Split Rock, Wyoming Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act Title II Disposal Site; Jeffrey City, Wyoming

Citation88 FR 74211
Published date30 October 2023
Record Number2023-23806
CourtNuclear Regulatory Commission
Federal Register, Volume 88 Issue 208 (Monday, October 30, 2023)
[Federal Register Volume 88, Number 208 (Monday, October 30, 2023)]
                [Pages 74211-74213]
                From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
                [FR Doc No: 2023-23806]
                [Docket No. 40-1162; NRC-2021-0120]
                Split Rock, Wyoming Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act
                Title II Disposal Site; Jeffrey City, Wyoming
                AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
                [[Page 74212]]
                ACTION: Environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact;
                SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) reviewed a Long-
                Term Surveillance Plan (LTSP) for the Split Rock, Wyoming Uranium Mill
                Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) Title II Disposal Site, Jeffrey
                City, Wyoming submitted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), by
                letter dated April 29, 2020. The NRC staff prepared an environmental
                assessment (EA) for this LTSP in accordance with its regulations. Based
                on the EA, the NRC concluded that a finding of no significant impact
                (FONSI) is appropriate. The NRC is also conducting a safety evaluation
                of the proposed license transfer.
                DATES: The EA and FONSI referenced in this document are available on
                October 30, 2023.
                ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2021-0120 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 Website: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2021-0120. Address
                questions about Docket IDs in Regulations.gov to Stacy Schumann;
                telephone: 301-415-0624; 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 https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, 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, at 301-415-4737,
                or by email to [email protected]. The ADAMS accession number for
                each document referenced in this document (if that document is
                available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is
                 NRC's PDR: The PDR, where you may examine and order copies
                of publicly available documents, is open by appointment. To make an
                appointment to visit the PDR, please send an email to
                [email protected] or call 1-800-397-4209 or 301-415-4737, between 8
                a.m. and 4 p.m. eastern time (ET), Monday through Friday, except
                Federal holidays.
                FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jill Caverly, Office of Nuclear
                Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission,
                Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-7674, email:
                [email protected].
                I. Introduction
                 The NRC is evaluating the LTSP for the Split Rock, Wyoming UMTRCA
                Title II Disposal Site submitted by the DOE for the long-term care and
                custodianship of the former uranium mill tailings site. The DOE
                submitted its request by letter dated April 29, 2020, (ADAMS Accession
                No. ML20121A280) and amended on August 11, 2023 (ADAMS Package
                Accession No. ML23223A152). The LTSP demonstrates the DOE
                responsibilities as the long-term custodian of the site, fulfilling its
                requirements associated with the general license under part 40 of title
                10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), ``Domestic Licensing of
                Source Material.''
                 In accordance with 10 CFR part 51, ``Environmental Protection
                Regulations for Domestic Licensing and Related Regulatory Functions,''
                which implements the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 as
                amended, the NRC staff's environmental review of the LTSP is documented
                in its EA (ADAMS Accession No. ML23236A452). The purpose of the EA is
                to assess the potential environmental impacts of the activities
                included in the long-term care of the Split Rock, Wyoming UMTRCA Title
                II disposal site. The NRC is also conducting a safety evaluation of the
                LTSP, which will be documented in a separate technical evaluation
                report (TER).
                 The long-term surveillance and maintenance program presented in the
                LTSP entails performing the following activities at the site: annual
                site inspection and reporting, annual ground water and surface water
                monitoring and reporting, and minor maintenance. The NRC will approve
                transfer of the site to DOE under the general licensing authority of 10
                CFR part 40, following publication of the FONSI in the Federal
                Register, the EA, and the TER.
                II. Final Environmental Assessment Summary
                 The Split Rock, Wyoming UMTRCA Title II disposal site is currently
                under a specific license with Western Nuclear Inc. (WNI) for the
                possession and storage of source or byproduct material from processing
                and extraction activities associated with uranium milling and as
                defined in 10 CFR part 40. Past activities include disposal,
                decommissioning, and reclamation activities at the site. Once those
                activities are complete, the license must be transferred to the long-
                term custodian under a general license. Under the UMTRCA Title II, a
                general license is issued for the custody and long-term care, including
                monitoring, maintenance, emergency measures necessary to protect the
                public health and safety, and other actions necessary to comply with
                site closure under Title II of UMTRCA. The long-term custodian will be
                the DOE.
