Proposed Generic Communication; Licensee Justification of Long-Term Surveillance Charge, 18807-18809 [2011-8009]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 65 / Tuesday, April 5, 2011 / Notices Facility Operating License Nos. NPF– 68 and NPF–81: Amendments revised the licenses and the technical specifications. Date of initial notice in Federal Register: January 4, 2011 (76 FR 388). The Commission’s related evaluation of the amendments is contained in a Safety Evaluation dated March 14, 2011. No significant hazards consideration comments received: No. srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with NOTICES STP Nuclear Operating Company, Docket Nos. 50–498 and 50–499, South Texas Project, Units 1 and 2, Matagorda County, Texas Date of amendment request: May 18, 2010, as supplemented by letter dated October 5, 2010. Brief description of amendments: The amendments eliminated the Residual Heat Removal (RHR) system design criterion for diversity among the three Reactor Coolant System pressure transmitters that generate interlocks for three series-pairs of RHR suction isolation valves. The change allows similarly qualified pressure transmitters to be used in more than one RHR train as necessary regardless of manufacturer of the transmitters. The revision is incorporated in the Updated Final Safety Analysis Report for South Texas Project, Units 1 and 2. Date of issuance: March 22, 2011. Effective date: As of the date of issuance and shall be implemented within 60 days of issuance. Amendment Nos.: Unit 1–194; Unit 2–182. Facility Operating License Nos. NPF– 76 and NPF–80: The amendments revised the Facility Operating Licenses and Updated Final Safety Analysis Report. Date of initial notice in Federal Register: September 21, 2010 (75 FR 57528). The supplemental letter dated October 5, 2010, provided additional information that clarified the application, did not expand the scope of the application as originally noticed, and did not change the staff’s original proposed no significant hazards consideration determination as published in the Federal Register. The Commission’s related evaluation of the amendments is contained in a Safety Evaluation dated March 22, 2011. No significant hazards consideration comments received: No. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 23rd day of March 2011. VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:34 Apr 04, 2011 Jkt 223001 For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Joseph G. Giitter, Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. [FR Doc. 2011–7740 Filed 4–4–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [NRC–2010–0073] Proposed Generic Communication; Licensee Justification of Long-Term Surveillance Charge Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Notice of opportunity for public comment. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is proposing to issue a regulatory issue summary (RIS) to reaffirm its existing interpretation of the regulatory policy regarding the scope and corresponding dollar amount of the long-term surveillance charge (LTSC) to be paid to the general treasury of the United States, or to an appropriate State agency. This LTSC is paid prior to the transfer of title to a uranium mill, covered by Title II of the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) of 1978 (UMTRCA Title II site), to the long-term custodian for long-term care and license termination. This Federal Register notice is available through the NRC’s Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) under accession number ML102080569. DATES: Comment period expires May 5, 2011. Comments submitted after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but assurance of consideration cannot be given except for comments received on or before this date. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any one of the following methods. Please include Docket ID NRC–2011– 0073 in the subject line of your comments. Comments submitted in writing or in electronic form will be posted on the NRC website and on the Federal rulemaking website 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 SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00095 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 18807 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–2011–0073. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher 301–492–3668; e-mail Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov. Mail comments to: Cindy Bladey, Chief, Rules, Announcements, and Directives Branch (RADB), Office of Administration, Mail Stop: TWB–05– B01M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555– 0001, or by fax to RADB at 301–492– 3446. You can access publicly available documents related to this notice 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, Room O1 F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852. 