Environmental Impact Statement for the Recapitalization of Infrastructure Supporting Naval Spent Nuclear Fuel Handling at the Idaho National Laboratory, 67338-67340 [2016-23663]

Download as PDF 67338 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 190 / Friday, September 30, 2016 / Notices become a party to these proceedings should file a motion to intervene at the above address in accordance with FERC Rule 214 (18 CFR 385.214). Five copies of such comments, protests, or motions to intervene should be sent to the address provided above on or before the date listed above. Comments and other filings concerning CWP Energy’s application to export electric energy to Mexico should be clearly marked with OE Docket No. EA–429. An additional copy is to be ˇ provided to both Ruta Kalvaitis Skucas, Pierce Atwood LLC, 1875 K St. NW., Suite 700, Washington, DC 20006 and Pascal Massey, CWP Energy, 407 McGill Street, Suite 315, Montreal, PQ, H2Y 2G3. A final decision will be made on this application after the environmental impacts have been evaluated pursuant to DOE’s National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Procedures (10 CFR part 1021) and after a determination is made by DOE that the proposed action will not have an adverse impact on the sufficiency of supply or reliability of the U.S. electric power supply system. Copies of this application will be made available, upon request, for public inspection and copying at the address provided above, by accessing the program Web site at http://energy.gov/ node/11845, or by emailing Angela Troy at Angela.Troy@hq.doe.gov. Issued in Washington, DC, on September 27, 2016. Christopher Lawrence, Electricity Policy Analyst, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability. [FR Doc. 2016–23662 Filed 9–29–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Environmental Impact Statement for the Recapitalization of Infrastructure Supporting Naval Spent Nuclear Fuel Handling at the Idaho National Laboratory Department of Energy. Notice of availability. AGENCY: ACTION: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program (NNPP) announces the availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Recapitalization of Infrastructure Supporting Naval Spent Nuclear Fuel Handling at the Idaho National Laboratory (DOE/EIS–0453–F). The Final EIS evaluates the potential environmental impacts associated with recapitalizing the infrastructure needed to ensure the long-term capability of the mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:49 Sep 29, 2016 Jkt 238001 NNPP to support naval spent nuclear fuel handling until at least 2060. DATES: The NNPP will publish a Record of Decision no sooner than 30 days after publication of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Notice of availability in the Federal Register. ADDRESSES: Copies of the Final EIS are available in public reading rooms and libraries as indicated in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION portion of this notice. The Final EIS is also available for review at www.ecfrecapitalization.us and on the DOE’s NEPA Web site at http:// energy.gov/nepa. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information about this Final EIS, contact: Erik Anderson, Naval Sea Systems Command, 1240 Isaac Hull Avenue SE., Stop 8036, Washington Navy Yard, DC 20376–8036. For information regarding the DOE NEPA process, please contact: Ms. Carol M. Borgstrom, Director, Office of NEPA Policy and Compliance (GC–54), U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, Telephone (202) 586–4600, or leave a message at (800) 472–2756. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The NNPP prepared this Final EIS in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500–1508), and the DOE NEPA implementing procedures (10 CFR 1021). This Final EIS addresses all public comments on the Draft EIS which was issued on June 19, 2015 (80 FR 35331). The NNPP is committed to managing naval spent nuclear fuel in a manner that is consistent with the Department of Energy (DOE) Programmatic Spent Nuclear Fuel Management and Idaho National Engineering Laboratory Environmental Restoration and Waste Management Programs Final Environmental Impact Statement (DOE/EIS–0203–F), and to complying with the Settlement Agreement, as amended in 2008, among the State of Idaho, the DOE, and the Navy concerning the management of naval spent nuclear fuel. Consistent with the Record of Decision for DOE/ EIS–0203–F, naval spent nuclear fuel is shipped by rail from shipyards and prototype facilities to the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) for processing. To allow the NNPP to continue to unload, transfer, prepare, and package naval spent nuclear fuel for disposal, three alternatives are evaluated in the Final PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 EIS: No Action Alternative, Overhaul Alternative, and New Facility Alternative. The preferred alternative to recapitalize the infrastructure supporting naval spent nuclear fuel handling is to build a new facility (New Facility Alternative). Background The mission of the NNPP, also known as the Naval Reactors Program, is to provide the U.S. with safe, effective, and affordable naval nuclear propulsion plants and to ensure their continued safe and reliable operation through