[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 199 (Friday, October 15, 2010)]
[Pages 63519-63521]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-25997]




Notice of Availability of Draft Environmental Assessment and 
Draft Finding of No Significant Impact and Notice of Public Meeting for 
the Proposed License Renewal for Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc. in Erwin, 

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Notice of Availability of Draft Environmental Assessment and 
Draft Finding of No Significant Impact; Notice of public meeting.


SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission (NRC) is issuing for public comment the Draft Environmental 
Assessment (EA) and Draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for 
the proposed renewal of NRC special nuclear material license SNM-124 
(License SNM-124) that authorizes operations at the Nuclear Fuel 
Services, Inc. (NFS) fuel fabrication facility in Erwin, Tennessee. On 
June 30, 2009, NFS submitted to the NRC an application in which NFS 
requested renewal of License SNM-124 for a 40-year period.
    The Draft EA and Draft FONSI are being issued for public review and 
comment based on the NRC staff determination that (1) the NFS proposed 
action to renew License SNM-124 for 40 years is without precedent, 
because, if granted, this would be the first 40-year license renewal 
for a Category I nuclear fuel fabrication facility, and (2) the 
preparation of a Draft EA and Draft FONSI will further the purposes of 
the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended (42 
U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).
    The NRC staff's environmental review of the proposed 40-year 
license renewal is documented in the Draft EA, which was prepared 
following NRC regulations at title 10 of the U.S. Code of Federal 
Regulations (10 CFR) part 51 that implement NEPA, and in accordance 
with NRC staff guidance in NUREG-1748, ``Environmental Review Guidance 
for Licensing Actions Associated with NMSS Programs.'' In the Draft EA, 
the NRC staff identifies and evaluates the potential environmental 
impacts of the proposed renewal of License SNM-124 and any reasonable 
alternatives. Based on the Draft EA, the NRC staff has made a 
preliminary determination that renewal of License SNM-124 for a 40-year 
period will not significantly affect the quality of the human 
environment and that a finding of no significant impact should 
therefore be made. By this notice, the NRC staff is requesting public 
comment on the Draft FONSI and on the supporting Draft EA.
    The NRC staff will hold a public meeting on October 26, 2010, to 
accept oral and written public comments on the Draft FONSI and Draft 
EA. The meeting will take place at the Erwin Town Hall in Erwin, 
Tennessee. For one hour prior to the public meeting, the NRC staff will 
be available to informally discuss the proposed action and answer 
questions in an ``open house'' format. The public meeting will 
officially begin at 6 p.m. The meeting will include (1) NRC staff 
presentations summarizing the NRC's roles and responsibilities with 
respect to the proposed license renewal and also the contents of the 
Draft EA that supports the Draft FONSI, and (2) an opportunity for 
interested government agencies, Tribal governments, organizations, and 
individuals to provide oral or written comments on the Draft EA and 
Draft FONSI. The public meeting will be transcribed by a court 
reporter, and the meeting transcript will be made publicly available at 
a later date.
    Persons wishing to provide oral comments at the public meeting may 
register in advance by contacting Ms. Tarsha Moon at (800) 368-5642, 
ext. 6745, no later than October 22, 2010. Those who wish to present 
oral comments may also register at the meeting. Individual oral 
comments may have to be limited by the time available, depending upon 
the number of persons who register. Written comments can also be 
provided at the meeting, and should be given to an NRC staff person at 
the registration desk at the meeting entrance. If special equipment or 
accommodations are needed to attend or present information at the 
public meeting, the need should be brought to the attention of Ms. 
Tarsha Moon at (800) 368-5642, ext. 6745, no later than October 22, 
2010, to provide NRC staff with adequate notice to determine whether 
the request can be accommodated. Please note that comments do not have 
to be provided at the public meeting and may be submitted at any time 
during the comment period, as described in the DATES section of this 
notice. Any interested party may submit comments on the Draft EA and 
Draft FONSI for consideration by NRC staff. Comments may be submitted 
by any of the methods described in the ADDRESSES section of this 

DATES: The public comment period on the Draft FONSI and the Draft EA 
begins on the date of publication of this notice and ends on November 
13, 2010. To ensure consideration, comments on the Draft FONSI and 
Draft EA must be received or postmarked by November 13, 2010. The NRC 
staff will consider comments received or postmarked after that date to 
the extent practical.
    The NRC will conduct a public meeting in Erwin, Tennessee. The 
meeting date, time, and location are listed below:
    Meeting Date: October 26, 2010.
    Meeting Location: Erwin Town Hall, 211 North Main, Avenue, Erwin, 
Tennessee 37650.
    Informal Open House Session: 5-6 p.m.
    Public Comment Meeting: 6-9 p.m.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any one of the following methods. 
Please include Docket ID NRC-2009-0435 in the subject line of your 
    Electronic Mail: Comments may be sent by electronic mail to the 
following address: [email protected].
    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and 

