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Notice

Notice of Opportunity To Request a Hearing for License Amendment Request From AREVA NP, Inc., Richland, WA and Order Imposing Procedures for Access to Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information and Safeguards Information for Contention Preparation

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION:

Notice of license amendment and opportunity to request a hearing.

DATES:

A request for a hearing must be filed by March 17, 2009.

Start Further Info Start Printed Page 3111

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Rafael L. Rodriguez, Project Manager, Fuel Manufacturing Branch, Division of Fuel Cycle Safety and Safeguards, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Mail Stop EBB-2-C40M, Washington, DC 20555-0001, Telephone: (301) 492-3111; Fax number: (301) 492-3363; e-mail: Rafael.Rodriguez@nrc.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Introduction

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has received, by letter dated August 22, 2008, a license amendment application from AREVA, requesting an amendment to its Special Nuclear Materials License No. SNM-1227 to install and operate a new process at an existing building. License No. SNM-1227 authorizes the licensee to receive title to, own, acquire, deliver, possess, use, and transfer uranium enriched up to 5% wt. for the production of nuclear fuel assemblies for commercial light water reactors. Specifically, the amendment would allow AREVA to install and operate a process that would recover uranium from waste material that contains a relatively low percentage of uranium using supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) at the AREVA site located in Richland, Washington.

An administrative review, documented in a letter to AREVA dated September 16, 2008, found the application acceptable to begin a detailed technical review. If the NRC approves the amendment, the approval will be documented in an amendment to NRC License No. SNM-1227. However, before approving the proposed amendment, the NRC will need to make the findings required by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (the Act), and NRC's regulations. These findings will be documented in a Safety Evaluation Report and an Environmental Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement.

II. Opportunity To Request a Hearing

The NRC hereby provides notice that this is a proceeding on an application for a license amendment regarding a proposed process to extract uranium using supercritical CO2. Any person whose interest may be affected by this proceeding and who desires to participate as a party, must file a request for a hearing and a specification of the contentions which the person seeks to have litigated in the hearing, in accordance with the NRC E-Filing rule, 10 CFR 2.302. 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 ten (10) days prior to the filing deadline, the petitioner/requestor must contact the Office of the Secretary by e-mail at HEARING.DOCKET@nrc.gov, or by calling (301) 415-1677, to request (1) a digital 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 Start Printed Page 3112and 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 March 17, 2009.

In addition to meeting other applicable requirements of 10 CFR 2.309, a request for a hearing 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.

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.

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

Documents related to this action, including the application for amendment and supporting documentation, are available electronically at the NRC's Electronic Reading Room at http://www.nrc.gov/​reading-rm/​adams.html. From this site, you can access the NRC's Agency wide Document Access and Management System (ADAMS), which provides text and image files of NRC's public documents. The ADAMS accession numbers for the documents related to this notice are:

1. ML082420070: August 22, 2008, letter from R.E. Link Regarding Revised Application for Amendment to License No. SNM-11227; Installation of Supercritical CO2 Uranium Recovery Process (Docket No. 70-1257).

2. ML082420071: Non-Proprietary Revised Application for Amendment to License No. SNM-11227; Installation of Supercritical CO2 Uranium Recovery Process (Docket No. 70-1257).

If you do not have access to ADAMS or if there are problems in accessing the documents located in ADAMS, contact the NRC Public Document Room (PDR) Reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737 or by e-mail to PDR.RESOURCE@nrc.gov.

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.

Start Signature

Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 7th day of January, 2009.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Peter J. Habighorst,

Chief, Fuel Manufacturing Branch, Fuel Facility Licensing Directorate, Division of Fuel Cycle Safety and Safeguards, Office of Nuclear Materials Safety and Safeguards.

End Signature

Order Imposing Procedures for Access to Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information (SUNSI) and Safeguards Information (SGI) for Contention Preparation

1. This order contains instructions regarding how potential parties to this proceeding may request access to documents containing sensitive unclassified information (including SUNSI and SGI).

2. Within ten (10) days after publication of this notice of opportunity for hearing, any potential party as defined in 10 CFR 2.4 who believes access to SUNSI or SGI is necessary for a response to the notice may request access to SUNSI or SGI. A “potential party” is any person who intends or may intend to participate as a party by demonstrating standing and the filing of an admissible contention under 10 CFR 2.309. Requests submitted later than ten (10) days will not be considered absent a showing of good cause for the late filing, addressing why the request could not have been filed earlier.