lifetime support, research and development, design, construction, specification, certification, testing, maintenance, and disposal. A crucial component of this mission, naval spent nuclear fuel handling, occurs at the end of a nuclear propulsion system’s useful life or when naval nuclear fuel has been depleted. The NNPP is responsible for removal of the naval spent nuclear fuel through a defueling or refueling operation. Both operations remove the naval spent nuclear fuel from the reactor, but a refueling operation also involves installing new fuel, allowing the nuclear-powered ship to be redeployed into the U.S. Navy fleet. Once the naval spent nuclear fuel has been removed from an aircraft carrier, submarine, or prototype, it is sent to the Naval Reactors Facility (NRF) for examination and further naval spent nuclear fuel handling including transferring, preparing, and packaging for transfer to an interim storage facility or geologic repository. The NNPP ensures that naval spent nuclear fuel handling is performed in a safe and environmentally responsible manner in accordance with 50 U.S.C. 2406 and 2511 (codifying Executive Order 12344). Nuclear fuel handling is an intricate and intensive process requiring a complex infrastructure. Proposed Action NNPP is proposing to recapitalize the current naval spent nuclear fuel handling capabilities provided by the Expended Core Facility (ECF) located at the NRF on the INL. The purpose of the proposed action is to provide the infrastructure necessary to support the naval nuclear reactor defueling and refueling schedules required to meet the operational needs of the U.S. Navy. The proposed action is needed because significant upgrades are necessary to ECF infrastructure and water pools to continue safe and environmentally responsible naval spent nuclear fuel handling until at least 2060. The transfer, preparation, and packaging of naval spent nuclear fuel E:\FR\FM\30SEN1.SGM 30SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 190 / Friday, September 30, 2016 / Notices are vital to the NNPP’s mission of maintaining the reliable operation of the naval nuclear fleet and developing effective nuclear propulsion plants. Although ECF continues to be operated in a safe and environmentally responsible manner, the ECF infrastructure and equipment necessary to accomplish the work of naval spent nuclear fuel handling need significant upgrades to continue safe and environmentally responsible naval spent nuclear fuel handling until at least 2060. Efforts are ongoing to sustain this infrastructure, preserve these essential capabilities, and ensure that the high NNPP standards for protecting the environment continue to be met. However, major portions of this infrastructure have been in service for over 50 years. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES Alternatives Consistent with the Record of Decision for DOE/EIS–0203–F, naval spent nuclear fuel would continue to be shipped by rail from shipyards and prototypes to NRF for processing. To allow the NNPP to continue to unload, transfer, prepare, and package naval spent nuclear fuel for disposal, three alternatives were identified and analyzed in this Final EIS. 1. No Action Alternative The No Action Alternative involves maintaining ECF without a change to the present course of action or management of the facility. The current naval spent nuclear fuel handling infrastructure would continue to be used while the NNPP performs only preventative and corrective maintenance. The No Action Alternative does not meet the purpose for the proposed action because it would not provide the infrastructure necessary to support the naval nuclear reactor defueling and refueling schedules required to meet the operational needs of the U.S. Navy. The No Action Alternative does not meet the NNPP’s need because significant upgrades are necessary to the ECF infrastructure to continue safe and environmentally responsible naval spent nuclear fuel handling until at least 2060. As currently configured, the ECF infrastructure cannot support use of the new M–290 shipping containers. Significant changes in configuration of the facility and spent fuel handling processing locations in the water pool would be required to support unloading fuel from the new M–290 shipping containers. In addition, over the next 45 years, preventative and corrective maintenance without significant upgrades and refurbishments may not VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:49 Sep 29, 2016 Jkt 238001 be sufficient to sustain the proper functioning of ECF infrastructure and equipment. Upgrades and refurbishments needed to support use of the new M–290 shipping containers and continue safe and environmentally responsible operations would not meet the definition of the No Action Alternative; therefore, these actions are represented by the Overhaul Alternative. The implementation of the No Action Alternative (i.e., failure to perform upgrades and refurbishments), in combination with the NNPP commitment to only operate in a safe and environmentally responsible manner, may result in ECF eventually being unavailable for handling naval spent nuclear fuel. If the NNPP naval spent nuclear fuel handling infrastructure were to become unavailable, the inability to transfer, prepare, and package naval spent nuclear fuel could immediately and profoundly impact the NNPP’s mission and national security needs to refuel and defuel nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers. In addition, the U.S. Navy could not ensure its ability to meet the requirements of the Settlement Agreement and its 2008 Addendum. Since the No Action Alternative does not meet the purpose and need for the proposed action, it is considered to be an unreasonable alternative; however, the No Action Alternative is included in the Final EIS as required by CEQ regulations. 