Very Low-Level Radioactive Waste Scoping Study, 6619-6621 [2018-03083]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 31 / Wednesday, February 14, 2018 / Notices Dated: February 9, 2018. Suzanne H. Plimpton, Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation. [FR Doc. 2018–03002 Filed 2–13–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7555–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [NRC–2018–0026] see ‘‘Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments’’ in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Maurice Heath, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001; telephone: 301–415–3137; email: Maurice.Heath@ nrc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Very Low-Level Radioactive Waste Scoping Study I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Scoping study; public meeting and request for comment. A. Obtaining Information Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2018– 0026 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publiclyavailable information related to this action by any of the following methods: • Federal Rulemaking website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2018–0026. • NRC’s Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publiclyavailable documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/ adams.html. To begin the search, select ‘‘ADAMS Public Documents’’ and then select ‘‘Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.’’ For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC’s Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1–800–397–4209, 301–415–4737, or by email to pdr.resource@nrc.gov. The ADAMS Accession Number for each document referenced (if it is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that it is mentioned in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section. • NRC’s PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC’s PDR, Room O1–F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is conducting a very low-level radioactive waste (VLLW) scoping study to identify possible options to improve and strengthen the NRC’s regulatory framework for the disposal of the anticipated large volumes of VLLW associated with the decommissioning of nuclear power plants and material sites, as well as waste that might be generated by alternative waste streams that may be created by operating reprocessing facilities or a radiological event. The NRC is seeking stakeholder input and perspectives on this action. Respondents are asked to consider specific questions posed by the NRC staff and other Federal agencies in this notice when preparing their responses. DATES: Submit comments by May 15, 2018. Comments received after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the NRC is able to ensure consideration only for comments received on or before this date. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods (unless this document describes a different method for submitting comments on a specific subject): • Federal Rulemaking website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2018–0026. Address questions about NRC dockets to Jennifer Borges; telephone: 301–287–9127; email: Jennifer.Borges@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document. • Mail comments to: May Ma, Office of Administration, Mail Stop: OWFN–2– A13, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555– 0001. For additional direction on obtaining information and submitting comments, daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:07 Feb 13, 2018 Jkt 244001 B. Submitting Comments Please reference Docket ID NRC– 2018–0026 in your comment submission. If your comment contains proprietary or sensitive information, please contact the individual listed in the FOR INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document to determine the most appropriate method for submitting your comment. The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your comment submission. All comment submissions are posted at http://www.regulations.gov and entered into ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to PO 00000 Frm 00113 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 6619 remove identifying or contact information. If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove such information before making the comment submissions available to the public or entering the comment submissions into ADAMS. II. Background In 2007, following developments in the national program for Low-Level Radioactive Waste (LLRW) disposal, as well as changes in the regulatory environment, the NRC conducted a strategic assessment of its regulatory program for LLRW. The results of this assessment were published in late 2007 in SECY–07–0180, ‘‘Strategic Assessment of Low-Level Radioactive Waste Regulatory Program’’ (ADAMS Accession No. ML071350299). The strategic assessment identified the need to coordinate with other agencies on consistency in regulating LAW disposal and to develop guidance that summarizes disposition options for lowend materials and waste. In 2016, the NRC staff conducted a programmatic assessment of the LLRW program to identify and prioritize tasks that the NRC could undertake to ensure a stable, reliable, and adaptable regulatory framework for effective LLRW management. The results of this assessment were published in October 2016, in SECY–16–0118, ‘‘Programmatic Assessment of Low-Level Radioactive Waste Regulatory Program’’ (ADAMS Accession No. ML15243A192). The programmatic assessment identified the need to perform a LAW scoping study as a medium priority. In International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Safety Guide No. GSG– 1, ‘‘Classification of Radioactive Waste’’ (http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/ publications/PDF/Pub1419_web.pdf), the IAEA defines VLLW as waste that does not meet the criteria of exempt waste, but does not need a high level of containment and isolation, and, therefore, is suitable for disposal in a near surface landfill type facility with limited regulatory control. The NRC currently does not have a formal regulatory definition for VLLW, nor has it adopted the IAEA definition. However, the NRC uses the term VLLW consistent with the international regulatory structure. In general, the NRC E:\FR\FM\14FEN1.SGM 14FEN1 6620 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 31 / Wednesday, February 14, 2018 / Notices daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES considers VLLW as material containing some residual radioactivity, including naturally occurring radionuclides that may be safely disposed of in hazardous or municipal solid waste landfills. The LAW scoping study, later renamed the VLLW Scoping Study, will combine several tasks initially defined in the 