[Federal Register Volume 69, Number 249 (Wednesday, December 29, 2004)]
[Notices]
[Pages 78058-78059]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 04-28455]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 70-7004]


Notice of Public Scoping Meeting Regarding the Proposed USEC 
American Centrifuge Plant

AGENCY: United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

ACTION: Meeting notice.

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SUMMARY: USEC Incorporated (USEC) submitted a license application to 
the NRC on August 23, 2004, proposing the construction, operation and 
future decommissioning of the American Centrifuge Plant (ACP) gas 
centrifuge uranium enrichment facility near Piketon, OH. The NRC 
previously announced its intent to prepare an Environmental Impact 
Statement (EIS) on October 15, 2004, (69 FR 61268). This notice is to 
notify the public and interested parties of a public meeting to discuss 
to the NRC's environmental review of the proposed ACP.

DATES: The public scoping process required by the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) will continue until February 1, 2005. 
Written comments submitted by mail should be postmarked by that date to 
ensure full consideration. Comments mailed after that date will be 
considered to the extent possible.
    The NRC will conduct a public scoping meeting to assist in defining 
the appropriate scope of the EIS, including the significant 
environmental issues to be addressed. The meeting date, times and 
location are listed below:
    Meeting Date: January 18, 2005.
    Meeting Location: Zahns Corner Middle School, 2379 Schuster Road, 
Piketon, Ohio 45661.
    Scoping Meeting: 7 p.m. to 9:45 p.m.
    Members of the NRC staff will be available for informal discussions 
with members of the public from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. The formal meeting and 
associated NRC presentation begins at 7 p.m. For planning purposes, 
those who wish to present oral comments at the meeting are encouraged 
to pre-register by contacting Ron Linton of the NRC by telephone at 1-
800-368-5642, Extension 7777, or by e-mail to rcl1@nrc.gov no later 
than January 6, 2005. Interested persons may also register to speak at 
the meeting.

ADDRESSES: Members of the public and interested parties are invited and 
encouraged to submit comments to the Chief, Rules Review and Directives 
Branch, Mail Stop T6-D59, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 
Washington, DC 20555-0001. The NRC encourages comments to be submitted 
electronically to nrcrep@nrc.gov. Please refer to Docket No. 70-7004 
when submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general or technical information 
associated with the license review of the USEC application, please 
contact: Yawar Faraz at (301) 415-8113. For general information on the 
NRC NEPA process, or the environmental review process related to the 
USEC application, please contact: Matthew Blevins at (301) 415-7684.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

1.0 Background

    USEC submitted a license application for a gas centrifuge uranium 
enrichment facility, known as the American Centrifuge Plant (ACP), to 
the NRC on August 23, 2004. The NRC environmental review will evaluate 
the potential environmental impacts associated with the proposed ACP in 
parallel with the NRC safety review of the license application. The 
environmental review will be documented in draft and final 
Environmental Impact Statements in accordance with NEPA and NRC NEPA 
implementing regulations at 10 CFR Part 51.

2.0 USEC Enrichment Facility

    If licensed, the proposed ACP would enrich uranium for use in 
manufacturing commercial nuclear fuel for use in power reactors. Feed 
material would be natural (not enriched) uranium in the form of uranium 
hexafluoride (UF6). USEC proposes to use gas centrifuge 
technology to enrich isotope uranium-235 in the uranium hexafluoride up 
to 10 percent. The centrifuge would operate at below atomospheric 
pressure. The enriched UF6 would be transported to a fuel 
fabrication facility. The depleted UF6 would be stored on 
site until a disposition strategy (either re-use or disposal) is 
carried out by USEC.
    Initially, the licensed capacity of the plant would be up to 3.5 
million separative work units (SWU) [SWU relates to a measure of the 
work used to enrich uranium]. USEC has requested that the NRC 
environmental review examine the impacts of an enrichment

[[Page 78059]]

plant with a 7 million SWU capacity to bound potential future 
expansions. Future expansion beyond 3.5 million SWU would still have to 
be approved by the NRC via a separate license amendment.

