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Notice

Notice of Receipt of License Amendment Request From Sequoyah Fuels Corporation, Gore, Oklahoma, and Opportunity To Request a Hearing

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AGENCY:

Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION:

Notice of consideration of license amendment and opportunity to request a hearing.

DATES:

A request for a hearing must be filed by May 17, 2004.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Myron Fliegel, Fuel Cycle Facilities Branch, Division of Fuel Cycle Safety and Safeguards, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001. Telephone: (301) 415-6629; fax: (301) 415-5955; and/or by e-mail: mhf1@nrc.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Introduction

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has received, by letter dated January 7, 2004 (ML040150463), a request from Sequoyah Fuels Corporation (SFC) for approval of a license amendment to Materials License SUB-1010 to authorize a proposed raffinate dewatering project.

The SFC facility, located near Gore, Oklahoma, operated from 1970 to 1993, converting uranium oxide (yellowcake) to uranium hexafluoride, a step in the production of nuclear reactor fuel. From 1987 to 1993, the facility was also used to convert depleted uranium hexafluoride to uranium tetrafluoride. The facility is currently licensed only to possess radioactive material. Originally, the license only permitted possession of source material. However, in a Staff Requirements Memorandum to SECY-02-0095, dated July 25, 2002, the Commission concluded that some of the waste at the SFC site could properly be classified as byproduct material as defined in section 11e.(2) of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 as amended (AEA).

The SFC facility is an inactive uranium fuel cycle facility. SFC proposed, in a previous request to NRC, to clean up the site by constructing a disposal cell on the site and putting all the contaminated site material in the cell. Among the material that would be disposed of in the cell is raffinate sludge, which was produced as a waste product during operation of the facility. The raffinate sludge is currently stored onsite in three lined ponds, which contain about 1,000,000 cubic feet of sludge containing 15 to 20 percent solids. The sludge must be dewatered before it can be properly disposed of in the cell.

SFC has proposed to dewater the raffinate sludge using a pressurized filter press system, which will increase the solids content to approximately 45 to 50 percent and reduce the volume to approximately 485,000 cubic feet. The dewatered raffinate sludge will be put into polypropylene bags and stored onsite prior to disposal in the cell. Each bag will be approximately three feet by three feet by four feet and hold approximately 2000 pounds of dewatered sludge. Temporary storage cells will be built on an existing concrete pad. Each storage cell will be approximately 30 feet wide by 150 long and will hold an estimated 1460 bags of dewatered sludge. The cells will be lined and covered to prevent dispersal of any sludge that leaks from the bags.

The NRC staff will review SFC's request to authorize the raffinate dewatering project using NUREG-1620 Rev. 1, “Standard Review Plan for the Review of a Reclamation Plan for Mill Tailings Sites Under Title II of the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978” and other applicable agency regulations and guidance. If the NRC approves SFC's request, the approval will be documented in an amendment to SFC's license. However, before approving the request, NRC will need to make the findings required by the AEA and NRC regulations. These findings will be documented in a Technical Evaluation Report and an Environmental Assessment.

II. Opportunity To Request a Hearing

The NRC hereby provides notice that this is a proceeding on an application for a license amendment. In accordance with the general requirements in subpart C of 10 CFR part 2,[1] “Rules of General Applicability; Hearing Requests, Petitions to Intervene, Availability of Documents, Selection of Specific Hearing Procedures, Presiding Officer Powers, and General Hearing Management for NRC Adjudicatory Hearings,” any person whose interest may be affected by this proceeding and who desires to participate as a party must file a written request for a hearing and a specification of the contentions which the person seeks to have litigated in the hearing.

In accordance with 10 CFR 2.302(a), a request for a hearing must be filed with the Commission either by:

1. First class mail addressed to: Office of the Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, Attention: Rulemakings and Adjudications;

2. Courier, express mail, and expedited delivery services: Office of the Secretary, Sixteenth Floor, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852, Attention: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff, between 7:45 a.m. and 4:15 p.m., Federal workdays;

3. E-mail addressed to the Office of the Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, hearingdocket@nrc.gov; or

4. By facsimile transmission addressed to the Office of the Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC, Attention: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff, at (301) 415-1101; verification number is (301) 415-1966.

In accordance with 10 CFR 2.302(b), all documents offered for filing must be accompanied by proof of service on all parties to the proceeding or their attorneys of record as required by law or by rule or order of the Commission, including:

1. The applicant, Sequoyah Fuels Corporation, P.O. Box 610, Gore, Oklahoma, Attention: Mr. John Ellis; and

2. The NRC staff, by delivery to the Office of the General Counsel, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852, or by mail addressed to the Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001. Hearing requests should also be transmitted to the Office of the General Counsel, either by means of facsimile transmission to (301) 415-3725, or by e-mail to ogcmailcenter@nrc.gov.

The formal requirements for documents contained in 10 CFR 2.304 (b), (c), (d), and (e), must be met. In accordance with 10 CFR 2.304(f), a document filed by electronic mail or facsimile transmission need not comply with the formal requirements of 10 CFR 2.304 (b), (c), and (d), as long as an original and two (2) copies otherwise complying with all of the requirements of 10 CFR 2.304 (b), (c), and (d) are mailed within two (2) days thereafter to the Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, Attention: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff. Start Printed Page 12716

In accordance with 10 CFR 2.309(b), a request for a hearing must be filed by May 17, 2004.

