Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Surplus Plutonium Disposition Program, 81460-81462 [2020-27674]

Download as PDF 81460 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 242 / Wednesday, December 16, 2020 / Notices burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records. Title of Collection: Teacher Cancellation Low Income Directory. OMB Control Number: 1845–0077. Type of Review: An extension without change of a currently approved collection. Respondents/Affected Public: State, Local, and Tribal Governments. Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 67. Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 6,840. Abstract: The Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, (HEA) allows for up to a one hundred percent cancellation of a Federal Perkins Loan and loan forgiveness of a Federal Family Education Loan and Direct Loan program loan if the graduate teaches full-time in an elementary or secondary school serving low-income students. The data collected for the development of the Teacher Cancellation Low Income Directory provides web-based access to a list of all elementary and secondary schools, and educational service agencies that serve a total enrollment of more than 30 percent low income students (as defined under Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended). The Directory allows postsecondary institutions to determine whether or not a teacher, who received a Federal Perkins Loan, Direct Loan, or Federal Family Education Loan at their school, is eligible to receive loan cancellation or forgiveness or that a teacher who received a TEACH Grant is meeting the service obligation. Dated: December 11, 2020. Kate Mullan, PRA Coordinator, Strategic Collections and Clearance Governance and Strategy Division, Office of Chief Data Officer, Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development. [FR Doc. 2020–27646 Filed 12–15–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY National Nuclear Security Administration Proposed Subsequent Arrangement National Nuclear Security Administration, Department of Energy. ACTION: Proposed subsequent arrangement. AGENCY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:32 Dec 15, 2020 Jkt 253001 This document is being issued under the authority of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended. The Department is providing notice of a proposed subsequent arrangement under the Agreement for Cooperation Concerning Civil Uses of Atomic Energy Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Canada, as amended (the Agreement). DATES: This subsequent arrangement will take effect no sooner than December 31, 2020. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Sean Oehlbert, Office of Nonproliferation and Arms Control, National Nuclear Security Administration, Department of Energy. Telephone: 202–586–3806 or email: sean.oehlbert@nnsa.doe.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This proposed subsequent arrangement concerns the granting of advance consent to Canada, pursuant to paragraph D of Article XII of the Agreement, to retransfer unirradiated source material, unirradiated uranium enriched to less than 20% in the isotope U–235, and moderator material to member states of the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM), and to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK). Any such material transferred from Canada to EURATOM would be made subject to the Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy between the United States of America and the European Atomic Energy Community (the U.S.-EURATOM 123 Agreement). Any such material transferred from Canada to the UK prior to the entry into force of the Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy (the U.S.-UK 123 Agreement) would be made subject to the U.S.-EURATOM 123 Agreement, and any such material transferred from Canada to the UK following the entry into force of the U.S.-UK 123 Agreement would be made subject to the U.S.-UK 123 Agreement. Pursuant to the authority in section 131 a. of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as delegated, I have determined that this proposed subsequent arrangement will not be inimical to the common defense and security of the United States of America. SUMMARY: Signing Authority This document of the Department of Energy was signed on December 11, 2020, by Brent K. Park, Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Nonproliferation, pursuant to delegated authority from the Secretary of Energy. That document with the original signature and date is maintained by DOE. For administrative purposes only, and in compliance with requirements of the Office of the Federal Register, the undersigned DOE Federal Register Liaison Officer has been authorized to sign and submit the document in electronic format for publication, as an official document of the Department of Energy. This administrative process in no way alters the legal effect of this document upon publication in the Federal Register. Signed in Washington, DC, on December 11, 2020. Treena V. Garrett, Federal Register Liaison Officer, U.S. Department of Energy. [FR Doc. 2020–27682 Filed 