Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc., Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact Related to Proposed License Amendment Authorizing Increased Possession Limit, 62880-62883 [E7-21861]

Download as PDF 62880 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 215 / Wednesday, November 7, 2007 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Occupational Safety and Health Administration Maritime Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health; Notice of Meeting Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor. ACTION: Maritime Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health; notice of meeting. pwalker on PROD1PC71 with NOTICES AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Maritime Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (‘‘MACOSH’’ or ‘‘Committee’’) was established to advise the Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA on issues relating to occupational safety and health in the maritime industries. The purpose of this Federal Register notice is to announce the MACOSH and workgroup meetings scheduled for November 27–28, 2007. DATES: The workgroups will meet on November 27, 2007, from 8:15 a.m. until approximately 5:15 p.m. in conference rooms C–5515–A and B. MACOSH will meet on November 28, 2007, from 8:30 a.m. until approximately 5:30 p.m. in conference rooms S–5215–A, B, and C. ADDRESSES: The Committee and workgroups will meet at the Frances Perkins Building, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210. Building security requires that attendees have photographic identification (e.g., a valid driver’s license) and pass through a screening device. Mail comments, views, or statements in response to this notice to Joseph V. Daddura, Acting Director, Office of Maritime, OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N– 3609, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210; phone (202) 693–2086; FAX: (202) 693–1663. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general information about MACOSH and this meeting, contact: Joseph V. Daddura, Acting Director, Office of Maritime, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N–3609, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210; phone: (202) 693–2086. Individuals with disabilities wishing to attend the meeting should contact Vanessa L. Welch at (202) 693–2086 no later than November 20, 2007, to obtain appropriate accommodations. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: All MACOSH meetings and workgroup meetings are open to the public. All interested persons are invited to attend the MACOSH and workgroup meetings at the times and places listed above. Each workgroup may discuss one or VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:34 Nov 06, 2007 Jkt 214001 more of the topics listed for that workgroup as time permits. The meeting times for each workgroup are approximate and subject to change without advance notice. The Longshoring workgroup will meet from 8:15 a.m. until 10:15 a.m. in conference room C–5515–A. Discussions may include the traffic safety in marine terminals guidance document, roll-on roll-off cargo guidance document, and the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) initiative on cargo-lashing safety. The Shipyards workgroup will meet from 8:15 a.m. until 10:15 a.m. in conference room C–5515–B. Discussions may include spray paint standards and hot work on coatings. The Cranes and Falls workgroup will meet from 10:15 a.m. until 12:15 p.m. in conference room C–5515–A. Discussions may include working over water from aerial work platforms and the National Transportation Safety Board’s recommendation to OSHA on the Athena 106 investigation. The Outreach and Safety Culture workgroup will meet from 1:15 p.m. until 3:15 p.m. in conference room C– 5515–A. Discussions may include leading indicators, e-tools, non-English worker issues, new technology and safety, updating the OSHA Training Institute shipyard and longshoring courses, the new maritime outreach training course, and an update from the Mobile Area OSHA maritime alliance on the 10-hour and 30-hour outreach courses. The Health workgroup will meet from 3:15 p.m. until 5:15 p.m. in conference room C–5515–A. Discussions will include radiation exposure in marine terminals. MACOSH agenda: The agenda will include: An OSHA activities update, report on Ergonomics for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders: Guidelines for Shipyards, reports from each workgroup, an update on the NIOSH maritime hearing-protection study, a briefing on the NIOSH National Occupational Research Agenda (‘‘NORA’’), an update on OSHA’s electrical standard, and a review of the minutes from the previous meeting. Public Participation: Written data, views, or comments for consideration by MACOSH on the various agenda items listed above should be submitted to Vanessa L. Welch at the address listed above. Submissions received by November 20, 2007, will be provided to Committee members and will be included in the record of the meeting. Requests to make oral presentations to the Committee may be granted as time permits. Anyone wishing to make an PO 00000 Frm 00069 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 oral presentation to the Committee on any of the agenda items listed above should notify Vanessa L. Welch by November 20, 2007. The request should state the amount of time desired, the capacity in which the person will appear, and a brief outline of the content of the presentation. Authority: Edwin G. Foulke, Jr., Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, directed the preparation of this notice under the authority granted by Sections 6(b)(1) and 7(b) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 655, 656), the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App. 2), Secretary of Labor’s Order 5–2007 (72 FR 31159), and 29 CFR part 1912. Signed at Washington, DC on November 2, 2007. Edwin G. Foulke, Jr., Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. [FR Doc. E7–21845 Filed 11–6–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–26–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. 