31 December 2002
Source: http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/aces/fr-cont.html

Eyeball of Los Alamos Technical Area 18 and Nevada Test Site Device Assembly Facility:


[Federal Register: December 31, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 251)]
[Page 79906-79911]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



National Nuclear Security Administration

Record of Decision for the Final Environmental Impact Statement
for the Relocation of Technical Area 18 Capabilities and Materials at
the Los Alamos National Laboratory

AGENCY: Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration.

ACTION: Record of Decision.


SUMMARY: The Department of Energy's (DOE) National Nuclear Security
Administration (NNSA) is issuing this Record of Decision on the
proposed relocation of Technical Area 18 (TA-18) capabilities and
materials at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the State of New
Mexico. This Record of Decision is based on the information and
analysis contained in the TA-18 Relocation Environmental Impact
Statement (DOE/EIS-319), and other factors, such as programmatic and
technical risk, construction requirements, and cost. NNSA has decided
to implement the Preferred Alternative, which would relocate Security
Category I/II missions and related materials to the Device Assembly
Facility at the Nevada Test Site. This alternative includes facility
modification and transportation of special nuclear materials and
equipment required to support Security Category I/II missions.
Regarding Security Category III/IV alternatives, NNSA has determined
that additional studies are required and thus is not making a decision
on this set of missions.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information on the TA-18
Relocation EIS or Record of Decision, or to receive a copy of the TA-18
Relocation EIS, contact: James J. Rose, Document Manager, National
Nuclear Security Administration (NA-53), U.S. Department of Energy,
1000 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585, (202) 586-5484.
For information on the DOE National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
process, contact: Carol M. Borgstrom, Director, Office of NEPA Policy
and Compliance (EH-42), U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence
Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20585, (205) 586-4600, or leave a message
at (800) 472-2756.



    The DOE's NNSA prepared this Record of Decision pursuant to the
regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality for implementing
NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508) and DOE's NEPA Implementing Procedures
(10 CFR part 1021). This Record of Decision is based, in part, on DOE's
TA-18 Relocation EIS (DOE/EIS-319).
    NNSA is responsible for providing the Nation with nuclear weapons,
ensuring the safety and reliability of those nuclear weapons, and
supporting programs that reduce global proliferation. These missions
are accomplished with a core team of highly trained nuclear experts.
One of the major training facilities for those personnel is located at
Technical Area 18 (TA-18) within the Los Alamos National Laboratory
(LANL), Los Alamos, New Mexico. The operations at TA-18 enable DOE and
other government personnel to gain knowledge and expertise in advanced
nuclear technologies that support the following: (1) Nuclear materials

[[Page 79907]]

management and criticality safety; (2) emergency response in support of
counter-terrorism activities; (3) safeguards and arms control in
support of domestic and international programs to control excess
nuclear materials; and (4) criticality experiments in support of
Stockpile Stewardship and other programs. Criticality experiments
involve systems of fissile material(s), called critical assemblies,
which are designed to reach a condition of nuclear criticality in a
controlled manner. The capability to conduct criticality experiments
also includes development of nuclear instruments, measurement and
evaluation of integral cross sections, accident simulation, dosimetry,
and the detection and characterization of nuclear material. A critical
assembly is a machine used to manipulate a mass of fissile material in
a specific geometry and composition. The critical assembly machines
proposed for relocation are the Flattop, Planet, Comet, and Godiva,
which are currently located in TA-18 facilities called CASAs (Critical
Assembly Storage Areas).
    NNSA uses a cost-effective, graded approach to provide safeguards
and security for special nuclear materials (SNM). Quantities of SNM
stored at each site are categorized into Security Categories I, II,
III, and IV with the greater quantities included under Security
Categories I/II and lesser quantities included in descending order
under Security Categories III/IV. Areas supporting Security Category I/
II activities are protected by a Perimeter Intrusion Detection and
Assessment System (PIDAS) designed to detect, control, or deny access
to these areas. Each CASA at TA-18 is surrounded by a PIDAS.
    TA-18 operations at LANL include Security Category I/II, as well as
Security Category III/IV activities. Security Category I/II activities
are associated primarily with the operation of the Flattop, Planet,
Comet and Godiva critical assembly machines. Security Category III/IV
activities are associated with various experiments and storage
involving small quantities of SNM and the operation of the critical
assembly machine.
    Though TA-18 is judged to be secure by DOE's independent inspection
office, its buildings and infrastructure are from 30 to more than 50
years old and are increasingly expensive to maintain and operate.
Additionally, the TA-18 operations are located in a canyon which is
difficult to secure, resulting in increasingly high costs to maintain a
security infrastructure for the special nuclear materials (SNM) used
and stored at the site. NNSA wishes to maintain the important
capabilities currently provided at TA-18 in a manner that reduces the
long-term costs for safeguards and security. NNSA proposes to
accomplish this by relocating the TA-18 capabilities and materials to a
new location.