2007 strategic assessment into one. These tasks include: (1) Coordinating with other agencies on consistency in regulating LAW; (2) developing guidance that summarizes disposition options for low-end materials and waste; and (3) promulgating a rule for disposal of LAW. As part of the scoping study, the NRC will also evaluate regulatory options that would define the conditions under which LAW, including mixed waste, could be disposed of in Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Subtitle C hazardous waste facilities. Consistent with SECY–16–0118, the NRC is conducting this VLLW Scoping Study, which will consider disposal of waste as defined by 10 CFR part 61 as the isolation, by emplacement in a land disposal facility, of radioactive wastes from the biosphere that is inhabited by man and that contains his food chains. As such, the scoping study will not address non-disposal related disposition pathways including unrestricted release, clearance, reuse, or recycle of materials. The purpose of the VLLW Scoping Study is to identify possible options to improve and strengthen the NRC’s regulatory framework for the disposal of the anticipated large volumes of VLLW associated with the decommissioning of nuclear power plants, and waste that might be generated by alternative waste streams that may be created by fuel reprocessing or a radiological event. Additionally, the NRC plans to evaluate regulatory options that could define the conditions under which VLLW, including mixed waste, could be disposed of in RCRA hazardous waste facilities. III. Specific Request for Comment The NRC is interested in receiving comments from a broad range of stakeholders, including professional organizations, licensees, Agreement States, and members of the public. Likewise, respondents to this request with insight into relevant international initiatives are invited to provide their perspectives regarding international best practices related to VLLW disposal or other experiences that the NRC staff should consider. All comments will be considered and the results of the scoping study will be documented in a publicly available report, which will VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:07 Feb 13, 2018 Jkt 244001 inform the Commission of the staff’s recommendation for addressing VLLW disposal. All comments that are to receive consideration in the VLLW Scoping Study must be submitted electronically or in writing as indicated in the ADDRESSES Section of this document. Respondents are asked to consider the background material discussed in Section II above when preparing their comments. In responding, commenters are encouraged to provide specific suggestions and the basis for suggestions offered. Specifically, the NRC staff requests comment on the following questions: 1. The United States does not have a formal regulatory definition of VLLW. What should the NRC consider in developing its own regulatory definition for VLLW? Is there another definition of VLLW that should be considered? Provide a basis for your response. 2. The existing regulatory framework within 10 CFR 61.55 divides low-level radioactive waste into four categories: Class A, Class B, Class C, and Greater Than Class C. Should the NRC revise the waste classification system to establish a new category for VLLW? What criteria should NRC consider in establishing the boundary between Class A and VLLW categories? 3. The NRC’s alternative disposal request guidance entitled, ‘‘Review, Approval, and Documentation of LowActivity Waste Disposals in Accordance with 10 CFR 20.2002 and 10 CFR 40.13(a),’’ which is undergoing a revision, allows for alternative disposal methods that are different from those already defined in the regulations and is most often used for burial of waste in hazardous or solid waste landfills permitted under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Should the NRC expand the existing guidance to include VLLW disposal or consider the development of a new guidance for VLLW disposal? Why or why not? 4. If the NRC were to create a new waste category for VLLW in 10 CFR part 61, what potential compatibility issues related to the approval of VLLW disposal by NRC Agreement States need to be considered and addressed? How might defining VLLW affect NRC Agreement State regulatory programs in terms of additional responsibilities or resources? 5. Following the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1985, states formed regional compacts for the disposal of low-level radioactive waste. If the NRC were to create a new waste category for VLLW, does it fall within regional compact PO 00000 Frm 00114 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 authority to control VLLW management and disposal? How might defining VLLW affect regional compacts in terms of additional responsibilities or resources? 6. Environmental Protection Agencyimposed waste analysis requirements for facilities that generate, treat, store, and dispose of hazardous wastes are defined in 40 CFR parts 264 through 270. How would NRC incorporate and apply waste analysis requirements for VLLW at RCRA Subtitle C and D facilities? Should the NRC impose concentration limits and/or treatment standards for VLLW disposal? 7. Are there any unintended consequences associated with developing a VLLW waste category? 8. What analytical methods/tools should be used to assess the risk of disposing of VLLW at licensed LLW disposal facilities or RCRA Subtitle C and D facilities? (i.e., generic or sitespecific) 9. How should economic factors be considered in the VLLW Scoping Study? IV. Public Meeting To facilitate the understanding of the public and other stakeholders of the these issues and the submission of comments, the NRC staff has scheduled a public meeting for February 22, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (EST) in the NRC’s Two White Flint Auditorium at 11545 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD. In addition, those wishing to participate by webinar will be able to view the presentation slides prepared by the NRC staff and electronically submit comments over the internet. Participants must register to participate in the webinar. Registration information may be found in the meeting notice at https://www.nrc.gov/pmns/ mtg?do=details&Code=20180033). The meeting notice can also be accessed through the NRC’s public website under the headings Public Meetings & Involvement > Public Meeting Schedule; see web page https:// meetings.nrc.gov/pmns/mtg. The NRC staff will also post the meeting notice on the Federal rulemaking website at http:// www.regulations.gov under Docket ID NRC–2018–0026. The NRC staff may post additional materials related to this document, including public comments, on the Federal rulemaking website. The Federal rulemaking website allows you to receive alerts when changes or additions occur in a docket folder. To subscribe: (1) Navigate to the docket folder (NRC–2018–0026); (2) click the ‘‘Sign up for Email Alerts’’ link; and (3) enter your email address and select how E:\FR\FM\14FEN1.SGM 14FEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 31 / Wednesday, February 14, 2018 / Notices frequently you would like to receive emails (daily, weekly, or monthly). The final agenda for the public meeting will be posted no fewer than 10 days prior to the meeting date. Those who are unable to participate in person or via webinar may choose to participate via teleconference by dialing the bridge number (800) 857–9840 and entering the pass code 4975456. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 9th day of February, 2018. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Gregory F. Suber, Acting Deputy Director, Division of Decommissioning, Uranium Recovery, and Waste Programs, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards. [FR Doc. 2018–03083 Filed 2–13–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. 50–335 and 50–389; NRC– 2018–0025] Florida Power and Light Company; St. Lucie Plant, Unit Nos. 1 and 2 Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: License amendment application; opportunity to comment, request a hearing, and to petition for leave to intervene. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering issuance of amendments to Renewed Facility Operating License Nos. DPR–67 and NPF–16, issued on October 2, 2003, and held by Florida Power and Light Company (FPL or the licensee) for the operation of St. Lucie Plant, Unit Nos. 1 and 2 (St. Lucie), located on Hutchinson Island in St. Lucie County, Florida. The proposed amendments would revise the Emergency Plan for St. Lucie to adopt a limited scope of the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEl) Emergency Action Level (EAL) scheme for the fire-related notification of unusual event. DATES: Submit comments by March 16, 2018. Requests for a hearing or petition for leave to intervene must be filed by April 16, 2018. ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2018–0025 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this document using any of the following methods: • Federal Rulemaking website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2018–0025. Address daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 22:07 Feb 13, 2018 Jkt 244001 questions about NRC dockets to Jennifer Borges; telephone: 301–415–9127; email: Jennifer.Borges@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document. • NRC’s Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publiclyavailable documents online in the NRC Public Documents collection at http:// www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select ‘‘ADAMS Public Documents’’ and then select ‘‘Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.’’ For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC’s Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1–800–397–4209, 301– 415–4737, or by email to pdr.resource@ nrc.gov. The ADAMS accession number for each document referenced in this notice (if that document is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is referenced. • NRC’s PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC’s PDR, Room O1–F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Perry Buckberg, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001; telephone: 301–415– 1383; email: Perry.Buckberg@nrc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments A. Obtaining Information Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2018– 0025 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publiclyavailable information related to this action by any of the following methods: Federal Rulemaking website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2018–0025. • NRC’s Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publiclyavailable documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/ adams.html. To begin the search, select ‘‘ADAMS Public Documents’’ and then select ‘‘Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.’’ For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC’s Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1–800–397–4209, 301–415–4737, or by email to pdr.resource@nrc.gov. The ADAMS accession number for each document referenced (if it is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that it is mentioned in this document. The PO 00000 Frm 00115 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 6621 application for amendment, dated January 31, 2018, is available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML18031B011. • NRC’s PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC’s PDR, Room O1–F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852. B. Submitting Comments Please include Docket ID NRC–2018– 0025 in your comment submission. The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your comment submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at http:// www.regulations.gov as well as enter the comment submissions into ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove identifying or contact information. If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove such information before making the comment submissions available to the public or entering the comment into ADAMS. II. Introduction The NRC is considering issuance of amendments to Renewed Facility Operating License Nos. DPR–67 and NPF–16 issued to FPL for operation of St. Lucie, located on Hutchinson Island in St. Lucie County, Florida. The proposed amendment would revise the Emergency Plan for St. Lucie to adopt a limited scope of the NEI EAL scheme for the fire-related notification of unusual event. Before any issuance of the proposed license amendments, the NRC will need to make the findings required by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (the Act), and NRC’s regulations. The NRC has made a proposed determination that the license amendment request involves no significant hazards consideration. Under the NRC’s regulations in 10 CFR 50.92, this means that operation of the facility in accordance with the proposed amendment would not (1) involve a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated; or (2) create the possibility of a new or different kind of accident from any accident previously evaluated; or (3) involve a significant reduction in a E:\FR\FM\14FEN1.SGM 14FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 31 (Wednesday, February 14, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 6619-6621]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-03083]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[NRC-2018-0026]


