United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

S.C. Holdings

1.0 Site Identification

Location: Kawkawlin, MI
License No.: SUC-1565
Docket No.: 40-09022
License Status: Active License
Project Manager: David Nelson

2.0 Site Status Summary

A portion of the site is contaminated with thorium from magnesium-thorium alloy production at a defunct former licensee. The contaminated soil is covered with a clay cap and encapsulated with slurry walls and in two small piles covered with clay. There are also hazardous wastes present at the site. The site is being regulated under the State superfund law. NRC issued a license amendment on October 10, 2001, extending the submittal date of the DP to September 30, 2003. A DP dated November 2003 was submitted, and on March 13, 2006 the license was amended to incorporate the DP. The license is requesting unrestricted release of the site.

There are no immediate radiological hazards at the site. The staff has not identified any major off-site environmental issued that will not be addressed during decommissioning of the facility.

The estimated cost of decommissioning the site is $1.9 million.

The S.C. Holdings, Inc. site in Bay County, Michigan, is part of the former Hartley & Hartley Landfill. The site covers about 235 acres and part of the site is contaminated with thorium. The contamination came from magnesium-thorium alloy production at a defunct former licensee. The contaminated soil is covered with a clay cap and encapsulated with slurry walls. In July 1984, Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) had undertaken a radiological survey of the site. The NRC and the State of Michigan staffs concluded, on the basis of the radiological survey, that the thorium contamination exceeded the Option 1 level of the 1981 Branch Technical Position (BTP). The licensee is likely to use the contamination level from this survey as the radiological contamination level at the site because the contamination is not likely to have migrated off-site and the licensee does not have to perform additional site characterization. SCA is licensed to possess 40 metric tons of thorium and 5 metric tons of uranium.

The licensee completed site characterization in 1996. The buried thorium wastes were not located. There are hazardous wastes present at the site and the site is being regulated under the State of Michigan superfund law.

After the radiological survey, the licensee undertook cap repair measures at the site to isolate and prevent the migration of the non-radiological hazardous wastes. As a result, this site involves buried waste that is likely mixed with hazardous chemical wastes. Remediation of the site will require coordination with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), which regulates hazardous chemicals. The licensee also concluded that the mixture of non-radiological hazardous and radioactive waste would make the wastes unacceptable at a chemical or radioactive waste disposal site (other than an authorized mixed-waste disposal facility), and agreed to implement a monitoring program.

Background

Currently, the State of Michigan does not want the clay cap over the wastes to be removed, because of the non-radiological hazards of the site. There is minimal, if any, public interest to date. Public interest is expected to remain minimal if the clay cap is not removed. The licensee has selected unrestricted release. The probability for a hearing is low if the licensee satisfies the unrestricted release criteria with minimal disturbance to the clay cap. The potential for a hearing increases if the licensee has to remediate the site involving removal of the clay cap.

A license amendment was issued on October 10, 2001, extending the due date of the decommissioning plan (DP) to September 2003. The remediation of the site will start after the DP is approved. DP was received on November 26, 2003. A letter dated March 1, 2004, notified S.C. Holdings, Inc. that its DP was accepted for technical review. On 3/13/2006, the license was amended (amendment 4) to incorporate the DP.

Other background and cross-cutting considerations are discussed in Appendix 1.

3.0 Major Technical or Regulatory Issues

The licensee under took cap repair measures at the site to isolate and prevent the migration of the non-radiological hazardous wastes. Remediation of the site will require coordination with MDEQ, which regulates hazardous chemicals. The mixture of non-radiological hazardous and radioactive waste would make the wastes unacceptable at the chemical or radioactive waste disposal site (other than an authorized mixed-waste disposal facility). Currently, the State of Michigan does not want the clay cap over the wastes to be removed, because of the non-radiological hazards of the site.

There is minimal, if any, public interest to date. Public interest is expected to remain minimal if the clay cap is not removed.

No financial assurance issues have been identified to date.

4.0 Estimated Date For Closure

01/30/2007

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, May 30, 2014