[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 126 (Friday, July 1, 2005)]
[Pages 38218-38219]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E5-3433]



[Docket No. 70-3103]

Louisiana Energy Service's Proposed National Enrichment Facility; 
Notice of Availability of Final Environmental Impact Statement

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Notice of availability of Final Environmental Impact Statement.


Environmental and Performance Assessment Directorate, Division of Waste 
Management and Environmental Protection, Office of Nuclear Material 
Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, 
DC 20555. Telephone: (301) 415-5835; e-mail: [email protected].
SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission (NRC) is issuing a Final Environmental Impact Statement 
(FEIS) on the proposed construction, operation, and decommissioning of 
the National Enrichment Facility (NEF), a gaseous centrifuge uranium 
enrichment facility, near Eunice, New Mexico. The FEIS is being issued 
as part of the NRC's decision-making process on whether to authorize 
Louisiana Energy Services (LES) to construct, operate, and decommission 
the proposed NEF.
    The proposed NEF would produce enriched uranium-235 
(235U) up to 5 weight percent by the gas centrifuge process 
with a nominal production of 3 million separative work units per year. 
The enriched uranium would be used in commercial nuclear power plants. 
The FEIS discusses the purpose and need for the proposed NEF, and 
reasonable alternatives to the proposed action, including the no-action 
alternative. The FEIS also discusses the environment potentially 
affected by the proposed action, presents and compares potential 
environmental impacts resulting from the proposed action and its 
alternatives, and identifies the mitigation measures proposed by LES to 
eliminate or lessen the potential environmental impacts.
    Based on the evaluation in the FEIS, the NRC environmental review 
staff has concluded that the proposed action will generally have small 
to moderate effects on the public and the existing environment. This 
FEIS reflects the final analysis of environmental impacts of LES's 
proposal and its alternatives, including the consideration of public 
comments received by the NRC.

ADDRESSES: The NRC maintains an Agencywide Documents Access and

[[Page 38219]]

Management System (ADAMS), which provides text and image files of NRC's 
public documents. The FEIS and its appendices may be accessed through 
the NRC's Public Electronic Reading Room on the Internet at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html, using the ADAMS accession numbers 
ML051730238 and ML051730292 for Volumes 1 and 2 of the FEIS, 
respectively. If you do not have access to ADAMS or if there are 
problems in accessing the documents located in ADAMS, contact the NRC 
Public Document Room (PDR) Reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-
4737 or by email to [email protected].
    The FEIS is also available for inspection at the Commission's 
Public Document Room, U.S. NRC's Headquarters Building, 11555 Rockville 
Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland. Upon written request and to 
the extent supplies are available, a single copy of the FEIS can be 
obtained for a fee by writing to the Office of the Chief Information 
Officer, Reproduction and Distribution Services Section, U.S. Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; by electronic mail at 
[email protected]; or by fax at (301) 415-2289.
    A selected group of documents associated with the NEF may also be 
obtained from the Internet on NRC's NEF Web page: http://www.nrc.gov/materials/fuel-cycle-fac/lesfacility.html (case sensitive).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The NRC staff has prepared this FEIS in 
response to a December 2003 application submitted by LES for a license 
to construct, operate and decommission a gas centrifuge uranium 
enrichment facility in Lea County, New Mexico. The FEIS for the 
proposed NEF was prepared by the staff of the NRC and its contractors, 
Advanced Technologies and Laboratories, International, Inc. and Pacific 
Northwest National Laboratory, in compliance with the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the NRC's regulations for 
implementing NEPA (10 CFR Part 51).
    The NRC staff published a Notice of Intent to prepare an 
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed NEF and to 
conduct a scoping process, in the Federal Register on February 4, 2004 
(69 FR 5374). The NRC staff accepted scoping comments through March 18, 
2004, and subsequently issued a Scoping Summary Report in April 2004 
(ADAMS Accession Number: ML041050128). The NRC staff prepared and 
issued a Draft EIS in September 2004; notice of the availability of the 
Draft EIS appeared in the Federal Register on September 17, 2004 (69 FR 
56104). Public comments on the Draft EIS were accepted by the NRC staff 
until January 7, 2005. The NRC staff's responses to these comments and 
copies of the submitted comments are provided in appendices to the 
    The FEIS describes the proposed action and alternatives to the 
proposed action, including the no-action alternative, and describes the 
proposed mitigation measures. The NRC staff assesses the impacts of the 
proposed action and its alternatives on public and occupational health, 
air quality, water resources, waste management, geology and soils, 
noise, ecology resources, land use, transportation, historical and 
cultural resources, visual and scenic resources, socioeconomics, 
accidents and environmental justice. Additionally, the FEIS analyzes 
and compares the costs and benefits of the proposed action.
    After weighing the impacts, costs, and benefits of the proposed 
action and comparing alternatives, the NRC staff, in accordance with 10 
CFR 51.91(d), sets forth its final NEPA recommendation regarding the 
proposed action. The NRC staff recommends that the proposed action be 
approved, unless safety issues mandate otherwise.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 23rd day of June 2005.
    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Scott C. Flanders,
Deputy Director, Environmental and Performance Assessment Directorate, 
Division of Waste Management and Environmental Protection, Office of 
Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.
[FR Doc. E5-3433 Filed 6-30-05; 8:45 am]