Alternatives Considered

    NNSA evaluated the environmental impacts associated with the
proposed action of relocating TA-18 capabilities and materials
associated with Security Category I/II activities to a new location.
Location alternatives for Security Category I/II activities and
materials include the following DOE sites: (1) A different site at LANL
at Los Alamos, New Mexico; (2) Sandia National Laboratories at
Albuquerque, New Mexico (SNL/NM); (3) Nevada Test Site (NTS) near Las
Vegas, Nevada; and (4) Argonne National Laboratory-West (ANL-W) near
Idaho Falls, Idaho.
    In conjunction with the relocation of Security Category I/II
activities, NNSA also evaluated the environmental impacts associated
with the relocation of TA-18 Security Category III/IV activities,
including SHEBA, within LANL, and considered two alternatives not
involving relocation: the No Action Alternative and the TA-18 Upgrade
Alternative. These alternatives are described in greater detail below.

No Action Alternative

    This alternative would maintain the current missions at TA-18 as
described for the Expanded Operations Alternative in the LANL Site-Wide
Environmental Impact Statement (LANL SWEIS) and the associated Record
of Decision (64 FR 50797). Under the No Action Alternative, the
operations conducted at TA-18 would continue at the level described in
the LANL SWEIS with no major construction, facility modifications, or
changes to the infrastructure associated with buildings or safeguards
and security. Current SNM inventories (all security categories), as
well as the criticality experiments machines, would remain in place.
The No Action Alternative may limit NNSA's ability to support future
TA-18 mission requirements.

TA-18 Upgrade Alternative

    This alternative would upgrade the buildings, infrastructure and
security infrastructure of existing TA-18 facilities to continue
housing these TA-18 operations at their present location at LANL.
Current SNM inventories (all security categories), as well as the
criticality experiments machines, would remain in place.
    Under the Upgrade Alternative, some construction activities would
be necessary. New construction would consist of: (1) A new one-story
office and laboratory building, (2) a new one-story control room, (3) a
new one-story pre-engineered metal storage building, and (4) a new
storage vault. In addition, some modifications to existing facilities
would also be needed. The modifications include: installation of high-
efficiency particulate air filters in conjunction with negative
pressurization of the CASAs; paving and surfacing improvements;
replacement of potable and fire-protection water systems; replacement
of the sanitary sewage system; storm-water management improvements;
site grading; additions or replacements of heating, ventilating, and
air conditioning; power distribution and monitoring; lightning
protection; grounding; surge suppression; PIDAS upgrades; and physical
security enhancements.

LANL New Facility Alternative

    This alternative would locate the TA-18 Security Category I/II
activities in a new building to be constructed near the Plutonium
Facility 4 (PF-4) at LANL's TA-55. The new Security Category I/II
operations building would consist of above-grade structures that would
house support operations and below-grade structures that would house
criticality assembly areas and SNM vaults. A low-scatter bay would be
located in a new pre-engineered-type building above ground. Access to
the facility would be through a new Protected Area Access Control
Building. The PF-4 PIDAS would be enlarged to encompass this new

SNL/NM Alternative

    This alternative would locate the TA-18 Security Category I/II
operations within a new Security Category I/II facility to be
constructed within TA-V at SNL/NM. The new Security Category I/II
operations building would include nuclear material storage vaults, and
critical assembly facilities. The alternative would also involve the
modification and renovation of 10 existing aboveground buildings within
SNL/NM's TA-V area. Structures that would be located in the aboveground
renovations would include emergency response staging and maintenance,
electronics and machine shops, instrumentation laboratory, critical
assembly control rooms and warehouse, a low-scatter facility, waste
management storage areas, and radioactive-source storage areas.

