Utah Waste Management and Radiation Control Board Meets

On November 10, 2016, the Utah Waste Management and Radiation Control Board held a regularly scheduled meeting beginning at 1:30 p.m. MT in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The meeting, which was open to the public, was held in Conference Room 1015, Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Board Room, on the first floor of the Multi Agency State Office Building that is located at 195 North 1950 West in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The following items, among others, were on the agenda for the November 2016 Board meeting:

  1. Call to Order
  1. Approval of Meeting Minutes for the October 13, 2016 Board Meeting (Board Action Item)

III.    Underground Storage Tanks Update

  1. Underground Storage Tank Rules
  1. Final Adoption of Changes to the Underground Storage Tank Rules R311-200, R311-201, R311-202, R311-206 and R311-212 (Board Action Item)
  1. Approval of a Change in Proposed Rule for R311-203 to incorporate comments made by the Environmental Protection Agency (Board Action Item)
  1. Low-Level Radioactive Waste Section
  1. EnergySolutions LLC request for a site-specific treatment variance from the Hazardous Waste Management Rules. EnergySolutions seeks authorization to receive Cemented Uranium Extraction Process Residues for disposal. (Information Item Only)
  1. Administrative Rules
  1. EnergySolutions’ Petition to Initiate Rulemaking to repeal and reenact R313-25 and adopt 10 CFR Part 61 by reference (Information Item Only)

VII.   X-Ray Program

  1. Exemption Request for the Sensus SRT-100 machine from the requirements of R313-30-3(3), R313-30 -3(4), R313-30-3(5) and R313-30-3(6) (Board Action Item)
  1. Letter from Sensus Requesting the Exemption
  1. Comments from Patients or Relatives of Patients in Support of the Exemption
  1. Comments from the Medical Community in Support of the Exemption
  1. Comments from the Medical Community in Opposition to the Exemption

VIII.  Other Business

  1. Miscellaneous Information Item
  1. Scheduling of Next Board Meeting
  1. Adjourn

The Board—which is appointed by the Utah Governor with the consent of the Utah Senate—guides development of Radiation Control policy and rules in the state.

The Board holds open meetings ten times per year at locations throughout the state.  A public comment session is held at the end of each meeting.

Copies of the Utah Waste Management and Radiation Control Board meeting agendas and packet information can be found at http://www.deq.utah.gov/boards/waste/meetings.htm.

 

For additional information, please contact Rusty Lundberg, Deputy Director of the Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control at the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, at (801) 536-4257 or at rlundberg@utah.gov.

NAS Hosts LLW Management and Disposition Workshop

On October 24-25, 2016, the Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board, Division on Earth and Life Studies, of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine hosted a low-level radioactive waste management and disposition workshop.  The workshop was held at the Keck Center of the National Academies, which is located at 500 Fifth Street NW in Washington, DC.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (DOE-EM) is responsible for the cleanup of the sites used by the federal government for nuclear weapons development and nuclear energy research.  DOE-EM cleanup involves retrieval, treatment, storage, transportation, and disposition of hundreds of different radioactive and hazardous solid and liquid wastes.

Low-level radioactive waste—which is defined by exclusion as waste that does not meet the statutory definitions for spent nuclear fuel, high-level radioactive waste, or transuranic waste—is physically and chemically diverse, ranging from lightly contaminated soils and building materials to highly irradiated nuclear reactor components.  It is the most volumetrically significant waste stream (millions of cubic meters) being generated by the cleanup program.

The workshop considered similarities between successful case studies, in which unique disposition pathways have been developed to address low-level radioactive wastes, and explored ways to extend these similar characteristics to problematic wastes—i.e., low-level radioactive wastes currently without a clear disposition pathway.

Specifically, the workshop explored:

  •   the key physical, chemical, and radiological characteristics of low-level radioactive waste that govern its safe and secure management (i.e., packaging, transport, storage) and disposition, in aggregate and for individual waste-streams; and,
  •   how key characteristics of low-level waste are incorporated into standards, orders, and regulations that govern the management and disposition of low-level radioactive waste in the United States and in other major waste-producing countries.

For additional information about the meeting, please go to http://dels.nas.edu/Upcoming-Workshop/Level-Radioactive-Waste-Management/AUTO-6-58-82-D?bname=nrsb.

NRC to Consider Reevaluation of Category 3 Source Accountability

On October 18, 2016, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued a Staff Requirements Memorandum (SRM) regarding a proposed agency staff re-evaluation of Category 3 source accountability.

The SRM was issued in response to a July 29, 2016 memo from NRC Commissioner Baran proposing that NRC staff revisit the question of whether and how to track Category 3 sources.  Commissioner Baran’s memo was written in response to GAO-16-330 titled, “Nuclear Security:  NRC Has Enhanced the Controls of Dangerous Radioactive Materials, but Vulnerabilities Remain.”

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, which was issued on July 15, 2016, concludes that NRC and Agreement States have taken several steps to help ensure that radioactive materials licenses are granted only to legitimate organizations and that licensees can only obtain such materials in quantities allowed by their licenses.  However, GAO also determined that NRC and Agreement States have not taken some measures for better controlling Category 3 quantities of radioactive material—such as tracking and agency license verification—that leave vulnerabilities.

The SRM directs NRC staff to submit a notation vote paper to the Commission that includes the following:

  • an evaluation of the pros and cons of different methods of requiring transferors of Category 3 sources to verify the validity of a transferee’s license prior to transfer;
  • an evaluation of the pros and cons of including Category 3 sources in the National Source Tracking System (NSTS);
  • an assessment, based on these evaluations, of these and any additional options that the staff identifies for addressing the source accountability recommendations made by the Government Accountability Office (GAO);
  • a vulnerability assessment which identifies changes in the threat environment between 2009 and today that argue in favor of or against expansion of the NSTS to include Category 3 sources;
  • a regulatory impact analysis of the accrued benefit and costs of the change, to include impacts to the NRC, Agreement States, non-Agreement States, and regulated entities;
  • a discussion of potential regulatory actions that would not require changes to NRC regulations that arose from or were considered by the staff working groups—including changes to guidance, training, and other program improvements such as more closely monitoring the implementation of the staff recommendations using the Integrated Materials Performance Evaluation Program (IMPEP) process; and,
  • any other factors arising from the staff’s currently ongoing assessment that the staff concludes would bear on the Commission’s deliberation on the proposed change.

The SRM states that the NRC staff’s evaluations for the notation vote paper “should begin after completion of the ongoing broader evaluation of the overall source protection and accountability strategy for sources due to the Congress at the end of this year.”

It further states that the results of the assessment of the security requirements in 10 CFR Part 37 should be used to inform the NRC staff’s evaluation and that, in conducting these evaluations, the staff “should assess the risks posed by the aggregation of Category 3 sources into Category 2 quantities and consider the current views of our Agreement States partners.”

The staff’s evaluation and notation vote paper are due to the Commission within 10 months of the issuance of the SRM.

For additional information and direct links to NRC’s October 2016 SRM, Commissioner Baran’s July 2016 memorandum and GAO-16-330, please visit the Resources Page of the Disused Sources Working Group (DSWG) web site at www.disusedsources.org.

ACRS Subcommittee Discusses Proposed Part 61 Final Rule

The Subcommittee on Radiation Protection and Nuclear Materials of the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) met from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on October 18, 2016.  The meeting, which was open to the public, was held in Room T–2B3 of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) headquarters in Rockville, Maryland.

The Subcommittee discussed the proposed final rule 10 CFR Part 61, ‘‘Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal’’ and associated guidance.  The Subcommittee heard presentations by and held discussions with the NRC staff and other interested persons regarding this matter.  The Subcommittee gathered information, analyzed relevant issues and facts, and formulated proposed positions and actions, as appropriate, for deliberation by the full Committee.

During the meeting, the subcommittee requested that the NRC make publicly available the agency’s draft final Part 61 guidance document (Guidance for Conducting Technical Analyses for 10 CFR Part 61) to support a public meeting with the full ACRS that is scheduled for November 3, 2016.

Accordingly, NRC staff has made the draft document publicly available in ADAMS (Accession No. ML14357A072).  In addition, NRC staff has made a redline/strikeout version of the draft final rule language available in ADAMS (Accession No. ML16293A112).

In releasing the documents, NRC stresses that the comment period on this rulemaking is closed and that the staff is not soliciting comments on the draft final guidance and the draft final rule language. The draft final rule language is with the Commission for their review.

The proposed final Part 61 final rule and associated documents are available on the NRC website at http://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/regulatory/rulemaking/potential-rulemaking/uw-streams.html.  For additional information regarding the proposed final Part 61 rule, please see related story in this issue.

For additional information on the ACRS meeting, please see 81 Federal Register 68,474 (October 4, 2016).  Detailed meeting agendas and meeting transcripts are available on the NRC web site at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/acrs.

TVA’s Watts Bar Unit 2 Achieves Commercial Operation

First New U.S. Nuclear Reactor in 20 Years

On October 19, 2016, the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA’s) Watts Bar Unit 2 officially entered commercial operation after successfully completing an extensive series of power ascension tests and reliably operating at full power for more than three weeks, becoming the nation’s first new nuclear generation in 20 years.

“TVA’s mission is to make life better in the Valley by providing reliable, low-cost energy, protecting our area’s natural resources and working to attract business and growth—all priorities simultaneously supported by the completion of Watts Bar Unit 2,” said Bill Johnson, TVA President and CEO.  “Watts Bar Unit 2 is a key part of our commitment to produce cleaner energy without sacrificing the reliability and low cost that draws both industry and residents to our area.”

According to TVA, the $4.7 billion capital construction project was completed on budget.  The unit now moves to working asset status.

In announcing the milestone, TVA notes that the Watts Bar Unit 2 has already provided consumers across the Valley with more than 500 million kilowatt/hours of carbon-free energy during testing.  It now joins six other operating TVA nuclear units to supply more than one third of the region’s generating capacity and meeting the electric needs of more than 4.5 million homes.

Watts Bar, Sequoyah and Browns Ferry nuclear stations have also contributed to reducing TVA’s carbon emissions by 30 percent since 2005.  According to TVA, the reduction will rise to 60 percent by 2020.

“Nuclear power remains the only source of carbon-free energy that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Joe Grimes, TVA Executive Vice President of Generation and Chief Nuclear Officer.  “TVA believes that Watts Bar Unit 2, and other nuclear units like it across the Valley and the nation, represents a vital investment in our clean energy future.”

Utah Waste Management and Radiation Control Board Holds October Meeting

On October 13, 2016, the Utah Waste Management and Radiation Control Board held a regularly scheduled meeting beginning at 1:30 p.m. MT in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The meeting, which was open to the public, was held in Conference Room 1015, Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Board Room, on the first floor of the Multi Agency State Office Building that is located at 195 North 1950 West in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The following items, among others, were on the agenda for the October 2016 Board meeting:

  1. Call to Order
  1. Introduction of Nathan Rich—New Board Member

III.    Approval of Meeting Minutes for the September 8, 2016 Board Meeting (Board Action Item)

  1. Underground Storage Tanks Update
  1. Administrative Rules
  1. Final Adoption of Repeal of Rule R313-27, Medical Use Advisory Committee (Board Action Item)
  1. Used Oil Program
  1. Approval to Proceed with Formal Rulemaking and 30-Day Public Comment Period for Used Oil Rules, R315-15-13 (Board Action Item)

VII.   X-Ray Program

  1. Request for Exclusion from Certain Requirements of R313-28-31(5) (Board Action Item)

VIII.  Other Business

  1. Miscellaneous Information Item
  1. Scheduling of Next Board Meeting
  1. Adjourn

The Board—which is appointed by the Utah Governor with the consent of the Utah Senate—guides development of Radiation Control policy and rules in the state.

The Board holds open meetings ten times per year at locations throughout the state.  A public comment session is held at the end of each meeting.

Copies of the Utah Waste Management and Radiation Control Board meeting agendas and packet information can be found at http://www.deq.utah.gov/boards/waste/meetings.htm.

 

For additional information, please contact Rusty Lundberg, Deputy Director of the Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control at the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, at (801) 536-4257 or at rlundberg@utah.gov.

Senators Express Concern in Response to GAO Audit on Source Security

By letter dated August 22, 2016, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein expressed concern to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chair Stephen Burns regarding the findings in a July 2016 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report titled, “Nuclear Security:  NRC Has Enhanced the Controls of Dangerous Radioactive Materials, but Vulnerabilities Remain.”  NRC Chair Burns responded by letter dated October 7, 2016.  In his letter, Chair Burns provides assurances that NRC takes its obligations related to the licensing of radioactive materials seriously and outlines actions that the agency has taken in response to the GAO audit report.

Senator Charles Schumer expressed similar concerns to NRC Chair Burns in a letter dated October 2, 2016.  Senator Schumer also issued a press release titled, “Explosion that Shook NYC Highlights Real Risk of a ‘Dirty Bomb’ in NYC; Shocking Fed Report Shows How Almost Anyone Can Use Loophole to Purchase Radioactive Material Required to Carry Out Attack in Major City; Senator Urges Nuke Agency to Overhaul Check System Putting NY’ers at Risk.”

The GAO report, which was issued on July 15, 2016, concludes that NRC and Agreement States have taken several steps to help ensure that radioactive materials licenses are granted only to legitimate organizations and that licensees can only obtain such materials in quantities allowed by their licenses.  However, GAO also determined that NRC and Agreement States have not taken some measures for better controlling Category 3 quantities of radioactive material—such as tracking and agency license verification—that leave vulnerabilities.

GAO-16-330 recommends that NRC take the following three actions: (1) take the steps needed to include Category 3 sources in the NSTS and add Agreement State Category 3 licenses to the WBL as quickly as reasonably possible;
(2) at least until such time that Category 3 licenses can be verified using the LVS, require that transferors of Category 3 quantities of radioactive materials confirm the validity of a would-be purchaser’s radioactive materials license with the appropriate regulatory authority before transferring any Category 3 quantities of licensed materials; and, (3) as part of the ongoing efforts of NRC working groups meeting to develop enhancements to the pre-licensing requirements for Category 3 licenses, consider requiring that an on-site security review be conducted for all unknown applicants of Category 3 licenses to verify that each applicant is prepared to implement the required security measures before taking possession of licensed radioactive materials.

In a memo dated July 29, 2016, in response to the GAO audit report, NRC Commissioner Jeff Baran proposed that NRC staff revisit the question of whether and how to track Category 3 sources.  On October 18, 2016, NRC issued a Staff Requirements Memorandum (SRM) that directs agency staff to submit a notation vote paper to the Commission that includes the following seven items: (1) an evaluation of the pros and cons of different methods of requiring transferors of Category 3 sources to verify the validity of a transferee’s license prior to transfer; 
(2) an evaluation of the pros and cons of including Category 3 sources in the NSTS; 
(3) an assessment, based on these evaluations, of these and any additional options that the staff identifies for addressing the source accountability recommendations made by the GAO; (4) a vulnerability assessment which identifies changes in the threat environment between 2009 and today that argue in favor of or against expansion of the NSTS to include Category 3 sources; (5) a regulatory impact analysis of the accrued benefit and costs of the change, to include impacts to the NRC, Agreement States, non-Agreement States, and regulated entities; (6) a discussion of potential regulatory actions that would not require changes to NRC regulations that arose from or were considered by the staff working groups—including changes to guidance, training, and other program improvements such as more closely monitoring the implementation of the staff recommendations using the Integrated Materials Performance Evaluation Program (IMPEP) process; and, (7) any other factors arising from the staff’s currently ongoing assessment that the staff concludes would bear on the Commission’s deliberation on the proposed change.

Links to GAO-16-330, Commissioner Baran’s memo and the SRM in response thereto can be found on the Resources Page of the DSWG web site at www.disusedsources.org.

Southwestern Compact Commission Hosts 73rd Meeting

On October 7, 2016, the Southwestern Low-Level Radioactive Waste Commission hosted its 73rd meeting beginning at 9:00 a.m. PDT at the Hyatt Regency in Sacramento, California.

The following topics, among others, were on the meeting agenda:

  • call to order;
  • roll call;
  • welcome and introductions—announce retirement of Commissioner Godwin, introduce Brian Goretzki of Arizona;
  • statement regarding due notice of meeting;
  • reports, status and/or activity;
  • Commission Chair;

–     Executive Director;

  • licensing agency;
  • license designee; and,

–     party states;

 

  • presentation by Chris Shaw of WCS;
  • update on sealed sources—QalTek;
  • exportation actions;
  • ratification of approved petitions;

–     amend “Policy of the Southwestern Low-Level Radioactive Waste Commission Regarding Exportation of Various Low-Level Radioactive Waste Streams” to extend effective date;

  • amend “Requirements for Exportation Petitions for Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal” to extend effective date; and,

–     review petitions for EnergySolutions and WCS for 2017.

  • Executive Session pursuant to CA Gov. Code §11126(a)(1) to discuss staff performance evaluations;
  • review and approve Executive Director’s and Counsel’s contracts;
  • review and approve financial audit report;
  • review and approve letter of intent for 2016 audit;
  • review and approve Annual Governor’s Report;
  • amend fiscal year 2016-17 budget;
  • approve fiscal year 2017-18 budget;
  • adopt fee schedule;
  • public comment;
  • election of officers;
  • future agenda items;
  • next meeting; and,
  • adjournment.

For additional information, please contact Kathy Davis, Executive Director of the Southwestern Compact Commission, at (916) 448-2390 or at swllrwcc@swllrwcc.org.

Release of SECY-16-0106 Request for Commission Approval to Publish Final Rule re Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal (10 CFR Part 61)

On October 3, 2016, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) published SECY-16-0106, which seeks Commission approval to publish a final rule in the Federal Register that would amend Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) Parts 20, “Standards for Protection Against Radiation,” and Part 61, “Licensing Requirements for Land Disposal of Radioactive Waste.”

The final 10 CFR Part 61 rule would do the following:

  • revise the existing technical analysis for protection of the general public to include either a 1,000-year compliance period or a 10,000-year compliance period depending on the quantities of long-lived radionuclides that have been or plan to be disposed at the site;
  • add a new technical analysis for the protection of inadvertent intruders that would include a compliance period and a dose limit;
  • add a new post-10,000-year performance period analysis for disposal sites that have low-level radioactive waste containing significant quantities of long-lived radionuclides;
  • add a new requirement to update the technical analyses at site closure;
  • add a new requirement to develop site-specific criteria for the future acceptance of low-level radioactive waste for disposal based on the results of the technical analyses, the existing low-level radioactive waste classification requirements, or a combination of both;
  • add a new description of safety case and a new requirement to identify defense-in- depth protections and describe their capabilities; and,
  • facilitate implementation and better align the requirements with current safety standards.

SECY-16-01016 states that “[t]hese amendments ensure that the … [low-level radioactive waste] streams that are significantly different from those considered during the development of the existing 10 CFR Part 61 regulations will be disposed of safely and meet the performance objectives for land disposal of … [low-level radioactive waste].”

Subsequently, at the request of the Subcommittee on Radiation Protection and Nuclear Materials of the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS), NRC published the staff’s draft final Part 61 guidance document (Guidance for Conducting Technical Analyses for 10 CFR Part 61) to support a public meeting with the full ACRS that is scheduled for November 3, 2016.  In addition, NRC published a redline/strikeout version of the draft final rule language.

In releasing the documents, NRC stresses that the comment period on this rulemaking is closed and that the staff is not soliciting comments on the draft final guidance and the draft final rule language.

The draft final rule language is with the Commission for their review.  It is not final until the Commission votes.

The proposed final Part 61 final rule and associated documents are available on the NRC website at http://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/regulatory/rulemaking/potential-rulemaking/uw-streams.html.

For additional information on the proposed final Part 61 final rule and associated documents, please contact either Gary Comfort at (301) 415-8106 or at Gary.Comfort@nrc.gov or Stephen Dembeck at (301) 415-2342 or at Stephen.Dembek@nrc.gov.

NRC Issues New Documents re Decommissioning Timeliness Rule

On September 27, 2015, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued Regulatory Issue Summary (RIS) 2015-19, Revision 1, Decommissioning Timeliness Rule Implementation and Associated Regulatory Relief.

The NRC issued Revision 1 of RIS 2015-19 to correct the reference for Administrative Letter 96-05, Revision 1, and to clarify language pertaining to the time period for completing decommissioning in the subsection labeled “Requirement To Begin Decommissioning.”  In addition, the NRC is taking the opportunity to provide additional clarification to the sections “Alternate Schedules for Decommissioning” and “Requesting an Alternative to the DTR’s Timeliness Requirements.”

RIS 2015-19, Revision 1, was issued to:

  •   provide clarity on the Decommissioning Timeliness Rule’s (DTR’s) requirements to notify the NRC to begin and complete decommissioning after certain criteria are met;
  •   highlight opportunities for licensees to request alternatives to the DTR’s requirements;
  •   remind licensees that there are situations where they can request an alternative to the DTR’s timeliness requirements for both beginning and completing decommissioning if adequately justified,
  •   clarify when the DTR applies to licensees whose only location of use are temporary jobsites; and,
  •   clarify when the NRC considers that the licensee has transitioned from an “operational” to a “decommissioning” status.

RIS 2015-19, Revision 1, informs licensees of requirements regarding the DTR requirements under
10 CFR Parts 30, 40, 70, and 72.  According to NRC, the RIS is supplemental guidance for decommissioning and does not contradict information presented in Administrative Letter 96-05, Revision 1, “Compliance with the Rule, ‘Timeliness in Decommissioning of Material Facilities’” or NUREG-1757, Volume 3, Revision 1, “Consolidated Decommissioning Guidance: Financial Assurance, Recordkeeping, and Timeliness, Final Report.”  NRC also states that the RIS does not apply to power reactors that have specific regulations concerning decommissioning (e.g., 10 CFR 50.82, “Termination of License,” and 10 CFR 50.83, “Release of Part of a Power Reactor Facility or Site for Unrestricted Use”).

For additional information, please contact Greg Chapman, NMSS, at (301) 415-8718 or at Gregory.Chapman@nrc.gov.

Texas Compact Commission Holds September 2016 Meeting

On September 29, 2016, the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission (Texas Compact Commission) held a regularly scheduled meeting in Burlington, Vermont.  The following is an abbreviated overview of the agenda for the meeting:

  • call to order;
  • roll call and determination of quorum;
  • introduction of Commissioners, elected officials and press;
  • public comment;
  • Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin will address the Commission;
  • discussion by Entergy Vermont Yankee regarding the closure and decommissioning of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant;
  • consideration of and possible action on applications and proposed agreements for importation of low-level radioactive waste from Tennessee Valley Authority; RAM Services; Qal-Tek; Alaron Veolia; PG & E; SNC – Plant Vogtle; Duke – Brunswick; Duke – Brunswick (irradiated hardware); and, Dominion Kewaunee;
  • consideration of and possible action on petitions and proposed orders for exportation of low-level radioactive waste from Triad Isotopes and the University of Vermont;
  • receive reports from Waste Control Specialists LLC (WCS) about recent site operations and any other matter WCS wishes to bring to the attention of the Texas Compact Commission;
  • receive reports from Texas Compact Commission committees including the Rules Committee (as Chaired by Commissioner Morris) and the Capacity Committee (as Chaired by Commissioner Weber);
  • consideration and possible action to authorize the Chair to evaluate and potentially select alternative and/or additional service providers for IT and website related activities—initial scope will include maintenance of present website, evaluation of alternative platforms and implementation of workflow automation tools with an initial budget not to exceed $5,000;
  • Chairman’s report on Texas Compact Commission activities including reporting on fiscal matters to be taken by the compact and addressing personnel matters;
  • report from Leigh Ing, Executive Director of the Texas Compact Commission, on her activities and questions related to Texas Compact Commission operations;
  • discussion and possible changes of dates and locations of future Texas Compact Commission meetings in 2016 and 2017; and,
  • adjourn.

 

The Texas Compact Commission may meet in closed session as authorized by the Texas Open Meetings Act, Chapter 551, Texas Government Code.  Texas Compact Commission meetings are open to the public.

For additional information, please contact Texas Compact Commission Executive Director Leigh Ing at (512) 305-8941 or at leigh.ing@tllrwdcc.org

Central Midwest Compact Commission Holds Annual Meeting

On September 27, 2016, the Central Midwest Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Compact Commission (CMCC) held its annual meeting beginning at 10:00 a.m. EDT/9:00 a.m. CDT.  The meeting was held at the Kentucky Radiation Health Branch offices located at 275 E. Main Street in Frankfort, Kentucky.  The following items were on the meeting agenda:

  • Call to Order
  • Adoption or Modification of the Agenda
  • Election of Officers
  • Adoption of Minutes from the Previous Meeting—April 26, 2016
  • Executive Session
  • First Public Comment Period
  • Reports

–     Chairman & Host State Report

–     Executive Assistant Report

  • Acceptance of Auditor’s Report
  • Adoption of Fiscal Year 17 Budget
  • Acceptance of Annual Report
  • CMCC Annual Report Discussion
  • Kentucky Input
  • Illinois Input
  • Discussion/Review of the CMCC Regional Management Plan
  • Kentucky Comments
  • Illinois Comments
  • Clinton and Quad Cities Possible NPP Shutdown—Actions Required by the CMCC When/If Decommissioning Occurs
  • Kentucky Update on Maxey Flatts and Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant
  • Other Business

–     Unfinished Business

–     New Business

  • Second Public Comment Period
  • Next Scheduled Meeting or Announcement of Special Meeting
  • Adjournment

For additional information, please contact Joseph Klinger, Chairman of the Central Midwest Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Compact Commission, at (217) 836-3018 or go to http://www.cmcompact.org.

Nuclear Gauge Reported Stolen in West Virginia

A West Virginia company has notified the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) that a portable moisture-density gauge containing sealed sources of radioactive material has been stolen.  Thrasher Engineering of Bridgeport, West Virginia reported that the device was stolen early on September 10, 2016 from a technician’s truck while it was parked in Beaver, West Virginia.

Surveillance video acquired by local police shows an individual parking a white pickup truck next to the truck holding the gauge and then transferring the device to his or her vehicle.  The gauge was apparently locked by two different means, as required by NRC regulations.

The gauge holds small amounts of cesium-137 and americium-241.  It is used to make measurements by projecting the radiation from the two radioactive sources into the ground and then displaying the reflected radiation on a dial on its top.

Stored in a robust, yellow transportation case when not in use, the gauge consists of a shielding container with a plunger-type handle protruding from the top.  As long as the radioactive sources are in the shielded position, the gauge would present no hazard to the public.  However, any attempt to tamper with the radioactive sources in the device could subject the person to radiation exposure.

Anyone seeing the gauge should leave it alone and report its location to the NRC’s Operations Center at (301) 816-5100 or the Raleigh County, West Virginia Sheriff’s Office at (304) 255-9300.  The NRC Operations Center is staffed 24 hours a day and accepts collect calls.

For additional information, please contact Diane Screnci at (610) 337-5330 or Neil Sheehan at (610) 337-5331.

Utah Waste Management and Radiation Control Board Holds September Meeting

On September 8, 2016, the Utah Waste Management and Radiation Control Board held a regularly scheduled meeting beginning at 1:30 p.m. MT in Salt Lake City, Utah.  The meeting, which was open to the public, was held in Conference Room 1015, Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Board Room, on the first floor of the Multi Agency State Office Building that is located at 195 North 1950 West in Salt Lake City, Utah.  The following items, among others, were on the agenda for the September 2016 Board meeting:

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of Meeting Minutes for the August 15, 2016 Board Meeting (Board Action Item)

III.    Underground Storage Tanks Update

  1. Underground Storage Tank Rules
  2. Approval to Proceed with Formal Rulemaking and 30-Day Public Comment Period for Changes to the Underground Storage Tank Rules R311-200, R311-201, R311-202, R311-203, R311-206 and R311-212 (Board Action Item)
  1. X-Ray Program
  1. Exemption Request for the Sensus SRT-100 Machine from the Requirements of R313-30-3(3), R313-30-3(4), R313-30-3(5) and R313-30-3(6) (Board Action Item)
  2. Report to Legislature
  3. Review of Comments and Final Approval of the Evaluation of Closure, Post-Closure and Perpetual Care for Hazardous and Radioactive Waste Treatment and Disposal Facilities, Report to Legislature (Board Action Item)

 

VII.   Other Business

  1. Miscellaneous Information Item
  2. Scheduling of Next Board Meeting

 

VIII.  Adjourn

 

The Board—which is appointed by the Utah Governor with the consent of the Utah Senate—guides development of Radiation Control policy and rules in the state.  The Board holds open meetings ten times per year at locations throughout the state.  A public comment session is held at the end of each meeting.

Copies of the Utah Waste Management and Radiation Control Board meeting agendas and packet information can be found at http://www.deq.utah.gov/boards/waste/meetings.htm.

For additional information, please contact Rusty Lundberg, Deputy Director of the Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control at the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, at (801) 536-4257 or at rlundberg@utah.gov.

Southeast Compact Commission’s Administrative Committee Holds Teleconference Meeting

On September 6, 2016, the Administrative Committee of the Southeast Compact Commission for Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management held a teleconference meeting beginning at 10:00 a.m. ET.  The following was the agenda for the Administrative Committee meeting:

  •   Introduction and Remarks (Donna Hodges, Chair)
  •   Public Comment Pertaining to Agenda Items Only (Public)
  •   Approval of Minutes from June 22, 2016 (Committee Members)
  •   Consideration of Renewal of the Contract with the Executive Director to Continue Employment (Committee Members)
  •   Other Business (Committee Members)
  •   Public Comment (Public)
  •   Adjourn

For additional information, please contact the Southeast Compact Commission at (919) 380-7780 or at secc@secompact.org.  

NRC Posts Additional CA BTP Implementation Questions & Answers

On August 29, 2016, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced that additional questions and answers (Nos. 22, 23, and 24) regarding implementation of the revised Branch Technical Position on Concentration Averaging and Encapsulation (CA BTP) have been posted to the NRC public website at http://www.nrc.gov/waste/llw-disposal/llw-pa/llw-btp.html.

The regulatory requirements for licensing a low-level radioactive waste disposal facility describe a system for classifying low-level radioactive waste for near-surface disposal.  Classification of low-level radioactive waste is based on the concentrations of certain radionuclides, and 10 CFR § 61.55(a)(8) specifically allows for averaging of concentrations in determining the waste class.  The CA BTP expands on those regulatory requirements by describing acceptable averaging methods that can be used in classifying waste.

For additional information, please contact Don Lowman, Project Manager for NMSS/DSFM/SFLB, at (301) 415-5452 or at Donald.Lowman@nrc.gov.

North Dakota Ratifies TENORM Rules

On August 9, 2016, the Advisory Council to the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDH) voted unanimously to ratify new rules allowing the disposal of up to 50 picocuries of Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (TENORM) waste from oil and gas production in specially permitted landfills.

The rules were scheduled to go into effect in January 2016.  However, after two environmental watchdog groups sued the NDDH, a district court held that proper notice was not provided for an August 2015 public meeting.  Thereafter, the NDDH scheduled the new hearing for August 9, 2016, at which the rules were unanimously ratified.

Background  In late 2013, NDDH promulgated a draft rule based on suggested state regulations developed by the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors (CRCPD).  The draft rule, among other things, allowed for the disposal of up to 50 picocuries of TENORM waste from oil and gas production in specially permitted landfills.  In addition, the draft rule established requirements for waste hauler licensing, applicant background and criminal history checks, specific record keeping requirements, and RSO training requirements for certain license types.

North Dakota rules require that at least one public hearing be held for the draft rules, including a 30-day notice before the hearing and a 30-day comment period.  NDDH held three public hearings on the draft rule and extended the comment period to 80 days.

At a public meeting on August 12 2015, the NDDH approved new rules allowing the disposal of up to 50 picocuries of TENORM waste from oil and gas production in specially permitted landfills.  The Dakota Resource Council and the North Dakota Energy Industry Waste Coalition, however, sued NDDH over the new rules.  A district court ruled that proper notice was not provided for the August 2015 meeting.

The NDDH currently has two applications pending for the licensing of radioactive disposal facilities in the state, with a third application having been shelved.

TENORM Study  In November 2014, the Environmental Science Division of the Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne) released a report titled, “Radiological Dose and Risk Assessment of Landfill Disposal of Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (TENORM) in North Dakota.”  (See LLW Notes, January/February 2015, pp. 1, 19-23.)

The report documents the results of a radiological dose and risk assessment of the disposal of TENORM wastes in permitted industrial waste and special waste landfills in North Dakota.  The NDDH requested that Argonne conduct the assessment to ensure that any possible rule changes regarding the handling and disposal of TENORM are protective of human health and the environment.

For additional information, please contact Dale Patrick of the NDDH at (701) 328-5188 or at dpatrick@nd.gov

NRC Makes Yucca Mountain Hearing Documents Publicly Available

By press release dated August 19, 2016, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced that the agency has made nearly 3.7 million documents from the adjudicatory hearing on the proposed nuclear waste repository at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain publicly available in the agency’s online documents database.

The documents were formerly part of the Licensing Support Network (LSN) created to allow various parties and the public access to documents needed for the hearing on the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) request for a construction authorization for the repository.  The NRC’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Boards had admitted nearly 300 contentions from various parties challenging aspects of DOE’s application.  The LSN was shut down when the hearing was suspended in September 2011 after Congress reduced funding.

In August 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ordered the NRC to resume its review of the application using the remaining previously appropriated funds.  In response, NRC staff completed the Safety Evaluation Report (SER) in January 2015 and a supplement to DOE’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in May 2016.

The LSN documents were placed in the NRC’s online documents database, known as ADAMS, to comply with federal records requirements and assist the staff in completing the safety review.  At that time, only LSN documents submitted by the staff were publicly available.  However, the Commission directed that all LSN documents be made publicly available in ADAMS once the staff completed its license review activities.

The new LSN Library in ADAMS includes enhanced search capabilities as well as an online user’s guide.  The NRC Public Document Room reference staff is also available to provide LSN Library assistance and can be reached at (301) 415-4737 or at (800) 397-4209 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.

For additional information, please contact David McIntyre of the NRC at (301) 415-8200.

Utah Waste Management & Radiation Control Board Holds August Meeting

On August 15, 2016, the Utah Waste Management and Radiation Control Board held a regularly scheduled meeting beginning at 1:30 p.m. MT in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The following items, among others, were on the agenda for the August 2016 Board meeting:

  1. Call to Order
  1. Approval of Meeting Minutes for the July 14, 2016 Board Meeting (Board Action Item)

III.    Underground Storage Tanks Update

  1. Proposed Non-Substantive Change to Underground Storage Tank Rule R311-210 (Information Item Only)
  1. X-Ray Program
  1. Approval of Mammography Imaging Medical Physicist (MIMP) in Accordance with UCA 19-6-104(2)(b) (Board Action Item)
  1. Administrative Rules
  1. Approval to Proceed with Formal Rulemaking and 30-Day Public Comment Period for Repeal of Rule R313-27, “Medical Use Advisory Committee” (Board Action Item)

VII.   Report to Legislature

  1. Review of Comments on the Evaluation of Closure, Post-Closure and Perpetual Care for Hazardous and Radioactive Waste Treatment and Disposal Facilities, Report to Legislature (Board Action Item)

VIII.  Other Business

  1. Miscellaneous Information Item
  1. Scheduling of Next Board Meeting
  1. Adjourn

The Board—which is appointed by the Utah Governor with the consent of the Utah Senate—guides development of Radiation Control policy and rules in the state.

The Board holds open meetings ten times per year at locations throughout the state.  A public comment session is held at the end of each meeting.

Copies of the Utah Waste Management and Radiation Control Board meeting agendas and packet information can be found at http://www.deq.utah.gov/boards/waste/meetings.htm.

For additional information, please contact Rusty Lundberg, Deputy Director of the Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control at the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, at (801) 536-4257 or at rlundberg@utah.gov.

