[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 106 (Thursday, June 2, 2016)]
[Pages 35387-35388]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-13014]

[[Page 35387]]



[Docket No. 071-9305; NRC-2016-0106]

Nuclear Waste Partnerships, LLC

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact; 


SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing an 
environmental assessment (EA) and finding of no significant impact 
(FONSI) for an exemption request from the Nuclear Waste Partnerships, 
LLC, (NWP) for the one-time shipment of transuranic waste in two 
TRUPACT-III packages from the Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, South 
Carolina, to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), Carlsbad, New 

DATES: The EA and FONSI referenced in this document are available on 
June 2, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2016-0106 when contacting the 
NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You 
may obtain publicly-available 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-2016-0106. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-
3463; email: [email protected]. For technical questions, contact 
the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of 
this document.
     NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System 
(ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the 
ADAMS Public Documents collection 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]. The 
ADAMS accession number for each document referenced (if it is available 
in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is referenced.
     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:  Jessie Muir Quintero, Office of 
Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory 
Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-7476; email: 
[email protected].


I. Introduction

    The NRC is reviewing a request from NWP (or applicant), dated 
January 28, 2014 (ADAMS Accession No. ML14035A106), for an exemption--
in accordance with section 71.12 of title 10 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations (10 CFR)-- for the one-time transport of two Standard Large 
Box 2 (SLB2) waste boxes, each in a Model No. TRUPACT-III package.
    Specifically, NWP requested an exemption from the requirements in 
10 CFR 71.61, ``Special requirements for Type B packages containing 
more than 10\5\A2,'' (i.e., deep water immersion test). The 
applicant requested an exemption from the deep water immersion test 
because the design of a TRUPACT-III package containing more than 
10\5\A2 has not been demonstrated to meet the deep water 
immersion requirements of 10 CFR 71.61, i.e., the package's undamaged 
containment system has not been shown that it can withstand an external 
water pressure of 2 MegaPascal for a period of not less than 1 hour 
without collapse, buckling, or in-leakage of water.
    Along with the exemption request, NWP also requested approval from 
the NRC for an increase in: (1) The A2 limit from less than 
10\5\A2 to 2.1 x 10\5\A2 and (2) the authorized 
decay heat limit from 80 watts (W) to 190W. The A2 and decay 
heat limits are established in the TRUPACT-III Certificate of 
Compliance No. 9305, Revision No. 9 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15201A571).
    The TRUPACT-III is a shipping container used to transport 
transuranic (TRU) waste within an SLB2. The TRUPACT-III packages are 
front loaded in a horizontal position on custom-designed trailers for 
truck transport. The two TRUPACT-III packages will be transported by 
truck from the SRS in South Carolina, to the U.S. Department of Energy 
WIPP, Carlsbad, New Mexico.
    The SLB2 waste boxes have not been loaded into the TRUPACT-III 
packages yet and are currently sitting on a storage pad at SRS. The 
contents of each SLB2 waste box is primarily one half of a 
decommissioned tank used to process Plutonium-238.

II. Environmental Assessment Summary

    Under the requirements of 10 CFR 51.21 and 51.30(a), the NRC staff 
developed an EA (ADAMS Accession No. ML16119A075) to evaluate the 
proposed federal action, which is for the NRC to grant an exemption to 
NWP from the deep water immersion test requirements for the one-time 
transport of two TRUPACT-III packages from SRS to WIPP.
    The EA defines the NRC's proposed action (i.e., to grant NWP's 
exemption request from 10 CFR 71.61) and the purpose of and need for 
the proposed action. Evaluations of the potential environmental impacts 
of the proposed action and alternatives to the proposed action were 
presented, followed by the NRC's conclusion. Alternatives to the 
proposed action considered included: The no-action alternative (i.e., 
not granting the exemption); further segmenting the waste; using a 
different type of package; and storing the waste until the activity 
decays below 10\5\A2. None of the alternatives are 
preferable to the proposed action because either the impacts are 
greater than the proposed action or they do not meet the purpose and 
need of the proposed action. Therefore, the proposed action is the 
preferred alternative.
    The EA evaluates the potential environmental impacts of granting 
the exemption of the two subject TRUPACT-III packages from the deep 
water immersion test. The only potential impacts from granting the 
exemption would be radiological impacts associated with an accident 
scenario. However, the analysis in the EA shows that there would be no 
radiological impacts as a result of exempting these two packages from 
the deep water immersion test since the packages will not cross bodies 
of water with depths greater than 15 meters (m) (50 feet [ft]). Any 
nonradiological impacts would be no greater than those for the 
transport of any other TRUPACT-III package and would be bounded by 
previous environmental analysis (NUREG-0170, ADAMS Accession No. 
ML12192A283). Therefore, the environmental impacts of transporting 
these two TRUPACT-III packages from SRS to WIPP are still bounded by 
those impacts documented in NUREG-0170.

III. Finding of No Significant Impact

    The NRC staff has prepared an EA and FONSI in support of the 
proposed action. The EA is available at ADAMS Accession No. 
ML16119A075. The NRC staff has concluded that the proposed action, for 
the NRC to grant an exemption to NWP from the deep water immersion test 
for the transport of two SLB2 waste boxes in Model No. TRUPACT-III 
packages from SRS to WIPP, will not significantly impact the

[[Page 35388]]

quality of the human environment, and that the proposed action is the 
preferred alternative. The environmental impacts of the two packages 
are bounded by previous NRC environmental analysis since the packages 
will not cross bodies of water greater than 15 m (50 ft) in depth.
    The NRC provided the States of South Carolina and New Mexico a 
draft copy of this EA for a 30-day review on April 14, 2016 (ADAMS 
Accession Nos. ML16032A178 and ML16032A175, respectively). The NRC did 
not receive any comments on the draft EA (ADAMS Accession Nos. 
ML16134A603 and ML16144A079, respectively).
    The NRC staff has determined that the exemption from the deep water 
immersion test for the two subject packages would have no impact on 
historic and cultural resources or ecological resources and, therefore, 
no consultations are necessary under Section 106 of the National 
Historic Preservation Act and Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act 
    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 FONSI is appropriate.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 26th day of May, 2016.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Craig G. Erlanger,
Acting Director, Division of Fuel Cycle Safety, Safeguards, and 
Environmental Review, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.
[FR Doc. 2016-13014 Filed 6-1-16; 8:45 am]