2. Overhaul Alternative The Overhaul Alternative involves continuing to use the aging infrastructure at ECF, while incurring increasing costs to provide the required refurbishments and work-around actions necessary to ensure uninterrupted aircraft carrier and submarine refuelings and defuelings. Under the Overhaul Alternative, the NNPP would operate ECF in a safe and environmentally responsible manner by continuing to maintain ECF while implementing major refurbishment projects for the ECF infrastructure and water pools. This would entail: D Short-term actions necessary to keep the infrastructure and equipment in safe working order, including regular upkeep sufficient to sustain their proper functioning (e.g., the ongoing work currently performed in ECF to inspect and repair deteriorating water pool concrete coatings). D Facility, process, and equipment reconfigurations needed for specific capabilities required in the future. These actions involve installation of new equipment and processes, and PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 67339 relocation of existing equipment and processes, within the current facility to provide a new capability (e.g., modification of ECF and reconfiguration of the water pool as necessary to handle M–290 shipping containers). D Major refurbishment actions necessary to sustain the life of the infrastructure (e.g., to the extent practicable, overhaul the water pools to bring them up to current design and construction standards). Refurbishment activities would take place in parallel with ECF operations for the majority of the Overhaul Alternative time period. The first 33 years of the 45 years (i.e., the refurbishment period) would include refurbishment and operations activities being conducted in parallel. During certain refurbishment phases, operations could be limited due to the nature of the refurbishment activities (e.g., operations would not continue in water pools that are under repair). There would then be a 12-year period where only operational activities would take place in ECF (i.e., the postrefurbishment operational period). Failure to implement this overhaul in advance of infrastructure deterioration would impact the ability of ECF to operate for several years. Further, overhaul actions would necessitate operational interruptions for extended periods of time. 3. New Facility Alternative A New Facility Alternative would acquire capital assets to recapitalize naval spent nuclear fuel handling capabilities. While a new facility requires new process and infrastructure assets, the design could leverage use of the newer, existing ECF support facilities and would leverage use of newer equipment designs. The facility would be designed with the flexibility to integrate future identified mission needs. Under the current budget and funding levels for the New Facility Alternative, it is anticipated that construction activities would occur over approximately a 5-year period. Construction of the New Facility Alternative would occur in parallel with ECF operations. An approximately 2year period would follow the construction of the New Facility Alternative when new equipment would be installed and tested, and training would be provided to qualify the operations workforce. A new facility would include all current naval spent nuclear fuel handling operations conducted at ECF. In addition, it would include the capability to unload naval spent nuclear fuel from M–290 shipping containers in E:\FR\FM\30SEN1.SGM 30SEN1 67340 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 190 / Friday, September 30, 2016 / Notices the water pool and handle aircraft carrier naval spent nuclear fuel assemblies without prior disassembly for preparation and packaging for disposal. Such capability does not currently exist within the ECF water pools, mainly due to insufficient available footprint in areas of the water pool with the required depth of water. The NNPP will continue to operate ECF during new facility construction, during a transition period, and after the new facility is operational for examination work. To keep the ECF infrastructure in a safe working order during these time periods, some limited upgrades and refurbishments may be necessary. Details are not currently available regarding which specific actions will be taken; therefore, they are not explicitly analyzed as part of the New Facility Alternative. The environmental impacts from these upgrades and refurbishments are considered to be bounded by the environmental impacts described in the Refurbishment Period of the Overhaul Alternative. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES Changes From Draft EIS The Draft EIS was published by the NNPP in June 2015. The NNPP has considered all public comments received in preparing this Final EIS, which includes the NNPP’s responses to those comments. The Final EIS highlights changes that were made to address these comments as well as changes that have resulted from additional design and planning for the New Facility Alternative. Changes to the design and planning for the New Facility Alternative include changes to the seismic design strategy, water management strategy, and analysis of potential air emissions related to operation of concrete batch plants. Public Reading Rooms and Libraries The Final EIS is available for review at the following reading rooms: Idaho Operations Office, Department of Energy, Public Reading Room, 2251 N. Boulevard, Idaho Falls, ID 83402, Telephone: (208) 526–1185 Idaho Falls Public Library, 457 W. Broadway, Idaho Falls, ID 83402, Telephone: (208) 612–8460 Shoshone-Bannock Library, Bannock and Pima Streets, P.O. Box 306, Fort Hall, ID 83203, Telephone: (208) 238– 3882 Eli M. Oboler Library, Idaho State University, 850 South 9th Avenue, Pocatello, ID 83209, Telephone: (208) 282–2958 Twin Falls Public Library, 201 Fourth Avenue East, Twin Falls, ID 83301, Telephone: (208) 733–2964 VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:49 Sep 29, 2016 Jkt 238001 Marshall Public Library, 113 South Garfield, Pocatello, ID 83204, Telephone: (208) 232–1263 Boise Public Library, 715 S. Capitol, Boise, ID 83702, Telephone: (208) 972–8200 Idaho Commission for Libraries, 325 W. State Street, Boise, ID 83702, Telephone: (208) 334–2150 Latah County, Free Library District, 110 S. Jefferson, Moscow, ID 83843, Telephone: (208) 882–3925 Issued in Washington, DC, on September 23, 2016. Jeffrey M. Avery, Director, Regulatory Affairs, Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program. [FR Doc. 2016–23663 Filed 9–29–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 4093–035] McMahan Hydroelectric, L.L.C.; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene and Protests Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection: a. Type of Application: Original license. b. Project No.: P–4093–035. c. Date filed: March 30, 2015. d. Applicant: McMahan Hydroelectric, L.L.C. e. Name of Project: Bynum Hydroelectric Project. f. Location: On the Haw River, near the Town of Pittsboro and the Town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in Chatham County, North Carolina. The project does not occupy federal lands. g. Filed Pursuant to: Federal Power Act 16 U.S.C. 791 (a)–825(r). h. Applicant Contact: Mr. Andrew J. McMahan, President, McMahan Hydroelectric, L.L.C., 105 Durham Eubanks Road, Pittsboro, NC 273121; (336) 509–2148; email— mcmahanhydro@gmail.com. i. FERC Contact: Sean Murphy at (202) 502–6145; or email at sean.murphy@ferc.gov, or Dustin Wilson at (202) 502–6528; or email at dustin.wilson@ferc.gov. j. Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene and protests: 60 days from the issuance date of this notice. The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file motions to PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 intervene and protests using the Commission’s eFiling system at http:// www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov, (866) 208–3676 (toll free), or (202) 502–8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number P–4093–035. The Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedures require all intervenors filing documents with the Commission to serve a copy of that document on each person on the official service list for the project. Further, if an intervenor files comments or documents with the Commission relating to the merits of an issue that may affect the responsibilities of a particular resource agency, they must also serve a copy of the document on that resource agency. k. This application has been accepted for filing, but is not ready for environmental analysis at this time. When the application is ready for environmental analysis, the Commission will issue a public notice requesting comments, recommendations, terms and conditions, or prescriptions. l. The existing Bynum Project includes: (1) A 20-acre reservoir (referred to as Odell Lake) at elevation 315.0 feet mean sea level, with 100 acrefeet of gross storage and no net storage; (2) a 900-foot-long, 10-foot-high stone masonry dam (Bynum Dam, or Odell Lake Dam), consisting of a 750-foot-long uncontrolled spillway section and a 150-foot-long non-overflow section that contains canal intake facilities; (3) two hydraulically controlled 6-foot-wide Tainter gates that allow water to flow into an intake canal; (4) a 2,000-footlong power canal varying in width from 25 to 40 feet that (a) extends from Bynum Dam to the powerhouse, and (b) includes a drainage gate located immediately upstream of the powerhouse; (5) a powerhouse with (a) an intake protected by a trashrack having a bar spacing of 2.75 inches, and (b) a single turbine/generator unit; (6) a 500-foot-long tailrace varying in width from 40 to 50 feet; (7) a 2,500-foot-long bypassed reach; (8) an interconnection with the transmission system at a nearby substation; and (9) appurtenant facilities. E:\FR\FM\30SEN1.SGM 30SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 190 (Friday, September 30, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 67338-67340]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-23663]


