Cameco Resources; Smith Ranch-Highland Uranium Project, 48461-48463 [2018-20793]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 186 / Tuesday, September 25, 2018 / Notices responding to a suspected or confirmed breach or (2) preventing, minimizing, or remedying the risk of harm to individuals, the recipient agency or entity (including its information systems, programs, and operations), the Federal Government, or national security, resulting from a suspected or confirmed breach. POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR STORAGE OF RECORDS: MEDICS records are primarily maintained electronically in a database. Some paper records may also be kept, and their location will be identified in the database. Paper records whose location is identified in MEDICS will be secured in a locked file cabinet, a secure office, or both, and will be searchable only by NTSB accident investigation number, not by PII. Paper records that are uploaded to MEDICS are destroyed. The database may be accessed from NTSB approved computers. In the future, the database may become accessible from any computer that provides for an authorized user’s authentication. POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR RETRIEVAL OF RECORDS: Once an authorized user accesses MEDICS with his or her user ID and password, the MEDICS system is searchable by NTSB accident or incident number, accident city, accident state, accident country, and an individual’s name, age, and date of birth. POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR RETENTION AND DISPOSAL OF RECORDS: MEDICS records that are disclosed in the NTSB’s public docket pursuant to routine use number 5 will be retained permanently. All other MEDICS records will be destroyed one year after the conclusion of the investigation or safety study to which the record relates, unless required to be retained under another record retention statute, regulation or court order. daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES ADMINISTRATIVE, TECHNICAL, AND PHYSICAL SAFEGUARDS: NTSB headquarters is guarded and monitored by security personnel, cameras, a Physical Access Control System (PACS), and other physical security measures. The computerized records contained within MEDICS are maintained in a secure, passwordprotected, encrypted computer system. Access to and use of these records are limited to NTSB employees and contractors whose official duties require such access. NTSB personnel may access the records only when access is relevant to (1) determining the facts or VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:40 Sep 24, 2018 Jkt 244001 circumstances of an accident or incident; (2) determining the probable cause of an accident or incident; (3) evaluating human performance or survival factors issues arising during an accident or incident investigation; (4) providing victim and family assistance following an accident or incident; (5) carrying out special studies and investigations about transportation safety (including avoiding personal injury); and/or (6) examining techniques and methods of accident or incident investigation, and periodically publishing recommended procedures for accident or incident investigations. Electronic records are protected from unauthorized access through password identification procedures, limited access, firewalls and other system-based protection methods. This system conforms to all applicable Federal laws and regulations, as well as NTSB policies and standards, as they relate to information security and data privacy. Access is limited by user roles. Participants to an investigation may access only the records relevant to that accident, while NTSB Medical Officers will have access to all records. MEDICS will identify the location of paper records, which will be stored in a locked cabinet, a secured office, or both. Individuals wishing to access information about themselves in this system of records may contact the Chief, Records Management Division, National Transportation Safety Board, 490 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, DC 20594. Individuals must comply with NTSB regulations regarding the Privacy Act, 49 CFR part 802, and must furnish the following information for their records to be located and identified: 1. Full name(s). 2. Date of birth. 3. If known, the date and location of the accident, incident, or occurrence, or the NTSB investigation identifier(s) for the investigation(s) in which the NTSB created or obtained the record. 4. Signature. CONTESTING RECORD PROCEDURE: Individuals wishing to amend their records should contact the agency office identified in the Record Access Procedure section and furnish such identifying information described in that section to identify the records to be amended. Individuals seeking amendment of their records must also follow the agency’s Privacy Act regulations, 49 CFR part 802. Where the requested amendment implicates information provided by a third-party source, the agency will refer the Frm 00053 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 individual to the source from which the agency obtained the information. The NTSB is not authorized to amend records from non-agency sources. Additionally, the NTSB is not authorized to direct a non-agency source to change or alter records. Because medical practitioners may provide differing but equally valid medical judgments and opinions when making medical evaluations of an individual’s health status, review of requests from individuals seeking amendment of their medical records, beyond administrative correction such as association of a medical record with an incorrect individual, may be limited to consideration of including the differing opinion in the record rather than attempting to determine whether the original opinion is accurate. NOTIFICATION PROCEDURE: Individuals wishing to inquire about whether this system of records contains information about them may contact the agency office listed in the Record Access Procedure section, and provide the identifying information described in that section. EXEMPTIONS PROMULGATED FOR THE SYSTEM: None. HISTORY: RECORD ACCESS PROCEDURE: PO 00000 48461 82 FR 23075. Dated: September 20, 2018. Robert L. Sumwalt, III, Chairman. [FR Doc. 2018–20821 Filed 9–24–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7533–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. 40–8964; NRC–2012–0214] Cameco Resources; Smith RanchHighland Uranium Project Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact; issuance. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering the renewal of NRC source materials license SUA–1548, to authorize continued uranium in-situ recovery (ISR) operations at the sites under the Smith Ranch-Highland Uranium Project (Smith Ranch Project) (Docket No. 40– 8964). The NRC has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for this licensing action. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\25SEN1.SGM 25SEN1 48462 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 186 / Tuesday, September 25, 2018 / Notices The EA referenced in this document is available on September 25, 2018. ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2012–0214 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–2012–0214. 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. • 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 ‘‘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. • 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: James Park, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington DC 20555–0001; telephone: 301–415–6954; email: James.Park@nrc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DATES: daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES I. Introduction The NRC is considering the renewal of NRC source materials license No. SUA–1548 issued to Power Resources Inc. (doing business as Cameco Resources [Cameco]). License SUA– 1548 authorizes Cameco to conduct ISR operations at the following four sites under the Smith Ranch Project located in Wyoming: The Smith Ranch site in Converse County (which encompasses the contiguous Smith Ranch, Highland, and Reynolds Ranch properties); the North Butte remote satellite site in Campbell County; the Ruth remote satellite site in Johnson County; and the Gas Hills remote satellite site in Fremont and Natrona Counties. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:40 Sep 24, 2018 Jkt 244001 Therefore, as required by part 51 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR part 51), ‘‘Environmental Protection Regulations for Domestic Licensing and Related Regulatory Functions,’’ the NRC performed an EA. Based on the results of the EA, the NRC has determined not to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the amendment, and is issuing a FONSI. II. Environmental Assessment Description of the Proposed Action The proposed action would allow Cameco to continue ISR operations at the four sites under the Smith Ranch Project. As proposed, Cameco would continue to recover uranium from subsurface uranium deposits using the ISR process, open new wellfield areas for additional uranium recovery, perform aquifer restoration in wellfields where uranium recovery has ended, and conduct decommissioning activities as site-wide activities wind down. Additionally, Cameco requested NRC approval of increased ground water flowrates at certain project sites and the commencement of previously approved uranium recovery at the Reynolds Ranch satellite and at the Gas Hills remote satellite site. The proposed action is in accordance with the licensee’s application dated February 1, 2012 (ADAMS Accession Nos. ML12234A537 and ML12234A539). Need for the Proposed Action The proposed action would allow Cameco to continue recovering uranium at the Smith Ranch Project sites. The licensee would process the recovered uranium into yellowcake at the existing central processing plant currently located on the Smith Ranch property and at the central processing facility located on the Highland property. Yellowcake is the uranium oxide product of the ISR milling process that is used to produce various products, including fuel for commerciallyoperated nuclear power reactors. Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action The NRC staff has assessed the potential environmental impacts from Cameco’s continued ISR-related construction, operation, aquifer restoration, and decommissioning activities at the Smith Ranch Project sites. The NRC staff assessed the impacts of the proposed action on land use; historical and cultural resources; visual and scenic resources; climatology, meteorology and air quality; geology, minerals, and soils; PO 00000 Frm 00054 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 water resources; ecological resources; socioeconomics; noise; traffic and transportation; public and occupational health and safety; and waste management. Impacts to all resources except ground water and noise were determined to be SMALL (i.e., not detectable or minor); ground water impacts were determined to be SMALL to MODERATE and noise impacts MODERATE (i.e., sufficient to alter noticeably, but not to destabilize, important attributes of the resource) to onsite workers and wildlife. The NRC staff concluded that renewal of source materials license SUA–1548 for the Smith Ranch Project would not significantly affect the quality of the human environment. Approval of the proposed action would not result in an increased radiological risk to public health or the environment. Environmental Impacts of the Alternatives to the Proposed Action As an alternative to the proposed action, the staff considered denial of the proposed license renewal (i.e., the ‘‘NoAction’’ alternative). Under the NoAction Alternative, Cameco would transition ongoing ISR operations at the Smith Ranch and Highland properties and at the North Butte remote satellite site from active uranium recovery to aquifer restoration and decommissioning. A much smaller amount of yellowcake would be produced, resulting from aquifer restoration activities. Decommissioning activities also would occur at the Reynolds Ranch satellite and the Ruth and Gas Hills remote satellite sites to remove existing infrastructure. Cameco would be required by 10 CFR part 40.42(d) to submit a detailed decommissioning plan to the NRC staff for review and approval at least 12 months before the planned commencement of final decommissioning. The NRC concluded that environmental impacts from the No-Action Alternative would be not significant. Agencies and Persons Consulted In accordance with its stated policy, on August 8, 2018, the staff provided the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ) and the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office (WY SHPO), with the draft EA for review and comment (ADAMS Accession Nos. ML18211A382 and ML18215A054). On August 29, 2018, the WDEQ stated that it had no comment on the draft EA, but noted one typographical error in the NRC’s transmittal letter (ADAMS Accession No. ML18247A356). The WY SHPO also E:\FR\FM\25SEN1.SGM 25SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 186 / Tuesday, September 25, 2018 / Notices daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES responded on August 29, 2018, stating that the WY SHPO would not be commenting, considering its understanding that Section 106 consultation was completed during the original licensing for the project (ADAMS Accession No. ML18242A349). On August 9, 2018, the NRC staff made sections of the draft EA concerning historic and cultural resources available on the NRC public web page for the Smith Ranch Project for