Amended Record of Decision for the Installation and Operation of a Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride Conversion Facility at the Portsmouth, Ohio Site, 3903-3905 [2020-01074]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 15 / Thursday, January 23, 2020 / Notices Number(s) in the title line, or Venture Global Calcasieu Pass Change in Control in the title line to include all applicable dockets in this notice. Please Note: If submitting a filing via email, please include all related documents and attachments (e.g., exhibits) in the original email correspondence. Please do not include any active hyperlinks or password protection in any of the documents or attachments related to the filing. All electronic filings submitted to DOE must follow these guidelines to ensure that all documents are filed in a timely manner. Any hardcopy filing submitted greater in length than 50 pages must also include, at the time of the filing, a digital copy on disk of the entire submission. Calcasieu Pass’ Notice and any filed protests, motions to intervene, notices of intervention, and comments are available for inspection and copying in the Office of Regulation, Analysis, and Engagement docket room, Room 3E– 042, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585. The docket room is open between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Notice and any filed protests, motions to intervene, notices of intervention, and comments will also be available electronically by going to the following DOE/FE Web address: http:// www.fe.doe.gov/programs/ gasregulation/index.html. Signed in Washington, DC, on January 16, 2020. Amy Sweeney, Director, Office of Regulation, Analysis, and Engagement, Office of Oil and Natural Gas. [FR Doc. 2020–01069 Filed 1–22–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY [OE Docket No. EA–275–C] Application To Export Electric Energy; NorthPoint Energy Solutions Inc. Office of Electricity, Department of Energy. ACTION: Notice of application. AGENCY: NorthPoint Energy Solutions Inc. (Applicant or NorthPoint) has applied to renew its authorization to transmit electric energy from the United States to Canada pursuant to the Federal Power Act. DATES: Comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be submitted on or before February 24, 2020. ADDRESSES: Comments, protests, motions to intervene, or requests for more information should be addressed jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:13 Jan 22, 2020 Jkt 250001 to: Office of Electricity, Mail Code: OE– 20, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20585–0350. Because of delays in handling conventional mail, it is recommended that documents be transmitted by overnight mail, by electronic mail to Electricity.Exports@ hq.doe.gov, or by facsimile to (202) 586– 8008. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Department of Energy (DOE) regulates exports of electricity from the United States to a foreign country, pursuant to sections 301(b) and 402(f) of the Department of Energy Organization Act (42 U.S.C. 7151(b) and 7172(f)). Such exports require authorization under section 202(e) of the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 824a(e)). On December 21, 2009, DOE issued Order EA–275–B, which authorized NorthPoint to transmit electric energy from the United States to Canada as a power marketer for a ten-year term using existing international transmission facilities appropriate for open access. The authorization expires on April 7, 2020. On December 20, 2019, NorthPoint filed an application (Application or App.) with DOE for renewal of the export authorization contained in Order No. EA–275–B for an additional ten-year term. NorthPoint states in its Application that it ‘‘does not own, operate, or control any electric generation, transmission, or distribution facilities in the United States, nor is it affiliated with any owner of electric generation, transmission, or distribution facilities in the United States.’’ App. at 4. NorthPoint states that it ‘‘is a wholly owned subsidiary of SaskPower, a Provincial Crown corporation of the Government of Saskatchewan, Canada’’ and that ‘‘SaskPower is engaged in the generation of power from predominantly thermal sources and the transmission, distribution, and sale of such power to wholesale and retail customers within Saskatchewan.’’ Id. At 2. NorthPoint further states that ‘‘[a]ny power purchased by NorthPoint for export to Canada will be surplus to the needs of the entities selling power to NorthPoint.’’ Id. at 4. The existing international transmission facilities to be utilized by the Applicant have previously been authorized by Presidential permits issued pursuant to Executive Order 10485, as amended, and are appropriate for open access transmission by third parties. Procedural Matters: Any person desiring to be heard in this proceeding should file a comment or protest to the application at the address provided PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 3903 above. Protests should be filed in accordance with Rule 211 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211). Any person desiring to become a party to this proceeding should file a motion to intervene at the above address in accordance with FERC Rule 214 (18 CFR 385.214). Two (2) copies of such comments, protests, or motions to intervene should be sent to the address provided above on or before the date listed above. Comments and other filings concerning