[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 73 (Monday, April 18, 2005)]
[Pages 20184-20187]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-7657]



[Docket No. 50-213]

Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact 
Related to Exemption of Material for Proposed Disposal Procedures for 
the Connecticut Yankee Atomic Power Company License DPR-061, East 
Hampton, CT

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Theodore Smith, Division of Waste 
Management and Environmental Protection, Office of Nuclear Material 
Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Mail Stop 
T7E18, Washington, DC 20555-00001. Telephone: (301) 415-6721; e-mail 
[email protected].


I. Introduction

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff is considering a 
September 16, 2004, request by the Connecticut Yankee Atomic Power 
Company (CYAPCO or Licensee), License DPR-61, to dispose of demolition 
debris from decommissioning the Haddam Neck Plant (HNP) in East 
Hampton, Connecticut. The request was submitted pursuant to Section 
20.2002 of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR 
20.2002), ``Method of Obtaining Approval of Proposed Disposal 
Procedures.'' The licensee proposes to demonstrate that the material is 
acceptable for burial at a Subtitle C, Resource Conservation and 
Recovery Act (RCRA) hazardous waste disposal facility in accordance 
with 10 CFR 20.2002. The RCRA facility is regulated by the State of 
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, and any disposal must comply 
with State requirements. This action, if approved, would also exempt 
the slightly contaminated material from further Atomic Energy Act (AEA) 
and NRC licensing requirements. The NRC has prepared an Environmental 
Assessment (EA) in support of this proposed action in accordance with 
the requirements of 10 CFR Part 51. Based on the EA, the NRC has 
determined that a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) is 

II. Environmental Assessment


    The waste material (the demolition debris) intended for disposal 
includes flooring materials, concrete, rebar, roofing materials, 
structural steel, soils associated with digging up foundations, and 
concrete and/or pavement or other similar solid materials. Soils 
remediated for the purpose of meeting the final status survey 
requirements of the HNP License Termination Plan (LTP) (i.e., exceed 
the Derived Concentration Guideline Levels [DCGL] in the LTP) are not 
included in this action. CYAPCO intends to scabble off surface concrete 
where contamination or activation levels are high, and to dispose of 
this material at radioactive waste disposal facilities. The demolition 
debris will originate from the destruction and removal of structures 
and paved surfaces at the HNP site, after the structure/surface has 
been decontaminated to remove areas that are highly contaminated. The 
underlying soil will be surveyed in accordance with CYAPCO's LTP.
    The physical form of this demolition debris will be that of bulk 
material of various sizes ranging from the size of sand grains up to 
occasional monoliths with a volume of several cubic feet. The material 
will be dry solid waste containing no absorbents or chelating agents. 
The mass of demolition debris originating from the decommissioning of 
the HNP is estimated to be approximately 45,000 metric tons (50,000 
tons). After compaction, the estimated volume of material to be 
disposed of is approximately 30,500 cubic meters (40,000 cubic yards).
    The licensee has demonstrated by calculation that the potential 
dose consequence is less than 30 microsieverts per year ([mu]Sv/y) (3.0 
millirem per year [mrem/y]), as a result of the proposed burial of 
demolition debris in a RCRA facility.

Proposed Action

    The proposed action would approve the removal of approximately 
45,000 metric tons (50,000 tons) of demolition debris from the HNP, 
transportation of the debris, and disposition of the debris at the U.S. 
Ecology facility in Grand View, Idaho. The proposed action also would 
exempt the low-contamination material from further Atomic Energy Act 
and NRC licensing requirements. The licensee has conservatively assumed 
a radionuclide inventory for the demolition debris and calculated the 
potential dose as less than 30 microsieverts per year ([mu]Sv/y) (3.0 
millirem per year [mrem/y]), if all the material were disposed of in 
such a facility. The proposed action is in accordance with the 
licensee's application dated September 16, 2004, and supplements dated 
December 17, 2004, March 1, 2005, and March 29, 2005, requesting 

Need for Proposed Action

    The licensee needs to dispose of 45,000 metric tons (50,000 tons) 
of demolition debris since the HNP site is currently undergoing 
licensed decontamination and decommissioning in accordance with the 
LTP. Characterization and conservative modeling of the material to be 
included as demolition debris have been used to develop overall 
averages for radionuclide concentrations. These averages are listed 
below in Table 1. The licensee proposes to dispose of 45,000 metric 
tons (50,000 tons) of demolition debris at U.S. Ecology, Idaho, which 
is a Subtitle C, RCRA hazardous waste disposal facility. This proposed 
action, would also require NRC to exempt the slightly contaminated 
material authorized for disposal from further AEA and NRC licensing 