70–143] Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc., Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact Related to Proposed License Amendment Authorizing Increased Possession Limit Nuclear Regulatory Commission. AGENCY: Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact. ACTION: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kevin M. Ramsey, Fuel Manufacturing Branch, Division of Fuel Cycle Safety and Safeguards, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Mail Stop E–2C40M, Washington, DC 20555– 0001, telephone (301) 492–3123 and email kmr@nrc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Introduction The U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff is considering a request to amend Materials License SNM–124, issued to Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc. (NFS) (the licensee), to authorize an increase in the possession limit of high-enriched uranium (HEU). The NRC has prepared an E:\FR\FM\07NON1.SGM 07NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 215 / Wednesday, November 7, 2007 / Notices Environmental Assessment (EA) in support of this action. Based upon the EA, the NRC has concluded that a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) is appropriate and, therefore, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will not be prepared. II. Environmental Assessment Background The NFS facility in Erwin, Tennessee is authorized, under License SNM–124, to manufacture high-enriched nuclear reactor fuel. In addition, NFS is authorized to blend HEU with natural uranium and manufacture low-enriched nuclear reactor fuel. License SNM–124 limits the amount of HEU that NFS may possess for these operations. On May 15, 2007, NFS requested a license amendment to increase its possession limit of HEU (Ref. 5). Review Scope The purpose of this EA is to assess the environmental impacts of the proposed license amendment. It does not approve the request. This EA is limited to the proposed possession limit increase and any cumulative impacts to existing plant operations. The existing conditions and operations at the Erwin facility were evaluated, by the NRC, for environmental impacts in a 1999 EA related to the renewal of the NFS license (Ref. 1), and a 2002 EA related to the first amendment for the Blended LowEnriched Uranium (BLEU) Project (Ref. 2). The 2002 EA assessed the impact of the entire BLEU Project, using the information available at that time. A 2003 EA (Ref. 3) and a 2004 EA (Ref. 4), related to additional BLEU Project amendments confirmed the FONSI issued in 2002. This assessment presents information and an analysis for determining that the issuance of a FONSI is appropriate and that an EIS will not be prepared. pwalker on PROD1PC71 with NOTICES Proposed Action The proposed action is to amend NRC Materials License SNM–124, to authorize an increase in the possession limit for uranium enriched up to 100 weight percent in the uranium-235 isotope (Ref. 5). The proposed action is limited to possession and storage only. No changes to processing operations are requested, and no construction of new facilities are requested. Need for Proposed Action The proposed action is being requested because a larger inventory of HEU is needed to support NFS operations. Two factors are driving this need. One factor is a request from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:14 Nov 06, 2007 Jkt 214001 NFS establish an inventory of HEU that would allow continuous operations for six to twelve months of processes that support DOE programs. This would allow NFS to continue operating if an increased threat level or other incidents required shipments of HEU to be interrupted or curtailed. Another factor is the lower-than-planned processing rate at the Blended Low-Enriched Uranium Preparation Facility (BPF). BPF operations support commercial programs that are separate from DOE programs. Difficulties with BPF equipment and operations have caused delays and low processing rates. This has created a backlog of material in storage because material is being received faster than it is being processed. Alternatives The alternatives available to the NRC are: 1. Approve the license amendment as described; or 2. No action (i.e., deny the request). Affected Environment The affected environment for the proposed action and the alternative is the NFS site. The affected environment is identical to the affected environment assessed in the 2002 EA that is related to the first amendment for the BLEU Project (Ref. 2). A full description of the site and its characteristics is given in the 2002 EA. Additional information can be found in the 1999 EA related to the renewal of the NFS license (Ref. 1). The NFS facility is located in Unicoi County, Tennessee, about 32 km (20 mi) southwest of Johnson City, Tennessee. The plant is about 0.8 km (0.5 mi) southwest of the Erwin city limits. The site occupies about 28 hectares (70 acres). The site is bounded to the northwest by the CSX Corporation (CSX) railroad property and the Nolichucky River, and by Martin Creek to the