Summary of Yucca Mountain Oversight
and Impact Assessment Findings
Table of Contents
The Agency for Nuclear Projects is charged with carrying out State responsibilities
for overseeing the federal government's high-level radioactive waste program
and its impacts on the State and its citizens. Agency activities fall into
three broad categories which, although separated for organizational and
planning purposes are, in practice, substantially interrelated. These categories
include: (1) technical oversight and independent studies; (2) socioeconomic
impact assessment and monitoring; and (3) high-level waste (HLW) transportation
impact assessment and planning. The discussion below presents an aggregated
and selective summary of the Agency's key findings to date. A more detailed
and technically specific account of the findings can be found in the biannual
Report on Agency Activities and Oversight of the U.S. Department of
Energy's High-Level Radioactive Waste Management Program (January,
The Agency's oversight and assessment work is dictated by the broader
imperatives of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act and the changing nature of
the federal program, while developments nationally and in Nevada significantly
influence Agency planning, work priorities, and resource allocation. Findings
from Agency efforts bear directly on the policy guidance and recom- mendations
provided to the Governor and Legislature by the Agency and the Commission
on Nuclear Projects. This linkage between national program and policy developments,
Agency activities, and State policy responses to the HLW program is a unique
feature of the Agency's structure and function. It provides the State not
only with high quality, flexible oversight and impact assessment capabilities,
but also with the capacity to integrate policy and programs in a way that
maximizes Nevada's ability to respond to changing circumstances and developments
of importance to the State.
FINDINGS FROM THE
AGENCY'S TECHNICAL OVERSIGHT ACTIVITIES
Since its inception, the Agency has devoted a significant amount of
time and resources to the technical oversight of the Department of Energy's
(DOE) site characterization activities and the implementation of independent
studies of key Yucca Mountain site suitability issues. Technical oversight
has been focused in 4 principal areas that have been categorized as geotechnical,
engineering, the environment, and on-site monitoring. The Agency's independent
technical studies have been targeted towards geotechnical issues where
significant site suitability questions exist.
In order for Yucca Mountain to meet Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
licensing regulations and comply with federal health and safety standards,
DOE will be required to demonstrate that the site will contain and isolate
spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste for at least 10,000
years. To assure that DOE adequately meets its burden of proof, the Agency
designed and implemented a three-part technical program that involves review
of DOE- generated reports and other materials, monitoring of all DOE research
and related activities, and independent studies in areas where DOE's data
or methods are considered inadequate. The objective of the Agency's program
is to be knowledgeable in DOE's site characterization program, assess and
evaluate DOE's technical conclusions relative to the site, and ultimately
develop an independent assessment of the suitability of Yucca Mountain
as a repository site.
The review activity involves active participation in DOE, NRC, Nuclear
Waste Technical Review Board, and other meetings and conferences where
subjects pertinent to Yucca Mountain are discussed; participation in field
reviews related to technical issues and/or on-going studies; formal review
and comment on key program documents; and active participation in scientific
working groups where technical subjects (such as geotechnical models and
computer codes) that have application to Yucca Mountain are discussed and
Daily on-site monitoring of DOE's site characterization field activities
has been a key component of the Agency's oversight of the Yucca Mountain
Project. Real time site monitoring allows the Agency to be up-to-date with
respect to on-going activities, data being gathered, data collection and
equipment problems, and in-the-field interpretations of site conditions.
Monitoring also affords the Agency opportunities to observe and report
questionable scientific techniques and practices, identify poor or questionable
data, and discuss field-related problems with DOE researchers and technicians.
In 1983, the Agency developed a series of site issues deemed key for
determining the suitability of the site and around which the Agency's independent
technical studies were designed. These independent studies focused on issues
that: (a) were not being addressed by DOE and its contractors; (b) were
based on DOE or DOE contractor methods or results that were in question;
or (c) were considered to be areas of study so critical that duplicative
studies by the Agency were warranted.
The Agency's technical oversight program was initiated in 1984 with
a thorough technical review of DOE's draft Environmental Assessment for
Yucca Mountain. That review confirmed that the site suitability issues
developed earlier were correctly focused. The search for and selection
of scientific experts to begin independent studies focused on critical
aspects of the suitability issues was initiated (endnote
1). The primary focus of the independent studies, which began
in 1985, were faults and earthquakes, volcanic hazards, saturated and unsaturated
zone hydrology, and mineral resource potential. As new issues arose at
Yucca Mountain - such as the potential for air movement within the mountain
to compromise waste isolation (pneumatic pathways), the possibility that
geothermal water might be forced into the repository by interacting underground
forces (hydrothermal fluid intrusion), and the impacts of heat generated
by spent fuel and high- level waste on waste isolation (thermal loading)
- new studies were initiated.