NorthPoint’s application to export electric energy to Canada should be clearly marked with OE Docket No. EA–275–C. Additional copies are to be provided directly to Matthew T. Rick, John & Hengerer LLP, 1629 K Street NW, Suite 402, Washington, DC 20006, and to General Council, SaskPower— Corporate & Regulatory Affairs, 2025 Victoria Avenue, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada S4P 0S1. A final decision will be made on this application after the environmental impacts have been evaluated pursuant to DOE’s National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Procedures (10 CFR part 1021) and after DOE determines that the proposed action will not have an adverse impact on the sufficiency of supply or reliability of the U.S. electric power supply system. Copies of this application will be made available, upon request, for public inspection and copying at the address provided above, by accessing the program website at http://energy.gov/ node/11845, or by emailing Matthew Aronoff at matthew.aronoff@hq.doe.gov. Signed in Washington, DC, on January 15, 2020. Christopher Lawrence, Management and Program Analyst, Transmission Permitting and Technical Assistance, Office of Electricity. [FR Doc. 2020–01076 Filed 1–22–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY National Nuclear Security Administration Amended Record of Decision for the Installation and Operation of a Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride Conversion Facility at the Portsmouth, Ohio Site National Nuclear Security Administration, Department of Energy. ACTION: Amended record of decision. AGENCY: The Department of Energy (DOE)/National Nuclear Security SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\23JAN1.SGM 23JAN1 3904 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 15 / Thursday, January 23, 2020 / Notices Administration (NNSA) is announcing this amendment to the July 2004 Record of Decision (ROD) for the Final Environmental Impact Statement for Construction and Operation of a Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride Conversion Facility at the Portsmouth, Ohio, Site (FEIS) (DOE/EIS–0360). In this amended ROD, DOE/NNSA is announcing its decision to implement its preferred alternative for the construction and operation of a depleted uranium hexafluoride (DUF6) conversion facility at the Portsmouth, Ohio, a DOE Office of Environmental Management (EM) site. This amended ROD addresses DOE/NNSA’s intent to construct and operate a fourth process line within the conversion facility, as previously analyzed in the aforementioned FEIS. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information on the addition of the fourth processing line, please contact Ms. Casey Deering, Director, Office of Secondary Stage Production Modernization, Office of Defense Programs, National Nuclear Security Administration, telephone (202) 586– 6075; or by email to casey.deering@ nnsa.doe.gov. For information on NNSA’s NEPA process, please contact Mr. John Weckerle, NEPA Compliance Officer, National Nuclear Security Administration, Office of General Counsel, Telephone (505) 845–6026; or by email to john.weckerle@ nnsa.doe.gov. This Amended Record of Decision is available on the internet at http://energy.gov/nepa. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Background In June 2004, DOE issued the Final Environmental Impact Statement for Construction and Operation of a Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride Conversion Facility at the Portsmouth, Ohio, Site (FEIS) (DOE/EIS–0360). In the 2004 FEIS, DOE analyzed the potential environmental impacts from the construction, operation, maintenance, and decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) of the proposed depleted uranium hexafluoride (DUF6) conversion facility at three alternative locations within the Portsmouth site. DOE reviewed transportation of cylinders (DUF6, normal and enriched UF6, and empty) stored at the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) near Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to Portsmouth; construction of a new cylinder storage yard at Portsmouth (if required) for the ETTP cylinders; transportation of depleted uranium conversion products and waste materials to a disposal VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:13 Jan 22, 2020 Jkt 250001 facility; transportation and sale of the aqueous hydrogen fluoride (HF) produced as a conversion co-product; and neutralization of aqueous HF to calcium fluoride (CaF2) and its sale or disposal in the event that the aqueous HF product is not sold. An option of shipping the ETTP cylinders to the Paducah, Kentucky, site was also considered, as was an option of expanding operations by increasing throughput (through efficiency improvements or by adding a fourth conversion line) or by extending the period of operation. The EIS analyzed the No Action Alternative and three alternative locations within the plant, all of which utilized the same proposed equipment and processes. Location A, the preferred Alternative, was located in the west-central portion of the site; Location B was located in the southwestern portion of the site, and Location C was located in the southeastern portion of the site. A similar EIS was issued concurrently for construction and operation of a DUF6 conversion facility at DOE EM’s Paducah site (DOE/EIS–0359). In the July 27, 2004, ROD (69 FR 44649), DOE chose Alternative Location A and announced its