Amended Record of Decision for the Continued Interim Operation of the Y-12 National Security Complex, 53133-53134 [2019-21660]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 193 / Friday, October 4, 2019 / Notices Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act and following consultation with the Committee Management Secretariat, General Services Administration, notice is hereby given that the DOE/NSF Nuclear Science Advisory Committee (NSAC) has been renewed for a two-year period. The NSAC will provide advice and recommendations to the Director, Office of Science (DOE), and the Assistant Director, Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (NSF), on scientific priorities within the field of basic nuclear science research. Additionally, the renewal of the NSAC has been determined to be essential to conduct business of the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation, and to be in the public interest in connection with the performance of duties imposed upon DOE and NSF, by law and agreement. The Committee will continue to operate in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, and the rules and regulations in implementation of that Act. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Timothy Hallman at (301) 903–3613 or email at: timothy.hallman@ science.doe.gov. Signed in Washington, DC, on September 27, 2019. Rachael J. Beitler, Committee Management Officer. [FR Doc. 2019–21661 Filed 10–3–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY National Nuclear Security Administration Amended Record of Decision for the Continued Interim Operation of the Y– 12 National Security Complex National Nuclear Security Administration, Department of Energy. ACTION: Amended record of decision. AGENCY: The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), a separately organized agency within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), is amending its July 2011 Record of Decision for the Continued Operation of the Y–12 National Security Complex (2011 ROD) to reflect its decision to continue to implement on an interim basis a revised approach for meeting enriched uranium requirements (while addressing issues related to seismic analysis), by upgrading existing enriched uranium (EU) processing buildings and constructing a new Uranium Processing Facility (UPF). khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:49 Oct 03, 2019 Jkt 250001 Additionally, NNSA has decided to separate the single-structure UPF design concept into a new design consisting of multiple buildings, with each constructed to safety and security requirements appropriate to the building’s function. This revised approach is combining elements of the two alternatives previously analyzed in the Final Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement for the Y–12 National Security Complex, DOE/EIS–0387 (Y–12 SWEIS). For further information on this Amended Record of Decision (ROD), contact: Ms. Terri Slack, Field Counsel, U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, NNSA Production Office, P.O. Box 2050, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, (865) 576–1722. For information on the DOE National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process, contact: Mr. Brian Costner, Director, Office of NEPA Policy and Compliance (GC–54), U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585, (202) 586– 4600, or leave a message at (800) 472– 2756. This Amended ROD and related NEPA documents are available on the DOE NEPA website at www.nepa.energy.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Y–12 is NNSA’s primary site for uranium operations, including EU processing and storage, and is one of the primary manufacturing facilities for maintaining the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile. Y–12 is unique in that it is the only source of secondaries, cases, and other nuclear weapons components for the NNSA nuclear security mission. In the Y–12 SWEIS, NNSA analyzed the potential environmental impacts of ongoing and future operations and activities at Y–12. Five alternatives were analyzed in the Y–12 SWEIS: (1) No Action Alternative (maintain the status quo), (2) UPF Alternative, (3) Upgrade in-Place Alternative (4) Capability-sized UPF Alternative, and (5) No Net Production/Capability-sized UPF Alternative. In the 2011 ROD (July 20, 2011, 76 FR 43319), NNSA decided to implement the Capability-sized UPF Alternative and to construct and operate a single-structure Capability-sized UPF at Y–12 as a replacement for certain existing buildings. Subsequent to the publication of the 2011 ROD, concerns about UPF cost and schedule growth prompted NNSA to reevaluate its strategy for