[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 97 (Friday, May 18, 2012)]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-12129]
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
[Docket No. 40-3392; NRC-2012-0111]
Honeywell Metropolis Works; Grant of Exemption for Honeywell
Metropolis Works License
AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
ACTION: Environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary T. Adams, Senior Environmental
Engineer, Conversion, Deconversion and Enrichment Branch, Division of
Fuel Cycle Safety and Safeguards, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and
Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555,
Telephone: 301-492-3113; email: [email protected].
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC's) staff received a
request from Honeywell Metropolis Works (Honeywell) dated October 5,
2011 (Ref. 1); revised March 6, 2012 (Ref. 2), and April 12, 2012 (Ref.
10), for an amendment to its license, Materials License SUB-526, to
exempt Honeywell from the values of the Inhalation Annual Limits on
Intake (ALIs) and Derived Air Concentrations (DACs) that appear in
Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) Part 20, Appendix
B, Table 1. Implementation of the adjusted DAC and ALI values would
exempt Honeywell from sections of 10 CFR Parts 20 and 40 that refer to
DAC and ALI quantities in Appendix B to Part 20, including values used
in considering notifications of incidents made according to 10 CFR
20.2202(a)(2), and 10 CFR 20.2202(b)(2) and reporting requirements in
10 CFR 40.60(b)(1)(ii)--as well as other affected actions. Honeywell
also requests exemption to the Organ Dose Weighting Factors listed in
10 CFR 20.1003. The exemptions would authorize Honeywell to use the
International Commission on Radiation Protection (ICRP) Publication 68,
``Dose Coefficients for Intakes of Radionuclides by Workers,'' (ICRP
68) for DAC and ALI determinations (Ref. 4). Consistent with the ICRP
68 methodology, Honeywell also requested authorization to utilize the
tissue weighting factors in ICRP Publication 60, ``Recommendations of
the International Commission on Radiation Protection, Publication 60''
(Ref. 5). As documented in a letter dated March 6, 2012 (Ref. 2), the
October 5, 2011, exemption request replaced and withdrew an earlier
request dated July 26, 2011. As documented in an email dated April 12,
2012 (Ref. 3), Honeywell changed the exemption request to delete the
phrase ``as well as other affected actions.'' An Environmental
Assessment (EA) was performed by the NRC staff as part of its review of
Honeywell's exemption request, in accordance with the requirements of
10 CFR Part 51, Environmental Protection Regulations for Domestic
Licensing and Related Regulatory Functions. The conclusion of the EA is
a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the proposed licensing
II. Environmental Assessment
Honeywell Metropolis Works is authorized under Materials License
SUB-526 (Ref. 6), issued pursuant to 10 CFR part 40, Domestic Licensing
of Source Material, to possess natural uranium materials for the
conversion of refined uranium ore into uranium hexafluoride suitable
for enrichment. No uranium enrichment is performed at the Honeywell
Principal activities include receipt and storage of uranium oxide
(U3O8) and chemical conversion of the
U3O8 into uranium hexafluoride.
Inhalation of dust in radiologically controlled areas at the
Honeywell plant poses an internal radiation hazard, and the NRC
regulations in Part 20, Subpart C, and Honeywell's current license
requires Honeywell to implement certain protective measures to minimize
that hazard. These measures include taking a variety of air samples,
using respirators in certain work areas, posting airborne radioactivity
warning signs outside the work areas, and putting the potentially
exposed workers on a routine bioassay program to assess their intakes
and verify the effectiveness of the protection program. Many of these
protective measures are triggered when the air concentrations in the
workplace reach specified levels of the air concentrations identified
in 10 CFR part 20, Appendix B.
Honeywell seeks to amend SUB-526 to reflect exemptions to permit
Honeywell to use values other than those tabulated in 10 CFR part 20,
as the basis for triggering Honeywell's exemption request is the
recommendations in ICRP 68. In the supplemental license amendment
application (Ref. 1), Honeywell stated that the assessment of the
radiological hazard based on 10 CFR part 20, Appendix B, requires it to
implement monitoring and protection programs at levels that are out of
proportion with the true level of hazard, and that do not significantly
add to worker protection. Honeywell stated that granting the exemption
would enable it to reduce the size of its internal exposure program
while, at the same time, provide a level of protection proportional to
the actual hazard. Honeywell referenced the NRC's Staff Requirements
Memoranda (SRM-SECY-99-077 and SRM-SECY-01-0148, Refs. 7 and 8), which
directs the NRC staff to grant exemptions to Part 20 on this modeling
issue on a case-by-case basis.