3.0 Alternatives To Be Evaluated

    No action--The no-action alternative would be to not build the 
proposed ACP. Under this alternative the NRC would not approve the 
license application. This serves as a baseline for comparison.
    Proposed action--The proposed action is the construction and 
operation of a gas centrifuge uranium enrichment facility located near 
Piketon, OH. Implementation of the proposed action would require the 
issuance of an NRC license under the provisions of 10 CFR Parts 30, 40 
and 70.
    Other alternatives not listed here may be identified through the 
scoping process.

4.0 Environmental Impact Areas To Be Analyzed

    The following resource areas have been tentatively identified for 
analysis in the EIS:

--Public and Occupational Health: potential public and occupational 
consequences from construction, routine operation, transportation, and 
credible accident scenarios (including natural events);
--Waste Management: types of wastes expected to be generated, handled, 
and stored;
--Land Use: plans, policies and controls;
--Transportation: transportation modes, routes, quantities, and risk 
estimates;
--Geology and Soils: physical geography, topography, geology and soil 
characteristics;
--Water Resources: surface and groundwater hydrology, water use and 
quality, and the potential for degradation;
--Ecology: wetlands, aquatic, terrestrial, economically and 
recreationally important species, and threatened and endangered 
species;
--Air Quality: meteorological conditions, ambient background, pollutant 
sources, and the potential for degradation;
--Noise: ambient, sources, and sensitive receptors;
--Historical and Cultural Resources: historical, archaeological, and 
traditional cultural resources
--Visual and Scenic Resources: landscape characteristics, manmade 
features and viewshed;
--Socioeconomics: demography, economic base, labor pool, housing, 
transportation, utilities, public services/facilities, education, 
recreation, and cultural resources;
--Environmental Justice: potential disproportionately high and adverse 
impacts to minority and low-income populations; and
--Cumulative Effects: impacts from past, present and reasonably 
foreseeable actions at and near the site.
    The examples under each resource area are not intended to be all 
inclusive, nor is this list an indication that environmental impacts 
will occur. The list is presented to facilitate comments on the scope 
of the EIS. Additions to, or deletions from, this list may occur as a 
result of the public scoping process.

5.0 Scoping Meetings

    This notice is to encourage public involvement in the EIS process 
and to solicit public comments on the proposed scope and content of the 
EIS. The NRC will hold a public scoping meeting in Piketon, OH on 
January 18, 2005 to solicit both oral and written comments from 
interested parties.
    Scoping is an early and open process designed to determine the 
range of actions, alternatives, and potential impacts to be considered 
in the EIS, and to identify the significant issues related to the 
proposed action. Scoping is intended to solicit input from the public 
and other agencies so that the analysis can be more clearly focused on 
issues of genuine concern. The principal goals of the scoping process 
are to:

--Identify public concerns;
--Ensure that concerns are identified early and are properly studied;
--Identify alternatives that will be examined;
--Identify significant issues that need to be analyzed; and
--Eliminate unimportant issues.
    The scoping meetings will begin with NRC staff providing a 
description of NRC's role and mission followed by a brief overview of 
NRC's environmental review process and goals of the scoping meeting. 
The bulk of the meeting will be allotted for attendees to make oral 
comments.

6.0 Scoping Comments

    Written comments should be mailed to the address listed above in 
the ADDRESSES section.

7.0 The NEPA Process

    The EIS for the proposed ACP will be prepared according to NEPA and 
NRC NEPA implementing regulations at 10 CFR Part 51.
    After the scoping process is complete, the NRC will prepare a draft 
EIS. The draft EIS is scheduled to be published in July 2005. A 45-day 
comment period on the draft EIS is planned, and public meetings to 
receive comments will be held approximately three weeks after 
distribution of the draft EIS. Availability of the draft EIS, the dates 
of the public comment period, and information about the public meetings 
will be announced in the Federal Register, on NRC's USEC web page, and 
in the local news media when the draft EIS is published. The final EIS 
is expected to be published in March 2006 that will incorporate public 
comments received on the draft EIS.

    Dated at Rockville, MD, this 21st day of December, 2004.
For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
B. Jennifer Davis,
Chief, Environmental and Low-Level Waste Section, Division of Waste 
Management and Environmental Protection, Office of Nuclear Material 
Safety and Safeguards.
[FR Doc. 04-28455 Filed 12-28-04; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P