[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 215 (Tuesday, November 6, 2012)]
[Pages 66647-66649]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-27065]



[Docket No. 03038458; NRC-2012-0267]

License Amendment Request to Byproduct Material License 06-31445-
01 for Light Sources, Inc., Orange, CT

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact 
for license amendment.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dennis Lawyer, Health Physicist, 
Commercial and R&D Branch, Division of Nuclear Materials Safety, Region 
I, 2100 Renaissance Blvd., King of Prussia, Pennsylvania 19406-2713; 
telephone 610-337-5366; fax number 610-337-5269; or by email: 
[email protected].


I. Introduction

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or the Commission) is 
considering the issuance of a license amendment to Byproduct Materials 
License No.06-31445-01 issued to Light Sources, Inc. (the Licensee), to 
approve of proposed alternate disposal procedures under section 20.2002 

[[Page 66648]]

Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), for its facility 
located at 37 Robinson Boulevard, Orange, Connecticut (the Facility). 
License No. 06-31445-01 was issued by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission on September 6, 2011, pursuant to 10 CFR Part 30. This 
license authorizes Light Sources, Inc. to possess and store lamps 
containing up to 4 kilobecquerel (kBq) (0.12 microcuries) of krypton 85 
(Kr-85) prior to initial distribution.
    Pursuant to the provisions in 10 CFR 20.2002, issuance of the 
license amendment would authorize the transfer of up to 200 lamps each 
year to a recycling facility that handles hazardous wastes, including 
mercury. The NRC has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) in 
support of this proposed action in accordance with the requirements in 
10 CFR Part 51. Based on the EA, the NRC has concluded that a Finding 
of No Significant Impact (FONSI) is appropriate with respect to the 
proposed action. The amendment will be issued to the Licensee following 
the publication of this FONSI and EA in the Federal Register.

II. Environmental Assessment

Identification of Proposed Action

    The proposed action would be granted under 10 CFR 20.2002 and 
approve the Licensee's September 9, 2011, license amendment request as 
modified in their letter dated November 17, 2011, by authorizing the 
transfer of up to 200 lamps per year, not to exceed 4 KBq (0.12uCi) of 
Kr-85 each, and utilizing a recycling facility that handles hazardous 
wastes, including mercury, for disposal. The mercury would be recycled 
and the krypton would be released by ventilation at the recycler.

Need for the Proposed Action

    The Licensee needs this license amendment to allow disposal of up 
to 200 lamps per year at a waste recycling facility, authorized to 
process hazardous material, including mercury.

Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

    The NRC staff reviewed the license amendment request to allow up to 
200 lamps each year containing Kr-85, to be disposed at a hazardous 
waste recycler. Individual lamps vary in the amount of Kr-85 contained 
depending on the size and wattage of the lamp, but contain no more than 
4 KBq (0.12uCi) of Kr-85 each. The Licensee estimates that no more than 
7MBq (0.2mCi) of Kr-85 in intact lamps will be sent for disposal 
    Characteristics of krypton gas are such that exposure to workers 
and the general public from Kr-85 vented from the lamps during the 
recycling process will have minimal effects. Since it is a gas, Kr-85 
will immediately disperse once the lamp is broken. It is not considered 
an inhalation hazard and does not react with biological systems when 
inhaled. Due to the minimal risks presented, the NRC does not specify 
an Annual Limit on Intake (ALI) for Kr-85.
    The Licensee provided the International Atomic Energy Agency 
report, ``Assessment of the Radiological Impact of the Recycling and 
Disposal of Light Bulbs Containing Tritium, Krypton-85, and 
Radioisotopes of Thorium'' (Jones, et al., 2011). This report was 
commissioned by the European Lamp Companies Federation, a forum 
developed to oversee the European lamp manufacturers, to assess 
radiation doses associated with the recycling and disposal of lamps 
containing small quantities of H-3, Kr-85, and thorium. This study 
considered a range of exposure scenarios in order to estimate the 
highest doses received by various individuals, including workers at 
facilities that recycle lamps, workers at incinerators, foundries, and 
landfill sites, as well as members of the public.
    Highly conservative assumptions and parameter values were used for 
the dose assessment in this report in order to ensure that the doses 
calculated will not underestimate actual doses. The report assumes that 
Kr-85 associated with 1.5 million metal halide lamps and 1 million glow 
switches in first generation non-integrated compact fluorescent lamps 
are recycled annually. This quantity greatly exceeds the anticipated 
quantities of up to 200 lamps that the Licensee plans to recycle 
annually. Corresponding exposure times for various workers dealing with 
these greater quantities are also assumed to be much greater than the 
exposure times associated with lamps shipped by the Licensee for 
    Using the conservative parameter values, doses were calculated for 
workers in each of the processes used to recycle the lamps containing 
Kr-85 as well as members of the general public living near the 
recycling facility. The recycling workers' total effective dose was 
determined to be 0.5 [mu]Sv/yr (0.05 mrem) with the largest 
contribution coming from working within Kr-85 vapor while manually 
sorting lamps before the actual recycling process begins. The estimated 
dose to members of the public living near the recycling facility was 
calculated to be 4.0E-6 [mu]Sv/yr (4.0E-7 mrem) for processing of 1.5 
million lamps and 1 million glow switches. These doses are well below 
the NRC's annual dose limits for workers and the general public, and 
the dose from the estimated 200 lamps proposed by the licensee would be 
proportionally smaller (Estimated at less than 0.025% of the dose 
calculated in the report).
    The environmental impact of sending 200 lamps to a recycler would 
result in sending a maximum 20,000 milligrams of mercury to a recycler. 
The amount being recycled is expected to be significantly less since 
the most commonly sold lamp contains 14 milligrams and much fewer than 
200 lamps per year is expected to be sent to the recycler. This is a 
non-significant impact on the environment. For comparison, a local 
recycler, NLR, reports that they have recycled 5,270,000 milligrams of 
mercury in a typical year. Thus the amount from the Licensee would 
result in a maximum increase of less than 0.38% per year. Recycling is 
an authorized disposal method for lamps containing mercury under the 
Universal Waste Regulations, 40 CFR Part 273. According to the 
``Mercury Emissions from the Disposal of Fluorescent Lamps'', report 
(http://www.epa.gov/wastes/hazard/wastetypes/universal/merc-emi/merc-pgs/emmrpt.pdf) dated March 1998, the central estimated emissions from 
recycling mercury in lamps would be 10% elemental and 1.09% divalent 
mercury. Lamps from the Licensee are made with triple distilled mercury 
containing approximately 100% elemental mercury. The lamps being sent 
for recycling from the Licensee consist of bulbs that prematurely 
failed which leaves the mercury in an elemental state. Thus the maximum 
discharge to the environment from recycling 200 lamps would be a 
maximum of 2000 milligrams of elemental mercury.

Environmental Impacts of the Alternatives to the Proposed Action

    The alternative to the proposed action is to deny the requested 
license amendment. The no-action alternative would leave things as they 
are, resulting in the material being disposed as mixed waste in 
accordance with Universal Waste regulations. The lamps would be sent to 
a licensed radioactive waste contractor which could result in the Kr-85 
being discharged--an increase in the environmental impact--or 
recovered, depending upon the methods employed by the licensed 
radioactive waste contractor. With respect to the mercury,

[[Page 66649]]

the environmental impact is that the licensed radioactive waste 
contractor could recycle the mercury, resulting in the same 
environmental impact as granting the license amendment or properly 
dispose of the mercury by using a Subtitle C landfill. According to the 
``Mercury Emissions from the Disposal of Fluorescent Lamps'', report 
(http://www.epa.gov/wastes/hazard/wastetypes/universal/merc-emi/merc-pgs/emmrpt.pdf) dated March 1998, the estimated emissions from lamps 
being sent to a Subtitle C landfill is 100% elemental mercury and 0% 
for divalent mercury. The resulting mercury discharge for up to 200 
lamps from the licensee would be a maximum of 20,000 milligrams 
elemental mercury or ten times the amount discharged in recycling the 
lamps. Thus environmental impacts of either method are small, denying 
the amendment request would result in similar environmental impacts. 
The environmental impacts of the proposed action as compared to the 
alternative action are similar and therefore, the alternative action is 
accordingly not further considered.