decision to install three of the four processing lines analyzed in the EIS at Portsmouth. DOE/NNSA now announces its decision to add the fourth processing line analyzed in the 2004 EIS. The process alteration to add the fourth process line is in response to the government’s need to meet high purity depleted uranium (HPDU) demand to execute DOE/NNSA mission requirements. Neither commercial nor Y–12 capabilities exist to convert DUF6 to DUF4 to support depleted uranium metal production. This line will use utility equipment and materials identical to those currently in operation. The process will be altered slightly to produce DUF4 that will be provided to a commercial vendor for additional processing. The United States has produced DUF6 since the early 1950s as part of the process of enriching natural uranium for both civilian and military applications. The EM sites at Portsmouth and Paducah are currently charged with converting approximately 70,000 DUF6 cylinders into an impure oxide (UOx) for disposition as waste or for reuse. The Portsmouth site currently has three process lines in place for this conversion with space designed into the process building to accept a fourth line. This space is the proposed location to accept the additional equipment items and provide the DUF6 conversion to DUF4. PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 The Portsmouth DUF6 Conversion Facility was commissioned to process the DUF6 stored in cylinders into a more stable chemical form (UOx). Current DUF6 cylinder inventory at Portsmouth is ∼19,000 cylinders with ∼18 years of processing needed to complete DUF6 to UOx conversion. Portsmouth has three operable process lines to accomplish this mission; each line is capable of processing approximately one standard 48″ cylinder per 24-hour workday. The Portsmouth DUF6 Conversion Facility and its infrastructure were designed and constructed to support four process lines, however only three lines were installed. The physical configuration of the building has already been satisfactorily evaluated in the FEIS to support a fourth process line with respect to seismic design criteria and natural phenomenon hazards. There is adequate space to support an additional process line with respect to the following equipment, utilities and support systems: Electrical power, sanitary water, process water, cooling water, hydrogen, nitrogen, potassium hydroxide, hydrofluoric acid handling, cylinder movement, material handling, instrument air, fire suppression, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), decontamination, emission controls, waste handling, and environmental monitoring. This utility equipment is identical to equipment currently in operation at the facility. The Portsmouth DUF6 Conversion Facility meets the DOE criteria for a Hazard Category 3 Nuclear Facility. Currently the facility reacts the DUF6 with H2 (hydrogen) and H2O (steam) to produce the UOx. This reaction generates hydrogen fluoride (HF) as a production/conversion co-product in molar proportion to the reaction. Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) is used in an off gas scrubber to neutralize the HF vapor which is not collected for resale. As decided in the ROD, the aqueous HF produced during conversion will be sold for use, as appropriate. If necessary, CaF2 (Calcium Fluoride) will be produced and dispositioned. Amended Decision DOE/NNSA is amending DOE’s previous decision (69 FR 44649). DOE/ NNSA will install the fourth conversion line and will slightly alter the process when reacting the DUF6. Typically, as stated above, the DUF6 is reacted with H2 and H2O (steam) to produce the UOx. The altered process will still react DUF6 with H2 but will omit the H2O (steam) from the initial part of the conversion process. The N2 will still be used as an inert motive force gas and the off gas will still be scrubbed with KOH. At the E:\FR\FM\23JAN1.SGM 23JAN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 15 / Thursday, January 23, 2020 / Notices end of the process, H2O (steam) will then be used, but only to dilute the generated HF to the desired concentration (molarity). The HF will still be stored in tanks to be sold for use, or converted to CaF2, as described above. The resulting product, DUF4, will be provided to a commercial vendor for additional processing. This operation avoids having to provide for subsequent disposition of the UOx and provides a strategic commodity that can be used in NNSA programs. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Basis for Decision Implementing this decision supports DOE’s continuing need to convert its inventory of DUF6 to a more stable chemical form for use or disposal, as defined in the Final Environmental Impact Statement for Construction and Operation of a Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride Conversion Facility at the Portsmouth, Ohio, Site (FEIS) (DOE/ EIS–0360). In this instance, the use will be the production of DUF4 that can be provided to a commercial vendor for later conversion into metallic depleted uranium for government use. The current proposal does not represent a substantive change to operations, activities, and associated impacts assessed in DOE/EIS–0360. Any applicable updates related to the International Building Code and life safety codes will be incorporated into the NNSA Conversion Project new equipment design. The proposed conversion to DUF4 would reduce the UOx quantity that would need to be dispositioned