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 do not have access to ADAMS or if there are problems in 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. 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–2011–0073. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Roman A. Przygodzki at 301–415–5143 or by e-mail at roman.przygodzki@nrc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Draft Regulatory Issue Summary 2010– XX, ‘‘Licensee Justification of LongTerm Surveillance Charge’’ Addressees All holders of operating licenses for conventional or heap leach uranium recovery facilities, all holders of licenses for conventional or heap leach uranium recovery facilities in E:\FR\FM\05APN1.SGM 05APN1 18808 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 65 / Tuesday, April 5, 2011 / Notices decommissioning, and all companies that have submitted applications to construct new conventional or heap leach uranium recovery facilities or letters of intent to submit such applications, and all UMTRCA Title II sites. Intent NRC is issuing this RIS to reiterate its policy regarding the Long-Term Surveillance Charge (LTSC) for the applicable uranium recovery facilities. This RIS, among other things, discusses NRC’s existing policy regarding the scope and corresponding dollar amount of the LTSC to be paid to the General Treasury of the United States, or to an appropriate State agency, prior to the transfer of title to the long-term custodian for long-term care and license termination. No specific action or written response is required. Background Both conventional and heap leach uranium milling processes generate mill tailings, which are primarily a sandy waste material containing the radioactive decay products from the uranium chains (mainly the Uranium238 chain) and heavy metals. During operations, the tailings are deposited in a tailings impoundment or disposal cell. The goal of the tailings impoundment or disposal cell is to provide long-term protection of human health and safety, to protect the environment, and to isolate the tailings without ongoing maintenance. Specifically, Criterion 1 to Appendix A of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 40 (10 CFR 40) states that: srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with NOTICES The general goal or broad objective in siting and design decisions is permanent isolation of tailings and associated contaminants by minimizing disturbance and dispersion by natural forces, and to do so without ongoing maintenance. Criterion 6 to Appendix A of 10 CFR Part 40 states that licensees are required to place a cover over the tailings or wastes ‘‘…which provides reasonable assurance of control of radiological hazards…for 1,000 years, to the extent reasonably achievable, and, in any case, for at least 200 years.’’ Prior to license termination, a LongTerm Surveillance Plan (LTSP) is submitted to NRC for review. According to 10 CFR 40.28(b)(2) and 10 CFR 40.28(b)(3), cited below, groundwater monitoring must be considered in the LTSP, if required: (b)(2) A detailed description, which can be in the form of a reference of the final disposal site conditions, including existing ground water characterization. This description must be detailed enough so that future inspectors VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:18 Apr 04, 2011 Jkt 223001 will have a baseline to determine changes to the site and when these changes are serious enough to require maintenance or repairs. (b)(3) A description of the long-term surveillance program, including proposed inspection frequency and reporting to the Commission (as specified in appendix A, Criterion 12 of this part), frequency and extent of ground water monitoring if required, appropriate constituent concentration limits for ground water, inspection personnel qualifications, inspection procedures, recordkeeping and quality assurance procedures. (emphasis added) Additionally, prior to license termination, all operators of uranium mills are required to pay an appropriate LTSC to the General Treasury of the United States, or the appropriate State agency, as stated in the following excerpt from Criterion 10 to Appendix A of 10 CFR Part 40: A minimum charge of $250,000 (1978 dollars) to cover the costs of long-term surveillance must be paid by each mill operator to the general treasury of the United States or to an appropriate State agency prior to the termination of a uranium or thorium mill license. The LTSC is a one-time charge, in an amount such that an assumed 1 percent annual real interest rate would provide interest income sufficient to cover the annual costs of site surveillance incurred by the long-term custodian. Specifically, the intent of the minimum LTSC is to cover costs of a ‘‘passive monitoring’’ approach to site surveillance, whose assumptions are described in NUREG–0706, Vol. I, ‘‘Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement of Uranium Milling Project M–25,’’ dated September 1980 (Agencywide