Very Low-Level Radioactive Waste Scoping Study

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Scoping study; public meeting and request for comment.

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

SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is conducting a 
very low-level radioactive waste (VLLW) scoping study to identify 
possible options to improve and strengthen the NRC's regulatory 
framework for the disposal of the anticipated large volumes of VLLW 
associated with the decommissioning of nuclear power plants and 
material sites, as well as waste that might be generated by alternative 
waste streams that may be created by operating reprocessing facilities 
or a radiological event. The NRC is seeking stakeholder input and 
perspectives on this action. Respondents are asked to consider specific 
questions posed by the NRC staff and other Federal agencies in this 
notice when preparing their responses.

DATES: Submit comments by May 15, 2018. Comments received after this 
date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the NRC is 
able to ensure consideration only for comments received on or before 
this date.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods 
(unless this document describes a different method for submitting 
comments on a specific subject):
     Federal Rulemaking website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2018-0026. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Jennifer Borges; telephone: 301-287-
9127; email: [email protected]. For technical questions, contact 
the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of 
this document.
     Mail comments to: May Ma, Office of Administration, Mail 
Stop: OWFN-2-A13, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 
20555-0001.
    For additional direction on obtaining information and submitting 
comments, see ``Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments'' in the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  Maurice Heath, Office of Nuclear 
Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 
Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-3137; email: 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments

A. Obtaining Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2018-0026 when contacting the NRC 
about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain 
publicly-available information related to this action by any of the 
following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2018-0026.
     NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System 
(ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the 
ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select ``ADAMS Public Documents'' and 
then select ``Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.'' For problems with ADAMS, 
please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 
1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected]. The 
ADAMS Accession Number for each document referenced (if it is available 
in ADAMS) is provided the first time that it is mentioned in the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section.
     NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public 
documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 
Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

B. Submitting Comments

    Please reference Docket ID NRC-2018-0026 in your comment 
submission. If your comment contains proprietary or sensitive 
information, please contact the individual listed in the FOR 
INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document to determine the most 
appropriate method for submitting your comment.
    The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact 
information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your 
comment submission. All comment submissions are posted at http://www.regulations.gov and entered into ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely 
edit comment submissions to remove identifying or contact information.
    If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons 
for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to 
include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be 
publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should 
state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to 
remove such information before making the comment submissions available 
to the public or entering the comment submissions into ADAMS.