In addition to meeting other applicable requirements of 10 CFR 2.309, the general requirements involving a request for a hearing filed by a person other than an applicant must state:

1. The name, address, and telephone number of the requestor;

2. The nature of the requestor's right under the Act to be made a party to the proceeding;

3. The nature and extent of the requestor's property, financial or other interest in the proceeding;

4. The possible effect of any decision or order that may be issued in the proceeding on the requestor's interest; and

5. The circumstances establishing that the request for a hearing is timely in accordance with 10 CFR 2.309(b).

In accordance with 10 CFR 2.309 (f)(1), a request for hearing or petitions for leave to intervene must set forth with particularity the contentions sought to be raised. For each contention, the request or petition must:

1. Provide a specific statement of the issue of law or fact to be raised or controverted;

2. Provide a brief explanation of the basis for the contention;

3. Demonstrate that the issue raised in the contention is within the scope of the proceeding;

4. Demonstrate that the issue raised in the contention is material to the findings that the NRC must make to support the action that is involved in the proceeding;

5. Provide a concise statement of the alleged facts or expert opinions which support the requestor's/petitioner's position on the issue and on which the requestor/petitioner intends to rely to support its position on the issue; and

6. Provide sufficient information to show that a genuine dispute exists with the applicant on a material issue of law or fact. This information must include references to specific portions of the application (including the applicant's environmental report and safety report) that the requestor/petitioner disputes and the supporting reasons for each dispute, or, if the requestor/petitioner believes the application fails to contain information on a relevant matter as required by law, the identification of each failure and the supporting reasons for the requestor's/petitioner's belief.

In addition, in accordance with 10 CFR 2.309(f)(2), contentions must be based on documents or other information available at the time the petition is to be filed, such as the application, supporting safety analysis report, environmental report or other supporting document filed by an applicant or licensee, or otherwise available to the petitioner. On issues arising under the National Environmental Policy Act, the requestor/petitioner shall file contentions based on the applicant's environmental report. The requestor/petitioner may amend those contentions or file new contentions if there are data or conclusions in the NRC draft, or final environmental impact statement, environmental assessment, or any supplements relating thereto, that differ significantly from the data or conclusions in the applicant's documents. Otherwise, contentions may be amended or new contentions filed after the initial filing only with leave of the presiding officer.

Each contention shall be given a separate numeric or alpha designation within one of the following groups:

1. Technical—primarily concerns issues relating to matters discussed or referenced in the Safety Evaluation Report for the proposed action.

2. Environmental—primarily concerns issues relating to matters discussed or referenced in the Environmental Report for the proposed action.

3. Emergency Planning—primarily concerns issues relating to matters discussed or referenced in the Emergency Plan as it relates to the proposed action.

4. Physical Security—primarily concerns issues relating to matters discussed or referenced in the Physical Security Plan as it relates to the proposed action.

5. Miscellaneous—does not fall into one of the categories outlined above.

If the requestor/petitioner believes a contention raises issues that cannot be classified as primarily falling into one of these categories, the requestor/petitioner must set forth the contention and supporting bases, in full, separately for each category into which the requestor/petitioner asserts the contention belongs with a separate designation for that category.

Requestors/petitioners should, when possible, consult with each other in preparing contentions and combine similar subject matter concerns into a joint contention, for which one of the co-sponsoring requestors/petitioners is designated the lead representative. Further, in accordance with 10 CFR 2.309(f)(3), any requestor/petitioner that wishes to adopt a contention proposed by another requestor/petitioner must do so in writing within ten days of the date the contention is filed, and designate a representative who shall have the authority to act for the requestor/petitioner.

In accordance with 10 CFR 2.309(g), a request for hearing and/or petition for leave to intervene may also address the selection of the hearing procedures, taking into account the provisions of 10 CFR 2.310.

III. Further Information

In accordance with 10 CFR 2.390 of the NRC's “Rules of Practice,” details with respect to this action, including the application for amendment and supporting documentation, are available electronically for public inspection and copying from the Publicly Available Records (PARS) component of NRC's document system (ADAMS). ADAMS is accessible from the NRC Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/​reading-rm/​adams.html. The relevant documents can be found in ADAMS at ML040150463. 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. Persons who do not have access to ADAMS, should contact the NRC PDR Reference staff by telephone at 1-800-397-4209 or (301) 415-4737, or by e-mail to pdr@nrc.gov.

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Dated in Rockville, Maryland, this 10th day of March, 2004.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Myron Fliegel,

Project Manager, Fuel Cycle Facilities Branch, Division of Fuel Cycle Safety and Safeguards, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.

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Footnotes

1.  The references to 10 CFR part 2 in this notice refer to the amendments to the NRC rules of practice, 69 FR 2182 (January 14, 2004), codified at 10 CFR part 2.

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[FR Doc. E4-608 Filed 3-16-04; 8:45 am]

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