northeast. The plant elevation is about 9 m (30 ft) above the nearest point on the Nolichucky River. The area adjacent to the site consists primarily of residential, industrial, and commercial areas, with a limited amount of farming to the northwest. Privately owned residences are located to the east and south of the facility. Tract size is relatively large, leading to a low housing density in the areas adjacent to the facility. The CSX railroad right-of-way is parallel to the western boundary of the site. Industrial development is located adjacent to the railroad on the opposite side of the right-of-way. The site is bounded by Martin Creek to the north, with PO 00000 Frm 00070 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 62881 privately owned, vacant property and low-density residences. Effluent Releases and Monitoring A full description of the effluent monitoring program at the site is provided in the 2002 EA, related to the first amendment for the BLEU Project (Ref. 2). Additional information is available in the 1999 EA related to the renewal of the NFS license (Ref. 1). The NFS Erwin plant conducts effluent and environmental monitoring programs to evaluate potential public health impacts and comply with the NRC effluent and environmental monitoring requirements. The effluent program monitors the airborne, liquid, and solid waste streams produced during operation of the NFS plant. The environmental program monitors the air, surface water, sediment, soil, groundwater, and vegetation in and around the NFS plant. Airborne, liquid, and solid effluent streams that contain radioactive material are generated at the NFS plant and monitored to ensure compliance with the NRC regulations in 10 CFR Part 20. Each effluent is monitored at or just before the point of release. The results of effluent monitoring are reported to the NRC on a semi-annual basis, in accordance with 10 CFR 70.59. Airborne and liquid effluents are also monitored for nonradiological constituents in accordance with State discharge permits. For the purpose of this EA, the State of Tennessee is expected to set limits on effluents, under its regulatory control, that are protective of health and safety and the local environment. Impacts of Proposed Action 1. Normal Operations The proposed action is limited to increasing the authorized amount of HEU in storage. No construction of new facilities is proposed and no changes to processing operations have been requested. Based on the information provided by NFS, the safety controls to be employed for the proposed action, appear to be sufficient to ensure that planned operations will have no significant impact on the environment. Radiological Impacts: The proposed action involves no changes to processing operations. No increase is expected in effluent air emissions discharged through stacks at the site. In addition, no increase is expected in liquid effluents discharged to the sanitary sewer. Therefore, the proposed action will have no impact on the total annual dose estimate for the maximally exposed individual from all planned E:\FR\FM\07NON1.SGM 07NON1 62882 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 215 / Wednesday, November 7, 2007 / Notices effluents. The dose to workers may increase slightly because more radioactive material will be stored at the site. However, occupational dose is monitored and controlled in accordance with applicable NRC regulations; therefore, no adverse impacts are expected. Surface water quality at the NFS site is currently protected by enforcing release limits and monitoring programs. No change in surface water impacts is expected. The proposed action will not discharge any effluents to the groundwater; therefore, no adverse impacts to groundwater are expected. The proposed action involves transportation of radioactive feed material to the NFS site, which will lead to transportation of radioactive products and waste material from the NFS site. All transportation will be conducted in accordance with the applicable NRC and U.S. Department of Transportation regulations; therefore, no adverse impacts from transportation activities are expected. Land Use: The proposed action involves storage of radioactive material at existing facilities. No new facilities will be constructed; therefore, no adverse impact to land use is expected. Cultural Resources: The proposed action involves storage of radioactive material at existing facilities. The NRC staff considers this a type of activity that does not have the potential to affect historic properties. No adverse impact to cultural resources is expected. Biotic Resources: The proposed action will not change current land use or effluents at the site. Therefore, the NRC finds that the proposed action will not affect any Federally endangered or threatened species. Impacts of No Action Alternative Under the no action alternative, NFS would not be able to increase its inventory of HEU to support current operations. This would require NFS to stop receiving HEU shipments until enough material has been processed and removed from the site before another shipment could be received. Failure to fulfill its role in government and commercial programs could cause NFS’s customers to select other alternatives that may be less cost effective and incur greater environmental impacts. If NFS is unable to fulfill its contractual obligations, customers may transfer work to other facilities. Conclusion Based on its review, the NRC has concluded that the environmental impacts associated with the proposed action are not significant and, therefore, do not warrant denial of the proposed