II. Background

    In 2007, following developments in the national program for Low-
Level Radioactive Waste (LLRW) disposal, as well as changes in the 
regulatory environment, the NRC conducted a strategic assessment of its 
regulatory program for LLRW. The results of this assessment were 
published in late 2007 in SECY-07-0180, ``Strategic Assessment of Low-
Level Radioactive Waste Regulatory Program'' (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML071350299). The strategic assessment identified the need to 
coordinate with other agencies on consistency in regulating LAW 
disposal and to develop guidance that summarizes disposition options 
for low-end materials and waste.
    In 2016, the NRC staff conducted a programmatic assessment of the 
LLRW program to identify and prioritize tasks that the NRC could 
undertake to ensure a stable, reliable, and adaptable regulatory 
framework for effective LLRW management. The results of this assessment 
were published in October 2016, in SECY-16-0118, ``Programmatic 
Assessment of Low-Level Radioactive Waste Regulatory Program'' (ADAMS 
Accession No. ML15243A192). The programmatic assessment identified the 
need to perform a LAW scoping study as a medium priority.
    In International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Safety Guide No. GSG-
1, ``Classification of Radioactive Waste'' (http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/Pub1419_web.pdf), the IAEA defines VLLW as waste 
that does not meet the criteria of exempt waste, but does not need a 
high level of containment and isolation, and, therefore, is suitable 
for disposal in a near surface landfill type facility with limited 
regulatory control. The NRC currently does not have a formal regulatory 
definition for VLLW, nor has it adopted the IAEA definition. However, 
the NRC uses the term VLLW consistent with the international regulatory 
structure. In general, the NRC

[[Page 6620]]

considers VLLW as material containing some residual radioactivity, 
including naturally occurring radionuclides that may be safely disposed 
of in hazardous or municipal solid waste landfills.
    The LAW scoping study, later renamed the VLLW Scoping Study, will 
combine several tasks initially defined in the 2007 strategic 
assessment into one. These tasks include: (1) Coordinating with other 
agencies on consistency in regulating LAW; (2) developing guidance that 
summarizes disposition options for low-end materials and waste; and (3) 
promulgating a rule for disposal of LAW. As part of the scoping study, 
the NRC will also evaluate regulatory options that would define the 
conditions under which LAW, including mixed waste, could be disposed of 
in Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Subtitle C hazardous 
waste facilities.
    Consistent with SECY-16-0118, the NRC is conducting this VLLW 
Scoping Study, which will consider disposal of waste as defined by 10 
CFR part 61 as the isolation, by emplacement in a land disposal 
facility, of radioactive wastes from the biosphere that is inhabited by 
man and that contains his food chains. As such, the scoping study will 
not address non-disposal related disposition pathways including 
unrestricted release, clearance, reuse, or recycle of materials.
    The purpose of the VLLW Scoping Study is to identify possible 
options to improve and strengthen the NRC's regulatory framework for 
the disposal of the anticipated large volumes of VLLW associated with 
the decommissioning of nuclear power plants, and waste that might be 
generated by alternative waste streams that may be created by fuel 
reprocessing or a radiological event. Additionally, the NRC plans to 
evaluate regulatory options that could define the conditions under 
which VLLW, including mixed waste, could be disposed of in RCRA 
hazardous waste facilities.