at a commercial facility (sold, re-used, or disposed of as waste), as a quantity of DUF6 would be converted to DUF4 and HF instead of oxide. Processes and equipment used for this purpose would be similar or identical to those associated with current conversion activities. The total amount of DU planned for transport would remain unchanged from quantities evaluated in the 2004 EIS; however, the form of a small percentage of the transported material would change. Radiological impacts from handling/transportation between the two material forms are comparable. In the event of a container or equipment breach, a release of DUF4 would result in reduced hazards in comparison to that of depleted uranium oxide because DUF4 would be slightly less prone to becoming airborne. In addition, the planned transportation destinations for oxide involve greater distances than the proposed destination options for DUF4. Finally, less HF will be generated during the conversion to DUF4 as VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:13 Jan 22, 2020 Jkt 250001 compared to the conversion to oxide material. Signed in Washington, DC, this 23rd day of December 2019, for the United States Department of Energy. Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty, Under Secretary for Nuclear Security, National Nuclear Security Administration. [FR Doc. 2020–01074 Filed 1–22–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1 Take notice that the Commission received the following electric corporate filings: Docket Numbers: EC20–32–000. Applicants: Commonwealth Edison Company. Description: Application for Authorization Under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act, et al. of Commonwealth Edison Company. Filed Date: 1/14/20. Accession Number: 20200114–5227. Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/4/20. Take notice that the Commission received the following exempt wholesale generator filings: Docket Numbers: EG20–65–000. Applicants: La Chalupa, LLC. Description: Notice of SelfCertification of Exempt Wholesale Generator Status of La Chalupa, LLC. Filed Date: 1/16/20. Accession Number: 20200116–5048. Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/6/20. Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings: Docket Numbers: ER10–1801–004; ER10–1805–005; ER10–2370–003. Applicants: The Connecticut Light and Power Company, NSTAR Electric Company, Public Service Company of New Hampshire. Description: Updated Market Power Analysis for Northeast Region of the Eversource Companies. Filed Date: 12/23/19. Accession Number: 20191223–5280. Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/21/20. Docket Numbers: ER10–2502–007; ER10–2472–006; ER10–2473–006; ER11–2724–007; ER11–4436–005; ER18–2518–002; ER19–645–001. Applicants: Black Hills Colorado Electric, LLC, Black Hills Colorado IPP, LLC, Black Hills Colorado Wind, LLC, Black Hills Electric Generation, LLC, Black Hills Power, Inc., Black Hills Wyoming, LLC, Cheyenne Light Fuel & Power Company. PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 3905 Description: Amendment to June 27, 2019 Updated Market Power Analysis of the Black Hills MBR Sellers for the Northwest Region. Filed Date: 1/14/20. Accession Number: 20200114–5224. Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/4/20. Docket Numbers: ER20–419–002. Applicants: ITC Midwest LLC. Description: Tariff Amendment: Amendment to CIAC Agreement Filing to be effective 1/19/2020. Filed Date: 1/15/20. Accession Number: 20200115–5117. Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/5/20. Docket Numbers: ER20–553–001. Applicants: Sierra Pacific Power Company. Description: Tariff Amendment: Service Agreement No. 16–00054; Battle Mountain LGIA Amendment to be effective 12/11/2019. Filed Date: 1/16/20. Accession Number: 20200116–5057. Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/6/20. Docket Numbers: ER20–806–000. Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc., Otter Tail Power Company. Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2020–01–15_SA 3404 OTP–NSP FSA (J436 J437) Hankinson-Ellendale to be effective 3/16/2020. Filed Date: 1/15/20. Accession Number: 20200115–5111. Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/5/20. Docket Numbers: ER20–807–000. Applicants: Ruff Solar LLC. Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Ruff Solar, LLC MBR Application to be effective 4/1/2020. Filed Date: 1/15/20. Accession Number: 20200115–5122. Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/5/20. Docket Numbers: ER20–808–000. Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Original ISA, SA No. 5548; Queue No. AC1–076 AE2–134 to be effective 12/16/2019. Filed Date: 1/15/20. Accession Number: 20200115–5124. Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/5/20. Docket Numbers: ER20–809–000. Applicants: Nevada Gold Energy LLC. Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Notice of Succession to be effective 1/1/2020. Filed Date: 1/16/20. Accession Number: 20200116–5000. Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 2/6/20. Docket Numbers: ER20–810–000. Applicants: Southwestern Public Service Company. Description: Tariff Cancellation: Golden Spread Electric Cooperative, E:\FR\FM\23JAN1.SGM 23JAN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 15 (Thursday, January 23, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 3903-3905]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-01074]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