3. The requester shall submit a letter requesting permission to access SUNSI and/or SGI to the Office of the Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, Attention: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff, and provide a copy to the Associate General Counsel for Hearings, Enforcement and Administration, Office of the General Counsel, Washington, DC 20555-0001. The expedited delivery or courier mail addresses for both offices is U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. The e-mail address for the Office of the Secretary and the Office of the General Counsel are HEARING.DOCKET@NRC.GOV and OGCMAILCENTER.RESOURCE@NRC.GOV, respectively. The request must include the following information:

a. A description of the licensing action with a citation to this Federal Register Notice of Opportunity for Hearing;

b. The name and address of the potential party and a description of the potential party's particularized interest that could be harmed by the action identified in (a);

c. If the request is for SUNSI, the identity of the individual requesting access to SUNSI and the requester's need for the information in order to meaningfully participate in this Start Printed Page 3113adjudicatory proceeding, particularly why publicly available versions of the application would not be sufficient to provide the basis and specificity for a proffered contention;

d. If the request is for SGI, the identity of the individual requesting access to SGI and the identity of any expert, consultant or assistant who will aid the requester in evaluating the SGI, and information that shows:

(i) Why the information is indispensable to meaningful participation in this licensing proceeding; and

(ii) The technical competence (demonstrable knowledge, skill, experience, training or education) of the requester to understand and use (or evaluate) the requested information to provide the basis and specificity for a proffered contention. The technical competence of a potential party or its counsel may be shown by reliance on a qualified expert, consultant or assistant who demonstrates technical competence as well as trustworthiness and reliability, and who agrees to sign a non-disclosure affidavit and be bound by the terms of a protective order; and

e. If the request is for SGI, Form SF-85, “Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions,” Form FD-248 (fingerprint card), and a credit check release form completed by the individual who seeks access to SGI and each individual who will aid the requester in evaluating the SGI. For security reasons, Form SF-85 can only be submitted electronically, through a restricted-access database. To obtain online access to the form, the requester should contact the NRC's Office of Administration at 301-415-0320. The other completed forms must be signed in original ink, accompanied by a check or money order payable in the amount of $191.00 to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for each individual, and mailed to the: Office of Administration, Security Processing Unit, Mail Stop TWB-05 B32M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0012.

These forms will be used to initiate the background check, which includes fingerprinting as part of a criminal history records check. Note: Copies of these forms do not need to be included with the request letter to the Office of the Secretary, but the request letter should state that the forms and fees have been submitted as described above.

4. To avoid delays in processing requests for access to SGI, all forms should be reviewed for completeness and accuracy (including legibility) before submitting them to the NRC. Incomplete packages will be returned to the sender and will not be processed.

5. Based on an evaluation of the information submitted under items 2 and 3.a through 3.d above, the NRC staff will determine within ten days of receipt of the written access request whether (1) there is a reasonable basis to believe the petitioner is likely to establish standing to participate in this NRC proceeding, and (2) there is a legitimate need for access to SUNSI or need to know the SGI requested. For SGI, the need to know determination is made based on whether the information requested is necessary (i.e., indispensable) for the proposed recipient to proffer and litigate a specific contention in this NRC proceeding and whether the proposed recipient has the technical competence (demonstrable knowledge, skill, training, education, or experience) to evaluate and use the specific SGI requested in this proceeding.

6. If standing and need to know SGI are shown, the NRC staff will further determine, based upon completion of the background check, whether the proposed recipient is trustworthy and reliable. The NRC staff will conduct (as necessary) an inspection to confirm that the recipient's information protection systems are sufficient to protect SGI from inadvertent release or disclosure. Recipients may opt to view SGI at the NRC's facility rather than establish their own SGI protection program to meet SGI protection requirements.

7. A request for access to SUNSI or SGI will be granted if:

a. The request has demonstrated that there is a reasonable basis to believe that a potential party is likely to establish standing to intervene or to otherwise participate as a party in this proceeding;

b. The proposed recipient of the information has demonstrated a need for SUNSI or a need to know for SGI, and that the proposed recipient of SGI is trustworthy and reliable;

c. The proposed recipient of the information has executed a Non-Disclosure Agreement or Affidavit and agrees to be bound by the terms of a Protective Order setting forth terms and conditions to prevent the unauthorized or inadvertent disclosure of SUNSI and/or SGI; and

d. The presiding officer has issued a protective order concerning the information or documents requested. Any protective order issued shall provide that the petitioner must file SUNSI or SGI contentions 25 days after receipt of (or access to) that information. However, if more than 25 days remain between the petitioner's receipt of (or access to) the information and the deadline for filing all other contentions (as established in the notice of hearing or opportunity for hearing), the petitioner may file its SUNSI or SGI contentions by that later deadline.

8. If the request for access to SUNSI or SGI is granted, the terms and conditions for access to sensitive unclassified information will be set forth in a draft protective order and affidavit of non-disclosure appended to a joint motion by the NRC staff, any other affected parties to this proceeding, and the petitioner(s). If the diligent efforts by the relevant parties or petitioner(s) fail to result in an agreement on the terms and conditions for a draft protective order or non-disclosure affidavit, the relevant parties to the proceeding or the petitioner(s) should notify the presiding officer within five (5) days, describing the obstacles to the agreement.

9. If the request for access to SUNSI is denied by the NRC staff or a request for access to SGI is denied by NRC staff either after a determination on standing and need to know or, later, after a determination on trustworthiness and reliability, the NRC staff shall briefly state the reasons for the denial. Before the Office of Administration makes an adverse determination regarding access, the proposed recipient must be provided an opportunity to correct or explain information. The requester may challenge the NRC staff's adverse determination with respect to access to SUNSI or with respect to standing or need to know for SGI, by filing a challenge within five (5) days of receipt of that determination with (a) the presiding officer designated in this proceeding; (b) if no presiding officer has been appointed, the Chief Administrative Judge, or if he or she is unavailable, another administrative judge, or an administrative law judge with jurisdiction pursuant to § 2.318(a); or (c) if another officer has been designated to rule on information access issues, with that officer. In the same manner, an SGI requester may challenge an adverse determination on trustworthiness and reliability by filing a challenge within fifteen (15) days of receipt of that determination.

