[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 170 (Friday, August 31, 2012)]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-21486]
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
Proposed International Isotopes Fluorine Extraction Process and
Depleted Uranium Deconversion Plant in Lea County, New Mexico
AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
ACTION: Final environmental impact statement; issuance.
SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory
Commission (NRC or the Commission) has published the Final
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed International
Isotopes Fluorine Extraction Process and Depleted Uranium Deconversion
Plant (INIS) in Lea County, New Mexico. On December 30, 2009,
International Isotopes Fluorine Products, Inc. (IIFP), a wholly-owned
subsidiary of International Isotopes, Inc., submitted a license
application that proposes the construction, operation, and
decommissioning of a fluorine extraction and depleted uranium
deconversion facility (the ``proposed action''). IIFP proposes to
locate the facility near Hobbs, New Mexico.
ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2010-0143 when contacting the
NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You
may access information related to this document using any of the
Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2010-0143. Address
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-492-
3668; email: [email protected].
NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System
(ADAMS): You may access publicly-available documents online in the NRC
Library at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the
search, select ``ADAMS Public Documents'' and then select ``Begin Web-
based ADAMS Search.'' For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's
Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-
4737, or by email to [email protected]. Additional information
regarding accessing materials related to this action is under the
Document Availability heading in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section
of this document.
NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public
documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555
Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information about the Final EIS or
the environmental review process, please contact Asimios Malliakos,
telephone: 301-415-6458; email: [email protected]; Office of
Federal and State Materials and Environmental Management Programs, U.S.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001. For general
or technical information associated with the licensing process as it
relates to the INIS application, please contact Matthew Bartlett,
telephone: 301-492-3119; email: [email protected]; Office of
Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory
Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.
IIFP submitted a license application and Environmental Report (ER)
in support of its proposed facility on December 30, 2009. The proposed
site is located in Lea County, New Mexico, approximately 22.55
kilometers (km) (14 miles [mi]) west of the city of Hobbs.
The Final EIS is being issued as part of the NRC's process to
decide whether to issue a license to IIFP, pursuant to Part 40 of Title
10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), to construct and
operate the proposed depleted uranium deconversion facility.
Specifically, IIFP proposes to deconvert depleted uranium hexafluoride
(DUF6) into oxide compounds for long-term disposal. In the
Final EIS, the NRC staff assessed the potential environmental impacts
from construction, operation, and decommissioning of the proposed INIS
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 resources, climatology, meteorology, and air
quality, geology, minerals, and soil, water resources, ecological
resources, socioeconomics and environmental justice, traffic and
transportation, noise, public and occupational health, and waste
management. 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 a
reasonable range of alternatives, including the no-action alternative.
Under the no-action alternative, the NRC would deny IIFP's request to
construct and operate a depleted uranium deconversion facility in
Hobbs, New Mexico. 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; (2) alternative
technologies; (3) shipment of the U.S. generated DUF6 to
overseas facilities; (4) indefinite storage at the enrichment
facilities; and (5) construction and operation of deconversion
facilities at the four U.S.-based uranium enrichment companies. These
alternatives were eliminated from further analysis due to economic,
environmental, or other reasons.
After weighing the impacts 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
license be issued to IIFP. In this regard, the NRC staff has concluded
that the environmental impacts of the proposed action are generally
small, and taken in combination with the proposed IIFP environmental
monitoring program and proposed mitigation measures discussed in the
Final EIS would eliminate or substantially lessen any adverse
environmental impacts associated with the proposed action.
Documents related to this notice are available on the NRC's
Licensing Web Site at: http://www.nrc.gov/materials/fuel-cycle-fac/inisfacility.html. The Final EIS for the proposed INIS project may also
be accessed at: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/nuregs/staff/ by selecting ``NUREG-2113.''
The IIFP's license application, Environmental Report, and the NRC's
Final EIS are available in ADAMS under Accession Numbers ML100630503,
ML100120758, and ML12220A380.
A copy of the Final EIS will be available at the Hobbs Public
Library, 509 North Shipp, Hobbs, New Mexico 88240.
Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 22nd day of August, 2012.
For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Acting Deputy Director, Environmental Protection and Performance
Assessment Directorate, Division of Waste Management and Environmental
Protection, Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental
[FR Doc. 2012-21486 Filed 8-30-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7590-01-P