The plant produces nuclear fuel assemblies for use in commercial nuclear power reactors.
On 28 October 2019, the NRC published for public comment a draft environmental assessment related to Westinghouse’s request to renew the facility’s operating licence for an additional 40 years.
This type of assessment can result in a finding of “no significant impact” or a decision to prepare an EIS.
The NRC said that in March 2020 it received “new data collected by Westinghouse during site investigations”.
The NRC gave no details of the data, but said it had decided it could “no longer conclude that renewal of the Columbia fuel fabrication facility licence would result in a finding of no significant impact”. As a result, the NRC will proceed with an EIS.
The NRC said it will begin the EIS process by publishing a notice of intent in the Federal Register.