 

Texas Compact Commission Holds August 2016 Meeting

On August 11, 2016, the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission (Texas Compact Commission) held a regularly scheduled meeting in Austin, Texas.

The following is an abbreviated overview of the agenda for the Texas Compact Commission meeting.  Persons interested in additional detail are directed to the formal agenda themselves.

  • call to order;
  • roll call and determination of quorum;
  • introduction of Commissioners, elected officials and press;
  • public comment;
  • consideration of and possible action on applications and proposed agreements for importation of low-level radioactive waste from Xcel – Prairie Island; PerkinElmer; Entergy – Palisades; Thermo Process Instruments; Bionomics; and, Entergy – Riverbend;
  • consideration of and possible action on applications on petitions and proposed orders for exportation of low-level radioactive waste from Alcon; Texas Children’s Hospital; and, Texas A&M;
  • receive reports from Waste Control Specialists LLC (WCS) about recent site operations and any other matter WCS wishes to bring to the attention of the Texas Compact Commission;
  • receive reports from Texas Compact Commission committees including the Rules Committee (as Chaired by Commissioner Morris) and the Capacity Committee (as Chaired by Commissioner Weber);
  • reconsideration of and possible action to adopt the Texas Compact Commission’s annual budget estimates for FY 2018 and FY 2019 pursuant to Article VI, Section Two of the Bylaws in light of the Legislative Appropriations Request to the State of Texas Legislative Budget Board for FY 2018 and FY 2019;
  • consideration, evaluation and possible action with respect to contract employees Leigh Ing, Andrew Tachovsky, Diane Fulmer and Eric Woomer;
  • consideration, evaluation and possible action with respect to the renewal, extension or dismissal of the contract with DigITech Web Design;
  • consideration and possible action to authorize the Chair to execute a contract, not to exceed $25,000, with an attorney to assist in matters associated with the laws and operations of interstate compacts;
  • Chairman’s report on Texas Compact Commission activities including reporting on fiscal matters to be taken by the compact and addressing personnel matters;
  • report from Leigh Ing, Executive Director of the Texas Compact Commission, on her activities and questions related to Texas Compact Commission operations;
  • discussion and possible changes of dates and locations of future Texas Compact Commission meetings in 2016 and 2017; and,
  • adjourn.

The Texas Compact Commission may meet in closed session as authorized by the Texas Open Meetings Act, Chapter 551, Texas Government Code.  Texas Compact Commission meetings are open to the public.

For additional information, please contact Texas Compact Commission Executive Director Leigh Ing at (512) 305-8941 or at leigh.ing@tllrwdcc.org

New Mailing Address for the Southeast Compact Commission

On July 31, 2016, the Southeast Low-Level Radioactive Waste Compact Commission closed its physical office in Cary, North Carolina.  Starting on August 1, 2016, the compact commission’s two employees will be working out of their homes.

The Southeast Compact Commission’s telephone number and email addresses remain the same.  However, its new mailing address is as follows:

P.O. Box 5427

Cary, NC  27512

For additional information, please contact the Southeast Compact Commission at (919) 380-7780 or at secc@secompact.org or go to the compact commission’s website at secc@secompact.org.

Commissioner Proposes NRC Revisit Tracking of Category 3 Sources

In a memo dated July 29, 2016, NRC Commissioner Baran proposes that U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff revisit the question of whether and how to track Category 3 sources.  In the memo, Commissioner Baran asserts that the “case for doing so is even stronger today than it was seven years ago.”

The memo concludes with the following proposed staff direction:

In light of [the Government Accountability Office’s] GAO’s findings and the years of operating experience with the [National Source Tracking System] NSTS, I propose that the NRC staff take a fresh look at the question of whether and how to track Category 3 sources. This re-evaluation can build on the efforts of the working groups established in response to the GAO investigation. I propose that, within six months of the Staff Requirements Memorandum resulting from this paper, the staff should submit a notation vote paper to the Commission that includes the following:

1)   An evaluation of the pros and cons of different methods of requiring transferors of Category 3 sources to verify the validity of a transferee’s license prior to the transfer; 


2)   An evaluation of the pros and cons of including Category 3 sources in the NSTS; and 


3)   Based on these evaluations, options for addressing the GAO recommendations.

In conducting these evaluations, the staff should assess the risks posed by the aggregation of Category 3 sources into Category 2 quantities and consider the current views of our Agreement States partners.

The memo, which has been posted to the Resources Page of the Disused Sources Working Group (DSWG) web site, is also publicly available via the “Recently Released Commission Documents for 2016” area of the NRC Web site at www.nrc.gov under Accession No. ML16197A229.

For additional information, please see the Resources page of the DSWG web site at www.disusedsources.org

EPA Publishes User Fees for Electronic Hazardous Waste Management System and Amendments to Manifest Regulations

On July 26, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a notice in the Federal Register announcing user fees for its electronic hazardous waste management system and amendments to manifest regulations.

The EPA is proposing its user fee methodology applicable to electronic and paper manifests submitted to the national electronic manifest system (or e-Manifest system) that is being established by EPA under the Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Establishment Act.  After the implementation date for the e-Manifest system, certain users of the hazardous waste manifest would be required to pay a prescribed fee for each electronic and paper manifest they use and submit to the system in order for EPA to recover its costs of developing and operating the national e-Manifest system.  The final rule that EPA develops in response to public comments on this action’s proposed fee methodology will include the final fee methodology.  In addition, EPA will include the initial fee schedule and the implementation date for the e- Manifest system in the preamble to the final rule.

EPA is also proposing several amendments to the regulations governing the use of electronic hazardous waste manifests and the completion of manifests.  These amendments propose:

  •   to change EPA’s longstanding regulations regarding transporter changes to shipment routing information on the manifest during transportation;
  •   to specify a process by which receiving facilities may submit manifest data corrections to the e- Manifest system; and,
  •   to modify a provision of the current electronic manifest use requirements that precludes the use of mixed electronic and paper manifests by those users desiring to make use of electronic manifests in settings where not all users are able to participate electronically.

EPA’s action is expected to result in net cost savings amounting to $34 million per year when discounted at 7% and annualized over 6 years.

Comments must be received on or before September 26, 2016.  Under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), comments on the information collection provisions are best assured of consideration if the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) receives a copy of stakeholder comments on or before August 25, 2016.

For this rule, EPA is requesting comments be submitted electronically on a comment platform being piloted at https://epa- notice.usa.gov.  Alternatively, stakeholders may choose to submit comments by postal mail or electronically through Regulations.gov.  For comments submitted via postal mail or Regulations.gov, EPA is further requesting comments be submitted using comment headings.

The EPA notice was published at 81 Federal Register 49,072 dated July 26, 2016.

For further information, please contact Richard LaShier of EPA’s Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery via phone at (703) 308– 8796 or via email at lashier.rich@epa.gov, or Bryan Groce of EPA’s Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery via phone at (703) 308–8750 or via email at groce.bryan@epa.gov.

New York Issues 30th Annual Low-Level Waste Status Report

In July 2016, the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) released the thirtieth annual New York State Low-Level Radioactive Waste Status Report.

The 2015 Status Report provides data on the volume and activity of low-level radioactive waste shipped to out-of-state disposal sites.  It also includes data on low-level radioactive waste stored at the end of the year pending disposal.

The New York State Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management Act (Chapter 673, Laws of 1986) requires facilities in the State of New York that produce low-level radioactive waste to file annual reports with NYSERDA detailing the types and quantities of waste generated.  The Act further requires NYSERDA to prepare an annual status report summarizing this information and to submit the report to the Governor and the New York state legislature.

The report, which covers calendar year 2015, is available on NYSERDA’s website at www.nyserda.ny.gov/llw-reporting.

 

For additional information, please contact Alyse Peterson, NYSERDA’s Senior Project Manager for Radioactive Waste Policy and Nuclear Coordination, at (518) 862-1090 ext. 3274 or at alp@nyserda.ny.gov.

Pennsylvania Releases Revised TENORM Study

Earlier this summer, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) released a revised version of its January 2015 study regarding Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (TENORM), which analyzed the naturally occurring levels of radioactivity associated with oil and natural gas development in Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania DEP issued the revised version to correct errors in the data tables, inconsistent use of significant figures, and some typos.  In addition, DEP published a new Appendix M that contains the non-radiological data generated and collected that was not with the scope of the study.

Although the DEP report outlined recommendations for further study, it concluded that there is little potential for harm to workers or the public from radiation exposure due to oil and gas development.

The revised study report, as well as a second version of the revised report that shows the edits, is available at http://www.dep.pa.gov/Business/Energy/OilandGasPrograms/OilandGasMgmt/Oil-and-Gas-Related-Topics/Pages/Radiation-Protection.aspx.

Missing Portable Nuclear Gauge Recovered in Connecticut

On July 27, 2016, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced that the agency has been notified by a Connecticut company that a portable moisture-density gauge containing sealed sources of radioactive material that was reported stolen a day earlier has been recovered.  The gauge—which was located by police on the afternoon of July 26, 2016 at a pawnshop in Bridgeport, Connecticut—was not damaged.

On July 26, 2016, HAKS Material Testing Group—which is located in Bridgeport, Connecticut—reported that the device was stolen from a technician’s vehicle while it was parked in Bridgeport.  According to the NRC press release, the vehicle’s trunk was broken into, chains securing the gauge in place were cut and the gauge was removed.

The device contains small amounts of Cesium-137 and Americium-241.  The gauge is used to make measurements by projecting the radiation from the two radioactive sources into the ground and then displaying the reflected radiation on a dial on its top.

Upon notification of the theft, an NRC inspector was sent to the company’s offices to gather more information on the loss of the gauge.  In addition, law-enforcement authorities opened an investigation into the theft.

On July 27, 2016, an inspector from Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) traveled to the shop to inspect the recovered gauge.  Once the inspector confirmed the device was undamaged, it was returned to its owner.

According to NRC’s press release announcing recovery of the gauge, the NRC is following up on the event.  This includes an NRC inspection being conducted at the offices of HAKS Material Testing Group in Bridgeport.

For additional information, please contact Diane Screnci at (610) 337-5330 or Neil Sheehan at (610) 337-5331.

GAO Releases Report re Security of Sealed Sources

On July 15, 2016, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released GAO-16-330 titled, “Nuclear Security:  NRC Has Enhanced the Controls of Dangerous Radioactive Materials, but Vulnerabilities Remain.”  The report examines

  •   the steps that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the 37 states it permits to grant licenses for radioactive materials—called Agreement States—have taken to ensure that radioactive materials licenses are granted only to legitimate organizations and licensees can obtain materials only in quantities allowed by their licenses; and,
  •   the results of covert vulnerability testing designed to test the effectiveness of these controls.

In the report, GAO concludes that NRC and Agreement States have taken several steps to help ensure that radioactive materials licenses are granted only to legitimate organizations and that licensees can only obtain such materials in quantities allowed by their licenses.

However, GAO also determined that NRC and Agreement States have not taken some measures for better controlling Category 3 quantities of radioactive material—such as tracking and agency license verification—that leave vulnerabilities.

GAO-16-330 was prepared in response to a request from the Committee on Homeland Security of the U.S. House of Representatives.

GAO-16-330 can be obtained online at www.gao.gov/assets/680/678170.pdf.  For additional information, please contact David Trimble at (202) 512-3841 or at trimbled@gao.gov.

Utah Waste Management and Radiation Control Board Holds July Meeting

On July 14, 2016, the Utah Waste Management and Radiation Control Board held a regularly scheduled meeting beginning at 1:30 p.m. MT in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The following items, among others, were on the agenda for the July 2016 Board meeting:

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of Meeting Minutes for the June 9, 2016 Board Meeting (Board Action Item)
  3. Underground Storage Tanks Update
  4. Administrative Rules
    1. Approve Change in Proposed Rule (CPR) for R315-319, Management of Coal Combustion Residuals Requirements in Landfills and Surface Impoundments and to Set an Effective Date of September 1, 2016 (Board Action Item)
    2. Final Adoption of Proposed Changes to Solid Waste Rule R315-310, Permit Requirements for Solid Waste Facilities and to Set an Effective Date of July 15, 2016 (Board Action Item)
    3. Approval to Proceed with Formal Rulemaking and 30-Day Public Comment Period for Repeal of Rule R313-27, “Medical Use of Advisory Committee” (Board Action Item)
  5.  Hazardous Waste Section
    1. Proposed Stipulation and Consent Order Between the Board and Heckmann Woods Cross (Board Action Item)
  6. Other Business
    1. Evaluation of Closure, Post-Closure and Perpetual Care for Hazardous and Radioactive Waste Treatment and Disposal Facilities; Report to Legislature (Information Item Only)
    2. Miscellaneous Information Item
    3. Scheduling of Next Board Meeting
  7. Adjourn

 

The Board—which is appointed by the Utah Governor with the consent of the Utah Senate—guides development of Radiation Control policy and rules in the state.  The Board holds open meetings ten times per year at locations throughout the state.  A public comment session is held at the end of each meeting.

 

Copies of the Utah Waste Management and Radiation Control Board meeting agendas and packet information can be found at http://www.deq.utah.gov/boards/waste/meetings.htm.

 

For additional information, please contact Rusty Lundberg, Deputy Director of the Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control at the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, at (801) 536-4257 or at rlundberg@utah.gov.

Utah Proposes Hazardous Waste Rule Changes

On July 10, 2016, the Utah Waste Management and Radiation Control Board approved amendments to R315-261 to be published in the Utah Bulletin and commence a 30-day public comment period.

The proposed amendments, among other things, change the word “variance” to “excluded” in several sections of the rule.

The public comment period started on July 2, 2016 and ended on July 31, 2016.

The proposed modifications to the rule can be viewed at http://www.deq.utah.gov/Laws_Rules/dshw/ProposedHWRules.htm.

For additional information about the Hazardous Waste Rules, please contact Ralph Bohn of the State of Utah at rbohn@utah.gov or at (801) 536-0212 or at (801) 536-0259.

Annual Report to Congress Published re Nuclear Security Inspections

On June 30, 2016, an unclassified version of the annual report to Congress from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) was made available to the public.  The report, which is required under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, details the previous year’s security inspection program.

The report covers the NRC’s security inspection program, including force-on-force exercises, for commercial nuclear power reactors and Category I fuel cycle facilities for calendar year 2015.

In 2015, the NRC conducted 242 security inspections at commercial nuclear power plants and Category I fuel cycle facilities.  Those included 22 force-on-force inspections, involving simulated attacks on the facilities to test the effectiveness of a licensee’s security.  The NRC’s security program and publicly available results of the inspections are discussed in the report.

A copy of the report can be found at www.nrc.gov/docs/ML1608/ML16081A367.pdf.  For additional information, please contact Maureen Conley of the NRC at (301) 415-8200.

Four New Members Named to Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards

In late June 2016, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced that the agency has appointed four new members to the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) for four-year terms effective June 12, 2016.

  • The ACRS—which is comprised of a group of experienced technical experts—advises the Commission, independently from the NRC staff, on safety issues related to the licensing and operation of nuclear power plants, as well as issues of health physics and radiation protection.

The new ACRS members include:

  •   Margaret Sze-Tai Chu: 
 Chu is a consultant to international and domestic clients on nuclear waste management, nuclear fuel cycle analysis, nonproliferation technologies and nuclear materials management.  She has more than 30 years of experience working on issues related to the nuclear fuel cycle, with an emphasis on risk assessment and performance assessment as applied to nuclear waste management.  Chu was Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management from 2002 to 2005.  Before that, she had a long career with Sandia National Laboratory that included directing the lab’s Nuclear Waste Management Center and acting as Senior Manager of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) program at Sandia. 
Chu holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Purdue University and a Doctorate in Physical Chemistry from the University of Minnesota.  She serves on the DOE Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee and the National Academies’ Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board.  Chu is the second woman to serve on the ACRS, and this marks the first time two women have served on the committee simultaneously.

 

  •   Walter Kirchner:  Kirchner retired in June 2015 from the Argonne National Laboratory.  While at Argonne, he served as an Institutional Liaison Manager following, analyzing, and advising Argonne’s leaders on science and technology policy and programmatic developments in the DOE, other federal agencies and Congress.  He began his career as a Reactor Operator/Engineering Officer on the N.S. Savannah before joining the staff at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).  During his 29 years at LANL, he held division and group leader line management positions in construction project management, defense programs, nuclear reactor design and safety projects, and applied energy research and development activities.  Kirchner’s technical expertise is in nuclear reactor design, thermal-hydraulics and nuclear reactor safety.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Engineering from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

 

  •   Jose March-Leuba:  March-Leuba is the Principal of MRU, which specializes on measurements, regulatory and uncertainty analysis, and an Associate Professor in the Nuclear Engineering Department of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  He began his career at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he did research into noise analysis and dynamic modeling, as well as running tests to determine the stability of commercial boiling water reactors.  He also developed and installed instrumentation in Russian facilities to monitor the down-blending of highly enriched uranium.  During his 37-year career as a Nuclear Engineer, March-Leuba developed expertise in reactor thermal hydraulics and dynamics, reactor instrumentation and control and protection systems, software development and testing, and instrumentation development for international safeguards.  March-Leuba has a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering from the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia in Spain, as well as an M.S. and Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

 

  •   Matthew Sunseri:  Sunseri is an Independent Nuclear Industry Consultant with more than 35 years of experience in the safe operation of large commercial reactors.  Prior to starting his own executive consulting practice, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation.  Sunseri has a wide range of experience in the operation, maintenance, engineering, oversight and security of the nation’s commercial nuclear power fleet.  He started his career as a Nuclear Engineer assigned to the construction, licensing, startup and operation of the Comanche Peak nuclear power plant.  Sunseri earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Nuclear Engineering from Texas A&M University and is a graduate of the Advanced General Management Program at Northwestern University and the Directors Institute at Emory University.

All member biographies are available on the NRC web site at www.nrc.gov.

For additional information, please contact Maureen Conley of the NRC at (301) 415-8200.

Southeast Compact Commission Elects New Officers

On June 23, 2016, the Southeast Compact Commission for Low-level Radioactive Waste Management elected the following new officers at its 108th Business Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.

