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Programmatic Framework



UMTRCA Title I Disposal and Processing Sites (Regulatory Drivers)

For UMTRCA Title I disposal sites managed by LM, DOE becomes a licensee to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Inspection, reporting, and record-keeping requirements are defined in Title 10 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 40.27, "General License for Custody and Long-Term Care of Residual Radioactive Material Disposal Sites." The general license for long-term custody is indefinite in duration. Usually, title for the land is assigned to an agency of the Federal government, and the land is administratively withdrawn from unrestricted public use. Sites located on tribal land revert to tribal control, and DOE obtains a site access agreement with the tribe that allows DOE to fulfill its custodial responsibilities.

Title I of UMTRCA designated 22 inactive uranium ore-processing sites for remediation. Remediation of these sites resulted in the creation of 19 disposal cells that contain encapsulated uranium mill tailings and associated contaminated material. Approximately 40 million cubic yards of low-level radioactive material is contained in engineered UMTRCA Title I disposal cells.

Residual radioactive material was moved from some of the Title I processing sites to offsite disposal locations. NRC does not require a license for remediated processing sites that do not have disposal cells, but NRC is the regulator if contaminated groundwater remains. Groundwater compliance action plans, with compliance strategies that range from natural flushing to active remediation, have been or are being developed by DOE for processing sites that have contaminated groundwater. These plans require approval by NRC and concurrence by the state and Native American tribe (when applicable). To date, groundwater remedies have been approved and implemented at several former uranium ore–processing sites.

Standards for UMTRCA remedial action, cell performance, and groundwater quality are established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 40 CFR 192, "Health and Environmental Protection Standards for Uranium and Thorium Mill Tailings." Upon NRC concurrence that remedial action has been completed and acceptance of the site-specific long-term surveillance plan, each disposal site comes under the general license for long-term care by DOE. If groundwater at a particular site was contaminated by former site activities, NRC will accept only the surface improvements under the general license; the site will not be fully licensed until groundwater quality meets the applicable regulations. The NRC license mandates annual inspections of the disposal cells.

All but one of the Title I disposal sites are under the general license. A portion of the cell at the Grand Junction, Colorado, Disposal Site will be left open to receive additional contaminated materials and is managed by LM. (See fact sheet)

LM currently manages the following Title I disposal and processing sites:

UMTRCA Title II Disposal Sites (Regulatory Drivers)

Uranium processing sites addressed by Title II of UMTRCA were active when the act was passed in 1978. These sites were commercially owned and regulated under a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) license. For license termination, the owner conducts an NRC-approved reclamation of any onsite radioactive waste remaining from uranium ore-processing operations. The site owner also ensures full funding for inspections and, if necessary, ongoing maintenance. DOE then accepts title to a site for long-term custody and care. DOE administers Title II sites under the provisions of a general NRC license granted under Title 10 CFR Part 40.28, "General License for Custody and Long-Term Care of Uranium or Thorium Byproduct Materials Disposal Sites."

LM currently manages six UMTRCA Title II sites. The number will increase as ongoing site reclamations are completed. Ultimately, LM may manage as many as 27 UMTRCA Title II sites. (See fact sheet)

LM currently manages the following Title II disposal sites:

FUSRAP Sites (Regulatory Drivers)

DOE established the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP) in 1974 to remediate sites where radioactive contamination remained from Manhattan Project and early U.S. Atomic Energy Commission operations. DOE assessed more than 600 candidate facilities and determined that 46 sites required remediation. DOE remediated 25 sites by 1997 and eight additional sites were subsequently added to the program; thereafter, the U.S. Congress directed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to remediate the remaining designated FUSRAP sites. Remediation of FUSRAP sites follows Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) protocols. In April 2009, one site was returned to the USACE for further assessment and characterization.

In 1999, DOE negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding with USACE to transfer responsibility for FUSRAP sites to DOE for long-term care 2 years after remedial action has been completed. Remediated sites become LM's responsibility. (See fact sheet)

LM currently manages the following 30 FUSRAP sites:

The following sites are owned by DOE and are undergoing remediation by USACE:

For more information, visit the LM FUSRAP webpage.

D&D Sites

For sites in the DOE Defense Decontamination and Decommissioning (D&D) Program, LM ensures compliance with DOE OrderDOE Order 5400.1, “General Environmental Protection Program,” and Order 5400.5, “Radiation Protection of the Public and the Environment.” DOE Order 5400.1 stipulates that DOE will comply with applicable Federal, state, and local environmental protection laws and regulations, executive orders, and internal DOE policies.

