[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 64 (Monday, April 5, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 17167-17169]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-7604]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[Docket No. 40-9068; NRC-2008-0391]


Notice of Availability of Environmental Assessment and Finding of 
No Significant Impact for an Exemption to the Part 40 Commencement of 
Construction Requirements, Lost Creek ISR, LLC, Sweetwater County, WY

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tanya Palmateer Oxenberg, Ph.D., 
Project Manager, Uranium Recovery Licensing Branch, Division of Waste 
Management and Environmental Protection, Office of Federal and State 
Materials and Environmental Management Programs, U.S. Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001. Telephone: (301) 415-
6142; fax number: (301) 415-5369; e-mail: tanya.oxenberg@nrc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Introduction

    By letter dated July 2, 2009, Lost Creek ISR, LLC (the Applicant)

[[Page 17168]]

submitted a request to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) 
seeking an exemption from the ``commencement of construction'' 
provisions of 10 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 40.32(e) for certain 
site preparation activities. As discussed in its technical evaluation 
report (TER), the NRC is granting this request, in part. The NRC is 
authorizing the Applicant to undertake certain site preparation 
activities for its proposed Lost Creek in situ recovery (ISR) project 
in Sweetwater County, Wyoming, before a decision is made on whether to 
grant the Applicant's pending request for a uranium milling operating 
license. Granting the July 2, 2009, exemption request does not mean 
that the NRC has decided to issue an operating license, and the 
Applicant would be undertaking these site preparation activities with 
the risk that its pending NRC license application may later be denied. 
The NRC has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) in support of the 
exemption being granted in accordance with the requirements of 10 CFR 
51.21. A draft of this EA was published in the Federal Register for 
public comment on November 9, 2009 (74 FR 57712). As indicated below in 
Section IV, the final EA is available for review, as is the TER. The 
final EA is summarized below.

II. EA Summary

    The exemption being granted authorizes site preparation activities 
to be undertaken at the Applicant's proposed Lost Creek ISR site. 
Specifically, the exemption will allow the Applicant to conduct 
activities that do not have a nexus to radiological health and safety, 
and thus do not require an NRC license. As discussed in the TER, the 
NRC authorizes site preparation activities to be undertaken, except for 
the following:
    1. Construction of the processing plant. The processing plant will 
concentrate, precipitate, and dry yellowcake, and its construction has 
a nexus to radiological health and safety, due to the intended presence 
and handling there of radioactive materials. Specific aspects of 
processing plant construction are thus subject to review and approval 
by NRC staff. Therefore, the construction of the processing plant is 
not approved as an exempted activity.
    2. Drill and case up to four deep wells. The installation of these 
proposed wells has a nexus to radiological health and safety because 
the Applicant plans to use them to dispose of liquid 11e.(2) byproduct 
material. Therefore, drilling and casing deep disposal wells is not 
approved as an exempted activity.
    The requested site preparation activities approved under this 
exemption include the following:
    1. Leveling and surfacing of the area around the plant and 
maintenance building.
    2. Constructing the maintenance building.
    3. Installing household septic systems for the plant and 
maintenance buildings.
    4. Installing fence around the plant and maintenance building area.
    5. Upgrading existing road access from the west to the plant.
    6. Upgrading existing road access from the east to the plant.
    7. Installing fence for early wellfield area.
    8. Installing power line to the plant and maintenance buildings and 
drillers shed.
    9. Constructing a drillers shed and staging area.
    The NRC staff prepared its EA pursuant to 10 CFR 51.21, which 
states, ``[a]ll licensing and regulatory actions subject to this 
subpart require an environmental assessment * * *'' The only two 
exceptions to this rule are those actions requiring environmental 
impact statements, and those that are categorically excluded or 
identified as otherwise not requiring environmental review pursuant to 
10 CFR 51.22. Exemptions are not currently covered by any categorical 
exclusion, and, therefore, an EA is required for this action.
    The impacts of activities allowed by the exemption being granted 
are not evaluated in the EA. However, the staff conditioned the 
exemption approval so as to protect endangered species and cultural and 
historic resources from the effects of site preparation activities. The 
impacts of all site preparation activities will be evaluated as direct 
impacts in the supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) being 
prepared for this site.

