[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 123 (Monday, June 29, 2009)]
[Pages 31017-31018]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-15328]



Notice of Cancellation of the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership 
(GNEP) Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS)

AGENCY: Office of Nuclear Energy, U.S. Department of Energy.

[[Page 31018]]

ACTION: Notice of cancellation of Environmental Impact Statement 


SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE or Department) has decided 
to cancel the preparation of the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership 
Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (DOE/EIS-0396). This notice 
briefly describes the history of the GNEP PEIS.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information or copies of 
the Draft GNEP PEIS, please contact Dr. Rajendra Sharma, National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Compliance Officer, Office of Nuclear 
Energy (NE-43), U.S. Department of Energy, 19901 Germantown Road, 
Germantown, MD 20874, Telephone: 301-903-2899 or electronic mail: 
[email protected].
    For general information regarding the DOE NEPA process contact: Ms. 
Carol M. Borgstrom, Director, Office of NEPA Policy and Compliance (GC-
20), U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Ave., SW., 
Washington, DC 20585. Telephone: 202-586-4600, or leave a message at 1-
800-472-2756. Additional information regarding DOE NEPA activities and 
access to many of DOE's NEPA documents are available on the DOE Web 
site at http://www.gc.energy.gov/NEPA.



    On March 22, 2006, DOE published an Advance Notice of Intent to 
Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Global Nuclear Energy 
Partnership Technology Demonstration Program (71 FR 14505), soliciting 
comments on the proposed scope, alternatives and environmental issues 
to be analyzed. DOE stated that the technology demonstration program 
would demonstrate technologies needed to implement a closed fuel cycle 
that enables recycling and consumption of spent nuclear fuel in a 
proliferation-resistant manner.
    The comments that DOE received included suggestions to prepare a 
programmatic environmental impact statement addressing the entire GNEP 
Program. DOE agreed and on January 4, 2007, published its Notice of 
Intent to prepare the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership Programmatic 
Environmental Impact Statement (GNEP PEIS) in the Federal Register (72 
FR 331). The public scoping period for the GNEP PEIS was later extended 
(72 FR 15871, April 3, 2007) and concluded on June 4, 2007. DOE 
considered the scoping comments in preparing the Draft GNEP PEIS. The 
Draft GNEP PEIS analyzed the potential environmental impacts of 
expanding nuclear power in the U.S. using either the existing fuel 
cycle or various alternative closed and open fuel cycles. DOE's stated 
preference in the Draft was to close the fuel cycle, although it did 
not identify a specific preferred alternative.
    Publication of the Notice of Availability of the Draft GNEP PEIS 
(73 FR 61858, October 17, 2008; also see 73 FR 61845, October 17, 2008) 
commenced a 60-day public comment period and provided a schedule for 13 
public hearings to receive comments on the Draft GNEP PEIS. Consistent 
with the announced schedule, DOE conducted public hearings on the Draft 
GNEP PEIS during November and December 2008. In response to the public 
requests, on December 10, 2008, DOE announced an extension of the 
public comment period by 90 days, i.e., through March 16, 2009 (73 FR 
75087). On December 24, 2008, DOE announced (73 FR 79073) an additional 
public hearing which was held on January 12, 2009, in the town of 
Pahrump in Nye County, NV. At the close of the public comment period on 
March 16, 2009, DOE had received more than 14,500 comment documents on 
the Draft GNEP PEIS.
    Via this notice, DOE announces that it has decided to cancel the 
GNEP PEIS because it is no longer pursuing domestic commercial 
reprocessing, which was the primary focus of the prior Administration's 
domestic GNEP program. The Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009, provides 
$145 million for the continuation of research and development (R&D) on 
proliferation-resistant fuel cycles and waste management strategies. As 
described in the President's Fiscal Year 2010 budget request, the 
Department's fuel cycle R&D's focus is on ``long-term, science-based 
R&D of technologies with the potential to produce beneficial changes to 
the manner in which the nuclear fuel cycle and nuclear waste is 

    Issued in Washington, DC, on June 23, 2009.
R. Shane Johnson,
Acting Assistant Secretary, Office of Nuclear Energy.
[FR Doc. E9-15328 Filed 6-26-09; 8:45 am]