Governor Appoints Salsman and Edwards To Texas Compact Commission

On August 24, 2018, it was announced that Texas Governor Greg Abbott has reappointed John Salsman and appointed Lisa Edwards to the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission for terms to expire on September 1, 2023.  The Texas Compact Commission manages the disposition of low-level radioactive waste, while maintaining the health, safety and welfare of citizens.

Appointments

John Salsman is the Director of the Environmental Health and Safety Department at the University of Texas at Austin.  He is a member of the Health Physics Society (HPS) and the American Academy of Health Physics.  Salsman received a Bachelor of Science in radiation protection engineering and a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering from Texas A&M University.  He lives in of Driftwood, Texas.

Lisa Edwards is a Senior Program Manager of Chemistry, Radiation Safety, and High-Level Radioactive Waste at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).  Edwards received a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Cornell College.  She lives in Granbury, Texas.

Background

The Texas Compact Commission meets several times per year in both Texas and Vermont.  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.

The Texas Compact Commission is next scheduled to meet in Manchester, Vermont on October 11, 2018.

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

Toshiba Withdraws from Two Planned South Texas Project Reactors

On June 7, 2018, Toshiba America Nuclear Energy Corporation — a U.S. wholly owned subsidiary of Japan’s Toshiba Corporation — announced plans to withdraw from a project to build two additional advanced boiling water reactor units at the South Texas Project (STP) site in Matagorda County, Texas.

According to news reports and a company press release, Toshiba officials scrapped their involvement in the estimated $15 million project due to a lack of investors.

Overview

According to a press release from Toshiba, company officials plan to cancel all contracts related to Nuclear Innovation North America (NINA), which was established by an agreement with NRG Energy Inc. in 2008 for the purpose of building the two additional STP units.  The corporation will also cancel an engineering, procurement and construction contract it signed in 2009 with STP, as well as canceling deferred loans and forgiving loans under loan contracts.

“Under current and expected economic conditions, further development of STP Units 3 and 4 has ceased to be financially viable,” stated a press release from Toshiba.  “In these circumstances, there is no clear pathway to securing profitability.”

Tim Powell, President and CEO of STP, stated in the release that a meeting of NINA’s Board of Directors is expected in the coming weeks to determine the future of STP Units 3 and 4.  “While the further development of Units 3 and 4 are in question, I want to assure you that the safe and reliable operation of Units 1 and 2 remains the commitment of each and every employee at STP,” stated Powell.  “These units continue to be vital to the resilience and reliability of the Texas grid and we are focused on maintaining the exemplary performance we have achieved and creating further value for the community we call home.”

“With our recently granted 20-year life extension for Units 1 and 2, that mission will continue today, tomorrow and for many years to come,” continued Powell.  “STP remains a proud partner of Matagorda County and the South Texas region for over 30 years and will remain so as we continue to move forward.”

According to the release, Toshiba officials intend to meet with the NINA Board of Directors and continue the necessary withdrawal procedures with NRG.  The release states that the corporation will have completely withdrawn from the project by the end of the year.

Combined License

In February 2016, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued two Combined Licenses (COL) for the STP 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.

NRC staff imposed 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.

Background

  • The NRC certified the 1,300-megawatt ABWR design in 1997. On September 20, 2007, NINA submitted its application for the licenses.
  • 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 NRC completed its environmental review and issued the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the proposed STP reactors in February 2011. Four years later, on February 19, 2015, the ACRS provided the results of its review to the Commission. The NRC completed and issued the FSER on September 29, 2015.

STP’s two units produce 2,700 megawatts of carbon-free electricity — providing clean energy to 2 million Texas homes.  According to STP officials, Units 3 and 4 would have doubled that production output and could have created about 800 additional jobs.

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.

Texas Compact Commission Holds May 2018 Meeting

On May 17, 2018, the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission (Texas Compact Commission) held a regularly scheduled meeting in Austin, Texas.  The meeting began at 9:30 a.m. CDT.  It was held in Room E1.028 at the Texas Capitol, which is located at 1100 Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas.