12–15–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY National Nuclear Security Administration Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Surplus Plutonium Disposition Program National Nuclear Security Administration, Department of Energy. ACTION: Notice of intent. AGENCY: The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), a semi-autonomous agency within the United States (U.S.) Department of Energy (DOE), announces its intent, consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), to prepare a Surplus Plutonium Disposition Program (SPDP) Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to evaluate alternatives for the safe and timely disposition of plutonium surplus to the defense needs of the United States. NNSA will prepare a SPDP EIS to evaluate the dilute and dispose alternative, also known as ‘‘plutonium downblending,’’ and any other identified reasonable alternatives for the disposition of surplus plutonium. The dilute and dispose approach would require new, modified, or existing capabilities at the Savannah River Site (SRS), Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Pantex Plant (Pantex), and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). The purpose of this Notice is to invite public participation in the process and to encourage public involvement on the scope and alternatives that should be considered. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\16DEN1.SGM 16DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 242 / Wednesday, December 16, 2020 / Notices The public scoping period begins with the publication of this Notice in the Federal Register and continues until February 1, 2021. Comments received after this date will be considered to the extent practicable. In light of recent public health concerns, NNSA will be hosting an internet- and telephone-based, virtual public scoping meeting in place of an in-person meeting. The date of the meeting will be provided in a future notice posted on the following website: https://www.energy.gov/nnsa/nnsanepa-reading-room. NNSA will hold the meeting no earlier than 15 days from the posting of the notice. Public scoping meeting details will also be announced in local media outlets. ADDRESSES: Written comments on the scope of the SPDP EIS, requests to be placed on the SPDP EIS mailing list, and requests for information related to the SPDP EIS should be sent to: Mr. Jeffrey Galan, NNSA NEPA Document Manager, by regular mail at: Mr. Jeffrey Galan, NEPA Document Manager, NNSA Office of Material Management and Minimization, Savannah River Site, P.O. Box A, Bldg. 730–2B, Rm. 328, Aiken, SC 29802; or sent by email to SPDP-EIS@NNSA.DOE.GOV or phone to 803–952–7434. NNSA invites other Federal and state agencies, state and local governments, Native American tribes, industry, other organizations, and members of the public to submit comments to assist in identifying environmental issues and in determining the appropriate scope of the SPDP EIS. 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 Draft SPDP EIS. Comments received or postmarked after the comment period will be considered to the extent practicable. 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. This Notice of Intent, information related to the online scoping meeting (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- khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES DATES: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:32 Dec 15, 2020 Jkt 253001 reading-room and announced in local media outlets. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information about this Notice, please contact Mr. Jeffrey Galan, NNSA NEPA Document Manager, by regular mail at: Mr. Jeffrey Galan, NEPA Document Manager, NNSA Office of Material Management and Minimization, Savannah River Site, P.O. Box A, Bldg. 730–2B, Rm. 328, Aiken, SC 29802; phone: 803–952–7434; or email to: SPDP-EIS@NNSA.DOE.GOV. Requests for general information concerning the NNSA NEPA process should be directed to Mrs. Amy Miller, NEPA Compliance Officer, NNSA Office of General Counsel, P.O. Box 5400, Albuquerque, NM 87185–5400; or sent by email to SPDP-EIS@NNSA.DOE.GOV. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NNSA will prepare the SPDP EIS in accordance with the previous version of the Council on Environmental Quality regulations (40 CFR parts 1500–1508, 1978 as amended in 1986 and 2005), as this version was controlling at the time the NEPA process for the SPDP was initiated. Background The following is a summary of NNSA’s previous NEPA reviews and decisions regarding the disposition of surplus plutonium. Following the end of the Cold War, the United States in 1994 declared 52.5 metric tons of plutonium surplus to the defense needs of the Nation. In 2007, an additional 9 metric tons of plutonium was declared surplus. Since the mid1990s, NNSA has prepared several NEPA reviews to evaluate alternative means of assuring that the surplus plutonium would no longer be suitable for use in nuclear weapons. In 1996, DOE completed the Storage and Disposition of Weapons-Usable Fissile Materials Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (DOE/EIS–0229). DOE evaluated deep borehole, immobilization, and reactor