license amendment. The NRC has determined that the proposed action, the approval of the license amendment as described, is the appropriate alternative for selection. Based on an evaluation of the environmental impacts of the proposed license amendment, the NRC has determined that the proper action is to issue a FONSI. Agencies and Persons Contacted The proposed action will not result in any new or modified accident sequences. The Integrated Safety Analysis performed by NFS already considers all authorized storage locations to be filled to maximum capacity with HEU. The NRC finds that the safety controls to be employed in the proposed action are sufficient to ensure planned activities will be safe. On September 21, 2007, the NRC staff contacted the Deputy Director of the Division of Radiological Health at the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) concerning this EA. On October 1, 2007, the Deputy Director responded that TDEC reviewed the draft EA and had no comments (Ref. 6). The NRC staff has determined that the proposed action will not affect listed species or critical habitat. Therefore, no consultation is required under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act. Likewise, the NRC staff has determined that the proposed action is not the type of activity that has the potential to cause effects on historic properties. Therefore, no consultation is required, under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. 3. Cumulative Impacts References The NRC has considered the impacts of the proposed action together with the known impacts of the existing facility. After reviewing the information provided, the NRC concludes that the cumulative impacts represent an insignificant change to the existing conditions in the area surrounding the NFS site. 1. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ‘‘Environmental Assessment for Renewal of Special Nuclear Material License No. SNM– 124,’’ January 1999, ADAMS No. ML031150418 2. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ‘‘Environmental Assessment for Proposed License Amendments to Special Nuclear Material License No. SNM–124 Regarding Downblending and Oxide Conversion of pwalker on PROD1PC71 with NOTICES 2. Potential Accidents VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:14 Nov 06, 2007 Jkt 214001 PO 00000 Frm 00071 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Surplus High-Enriched Uranium,’’ June 2002, ADAMS No. ML021790068. 3. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ‘‘Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for the BLEU Preparation Facility,’’ September 2003, ADAMS No. ML032390428. 4. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ‘‘Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for the Oxide Conversion Building and the Effluent Processing Building at the BLEU Complex,’’ June 2004, ADAMS No. ML041470176. 5. Nuclear Fuel Services, ‘‘Amendment Request to Increase the U–235 Possession Limit for the NFS Site,’’ May 15, 2007, ADAMS No. ML072550166. 6. D. Shults, Tennessee Division of Radiological Health, e-mail to K. Ramsey, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ‘‘Consultation with Tennessee on EA for NFS Possession Limit Increase,’’ October 1, 2007, ADAMS No. ML072760398. III. Finding of No Significant Impact Pursuant to 10 CFR Part 51, the NRC staff has considered the environmental consequences of amending NRC Materials License SNM–124 to increase the possession limit for the NFS facility. On the basis of this assessment, the Commission has concluded that environmental impacts associated with the proposed action would not be significant and the Commission is making a finding of no significant impact. Accordingly, the preparation of an EIS is not warranted. IV. Further Information Documents related to this action, including the application for amendment and supporting documentation, are available electronically at the NRC’s Electronic Reading Room at http://www.nrc.gov/ reading-rm/adams.html. From this site, you can access the NRC’s Agencywide Document Access and Management System (ADAMS), which provides text and image files of NRC’s public documents. The ADAMS accession numbers for the documents related to this notice are listed in the references above. If you do not have access to ADAMS or if there are problems in accessing the documents located in ADAMS, contact the NRC Public Document Room (PDR) Reference staff at 1–800–397–4209, 301–415–4737 or by e-mail to pdr@nrc.gov. These documents may also be viewed electronically on the public computers located at the NRC’s Public Document Room (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 October, 2007. E:\FR\FM\07NON1.SGM 07NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 215 / Wednesday, November 7, 2007 / Notices For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Peter J. Habighorst, Chief, Fuel Manufacturing Branch, Fuel Facility Licensing Directorate, Division of Fuel Cycle Safety and Safeguards, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards. [FR Doc. E7–21861 Filed 11–6–07; 8:45 am] OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request for Review of an Extension, Without Change, of a Currently Approved Information Collection: SF 2823 Brenda Aguilar, OPM Desk Officer, Office of Information & Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building, NW., Room 10235, Washington, DC 20503. For Information Regarding Administrative Coordination Contact: Cyrus S. Benson, Team Leader, Publications Team, RIS Support Services/Support Group, (202) 606– 0623. Classes in which SAL is