[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 135 (Thursday, July 15, 2010)]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-17253]
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for
the Proposed International Isotopes Uranium Processing Facility
AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
ACTION: Notice of Intent.
SUMMARY: International Isotopes Fluorine Products, Inc. (IIFP), a
wholly owned subsidiary of International Isotopes, Inc. (INIS),
submitted a license application, which included an Environmental Report
(ER) on December 30, 2009, that proposes the construction, operation,
and decommissioning of a fluorine extraction and depleted uranium de-
conversion facility to be located near Hobbs in Lea County, New Mexico.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), in accordance with the
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and its regulations in 10 Code
of Federal Regulations Part 51, announces its intent to prepare an
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) evaluating this proposed action.
The EIS will examine the potential environmental impacts of the
proposed INIS facility.
DATES: NRC invites public comments on the appropriate scope of issues
to be considered in the EIS. The public scoping process required by
NEPA begins with publication of this Notice of Intent. Written comments
submitted by mail should be postmarked by no later than August 30, 2010
to ensure consideration. Comments mailed after that date will be
considered to the extent practical.
The NRC will conduct a public scoping meeting in Hobbs, New Mexico,
to assist in defining the appropriate scope of the EIS, and to help
identify the significant environmental issues that need to be addressed
in detail. The meeting date, time, and location are listed below:
Meeting Date: July 29, 2010.
Meeting Time: 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Meeting Location: Lea County Event Center, 5101 Lovington Highway,
Hobbs, New Mexico 88240.
ADDRESSES: Members of the public are invited and encouraged to submit
written comments regarding the appropriate scope and content of the
EIS. Comments may be submitted by any one of the methods described
below. Please include Docket ID NRC-2010-0143 in the subject line of
your comments. Comments submitted in writing or in electronic form will
be posted on the NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management
System (ADAMS) Web site http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html and on
the Federal rulemaking Web site http://www.regulations.gov. Because
your comments will not be edited to remove any identifying or contact
information, the NRC cautions you against including any information in
your submission that you do not want to be publicly disclosed. Also,
the NRC requests that any party soliciting or aggregating comments
received from other persons for submission to the NRC inform those
persons that the NRC will not edit their comments to remove any
identifying or contact information, and therefore, they should not
include any information in their comments that they do not want
Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and
search for documents filed under Docket ID NRC-2010-0143. Comments may
be submitted electronically through this Web site. Address questions
about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher at 301-492-3668, or e-mail at
Mail/fax comments to: Cindy Bladey, Chief, Rules, Announcements,
and Directives, and Branch (RADB), Division of Administrative Services,
Office of Administration, Mail Stop: TWB-05-B01M, U.S. Nuclear
Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001. Commenters may also
send comments electronically to [email protected] or by fax to (301)
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general or technical information
associated with the licensing review of the INIS application, please
contact Matthew Bartlett at (301) 492-3119 or [email protected].
For general information on the NRC NEPA process or the environmental
review process related to the INIS application, please contact Asimios
Malliakos at (301) 415-6458 or [email protected]
Information and documents associated with the INIS project,
including the application and ER, are available for public review
through our electronic reading room: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. Members of the public may access the applicant's ER in the
NRC's (ADAMS) at accession number ML100120758.
A copy of the applicant's ER is available for public inspection at
the Hobbs Public Library located at 509 North Shipp, Hobbs, New Mexico
88240. Documents may also be obtained from NRC's Public Document Room
at U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Headquarters, 11555 Rockville
Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland 20852.
On December 30, 2009, INIS submitted an ER to the NRC as part of
its license application for authorization to construct, operate, and
decommission a proposed fluorine extraction process and depleted
uranium de-conversion facility. The EIS will evaluate the potential
environmental impacts associated with the proposed INIS uranium
processing facility. The environmental evaluation will be documented in
the draft and final EISs in accordance with NEPA and NRC's implementing
regulations at 10 CFR part 51.
2.0 INIS Uranium Processing Facility
The INIS facility, if licensed, would provide services to the
uranium enrichment industry for de-conversion of depleted uranium
hexafluoride (DUF6) into uranium oxides for long-term stable
disposal. The proposed facility would also produce high-purity
inorganic fluorides for applications in the electronic, solar panel,
and semiconductor markets and anhydrous hydrofluoric acid for various
industrial applications. The proposed facility is projected to be
capable of deconverting up to 7.5 million pounds per year of
DUF6 provided by commercial enrichment facilities throughout
the United States.