alternatives, each with sub-alternatives, for dispositioning surplus plutonium. In a subsequent Record of Decision (ROD) (62 FR 304, January 21, 1997), NNSA documented its decision to (1) immobilize some or all surplus plutonium for disposal in a geologic repository, (2) fabricate some surplus plutonium into mixed oxide (MOX) fuel for irradiation in commercial reactors, (3) consolidate storage of pit plutonium at Pantex, and (4) consolidate storage of non-pit plutonium at the SRS. In 1999, DOE completed the Surplus Plutonium Disposition Environmental Impact Statement (SPD EIS, DOE/EIS– PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 81461 0283). In the SPD EIS, DOE evaluated immobilization (ceramic and glass) alternatives and MOX fuel fabrication alternatives, as well as siting alternatives for a Mixed-Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility (MFFF), a pit disassembly and conversion facility (PDCF), and an immobilization facility. In a subsequent ROD (65 FR 1608, January 11, 2000), NNSA documented its decision to pursue a dual track approach for plutonium disposition by (1) immobilizing about 17 metric tons of surplus weapons-usable plutonium, (2) using 33 metric tons of surplus weapons-usable plutonium to fabricate MOX fuel for irradiation in commercial nuclear reactors, and (3) constructing and operating an immobilization facility, a PDCF, and an MFFF at SRS. On April 19, 2002 (67 FR 19432) and April 24, 2003 (68 FR 20134), NNSA decided to (1) cancel the immobilization program, (2) immediately consolidate storage of plutonium then stored at the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site at SRS, and (3) designate 34 metric tons rather than 33 metric tons of surplus plutonium for fabrication into MOX fuel for irradiation in commercial nuclear reactors. In 2008, NNSA decided to construct and operate a Waste Solidification Building (WSB) at SRS to prepare waste from the MFFF and the PDCF for disposal. In 2015, NNSA completed the Surplus Plutonium Disposition Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SPD Supplemental EIS) (DOE/EIS–0283–S2). In the SPD Supplemental EIS, NNSA evaluated the MOX Fuel Alternative, the WIPP Alternative (also referred to as ‘‘plutonium downblending’’ or ‘‘dilute and dispose’’), and two variations on immobilization for disposition of 6 metric tons of non-pit plutonium and 7.1 metric tons of pit plutonium. This 13.1 metric tons of surplus plutonium, for which a disposition path had not previously been assigned, was in addition to the 34 metric tons NNSA decided to disposition using the MOX approach. In addition, NNSA evaluated options for pit disassembly and conversion. In 2015 (80 FR 80348, December 24, 2015), DOE announced its preferred alternative for the 6 metric tons of non-pit plutonium evaluated in the SPD Supplemental EIS. In 2016, NNSA issued a ROD to dispose of the 6 metric tons of non-pit plutonium using the WIPP Alternative (dilute and dispose) (81 FR 19588, April 5, 2016). Using that approach, NNSA is currently diluting the 6 metric tons of non-pit plutonium with an adulterant using modified or existing facilities, packaging the material as contact-handled TRU E:\FR\FM\16DEN1.SGM 16DEN1 81462 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 242 / Wednesday, December 16, 2020 / Notices waste, and shipping it to WIPP for emplacement. In addition, in August 2020 NNSA prepared a Supplement Analysis (SA) based on the analysis presented in the 2015 SPD SEIS to evaluate using dilute and dispose for disposition of 7.1 MT of non-pit plutonium that comprises a part of the 34 MT (DOE/EIS–0283–SA–4, August 2020). NNSA subsequently issued an Amended ROD (AROD) to use dilute and dispose to disposition that 7.1 MT of the 34 MT mission (85 FR 53350, August 28, 2020). The SA and AROD are available online at https:// www.energy.gov/nnsa/nnsa-nepareading-room. This same dilute and dispose process is being proposed to disposition the full 34 MT of surplus plutonium that is the responsibility of the Surplus Plutonium Disposition Program. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Purpose and Need for Agency Action NNSA’s purpose in taking action is to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons proliferation worldwide by dispositioning surplus plutonium in the United States in a safe and secure manner, ensuring that it can never again be readily used in nuclear weapons. Since the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s and the Presidential declarations of surplus fissile materials, NNSA has been charged with dispositioning surplus plutonium. Over the last two and a half decades, NNSA has studied many alternative technologies and locations for surplus plutonium disposition. There is a need for NNSA to implement a disposition process and strategy that can be safely executed in a reasonable time at a cost consistent with fiscal realities. Proposed Action and Alternatives Preferred Alternative. NNSA proposes implementing the dilute and dispose approach to disposition surplus weapons-usable plutonium. The effort would require new, modified, or existing capabilities at SRS, LANL, Pantex, and WIPP. Under the dilute and dispose approach, NNSA would