In accordance with 10 CFR part 51, this EA serves to: (1) Present
information and analysis of the license amendment request, (2) explain
the basis for issuing a FONSI and the decision not to prepare an
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), and (3) fulfill the NRC's
compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act when no EIS is
This document is limited to evaluating and documenting the impacts
of the proposed exemption from specified sections of Parts 20 and 40
and the license amendment. Other activities on the site have previously
been evaluated and documented in the June 30, 2006, EA for the Renewal
of the NRC license for Honeywell (2006 EA) (Ref. 9). The 2006 EA is
referenced when it has been determined that no significant changes have
occurred. Except as otherwise provided herein in response to the
exemption request, approved operations will continue to remain limited
to those authorized by Honeywell's Source Material License SUB-526.
The proposed action would grant Honeywell an exemption from a
portion of the requirements in 10 CFR part 20, Appendix B; and 10 CFR
20.1003, which requires that Honeywell use specific DAC and ALI values
as tabulated in Appendix B--and the Organ Dose Weighting Factors listed
in 10 CFR 20.1003 for dose assessments--and the reporting requirements
in 10 CFR 40.60(b)(1)(ii). The amendment for exemption would allow
Honeywell to use the DAC and ALI values listed in the ICRP, ``Dose
Coefficients for Intakes of Radionuclides by Workers,'' Publication 68,
Annals of the ICRP, Volume 24, No. 4, 1994 (ICRP 68, Ref. 4) and the
Tissue Weighting Factors listed in ICRP Publication 60, ``1990
Recommendations of the International Commission on Radiation
Protection, Publication 60'' (Ref. 5).
The proposed exemptions change the methodology by which the
licensee assesses the internal dose received by its workers and staff
in order to use an improved method that is recommended by the
international scientific community (Refs. 4 and 5). These exemptions do
not change the NRC dose limits to which the licensee must maintain and
report for its workers and/or members of the public.
Need for the Proposed Action
The use of ICRP Publication 68-based methodologies will facilitate
Honeywell's as low as is reasonably achievable (ALARA) practices and
Bioassay Program's progress. The Commission has determined that using
newer models to calculate internal doses for those individuals
occupationally monitored by the licensee will provide a more accurate
and precise assessment of the dose of the internal organs of the
workers. Since protective measures are based on hazard, which is
proportional to dose, the NRC staff has determined that Honeywell would
be able to refocus
ALARA practices, particularly internal exposure control and protection,
to concentrate on protection based on the actual hazard.
The proposed action does not exempt Honeywell from the requirement
to control occupational doses to the limits specified in 10 CFR part
20, Subpart C and public doses to the limits specified in 10 CFR Part
20, Subpart D. It only changes the methods by which the occupational
and public doses are calculated.
The affected environment for the proposed activity is the Honeywell
Metropolis Works site. A full description of the site and its
characteristics is given in the 2006 EA. There have been no significant
changes to the environment since the 2006 EA.
Effluent Releases and Monitoring
A full description of the effluent monitoring program at the site
is provided in the application for renewal of SUB-526 and in the 2006
EA. Monitoring programs at the Honeywell facility comprise effluent
monitoring of air and water and environmental monitoring of various
media (air, soil, vegetation, and groundwater). This program provides a
basis for evaluation of public health and safety impacts, for
establishing compliance with environmental regulations, and for
development of mitigation measures if necessary. Based on its review of
the 2006 application for renewal, the NRC staff concluded that the
environmental monitoring program was acceptable. The basis for
concluding that the environmental monitoring program was acceptable is
documented in the 2006 EA. There have been no changes to the
environmental monitoring program since the license renewal, and the
proposed action will not change the monitoring program.
Environmental Impacts of Proposed Action
The basic limits on radiation exposures, as well as the minimum
radiation protection practices required of any NRC licensee, are
specified in 10 CFR Part 20. Part 20 underwent a major revision in the
1980s, and the final rule was published in the Federal Register on May
21, 1991, (56 FR 23391) and became mandatory for all licensees in
One of the major changes incorporated in the revised Part 20 was
the manner in which internal exposure to radioactive materials is
regulated. Before the revision, NRC regulated internal exposures by
limiting the amounts of radioactive materials that may be taken into
the body over specified time periods. The revised Part 20 eliminated
regulation based on intakes and, instead, now regulates on the basis of
the dose that resulted from those intakes. The internal dose from
intake of radioactive material is referred to in Part 20 as the
``committed effective dose equivalent (CEDE).'' The change to
regulation of dose instead of intake was prompted, in part, by similar
changes in the recommendations provided by national and international
bodies, and also by the desire to end the traditional treatment of
internal and external doses as two distinct and separate entities. One
consequence of the dose-based rule is that compliance would not
necessarily be constrained by use of a specific set of parameters to
calculate the dose.
