[Federal Register Volume 68, Number 38 (Wednesday, February 26, 2003)]
[Notices]
[Pages 8941-8942]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 03-4538]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 40-8857]


Notice of Amendment Request for Proposed Operation of the Gas 
Hills Project in situ Leach Uranium Recovery Facility, Freemont and 
Natrona Counties, WY, and Opportunity To Provide Comments and To 
Request a Hearing

I. Introduction

    The U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has received, by 
letter dated June 24, 1998, a license amendment application from Power 
Resources, Inc. (PRI), requesting an amendment to Source Materials 
License SUA-1511 for the Highland Uranium Project to allow the 
operation of an in situ leach (ISL) uranium recovery facility at the 
Gas Hills Project site. In order to support the staff's detailed 
technical review of the license amendment application, the staff 
requested additional information from PRI in letters dated May 21, 
1999, and July 15, 1999. In response to staff requests for additional 
information, PRI supplemented and revised the license amendment 
application in letters dated September 24, 1999, November 11, 1999, and 
May 3, 2002.
    The Highland Uranium Project is an existing licensed (Source 
Materials License SUA-1511) ISL uranium recovery facility located in 
central Converse County, Wyoming, approximately 24 miles northeast of 
Glenrock. Source Materials License SUA-1511 for the commercial 
operation of the Highland Uranium Project was issued on July 1, 1987. 
The planned Gas Hills Project covers approximately 8500 acres where PRI 
proposes to operate the Gas Hills Project as a satellite uranium 
recovery facility to the Highland Uranium Project facility. As a 
satellite facility, only well-field, ion exchange, and water treatment 
facilities would be constructed and operated at the Gas Hills Project 
to support uranium recovery activities. During process operations, 
uranium will be leached from identified subsurface ore bodies by 
circulating local groundwater fortified with chemicals through the 
mineralized zones. The dissolved uranium will be extracted from the 
uranium-bearing solution at a surface ion exchange facility at the Gas 
Hills Project. Then, the uranium-laden ion exchange resin will be 
transported by truck from the Gas Hills Project site to the Highland 
Uranium Project site for final processing of the uranium into 
``yellowcake'' (U3O8). The travel distance by 
road between the Gas Hills Project and the Highland Uranium Project is 
approximately 140 miles. Water treatment facilities, including 
evaporation ponds, will be provided at the Gas Hills Project for 
treatment of wastes from process operations and subsequent well-field 
groundwater restoration activities.
    PRI intends to extract sufficient uranium from the Gas Hills 
Project to yield as much as 2.5 million pounds of yellowcake per year 
over a production period of twenty years or longer. When the recovery 
of uranium from the Gas Hills Project well-fields reaches its economic 
limit, ISL operations will cease and groundwater restoration in the 
affected well-fields will begin. In this regard, it is PRI's intent to 
return the affected groundwater to baseline (pre-mining) conditions or 
acceptable

[[Page 8942]]

water quality based on class of use. When groundwater restoration is 
complete in all the affected well-fields, all of the surface equipment, 
buildings, and structures will be decommissioned and all disturbed 
areas will be reclaimed. PRI's goal in this process will be to return 
the disturbed areas of the Gas Hills Project to their original or 
baseline conditions to the extent practical. Radioactive solid wastes 
and contaminated materials generated during process operations and 
resulting from decommissioning and reclamation activities will be 
disposed of at an NRC licensed disposal facility.

II. Opportunity To Provide Comments

    The NRC is providing notice to individuals in the vicinity of the 
facility that the NRC is in receipt of this license amendment request, 
and will accept comments concerning this action within 30 days of the 
publication of this notice in the Federal Register. The comments may be 
provided to the Chief, Rules and Directives Branch, Division of 
Administrative Services, Office of Administration, U.S. Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, and should cite the 
publication date and page number of this Federal Register notice. 
Written comments may also be delivered to Room T-6 D59, Two White Flint 
North, 11545 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852, from 7:30 a.m. until 
4:15 p.m. on Federal workdays.

III. Opportunity To Request a Hearing

    The NRC hereby provides notice that this is a proceeding on an 
application for an amendment of a license falling within the scope of 
Subpart L, ``Informal Hearing Procedures for Adjudications in Materials 
and Operator Licensing Proceedings' of NRC's rules and practice for 
domestic licensing proceedings in 10 CFR Part 2. 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 a hearing must be filed within 30 days of the publication 
of this Federal Register notice.
    The request for a hearing must be filed with the Office of the 
Secretary, either:
    (1) By delivery to the Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff of the 
Office of the Secretary of the Commission 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 20555-0001, Attention: Rulemaking 
and Adjudications Staff. Because of continuing disruptions in the 
delivery of mail to United States Government offices, it is requested 
that requests for hearing also be transmitted to the Secretary of the 
Commission either by means of facsimile transmission to 301-415-1101, 
or by e-mail to hearingdocket@nrc.gov.
    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, Power Resources, Inc., Highland Uranium Project, 
P.O. Box 1210, Glenrock, Wyoming 82637, Attention: William F. Kearney; 
and
    (2) The NRC staff, by delivery to the General Counsel, One White 
Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852, or by mail 
addressed to the Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001. Because of continuing 
disruptions in the delivery of mail to United States Government 
offices, it is requested that requests for hearing be also transmitted 
to the Office of the General Counsel, either by means of facsimile 
transmission to 301-415-3725, or by e-mail to OGCMailCenter@nrc.gov.
    In addition to meeting other applicable requirements of 10 CFR Part 
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;
    (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).

IV. Further Information

    The application for the license amendment, and the supporting 
supplements and revisions to the application, are available for 
inspection at NRC's Public Electronic Reading Room at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html [ADAMS Accession Numbers ML030310553, 
ML023640347, ML993300211, and ML021340187]. Documents may also be 
examined and/or copied for a fee, at the NRC's Public Document Room, 
located at One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 
20852. Any questions with respect to this action should be referred to 
Rick Weller, Fuel Cycle Facilities Branch, Division of Fuel Cycle 
Safety and Safeguards, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and 
Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Mail Stop T8-A33, 
Washington, DC 20555-0001. Telephone: (301) 415-7287; Fax: (301) 415-
5390.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 20th day of February, 2003.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Daniel M. Gillen,
Chief, Fuel Cycle Facilities Branch, Division of Fuel Cycle Safety and 
Safeguards, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.
[FR Doc. 03-4538 Filed 2-25-03; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P