Notice of Availability of Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Moore Ranch ISR Project in Campbell County, WY, Supplement to the Generic Environmental Impact Statement for In-Situ Leach Uranium Milling Facilities, 65806-65808 [E9-29553]

Download as PDF jlentini on DSKJ8SOYB1PROD with NOTICES 65806 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 237 / Friday, December 11, 2009 / Notices Creek ISR Facility would be shipped to an intermediate uranium processing facility, before being sent to a uranium fuel conversion facility. In this draft SEIS, the NRC staff has assessed the potential environmental impacts from the construction, operation, aquifer restoration, and decommissioning of the proposed Lost Creek ISR Project. In doing so, the NRC staff evaluated site-specific data and information from the Lost Creek ISR Project to determine if the LCI’s proposed activities and the site characteristics were consistent with those evaluated in the GEIS. NRC then determined which relevant sections of, and impact conclusions in, the GEIS could be incorporated by reference. The NRC staff also determined if additional data or analysis was needed to assess the potential environmental impacts for a specific environmental resource area. The NRC staff documented its assessments and conclusions in the draft SEIS. In addition to the action proposed by LCI, the NRC staff addressed the noaction alternative in the draft SEIS. Under this alternative, NRC would deny LCI’s request to construct and operate an ISR facility at the Lost Creek ISR Project. The no-action alternative serves as a baseline for comparison of the potential environmental impacts. Another alternative action considered in the draft SEIS was the addition of a yellowcake dryer in the central processing plant. This would process the slurry into a dry yellowcake, thereby eliminating the necessity of transporting the slurry to another facility for drying. The end result would be direct transport of the dry yellowcake to a uranium fuel processing facility. The NRC staff also considered other alternatives but eliminated them from detailed analysis. Conventional mining/ milling and conventional mining/heap leach processing are two potential methods of uranium recovery at the Lost Creek ISR Project. However, given the recognized more substantial environmental impacts of conventional mining (whether by open pit or underground techniques) and conventional milling or heap leach processing, these alternatives were not further considered. The NRC staff also evaluated alternative lixiviants (acidand ammonia-based), alternative waste disposal methods, and alternative site locations within the proposed license area. For reasons discussed in the draft SEIS, these alternatives also were eliminated from further consideration. This draft SEIS is being issued for public comment. The public comment period on the draft SEIS begins with VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:33 Dec 10, 2009 Jkt 220001 publication of this notice and continues until February 1, 2010. Written comments should be submitted as described in the ADDRESSES section of this notice. The NRC will consider comments received or postmarked after that date to the extent practical. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 4th day of December, 2009. For the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Patrice M. Bubar, Deputy Director, Environmental Protection and Performance Assessment Directorate, Division of Waste Management and Environmental Protection, Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental Management Programs. [FR Doc. E9–29547 Filed 12–10–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [NRC–2009–0364] Notice of Availability of Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Moore Ranch ISR Project in Campbell County, WY, Supplement to the Generic Environmental Impact Statement for InSitu Leach Uranium Milling Facilities AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Notice of availability. SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing for public comment a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Moore Ranch ISR Project in Campbell County, Wyoming, Supplement to the Generic Environmental Impact Statement for InSitu Leach Uranium Milling Facilities. By letter dated October 2, 2007, Energy Metals Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Uranium One (Uranium One), submitted an application to the NRC for a new source material license for the proposed Moore Ranch ISR Project, located in the Power River Basin in Campbell County, Wyoming. Uranium One is proposing to recover uranium from the Moore Ranch site using the in-situ leach (also know as the in-situ recovery [ISR]) process. The Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended by the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978, authorize the NRC to issue licenses for the possession and use of source material and byproduct material. These statutes require that NRC license facilities, including ISR operations, are licensed in accordance with NRC regulatory PO 00000 Frm 00075 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 requirements to protect public health and safety from radiological hazards. Under the NRC’s environmental protection regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 10, Part 51 (10 CFR Part 51), that implement the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) or supplement to an EIS (SEIS) is required for issuance of a license to possess and use source material for uranium milling (see 10 CFR 51.20(b)(8)). In June 2009, the NRC staff