[[Page 63520]]

for documents filed under Docket ID NRC-2009-0435. 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 
[email protected].
    Mail comments to: Cindy Bladey, Chief, Rules, Announcements, and 
Directives Branch (RADB), Division of Administrative Services, Office 
of Administration, Mail Stop: TWB-05-B01M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, or by fax to RADB at (301) 492-
    Comments submitted in writing or in electronic form will be posted 
on the NRC Web site and on the Federal rulemaking Web site http://www.regulations.gov. Unless your comments contain sensitive information 
typically not released to the public by NRC policy, the NRC will make 
all comments publically available. Because your comments will not be 
edited to remove any identifying information, the NRC cautions you 
against including any information in your submission that you do not 
want to be publicly disclosed.
    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 
publicly disclosed.
    Document Availability: Publicly available documents related to this 
notice can be accessed using any of the methods described in this 
    NRC's Public Document Room (PDR): The public may examine and have 
copied, for a fee, publicly available documents related to the NFS 
facility and license renewal at the NRC's PDR, located at One White 
Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland 
20852. Members of the public can contact the NRC's PDR reference staff 
by calling 1-800-397-4209, by faxing a request to 301-415-3548, or by 
e-mail to [email protected]. Hard copies of the documents are 
available from the PDR for a fee.
    NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): 
Members of the public can access the NRC's ADAMS at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. From this Web site, the following documents 
related to the NRC's environmental review can be obtained by entering 
the accession numbers provided:
     The NFS license renewal application (ADAMS Accession 
Number: ML091880040) and the accompanying Environmental Report (ADAMS 
Accession Number: ML091900072),
     The NRC request for additional information (ADAMS 
Accession Number: ML100680426),
     The NFS response providing additional information (ADAMS 
Accession Number: ML101590160), and
     The NRC Draft FONSI (ADAMS Accession Number: ML102790260) 
and supporting Draft EA (ADAMS Accession Number: ML102650505).
    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Public comments and supporting 
materials related to this notice can be found at http://www.regulations.gov by searching on Docket ID: NRC-2009-0435.
    Additionally, copies of the Draft FONSI and supporting Draft EA 
will be available at the following public libraries:

Unicoi County Public Library, 201 Nolichucky Avenue, Erwin, Tennessee 
37650-1239. 423-743-6533.
Jonesborough Branch, Washington County Library, 200 Sabin Drive, 
Jonesborough, Tennessee 37659-1306. 423-753-1800.
Greeneville/Green County Public Library, 210 North Main Street, 
Greeneville, Tennessee 37745-3816. 423-638-5034.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information about the Draft FONSI, 
the Draft EA, or the environmental review process, please contact James 
Park at (301) 415-6935 or [email protected]. For general or technical 
information associated with the review of the NFS license renewal 
application, please contact Kevin Ramsey at (301) 492-3123 or 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On June 30, 2009, NFS submitted an 
application and accompanying environmental report to the NRC to request 
renewal of License SNM-124. On October 6, 2009, the NRC provided notice 
in the Federal Register (74 FR 51323) of its receipt of the license 
renewal application and also noticed an opportunity to request a 
hearing on the application; no requests for a hearing were received. 
Under the conditions of License SNM-124, NFS operates a nuclear fuel 
fabrication facility located in Erwin, Tennessee. If granted as 
proposed, the renewed license would allow NFS to continue operations 
and activities at the site for a 40-year period to begin with issuance 
of the renewed license.
    The NRC staff prepared the Draft EA following NRC regulations at 10 
CFR part 51 that implement NEPA. Preparation of the Draft EA is part of 
the NRC's process to decide whether to renew the NFS license, pursuant 
to 10 CFR parts 20 and 70, and thus authorize continued operations at 
the NFS facility. In accordance with the provisions of 10 CFR part 70, 
the current license authorizes NFS to receive, possess, store, use, and 
ship SNM enriched up to 100 percent. Under the proposed action analyzed 
in the Draft EA, NFS would continue production of reactor fuel for 
government operations and for commercial domestic operations.
    In addition to NFS' proposed action to renew its license for 40 
years, the NRC staff analyzed two alternatives: (1) The no-action 
alternative, and (2) renewing the NFS license for 10 years. Under the 
no-action alternative, NRC would not renew License SNM-124, and as a 
result, operations at the NFS site would be required to cease. Also, 
NFS would be required under 10 CFR 70.38 to submit a detailed site 
decommissioning plan, and facility decommissioning would begin upon NRC 
approval of that plan. NRC's review would address both the health and 
safety and the environmental aspects of the proposed decommissioning 
    NRC considered a 10-year license renewal period as an alternative. 
A period of 10 years was chosen as an alternative because the license 
was previously renewed for this time period. The NRC staff did not 
separately address the 10-year alternative throughout the Draft EA, 
because the staff determined that the site operations and the types of 
potential impacts during a 10-year license renewal period would be 
expected to be the same for the proposed 40-year license renewal 
period. Additionally, the significance of the potential impacts also 
would be the same under the 10-year renewal alternative even though 
proportionally, the impacts would be reduced for certain environmental 
resource areas (i.e., for transportation, public and occupational 
health, and waste management) under that alternative.
    The table below summarizes the potential environmental impacts for 
each of the three alternatives. Using guidance in NUREG-1748, the NRC 
staff evaluated the potential impacts and then categorized the impacts 
as follows:
     SMALL--environmental effects are not detectable or are so 
minor that they will neither destabilize nor noticeably alter any 
important attribute of the resource;
     MODERATE--environmental effects are sufficient to alter 
noticeably, but not to destabilize, important attributes of the 
resource; or

