[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 170 (Friday, August 31, 2012)]
[Pages 53236-53237]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-21486]




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

[[Page 53237]]

NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You 
may access information related to this document using any of the 
following methods:
     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.

Document Availability

    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.
Gregory Suber,
Acting Deputy Director, Environmental Protection and Performance 
Assessment Directorate, Division of Waste Management and Environmental 
Protection, Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental 
Management Programs.
[FR Doc. 2012-21486 Filed 8-30-12; 8:45 am]