Society News Archive

19 November 2013
Yucca Mountain Safety Evaluation Report

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has directed the agency staff to complete work on the safety evaluation report on the Department of Energy's (DOE) construction authorization application for the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. The NRC has also requested the DOE to prepare a supplemental environmental-impact statement requested by the staff in order to complete its environmental review of the application. 

The NRC's order did not direct the staff to reconstitute the Licensing Support Network (LSN) that supported the adjudicatory hearing on the application, but did direct the staff to load documents in the LSN collection into the NRC's nonpublic online database. The order acknowledges that documents used as references in the safety evaluation report and supplemental environmental-impact statement will be publicly released; however, public release of all LSN documents will depend on whether adequate funds are available to do so. The NRC also directed that the adjudication continue to be held in abeyance. 

This action responds to an August decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ordering the agency to continue its review of the Yucca Mountain application at least until existing funds appropriated for the review are expended. As of 30 September, the agency had approximately $11 million in funds that were appropriated for the review.