issued NUREG–1910, ‘‘Generic Environmental Impact Statement for In-Situ Leach Uranium Milling Facilities’’ (herein referred to as the GEIS). In the GEIS, NRC assessed the potential environmental impacts from the construction, operation, aquifer restoration, and decommissioning of an ISR facility located in four specific geographic regions of the western United States. The proposed Moore Ranch Project is located within the Wyoming East Uranium Milling Region identified in the GEIS. The Moore Ranch Draft SEIS both supplements and incorporates by reference relevant portions of the GEIS, and uses sitespecific information from the applicant’s license application and other independent sources to fulfill 10 CFR 51.20(b)(8) requirements. DATES: The public comment period on this draft SEIS begins with publication of this notice and continues until February 1, 2010. Written comments should be submitted as described in the ADDRESSES section of this notice. The NRC will consider comments received, or postmarked, after that date to the extent practical. ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted by any one of the following methods. Please include Docket ID NRC–2009–0364 in the subject line of your comments. Comments submitted either in writing or in electronic form will be posted on the NRC Web site and on the Federal rulemaking Web site: http://www.regulations.gov. Because comments will not be edited to remove either identifying or contact information, the NRC cautions against including any information in your submission that you do not want publicly disclosed. The NRC requests that any party soliciting or aggregating comments received from other persons for submission to the NRC inform those persons that the NRC will not edit their comments to remove any identifying or contact information, and therefore, they should not include any information in E:\FR\FM\11DEN1.SGM 11DEN1 jlentini on DSKJ8SOYB1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 237 / Friday, December 11, 2009 / Notices their comments that they do not want publicly disclosed. Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for documents filed under Docket ID NRC–2009–0364. Comments may be submitted electronically through this Web site. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher 301–492– 3668; e-mail Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov. Mail comments to: Michael T. Lesar, Chief, Rulemaking and Directives Branch (RDB), Division of Administrative Services, Office of Administration, Mail Stop: TWB–05– B01M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555– 0001, or by fax to RDB at (301) 492– 3446. Comments may also be submitted electronically to the following address: MooreRanchISRSEIS@nrc.gov. Publicly available documents related to this notice can be accessed using the following methods: NRC’s Public Document Room (PDR): The public may examine and have copied, for a fee, publicly available documents at the NRC’s PDR, Public File Area O1 F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland. NRC’s Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): Publicly available documents created or received at the NRC are available electronically at the NRC’s Electronic Reading Room at http://www.nrc.gov/ reading-rm/adams.html. From this page, the public can gain entry into ADAMS, which provides text and image files of NRC’s public documents. If you either do not have access to ADAMS or if there are problems accessing the documents located in ADAMS, contact the NRC’s PDR reference staff at 1–800–397–4209, 301–415–4737, or by e-mail to pdr.resource@nrc.gov. The ‘‘Environmental Impact Statement for the Moore Ranch ISR Project in Campbell County, Wyoming— Supplement to the Generic Environmental Impact Statement for InSitu Leach Uranium Milling Facilities’’ is available electronically under ADAMS Accession Number ML093350050. The draft SEIS for the Moore Ranch ISR Project also may be accessed via the internet at http://www.nrc.gov/readingrm/doc-collections/nuregs/staff/ by selecting ‘‘NUREG–1910.’’ The draft SEIS will be Supplement 1 to NUREG– 1910. Additionally, a copy of the SEIS will be available at the following public library: Campbell County Public Library, 2101 South 4J Road, Gillette, Wyoming 82718, 307–687–0009. Federal Rulemaking Web site: Public comments and supporting materials VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:33 Dec 10, 2009 Jkt 220001 related to this notice can be found at http://www.regulations.gov by searching on Docket ID: NRC–2009–0364. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information on the environmental review process related to the draft SEIS for the Moore Ranch Project, please contact Behram Shroff, Project Manager, Division of Waste Management and Environmental Protection (DWMEP), Mail Stop T–8F5, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001, by phone at 1 (800) 368–5642, extension 0666. For general or technical information associated with the safety and licensing of uranium milling facilities, please contact Stephen Cohen, Team Lead, Uranium Recovery Branch, DWMEP, Mail Stop T–8F5, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001, by phone at 1 (800) 368–5642, extension 7182. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended by the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978, authorizes NRC to issue licenses for the possession and use of source material and byproduct material. These statutes require NRC to license facilities in accordance with NRC regulatory requirements to protect public health and safety from radiological hazards. ISR uranium facilities must meet NRC regulatory requirements to obtain this license to operate. Under the NRC’s environmental protection regulations in 10 CFR Part 51.20(b)(8), which implements NEPA, issuance of a license to possess and use source material for uranium milling requires either an EIS or a supplement to an EIS. To help fulfill this requirement, the NRC staff and its contractor, the Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses, in cooperation with the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (Land Quality Division), issued NUREG–1910, ‘‘Generic Environmental Impact Statement for In-Situ Uranium Milling Facilities’’ (the GEIS) in June 2009. The GEIS assessed the potential environmental impacts associated with the construction, operation, aquifer restoration, and decommissioning of an ISR facility located in four specific geographic areas of the western United States (U.S.). The proposed Moore Ranch ISR Project is located in one such region, the Wyoming East Uranium Milling Region. The GEIS evaluated the range of potential impacts in the four geographic regions and evaluated whether the potential impacts would be essentially the same for all ISR facilities or whether site-specific information and analysis would be required to determine the potential impacts. As such, the GEIS PO 00000 Frm 00076 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 65807 provides a starting point for NRC’s NEPA analyses for site-specific license applications for both new ISR facilities and to renew or amend the applications for existing ISR licenses. By letter dated October 2, 2007, Energy Metals Corporation, a whollyowned subsidiary of Uranium One (Uranium One), submitted an application to the NRC for a source material license for the Moore Ranch ISR Project, located in southwest Campbell County, in south-central Wyoming, about halfway between the Towns of Wright located 40 km (25 mi) to the northeast and Midwest-Edgerton located 39 km (24 mi) to the southwest. The City of Gillette, Wyoming is located approximately 85 km (53 mi) to the northwest, and the City of Casper, Wyoming is located approximately 85 km (53 mi) to the southwest of the proposed site. Planned facilities associated with the proposed Moore Ranch ISR Project include a central plant with uranium processing capabilities; two wellfields with injection, production, and monitor wells, header houses, pipeline to connect the wellfields to the central plant, and a network of access roads. The proposed license area consists of approximately 2,879 ha (7,110 ac) of remotely located private land, with about 14 percent of the surface rights being administered by the State of Wyoming. The U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management does not administer surface rights for any portion of the proposed license area. ISR facilities recover uranium from low grade ores that may not be economically recoverable by other methods. In the ISR process, a leaching agent (called a lixiviant), such as oxygen and sodium bicarbonate, is added to native groundwater for injection through wells into the subsurface ore body to dissolve the uranium. Before ISR operations can begin, the portion of the aquifer designated for uranium recovery must be exempted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from being an underground source of drinking water in accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act (as implemented by EPA at 40 CFR 146.4). The injected solution now containing the dissolved uranium, is pumped back (recovered) to the surface and sent to a processing plant, where ion exchange is used to separate the uranium from the solution. The ISR process also frees other metals and minerals from the host aquifer. As a result, operators of ISR facilities are required to restore the groundwater affected by operations. In the processing plant, the recovered E:\FR\FM\11DEN1.SGM 11DEN1 jlentini on DSKJ8SOYB1PROD with NOTICES 65808 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 237 / Friday, December 11, 2009 / Notices uranium is concentrated into the product known as ‘‘yellowcake,’’ which is then shipped to a uranium conversion facility for further processing in the overall uranium fuel cycle. In this draft SEIS, the NRC staff assessed the potential environmental impacts from the construction, operation, aquifer restoration, and decommissioning of the proposed Moore Ranch ISR Project. In so doing, the NRC staff evaluated site-specific data and information from the Moore Ranch ISR Project to determine if the Moore Ranch site characteristics and Uranium One’s proposed activities were consistent with that evaluated in the GEIS. NRC staff then determined which relevant sections of the GEIS and impact conclusions could be incorporated by reference. The NRC staff also determined if either additional data or analysis was needed to determine the potential environmental impacts on a specific environmental resource area. The NRC staff documented its conclusions and determinations in the draft SEIS. In addition to the action proposed by Uranium One, the NRC staff also addressed the no-action alternative in the draft SEIS. Under this alternative, NRC would deny Uranium One’s request to construct and operate an ISR facility at the Moore Ranch ISR Project. The no-action alternative serves as a baseline to compare the potential environmental impacts. The NRC staff also considered other alternatives but eliminated them from detailed analysis. Conventional mining/ milling and conventional mining/heap leach processing are two potential methods of uranium recovery at the Moore Ranch ISR Project. However, given