[[Page 79908]]

NTS Alternative

    This alternative would locate the TA-18 Security Category I/II
operations in and around the existing the Device Assembly Facility
(DAF). Currently, DAF is used for the assembly of subcritical
experiments, as well as other miscellaneous national security missions.
To accommodate the relocated TA-18 operations, modifications to the DAF
would include: modifications to internal walls, floors, and ceilings;
addition of bulk and penetration-shielding materials; demolition of
fire-suppression and other water systems; and, raceway additions
connecting the critical assemblies to their control rooms and power
supplies. A new low-scatter building would also be constructed and
placed outside the DAF, within its PIDAS.

ANL-W Alternative

    This alternative would locate the TA-18 Security Category I/II
operations in the existing Fuel Manufacturing Facility (FMF) and other
existing buildings at ANL-W. New construction to expand the existing
FMF would be required to accommodate the relocated TA-18 operations.
Security upgrades would also be necessary. The facilities proposed for
the relocation of Security Category I/II activities are: FMF, with a
proposed new addition; the Zero Power Physics Reactor (ZPPR) facility;
the Experimental Breeder Reactor II (EBR-II) containment and power
plant; the Transient Reactor Test (TREAT) facility; and a new General-
Purpose Experimental Building (GPEB). Storage vault space requirements
for Security Category III SNM would be provided in four different
vaults within the protected area. Two of the vaults currently exist,
while the other two would be constructed along with the new additions.

Relocation of SHEBA and Other Security Category III/IV Activities

    As discussed above, in conjunction with the relocation of TA-18
Security Category I/II activities to either LANL's TA-55, SNL/NM, NTS,
or ANL-W, a portion of the TA-18 Security Category III/IV activities
(the SHEBA activities) would either be relocated to a new structure at
LANL or remain at TA-18 and the rest of the Security Category III/IV
activities would either be relocated to existing or new structures at
LANL or remain at TA-18.
    The relocation of the SHEBA activities to a new location at LANL
would involve either the construction of a new structure on top of an
existing bunker or the construction of a new bunker and cover
structure. The bunker, in both cases, would be used to house the SHEBA
solution tanks and support equipment. A new control and training-room
structure would be built in relatively close proximity to the
construction of the new SHEBA bunker, but outside the SHEBA radiation
    The relocation of the TA-18 Security Category III/IV activities,
other than SHEBA, to LANL's TA-55 would involve the construction of a
new laboratory and a new office building at TA-55 in the proximity, but
outside the PIDAS, of the proposed new underground facility for
Security Category I/II activities. If a decision is made that Security
Category III/IV activities remain at TA-18, some internal modifications
to TA-18 facilities would be required, but no new construction.
Internal modifications would be limited to rearrangement of internal

Preferred Alternative

    As stated in the TA-18 Relocation Final EIS, NNSA's Preferred
Alternative is the NTS Alternative for Security Category I/II materials
and activities. The preferred alternative is the alternative that the
agency believes would fulfill its statutory mission, giving
consideration to environmental, economic, technical, and other factors.
    As stated in the TA-18 Relocation Final EIS, the preferred
alternative for Security Category III/IV activities is that those
activities would remain at LANL. However, NNSA is currently pursuing
additional studies and will issue a separate record of decision
regarding these Security Category III/IV activities.

Environmentally Preferable Alternative

    Ordinarily, the environmentally preferable alternative is the
alternative that causes the least impact to the environment; it is also
the alternative that best protects, preserves, and enhances historic,
cultural, and natural resources. The analyses indicated that there
would be very little difference in environmental impacts among the
alternatives analyzed and also that the impacts would be small. After
considering impacts to each resource area by alternative, NNSA has
identified the ANL-W Alternative as having relatively the fewest
impacts to the environment; it is also the alternative that best
protects, preserves, and enhances historic, cultural, and natural

Environmental Impacts of Alternatives

    NNSA weighed environmental impacts as one factor in its decision-
making, analyzing existing environmental impacts and the potential
impacts that might occur for each reasonable alternative including the
irreversible or irretrievable commitments of resources.

Land Use

    Differences among alternatives are primarily associated with
facility construction. The only alternative with no new construction is
the No Action Alternative. Potential land disturbance would range from
0.2 hectares (at TA-18; Upgrade Alternative) to 1.8 hectares (LANL New
Facility and SNL/NM alternatives). In addition, 0.08 hectares of land
could be disturbed at LANL's TA-39 for the relocation of SHEBA and 1.6
hectares of land could be disturbed for the relocation of other
Security Category III/IV activities at LANL's TA-55. No land use change
would result from implementing any of the alternatives.