Documents Access and Management System [ADAMS] accession number ML032751663); Appendix R, ‘‘Costs of Post-Operational Site Surveillance’’ of NUREG–0706, Vol. III, ‘‘Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement of Uranium Milling Project M–25—Appendices G–V,’’ dated September 1980 (ADAMS accession number ML032751669); and ‘‘[NRC] Staff Guidance on the License Termination Process for Conventional Uranium Mill Licensees,’’ dated November 27, 1996 (ADAMS accession number ML100840671). Recently, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) raised an issue to the NRC regarding the minimum LTSC amount paid. Specifically, DOE inquired as to what long-term care activities would merit an increase in the LTSC above the minimum amount. DOE stated that, based on actual costs of site surveillance and control activities, the minimum amount paid as the LTSC may not be sufficient to cover the costs for the PO 00000 Frm 00096 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 needed site surveillance and control activities, in certain cases. For instance, sites with alternate concentration limits (ACLs) may require increased groundwater monitoring not covered by the ‘‘passive monitoring’’ approach assumed in the development of the minimum LTSC. In a letter dated June 17, 2010, NRC responded to DOE’s query with regard to what long-term care activities would merit an increase in the LTSC (ADAMS accession number ML100670337). It is the intent of this RIS to further clarify the matters discussed in that letter, as well as state NRC’s intent with regard to the review of proposed LTSCs and financial assurance. Summary of Issue Pursuant to Criterion 10 to Appendix A of 10 CFR 40, an escalation in the LTSC from the minimum charge amount is within NRC’s regulatory authority: If site surveillance or control requirements at a particular site are determined, on the basis of a site-specific evaluation, to be significantly greater than those specified in Criterion 12…variance in funding requirements may be specified by the Commission. (emphasis added) The NRC’s position on the LTSC— described in ‘‘[NRC] Staff Guidance on the License Termination Process for Conventional Uranium Mill Licensees,’’ (ADAMS accession number ML100840671)—is well established and goes back over 13 years. Escalation of the LTSC is consistent with NRC’s historical practice. The LTSC of the Atlantic Richfield Company’s (ARCO’s) Bluewater Uranium Mill and Tailings site was escalated for sampling of groundwater (ML103410026). At the Sohio Western Mining Company’s L– Bar uranium mill tailings site, the LTSC was escalated for the maintenance required to address of future accumulation of sedimentation in the diversion channels (ADAMS accession numbers ML042580467 and ML042580457). Provided that there is a nexus to radiological health and safety, the NRC may consider escalating the LTSC above the minimum amount, adjusted to current year dollars. The increased LTSC would address long-term maintenance and control activities if site surveillance or control requirements are expected to be greater than those specified in Criterion 12 to Appendix A of 10 CFR 40 to cover such measures relied on for the performance of the tailings impoundment. The NRC may consider escalating the LTSC for longterm maintenance and control activities undertaken to ensure maintenance of radiological health and safety such as, E:\FR\FM\05APN1.SGM 05APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 65 / Tuesday, April 5, 2011 / Notices but not limited to: (1) Groundwater monitoring; (2), rip-rap, erosion or other cover repair; (3) fencing; and (4) vegetation control. Consistent with past practice, on a site-specific basis, NRC staff will continue to work with the custodial agency and the licensee to address the LTSC, with any final variances in the funding requirements to be determined solely by the NRC. If the custodial agency desires to have commitments in the LTSP that exceed the requirements set forth in Appendix A of 10 CFR 40 and do not have a nexus to radiological health and safety (e.g., fencing that is not necessary to ensure maintenance of radiological health and safety), the custodial agency would need to identify a funding mechanism to meet these desired commitments. Annual updates to financial assurance for decommissioning submitted to NRC should contain a detailed basis (e.g., unit cost and units) and justification for the LTSC calculated by the licensee or license applicant. The licensee should consider all activities for site surveillance and control as specified in Criterion 12 to Appendix A of 10 CFR 40, including groundwater monitoring. For groundwater monitoring, the licensee or applicant should specify, with a sufficient basis, the number of wells to be sampled; the frequency of sampling; the duration of sampling; and the constituents analyzed during longterm site surveillance and control. If site surveillance or control