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Uranium Program Updates and Recent Rule Changes

Uranium Program Updates and Recent Rule Changes

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Uranium Program Updates and Recent Rule Changes

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  1. Uranium Program Updates and Recent Rule Changes Gary L. Smith, Ph.D., Manager Uranium Section Radioactive Materials Division Texas Commission on Environmental Quality May 7, 2014

  2. Texas In Situ Uranium Facilities • RGR Panna Maria/Hobson R06063, licensed in 2012, pre-construction status. • Signal Equities Brevard R06065, licensed in 2011, pre-construction status and recent expansion amendment. • UEC Goliad R06064, licensed in 2011, pre-construction status.

  3. Texas In Situ Uranium Facilities • STMV Palangana R06062, licensed 2010, producing loaded resins, expanding into new production areas. • Mesteña Alta Mesa R05360, licensed 2004, completed expansion amendment, on standby. • Uranium One R03024, license terminated June 2013 and released for unrestricted use.

  4. Texas In Situ Uranium Facilities • STMV Hobson/Mt Lucas R03626, licensed as South Texas Mining Venture in 2010, actively processing loaded resins, Tex-1 was released, June 2013, Mt Lucas to be released for unrestricted use, soon. • URI Kingsville Dome/Rosita/Vasquez R03653, standby.

  5. Texas Conventional Uranium Facilities • All conventional uranium sites are currently in closure. • ConocoPhillips Conquista R01634 – impoundment cap maintenance, soil decontamination, and groundwater issues.

  6. Texas Conventional Uranium Facilities • ExxonMobil Ray Point R01431 – soil decontamination. • RGR Panna Maria R02402 – continuing to work on groundwater issues.

  7. Other Texas Uranium Facilities • IEC Lamprecht/Zamzow L02538 - license for the Lamprecht and Zamzow sub-sites was revoked in 2003. TCEQ and other parties still working on reclamation solutions with a possibility of partial release of small areas that meet regulatory criteria.

  8. Texas Soil Rule Change • Response to a Petition for Rule Change to §336.1115(e) pertaining to soil standards for decontamination. • Radium-226 soil standard limits remain at 5/15. • Texas uranium soil contamination limits were dropped. • The radium soil limit is coupled with the Radium Benchmark Dose Limit Method.

  9. Update of Federal Regulations • 40 CFR Part 192 issued under the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) - establishes health, safety, and environmental protection standards for uranium and thorium mill tailings. • 40 CFR Part 61, Subpart W, issued under authority of the Clean Air Act - provides standards for radon emissions from active uranium mill tailings impoundments.

  10. EPA’s Focus for 40 CFR 192 will be Groundwater EPA published “Considerations Related to Post-Closure Monitoring of Uranium in-situ leach/in-situ recovery (ISL/ISR) Sites”, 2012.

  11. EPA’s Progress on 40 CFR 192 As of Spring 2014, EPA hopes to send a proposal for 40 CFR 192 to the Office of Management & Budget for interagency review, and have a proposed rule out later, this year.

  12. EPA’s Progress on 40 CFR 61, Subpart W • The EPA completed its revisions of 40 CFR Part 61 Subpart W and sent the proposal to the Office of Management and Budget for review, last summer. • This regulation applies to the radon emission standard for operating uranium mill tailings facilities, i.e., the Rn-222 flux standard of 20 pCi/m2/sec.

  13. EPA’s Progress on 40 CFR 61, Subpart W • The revised rule has not yet been made public, but it is believed that ponds at in situ leach facilities will be included. • The rule package is an internal document at this stage, but is close to being published in the Federal Register.

  14. NRC Projects • Revisions to NUREG-1569, “Standard Review Plan for In Situ Leach Uranium Extraction License Applications”, deferred until EPA completes their revision of 40 CFR 192. • An NRC working group has completed an update of "Information Notice 99-03" with new information on yellowcake packaging.

  15. NRC Projects • Draft NUREG-2126, “Standard Review Plan for Conventional Uranium Mill and Heap Leach Facilities.” This should be available for review this summer. • Draft Regulatory Guide 4.14, “Radiological Effluent and Environmental Monitoring at Uranium Mills.” This should be ready for review this summer.

  16. Trade Fair 2014 Gary L. Smith, Ph.D., Manager Uranium Section Radioactive Materials Division Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Gary.Smith@tceq.texas.gov