United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Engelhard Minerals - Naval Station Great Lakes

1.0 Site Identification

Location: Yorktown,VA
License No.: SMC-01207, SUC-01332
Docket No.: 040-08306, 040-08680
License Status: Terminated License
Project Manager: George M. McCann

2.0 Site Status Summary

The Naval Station Great Lakes is located in Lake County, Illinois, 36 miles north-northwest of Chicago and slightly west of the Lake Michigan shore, occupying an area of approximately 1,600 acres. The site is located in an urbanized area of the County, on the eastern edge of the Upper Illinois River Basin, used predominantly for single and multi-family residences, as well as industrial use. The Naval Station is currently bounded on three sides by residential areas and industrial properties, and the fourth side (eastern) is bounded by Lake Michigan. The Great Lakes Naval Training Center is the Navy's only recruit training site and has been in operation since 1911.

Englehart Minerals & Chemicals Corporation (Englehart), which is no longer in business, was licensed to repackage and ship monazite sand from the Great Lakes Naval Training Center to other U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC)/NRC licensees. The area was used by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), which transferred control to the Defense Logistics Agency. The Englehart license to ship the material was terminated in 1975 (SMC-01207), and 1983 (SUC-01332). The former licensee was authorized to possess 119,829.33 kilograms (SMC-01207) and 67,965 kilograms (SUC-01332) of natural thorium (Monazite Sand). The Navy, which is the site owner, assumed responsibility for the Great Lakes site cleanup. A detailed discussion regarding the NSGL cleanup project can be found in the Region's November 20, 2007, Safety Evaluation Report (SER).

3.0 Major Technical or Regulatory Issues

Since the March 2000 discovery of thorium-232 contamination in an industrial area at the Naval Station Great Lakes, the Navy and the NRC have worked cooperatively to characterize and remediate areas impacted by the radiological contamination. This working agreement has involved the Navy providing the NRC Region III Decommissioning Branch documents and procedures for review and included a number of onsite inspections. The documents describe how the Navy plans to conduct and document radiological characterization and final status surveys; establish derived contamination guideline limits (DCGLs) for unrestricted use of the impacted areas; and perform and document the determination of public dose using the radiological computer dose model (RESRAD). Since 2000, the NRC has performed seven inspections at the Naval Station Great Lakes. On December 14, 2007, the Navy informed the Region that their contractor was demobilizing for the winter. The Navy indicated that operations should restart in April 2008 and be completed one month later. The Region issued a November 20, 2007, letter, indicating that the NRC had no objections to the Navy's Plans for remediation and final status of the NSGL Site (ML0732410880). A Safety Evaluation Report (SER) was attached to the letter for the purpose of documenting the NRC's review of the Navy's request to change the site-wide DCGL for thorium-232 contamination from 1.0 picocurie per gram (pCi/g) to 4.0 pCi/g. This increase in the DGCL is based on the Navy's request to change the current RESRAD Resident Farmer Scenario used to release impacted areas, to a proposed Resident Gardener Scenario. The Navy believes that the proposed Resident Gardener Scenario to be a reasonable foreseeable scenario based on the assumptions and current site conditions. Specifically, the Navy provided four documents for NRC review to support their current request as follows: Final Coal Ash Determination Report dated March 2007 (ML070810101); Site Specific DCGL Report dated March 2007 (ML070860326); Final Status Survey Plan (FSSP) for Bldg 3214 and Vermont Court Housing dated April 2007 (ML071060175); and Final Site-Specific Derived Concentration Guideline Level Addendum Naval Station Great Lakes, Radiological Remediation Great Lakes, Illinois dated August 2007 (ML072430741, ML072430754). On February 28, 2008, the NRC Region III DNMS/Decommissioning staff contacted the Navy to discuss their 2008 decommissioning activity schedule. The Navy has received funding for the cleanup project and work should start in April and last one month. The Navy began final remediation activities at the end of April 2008. On May 7, 2008, NRC inspectors conducted an on-site inspection. The NRC inspectors observed contractor FSS surveys, toured the contractor office and laboratory, and discussed chain-of-custody. The Nrc inspectors performed side-by-side measurements with the contractor's personnel performing radiological measurements and found good agreement between the measurements. The inspectors also performed walk-over surveys of areas which had been remediated, surveyed by the contractor and determined to be acceptable for unrestricted release. The licensee completed remediation during the first of June 2008, all areas have been backfilled. The Navy coordinator indicated that the FSS status survey reports should be sent to the NRC in July 2008.

4.0 Estimated Date For Closure

12/31/2008

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, July 13, 2012