[Federal Register Volume 69, Number 199 (Friday, October 15, 2004)]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 04-23134]
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
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
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.
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
Other alternatives not listed here may be identified through the
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
--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).
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]
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