Public Comments Requested on Portsmouth & Paducah Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride

Updated 19 weeks ago Special to HuntingtonNews.Net
Public Comments Requested on Portsmouth & Paducah Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride

On June 18, 2004, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued environmental impact statements for the construction and operation of facilities to convert depleted uranium hexafluoride (DUF6) to depleted uranium (DU) oxide at DOE’s Paducah Site (Paducah) in Kentucky and Portsmouth Site (Portsmouth) in Ohio.

Both the Final Environmental Impact Statement for Construction and Operation of a Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride Conversion Facility at the Paducah, Kentucky Site (DOE/EIS-0359) and the Final Environmental Impact Statement for Construction and Operation of a Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride Conversion Facility at the Portsmouth, Ohio Site (DOE/EIS-0360) were prepared to evaluate and implement DOE’s DUF6 long-term management program.

DECISION TO BUILD FACILITIES

Records of Decision (RODs) were published for the 2004 Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) on July 27, 2004. In the RODs, DOE decided that it would build facilities at both Paducah and Portsmouth and convert DOE’s inventory of DUF6 to DU oxide. DOE decided the aqueous hydrogen fluoride produced during conversion would be sold for use pending approval of authorized release limits. The calcium fluoride (CaF2) produced during conversion operations would be reused, pending approval of authorized release limits, or disposed of as appropriate. DOE also decided that the DU oxide conversion product would be reused to the extent possible or packaged in empty and heel cylinders for disposal at an appropriate disposal facility. Emptied cylinders would also be disposed of at an appropriate facility.

DISPOSAL LOCATIONS FOR POTENTIAL WASTE

DOE had intended to identify disposal locations in the RODs for the 2004 EISs for any declared DU oxide waste. However, prior to issuing the RODs, DOE discovered it inadvertently had not formally provided copies of the Draft and Final EISs to the states of Nevada and Utah, and DOE concluded it was bound by the Council on Environmental Quality National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations described in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR) 1502.19 to forego decisions on disposal location(s) until it had properly notified these states. Accordingly, in the RODs for the 2004 EISs, DOE did not include decisions with respect to specific disposal location(s) for DU oxide declared waste, but instead informed the public it would make the decisions later, and additional supplemental National Environmental Policy Act analysis would be provided for review and comment.

IMPACTS OF POTENTIAL DISPOSAL OPTIONS

In December 2018, DOE issued the Draft Supplement Environmental Impact Statement for Disposition of Depleted Uranium Oxide Conversion Product Generated from DEO’s Inventory of Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride DOE/EIS-0359-S1 and DOE/EIS-0360-S1. The purpose and need for this action is to identify and analyze alternatives for the disposition of DU oxide. If a beneficial use cannot be found for the DU oxide, all or a portion of the inventory may need to be disposed of. The proposed scope of this DU Oxide SEIS includes an analysis of the potential impacts from three Action Alternatives and a No Action Alternative (in accordance with 40 CFR 1502.14). Under the Action Alternatives, DU oxide would be disposed of at one or more of the three disposal facilities: (1) the EnergySolutions LLC site near Clive, Utah; (2) the Nevada National Security Site in Nye County, Nevada; and (3) the Waste Control Specialists, LLC site near Andrews, Texas. Under the No Action Alternative, transportation and disposal would not occur, and DU oxide containers would remain in storage at Paducah and Portsmouth. All other aspects of the DUF6 conversion activities remain as described previously in the 2004 EISs and RODs and are not within the scope of this DU Oxide SEIS.

PUBLIC COMMENT

There is a 45-day public comment period open from December 28, 2018 to February 11, 2019. Public hearings will be web-based and on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, January 22, 2019 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. (EST)
  • Wednesday, January 23, 2019 from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. (EST)
  • Thursday, January 24, 2019, from 7:00 –9:00 p.m. (EST)

Comments will be accepted during the web-based public hearing, by mail, by email and through submittal of comment forms on the DU Oxide SEIS website.  Persons who wish to speak may sign up to speak before each meeting by submitting a request to DUF6_NEPA@em.doe.gov.  Join web-based public hearing via:

  • WebEx Meeting Room: https://doe.webex.com/join/duf6_nepa  (Copy and Paste into web browser).  
  • Phone at US Toll: 1-415-527-5035, access code: 988 230 782 #. Global Call-In Numbers:
    • Australia Toll: +61-29037-2586
    • Belgium Toll: +32-289-53898
    • Japan Toll: +81-345-808170
    • Netherlands Toll: +31-20-794-1499
    • United Kingdom Toll: +44-203-457-5798
  EIS-0360: Final Environmental Impact Statement

Construction and Operation of a Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride Conversion Facility at the Portsmouth, Ohio, Site

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) proposes, via a contract awarded at the direction of Congress (Public Law 107-206), to design, construct, and operate two conversion facilities for converting depleted uranium hexafluoride (commonly referred to as DUF6): one at Portsmouth, Ohio, and one at Paducah, Kentucky. DOE intends to use the proposed facilities to convert its inventory of DUF6 to a more stable chemical form suitable for beneficial use or disposal. This site-specific EIS analyzes the construction, operation, maintenance, and decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) of the proposed DUF6 conversion facility at three alternative locations within the Portsmouth site; transportation of all cylinders (DUF6, enriched, and empty) currently stored at the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) near Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to Portsmouth; construction of a new cylinder storage yard at Portsmouth (if required) for ETTP cylinders; transportation of depleted uranium conversion products and waste materials to a disposal facility; transportation and sale of the hydrogen fluoride (HF) produced as a conversion coproduct; and neutralization of HF to calcium fluoride (CaF2) and its sale or disposal in the event that the HF product is not sold. This EIS also considers a no action alternative that assumes continued storage of DUF6 at the Portsmouth and ETTP sites. A separate EIS has been prepared for the proposed facility at Paducah (DOE/EIS-0359). DOE’s preferred alternative is to construct and operate the conversion facility at Location A within the Portsmouth site. DOE plans to decide where to dispose of depleted U3O8 conversion product after additional appropriate NEPA review.

PDF icon EIS-0360-FEIS-01-2004.pdf PDF icon EIS-0360-FEIS-Appendices-2004.pdf PDF icon EIS-0360-FEIS-FiguresTables-2004.pdf

EIS-0359: Final Environmental Impact Statement

Construction and Operation of a Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride Conversion Facility at the Paducah, Kentucky, Site

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) proposes, via a contract awarded at the direction of Congress (Public Law 107-206), to design, construct, and operate two conversion facilities for converting depleted uranium hexafluoride (commonly referred to as DUF6): one at Portsmouth, Ohio, and one at Paducah, Kentucky. DOE intends to use the proposed facilities to convert its inventory of DUF6 to a more stable chemical form suitable for beneficial use or disposal. This site-specific EIS considers the construction, operation, maintenance, and decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) of the proposed DUF6 conversion facility at three locations within the Paducah site; transportation of depleted uranium conversion products and waste materials to a disposal facility; transportation and sale of the hydrogen fluoride (HF) produced as a conversion co-product; and neutralization of HF to calcium fluoride (CaF2) and its sale or disposal in the event that the HF product is not sold. This EIS also considers a no action alternative that assumes continued storage of DUF6 at the Paducah site.

PDF icon EIS-0359-FEIS-01-2004.pdf PDF icon EIS-0359-FEIS-02-2004.pdf PDF icon EIS-0359-FEIS-FiguresTables-2004.pdf PDF icon EIS-0359-FEIS-Appendices-2004.pdf  
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