After publishing the 1999 “Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Production of Tritium in a Commercial Light Water Reactor (CLWR),” which had assumed permeation of tritium through the walls of the tritium-producing rods in the reactor at 1 curie/per rod/year, it was found that the actual permeation rate is 3–4 curies/per rod/year. Primarily for this reason, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) prepared a Supplemental EIS. Additionally, while the original EIS analyzed the impacts of up to 3,400 tritium-producing rods in a reactor, the SEIS analyzed the environmental impacts associated with a maximum of 2,500 rods per reactor. NV5, as a member of JAD Environmental, LLC, managed all aspects of the preparation of this complex SEIS.
Specifically, we prepared the project management documents, including a Project Management Plan, Quality Assurance Plan, and Administrative Record Plan, and drafted the Notice of Intent to prepare the SEIS. We also managed preparation of the materials and logistics for public scoping meetings, including responses to comments received both at the meetings and during the public comment period. Additionally, we managed the efforts of a significant number of technical experts in all disciplines necessary for preparation of such a complex EIS, including all impacts of normal operations such as air, surface, and groundwater impacts, accident analysis, and transportation impacts.
This effort required close, regular communication and coordination with program personnel from NNSA and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). TVA was a cooperating agency in preparing the SEIS because tritium-producing rods currently are being irradiated in its Watts Bar Unit 1 reactor. Once the tritium-producing rods are irradiated in the TVA reactors, they are removed and sent to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site, where the tritium is extracted. Each tritium-producing rod makes about 10,000 curies of tritium.