[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 189 (Friday, September 30, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 57331-57333]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-19647]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 030-11241]


Notice of Environmental Assessment Related to the Issuance of a 
License Termination Amendment to Byproduct Material License No. 22-
00027-06, for St. Mary's University of Minnesota, Winona, MN

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Issuance of Environmental Assessment and Finding of No 
Significant Impact for License Amendment.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: George M. McCann, Senior Health 
Physicist, Decommissioning Branch, Division of Nuclear Materials 
Safety, Region III, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 2443 
Warrenville Road, Lisle, Illinois 60532-4352; telephone: (630) 829-
9856; or by email at [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) 
is considering the issuance of an amendment to NRC Materials License 
No. 22-00027-06, which would terminate St. Mary's University of 
Minnesota's NRC Byproduct Material License. The NRC has prepared an 
Environmental Assessment in support of this action in accordance with 
the requirements of 10 CFR Part 51. Based on the Environmental 
Assessment, the NRC has determined that a Finding of No Significant 
Impact is appropriate. The amendment terminating St. Mary's University 
of Minnesota's license will be issued following the publication of this 
Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact.

I. Environmental Assessment

Identification of Proposed Action

    The proposed action would approve the licensee's request to 
terminate its license and release the site for unrestricted use in 
accordance with 10 CFR Part 20, Subpart E. The proposed action is in 
accordance with St. Mary's University of Minnesota's request to the 
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to terminate its NRC Byproduct

[[Page 57332]]

Material License by letters dated January 10, 2005 (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML050140064), and July 18, 2005 (ADAMS Accession No. ML052290386). St. 
Mary's University of Minnesota was licensed during the late 1950s by 
the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission by License Numbers 22-27-03D60, 22-
27-04C65, and 22-00027-05, to use byproduct materials such as 
phosphorus-32, carbon-14, hydrogen-3, cesium-137, strontium-90, and 
other similar radiological materials for university laboratory research 
and student classroom instruction. These licenses were subsequently 
terminated and superceded by NRC License No. 22-00027-06, issued to the 
university on May 19, 1975.
    The university used the byproduct material in research 
laboratories, student classrooms, and radiological material preparation 
and storage areas located in the university's Brothers Charles and 
Hoffman Halls, located on its Winona Campus. The isotopes were used by 
authorized academic staff for research applications, and for the 
instruction of university students in related sciences. The 
radioisotopes were used and disposed in accordance with AEC/NRC 
regulations and license conditions. The disposal included one September 
17, 1977, onsite burial of a small quantity of strontium-90 and cobalt-
60, which was authorized pursuant to Title 10, Code of Federal 
Regulations (CFR), Part 20, Section 20.304 (rescinded in 1981).
    The licensee requested that the NRC approve the termination of the 
university's NRC Byproduct Material License, which would authorize the 
unrestricted use of research laboratories, student classrooms, 
radioisotope storage and preparation areas, and the former burial area, 
all located on St. Mary's of Minnesota's, Winona, Minnesota campus. The 
licensee conducted surveys of the facility and provided this 
information to the NRC to demonstrate that the radiological conditions 
of the laboratories, former preparation and storage areas, and 
classrooms located in Brothers Charles and Hoffman Halls, and the 
former burial area is consistent with radiological criteria for 
unrestricted use in 10 CFR Part 20, Subpart E. No radiological 
remediation activities are required to complete the proposed action. 
The NRC completed a closeout inspection and survey of the licensee's 
facilities on August 17, 2005, NRC Inspection Report No. 030-11241/05-
001(DNMS) (ADAMS Accession No. ML052340785) to conduct independent 
radiological surveys and to verify the licensee's survey findings.

Need for the Proposed Action

    The licensee is requesting this license amendment because it no 
longer plans to conduct NRC-licensed activities at St. Mary's 
University of Minnesota. The NRC is fulfilling its responsibilities 
under the Atomic Energy Act to make a decision on the proposed action 
for decommissioning that ensures that residual radioactivity is reduced 
to a level that is protective of the public health and safety and the 
environment.

