[Federal Register Volume 61, Number 94 (Tuesday, May 14, 1996)]
[Notices]
[Pages 24293-24295]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 96-11948]



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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Department of the Navy


Notice of Availability of the Department of the Navy Draft 
Environmental Impact Statement for a Container System for the 
Management of Naval Spent Nuclear Fuel; and Announcement of Public 
Hearings

SUMMARY: The Department of the Navy (Navy) is giving notice of the 
availability of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a 
Container System for the Management of Naval Spent Nuclear Fuel.
    The draft EIS was prepared in accordance with the requirements of 
the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA); Council on 
Environmental Quality regulations implementing NEPA, 40 CFR Parts 1500-
1508; and the Chief of Naval Operations Environmental and Natural 
Resources Program Manual, OPNAV Instruction 5090.1B. The Navy will 
conduct public hearings and receive comments on the draft EIS which 
addresses the need, alternatives, and environmental impacts of 
manufacturing containers; loading containers; handling, and storage of 
naval spent nuclear fuel at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory 
(INEL); transportation of naval spent nuclear fuel loaded containers to 
a notional repository or centralized interim storage site; and the 
storage, handling, and transportation of certain radioactive waste 
associated with naval spent nuclear fuel management. The Department of 
Energy is a cooperating agency for this draft EIS.
    General distribution of the document is complete and the Navy has 
filed the draft EIS with the Environmental

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Protection Agency prior to publishing this Notice of Availability in 
the Federal Register. The draft EIS is available to the public in 
reading rooms and designated information locations which are identified 
in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice.

DATES: The Navy invites interested agencies, organizations, and the 
general public to provide comments on the draft EIS. The Navy is 
providing a 45 day public comment period and all comments on the draft 
EIS are due by July 3, 1996. Oral comments will be accepted at the 
public hearings to be held at the times and locations listed below.