III. Specific Request for Comment

    The NRC is interested in receiving comments from a broad range of 
stakeholders, including professional organizations, licensees, 
Agreement States, and members of the public. Likewise, respondents to 
this request with insight into relevant international initiatives are 
invited to provide their perspectives regarding international best 
practices related to VLLW disposal or other experiences that the NRC 
staff should consider. All comments will be considered and the results 
of the scoping study will be documented in a publicly available report, 
which will inform the Commission of the staff's recommendation for 
addressing VLLW disposal.
    All comments that are to receive consideration in the VLLW Scoping 
Study must be submitted electronically or in writing as indicated in 
the ADDRESSES Section of this document. Respondents are asked to 
consider the background material discussed in Section II above when 
preparing their comments. In responding, commenters are encouraged to 
provide specific suggestions and the basis for suggestions offered. 
Specifically, the NRC staff requests comment on the following 
questions:
    1. The United States does not have a formal regulatory definition 
of VLLW. What should the NRC consider in developing its own regulatory 
definition for VLLW? Is there another definition of VLLW that should be 
considered? Provide a basis for your response.
    2. The existing regulatory framework within 10 CFR 61.55 divides 
low-level radioactive waste into four categories: Class A, Class B, 
Class C, and Greater Than Class C. Should the NRC revise the waste 
classification system to establish a new category for VLLW? What 
criteria should NRC consider in establishing the boundary between Class 
A and VLLW categories?
    3. The NRC's alternative disposal request guidance entitled, 
``Review, Approval, and Documentation of Low-Activity Waste Disposals 
in Accordance with 10 CFR 20.2002 and 10 CFR 40.13(a),'' which is 
undergoing a revision, allows for alternative disposal methods that are 
different from those already defined in the regulations and is most 
often used for burial of waste in hazardous or solid waste landfills 
permitted under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). 
Should the NRC expand the existing guidance to include VLLW disposal or 
consider the development of a new guidance for VLLW disposal? Why or 
why not?
    4. If the NRC were to create a new waste category for VLLW in 10 
CFR part 61, what potential compatibility issues related to the 
approval of VLLW disposal by NRC Agreement States need to be considered 
and addressed? How might defining VLLW affect NRC Agreement State 
regulatory programs in terms of additional responsibilities or 
resources?
    5. Following the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Amendments Act 
of 1985, states formed regional compacts for the disposal of low-level 
radioactive waste. If the NRC were to create a new waste category for 
VLLW, does it fall within regional compact authority to control VLLW 
management and disposal? How might defining VLLW affect regional 
compacts in terms of additional responsibilities or resources?
    6. Environmental Protection Agency-imposed waste analysis 
requirements for facilities that generate, treat, store, and dispose of 
hazardous wastes are defined in 40 CFR parts 264 through 270. How would 
NRC incorporate and apply waste analysis requirements for VLLW at RCRA 
Subtitle C and D facilities? Should the NRC impose concentration limits 
and/or treatment standards for VLLW disposal?
    7. Are there any unintended consequences associated with developing 
a VLLW waste category?
    8. What analytical methods/tools should be used to assess the risk 
of disposing of VLLW at licensed LLW disposal facilities or RCRA 
Subtitle C and D facilities? (i.e., generic or site-specific)
    9. How should economic factors be considered in the VLLW Scoping 
Study?

IV. Public Meeting

    To facilitate the understanding of the public and other 
stakeholders of the these issues and the submission of comments, the 
NRC staff has scheduled a public meeting for February 22, 2018 from 
9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (EST) in the NRC's Two White Flint Auditorium at 
11545 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD. In addition, those wishing to 
participate by webinar will be able to view the presentation slides 
prepared by the NRC staff and electronically submit comments over the 
internet. Participants must register to participate in the webinar. 
Registration information may be found in the meeting notice at https://www.nrc.gov/pmns/mtg?do=details&Code=20180033). The meeting notice can 
also be accessed through the NRC's public website under the headings 
Public Meetings & Involvement > Public Meeting Schedule; see web page 
https://meetings.nrc.gov/pmns/mtg.
    The NRC staff will also post the meeting notice on the Federal 
rulemaking website at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID NRC-
2018-0026. The NRC staff may post additional materials related to this 
document, including public comments, on the Federal rulemaking website. 
The Federal rulemaking website allows you to receive alerts when 
changes or additions occur in a docket folder. To subscribe: (1) 
Navigate to the docket folder (NRC-2018-0026); (2) click the ``Sign up 
for Email Alerts'' link; and (3) enter your email address and select 
how

[[Page 6621]]

frequently you would like to receive emails (daily, weekly, or 
monthly).
    The final agenda for the public meeting will be posted no fewer 
than 10 days prior to the meeting date. Those who are unable to 
participate in person or via webinar may choose to participate via 
teleconference by dialing the bridge number (800) 857-9840 and entering 
the pass code 4975456.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 9th day of February, 2018.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Gregory F. Suber,
Acting Deputy Director, Division of Decommissioning, Uranium Recovery, 
and Waste Programs, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.
[FR Doc. 2018-03083 Filed 2-13-18; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P