                 The purpose of the LTSP is to establish the parameters of the long-
                term custodian's maintenance and surveillance of the site, consistent
                with 10 CFR 40.28, to demonstrate and ensure that uranium and thorium
                mill tailings disposal sites will be cared for in a manner that
                protects the public health, safety, and environment after closure. The
                DOE proposed an LTSP for the Split Rock, Wyoming UMTRCA Title II
                disposal site and requested NRC review and approval. The NRC considered
                the proposed action and the no-action alternative of denying the LTSP
                and transfer of the site to a general license. The results of the NRC's
                environmental review can be found in the final EA (ADAMS Accession No.
                ML23236A452). The NRC staff performed its environmental review in
                accordance with the requirements in 10 CFR part 51. In conducting the
                environmental review, the NRC contacted the Wyoming State Historic
                Preservation office (ADAMS Accession No. ML21056A423), and seventeen
                Native American Tribes (ADAMS Accession No. ML20329A081) and ran a
                query using the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Information for
                Planning and Consultation database (ADAMS Accession No. ML21047A315).
                 If the NRC approves the LTSP and concurs with Wyoming's termination
                of WNI's radioactive material license (WYSUA-56), the site will be
                transferred to an NRC general license for long-term custody (10 CFR
                40.28(b)). Concurrent with this action, the WNI's deed and title to the
                site within the long-term site boundary will be transferred to the DOE.
                The remaining balance of the property is federally owned or privately
                held and under institutional control restrictions. Disposal structures
                (i.e., the disposal cell and its associated surface water diversion
                structures) are designed to last ``for up to 1,000 years, to the extent
                reasonably achievable, and, in any case, for at least 200 years'' (10
                CFR part 40, appendix A, ``Criteria Relating to the Operation of
                Uranium Mills and the Disposition of Tailings or Wastes
                [[Page 74213]]
                Produced by the Extraction or Concentration of Source Material from
                Ores Processed Primarily for Their Source Material Content,'' Criterion
                6), in addition, there is no termination of the general license for the
                DOE's long-term custody of the site (10 CFR 40.28(b)). Representatives
                of the NRC must be guaranteed permanent right-of-entry for periodic
                site inspections. Perpetual access to the site is gained by a local
                county road.
                 To meet the NRC's license requirements at 10 CFR 40.28 and 10 CFR
                part 40, appendix A, criterion 12, the DOE as long-term custodian must,
                at a minimum, fulfill the following requirements:
                 annual site inspection,
                 annual inspection report,
                 follow-up inspections and reports, as necessary,
                 site maintenance, as necessary,
                 emergency measures, and,
                 environmental monitoring.
                III. Finding of No Significant Impact
                 Based on its review of the proposed action in the EA, in accordance
                with the requirements of 10 CFR part 51, the NRC staff determined that
                approval of the LTSP for the Split Rock, Wyoming UMTRCA Title II
                disposal site authorizing long-term surveillance activities, will not
                significantly affect the quality of the human environment. The proposed
                action would not result in any new construction or expansion of the
                existing footprint beyond the area previously disturbed and approved.
                No significant radiological or nonradiological impacts are expected
                from the long-term surveillance and maintenance. The proposed action
                will not affect potentially eligible historic properties if any are
                present. Therefore, the NRC staff determined that pursuant to 10 CFR
                51.31, preparation of an environmental impact statement is not required
                for the proposed action, and pursuant to 10 CFR 51.32, a FONSI is
                 Dated: October 24, 2023.
                 For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
                John M. Moses,
                Deputy Director, Division of Rulemaking, Environmental, and Financial
                Support, Office of Nuclear Material Safety, and Safeguards.
                [FR Doc. 2023-23806 Filed 10-27-23; 8:45 am]
                BILLING CODE 7590-01-P

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