activated. The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Exchange’s Web site (http://www.cboe.com/Legal ), at the Exchange’s Office of the Secretary, and at the Commission’s Public Reference Room. U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Howard Weizmann, Deputy Director. [FR Doc. E7–21862 Filed 11–6–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P In its filing with the Commission, CBOE included statements concerning the purpose of, and basis for, the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. CBOE has prepared summaries, set forth in Sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements. BILLING CODE 6325–38–P Office of Personnel Management. ACTION: Notice. pwalker on PROD1PC71 with NOTICES AGENCY: SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION SUMMARY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104–13, May 22, 1995), this notice announces that the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request for review of an extension, without change, of a currently approved information collection. SF 2823, Designation of Beneficiary: Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance, is used by any Federal employee or retiree covered by the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance Program to instruct the Office of Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance how to distribute the proceeds of his or her life insurance when the statutory order of precedence does not meet his or her needs. Approximately 47,000 SF 2823 forms are completed annually by annuitants and 1,000 forms are completed by assignees. Each form takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. The annual estimated burden is 12,000 hours. For copies of this proposal, contact Mary Beth Smith-Toomey on (202) 606– 8358, FAX (202) 418–3251 or via e-mail to MaryBeth.Smith-Toomey@opm.gov. Please include a mailing address with your request. DATES: Comments on this proposal should be received within 30 calendar days from the date of this publication. ADDRESSES: Send or deliver comments to— Christopher N. Meuchner, Life Insurance and Long Term Care Group, Insurance Services Program, Center for Retirement and Insurance Services, U.S. Office of Personnel Management, 1900 E Street, NW., Room 2H22, Washington, DC 20415–3661; and VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:14 Nov 06, 2007 Jkt 214001 62883 [Release No. 34–56730; File No. SR–CBOE– 2007–74] Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1 Thereto, To Amend CBOE Rule 6.13A To Modify the Simple Auction Liaison Auction Process and Incorporate Specific Provisions for Hybrid 3.0 Classes November 1, 2007. Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (‘‘Act’’),1 and Rule 19b–4 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that on July 2, 2007, The Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated (‘‘CBOE’’ or ‘‘Exchange’’), filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (‘‘Commission’’) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III below, which Items have been substantially prepared by CBOE. On October 16, 2007, CBOE filed Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change.3 The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change, as amended, from interested persons. I. Self-Regulatory Organization’s Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change CBOE proposes to amend CBOE Rule 6.13A to (i) modify the increments in which responses may be submitted during the Simple Auction Liaison (‘‘SAL’’) auction process and (ii) incorporate provisions for Hybrid 3.0 1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1). CFR 240.19b–4. 3 Amendment No. 1 replaced and superseded the original filing in its entirety. 2 17 PO 00000 Frm 00072 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 II. Self-Regulatory Organization’s Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change A. Self-Regulatory Organization’s Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose CBOE Rule 6.13A governs the operation of the Exchange’s SAL system. SAL is a feature on CBOE’s Hybrid system that auctions marketable orders for price improvement over the National Best Bid and Offer. The purpose of this proposed rule change is to amend CBOE Rule 6.13A to (i) modify the increments in which responses may be submitted during the SAL auction process and (ii) incorporate provisions for Hybrid 3.0 Classes in which SAL is activated. Although modifying the auction increments in which responses could be submitted to include standard increments would widen the quote as compared to one-cent increments, the Exchange believes this modification may encourage Market-Makers and other market participants to quote more aggressively overall. In addition, incorporating SAL on the Hybrid 3.0 Platform will further automate the order handling process on Hybrid 3.0. In providing marketable orders with the potential for price improvement, SAL provides an auction, for a period of time not to exceed two seconds as determined by the Exchange on a classby-class basis, for any qualifying order (‘‘Agency Order’’) that is eligible for automatic execution by CBOE’s Hybrid System.4 Under the current SAL rule, during the auction process, MarketMakers with an appointment in the relevant option class and CBOE members acting as agents for orders 4 See E:\FR\FM\07NON1.SGM CBOE Rule 6.13(b)(C)(i). 07NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 215 (Wednesday, November 7, 2007)]
[Notices]
[Pages 62880-62883]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-21861]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 70-143]


Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc., Environmental Assessment and Finding 
of No Significant Impact Related to Proposed License Amendment 
Authorizing Increased Possession Limit

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kevin M. Ramsey, Fuel Manufacturing 
Branch, Division of Fuel Cycle Safety and Safeguards, Office of Nuclear 
Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 
Mail Stop E-2C40M, Washington, DC 20555-0001, telephone (301) 492-3123 
and e-mail kmr@nrc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Introduction

    The U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff is considering 
a request to amend Materials License SNM-124, issued to Nuclear Fuel 
Services, Inc. (NFS) (the licensee), to authorize an increase in the 
possession limit of high-enriched uranium (HEU). The NRC has prepared 
an

[[Page 62881]]

Environmental Assessment (EA) in support of this action. Based upon the 
EA, the NRC has concluded that a Finding of No Significant Impact 
(FONSI) is appropriate and, therefore, an Environmental Impact 
Statement (EIS) will not be prepared.

II. Environmental Assessment

Background

    The NFS facility in Erwin, Tennessee is authorized, under License 
SNM-124, to manufacture high-enriched nuclear reactor fuel. In 
addition, NFS is authorized to blend HEU with natural uranium and 
manufacture low-enriched nuclear reactor fuel. License SNM-124 limits 
the amount of HEU that NFS may possess for these operations. On May 15, 
2007, NFS requested a license amendment to increase its possession 
limit of HEU (Ref. 5).

Review Scope

    The purpose of this EA is to assess the environmental impacts of 
the proposed license amendment. It does not approve the request. This 
EA is limited to the proposed possession limit increase and any 
cumulative impacts to existing plant operations. The existing 
conditions and operations at the Erwin facility were evaluated, by the 
NRC, for environmental impacts in a 1999 EA related to the renewal of 
the NFS license (Ref. 1), and a 2002 EA related to the first amendment 
for the Blended Low-Enriched Uranium (BLEU) Project (Ref. 2). The 2002 
EA assessed the impact of the entire BLEU Project, using the 
information available at that time. A 2003 EA (Ref. 3) and a 2004 EA 
(Ref. 4), related to additional BLEU Project amendments confirmed the 
FONSI issued in 2002. This assessment presents information and an 
analysis for determining that the issuance of a FONSI is appropriate 
and that an EIS will not be prepared.

Proposed Action

    The proposed action is to amend NRC Materials License SNM-124, to 
authorize an increase in the possession limit for uranium enriched up 
to 100 weight percent in the uranium-235 isotope (Ref. 5). The proposed 
action is limited to possession and storage only. No changes to 
processing operations are requested, and no construction of new 
facilities are requested.

Need for Proposed Action

    The proposed action is being requested because a larger inventory 
of HEU is needed to support NFS operations. Two factors are driving 
this need. One factor is a request from the U.S. Department of Energy 
(DOE) that NFS establish an inventory of HEU that would allow 
continuous operations for six to twelve months of processes that 
support DOE programs. This would allow NFS to continue operating if an 
increased threat level or other incidents required shipments of HEU to 
be interrupted or curtailed. Another factor is the lower-than-planned 
processing rate at the Blended Low-Enriched Uranium Preparation 
Facility (BPF). BPF operations support commercial programs that are 
separate from DOE programs. Difficulties with BPF equipment and 
operations have caused delays and low processing rates. This has 
created a backlog of material in storage because material is being 
received faster than it is being processed.

Alternatives

    The alternatives available to the NRC are:
    1. Approve the license amendment as described; or
    2. No action (i.e., deny the request).

Affected Environment

    The affected environment for the proposed action and the 
alternative is the NFS site. The affected environment is identical to 
the affected environment assessed in the 2002 EA that is related to the 
first amendment for the BLEU Project (Ref. 2). A full description of 
the site and its characteristics is given in the 2002 EA. Additional 
information can be found in the 1999 EA related to the renewal of the 
NFS license (Ref. 1). The NFS facility is located in Unicoi County, 
Tennessee, about 32 km (20 mi) southwest of Johnson City, Tennessee. 
The plant is about 0.8 km (0.5 mi) southwest of the Erwin city limits. 
The site occupies about 28 hectares (70 acres). The site is bounded to 
the northwest by the CSX Corporation (CSX) railroad property and the 
Nolichucky River, and by Martin Creek to the northeast. The plant 
elevation is about 9 m (30 ft) above the nearest point on the 
Nolichucky River.
    The area adjacent to the site consists primarily of residential, 
industrial, and commercial areas, with a limited amount of farming to 
the northwest. Privately owned residences are located to the east and 
south of the facility. Tract size is relatively large, leading to a low 
housing density in the areas adjacent to the facility. The CSX railroad 
right-of-way is parallel to the western boundary of the site. 
Industrial development is located adjacent to the railroad on the 
opposite side of the right-of-way. The site is bounded by Martin Creek 
to the north, with privately owned, vacant property and low-density 
residences.

Effluent Releases and Monitoring

    A full description of the effluent monitoring program at the site 
is provided in the 2002 EA, related to the first amendment for the BLEU 
Project (Ref. 2). Additional information is available in the 1999 EA 
related to the renewal of the NFS license (Ref. 1). The NFS Erwin plant 
conducts effluent and environmental monitoring programs to evaluate 
potential public health impacts and comply with the NRC effluent and 
environmental monitoring requirements. The effluent program monitors 
the airborne, liquid, and solid waste streams produced during operation 
of the NFS plant. The environmental program monitors the air, surface 
water, sediment, soil, groundwater, and vegetation in and around the 
NFS plant.
    Airborne, liquid, and solid effluent streams that contain 
radioactive material are generated at the NFS plant and monitored to 
ensure compliance with the NRC regulations in 10 CFR Part 20. Each 
effluent is monitored at or just before the point of release. The 
results of effluent monitoring are reported to the NRC on a semi-annual 
basis, in accordance with 10 CFR 70.59.
    Airborne and liquid effluents are also monitored for 
nonradiological constituents in accordance with State discharge 
permits. For the purpose of this EA, the State of Tennessee is expected 
to set limits on effluents, under its regulatory control, that are 
protective of health and safety and the local environment.

Impacts of Proposed Action

1. Normal Operations
    The proposed action is limited to increasing the authorized amount 
of HEU in storage. No construction of new facilities is proposed and no 
changes to processing operations have been requested. Based on the 
information provided by NFS, the safety controls to be employed for the 
proposed action, appear to be sufficient to ensure that planned 
operations will have no significant impact on the environment.
    Radiological Impacts: The proposed action involves no changes to 
processing operations. No increase is expected in effluent air 
emissions discharged through stacks at the site. In addition, no 
increase is expected in liquid effluents discharged to the sanitary 
sewer. Therefore, the proposed action will have no impact on the total 
annual dose estimate for the maximally exposed individual from all 
planned

[[Page 62882]]

effluents. The dose to workers may increase slightly because more 
radioactive material will be stored at the site. However, occupational 
dose is monitored and controlled in accordance with applicable NRC 
regulations; therefore, no adverse impacts are expected. Surface water 
quality at the NFS site is currently protected by enforcing release 
limits and monitoring programs. No change in surface water impacts is 
expected. The proposed action will not discharge any effluents to the 
groundwater; therefore, no adverse impacts to groundwater are expected.
    The proposed action involves transportation of radioactive feed 
material to the NFS site, which will lead to transportation of 
radioactive products and waste material from the NFS site. All 
transportation will be conducted in accordance with the applicable NRC 
and U.S. Department of Transportation regulations; therefore, no 
adverse impacts from transportation activities are expected.
    Land Use: The proposed action involves storage of radioactive 
material at existing facilities. No new facilities will be constructed; 
therefore, no adverse impact to land use is expected.
    Cultural Resources: The proposed action involves storage of 
radioactive material at existing facilities. The NRC staff considers 
this a type of activity that does not have the potential to affect 
historic properties. No adverse impact to cultural resources is 
expected.
    Biotic Resources: The proposed action will not change current land 
use or effluents at the site. Therefore, the NRC finds that the 
proposed action will not affect any Federally endangered or threatened 
species.
2. Potential Accidents
    The proposed action will not result in any new or modified accident 
sequences. The Integrated Safety Analysis performed by NFS already 
considers all authorized storage locations to be filled to maximum 
capacity with HEU. The NRC finds that the safety controls to be 
employed in the proposed action are sufficient to ensure planned 
activities will be safe.
3. Cumulative Impacts
    The NRC has considered the impacts of the proposed action together 
with the known impacts of the existing facility. After reviewing the 
information provided, the NRC concludes that the cumulative impacts 
represent an insignificant change to the existing conditions in the 
area surrounding the NFS site.

