Notice of Availability of Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Plutonium Pit Production at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina and Announcement of Public Hearing, 18947-18948 [2020-06557]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 65 / Friday, April 3, 2020 / Notices negotiate their own trade arrangements. As part of this analysis, DOE will consider the study entitled, Macroeconomic Outcomes of Market Determined Levels of U.S. LNG Exports (2018 LNG Export Study),4 and DOE/ FE’s response to public comments received on that Study.5 Additionally, DOE will consider the following environmental documents: • Addendum to Environmental Review Documents Concerning Exports of Natural Gas From the United States, 79 FR 48132 (Aug. 15, 2014); 6 • Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Perspective on Exporting Liquefied Natural Gas From the United States, 79 FR 32260 (June 4, 2014); 7 and • Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Perspective on Exporting Liquefied Natural Gas From the United States: 2019 Update, 84 FR 49278 (Sept. 19, 2019), and DOE/FE’s response to public comments received on that study.8 Parties that may oppose this Application should address these issues and documents in their comments and protests, as well as other issues deemed relevant to the Application. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq., requires DOE to give appropriate consideration to the environmental effects of its proposed decisions. No final decision will be issued in this proceeding until DOE has met its environmental responsibilities. Public Comment Procedures jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES In response to this Notice, any person may file a protest, comments, or a motion to intervene or notice of intervention, as applicable. Interested parties will be provided 15 days from the date of publication of this Notice in which to submit comments, protests, motions to intervene, or notices of 4 See NERA Economic Consulting, Macroeconomic Outcomes of Market Determined Levels of U.S. LNG Exports (June 7, 2018), available at: https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2018/ 06/f52/Macroeconomic%20LNG%20Export %20Study%202018.pdf. 5 U.S. Dep’t of Energy, Study on Macroeconomic Outcomes of LNG Exports: Response to Comments Received on Study; Notice of Response to Comments, 83 FR 67251 (Dec. 28, 2018). 6 The Addendum and related documents are available at: http://energy.gov/fe/draft-addendumenvironmental-review-documents-concerningexports-natural-gas-united-states. 7 The 2014 Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Report is available at: http://energy.gov/fe/life-cyclegreenhouse-gas-perspective-exporting-liquefiednatural-gas-united-states. 8 U.S. Dep’t of Energy, Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Perspective on Exporting Liquefied Natural Gas From the United States: 2019 Update—Response to Comments, 85 FR 72 (Jan. 2, 2020). The 2019 Update and related documents are available at: https://fossil.energy.gov/app/docketindex/docket/ index/21. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:45 Apr 02, 2020 Jkt 250001 intervention. DOE/FE will disregard comments or protests that do not bear directly on the Application. Any person wishing to become a party to the proceeding must file a motion to intervene or notice of intervention. The filing of comments or a protest with respect to the Application will not serve to make the commenter or protestant a party to the proceeding, although protests and comments received from persons who are not parties will be considered in determining the appropriate action to be taken on the Application. All protests, comments, motions to intervene, or notices of intervention must meet the requirements specified by the regulations in 10 CFR part 590. Filings may be submitted using one of the following methods: (1) Emailing the filing to fergas@hq.doe.gov, with FE Docket Nos. 13–04–LNG and 16–109– LNG in the title line; (2) mailing an original and three paper copies of the filing to the Office of Regulation, Analysis, and Engagement at the address listed in ADDRESSES; or (3) hand delivering an original and three paper copies of the filing to the Office of Regulation, Analysis, and Engagement at the address listed in ADDRESSES. All filings must include a reference to FE Docket Nos. 13–04–LNG and 16–109– LNG. 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. A decisional record on the Application will be developed through responses to this notice by parties, including the parties’ written comments and replies thereto. Additional procedures will be used as necessary to achieve a complete understanding of the facts and issues. If an additional procedure is scheduled, notice will be provided to all parties. If no party requests additional procedures, a final Opinion and Order may be issued based on the official record, including the Application and responses filed by parties pursuant to this notice, in accordance with 10 CFR 590.316. The Application is available for inspection and copying in the Office of Regulation, Analysis, and Engagement PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 18947 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 Application and any filed protests, motions to intervene or notice of interventions, 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 March 30, 2020. Amy Sweeney, Director, Office of Regulation, Analysis, and Engagement, Office of Fossil Energy. [FR Doc. 2020–06937 Filed 4–2–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY National Nuclear Security Administration Notice of Availability of Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Plutonium Pit Production at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina and Announcement of Public Hearing National Nuclear Security Administration, Department of Energy. ACTION: Notice of availability and public hearing. AGENCY: The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), a semi-autonomous agency within the United States (U.S.) Department of Energy (DOE), announces the availability of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Plutonium Pit Production at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina (SRS Pit Production EIS) (DOE/EIS–0541). NNSA is also announcing a 45-day public comment period and one public hearing to receive comments on the Draft EIS. NNSA prepared the Draft EIS to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of producing a minimum of 50 war reserve pits per year at SRS and developing the ability to implement a short-term surge capacity to enable NNSA to meet the requirements of producing pits at a rate of not less than 80 war reserve pits per year beginning during 2030 for the nuclear weapons stockpile. DATES: NNSA invites Federal and state agencies, state and local governments, Native American tribes, industry, other organizations, and members of the public to review and submit comments on the Draft SRS Pit Production EIS through May 18, 2020. NNSA is SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\03APN1.SGM 03APN1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES 18948 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 65 / Friday, April 3, 2020 / Notices planning to hold one public hearing on the Draft EIS as follows: In light of recent public health concerns, NNSA will be hosting an internet-based, virtual public hearing in place of an in-person meeting. The date of the hearing will be provided in a future notice posted on the following website: https://www.energy.gov/nnsa/ nnsa-nepa-reading-room. NNSA will hold the hearing no earlier than 15 days from the posting of the notice. ADDRESSES: Written and oral comments will be given equal weight and NNSA will consider all comments received or postmarked by the end of the comment period in preparing the Final EIS. Comments received or postmarked after the comment period will be considered to the extent practicable. Written comments on the Draft EIS or requests for information related to the Draft EIS should be sent to Ms. Jennifer Nelson, NEPA Compliance Officer, National Nuclear Security Administration, Savannah River Field Office, P.O. Box A, Aiken, SC 29802; or sent by email to NEPA–SRS@srs.gov. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personally identifiable information in your comment, please be advised that your entire comment— including your personally identifiable information—may be made publicly available. If you wish for NNSA to withhold your name and/or other personally identifiable information, please state this prominently at the beginning of your comment. You may also submit comments anonymously. The Draft SRS Pit Production EIS is available on the internet at: https:// www.energy.gov/nnsa/nnsa-nepareading-room and https:// www.energy.gov/nepa/listings/latestdocuments-and-notices. Information related to the online public hearing, including internet and telephone access details, and instructions on how to participate will be available at the following website: https://www.energy.gov/nnsa/nnsanepa-reading-room and announced in local media outlets. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information about this Notice, please contact Ms. Jennifer Nelson, NEPA Compliance Officer, National Nuclear Security Administration Savannah River Field Office, P.O. Box A, Aiken, SC 29802; email: NEPA–SRS@ srs.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: National security policies require DOE, through NNSA, to maintain the United States’ nuclear weapons stockpile, as well as the nation’s core competencies in nuclear weapons. NNSA has the VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:45 Apr 02, 2020 Jkt 250001 mission to maintain and enhance the safety, security, and effectiveness of the nuclear weapons stockpile. Plutonium pits are critical components of every nuclear weapon, with nearly all current stockpile pits having been produced from 1978–1989. Today, the United States’ capability to produce plutonium pits is limited. NNSA’s pit production mission was emphasized as a national security imperative by the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review, issued in February 2018 by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and subsequent congressional statements of the policy of the United States. The 2018 Nuclear Posture Review announced that the United States will pursue initiatives to ensure the necessary capability, capacity, and responsiveness of the nuclear weapons infrastructure and the needed skill of the workforce, including providing the enduring capability and capacity to produce no fewer than 80 pits per year by 2030. The 2018 Nuclear Posture Review concludes that the United States must have sufficient research, design, development, and production capacity to support the sustainment of its nuclear forces. Additionally, in Section 3116 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, Congress required NNSA to produce 80 plutonium pits per year beginning during 2030. To that end, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment and Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and Administrator of the NNSA issued a Joint Statement on May 10, 2018, identifying their recommended alternative to meet the pit production requirement based on the completion of an Analysis of Alternatives, an Engineering Assessment, and a Workforce Analysis. To achieve the nation’s requirement of producing no fewer than 80 pits per year beginning during 2030, NNSA has proposed to repurpose the Mixed-Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility (MFFF) at SRS to produce plutonium pits while also relying upon pit production activities at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). This two-pronged approach— with a minimum of 50 pits per year produced at SRS and a minimum of 30 pits per year at LANL—is considered the best way to manage the cost, schedule, and risk of such a vital undertaking. This approach improves the resiliency, flexibility, and redundancy of our Nuclear Security Enterprise by reducing reliance on a single production site. The SRS Pit Production EIS is an important element of the overall NEPA strategy related to fulfilling national PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 requirements for pit production, which NNSA announced on June 10, 2019 (84 FR 26849). In the Draft EIS, NNSA evaluates the potential impacts to the environment and human health from the following alternatives: (1) Proposed Action to repurpose MFFF into the Savannah River Plutonium Processing Facility (SRPPF) to produce a minimum of 50 pits per year; and (2) No Action Alternative. The Proposed Action to construct and operate the SRPPF to produce a minimum of 50 pits per year includes, but is not limited to: Reconfiguration (including disassembly and removal of equipment and utility commodities) of the MFFF; installation of equipment necessary for activities associated with pit production before disassembly/metal preparation, pit assembly, machining, aqueous processing, foundry operations, material characterization, and analytical chemistry operations for certification); constructing and repurposing other facilities surrounding the SRPPF for support activities (e.g., waste handling, training, office space, roads, storage, and parking); security and nuclear safety upgrades to support pit production; providing reliable utilities and infrastructure required for pit production; and hiring and training necessary workforce to ensure the safe, secure, reliable, and responsive capability for pit production at SRS. Under the No-Action Alternative, the existing MFFF would remain unused and NNSA would utilize the capabilities at LANL to meet the Nation’s long-term needs for pit manufacturing. Following this public comment period, and after consideration of comments received, NNSA will prepare a Final SRS Pit Production EIS. NNSA will announce the availability of the Final EIS in the Federal Register and local media outlets. If warranted, NNSA will issue a record of decision (ROD) no sooner than 30 days after publication by the Environmental Protection Agency of a Notice of Availability of the Final EIS. Signed in Washington, DC, this 16th day of March 2020, for the United States Department of Energy. Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty, Under Secretary for Nuclear Security, Administrator, NNSA. [FR Doc. 2020–06557 Filed 4–2–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P E:\FR\FM\03APN1.SGM 03APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 65 (Friday, April 3, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 18947-18948]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-06557]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