meeting EU requirements, including the UPF design approach. PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 53133 Under the updated strategy, previously approved in a July 12, 2016, Amended Record of Decision (2016 AROD), NNSA would meet enriched uranium requirements using a revised approach of upgrading existing enriched uranium processing buildings and constructing a smaller-scale UPF facility implementing a new multiple building design approach. The updated strategy is consistent with recommendations from a project peer review of the UPF [‘‘Final Report of the Committee to Recommend Alternatives to the Uranium Processing Facility Plan in Meeting the Nation’s Enriched Uranium Strategy’’] conducted in 2014. In the new UPF design approach, the singlestructure UPF concept would be separated into multiple buildings, each being constructed to safety and security requirements appropriate to the building’s function. NEPA Process for Amending the ROD and Subsequent Litigation The Y–12 SWEIS evaluated the potential impacts of the reasonable range of alternatives for continuing enriched uranium processing operations at Y–12 and provided a basis for the 2011 ROD. As discussed above, NNSA’s new strategy of upgrading existing enriched uranium buildings and constructing UPF with multiple buildings, previously approved in the 2016 AROD, is different from the Capability-sized UPF that NNSA selected in the 2011 ROD. Instead it is a hybrid approach that combines elements of the Capability-sized UPF Alternative and certain elements of the Upgrade in Place Alternative. Consequently, NNSA prepared a Supplement Analysis (DOE/EIS–0387– SA–01) in accordance with CEQ and DOE regulations implementing NEPA (40 CFR 1502.9(c) and 10 CFR 1021.314(c)) to determine (1) if there are potential environmental impacts that differ from those analyzed in the Y–12 SWEIS that would be expected to result from NNSA’s new strategy and (2), if so, if the impacts would be considered significant in the context of NEPA (40 CFR 1508.27), which would require preparation of a new or Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). On July 12, 2016, NNSA issued the 2016 AROD, determining that because the action was a hybrid of two alternatives reviewed in the 2011 SWEIS and its environmental impacts would not be significantly different or significantly greater than those reviewed in the prior analysis, it need not prepare a new or supplemental environmental impact statement (EIS). NNSA again updated this environmental analysis under E:\FR\FM\04OCN1.SGM 04OCN1 53134 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 193 / Friday, October 4, 2019 / Notices NEPA in its Supplement Analysis issued in August 2018. This Supplement Analysis reviewed new information post-dating the 2011 SWEIS, and again determined that NNSA need not prepare a new or supplemental EIS because this new information did not result in environmental impacts significantly different or significantly greater than those reviewed in the prior analysis. As the result of a lawsuit filed against DOE and NNSA, the federal district court issued several rulings related to NNSA’s NEPA documents for Y–12. While the judge vacated the AROD, the 2016 Supplement Analysis, and the 2018 Supplement Analysis based on its determination that additional NEPA analysis of new information pertaining to seismic risks at Y–12 was needed, the court held that the NNSA’s new strategy of upgrading existing enriched uranium buildings pursuant to the Extended Life Program and constructing UPF with multiple buildings was adequately considered as part of the 2011 SWEIS. The court further held that NNSA is not required to prepare a Supplemental EIS for the UPF Project or the Extended Life Program. See Memorandum Opinion and Order in Case 3:18–cv–00150–PLR– DCP. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Summary of Impacts Associated With Continued Interim Operation of the Y– 12 National Security Complex With respect to the environmental impacts associated with the revised UPF strategy and the Extended Life Program, the court determined that ‘‘[b]ecause the environmental effects in the 2011 SWEIS were evaluated along a spectrum—from ‘no action’ at one end, to a brand-new UPF at the other, and with an ‘Upgrade-in-Place’ program occupying the middle,’’ NNSA’s new strategy is adequately supported by theY–12 SWEIS, and the court did not vacate the 2011 ROD or Y–12 SWEIS or enjoin any activities at Y–12. The court also found the NEPA analysis in the 2016 Supplement Analysis and the 2018 Supplement Analysis deficient only as to their analysis of new information pertaining to seismic risks. Thus, consistent with 10 CFR 1021.315(e), the existing 