    Except for the No Action Alternative and the TA-18 Upgrade
Alternative, all other site relocation alternatives would require the
transportation of equipment and materials. Such transportation would
involve the relocation of approximately 2.4 metric tons (2.6 tons) of
special nuclear material (SNM), and approximately 10 metric tons (11
tons) of natural and depleted uranium and thorium, as well as support
equipment, some of which would be radioactively contaminated. For each
of the relocation alternatives, the environmental impacts and potential
risks of such transportation would be small, less than one fatality per
10,000 years under normal and accident conditions. The potential
transportation risks would differ between the relocation alternatives
primarily as a function of the transportation distance. Based on
distance, the ANL-W Alternative would have the highest potential
impact, the NTS Alternative the second-highest, the SNL/NM Alternative
the third-highest, and the LANL New Facility Alternative the least risk
(compared to the No Action and TA-18 Upgrade Alternatives). There is
little variation in impacts between alternatives because effects are
small, and any projected increased transport of radioactive materials
is not enough to make a significant change.


    Employment changes would also be very small (around 20 new hires)
for the alternatives involving the relocation of TA-18 activities to
new sites (SNL/NM, NTS, or ANL-W), while the overall operations
workforce at LANL would

[[Page 79909]]

remain the same regardless (TA-18, TA-55 or TA-39). Construction
activities would involve temporary increases in the workforce with a
maximum peak of 300 construction workers (LANL New Facility, SNL/NM
alternatives) to 120 construction workers or less for the other
alternatives. The peak number of construction workers for SHEBA and
other Security Category III/IV activities relocation would be less than
50. These workforce changes would have no noticeable impact on the
socioeconomic conditions of the associated regions of influence.

Geology and Soils

    No impacts to geology or geological conditions are expected in any
of the alternatives. Proposed new facilities and renovated buildings
would be evaluated, designed, and constructed in accordance with DOE
Order 420.1 and sited to minimize the risk of geologic hazards. The
potential exists for contaminated soils and possibly other media to be
encountered during excavation and other site activities for all
alternatives involving new construction. Prior to commencing ground
disturbance, NNSA would survey potentially affected areas to determine
the media extent and nature of any contamination and implement required
remediation in accordance with the procedures established under each
site's environmental restoration program.

Water Resources

    Surface water would not be used to support new construction or
modification of existing facilities at any of the sites considered for
relocation. No impacts on surface water are expected from operations of
TA-18 facilities and there would be no direct discharge of sanitary or
industrial effluent to surface waters under all alternatives.
Wastewater would be collected and conveyed to existing wastewater
treatment facilities. Storm-water runoff from construction areas could
potentially impact downstream surface water quality, although any
effects on runoff quality would likely be localized around immediate
points of disturbance or construction lay-down areas.
    Groundwater would be required during construction for such uses as
dust control and soil compaction, washing and flushing activities, and
to meet the potable and sanitary needs of construction employees. It is
estimated that construction activities would require from 50 thousand
liters per year (ANL-W Alternative) to a maximum of 17 million liters
per year (LANL New Facility, SNL/NM Alternatives) during construction.
Facility operations would require approximately 6.9 million liters per
year of groundwater under all alternatives. Groundwater required during
the period of construction or operation should not impact regional
groundwater levels or availability for any of the alternatives
considered. No operational impacts on groundwater quality are expected
for any of the alternatives.

Biological Resources

    With the exception of the No Action Alternative and the ANL-W
Alternative, construction of new facilities would impact terrestrial
resources due to the loss of small amounts of native vegetation
consisting of Ponderosa pine at LANL, grassland at SNL/NM, and creosote
bush at NTS. Because of the small amount of land disturbance, the
habitat loss would be small and potential disturbance of wildlife would
be temporary. Construction activities would have no impact on existing
wetlands at LANL.
    Potential impact on the federally threatened desert tortoise at NTS
may occur under the NTS Alternative during construction. However, due
to the low population density of the desert tortoise at NTS, it is
doubtful that this impact would exceed allowable losses. Operational
activities would not impact terrestrial resources at any of the
alternative sites.