public comment at https:// www.nrc.gov/materials/uraniumrecovery/license-apps/smith-ranch/ section106-smith-ranch.html. On the same date, the NRC staff also made these same sections of the draft EA available to the Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (THPOs) from 27 Native American Tribes for their review and comment. No comments were received from members of the public. In response to comments received from the THPO for the Northern Arapaho Tribe (ADAMS Accession No. ML18247A228), the NRC staff hosted two conference calls, on August 28 and 30, 2018, to discuss the staff’s approach concerning protection of historic and cultural resources (ADAMS Accession No. ML18243A262); no THPOs attended these calls. The NRC staff also held a conference call with the Northern Cheyenne THPO on August 31, 2018 (ADAMS Accession No. ML18260A046). No written comments were received from the Northern Cheyenne THPO. However, the NRC staff addressed the Northern Arapaho THPO’s comments provided on August 31, 2018, conference call in the final EA. Additional Information The NRC staff conducted its environmental review in accordance with 10 CFR part 51, which implements the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA) and following the NRC staff guidance in NUREG–1748, ‘‘Environmental Review Guidance for Licensing Actions Associated with NMSS Programs’’ (ADAMS Accession No. ML032450279). In May 2009, the NRC staff issued NUREG–1910, ‘‘Generic Environmental Impact Statement for In-Situ Leach Uranium Milling Facilities’’ (herein referred to as the GEIS) (ADAMS Accession No. ML15093A368 and ML15093A486). In the GEIS, the NRC staff assessed the potential environmental impacts from construction, operation, aquifer restoration, and decommissioning of an in-situ leach uranium milling facility (also known as an ISR facility) located VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:40 Sep 24, 2018 Jkt 244001 in four specific geographic regions of the western United States. Smith Ranch Project properties are located in two of these four regions. Where applicable, this EA incorporates by reference relevant portions from the GEIS, and uses sitespecific information from Cameco’s license renewal application and responses to NRC staff requests for additional information, and from independent sources to fulfill the requirements in 10 CFR 51.20(b)(8). License SUA–1548 authorizes Cameco to conduct ISR operations at four properties under the Smith Ranch Project located in Wyoming: The contiguous Smith Ranch, Highland, and Reynolds Ranch properties in Converse County; the North Butte remote satellite site in Campbell County; the Ruth remote satellite site in Johnson County; and the Gas Hills remote satellite site in Fremont and Natrona Counties. In the EA, the NRC staff assessed the potential environmental impacts from the continued construction, operation, aquifer restoration, and decommissioning of the sites under the Smith Ranch Project. The NRC staff assessed the impacts of the proposed action on land use; historical and cultural resources; visual and scenic resources; climatology, meteorology and air quality; geology, minerals, and soils; water resources; ecological resources; socioeconomics; noise; traffic and transportation; public and occupational health and safety; and waste management. In addition to the action proposed by the licensee, the NRC staff addressed the No-Action Alternative that serves as a baseline for comparison of the potential environmental impacts of the proposed action. Under the No-Action Alternative, the NRC staff would deny renewal of License SUA–1548. After weighing the impacts of the proposed license renewal and comparing to the No-Action Alternative, the NRC staff, in accordance with 10 CFR 51.91(d), sets forth its NEPA recommendation regarding the proposed action (granting the NRC license renewal request for the Smith Ranch Project). Unless safety issues mandate otherwise, the NRC staff recommendation related to the environmental aspects of the proposed action is that a renewed NRC license be issued. The EA for the proposed renewal of License SUA–1548 may be accessed at ADAMS Accession No. ML18257A071. III. Finding of No Significant Impact Based on its review of the proposed action, and in accordance with the PO 00000 Frm 00055 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 48463 requirements in 10 CFR part 51, the NRC staff has determined that renewal of source materials license SUA–1548 for the Smith Ranch Project would not significantly affect the quality of the human environment. In its license renewal request, Cameco proposed increased ground water flowrates at certain of the project properties with previously approved uranium recovery to commence at the Reynolds Ranch satellite and at the Gas Hills remote satellite site. No other significant changes in Cameco’s authorized operations for the Smith Ranch Project were requested. Approval of the proposed action would not result in an increased radiological risk to public health or the environment. The NRC staff has determined that pursuant to 10 CFR 51.31, preparation of an EIS is not required for the proposed action and that, pursuant to 10 CFR 51.32, a FONSI is appropriate. Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 20th day of September 2018. For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Craig G. Erlanger, Director, Division of Fuel Cycle Safety, Safeguards, and Environmental Review, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards. [FR Doc. 2018–20793 Filed 9–24–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [NRC–2018–0208] Biweekly Notice; Applications and Amendments to Facility Operating Licenses and Combined Licenses Involving No Significant Hazards Considerations Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Biweekly notice. AGENCY: Pursuant to Section 189a.(2) of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (the Act), the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is publishing this regular biweekly notice. The Act requires the Commission to publish notice of any amendments issued, or proposed to be issued, and grants the Commission the authority to issue and make immediately effective any amendment to an operating license or combined license, as applicable, upon a determination by the Commission that such amendment involves no significant hazards consideration, notwithstanding the pendency before the Commission of a request for a hearing from any person. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\25SEN1.SGM 25SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 186 (Tuesday, September 25, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 48461-48463]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-20793]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 40-8964; NRC-2012-0214]