  •   Debra Shults:  The Commission elected Debra Shults as Chair, which duties will include presiding at all Commission meetings, appointing the membership of all committees of the Commission, officially representing the Commission, and performing all other duties that are normally performed by a presiding officer.  Shults has served as an Alternate Commissioner from the State of Tennessee since 1989 and as the Commission’s Vice-Chair since 2004.  She has over thirty years of professional experience in managing environmental programs in the state.  In 2010, Shultz was appointed as the Director of the Division of Radiological Health (DRH)) in the Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC).  She serves as the Governor’s appointed State Liaison Officer to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC); the designee to receive advance notifications regarding shipments of certain radioactive materials per 10 CFR 37; and, as Treasurer of the Organization of Agreement States (OAS).
  •   Steve Harrison:  The Commission elected Steve Harrison as Chair-Elect.  His duties will include representing the Commission on behalf of the Chair when needed; preparing to assume the position of Chair to assure continuity in the leadership of the Commission; and, assumption of the position of Chair if the current Chair is unable to perform her duties.  As Chair-Elect, Harrison will serve as the Vice-Chair and will automatically become the Chair after serving a two-year term as Chair-Elect.  Harrison has served as one of the two Commissioners from the Commonwealth of Virginia since 2014.  He has served as the Director of the Commonwealth’s Office of Radiological Health in the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) since 2012.  Harrison joined VDH in 2003 where he has served as Assistant State Planning Coordinator, State Hospital Coordinator, Strategic National Stockpile and Exercise Coordinator, and Emergency Preparedness & Response’s Central Region Planner.  Prior to joining VDH, Harrison worked for Dominion Resources for 23 years, where he performed nuclear emergency planning and conducted radiological surveillance and testing.
  •   Paul Burks:  The Commission elected Paul Burks as Secretary/Treasurer, which duties will include supervising and controlling the funds of the Commission and ensuring that the minutes of all Commission meetings are recorded, prepared, and distributed to each member of the Commission.  Burks has represented the State of Georgia since 1984.  He has served on various committees of the Commission and as Chair of the Administrative Committee.  After serving nearly 31 years in Georgia state government, Burks retired in 2006 as the Executive Director of the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA).  Since 2008, he has worked on a consulting and part-time basis for the Carl Vinson Institute of Government of the University of Georgia.  He currently serves as State Services Liaison for the Institute.

The Southeast Compact for Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management is an agreement among six states—Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Virginia—to provide for the responsible management of the region’s low-level radioactive waste.  The Southeast Compact Commission oversees administration of the Compact.

For additional information, please contact Ted Buckner, Executive Director of the Southeast Compact Commission for Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management, at (919) 380-7780 or at tedb@secompact.org or go to the Southeast Compact Commission’s web site at www.secompact.org.

Comments Accepted re Texas Compact Commission’s Draft Management Rule Concept Paper

In early June 2016, the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission (Texas Compact Commission) announced that it had initiated a rulemaking process to develop its management rules.  As part of the process, the Texas Compact Commission’s Rules Committee sought input prior to the development of a draft rule proposal for publication in the Texas Register.

In particular, the Texas Compact Commission sought comments on an outline for rulemaking for the development of a concept paper for Rule 675.24 relating to the importation of low-level radioactive waste that is below the criteria applicable for disposal in the Compact Waste Disposal Facility.

The concept paper for the management rule has been posted to the Rules Page of the Texas Compact Commission’s website at http://www.tllrwdcc.org/rules/.

Overview

The Texas Compact Commission is authorized by Section 3.05(3), (4) and (6) of the Texas Compact to promulgate rules relating to the importation of material into the compact that is not to be shipped for disposal to the Compact Waste Disposal Facility.

In this regard, Section 3.05(6) of the Texas Compact reads as follows:

Section 3.05.  The commission may:

(6) Enter into an agreement with any person, state, regional body, or group of states for the importation of low-level radioactive waste into the compact for management or disposal provided that the agreement receives a majority vote of the commission.  The commission may adopt such conditions and restrictions in the agreement as it deems advisable.

The outline for rulemaking states that the Texas Compact Commission “finds that it is important to the public health and safety in the party states that there be a process that provides a record of all low-level radioactive waste that is shipped into the Compact.”

Accordingly, the Texas Compact Commission proposes to adopt a rule that

  •   requires that all low-level radioactive waste (other than such waste that is shipped to the Compact Waste Disposal Facility for disposal pursuant to rules of the Texas Compact Commission) shipped into the Texas Compact utilizing NRC Form 540 (Uniform Low-Level Radioactive Waste Manifest Shipping Paper) be subject to the following reporting process:
  • such waste may only be shipped to a site that has an agreement (“an agreement site) with the Texas Compact Commission and is licensed by the appropriate licensing entity in a party state; and,
  • inter alia, the agreement site will agree to report shipments to its site to the Texas Compact Commission by volume and radiation activity not more than a set number of days after the end of each quarter of the Texas Compact Commission’s fiscal year;
  •   contains enforcement criteria for failure of an entity to ship to an agreement site; and,
  •   contains criteria for the agreement that will be entered into by the Texas Compact Commission with agreement sites within a party state.

Questions for Comment

In addition to seeking comments on the outline for rulemaking for the development of a concept paper for Rule 675.24 relating to the importation of low-level radioactive waste that is below the criteria applicable for disposal in the Compact Waste Disposal Facility, the Texas Compact Commission requested that stakeholders submit specific comments on the following matters:

  1. Is the scope of the rule appropriate in that “any person, state, regional body, or group of states” must enter into an agreement with the Texas Compact for importation into Texas or Vermont of low-level radioactive waste for management? Is the scope too broad?  Is the scope too narrow?
  1. Is it appropriate for all waste shipped into the Texas Compact under an NRC Form 540, 541 and 542 to be covered by this rule? What would be potential exemptions or exclusions that the Texas Compact Commission should consider?  And why?
  1. The Texas Compact is considering requiring the following information to be reported quarterly:
  •   volume;
  •   activity (in curies);
  •   low-level radioactive waste generator;
  •   the low-level radioactive waste compact, unaffiliated state, territory or possession of the waste generator;
  •   ultimate disposition of the waste;
  •   does the waste contain disused sources; and,
  •   how is the waste stored, processed or otherwise managed once imported;

The Texas Compact Commission sought comment on the above information that would be required to be reported quarterly.  Is there additional information that should be requested?  Is any of the above-listed information unnecessary to report?  Should the Texas Compact Commission choose weight, instead of volume?  Are curies the correct unit?

  1. Is quarterly reporting an appropriate reporting timeframe?

Submitting Comments

Interested stakeholders were instructed to submit comments to the Texas Compact Commission’s Rules Committee.  Comments received will be reviewed to develop rules for proposal in the Texas Register.

The comment period deadline ended on June 27, 2016.  No stakeholder meetings have yet been scheduled.

For additional information, please contact Texas Compact Commission Consulting Supervisory Director Leigh Ing at (512) 217-8045 or at leigh.ing@tllrwdcc.org.

World Institute of Nuclear Security Issues Special Report re Alternative Technologies to Replace Radioactive Sources

In May 2016, the World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS) issued a special report titled, “Considerations for the Adoption of Alternative Technologies to Replace Radioactive Sources.”

The WINS report describes the advantages and disadvantages of several alternative technologies used in medicine, industry, research and academia to help interested stakeholders consider whether it would be appropriate to replace some or all of the radioactive source technologies that are currently being used with an alternative—particularly if the replacement is more effective, less burdensome, and less costly.  In addition, the report presents a process that will help stakeholders decide whether to adopt an alternate technology, suggests several issues to consider when assessing the viability of such changes, discusses some of the challenges others have faced when making this decision, and provides references to support stakeholder considerations.  Finally, Appendix A of the report provides a set of questions that will help stakeholders determine whether or not the use of alternative technologies would be viable in their individual circumstances.

In preparing the special report, the WINS considered the experience of medical, industrial and academic practitioners and regulators.  The WINS also considered guidance material published by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), selected national regulators and two WINS workshops focused on the international community’s experience with alternative technologies.

For additional information and a link to a copy of the WINS report, please go to the resources page of the DSWG web site at http://www.disusedsources.org/resources/.

For additional information on the DSWG, please contact DSWG Project Director Todd D. Lovinger, Esq. at LLWForumInc@aol.com or at (754) 779-7551.  

Midwest Compact Commission to Hold Annual Meeting

On June 28, 2016, the Midwest Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Compact Commission (MCC) will hold its annual meeting.  The meeting—which will be held by teleconference call—will begin at 10:00 a.m. CDT (11:00 a.m. for Indiana and Ohio).

Draft Agenda

The following items are on the draft agenda for the meeting:

  • call to order and roll call
  • review of the minutes of the June 9, 2015 meeting
  • review of the financial report.
  • Chair’s report: 2017 LLW Forum meeting and MCC website
  • consultant agreements

–     legal counsel proposal

–     accounting/audit proposal

  • adoption of 2016-17 budget
  • election of Chair and Vice-Chair
  • other business
  • adjournment
  • special guest: Cecelia Snyder, LLW Forum consultant, who will explain how to use the MCC website and the LLW Forum Drop Box

Meeting Sites

The public is encouraged to attend the MCC meeting.  The sites are as follows:

  • Indiana:  Conference Room A, 11th floor, Government Center North, 100 N. Senate Ave., Indianapolis—for information about the site and handicap access, call (317) 234-0338
  • Iowa:  Fifth Floor East Conference Room, Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Wallace State Office Building, 502 East 9th Street, Des Moines—for information about the site and handicap access, call Iowa DNR Customer Service at (515) 725-8200
  • Minnesota:  Conference Room 2-1, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 520 Lafayette Road North, St. Paul; 55155—for information about the site and handicap access, call (651) 757-2138; for directions, see map at www.pca.state.mn.us
  • Missouri:  Tavern Cave Conference Room, Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Fourth Floor Central, Lewis and Clark State Office Building, 1101 Riverside Drive, Jefferson City—for information about the site and handicap access, call Kay Craig at (573) 751-3195
  • Ohio:  Ohio Department of Health, 246 N. High Street, Columbus—for information about the site and handicap access, call (614) 644-2727
  • Wisconsin:  Room B157, Division of Public Health, 1 W. Wilson Street, Madison—for information about the site and handicap access, call Susan Hagstrom at (608) 267-4793

For additional information, please contact Stanley York, Chair of the Midwest Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Compact Commission, at (608) 267-4793 or at stanyork080@gmail.com or visit their web site at www.midwestcompact.org.

2017 Hodes Award Nominations Sought

The Southeast Compact Commission for Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management is accepting nominations for the 2017 Richard S. Hodes, M.D. Honor Lecture Award—a program that recognizes an individual, company, or organization that contributed in a significant way to improving the technology, policy, or practices of low-level radioactive waste management in the United States.  The award recipient will present the innovation being recognized at a lecture during the Waste Management ’17 Symposium in Phoenix, Arizona.  The award recipient will receive a $5,000 honorarium and all travel expenses will be paid.

Nominations must be received by August 31, 2016.
Background

Dr. Richard S. Hodes was a distinguished statesman and a lifetime scholar.  He was one of the negotiators of the Southeast Compact law, in itself an innovative approach to public policy in waste management.  He then served as the chair of the Southeast Compact Commission for Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management from its inception in 1983 until his death in 2002.

Throughout his career, Dr. Hodes developed and supported innovation in medicine, law, public policy, and technology.  The Richard S. Hodes, M.D. Honor Lecture Award was established in 2003 to honor the memory of Dr. Hodes and his achievements in the field of low-level radioactive waste management.
The Award

The Richard S. Hodes Honor Lecture Award—established in March, 2003—is awarded to an individual, company, or organization that contributed in a significant way to improving the technology, policy, or practices of low-level radioactive waste management in the United States.

The award recipient will be recognized with a special plaque and an invitation to present a lecture about the innovation during the annual International Waste Management Symposium (WM ’17).  The 2017 symposium is sponsored by the University of Arizona and will be held in Phoenix, Arizona in the spring of 2017.

A special time is reserved during the Symposium for the lecture and the award presentation. The Southeast Compact Commission will provide the award recipient a $5,000 honorarium and will pay travel expenses and per diem (in accordance with Commission Travel Policies) for an individual to present the lecture.
Criteria

The Richard S. Hodes Honor Lecture Award recognizes innovation industry-wide.  The award is not limited to any specific endeavor—contributions may be from any type of work with radioactive materials (nuclear energy, biomedical, research, etc.), or in any facet of that work, such as planning, production, maintenance, administration, or research.  The types of innovations to be considered include, but are not limited to:

  • conception and development of new approaches or practices in the prevention, management, and regulation of radioactive waste;
  • new technologies or practices in the art and science of waste management; and,
  • new educational approaches in the field of waste management.

The criteria for selection include:

  1. Innovation.  Is the improvement unique? Is it a fresh approach to a standard problem? Is it a visionary approach to an anticipated problem?
  2. Safety.  Does the practice enhance radiation protection?
  3. Economics.  Does the approach produce significant cost savings to government, industry or the public?
  4. Transferability.  Is this new practice applicable in other settings and can it be replicated?  Does it increase the body of technical knowledge across the industry?

Eligibility

To be eligible for the award, the individual/group must consent to being nominated and must be willing to prepare and present a lecture about the innovation being recognized at the Waste Management Symposium.  Individuals or organizations can nominate themselves or another individual, company, institution, or organization.

Nominations

To nominate yourself or another individual, company, or organization for this distinguished award, please contact:

Awards Committee
c/o Ted Buckner

Executive Director
Southeast Compact Commission
Post Office Box 5427
Cary, NC 27512
(919) 380-7780

(919) 380-7710 – FAX
tedb@secompact.org

or visit the Southeast Compact Commission’s website at http://www.secompact.org/.

Nominations must be received by August 31, 2016.

Utah Waste Management and Radiation Control Board Holds June Meeting

On June 9, 2016, the Utah Waste Management and Radiation Control Board held a regularly scheduled meeting beginning at 1:30 p.m. MT in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The meeting, which was open to the public, was held in Conference Room 1015, Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Board Room, on the first floor of the Multi Agency State Office Building that is located at 195 North 1950 West in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Agenda

The following items, among others, were on the agenda for the June 2016 Board meeting:

  1. Call to Order
  1. Approval of Meeting Minutes for the May 12, 2016 Board Meeting (Board Action Item)

III.    Underground Storage Tanks Update

  1. UST Program Overview and Summary of Proposed Changes to R-311, Underground Storage Tank Rules (Information Item Only)
  1. Administrative Rules
  1. Approve for filing with the Division of Administrative Rules a Five-Year Review Notice and Statement of Continuation for the Following Radiation Control Rules: R313-12 General Provisions; R313-14 Violations and Escalated Enforcement; R313-16 General Requirements Applicable to the Installation, Registration, Inspection and Use of Radiation Machines; R313-17 Administrative Procedures; R313-18 Notices, Instructions, Reports to Workers by Licensees of Registrants; R313-19 Requirements to General Applicability to Licensing of Radioactive Materials; R313-22 Specific Licenses; R313-25 License Requirements for Land Disposal of Radioactive Waste; R313-28 Use of X-Rays in the Healing Arts; R313-32 Medical Uses of Radioactive Material; R313-36 Special Requirements for Industrial Radiographic Operations; and, R313-70 Payments, Categories and Types of Fees (Board Action Item)
  1. Final Adoption of Amendments to Hazardous Waste Rules R315-124, R315-260, R315-261, R315-262, R315-264 and R315-273 (Board Action Item)
  1. Approval to Proceed with Formal Rulemaking and a 30-day Public Comment Period for Amendments to the Hazardous Waste Rules R315-261 and to Set and Effective Date of August 15, 2016 (Board Action Item)
  1. Final Adoption of Proposed Changes to Radiation Control Rules R313-19 and R313-22 to Incorporate Changes Made by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) (Board Action Item)
  1. Low-Level Radioactive Waste Section
  1. EnergySolutions’ Request for a Site-Specific Treatment Variance from the Hazardous Waste Management Rules—i.e., EnergySolutions Seeks Authorization to Dispose of Waste Containing High Subcategory Mercury by Stabilization Rather than Retort and Recovery (Board Action Item)
  1. EnergySolutions’ Request for a Site-Specific Treatment Variance from the Hazardous Waste Management Rules—i.e., EnergySolutions Seeks Authorization to Not Be Required to Meet Land Disposal Restriction Treatment Standard for PCBs (Board Action Item)

VII.   Other Business

  1. Miscellaneous Information Item
  1. Scheduling of Next Board Meeting and Discussion of Possible Board Tours/Dates

VIII.  Adjourn

Background

The Board—which is appointed by the Utah Governor with the consent of the Utah Senate—guides development of Radiation Control policy and rules in the state.

The Board holds open meetings ten times per year at locations throughout the state.  A public comment session is held at the end of each meeting.

Copies of the Utah Waste Management and Radiation Control Board meeting agendas and packet information can be found at http://www.deq.utah.gov/boards/waste/meetings.htm.

For additional information, please contact Rusty Lundberg, Deputy Director of the Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control at the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, at (801) 536-4257 or at rlundberg@utah.gov.

Registration Open for the Fall 2016 LLW Forum Meeting

Registration is now open for the fall 2016 Low-Level Radioactive Waste Forum (LLW Forum) meeting, which will be held at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Saratoga Springs Hotel on November 7-8, 2016.  Interested stakeholders are encouraged to register and make hotel reservations for the meeting at your earliest convenience, as there is limited space available in our discount room block.  The New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) is sponsoring the meeting.

The meeting documents—including bulletin and registration form—have been posted to the LLW Forum’s web site at www.llwforum.org.

Attendance

Officials from states, compacts, federal agencies, nuclear utilities, disposal operators, brokers/processors, industry, and other interested parties are invited and encouraged to attend.

The meeting is an excellent opportunity to stay up-to-date on the most recent and significant developments in the area of low-level radioactive waste management and disposal.  It also offers an important opportunity to network with other government and industry officials and to participate in decision-making on future actions and endeavors affecting low-level radioactive waste management and disposal.

