[Federal Register Volume 69, Number 199 (Friday, October 15, 2004)]
[Pages 61268-61270]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 04-23134]



Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for 
the Proposed USEC American Centrifuge Plant

AGENCY: United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

ACTION: Notice of Intent (NOI).


SUMMARY: USEC Inc., (USEC) submitted a license application to the NRC 
on August 23, 2004, proposing the construction, operation and future 
decommissioning of the American Centrifuge Plant (ACP) gas centrifuge 
uranium enrichment facility in Piketon, OH. The NRC announces its 
intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in accordance 
with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and NRC NEPA 
implementing regulations contained in 10 CFR part 51. The EIS will 
examine the potential environmental impacts of the proposed USEC ACP.

DATES: The public scoping process required by NEPA begins with 
publication of this NOI and continues until December 6, 2004. Written 
comments submitted by mail should be postmarked by that date to ensure 
consideration. Comments mailed after that date will be considered to 
the extent possible.
    NRC will conduct a public scoping meeting to assist in defining the 
appropriate scope of the EIS, including the significant environmental 
issues to be addressed. The meeting date, times and location are listed 
    Meeting Date: November 15, 2004.
    Meeting Location: Vern Riffe Career Technology Center, 175 Beaver 
Creek Road, Piketon, Ohio 45661.
    Scoping Meeting: 7 p.m. to 9:45 p.m.
    Members of the NRC staff will be available for informal discussions 
with members of the public from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. The formal meeting and 
associated NRC presentation begins at 7 p.m. For planning purposes, 
those who wish to present oral comments at the meeting are encouraged 
to pre-register by contacting Matthew Blevins of the NRC by telephone 
at 1-800-368-5642, Extension 7684, or by e-mail at [email protected] no 
later than November 9, 2004. Interested persons may also register to 
speak at the meeting.

ADDRESSES: Members of the public and interested parties are invited and 
encouraged to submit comments to the Chief, Rules Review and Directives 
Branch, Mail Stop T-6D59, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 
Washington, DC 20555-0001. Due to the current mail situation in the 
Washington, DC area, the NRC encourages comments to be submitted 
electronically to [email protected]. Please refer to Docket No. 70-7004 
when submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general or technical information 
associated with the license review of the USEC application, please 
contact: Yawar Faraz at (301) 415-8113. For

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general information on the NRC NEPA process, or the environmental 
review process related to the USEC application, please contact: Matthew 
Blevins at (301) 415-7684.
    Information and documents associated with the USEC project, 
including the USEC license application (submitted on August 23, 2004), 
are available for public review through the NRC Electronic Reading 
Room: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html, using accession number 
ML042800551. Documents may also be obtained from the NRC Public 
Document Room at U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Headquarters, 11555 
Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland, 20852-2738.


1.0 Background

    USEC submitted a license application which included an 
Environmental Report for a gas centrifuge uranium enrichment facility, 
known as the ACP, to the NRC on August 23, 2004. The NRC environmental 
review will evaluate the potential environmental impacts associated 
with the proposed ACP in parallel with the NRC safety and security 
reviews of the license application. The environmental review will be 
documented in draft and final Environmental Impact Statements in 
accordance with NEPA and NRC NEPA implementing regulations contained in 
10 CFR part 51.

2.0 USEC Enrichment Facility

    If licensed, the proposed ACP would enrich uranium for use in 
manufacturing commercial nuclear fuel for use in power reactors. Feed 
and product material would be in the form of uranium hexafluoride 
(UF6). USEC seeks approval from the NRC to enrich uranium in 
the uranium-235 isotope up to 10 percent. The enriched UF6 
would be transported to a fuel fabrication facility. The depleted 
UF6 would be stored on site until a disposition strategy 
(either re-use or disposal) is carried out.
    Initially, the licensed capacity of the plant would be up to 3.5 
million separative work units (SWU) per year [SWU relates to a measure 
of the work used to enrich uranium]. USEC has requested that the NRC 
environmental review examine the impacts of an enrichment plant with a 
7 million SWU per year capacity to bound potential future expansions. 
The safety and security reviews of any future expansion beyond 3.5 
million SWU per year would still have to be conducted by the NRC under 
a separate license amendment request from USEC.

3.0 Alternatives To Be Evaluated

    No action--The no-action alternative would be to not build the 
proposed ACP. Under this alternative the NRC would not approve the 
license application. This alternative serves as a baseline for 
    Proposed action--The proposed action is the construction and 
operation of a gas centrifuge uranium enrichment facility located in 
Piketon, OH. Implementation of the proposed action would require the 
issuance of an NRC license under the provisions of 10 CFR parts 30, 40 
and 70.
    Other alternatives not listed here may be identified through the 
scoping process.

