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Notice

Notice of Consideration of Approval of Application Regarding Proposed Corporate Restructuring for Louisiana Energy Services National Enrichment Facility In Lea County, New Mexico, and Conforming Amendment, and Opportunity To Provide Comments and Request a Hearing

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AGENCY:

Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION:

Notice of application for approval of an indirect license transfer, and opportunity to request a hearing and provide written comments.

DATES:

A request for a hearing must be filed by February 20, 2008.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Timothy C. Johnson, Sr. Project Manager, Enrichment and Conversion Branch, Division of Fuel Cycle Safety and Safeguards, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555. Telephone: (301) 492-3121; Fax number: (301) 492-3359; e-mail: tcj@nrc.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Introduction

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (the Commission or NRC) is considering an application for approval of an indirect transfer of control regarding Special Nuclear Material License No. SNM-2010. This license was issued on June 23, 2006, to Louisiana Energy Services, L.P. (the Licensee), for its National Enrichment Facility (NEF), located in Lea County, New Mexico. The license authorizes the Licensee to construct and operate a gas centrifuge uranium enrichment facility.

The application now being considered is dated October 19, 2007. The Licensee proposes to (1) restructure itself from a Limited Partnership (LP) to a Limited Liability Company (LLC); and (2) reorganize the ownership arrangement of Urenco Deelnemingen BV (UDE), a current limited partner of the Licensee. No physical changes to the NEF or operational changes are being proposed. An NRC administrative review, documented in an e-mail sent to the Licensee on November 7, 2007, found the application acceptable to begin a more detailed technical review. If the application is granted, the license would be amended for administrative purposes to reflect the transfer, by replacing references to Louisiana Energy Services, L.P., in the license with references to Louisiana Energy Services, L.L.C.

Pursuant to Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), section 70.36, no license granted under 10 CFR part 70, and no right thereunder to use special nuclear material, shall be transferred, assigned, or in any manner disposed of, directly or indirectly, through transfer of control of any license to any person unless the Commission shall, after securing full information, find that the transfer is in accordance with the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), and gives its consent in writing. The Commission will approve an application for the indirect transfer of a license, if the Commission determines that the proposed restructuring and reorganization will not affect the qualifications of the Licensee to hold the license, and that the transfer is otherwise consistent with applicable provisions of law, regulations, and orders issued by the Commission pursuant thereto.

If the October 19 application is granted, the license would be amended to reflect the Licensee's new status as an LLC, and UDE's reorganized ownership. Before such a license amendment is issued, the NRC will have made the findings required by the AEA and NRC's regulations. These findings will be documented in a Safety Evaluation Report. An Environmental Assessment (EA) will not be performed because, pursuant to 10 CFR 51.22(c)(21), license transfer approvals and associated license amendments are categorically excluded from the requirement to perform an EA.

II. Opportunity to Request a Hearing

Within 20 days from the date of publication of this notice, any person(s) whose interest may be affected and who desires to participate as a party must file a request for a hearing. The hearing request must include a specification of the contentions that the person seeks to have litigated in the hearing, and must be filed in accordance the NRC E-filing rule, which the NRC promulgated in August 2007 (72 FR 49139; August 28, 2007). The E-Filing rule requires participants to submit and serve documents over the internet or in some cases to mail copies on electronic storage media. Participants may not submit paper copies of their filings unless they seek a waiver in accordance with the procedures described below.

To comply with the procedural requirements of E-Filing, at least five (5) days prior to the filing deadline, the petitioner/requestor must contact the Office of the Secretary by e-mail at HEARINGDOCKET@NRC.GOV, or by Start Printed Page 5883calling (301) 415-1677, to request (1) a digital identification (ID) certificate, which allows the participant (or its counsel or representative) to digitally sign documents and access the E-Submittal server for any proceeding in which it is participating; and/or (2) creation of an electronic docket for the proceeding (even in instances in which the petitioner/requestor (or its counsel or representative) already holds an NRC-issued digital ID certificate). Each petitioner/requestor will need to download the Workplace Forms Viewer(tm) to access the Electronic Information Exchange (EIE), a component of the E-Filing system. The Workplace Forms Viewer(tm) is free and is available at http://www.nrc.gov/​site-help/​e-submittals/​install-viewer.html. Information about applying for a digital ID certificate is available on NRC's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/​site-help/​e-submittals/​apply-certificates.html.

Once a petitioner/requestor has obtained a digital ID certificate, had a docket created, and downloaded the EIE viewer, it can then submit a request for hearing or petition for leave to intervene. Submissions should be in Portable Document Format (PDF) in accordance with NRC guidance available on the NRC public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/​site-help/​e-submittals.html. A filing is considered complete at the time the filer submits its documents through EIE. To be timely, an electronic filing must be submitted to the EIE system no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the due date. Upon receipt of a transmission, the E-Filing system time-stamps the document and sends the submitter an e-mail notice confirming receipt of the document. The EIE system also distributes an e-mail notice that provides access to the document to the NRC Office of the General Counsel and any others who have advised the Office of the Secretary that they wish to participate in the proceeding, so that the filer need not serve the documents on those participants separately. Therefore, applicants and other participants (or their counsel or representative) must apply for and receive a digital ID certificate before a hearing request/petition to intervene is filed so that they can obtain access to the document via the E-Filing system.