Impacts of No Action Alternative

    Under the no action alternative, NFS would not be able to increase 
its inventory of HEU to support current operations. This would require 
NFS to stop receiving HEU shipments until enough material has been 
processed and removed from the site before another shipment could be 
received. Failure to fulfill its role in government and commercial 
programs could cause NFS's customers to select other alternatives that 
may be less cost effective and incur greater environmental impacts. If 
NFS is unable to fulfill its contractual obligations, customers may 
transfer work to other facilities.

Conclusion

    Based on its review, the NRC has concluded that the environmental 
impacts associated with the proposed action are not significant and, 
therefore, do not warrant denial of the proposed license amendment. The 
NRC has determined that the proposed action, the approval of the 
license amendment as described, is the appropriate alternative for 
selection. Based on an evaluation of the environmental impacts of the 
proposed license amendment, the NRC has determined that the proper 
action is to issue a FONSI.

Agencies and Persons Contacted

    On September 21, 2007, the NRC staff contacted the Deputy Director 
of the Division of Radiological Health at the Tennessee Department of 
Environment and Conservation (TDEC) concerning this EA. On October 1, 
2007, the Deputy Director responded that TDEC reviewed the draft EA and 
had no comments (Ref. 6).
    The NRC staff has determined that the proposed action will not 
affect listed species or critical habitat. Therefore, no consultation 
is required under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act. Likewise, 
the NRC staff has determined that the proposed action is not the type 
of activity that has the potential to cause effects on historic 
properties. Therefore, no consultation is required, under Section 106 
of the National Historic Preservation Act.

References

    1. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ``Environmental 
Assessment for Renewal of Special Nuclear Material License No. SNM-
124,'' January 1999, ADAMS No. ML031150418
    2. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ``Environmental 
Assessment for Proposed License Amendments to Special Nuclear 
Material License No. SNM-124 Regarding Downblending and Oxide 
Conversion of Surplus High-Enriched Uranium,'' June 2002, ADAMS No. 
ML021790068.
    3. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ``Environmental 
Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for the BLEU 
Preparation Facility,'' September 2003, ADAMS No. ML032390428.
    4. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ``Environmental 
Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for the Oxide 
Conversion Building and the Effluent Processing Building at the BLEU 
Complex,'' June 2004, ADAMS No. ML041470176.
    5. Nuclear Fuel Services, ``Amendment Request to Increase the U-
235 Possession Limit for the NFS Site,'' May 15, 2007, ADAMS No. 
ML072550166.
    6. D. Shults, Tennessee Division of Radiological Health, e-mail 
to K. Ramsey, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ``Consultation 
with Tennessee on EA for NFS Possession Limit Increase,'' October 1, 
2007, ADAMS No. ML072760398.

III. Finding of No Significant Impact

    Pursuant to 10 CFR Part 51, the NRC staff has considered the 
environmental consequences of amending NRC Materials License SNM-124 to 
increase the possession limit for the NFS facility. On the basis of 
this assessment, the Commission has concluded that environmental 
impacts associated with the proposed action would not be significant 
and the Commission is making a finding of no significant impact. 
Accordingly, the preparation of an EIS is not warranted.

IV. Further Information

    Documents related to this action, including the application for 
amendment and supporting documentation, are available electronically at 
the NRC's Electronic Reading Room at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/
adams.html. From this site, you can access the NRC's Agencywide 
Document Access and Management System (ADAMS), which provides text and 
image files of NRC's public documents. The ADAMS accession numbers for 
the documents related to this notice are listed in the references 
above. If you do not have access to ADAMS or if there are problems in 
accessing the documents located in ADAMS, contact the NRC Public 
Document Room (PDR) Reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737 or 
by e-mail to pdr@nrc.gov.
    These documents may also be viewed electronically on the public 
computers located at the NRC's Public Document Room (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 October, 2007.


[[Page 62883]]


    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Peter J. Habighorst,
 Chief, Fuel Manufacturing Branch, Fuel Facility Licensing Directorate, 
Division of Fuel Cycle Safety and Safeguards, Office of Nuclear 
Material Safety and Safeguards.
[FR Doc. E7-21861 Filed 11-6-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P