National Nuclear Security Administration


Notice of Availability of Draft Environmental Impact Statement 
for Plutonium Pit Production at the Savannah River Site in South 
Carolina and Announcement of Public Hearing

AGENCY: National Nuclear Security Administration, Department of Energy.

ACTION: Notice of availability and public hearing.

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

SUMMARY: The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), a semi-
autonomous agency within the United States (U.S.) Department of Energy 
(DOE), announces the availability of a Draft Environmental Impact 
Statement for Plutonium Pit Production at the Savannah River Site in 
South Carolina (SRS Pit Production EIS) (DOE/EIS-0541). NNSA is also 
announcing a 45-day public comment period and one public hearing to 
receive comments on the Draft EIS. NNSA prepared the Draft EIS to 
evaluate the potential environmental impacts of producing a minimum of 
50 war reserve pits per year at SRS and developing the ability to 
implement a short-term surge capacity to enable NNSA to meet the 
requirements of producing pits at a rate of not less than 80 war 
reserve pits per year beginning during 2030 for the nuclear weapons 
stockpile.

DATES: NNSA invites Federal and state agencies, state and local 
governments, Native American tribes, industry, other organizations, and 
members of the public to review and submit comments on the Draft SRS 
Pit Production EIS through May 18, 2020. NNSA is

[[Page 18948]]

planning to hold one public hearing on the Draft EIS as follows:
    In light of recent public health concerns, NNSA will be hosting an 
internet-based, virtual public hearing in place of an in-person 
meeting. The date of the hearing will be provided in a future notice 
posted on the following website: https://www.energy.gov/nnsa/nnsa-nepa-reading-room. NNSA will hold the hearing no earlier than 15 days from 
the posting of the notice.

