License amendment request; opportunity to provide comments, request a hearing and petition for leave to intervene, and order.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or the Commission) has received, by letter dated August 20, 2009, a license amendment application from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA or the licensee), requesting approval of a Decommissioning Plan for its Low-Level Radioactive Burial Site located in Beltsville, Maryland. License No. 19-00915-03 authorizes the licensee to use radioactive byproduct material for research and development activities and for use in gauging and measurement devices. The licensee revised the original plan and re-submitted the amendment request. Specifically, the amendment provides a Decommissioning Plan for the excavation and disposal of low-level radioactive waste from its research and development activities that had been disposed in a previously permitted low-level waste burial area at the Beltsville site.
Comments must be filed by August 10, 2012. Requests for a hearing or leave to intervene must be filed by September 10, 2012. Any potential party as defined in Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) 2.4, who believes access to Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information (SUNSI) is necessary to respond to this notice must request document access by July 23, 2012.
You may access information and comment submissions related to this document, which the NRC possesses and are publicly available, by searching on http://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID NRC-2012-0157. You may submit comments by any of the following methods (unless this document describes a different method for submitting comments on a specific subject):
Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2012-0157. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-492-3668; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov.
Mail comments to: Cindy Bladey, Chief, Rules, Announcements, and Directives Branch (RADB), Office of Administration, Mail Stop: TWB-05-B01M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.
Fax comments to: RADB at 301-492-3446.
For additional direction on accessing information and submitting comments, see “Accessing Information and Submitting Comments” in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Mark C. Roberts, Senior Health Physicist, Decommissioning Branch, Division of Nuclear Materials Safety, Region I, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, King of Prussia, PA 19406; telephone: 1-610-337-5094; email: Mark.Roberts@nrc.gov.
I. Accessing Information and Submitting Comments
A. Accessing Information
Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2012-0157 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may access information related to this document, which the NRC possesses and are publicly available, by any of the following methods:
Federal Rulemaking Web Site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2012-0157.
NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may access publicly available documents online in the NRC Library at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then 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, 301-415-4737, or by email to email@example.com. The ADAMS accession number for each document referenced in this notice (if that document is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is referenced. The amendment request for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Revised Final Decommissioning Plan, Low-Level Radioactive Burial Site, Beltsville Area Research Center is available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML120600551. Supporting documents for this license amendment can be found in ADAMS under Accession Nos. ML120600526 and ML120600543. Additional documents related to the application can also be found in ADAMS under Docket No. 03004530.
NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.
B. Submitting Comments
Please include Docket ID NRC-2012-0157 in the subject line of your comment submission, in order to ensure that the NRC is able to make your comment submission available to the public in this docket.
The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your comment submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as enter the comment submissions into ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove identifying or contact information.
If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove such information before making the comment submissions available to the public or entering the comment submissions into ADAMS.
The NRC has received, by letter dated August 20, 2009, a license amendment application from the USDA, requesting approval of a Decommissioning Plan for its Low-Level Radioactive Burial Site located in Beltsville, Maryland. License No. 19-00915-03 authorizes the licensee to use radioactive byproduct material for research and development activities and for use in gauging and measurement devices. The licensee revised the original plan and re-submitted the amendment request. Specifically, the amendment (ADAMS Accession No. ML120600551) provides a Decommissioning Plan for the excavation and disposal of low level radioactive waste from its research and development activities that had been disposed in a previously permitted low level waste burial area at the Beltsville site.
An NRC administrative review, documented in a letter to the USDA dated November 18, 2009, found the application acceptable to begin a technical review. If the NRC approves the amendment, the approval will be documented in an amendment to NRC License No. 19-00915-03. 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 the NRC's regulations. These findings will be documented in a Safety Evaluation Report and an Environmental Assessment.
III. Opportunity To Request a Hearing and Petitions for Leave To Intervene
Requirements for hearing requests and petitions for leave to intervene are found in 10 CFR 2.309, “Hearing Requests, Petitions to Intervene, Requirements for Standing, and Contentions.” Interested persons should consult 10 CFR 2.309, which is available at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852 (or call the PDR at 1-800-397-4209 or 301-415-4737). The NRC's regulations are available online in the NRC Library at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/#cfr.
Any person whose interest may be affected by this proceeding and who wishes to participate as a party in the proceeding must file a written petition for leave to intervene in accordance with the filing instructions in Section IV of this document. As required by 10 CFR 2.309, a petition for leave to intervene shall set forth with particularity the interest of the petitioner in the proceeding and how that interest may be affected by the results of the proceeding. The petition must provide the name, address, and telephone number of the petitioner and specifically explain the reasons why intervention should be permitted with particular reference to the following factors: (1) The nature of the petitioner's right under the Act to be made a party to the proceeding; (2) the nature and extent of the petitioner's property, financial, or other interest in the proceeding; and (3) the possible effect of any order that may be entered in the proceeding on the petitioner's interest.
Those permitted to intervene become parties to the proceeding, subject to any limitations in the order granting leave to intervene, and have the opportunity to participate fully in the conduct of the hearing with respect to resolution of that person's admitted contentions, including the opportunity to present evidence and to submit a cross-examination plan for cross-examination of witnesses, consistent with NRC regulations, policies, and procedures. The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (the Licensing Board) will set the time and place for any prehearing conferences and evidentiary hearings, and the appropriate notices will be provided.
Non-timely petitions for leave to intervene and contentions, amended petitions, and supplemental petitions will not be entertained absent a determination by the Commission, the Licensing Board or a Presiding Officer that the petition should be granted and/or the contentions should be admitted based upon a balancing of the factors specified in 10 CFR 2.309(c)(1)(i)-(viii).
A petition for leave to intervene must also include a specification of the contentions that the petitioner seeks to have litigated in the hearing. For each contention, the petitioner must provide a specific statement of the issue of law or fact to be raised or controverted, as well as a brief explanation of the basis for the contention. Additionally, the petitioner must demonstrate that the issue raised by each contention is within the scope of the proceeding and is material to the findings the NRC must make to support the granting of a license amendment in response to the application. The petition must also include a concise statement of the alleged facts or expert opinions which support the position of the petitioner and on which the petitioner intends to rely at hearing, together with references to the specific sources and documents on which the petitioner intends to rely. Finally, the petition must provide sufficient information to show that a genuine dispute exists with the applicant on a material issue of law or fact, including references to specific portions of the application for amendment that the petitioner disputes and the supporting reasons for each dispute, or, if the petitioner believes that the application for amendment fails to contain information on a relevant matter as required by law, the identification of each failure and the supporting reasons for the petitioner's belief. Each contention must be one that, if proven, would entitle the petitioner to relief.
A State, county, municipality, Federally recognized Indian tribe, or designated representative thereof, may submit a petition to the Commission to participate as a party under 10 CFR 2.309(d)(2). The petition should state the nature and extent of the petitioner's interest in the proceeding. The petition should be submitted to the Commission by September 10, 2012. The petition must be filed in accordance with the filing instructions in Section IV of this document, and should meet the requirements for petitions for leave to intervene set forth in this section, except State and Federally recognized Indian tribes do not need to address the standing requirements in 10 CFR 2.309(d)(1) if the facility is located within its boundaries. The entities listed above could also seek to participate in the proceeding as a nonparty pursuant to 10 CFR 2.315(c).
Any person who does not wish, or is not qualified, to become a party to this proceeding may request permission to make a limited appearance pursuant to the provisions of 10 CFR 2.315(a). A person making a limited appearance may make an oral or written statement of position on the issues, but may not otherwise participate in the proceeding. A limited appearance may be made at any session of the hearing or at any prehearing conference, subject to the discretion of the Licensing Board, including such limits and conditions as may be imposed in exercise of that discretion upon the making of limited appearance statements. Persons desiring to make a limited appearance are requested to inform the Secretary of the Commission by September 10, 2012.