the recognized more substantial environmental impacts of conventional mining (whether by open pit or underground techniques) and conventional milling or heap leach processing, these alternatives were not further considered. The NRC staff also evaluated alternative lixiviants (acidand ammonia-based), alternative waste disposal methods, and an alternative site location within the proposed area. For reasons discussed in the draft SEIS, these alternatives also were eliminated from further consideration. This draft SEIS is being issued for public comment. The public comment period on the draft SEIS begins with publication of this notice and continues until February 1, 2010. Written comments should be submitted as described in the ADDRESSES section of this notice. The NRC will consider comments received or postmarked after that date to the extent practical. VerDate Nov<24>2008 17:33 Dec 10, 2009 Jkt 220001 Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 4th day of December 2009. For the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Patrice M. Bubar, Deputy Director, Environmental Protection and Performance Assessment Directorate, Division of Waste Management, and Environmental Protection, Office of Federal and State Materials, and Environmental Management Programs. [FR Doc. E9–29553 Filed 12–10–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [NRC–2008–0339] Notice of Availability of Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Nichols Ranch In-Situ Recovery (ISR) Project in Campbell and Johnson Counties, WY; Supplement to the Generic Environmental Impact Statement for In-Situ Leach Uranium Milling Facilities Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Notice of availability. AGENCY: SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing for public comment a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Nichols Ranch In-Situ Recovery (ISR) Project. By letter dated November 30, 2007, Uranerz Energy Corporation (Uranerz), submitted an application to the NRC for a new source material license for the Nichols Ranch ISR Project, which Uranerz proposes to be located in the Powder River Basin in Campbell and Johnson Counties, Wyoming. Uranerz is proposing to recover uranium from the Nichols Ranch ISR Project site using the in-situ leach (also know as the in-situ recovery (ISR)) process. The Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended by the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978, authorizes the NRC to issue licenses for the possession and use of source material and byproduct material. These statutes require that NRC license facilities, including ISR operations, in accordance with NRC regulatory requirements to protect public health and safety from radiological hazards. Under the NRC’s environmental protection regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 10, Part 51 (10 CFR part 51), that implement the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) or PO 00000 Frm 00077 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 supplement to an EIS (SEIS) is required for issuance of a license to possess and use source material for uranium milling (see 10 CFR 51.20(b)(8)). In June 2009, the NRC staff issued NUREG–1910, ‘‘Generic Environmental Impact Statement for In-Situ Leach Uranium Milling Facilities’’ (herein referred to as the GEIS). In the GEIS, NRC assessed the potential environmental impacts from the construction, operation, aquifer restoration, and decommissioning of an ISR facility located in four specific geographic regions of the western United States. The proposed Nichols Ranch ISR Project is located within the Wyoming East Uranium Milling Region identified in the GEIS. The Nichols Ranch ISR Project Draft SEIS both supplements and incorporates by reference relevant portions of the GEIS and uses site specific information from the applicant’s license application and other independent sources to fulfill the requirements in 10 CFR 51.20(b)(8). DATES: The public comment period on the Draft SEIS begins with publication of this notice and continues until February 01, 2010. Written comments should be submitted as described in the ADDRESSES section of this notice. The NRC will consider comments received or postmarked after that date to the extent practical. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any one of the following methods. Please include Docket ID NRC–2008– 0339 in the subject line of your comments. Comments submitted in writing or in electronic form will be posted on the NRC Web site and on the Federal rulemaking Web site http:// www.regulations.gov. Because your comments will not be edited to remove any identifying or contact information, the NRC cautions you against including any information in your submission that you do not want to be publicly disclosed. The NRC requests that any party soliciting or aggregating comments received from other persons for submission to the NRC inform those persons that the NRC will not edit their comments to remove any identifying or contact information, and therefore, they should not include any information in their comments that they do not want publicly disclosed. Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for documents filed under Docket ID NRC–2008–0339. Comments may be submitted electronically through this Web site. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher at 301–492– E:\FR\FM\11DEN1.SGM 11DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 237 (Friday, December 11, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 65806-65808]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-29553]