LM currently manages five D&D Program sites: Piqua, OhioHallam, NebraskaSite A/Plot M located near Chicago, Illinois; the Grand Junction, Colorado, Site; and the decommissioned Boiling Nuclear Superheater (BONUS) research reactor in Rincón, Puerto Rico. BONUS is a U.S. Atomic Energy Commission–constructed and entombed reactor managed under a program similar to the one used for the Piqua and Hallam reactors.

Nevada Offsites

Underground nuclear testing activities were conducted at sites in five states for various purposes, including stimulating natural gas production and cataloging seismic detonation signatures. The Nevada Offsites refers to the sites where underground nuclear tests and experiments were performed outside of the Nevada Test Site. (See fact sheet)

The Nevada Offsites include the Salmon Site in Mississippi, the Chariot and Amchitka sites in Alaska, the Rulison and Rio Blanco sites in Colorado, the Gasbuggy and Gnome-Coach sites in New Mexico, and the Shoal site and Central Nevada Test Area in Nevada. The DOE Office of Legacy Management assumed responsibility for all activities associated with subsurface completion and long-term surveillance and maintenance at these sites on October 1, 2006. Long-term monitoring activities consist primarily of ensuring that use restrictions remain in force and maintaining site integrity to protect public health and the environment.

The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and the Mississippi Department of Health under the Voluntary Evaluation Program are the regulatory consultants for the Salmon site. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation under the Alaska Contaminated Sites Voluntary Cleanup Program is the regulatory consultant for the Amchitka site. The regulatory oversight process in Colorado involves collaboration with two branches of state government: the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. The two New Mexico sites are overseen by the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) under the New Mexico Voluntary Remediation Program. The two Nevada sites are under the regulatory authority of a Federal Facility Agreement Consent Order administered by the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection.


LM currently manages seven sites where remediation was conducted in accordance with Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and/or Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations. These sites were radiologically and/or chemically contaminated by Federal milling, processing, research, and/or weapons manufacturing operations.

CERCLA was enacted by Congress on December 11, 1980, to enforce cleanup and reporting requirements on contaminated property. RCRA was enacted by Congress on October 21, 1976, to govern the disposal of solid and hazardous waste.

LM manages the following CERCLA/RCRA sites:

The Mound, Ohio, Site has transferred to LM; however, real property assets have not been transferred and remain in the preliminary stages of transition.

NWPA Section 151 Site

Certain sites with low-level radioactive contamination remediated by the owner under the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Site Decommissioning Management Program can be transferred to the Federal government under Section 151 of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA). NRC will terminate the site license only after concurring with the implemented remedial action, determining that the owner has obtained approval of DOE to accept responsibility for the site, and ensuring future funding for long-term surveillance and maintenance.

Only one NWPA Section 151 site, the Parkersburg, West Virginia, Disposal Site, has been transferred to DOE and is managed by LM.


LM is responsible for records management and stakeholder support of the following remediated sites:

Ashtabula, Ohio, Site – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approved a decommissioning plan for the Ashtabula site in 1997. Pursuant to Section 274 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, a state may reach an agreement with NRC (the state then becomes an Agreement State), allowing that state to regulate the use of NRC-licensed radioactive materials within its borders. Decommissioning oversight for the Ashtabula site was transferred to the State of Ohio when it became an NRC Agreement State in 1999.

The Ohio Department of Health regulated the site owner’s radioactive materials license and had approval authority to release the site once remediation criteria specified in the decommissioning plan had been met. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency regulated the site owner’s Ohio hazardous waste permit and had oversight for the material, including groundwater, regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The radiological cleanup necessary to release the site for unrestricted use proceeded according to the requirements of Title 10 Code of Federal Regulations Part 40, “Domestic Licensing of Source Material.”

Center for Energy and Environmental Research (CEER), Puerto Rico, Sites – DOE completed environmental restoration at the CEER facilities in accordance with the regulations of the Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Transfer of the property to the University of Puerto Rico followed the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act Section 120(h), “Property Transferred by Federal Agencies.”

Columbus, Ohio, Sites – Battelle conducted cleanup of the King Avenue and West Jefferson sites, after the facilities ceased operation, under the regulatory requirements of a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) license. Cleanup proceeded according to an NRC-approved decommissioning plan.

Pursuant to Section 274 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, a state may reach an agreement with NRC (the state then becomes an Agreement State) allowing that state to regulate the use of NRC-licensed radioactive materials within its borders. Decommissioning oversight for the King Avenue site was transferred to the State of Ohio when it became an NRC Agreement State in 1999.