Air Quality

    Non-radioactive hazardous air pollutants would not be expected to
degrade air quality or affect human health under any of the
alternatives. Small quantities of criteria and toxic air pollutants
would be generated from the operation of emergency diesel generators
during testing and other routine activities at all alternative
relocation sites. The resulting concentrations would be well below
ambient quality standards at all alternative relocation sites with the
exception of LANL's TA-55 where the maximum ground-level concentration
of nitrogen dioxide could exceed the 24-hour standard at the nearest
public access road (Pajarito road). Short-term concentrations on public
roads from testing of the emergency diesel generators at TA-55 would be
controlled by appropriate design of the generator stack or other
appropriate engineering or management measures including limitations on
testing the diesel generators to favorable meteorological conditions.
    Construction of new buildings and modifications of existing
buildings at the alternative sites would result in a temporary increase
in air quality impacts from construction equipment, trucks, and
employee vehicles. Although emissions would vary with the magnitude of
the construction activities at each alternative relocation site the
maximum ground-level concentrations would be well below the ambient air
quality standards at all alternative sites with the exception of LANL's
TA-55 where the short-term concentrations of total suspended particles
and particulate matter could exceed standards at public receptors
adjacent to the site. Construction air quality impacts at the site
would be mitigated by implementing standard dust-control practices as
required by the state air quality control agency.

Visual Resources

    Activities related to the construction of new buildings and
building modifications at the alternative relocation sites would result
in a temporary change to the visual appearance of the sites due to the
presence of construction equipment and possible increased dust. The
overall appearance of the existing landscape would not change under any
of the alternatives.


    Construction of new buildings and modifications of existing
buildings would result in some temporary increase in noise levels near
the area from construction equipment and activities. However, there
would be no change in noise levels due to normal TA-18 operations under
all alternatives.

Site Infrastructure

    The projected demands on key infrastructure resources associated
with site construction and building modification are well within the
infrastructure capabilities at each of the alternative sites. It is
also projected that the existing infrastructure resources would be
adequate to support the proposed TA-18 activities over 25 years for all
alternative sites.

Cultural Resources

    No impact to known prehistoric, historic, Native American, or
paleontological resources is expected from construction or operational
activities under all site alternatives. Because most of the proposed
new construction would occur in previously disturbed land, it is
unlikely that construction of new facilities at any of the sites could
disturb previously unknown prehistoric, Native American or
paleontological resources.

[[Page 79910]]

Consultation with the State Historic Preservation Officers and tribal
representatives would be conducted in accordance with site cultural
resource management plans.

Waste Management

    Construction of new buildings and modifications of existing
buildings at the alternative sites would mostly generate non-hazardous
waste, and some hazardous (e.g., contaminated oil) and low-level
radioactive waste. The projected one time non-hazardous construction
waste generation volume under the action alternatives would vary
depending on the size of renovation/modification needs and would
contribute a very small fraction to the annual production of waste at
each site. The impact of managing this waste at the alternative
relocation sites would be minimal.
    The projected annual waste generation volume from operations
associated with TA-18 activities would not change from the No Action
Alternative volume. For all alternatives, the activities generate
annually 145 cubic meters of solid low-level radioactive waste, 1.5
cubic meters of mixed low-level radioactive waste, and 4 cubic meters
of solid hazardous waste. In addition, refurbishment and replacement of
critical assembly machine parts prior to relocation would generate a
one-time 1.5 cubic meters of mixed low-level and low-level radioactive
solid waste at LANL. No liquid mixed low-level or low-level radioactive
waste and/or hazardous waste would be generated during the operation.
The impact of managing wastes at all relocation sites would be minimal.

Worker and Public Health

    Public and occupational health and safety impacts were evaluated in
terms of industrial, chemical and radiological consequences.


    During construction, yearly nonfatal occupational injuries/
illnesses could increase by an estimated maximum of 16 above the No
Action Alternative. During the operation of all TA-18 activities (both
Security Category I/II and III/IV activities), the estimated total
number of yearly nonfatal occupational injuries/illnesses among the
workforce would be 7 for all alternatives. No occupational fatalities
are expected for the duration of the proposed action.


    No chemical has been identified that would be a risk to workers or
the members of the public from construction activities at alternative
sites. During operation, very small quantities of industrial-type
chemicals, such as ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, phenyl phosphine,
magnesium dioxide, and xylene would be used under all alternatives. The
quantities of these chemicals that could be released to the atmosphere
are minor and well below the regulatory screening levels that would
require additional analysis. Workers would be protected from exposure
to hazardous chemicals by adherence to Occupational Safety and Health
Administration and Environmental Protection Agency standards.


