The Lincoln County Record


Yucca Mtn info coming at Beatty meeting

If you want to learn more about plans and studies for a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, you might want to schedule a trip to Beatty on June 29 and/or 30.

The Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board will be in Beatty those two days to review the DOE comparisons of repository designs and to hear reports on the status of scientific studies relating to the potential repository.

The meetings are open to the public. An informal gathering will be held from 7 to 8 am on Tuesday 29 for anyone who wants to meet the board members and talk with them. You can also join the board informally at coffee from 7:15 am to 7:55 am on Wednesday June 30.

All meetings are at the Beatty Community Center, 200 A Avenue South Beatty. The formal board sessions will begin at 9 am on June 29 and at 8 am the next day on June 30.

The first day's session will focus on the results of the DOE license application design selection project, which compares several alternative designs for a potential repository at Yucca Mountain. Presentations will include criteria and assumptions that were used to compare these designs as well as issues that could affect the repository designs, such as the use of ventilation to cool repository tunnels. Other presentations will include updates on status of DOE's draft site-suitability criteria and site characterization efforts at Yucca Mountain.

The status of scientific studies will take up most of the day on June 30. You will hear about the tests being conducted to obtain information on the unsaturated zone, the saturated zone, and the effects of heat on the mountain, plus review of the Total system Performance Assessment (this is the analytical tool used to predict the performance of the potential repository) and lab tests on corrosion rates of potential waste package materials.

There will be several chances for you to make public comment at this two-day meeting in Beatty. Time is set aside in the morning and afternoon on June 29 mid at the end of the June 30 session for comments from the public. You are encouraged to sign the "Public comment register" at the check-in table. Written comments may be submitted or you may submit questions in writing to the board. As time permits questions will be answered during the sessions on both days.

You can get a copy of the detailed agenda by calling NWTRB, Karyn Severson, External Affairs, (703) 235-4473, or fax (703) 235-4495 or e-mail at After July 19, 1999 transcripts of this meeting will be available at their web site, by e-mail, on computer disk, and on library loan in paper format.

The Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board was created by Congress in the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1987. Its purpose is to evaluate the technical and scientific validity of activities undertaken by the DOE related to managing the disposal of the. nation's spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. In this same legislation, Congress directed the DOE to characterize a site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, to determine its suitability as the location of a potential disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste.

The board's tentative agenda for Beatty is:

7:15 am to 5 pm Potential Repository Designs

7 to 8 pm meet board members

7:15 am to 7:45 am coffee with board members

8 am to 2:30 pm Yucca Mountain Scientific Studies

June 29 public comments 12 noon and again 5 pm.

June 30 public comments 2:30 pm

For more information or details contact the NWTRB office at 2300 Clarendon Boulevard, Suite 1300 Arlington, Virginia 22201

Telephone: (703) 235-4473

Web site: