NRC publishes last two volumes of Yucca Mountain safety evaluation

NRC Yucca Mountain waste repository spent fuel DOE application volumes safety evaluation report SER

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) published two more volumes of its safety evaluation on a geologic high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.
Volume 2 covers repository safety before permanent closure. The staff concluded that with “reasonable assurance,” the Department of Energy (DOE)’s application for Yucca Mountain meets NRC’s regulatory requirements in that area.
Volume 5 covers proposed conditions on the construction authorization, probable subjects of license specifications, and the staff’s overall conclusions.
Publication of the volumes completes the technical safety review of the DOE’s application. Completion of the safety evaluation report does not represent a decision from the NRC on whether to authorize construction. The report includes the staff’s recommendation that the NRC should not authorize construction of the repository because DOE has not met certain land and water rights requirements indicated in Volume 4, which was published in December.
DOE submitted its application for Yucca Mountain in June 2008. Volume 1 (General Information) was published in August 2010. After DOE withdrew the application and Congress stopped appropriating funds for NRC’s review, the agency closed out its application review and published three technical evaluation reports containing the staff’s technical analyses but no regulatory conclusions. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ordered the NRC in August 2013 to resume the licensing process using available funds from the Nuclear Waste Fund. The NRC then published Volume 3 (Repository Safety After Permanent Closure) in October 2014, and Volume 4 (Administrative and Programmatic Requirements) in December 2014.
To read all five volumes, click here.
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