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

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY


Environmental Impact Statement for the Recapitalization of 
Infrastructure Supporting Naval Spent Nuclear Fuel Handling at the 
Idaho National Laboratory

AGENCY: Department of Energy.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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

SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Naval Nuclear Propulsion 
Program (NNPP) announces the availability of the Final Environmental 
Impact Statement for the Recapitalization of Infrastructure Supporting 
Naval Spent Nuclear Fuel Handling at the Idaho National Laboratory 
(DOE/EIS-0453-F). The Final EIS evaluates the potential environmental 
impacts associated with recapitalizing the infrastructure needed to 
ensure the long-term capability of the NNPP to support naval spent 
nuclear fuel handling until at least 2060.

DATES: The NNPP will publish a Record of Decision no sooner than 30 
days after publication of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 
(EPA) Notice of availability in the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the Final EIS are available in public reading 
rooms and libraries as indicated in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION 
portion of this notice. The Final EIS is also available for review at 
www.ecfrecapitalization.us and on the DOE's NEPA Web site at http://energy.gov/nepa.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information about this 
Final EIS, contact: Erik Anderson, Naval Sea Systems Command, 1240 
Isaac Hull Avenue SE., Stop 8036, Washington Navy Yard, DC 20376-8036.
    For information regarding the DOE NEPA process, please contact: Ms. 
Carol M. Borgstrom, Director, Office of NEPA Policy and Compliance (GC-
54), U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC 20585, Telephone (202) 586-4600, or leave a message at 
(800) 472-2756.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The NNPP prepared this Final EIS in 
accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), 
as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the Council on Environmental 
Quality (CEQ) regulations for implementing the procedural provisions of 
NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), and the DOE NEPA implementing procedures 
(10 CFR 1021). This Final EIS addresses all public comments on the 
Draft EIS which was issued on June 19, 2015 (80 FR 35331). The NNPP is 
committed to managing naval spent nuclear fuel in a manner that is 
consistent with the Department of Energy (DOE) Programmatic Spent 
Nuclear Fuel Management and Idaho National Engineering Laboratory 
Environmental Restoration and Waste Management Programs Final 
Environmental Impact Statement (DOE/EIS-0203-F), and to complying with 
the Settlement Agreement, as amended in 2008, among the State of Idaho, 
the DOE, and the Navy concerning the management of naval spent nuclear 
fuel. Consistent with the Record of Decision for DOE/EIS-0203-F, naval 
spent nuclear fuel is shipped by rail from shipyards and prototype 
facilities to the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) for processing. To 
allow the NNPP to continue to unload, transfer, prepare, and package 
naval spent nuclear fuel for disposal, three alternatives are evaluated 
in the Final EIS: No Action Alternative, Overhaul Alternative, and New 
Facility Alternative. The preferred alternative to recapitalize the 
infrastructure supporting naval spent nuclear fuel handling is to build 
a new facility (New Facility Alternative).