4.0 Environmental Impact Areas To Be Analyzed

    The following resource areas have been tentatively identified for 
analysis in the EIS:

--Public and Occupational Health: Potential public and occupational 
consequences from construction, routine operation, transportation, and 
credible accident scenarios (including natural events);
--Waste Management: Types of wastes expected to be generated, handled, 
stored and subject to re-use or disposal;
--Land Use: Plans, policies and controls;
--Transportation: Transportation modes, routes, quantities, and risk 
--Geology and Soils: Physical geography, topography, geology and soil 
--Water Resources: Surface and groundwater hydrology, water use and 
quality, and the potential for degradation;
--Ecology: Wetlands, aquatic, terrestrial, economically and 
recreationally important species, and threatened and endangered 
--Air Quality: Meteorological conditions, ambient background, pollutant 
sources, and the potential for degradation;
--Noise: Ambient, sources, and sensitive receptors;
--Historical and Cultural Resources: Historical, archaeological, and 
traditional cultural resources;
--Visual and Scenic Resources: Landscape characteristics, manmade 
features and viewshed;
--Socioeconomics: Demography, economic base, labor pool, housing, 
transportation, utilities, public services/facilities, education, 
recreation, and cultural resources;
--Environmental Justice: Potential disproportionately high and adverse 
impacts to minority and low-income populations; and
--Cumulative Effects: Impacts from past, present and reasonably 
foreseeable actions at and near the site.

    The examples under each resource area are not intended to be all 
inclusive, nor is this list an indication that environmental impacts 
will occur. The list is presented to facilitate comments on the scope 
of the EIS. Additions to, or deletions from, this list may occur as a 
result of the public scoping process.

5.0 Scoping Meetings

    This NOI is to encourage public involvement in the EIS process and 
to solicit public comments on the proposed scope and content of the 
EIS. NRC will hold a public scoping meeting in Piketon, OH on November 
15, 2004 to solicit both oral and written comments from interested 
    Scoping is an early and open process designed to determine the 
range of actions, alternatives, and potential impacts to be considered 
in the EIS, and to identify the significant issues related to the 
proposed action. Scoping is intended to solicit input from the public 
and other agencies so that the analysis can be more clearly focused on 
issues of genuine concern. The principal goals of the scoping process 
are to:

--Identify public concerns;
--Ensure that concerns are identified early and are properly studied;
--Identify alternatives that will be examined;
--Identify significant issues that need to be analyzed; and
--Eliminate unimportant issues.

    The scoping meetings will begin with NRC staff providing a 
description of NRC's role and mission followed by a brief overview of 
NRC's environmental review process and goals of the scoping meeting. 
The bulk of the meeting will be allotted for attendees to make oral 

6.0 Scoping Comments

    Written comments should be mailed to the address listed above in 
the ADDRESSES section.
    The NRC staff will prepare a scoping summary report in which it 
will summarize public comments. The NRC will make the scoping summary 
report and project-related materials available for public review 
through its Electronic Reading Room: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. The scoping meeting summary and project-related materials 
will also be available on the NRC's USEC Web page: http://www.nrc.gov/materials/fuel-cycle-fac/usecfacility.html (case sensitive).

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7.0 The NEPA Process

    The EIS for the proposed ACP will be prepared according to NEPA and 
NRC NEPA implementing regulations contained in 10 CFR part 51.
    After the scoping process is complete, the NRC will prepare a draft 
EIS. The draft EIS is scheduled to be published by July 2005. A 45-day 
comment period on the draft EIS is planned, and a public meeting to 
receive comments will be held approximately three weeks after 
publication of the draft EIS. Availability of the draft EIS, the dates 
of the public comment period, and information about the public meeting 
will be announced in the Federal Register, on NRC's USEC Web page, and 
in the local news media. The final EIS is expected to be published in 
March 2006 and will incorporate, as appropriate, public comments 
received on the draft EIS.

    Signed in Rockville, MD, this 7th day of October 2004.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
B. Jennifer Davis,
Chief, Environmental and Performance Assessment Directorate, Division 
of Waste Management and Environmental Protection, Office of Nuclear 
Material Safety and Safeguards.
[FR Doc. 04-23134 Filed 10-14-04; 8:45 am]