National Nuclear Security Administration


Amended Record of Decision for the Installation and Operation of 
a Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride Conversion Facility at the Portsmouth, 
Ohio Site

AGENCY: National Nuclear Security Administration, Department of Energy.

ACTION: Amended record of decision.

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

SUMMARY: The Department of Energy (DOE)/National Nuclear Security

[[Page 3904]]

Administration (NNSA) is announcing this amendment to the July 2004 
Record of Decision (ROD) for the Final Environmental Impact Statement 
for Construction and Operation of a Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride 
Conversion Facility at the Portsmouth, Ohio, Site (FEIS) (DOE/EIS-
0360). In this amended ROD, DOE/NNSA is announcing its decision to 
implement its preferred alternative for the construction and operation 
of a depleted uranium hexafluoride (DUF6) conversion 
facility at the Portsmouth, Ohio, a DOE Office of Environmental 
Management (EM) site. This amended ROD addresses DOE/NNSA's intent to 
construct and operate a fourth process line within the conversion 
facility, as previously analyzed in the aforementioned FEIS.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information on the 
addition of the fourth processing line, please contact Ms. Casey 
Deering, Director, Office of Secondary Stage Production Modernization, 
Office of Defense Programs, National Nuclear Security Administration, 
telephone (202) 586-6075; or by email to [email protected].
    For information on NNSA's NEPA process, please contact Mr. John 
Weckerle, NEPA Compliance Officer, National Nuclear Security 
Administration, Office of General Counsel, Telephone (505) 845-6026; or 
by email to [email protected]. This Amended Record of Decision 
is available on the internet at http://energy.gov/nepa.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    In June 2004, DOE issued the Final Environmental Impact Statement 
for Construction and Operation of a Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride 
Conversion Facility at the Portsmouth, Ohio, Site (FEIS) (DOE/EIS-
0360). In the 2004 FEIS, DOE analyzed the potential environmental 
impacts from the construction, operation, maintenance, and 
decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) of the proposed depleted 
uranium hexafluoride (DUF6) conversion facility at three 
alternative locations within the Portsmouth site. DOE reviewed 
transportation of cylinders (DUF6, normal and enriched 
UF6, and empty) stored at the East Tennessee Technology Park 
(ETTP) near Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to Portsmouth; construction of a new 
cylinder storage yard at Portsmouth (if required) for the ETTP 
cylinders; transportation of depleted uranium conversion products and 
waste materials to a disposal facility; transportation and sale of the 
aqueous hydrogen fluoride (HF) produced as a conversion co-product; and 
neutralization of aqueous HF to calcium fluoride (CaF2) and 
its sale or disposal in the event that the aqueous HF product is not 
sold. An option of shipping the ETTP cylinders to the Paducah, 
Kentucky, site was also considered, as was an option of expanding 
operations by increasing throughput (through efficiency improvements or 
by adding a fourth conversion line) or by extending the period of 
operation. The EIS analyzed the No Action Alternative and three 
alternative locations within the plant, all of which utilized the same 
proposed equipment and processes. Location A, the preferred 
Alternative, was located in the west-central portion of the site; 
Location B was located in the southwestern portion of the site, and 
Location C was located in the southeastern portion of the site. A 
similar EIS was issued concurrently for construction and operation of a 
DUF6 conversion facility at DOE EM's Paducah site (DOE/EIS-
0359). In the July 27, 2004, ROD (69 FR 44649), DOE chose Alternative 
Location A and announced its decision to install three of the four 
processing lines analyzed in the EIS at Portsmouth.
    DOE/NNSA now announces its decision to add the fourth processing 
line analyzed in the 2004 EIS. The process alteration to add the fourth 
process line is in response to the government's need to meet high 
purity depleted uranium (HPDU) demand to execute DOE/NNSA mission 
requirements. Neither commercial nor Y-12 capabilities exist to convert 
DUF6 to DUF4 to support depleted uranium metal 
production. This line will use utility equipment and materials 
identical to those currently in operation. The process will be altered 
slightly to produce DUF4 that will be provided to a 
commercial vendor for additional processing.
    The United States has produced DUF6 since the early 
1950s as part of the process of enriching natural uranium for both 
civilian and military applications. The EM sites at Portsmouth and 
Paducah are currently charged with converting approximately 70,000 
DUF6 cylinders into an impure oxide (UOx) for 
disposition as waste or for reuse. The Portsmouth site currently has 
three process lines in place for this conversion with space designed 
into the process building to accept a fourth line. This space is the 
proposed location to accept the additional equipment items and provide 
the DUF6 conversion to DUF4.
    The Portsmouth DUF6 Conversion Facility was commissioned 
to process the DUF6 stored in cylinders into a more stable 
chemical form (UOx). Current DUF6 cylinder 
inventory at Portsmouth is ~19,000 cylinders with ~18 years of 
processing needed to complete DUF6 to UOx 
conversion. Portsmouth has three operable process lines to accomplish 
this mission; each line is capable of processing approximately one 
standard 48'' cylinder per 24-hour workday. The Portsmouth 
DUF6 Conversion Facility and its infrastructure were 
designed and constructed to support four process lines, however only 
three lines were installed. The physical configuration of the building 
has already been satisfactorily evaluated in the FEIS to support a 
fourth process line with respect to seismic design criteria and natural 
phenomenon hazards. There is adequate space to support an additional 
process line with respect to the following equipment, utilities and 
support systems: Electrical power, sanitary water, process water, 
cooling water, hydrogen, nitrogen, potassium hydroxide, hydrofluoric 
acid handling, cylinder movement, material handling, instrument air, 
fire suppression, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), 
decontamination, emission controls, waste handling, and environmental 
monitoring. This utility equipment is identical to equipment currently 
in operation at the facility. The Portsmouth DUF6 Conversion 
Facility meets the DOE criteria for a Hazard Category 3 Nuclear 
Facility.
    Currently the facility reacts the DUF6 with 
H2 (hydrogen) and H2O (steam) to produce the 
UOx. This reaction generates hydrogen fluoride (HF) as a 
production/conversion co-product in molar proportion to the reaction. 
Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) is used in an off gas scrubber to neutralize 
the HF vapor which is not collected for resale. As decided in the ROD, 
the aqueous HF produced during conversion will be sold for use, as 
appropriate. If necessary, CaF2 (Calcium Fluoride) will be 
produced and dispositioned.