3.0 Alternatives To Be Evaluated
No-Action--The no-action alternative would be to not build the
proposed INIS uranium processing facility. Under this alternative, the
NRC would not approve the license application. This alternative serves
as a baseline for comparison.
Proposed action--The proposed action involves the construction,
operation, and decommissioning of a uranium processing facility to be
located near Hobbs, New Mexico. The applicant would be issued an NRC
license under the provisions of 10 CFR part 40.
Other alternatives not listed here may be identified through the
4.0 Environmental Impact Areas To Be Analyzed
The following areas have been tentatively identified for detailed
analysis in the EIS:
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
Air Quality: meteorological conditions, ambient
background, pollutant sources, and the potential for degradation;
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 and facilities,
education, recreation, and cultural resources;
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
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.
This list is not intended to be all inclusive, nor is it a
predetermination of potential environmental impacts. The list is
presented to facilitate comments on the scope of the EIS. Additions to,
or deletions from this list may occur as a result of the public scoping
5.0 Scoping Meeting
One purpose of this notice is to encourage public involvement in
the EIS process and to solicit public comments on the proposed scope
and content of the EIS. Scoping is an early
and open process designed to determine the range of actions,
alternatives, and potential impacts to be considered in the EIS and to
identify the significant issues related to the proposed action. It is
intended to solicit input from the public and other agencies so that
the analysis can be more clearly focused on issues of genuine concern.
The principal goals of the scoping process are to:
Ensure that concerns are identified early and are properly
Identify alternatives to be examined;
Identify significant issues to be analyzed;
Eliminate unimportant issues from detailed consideration;
Identify public concerns.
On July 29, 2010, the NRC will hold a public scoping meeting at the
Lea County Event Center in Hobbs, New Mexico, to solicit both oral and
written comments from interested parties. The meeting will be
transcribed to record public comments. The meeting will convene at 5:30
p.m. and will continue until approximately 8:30 p.m.
The meeting will begin with NRC staff providing a description of
the NRC's role and mission. A brief overview of the licensing process
will be followed by a brief description of the environmental review
process. Most of the meeting time will be allotted for attendees to
make oral comments.
In addition, the NRC staff will host informal discussions for 1
hour prior to the start of the public meeting. No formal comments on
the proposed scope of the EIS will be accepted during the informal
discussions. To be considered, comments must be provided either at the
transcribed public meeting or in writing, as discussed below.
Persons may register to attend or present oral comments at the
scoping meeting by contacting Tarsha Moon at (301) 415-6745, or by
sending an e-mail to [email protected] no later than July 22, 2010.
Members of the public may also register to speak at the meeting prior
to the start of the session. Individual oral comments may be limited by
the time available, depending on the number of persons who register.
Members of the public who have not registered may also have an
opportunity to speak, if time permits. If special equipment or
accommodations are needed to attend or present information at the
public meeting, please contact Tarsha Moon no later than July 19, 2010,
so that the NRC staff can determine whether the request can be
6.0 Scoping Comments
Members of the public may provide comments orally at the
transcribed public meeting or in writing. Written comments may be sent
by e-mail to [email protected] or mailed/faxed to the address listed
above in the ADDRESSES Section.
At the conclusion of the scoping process, the NRC staff will
prepare a summary of public comments regarding the scope of the
environmental review and significant issues identified. NRC staff will
send this summary to each participant in the scoping process for whom
the staff has an address. This summary and project-related material
will be available for public review through our electronic reading
room: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. The scoping meeting
summaries and project-related materials will also be available on the
NRC's INIS Web page: http://www.nrc.gov/materials/fuel-cycle-fac/inisfacility.html.
7.0 The NEPA Process
The EIS for the INIS facility will be prepared pursuant to the
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 as amended and the NRC's NEPA
Regulations at 10 CFR part 51. After the scoping process is complete,
the NRC will prepare a draft EIS. There will be a 45-day comment period
on the draft EIS and a public meeting to receive comments. Availability
of the draft EIS, the dates of the public comment period, and
information about the public meeting will be announced in the Federal
Register, on NRC's INIS web page, and in the local news media. The
final EIS will include responses to any comments received on the draft
Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 8th day of July, 2010.
For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Acting Deputy Director, Decommissioning and Uranium Recovery Licensing
Directorate, Division of Waste Management and Environmental Protection,
Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental Management
[FR Doc. 2010-17253 Filed 7-14-10; 8:45 am]
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