              Table 1.--Overall Radionuclide Concentrations
                                               Average        Average
                                            concentration  concentration
               Radionuclide                 in  becquerel  in picoCuries
                                               per gram    per gram (pCi/
                                                (Bq/g)           g)
H-3.......................................       9.7e+00        2.6e+02
C-14......................................       3.6e-01        9.7e+00
Mn-54.....................................       6.3e-05        1.7e-03
Fe-55.....................................       5.2e-03        1.4e-01
Co-60.....................................       1.0e-02        2.8e-01
Ni-63.....................................       6.3e-02        1.7e+00
Sr-90.....................................       1.1e-03        3.0e-02
Nb-94.....................................       4.8e-05        1.3e-03
Tc-99.....................................       2.4e-04        6.5e-03
Ag-108m...................................       7.4e-05        2.0e-03
Cs-134....................................       1.8e-04        4.9e-03
Cs-137....................................       3.6e-02        9.7e-01
Eu-152....................................       1.9e-04        5.0e-03
Eu-154....................................       1.4e-04        3.8e-03
Eu-155....................................       1.4e-04        3.9e-03
Pu-238....................................       1.4e-04        3.7e-03
Pu-239....................................       4.4e-05        1.2e-03
Pu-241....................................       1.9e-03        5.1e-02
Am-241....................................       2.4e-04        6.6e-03
Cm-243....................................       4.1e-05        1.1e-03

Alternatives to the Proposed Action

    Alternatives to the proposed action include: (1) Taking no action, 

[[Page 20185]]

decontaminating the buildings and structures before demolition, or 
decontaminating the debris, (3) decontaminating and conducting final 
status surveys of the buildings, and (4) handling demolition debris as 
low-level radioactive waste and shipping it to a low-level waste 
facility. CYAPCO has determined that disposal of these demolition 
wastes in a Subtitle C, RCRA hazardous waste disposal facility is less 
costly than alternatives 2, 3 and 4. Disposal of the demolition debris 
in the manner proposed is protective of public health and safety, and 
is the most cost-effective alternative.

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    The 45,000 metric tons (50,000 tons) of demolition debris will come 
from the HNP containment building, residual heat exchanger facility, 
the waste disposal building, the auxiliary building, the spent fuel 
pool and building, the service building, and facility soils, asphalt 
and other small structures. The HNP is located in the Town of Haddam, 
Middlesex County, Connecticut, on the east bank of the Connecticut 
River at a point 21 miles south-southeast of Hartford, Connecticut and 
25 miles northeast of New Haven, Connecticut. The reactor was 
permanently shutdown on December 5, 1996, and the site is currently 
undergoing active decommissioning. The current site is approximately 
430 acres. The distance between the HNP and U.S. Ecology, Idaho, is 
approximately 2,500 miles. The driving time would be approximately 50 
hours (assuming average speed of 50 miles per hour).
    The NRC has completed its evaluation of the proposed action and 
concludes there are no significant radiological environmental impacts 
associated with the disposal of 45,000 metric tons (50,000 tons) of 
demolition debris to U.S. Ecology, Idaho, which is a Subtitle C, RCRA 
hazardous waste disposal facility. The licensee's analysis used 
conservative estimates of the average radionuclide concentrations based 
on ongoing site characterization. The licensee analyzed the dose to a 
transport driver, loader, disposal facility worker, and long-term 
impacts to a resident. Each of the analyses conservatively estimated 
the exposure to less than 30 [mu]Sv (3.0 mrem) total dose per year. The 
proposed action will not significantly increase the probability or 
consequences of accidents and there is no significant increase in 
occupational or public radiation exposures.
    With regard to potential non-radiological impacts, the HNP is 
considered to be a potentially historically significant site. Potential 
impacts from site decommissioning and dismantlement were previously 
considered as part of the HNP LTP review. Site decommissioning is being 
conducted in accordance with mitigation measures established by the 
State Historical Preservation Office, which included documentation of 
HNP facility in accordance with the professional standards of the 
National Park Service's Historic American Engineering Record. There is 
no additional impact to historic archaeological resources resulting 
from alternate disposal location for demolition debris.
    The disposal of demolition debris does not affect non-radiological 
plant effluents. There may be a slight decrease in air quality and 
slight increase in noise impacts during the loading and transportation 
the demolition debris. However, there are no expected adverse impacts 
to air quality as a result of the loading and transportation of the 
demolition debris.
    CYAPCO estimates that transportation of the demolition debris will 
require between 2,500-3,000 truck shipments. CYACPO is engaging the 
local community and government officials for awareness and coordination 
of the shipping activities in the area immediately surrounding the HNP. 
There is no anticipated overall impact from the alternate disposal as 
the shipping effort represents a small fraction of the national 
commercial freight activity. The total tonnage to be shipped represents 
0.0005 percent of the total U.S. annual commercial freight trucking 
activity (based on 2002 data). Similarly, the total ton-miles for the 
alternate disposal represents 0.0087 percent of the total U.S. annual 
commercial freight trucking activity in the same time period. 
Additionally, these activities will be short in duration and minimal as 
compared to other activities at the HNP. Therefore, there are no 
significant non-radiological environmental impacts associated with the 
proposed action.
    The proposed action and attendant exemption of the material from 
further AEA and NRC licensing requirements will not significantly 
increase the probability or consequences of accidents. In addition, no 
changes are being made in the types of any effluents that may be 
released off site, and there is no significant increase in occupational 
or public radiation exposure.

