[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 15 (Tuesday, January 25, 2005)]
[Pages 3568-3569]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-1281]



[Docket No. 40-8027]

Notice of Availability of Environmental Assessment and Finding of 
No Significant Impact for License Amendment for Sequoyah Fuels 
Corporation, Gore, OK

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Myron Fliegel, Project manager, Fuel 
Cycle Facilities Branch, Division of Fuel Cycle Safety and Safeguards, 
Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC, 20555. Telephone: (301) 415-
6629; fax number: (301) 415-5955; e-mail: [email protected].


I. Introduction

    The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing a license 
amendment to Material License No. SUB-1010 issued to Sequoyah Fuels 
Corporation (the licensee), to authorize the licensee to dewater 
existing raffinate sludge and temporarily store the dewatered sludge at 
its Gore, Oklahoma facility prior to final disposition. NRC has 
prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) in support of this amendment 
in accordance with the requirements of 10 CFR Part 51. Based on the EA, 
the NRC has concluded that a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) 
is appropriate. The amendment will be issued following the publication 
of this Notice.

II. EA Summary

    The purpose of the proposed amendment is to authorize the licensee 
to dewater existing raffinate sludge and temporarily store the 
dewatered sludge at its Gore, Oklahoma facility prior to final 
disposition. Approximately 1 million cubic feet of raffinate sludge was 
produced, as a waste, during the operation of the SFC facility. The 
sludge, which contains various metals in addition to uranium, thorium, 
and radium, is 15 to 20 percent solid material and is stored in three 
hypalon-lined impoundments on the site. It must be dewatered prior to 
permanent disposal, either in an onsite disposal cell or offsite at a 
licensed disposal facility. The licensee proposes to dewater the 
raffinate sludge using a pressurized plate press filtering process. The 
equipment would be set up in an area near the impoundments containing 
the sludge and dismantled at the conclusion of the dewatering process. 
The dewatered sludge would be put into 2200 pound capacity bags of 
woven polypropylene fabric and temporarily stored on a nearby concrete 
pad prior to final disposal. Temporary storage cells will be 
constructed on the concrete pad to contain the bags of raffinate 
sludge. The cells will be lined with 20 mil, high density cross-
laminated polyethylene and covered with the same material.
    On January 7, 2004, Sequoyah Fuels Corporation requested that NRC 
approve the proposed amendment. The licensee's request for the proposed 
change was previously noticed in the Federal Register on March 17, 2004 
(69 FR 12715), with a notice of an opportunity to request a hearing.
    The staff has prepared the EA in support of the proposed license 
amendment. The only environmental impact under normal conditions would 
be an increase in the radon concentration in the air at the site. 
However, the radon concentration at the site boundary would be well 
below the 10 CFR Part 20 standard. There is also a potential for 
release of some material during adverse meteorological conditions. In 
the unlikely event of a tornado strike on the cells, some of the sludge 
can be dispersed, but it is unlikely that it would be carried offsite. 
The licensee would be required to clean up the dispersed material. Some 
severe precipitation events could result in release of some sludge to 
the nearby Illinois River and Robert S. Kerr Reservoir but 
concentrations are unlikely to exceed the standards for normal releases 
in 10 CFR Part 20. The staff has concluded that the proposed action, to 
dewater existing raffinate sludge and temporarily store it in lined and 
covered cells, will result in minimal environmental impacts. Radon 
levels will be increased but will remain well within regulatory limits. 
In addition, there is the potential, under unusual conditions (e.g., 
during a severe storm), of releasing small amounts of contaminants in 
low concentrations, to the Robert S. Kerr Reservoir.

III. Finding of No Significant Impact

    On the basis of the EA, NRC has concluded that there are no 
significant environmental impacts from the proposed amendment and has 
determined not to prepare an environmental impact statement.

IV. Further Information

    Documents related to this action, including the application for 
amendment and supporting documentation, are available electronically at 
the NRC's Electronic Reading Room at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. From this site, you can access the NRC's Agencywide 
Document Access and Management System (ADAMS), which provides text and 
image files of NRC's public documents. The ADAMS accession numbers for 
the documents related to this notice are: SFC's amendment request, 
January 7, 2004, ML040150463 and NRC's Environmental Assessment,

[[Page 3569]]

January 12, 2005, ML050120184. If you do not have access to ADAMS or if 
there are problems in accessing the documents located in ADAMS, contact 
the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) Reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 
301-415-4737, or by e-mail to [email protected].
    These documents may also be viewed electronically on the public 
computers located at the NRC's PDR, O 1 F21, One White Flint North, 
11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. The PDR reproduction 
contractor will copy documents for a fee.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 14 day of January, 2005.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Myron Fliegel,
Project Manager, Fuel Cycle Facilities Branch, Division of Fuel Cycle 
Safety and Safeguards, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and 
[FR Doc. 05-1281 Filed 1-24-05; 8:45 am]