[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 59 (Tuesday, March 27, 2012)]
[Pages 18270-18271]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-7314]

[[Page 18270]]



[Docket No. 040-06264 (Terminated); NRC-2012-0077]

Acceptance Decision for the Unrestricted Use of the Former 
Michigan Chemical Company--Breckenridge Disposal Site

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Notice of acceptability.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Eugenio (Gene) A. Bonano, Project 
Manager, MCID Branch, Division of Nuclear Materials Safety, Region III, 
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Lisle, Illinois 60532-4352; 
telephone: 1-(630) 829-9826; fax number: 1-(630) 515-1259; email: 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) 
is noticing the acceptability for unrestricted use of the Former 
Michigan Chemical Company (MCC), Breckenridge Disposal Site (BDS) (also 
known as NWI Breckenridge) near Breckenridge, Michigan. This site 
operated under the authority of U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) 
license number SMB-00833, which was terminated in 1971.

I. Introduction

    The MCC, a subsidiary of Velsicol Corporation, operated a rare-
earth metals processing plant from 1967 through 1970 in St. Louis, 
Michigan. The plant manufactured an array of chemical products; the 
products manufactured were fire retardant materials, insecticides, 
animal food supplements, and rare earth oxides.
    The manufacture of rare-earth oxides at the St. Louis plant 
generated a dense, clay-like waste known as ``filter cake,'' which 
contained elevated levels of uranium and thorium, two naturally-
occurring radioactive materials. The radioactive filter cake was buried 
at the BDS.
    Burial of the filter cake at the BDS was permitted under AEC 
license number SMB-00833 and regulations in effect at the time. After 
the filter cake was buried, the AEC terminated the license in 1971, 
concluding that the BDS was suitable for unrestricted use.
    Several years after the license was terminated, residual 
radioactive contamination above NRC limits was found at the BDS. The 
NRC contacted the site owner to determine how it planned to remediate 
the problem.
    On April 14, 1999, the NRC issued a letter to NWI Land Management 
(NWI), then-owner of the BDS, directing NWI to clean up the site under 
the regulatory framework of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations 
(10 CFR) part 20, Subpart E, ``Radiological Criteria for License 
Termination.'' Action on the NRC's request was delayed when NWI and its 
parent company, Fruit of the Loom, declared bankruptcy in 1999; a 
bankruptcy settlement was reached between the United States government 
and Fruit of the Loom in 2002.
    As part of the bankruptcy settlement, Fruit of the Loom and NWI 
gave title to the BDS to a Custodial Trust, which was established to 
remediate the BDS using the framework set forth in 10 CFR part 20, 
Subpart E. Under the terms of the settlement, the Custodial Trust was 
not subject to NRC licensing or enforcement authority, but would 
consult with NRC in its development and application of a remediation 
plan for the BDS. The NRC's role in the remediation has been to provide 
technical assistance to the Custodial Trust and independent 
verification of site remediation.

II. Summary

    The Custodial Trust hired a contractor to complete remediation of 
the BDS. Through its contractor, the Custodial Trust completed 
remediation and final status surveys (FSS) of the BDS in September 
2011, and in October 2011, submitted a final status survey report 
(FSSR) to the NRC for its review and approval.
    Prior to receiving the FSSR, the NRC had conducted 25 inspections 
of the contractor's decommissioning activities between May 2010 and 
September 2011. Specifically, the NRC inspections were performed to 
ensure compliance with the contractor's NRC-approved remedial work 
plans (RWP) and NRC safety regulations. The inspectors also performed 
independent confirmatory radiological surveys of site survey units as 
defined in the contractor's RWP (ML110590136) and FSS plans 
    On January 3, 2012, the NRC completed its review of the 
contractor's final status survey report (FSSR) for the BDS, which is 
available for public review in the NRC's Agencywide Documents Access 
and Management System (ADAMS) using the Accession Number ML12004A051. 
The NRC staff's review confirmed that the FSSR was adequate to 
demonstrate compliance with the radiological criteria for unrestricted 
use per 10 CFR part 20 Appendix E for the BDS. The FSS results 
demonstrated that each survey unit met the radiological criteria for 
unrestricted use. Radiological surveys and soil sampling data were 
consistent with the data quality objectives as described in the FSSR, 
work plans, and the NRC's NUREG-1757, ``Consolidated Decommissioning 
Guidance--Characterization, Survey, and Determination of Radiological 
Criteria,'' and NUREG-1575, ``Multi-Agency Radiation Survey and Site 
Investigation Manual (MARSSIM).''
    Residual radioactivity at the BDS is below the regulatory dose 
limit to an average member of a critical group and does not exceed 25 
mrem per year as specified in 10 CFR 20.1402, ``Radiological Criteria 
for Unrestricted Use;'' there is reasonable assurance that the health 
and safety of the public will not be endangered by the unrestricted use 
of the BDS.

III. Conclusion

    Based on the NRC's 25 onsite inspections, the NRC's independent and 
confirmatory surveys, and the NRC staff's review of the FSSR for the 
BDS, the NRC concluded that the BDS radiological status was consistent 
with the provisions of 10 CFR part 20, ``Standards for Protection 
against Radiation,'' 10 CFR 20.1402, ``Radiological Criteria for 
Unrestricted Use;'' therefore, the site can be released for 
unrestricted use. The NRC involvement with this site is now considered 
ended, and no further actions regarding this project are planned unless 
new information is identified that would alter the NRC's conclusion. 
The NRC staff documented its review of the remediation activities, 
FSSs, and the FSSR in a Safety Evaluation Report (SER) (ML12052A066).

IV. Further Information

    Documents related to this action, including the FSSR, NRC 
Inspection Reports, SER 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 ADAMS, which provides text and image 
files of the NRC's public documents. The ADAMS accession numbers for 
the documents related to this notice are listed as an attachment at the 
end of the SER (ML12052A066). 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 email to [email protected].
    These documents may also be viewed electronically on the public 
computers located at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 
11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland

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20852. The PDR reproduction contractor will copy documents for a fee.

    Dated at Lisle, Illinois this 20th day of March, 2012.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Aaron T. McCraw,
Acting Chief, Materials Control, ISFSI, and Decommissioning Branch, 
Division of Nuclear Materials Safety, Region III.
[FR Doc. 2012-7314 Filed 3-26-12; 8:45 am]