The WIEB HLRW Committee submitted comments to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that it must prepare as a part of the licensing process for Interim Storage Partners’ (ISP) proposed spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste (SNF/HLW) consolidated interim storage facility in West Texas. In the comments, the HLRW Committee emphasized that transportation must be fully considered in the EIS in order for it to completely consider the potential impacts of licensing this facility. The HLRW Committee also offered the following guidance to the NRC when it is preparing the EIS: 1) take into account the official policies of the HLRW Committee; 2) fully evaluate all reasonable transportation modes and routes; and 3) consider all facets of a SNF/HLW transportation program that could influence the safety of the public and environment. Such additional facets include, among other things, analyses of the impacts of a transportation accident or incident, of the coordination and communication with states, tribes, and other stakeholders that must take place prior to a SNF/HLW transportation program, and of the level of emergency preparedness along likely shipping routes.
The NRC is expected to offer a draft EIS for public comment sometime in 2019.