Location and Dates

The fall 2016 LLW Forum meeting will be held on Monday, November 7 (9:00 am – 5:00 pm) and Tuesday, November 8 (9:00 am – 1:00 pm) at:

Embassy Suites by Hilton Saratoga Springs
86 Congress Street
Saratoga Springs, New York 12866

Located in the heart of downtown Saratoga Springs, the Embassy Suites is walking distance to the Saratoga Heritage Area Visitor’s Center, Congress Park, the Canfield Casino, and Broadway for its restaurants and shopping.

Registration

All persons must pre-register for the meeting and pay any associated registration fees in order to be allowed entry.  Registration forms are needed in order to ensure that you receive a meeting packet and name badge.  Accordingly, interested attendees are asked to please take a moment to complete the registration form at your earliest convenience and return it Cecilia Snyder of the LLW Forum at the address, e-mail or fax number listed at the bottom of the form.

The meeting is free for up to two individuals representing members of the LLW Forum.  Additional and non-member registration is $500, payable by check only to the “LLW Forum, Inc.”  (Credit card payments are not accepted.)

Reservations

Persons who plan to attend the meeting are strongly encouraged to make their hotel reservations and send in their registration forms as soon as possible, as we have exceeded our block at the last few meetings.

A limited block of hotel rooms has been reserved for meeting attendees for Sunday (November 6) and Monday (November 7) at the prevailing federal per diem rate (which is currently $120/night) plus tax/single or double.  A limited number of rooms are available at this rate for one day prior to and one day following the meeting, subject to availability.

To make a reservation, please call 1-800-HILTONS and ask for a room in the “LLW Forum block” at the Embassy Suites Saratoga Springs or use the following dedicated link:  http://embassysuites.hilton.com/en/es/groups/personalized/A/ALBESES-LLW-20161105/index.jhtml?WT.mc_id=POG

In order to receive the discounted rate, please make your reservation by October 6, 2016.

Transportation and Directions

Saratoga Springs is a 30-minute drive from the Albany International Airport.  A taxi from the airport to the hotel is a minimum estimated charge of $50/each way.   Driving directions from both airports can be found at http://embassysuites3.hilton.com/en/hotels/new-york/embassy-suites-by-hilton-saratoga-springs-ALBESES/maps-directions/index.html.  Parking at the hotel is free.

For additional information, please contact Todd D. Lovinger, the LLW Forum’s Executive Director, at (754) 779-7551 or go to www.llwforum.org.

Rocky Mountain Board to Hold Annual and Regular Meetings

On June 27, 2016, the Rocky Mountain Low-Level Radioactive Waste Board will hold both a Regular Meeting and an Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado.  The meetings—which will be held at the Westin Denver International Airport—are scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m.

The following items are on the draft agenda for the Regular Meeting: approval of minutes of the Regular Meeting on October 15, 2015 and notice of telephonic meeting on January 13, 2016; update from the Clean Harbors Regional Facility; update from URENCO USA; update from International Isotopes; discussion of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) oil and gas issues; update on national developments; Executive Director’s report re fiscal status/investment summary, permit fee revenue for 2015 and 2016; expenditure/budget comparison; and, status of volumes authorized for export and disposal in 2015 and 2016.

The following items are on the draft agenda for the Annual Meeting: election of Officers and consideration of fiscal year 2016-2017 budget.

Interested parties and the public are invited to attend the meetings and an opportunity will be provided for public comment.

For additional information, please contact Leonard Slosky, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Board, at (303) 825-1912 or lslosky@rmllrwb.us.

Central Interstate Compact Commission to Hold Annual Meeting

On June 14, 2016, the Central Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Commission will hold its annual meeting.  The meeting—which will be held at the Hilton Hotel in Shreveport, Louisiana—is scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. CDT.

The purpose of the meeting is to take necessary action and discussion on proposed changes to the By-Laws and Rules, reports, meeting minutes, export applications, export fee schedule (Rule 1), administrative budget, election of Chairman for fiscal year 2016-2017, and all other business to come before the Commission.

An agenda, kept continuously, is available by contacting the Commission’s office or going to their web page.

For additional information, please contact Rita Houskie, Administrator of the Central Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Compact Commission, at (402) 476-8247 or at rita@cillrwcc.org or visit their web site at www.cillrwcc.org.

License Transfer Approved for La Crosse Nuclear Plant

On May 24, 2016, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced that the agency has approved the transfer of the license for the La Crosse Boiling Water Reactor from the Dairyland Power Cooperative to LaCrosseSolutions.

The La Crosse plant—which is located in Genoa, Wisconsin—has been shut down since 1987.  At that time, the NRC modified the original operating license to a possession-only license for the purpose of storage of nuclear materials and waste and decommissioning activities.

On October 8, 2015, Dairyland submitted an application to the NRC requesting transfer of the license to LaCrosseSolutions, which is a subsidiary of EnergySolutions.  The license transfer would allow LaCrosseSolutions to expedite decommissioning activities on the site.

Under the terms of the transfer, Dairyland will remain the owner of the site and retain title to and responsibility for the spent nuclear fuel, which is currently stored in dry casks on the site. LaCrosseSolutions will lease the above-ground structures (other than the spent fuel storage site) and assume responsibility for decommissioning under NRC requirements.

EnergySolutions entered into a similar arrangement as that being done for the La Crosse nuclear power plant when it began to decommission the shuttered Zion nuclear power plant in Illinois in 2010.

The NRC’s order approving the transfer and its safety evaluation of the transfer are available in the NRC’s ADAMS document database at ML16123A049.

For additional information, please contact Maureen Conley of the NRC at (301) 415-8200.

Public Meeting Held re Performance of Monticello Nuclear Power Plant

On May 26, 2016, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) held a public meeting to discuss the agency’s annual review of safety performance of the Monticello nuclear power plant.  Northern States Power Co.-Minnesota operates the plant.  It is located in Monticello, Minnesota—approximately 30 miles northwest of Minneapolis.

The NRC’s performance action matrix reflects overall plant performance and agency response.  There are five columns in the matrix with Column 1 requiring a baseline level of inspection.  A move up to another column results in an increased level of NRC oversight and inspections.  Performance indicators are statistical measurements of plant and equipment performance.

Overall, the Monticello facility operated safely last year.  All performance indicators were “green” or low safety significance.  A security finding was issued at the end of 2014.  This finding, in addition to a previously identified yellow finding, would have resulted in a move to Column 4 and a significant increase in inspection.  However, the NRC determined the plant’s performance did not warrant this move and issued a deviation memo to the plant that placed it in Column 2.

The deviation memo noted that human performance issues continued to occur and needed to be addressed.  As a result, the plant committed to perform an independent safety culture assessment with a focus on human performance.  The deviation will remain open until the NRC completes its assessment of the plant’s safety culture evaluation.

The plant moved to Column 1 by the end of 2015.  While the details on the security finding are not publically available, the plant corrected the issue and the NRC conducted a follow-up inspection to verify the plant’s actions.

Monticello will also continue to receive the detailed routine inspections conducted at all nuclear power plants.  Routine inspections are performed by two NRC Resident Inspectors assigned to the plant and by inspection specialists from the Region III Office in Lisle and the agency’s headquarters in Rockville, Maryland.

For additional information, please contact Viktoria Mitlyng at (630) 829-9662 or at Prema Chandrathil at (630) 829-9663.

Open House Held re Assessment of Point Beach Nuclear Plant

On May 25, 2016, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) held a public open house to discuss the agency’s annual review of safety performance of the Point Beach nuclear plant.  The two-unit plant is operated by NextEra Energy Point Beach LLC and is located in Two Rivers, Wisconsin—approximately 13 miles northeast of Manitowoc.

Overall, NRC found that the Point Beach facility operated safely in 2015.  All performance indicators and inspection findings for both units were “green” or low safety significance.  The NRC uses color-coded inspection findings and performance indicators to assess nuclear plant performance.  The colors start with “green” and then increase to “white,” “yellow,” or “red,” commensurate with the safety significance of the issues involved.  Performance indicators are statistical measurements of plant and equipment performance.

This year, Point Beach Unit 1 and 2 will continue to receive the detailed routine inspections conducted at all nuclear power plants.  Routine inspections are performed by two NRC resident inspectors assigned to the plant and by inspection specialists from the Region III Office and the agency’s headquarters in Rockville, Maryland.  Among the areas of performance to be inspected this year are radiological safety, fire protection and emergency preparedness.

For additional information, please contact Viktoria Mitlyng at (630) 829-9662 or Prema Chandrathil at (630) 829-9663.

Open House Held re Performance of Prairie Island Nuclear Plant

On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) held an open house in Red Wing, Minnesota to discuss the agency’s annual assessment of safety performance for Prairie Island.  Northern States Power Co.-Minnesota operates the two-unit plant.  It is located in Welch, Minnesota—approximately 28 miles southeast of Minneapolis.

The NRC determined that the Prairie Island facility operated safely in 2015.  All performance indicators and inspection findings for Unit 1 were green or low safety significance and the unit remained in Column 1 of the action matrix throughout the year.  Unit 2, which was in Column 1 for the first three quarters of 2015, moved to Column 2 during the last quarter due to one white performance indicator of low to moderate significance in the area of unplanned scrams.  This performance indicator tracks the number of times the plant shut down unexpectedly during a specific period when the plant was operating at full power.

The NRC uses color-coded inspection findings and performance indicators to assess nuclear plant performance.  The colors start with green and then increase to white, yellow, or red, reflecting the safety significance of the issues involved.  Performance indicators are statistical measurements of plant and equipment performance.  The NRC’s action matrix reflects overall plant performance and agency response.  There are five columns in the matrix with Column 1 requiring a baseline level of inspections.  A move to the other columns results in an increased level of NRC oversight and inspections.

The NRC will conduct a supplemental inspection at Unit 2 to determine if the plant had understood the cause of the white performance indicator and taken sufficient corrective actions to prevent recurrence.  Unit 1 will continue to receive the NRC’s normal level of oversight during 2016.

Inspections are performed by two NRC Resident Inspectors assigned to the plant, inspection specialists from the Region III Office, and specialists from the agency’s headquarters in Rockville, Maryland.  Among the areas of performance to be inspected this year by NRC inspectors are radiological safety, spent fuel storage, and the plant’s ability to identify and resolve problems.

For additional information, please contact Viktoria Mitlyng at (630) 829-9662 or Prema Chandrathil at (630) 829-9663.

Final Supplement Issued for
 Yucca Mountain EIS

In early May 2016, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) published the staff’s final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) supplement on a proposed permanent repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.  The supplement analyzes potential impacts on groundwater and surface groundwater discharges and determines all impacts would be “small.”

Overview

The May 2016 NRC document that supplements Environmental Impact Statements that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) prepared on the proposed repository.  DOE issued the final EIS in 2002, then supplemented it in June 2008 when it submitted a construction authorization application to the NRC.

Under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, the NRC is to adopt DOE’s EIS to the extent practicable.  In September 2008, NRC staff recommended adoption of DOE’s Environmental Impact Statements, but noted the need to supplement the study of groundwater effects in the Yucca Mountain aquifer beyond DOE’s analyzed location at the site boundary.  DOE ultimately deferred to the NRC to prepare the supplement.

Background

In August 2015, NRC published a draft of the supplement for public comment.  (See LLW Notes, July/August 2016, pp. 28-29.)  During the 91-day comment period, NRC staff conducted public meetings to present the report and receive comments in Rockville, Maryland and in Las Vegas and Amargosa Valley, Nevada.

The NRC received more than 1,200 comments on the draft supplement, including comment letters and oral comments.  The NRC staff’s responses to these comments, and descriptions of changes made to the final report in response to comments, can be found in Appendix B of the supplement.

The supplement to the Yucca Mountain EIS is available on the NRC’s website at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/nuregs/staff/sr2184/.

For additional information, please contact David McIntyre of the NRC at (301) 415-8200.

MOU Signed re Unlicensed Radioactive Material Cleanup at Military Bases

In early May 2016, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced the that they had finalized a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) describing roles in the cleanup of radium and other unlicensed radioactive materials at military sites.  The MOU, which culminates several years of discussions between the parties, can be found on the NRC’s web site at www.nrc.gov.

Background

Until the 1960’s, Luminescent radium paint was widely used in vehicle instrumentation and other military applications.  Given that exposure to radium can increase the risk of adverse health effects, the military has a program to control or remediate legacy radium contamination and store and decontaminate equipment containing radium.  The military is also cleaning up other unlicensed radiological material.

Pursuant to legislation that was passed in 2005, Congress gave the NRC jurisdiction over radium and radium contamination.  In the addition, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversees cleanup work at some military sites under Superfund, which is more formally known as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA).  As documented in the MOU, the NRC also has an independent federal oversight role at the other sites where the military is cleaning up radioactive materials.

Overview

The MOU provides two ways in which the NRC will be involved in military cleanup projects.

The first way is to stay informed of remediation activities.  At sites where the EPA has oversight under Superfund, NRC staff would limit its involvement to staying informed about remedial actions, oversight activities and issues.  This approach could involve document reviews, site visits and meetings with the Army, Air Force, Navy, Defense Logistics Agency, EPA and state agencies.

The second way is to monitor remediation activities.  At sites without EPA oversight, the NRC will monitor the cleanup of unlicensed radiological material, which could include document review and comment, site observations, and confirmatory radiological surveys.  This monitoring will provide independent federal oversight to confirm the remediation adequately protects public health and safety and the environment.

For additional information, please contact Maureen Conley of the NRC at (301) 415-8200.

WCS Files License Application to Operate a Consolidated Interim Storage Facility for Used Nuclear Fuel

On April 28, 2016, Waste Control Specialists LLC (WCS) announced that it has submitted an application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for a license to construct and operate a Consolidated Interim Storage Facility (CISF) for used nuclear fuel.  “The application is being led by WCS,” states the company’s press release, “along with its partners AREVA and NAC International, both global industry leaders in the transportation and storage of used nuclear fuel.”

WCS submitted the application after a year of pre-application meetings with NRC and in accordance with a timeline that the company outlined in February 2015.  According to WCS, a CISF could be completed as early as 2021.

Overview

The WCS application proposes an initial 40-year storage license for 40,000 metric tons of heavy metal (MTHM) to be built in eight phases.  Each of the eight storage systems would be able to accommodate 5,000 MTHM for an eventual capacity of 40,000 MTHM.  The proposal includes opportunities for 20-year renewals after the initial license period.

According to WCS, Phase 1 of the CISF will require approximately 155 acres, plus an additional 12 acres for administrative and parking facilities.  The entire site through Phase 8 will require approximately 332 acres, which WCS notes is less than 2.5 percent of the company’s site-wide acreage.

As proposed, the primary operations performed at the WCS site would be transferring the sealed canisters of used fuel from a transportation cask into an engineered interim fuel storage system, where it would be monitored until its departure to an offsite permanent disposal location.

“Consolidated interim storage would provide system-wide benefits and flexibilities to strengthen the U.S. Used Nuclear Fuel Management Program and help advance a permanent geologic disposal program,” said Rod Baltzer, President and CEO of WCS.  “It creates a robust opportunity to develop and deploy the repackaging technology to prepare the used nuclear fuel currently in dry storage for final offsite disposal in a geologic repository.”

According to WCS’ press release, other benefits of consolidated interim storage include the opportunity to reduce the risk of further degradation of on-site infrastructure at permanently shut down reactor sites and to address public concerns about transportation by demonstrating successful transport of this material.

Another chief benefit of an accelerated schedule for moving fuel away from shutdown sites, states WCS, is to reduce the liability to taxpayers for the federal government’s failure to meet its contractual obligations to dispose of this material.

Background

Various lawsuits have been filed that allege that the federal government has failed to meet its statutory obligation to take title to used nuclear fuel by 1998.  The government has estimated that its liability will total $13 billion by 2020 and may increase by approximately $500 million per year if a solution is not found by 2022.

The Nuclear Waste Fund’s 2015 Audit Statement found the net value of the fund to be $37.4 billion.  Expenditures over the past five years have been approximately $4 billion.

WCS operates a privately owned facility in Andrews County, Texas that has been licensed to treat, store and dispose of Class A, B and C low-level radioactive waste.  WCS is a subsidiary of Valhi, Inc.—a company that is engaged in the titanium dioxide pigments, component products (security products and high performance marine components), waste management, and real estate management and development industries.

NRC Releases Results of Byproduct Material Financial Scoping Study

On April 27, 2016, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) released SECY-16-0046, Results of the Byproduct Material Financial Scoping Study.  The purpose of SECY-16-0046 is to provide the Commission with the results of the staff’s byproduct material financial scoping study and recommendations for next steps.

In SECY-16-0046, NRC staff recommends that the financial assurance requirements in 10 CFR 30.35 should be expanded to include all byproduct material Category 1 and 2 radioactive sealed sources that are tracked in the National Source Tracking System (NSTS).  In making this recommendation, staff notes as follows:

The thresholds in 10 CFR 30.35 that require financial assurance for sealed radioactive material are seven orders of magnitude higher than for unsealed material.  As a result, many licensees that possess byproduct material Radioactive Sealed Sources (RSS), including many Category 1 and 2 RSSs, are not required to provide financial assurance for decommissioning.  If financial assurance is required, it is intended to support site decommissioning, not necessarily the disposition of an individual RSS that has become disused or unwanted.  Adequacy of financial planning for disposition of disused RSSs has been raised in a number of external reports issued over the past decade.

SECY-16-0046 further states that, per recent Commission direction, the staff plans to develop a rulemaking plan SECY paper to propose initiating rulemaking, which will also include a discussion of other regulatory options.  The staff plans to provide the SECY paper to the Commission in the fourth quarter of FY 2016.

NRC also released an accompanying document titled, Financial Planning for Radioactive Byproduct Material—Scoping Report, that provides background information; reviews key reports and recommendations; analyzes technical considerations; discusses decommissioning financial assurance requirements and funding plans; considers financial assurance methods and funding mechanisms, disposition paths other than disposal, and establishing funding requirements for disposition; reviews life-cycle issues, orphan sources, timeliness in declaring and dispositioning disused sources, and tracking; considers applicability to General Licenses, compatibility with Agreement State requirements, and security considerations; provides an overview of disposal access, DOE/NNSA source recovery and disposal programs, and transportation considerations; and, so forth.