Progress towards completion of the studies has varied over the years
due changes in the amount of funds, changes in individual study direction
based on data collected and analyzed, and changes in DOE's policies and
willingness to cooperate with regard to site access and information sharing.
Some studies had to be canceled as decreases in available funds required
the Agency to make decisions on study priorities. In spite of these difficulties,
the Agency's technical contractors have produced over 75 major technical
reports. As of 1995, they had prepared and presented over 400 articles,
papers, and abstracts for peer-reviewed scientific journals and conferences.
A bibliography of peer-reviewed publications on Agency-sponsored research
was prepared in 1994 (endnote 2).
In October 1995, DOE ceased to provide any new funds to the Agency for
oversight of the high-level radioactive waste program. In response to the
loss of funds, the Agency requested that all technical contractors bring
their research to closure and submit final reports on their findings by
the end of 1996. These reports will form the basis for follow-up work when
and if sufficient resources become available and federal program developments
require additional independent research efforts.
Key Site Suitability Issues
In 1954 and again in 1961, the National Academy of Sciences concluded
that deep geologic disposal was the preferred method for safe disposal
of high-level radioactive waste. A safe geologic disposal site was envisioned
to be one with simple, stable geology, slow moving groundwater, compatible
geochemistry, mineable rock quality, and little or no economic resource
potential. Underground salt formations were determined to be the best geologic
medium for disposal since salt was considered to most closely approximate
the preferred waste isolation characteristics. In 1979, the DOE requested
the National Academy of Sciences to provide its views on the potential
of volcanic tuff as a geologic host medium for a repository (endnote
3). The Academy concluded that, while tuff appeared to have
characteristics that would make it an acceptable host rock, there were
some technical concerns that required resolution prior to siting a geologic
repository in tuff. These concerns included active faulting in southern
Nevada where tuff was being considered; the stability of fractured tuffs
at elevated repository temperatures; the rapidity with which groundwater
moved above the water table within highly fractured tuff; the potential
for renewed volcanic activity; and the potential for exploitable natural
resources attractive to future generations that could compromise waste
The concerns expressed by the Academy in 1979 were markedly similar
to the critical site suitability issues for Yucca Mountain developed independently
by the Agency and its technical advisors in 1983. The Agency's site suitability
issues are as follows:
|1. The potential for moisture and vapor moving through fractures in
the mountain to transport radionuclides rapidly to the water table and
from there into the accessible environment.
|2. The potential for rapid movement of radionuclides from the aquifer
beneath Yucca Mountain to the larger regional aquifer system.
|3. The effects of future changes in climate - which are known to occur
historically - on the geologic and hydrologic conditions of the site (including
changes in the elevation of the water table, the amount of surface water
infiltrating into and through the repository, etc.).
|4. The potential for earthquakes and the movement of earthquake faults
to compromise the integrity of the site.
|5. The potential for future volcanic activity to directly or indirectly
impact the waste isolation capabilities of the site, either through the
intrusion of molten material into the repository or through renewed geothermal
|6. The likely effects of chemical (geochemical) processes and high
temperature conditions on the integrity of the site.
|7. The possible existence of valuable mineral resources (e.g., gold,
silver, etc.), hydrocarbon resources (e.g., oil and gas), and geothermal
resources that could result in future generations breaching the site in
search of such resources (human intrusion).
Independent Agency research and the evaluation of DOE-generated data
since 1985 indicate that the potentially disqualifying conditions identified
by the National Academy of Sciences and the Agency do, in fact, exist at
Yucca Mountain. Yucca Mountain can be characterized as being extremely
complex geologically with fast flowing groundwater, an active tectonic
environment (subject to earthquakes, fault movement, and volcanic eruptions),
an oxidizing environment corrosive to many metals, rocks that are highly
fractured and stressed to near failure, and being in a location within
a geologic belt of gold and silver production. The Agency has concluded
that, under DOE's own repository siting guidelines (10 CFR 960), Yucca
Mountain should have been, and still should be, disqualified as a suitable
location for a deep geologic repository.
