United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Licensing Status of Titanium Bearing Ores and Waste Products From Titanium Dioxide Manufacturing

HPPOS-202 PDR-9111210343

See the letter from R. L. Fonner to G. V. Johnson (E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.) dated November 2, 1984.

10 CFR Part 40.13 (c) does not authorize manufacturing of any of the products listed in Paragraph (c), reinforcing the historical view of the limited application of the exemption to products only, and not to raw materials and waste, such as waste products from titanium dioxide. HPPOS-029 contains a related topic.

NRC examined the question of exemption and licensing status for titanium bearing ores and waste products resulting from titanium dioxide manufacturing at a plant in Tennessee.

Some ores (monazite and xenotime-rare earth ores) and some waste products (barium salts in scale in piping, and some process wastewater) contain thorium and uranium in excess of 0.05% by weight, but less than 0.25% by weight. It was suggested that these materials were covered by 10 CFR 40.13 (c) (1) (vi) and should, therefore, be exempt from licensing.

10 CFR 40.13 (c) (1) (vi) provides an exemption for licensing for thorium contained in rare earth metals and compounds, mixtures, and products containing not more than 0.25% by weight of thorium, uranium, or any combination of thorium and uranium. This exemption was promulgated in 1961 upon the petition of American Potash and Chemical Company to restore a status quo ante. American Potash was then processing rare earth ores for thorium and rare earths at its facility in West Chicago, Illinois. The exemption of 10 CFR 40.13 (c) (1) (vi) can be traced to Schedule I of 10 CFR 40.60.

Schedule I was first promulgated in 1947 (12 FR 1855, March 20, 1947) in conjunction with a provision requiring unlicensed persons in possession of 10 pounds of source material ore, or 1 pound of refined source material, to register with the Atomic Energy Commission. However, products listed in Schedule I were exempted. This history indicates that the exemption applies only to products, not to raw materials or process wastes. Further, the petitioner, American Potash and Chemical Company, always proceeded under license with respect to ores exceeding 0.05% by weight thorium.

NRC emphasizes the fact that only products are involved in the several exemptions in paragraph 40.13 (c). Under the regulatory system of 10 CFR Part 40, unrefined and unprocessed ores are exempt without limit on quantity and quality pursuant to paragraph 40.13 (b). If source material ore has been refined or processed (see 10 CFR 40.4 (k)) it is subject to licensing. 10 CFR 40.13 (c) (9) states that paragraph 40.13 (c) does not authorize manufacturing of any of the products listed in paragraph (c), reinforcing the historical view of the limited application of the exemption to products only, and not to raw materials and waste.

Regulatory references: 10 CFR 40.13

Subject codes: 11.1, 11.6

Applicability: Source Material

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, June 16, 2015