Environment News Service

NUCLEAR COMMISSION PUTS BRAKES ON YUCCA MOUNTAIN

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) says further information must be gathered before the proposed permanent repository for nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada can be approved. The NRC has reviewed a viability assessment performed by the Department of Energy (DOE) for Yucca Mountain. In a written report sent to the DOE, the Commission calls for further studies on: repository design; waste package corrosion; quantity and chemistry of water contacting waste packages and waste forms; saturated zone flow and transport of radioactive materials; volcanic disruption of the waste package; and quality assurance of all safety systems. The DOE wants to complete license application procedures by 2002 for the proposed repository, if the Secretary of Energy decides to recommend the Yucca Mountain site. The review of the viability assessment and the letter transmitting it to DOE is online at: http://www.nrc.gov/OPA/reports/va.htm.

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