[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 135 (Thursday, July 14, 2011)]
[Pages 41528-41529]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-17731]



[Docket No. 40-8502; NRC-2009-0036]

Notice of Availability of Environmental Assessment and Finding of 
No Significant Impact for License Renewal for Uranium One USA Inc., 
Irigaray and Christensen Ranch Uranium In-Situ Recovery Projects 
(Willow Creek Project), Wyoming

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


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. Telephone: 301-415-7777; Fax number: 301-415-
5369; E-mail: [email protected].


I. Introduction

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering the 
renewal of Source Materials License SUA-1341 for the continued uranium 
production operations and the recovery of uranium by in-situ recovery 
(ISR) at the Irigaray and Christensen Ranch facilities in Johnson and 
Campbell Counties, Wyoming (Willow Creek Project). The NRC has prepared 
an Environmental Assessment (EA) in support of this proposed license 
renewal in accordance with the requirements of 10 CFR part 51. Based on 
the EA, the NRC has concluded that a Finding of No Significant Impact 
(FONSI) is appropriate. The NRC is also conducting a safety evaluation 
of the proposed license renewal, pursuant to 10 CFR part 40. The 
results of the safety evaluation will be documented in a separate 
Safety Evaluation Report. If approved, the NRC will issue the renewed 
license following the publication of this notice.

II. EA Summary

    The proposed licensing action is to renew Source Materials License 
SUA-1341 for a 10-year period to authorize Uranium One USA, Inc. to 
continue ISR operations at the Irigaray and Christiansen Ranch 
facilities in Campbell and Johnson Counties, Wyoming. On May 30, 2008, 
COGEMA Mining, Inc. (COGEMA) submitted an application to renew Source 
Materials License SUA-1341. A Notice of License Renewal Request and an 
Opportunity for Hearing was published in the Federal Register on 
February 9, 2009 (74 FR 6436). In response, the Oglala Delegation of 
the Great Sioux Nation Treaty Council (Delegation) and the Powder River 
Basin Resource Council (Council) filed petitions to intervene and 
requests for hearing. For reasons stated in the Memorandum and Order 
LBP-09-13, dated July 23, 2009, the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board 
concluded that neither the Delegation nor the Council demonstrated 
standing as required by 10 CFR 2.309(a). Therefore, the petitions were 
    During the NRC's review of the license renewal request, the 
Irigaray and Christensen Ranch ISR Project underwent a change in 
control from COGEMA Mining, Inc. to Uranium One, Inc. (Uranium One). 
Subsequently, the Irigaray and Christensen Ranch ISR Project underwent 
a second change in control and ownership from Uranium One to Rosatom, 
through JSC Atomredmetzoloto (ARMZ). While the parent company changed 
to Rosatom, Uranium One USA, Inc., a daughter company of Uranium One 
and Rosatom, remains the licensee.
    The staff has prepared an EA in support of the proposed license 
renewal. Staff considered the following environmental resource areas in 
its evaluation: Land use; transportation; socioeconomics; air quality; 
water quality and use; geology and soils; ecology; noise; historical 
and cultural; scenic and visual; public and occupational health and 
safety; and waste management. The environmental impacts on these 
resource areas were determined to be small. The license renewal request 
does not require altering the site footprint nor does it change the 
operating processes of the existing facility; therefore, there are no 
anticipated significant impacts on land use, noise, historic and 
cultural, scenic and visual, or ecological resources. The proposed 
action will not adversely affect Federal or state-listed threatened or 
endangered species. Public and occupational exposures are below the 
limit established in 10 CFR Part 20. Uranium One USA, Inc. maintains 
acceptable waste management practices and procedures. The staff 
concluded that the proposed 10-year renewal of Source Materials License 
SUA-1341 will not result in a significant impact to the environment.
    NRC staff consulted with other agencies regarding the proposed 
action, including the Wyoming State Historic and Preservation Office, 
Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, Buffalo Field Office of 
the Bureau of Land Management, the Eastern Shoshone Tribe, the Northern 
Arapaho Tribe, the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, the Blackfeet Nation, Three 
Affiliated Tribes (Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara), the Ft. Peck 
Assiniboine/Sioux, the Oglala Sioux Tribe, the Crow Nation, and the 
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. The consultations ensured that the 
requirements of Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act and Section 106 
of the National Historic Preservation Act were met and provided the 
designated state liaison agency the opportunity to comment on the 
proposed action.

III. Finding of No Significant Impact

    On the basis of the EA, the NRC has concluded that the proposed 
license renewal will not significantly affect the quality of the human 
environment. Therefore, preparation of an environmental impact 
statement is not warranted for the proposed action and a finding of no 
significant impact is appropriate.

[[Page 41529]]

IV. Further Information

    Documents related to this action, including the license renewal 
application and supporting documentation, are available online in the 
NRC Library at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. From this 
site, you can access the NRC's Agencywide Document 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 provided in the following table:

            Document                       ADAMS accession No.
License Renewal Application....  ML081850689
NRC letter to COGEMA--Request    ML090750369
 for Additional Information
COGEMA Letter to NRC--Response   ML092110694
 to RAI.
NRC Letter to Uranium One--RAI.  ML100610326
Uranium One Letter to NRC--      ML103081071
 Response to RAI.
NRC Consultation Letters.......  ML090400214 (package)
NRC Letter to Wyoming State      ML090400252
 Historic Preservation Office.
NRC Letter to U.S. Fish and      ML090400244
 Wildlife Service.
NRC Letter to Wyoming            ML090400231
 Department of Environmental
 Quality (WDEQ).
NRC Letter to Blackfeet Nation.  ML090400292
NRC Letter to Cheyenne River     ML090400261
 Sioux Tribe.
NRC Letter to Crow Nation......  ML090400267
NRC Letter to Ft. Peck Sioux...  ML090400279
NRC Letter to Northern Arapaho   ML090400301
NRC Letter to Northern Cheyenne  ML090400295
NRC Letter to Oglala Sioux       ML090400273
NRC Letter to Eastern Shoshone   ML090400308
NRC Letter to Three Affiliated   ML090400287
NRC Draft EA transmittal letter  ML100210638
 to Bureau of Land Management
 (BLM) Buffalo Field Office and
BLM response to EA review        ML102360242
Final Environmental Assessment.  ML103270681

    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 [email protected].
    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. Hard copies of the documents 
are available from the PDR for a fee.

    Dated at Rockville Maryland, 7th day of July 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. 2011-17731 Filed 7-13-11; 8:45 am]