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;
  • consideration of and possible action on applications for importation of low-level radioactive waste from NextEra Point Beach, Entergy Grand Gulf, Talen Energy, Talen Energy (irradiated hardware), RAM Services and Thomas Gray;
  • consideration of and possible action on amendments to existing agreements with Exelon and EnergySolutions;
  • consideration and possible action on May 15, 2018 letter to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regarding the February 14, 2018 notice in the Federal Register relating to the Very Low-Level Waste (VLLW) scoping study;
  • receive reports from Waste Control Specialists LLC (WCS) about recent site operations;
  • receive report from Chair on Texas Compact Commission activities including an update on the to-be-formed committee as a result of recent legislation;
  • report from Leigh Ing, Executive Director of the Texas Compact Commission, on her activities relating to workshops and Texas Compact Commission operations;
  • discussion and possible changes of dates and locations of future Texas Compact Commission meetings in 2018; 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 Executive Director Leigh Ing at (512) 305-8941 or at leigh.ing@tllrwdcc.org

Texas Compact Commission Publishes Final Waste Management Rule

On March 23, 2018, the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission (Texas Compact Commission) published a final rule regarding the management of low-level radioactive waste within the Texas Compact in the Texas Register.  (See 43 Texas Register 1,871 dated March 23, 2018.)

In particular, the Texas Compact Commission adopted a new §675.24 titled, “Requirement to Report on the Importation of Certain Low-Level Radioactive Waste for Management or Disposal that is not Required to be Disposed of in the Compact Facility.”  The final rule incorporates changes to the text as originally published in the Texas Register on November 3, 2017.  (See 42 Texas Register 6,123 dated November 3, 217).

Copies of the proposed rule can be obtained from the Texas Compact Commission’s website at http://www.tllrwdcc.org/rules/. 

Summary of the Factual Basis for the Adoption of the New Rule

In order to fulfill its responsibilities with respect to 42 United States Code §§2021(b) – 2021(j) and the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact §3.04(9) and §3.05(6), as set out in Texas Health and Safety Code (THSC), Chapter 403, the Texas Compact Commission has determined that it is in the public interest to gather information regarding low-level radioactive waste that enters the host state irrespective of whether it requires an agreement for importation for disposal at the Compact Facility.

Pursuant to the Commission’s authority set out in THSC §403.006, the Commission adopts a new §675.24 to facilitate the gathering of that information by way of reporting requirements after the entry of the low-level radioactive waste into the state rather than requiring approval for the importation of certain categories of low-level radioactive waste into the host state.

Summary of Changes made in the Proposed Rules after Comments

After reviewing comments received during the public comment period, the Texas Compact Commission:

  •   revised the rule to require semi-annual rather than quarterly reporting;
  •   added language to sub-section (b)(4) to exclude waste that is regulated under §675.23 titled, “Importation of Waste from a Non-Party Generator for Disposal;
  •   revised subsection (b)(4) to clarify that the Texas Compact Commission seeks gross volume or weight of reported waste;
  •   added language to subsection (b)(4) to reflect that waste disposed of in the same reporting period which it was received should not be reported;
  •   revised subsection (c)(2) to clarify the source attributes of waste;
  •   removed subsection (c)(6) and combined information sought regarding location of management or the date and location of disposal of waste into subsection (c)(5);
  •   added language to subsection (d) to set forth the term of the Texas Compact Commission’s fiscal year;
  •   added language to subsection (d) to note that entities with a reporting obligation may do so on their own forms so long as the Texas Compact Commission provides prior authorization of the forms; and,
  •   added language to note that new entrants that import waste into the host state must enter into an agreement with a reporting requirement within 30 days of commencement of operations.

Public Comment and Commission Responses

The public comment period on the proposed new rule opened on November 3, 2017 and closed at midnight on December 8, 2017.  On January 29, 2015, the Rules Committee of the Texas Compact Commission conducted a meeting to consider comments on the proposed rule in the Office of the Attorney General of Texas.