convert pit and non-pit metal plutonium to oxide, blend surplus plutonium in oxide form with an adulterant, and emplace the resulting CH–TRU waste underground in WIPP. NNSA believes that implementing a proven method is the most efficient way to move forward with the Surplus Plutonium Disposition Program. NNSA evaluated this process in the SPD Supplemental EIS (DOE/EIS– 0283–S–2, April 2015) and decided to use it to dispose of 6 MT of non-pit plutonium (81 FR 19588, April 5, 2016). The process was also evaluated in the Supplement Analysis for Disposition of VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:32 Dec 15, 2020 Jkt 253001 Additional Non-Pit Surplus Plutonium (DOE/EIS–0283–SA–4, August 2020) and NNSA decided to use it to disposition 7.1 MT of non-pit plutonium (85 FR 53350, August 28, 2020). Dilute and dispose is NNSA’s preferred alternative for the disposition of the full 34 MT of surplus plutonium that is the responsibility of the Surplus Plutonium Disposition Program. No Action Alternative. NNSA will evaluate a No Action Alternative in the SPDP EIS. The No Action Alternative will be continued safe storage of surplus pit plutonium at Pantex and disposition of 7.1 MT of non-pit plutonium using the dilute and dispose approach. If any other reasonable alternatives are identified during the scoping period, NNSA will also evaluate those alternatives in the EIS. Following completion of the SPDP EIS, NNSA will select an alternative for disposition of surplus weapons-usable plutonium, including locations and options for processing capabilities, and the specific quantity of material to be dispositioned. Potential Environmental Issues for Analysis NNSA tentatively identified the following environmental issues that will be analyzed in the SPDP EIS. This list is not intended to be comprehensive. • Impacts to the general population and onsite workers from radiological and non-radiological releases resulting from construction and operation of facilities required to implement the proposed action and alternatives. • Impacts of transporting plutonium materials from current storage and management locations to facilities required to disassemble pits and dilute plutonium oxide. Analysis of transportation to WIPP may be summarized from existing NEPA analyses, as appropriate. • Impacts to the general public and onsite workers from postulated accidents. • Socioeconomic impacts to local communities. • Disproportionately high and adverse impacts on low-income and minority populations (environmental justice). • Impacts on air quality, surface water quality, and groundwater quality. • Impacts to land use, biota, and threatened and endangered species. • Impacts to cultural resources. • Impacts to geology and soils, including seismic risks. EIS Preparation and Schedule Following the scoping period, and after consideration of comments received during scoping, NNSA will PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 prepare a draft EIS for disposition of surplus plutonium. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will announce the availability of the draft EIS in the Federal Register. NNSA will also publish a Notice of availability in the Federal Register and announce the draft EIS in local media outlets. NNSA expects to issue the draft SPDP EIS in calendar year 2021. Signing Authority This document of the Department of Energy was signed on December 10, 2020, by William A. Bookless, Acting Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and Administrator, NNSA, pursuant to delegated authority from the Secretary of Energy. That document with the original signature and date is maintained by DOE. For administrative purposes only, and in compliance with requirements of the Office of the Federal Register, the undersigned DOE Federal Register Liaison Officer has been authorized to sign and submit the document in electronic format for publication, as an official document of the Department of Energy. This administrative process in no way alters the legal effect of this document upon publication in the Federal Register. Signed in Washington, DC, on December 11, 2020. Treena V. Garrett, Federal Register Liaison Officer, U.S. Department of Energy. [FR Doc. 2020–27674 Filed 12–15–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. IC21–3–000] Commission Information Collection Activities; Request for Emergency Extension for FERC–725D Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, DOE. ACTION: Notice of request for an emergency extension. AGENCY: In compliance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) has solicited public comments on FERC–725D (Mandatory Reliability Standard: Facilities Design, Connections and Maintenance Reliability Standards). FERC submitted a request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for a three-month emergency extension (to March 31, 2021) to ensure this SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\16DEN1.SGM 16DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 242 (Wednesday, December 16, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 81460-81462]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-27674]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

