Generic Environmental Impact Statement for In Situ Leach Uranium Milling Facilities
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) expects numerous license applications for new in situ leach (ISL) uranium recovery facilities (commonly known as in situ recovery facilities) in 2008 through 2010. To facilitate the agency's review of those applications, the NRC staff has prepared a Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS), which addresses common environmental issues associated with the construction, operation, and decommissioning of ISL facilities, as well as the ground water restoration at such facilities, if they are located in particular regions of the western United States. (See Locations of Uranium Recovery Facilities for detail.) In addressing environmental issues common to the ISL process, the NRC staff will use the GEIS as starting point for its site-specific environmental review of license applications for new ISL facilities, as well as applications to renew or amend existing ISL licenses. For more information on the uranium fuel cycle, see the Background and Related Information provided below, as well as the following related pages:
- Alternatives Evaluated in the GEIS
- Environmental Impact Areas Analyzed
- Public Involvement in the Development of the GEIS
ISL milling facilities extract uranium from low-grade ores where other mining and milling methods may be too expensive or environmentally disruptive. One alternative to ISL milling is the conventional uranium milling process, which extracts uranium from mined ore. For more information on the uranium fuel cycle, see "Regulating Nuclear Fuel" (NUREG/BR-0280).