Part 20 allows certain adjustments to be made to the model
parameters if specific information is available, such as adjustments
when the particle size of airborne radioactive material is known,
rather than using a default particle size. However, Part 20 also
specifies certain protection requirements in terms of the quantities
tabulated in Appendix B, the ALI, and the DAC; rather than in terms of
dose. Thus, requirements such as posting of airborne radioactivity
areas, monitoring for intakes of radioactive materials, establishment
of bioassay programs, and use of respirators remain explicitly tied to
the measurable quantities rather than to a dose. This approach was
taken to assure that these criteria would be easy to implement, and not
impose an undue calculation burden on a licensee.
The models used in Part 20 to regulate internal dose are those
described in ICRP Publications 26 and 30; adopted by ICRP in 1977 and
1978, respectively (Refs. 10 and 11). Much of the basic structure of
these models was developed in 1966, although some of its components and
parameters were altered somewhat between 1966 and their formal adoption
by ICRP in 1978. In the same year that the Commission approved the
final Part 20 rule, ICRP published a major revision of its radiation
protection recommendations (ICRP 60, Ref. 5). In the several years
following this revision, ICRP published a series of reports in which it
described the components of an extensively updated and revised internal
These reports include ICRP Publications 60 (1990), 66 (1993), 67
(1993), 68 (1994), 71 (1995), 72 (1995), and 78 (1997). The NRC
licensees are not permitted to use the revised and updated internal
dosimetry models unless an exemption to 10 CFR Part 20 is granted.
Although the dose per unit intake, calculated using the new models,
does not differ by more than a factor of about two from the values in
Part 20 for most radionuclides, the differences are substantial for
some; particularly for the isotopes of thorium, uranium, and some of
the transuranic radionuclides. For example, for inhalation of insoluble
thorium-232 (\232\Th), the CEDE per unit intake calculated using the
revised ICRP lung model is a factor of about 15 times lower than that
in Part 20. Because protective measures are based on hazard, and since
hazard is proportional to dose, Part 20 requires significantly more
protective measures when using \232\Th than would be warranted based on
the revised models. Honeywell requested that it be allowed to use DAC
and ALI values based on the dose coefficients listed in ICRP 68 and the
tissue weighting factors listed in ICRP 60.
The exemption, if approved and documented in a license amendment,
will authorize the use of methodologies based on ICRP Publication 68.
ICRP Publication 68-based dose coefficients would be used to assign the
effective dose to workers. The use of these advanced methodologies
requires adoption of adjusted DAC and ALI values in place of those
specified in 10 CFR Part 20, Appendix B. Accordingly, implementation of
adjusted DAC and ALI values will exempt Honeywell from the requirement
to use the organ and tissue weighting factors in the definition of
weighting factor in 10 CFR 20.1003, and from the requirements to use
ALI and DAC values in Table 1 of Appendix B.
Acceptance of the newer models and methods of the effective dose
assessments involves the use of the values of the ICRP 60 Tissue
Weighting Factors in place of the 10 CFR 20.1003 Organ Dose Weighting
Factors. Therefore, Honeywell also requested an exemption that would
authorize it to use the values for the Tissue Weighting Factors stated
in Table S-2 of ICRP 60 in place of using the Organ Dose Weighting
Factors listed in 10 CFR 20.1003. If the request is approved, the
exemptions to 10 CFR Part 20, Appendix B, the Organ Dose Weighting
Factors values listed in 10 CFR 20.1003, and the reporting requirements
in 10 CFR 40.60(b)(1)(ii) will be documented in SUB-526 as new license
Honeywell stated that it will further advance its ALARA practices
and Bioassay Program by using the newer
models and methods. As the Commission stated in SECY-99-077, ``* * *
the newer models provide more accurate dose estimates than the models
used in Part 20,'' and ``the differences are substantial for * * *
thorium, uranium, and some transuranic radionuclides.'' Honeywell
stated that use of ICRP 68-based methodologies would facilitate its
ALARA practices and bioassay programs. The NRC staff finds that use of
the newer models and methods would enable Honeywell to perform more
accurate and realistic internal dose assessments. The NRC staff
concludes that because protective measures are based on the hazard
which is proportional to dose, Honeywell would be able to refocus ALARA
practices--particularly internal exposure control and protection--to
concentrate on protection based on the actual hazard.
In the 2006 EA, (Ref. 9) the NRC staff evaluated the environmental
impacts of the methods used at the Honeywell plant to control
emissions, including liquid effluent treatment and air effluent dust
collectors and scrubbers. This report found that these methods resulted
in insignificant radiological impacts of normal operations and
potential accidents, and were consistent with NRC's regulations. The
methods that were evaluated and found to be consistent with NRC's
regulations in the 2006 EA are the same methods that are now in use by
Honeywell to control emissions.
The NRC staff has determined that granting the exemption will not
affect the radiological impacts of plant operation evaluated in the
previous EA because changes in the dose calculation methodology will
not affect the methods Honeywell uses to control emissions, and which
the NRC staff previously determined in the 2006 EA were consistent with
In so much as granting the exemptions will not affect the methods
Honeywell uses to control emissions, and those methods have been found
to be consistent with NRC's regulations, granting the exemption will
have no additional impact on the licensee's compliance with NRC's
regulations and guidance.
