[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 19 (Friday, January 28, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Page 5216]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-1813]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[NRC-2008-0339]


Notice of Availability of Final Supplemental Environmental Impact 
Statement for the Nichols Ranch In-situ Recovery Project in Campbell 
and Johnson Counties, WY; Supplement to the Generic Environmental 
Impact Statement for In-situ Leach Uranium Milling Facilities

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission (NRC) has published a final Supplemental Environmental 
Impact Statement (SEIS) to the Generic Environmental Impact Statement 
(GEIS), for In-situ Leach Uranium Milling Facilities (NUREG-1910, 
Supplement 2) for the Nichols Ranch In-situ Recovery Project in 
Campbell and Johnson Counties, Wyoming. By letter dated November 30, 
2007, Uranerz Energy Corporation (Uranerz), submitted an application to 
the NRC for a new source material license for the proposed Nichols 
Ranch In-situ Uranium Recovery Project, located in the Pumpkin Buttes 
Uranium Mining District within the Powder River Basin. Uranerz is 
proposing to recover uranium from the site using an in-situ leach (also 
known as an in-situ recovery [ISR]) process. In this final SEIS, the 
NRC staff assessed the environmental impacts from the construction, 
operation, aquifer restoration, and decommissioning of the proposed 
Nichols Ranch ISR Project. The proposed Nichols Ranch ISR Project is 
comprised of two noncontiguous units, the Nichols Ranch Unit and the 
Hank Unit.
    In addition to the proposed action, the NRC staff assessed two 
alternatives in the final SEIS: the No-Action alternative and an 
alternative where only the Nichols Ranch Unit would be developed for 
ISR operations. Under the No-Action alternative, NRC would deny 
Uranerz's request to construct, operate, conduct aquifer restoration, 
and decommission an ISR facility at Nichols Ranch. Alternatives that 
were considered, but were eliminated from detailed analysis, include 
conventional mining and conventional milling or heap leach processing. 
However, given the substantial environmental impact from implementing 
of these alternatives, they were not further considered. The NRC staff 
also evaluated alternative lixiviants, alternative wastewater disposal 
options, and an alternative where only the Hank Unit would be developed 
ISR operations. For reasons discussed in the SEIS, these alternatives 
were also eliminated from detailed analysis.
    As discussed in Section 2.3 of the final SEIS, unless safety issues 
mandate otherwise, the NRC staff's recommendation to the Commission 
related to the environmental aspects of the proposed action is that the 
source material license be issued as requested. This recommendation is 
based upon: (1) The license application, including the environmental 
and technical report submitted by Uranerz and the applicant's 
supplemental letters and responses to the NRC staff's requests for 
additional information; (2) consultation with Federal, State, Tribal, 
and local agencies; (3) the NRC staff's independent review; (4) the NRC 
staff's consideration of comments received on the draft SEIS; and (5) 
the assessments summarized in this SEIS.
    The final SEIS for the Nichols Ranch ISR Project may be accessed on 
the Internet at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/nuregs/staff/sr1910/s2/. Additionally, the NRC maintains an Agencywide 
Documents and Management System (ADAMS), which provides text and image 
files of the NRC's public documents. The SEIS may also be accessed 
through the NRC's Public Electronic Reading Room on the Internet at: 
http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. The final ``Environmental 
Impact Statement for the Nichols Ranch ISR Project in Campbell and 
Johnson Counties, Wyoming--Supplement to the Generic Environmental 
Impact Statement for In-situ Leach Uranium Milling Facilities'' is 
available electronically under ADAMS Accession Number ML104330120. If 
you do not have access to ADAMS or if there is a problem accessing 
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 
pdr.resource@nrc.gov. Information and documents associated with the 
final SEIS are also available for inspection at the NRC's PDR, NRC's 
Headquarters Building, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, 
Maryland 20852-2738. For those without access to the Internet, paper 
copies of any electronic documents may be obtained for a fee by 
contacting the NRC's PDR at 1-800-397-4209. The final SEIS and related 
documents may also be found at the following public libraries:

Campbell County Public Library, 2101 South 4J Road, Gillette, Wyoming 
82718, 307-687-0009.
Johnson County Library, 171 North Adams Avenue, Buffalo, Wyoming 82834, 
307-684-5546.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Patricia Swain, Project Manager, 
Environmental Review Branch-B, Division of Waste Management and 
Environmental Protection (DWMEP), Office of Federal and State Materials 
and Environmental Management Programs (FSME), Mail Stop T-8F5, U.S. 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001. Telephone: 1 
(800) 368-5642, extension 5405; E-mail: Patricia.Swain@nrc.gov. For 
general or technical information associated with the safety and 
licensing of uranium milling facilities, please contact Stephen Cohen, 
Team Lead, Uranium Recovery Licensing Branch, DWMEP, FSME, Mail Stop T-
8F5, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001. 
Telephone: 1 (800) 368-5642, extension 7182; E-mail: 
Stephen.Cohen@nrc.gov.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 20th day of January, 2011.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Gregory Suber,
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. 2011-1813 Filed 1-27-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P