National Nuclear Security Administration


Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for 
the Surplus Plutonium Disposition Program

AGENCY: National Nuclear Security Administration, Department of Energy.

ACTION: Notice of intent.

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

SUMMARY: The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), a semi-
autonomous agency within the United States (U.S.) Department of Energy 
(DOE), announces its intent, consistent with the National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), to prepare a Surplus Plutonium Disposition 
Program (SPDP) Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to evaluate 
alternatives for the safe and timely disposition of plutonium surplus 
to the defense needs of the United States. NNSA will prepare a SPDP EIS 
to evaluate the dilute and dispose alternative, also known as 
``plutonium downblending,'' and any other identified reasonable 
alternatives for the disposition of surplus plutonium. The dilute and 
dispose approach would require new, modified, or existing capabilities 
at the Savannah River Site (SRS), Los Alamos National Laboratory 
(LANL), Pantex Plant (Pantex), and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant 
(WIPP). The purpose of this Notice is to invite public participation in 
the process and to encourage public involvement on the scope and 
alternatives that should be considered.

[[Page 81461]]


DATES: The public scoping period begins with the publication of this 
Notice in the Federal Register and continues until February 1, 2021. 
Comments received after this date will be considered to the extent 
practicable.
    In light of recent public health concerns, NNSA will be hosting an 
internet- and telephone-based, virtual public scoping meeting in place 
of an in-person meeting. The date of the meeting 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 meeting no earlier than 
15 days from the posting of the notice. Public scoping meeting details 
will also be announced in local media outlets.

ADDRESSES: Written comments on the scope of the SPDP EIS, requests to 
be placed on the SPDP EIS mailing list, and requests for information 
related to the SPDP EIS should be sent to: Mr. Jeffrey Galan, NNSA NEPA 
Document Manager, by regular mail at: Mr. Jeffrey Galan, NEPA Document 
Manager, NNSA Office of Material Management and Minimization, Savannah 
River Site, P.O. Box A, Bldg. 730-2B, Rm. 328, Aiken, SC 29802; or sent 
by email to [email protected] or phone to 803-952-7434.
    NNSA invites other Federal and state agencies, state and local 
governments, Native American tribes, industry, other organizations, and 
members of the public to submit comments to assist in identifying 
environmental issues and in determining the appropriate scope of the 
SPDP EIS. 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 Draft SPDP EIS. Comments received or 
postmarked after the comment period will be considered to the extent 
practicable. 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.
    This Notice of Intent, information related to the online scoping 
meeting (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 Mr. Jeffrey Galan, NNSA NEPA Document Manager, 
by regular mail at: Mr. Jeffrey Galan, NEPA Document Manager, NNSA 
Office of Material Management and Minimization, Savannah River Site, 
P.O. Box A, Bldg. 730-2B, Rm. 328, Aiken, SC 29802; phone: 803-952-
7434; or email to: [email protected].
    Requests for general information concerning the NNSA NEPA process 
should be directed to Mrs. Amy Miller, NEPA Compliance Officer, NNSA 
Office of General Counsel, P.O. Box 5400, Albuquerque, NM 87185-5400; 
or sent by email to [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NNSA will prepare the SPDP EIS in accordance 
with the previous version of the Council on Environmental Quality 
regulations (40 CFR parts 1500-1508, 1978 as amended in 1986 and 2005), 
as this version was controlling at the time the NEPA process for the 
SPDP was initiated.