The NRC staff has determined that there are no non-radiological
impacts associated with the proposed action because there are no
changes in facility operations associated with the proposed action that
would change the non-radiological impacts evaluated and found
acceptable in the 2006 EA.
The NRC staff has determined that there are no cumulative impacts
associated with the proposed action because no changes in facility
operations will result from granting the exemption. Therefore, granting
the exemption will not increase the cumulative impacts evaluated and
found acceptable in the 2006 EA.
Alternatives to the Proposed Action
The NRC considered an alternative to the proposed action, which was
to deny the amendment request. The NRC staff rejected this alternative
because the health and safety of the workers, the public, and the
environment would not be adversely affected by the requested action. In
addition, the licensee will be able to save time and resources on
implementing protective measures upon approval of the proposed action.
The new models will maintain doses within the regulated limits, while
allowing the licensee to remove unwarranted protective measures
required by the old models.
Agencies and Persons Contacted
The NRC contacted Gary McCandless, Chief, Bureau of Environmental
Safety, Division of Nuclear Safety, Illinois Emergency Management
Agency (IEMA), concerning this request. IEMA had no comments or
objections to the EA/FONSI and proposed license amendment.
Because the proposed action is entirely within existing facilities,
and does not involve new or increased effluents or accident scenarios,
the NRC has concluded that there is no potential to affect endangered
species or historic resources. Therefore, consultation with the State
Historic Preservation Society and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
was not performed.
III. Finding of No Significant Impact
Based upon the EA, the NRC staff concludes that the proposed action
will not have a significant effect on the quality of the human
environment. Accordingly, the staff has determined that preparation of
an EIS is not required.
The following documents are related to the proposed action:
1. Larry A. Smith, Honeywell Metropolis Works, Letter to the
NRC, ``Supplemental Documentation for Request to Use ICRP 68 for
DAC, ALI, and Soluble Uranium Limit,'' October 5, 2011 (Agencywide
Documents Access and Management System [ADAMS] Accession Number
2. Larry A. Smith, Honeywell Metropolis Works, Letter to the
NRC, ``Withdrawal of Honeywell International, Inc., Request to Use
ICRP 68 for DAC, ALI, and Soluble Uranium, dated July 26, 2011,''
March 6, 2012 (ADAMS Accession No. ML12073A180).
3. Email from R. Stokes, Honeywell, to J. Sulima, NRC April 12,
2012, ADAMS Accession No. ML12117A355.
4. ICRP, ``Dose Coefficients for Intakes of Radionuclides by
Workers,'' Publication 68, Annals of the ICRP, Volume 24, No. 4,
5. ICRP, ``1990 Recommendations of the International Commission
on Radiation Protection,'' Publication 60, Annals of the ICRP,
Volume 21, No. 1-3, 1991.
6. Material License SUB-0526, for Honeywell, International,
Inc., February 28, 2011, ADAMS Accession Nos. ML110530154 and
7. SRM-SECY-99-077, Staff Requirements Memoranda, SECY-99-077,
to Request Commission Approval to Grant Exemptions from Portions of
10 CFR Part 20, April 1999.
8. SRM-SECY-01-0148, Staff Requirements Memoranda, SECY-01-0148,
Processes for Revision of 10 CFR Part 20 Regarding Adoption of ICRP
Recommendations on Occupational Dose Limits and Dosimetric Models
and Parameters, April 2002.
9. Environmental Assessment for Renewal of NRC License SUB-526
for the Honeywell Specialty Materials Metropolis Work Facility, June
30, 2006, ADAMS Accession Number ML061780260. Federal Register
Notice of Availability of EA and FONSI--71 FR 45862, August 10,
10. ICRP, ``Recommendations of the International Commission on
Radiological Protection,'' Publication 26, 1977.
11. ICRP, ``Limits for the Intake of Radionuclides by Workers,''
Publication 30, 1978.
These references may be examined and/or copied for a fee at the
NRC's Public Document Room, located at One White Flint North, 11555
Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. The references with ADAMS
accession numbers may also be viewed in the NRC's Library at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html.
Questions with respect to this action should be referred to Ms.
Mary Adams, Conversion, Deconversion and Enrichment Branch, Division of
Fuel Cycle Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission,
Mail Stop E-2-C40M, Washington, DC 20555-0001, Telephone: 301-492-3113.
Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 10th day of May 2012.
For the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Chief, Conversion, Deconversion and Enrichment Branch, Division of Fuel
Cycle Safety and Safeguards, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and
[FR Doc. 2012-12129 Filed 5-17-12; 8:45 am]
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