[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 156 (Friday, August 14, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 41174-41176]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-19542]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[NRC-2009-0145; Docket No. 40-9079]


Uranium One Americas; Antelope and JAB Uranium Project New Source 
Material License Application; Notice of Intent to Prepare a 
Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement

AGENCY: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Notice of Intent (NOI).

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[[Page 41175]]

SUMMARY: Uranium One Americas (Uranium One) submitted an application 
for a new source material license for the Antelope and JAB Uranium 
Project to be located in Sweetwater County, Wyoming, approximately 38 
miles northwest of Rawlins, Wyoming and approximately 90 miles 
southwest of Casper, Wyoming. The application proposes the 
construction, operation, and decommissioning of in-situ recovery (ISR), 
also known as in-situ leach, facilities and restoration of the aquifer 
from which the uranium is being extracted. Uranium One submitted the 
application for the new source material license to the U.S. Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission (NRC) by a letter dated July 3, 2008. A notice of 
receipt and availability of the license application, including the 
Environmental Report (ER), and opportunity to request a hearing was 
published in the Federal Register on May 19, 2009 (74 FR 23436). The 
purpose of this NOI is to inform the public that the NRC will be 
preparing a site-specific Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement 
(SEIS) to the Generic Environmental Impact Statement for In-Situ Leach 
Uranium Milling Facilities (ISR GEIS) for a new source material license 
for the Antelope and JAB Uranium Project, as required by 10 CFR 
51.26(d). In addition, as outlined in 36 CFR 800.8, ``Coordination with 
the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA),'' the NRC plans to use 
the environmental review process as reflected in 10 CFR part 51 to 
coordinate compliance with section 106 of the National Historic 
Preservation Act.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general information on the NRC 
NEPA process or the environmental review process related to the 
Antelope and JAB Uranium Project application, please contact the NRC 
Environmental Project Manager, Johari Moore, at (301) 415-7694 or 
johari.moore@nrc.gov.
    Information and documents associated with the Antelope and Jab 
Uranium Project, including the license application, are available for 
public review through our electronic reading room: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html and on the NRC's Antelope and JAB Uranium Project 
Web page: http://www.nrc.gov/info-finder/materials/uranium/apps-in-review/jab-antelope-new-app-review.html. Documents may also be obtained 
from NRC's Public Document Room at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission Headquarters, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, 
Maryland.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

1.0 Background

    Uranium One submitted the application for a new source material 
license to the NRC for ISR facilities by a letter dated July 3, 2008. A 
notice of receipt and availability of the license application, 
including the ER, and opportunity to request a hearing was published in 
the Federal Register on May 19, 2009 (74 FR 23436). No requests for 
hearing were received.
    The NRC is preparing a SEIS that will tier off of the ISR GEIS 
(NUREG-1910). The NRC staff is planning to place ads in newspapers 
serving communities near the proposed site requesting information and 
comments from the public regarding the proposed action. Also, NRC staff 
plans to meet with and gather information from local agencies and 
public interest groups in conjunction with a visit to the proposed 
site. However, no public scoping meetings will be held as part of this 
review. NRC staff may also use relevant information gathered for the 
GEIS to define the scope of the SEIS. The NRC staff is consulting with 
Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Army 
Corps of Engineers, Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, 
Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office, Shoshone and Arapaho Tribal 
Historic Preservation Offices, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, and 
Natural Resource Conservation District in preparing the SEIS.
    The NRC has begun evaluating the potential environmental impacts 
associated with the proposed ISR facility in parallel with the review 
of the license application. This environmental evaluation will be 
documented in draft and final SEISs in accordance with NEPA and NRC's 
implementing regulations contained in 10 CFR part 51. The NRC is 
required by 10 CFR 51.20(b)(8) to prepare an Environmental Impact 
Statement (EIS) or supplement to an EIS for the issuance of a license 
to possess and use source material for uranium milling. The ISR GEIS 
and the site-specific SEIS fulfill this regulatory requirement. The 
purpose of the present notice is to inform the public that the NRC 
staff will prepare a site-specific supplement to the ISR GEIS as part 
of the review of the application.

