NRC staff to prepare supplement for Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage site

 NRC staff to prepare supplement for Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage site

The staff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said it will prepare a supplement to the Department of Energy’s environmental impact statement (EIS) on the proposed Nevada spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste storage site.

The staff explains in the Federal Register that the EIS does not adequately address all of the repository-related effects on groundwater at Yucca Mountain, or from surface discharges of groundwater. In 2013, NRC asked DOE to prepare the supplement, but DOE opted to update its analysis of potential groundwater impacts after closure of the repository at the site. In February, the Commission directed the NRC staff to prepare the supplement. The staff will use the DOE analysis in preparing the statement.

The supplement will describe a key aquifer at the Yucca Mountain site and look at the potential for contaminants to reach it. It will analyze the degree of potential contamination and how water and contaminants could move, along with how soil, surface materials and the surrounding environment might be impacted by contaminated groundwater.

NRC staff expects to issue a draft supplement for public comment in late summer.

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