Environmental Impacts of the Alternatives to the Proposed Action

    As an alternative to the proposed action, the staff considered 
denial of the proposed action (i.e., the ``no-action'' alternative). 
The result of the no-action alternative is that the demolition debris 
would remain on site until disposition sometime in the future. 
Therefore, the impacts therefore be limited to the site, and there 
would be no transportation impacts and no disposal considerations or 
impacts until sometime in the future.
    Two of the alternatives to the proposed action would be to 
decontaminate the buildings and structures prior to demolition or final 
status survey. The environmental impacts as a result of these 
alternatives would decrease air quality, and increase the noise and 
water usage, as necessary, during the decontamination process. 
Additionally, there would be an increase in occupational exposure as a 
result of the decontamination process.
    Disposing of the demolition debris in a low-level waste disposal 
facility is another alternative to the proposed action. This 
alternative has similar environmental impacts as the proposed action, 
but is more costly.

Agencies and Persons Consulted

    This EA was prepared by Theodore B. Smith, M.S., Environmental 
Engineer, Decommissioning Directorate, Division of Waste Management and 
Environmental Protection (DWMEP). NRC staff determined that the 
proposed action is not a major decommissioning activity and will not 
affect listed or proposed endangered species, nor critical habitat. 
Therefore, no further consultation is required under Section 7 of the 
Endangered Species Act. Likewise, NRC staff determined that the 
proposed action is not the type of activity that has the potential to 
cause previously unconsidered effects on historic properties, as 
consultation for site decommissioning has been conducted previously. 
There are no additional impacts to historic properties associated with 
the disposal method and location for demolition debris. Therefore, no 
consultation is required under Section 106 of the National Historic 
Preservation Act. The NRC provided a draft of its Environmental 
Assessment (EA) to the following individuals: Mike Firsick, Supervisor, 
Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Radiological Health 
Section, 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106-5127. Doug Walker, Senior 
Health Physicist, State INEEL Oversight Program, 900 North Skyline, 
Suite B, Idaho Falls, ID 83402-1718.

[[Page 20186]]