Background

    The following is a summary of NNSA's previous NEPA reviews and 
decisions regarding the disposition of surplus plutonium.
    Following the end of the Cold War, the United States in 1994 
declared 52.5 metric tons of plutonium surplus to the defense needs of 
the Nation. In 2007, an additional 9 metric tons of plutonium was 
declared surplus. Since the mid-1990s, NNSA has prepared several NEPA 
reviews to evaluate alternative means of assuring that the surplus 
plutonium would no longer be suitable for use in nuclear weapons. In 
1996, DOE completed the Storage and Disposition of Weapons-Usable 
Fissile Materials Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (DOE/EIS-
0229). DOE evaluated deep borehole, immobilization, and reactor 
alternatives, each with sub-alternatives, for dispositioning surplus 
plutonium. In a subsequent Record of Decision (ROD) (62 FR 304, January 
21, 1997), NNSA documented its decision to (1) immobilize some or all 
surplus plutonium for disposal in a geologic repository, (2) fabricate 
some surplus plutonium into mixed oxide (MOX) fuel for irradiation in 
commercial reactors, (3) consolidate storage of pit plutonium at 
Pantex, and (4) consolidate storage of non-pit plutonium at the SRS.
    In 1999, DOE completed the Surplus Plutonium Disposition 
Environmental Impact Statement (SPD EIS, DOE/EIS-0283). In the SPD EIS, 
DOE evaluated immobilization (ceramic and glass) alternatives and MOX 
fuel fabrication alternatives, as well as siting alternatives for a 
Mixed-Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility (MFFF), a pit disassembly and 
conversion facility (PDCF), and an immobilization facility. In a 
subsequent ROD (65 FR 1608, January 11, 2000), NNSA documented its 
decision to pursue a dual track approach for plutonium disposition by 
(1) immobilizing about 17 metric tons of surplus weapons-usable 
plutonium, (2) using 33 metric tons of surplus weapons-usable plutonium 
to fabricate MOX fuel for irradiation in commercial nuclear reactors, 
and (3) constructing and operating an immobilization facility, a PDCF, 
and an MFFF at SRS.
    On April 19, 2002 (67 FR 19432) and April 24, 2003 (68 FR 20134), 
NNSA decided to (1) cancel the immobilization program, (2) immediately 
consolidate storage of plutonium then stored at the Rocky Flats 
Environmental Technology Site at SRS, and (3) designate 34 metric tons 
rather than 33 metric tons of surplus plutonium for fabrication into 
MOX fuel for irradiation in commercial nuclear reactors. In 2008, NNSA 
decided to construct and operate a Waste Solidification Building (WSB) 
at SRS to prepare waste from the MFFF and the PDCF for disposal.
    In 2015, NNSA completed the Surplus Plutonium Disposition 
Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SPD Supplemental EIS) 
(DOE/EIS-0283-S2). In the SPD Supplemental EIS, NNSA evaluated the MOX 
Fuel Alternative, the WIPP Alternative (also referred to as ``plutonium 
downblending'' or ``dilute and dispose''), and two variations on 
immobilization for disposition of 6 metric tons of non-pit plutonium 
and 7.1 metric tons of pit plutonium. This 13.1 metric tons of surplus 
plutonium, for which a disposition path had not previously been 
assigned, was in addition to the 34 metric tons NNSA decided to 
disposition using the MOX approach. In addition, NNSA evaluated options 
for pit disassembly and conversion. In 2015 (80 FR 80348, December 24, 
2015), DOE announced its preferred alternative for the 6 metric tons of 
non-pit plutonium evaluated in the SPD Supplemental EIS. In 2016, NNSA 
issued a ROD to dispose of the 6 metric tons of non-pit plutonium using 
the WIPP Alternative (dilute and dispose) (81 FR 19588, April 5, 2016). 
Using that approach, NNSA is currently diluting the 6 metric tons of 
non-pit plutonium with an adulterant using modified or existing 
facilities, packaging the material as contact-handled TRU

[[Page 81462]]

waste, and shipping it to WIPP for emplacement.
    In addition, in August 2020 NNSA prepared a Supplement Analysis 
(SA) based on the analysis presented in the 2015 SPD SEIS to evaluate 
using dilute and dispose for disposition of 7.1 MT of non-pit plutonium 
that comprises a part of the 34 MT (DOE/EIS-0283-SA-4, August 2020). 
NNSA subsequently issued an Amended ROD (AROD) to use dilute and 
dispose to disposition that 7.1 MT of the 34 MT mission (85 FR 53350, 
August 28, 2020). The SA and AROD are available online at https://www.energy.gov/nnsa/nnsa-nepa-reading-room.
    This same dilute and dispose process is being proposed to 
disposition the full 34 MT of surplus plutonium that is the 
responsibility of the Surplus Plutonium Disposition Program.

Purpose and Need for Agency Action

    NNSA's purpose in taking action is to reduce the threat of nuclear 
weapons proliferation worldwide by dispositioning surplus plutonium in 
the United States in a safe and secure manner, ensuring that it can 
never again be readily used in nuclear weapons.
    Since the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s and the 
Presidential declarations of surplus fissile materials, NNSA has been 
charged with dispositioning surplus plutonium. Over the last two and a 
half decades, NNSA has studied many alternative technologies and 
locations for surplus plutonium disposition. There is a need for NNSA 
to implement a disposition process and strategy that can be safely 
executed in a reasonable time at a cost consistent with fiscal 
realities.