SECY-16-0046 may be found on the NRC’s web site at www.nrc.gov under Accession Number ML16068A202.  Enclosure 1 may be found on the web site under Accession Number ML16068A205.

Central Midwest Compact Commission Holds Spring Meeting

On April 26, 2016, the Central Midwest Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Compact Commission held its spring meeting beginning at 9:00 am EDT / 8:00 am CDT.  The meeting was held at the conference room of the Kentucky Radiation Control in Frankfort, Kentucky.

The agenda for the meeting was as follows:

  • Call to Order
  • Adoption or Modification of the Agenda
  • Adoption of Minutes from the Previous Meeting on September 23, 2015
  • Executive Session
  • First Public Comment Period
  • Reports
  • Chairman & Host State Report
  • Acknowledgement of Agreed Mandated Responsibility (Illinois 45 ILCS 140 and Kentucky 211.859)
  • LLW Forum Spring Meeting
  • Disused Sources Working Group Meeting
  • Regulatory Information Conference
  • Kentucky Report
  • Maxey Flats Closure Update
  • PDGP Cleanup and Proposed Storage Cell Status
  • TENORM Possible Disposal Violation
  • Executive Assistant Report
  • Third Quarter Reporting and Financial Status
  • Discussion/Review of the Regional Management Plan
  • Second Public Comment Period
  • Other Business
  • Next Scheduled Meeting or Announcement of Special Meeting
  • Adjournment

For additional information, please contact Joseph Klinger, Chairman of the Central Midwest Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Compact Commission, at (217) 836-3018 or at cmidwestcompact@yahoo.com.

Interested stakeholders may also go to the Central Midwest Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Compact Commission web site at http://www.cmcompact.org.

Utah Waste Management and Radiation Control Board Holds April Meeting

On April 14, 2016, the Utah Waste Management and Radiation Control Board held a regularly scheduled meeting beginning at 1:30 p.m. MT in Salt Lake City, Utah.  The meeting, which was open to the public, was held in Conference Room 1015, Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Board Room, on the first floor of the Multi Agency State Office Building that is located at 195 North 1950 West in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The following items, among others, were on the agenda for the April 2016 Board meeting:

  1. Call to Order
  2. Approval of Meeting Minutes for the March 10, 2016 Board Meeting (Board Action Item)

III.    Underground Storage Tanks Update

  1. Administrative Rules
  2. Final Adoption of Proposed Changes to Hazardous Waste Rules R315-103, R315-124, R315-260, R315-261, R315-262, R315-263 R315-264, R315-265, R315-266, R315-268, R315-270, and R315-273 and setting of an effective date (Board Action Item)
  3. Final Adoption of the Repeal of Hazardous Waste Rules R315-1, R315-2, R315-3, R315-4, R315-5, R315-6, R315-7, R315-8, R315-9, R315-12, R315-13, R315-14, R315-16, and R315-50 and setting of an effective date (Board Action Item)
  4. Approval to Proceed with Formal Rulemaking and a 30-day Public Comment Period for Amendments to the Hazardous Waste Rules R315-124, R315-260, R315-261, R315-262, R315-264 and R315-273 (Board Action Item)
  5. Approval to Proceed with Formal Rulemaking and a 30-day Public Comment Period for Proposed Changes to Radiation Control Rules R313-19 and R313-22 to Incorporate Changes Requested by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) (Board Action Item)
  6. Low-Level Radioactive Waste Section
  7. EnergySolutions’ Request for a Site-Specific Treatment Variance from the Hazardous Waste Management Rules—i.e., EnergySolutions Seeks Authorization to Dispose of One, 5-Gallon Bucket of Spent Lithium-Thionyl Chloride Batteries Following Macroencapsulation (Board Action Item)
  8. EnergySolutions’ Request for a Site-Specific Treatment Variance from the Hazardous Waste Management Rules—i.e., EnergySolutions Seeks Authorization to Dispose of High Concentration Arsenic Waste Following Macroencapsulation (Board Action Item)
  9. Director’s Report

VII.   Other Business

  1. Miscellaneous Information Item
  2. Scheduling of Next Board Meeting

VIII.  Adjourn

The Board—which is appointed by the Utah Governor with the consent of the Utah Senate—guides development of Radiation Control policy and rules in the state.  The Board holds open meetings ten times per year at locations throughout the state.  A public comment session is held at the end of each meeting.

Copies of the Utah Waste Management and Radiation Control Board meeting agendas and packet information can be found at http://www.deq.utah.gov/boards/waste/meetings.htm.

For additional information, please contact Rusty Lundberg, Deputy Director of the Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control at the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, at (801) 536-4257 or at rlundberg@utah.gov.

Possession License Issued to Army for Depleted Uranium at Multiple Installations

In late March 2016, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced that the agency has added 15 installations to a license authorizing the U.S. Army to possess depleted uranium (DU).  The original license, issued in October 2013, applied to two sites in Hawaii.  The Army will use the same programs for environmental monitoring, radiation safety and physical security at all sites.

The DU comes from “spotting rounds” used with the Davy Crockett weapons system to assist with targeting accuracy.  The Army trained with this system at the sites in the 1960s.  The license allows the Army to possess and manage up to 12,567 pounds of DU and limits the amount at each site.  It requires the Army to comply with NRC regulations and standards for protecting the public and the environment from radiation, and is subject to NRC inspections and periodic reviews.  The license does not authorize the Army to use the DU or decommission the sites without additional review and approval by the NRC.

Background

In 1978, a license allowing the Army to manufacture and distribute the DU spotting rounds issued by the NRC’s predecessor (the Atomic Energy Commission) expired at the Army’s request.  Under the earlier license, the Army distributed the spotting rounds to a number of Army installations for testing, training and deployment.  Each round contained about six ounces of DU.

In November 2006, the Army told the NRC that it had discovered DU fragments at the Schofield Barracks on the island of Oahu.  Following that discovery, the Army reviewed old records and determined the Davy Crockett system was tested at other installations.  The Army has enough DU at these sites that, under the Atomic Energy Act and NRC regulations, it is required to have a possession license.

Amendment License

The initial license applied to Schofield Barracks on the island of Oahu and the Pohakuloa Training Area on the island of Hawaii.  The amendment license now also applies to

  • Forts Benning and Gordon (Georgia);
  • Forts Campbell and Knox (Kentucky);
  • Fort Carson (Colorado);
  • Fort Hood (Texas);
  • Joint Base Lewis-McChord/Yakima Training Center (Washington);
  • Fort Bragg (North Carolina);
  • Fort Polk (Louisiana);
  • Fort Sill (Oklahoma);
  • Fort Jackson (South Carolina);
  • Fort Hunter Liggett (California);
  • Fort Wainwright (Alaska);
  • Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (New Jersey); and,
  • Fort Riley (Kansas).

For additional information, please contact Maureen Conley of the NRC at (301) 415-8200.

NRC Proposes to Amend Annual Fees Regulations

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is proposing to changes to its regulations for the licensing, inspection, special project, and annual fees it would charge applicants and licensees for fiscal year (FY) 2016.  The proposed regulations would reduce annual fees for most licensees due to a decrease in the NRC’s budget.

On March 23, 2016, NRC published the proposed rule in the Federal Register.  The proposed rule includes fees required by law to recover approximately 90 percent of the agency’s budget.

For the FY 2016 proposed fee rule, the NRC’s estimated required fee recovery amount (after billing and collection adjustments) is $883.9 million.  Approximately 37 percent of the fees, or $325.8 million, would recover the cost of specific services to identifiable applicants and licensees under 10 CFR Part 170.  The remaining 63 percent, or $558.1 million, would be billed as annual fees under 10 CFR Part 171.

Compared with the FY 2015 annual fees, the FY 2016 proposed fees would decline for operating reactors, fuel facilities, research and test reactors, spent fuel storage/reactor decommissioning licensees, some materials users, and DOE transportation activities.  Fees would increase for most uranium recovery licensees.

The proposed rule includes several possible changes from the current FY 2015 fee rule.  First, the NRC would slightly lower the current hourly rate of staff review time from $268 to $266.  As a result of this change, the NRC would revise application and registration fees.  Second, the NRC would establish a fee structure to recover the agency’s costs in responding to significant requests for information, records, or NRC employee testimony related to lawsuits where the NRC is not a named party, also known as “Touhy requests.”  The proposed rule would assess fees on requests that require over 50 NRC staff hours.

For additional information, please contact Eric Stahl of the NRC at (301) 415-8200.

Texas LLRW Disposal Compact Commission to Meet

April 7, 2016 in Andrews County, Texas

On April 7, 2016, the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission (Texas Compact Commission) will hold a regularly scheduled meeting in Andrews County, Texas.  The meeting is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. CDT.  It will be held in the Glorietta Room at the Business and Technology Center, which is located at 201 NW Ave. D in Andrews County, Texas.

There will be no live-feed available.  However, the meeting will be recorded and made available on the Public Meetings page of the Texas Compact Commission’s web site at www.tllrwdcc.org.

The following is an abbreviated overview of the agenda for the Texas Compact Commission meeting.  Persons interested in additional detail are directed to the formal agenda themselves.

  • call to order;
  • roll call and determination of quorum;
  • introduction of Commissioners, elected officials and press;
  • public comment;
  • discussions and possible action on conditions for import associated with Thermo Process Instruments import agreement;
  • receive reports from Waste Control Specialists LLC (WCS) about recent site operations and any other matter WCS wishes to bring to the attention of the Texas Compact Commission;
  • receive reports from Texas Compact Commission committees including the Rules Committee (as Chaired by Commissioner Morris) and the Capacity Committee (as Chaired by Commissioner Weber);
  • discussion and possible action to authorize the Chair to execute a contract for an auditor to conduct annual audits each year as required by Article III, Section 3.04(5) of the Texas Compact Commission Consent Act;
  • discussion and possible action to authorize the Chair not to exceed $25,000 to contract with a person to provide technical and support services for the Texas Compact Commission from May 1, 2016 through August 31, 2016;
  • discussion and possible action to authorize the Chair to acquire office space on behalf of the Texas Compact Commission in Austin, Texas in order to meet the requirement of Article III, Section 3.04(3) of the Texas Compact Commission Consent Act that the Commission be located in the capitol city of the host state;
  • Chairman’s report on Texas Compact Commission activities including reporting on fiscal matters to be taken by the compact and addressing personnel matters;
  • report from Leigh Ing, Consulting Supervisory Director of the Texas Compact Commission, on her activities and questions related to Texas Compact Commission operations;
  • discussion and possible changes of dates and locations of future Texas Compact Commission meetings in 2016 and 2017; and,
  • adjourn.

The Texas Compact Commission may meet in closed session as authorized by the Texas Open Meetings Act, Chapter 551, Texas Government Code.  Texas Compact Commission meetings are open to the public.

 

For additional information, please contact Texas Compact Commission Consulting Supervisory Director Leigh Ing at (512) 305-8941 or at leigh.ing@tllrwdcc.org.

Southwestern LLRW Compact Commission to Meet

April 7, 2016 in San Diego, California

On April 7, 2016, the Southwestern Low-Level Radioactive Waste Commission will host its 72nd meeting beginning at 2:00 pm PDT at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel in San Diego, California.

The following topics, among others, are on the meeting agenda:

  • call to order
  • roll call
  • welcome and introductions – introduce new Commissioner from South Dakota
  • statement regarding due notice of meeting
  • reports, status and/or activity

–     Commission Chair

–     Executive Director

–     licensing agency

–     party states

  • exportation

–     ratification of approved petitions

  • update on compact correspondence
  • Thermo Fischer update on sealed sources
  • report and update from the Committee for Export Issues (re: sealed sources – Qal Tek tour)
  • amend approved budget
  • public comment
  • future agenda items
  • next meeting date and location (October 7, 2016 at Hyatt Regency in Sacramento, California)
  • adjournment

Members of the public are invited to attend the meeting and comment on specific agenda items as the Commission considered them.  The total public comment time on each agenda item will be limited to 15 minutes.  Written material will also accepted.  A 15-minute public comment period will be provided near the end of the meeting at which time members of the public are invited to bring before the Commission issues relating to low-level radioactive waste but which are not on the agenda.

For additional information, please contact Kathy Davis, Executive Director of the Southwestern Compact Commission, at (916) 448-2390 or at swllrwcc@swllrwcc.org

NRC Hosts Public Meeting re Post-Fukushima Screening of “Other External Hazards” at U.S. Nuclear Power Plants

On April 5, 2016, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff met with the public to discuss and solicit comments regarding the results of the staff’s preliminary screening of natural events other than earthquakes and flooding (ADAMS Accession No. ML16039A054).  This screening is part of the agency’s efforts to learn from the issues raised by the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011.

During the meeting, NRC staff described the process used to screen natural events other than seismic and flooding events.  The results of that screening will identify which hazards (e.g., extreme drought, heavy snow loads, tornadoes and hurricanes) should be evaluated further to determine if additional regulatory action is needed.

Comments on the assessment can be e-mailed to JLD_Public.Resource@nrc.gov by April 12, 2016.  NRC staff will consider, to the extent possible, comments received after that date.

The final results of the staff’s screening will be provided to the NRC Commission by the end of May 2016.  The staff’s final assessment (including a determination of whether additional regulatory action is needed) will be provided by the end of the year.

NRC’s White Paper titled, “NRC Staff Assessment of Fukushima Tier 2 Recommendations Related to Evaluation of Natural Hazards Other Than Seismic and Flooding,” can be found at http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ml1603/ML16039A054.pdf.

To view the agenda for the meeting, go to http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ml1608/ML16084A538.pdf.

For additional information, please contact Scott Burnell of the NRC at (301) 415-8200.

NRC Issues Annual Assessments for Nation’s Nuclear Plants

On March 4, 2016, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced that the agency has issued letters to the nation’s 99 commercial operating nuclear plants about their performance in 2015.  All but three plants were in the two highest performance categories.

“These assessment letters are the result of a holistic review of operating performance at each domestic power reactor facility,” said Bill Dean, Director of the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.  “In addition to ensuring that the nation’s nuclear power plants are safe by inspecting them, the NRC continuously assesses performance.  The purpose of these assessment letters is to ensure that all of our stakeholders clearly understand the basis for our assessments of plant performance and the actions we are taking to address any identified performance deficiencies.”

Later this year, the NRC will host a public meeting or other event in the vicinity of each plant to discuss the details of the annual assessment results.  A separate announcement will be issued for each meeting.

Overview

Of the 96 highest-performing reactors, 85 fully met all safety and security performance objectives.  The NRC used the normal “baseline” inspection program to inspect these reactors.

Eleven reactors need to resolve one or two items of low safety significance.  For this performance level, regulatory oversight includes additional inspections and follow-up of corrective actions.  Plants in this level include:

  •   Clinton (Illinois);
  •   Davis Besse (Ohio);
  •   Dresden 2 (Illinois);
  •   Duane Arnold (Iowa);
  •   Indian Point 3 (New York);
  •   Millstone 3 (Connecticut);
  •   Prairie Island 2 (Minnesota);
  •   River Bend (Louisiana);
  •   Sequoyah 1 (Tennessee); and,
  •   Susquehanna 1 and 2 (Pennsylvania).

NRC reports that Duane Arnold, Millstone 3, and Susquehanna 1 and 2 have resolved their issues since the reporting period ended and have transitioned to the highest performing level.

There were no reactors in the third performance category with a degraded level of performance.

There were three reactors in the fourth performance category.  Arkansas Nuclear One 1 and 2 (Arkansas) require increased oversight because of two safety findings of substantial significance.  Pilgrim (Massachusetts) is in the fourth performance category because of long-standing issues of low- to-moderate safety significance.  NRC states that reactors in this category receive additional inspections and increased agency management attention to confirm performance issues are being addressed.

Background

The NRC routinely updates information on each plant’s current performance and posts the latest information as it becomes available to the action matrix summary. The annual assessment letters sent to each operating reactor are also available through the NRC’s webpage on the Reactor Oversight Process.

Annual construction oversight assessments for new reactors at the Vogtle and Summer sites are available on the NRC website.  The assessment letter for Watts Bar 2, which received its operating license in October 2015, is also available.

Every six months each plant receives either a mid-cycle or annual assessment letter along with an NRC inspection plan.

For additional information, please contact Eric Stahl of the NRC at (301) 415-8200.

Construction Permit to be Issued for SHINE Medical Isotope Facility

On February 25, 2016, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced that the agency has authorized its staff to issue a construction permit for a first-of-a-kind facility dedicated to medical isotope production.

The Commission, having completed a mandatory hearing, found the staff’s review of the SHINE Medical Technologies, Inc. application sufficient to make the necessary safety and environmental findings.  This will be the first construction permit issued for either a non-power utilization or production facility by the NRC since 1985.

Overview

Once issued, the construction permit will allow SHINE to build a facility for the production of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) and other radioisotopes.  Mo-99 is used in medicine to create technetium- 99m—an isotope used in millions of diagnostic procedures annually in the United States.

The facility will be located in Janesville, Wisconsin—approximately 40 miles southeast of Madison.  The United States has not commercially produced Mo-99 since 1989.  The facility will support U.S. Government efforts to establish a reliable domestic supply of this isotope.

Background

SHINE submitted its construction permit application in two parts on March 26, 2013 and May 31, 2013.  The NRC staff’s construction permit review process included the examination of the preliminary design and environmental impacts of the SHINE facility.

The Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) conducted an independent review of SHINE’s preliminary safety analysis report and the staff’s safety evaluation.  The ACRS, a group of experienced technical experts, advises the Commission—independently from the NRC staff—on safety issues related to the licensing and operation of nuclear power plants, as well as on issues of health physics and radiation protection.

On October 15, 2015, the ACRS recommended that the Commission issue the SHINE construction permit.

Next Steps

SHINE must submit a separate operating license application for NRC approval before it can operate the facility.

The operating license application will consist of a final safety analysis report including SHINE’s final facility design, plans for operation, emergency plan, physical security plan, and technical specifications.