IV. Electronic Submissions (E-Filing)
All documents filed in the NRC adjudicatory proceedings, including a request for hearing, a petition for leave to intervene, any motion or other document filed in the proceeding prior to the submission of a request for hearing or petition to intervene, and documents filed by interested governmental entities participating under 10 CFR 2.315(c), must be filed in accordance with the NRC E-Filing rule (72 FR 49139; August 28, 2007). The E-Filing process requires participants to submit and serve all adjudicatory 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 an exemption in accordance with the procedures described below.
To comply with the procedural requirements of E-Filing, at least 10 days prior to the filing deadline, the participant should contact the Office of the Secretary by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone at 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 (2) advise the Secretary that the participant will be submitting a request or petition for hearing (even in instances in which the participant, or its counsel or representative, already holds an NRC-issued digital ID certificate). Based upon this information, the Secretary will establish an electronic docket for the hearing in this proceeding if the Secretary has not already established an electronic docket.
Information about applying for a digital ID certificate is available on the NRC's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals/apply-certificates.html. System requirements for accessing the E-Submittal server are detailed in the NRC's “Guidance for Electronic Submission,” which is available on the agency's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html. Participants may attempt to use other software not listed on the Web site, but should note that the NRC's E-Filing system does not support unlisted software, and the NRC Meta System Help Desk will not be able to offer assistance in using unlisted software.
If a participant is electronically submitting a document to the NRC in accordance with the E-Filing rule, the participant must file the document using the NRC's online, Web-based submission form. In order to serve documents through the Electronic Information Exchange System, users will be required to install a Web browser plug-in from the NRC's Web site. Further information on the Web-based submission form, including the installation of the Web browser plug-in, is available on the NRC's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html.
Once a participant has obtained a digital ID certificate and a docket has been created, the participant 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's public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html. A filing is considered complete at the time the documents are submitted through the NRC's E-Filing system. To be timely, an electronic filing must be submitted to the E-Filing 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 email notice confirming receipt of the document. The E-Filing system also distributes an email notice that provides access to the document to the NRC's 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 using the agency's adjudicatory E-Filing system may seek assistance by contacting the NRC Meta System Help Desk through the “Contact Us” link located on the NRC's Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/site-help/e-submittals.html, by email at MSHD.Resource@nrc.gov, or by a toll-free call at 1-866-672-7640. The NRC Meta System Help Desk is available between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, excluding government holidays.
Participants who believe that they have a good cause for not submitting documents electronically must file an exemption request, 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. A presiding officer, having granted an exemption request from using E-Filing, may require a participant or party to use E-Filing if the presiding officer subsequently determines that the reason for granting the exemption from use of E-Filing no longer exists.
Documents submitted in adjudicatory proceedings will appear in the NRC's electronic hearing docket which is available to the public at http://ehd1.nrc.gov/ehd/, unless excluded pursuant to an order of the Commission, or the presiding officer. Participants are requested not to include personal privacy information, such as Social Security numbers, home addresses, or home phone numbers in their filings, unless an NRC regulation or other law requires submission of such information. 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.
Petitions for leave to intervene must be filed no later than 60 days from July 11, 2012. Non-timely filings will not be entertained absent a determination by the presiding officer that the petition or request should be granted or the contentions should be admitted, based on a balancing of the factors specified in 10 CFR 2.309(c)(1)(i)-(viii).
Order Imposing Procedures for Access to Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information for Contention Preparation
A. This Order contains instructions regarding how potential parties to this proceeding may request access to documents containing Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information (SUNSI).