ADDRESSES: Comments should be sent to: Mr. William Knoll of the Naval 
Nuclear Propulsion Program of the Department of the Navy, Code NAVSEA 
08U, 2531 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA 22242-5160, Telephone: 
703-602-8229. Copies of the draft EIS may be obtained by following 
instructions given below in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section.
    Hearing Schedule and Locations: Six public hearings at three 
locations will be held during the 45 day comment period. The locations 
and dates of these public hearings are: (1) Fort Hall, Idaho, on 
Monday, June 3, 1996 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 
p.m. at the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes' Tribal Business Center, Pima 
Drive; (2) Boise, Idaho, on Wednesday, June 5, 1996 from 1:00 p.m. to 
5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. at The Boise Centre on the Grove, 
850 West Front Street; and (3) Salt Lake City, Utah, on Friday, June 7, 
1996 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. at the 
Best Western Olympus Hotel, 161 West 600 South.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information on this draft 
EIS, please contact Mr. William Knoll of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion 
Program, Department of the Navy, Code NAVSEA 08U, 2531 Jefferson Davis 
Highway, Arlington, VA 22242-5160, Telephone: 703-602-8229.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On October 24, 1994, the DOE published in 
the Federal Register (59 FR 53442) a Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS 
for a multi-purpose canister system for the management of civilian 
spent nuclear fuel. Under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as 
amended (42 U.S.C. 10101 et seq.), DOE is responsible for disposal of 
civilian spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste in a 
geologic repository. DOE is also responsible for any monitored 
retrievable storage (centralized interim storage) prior to disposal, 
and transportation of civilian spent nuclear fuel in connection with 
disposal or storage. As part of carrying out these responsibilities, 
DOE was in the process of evaluating in an EIS the environmental 
impacts of fabricating and deploying a standardized container system to 
enable storage, transportation, and possible disposal of spent nuclear 
fuel.
    During the scoping process for the multi-purpose canister EIS, the 
scope of the EIS was broadened, based on a comment by the Navy, to 
include naval spent nuclear fuel. The total amount of naval spent 
nuclear fuel projected to be in existence by the year 2035 is 65 metric 
tons heavy metal, which is less than 0.1% of the commercial spent 
nuclear fuel expected by that date (approximately 85,000 metric tons). 
In addition to its responsibility for civilian spent nuclear fuel, DOE 
is also responsible for the management of spent nuclear fuel derived 
from atomic energy defense activities, including that from the Naval 
Nuclear Propulsion Program (42 U.S.C. 2121(a)(3)). Since naval spent 
nuclear fuel is rugged, well characterized and compatible with 
standardized container system technology, DOE determined that naval 
spent fuel should be included in the EIS. This determination was 
announced in the Implementation Plan issued by DOE in August 1995 under 
DOE's NEPA regulations. The availability of the Implementation Plan was 
announced in the Federal Register on August 30, 1995 (60 FR 45147).
    In October 1995, DOE advised the Navy that because of insufficient 
funding in Congress' fiscal year 1996 appropriation to the DOE Office 
of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management, DOE would withdraw its 
proposal to fabricate and deploy a multi-purpose canister based system. 
As a result, DOE ceased preparation of the Environmental Impact 
Statement for a Multi-Purpose Canister System for Management of 
Civilian and Naval Spent Nuclear Fuel.
    The Navy decided to proceed with that part of the multi-purpose 
canister EIS covering naval spent nuclear fuel. The Navy announced it 
would assume lead responsibility for the EIS in the Federal Register on 
December 7, 1995 (60 FR 62828). DOE is participating as a cooperating 
agency since naval spent nuclear fuel is managed at DOE facilities. 
Unlike civilian spent nuclear fuel which is stored in plants throughout 
the country, all naval spent nuclear fuel, after removal from naval 
reactors, is shipped to one place, the INEL, for examination and 
temporary storage as set forth in the Department of Energy Programmatic 
Spent Nuclear Fuel Management and Idaho National Engineering Laboratory 
Environmental Restoration and Waste Management Programs Final 
Environmental Impact Statement and in the associated Record of Decision 
issued June 1, 1995 and amended Record of Decision issued March 8, 
1996. Therefore, the container system EIS evaluations for the storage 
and transportation of naval spent nuclear fuel at INEL make use of 
information specific to that location.
    The range of alternatives considered in the EIS did not change as a 
result of the reduction in scope covering naval spent fuel only. Thus, 
no additional scoping was needed as a result of the EIS being limited 
to naval spent nuclear fuel. The six container system alternatives 
considered are:
    (1) No-Action Alterative--Use of existing technology to handle, 
store, and subsequently transport naval spent nuclear fuel to a 
geologic repository or a centralized interim storage site using the 
Navy M-140 transportation cask. Prior to shipment to a repository or 
centralized interim storage site, naval spent nuclear fuel would be 
managed at INEL in water pools or dry containers, then loaded into M-
140 transportation casks. At the repository, the naval spent fuel would 
be unloaded from the M-140 transportation casks and placed in a 
geologic repository's surface facilities for loading into disposal 
containers. Following unloading, the M-140 transportation casks would 
be returned to INEL for reuse.
    (2) Multi-Purpose Canister Alternative--Use of large multi-purpose 
canisters, such as those currently being designed under a DOE contract, 
for storage, transportation, and disposal of naval spent nuclear fuel, 
without repackaging or further handling of individual spent nuclear 
fuel assemblies. In addition to the sealed metal canisters, specialized 
casks or overpacks would be required for different stages of the 
process, such as on-site transfer, dry storage, transportation to a 
geologic repository or a centralized interim storage site, and 
disposal.
    (3) Current Technology/Supplemented by High Capacity Rail 
Alternative--Use of existing M-140 transportation casks, but with 
redesigned internal structures to accommodate a larger amount of naval 
spent nuclear fuel per cask, thus reducing the total number of 
shipments required.
    (4) Transportable Storage Cask Alternative--Use of an existing, 
commercially available cask for storage at INEL and shipment of naval 
spent

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nuclear fuel to a geologic repository or centralized interim storage 
site. At a repository, the naval spent fuel would be unloaded from the 
casks and placed in a geologic repository's surface facilities for 
loading into disposal containers. The unloaded transportable storage 
casks could be returned to INEL for further storage and transport.
    (5) Dual-Purpose Canister Alternative--Use of an existing, 
commercially available canister and overpack system for storage at INEL 
and shipment of naval spent nuclear fuel to a geologic repository or 
centralized interim storage site. At a repository, the naval spent fuel 
would be unloaded from the canisters and placed in a geologic 
repository's surface facilities for loading into disposal containers.
    (6) Small Multi-Purpose Canister Alternative--Use of smaller multi-
purpose canisters, such as those currently being designed under a DOE 
contract, rather than large multi-purpose canisters. The small multi-
purpose canisters would be similar in design, operations, and function 
to the large multi-purpose canisters, but would offer a lower weight 
and size alternative for transportation and handling at a geologic 
repository or centralized interim storage site.
    In addition, the environmental evaluations in this draft EIS 
include several actions which are related to the container system 
choice: manufacturing the container system; handling and transportation 
associated with the container system; modifications at INEL to support 
loading naval spent nuclear fuel into containers for dry storage; the 
location of the dry storage at INEL; and the storage, handling, and 
transportation of certain radioactive waste (called ``special case 
waste'') associated with naval spent nuclear fuel management.
    The draft EIS does not contain a preferred alternative. Instead, 
the Navy will identify a preferred alternative in the Final EIS, and 
select an alternative in the Record of Decision, taking into 
consideration the following factors: (1) Public comments; (2) 
protection of human health and the environment; (3) cost; (4) technical 
feasibility; (5) operational efficiency; (6) regulatory impacts; and 
(7) storage or disposal criteria which may be established for a 
repository or centralized interim storage site outside the State of 
Idaho.

