5) Item 5: Generic Early Site Permit Application (RPT-3025281-001)
Document Overview: The Generic Early Site Permit Application template prepared under this project is to provide a model for communities who may wish to advance the opportunities for siting a new advanced nuclear reactor or small modular reactor (SMR) at their site as part of their site reuse strategy.
The Early Site Permit (ESP) is a licensing pathway available to nuclear power project developers under 10 CFR 52 “Licenses, Certifications, and Approvals for Nuclear Power Plants”. The ESP pathway allows a project developer to define a physical site and characteristics of a desired nuclear project and receive a decision from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regarding the acceptability of the proposed project at that site.
This Generic Early Site Permit Application template is intended to provide a model for communities that may wish to advance the opportunities for siting a new advanced nuclear or small modular reactor (SMR) at their site as part of their site reuse strategy. The ultimate benefit of the product would be for an energy community to progress through a staged project of completing the Generic ESPA template for their specific site and community. If the community found it in their strategic interests and capabilities, completing the ESPA template would produce a full ESPA suitable for submission to the NRC. Should the community proceed with submitting the ESPA to the NRC and receiving an ESP, such actions would tremendously reduce project risk for any potential developer at their site, greatly improving the likelihood of a nuclear project deployment at the former DOE site.
While a NRC-issued ESP does not permit a developer to begin construction of a nuclear project, it provides finality for many of the issues which may delay or block development of nuclear power at a site. By resolving these issues early, at relatively minor cost to the developer, the site then becomes a much more attractive location for deployment of a nuclear power project as the project risk is greatly reduced.
The product is a “fill-in-the-blank” template which may be used by any applicant as the foundation of an ESP Application. The project team based the product on US law, NRC regulations, NRC guidance, and precedents set by the ESP applications which were ultimately approved by the NRC. By providing a complete narrative ESP application with the site-specific and project-specific inputs clearly identified and described, a candidate community which is interested in preparing an ESPA for their site can more efficiently evaluate the resources which will be required to prepare their ESPA. The narrative product provides the candidate community with an application body which has already proven acceptable to the NRC and avoids the expense of contracting the narrative application development to an outside consultant.