    The NRC staff has concluded that the proposed action is consistent 
with NRC regulations and guidance. The NRC staff reviewed the dose 
modeling analysis performed in the referenced report, which considers 
recycling activities for much larger quantities of lamps containing Kr-
85. The report, which used extremely conservative parameter values in 
its assessment, calculates doses to workers involved in the recycling 
of these lamps as well as members of the public residing near the 
recycling centers that are significantly less than the NRC's 
corresponding annual dose limits. Since the quantity of lamps and the 
corresponding exposure times for workers recycling lamps from the 
Licensee are much smaller than those considered in the report the NRC 
staff is confident that the resulting doses to workers and the general 
public would also be proportionally smaller. Approving the proposed 
action would allow the Licensee to ship the lamps to a recycler for 
proper recycling of any of the recoverable mercury ensuring that the 
mercury is recycled. Recycling has shown to be the best method to 
recover elemental mercury which is the mercury contained in the 
Licensee's lamps. Because the proposed action will not significantly 
impact the quality of the human environment and will allow mercury that 
is recoverable to be recycled and not disposed, the NRC staff concludes 
that the proposed action is the preferred alternative.

Agencies and Persons Consulted

    The NRC provided a draft of this Environmental Assessment to the 
State of Connecticut for review on April 25, 2012. On June 4, 2012, 
Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection responded 
by electronic mail. The State agreed with the conclusions of the EA, 
and otherwise had no comments.
    The NRC staff has determined that the proposed action is of a 
procedural nature, and will not affect listed species or critical 
habitat. Therefore, no further consultation is required under Section 7 
of the Endangered Species Act. The NRC staff has also determined that 
the proposed action is not the type of activity that has the potential 
to cause effects on historic properties. Therefore, no further 
consultation is required under Section 106 of the National Historic 
Preservation Act.

III. Finding of No Significant Impact

    The NRC staff has prepared this EA in support of the proposed 
action. On the basis of this EA, the NRC finds that there are no 
significant environmental impacts from the proposed action, and that 
preparation of an environmental impact statement is not warranted. 
Accordingly, the NRC has determined that a Finding of No Significant 
Impact is appropriate.

IV. Further Information

    Documents related to this action, including the application for 
license amendment and supporting documentation, are available 
electronically at the NRC's Electronic Reading Room at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. From this site, you can access the 
NRC's Agencywide Document Access and Management System (ADAMS), which 
provides text and image files of NRC's public documents. The documents 
related to this action are listed below, along with their ADAMS 
accession numbers.

1. Licensee's amendment request letter dated September 9, 2011 
2. Licensee's additional information letter dated November 17, 2011 
3. Licensee's email attachment dated August 29, 2012 [ML12243A199]
4. Licensee's additional information letter received September 14, 2012 

    If you do not have access to ADAMS, or if there are problems in 
accessing the documents located in ADAMS, contact the NRC 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 Public 
Document Room (PDR), O 1 F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville 
Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. The PDR reproduction contractor will copy 
documents for a fee.

    Dated at Region I, 2100 Renaissance Blvd., King of Prussia, this 
25th day of October 2012.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Judith Joustra,
Chief, Commercial and R&D Branch, Division of Nuclear Materials Safety, 
Region I.
[FR Doc. 2012-27065 Filed 11-5-12; 8:45 am]