NRC issues Final Environmental Impact Statement for proposed uranium deconversion facility in New Mexico

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued its Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) on a proposed facility in Lea County, N.M., that would deconvert depleted uranium hexafluoride from the uranium enrichment industry to make it more suitable for disposal. The FEIS contains the staff’s assessment that there are no impacts that would preclude licensing the proposed facility.

International Isotopes Fluorine Products Inc., a subsidiary of International Isotopes Inc., applied on Dec. 30, 2009, for a license to construct and operate the facility. The facility would deconvert depleted uranium hexafluoride from uranium enrichment facilities into fluorine products for commercial use and depleted uranium oxides for long-term stable disposal. The proposed plant would be located 14 miles west of Hobbs, N.M.

The NRC published a draft EIS for public comment on Jan. 9, and held a public meeting in Hobbs on Feb. 2 to present the draft’s conclusions and take comments from the public. The staff received more than 400 comments from members of the public, government officials and agencies, and nongovernmental organizations. The comments are addressed in the FEIS.