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E-M:/ Coldwater -- thorium radwaste building contamination

Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>

[Federal Register: March 24, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 56)]
[Page 14265]
 From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]


[Docket No. 04008155]

Finding of No Significant Impact Related to H.C. Starck, Inc.'s
Amendment Request To Authorize Decommissioning of Its Coldwater,
Michigan Facilities

I. Introduction

     The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing a license
amendment of Source Material License No. STB-1161 to authorize
decommissioning of the H.C. Starck, Inc. facilities in Coldwater,
Michigan, and has prepared an Environmental Assessment in support of
this action. Based upon the Environmental Assessment, the NRC has
concluded that a Finding of No Significant Impact is appropriate, and
therefore, an Environmental Statement is unnecessary.

II. EA Summary

     The EA was prepared to evaluate the environmental impacts of the
proposed amendment to H.C. Starck, Inc. Source Material No. STB-1161,
to authorize H.C. Starck to remediate residual thorium contamination
resulting from licensed activities at their facilities at 460 Jay
Street, Coldwater, Michigan. H.C. Starck, Inc. has been licensed for
the possession and use of thorium-232 at their facilities in Coldwater,
Michigan, since 1973. The H.C. Starck facilities consist of six primary
structures: A main production plant, Jolter Building, Former Polymer
Building, a wastewater pretreatment building, and two pole-barn storage
buildings. The facility is in a rural area of southern Michigan about
two miles southwest of downtown Coldwater. Branch County is largely
agricultural with farms occupying 70 percent of the land. Non-
residential land use in the vicinity of the Starck site primarily
consists of agricultural, industrial, commercial, and retail
facilities. The nearest residence is within 1,000 feet of the H.C.
Starck facility. Soil sampling conducted by H.C. Starck indicates that
no radiological contamination has migrated outside the buildings. In
addition, there is no evidence that any onsite burial of radiological
material ever occurred. Because no remediation is required outside of
the buildings, decontamination activities are not expected to have any
impact on the environment. Furthermore, no long-term environmental
monitoring is expected to be necessary as a result of licensed
activities. Because H.C. Starck will continue to operate the facility
at the same staffing levels following termination of licensed
operations, no socioeconomic impact is anticipated on the employees or
within the community. It is anticipated that the total amount of dry
solid low level radioactive waste (LLRW) generated from decommissioning
activities will be less than 1,000 cubic feet. Waste may be stored
onsite in the radioactive waste storage vault or other appropriate
secure location while it is being consolidated for shipment to
Envirocare of Utah. Any liquid waste generated during decommissioning
will be sampled, and the results will be compared to current discharge
limits prior to disposal directly into the facility effluent stream or
to the facility treatment plant. No radiological dose is expected to a
member of the public as a result of the decommissioning activities. For
occupational dose estimates, H.C. Starck will employ properly trained
and experienced personnel who will apply industry accepted ALARA (as-
low-as-reasonably-achievable) principals to minimize exposures during
decontamination activities. Decontamination workers are not expected to
receive a dose greater than 10 millirem during the expected 6 to 8
weeks of decommissioning activities. Dose assessments were performed to
estimate the potential dose to a future site occupant working at the
H.C. Starck facility. This average member of the critically exposed
group would be exposed to post-decontamination levels of natural
thorium contamination. The modeling results determined that a maximum
dose rate to a future occupant is 23 millirem/year. This dose rate
decreases to about 2 millirem/year after 2.8 years based on the source
lifetime for the residual removable contamination on the walls, floor
and ceiling. Accordingly, it has been determined that a Finding of No
Significant Impact is appropriate.
     H.C. Starck's request for the proposed action was previously
noticed in the Federal Register on October 11, 2002 (67 FR 63457),
along with a notice of an opportunity to request a hearing and an
opportunity to provide public comment on the action and its
environmental impacts.

III. Finding of No Significant Impact

     Based on this EA, as summarized above, the NRC has concluded that
this licensing action would not have any significant effect on the
quality of the human environment, and therefore, an environmental
impact statement is unnecessary.

IV. Further Information

     Any questions with respect to this action should be referred to Mr.
William Snell, Division of Nuclear Materials Safety, U.S. Nuclear
Regulatory Commission, Region III, 801 Warrenville Road, Lisle,
Illinois 60532-4351; telephone (630) 829-9871 or by email at <A HREF="mailto:
     H.C. Starck's request for the proposed action (ADAMS Accession No.
ML022550372) and the NRC's complete Environmental Assessment (ADAMS
Accession No. ML030660370) are available for inspection and copying for
a fee in the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Region III, 801
Warrenville Rd., Lisle, Illinois. The documents, along with most others
referenced in the EA, are available for public review through ADAMS at
NRC's Public Electronic Reading Room at <A HREF="http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/

     Dated in Lisle, Illinois, this 12th day of March, 2003.
Christopher G. Miller,
Chief, Decommissioning Branch, Division of Nuclear Material Safety,
[FR Doc. 03-6950 Filed 3-21-03; 8:45 am]

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