For additional information, please contact Eric Stahl of the NRC at (301) 415-8200.

NRC Conducts Special Inspection at Perry Nuclear Plant

On February 29, 2016, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced that the agency launched a Special Inspection into two recent events at the Perry nuclear power plant. According to NRC, neither event affected public health or safety at the plant.

The Perry nuclear power plant is operated by FirstEnergy Operating Co. and is located in Perry, Ohio—approximately 35 miles northeast of Cleveland.

Background

On February 8, 2016, operators at the Perry nuclear power plant manually shut down the reactor when they observed an increase of the temperature in the suppression pool.  The suppression pool is designed to condense steam and is also a water source for emergency cooling systems.

On February 11, 2016, while the reactor was shutdown, there was a temporary loss of power to certain plant cooling equipment.  Operators were able to use a redundant system and restore power to the cooling systems.

Inspection

“Even though the two events are not related, we have questions related to the response of the equipment and operator actions,” said NRC Region III Administrator Cynthia Pederson.  “Our team of specialists in reactor operations and electrical equipment will review the technical details to better understand what happened.”

On February 29, 2016, the four-member inspection team began work and will spend time both on and off site conducting their reviews.  After the inspection, a report documenting the team’s findings will be made publicly available.

For additional information, please contact Viktoria Mitlyng at (630) 829-9662 or Prema Chandrathil at (630) 829-9663.

Ohio Scrap Metal Facilities Receive Shipments Containing LLRW

By press release dated February 24, 2016, the Ohio Department of Health (DOH) announced that “[s]crap metal facilities in Canton, Mansfield and Massillon received shipments containing low-levels of radiation.” The Ohio DOH release stated that the exact source of the radiation that contaminated the scrap metal is being investigated. “The contaminated scrap metal is securely contained and does not pose a health risk to the facilities’ employees or the general public,” states the Ohio DOH release.

The following day, on February 25, 2016, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) put out a press release stating that it was notified on February 23 “that recycle scrap contaminated with radioactive material was shipped from a PSC Metals, Inc. facility in Beaver Falls, PA, to two facilities in Ohio.” According to the Pennsylvania DEP release, “[a] radium-226 source of unknown origin was accidentally shredded with other materials, then shipped to processing facilities in Ohio.”

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has been notified of the incident. PCS Metals has hired a licensed decontamination provider to develop a plan for cleanup at the Beaver Falls scrap yard and the Ohio sites, as well as for safe disposal of the contaminated scrap metal.

Ohio DOH radiation protection staff was on-site at all three facilities to conduct radiation testing and to ensure planning for the safe disposal of the contaminated scrap metal. According to the Ohio DOH release, radiation surveys of contaminated scrap metal:

  •   delivered to PCS Metals, Inc. in Canton showed a highest reading of 70 microrem per hour, which is equivalent to less than one-tenth of the radiation dose from a chest x-ray; and,
  •   delivered to PCS Metals, Inc. in Massillon showed a highest reading of 25 millirem per hour, which is equivalent to the radiation dose from two-and-a-half chest x-rays within one hour.

The Ohio DOH release states that contaminated scrap metal delivered to Tube City, Inc. in Mansfield was not unloaded and instead redirected to PCS Metals’ Canton facility. Surveys of employee clothing, locker areas and break rooms at both PCS Metals locations did not show any radiation contamination.

A team from Pennsylvania DEP’s Radiation Protection Program took extensive readings at the Beaver Falls scrapyard. “Elevated readings were found on one large metal shredder and on gloves used by two workers,” states the Pennsylvania DEP release. “DEP is performing additional testing to ensure that there was no skin contamination. Radium-226 can be harmful if ingested.”

The Pennsylvania DEP release goes on to state that preliminary tests on the workers who operated the Beaver Falls machine showed no contamination, but that results are still pending. The Pennsylvania DEP release further states that the shredder has been isolated and that there is no indication that there is any contamination at the site, nor outside the scrapyard property.

Registration is Now Open for the Spring 2016 LLW Forum Meeting

Marriott Hotel in Park City, Utah from April 13-14, 2016

Optional Site Tour of Clive Facility on April 12, 2016

The Low-Level Radioactive Waste Forum (LLW Forum) is pleased to announce that registration is now open for our spring 2016 meeting, which will be held at the Park City Marriott Hotel on April 13-14, 2016.  Please mark your calendars accordingly and save the date!

The meeting will include an optional site tour of the EnergySolutions’ Clive low-level radioactive waste disposal facility for interested stakeholders on the afternoon of April 12, 2016.

There will also be a meeting of the Disused Sources Working Group (DSWG) for members & invited guests from 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 14, 2016, and from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on Friday, April 15, 2016.

Interested stakeholders are encouraged to register and make hotel reservations for the meeting at your earliest convenience, as there is limited space available in our discount room block.

The meeting is being co-sponsored by the State of Utah’s Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control (DWMRC) and EnergySolutions.

The meeting documents—including bulletin and registration form—have been posted to the LLW Forum’s web site at www.llwforum.org. The meeting agenda will be posted in the coming weeks.

Attendance

Officials from states, compacts, federal agencies, nuclear utilities, disposal operators, brokers/processors, industry, and other interested parties are invited and encouraged to attend.

The meeting is an excellent opportunity to stay up-to-date on the most recent and significant developments in the area of low-level radioactive waste management and disposal. It also offers an important opportunity to network with other government and industry officials and to participate in decision-making on future actions and endeavors affecting low-level radioactive waste management and disposal.

Location and Dates

The spring 2016 LLW Forum meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 13 (approx. 9:00 am – 5:00 pm) and Thursday, April 14 (approx. 9:00 am – 1:00 pm) at:

Park City Marriott Hotel
1895 Sidewinder Drive
Park City, Utah 84060

The Park City Marriott Hotel is located in the Prospector Square area of Park City amid the scenic backdrop of a mountain community. A complimentary local shuttle to the Utah Olympic Park, Factory Stores at Park City or Old Town Main Street services the hotel.

Optional Site Tour

Meeting attendees are invited to participate in an optional tour of the EnergySolutions Clive facility on the afternoon of Tuesday, April 12. The Clive facility is located approximately 80 miles west of Salt Lake City, just south of I-80.

A bus will be provided by EnergySolutions and will leave from the Park City Marriott at noon.

Registration

All persons must pre-register for the meeting and pay any associated registration fees in order to be allowed entry. Registration forms are needed in order to ensure that you receive a meeting packet and name badge. Accordingly, interested attendees are asked to please take a moment to complete the registration form at your earliest convenience and return it to Cecilia Snyder of the LLW Forum at the address, e-mail or fax number listed at the bottom of the form.

The meeting is free for up to two individuals representing members of the LLW Forum. Additional and non-member registration is $500, payable by check only to the “LLW Forum, Inc.” (Credit card payments are not accepted.)

Reservations

Persons who plan to attend the meeting are strongly encouraged to make their hotel reservations and send in their registration forms as soon as possible, as we have exceeded our block at the last few meetings.

A limited block of hotel rooms has been reserved at a discount rate of $118 per night plus tax, for Monday, April 11, for meeting attendees participating on the optional tour of Clive. A larger block of rooms at the same rate has been reserved for Tuesday, April 12, and Wednesday, April 13, for regular meeting attendees. A limited number of rooms are available at the discounted rate for 3 days prior to and after the meeting, subject to availability.

To make a reservation, please go to www.parkcitymarriott.com and enter special group code “LLWLLWA” or call 1-800-228-9290 and ask for a room in the Low-Level Waste block.

In order to receive the discounted rate, please make your reservation by March 20, 2016. Please note that there is a seven (7) day advanced notice requirement for cancellation of reservations to avoid a penalty.

Transportation and Directions

The Park City Marriott is located approximately 35 miles from the Salt Lake International Airport. The hotel does not provide shuttle service from and to the airport.

Shuttle service is available by reservation from Park City Shuttle (435-649-2227 or www.parkcityshuttle.com), Park City Transportation (800-637-3803 or www.parkcitytransportation.com), or All Resort Express (1-800-457-9457 or www.allresort.com).

For additional information, please contact Todd D. Lovinger, the LLW Forum’s Executive Director, at (754) 779-7551 or go to www.llwforum.org.

NRC Commissioner Ostendorff Will Not Seek Another Term

On February 17, 2016, William Ostendorff announced that he would not seek another term at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) after his term expires on June 30, 2016. Commissioner Ostendorff, who will have served for six years in the five-member body that oversees the safety of the country’s nuclear power plants, will instead return to the United States Naval Academy to teach, according to an agency spokesman.

The departure of Commissioner Ostendorff, a former naval officer who commanded an attack submarine and later taught and led the Math and Science Division at the Naval Academy, will leave the NRC with three members—two short of its intended staffing.

Ostendorff, a Republican, was originally appointed to the Commission by President Obama in 2010 to finish the term of retiring Commissioner Dale Klein. He was sworn in to a second term on July 7, 2011. He has served at the NRC through numerous challenges including, among other things, the agency’s response to the Fukushima D’aiichi nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011. “We made a conscious decision by a unanimous commission vote, five to zero, to not require any U.S. nuclear power plant to shut down because of safety concerns,” Ostendorff told Senators last year about the Fukushima response. “We did not have those safety concerns.”

At a recent conference on nuclear energy, Ostendoff was quoted as saying, “I feel very comfortable leaving the Commission at the end of June with where we are on Fukushima.”  In a statement, NRC Chair Stephen Burns said that Commissioner Ostendorff “brought a wealth of experience to the Commission and helped guide the agency through the challenges of Fukushima, a changing industry environment and many other challenging issues.”

Web Page Created on Increased Oversight of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant

In mid-February 2016, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission established a web page on the agency’s website containing information about the agency’s increased oversight of the Pilgrim nuclear power plant. Among the items on the web page are background information, schedules, and NRC correspondence related to the increased oversight, inspection reports and other key documents. As the oversight process moves forward, newly released documents will be added to the page.

In mid-October 2015, Entergy Corporation announced plans to shut down Pilgrim by June 1, 2019. Entergy Corporation, which is one of the largest energy companies in the United States, cited economic factors in making the decision to close the plant.

In September 2015, the NRC announced that Pilgrim had moved to Column 4 of the Action Matrix used to determine the level and types of inspections to be performed at any given plant. Pilgrim—which is located in Plymouth, Massachusetts—made that transition after an inspection finding designated as “White,” or of low to moderate safety significance, was finalized for the facility.

The finding overlapped with two earlier findings that were also of low to moderate safety significance, resulting in an NRC determination that the plant should be in Column 4, also known as the Multiple/Repetitive Degraded Cornerstone Column, and therefore subject to additional oversight.

The web page can be found at http://www.nrc.gov/info-finder/reactors/pilg/special-oversight.html. For additional information, please contact Diane Screnci at (610) 337-5330 or Neil Sheehan at (610) 337-5331.

NRC Proposes FY 2017 Budget to Congress

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has proposed a $970.2 million Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 budget to the U.S. Congress to regulate the nation’s nuclear power plants and radioactive materials users. The proposed budget for the Office of the Inspector General is an additional $12.1 million.

As proposed, the FY 2017 budget represents a decrease of nearly $20 million from FY 2016’s spending levels. The decreased budget proposal continues a steady decline in both spending and staffing. The agency’s budget is down eight percent since 2014.

The FY 2017 budget breakout includes $757.4 million for nuclear reactor safety and
$212.8 million for nuclear materials and waste safety and will allow the agency to continue to uphold its important safety and security mission. The budget also includes resources to continue implementation of lessons-learned from the Fukushima nuclear accident, the review of applications for medical isotope productions facilities, and the oversight of four new reactors that are under construction.

Project Aim, the NRC’s transformation effort, will ensure the agency has the right resource levels and workforce staffing to conduct its future work. The goal is to improve the NRC’s effectiveness, efficiency and agility. The FY 2017 budget incorporates some Project Aim recommendations and the Commission is considering a variety of other further potential efficiencies from the effort.

The amount requested for the Inspector General totals $12.1 million. That independent office conducts audits and investigations to ensure the efficiency and integrity of NRC programs, and promote cost-effective management. The OIG’s budget also includes funding to provide auditing and investigation services for the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board.

The budget briefing slides and the Congressional Budget Justification are available on the NRC web site at www.nrc.gov. A limited number of hard copies of the report will be available from opa.resource@nrc.gov.

For additional information, please contact Eric Stahl of the NRC at (301) 415-8200.

Registration Opens for NRC’s 2016 Regulatory Information Conference

Registration is now open for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC’s) 28th annual Regulatory Information Conference (RIC). The conference is being held from March 8-10, 2016 at the Bethesda North Marriott located at 5701 Marinelli Road in Bethesda, Maryland. The NRC’s offices of Nuclear Reactor Regulation and Nuclear Regulatory Research jointly host the RIC. The conference is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

Approximately 3,000 people are expected to attend the RIC including industry executives, representatives from state governments, non-governmental organizations, individual community members, and representatives from dozens of foreign countries. The conference is an opportunity for attendees to discuss issues related to the safety and security of commercial nuclear facilities and current regulatory activities.

The program features NRC Chair Stephen Burns as the keynote speaker. Additional program highlights include plenary sessions with Commissioners Kristine Svinicki, William Ostendorff and Jeff Baran. NRC’s Executive Director for Operations, Victor McCree, will give remarks. Bill Dean, Director of NRC’s Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, will give welcome and introductory remarks.

Highlights of this year’s RIC include two sessions titled, “25 Years of NRC’s Principles of Good Regulation” and “Project Aim: Accomplishments and Next Steps.” Other technical sessions will address significant domestic and international issues such as cyber-security, subsequent license renewal, advanced and small modular reactors, spent fuel research activities and the reactor oversight process.

The conference agenda and online registration links are now available on the NRC web site at www.nrc.gov. The deadline for online registration is February 23, 2016. Early registration is encouraged; however, onsite registration will also be available during the conference.

For additional information, please contact Stephanie West of the NRC at (301) 415-8200.

New Reactor Licenses to be Issued for South Texas Project

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has cleared the way for the agency’s Office of New Reactors to issue two Combined Licenses (COL) for Nuclear Innovation North America’s (NINA) South Texas Project site in Texas. Based on the mandatory hearing on NINA’s application, the Commission found the staff’s review adequate to make the necessary regulatory safety and environmental findings.

Following the Commissioners’ direction, the NRC staff will work to issue the COLs promptly. The licenses will authorize NINA to build and operate two Advanced Boiling Water Reactors (ABWR) at the site near Bay City, Texas. The South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Company already operates two reactors at the site.

The staff will impose several conditions on the license, including:

  •  specific actions associated with the agency’s post-Fukushima requirements for Mitigation Strategies and Spent Fuel Pool Instrumentation;
  • requiring monitoring and analysis of the reactors’ steam dryers during initial plant startup, in line with current procedures for existing boiling-water reactors approved to operate at increased power levels; and,
  • setting a pre-startup schedule for post-Fukushima aspects of the new reactor’s emergency preparedness plans and procedures. 


NINA submitted its application for the licenses on September 20, 2007. The NRC’s Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) independently reviewed aspects of the application that concern safety, as well as the staff’s Final Safety Evaluation Report (FSER). The ACRS, a group of experienced technical experts, advises the Commission—independently from the NRC staff—on safety issues related to the licensing and operation of nuclear power plants, as well as on issues of health physics and radiation protection.

  • The ACRS provided the results of its review to the Commission on February 19, 2015. The NRC completed its environmental review and issued the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the proposed South Texas Project reactors in February 2011. The NRC completed and issued the FSER on September 29, 2015. The NRC certified the 1,300-megawatt ABWR design in 1997.

Additional information on the certification process is available on the NRC web site at nrc.gov. For additional information, please contact Scott Burnell of the NRC at (301) 415-8200.

NRC Issues RIS re Decommissioning Timeliness Rule Implementation and Associated Regulatory Relief

On December 21, 2015, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued Regulatory Issue Summary (RIS) 2015-19 titled, “Decommissioning Timeliness Rule Implementation and Associated Regulatory Relief.”

RIS 2015-19 was distributed to all holders of and applicants for NRC licenses under Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) Part 30, “Rules of General Applicability to Domestic Licensing of Byproduct Material;” 10 CFR Part 40, “Domestic Licensing of Source Material;” 10 CFR Part 70, “Domestic Licensing of Special Nuclear Material;” and,

10 CFR Part 72, “Licensing Requirements for the Independent Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel, High-Level Radioactive Waste, and Reactor- Related Greater than Class C Waste.” The notice was also distributed to Agreement State Radiation Control Program Directors and State Liaison Officers.

According to the document, NRC issued RIS 2015-19 in order to:

  1. provide clarity on the Decommissioning Timeliness Rule’s (DTR’s) requirements to notify the NRC to begin and complete decommissioning after certain criteria are met;
  1. highlight opportunities for licensees to request alternatives to the DTR’s requirements;
  1. remind licensees that there are situations where they can request an alternative to the DTR’s timeliness requirements for both beginning and completing decommissioning if adequately justified;
  1. clarify when the DTR applies to licensees whose only location of use are temporary jobsites; and,
  1. clarify when the NRC considers that the licensee has transitioned from an “operational” to a “decommissioning” status.

RIS 2015-19 requires no action or written response beyond that already required by regulations. The NRC provided RIS 2015-19 to the Agreement States for their information and for distribution to their licensees, as appropriate. However, a notice of opportunity for public comment on RIS 2015-19 was not published in the Federal Register because the RIS is intended to be informational and is not intended to represent a departure from current regulatory requirements.

NRC generic communications may be found on the NRC public Web site at http://www.nrc.gov by going to “NRC Library” and then to “Document Collections.” For additional information, please contact Greg Chapman of the NRC’s Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards (NMSS) at (301) 415-8718 or at Gregory.Chapman@nrc.gov.

Texas Compact Commission to Meet in Austin on February 4, 2016

Agenda Items Include Discussion re Proposed Import Approval Approach and Reduction of Curie Amounts Previously Authorized

On February 4, 2016, the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission (Texas Compact Commission) will hold a regularly scheduled meeting. The meeting, which is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m., will be held in Room E1.028 of the Texas Capitol located in Austin, Texas.

