[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 24 (Tuesday, February 5, 2013)]
[Pages 8194-8195]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-02469]



[Docket No. 70-0036; NRC-2009-0278]

Exemption of Material for Proposed Disposal Procedures for the 
Westinghouse Electric Company, LLC., Hematite Decommissioning Project, 
License No. SNM-33, Festus, MI

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact; 


ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2009-0278 when contacting the 
NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You 
may access information related to this document, which the NRC 
possesses and are publicly-available, using any of the following 
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2009-0278. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-492-
3668; email: [email protected].
     NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System 
(ADAMS): You may access publicly-available documents online in the NRC 
Library at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the 
search, select ``ADAMS Public Documents'' and then select ``Begin Web-
based ADAMS Search.'' For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's 
Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-
4737, or by email to [email protected]. The ADAMS accession number 
for each document referenced in this notice (if that document is 
available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is 
referenced. In addition, for the convenience of the reader, the ADAMS 
accession numbers are provided in Section IV of this notice entitled, 
Further Information.
     NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public 
documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 
Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John J. Hayes, Senior Project Manager, 
Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental Management 
Programs, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555, 
telephone: 301-415-5928; email: [email protected].


I. Introduction

    By letter dated January 16, 2012, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission (NRC) received a license amendment application from 
Westinghouse Electric Company LLC (WEC or the licensee), pertaining to 
its planned disposal of NRC-licensed source, byproduct, and special 
nuclear materials. Regarding this material, WEC seeks approval, 
pursuant to section 20.2002 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations (10 CFR), of proposed disposal procedures which are not 
otherwise authorized by NRC regulations. WEC holds NRC License No. SNM-
33, which authorizes the licensee to conduct decommissioning activities 
at its former fuel cycle facility located in Festus, Missouri. Since 
the fuel cycle facility operations have ceased, the Hematite site is 
undergoing decommissioning. The facility is now referred to as the 
Hematite Decommissioning Project (HDP). The amendment request seeks 
authorization allowing WEC to transfer decommissioning waste to U.S. 
Ecology Idaho, Inc. (USEI), a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act 
Subtitle C disposal facility located near Grand View, Idaho. This 
facility is regulated by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, 
and is not an NRC-licensed facility. Pursuant to 10 CFR 30.11 and 10 
CFR 70.17, WEC's application also requested exemptions from the 
licensing requirements of 10 CFR 30.3 and 10 CFR 70.3 for the byproduct 
and special nuclear material it seeks to transfer. These exemptions are 
necessary because the disposal of byproduct and special nuclear 
material must occur at a facility licensed to possess such material, 
and the USEI facility has no NRC license.
    On October 4, 2012, USEI requested that they be considered a party 
to WEC's January 16, 2012, alternate disposal request and also 
requested exemptions from the requirements of 10 CFR 30.3 and 10 CFR 
    On March 19, 2012 (77 FR 16077), the NRC published in the Federal 
Register a Notice of Opportunity for Hearing on the January 16, 2012, 
WEC license amendment request ADAMS Accession Nos. ML12017A188, 
ML12017A189 and ML12017A190. The NRC relied upon the information 
provided in the January 16, 2012, license amendment request and 
supporting documentation and other sources as noted in the 
Environmental Assessment's (EA) references section, in preparing the 

II. Environmental Assessment Summary

    Under 10 CFR 20.2002, WEC proposes to dispose of about 23,000 m\3\ 
(30,000 yd\3\) of low-level waste (LLW) from the HDP that contains 
source, byproduct and special nuclear material at the USEI hazardous 
waste disposal facility near Grand View, Idaho. The LLW will be 
generated from building slabs, asphalt, soils, buried piping and 
miscellaneous equipment associated with HDP.
    In 2002, WEC and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources 
(MDNR) entered into a Letter Agreement, which, among other things, 
provided for MDNR oversight of certain studies and response actions in 
accordance with the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution 
Contingency Plan under the requirements of the Comprehensive 
Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), 42 
U.S.C. 9601 et seq. (Westinghouse MDNR Review Draft Remedial Design 
Work Plan, 2002 (ADAMS Accession No. ML020880266)).
    Subsequently, Missouri and WEC entered into a Consent Decree, and 
the Letter Agreement was terminated. The Consent Decree provides for 
MDNR oversight of those portions of the investigation and selection of 
the remedy for Operable Units at the site that are not preempted by the 
Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended. The Selected Remedy for Operable 
Unit 1 at the HDP is Alternative 4: Removal, Treatment of Volatile 

[[Page 8195]]