2011 ROD for the Y–12 SWEIS can be amended. However, in accordance with the court’s determination that additional NEPA analysis of new information pertaining to seismic risks at Y–12 is needed, further NEPA documentation will be developed on an expedited basis that includes an unbounded accident analysis of earthquake consequences at Y–12, using updated seismic hazard VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:49 Oct 03, 2019 Jkt 250001 analyses that incorporate the 2014 United States Geological Survey maps. Amended Decision NNSA has decided to continue to operate Y–12 to meet the stockpile stewardship mission critical activities assigned to the site on an interim basis, pending further review of seismic risks at Y–12. NNSA will also meet EU requirements using a hybrid approach of upgrading existing EU buildings under its Extended Life Program and separating the single-structure UPF into multiple buildings, with each constructed to safety and security requirements appropriate to the building’s function; This amended decision will enable NNSA to maintain the required expertise and capabilities to deliver uranium products while modernizing production facilities. This amended decision to continue operations on an interim basis will avoid many of the safety risks of operating aged buildings and equipment by relocating processes that cannot be sustained in existing, enduring buildings or through process improvements. Through an Extended Life Program, mission-critical existing and enduring buildings and infrastructure will be maintained and/or upgraded, which will enhance safety and security at the Y–12 site, pending further review of seismic risks at Y–12. Such continued operations are consistent with the court’s ruling and will continue to implement safety improvements under previously approved contracts, pending the completion of additional NEPA documentation on an expedited basis. Once further seismic analysis has been performed, NNSA will issue a new ROD describing, what, if any, changes it has decided to make in light of that analysis. Signed in Washington, DC, this 27th day of September 2019, for the United States Department of Energy. Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty, Under Secretary for Nuclear Security, National Nuclear Security Administration. [FR Doc. 2019–21660 Filed 10–3–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 15002–000] Premium Energy Holdings, LLC; Notice of Preliminary Permit Application Accepted for Filing and Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Competing Applications On July 10, 2019, Premium Energy Holdings, LLC, filed an application for a preliminary permit, pursuant to section 4(f) of the Federal Power Act, proposing to study the feasibility of the Walker Lake Pumped Storage Project (Walker Lake or project) to be located on Walker Lake and Walker River, near the community of Walker Lake, Mineral County, Nevada. The sole purpose of a preliminary permit, if issued, is to grant the permit holder priority to file a license application during the permit term. A preliminary permit does not authorize the permit holder to perform any land-disturbing activities or otherwise enter upon lands or waters owned by others without the owners’ express permission. The proposed project would be a closed-loop pumped storage hydropower facility. The applicant proposes three alternative upper reservoirs: Bald Mountain Reservoir, Copper Canyon Reservoir, or Dry Creek Reservoir. The existing Walker Lake would be the lower reservoir for each alternative. Upper Reservoir Alternative 1: Bald Mountain Reservoir The Bald Mountain Reservoir alternative consists of: (1) A 101-acre upper reservoir having a total storage capacity of 23,419 acre-feet at a normal maximum operating elevation of 6,500 feet mean sea level (msl); (2) a 615-foothigh, 2,195-foot-long roller compacted concrete upper reservoir dam; (3) a 0.88mile-long, 30-foot-diameter concretelined headrace tunnel; (4) a 0.3-milelong, 27-foot-diameter concrete-lined vertical shaft; (5) a 1.85-mile-long, 27foot-diameter concrete-lined horizontal tunnel; (6) five 0.15-mile-long, 17-footdiameter steel penstocks; (7) a 500-footlong, 85-foot-wide, 160-foot-high concrete-lined powerhouse located in an underground cavern, housing five pump-turbine generator-motor units rated for 400 megawatts (MW) each; and (8) a 0.45-mile-long, 32-foot-diameter concrete-lined tailrace tunnel discharging into the existing Walker Lake. E:\FR\FM\04OCN1.SGM 04OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 193 (Friday, October 4, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 53133-53134]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-21660]