Links to View Meeting

The links to view the meetings at the Texas Capitol are:

Agenda

The following is an abbreviated overview of the agenda for the Texas Compact Commission meeting. Persons interested in additional detail are directed to the formal agenda themselves.

  • call to order;
  • roll call and determination of quorum;
  • introduction of commissioners, elected officials and press;
  • public comment;
  • discussion and possible action with respect to ensuring payments and reimbursements from the Texas State Treasury to vendors, contractors, and other persons to whom the Texas Compact Commission is indebted;
  • discussion and consideration of and possible action on the limitation of authorization of disposal of curie amounts to ensure maintenance of the curie limit for the compact facility as specified in Texas Health and Safety Code (THSC) 401.207(e) including a reduction of curie amounts previously authorized;
  • consideration of and possible action on requests for amendment to agreements for importation of low-level radioactive waste from the Arizona Public Service; Entergy Fitzpatrick; and, Philotechnics;
  • consideration of and possible action on an application and proposed agreement from Entergy Operations, Inc.—River Bend Station for importation of low-level radioactive waste whereby 40,000 curies of the originally requested 80,000 curies was continued from the Texas Compact Commission meeting that was held on October 1, 2015;
  • consideration of and possible action on applications and proposed agreements for importation of low-level radioactive waste from Florida Power & Light Turkey Point; Entergy Pilgrim Station; Susquehanna Nuclear; NextEra Seabrook; and, RAM Services;
  • consideration of and possible action on a petition and proposed order for exportation of low-level radioactive waste from Bionomics TAMU EH&S; Bionomics TAMU NSC; and, Philotechnics Pet Net Solutions;
  • receive reports from Waste Control Specialists LLC (WCS) about recent site operations and any other matter WCS wishes to bring to the attention of the Texas Compact Commission;
  • receive reports from Texas Compact Commission committees including the Rules Committee (as chaired by Commissioner Morris) and the Capacity Committee (as chaired by Commissioner Weber);
  • Chairman’s report on Texas Compact Commission activities including reporting on fiscal matters to be taken by the compact and addressing personnel matters;
  • report from Leigh Ing, Consulting Supervisory Director of the Texas Compact Commission, on her activities and questions related to Texas Compact Commission operations;
  • discussion and possible changes of dates and locations of future Texas Compact Commission meetings in 2016; and,
  • adjourn.

Background

The Texas Compact Commission may meet in closed session as authorized by the Texas Open Meetings Act, Chapter 551, Texas Government Code. Texas Compact Commission meetings are open to the public.

For additional information, please contact Texas Compact Commission Consulting Supervisory Director Leigh Ing at (512) 305-8941 or at leigh.ing@tllrwdcc.org.

Comments Sought re Utah’s Proposed New Hazardous Waste Rules

At its January 2016 meeting, the Utah Waste Management and Radiation Control Board (Board) authorized the following Hazardous Waste rules: R315-103, R315-124, R315-260, R315-261, R315-262, R315-263, R315-264, R315-265, R315-266, R315-268, R315-270, and R315-273 to be published in the Utah Bulletin and to commence a 30 day comment period.

The Board also approved the publication and commencement of public comment on the repeal of following rules: R315-1, R315-2, R315-3, R315-4, R315-5, R315-6, R315-7, R315-8, R315-9, R315-12, R315-13, R315-14, R315-16, and R315-50.

The comment period will begin on February 1, 2016.  Written comments on both of these proposals will be accepted if received by 5:00 p.m. MT on March 3, 2016. Written comments should be submitted to the following mailing address:

Scott T. Anderson, Director
Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control
Department of Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 144880
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4880

Comments can also be hand delivered and must be received by 5:00 p.m. MT on March 3, 2016. Hand-delivered comments should be submitted to the following address:

Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control
Multi Agency State Office Building
195 North 1950 West, 2nd Floor
Salt Lake City, Utah 84116

Comments can also be sent via electronic mail to swpublic@utah.gov.  Comments submitted via electronic format should be identified by putting, “Public Comment on Hazardous Waste Rules,” in the subject line. All documents included in comments should be submitted as ASCII (text) files or in pdf format.

An unofficial copy of the proposed hazardous waste rules will be made available on the Internet at http://www.deq.utah.gov/Laws_Rules/dshw/ProposedHWRules.htm.

For additional information, please contact Ralph Bohn of the Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control at (801) 536-0212.

NRC Seeks Comments re Contaminated Material and Contaminated Trash

In a Federal Register notice issued on January 20, 2016, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced that the agency is requesting comments on whether NRC staff should formally document a position on contaminated material and contaminated trash.

In February 2015, NRC issued Revision 1 of the Branch Technical Position on Concentration Averaging and Encapsulation (CA BTP). The CA BTP provides acceptable methods that can be used to perform concentration averaging of low-level radioactive waste for the purpose of determining its waste class for disposal. When the NRC issued the revised CA BTP, it noted that one issue, distinguishing contaminated materials from contaminated trash, may need further clarification. The NRC also stated that it would consider whether additional guidance, such as a Regulatory Issue Summary (RIS), would be warranted for distinguishing contaminated materials from contaminated trash.

Interested stakeholders are requested to submit comments by March 21, 2016. Comments received after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but NRC is able to ensure consideration only for comments received before this date.

The Federal Register notice includes a list of questions for which the NRC is requesting specific comments, as well as information on how to submit comments.

NRC’s request for comments can be found at 81 Federal Register 3,166 (January 20, 2016) via the following link: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-01-20/pdf/2016-00972.pdf.

For additional information, please contact Don Lowman, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, at (301) 415– 5452 or at Donald.Lowman@nrc.gov.

LLW Forum Sponsors Panel for Waste Management 2016 Conference

The Low-Level Radioactive Waste Forum, Inc. (LLW Forum) has organized a panel for the Waste Management 2016 Conference titled, Hot Topics and Emerging Issues in US Commercial Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management. Panel 16 will focus on emerging issues in commercial low-level radioactive waste management in the United States from the perspective of representatives of the LLW Forum. State, federal and industry officials will share their views on a variety of timely and significant topics including:

  •   the proposal to license a disposal cell for Greater-than-Class C (GTCC), GTCC-like and Transuranic waste through means other than deep geologic disposal at the Waste Control Specialists (WCS) facility in Texas—Charles Maguire, Director of the Radioactive Materials Division at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ);
  •   an initiative to develop implementation guidance for the Branch Technical Position on Concentration Averaging and Encapsulation (CA BTP)— Lisa Edwards, Senior Program Manager at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI);
  •   status of the proposed rule to amend 10 CFR Part 61, Licensing Requirements for Land Disposal of Radioactive Waste— Gregory Suber, Chief of the Low-Level Waste Branch at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC);
  •   the depleted uranium performance assessment, license and permit updates, and current waste disposal volumes and types at the Clive facility in Utah— Dan Shrum, Senior Vice-President of Regulatory Compliance at EnergySolutions; and,
  •   broker and processor perspectives on the management and disposition of disused sources— John McCormick, Vice-President at Bionomics, Inc.

The Waste Management 2016 Conference will be held at the convention center in Phoenix, Arizona from March 6-10, 2016. The LLW Forum-sponsored Panel 16 is scheduled to be held in Room 103AB from 1:30 – 3:10 p.m. on Monday afternoon—March 7, 2016.

As a reminder, registration rates for the Waste Management 2016 Conference are scheduled to increase on February 7, 2016.

Additional information on the Waste Management 2016 Conference can be found at www.wmsym.org or by contacting the Waste Management office at (480) 557-0263.

Workshop Scheduled for February 2-4, 2016 re Using Robotic Technologies at Nuclear Power Plants

From February 2-4, 2016, the International Workshop on the Use of Robotic Technologies at Nuclear Facilities will be held in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in conjunction with its U.S. and foreign counterparts is sponsoring the workshop, which will include the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Nuclear Energy Agency; the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST); the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (DOE/OEM); the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate, Office of Standards; the United Kingdom’s Atomic Energy Authority; and, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. The American Nuclear Society (ANS), ASTM International and IEEE Robotics and Automation Society are also collaborating on the workshop.

The workshop is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. on February 2, 2016 at the Green Auditorium on the NIST campus at
100 Bureau Drive in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Interested stakeholders must register to attend the meeting and pay the associated $71.00 registration fee.

The workshop will cover existing and potential future uses of robotic technologies in safety applications and activities at nuclear facilities. The workshop will examine topics including how robots can evaluate plant systems; how robots can locate and recover radioactive material; and, how non- nuclear applications can be adapted to nuclear situations. The workshop will include discussion of lessons learned from historic nuclear applications and experiences (e.g., Three Mile Island, Sellafield, and Fukushima Daiichi); ongoing research; and, other relevant applications (e.g., NASA’s Martian rovers).

For additional information, please contact Scott Burnell of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission at (301) 415-8200.

Texas Compact Seeks Comment re Proposed Import Approval Approach

The Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission (Texas Compact Commission) is seeking comments on a proposed process for approving import applications for the disposal of low-level radioactive waste into the Compact Waste Facility that is operated by Waste Control Specialists LLC (WCS) and located in Andrews County, Texas.

Under the laws of the State of Texas, no more than 275,000 curies of low-level radioactive waste may be disposed at the Compact Waste Facility in a fiscal year. Therefore, the Texas Compact Commission is working to develop and institute an import prioritization process that would provide the maximum chance of curies being available for shipment to those generators that are able to ship to the Compact Waste Facility.

The Texas Compact Commission’s proposed concept paper, which is titled “A Process for Conditional Approval of Authorization to Dispose of Curies,” states as follows:

  1. Generally, the Commission will continue to enter into agreements with generators and brokers for importation of nonparty low-level radioactive waste for disposal (“Agreement”) in the Texas-Low Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Facility (“Facility”) that are effective on the date of approval by the Commission through August 31 (the last day of the Facility’s operational year). Generators and brokers may submit applications for future operational years, but those applications will be considered in light of this policy.
  1. Starting with the February 4, 2016 meeting, all Agreements to import and dispose of a total volume of waste that contains more than 2,000 Curies during an operational year will be entered on a conditional basis.
  1. The conditions that will be included in any Agreement to import and dispose of more than 2,000 Curies will include (but not be limited to):
  • A condition providing that no shipments may be made under the Agreement without further authorization from the Commission.
  • A condition requiring that no less than 15 days before a shipment is made under the Agreement, the Generator or Broker shall provide the Commission a written notice containing evidence satisfactory to the Commission that a shipment will be made on the date proposed in the notice and that it will contain a specifically identified number of Curies. It is acknowledged that weather or other unforeseen conditions may cause a nominal delay of shipment, but that delay shall not exceed 5 days, or a new condition removal letter will be required.
  • A condition providing that no shipment will be made until the Generator or Broker has received a written communication from the Commission that: (1) it has received the notice from the Generator or Broker; (2) it is satisfied that the shipment will be made on the proposed date and that it will contain the proposed number of Curies; and (3) the disposal of the waste listed in the notice will not cause the total number of Curies disposed at the Compact facility to exceed the maximum yearly allowances for that operating year.
  • A condition memorializing the understanding of the Generator or Broker that the Agreement is null and void and no further shipments can be made pursuant to the Agreement on or after the date during an operating year that the Facility has received low-level radioactive waste containing 275,000 Curies.

In addition to seeking comments on the overall proposed process, the Texas Compact Commission requests that stakeholders submit responses to the following questions:

  1. What is an appropriate threshold for issuing Curies conditionally? For import applications with Curie requests above the threshold, Curies would be issued conditionally by the Commission as opposed to the current practice of issuing them unconditionally. The proposed Concept Paper proposes 2,000 Curies as that limit.
  1. What would be appropriate documentation for demonstrating proof of a shipment is imminent? Is there a document that generators and brokers already use such that a new form would not need to be created and used? Are there good examples we could use should a new form need to be developed?
  1. How many days prior to a shipment are generators certain that the shipment will occur? The proposed Concept Paper proposes 15 days.
  1. How many days prior to a shipment are generators reasonably certain of the shipment’s Curie value?

Comments on the above questions and the proposed concept paper are due by January 25, 2016.

A cover letter with additional information and the proposed concept paper are available on the Texas Compact Commission’s web site at http://www.tllrwdcc.org/.

For additional information, please contact Texas Compact Commission Consulting Supervisory Director Leigh Ing at (512) 305-8941 or at leigh.ing@tllrwdcc.org.

 

NRC Requests Planned Licensing Action Submittals for All Power Reactor Licensees

In late calendar year 2015, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued Regulatory Issue Summary (RIS) 2015-16 to ask licensees to provide information regarding the licensing actions they plan to submit to the NRC for review over the next 3 calendar years, and power uprate applications they plan to submit to the NRC for review over the next 5 calendar years. The NRC plans to continue to request this information of licensees on an annual basis. Submittal of the requested information is strictly voluntary. No specific action or written response is required.

During the budget development process, the NRC allocates resources based on an assumed number of licensing actions of certain types (e.g., license amendments, exemptions, relief requests) that will be submitted for that particular fiscal year. To the degree that these assumptions do not correlate to incoming requests, the agency’s budget estimates can be significantly incorrect in total resources, specific skill sets, or both. This ultimately impedes the NRC’s ability to process licensing actions on a timely basis and can cause a significant delay in processing licensing actions when the required resources are not available. Specifically, licensing actions include requests for license amendments, renewals, and transfers; requests for exemptions; relief requests from in-service inspection and testing requirements; program reviews; review of topical reports submitted on a plant-specific basis; and, power uprate requests.

To more accurately forecast the resources needed to complete the requested licensing actions, the NRC is asking that all power reactor licensees voluntarily provide information regarding the number of licensing actions they plan to submit for NRC review for the next 3 calendar years, and any planned power uprates they plan to submit in the next 5 calendar years. The responses to NRC’s request are not binding and can be updated, as needed. The NRC plans to continue to request this information of licensees on an annual basis. This information will enable the agency to better meet its performance and timeliness goals under the agency’s strategic plan.

To adequately capture the resource impact of the various licensing action reviews, the NRC is requesting that licensees provide information such as a brief title and description of each of their planned licensing action submittals, an indication of whether the review would be first-of-a-kind or an update, an estimate of when the request would be submitted to the NRC, and the estimated requested completion date. Licensees would also assist the NRC by indicating if the licensing action is routine or if it is outage-related. Based on the information received, the NRC will determine the complexity of the review and the technical skill set needed to perform the review, and develop preliminary review schedules. The NRC will use this information in planning for future workload and as the basis for allocating future technical resources.

The NRC encourages continued communication between licensees and site-specific NRC project managers with regard to plant licensing actions and schedules for submittal of licensing actions. According to NRC, RIS 2015-16 is not intended to replace the communications that take place between licensees and project managers regarding current and planned licensing actions. Indeed, NRC states that the continued communication will play a large role in improving project planning by the agency. However, NRC believes that the information provided in response to RIS 2015-16 will help the agency improve project planning and resource allocation throughout the entire budget cycle.

For additional information, please contact Tracy Orf of the NRC’s Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation at (301) 415-2788 or at tracy.orf@nrc.gov.

NRC Update on Common Prioritization and Re-Baselining (Project AIM)

On January 14, 2016, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will hold a public meeting and teleconference to provide an update on Common Prioritization and Re-Baselining of NRC Activities (Project AIM Initiative) since the September 1, 2015 public meeting to solicit input from stakeholders on the agency’s work. This input assisted the agency in evaluating what activities can be shed (stopped), performed with fewer resources, or performed with a different priority, while still fulfilling its regulatory mission in a manner consistent with the NRC’s Principles of Good Regulation and its Organizational Values.

The meeting is scheduled from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. in Room 01C05 of NRC Three White Flint North at 11601 Landsdown Street in Rockville, Maryland. Interested stakeholders that are unable to attend the meeting in person may participate via teleconference by calling 1-888-972-9342 and entering pass code 6813340.

The agenda for the meeting will include welcome and introductory remarks; overview of comments received; activities completed and in progress; next steps; public questions and answers; summary and closing comments; and, adjournment. NRC’s Office of the Executive Director for Operations will participate in the meeting.

For additional information, please contact Rani Franovich at (301) 287-3533 or at rani.franovich@nrc.gov or Gina Davis at (301) 415-5776 or at gina.davis@nrc.gov.

For additional information, please go to http://meetings.nrc.gov/pmns/mtg?do=details&Code=20151893.

Utah Waste Management & Radiation Control Board Holds January 2016 Meeting

On January 14, 2016, the Utah Waste Management and Radiation Control Board held a regularly scheduled meeting beginning at 1:30 p.m. MT in Salt Lake City, Utah. The meeting, which was open to the public, was held in the Multi Agency State Office Building in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The following items, among others, were on the agenda for the Board meeting: call to order; approval of the meeting minutes for the December 10, 2015 Board meeting (Board Action Item); underground storage tanks update; hazardous waste rules including approval to proceed with formal rulemaking and 30-day public comment period for proposed Hazardous Waste Rules R315-103, R315-124, R315-260, R315-261, R315-262, R315-263, R315-264, R315-265, R315-266, R315-268, R315-270, and R315-273 (Board Action Item) and approval to proceed with formal rulemaking and 30-day public comment period for repeal of Hazardous Waste Rules R315-1, R315-2, R315-3, R315-4, R315-5, R315-6, R315-7, R315-8, R315-9, R315-12, R315-13, R315-14, R315-16, and R315-50 (Board Action Item); presentation on the X-Ray Program; other business including a miscellaneous information item and the next Board meeting; and, adjournment.

The Board—which is appointed by the Utah Governor with the consent of the Utah Senate—guides development of Radiation Control policy and rules in the state. The Board holds open meetings ten times per year at locations throughout the state. A public comment session is held at the end of each meeting.

Copies of the Utah Waste Management and Radiation Control Board meeting agendas and packet information can be found at http://www.deq.utah.gov/boards/waste/meetings.htm.

For additional information, please contact Rusty Lundberg, Deputy Director of the Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control at the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, at (801) 536-4257 or at rlundberg@utah.gov.