§ 40.27 General license for custody and long-term care of residual radioactive material disposal sites.
(a) A general license is issued for the custody of and long-term care, including monitoring, maintenance, and emergency measures necessary to protect public health and safety and other actions necessary to comply with the standards promulgated under section 275(a) of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, for disposal sites under title I of the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978, as amended. The license is available only to the Department of Energy, or another Federal agency designated by the President to provide long-term care. The purpose of this general license is to ensure that uranium mill tailings disposal sites will be cared for in such a manner as to protect the public health, safety, and the environment after remedial action has been completed.
(b) The general license in paragraph (a) of this section becomes effective when the Commission accepts a site Long-Term Surveillance Plan (LTSP) that meets the requirements of this section, and when the Commission concurs with the Department of Energy's determination of completion of remedial action at each disposal site. There is no termination of this general license. The LTSP may incorporate by reference information contained in documents previously submitted to the Commission if the references to the individual incorporated documents are clear and specific. Each LTSP must include—
(1) A legal description of the disposal site to be licensed, including documentation on whether land and interests are owned by the United States or an Indian Tribe. If the site is on Indian land, then, as specified in the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978, as amended, the Indian Tribe and any person holding any interest in the land shall execute a waiver releasing the United States of any liability or claim by the Tribe or person concerning or arising from the remedial action and holding the United States harmless against any claim arising out of the performance of the remedial action;
(2) A detailed description, which can be in the form of a reference, of the final disposal site conditions, including existing groundwater characterization and any necessary groundwater protection activities or strategies. This description must be detailed enough so that future inspectors will have a baseline to determine changes to the site and when these changes are serious enough to require maintenance or repairs. If the disposal site has continuing aquifer restoration requirements, then the licensing process will be completed in two steps. The first step includes all items other than groundwater restoration. Groundwater monitoring, which would be addressed in the LTSP, may still be required in this first step to assess performance of the tailings disposal units. When the Commission concurs with the completion of groundwater restoration, the licensee shall assess the need to modify the LTSP and report results to the Commission. If the proposed modifications meet the requirements of this section, the LTSP will be considered suitable to accommodate the second step.
(3) A description of the long-term surveillance program, including proposed inspection frequency and reporting to the Commission (as specified in appendix A, criterion 12 of this part), frequency and extent of groundwater monitoring if required, appropriate constituent concentration limits for groundwater, inspection personnel qualifications, inspection procedures, recordkeeping and quality assurance procedures;
(4) The criteria for follow-up inspections in response to observations from routine inspections or extreme natural events; and
(5) The criteria for instituting maintenance or emergency measures.
(c) The long-term care agency under the general license established by paragraph (a) of this section shall—
(1) Implement the LTSP as described in paragraph (b) of this section;
(2) Care for the disposal site in accordance with the provisions of the LTSP;
(3) Notify the Commission of any changes to the LTSP; the changes may not conflict with the requirements of this section;
(4) Guarantee permanent right-of-entry to Commission representatives for the purpose of periodic site inspections; and
(5) Notify the Commission prior to undertaking any significant construction, actions, or repairs related to the disposal site, even if the action is required by a State or another Federal agency.
(d) As specified in the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978, as amended, the Secretary of the Interior, with the concurrence of the Secretary of Energy and the Commission, may sell or lease any subsurface mineral rights associated with land on which residual radioactive materials are disposed. In such cases, the Commission shall grant a license permitting use of the land if it finds that the use will not disturb the residual radioactive materials or that the residual radioactive materials will be restored to a safe and environmentally sound condition if they are disturbed by the use.
(e) The general license in paragraph (a) of this section is exempt from parts 19, 20, and 21 of this chapter, unless significant construction, actions, or repairs are required. If these types of actions are to be undertaken, the licensee shall explain to the Commission which requirements from these parts apply for the actions and comply with the appropriate requirements.
[55 FR 45598, Oct. 30, 1990; 80 FR 74979, Dec. 1, 2015; 81 FR 86909, Dec. 2, 2016]
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, August 29, 2017