United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Ascend Performance Materials

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1.0 Site Identification

Type of Site: Complex Decommissioning Site
Location: Alvin, TX
License No.: RW-0219
Docket No.:  
License Status:  

2.0 Site Status Summary

Ascend Performance Materials Texas Inc. (Ascend), formerly Solutia, is located on FM 2917, 14 miles southeast of Alvin in Brazoria County (about 55 miles southeast of Houston). The facility manufactures chemicals for the synthetic fibers industry. It stores, processes, and disposes of mixed radioactive waste in the form of spent depleted uranium (DU) catalyst, unused catalyst and/or spent catalyst sludge and hazardous wastes. Ascend currently disposes of (DU) catalyst onsite in an active non-commercial landfill. The radioactive material license authorizes disposal of DU catalyst in the Active Landfill, containing six disposal cells. Four of the six have been filled, covered and closed. The fifth cell is currently being used for disposal of its mixed waste. Ascend has applied for a license renewal. The renewal application includes a major license amendment to expand their disposal operations to include six additional cells in the New Landfill.

On June 25, 2002, the radioactive material license was renewed for 10 years. As part of the renewal, the license included provisions for the preparation of a site decommissioning plan, which was submitted to the TCEQ as a major license amendment on June 26, 2003. The decommissioning encompassed four closed units known as Closed Landfill containing 27.5 Curies DU, Closed Non-hazardous Landfill containing 41 Curies DU, Closed IWPF Pond 6 containing 2 Curies DU, and Closed Area K containing 40 Curies DU. Groundwater services, Inc. submitted dose modeling using RESRAD. The results indicated that the closed units would have to be released under restricted conditions in accordance with 30 TAC §336.607. The TCEQ completed its technical review of the decommissioning plan on November 4, 2003, finding no significant technical deficiencies. The amendment was granted and the license was subsequently amended to reflect decommissioning of the four closed units on March 8, 2004. On January 29, 2013, Ascend Performance Materials submitted an application, for a major amendment to License RW-0219, requesting authorization to transfer the Ascend Performance Materials Operations LLC license to its new subsidiary, Ascend Performance Materials Texas Inc. This application was approved in license amendment number five issued December 3, 2013. On April 29, 2014, Ascend submitted a combined application for renewal of License RW-0219 and major amendment to expand its current disposal capacity to include six more disposal units. The application also included a request to change from standby letters of credit to surety bonds as the mechanism for financial assurance. The license renewal with major amendment was issued as amendment number six on July 18, 2017. Once the current units are closed Ascend Performance Materials Texas, Inc. will be required to perform another partial site decommissioning for those specific closed units.

3.0 Major Technical or Regulatory Issues

None.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Wednesday, August 22, 2018