Availability of Copies of the Draft EIS

    Copies of the draft EIS have been distributed to Federal, State, 
and local officials and agencies; and to organizations and individuals 
known to be interested in the EIS. Copies of the draft EIS are 
available for public review at the locations listed below. Copies of 
selected reference materials are also available in Reading Rooms and 
Other Information Locations listed below. Copies of the reference 
material may also be obtained upon request from Mr. Knoll at the 
address given above (see FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT).
    Requests for copies of the draft EIS should be directed to: Argonne 
National Laboratory, EAD, Building 900, Mail Stop 1, 9700 South Cass 
Avenue, Argonne, IL 60439., ATTN: Naval Spent Fuel Container System 
EIS. The draft EIS, including appendices, is about 300 pages in length. 
Separately bound copies of the 20-page Executive Summary are available 
for review for those who do not wish to receive the entire draft EIS. 
When requesting copies of the draft EIS, please indicate whether you 
wish to receive only the Executive Summary, or the entire draft EIS.

Location of Reading Rooms

--Public Reading Room for U.S. DOE Headquarters; 1000 Independence 
Avenue, SW; Room 1E-190; Forestall Building; Washington, DC
--Public Reading Room for U.S. DOE--Idaho Operations Office; 1776 
Science Center Drive; Idaho Falls, ID
--Public Reading Room for U.S. DOE--Nevada Operations Office; 3004 
South Highland Drive; Las Vegas, NV
--Flagstaff Public Library; 300 West Aspen Street; Flagstaff, AZ
--Sacramento Library; Central Office; 828 I Street; Sacramento, CA
--Denver Public Library; 1357 Broadway; Denver, CO
--Boise Public Library; 715 South Capital Boulevard; Boise, ID
--Shoshone-Bannock Library; Bannock and Pima Streets; HRDC Building; 
Fort Hall, ID
--Idaho Falls Public Library; 457 Broadway; Idaho Falls, ID
--Pocatello Public Library; 812 East Clark Street; Pocatello, ID
--Albuquerque Bernalillo County Library; 501 Copper NW; Albuquerque, NM
--Deschutes County Library; 507 NW Wall Street; Bend, OR
--Salt Lake City Public Library; 209 East 500 South; Salt Lake City, UT
--Laramie County Library; 2800 Central Avenue; Cheyenne, WY

Other Information Locations

--Lost River Community Library; 126 South Front Street; Arco, ID
--Idaho State Library; 325 West State Street; Boise, ID
--City of Burley, Public Library; 1300 Miller Avenue; Burley, ID
--Coeur d'Alene Public Library; 201 Harrison Avenue; Coeur d'Alene, ID
--City of Emmett, Public Library; 275 South Hayes; Emmett, ID
--City of Gooding Public Library; 306 5th Avenue, West Gooding, ID
--Consolidated Free Library; 8385 North Government Way; Hayden Branch, 
Hayden Lake, ID
--City of Homedale, Public Library; 125 West Owyhee; Homedale, ID
--Idaho Falls Public Library; Reference Desk; 457 Broadway; Idaho 
Falls, ID
--Ketchum Public Library; 415 Bruce North; Ketchum, ID
--University of Idaho Library; Rayburn Street; Government Documents; 
Moscow, ID
--Moscow Public Library; 110 South Jefferson; Moscow, ID
--Ola District Library; 11475 Ola School Road; Ola, ID
--Clearwater Memorial Library; 402 Michigan Avenue; Orofino, ID
--Idaho State University; Documents Department; Pocatello, ID
--Salmon Public Library; 204 Main Street; Salmon, ID
--Shoshone Public Library; 211 South Rail Street; Shoshone, ID
--Twin Falls Public Library; 434 2nd Street, East; Reference Desk; Twin 
Falls, ID
--Caliente Public Library; 120 Depot Avenue; Caliente, NV
--Carson City Public Library; 900 North Roop Street; Carson City, NV
--Elko Public Library; 720 Court Street; Elko, NV
--Las Vegas Public Library; 833 Las Vegas Boulevard, North; Las Vegas, 
NV
--Brigham City Library; 20 North Main Street; Brigham City, UT
--Cedar City Library; 136 West Center; Cedar City, UT
--Delta City Library; 76 North 200 West; Delta, UT
--Logan City Library; 255 North Main; Logan, UT
--Marriott Library; University of Utah; Salt Lake City, UT

    The final EIS is scheduled to be available no later than November 
30, 1996.

    Dated: May 3, 1996.
B. DeMars,
Admiral, USN, Director, Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program.
[FR Doc. 96-11948 Filed 5-13-96; 8:45 am]
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