requirements, including groundwater monitoring, are expected to be greater than those specified in Criterion 12 to Appendix A of 10 CFR 40, the licensee should fully describe the activities needed with a basis for their costs, propose an escalation in the LTSC, and provide an overall bottom-line amount, corresponding to the proposed, escalated LTSC. Federal Register Notification To be done after the public comment period. srobinson on DSKHWCL6B1PROD with NOTICES Congressional Review Act This RIS is not a rule as designated in the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801–886) and, therefore, is not subject to the Act. Paperwork Reduction Act Statement This RIS contains and references information collection requirements that are subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Existing information collection requirements were approved by the Office of Management and Budget, approval number 3150–0020. VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:18 Apr 04, 2011 Jkt 223001 Public Protection Notification PLACE: The NRC may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a request for information or an information collection requirement unless the requesting document displays a currently valid OMB control number. 18809 Week of April 4, 2011 Commissioners’ Conference Room, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland. STATUS: Public and Closed. There are no meetings scheduled for the week of April 4, 2011. Contact Week of April 11, 2011—Tentative This RIS requires no specific action or written response. If you have any questions about this summary, please contact the technical contact listed below. Technical Contact: Roman A. Przygodzki, DWMEP/SPB, (301) 415– 5143, E-mail: roman.przygodzki@nrc.gov. There are no meetings scheduled for the week of April 11, 2011. Week of April 18, 2011—Tentative Tuesday, April 19, 2011 Note: The NRC’s generic communications may be found on the NRC public Web site, http://www.nrc.gov, under Electronic Reading Room/Document Collections. 9 a.m. Briefing on Source Security—Part 37 Rulemaking—Physical Protection of Byproduct Material (Public Meeting). (Contact: Merri Horn, 301–415–8126.) This meeting will be webcast live at the Web address—http://www.nrc.gov. End of Draft Regulatory Issue Summary Week of April 25, 2011—Tentative Documents may be examined, and/or copied for a fee, at the NRC’s Public Document Room at One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland. Publicly available records will be accessible electronically from the Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) Public Electronic Reading Room on the Internet at the NRC Web site, http://www.nrc.gov/NRC/ADAMS/ index.html. If you do not have access to ADAMS or if you have problems in accessing the documents in ADAMS, contact the NRC Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1–800–397–4209 or 301–415–4737 or by e-mail to pdr@nrc.gov. Thursday, April 28, 2011 Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 28th day of March 2011. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Keith I. McConnell, Deputy Director, Decommissioning and Uranium Recovery Licensing Directorate, Division of Waste Management and Environmental Protection, Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental Management Programs. [FR Doc. 2011–8009 Filed 4–4–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION AGENCY HOLDING THE MEETINGS: Nuclear Regulatory Commission. DATE: Weeks of April 4, 11, 18, 25, May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, June 6, 13, 2011. Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Tuesday, May 3, 2011 9 a.m. Information Briefing on Emergency Preparedness (Public Meeting). (Contact: Robert Kahler, 301–415– 7528.) This meeting will be webcast live at the Web address—http://www.nrc.gov. Week of May 9, 2011—Tentative Thursday, May 12, 2011 9:30 a.m. Briefing on the Progress of the Task Force Review of NRC Processes and Regulations Following the Events in Japan (Public Meeting). (Contact: Nathan Sanfilippo, 301–415–3951.) This meeting will be webcast live at the Web address—http://www.nrc.gov. There are no meetings scheduled for the week of May 16, 2011. Sunshine Federal Register Notice Frm 00097 Week of May 2, 2011—Tentative Week of May 16, 2011—Tentative [NRC–2011–0006] PO 00000 9:30 a.m. Briefing on the Status of NRC Response to Events in Japan and Briefing on Station Blackout (Public Meeting). (Contact: George Wilson, 301–415–1711.) This meeting will be webcast live at the Web address—http://www.nrc.gov. Week of May 23, 2011—Tentative Friday, May 27, 2011 9 a.m. Briefing on Results of the Agency Action Review Meeting (AARM) (Public Meeting). (Contact: Rani E:\FR\FM\05APN1.SGM 05APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 65 (Tuesday, April 5, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 18807-18809]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-8009]