During the public comment period, the Commission received written comments from EnergySolutions, Nuclear Sources & Services (NSSI), and Waste Control Specialists LLC (WCS).  EnergySolutions supports adoption of the rule.  WCS does not oppose adoption of the rule.  NSSI believes the rule is inapplicable to its operations based on other law.

Concise Restatement of Statutory Authority

A new §675.24 is adopted pursuant to Public Law 105-236 and the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact as set out in THSC Chapter 403.

  •   Texas Compact §3.05(4) grants the Texas Compact Commission the rulemaking authority to carry out the terms of the Texas Compact.
  •   Texas Compact §3.04(9) authorizes the Texas Compact Commission to assemble and make public information concerning low-level radioactive waste management needs, technologies and problems.
  •   Texas Compact §3.05(6) authorizes the Texas Compact Commission to enter into agreements regarding the management and disposal of low-level radioactive waste.

The Texas Compact Commission interprets the foregoing provisions as authority to require reporting of information on NCFW.  A new §675.24 will further the public interest by gathering and monitoring information regarding low-level radioactive waste that enters the host state irrespective of whether it requires an agreement for importation for disposal at the Compact Facility.

Background

On November 3, 2017, the Texas Compact Commission published a proposed rule regarding the management of low-level radioactive waste within the Texas Compact in the Texas Register.  (See LLW Notes, November/December 2017, pp. 11-13.)  Comments on the proposed rule were due no later than the close of business on December 8, 2017.

The proposed new §675.24 related to a requirement to report on the importation of certain low-level radioactive waste for management or disposal that is not required to be disposed in the Texas Compact Facility.  In order to fulfill its responsibilities, the Texas Compact Commission determined that it is in the public interest that it gathers information regarding low-level radioactive waste that enters the host state irrespective of whether it requires an agreement for importation for disposal at the Texas Compact facility.

The proposed new §675.24 sought to facilitate the gathering of that information by the way of reporting requirements after the entry of the low-level radioactive waste into the state rather than requiring approval for the importation of certain categories of low-level radioactive waste into the host state.

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

State of Texas Reduces Disposal Surcharges

In late 2017, the State of Texas agreed to reduce disposal surcharges for a 24-month limited period of time at the Waste Control Specialists (WCS) facilities in Andrews County, Texas.  In particular, gross revenue fees for in-compact customers have been cut in half—reduced from a total of 10% to 5%.  Gross revenue fees for out-of-compact customers have been reduced from 31.25% to 16.25%.

WCS released the following statement regarding reduced disposal surcharges:

Waste Control Specialists is delighted to inform customers that — for a limited time — the state has significantly reduced its disposal surcharges for those customers currently disposing low-level radioactive waste at the WCS facilities in Andrews County.  For both in-compact and out-of-compact generators, this will result in significant cost savings … 

These are significant reductions and already resulting in dramatic cost-savings for our customers.  This should encourage our customers to dispose of low-level radioactive waste in our state-of-the-art facility in Andrews County and we are already seeing an uptick in scheduled disposal shipments …

The new fee structure, which was passed by the Texas Legislature in 2017 and is now in effect, will remain in place through August 31, 2019.  According to WCS, “waste will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis” during the reduced surcharge period.  It is unclear as to what will happen at the end of the 24-month window of cost savings.

For additional information, please contact WCS representative Chuck McDonald at (512) 658-5958 or at chuck@mcdonaldpr.com.

Texas Compact Commission Publishes Proposed Waste Management Rule

On November 3, 2017, the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission (Texas Compact Commission) published a proposed rule regarding the management of low-level radioactive waste within the Texas Compact in the Texas Register.  Comments on the proposed rule were due no later than the close of business on December 8, 2017. 

Copies of the proposed rule can be obtained from the Texas Compact Commission’s website at http://www.tllrwdcc.org/rules/. 

