Construction and Demonstration of a Prototype Mobile Microreactor Environmental Impact Statement

Source: | Environ. Impact Stmt | February 17, 2022 |

The Department of Defense (DoD), acting through the Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO) and with the Department of Energy (DOE) serving as a cooperating agency, announces the availability of the Final Construction and Demonstration of a Prototype Mobile Microreactor Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIS). SCO prepared the Final EIS to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of alternatives for constructing and operating a prototype mobile microreactor capable of producing 1 to 5 megawatts of electrical power (MWe).

The Final EIS, prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), analyzes the potential environmental consequences of the proposed construction and demonstration of a prototype advanced mobile nuclear microreactor to support DoD domestic and operational energy demands. The Proposed Action includes construction of the prototype microreactor and demonstration activities at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) using DOE technical expertise and facilities at the Materials and Fuels Complex (MFC) and Critical Infrastructure Test Range Complex (CITRC).

As one of the largest users of energy in the world, DoD installations need the capability to reduce their present reliance on local electric grids and diesel-fueled generators. Advanced nuclear power is capable of meeting the DoD’s need to increase energy security and resilience, but must demonstrate its technical and safety specifications at full size and power. The joint effort between SCO and DOE makes use of DOE expertise, material, laboratories, and authority to construct and demonstrate this prototype microreactor.

This website allows SCO to share information with the public during the EIS process. This website provides the EIS documentsEIS schedule, and public hearings information.

An integral part to this EIS process is public involvement. Public and agency input allows decision makers to benefit from local knowledge and consider community concerns. SCO held a 45-day public comment period and two public hearings to receive comments on the Draft EIS. The public hearings occurred on October 20, 2021, and the video recordings can be viewed on the Public Hearings page of this website. The Final EIS considers all oral and written comments received during the public comment period, which concluded November 9, 2021.

The DoD will announce its decision regarding Project Pele in a Record of Decision (ROD) issued no sooner than 30 days after EPA publishes the Notice of Availability for the Final EIS in the Federal Register. The potential environmental impacts presented in the Final EIS, along with public input, cost, policy considerations, and other factors, will be considered by the DoD in making a decision. The ROD will present DoD’s decisions regarding Project Pele; describe the alternative selected for implementation; explain how environmental impacts will be avoided, minimized, or mitigated; and describe the factors considered in making those decisions.