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

NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[NRC-2010-0073]


Proposed Generic Communication; Licensee Justification of Long-
Term Surveillance Charge

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Notice of opportunity for public comment.

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

SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is proposing to 
issue a regulatory issue summary (RIS) to re-affirm its existing 
interpretation of the regulatory policy regarding the scope and 
corresponding dollar amount of the long-term surveillance charge (LTSC) 
to be paid to the general treasury of the United States, or to an 
appropriate State agency. This LTSC is paid prior to the transfer of 
title to a uranium mill, covered by Title II of the Uranium Mill 
Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) of 1978 (UMTRCA Title II site), 
to the long-term custodian for long-term care and license termination. 
This Federal Register notice is available through the NRC's Agencywide 
Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) under accession number 
ML102080569.

DATES: Comment period expires May 5, 2011. Comments submitted after 
this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but assurance 
of consideration cannot be given except for comments received on or 
before this date.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any one of the following methods. 
Please include Docket ID NRC-2011-0073 in the subject line of your 
comments. Comments submitted in writing or in electronic form will be 
posted on the NRC website and on the Federal rulemaking website 
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-2011-0073. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher 301-492-3668; e-mail 
Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov.
    Mail comments to: Cindy Bladey, Chief, Rules, Announcements, and 
Directives Branch (RADB), Office of Administration, Mail Stop: TWB-05-
B01M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, or 
by fax to RADB at 301-492-3446.
    You can access publicly available documents related to this notice 
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, Room O1 
F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 
20852.
    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 do not have access to ADAMS or if there are problems 
in 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.
    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-2011-0073.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Roman A. Przygodzki at 301-415-
5143 or by e-mail at roman.przygodzki@nrc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Draft Regulatory Issue Summary 2010-XX, ``Licensee Justification of 
Long-Term Surveillance Charge''

Addressees

    All holders of operating licenses for conventional or heap leach 
uranium recovery facilities, all holders of licenses for conventional 
or heap leach uranium recovery facilities in

[[Page 18808]]

decommissioning, and all companies that have submitted applications to 
construct new conventional or heap leach uranium recovery facilities or 
letters of intent to submit such applications, and all UMTRCA Title II 
sites.

Intent

    NRC is issuing this RIS to reiterate its policy regarding the Long-
Term Surveillance Charge (LTSC) for the applicable uranium recovery 
facilities. This RIS, among other things, discusses NRC's existing 
policy regarding the scope and corresponding dollar amount of the LTSC 
to be paid to the General Treasury of the United States, or to an 
appropriate State agency, prior to the transfer of title to the long-
term custodian for long-term care and license termination. No specific 
action or written response is required.

Background

    Both conventional and heap leach uranium milling processes generate 
mill tailings, which are primarily a sandy waste material containing 
the radioactive decay products from the uranium chains (mainly the 
Uranium-238 chain) and heavy metals. During operations, the tailings 
are deposited in a tailings impoundment or disposal cell. The goal of 
the tailings impoundment or disposal cell is to provide long-term 
protection of human health and safety, to protect the environment, and 
to isolate the tailings without ongoing maintenance. Specifically, 
Criterion 1 to Appendix A of Title 10 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations (CFR), Part 40 (10 CFR 40) states that:

    The general goal or broad objective in siting and design 
decisions is permanent isolation of tailings and associated 
contaminants by minimizing disturbance and dispersion by natural 
forces, and to do so without ongoing maintenance.

    Criterion 6 to Appendix A of 10 CFR Part 40 states that licensees 
are required to place a cover over the tailings or wastes 
``[hellip]which provides reasonable assurance of control of 
radiological hazards[hellip]for 1,000 years, to the extent reasonably 
achievable, and, in any case, for at least 200 years.''
    Prior to license termination, a Long-Term Surveillance Plan (LTSP) 
is submitted to NRC for review. According to 10 CFR 40.28(b)(2) and 10 
CFR 40.28(b)(3), cited below, groundwater monitoring must be considered 
in the LTSP, if required:

    (b)(2) A detailed description, which can be in the form of a 
reference of the final disposal site conditions, including existing 
ground water characterization. This description must be detailed 
enough so that future inspectors will have a baseline to determine 
changes to the site and when these changes are serious enough to 
require maintenance or repairs.
    (b)(3) A description of the long-term surveillance program, 
including proposed inspection frequency and reporting to the 
Commission (as specified in appendix A, Criterion 12 of this part), 
frequency and extent of ground water monitoring if required, 
appropriate constituent concentration limits for ground water, 
inspection personnel qualifications, inspection procedures, 
recordkeeping and quality assurance procedures. (emphasis added)

    Additionally, prior to license termination, all operators of 
uranium mills are required to pay an appropriate LTSC to the General 
Treasury of the United States, or the appropriate State agency, as 
stated in the following excerpt from Criterion 10 to Appendix A of 10 
CFR Part 40:

    A minimum charge of $250,000 (1978 dollars) to cover the costs 
of long-term surveillance must be paid by each mill operator to the 
general treasury of the United States or to an appropriate State 
agency prior to the termination of a uranium or thorium mill 
license.

    The LTSC is a one-time charge, in an amount such that an assumed 1 
percent annual real interest rate would provide interest income 
sufficient to cover the annual costs of site surveillance incurred by 
the long-term custodian. Specifically, the intent of the minimum LTSC 
is to cover costs of a ``passive monitoring'' approach to site 
surveillance, whose assumptions are described in NUREG-0706, Vol. I, 
``Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement of Uranium Milling 
Project M-25,'' dated September 1980 (Agencywide Documents Access and 
Management System [ADAMS] accession number ML032751663); Appendix R, 
``Costs of Post-Operational Site Surveillance'' of NUREG-0706, Vol. 
III, ``Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement of Uranium Milling 
Project M-25--Appendices G-V,'' dated September 1980 (ADAMS accession 
number ML032751669); and ``[NRC] Staff Guidance on the License 
Termination Process for Conventional Uranium Mill Licensees,'' dated 
November 27, 1996 (ADAMS accession number ML100840671).
    Recently, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) raised an issue to 
the NRC regarding the minimum LTSC amount paid. Specifically, DOE 
inquired as to what long-term care activities would merit an increase 
in the LTSC above the minimum amount. DOE stated that, based on actual 
costs of site surveillance and control activities, the minimum amount 
paid as the LTSC may not be sufficient to cover the costs for the 
needed site surveillance and control activities, in certain cases. For 
instance, sites with alternate concentration limits (ACLs) may require 
increased groundwater monitoring not covered by the ``passive 
monitoring'' approach assumed in the development of the minimum LTSC.
    In a letter dated June 17, 2010, NRC responded to DOE's query with 
regard to what long-term care activities would merit an increase in the 
LTSC (ADAMS accession number ML100670337). It is the intent of this RIS 
to further clarify the matters discussed in that letter, as well as 
state NRC's intent with regard to the review of proposed LTSCs and 
financial assurance.

Summary of Issue

    Pursuant to Criterion 10 to Appendix A of 10 CFR 40, an escalation 
in the LTSC from the minimum charge amount is within NRC's regulatory 
authority:

    If site surveillance or control requirements at a particular 
site are determined, on the basis of a site-specific evaluation, to 
be significantly greater than those specified in Criterion 
12[hellip]variance in funding requirements may be specified by the 
Commission. (emphasis added)

    The NRC's position on the LTSC--described in ``[NRC] Staff Guidance 
on the License Termination Process for Conventional Uranium Mill 
Licensees,'' (ADAMS accession number ML100840671)--is well established 
and goes back over 13 years. Escalation of the LTSC is consistent with 
NRC's historical practice. The LTSC of the Atlantic Richfield Company's 
(ARCO's) Bluewater Uranium Mill and Tailings site was escalated for 
sampling of groundwater (ML103410026). At the Sohio Western Mining 
Company's L-Bar uranium mill tailings site, the LTSC was escalated for 
the maintenance required to address of future accumulation of 
sedimentation in the diversion channels (ADAMS accession numbers 
ML042580467 and ML042580457).
    Provided that there is a nexus to radiological health and safety, 
the NRC may consider escalating the LTSC above the minimum amount, 
adjusted to current year dollars. The increased LTSC would address 
long-term maintenance and control activities if site surveillance or 
control requirements are expected to be greater than those specified in 
Criterion 12 to Appendix A of 10 CFR 40 to cover such measures relied 
on for the performance of the tailings impoundment. The NRC may 
consider escalating the LTSC for long-term maintenance and control 
activities undertaken to ensure maintenance of radiological health and 
safety such as,