Purpose

The Texas Compact Commission is proposing a new §675.24 relating to a requirement to report on the importation of certain low-level radioactive waste for management or disposal that is not required to be disposed in the Texas Compact Facility.

In order to fulfill its responsibilities with respect to 42 United States Code, §§2021(b) – 2021(j) and §3.04(9) and §3.05(6) of the Texas Compact as set out in Texas Health and Safety Code (THSC) §403.006, the Texas Compact Commission has determined that it is in the public interest that it gather information regarding low-level radioactive waste that enters the host state irrespective of whether it requires an agreement for importation for disposal at the Texas Compact facility.

Proposed new §675.24 seeks to facilitate the gathering of that information by the way of reporting requirements after the entry of the low-level radioactive waste into the state rather than requiring approval for the importation of certain categories of low-level radioactive waste into the host state.

Proposed Rule Language

The proposed rule language is as follows:

  • 675.24. Requirement to Report on the Importation of Certain Low- Level Radioactive Waste for Management or Disposal that is not Required to be Disposed of in the Compact Facility.
  • This section is applicable only in the host state. 


(b)  This section is designed to gather information on the importation into the host state for disposal or management of certain low- level waste that:  

  • is required when shipped to be listed on Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Forms 540 or 541 (Uniform Low-Level Waste Manifest Shipping Forms);
  • is included within the definition of low-level radioactive waste found in 30 TAC §336.2(89) (relating to Definitions) as the definition is in effect on the date this section becomes effective or as 30 TAC §336.2(89) may be amended or renumbered in the future, but is not intended for disposal in the Compact Waste Facility;
  • is not low-level radioactive waste described by 42 United States Code, §2021c(b)(1); and

(4) for the purposes of this section, the material described in this subsection will be referred to as Non-Compact-Facility Low- Level Radioactive Waste (“NCFW”).  

(c) Any entity in the host state that imports NCFW must enter into an agreement with the Commission that contains a requirement that it will report to the Commission on a quarterly basis the following information with respect to each shipment of NCFW that it has received in the previous quarter:  

  • the name of the generator; 

  • the name of the state and the name of the low-level waste compact (if any) where the waste originated;
  • the activity of the waste in curies; 


(4)  the volume or weight of the waste; the date of receipt; whether the waste is being stored, processed, or otherwise managed;  

(5)  location of management; and 
 

(6)  the date of and location of disposal of that waste. 
 

(d) Quarterly reports must be submitted electronically on forms provided by the Commission and must be submitted before the 31st day after the end of each quarter of the Commission’s fiscal year.  

(e) An entity that imports low-level radioactive waste into the host state as described in subsection (c) of this section shall have entered into an agreement with the Commission within 90 days after the effective date of this section or within such time extensions thereafter as the Commission may allow. To the maximum extent possible, each agreement entered into under this section will contain provisions identical to those in each other agreement entered into under this section.  

(f) An entity that imports waste into the host state as described in subsection (c) of this section shall submit an application for entry into an agreement with the Commission electronically or on paper on a form provided by the Commission.  

(g) Failure on the part of an entity that imports waste into the host state as described in subsection (c) of this section to comply with any provision of this section or the agreement entered into pursuant to subsection (d) of this section may result in the Commission reporting such failures to the host state agency that has licensed, permitted, or otherwise authorized the operation of such entities.  

(h) The Commission may revoke or amend an agreement on its own motion or in response to an application by the agreement holder. When the Commission amends an NCFW agreement on its on motion, it may provide a reasonable time to allow the agreement holder to make the changes necessary to comply with any additional requirements imposed by the Commission. No importation of NCFW shall be allowed under any amended agreement for the importation of NCFW until:  

(1) the amendment to the NCFW agreement has been executed by both the Commission and the agreement holder; and  

(2) the agreement holder has made any changes necessary to comply with additional requirements.

Benefits and Costs

According to the Texas Register notice, the changes in the proposed rule are expected to increase the knowledge available to the Texas Compact Commission and the public with respect to the presence of low-level radioactive waste in the host state.

The notice states, “By requiring a quarterly report of certain information about low-level [radioactive] waste that enters the host state for a purpose other than disposal at the compact facility, the proposed [Texas Compact] Commission rule benefits the host state and the public by allowing more complete tracking of low-level radioactive waste that enters the host state.”

The Texas Compact Commission anticipates that businesses and individuals will have no significant additional economic costs as a result of their compliance with the proposed rule, as the new reporting requirements would require the reporting of minimal information that is already maintained by the entities required to report under the proposed new §675.24.

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

Texas Compact Commission Holds November 2017 Meeting

On November 16, 2017, the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission (Texas Compact Commission) held a regularly scheduled meeting in Austin, Texas.  It was held in Room E1.028 at the Texas Capitol, which is located at 1100 Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas.

The meeting, which began at 9:30 a.m. CDT, followed the conclusion of a one-day workshop focused on disposal options for in-compact waste generators, specifically on topics that are important to Texas generators.

The formal meeting agenda is available on the Texas Compact Commission’s web site at www.tllrwdcc.org. 

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;
  • consideration of and possible action on applications for importation of low-level radioactive waste from Arizona Public Service Palo Verde; Qal-Tek (as broker); Qal-Tek (as generator); Southern Nuclear Company Hatch; and, Southern Nuclear Company Hatch Irradiated Hardware;
  • receive reports from Waste Control Specialists LLC (WCS) about recent site operations;
  • receive report from Chair on Texas Compact Commission activities including an update on the to-be-formed committee as a result of recent legislation;
  • report from Leigh Ing, Executive Director of the Texas Compact Commission, on her activities relating to workshops and Texas Compact Commission operations;
  • discussion and possible changes of dates and locations of future Texas Compact Commission meetings in 2018; 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 Executive Director Leigh Ing at (512) 305-8941 or at leigh.ing@tllrwdcc.org

Texas Compact Commission Holds Low-Level Waste Disposal Workshop

On November 15, 2017, the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission (TLLRWDCC) hosted a workshop in Austin, Texas.  The workshop, which was held at the Legislative Conference Center at the Texas State Capitol, was a full-day event.

Workshop presentations focused on disposal options for in-compact waste generators, specifically on topics that are important to Texas generators.  The meeting agenda included the following:

  • 9:00 – 9:30: Welcome and Program Introduction — TLLRWDCC
  • 9:30 – 10:00: Why is Source Disposal So Important? — National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
  • 10:00 – 10:30: Superfund!  No One is Immune — Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ)
  • 10:45 – 11:45: Source Storage and the 2-Year Rule — Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS)
  • 1:15 – 1:45: How Can I Dispose of My Source?  The Source Collection and Threat Reduction (SCATR) Program — Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors (CRCPD)
  • 1:45 – 2:15: What is a Low-Level Waste Compact?  How does a Compact Affect Me? — TLLRWDCC
  • 2:30 – 3:15: Does Texas Have a Compact Facility?  And Why Do I Care? — Waste Control Specialists (WCS)
  • 3:15 – 3:45: The Role of the TCEQ — TCEQ
  • 3:45 – 4:00: Closing Remarks — TLLRWDCC

Attendance for the workshop, for which there were 70 slots available, was free.

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

Texas Compact Commission Holds October 2017 Meeting

On October 5, 2017, the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission (Texas Compact Commission) held a regularly scheduled meeting in Montpelier, Vermont.

The meeting began at 9:30 a.m. EDT/8:30 a.m. CDT.  It was held in Room 11 at the Vermont State House, which is located at 115 State Street in Montpelier Vermont.

The formal meeting agenda is available on the Texas Compact Commission’s web site at www.tllrwdcc.org. 