Background

    The mission of the NNPP, also known as the Naval Reactors Program, 
is to provide the U.S. with safe, effective, and affordable naval 
nuclear propulsion plants and to ensure their continued safe and 
reliable operation through lifetime support, research and development, 
design, construction, specification, certification, testing, 
maintenance, and disposal. A crucial component of this mission, naval 
spent nuclear fuel handling, occurs at the end of a nuclear propulsion 
system's useful life or when naval nuclear fuel has been depleted. The 
NNPP is responsible for removal of the naval spent nuclear fuel through 
a defueling or refueling operation. Both operations remove the naval 
spent nuclear fuel from the reactor, but a refueling operation also 
involves installing new fuel, allowing the nuclear-powered ship to be 
redeployed into the U.S. Navy fleet. Once the naval spent nuclear fuel 
has been removed from an aircraft carrier, submarine, or prototype, it 
is sent to the Naval Reactors Facility (NRF) for examination and 
further naval spent nuclear fuel handling including transferring, 
preparing, and packaging for transfer to an interim storage facility or 
geologic repository.
    The NNPP ensures that naval spent nuclear fuel handling is 
performed in a safe and environmentally responsible manner in 
accordance with 50 U.S.C. 2406 and 2511 (codifying Executive Order 
12344). Nuclear fuel handling is an intricate and intensive process 
requiring a complex infrastructure.

Proposed Action

    NNPP is proposing to recapitalize the current naval spent nuclear 
fuel handling capabilities provided by the Expended Core Facility (ECF) 
located at the NRF on the INL. The purpose of the proposed action is to 
provide the infrastructure necessary to support the naval nuclear 
reactor defueling and refueling schedules required to meet the 
operational needs of the U.S. Navy. The proposed action is needed 
because significant upgrades are necessary to ECF infrastructure and 
water pools to continue safe and environmentally responsible naval 
spent nuclear fuel handling until at least 2060.
    The transfer, preparation, and packaging of naval spent nuclear 
fuel

[[Page 67339]]

are vital to the NNPP's mission of maintaining the reliable operation 
of the naval nuclear fleet and developing effective nuclear propulsion 
plants. Although ECF continues to be operated in a safe and 
environmentally responsible manner, the ECF infrastructure and 
equipment necessary to accomplish the work of naval spent nuclear fuel 
handling need significant upgrades to continue safe and environmentally 
responsible naval spent nuclear fuel handling until at least 2060. 
Efforts are ongoing to sustain this infrastructure, preserve these 
essential capabilities, and ensure that the high NNPP standards for 
protecting the environment continue to be met. However, major portions 
of this infrastructure have been in service for over 50 years.

Alternatives

    Consistent with the Record of Decision for DOE/EIS-0203-F, naval 
spent nuclear fuel would continue to be shipped by rail from shipyards 
and prototypes to NRF for processing. To allow the NNPP to continue to 
unload, transfer, prepare, and package naval spent nuclear fuel for 
disposal, three alternatives were identified and analyzed in this Final 
EIS.