B. Within 10 days after publication of this notice of hearing and opportunity to petition for leave to intervene, any potential party who believes access to SUNSI is necessary to respond to this notice may request such access. A “potential party” is any person who intends to participate as a party by demonstrating standing and filing an admissible contention under 10 CFR 2.309. Requests for access to SUNSI submitted later than 10 days after publication will not be considered absent a showing of good cause for the late filing, addressing why the request could not have been filed earlier.
C. The requester shall submit a letter requesting permission to access SUNSI 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 address for both offices is: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852. The email address for the Office of the Secretary and the Office of the General Counsel are Hearing.Docket@nrc.gov and
The request must include the following information:
(1) A description of the licensing action with a citation to this Federal Register notice;
(2) 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 C.(1); and
(3) The identity of the individual or entity requesting access to SUNSI and the requester's basis for the need for the information in order to meaningfully participate in this adjudicatory proceeding. In particular, the request must explain why publicly-available versions of the information requested would not be sufficient to provide the basis and specificity for a proffered contention.
D. Based on an evaluation of the information submitted under paragraph C.(3) the NRC staff will determine within 10 days of receipt of the 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) The requester has established a legitimate need for access to SUNSI.
E. If the NRC staff determines that the requester satisfies both D.(1) and D.(2) above, the NRC staff will notify the requester in writing that access to SUNSI has been granted. The written notification will contain instructions on how the requester may obtain copies of the requested documents, and any other conditions that may apply to access to those documents. These conditions may include, but are not limited to, the signing of a Non-Disclosure Agreement or Affidavit, or Protective Order 
setting forth terms and conditions to prevent the unauthorized or inadvertent disclosure of SUNSI by each individual who will be granted access to SUNSI.
F. Filing of Contentions. Any contentions in these proceedings that are based upon the information received as a result of the request made for SUNSI must be filed by the requester no later than 25 days after the requester is granted access to that information. However, if more than 25 days remain between the date the petitioner is granted 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 contentions by that later deadline.
G. Review of Denials of Access.
(1) If the request for access to SUNSI is denied by the NRC staff after a determination on standing and need for access, the NRC staff shall immediately notify the requester in writing, briefly stating the reason or reasons for the denial.
(2) The requester may challenge the NRC staff's adverse determination by filing a challenge within 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 10 CFR 2.318(a); or (c) if another officer has been designated to rule on information access issues, with that officer.
H. Review of Grants of Access. 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 with the Chief Administrative Judge within 5 days of the notification by the NRC staff of its grant of access.
If challenges to the NRC staff determinations are filed, these procedures give way to the normal process 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.
I. 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 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. Attachment 1 to this Order summarizes the general target schedule for processing and resolving requests under these procedures.
It is so ordered.
Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 5th day of July 2012.
For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Kenneth R. Hart,
Acting Secretary of the Commission.
Attachment 1—General Target Schedule for Processing and Resolving Requests for Access to Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information in This Proceeding
|0||Publication of Federal Register notice of hearing and opportunity to petition for leave to intervene, including order with instructions for access requests.|
|10||Deadline for submitting requests for access to Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information (SUNSI) 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.|
|60||Deadline for submitting petition for intervention containing: (i) Demonstration of standing; (ii) all contentions whose formulation does not require access to SUNSI (+25 Answers to petition for intervention; +7 petitioner/requester reply).|
|20||Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) 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 need 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).|
|25||If NRC staff finds no “need” or no 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.|
|30||Deadline 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.|
|A||If 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 + 3||Deadline for filing executed Non-Disclosure Affidavits. Access provided to SUNSI consistent with decision issuing the protective order.|
|A + 28||Deadline for submission of contentions whose development depends upon access to SUNSI. 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 contentions by that later deadline.|
|A + 53||(Contention receipt +25) Answers to contentions whose development depends upon access to SUNSI.|
|A + 60||(Answer receipt +7) Petitioner/Intervenor reply to answers.|
|>A + 60||Decision on contention admission.|
[FR Doc. 2012-16904 Filed 7-10-12; 8:45 am]
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