III. Finding of No Significant Impact

    On the basis of the EA, the NRC finds that there are no significant 
environmental impacts from the proposed action, and that preparation of 
an environmental impact statement regarding the exemption 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 
exemption 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 Agencywide 
Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS), which provides text and 
image files of NRC's public documents. The ADAMS accession numbers for 
the documents related to this notice are:

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         Document title                 Date            Accession No.
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Lost Creek ISR, LLC,             October 27, 2007.  ML073190539
 Application for a Source
 Materials License.
Lost Creek ISR, LLC,             March 20, 2008...  ML081060525
 Resubmitted Application for a
 Source Materials License.
Lost Creek Project Exemption     July 2, 2009.....  ML091940438
 Request.
Request for Exemption From 10    July 28, 2009....  ML092090186
 CFR Part 40.32(e), Lost Creek
 ISR, LLC, Lost Creek In Situ
 Recovery Facility, Sweetwater
 County, Wyoming.
Letter from Bureau of Land       October 28, 2009.  ML093090467
 Management in Rawlins, WY, Re:
 Review of Draft EA for
 Proposed Lost Creek ISR, LLC
 Exemption to Commencement of
 Construction Requirements in
 10 CFR 40.32(e).
Response from Wyoming SHPO Re:   October 30, 2009.  ML093170313
 Lost Creek ISR Request for
 Exemption from Commencement of
 Construction Requirements.
Federal Register Notice Re:      November 2, 2009.  ML092890567
 Notice of Availability of
 Draft Environmental Assessment
 and Opportunity to Provide
 Comments for Exemption Request
 for Lost Creek ISR, LLC,
 Sweetwater County, WY.
Notice of Availability of Draft  November 9, 2009.  ML093220010
 Environmental Assessment and
 Opportunity to Provide
 Comments for Exemption Request
 for Lost Creek ISR, LLC,
 Sweetwater County, WY.
Comment (3) of J. W. Cash on     December 8, 2009.  ML093510015
 Behalf of Lost Creek ISR, LLC
 on NRC Notice of Availability
 of Draft Environment
 Assessment and Opportunity to
 Provide Comments for Exemption
 Request (Issued 11/9/2009).

[[Page 17169]]

 
E-mail Comments from Wyoming     December 9, 2009.  ML093440560
 Outdoor Council on Lost Creek
 ISR.
Letter from Wyoming SHPO Re:     December 10, 2009  ML093440852
 Lost Creek ISR Notification of
 an Exemption from the
 Commencement of Construction
 Requirements in 10 CFR
 40.32(e).
Press Release-09-197: NRC Seeks  December 10, 2009  ML093441307
 Public Comment on Draft
 Environmental Reports for
 Three Proposed Uranium
 Recovery Facilities.
S. Cohen Email Re: Lost Creek    December 18, 2009  ML093560625
 ISR EA Comments.
Lost Creek ISR, LLC, Exemption   March 25, 2010...  ML093350365
 Request, Final Technical
 Evaluation Report.
Lost Creek ISR, LLC Exemption    March 25, 2010...  ML093350677
 Request, Final Environmental
 Assessment.
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    If you do not have access to ADAMS, or if there are problems in 
accessing the documents located in ADAMS, contact the NRC's Public 
Document Room (PDR) Reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or 
by e-mail to pdr@nrc.gov.
    These 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 Rockville, Maryland this 25th day of March 2010.

    For the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Keith I. McConnell,
Deputy Director, Decommissioning and Uranium Recovery, Licensing 
Directorate, Division of Waste Management and Environmental Protection, 
Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental Management 
Programs.
[FR Doc. 2010-7604 Filed 4-2-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P