1. No Action Alternative

    The No Action Alternative involves maintaining ECF without a change 
to the present course of action or management of the facility. The 
current naval spent nuclear fuel handling infrastructure would continue 
to be used while the NNPP performs only preventative and corrective 
maintenance. The No Action Alternative does not meet the purpose for 
the proposed action because it would not provide the infrastructure 
necessary to support the naval nuclear reactor defueling and refueling 
schedules required to meet the operational needs of the U.S. Navy. The 
No Action Alternative does not meet the NNPP's need because significant 
upgrades are necessary to the ECF infrastructure to continue safe and 
environmentally responsible naval spent nuclear fuel handling until at 
least 2060. As currently configured, the ECF infrastructure cannot 
support use of the new M-290 shipping containers. Significant changes 
in configuration of the facility and spent fuel handling processing 
locations in the water pool would be required to support unloading fuel 
from the new M-290 shipping containers. In addition, over the next 45 
years, preventative and corrective maintenance without significant 
upgrades and refurbishments may not be sufficient to sustain the proper 
functioning of ECF infrastructure and equipment. Upgrades and 
refurbishments needed to support use of the new M-290 shipping 
containers and continue safe and environmentally responsible operations 
would not meet the definition of the No Action Alternative; therefore, 
these actions are represented by the Overhaul Alternative.
    The implementation of the No Action Alternative (i.e., failure to 
perform upgrades and refurbishments), in combination with the NNPP 
commitment to only operate in a safe and environmentally responsible 
manner, may result in ECF eventually being unavailable for handling 
naval spent nuclear fuel. If the NNPP naval spent nuclear fuel handling 
infrastructure were to become unavailable, the inability to transfer, 
prepare, and package naval spent nuclear fuel could immediately and 
profoundly impact the NNPP's mission and national security needs to 
refuel and defuel nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers. In 
addition, the U.S. Navy could not ensure its ability to meet the 
requirements of the Settlement Agreement and its 2008 Addendum.
    Since the No Action Alternative does not meet the purpose and need 
for the proposed action, it is considered to be an unreasonable 
alternative; however, the No Action Alternative is included in the 
Final EIS as required by CEQ regulations.

2. Overhaul Alternative

    The Overhaul Alternative involves continuing to use the aging 
infrastructure at ECF, while incurring increasing costs to provide the 
required refurbishments and work-around actions necessary to ensure 
uninterrupted aircraft carrier and submarine refuelings and defuelings. 
Under the Overhaul Alternative, the NNPP would operate ECF in a safe 
and environmentally responsible manner by continuing to maintain ECF 
while implementing major refurbishment projects for the ECF 
infrastructure and water pools. This would entail:
    [ssquf] Short-term actions necessary to keep the infrastructure and 
equipment in safe working order, including regular upkeep sufficient to 
sustain their proper functioning (e.g., the ongoing work currently 
performed in ECF to inspect and repair deteriorating water pool 
concrete coatings).
    [ssquf] Facility, process, and equipment reconfigurations needed 
for specific capabilities required in the future. These actions involve 
installation of new equipment and processes, and relocation of existing 
equipment and processes, within the current facility to provide a new 
capability (e.g., modification of ECF and reconfiguration of the water 
pool as necessary to handle M-290 shipping containers).
    [ssquf] Major refurbishment actions necessary to sustain the life 
of the infrastructure (e.g., to the extent practicable, overhaul the 
water pools to bring them up to current design and construction 
standards).
    Refurbishment activities would take place in parallel with ECF 
operations for the majority of the Overhaul Alternative time period. 
The first 33 years of the 45 years (i.e., the refurbishment period) 
would include refurbishment and operations activities being conducted 
in parallel. During certain refurbishment phases, operations could be 
limited due to the nature of the refurbishment activities (e.g., 
operations would not continue in water pools that are under repair). 
There would then be a 12-year period where only operational activities 
would take place in ECF (i.e., the post-refurbishment operational 
period).
    Failure to implement this overhaul in advance of infrastructure 
deterioration would impact the ability of ECF to operate for several 
years. Further, overhaul actions would necessitate operational 
interruptions for extended periods of time.