Cameco Resources; Smith Ranch-Highland Uranium Project

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact; 
issuance.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering 
the renewal of NRC source materials license SUA-1548, to authorize 
continued uranium in-situ recovery (ISR) operations at the sites under 
the Smith Ranch-Highland Uranium Project (Smith Ranch Project) (Docket 
No. 40-8964). The NRC has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) and 
Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for this licensing action.

[[Page 48462]]


DATES: The EA referenced in this document is available on September 25, 
2018.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2012-0214 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-2012-0214. 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.
     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 ``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 this document.
     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: James Park, Office of Nuclear Material 
Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington 
DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-6954; email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Introduction

    The NRC is considering the renewal of NRC source materials license 
No. SUA-1548 issued to Power Resources Inc. (doing business as Cameco 
Resources [Cameco]). License SUA-1548 authorizes Cameco to conduct ISR 
operations at the following four sites under the Smith Ranch Project 
located in Wyoming: The Smith Ranch site in Converse County (which 
encompasses the contiguous Smith Ranch, Highland, and Reynolds Ranch 
properties); the North Butte remote satellite site in Campbell County; 
the Ruth remote satellite site in Johnson County; and the Gas Hills 
remote satellite site in Fremont and Natrona Counties. Therefore, as 
required by part 51 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 
CFR part 51), ``Environmental Protection Regulations for Domestic 
Licensing and Related Regulatory Functions,'' the NRC performed an EA. 
Based on the results of the EA, the NRC has determined not to prepare 
an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the amendment, and is 
issuing a FONSI.