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

NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[NRC-2009-0364]


Notice of Availability of Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact 
Statement for the Moore Ranch ISR Project in Campbell County, WY, 
Supplement to the Generic Environmental Impact Statement for In-Situ 
Leach Uranium Milling Facilities

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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

SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission (NRC) is issuing for public comment a Draft Supplemental 
Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Moore Ranch ISR Project 
in Campbell County, Wyoming, Supplement to the Generic Environmental 
Impact Statement for In-Situ Leach Uranium Milling Facilities. By 
letter dated October 2, 2007, Energy Metals Corporation, a wholly-owned 
subsidiary of Uranium One (Uranium One), submitted an application to 
the NRC for a new source material license for the proposed Moore Ranch 
ISR Project, located in the Power River Basin in Campbell County, 
Wyoming. Uranium One is proposing to recover uranium from the Moore 
Ranch site using the in-situ leach (also know as the in-situ recovery 
[ISR]) process.
    The Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended by the Uranium Mill 
Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978, authorize the NRC to issue 
licenses for the possession and use of source material and byproduct 
material. These statutes require that NRC license facilities, including 
ISR operations, are licensed in accordance with NRC regulatory 
requirements to protect public health and safety from radiological 
hazards. Under the NRC's environmental protection regulations in the 
Code of Federal Regulations, Title 10, Part 51 (10 CFR Part 51), that 
implement the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), 
preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) or supplement to 
an EIS (SEIS) is required for issuance of a license to possess and use 
source material for uranium milling (see 10 CFR 51.20(b)(8)).
    In June 2009, the NRC staff issued NUREG-1910, ``Generic 
Environmental Impact Statement for In-Situ Leach Uranium Milling 
Facilities'' (herein referred to as the GEIS). In the GEIS, NRC 
assessed the potential environmental impacts from the construction, 
operation, aquifer restoration, and decommissioning of an ISR facility 
located in four specific geographic regions of the western United 
States. The proposed Moore Ranch Project is located within the Wyoming 
East Uranium Milling Region identified in the GEIS. The Moore Ranch 
Draft SEIS both supplements and incorporates by reference relevant 
portions of the GEIS, and uses site-specific information from the 
applicant's license application and other independent sources to 
fulfill 10 CFR 51.20(b)(8) requirements.

DATES: The public comment period on this draft SEIS begins with 
publication of this notice and continues until February 1, 2010. 
Written comments should be submitted as described in the ADDRESSES 
section of this notice. The NRC will consider comments received, or 
postmarked, after that date to the extent practical.

ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted by any one of the following 
methods. Please include Docket ID NRC-2009-0364 in the subject line of 
your comments. Comments submitted either in writing or in electronic 
form will be posted on the NRC Web site and on the Federal rulemaking 
Web site: http://www.regulations.gov. Because comments will not be 
edited to remove either identifying or contact information, the NRC 
cautions against including any information in your submission that you 
do not want publicly disclosed.
    The NRC requests that any party soliciting or aggregating comments 
received from other persons for submission to the NRC inform those 
persons that the NRC will not edit their comments to remove any 
identifying or contact information, and therefore, they should not 
include any information in