3. New Facility Alternative

    A New Facility Alternative would acquire capital assets to 
recapitalize naval spent nuclear fuel handling capabilities. While a 
new facility requires new process and infrastructure assets, the design 
could leverage use of the newer, existing ECF support facilities and 
would leverage use of newer equipment designs. The facility would be 
designed with the flexibility to integrate future identified mission 
needs.
    Under the current budget and funding levels for the New Facility 
Alternative, it is anticipated that construction activities would occur 
over approximately a 5-year period.
    Construction of the New Facility Alternative would occur in 
parallel with ECF operations. An approximately 2-year period would 
follow the construction of the New Facility Alternative when new 
equipment would be installed and tested, and training would be provided 
to qualify the operations workforce.
    A new facility would include all current naval spent nuclear fuel 
handling operations conducted at ECF. In addition, it would include the 
capability to unload naval spent nuclear fuel from M-290 shipping 
containers in

[[Page 67340]]

the water pool and handle aircraft carrier naval spent nuclear fuel 
assemblies without prior disassembly for preparation and packaging for 
disposal. Such capability does not currently exist within the ECF water 
pools, mainly due to insufficient available footprint in areas of the 
water pool with the required depth of water.
    The NNPP will continue to operate ECF during new facility 
construction, during a transition period, and after the new facility is 
operational for examination work. To keep the ECF infrastructure in a 
safe working order during these time periods, some limited upgrades and 
refurbishments may be necessary. Details are not currently available 
regarding which specific actions will be taken; therefore, they are not 
explicitly analyzed as part of the New Facility Alternative. The 
environmental impacts from these upgrades and refurbishments are 
considered to be bounded by the environmental impacts described in the 
Refurbishment Period of the Overhaul Alternative.
Changes From Draft EIS
    The Draft EIS was published by the NNPP in June 2015. The NNPP has 
considered all public comments received in preparing this Final EIS, 
which includes the NNPP's responses to those comments. The Final EIS 
highlights changes that were made to address these comments as well as 
changes that have resulted from additional design and planning for the 
New Facility Alternative. Changes to the design and planning for the 
New Facility Alternative include changes to the seismic design 
strategy, water management strategy, and analysis of potential air 
emissions related to operation of concrete batch plants.
Public Reading Rooms and Libraries
    The Final EIS is available for review at the following reading 
rooms:

Idaho Operations Office, Department of Energy, Public Reading Room, 
2251 N. Boulevard, Idaho Falls, ID 83402, Telephone: (208) 526-1185
Idaho Falls Public Library, 457 W. Broadway, Idaho Falls, ID 83402, 
Telephone: (208) 612-8460
Shoshone-Bannock Library, Bannock and Pima Streets, P.O. Box 306, Fort 
Hall, ID 83203, Telephone: (208) 238-3882
Eli M. Oboler Library, Idaho State University, 850 South 9th Avenue, 
Pocatello, ID 83209, Telephone: (208) 282-2958
Twin Falls Public Library, 201 Fourth Avenue East, Twin Falls, ID 
83301, Telephone: (208) 733-2964
Marshall Public Library, 113 South Garfield, Pocatello, ID 83204, 
Telephone: (208) 232-1263
Boise Public Library, 715 S. Capitol, Boise, ID 83702, Telephone: (208) 
972-8200
Idaho Commission for Libraries, 325 W. State Street, Boise, ID 83702, 
Telephone: (208) 334-2150
Latah County, Free Library District, 110 S. Jefferson, Moscow, ID 
83843, Telephone: (208) 882-3925

    Issued in Washington, DC, on September 23, 2016.
Jeffrey M. Avery,
Director, Regulatory Affairs, Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program.
[FR Doc. 2016-23663 Filed 9-29-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6450-01-P