Both facilities have been released for unrestricted use.

El Verde, Puerto Rico, Site – In February 1993, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) renewed License 52 19434-02 and amended it to allow for “storage” of cesium-137 in an injected tree in Study Area 4 of the El Verde Field Station.

DOE transferred the El Verde facility to the U.S. Department of Agriculture/U.S. Forest Service (USFS) in September 1996. USFS administers the Caribbean National Forest for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The University of Puerto Rico Institute for Terrestrial Ecosystem Studies operates the El Verde facility through a special use agreement with USFS.

DOE transferred the El Verde site pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act implementing procedures in Title 10 Code of Federal Regulations Part 1021. Appendix A to Subpart D of Part 1021 allows transfer of the site under a categorical exclusion, which applies to activities that individually or cumulatively will not have a significant effect on the environment.

General Atomics Hot Cell Facility Site – The General Atomics Hot Cell Facility was regulated under General Atomics’ Special Nuclear Materials License with NRC and By-Product Materials License with the State of California Department of Health Services, Radiological Health Branch. Release criteria for soil, building materials, concrete, and asphalt were based on criteria in these licenses. The final release guideline values were calculated specifically for the site and represented incremental concentrations above background values. NRC’s Manual for Conducting Radiological Surveys in Support of License Termination (NUREG/CR-5849) provided guidelines for calculating isotopic concentrations in soil that corresponded to maximum permissible gamma exposure rates and dose rates.

General Electric Vallecitos Nuclear Center (GEVNC), California, Site – GEVNC is an active facility licensed by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for commercial nuclear research and development. Decontamination and restoration activities were conducted in compliance with the requirements and license provisions of NRC and the California Department of Health.

Geothermal Test Facility – The Colorado River Basin Regional Water Quality Control Board, a California State agency, was the lead agency in the cleanup effort at the Geothermal Test Facility Site. The Water Quality Control Board issued a Waste Discharge Requirement Order in 1989 that required removal and disposal of all geothermal waste at an approved disposal site. DOE also coordinated with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) as part of the site closure. DOE used the site under a right-of-way agreement with BLM, in which BLM had to approve and accept the restoration activities at the site before DOE could terminate the agreement.

Inhalation Toxicology Laboratory (ITL) – Investigation and remediation of hazardous materials at ITL was conducted according to provisions of theRCRA as administered by NMED. Investigation and remediation of radiological contaminants followed requirements of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended (Title 42 U.S. Code Section 2011 et seq.); DOE Orders 5400.5, “Radiation Protection of the Public and Environment,” and 435.1, “Radioactive Waste Management,” and U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Guide 1.86, Termination of Operating Licenses for Nuclear Reactors. Groundwater monitoring and reporting are conducted according to Discharge Permit No. 519, renewed on December 26, 2008, in accordance with the NMED Water Quality Act regulations. Sample results are compared with the applicable New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission standards.

Missouri University Research Reactor Site – Activities involving radioactive materials used in the Transuranic Management by Pyropartitioning Separation Project were managed under a reactor license issued by the NRC for Missouri University Research Reactor (MURR). MURR’s NRC materials license imposed additional requirements regarding security of special nuclear materials and emergency response. The Federal Facility Compliance Act of 1992 (Public Law 102-386) required DOE to prepare a proposed Site Treatment Plan describing DOE’s course of action for storing and treating mixed waste in compliance with state and Federal regulations. The proposed Site Treatment Plan also had to meet state or EPA approval. All mixed waste generated during the project was managed according to requirements of the Atomic Energy Act and the RCRA. DOE’s proposed Site Treatment Plan was approved by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, which also has oversight for RCRA wastes in the state of Missouri.

Oxnard, California, Site – Regulations governing asbestos removal at the Oxnard site included the Toxic Substances Control Act codified at Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations Part 763; Title 8 California Code of Regulations (CCR )Sections 341.15, “Certification of Asbestos Consultants and Site Surveillance Technicians”; 8 CCR 341.16, “Approval of Asbestos Training and Course Providers for Training Requirements Related to Asbestos-Related-Work and AHERA”; and 8 CCR 1529, “Asbestos.” Results of an environmental site assessment conducted in September 1995 indicated that polychlorinated biphenyl concentrations in site soils were below California Environmental Protection Agency risk-based action levels, and removal was not required. However, DOE removed the soils in 1996 as a best management practice.