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

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

National Nuclear Security Administration


Amended Record of Decision for the Continued Interim Operation of 
the Y-12 National Security Complex

AGENCY: National Nuclear Security Administration, Department of Energy.

ACTION: Amended record of decision.

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

SUMMARY: The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), a 
separately organized agency within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), 
is amending its July 2011 Record of Decision for the Continued 
Operation of the Y-12 National Security Complex (2011 ROD) to reflect 
its decision to continue to implement on an interim basis a revised 
approach for meeting enriched uranium requirements (while addressing 
issues related to seismic analysis), by upgrading existing enriched 
uranium (EU) processing buildings and constructing a new Uranium 
Processing Facility (UPF). Additionally, NNSA has decided to separate 
the single-structure UPF design concept into a new design consisting of 
multiple buildings, with each constructed to safety and security 
requirements appropriate to the building's function. This revised 
approach is combining elements of the two alternatives previously 
analyzed in the Final Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement for the 
Y-12 National Security Complex, DOE/EIS-0387 (Y-12 SWEIS).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information on this 
Amended Record of Decision (ROD), contact: Ms. Terri Slack, Field 
Counsel, U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security 
Administration, NNSA Production Office, P.O. Box 2050, Oak Ridge, TN 
37831, (865) 576-1722. For information on the DOE National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process, contact: Mr. Brian Costner, 
Director, Office of NEPA Policy and Compliance (GC-54), U.S. Department 
of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585, (202) 
586-4600, or leave a message at (800) 472-2756. This Amended ROD and 
related NEPA documents are available on the DOE NEPA website at 
www.nepa.energy.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Y-12 is NNSA's primary site for uranium operations, including EU 
processing and storage, and is one of the primary manufacturing 
facilities for maintaining the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile. Y-12 is 
unique in that it is the only source of secondaries, cases, and other 
nuclear weapons components for the NNSA nuclear security mission.
    In the Y-12 SWEIS, NNSA analyzed the potential environmental 
impacts of ongoing and future operations and activities at Y-12. Five 
alternatives were analyzed in the Y-12 SWEIS: (1) No Action Alternative 
(maintain the status quo), (2) UPF Alternative, (3) Upgrade in-Place 
Alternative (4) Capability-sized UPF Alternative, and (5) No Net 
Production/Capability-sized UPF Alternative. In the 2011 ROD (July 20, 
2011, 76 FR 43319), NNSA decided to implement the Capability-sized UPF 
Alternative and to construct and operate a single-structure Capability-
sized UPF at Y-12 as a replacement for certain existing buildings. 
Subsequent to the publication of the 2011 ROD, concerns about UPF cost 
and schedule growth prompted NNSA to reevaluate its strategy for 
meeting EU requirements, including the UPF design approach.
    Under the updated strategy, previously approved in a July 12, 2016, 
Amended Record of Decision (2016 AROD), NNSA would meet enriched 
uranium requirements using a revised approach of upgrading existing 
enriched uranium processing buildings and constructing a smaller-scale 
UPF facility implementing a new multiple building design approach. The 
updated strategy is consistent with recommendations from a project peer 
review of the UPF [``Final Report of the Committee to Recommend 
Alternatives to the Uranium Processing Facility Plan in Meeting the 
Nation's Enriched Uranium Strategy''] conducted in 2014. In the new UPF 
design approach, the single-structure UPF concept would be separated 
into multiple buildings, each being constructed to safety and security 
requirements appropriate to the building's function.

NEPA Process for Amending the ROD and Subsequent Litigation

    The Y-12 SWEIS evaluated the potential impacts of the reasonable 
range of alternatives for continuing enriched uranium processing 
operations at Y-12 and provided a basis for the 2011 ROD. As discussed 
above, NNSA's new strategy of upgrading existing enriched uranium 
buildings and constructing UPF with multiple buildings, previously 
approved in the 2016 AROD, is different from the Capability-sized UPF 
that NNSA selected in the 2011 ROD. Instead it is a hybrid approach 
that combines elements of the Capability-sized UPF Alternative and 
certain elements of the Upgrade in Place Alternative. Consequently, 
NNSA prepared a Supplement Analysis (DOE/EIS-0387-SA-01) in accordance 
with CEQ and DOE regulations implementing NEPA (40 CFR 1502.9(c) and 10 
CFR 1021.314(c)) to determine (1) if there are potential environmental 
impacts that differ from those analyzed in the Y-12 SWEIS that would be 
expected to result from NNSA's new strategy and (2), if so, if the 
impacts would be considered significant in the context of NEPA (40 CFR 
1508.27), which would require preparation of a new or Supplemental 
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). On July 12, 2016, NNSA issued the 
2016 AROD, determining that because the action was a hybrid of two 
alternatives reviewed in the 2011 SWEIS and its environmental impacts 
would not be significantly different or significantly greater than 
those reviewed in the prior analysis, it need not prepare a new or 
supplemental environmental impact statement (EIS). NNSA again updated 
this environmental analysis under