[[Page 65807]]

their comments that they do not want publicly disclosed.
    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and 
search for documents filed under Docket ID NRC-2009-0364. Comments may 
be submitted electronically through this Web site. Address questions 
about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher 301-492-3668; e-mail 
Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov.
    Mail comments to: Michael T. Lesar, Chief, Rulemaking and 
Directives Branch (RDB), Division of Administrative Services, Office of 
Administration, Mail Stop: TWB-05-B01M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, or by fax to RDB at (301) 492-
3446. Comments may also be submitted electronically to the following 
address: MooreRanchISRSEIS@nrc.gov.
    Publicly available documents related to this notice can be accessed 
using the following methods:
    NRC's Public Document Room (PDR): The public may examine and have 
copied, for a fee, publicly available documents at the NRC's PDR, 
Public File Area O1 F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, 
Rockville, Maryland.
    NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): 
Publicly available documents created or received at the NRC are 
available electronically at the NRC's Electronic Reading Room at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. From this page, the public can gain 
entry into ADAMS, which provides text and image files of NRC's public 
documents. If you either do not have access to ADAMS or if there are 
problems accessing the documents located in ADAMS, contact the NRC's 
PDR reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by e-mail to 
pdr.resource@nrc.gov. The ``Environmental Impact Statement for the 
Moore Ranch ISR Project in Campbell County, Wyoming--Supplement to the 
Generic Environmental Impact Statement for In-Situ Leach Uranium 
Milling Facilities'' is available electronically under ADAMS Accession 
Number ML093350050.
    The draft SEIS for the Moore Ranch ISR Project also may be accessed 
via the internet at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/nuregs/staff/ by selecting ``NUREG-1910.'' The draft SEIS will be 
Supplement 1 to NUREG-1910. Additionally, a copy of the SEIS will be 
available at the following public library: Campbell County Public 
Library, 2101 South 4J Road, Gillette, Wyoming 82718, 307-687-0009.
    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Public comments and supporting 
materials related to this notice can be found at http://www.regulations.gov by searching on Docket ID: NRC-2009-0364.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information on the environmental 
review process related to the draft SEIS for the Moore Ranch Project, 
please contact Behram Shroff, Project Manager, Division of Waste 
Management and Environmental Protection (DWMEP), Mail Stop T-8F5, U.S. 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, by phone at 1 
(800) 368-5642, extension 0666. For general or technical information 
associated with the safety and licensing of uranium milling facilities, 
please contact Stephen Cohen, Team Lead, Uranium Recovery Branch, 
DWMEP, Mail Stop T-8F5, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, 
DC 20555-0001, by phone at 1 (800) 368-5642, extension 7182.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended by 
the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978, authorizes NRC 
to issue licenses for the possession and use of source material and 
byproduct material. These statutes require NRC to license facilities in 
accordance with NRC regulatory requirements to protect public health 
and safety from radiological hazards. ISR uranium facilities must meet 
NRC regulatory requirements to obtain this license to operate. Under 
the NRC's environmental protection regulations in 10 CFR Part 
51.20(b)(8), which implements NEPA, issuance of a license to possess 
and use source material for uranium milling requires either an EIS or a 
supplement to an EIS.
    To help fulfill this requirement, the NRC staff and its contractor, 
the Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses, in cooperation with 
the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (Land Quality 
Division), issued NUREG-1910, ``Generic Environmental Impact Statement 
for In-Situ Uranium Milling Facilities'' (the GEIS) in June 2009. The 
GEIS assessed the potential environmental impacts associated with the 
construction, operation, aquifer restoration, and decommissioning of an 
ISR facility located in four specific geographic areas of the western 
United States (U.S.). The proposed Moore Ranch ISR Project is located 
in one such region, the Wyoming East Uranium Milling Region. The GEIS 
evaluated the range of potential impacts in the four geographic regions 
and evaluated whether the potential impacts would be essentially the 
same for all ISR facilities or whether site-specific information and 
analysis would be required to determine the potential impacts. As such, 
the GEIS provides a starting point for NRC's NEPA analyses for site-
specific license applications for both new ISR facilities and to renew 
or amend the applications for existing ISR licenses.
    By letter dated October 2, 2007, Energy Metals Corporation, a 
wholly-owned subsidiary of Uranium One (Uranium One), submitted an 
application to the NRC for a source material license for the Moore 
Ranch ISR Project, located in southwest Campbell County, in south-
central Wyoming, about halfway between the Towns of Wright located 40 
km (25 mi) to the northeast and Midwest-Edgerton located 39 km (24 mi) 
to the southwest. The City of Gillette, Wyoming is located 
approximately 85 km (53 mi) to the northwest, and the City of Casper, 
Wyoming is located approximately 85 km (53 mi) to the southwest of the 
proposed site. Planned facilities associated with the proposed Moore 
Ranch ISR Project include a central plant with uranium processing 
capabilities; two wellfields with injection, production, and monitor 
wells, header houses, pipeline to connect the wellfields to the central 
plant, and a network of access roads. The proposed license area 
consists of approximately 2,879 ha (7,110 ac) of remotely located 
private land, with about 14 percent of the surface rights being 
administered by the State of Wyoming. The U.S. Department of Interior, 
Bureau of Land Management does not administer surface rights for any 
portion of the proposed license area.
    ISR facilities recover uranium from low grade ores that may not be 
economically recoverable by other methods. In the ISR process, a 
leaching agent (called a lixiviant), such as oxygen and sodium 
bicarbonate, is added to native groundwater for injection through wells 
into the subsurface ore body to dissolve the uranium. Before ISR 
operations can begin, the portion of the aquifer designated for uranium 
recovery must be exempted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 
(EPA) from being an underground source of drinking water in accordance 
with the Safe Drinking Water Act (as implemented by EPA at 40 CFR 
146.4). The injected solution now containing the dissolved uranium, is 
pumped back (recovered) to the surface and sent to a processing plant, 
where ion exchange is used to separate the uranium from the solution. 
The ISR process also frees other metals and minerals from the host 
aquifer. As a result, operators of ISR facilities are required to 
restore the groundwater affected by operations. In the processing 
plant, the recovered