    The State of Connecticut questioned the basis for the conclusion 
that impacts to air quality and noise were minimal, and expressed 
concern about operation of diesel fuel trucks in the state, since the 
state is in non-attainment (i.e. out of compliance with the 
Environmental Protection Agency standards) for ozone pollution.
    NRC staff considered the state's comment, and provides the 
following clarifying information:
    Transportation impacts for decommissioning nuclear facilities were 
considered in NUREG-0586, Generic Environmental Impact Statement on 
Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities, Supplement 1, dated November 
2002, and determined to be not significant.
    The 2,500-3,000 shipments scheduled to occur is a very small 
fraction of the total number of operating diesel vehicles in the state 
of Connecticut. Ninety-nine percent of Connecticut school buses run on 
diesel. Discounting the approximately 360 buses which have had some 
form of emission reducing equipment retrofit, this still represents 
5,680 buses a day operating for 9 months a year. This figure does not 
include city mass transit systems or other commercial shipping. The 
operation of unmodified diesel engine school buses in the State of 
Connecticut represents over one million vehicle days of operation 
annually. The proposed CYAPCO action represents 0.27 percent of the 
unmodified diesel school bus traffic in a year in the State of 
Connecticut, and therefore, is not considered significant.
    Further, for the ``moderate'' non-attainment classification of the 
Haddam Neck and surrounding area, EPA has established an attainment 
date of June 2010. Due to the relatively quick breakdown of the ozone 
affecting chemicals compounds in diesel exhaust, the proposed shipping 
campaign will have no impact on ozone attainment in Connecticut in 
    On February 14, 2005, several comments were received from the State 
of Idaho Department of Environmental Quality. In response to Idaho's 
comments and requests, statements have been added to the Introduction 
to clarify that waste disposal at the U.S. Ecology RCRA C facility must 
comply with their state issued RCRA C permit, and to identify the 
proposed exemptions in the Need for Proposed Action section.
    Idaho also requested NRC to identify the exemption criteria, and to 
identify when and where the exemption takes effect. This information 
will be included in the Safety Evaluation Report and response to 
    Idaho requested NRC to clarify how the proposed action relates to 
regulation of transuranic elements in waste from NRC-licensed 
facilities. There are five transuranic radionuclides identified in 
CYAPCO's proposal; three isotopes of plutonium, americium-241, and 
curium-243. The plutonium isotopes are considered special nuclear 
material, subject to 10 CFR Part 70, while the americium and curium 
isotopes are byproduct materials subject to 10 CFR Part 30. As such, 
all the transuranic materials in the proposed action would be subject 
to specific exemption under either 10 CFR 30.11 or 10 CFR 70.17.
    Idaho requested NRC staff to identify to what extent NRC's 
evaluation relied upon U.S. Ecology's current performance assessment, 
waste acceptance criteria and verification, health and safety plan, 
post-closure requirements, radiation monitoring, and waste handling 
procedures. NRC staff's dose assessment relied only upon general RCRA 
facility operating practices and did not require detailed information 
about U.S. Ecology's facility as part of our analysis.
    Finally, the U.S. Ecology site currently accepts other non-NRC 
licensed radiological material, in accordance with their acceptance 
criteria. Idaho identified that if NRC determines that the CYAPCO 
decommissioning waste is exempt from its regulation, Idaho would have 
to assess the cumulative effects of this additional waste stream, and 
evaluate regulatory and permitting changes that may apply to U.S. 
Ecology's RCRA license.
    State licensing requirements notwithstanding, NRC staff have 
concluded that, since the conservatively modeled dose contribution from 
demolition debris is small (less than 30 [mu]Sv/y (3.0 mrem/y)), it 
would not constitute a significant increase in the cumulative dose at a 
RCRA C or other facility.

III. Finding of No Significant Impact

    On the basis of the environmental assessment, the NRC concludes 
that the proposed action will not have a significant effect on the 
quality of the human environment. Accordingly, the NRC has determined 
not to prepare an environmental impact statement for the proposed 

Sources Used

--Connecticut Yankee Atomic Power Company letter CY-04-168, dated 
September 16, 2004, Request for Approval of Proposed Procedures in 
Accordance with 10 CFR 20.2002 for alternate disposal at the U.S. 
Ecology Hazardous Waste Treatment and Disposal Facility in Idaho. 
--Connecticut Yankee Atomic Power Company letter CY-04-252, dated 
December 17, 2004, Supplemental Information. (ML043570446).
--Connecticut Yankee Atomic Power Company letter CY-05-057, dated March 
1, 2005, Supplemental Information. (ML050680216).
--Connecticut Yankee Atomic Power Company letter CY-05-090, dated March 
29, 2005, Supplemental Information (ML050960492).
--NRC 10 CFR 20.2002, ``Method of Obtaining Approval of Proposed 
Disposal Procedures''
--NUREG-1640, ``Radiological Assessment for Clearance of Materials from 
Nuclear Facilities.''
--NUREG-1748, ``Environmental Review Guidance for Licensing Actions 
Associated with NMSS Programs.''
--US DOT, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, ``Transportation 
Statistics Annual Report,'' September 2004.
--US DOT, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, ``Freight Shipments in 
America,'' April 2004.
--US EPA Health Assessment Document for Diesel Engine Exhaust.
--US EPA Designation for 8-Hour Nonattainment Areas in New England 
Questions and Answers.
--Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection Diesel Risk 
Reduction Strategies.
--Evaluation of Test Data Collected in 2001 and 2002 from Connecticut's 
Inspection/Maintenance Program, July 2004.
--NUREG -0586, Supplement 1, Generic Environmental Impact Statement of 
Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities, November 2002.
--State of Idaho Department of Environmental Quality letter dated 
February 7, 2005.

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: (1) ML042800489 for the 
licensee's exemption request letter of September 16, 2004, (2) 
ML043570446 for the licensee's supplement of

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December 17, 2004, (3) ML050680216 for the licensee's supplement of 
March 1, 2005 and (4) ML050960492 for the licensee's supplement of 
March 29, 2005. 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 8th day of April, 2005.
    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Daniel M. Gillen,
Deputy Director, Division of Waste Management and Environmental 
Protection, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.
[FR Doc. 05-7657 Filed 4-15-05; 8:45 am]