In the same manner, a party other than the requester may challenge an NRC staff determination granting access to SUNSI whose release would harm that party's interest independent of the proceeding. Such a challenge must be filed within five (5) days of the notification by the NRC staff of its grant of such a request.

If challenges to the NRC staff determinations are filed, these procedures give way to the normal Start Printed Page 3114process for litigating disputes concerning access to information. The availability of interlocutory review by the Commission of orders ruling on such NRC staff determinations (whether granting or denying access) is governed by 10 CFR § 2.311.

10. The Commission expects that the NRC staff and presiding officers (and any other reviewing officers) will consider and resolve requests for access to SUNSI and/or SGI, and motions for protective orders, in a timely fashion in order to minimize any unnecessary delays in identifying those petitioners who have standing and who have propounded contentions meeting the specificity and basis requirements in 10 CFR Part 2.

Start Signature

Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 13th day of January, 2009.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Annette L. Vietti-Cook,

Secretary of the Commission.

End Signature

Attachment 1—General Target Schedule for Processing and Resolving Requests for Access to Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information (SUNSI) and Safeguards Information (SGI) in This Proceeding

DayEvent/activity
0Publication of Federal Register, including order with instructions for access requests.
10Deadline for submitting requests for access to SUNSI and/or SGI with information: Supporting the standing of a potential party identified by name and address; describing the need for the information in order for the potential party to participate meaningfully in an adjudicatory proceeding; demonstrating that access should be granted (e.g., showing technical competence for access to SGI); and, for SGI, including application fee for fingerprint/background check.
20NRC staff informs the requester of the staff's determination whether the request for access provides a reasonable basis to believe standing can be established and shows (1) need for SUNSI or (2) need to know for SGI. (For SUNSI, NRC staff also informs any party to the proceeding whose interest independent of the proceeding would be harmed by the release of the information.) If NRC staff makes the finding of need for SUNSI and likelihood of standing, NRC staff begins document processing (preparation of redactions or review of redacted documents). If NRC staff makes the finding of need to know for SGI and likelihood of standing, NRC staff begins background check (including fingerprinting for a criminal history records check), information processing (preparation of redactions or review of redacted documents), and readiness inspections.
25If NRC staff finds no “need,” “need to know,” or likelihood of standing, the deadline for petitioner/requester to file a motion seeking a ruling to reverse the NRC staff's denial of access; NRC staff files copy of access determination with the presiding officer (or Chief Administrative Judge or other designated officer, as appropriate). If NRC staff finds “need” for SUNSI, the deadline for any party to the proceeding whose interest independent of the proceeding would be harmed by the release of the information to file a motion seeking a ruling to reverse the NRC staff's grant of access.
30Deadline for NRC staff reply to motions to reverse NRC staff determination(s).
40(Receipt +30) If NRC staff finds standing and need for SUNSI, deadline for NRC staff to complete information processing and file motion for Protective Order and draft Non-Disclosure Affidavit. Deadline for applicant/licensee to file Non-Disclosure Agreement for SUNSI.
60Deadline for submitting petition for intervention containing: (i) Demonstration of standing; (ii) all contentions whose formulation does not require access to SUNSI and/or SGI (+25 Answers to petition for intervention; +7 petitioner/requestor reply).
190(Receipt +180) If NRC staff finds standing, need to know for SGI, and trustworthiness and reliability, deadline for NRC staff to file motion for Protective Order and draft Non-disclosure Affidavit (or to make a determination that the proposed recipient of SGI is not trustworthy or reliable). Note: Before the Office of Administration makes an adverse determination regarding access, the proposed recipient must be provided an opportunity to correct or explain information.
205Deadline for petitioner to seek reversal of a final adverse NRC staff determination either before the presiding officer or another designated officer.
AIf access granted: Issuance of presiding officer or other designated officer decision on motion for protective order for access to sensitive information (including schedule for providing access and submission of contentions) or decision reversing a final adverse determination by the NRC staff.
A + 3Deadline for filing executed Non-Disclosure Affidavits. Access provided to SUNSI and/or SGI consistent with decision issuing the protective order.
A + 28Deadline for submission of contentions whose development depends upon access to SUNSI and/or SGI. However, if more than 25 days remain between the petitioner's receipt of (or access to) the information and the deadline for filing all other contentions (as established in the notice of hearing or opportunity for hearing), the petitioner may file its SUNSI or SGI contentions by that later deadline.
A + 53(Contention receipt +25) Answers to contentions whose development depends upon access to SUNSI and/or SGI.
A + 60(Answer receipt +7) Petitioner/Intervener reply to answers.
BDecision on contention admission.
End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E9-960 Filed 1-15-09; 8:45 am]

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