Amended Decision

    DOE/NNSA is amending DOE's previous decision (69 FR 44649). DOE/
NNSA will install the fourth conversion line and will slightly alter 
the process when reacting the DUF6. Typically, as stated 
above, the DUF6 is reacted with H2 and 
H2O (steam) to produce the UOx. The altered 
process will still react DUF6 with H2 but will 
omit the H2O (steam) from the initial part of the conversion 
process. The N2 will still be used as an inert motive force 
gas and the off gas will still be scrubbed with KOH. At the

[[Page 3905]]

end of the process, H2O (steam) will then be used, but only 
to dilute the generated HF to the desired concentration (molarity). The 
HF will still be stored in tanks to be sold for use, or converted to 
CaF2, as described above. The resulting product, 
DUF4, will be provided to a commercial vendor for additional 
processing. This operation avoids having to provide for subsequent 
disposition of the UOx and provides a strategic commodity 
that can be used in NNSA programs.

Basis for Decision

    Implementing this decision supports DOE's continuing need to 
convert its inventory of DUF6 to a more stable chemical form 
for use or disposal, as defined in the Final Environmental Impact 
Statement for Construction and Operation of a Depleted Uranium 
Hexafluoride Conversion Facility at the Portsmouth, Ohio, Site (FEIS) 
(DOE/EIS-0360). In this instance, the use will be the production of 
DUF4 that can be provided to a commercial vendor for later 
conversion into metallic depleted uranium for government use. The 
current proposal does not represent a substantive change to operations, 
activities, and associated impacts assessed in DOE/EIS-0360. Any 
applicable updates related to the International Building Code and life 
safety codes will be incorporated into the NNSA Conversion Project new 
equipment design. The proposed conversion to DUF4 would 
reduce the UOx quantity that would need to be dispositioned 
at a commercial facility (sold, re-used, or disposed of as waste), as a 
quantity of DUF6 would be converted to DUF4 and 
HF instead of oxide. Processes and equipment used for this purpose 
would be similar or identical to those associated with current 
conversion activities. The total amount of DU planned for transport 
would remain unchanged from quantities evaluated in the 2004 EIS; 
however, the form of a small percentage of the transported material 
would change. Radiological impacts from handling/transportation between 
the two material forms are comparable. In the event of a container or 
equipment breach, a release of DUF4 would result in reduced 
hazards in comparison to that of depleted uranium oxide because 
DUF4 would be slightly less prone to becoming airborne.
    In addition, the planned transportation destinations for oxide 
involve greater distances than the proposed destination options for 
DUF4. Finally, less HF will be generated during the 
conversion to DUF4 as compared to the conversion to oxide 
material.

    Signed in Washington, DC, this 23rd day of December 2019, for 
the United States Department of Energy.
Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty,
Under Secretary for Nuclear Security, National Nuclear Security 
Administration.
[FR Doc. 2020-01074 Filed 1-22-20; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6450-01-P