2.0 Antelope and JAB ISR Facilities

    The facilities, if licensed, would include a central processing 
plant, satellite facility, accompanying wellfields, and ion exchange 
columns. The process involves the dissolution of the water-soluble 
uranium from the mineralized host sandstone rock by pumping oxidants 
(oxygen or hydrogen peroxide) and chemical compounds (sodium 
bicarbonate) through a series of injection wells. The uranium-rich 
solution is transferred from production wells to either the central 
processing plant or satellite facility for uranium concentration using 
ion exchange columns. Final processing is conducted in the central 
processing plant to produce yellowcake, which would be sold to off-site 
facilities for further processing and eventual use as commercial fuel 
for use in nuclear power reactors.

3.0 Alternatives To Be Evaluated

    No-Action--The no-action alternative would be to deny the license 
application. Under this alternative, the NRC would not issue the 
license. This serves as a baseline for comparison.
    Proposed action--The proposed Federal action is to issue a license 
to use or process source material at the proposed ISR facilities. The 
license review process analyzes the construction, operation, and 
decommissioning of ISR facilities and restoration of the aquifer from 
which the uranium is being extracted. The ISR facilities would be 
located in Sweetwater County, Wyoming, approximately 38 miles northwest 
of Rawlins, Wyoming and approximately 90 miles southwest of Casper, 
Wyoming. The applicant would be issued an NRC license under the 
provisions of 10 CFR parts 40.
    Other alternatives not listed here may be identified through the 
environmental review process.

4.0 Environmental Impact Areas To Be Analyzed

    The following areas have been tentatively identified for analysis 
in the SEIS:
     Land Use: Plans, policies, and controls;
     Transportation: Transportation modes, routes, quantities, 
and risk estimates;
     Geology and Soils: Physical geography, topography, 
geology, and soil characteristics;
     Water Resources: Surface and groundwater hydrology, water 
use and quality, and the potential for degradation;
     Ecology: Wetlands, aquatic, terrestrial, economically and 
recreationally important species, and threatened and endangered 
species;
     Air Quality: Meteorological conditions, ambient 
background, pollutant sources, and the potential for degradation;

[[Page 41176]]

     Noise: Ambient, sources, and sensitive receptors;
     Historical and Cultural Resources: Historical, 
archaeological, and traditional cultural resources;
     Visual and Scenic Resources: Landscape characteristics, 
manmade features and viewshed;
     Socioeconomics: Demography, economic base, labor pool, 
housing, transportation, utilities, public services/facilities, and 
education;
     Environmental Justice: Potential disproportionately high 
and adverse impacts to minority and low-income populations;
     Public and Occupational Health: Potential public and 
occupational consequences from construction, routine operation, 
transportation, and credible accident scenarios (including natural 
events);
     Waste Management: Types of wastes expected to be 
generated, handled, and stored; and
     Cumulative Effects: Impacts from past, present, and 
reasonably foreseeable actions at and near the site(s).
    This list is not intended to be all inclusive, nor is it a 
predetermination of potential environmental impacts.

5.0 The NEPA Process

    The SEIS for the Antelope and JAB Uranium Project will be prepared 
pursuant to the NRC's NEPA Regulations at 10 CFR part 51. The NRC will 
continue its environmental review of the application and as soon as 
practicable, the NRC and its contractor will prepare and publish a 
draft SEIS. The NRC currently plans to have a 45-day public comment 
period for the draft SEIS. Availability of the draft SEIS and the dates 
of the public comment period will be announced in the Federal Register 
and the NRC Web site: http://www.nrc.gov. The final SEIS will include 
responses to public comments received on the draft SEIS.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 6th day of August 2009.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Christepher McKenney,
Acting Deputy Director, Environmental Protection and Performance 
Assessment Directorate, Division of Waste Management and Environmental 
Protection, Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental 
Management Programs.
[FR Doc. E9-19542 Filed 8-13-09; 8:45 am]
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