A person filing electronically may seek assistance through the “Contact Us” link located on the NRC Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/​site-help/​e-submittals.html or by calling the NRC technical help line, which is available between 8:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. The help line number is (800) 397-4209, or locally (301) 415-4737.

Participants who believe that they have a good cause for not submitting documents electronically must file a motion, in accordance with 10 CFR 2.302(g), with their initial paper filing requesting authorization to continue to submit documents in paper format. Such filings must be submitted by: (1) First class mail addressed to the Office of the Secretary of the Commission, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff; or (2) courier, express mail, or expedited delivery service to the Office of the Secretary, Sixteenth Floor, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville, Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852, Attention: Rulemaking and Adjudications Staff. Participants filing a document in this manner are responsible for serving the document on all other participants. Filing is considered complete by first-class mail as of the time of deposit in the mail, or by courier, express mail, or expedited delivery service upon depositing the document with the provider of the service.

Non-timely requests and/or petitions and contentions will not be entertained absent a determination by the Commission, the presiding officer, or the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board that the petition and/or request should be granted and/or the contentions should be admitted based on a balancing of the factors specified in 10 CFR 2.309(c)(1)(i)-(viii). To be timely, filings must be submitted no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the due date.

Documents submitted in adjudicatory proceedings will appear in NRC's electronic hearing docket which is available to the public at: http://ehd.nrc.gov/​EHD_​Proceeding/​home.asp, unless excluded pursuant to an order of the Commission, an Atomic Safety and Licensing Board, or a Presiding Officer. Participants are requested not to include social security numbers in their filings. With respect to copyrighted works, except for limited excerpts that serve the purpose of the adjudicatory filings and would constitute a Fair Use application, participants are requested not to include copyrighted materials in their submission.

The formal requirements for documents contained in 10 CFR 2.304(c)-(e) must be met. If the NRC grants an electronic document exemption in accordance with 10 CFR 2.302(g)(3)), then the requirements for paper documents, set forth in 10 CFR 2.304(b) must be met.

In accordance with 10 CFR 2.309(b), a request for a hearing must be filed by February 20, 2008.

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

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

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

3. The nature and extent of the requester'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 requester'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 requester's/petitioner's position on the issue and on which the requester/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 requester/petitioner disputes and the supporting reasons for each dispute, or, if the requester/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 requester'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 Start Printed Page 5884report, 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 requester/petitioner shall file contentions based on the applicant's environmental report. The requester/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 requester/petitioner believes a contention raises issues that cannot be classified as primarily falling into one of these categories, the requester/petitioner must set forth the contention and supporting bases, in full, separately for each category into which the requester/petitioner asserts the contention belongs with a separate designation for that category.

Requesters/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 requesters/petitioners is designated the lead representative. Further, in accordance with 10 CFR 2.309(f)(3), any requester/petitioner that wishes to adopt a contention proposed by another requester/petitioner must do so, in accordance with the E-Filing rule, within ten days of the date the contention is filed, and designate a representative who shall have the authority to act for the requester/petitioner.

As indicated below, pursuant to 10 CFR 2.310(g), any hearing would be subject to the procedures set forth in 10 CFR part 2, Subpart M.

III. Opportunity to Provide Written Comments

Within 30 days from the date of publication of this notice, persons may submit written comments regarding the license transfer application, as provided for in 10 CFR 2.1305. The Commission will consider and, if appropriate, respond to these comments, but such comments will not otherwise constitute part of the decisional record. Comments should be submitted to the Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, Attention: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff, and should cite the publication date and page number of this Federal Register notice. Comments received after 30 days will be considered if practicable to do so, but only those comments received on or before the due date can be assured consideration.

For further details with respect to this license transfer application, see the application dated October 19, 2007, available for public inspection at the Commission's Public Document Room (PDR), located at One White Flint North, Public File Area O1 F21, 11555 Rockville Pike (first floor), Rockville, Maryland. Publicly-available records will be accessible electronically from the Agency Wide Documents Access and Management System's (ADAMS) Public Electronic Reading Room on the Internet at the NRC Web site http://www.nrc.gov/​reading-rm/​adams.html. Persons who do not have access to ADAMS or who encounter problems in accessing the documents located in 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 at Rockville, Maryland this 24th day of January, 2008.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Brian W. Smith,

Chief, Enrichment and Conversion Branch, Fuel Facility Licensing Directorate, Division of Fuel Cycle Safety and Safeguards, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards.

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[FR Doc. E8-1807 Filed 1-30-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7590-01-P