[[Page 53134]]

NEPA in its Supplement Analysis issued in August 2018. This Supplement 
Analysis reviewed new information post-dating the 2011 SWEIS, and again 
determined that NNSA need not prepare a new or supplemental EIS because 
this new information did not result in environmental impacts 
significantly different or significantly greater than those reviewed in 
the prior analysis.
    As the result of a lawsuit filed against DOE and NNSA, the federal 
district court issued several rulings related to NNSA's NEPA documents 
for Y-12. While the judge vacated the AROD, the 2016 Supplement 
Analysis, and the 2018 Supplement Analysis based on its determination 
that additional NEPA analysis of new information pertaining to seismic 
risks at Y-12 was needed, the court held that the NNSA's new strategy 
of upgrading existing enriched uranium buildings pursuant to the 
Extended Life Program and constructing UPF with multiple buildings was 
adequately considered as part of the 2011 SWEIS. The court further held 
that NNSA is not required to prepare a Supplemental EIS for the UPF 
Project or the Extended Life Program. See Memorandum Opinion and Order 
in Case 3:18-cv-00150-PLR-DCP.

Summary of Impacts Associated With Continued Interim Operation of the 
Y-12 National Security Complex

    With respect to the environmental impacts associated with the 
revised UPF strategy and the Extended Life Program, the court 
determined that ``[b]ecause the environmental effects in the 2011 SWEIS 
were evaluated along a spectrum--from `no action' at one end, to a 
brand-new UPF at the other, and with an `Upgrade-in-Place' program 
occupying the middle,'' NNSA's new strategy is adequately supported by 
theY-12 SWEIS, and the court did not vacate the 2011 ROD or Y-12 SWEIS 
or enjoin any activities at Y-12. The court also found the NEPA 
analysis in the 2016 Supplement Analysis and the 2018 Supplement 
Analysis deficient only as to their analysis of new information 
pertaining to seismic risks. Thus, consistent with 10 CFR 1021.315(e), 
the existing 2011 ROD for the Y-12 SWEIS can be amended. However, in 
accordance with the court's determination that additional NEPA analysis 
of new information pertaining to seismic risks at Y-12 is needed, 
further NEPA documentation will be developed on an expedited basis that 
includes an unbounded accident analysis of earthquake consequences at 
Y-12, using updated seismic hazard analyses that incorporate the 2014 
United States Geological Survey maps.

Amended Decision

    NNSA has decided to continue to operate Y-12 to meet the stockpile 
stewardship mission critical activities assigned to the site on an 
interim basis, pending further review of seismic risks at Y-12. NNSA 
will also meet EU requirements using a hybrid approach of upgrading 
existing EU buildings under its Extended Life Program and separating 
the single-structure UPF into multiple buildings, with each constructed 
to safety and security requirements appropriate to the building's 
function;
    This amended decision will enable NNSA to maintain the required 
expertise and capabilities to deliver uranium products while 
modernizing production facilities. This amended decision to continue 
operations on an interim basis will avoid many of the safety risks of 
operating aged buildings and equipment by relocating processes that 
cannot be sustained in existing, enduring buildings or through process 
improvements. Through an Extended Life Program, mission-critical 
existing and enduring buildings and infrastructure will be maintained 
and/or upgraded, which will enhance safety and security at the Y-12 
site, pending further review of seismic risks at Y-12. Such continued 
operations are consistent with the court's ruling and will continue to 
implement safety improvements under previously approved contracts, 
pending the completion of additional NEPA documentation on an expedited 
basis. Once further seismic analysis has been performed, NNSA will 
issue a new ROD describing, what, if any, changes it has decided to 
make in light of that analysis.

    Signed in Washington, DC, this 27th day of September 2019, for 
the United States Department of Energy.
Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty,
Under Secretary for Nuclear Security, National Nuclear Security 
Administration.
[FR Doc. 2019-21660 Filed 10-3-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P