[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 37 (Thursday, February 25, 2010)]
[Pages 8754-8756]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-3862]



[Docket No. 030-34325; NRC-2010-0068]

Notice of Environmental Assessment Related to the Issuance of a 
License Amendment to Masters Materials License 03-23853-01VA, for 
Unrestricted Release of a Department of Veterans Affairs Facility in 
Gainesville, FL

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

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


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Katie Streit, Health Physicist, 
Materials Control, ISFSI, and Decommissioning Branch, Division of 
Nuclear Materials Safety, Region III, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission, 2443 Warrenville Road, Lisle, Illinois 60532; Telephone: 
(630) 829-9621; fax number: (630) 515-1259; or by e-mail at 
[email protected].


I. Introduction

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is proposing to amend 
a materials permit held under Master Byproduct Materials License No. 
03-23853-01VA. The permit is held by the Department of Veterans Affairs 
(the Licensee), for its Veteran Affairs (VA) North Florida/South 
Georgia Veterans Health System located in Gainesville, Florida. 
Issuance of the amendment would authorize release of Building 26 (the 
Facility) for unrestricted use. The Licensee will continue its 
operation of other facilities under this permit and its master 
materials license. The Licensee requested this action in a letter dated 
October 29, 2009 (ML093060270). The NRC has prepared an Environmental 
Assessment (EA) in support of this proposed action in accordance with 
the requirements of Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 
51 (10 CFR Part 51). Based on the EA, the NRC has concluded that a 
Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) is appropriate with respect to 
the proposed action. The amendment will be issued to the Licensee 
following the publication of this FONSI and EA in the Federal Register.

II. Environmental Assessment

Identification of Proposed Action

    The proposed action would approve the Licensee's October 29, 2009, 
materials permit amendment request, resulting in release of the 
Facility for unrestricted use. License No. 03-23853-01VA was issued on 
March 17, 2003, pursuant to 10 CFR Parts 30 and 35, and has been 
amended periodically since that time. This master license authorizes 
the Licensee to use byproduct materials at several Licensee facilities 
around the country, as authorized on a site-specific basis by permits 
issued by the Licensee's National Radiation Safety Committee. Under the 
license, the permits authorize the use of by-product materials for 
various medical and veterinary purposes, and for portable gauges.
    Under the master material license permit, building 26 was used as a 
radioactive waste storage facility located

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at the VA North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System in 
Gainesville, Florida. The Facility is a storage shed of approximately 
20x10x8 feet of space. Radioactive materials with long lived half-lives 
of greater than 120 days stored in the Facility were H-3, C-14, Na-22, 
Cl-36, and Ca-45. The licensee removed all licensed material from the 
Facility and completed final status surveys and decontamination of the 
Facility in October 2009.
    Based on the licensee's historical knowledge of the site and the 
conditions of the Facility, the licensee determined that only routine 
decontamination activities, in accordance with their NRC approved, 
operating radiation safety procedures, were required. The licensee was 
not required to submit a decommissioning plan to the NRC because worker 
cleanup activities and procedures are consistent with those approved 
for routine operations. The licensee conducted surveys of the Facility 
and provided information to the NRC to demonstrate that Building 26 
meets the criteria in Subpart E of 10 CFR Part 20 for unrestricted use.

Need for the Proposed Action

    The licensee has ceased conducting license activities at the 
Facility, and seeks the unrestricted use of Building 26.

