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Notice

Notice of Finding of No Significant Impact

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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SUMMARY:

Notice is hereby given that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has made a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) with respect to the potential environmental impact related to the request by Alaron Corporation to utilize a wet waste processing system to dry high-solids wet wastes and aqueous liquid wastes in their Wampum, Pennsylvania facility.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

John R. McGrath, Senior Health Physicist, Division of Nuclear Materials Safety, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Region I, 475 Allendale Road, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania 19406. Telephone 610-337-5069.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Alaron Corporation of Wampum, Pennsylvania holds a license issued by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for performing decontamination of equipment contaminated with radioactive material. Alaron has requested authority to add a system for the treatment of wet wastes by installing a system which includes a concentrate dryer, ultra-filtration, reverse-osmosis, demineralizers and steam generator on its site in Wampum.

Alaron estimates that approximately 214 curies of radioactive materials would be processed per year. Environmental radiation safety concerns include exposure due to airborne releases. To evaluate airborne releases, the licensee utilized a computer code (COMPLY, an EPA computer code for calculating the dose to individuals due to airborne releases) to assess dose from radionuclide emissions. The code assumed that an activity of 740 millicuries would be released in effluents to the air and projected a effective dose equivalent of 0.03 millirem/year to an individual at the nearest site boundary.

NRC has reviewed the assumptions used in the above described codes and concurs with the reported results. The maximum annual dose of 0.03 millirem is well below the regulatory limit of 100 millirem per year.

Copies of the EA and FONSI as well as supporting documentation are available for review at the NRC offices located at 475 Allendale Road, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania 19406, telephone number (610) 337-5000, during normal business hours.

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John D. Kinneman,

Chief, Nuclear Materials Safety Branch 2, Division of Nuclear Material Safety, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Region I.

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Environmental Assessment of Proposal by Alaron Corporation To Perform Processing of Wet Wastes Utilizing a Multi-Methodology Treatment System

1. The Need for the Proposed Action

The Alaron Corporation of Wampum, Pennsylvania holds a license issued by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for performing Start Printed Page 2251decontamination of equipment contaminated with radioactive material. Alaron uses a variety of techniques to perform the decontamination. In a letter dated May 31, 2001, Alaron requested an amendment to their license to authorize a wet waste processing system to dry high-solids wet wastes and aqueous liquid wastes in their Wampum facility. The system will be supplied by NUKEM Nuclear Technologies and includes a concentrate dryer, ultra-filtration units, reverse-osmosis units, demineralizers, steam generator and holding tanks. The purpose of this Environmental Assessment is to determine whether or not the proposed action could contribute to significant impacts on the human environment.

2. Alternatives to the Proposed Action

The only credible alternative is to not allow Alaron to install and use the treatment system. Relocation of the unit to another part of the site would not alter the environmental impact of the operation of the unit. To allow the use of some components of the system and not others could actually result in an increase in the amount of activity released to the environment.

3. The Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action

Alaron is located on a 24 acre site in the Point Industrial Park, Wampum, Pennsylvania. Building F1 is a 67,800 ft2 steel frame and steel wall building with a flat synthetic membrane type roof. The proposed wet waste processing system would be located inside a curbed area at the east end of the F1 Annex. The F1 Annex is located on the east side of the F1 Building and is a steel frame, steel walled building 32 feet wide and 88 feet long. The curbed area in the F1 Annex is capable of holding all of the contaminated liquid in the wet waste system. The NUKEM system consists of a number of water treatment components, including a concentrate dryer (CD), an ultra-filtration (UF) unit, a reverse osmosis (RO) unit, two demineralizers, and a steam generator. Wet waste will arrive by truck and will be transferred to one of two 1400 gallon sludge tanks inside the curbed area of the F1 Annex using a pneumatic pump through a double containment transfer hose.

Alaron's License No. 37-20826-01 was last renewed in its entirety on December 3, 1998. As part of that renewal, NRC issued an Environmental Assessment (NUREG/CR-5549) and published a Finding of No Significant Impact in the Federal Register on December 2, 1998. The Environmental Assessment found that no atmospheric emissions containing radioactive contaminants were expected to be released from the operation as then licensed. This was based on the fact that potentially contaminated air within work areas is cycled through HEPA filters and exhausted back into the building. Alaron recognized, though, that fugitive emissions, through doors, vents, etc. exist and a conservative estimate of an annual dose to the nearest residence was calculated to be 0.26 millirem. 10 CFR 20.1301 requires that each licensee conduct operations so that the total effective dose equivalent to individual members of the public from the licensed operation does not exceed 0.1 rem (100 millirem) in a year.

The installation of this waste treatment system would add an airborne release point at the Alaron facility. Steam from the steam generator will be vented through an exhaust stack on the roof of the F1 Building. Most of the radioactivity in the wet waste to be processed will be removed by the various treatment methods in the system and will be disposed of as solid waste. After being cleaned by passing through the system, the cleaned or polished water feeds the steam generator. Steam from the steam generator is exhausted through the stack.

Alaron estimates that the wet waste processing system will process liquid, sludge and/or resin waste whose isotopic distribution is typical of waste currently being disposed from nuclear power facilities. Based on the estimated waste throughput, approximately 214 curies of radioactive material will be processed per year. Assuming that all of the H-3 activity will become airborne, that the polished water feed to the steam generator contains other isotopes at 10 CFR Part 20 effluent limits, and that all of the radioactivity in the feed is released, the total activity emitted per year would be about 740 millicuries. The licensee performed dose calculations using the computer code COMPLY (an EPA computer code for calculating the dose to individuals due to airborne releases) which projects an effective dose equivalent of 0.03 millirem/year to an individual at the nearest site boundary as a result of the estimated release. NRC has performed a dose assessment of the proposal and agrees with the basic assumptions and results of the licensee's analysis.

With regard to direct radiation exposure, the licensee plans to conduct cleaning and back flush evolutions that will assure that accumulation of radioactive material on filter media will not result in high radiation levels around the unit. In addition, there will be shielding in place to avoid creation of high radiation levels. The maximum radiation levels is expected to be 50 millirem per hour one foot from the Concentrate Dryer, i.e. within the restricted area. Radiation levels at the closest unrestricted area, including the contribution from existing operations, will be about 10 microrem per hour.

4. Conclusion

In view of the fact that the additional dose of 0.03 millirem/year to an individual at the nearest site boundary as a result of the proposed amendment is a small fraction of the dose attributed to fugitive emissions to an individual at the nearest residence as a result of existing operations, the staff concludes that the proposed action will have a negligible impact on the environment.

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[FR Doc. 02-1090 Filed 1-15-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7590-01-P