The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has completed its final safety evaluation report (SER) for combined licences for two proposed AP1000 nuclear power units at Duke Energy’s William States Lee III site in South Carolina. NRC concluded there were no safety concerns that would inhibit a construction and operating licence for the project.
Duke submitted a combined construction and operation licence (COL) application to NRC for the proposed plant at the end of 2007. In October 2012, Duke informed the NRC that it planned to relocate the two units "in order to manage project construction risks". They will be relocated 20 metres south and unit 1 will be relocated 15 metres east. At that time Duke expected that, "The impacts of relocation on the Lee COL application will be minor and are expected to simplify COL application presentation and improve margins to associated acceptance criteria." In July 2013, when a delay in the site safety evaluation was announced, Duke said it would maintain a target completion date for the plant for some time in the 2020s.
The final SER and the final environmental impact statement on the application will be submitted for the mandatory hearing, which is expected to be completed this year. At the hearing, NRC will vote on whether or not to authorise its staff to issue the licences for the reactors.