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Actions

    The historical review showed that the following radioactive 
materials with half-lives greater than 120 days were used: Hydrogen-3, 
Carbon-14, Sodium-22, Chlorine-36, and Calcium-45. Prior to performing 
the final status survey, the Licensee conducted decontamination 
activities, as necessary, in the areas of Building 26 affected by these 
    The licensee conducted final status surveys in August 2009 and 
October 2009 (ADAMS Accession No. ML093060270). The final status survey 
report was attached to the Licensee's amendment request dated October 
29, 2009. The licensee elected to demonstrate compliance with the 
radiological criteria for unrestricted use as specified in 10 CFR 
20.1402 by using the screening approach described in NUREG-1757, 
``Consolidated Decommissioning Guidance, Decommissioning Process for 
Material Licensees'' Volume 1 (ML063000243). The licensee used the 
radionuclide-specific derived concentration guideline levels (DCGLs) 
developed by the NRC, which conservatively comply with the dose 
criterion in 10 CFR 20.1402. These DCGLs define the maximum amount of 
residual radioactivity on building surfaces, equipment, and materials 
that will satisfy the NRC requirement in Subpart E of 10 CFR Part 20 
for unrestricted use. The licensee's final status survey results were 
below these DCGLs and are in compliance with the As Low As Reasonably 
Achievable (ALARA) requirement of 10 CFR 20.1402. The NRC thus finds 
that the licensee's final status survey results are acceptable.
    Based on its review, the staff has determined that the affected 
environment and any environmental impacts associated with the proposed 
action are bounded by the impacts evaluated by the ``Generic 
Environmental Impact Statement in Support of Rulemaking on Radiological 
Criteria for License Termination of NRC-Licensed Nuclear Facilities'' 
(NUREG-1496) Volumes 1-3 (ML042310492, ML042320379, and ML042330385). 
The staff finds there were no significant environmental impacts from 
the use of radioactive material within Building 26. The NRC staff 
reviewed the docket file records and the final status survey report to 
identify any non-radiological hazards that may have impacted the 
environment surrounding the buildings. No such hazards or impacts to 
the environment were identified. The NRC has identified no other 
radiological or non-radiological activities in the area that could 
result in cumulative environmental impacts.
    The NRC staff finds that the proposed release of Building 26 for 
unrestricted use is in compliance with 10 CFR 20.1402. Based on its 
review, the staff considered the impact of the residual radioactivity 
from Building 26 and concluded that the proposed action will not have a 
significant effect on the quality of the environment.

Environmental Impacts of the Alternatives to the Proposed Action

    Due to the largely administrative nature of the proposed action, 
its environmental impacts are small. Therefore, the only alternative 
the staff considered is the no-action alternative, under which the 
staff would leave things as they are by simply denying the amendment 
request. This no-action alternative is not feasible because it 
conflicts with 10 CFR 30.36(d) requiring that decommissioning of 
byproduct material facilities be completed and approved by the NRC 
after licensed activities cease. The NRC's analysis of the licensee's 
final status survey data confirmed that Building 26 meet the 
requirements of 10 CFR 20.1402 for unrestricted use. Additionally, 
denying the amendment request would result in no change in current 
environmental impacts. The environmental impacts of the proposed action 
and the no-action alternative are therefore similar, and the no-action 
alternative is accordingly not further considered.


    The NRC staff has concluded that the proposed action is consistent 
with the NRC's unrestricted use criteria specified in 10 CFR 20.1402. 
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

    On January 11, 2010 the NRC provided a draft of this EA to the 
State of Florida, Department of Health, Bureau of Radiation Control. 
The State provided no comments or questions.
    The NRC staff has determined that the proposed action is of a 
procedural nature and will not affect listed species or critical 
habitat. Therefore, no further consultation is required under Section 7 
of the Endangered Species Act. The NRC staff also determined that the 
proposed action is not the type of activity that has the potential to 
cause effects on historic properties. Therefore, no further 
consultation is required under Section 106 of the National Historic 
Preservation Act.

III. Finding of No Significant Impact

    The NRC staff has prepared this EA in support of the proposed 
action. On the basis of this EA, the NRC finds that there are no 
significant environmental impacts from the proposed action, and that 
preparation of an environmental impact statement is not warranted. 
Accordingly, the NRC has determined that a Finding of No Significant 
Impact is appropriate.

IV. Further Information

    Documents related to this action, including the application for 
license 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 image files of NRC's public documents. 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 e-mail to 
[email protected]. The documents related to

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this action are listed below, along with their ADAMS accession numbers.
    1. National Health Physics Program Request for Decommissioning for 
Unrestricted Release of Building 26 at the VA North Florida/South 
Georgia Veterans Health System, Gainesville, Florida, dated October 29, 
2009 (ADAMS Accession No. ML093060270).
    2. Additional Information for Closeout of Building 26 North 
Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System, Gainesville, Florida 
(ADAMS Accession No. ML100110095).
    3. Title 10 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 20, Subpart E, 
``Radiological Criteria for License Termination.''
    4. Title 10 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 51, ``Environmental 
Protection Regulations for Domestic Licensing and Related Regulatory 
    5. NUREG-1556, Consolidated Guidance about Material Licenses, 
Volume 9.
    6. NUREG-1757, Consolidated Decommissioning Guidance.
    7. These documents may also be viewed electronically on the public 
computers located at the NRC's PDR, O1F21, 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 17th day of February 2010.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Christine A. Lipa,
Chief, Materials Control, ISFSI, and Decommissioning Branch, Division 
of Nuclear Materials Safety, Region III.
[FR Doc. 2010-3862 Filed 2-24-10; 8:45 am]