Proposed Action and Alternatives

    Preferred Alternative. NNSA proposes implementing the dilute and 
dispose approach to disposition surplus weapons-usable plutonium. The 
effort would require new, modified, or existing capabilities at SRS, 
LANL, Pantex, and WIPP. Under the dilute and dispose approach, NNSA 
would convert pit and non-pit metal plutonium to oxide, blend surplus 
plutonium in oxide form with an adulterant, and emplace the resulting 
CH-TRU waste underground in WIPP. NNSA believes that implementing a 
proven method is the most efficient way to move forward with the 
Surplus Plutonium Disposition Program. NNSA evaluated this process in 
the SPD Supplemental EIS (DOE/EIS-0283-S-2, April 2015) and decided to 
use it to dispose of 6 MT of non-pit plutonium (81 FR 19588, April 5, 
2016). The process was also evaluated in the Supplement Analysis for 
Disposition of Additional Non-Pit Surplus Plutonium (DOE/EIS-0283-SA-4, 
August 2020) and NNSA decided to use it to disposition 7.1 MT of non-
pit plutonium (85 FR 53350, August 28, 2020). Dilute and dispose is 
NNSA's preferred alternative for the disposition of the full 34 MT of 
surplus plutonium that is the responsibility of the Surplus Plutonium 
Disposition Program.
    No Action Alternative. NNSA will evaluate a No Action Alternative 
in the SPDP EIS. The No Action Alternative will be continued safe 
storage of surplus pit plutonium at Pantex and disposition of 7.1 MT of 
non-pit plutonium using the dilute and dispose approach.
    If any other reasonable alternatives are identified during the 
scoping period, NNSA will also evaluate those alternatives in the EIS. 
Following completion of the SPDP EIS, NNSA will select an alternative 
for disposition of surplus weapons-usable plutonium, including 
locations and options for processing capabilities, and the specific 
quantity of material to be dispositioned.

Potential Environmental Issues for Analysis

    NNSA tentatively identified the following environmental issues that 
will be analyzed in the SPDP EIS. This list is not intended to be 
comprehensive.
     Impacts to the general population and onsite workers from 
radiological and non-radiological releases resulting from construction 
and operation of facilities required to implement the proposed action 
and alternatives.
     Impacts of transporting plutonium materials from current 
storage and management locations to facilities required to disassemble 
pits and dilute plutonium oxide. Analysis of transportation to WIPP may 
be summarized from existing NEPA analyses, as appropriate.
     Impacts to the general public and onsite workers from 
postulated accidents.
     Socioeconomic impacts to local communities.
     Disproportionately high and adverse impacts on low-income 
and minority populations (environmental justice).
     Impacts on air quality, surface water quality, and 
groundwater quality.
     Impacts to land use, biota, and threatened and endangered 
species.
     Impacts to cultural resources.
     Impacts to geology and soils, including seismic risks.

EIS Preparation and Schedule

    Following the scoping period, and after consideration of comments 
received during scoping, NNSA will prepare a draft EIS for disposition 
of surplus plutonium. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 
will announce the availability of the draft EIS in the Federal 
Register. NNSA will also publish a Notice of availability in the 
Federal Register and announce the draft EIS in local media outlets. 
NNSA expects to issue the draft SPDP EIS in calendar year 2021.

Signing Authority

    This document of the Department of Energy was signed on December 
10, 2020, by William A. Bookless, Acting Under Secretary for Nuclear 
Security and Administrator, NNSA, pursuant to delegated authority from 
the Secretary of Energy. That document with the original signature and 
date is maintained by DOE. For administrative purposes only, and in 
compliance with requirements of the Office of the Federal Register, the 
undersigned DOE Federal Register Liaison Officer has been authorized to 
sign and submit the document in electronic format for publication, as 
an official document of the Department of Energy. This administrative 
process in no way alters the legal effect of this document upon 
publication in the Federal Register.

    Signed in Washington, DC, on December 11, 2020.
Treena V. Garrett,
Federal Register Liaison Officer, U.S. Department of Energy.
[FR Doc. 2020-27674 Filed 12-15-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6450-01-P