Subject: Request for Comments on Proposed Grant Program for Agreement

[Federal Register: May 24, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 99)]
[Page 28014-28015]
>From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []



Proposed Grant Program for Agreement States for Formerly NRC-
Licensed Sites; Public Comment

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Request for public comment.


SUMMARY: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is seeking stakeholder
views on a proposal to pursue a separate appropriation from the General
Fund. The separate appropriation would make funds available through a
grant program to assist Agreement States in completing file reviews, and
remediation in certain cases, for sites formerly licensed by the NRC.
Based on review of files for previously terminated licenses, the NRC has
identified a number of sites for which there is insufficient documentation
on site decommissioning or sealed source disposition. If the site is
located in an Agreement State, any radioactive material present at the
site is subject to Agreement State regulatory jurisdiction.

DATES: Submit written comments by June 18, 1999. Comments received 
after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the
NRC is able to ensure consideration only for comments received on or
before this date.

ADDRESSES: Submit written comments to: Chief, Rules and Directives 
Branch, Mail Stop: T6-d59, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 
Washington, DC 20555-0001 or by Internet electronic mail at 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dennis Sollenberger, Office of State
Programs, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555- 0001,
by telephone 301-415-2819 or by Internet electronic mail at DMS4@NRC.GOV.



    The NRC has been reviewing files for previously terminated licenses to
determine whether there was appropriate documentation in the files that
the sites were adequately decontaminated prior to termination of the
license and release of the site. This project was initiated in 1977 for
licenses terminated prior to 1965. Subsequent effort was initiated in 1989
for licenses terminated after 1965, which was later expanded to include
all terminated licenses. A number of files have been identified for which
there is insufficient documentation about site decommissioning or sealed
source disposition.
    Radioactive material remaining at a site located within an 
Agreement State, including material originally licensed by the NRC or its
predecessor, is the regulatory responsibility of the Agreement State.
Therefore, an Agreement State has jurisdiction for license file reviews,
initial site investigations, and remediation of any sites identified as
being contaminated, and any sites where the file has inadequate accounting
of sealed sources.


    The NRC staff has analyzed options relating to NRC formerly 
licensed sites located in Agreement States. This

[[Page 28015]]

information is set out in Commission Paper--SECY-28-273, ``Potential
Funding Assistance for Agreement States for Closure of Formerly Terminated
NRC Licenses'' dated November 20, 1998. In this paper, the NRC staff
reports on Agreement State and NRC staff actions and presents options and
recommendations for funding Agreement States' efforts in addressing this
    The Commission responded to this paper through issuance of a Staff
Requirement Memorandum (SRM) for SECY-98-273. In this memorandum, the
Commission approved the NRC staff recommendation to continue Agreement
State jurisdiction over formerly licensed sites and to develop a grant
program to make funds available to Agreement States for file review and
remediation in certain cases. The recommended option is to pursue a
separate appropriation from the General Fund. This separate appropriation,
if approved, would fund Agreement States, through grants, to assist in
completing file reviews and the remediation of formerly NRC-licensed sites
in certain cases. Such cases include sites when no responsible party can
be located, or the responsible party does not have the resources to
conduct the remediation, and the site does not qualify for cleanup under
the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act.
    In the SRM for SECY-98-273, the Commission directed the staff to seek
stakeholder views before pursuing a General Fund appropriation. Public
comments are requested on:
     The option of pursuing a separate appropriation from the
General Fund to establish a fund for use by Agreement States through
grants to assist in file reviews and, when necessary, the remediation of
formerly NRC-license sites.
     Aspects that should be considered in development of a 
decision framework that describes how NRC would allocate the 
appropriated funds, if approved, to individual Agreement States.
     Aspects that NRC should consider in development of a grant
program for providing funds, if approved, to individual Agreement States
to ensure a relatively fair and equitable allocation of available funds.
For example, the funds could be provided to individual Agreement States
based on the estimated cost for each site to comply with a 25
millirem/year public dose standard. Additional risk-ranking of the sites
may also be necessary in the event that appropriated funds are less than
     Additional information on cost estimates for site 
remediation (See cost estimates stated in SECY-28-273. Also see all 
Agreement States letter SP-99-016.)
    The above three documents, SECY-28-273, SRM-SECY-28-273 and SP-99-
016, are available on the NRC homepage at:

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 18th day of May 1999.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Paul H. Lohaus,
Director, Office of State Programs.
[FR Doc. 99-13020 Filed 5-21-99; 8:45 am]