[[Page 65808]]

uranium is concentrated into the product known as ``yellowcake,'' which 
is then shipped to a uranium conversion facility for further processing 
in the overall uranium fuel cycle.
    In this draft SEIS, the NRC staff assessed the potential 
environmental impacts from the construction, operation, aquifer 
restoration, and decommissioning of the proposed Moore Ranch ISR 
Project. In so doing, the NRC staff evaluated site-specific data and 
information from the Moore Ranch ISR Project to determine if the Moore 
Ranch site characteristics and Uranium One's proposed activities were 
consistent with that evaluated in the GEIS. NRC staff then determined 
which relevant sections of the GEIS and impact conclusions could be 
incorporated by reference. The NRC staff also determined if either 
additional data or analysis was needed to determine the potential 
environmental impacts on a specific environmental resource area. The 
NRC staff documented its conclusions and determinations in the draft 
SEIS.
    In addition to the action proposed by Uranium One, the NRC staff 
also addressed the no-action alternative in the draft SEIS. Under this 
alternative, NRC would deny Uranium One's request to construct and 
operate an ISR facility at the Moore Ranch ISR Project. The no-action 
alternative serves as a baseline to compare the potential environmental 
impacts.
    The NRC staff also considered other alternatives but eliminated 
them from detailed analysis. Conventional mining/milling and 
conventional mining/heap leach processing are two potential methods of 
uranium recovery at the Moore Ranch ISR Project. However, given the 
recognized more substantial environmental impacts of conventional 
mining (whether by open pit or underground techniques) and conventional 
milling or heap leach processing, these alternatives were not further 
considered. The NRC staff also evaluated alternative lixiviants (acid- 
and ammonia-based), alternative waste disposal methods, and an 
alternative site location within the proposed area. For reasons 
discussed in the draft SEIS, these alternatives also were eliminated 
from further consideration.
    This draft SEIS is being issued for public comment. The public 
comment period on the draft SEIS begins with publication of this notice 
and continues until February 1, 2010. Written comments should be 
submitted as described in the ADDRESSES section of this notice. The NRC 
will consider comments received or postmarked after that date to the 
extent practical.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 4th day of December 2009.

    For the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Patrice M. Bubar,
Deputy Director, Environmental Protection and Performance Assessment 
Directorate, Division of Waste Management, and Environmental 
Protection, Office of Federal and State Materials, and Environmental 
Management Programs.
[FR Doc. E9-29553 Filed 12-10-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P