    There would be no radiological impacts to the members of public
from construction activities. Construction workers could receive very
small doses above background radiation level from exposure to radiation
from other past or present activities at alternative sites. These
workers would be protected through appropriate training, monitoring,
and management control limiting their exposure and ensuring that the
doses are kept as low as reasonably achievable.
    Normal operations of critical experiments would generate small
quantities of air-activation products (i.e., argon gas [argon-41]),
about 110 curies per year that would be released to the environment.
SHEBA operations, by the nature of its design and purpose, would
generate the majority of argon-41 during operations (about 100 curies).
Under all alternatives, the radiological impacts to the members of
public from these releases would be lower than that of the existing TA-
18 operations. For all alternatives, the radiation exposure to the
members of the public would be small, and well below the regulatory
limit of 10 millirem per year. For all sites, the maximally exposed
offsite individual would receive less than 0.067 millirem per year from
operational radiological releases associated with TA-18 activities.
Statistically, this translates into a risk that one additional fatal
cancer would occur approximately every 20 million years due to TA-18
operations. The maximum collective dose to general public living within
80 kilometers (50 miles) would be less than 0.1 person-rem per year (No
Action Alternative, TA-18 Upgrade Alternative), which corresponds to
approximately 5.0 x 10-5 estimated latent cancer fatalities,
or one in every 20,000 years of operation. The collective dose to the
population within 80 kilometers (50 miles) under other alternatives
would be smaller, ranging from 0.020 person-rem (SNL/NM Alternative) to
0.000070 person-rem (NTS Alternative).
    The direct dose (from gamma, and neutron radiation) to a member of
the public from critical experiments under all alternatives, except for
the current TA-18 and new SHEBA location, would be essentially zero.
The maximum direct dose to a member of the public from activities at
TA-18 location would be less than 4.75 millirem per year, with an
estimated 2.4 x 10-6 latent cancer fatalities per year of
operation. The maximum direct dose to a member of the public from SHEBA
operations would be about 1 millirem per year with an estimated latent
cancer fatality risk of 5 x 10-7 per year. Statistically
speaking, the maximum risk of an individual member of public developing
a latent cancer fatality from exposure to this direct radiation would
be less than one in every 410,000 years of operation.
    The annual average dose to a worker involved in TA-18 activities
would be the same under all alternatives and is estimated to be 100
millirem per year with a corresponding risk of developing latent cancer
fatality of 4 x 10-5 per year. There would be a one-time
dose to the workers of 2.3 person-rem from SNM handling activities that
would be transported from TA-18 to alternative relocation sites (i.e.,
LANL TA-55, SNL/NM, NTS, and ANL-W). SHEBA relocation would also incur
a one-time dose to workers of 0.02 person-rem.

Facility Accidents

    The accident analyses considered a wide spectrum of potential
operational accident scenarios including uncontrolled reactivity
insertion, inadvertent criticality, fire, explosion (i.e., hydrogen
detonation), and earthquake, covering both the range of TA-18
activities and the radioactive material at risk. The accident scenarios
chosen for the evaluation bound the impacts of all reasonably
foreseeable accidents that could occur at existing or relocated TA-18
facilities. The accident risks were estimated in terms of both the
frequency of the event and the consequences of such event. The risk of
an accident is defined as the product of the accident frequency and the
associated consequences to the population within 80 kilometers. The
highest potential annual risk of excess latent fatalities among the
population within 80 kilometers would be less than 5.1 x
10-5 (i.e., about one chance in 19,000 per year of a latent
cancer fatality), for the bounding accident analyzed. The No Action
Alternative, and specifically SHEBA operations,

[[Page 79911]]

would produce the highest potential accident impact, primarily due to
the design of SHEBA. The potential annual risk of excess latent cancer
fatalities among the population at the alternative sites ranges from
7.7 x 10-10 (NTS Alternative) to 2.2 x 10-7 (SNL/
NM Alternative).
    There would be no hazardous chemicals or explosives used or stored
at existing and relocated TA-18 facilities, other than minor industrial
quantities, that would impact workers or the public under accident

Environmental Justice

    Based on the analysis of all resource areas and demographic
information on low-income and minority populations, NNSA does not
expect any environmental related issues (i.e., the projected impacts
are not disproportionately high and adverse for minority or low income
populations) from TA-18 activities under all alternatives.

