[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 44 (Tuesday, March 6, 2012)]
[Pages 13376-13377]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-5363]



[NRC-2009-0549; Docket No. 50-113]

Notice of License Termination for the University of Arizona 
Research Reactor, License No. R-52

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is noticing the 
termination of Facility Operating License No. R-52, for the University 
of Arizona Research Reactor (UARR).
    The NRC has terminated the license of the decommissioned UARR, at 
the Nuclear Reactor Laboratory (NRL) on the campus of the University of 
Arizona (U of AZ) in Pima County, Arizona in the city of Tucson, and 
has released the site for unrestricted use. The licensee requested 
termination of the license in a letter to the NRC dated December 1, 
2011 (ADAMS Accession Number ML11346A300). The NRL Research Reactor 
provided training for Nuclear Engineering students and various services 
for researchers in other departments at the U of AZ. The licensee 
ceased operation of the facility on May 18, 2010, and the reactor fuel 
was removed by the Department of Energy on December 23, 2010, with the 
fuel being delivered to the Idaho National Laboratory. The NRL 
underwent decommissioning activities from May 2011 through September 
2011 followed by Final Status Surveys (FSS) to measure Total (Static) 
Beta activity and to perform radiological scan measurements. Smears 
were also collected for tritium and beta to assess the final 
radiological status of the facility.
    The licensee submitted a request dated May 21, 2009 (ML091490076), 
to the NRC to approve its decommissioning plan (DP), dated May 21, 2009 
(ML091490074). The NRC requested additional information for its review 
of the DP by letter dated February 25, 2010 (ML100550614), and the 
licensee responded to that request on March 26, 2010 (ML100920089). The 
NRC approved the UARR DP by Amendment No. 20, dated April 15, 2011 
    As required by the DP license amendment, the U of AZ submitted the 
Final Status Survey (FSS) Plan for the NRL on May 25, 2011 
(ML11168A059). Although no NRC approval was required, the NRC reviewed 
the survey plan and has determined that it was consistent with the 
guidance in NUREG-1757, ``Consolidated Decommissioning Guidance'' and 
NUREG-1575, ``Multi-Agency Radiation Survey and Site Investigation 
Manual.'' The U of AZ submitted a revised FSS Plan on August 18, 2011 
(ML11234A164). The NRC reviewed this revision and has determined it 
also to be acceptable.
    The U of AZ submitted the FSS report for the NRL on December 1, 
2011 (ML11346A300). That report stated that the survey met the FSS plan 
and the DP, and demonstrated that the NRL met the requirements for 
unrestricted release specified in 10 CFR Part 20, Subpart E. The NRC 
reviewed the FSS report and has determined that the survey was 
conducted in accordance with the Decommissioning Plan and the FSS Plan. 
Additionally, the NRC has determined that the survey results in the 
report comply with the criteria in the NRC-approved decommissioning 
plan and the release criteria in 10 CFR Part 20, Subpart E for both the 
UARR and the NRL have been met.
    On July 5, 2011, NRC Region IV issued inspection report 050-00113/
11-001 for the research reactor at the NRL (ML11187A017). The inspector 
interviewed licensee staff, observed work in progress, and reviewed 
selected documents related to the licensee's decommissioning 
activities. The inspector concluded that the licensee and its 
contracted work force were conducting decommissioning activities in 
accordance with the NRC approved decommissioning plan. The inspector 
also determined that the licensee's final status survey plan was in 
general agreement with NRC guidance.
    At the request of the NRC, the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and 
Education (ORISE) conducted confirmatory survey activities at the NRL 
during the week of September 6, 2011. ORISE submitted a report of their 
confirmatory survey activities by letter dated November 7, 2011 
(ML11319A101). The survey activities were conducted in accordance with 
an ORISE confirmatory survey plan provided to and approved by the NRC 
on August 18, 2011 (ML120400169). The confirmatory survey activities 
included visual inspections/assessments, gamma measurements, alpha plus 
beta measurements, smear sampling, and soil sampling activities. As a 
result of the confirmatory survey activities, ORISE noted two issues 
with licensee's FSS activities performed at the NRL. The first was an 
area of residual activity above the Co-60 screening level in source pit 
number 2. Since confirmatory surveys occurred, surface activity in 
source pit 2 has been remediated to a value below the Co-60 screening 
level. The second issue identified by ORISE was use of an incorrect 
surface efficiency. As a result, the licensee's contractor agreed to 
re-calculate surface activity using the correct surface efficiency 
value for Co-60. Because the two issues described have been resolved 
with the licensee, ORISE concluded that the licensee's FSS data 
adequately and accurately demonstrated that the NRL is below the 
appropriate screening levels and that ORISE confirmatory survey 
activities validate the licensee's conclusion that the appropriate 
guidelines have been met.
    Pursuant to 10 CFR 50.82(b)(6), the NRC staff has concluded that 
UARR at the NRL has been decommissioned in accordance with the approved 
decommissioning plan and that the

[[Page 13377]]

terminal radiation surveys and associated documentation demonstrate 
that the facilities and site may be released in accordance with the 
criteria in the NRC-approved decommissioning plan. Further, on the 
basis of the decommissioning activities carried out by the U of AZ, the 
NRC's review of the licensee=s final status survey report, the results 
of NRC inspections conducted at the NRL, and the results of 
confirmatory surveys, the NRC has concluded that the decommissioning 
process is complete and the facilities and sites may be released for 
unrestricted use. Therefore, Facility Operating License No. R-52 is 
    For further details with respect to the proposed action, see the 
licensee's letter dated December 1, 2011. The above referenced 
documents may be examined, and/or copied for a fee, at the NRC's Public 
Document Room (PDR) at One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike 
(first floor), Rockville, Maryland. Publicly available records will be 
accessible electronically in the NRC Library in the Agencywide 
Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) on the Internet at the 
NRC Web site, http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. Persons who do 
not have access to ADAMS or who have problems in accessing the 
documents in ADAMS should call the NRC PDR reference staff at 1-800-
397-4209 or 301-415-4737 or email [email protected].

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 28th day of February 2012.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Keith I. McConnell,
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. 2012-5363 Filed 3-5-12; 8:45 am]