclear energy in Ukraine and other countries in the region," the ministry said.

The document was signed by Petro Kotin, Head of Energoatom, and Kris Singh, President and CEO of Holtec International, in the presence of Minister of Energy German Galushchenko. 

Kotin thanked Holtec for a successful cooperation over the years. 

"This agreement is important not only for Energoatom but also for Ukraine's entire energy sector and the domestic economy. It is the first step towards strengthening cooperation over many years. Establishing nuclear energy production facilities in the country will contribute not only to strengthening the country's energy security but also to Ukraine becoming a global leader in various areas of nuclear energy development," he said.

Kris Singh, in turn, called on the US Congress to help the people of Ukraine: "The signing of this Agreement was preceded by a devastating blow from Russia last Thursday to the power plant that supplies electricity to the Kyiv region. The Ukrainian defence, weakened by the inaction of Congress regarding the bill on financial assistance to the affected country, could not stop more than a third of the drones and missiles that destroyed the power plant. 

The restoring of the country's energy infrastructure must begin now to stop Putin's attempts to destroy Ukraine's energy capabilities completely," said the President and CEO of Holtec International.

Read also: Russia continues to destroy the Ukrainian energy infrastructure. What should Ukraine expect without thermal power plants?


  • Energoatom has started a project to construct power units nos. 5 and 6 at the Khmelnytskyi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) using American AP1000 technology by Westinghouse. The first concrete cube for power unit no. 5 has already been laid.