ADDRESSES: Written and oral comments will be given equal weight and 
NNSA will consider all comments received or postmarked by the end of 
the comment period in preparing the Final EIS. Comments received or 
postmarked after the comment period will be considered to the extent 
practicable. Written comments on the Draft EIS or requests for 
information related to the Draft EIS should be sent to Ms. Jennifer 
Nelson, NEPA Compliance Officer, National Nuclear Security 
Administration, Savannah River Field Office, P.O. Box A, Aiken, SC 
29802; or sent by email to [email protected]. Before including your 
address, phone number, email address, or other personally identifiable 
information in your comment, please be advised that your entire 
comment--including your personally identifiable information--may be 
made publicly available. If you wish for NNSA to withhold your name 
and/or other personally identifiable information, please state this 
prominently at the beginning of your comment. You may also submit 
comments anonymously.
    The Draft SRS Pit Production EIS is available on the internet at: 
https://www.energy.gov/nnsa/nnsa-nepa-reading-room and https://www.energy.gov/nepa/listings/latest-documents-and-notices.
    Information related to the online public hearing, including 
internet and telephone access details, and instructions on how to 
participate will be available at the following website: https://www.energy.gov/nnsa/nnsa-nepa-reading-room and announced in local media 
outlets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information about this 
Notice, please contact Ms. Jennifer Nelson, NEPA Compliance Officer, 
National Nuclear Security Administration Savannah River Field Office, 
P.O. Box A, Aiken, SC 29802; email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: National security policies require DOE, 
through NNSA, to maintain the United States' nuclear weapons stockpile, 
as well as the nation's core competencies in nuclear weapons. NNSA has 
the mission to maintain and enhance the safety, security, and 
effectiveness of the nuclear weapons stockpile. Plutonium pits are 
critical components of every nuclear weapon, with nearly all current 
stockpile pits having been produced from 1978-1989. Today, the United 
States' capability to produce plutonium pits is limited.
    NNSA's pit production mission was emphasized as a national security 
imperative by the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review, issued in February 2018 
by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and subsequent congressional 
statements of the policy of the United States. The 2018 Nuclear Posture 
Review announced that the United States will pursue initiatives to 
ensure the necessary capability, capacity, and responsiveness of the 
nuclear weapons infrastructure and the needed skill of the workforce, 
including providing the enduring capability and capacity to produce no 
fewer than 80 pits per year by 2030. The 2018 Nuclear Posture Review 
concludes that the United States must have sufficient research, design, 
development, and production capacity to support the sustainment of its 
nuclear forces. Additionally, in Section 3116 of the National Defense 
Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, Congress required 
NNSA to produce 80 plutonium pits per year beginning during 2030.
    To that end, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and 
Sustainment and Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and Administrator 
of the NNSA issued a Joint Statement on May 10, 2018, identifying their 
recommended alternative to meet the pit production requirement based on 
the completion of an Analysis of Alternatives, an Engineering 
Assessment, and a Workforce Analysis. To achieve the nation's 
requirement of producing no fewer than 80 pits per year beginning 
during 2030, NNSA has proposed to repurpose the Mixed-Oxide Fuel 
Fabrication Facility (MFFF) at SRS to produce plutonium pits while also 
relying upon pit production activities at the Los Alamos National 
Laboratory (LANL). This two-pronged approach--with a minimum of 50 pits 
per year produced at SRS and a minimum of 30 pits per year at LANL--is 
considered the best way to manage the cost, schedule, and risk of such 
a vital undertaking. This approach improves the resiliency, 
flexibility, and redundancy of our Nuclear Security Enterprise by 
reducing reliance on a single production site.
    The SRS Pit Production EIS is an important element of the overall 
NEPA strategy related to fulfilling national requirements for pit 
production, which NNSA announced on June 10, 2019 (84 FR 26849). In the 
Draft EIS, NNSA evaluates the potential impacts to the environment and 
human health from the following alternatives: (1) Proposed Action to 
repurpose MFFF into the Savannah River Plutonium Processing Facility 
(SRPPF) to produce a minimum of 50 pits per year; and (2) No Action 
Alternative. The Proposed Action to construct and operate the SRPPF to 
produce a minimum of 50 pits per year includes, but is not limited to: 
Reconfiguration (including disassembly and removal of equipment and 
utility commodities) of the MFFF; installation of equipment necessary 
for activities associated with pit production before disassembly/metal 
preparation, pit assembly, machining, aqueous processing, foundry 
operations, material characterization, and analytical chemistry 
operations for certification); constructing and repurposing other 
facilities surrounding the SRPPF for support activities (e.g., waste 
handling, training, office space, roads, storage, and parking); 
security and nuclear safety upgrades to support pit production; 
providing reliable utilities and infrastructure required for pit 
production; and hiring and training necessary workforce to ensure the 
safe, secure, reliable, and responsive capability for pit production at 
SRS. Under the No-Action Alternative, the existing MFFF would remain 
unused and NNSA would utilize the capabilities at LANL to meet the 
Nation's long-term needs for pit manufacturing.
    Following this public comment period, and after consideration of 
comments received, NNSA will prepare a Final SRS Pit Production EIS. 
NNSA will announce the availability of the Final EIS in the Federal 
Register and local media outlets. If warranted, NNSA will issue a 
record of decision (ROD) no sooner than 30 days after publication by 
the Environmental Protection Agency of a Notice of Availability of the 
Final EIS.

    Signed in Washington, DC, this 16th day of March 2020, for the 
United States Department of Energy.
Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty,
Under Secretary for Nuclear Security, Administrator, NNSA.
[FR Doc. 2020-06557 Filed 4-2-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P