Compound Waste, and Off-site Disposal of Low-Level Radioactive Waste 
(LLRW) and Non-Hazardous Treatment Residues.
    The no-action alternative involves discontinuing ongoing 
decommissioning activities at the HDP and leaving decommissioning 
waste, including concrete slabs, asphalt, soil, buried piping and 
miscellaneous equipment such as ductwork and air filters at the HDP 
site. This action would require an exemption from the requirement in 10 
CFR 70.38(d) that decommissioning of facilities specifically licensed 
for possession and use of special nuclear material be completed and 
approved by the NRC after licensed activities cease. The no-action 
alternative would result in leaving approximately 23,000 m\3\ of total 
waste volume onsite.
    Some of the radiologically contaminated remediation waste, 
regulated by the NRC is co-mingled with chemically contaminated waste 
regulated under CERCLA. The ``no action alternative'' would not be in 
accordance with the July 2009, CERCLA Record of Decision for removal 
and subsequent treatment of the chemically contaminated waste.
    The no action alternative would not allow the WEC to meet the 
requirements of 10 CFR 20.1402 for unrestricted release. Selection of 
this alternative would require the WEC to continue environmental 
monitoring/surveillance and to maintain administrative and engineered 
controls to ensure facility safety and security. Environmental impacts 
of the no-action alternative would be similar to the impacts which 
existed prior to the start of decommissioning and could escalate if 
groundwater contamination spreads and material such as Tc-99 continues 
to leach from the limestone at the site. The environmental impacts 
which were occurring prior to the advent of decommissioning were those 
associated with the maintenance of the Hematite facility. During that 
time there were discharges from the sanitary waste facility, traffic 
associated with workers traversing to and from the site and vehicular 
traffic associated with entities providing services and supplies to the 
Hematite facility and their associated emissions.
    Another alternative to the proposed action is to dispose of the low 
activity LLRW in a facility licensed by an NRC Agreement State for the 
storage and/or disposal of LLRW. For this EA, the NRC evaluated the 
EnergySolutions, LLC (EnergySolutions) Clive, Utah facility as the 
alternative disposal site for the radioactive and chemically hazardous 
waste. This is the same facility that was evaluated as an alternative 
disposal site in the 10 CFR 20.2002 request approved in Hematite 
License Amendment 58.
    The EnergySolutions LLRW disposal facility at Clive, Utah is 
located 128 kilometers (80 miles) west of Salt Lake City, Utah and 70 
kilometers (45 miles) east of Wendover Nevada. The site is arid with an 
annual precipitation of approximately 20 centimeters (8 inches). The 
facility is licensed by the State of Utah to dispose of Class A 
radioactive waste only (Utah License 2300249) and 11e.(2) byproduct 
material (UT2300478) and is issued a Part B Resource Conservation and 
Recovery Act solid waste permit (EPA ID No. UTD982598898).
    The EnergySolutions LLRW facility routinely manages the disposal of 
Class A LLRW containing low concentrations of special nuclear material 
(SNM) in above ground disposal cells. SNM quantities, below what the 
NRC would consider to be a critical mass (i.e., 350 grams of U-235) do 
not require an NRC SNM license under 10 CFR Part 70. In this particular 
case, regulation would be by the State of Utah, as an agreement state 
authorized under 10 CFR Part 150, ``Exemptions and Continued Regulatory 
Authority in Agreements States and in Offshore Waters Under Section 
274.'' EnergySolutions, however, operates under a concentration based 
SNM limit instead of a total mass limit of 350 grams of SNM. This 
revision to the EnergySolutions license was approved after the NRC 
independently confirmed that the concentration limits ensured that all 
potential criticality safety concerns had been met. The SNM 
concentration limits are specified in the facility's radioactive 
materials license (Utah License 2300249). The U-235 concentration limit 
is 1,900 pCi/g for enrichments below 10% and 1,190 pCi/g for 
enrichments above 10% thus allowing the facility to routinely operate 
above a mass limit of 350 grams of SNM.
    The selection of this alternative would allow WEC to meet the 
requirements of 10 CFR 20.1402 for unrestricted release. In addition, 
this site is environmentally similar to USEI. However, this alternative 
was not selected by the licensee.

III. Finding of No Significant Impact

    On the basis of the EA, the NRC has concluded that there are no 
significant environmental impacts and the issuance of a license 
amendment does not warrant the preparation of an Environmental Impact 
Statement. Accordingly, it has been determined that a Finding of No 
Significant Impact is appropriate.

IV. Further Information

    Documents related to this action, including the letter requesting 
the amendment and supporting documentation are available online in the 
NRC Library at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. The ADAMS 
accession numbers for the documents related to this notice are:
    (1) Hematite Decommissioning Project Alternate Disposal Request 
(ML12017A188, ML12017A189 and ML12017A190
    (2) Environmental Assessment (ML12321A147); and
    (3) Notice of Opportunity for Hearing (ML120240752).
    If you do not have access to ADAMS or if there are problems in 
accessing the documents located in ADAMS, contact the NRC's Public 
Document Room (PDR) Reference staff at 800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or 
by email to [email protected].
    These documents may also be viewed electronically on the public 
computers located at the NRC's PDR, O-1 F21, One White Flint North, 
11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. The PDR reproduction 
contractor will copy documents for a fee.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland this 25th day of January, 2013.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Andrew Persinko,
Deputy Director, Decommissioning and Uranium Recovery Licensing 
Directorate, Division of Waste Management and Environmental Protection, 
Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental Management 
[FR Doc. 2013-02469 Filed 2-4-13; 8:45 am]