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    The NRC staff reviewed the information provided and surveys 
performed by St. Mary's University of Minnesota to demonstrate that the 
release of the university's facilities located at its Winona, Minnesota 
campus are consistent with the radiological criteria for unrestricted 
use specified in 10 CFR 20.1402. The NRC performed a closeout 
inspection and survey to confirm the university's findings. The NRC 
staff also evaluated the 10 CFR 20.304 burial using the Argonne 
National Laboratories' dose modeling program, RESRAD Version 6, and 
determined that the annual dose as a result of the burial is less than 
1 millirem per year (mrem/yr), which is below the limit in 10 CFR 
20.1402 of 25 mrem/yr for unrestricted use.
    Based on its review, the staff determined that the radiological 
environmental impacts from the proposed action for university buildings 
are bounded by the ``Generic Environmental Impact Statement in Support 
of Rulemaking on Radiological Criteria for License Termination of NRC-
Licensed Nuclear Facilities'' (NUREG-1496). Additionally, no non-
radiological or cumulative impacts were identified. Therefore, the NRC 
has determined that the proposed action will not have a significant 
effect on the quality of the human environment.

Alternatives to the Proposed Action

    The only alternative to the proposed action of releasing the 
university's facilities for unrestricted use is to take no action. 
Under the no-action alternative, the university's facilities would 
remain under an NRC license and would not be released for unrestricted 
use. Denial of the license amendment request would result in no change 
to current conditions at the university. The no-action alternative is 
not acceptable because it is inconsistent with the NRC's Timeliness 
Rule, 10 CFR Part 30.36 ``Expiration and Termination of Licenses and 
Decommissioning of Sites and Separate Buildings or Outdoor Areas,'' 
which requires licensees who have ceased licensed activities to request 
termination of their radioactive material license. This alternative 
also would impose an unnecessary regulatory burden and limit potential 
benefits from future use of the university's facilities.

Conclusion

    The NRC staff concluded that the proposed action is consistent with 
the NRC unrestricted release criteria specified in 10 CFR Part 20, 
Subpart E, Section 20.1402, ``Radiological Criteria for Unrestricted 
Use.'' Because the proposed action will not significantly impact the 
quality of the human environment, the NRC staff concludes that the 
proposed action is the preferred alternative.

Agencies and Persons Consulted

    The NRC staff has determined that the proposed action will not 
affect listed species or critical habitats. Therefore, no further 
consultation is required under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act. 
Likewise, the NRC staff has determined that the proposed action is not 
a type of activity that has potential to cause effect on historic 
properties. Therefore, consultation under Section 106 of the National 
Historic Preservation Act is not required.
    The NRC consulted with the Minnesota Department of Health. The 
Minnesota Department of Health, Radiation Control Unit, was provided 
the draft EA for comment on August 22, 2005. The State responded to the 
NRC by letter dated September 7, 2005, indicating, ``The Minnesota 
Department of Health (MDH) has reviewed the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission's closeout inspection report for St. Mary's University of 
Minnesota. In addition, MDH has discussed the findings with NRC Region 
III staff. Based on a review of the closeout inspection report and our 
additional discussions, MDH has no comments or concerns.''

II. Finding of No Significant Impact

    On the basis of the EA in support of the proposed license amendment 
to release the site for unrestricted use, the NRC has determined that 
the proposed action will not have a significant effect on the quality 
of the human environment. Thus, the NRC has determined not to prepare 
an environmental impact statement for the proposed action.

Further Information

    A copy of this document will be available electronically for public 
inspection in the NRC Public Document

[[Page 57333]]

Room or from the Publicly Available Records (PARS) component of the 
NRC's document system. 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 following 
references are available for inspection at NRC's Public Electronic 
Reading Room at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html (the Public 
Electronic Reading Room).
    1. Rademacher, Brother Jerome, Chairman, Department of Physics, 
Radiation Safety Officer, St. Mary's University of Minnesota, January 
10, 2005 letter to the NRC (ML050140064).
    2. Rademacher, Brother Jerome, Chairman, Department of Physics, 
Radiation Safety Officer, St. Mary's University of Minnesota, July 18, 
2005 letter to the NRC (ML052290386).
    3. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ``Environmental Review 
Guidance for Licensing Actions Associated with NMSS Programs,'' NUREG-
1748, August 2003.
    4. NRC, NUREG-1757, ``Consolidated NMSS Decommissioning Guidance,'' 
Volumes 1-3, September 2003.
    5. Johns, Jr., George F., Supervisor, Radiation Control Unit, 
Minnesota Department of Health, September 7, 2005 letter to the NRC 
(ML052560161).
    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 (800) 397-4209, (301) 415-4737 
or by email to [email protected]. 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 Lisle, Illinois, this 19th day of September 2005.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission,
Jamnes L. Cameron,
Chief, Decommissioning Branch, Division of Nuclear Materials Safety 
Region III.
[FR Doc. 05-19647 Filed 9-29-05; 8:45 am]
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