II. Environmental Assessment

Description of the Proposed Action

    The proposed action would allow Cameco to continue ISR operations 
at the four sites under the Smith Ranch Project. As proposed, Cameco 
would continue to recover uranium from subsurface uranium deposits 
using the ISR process, open new wellfield areas for additional uranium 
recovery, perform aquifer restoration in wellfields where uranium 
recovery has ended, and conduct decommissioning activities as site-wide 
activities wind down. Additionally, Cameco requested NRC approval of 
increased ground water flowrates at certain project sites and the 
commencement of previously approved uranium recovery at the Reynolds 
Ranch satellite and at the Gas Hills remote satellite site. The 
proposed action is in accordance with the licensee's application dated 
February 1, 2012 (ADAMS Accession Nos. ML12234A537 and ML12234A539).

Need for the Proposed Action

    The proposed action would allow Cameco to continue recovering 
uranium at the Smith Ranch Project sites. The licensee would process 
the recovered uranium into yellowcake at the existing central 
processing plant currently located on the Smith Ranch property and at 
the central processing facility located on the Highland property. 
Yellowcake is the uranium oxide product of the ISR milling process that 
is used to produce various products, including fuel for commercially-
operated nuclear power reactors.

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    The NRC staff has assessed the potential environmental impacts from 
Cameco's continued ISR-related construction, operation, aquifer 
restoration, and decommissioning activities at the Smith Ranch Project 
sites. The NRC staff assessed the impacts of the proposed action on 
land use; historical and cultural resources; visual and scenic 
resources; climatology, meteorology and air quality; geology, minerals, 
and soils; water resources; ecological resources; socioeconomics; 
noise; traffic and transportation; public and occupational health and 
safety; and waste management. Impacts to all resources except ground 
water and noise were determined to be SMALL (i.e., not detectable or 
minor); ground water impacts were determined to be SMALL to MODERATE 
and noise impacts MODERATE (i.e., sufficient to alter noticeably, but 
not to destabilize, important attributes of the resource) to onsite 
workers and wildlife. The NRC staff concluded that renewal of source 
materials license SUA-1548 for the Smith Ranch Project would not 
significantly affect the quality of the human environment. Approval of 
the proposed action would not result in an increased radiological risk 
to public health or the environment.

Environmental Impacts of the Alternatives to the Proposed Action

    As an alternative to the proposed action, the staff considered 
denial of the proposed license renewal (i.e., the ``No-Action'' 
alternative). Under the No-Action Alternative, Cameco would transition 
ongoing ISR operations at the Smith Ranch and Highland properties and 
at the North Butte remote satellite site from active uranium recovery 
to aquifer restoration and decommissioning. A much smaller amount of 
yellowcake would be produced, resulting from aquifer restoration 
activities.
    Decommissioning activities also would occur at the Reynolds Ranch 
satellite and the Ruth and Gas Hills remote satellite sites to remove 
existing infrastructure. Cameco would be required by 10 CFR part 
40.42(d) to submit a detailed decommissioning plan to the NRC staff for 
review and approval at least 12 months before the planned commencement 
of final decommissioning. The NRC concluded that environmental impacts 
from the No-Action Alternative would be not significant.

Agencies and Persons Consulted

    In accordance with its stated policy, on August 8, 2018, the staff 
provided the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ) and the 
Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office (WY SHPO), with the draft EA 
for review and comment (ADAMS Accession Nos. ML18211A382 and 
ML18215A054). On August 29, 2018, the WDEQ stated that it had no 
comment on the draft EA, but noted one typographical error in the NRC's 
transmittal letter (ADAMS Accession No. ML18247A356). The WY SHPO also

[[Page 48463]]

responded on August 29, 2018, stating that the WY SHPO would not be 
commenting, considering its understanding that Section 106 consultation 
was completed during the original licensing for the project (ADAMS 
Accession No. ML18242A349).
    On August 9, 2018, the NRC staff made sections of the draft EA 
concerning historic and cultural resources available on the NRC public 
web page for the Smith Ranch Project for public comment at https://www.nrc.gov/materials/uranium-recovery/license-apps/smith-ranch/section106-smith-ranch.html. On the same date, the NRC staff also made 
these same sections of the draft EA available to the Tribal Historic 
Preservation Officers (THPOs) from 27 Native American Tribes for their 
review and comment.
    No comments were received from members of the public. In response 
to comments received from the THPO for the Northern Arapaho Tribe 
(ADAMS Accession No. ML18247A228), the NRC staff hosted two conference 
calls, on August 28 and 30, 2018, to discuss the staff's approach 
concerning protection of historic and cultural resources (ADAMS 
Accession No. ML18243A262); no THPOs attended these calls. The NRC 
staff also held a conference call with the Northern Cheyenne THPO on 
August 31, 2018 (ADAMS Accession No. ML18260A046). No written comments 
were received from the Northern Cheyenne THPO. However, the NRC staff 
addressed the Northern Arapaho THPO's comments provided on August 31, 
2018, conference call in the final EA.