[[Page 63521]]

     LARGE--environmental effects are clearly noticeable and 
are sufficient to destabilize important attributes of the resource.

                                   Summary of Potential Environmental Impacts
                                        Proposed action  (40-
            Resource area                   Year Renewal)           10-Year renewal             No-action
Land Use.............................  SMALL..................  SMALL..................  MODERATE.
Transportation.......................  SMALL (overall),         SMALL (overall),         SMALL (overall),
                                        MODERATE (local).        MODERATE (local).        MODERATE (local).
Socioeconomics.......................  SMALL..................  SMALL..................  SMALL to MODERATE.
Air Quality..........................  SMALL..................  SMALL..................  SMALL.
Water Resources--Surface Water.......  SMALL..................  SMALL..................  SMALL to MODERATE.
Water Resources--Groundwater.........  SMALL to MODERATE......  SMALL to MODERATE......  SMALL to MODERATE.
Geology & Soils......................  SMALL (geology), SMALL   SMALL (geology), SMALL   SMALL (geology),
                                        to MODERATE (soils).     to MODERATE (soils).     MODERATE (soils).
Ecology..............................  SMALL..................  SMALL..................  SMALL to MODERATE.
Noise................................  SMALL..................  SMALL..................  SMALL to MODERATE.
Historic & Cultural..................  SMALL..................  SMALL..................  SMALL.
Scenic & Visual......................  SMALL..................  SMALL..................  MODERATE.
Public & Occupational Health.........  SMALL..................  SMALL..................  SMALL.
Public & Occupational Health--         SMALL to MODERATE......  SMALL to MODERATE......  SMALL.
Waste Management.....................  SMALL..................  SMALL..................  MODERATE.

    Based on its review of the proposed action relative to the 
requirements set forth in 10 CFR part 51, the NRC staff has 
preliminarily determined that renewal of License SNM-124, which would 
authorize operations at NFS's nuclear fuel fabrication facility in 
Erwin, Tennessee to continue for a period of 40 years would not 
significantly affect the quality of the human environment. The facility 
already exists, and no changes to the site or to facility operations 
are associated with the proposed license renewal. As such, the proposed 
action can be considered a continuation of impacts and was evaluated 
based on impacts from past operations. Gaseous emissions and liquid 
effluents are controlled and monitored by permit and are within 
regulatory limits for non-radiological and radiological components. 
Public and occupational radiological dose exposures are below 10 CFR 
part 20 regulatory limits. Therefore, based on this preliminary 
assessment, an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is not warranted, 
and pursuant to 10 CFR 51.31, a Finding of No Significant Impact is 
    The Draft FONSI and supporting Draft EA are a preliminary analysis 
of the environmental impacts of the proposed action and its 
alternatives. Based on comments received on the Draft FONSI and Draft 
EA, the staff may publish a Final FONSI and Final EA, or instead may 
find that preparation of an EIS is warranted should significant impacts 
resulting from the proposed action be identified. Should an EIS be 
warranted, a Notice of Intent to prepare the EIS will be published in 
the Federal Register.
    Pursuant to 10 CFR 51.33(a), the NRC staff is making the Draft 
FONSI and Draft EA available for public review and comment. The public 
comment period begins with publication of this Notice and continues 
until November 13, 2010. Written comments should be submitted as 
described in the ADDRESSES section of this notice. The NRC will 
consider comments received or postmarked after that date to the extent 

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 8th day of October, 2010.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
David Skeen,
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. 2010-25997 Filed 10-14-10; 8:45 am]