Comments on the Final EIS

    NNSA distributed approximately twelve hundred copies of the Final
EIS for review and to date, has received only two comments on the EIS.
Both individuals were concerned that the relocation of the TA-18
missions would be a threat to national security through the loss of
existing resources presently located at LANL. Both individuals
indicated that these resources, especially experienced personnel, had
been built up over a number of years and would not be present at
another location.

Other Decision Factors

    In assessing the alternatives for Security Category I/II missions,
the NNSA considered other key factors such as programmatic impacts,
construction risk, security concerns and overall cost.

Programmatic Risk

    Due to the importance of the TA-18 missions in the Nation's overall
security posture, the potential risk of programmatic impacts were
assessed by reviewing the ability for each alternative to meet
programmatic requirements and to determine the degree of synergy each
option provided the mission set. While all alternatives met the basic
program requirements, it was determined that the LANL New Facility and
NTS Alternatives were more advantageous than SNL and ANL-W for
minimizing programmatic risk to Security Category I/II activities.
First, LANL New Facility and NTS offered improved security and
operating flexibility that would allow for the accomplishment of
programmatic work for the next few decades due to facility age and
location. Additionally, LANL and NTS provided programmatic synergy as
both sites have existing mission requirements that complement the TA-18
mission set. SNL had increased programmatic risk because of the age of
the facilities that would be modified under the alternative. ANL-W was
determined to have the highest programmatic risk because it was no
longer an NNSA site, had minimal programmatic synergy (namely through
criticality research and training) and its remote location. The No
Action and TA-18 Upgrade Alternatives were recognized to minimize
programmatic risk initially, but would have increasing difficulty in
meeting requirements, as the TA-18 facilities would reach the end of
their useful life and operational/security requirements evolved.

Construction Risk

    NNSA considered the risk from construction activities for the
alternatives, taking into account the concepts proposed for each
alternative. Factors that were examined included the age of the
existing facility (if modifications would occur), the extent of
modifications, and the complexity of designs. From this examination, it
was determined that the NTS offered the least construction risk from
the standpoint of facility age, design complexity, and extent of
modifications. The NTS Alternative was based on a facility that was
designed to modern safety standards as opposed to the TA-18 Upgrade,
SNL, and ANL-W Alternatives that were based on refurbishing multiple
buildings that approached 30-40 years in age. As with modifying
buildings of this age, NNSA has found from past experience that there
is inherently more risk from discovering unknown design aspects of the
buildings. Finally, the LANL New Facility Alternative, while providing
the newest location for the TA-18 missions, offered moderate
construction risk due to the nature of the underground design.


    In reviewing the overall costs associated with relocation of the
TA-18 Security Category I/II missions, it was determined that most
options fell within a similar cost range when considering construction,
transportation, and project management activities as well as lifecycle
costs with a few exceptions. Preliminary relocation cost estimates
indicated that the NTS Alternative was the lowest from a construction
standpoint, but there was a potential for slightly higher lifecycle
costs from operating activities due to the campaign structure proposed.
Additionally, NTS as well as SNL and ANL-W had higher transportation
costs associated with their alternative from off-site movement of
materials than with the LANL options. The highest cost estimate was
associated with the TA-18 Upgrade Alternative, driven by the current
age of the TA-18 complex and uncertainties with future operational and
security facility requirements. The remaining alternatives fell between
these extremes, showing slight differences between them in terms of
construction and lifecycle costs.

Mitigation Measures

    Impacts were sufficiently small to negate the need for specific
mitigative actions. This is not to say that the NNSA will not implement
the normal storm water run-off control measures, waste minimization
programs and other such normal activities so as to minimize adverse
impacts to the environment, wherever possible.


    NNSA has considered environmental impacts, stakeholders concerns,
risks, costs, and national policy in its decisions regarding the
relocation of TA-18 Security Category I/II missions and activities and
has decided to implement the preferred alternative, transfer of
missions to the Device Assembly Facility at the Nevada Test Site. At
this time, the NNSA does not issue a decision regarding location of TA-
18 Security Category III/IV missions and activities within LANL;
however, additional studies will be performed and a separate record of
decision will be issued sometime in 2003.

    Issued in Washington, DC, this 5th day of December, 2002.
Linton Brooks,
Acting Administrator, National Nuclear Security Administration.
[FR Doc. 02-32995 Filed 12-30-02; 8:45 am]