Additional Information

    The NRC staff conducted its environmental review in accordance with 
10 CFR part 51, which implements the requirements of the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA) and following the 
NRC staff guidance in NUREG-1748, ``Environmental Review Guidance for 
Licensing Actions Associated with NMSS Programs'' (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML032450279).
    In May 2009, the NRC staff issued NUREG-1910, ``Generic 
Environmental Impact Statement for In-Situ Leach Uranium Milling 
Facilities'' (herein referred to as the GEIS) (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML15093A368 and ML15093A486). In the GEIS, the NRC staff assessed the 
potential environmental impacts from construction, operation, aquifer 
restoration, and decommissioning of an in-situ leach uranium milling 
facility (also known as an ISR facility) located in four specific 
geographic regions of the western United States. Smith Ranch Project 
properties are located in two of these four regions.
    Where applicable, this EA incorporates by reference relevant 
portions from the GEIS, and uses site-specific information from 
Cameco's license renewal application and responses to NRC staff 
requests for additional information, and from independent sources to 
fulfill the requirements in 10 CFR 51.20(b)(8).
    License SUA-1548 authorizes Cameco to conduct ISR operations at 
four properties under the Smith Ranch Project located in Wyoming: The 
contiguous Smith Ranch, Highland, and Reynolds Ranch properties in 
Converse County; the North Butte remote satellite site in Campbell 
County; the Ruth remote satellite site in Johnson County; and the Gas 
Hills remote satellite site in Fremont and Natrona Counties.
    In the EA, the NRC staff assessed the potential environmental 
impacts from the continued construction, operation, aquifer 
restoration, and decommissioning of the sites under the Smith Ranch 
Project. The NRC staff assessed the impacts of the proposed action on 
land use; historical and cultural resources; visual and scenic 
resources; climatology, meteorology and air quality; geology, minerals, 
and soils; water resources; ecological resources; socioeconomics; 
noise; traffic and transportation; public and occupational health and 
safety; and waste management.
    In addition to the action proposed by the licensee, the NRC staff 
addressed the No-Action Alternative that serves as a baseline for 
comparison of the potential environmental impacts of the proposed 
action. Under the No-Action Alternative, the NRC staff would deny 
renewal of License SUA-1548.
    After weighing the impacts of the proposed license renewal and 
comparing to the No-Action Alternative, the NRC staff, in accordance 
with 10 CFR 51.91(d), sets forth its NEPA recommendation regarding the 
proposed action (granting the NRC license renewal request for the Smith 
Ranch Project). Unless safety issues mandate otherwise, the NRC staff 
recommendation related to the environmental aspects of the proposed 
action is that a renewed NRC license be issued. The EA for the proposed 
renewal of License SUA-1548 may be accessed at ADAMS Accession No. 
ML18257A071.

III. Finding of No Significant Impact

    Based on its review of the proposed action, and in accordance with 
the requirements in 10 CFR part 51, the NRC staff has determined that 
renewal of source materials license SUA-1548 for the Smith Ranch 
Project would not significantly affect the quality of the human 
environment. In its license renewal request, Cameco proposed increased 
ground water flowrates at certain of the project properties with 
previously approved uranium recovery to commence at the Reynolds Ranch 
satellite and at the Gas Hills remote satellite site. No other 
significant changes in Cameco's authorized operations for the Smith 
Ranch Project were requested. Approval of the proposed action would not 
result in an increased radiological risk to public health or the 
environment. The NRC staff has determined that pursuant to 10 CFR 
51.31, preparation of an EIS is not required for the proposed action 
and that, pursuant to 10 CFR 51.32, a FONSI is appropriate.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 20th day of September 2018.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Craig G. Erlanger,
Director, Division of Fuel Cycle Safety, Safeguards, and Environmental 
Review, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.
[FR Doc. 2018-20793 Filed 9-24-18; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P