[Federal Register Volume 60, Number 246 (Friday, December 22, 1995)]
[Pages 66542-66543]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 95-31186]



Medical Isotopes Production Project: Molybdenum-99 and Related 
Isotopes Availability of Draft Environmental Impact Statement and 
Public Hearings

AGENCY: Department of Energy.

ACTION: Notice of availability and public hearings.


SUMMARY: The Department of Energy (DOE) announces the availability of 
the Medical Isotopes Production Project: Molybdenum-99 and Related 
Isotopes Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS), DOE/EIS-
0249D, for public review and comment. DOE also announces the dates, 
times, and locations for public hearings on the Draft EIS. The 
alternative facilities for the proposed project that are analyzed in 
the Draft EIS are located at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory 
near Idaho Falls, Idaho; Sandia National Laboratories/New Mexico in 
Albuquerque, New Mexico; Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, 
New Mexico; and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

DATES: DOE filed the Draft EIS with the U.S. Environmental Protection 
Agency on December 15, 1995, with an expected Federal Register 
publication date for the notice of availability of December 22, 1995. 
Written comments on the Draft EIS are invited from the public. Comments 
must be postmarked by February 9, 1996, to ensure consideration; 
comments postmarked after that date will be considered to the extent 
practicable. The DOE will use the comments received to help prepare the 
final version of the EIS. Public hearings on the Draft EIS will be held 
as follows:

Idaho National Engineering Laboratory--January 17, 1996, 1:00 p.m. to 
4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Shilo Inn, 780 Lindsay 
Boulevard, Idaho Falls, ID 83402
Oak Ridge National Laboratory--January 25, 1996, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 
and 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Pollard Auditorium, 210 Badger Avenue, Oak 
Ridge, TN 37830
Sandia National Laboratories/New Mexico--January 30, 1996, 1:00 p.m. to 
4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, 
Main Auditorium, 2401 12th Street, Albuquerque, NM, 87104
Los Alamos National Laboratory--February 1, 1996, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 
p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Fuller Lodge, Pajarito Room, 2132 
Central Avenue, Los Alamos, NM 87544.

    The meetings will provide opportunities for information exchange 
and discussion as well as for the submittal of prepared statements.

ADDRESSES: Requests for copies of the Draft EIS, written comments on 
the Draft EIS, or other matters regarding this environmental review 
should be addressed to: Mr. Wade Carroll, EIS Project Manager, NE-70, 
U.S. Department of Energy, 19901 Germantown Road, Germantown, MD 20874-
1290. Mr. Carroll may be contacted by telephone at (301) 903-7731, 
facsimile (301) 903-5434.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general information on the DOE 
NEPA process, please contact: Ms. Carol Borgstrom, Director, Office of 
NEPA Policy and Assistance, EH-42, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 
Independence Ave. SW, Washington, D.C. 20585. Ms. Borgstrom may be 
contacted by leaving a message at (800) 472-2756 or by calling (202) 
586-4600. For general information on the DOE isotope production 
program, please contact: Mr. Owen W. Lowe, Associate Director, Office 
of Isotope Production and Distribution, NE-70, U.S. Department of 
Energy, 19901 Germantown Road, Germantown, MD 20874-1290. Mr. Lowe may 
be contacted by calling (301) 903-5161.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Draft EIS was prepared pursuant to the 
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) [42 U.S.C. 4321 et 
seq.], the Council on Environmental Quality's NEPA regulations [40 CFR 
Parts 1500-1508] and the DOE NEPA regulations [10 CFR Part 1021].
    The Department proposes to establish a medical isotope production 
project that would ensure a reliable domestic supply of molybdenum-99 
(Mo-99) and related medical isotopes (iodine-125, iodine-131, and 
xenon-133). Mo-99 decays to form technetium-99m (Tc-99m), an important 
medical isotope. Radioactive isotopes are used in more than 38,000 
diagnostic medical procedures each day in the United States. Tc-99m is 
used in over 80 percent of these procedures.
    The United States medical community now relies on a single small 
nuclear reactor in Canada for its entire supply of Mo-99. The near term 
goal of 

[[Page 66543]]
DOE is to provide a backup capability to supply a baseline production 
level of 10 to 30 percent of current United States demand for Mo-99. 
The near term goal also includes establishing the capability to supply 
100 percent of the United States demand for Mo-99 should the existing 
Canadian source be unavailable. The baseline capability would maintain 
the capabilities of the facilities and staff needed to respond on short 
notice to supply the entire United States demand if necessary.
    It is the Department's position that, in the long-term, the 
domestic production of Mo-99 should be conducted by the private sector. 
The Department encourages the development of private sources in the 
United States for the production of Mo-99, and would phase out 
production if a private source begins to produce Mo-99 reliably. The 
long-term domestic production of Mo-99 by private sources is not within 
the scope of this EIS.
    The Draft EIS analyzes the environmental consequences of 
alternative ways to accomplish the proposed action. The Department's 
preferred alternative would be to modify and operate the Annular Core 
Research Reactor and associated hot cell facility at Sandia National 
Laboratories/New Mexico and the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research 
facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory to produce Mo-99 and related 
medical isotopes. The Draft EIS also analyzes the environmental impacts 
of producing Mo-99 using the Omega West reactor at Los Alamos National 
Laboratory, the Power Burst Facility at Idaho National Engineering 
Laboratory, and the Oak Ridge Research Reactor at Oak Ridge National 
Laboratory, as well as the impacts of not establishing a Mo-99 
production source (the No Action alternative).
    DOE has distributed copies of the Draft EIS to appropriate 
Congressional members and committees, the States of Idaho, New Mexico, 
and Tennessee, American Indian tribal governments, local county 
governments, other federal agencies, and other interested parties. 
Additional copies are available as indicated above.

    Signed in Washington, D.C., this 18th day of December, 1995, for 
the United States Department of Energy.
Ray A. Hunter,
Deputy Director, Office of Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology.
[FR Doc. 95-31186 Filed 12-21-95; 8:45 am]