[[Page 18809]]

but not limited to: (1) Groundwater monitoring; (2), rip-rap, erosion 
or other cover repair; (3) fencing; and (4) vegetation control.
    Consistent with past practice, on a site-specific basis, NRC staff 
will continue to work with the custodial agency and the licensee to 
address the LTSC, with any final variances in the funding requirements 
to be determined solely by the NRC. If the custodial agency desires to 
have commitments in the LTSP that exceed the requirements set forth in 
Appendix A of 10 CFR 40 and do not have a nexus to radiological health 
and safety (e.g., fencing that is not necessary to ensure maintenance 
of radiological health and safety), the custodial agency would need to 
identify a funding mechanism to meet these desired commitments.
    Annual updates to financial assurance for decommissioning submitted 
to NRC should contain a detailed basis (e.g., unit cost and units) and 
justification for the LTSC calculated by the licensee or license 
applicant. The licensee should consider all activities for site 
surveillance and control as specified in Criterion 12 to Appendix A of 
10 CFR 40, including groundwater monitoring. For groundwater 
monitoring, the licensee or applicant should specify, with a sufficient 
basis, the number of wells to be sampled; the frequency of sampling; 
the duration of sampling; and the constituents analyzed during long-
term site surveillance and control. If site surveillance or control 
requirements, including groundwater monitoring, are expected to be 
greater than those specified in Criterion 12 to Appendix A of 10 CFR 
40, the licensee should fully describe the activities needed with a 
basis for their costs, propose an escalation in the LTSC, and provide 
an overall bottom-line amount, corresponding to the proposed, escalated 
LTSC.

Federal Register Notification

    To be done after the public comment period.

Congressional Review Act

    This RIS is not a rule as designated in the Congressional Review 
Act (5 U.S.C. 801-886) and, therefore, is not subject to the Act.

Paperwork Reduction Act Statement

    This RIS contains and references information collection 
requirements that are subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 
(44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Existing information collection requirements 
were approved by the Office of Management and Budget, approval number 
3150-0020.

Public Protection Notification

    The NRC may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to 
respond to, a request for information or an information collection 
requirement unless the requesting document displays a currently valid 
OMB control number.

Contact

    This RIS requires no specific action or written response. If you 
have any questions about this summary, please contact the technical 
contact listed below.
    Technical Contact: Roman A. Przygodzki, DWMEP/SPB, (301) 415-5143, 
E-mail: roman.przygodzki@nrc.gov.

    Note:  The NRC's generic communications may be found on the NRC 
public Web site, http://www.nrc.gov, under Electronic Reading Room/
Document Collections.

End of Draft Regulatory Issue Summary

    Documents may be examined, and/or copied for a fee, at the NRC's 
Public Document Room at One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike 
(first floor), Rockville, Maryland. Publicly available records will be 
accessible electronically from the Agencywide Documents Access and 
Management System (ADAMS) Public Electronic Reading Room on the 
Internet at the NRC Web site, http://www.nrc.gov/NRC/ADAMS/index.html. 
If you do not have access to ADAMS or if you have problems in accessing 
the documents in ADAMS, contact the NRC Public Document Room (PDR) 
reference staff at 1-800-397-4209 or 301-415-4737 or by e-mail to 
pdr@nrc.gov.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 28th day of March 2011.
    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Keith I. McConnell,
Deputy Director, Decommissioning and Uranium Recovery Licensing 
Directorate, Division of Waste Management and Environmental Protection, 
Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental Management 
Programs.
[FR Doc. 2011-8009 Filed 4-4-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P