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;
  • welcome by Vermont Public Service Department Commissioner June Tierney;
  • discussion by Entergy Vermont Yankee regarding the closure and decommissioning of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant;
  • consideration of and possible action on applications for importation of low-level radioactive waste from Nextera Turkey Point; Dominion Kewaunee; Dominion Kewaunee IH; Philotechnics; Alaron Veolia; PGE Diablo Canyon; EnergySolutions; Energy Palisades; Energy Palisades IH; Thomas Gray; and, RAM Services;
  • reconsideration of and possible action on an application for importation of low-level radioactive waste from Southern Nuclear Vogtle;
  • consideration of and possible action to publish for public comment in the Texas Register a proposal to adopt a new §675.24 in TAC Title 31, Part 21, Chapter 675 relating to the requirement for certain entities to report on a quarterly basis the receipt of certain low-level radioactive waste that is not required to be disposed of in the Texas Compact Facility as recommended by the Texas Compact Commission’s Rules Committee;
  • receive reports from Waste Control Specialists LLC (WCS) about recent site operations;
  • receive report from Chair on Texas Compact Commission activities including an update on contingency planning and legislative affairs;
  • report from Leigh Ing, Executive Director of the Texas Compact Commission, on her activities relating to future workshops, export reporting and Texas Compact Commission operations;
  • discussion and possible changes of dates and locations of future Texas Compact Commission meetings in 2017 and 2018; 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 Executive Director Leigh Ing at (512) 305-8941 or at leigh.ing@tllrwdcc.org

Texas Compact Commission Holds August 2017 Meeting

On August 10, 2017, the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission (Texas Compact Commission) held a regularly scheduled meeting in Austin, Texas.  The meeting began at 9:00 a.m. CT.  It was held in the Room E201S at the offices of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), which is located at 12100 Park 35 Circle in Austin, Texas.

The formal meeting agenda is available on the Texas Compact Commission’s web site at www.tllrwdcc.org. 

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;
  • consideration of and possible action on applications for importation of low-level radioactive waste from Alaron Veolia, U.S. Army, Bionomics, Perkin Elmer, Dominion Kewaunee, Duke Brunswick, Duke Brunswick (irradiated hardware), Exelon, Fort Calhoun, Southern Nuclear Vogtle, Tennessee Valley Authority, and Xcel Prairie Island;
  • consideration of and possible action on an application for exportation of low-level radioactive waste from Luminant Comanche Peak, Entergy Vermont Yankee, STP, University of Houston, Midland, Trinity, UTHSC Houston and UTMB;
  • 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 adopt the Commission’s annual budget for FY 2018 pursuant to Article VI, Section Two of the Commission’s Bylaws and approve the budget estimates for FY 2019 and FY 2020;
  • consideration, evaluation and possible action with respect to the renewal, extension, modification of terms or dismissal of contract employees including Leigh Ing, Andrew Tachovsky and Diane Fulmer;
  • 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 2017 and 2018; 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 Executive Director Leigh Ing at (512) 305-8941 or at leigh.ing@tllrwdcc.org

Texas Compact Commission Holds February 2017 Meeting

On February 23, 2017, the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission (Texas Compact Commission) held a regularly scheduled meeting in Austin, Texas.  The following items were on the meeting agenda:

  • call to order;
  • roll call and determination of quorum;
  • introduction of Commissioners, elected officials and press;
  • public comment;
  • consideration of and possible action on an amendment to an import agreement for importation of low-level radioactive waste from ThermoProcess;
  • consideration of and possible action on applications and proposed agreements for importation of low-level radioactive waste from EnergySolutions Bear Creek and RAM Services;
  • consideration of and possible action on an amendment to an exportation agreement for exportation of low-level radioactive waste from Bionomics TAMU Kingsville;
  • consideration of and possible action on applications for exportation of low-level radioactive waste from Bionomics Peleton;
  • discussion and consultation with legal counsel concerning pending litigation United States v. EnergySolutions, Inc. (Civil Action No.: 1:16-cv-01056-GMS) and responses to inquiries and requests from litigants in the litigation;
  • 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, 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 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

NRC to Review WCS Application re Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility

On January 26, 2017, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced that the agency has docketed and accepted for formal review an application from Waste Control Specialists (WCS) to build and operate a spent nuclear fuel Consolidated Interim Storage Facility (CISF) in Andrews, Texas.  The NRC’s decision follows an acceptance review to determine whether the application contains sufficient information for the agency to begin its formal review.

WCS is seeking to store 5,000 metric tons uranium of spent fuel received from commercial nuclear power reactors across the United States.

Overview

NRC’s review will proceed on two parallel tracks—one on safety issues and the other on environmental issues.  Both the safety and environmental reviews must be completed before the NRC makes a final licensing decision on the application.

In a letter to WCS dated January 26, 2017, the NRC set a schedule for its safety and environmental reviews.  The schedule sets a target of making a licensing decision by the third quarter of fiscal year 2019—assuming that WCS provides high-quality responses, on schedule, to any NRC requests for additional information.

Interested stakeholders will have 60 days from publication of a notice of docketing in the Federal Register, which will appear shortly, to submit requests for a hearing and petition to intervene in the licensing proceeding for the proposed facility.  Details on how to submit those requests and petitions will be in the Federal Register notice.

The NRC’s letter to WCS is available on the agency’s website at https://www.nrc.gov/docs/ML1701/ML17018A168.pdf.

Public Meetings

The NRC will hold the following two public meetings near the site of the proposed CISF to take public comments on the scope of the environmental review:

  • Hobbs, New Mexico:  Lea County Event Center (5101 N. Lovington Highway) from 7:00 – 10:00 p.m. MT on February 13, 2017
  • Andrews, Texas:  James Roberts Center (855 TX-176) from 7:00 – 10:00 p.m. CT on February 15, 2017

Stakeholders that are interested in attending or speaking are encouraged to pre-register by calling (301) 415- 6957 no later than three days prior to the scheduled meetings.  The public may also register in person at each meeting.  The time allowed for each speaker may be limited, depending on the number of registered speakers.

The NRC is also planning to hold additional scoping meetings at the agency’s headquarters in Rockville, Maryland during the week following the local meetings.  Details for these meetings are still being finalized.

Information about the public meetings will be posted to the NRC public meetings schedule on the agency’s website at www.nrc.gov.

Submitting Comments

Interested stakeholders can submit comments on the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the CISF as follows:

  • Federal Rulemaking Website: Electronic provide comments at regulations.gov
  • Mail:  Send comments to Cindy Bladey, Office of Administration, Mail Stop: OWFN-12 H08, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001

Written comments should refer to Docket ID NRC-2016-0231.  The NRC will accept public comments through March 13, 2017.

Background

On April 28, 2016, WCS filed an application seeking a 40-year license for a CISF to receive spent fuel from nuclear reactors for storage, pending final disposal.  (See LLW Notes, May/June 2016, pp. 16-17.)  Specifically, WCS is requesting authorization to construct and operate a CISF at the company’s 60.3 square kilometer (14,900 acre) site in western Andrews County, Texas.  On this site, WCS currently operates facilities that process and store certain types of radioactive material—mainly low-level radioactive waste and mixed waste.  The facility also disposes of hazardous and toxic waste.

According to the application, WCS plans to construct the CISF in eight phases.  Phase one of the CISF would be designed to provide storage for up to 5,000 metric tons uranium (MTU) of spent nuclear fuel received from commercial nuclear power reactors across the United States.  WCS proposes that small amounts of mixed oxide spent fuels and Greater-Than-Class C (GTCC) low-level radioactive wastes also be stored at the CISF.  WCS stated that it would design each subsequent phase of the CISF to store up to an additional 5,000 MTU.  A total of up to 40,000 MTU would be stored at the site by the completion of the final phase.  Each phase would require NRC review and approval.

