[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 32 (Wednesday, February 16, 2011)]
[Pages 9054-9055]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-3495]




Notice of Availability of Final Environmental Impact Statement 
for the AREVA Enrichment Services LLC Proposed Eagle Rock Enrichment 
Facility in Bonneville County, ID

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Notice of Availability of Final Environmental Impact Statement.


SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission (NRC) has published the Final Environmental Impact Statement 
(EIS) for the AREVA Enrichment Services LLC (AES) Proposed Eagle Rock 
Enrichment Facility (EREF). On December 30, 2008, AES submitted a 
license application to the NRC that proposes the construction, 
operation, and decommissioning of a gas centrifuge-based uranium 
enrichment facility on a presently undeveloped site near Idaho Falls in 
Bonneville County, Idaho (the ``proposed action''). This application is 
for a license to possess and use byproduct material, source material, 
and special nuclear material at the proposed uranium enrichment 
facility. The application included an Environmental Report (ER) 
regarding the proposed action.
    AES subsequently submitted revisions to the license application on 
April 23, 2009 (Revision 1), and April 30, 2010 (Revision 2), which 
included ER Revision 1 and ER Revision 2, respectively. License 
application Revision 1 addresses the expansion of the proposed EREF to 
increase its production capacity from 3.3 million Separative Work Units 
(SWUs) per year to 6.6 million SWUs per year; and ER Revision 1 
includes information on the environmental impacts of the proposed 6.6-
million-SWU-per-year EREF. Revision 2 to the license application and 
the ER incorporates into Revision 1 additional information that AES 
previously provided the NRC in response to NRC staff requests for 
additional information for its safety and environmental reviews, as 
well as supplemental information on a proposed electrical transmission 
line required to power the proposed EREF.
    On June 17, 2009, AES submitted a request for an exemption from 
certain NRC regulations so that it could commence certain 
preconstruction activities (e.g., site preparation) on the proposed 
EREF site prior to the NRC's decision on whether to grant or deny a 
license. On March 17, 2010, the NRC granted an exemption authorizing 
AES to conduct the requested preconstruction activities.
    The Final EIS is being issued as part of the NRC's process to 
decide whether to issue a license to AES, pursuant to Title 10 of the 
Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) parts 30, 40, and 70, to construct 
and operate the proposed uranium enrichment facility. Specifically, AES 
proposes to use gas centrifuge technology to enrich the uranium-235 
isotope found in natural uranium to concentrations up to 5 percent by 
weight. The enriched uranium would be used to manufacture nuclear fuel 
for commercial nuclear power reactors. In the Final EIS, the NRC staff 
assessed the potential environmental impacts from the preconstruction, 
construction, operation, and decommissioning of the proposed EREF 
    The Final EIS was prepared in compliance with the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (NEPA), and the NRC's 
regulations for implementing NEPA in 10 CFR part 51. The NRC staff 
assessed the impacts of the proposed action on land use, historic and 
cultural resources, visual and scenic resources, air quality, geology 
and soils, water resources, ecological resources, noise, 
transportation, public and occupational health, waste management, 
socioeconomics, and environmental justice. Additionally, the NRC staff 
analyzed and compared the benefits and costs of the proposed action. In 
preparing this Final EIS, the NRC staff also reviewed, considered, 
evaluated, and addressed the public comments received on the Draft EIS.
    In addition to the proposed action, the NRC staff considered the 
no-action alternative and other alternatives. Under the no-action 
alternative, the NRC would deny AES's request to construct and operate 
a uranium enrichment facility at the EREF site. The no-action 
alternative serves as a baseline for comparison of the potential 
environmental impacts of the proposed action. Other alternatives the 
NRC staff considered but eliminated from further analysis include: (1) 
Alternative sites for the EREF; (2) alternative sources of enriched 
uranium; and (3) alternative technologies for uranium enrichment. These 
alternatives were eliminated from further analysis due to economic, 
environmental, national security, technological maturity, or other 
reasons. The Final EIS also discusses alternatives for the disposition 
of depleted uranium hexafluoride (UF6) resulting from 
enrichment operations over the lifetime of the proposed EREF.

[[Page 9055]]

    After weighing the impacts, costs, and benefits of the proposed 
action and comparing alternatives, the NRC staff, in accordance with 10 
CFR 51.91(d), sets forth its recommendation regarding the proposed 
action. The NRC staff recommends that, unless safety issues mandate 
otherwise, the proposed action should be approved (i.e., NRC should 
issue a license). In this regard, the NRC staff has concluded that the 
environmental impacts of the proposed action are generally small, and 
that implementation of the proposed AES environmental monitoring 
program and AES mitigation measures discussed in the Final EIS would 
eliminate or substantially lessen any adverse environmental impacts 
associated with the proposed action.
    Document Availability: The Final EIS and other publicly available 
documents related to this notice can be accessed using any of the 
methods described in this section. Because one appendix of the Final 
EIS contains Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information (SUNSI), 
this appendix has been withheld from public inspection in accordance 
with 10 CFR 2.390, ``Availability of Public Records.'' This appendix 
contains proprietary business information as well as security-related 
information. The NRC staff has considered the information in this 
appendix in forming the conclusions presented in the EIS. Procedures 
for obtaining access to SUNSI were previously published in the NRC's 
Notice of Hearing and Commission Order related to AES's application for 
the EREF. Notice of Receipt of Application for License; Notice of 
Consideration of Issuance of License; Notice of Hearing and Commission 
Order and Order Imposing Procedures for Access to Sensitive 
Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information and Safeguards Information for 
Contention Preparation; In the Matter of Areva Enrichment Services, LLC 
(Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility), 74 FR. 38052 (July 30, 2009).
    NRC's Public Document Room (PDR): The public may examine and have 
copied, for a fee, publicly available documents related to the EREF 
project at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, 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].
    NRC Web sites: Documents related to this notice are available on 
the NRC's AREVA Enrichment Services, LLC Gas Centrifuge Facility 
website at http://www.nrc.gov/materials/fuel-cycle-fac/arevanc.html. 
The Final EIS for the proposed EREF may also be accessed on the 
internet at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/nuregs/staff/ 
by selecting ``NUREG-1945.''
    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, enter the ADAMS Accession 
Numbers included here for AES's license application and ER Revision 2 
(ADAMS Accession Number: ML101610549), the exemption authorizing 
certain preconstruction activities (ADAMS Accession Number: 
ML093220446), and NRC's Final EIS (ADAMS Accession Numbers: ML11014A005 
[Volume 1] and ML11014A006 [Volume 2]).
    Federal rulemaking Web site: Materials related to this notice can 
be found at http://www.regulations.gov by searching on Docket ID: NRC-
    Public Library: A copy of the Final EIS will be available at the 
Idaho Falls Public Library, 457 West Broadway, Idaho Falls, ID 83402, 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information about the Final EIS or 
the environmental review process, please contact Stephen Lemont at 301-
415-5163 or [email protected]. For general or technical 
information associated with the licensing process as it relates to the 
EREF application, please contact Breeda Reilly at 301-492-3110 or 
[email protected].

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 10th day of February, 2011.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Andrew Persinko,
Deputy Director, Environmental Protection and Performance Assessment 
Directorate, Division of Waste Management and Environmental Protection, 
Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental Management 
[FR Doc. 2011-3495 Filed 2-15-11; 8:45 am]