[Federal Register Volume 66, Number 6 (Tuesday, January 9, 2001)]
[Pages 1702-1703]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 01-601]



[Docket No. 40-8681]

International Uranium (USA) Corporation; Notice of Receipt of 
Request To Process Alternate Feed

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Notice of Receipt of Request from International Uranium (USA) 
Corporation to Amend Source Material License SUA-1358 to Receive and 
Process Alternate Feed Materials; Notice of Opportunity for Hearing.


SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission has received, by letter dated December 19, 2000, a request 
from International Uranium (USA) Corporation (IUSA), to amend its NRC 
Source Material License SUA-1358, to allow its White Mesa Uranium Mill 
near Blanding, Utah, to receive and process up to 17,750 tons of 
alternate feed material from the Molycorp Site located in Mountain 
Pass, California. The material is a result of extraction of lathanides 
and other rare earth minerals and is presently being stored in ponds as 
lead sulfide sludge. IUSA and Molycorp estimate the amount of material 
for this amendment request to be up to 17,750 tons and the average 
uranium content of the material to be approximately 0.15 percent, or 
greater. IUSA proposes to receive and process the material for its 
uranium content and dispose of the byproduct material in the mill's 
tailings cells.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. William von Till, Fuel Cycle 
Licensing Branch, Division of Fuel Cycle Safety and Safeguards, Office 
of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission, Mail Stop T-8A33, Washington, D.C. 20555. Telephone: (301) 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: By its submittal dated December 19, 2000, 
IUSA requested that the NRC amend Materials License SUA-1358 to allow 
the receipt and processing of material other than natural uranium ore 
(i.e., alternate feed material) at its White Mesa uranium mill located 
near Blanding, Utah. These materials would be used as an ``alternate 
feed material'' (i.e., matter that is processed in the mill to remove 
the uranium but which is different from natural uranium ores, the 
normal feed material).
    Since 1951, Molycorp has operated a surface mining and milling 
operation for the recovery and chemical separation of lanthanides and 
other rare earth metals from bastnasite ores. From 1965 through 1984, 
Molycorp constructed and operated three lead sulfide ponds for the 
evaporation of lead sulfides from the clarifier/thickener operation. 
The lead sulfide sludge contains uranium, which is also precipitated in 
the thickener. The ponds were taken out of service in 1984, and in 1997 
Molycorp drafted a Closure Plan for the decommissioning of the ponds 
which required the removal and off-site disposal or recovery of the 
lead sulfide sludge contained in the ponds. This amendment request 
seeks authorization to process the lead sulfide sludges for their 
uranium content. IUSA has determined that the material does not contain 
listed hazardous waste as defined in the Resource Recovery and 
Conservation Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. Section 6901-6991. IUSA 
proposes to temporarily store the material on the existing storage pad 
until a sufficient quantity of material is available to begin 
processing. IUSA will utilize water sprays, as required, to minimize 
dusting during dumping activities. The material will be processed 
utilizing an acid leach, in existing mill equipment, to dissolve the 
uranium. The solution will then be advanced through the mill circuitry 
with no significant physical modifications.
    The material will be shipped using exclusive-use trucks from the 
Mountain Pass facility to the mill in lined, covered, aluminum end-dump 
trailers. Molycorp estimates that it will ship approximately 60-70 
trucks per week for an estimated period of 60 to 90 days. The 
transportation route as proposed, will follow route I-15 and I-70 to 
U.S. Highway 191 at Crescent Junction, Utah and through Highway 191 
south to the mill.
    This application will be reviewed using NRC formal guidance, 
``Interim Guidance on the Use of Uranium Mill Feed Material Other Than 
Natural Ores'' provided in the NRC Regulatory Issue Summary 2000-23 
(November 30, 2000). The NRC has approved similar amendment requests in 
the past for separate alternate feed material under this license.
    The amendment application is available for public inspection and 
copying at the NRC Public Document Room, in the Gelman Building, 2120 L 
Street N.W., Washington D.C. 20555.

Notice of Opportunity for Hearing

    The NRC hereby provides notice of an opportunity for a hearing on 
the license amendment under the provisions of 10 CFR Part 2, Subpart L, 
``Informal Hearing Procedures for Adjudications in Materials and 
Operator Licensing Proceedings.'' Pursuant to Sec. 2.1205(a), any 
person whose interest may be affected by this proceeding may file a 
request for a hearing. In accordance with Sec. 2.1205(d), a request for 
hearing must be filed within 30 days of the publication of this notice 
in the Federal Register. The request for a hearing must be filed with 
the Office of the Secretary, either:
    (1) By delivery to the Docketing and Service Branch of the Office 
of the Secretary at One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, 
Rockville, MD 20852; or
    (2) By mail or telegram addressed to the Secretary, U.S. Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555, Attention: Docketing and 
Service Branch.
    In accordance with 10 CFR 2.1205(f), each request for a hearing 
must also be served, by delivering it personally or by mail, to:
    (1) The applicant, International Uranium (USA) Corporation, 
Independence Plaza, Suite 950, 1050 Seventeenth Street, Denver, 
Colorado 80265; Attention: Michelle Rehmann; and
    (2) The NRC staff, by delivery to the Executive Director for 
Operations, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 
20852, or by mail addressed to the Executive Director for Operations, 
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555.
    In addition to meeting other applicable requirements of 10 CFR part

[[Page 1703]]

2 of the NRC's regulations, a request for a hearing filed by a person 
other than an applicant must describe in detail:
    (1) The interest of the requestor in the proceeding;
    (2) How that interest may be affected by the results of the 
proceeding, including the reasons why the requestor should be permitted 
a hearing, with particular reference to the factors set out in 
Sec. 2.1205(h);
    (3) The requestor's areas of concern about the licensing activity 
that is the subject matter of the proceeding; and
    (4) The circumstances establishing that the request for a hearing 
is timely in accordance with Sec. 2.1205(d).
    The request must also set forth the specific aspect or aspects of 
the subject matter of the proceeding as to which petitioner wishes a 
    In addition, members of the public may provide comments on the 
subject application within 30 days of the publication of this notice in 
the Federal Register. The comments may be provided to Michael T. Lesar, 
Acting Chief, Rules Review and Directives Branch, Division of 
Administration Services, Office of Administration, U.S. Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission, Washington DC 20555.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 3rd day of January, 2001.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Daniel Gillen,
Acting Chief, Fuel Cycle Licensing Branch, Division of Fuel Cycle 
Safety & Safeguards, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.
[FR Doc. 01-601 Filed 1-8-01; 8:45 am]