WCS would receive canisters containing spent nuclear fuel from the reactor sites.  Once accepted at the site, WCS would transfer them into onsite dry cask storage systems.  WCS plans to employ dry cask storage system technology that has been licensed by the NRC pursuant to 10 CFR Part 72 at various commercial nuclear reactors across the country.  According to WCS, the dry cask storage systems proposed for use at the CISF would be passive systems (i.e., not relying on any moving parts) and would provide physical protection, containment, nuclear criticality controls and radiation shielding required for the safe storage of the spent nuclear fuel.  WCS also states that the dry cask storage systems would be located on top of the concrete pads constructed at the CISF.

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

Texas Compact Commission Holds December 2016 Meeting

On December 2, 2016, the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission (Texas Compact Commission) held a regularly scheduled meeting in Austin, Texas.

The meeting began at 9:00 a.m. CDT.  It was held in the Room E1.028 at the Texas State Capitol, which is located at 1100 Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas.

The formal meeting agenda is available on the Texas Compact Commission’s web site at www.tllrwdcc.org.

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;
  • consideration of and possible action on applications and proposed agreements for importation of low-level radioactive waste from Exelon; Alaron Veolia; and, Entergy-Grand Gulf;
  • consideration of and possible action on petitions and proposed orders for exportation of low-level radioactive waste from 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);
  • 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 2017; 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 Executive Director Leigh Ing at (512) 305-8941 or at leigh.ing@tllrwdcc.org

Scoping Effort Initiated re Environmental Review of Proposed WCS Interim Spent Fuel Storage Facility

On November 14, 2016, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced that the agency is seeking comments from the public on the issues to be covered in the environmental review of an application from Waste Control Specialists LLC (WCS) to construct and operate a facility to store spent nuclear fuel in Andrews County, Texas.  The NRC will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to document its evaluation of those impacts and is now taking public comments on the scope.

By letter dated July 21, 2016, WCS requested that NRC begin its EIS process as soon as possible.  In a response dated October 7, 2016, NRC agreed to WCS’ request because doing so will allow the agency to engage interested members of the public early in the process.  It will also provide additional time to consult with federal, tribal, state and local government agencies, facilitating compliance with the Endangered Species Act and the National Historic Preservation Act.  In addition, the environmental review will fulfill requirements in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to do an analysis of environmental impacts for major federal actions.  However, NRC’s decision to begin the EIS process early does not presuppose the outcome of its ongoing acceptance review of the WCS application.

The EIS prepared by the NRC staff will examine the potential environmental impacts of the proposed action.  The NRC staff will evaluate the potential impacts to various environmental resources, such as air quality, surface and ground water, transportation, geology and soils, and socioeconomics.  The EIS will analyze potential impacts of WCS’s proposed facility on historic and cultural resources and on threatened and endangered species.  Additionally, the economic, technical, and other benefits and costs of the proposed action and alternatives will be considered in the EIS.

If the application is accepted for a detailed technical review, the NRC staff will also conduct a safety review to determine WCS’s compliance with NRC’s regulations, including 10 CFR Part 20 and 10 CFR Part 72.  The NRC staff’s findings will be published in a Safety Evaluation Report.

The scoping period began on November 14, 2016.  If the WCS application is docketed, the scoping period will end 45 days after publication of a notice of docketing the application.

Written comments on the scope of the environmental review may be submitted via:

  •   the federal government’s rulemaking website at www.regulations.gov;
  •   email to WCS_CISF_EIS@nrc.gov; or,
  •   mail to Cindy Bladey, Office of Administration, Mail Stop: OWFN- 12 H08, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

Comments must be submitted by the closing date of the scoping period to ensure consideration.  Stakeholders should include Docket ID NRC-2016-0231 when submitting comments.

The ER submitted by WCS can be found on the NRC’s project-specific web page at http:// www.nrc.gov/waste/spent-fuel-storage/ cis/wcs/wcs-app-docs.html.  For additional information, please contact James Park, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, at (301) 415– 6954 or at James.Park@nrc.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

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.

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.

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.

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.