The following sections describe some of the key technical findings about
the site to date with respect to the site suitability issues discussed
above. In addition, findings related to engineering, the environment, and
on-site monitoring are presented. A complete discussion of the Agency's
technical research can be found in the reports listed in the Bibliography
of Agency Publications.
The Implications of Water and Vapor Movement
Within Yucca Mountain
- Contrary to DOE assumptions, Agency research has determined that water
moves very rapidly within Yucca Mountain through faults and fractures,
and that this "fracture flow" is the predominant way water and
water vapor travel through the mountain. This finding is contrary to DOE's
assumption that water moves predominantly - and extremely slowly - by migrating
through the rock pores (matrix flow). Since groundwater and possibly water
vapors are the most likely means by which radionuclides would be transported
from the repository to the accessible environment, the length of time it
would take water to move through the site to the water table is a critical
measure of site suitability. If all the unsaturated zone flow is restricted
to matrix flow, travel times will likely be long (slow) and calculated
in thousands of years. However, if there is fault/fracture flow (flow along
faults or in interconnected fractures), travel time will likely be very
short (rapid), calculated in terms of years or hundreds of years. Information,
some even from DOE- sponsored studies, gathered from drillholes and from
faults encountered along the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) tunnel
and calculations from computer simulations all indicate that faults/fractures
do, in fact, function as fast pathways for groundwater flow, permitting
water from the surface to reach below the repository horizon in 50 years
or less. Agency findings indicate that the site does not comply with the
NRC regulation that groundwater travel time from the repository to the
accessible environment cannot be less than 1,000 years.
- Agency research found that air and moisture (water vapor) move upward
through Yucca Mountain. This "pneumatic" characteristic of the
mountain by which air is forced upward through faults and fractures is
one of the significant findings of the Agency's technical program. It is
important because spent nuclear fuel contains gaseous radionuclides that,
once a canister is breached, can be readily transported to the surface
if fractures within the mountain are open (unobstructed) and connected
vertically. This results in numerous "pneumatic pathways" by
which radionuclides can be emitted into the atmosphere, even if there is
no physical breach in the repository itself. The existence of these pathways
was first hypothesized by Agency researchers based on results of independent
analyses of DOE data. It was later confirmed from information gathered
through further Agency research, DOE drillholes, and datasets derived from
the ESF tunnel.
- The underground area above the water table know as the unsaturated
zone contains perched water (pockets of water that have been cut off from
the water table). Until recently, perched water had been thought to be
rare or possibly absent under Yucca Mountain. Since 1992, when dry drilling
techniques were first used at the site, six drillholes have encountered
perched water. Agency researchers now believe perched water may be everywhere
in the repository area. The existence of perched water poses problems in
terms of how such water will act when subjected to the high temperatures
of a repository and how such conditions will interact with changes to future,
wetter (pluvial) climate changes and tectonic events (earthquakes, fault
movement, volcanic activity).
- Agency research has concluded that DOE's present moisture and vapor
flow models do not represent the site's natural conditions (endnote
4). Site characterization strategies and site performance assessments
have suffered and continue to suffer from overly optimistic conceptual
flow models and unsupported assumptions of moisture movement in the absence
of site-specific hydrologic data. Alternative flow models based on site
databases have been put forth by the Agency and its contractors, but have
been routinely ignored or dismissed by DOE.
Regional Aquifer System
- Agency research has concluded that, like water movement in the unsaturated
area of the mountain, water within the water table (i.e., in the saturated
zone) also moves rapidly along faults and fractures. This finding means
that once radionuclides reach the water table, they will be transported
relatively rapidly toward areas where they could contaminate water sources
used for drinking and agriculture. Various datasets and computer simulations
used by the Agency suggest that faults and fractures control the flow of
groundwater through the rock underlying the site. Evidence also suggests
that the processes at work are dynamic (active) rather than static (stationary),
meaning that they have the potential to change rapidly in reaction to tectonic
processes (e.g., changes caused by earthquakes, movement of faults, and/or
volcanic activity). The conclusion is that the potential for fault/fracture
zones to move groundwater and rapidly transport contaminants is high.
- Agency studies have found that tectonic processes significantly influence
regional hydrologic systems. This means that earthquakes and/or movement
of faults may adjust the properties of groundwater flow systems, or create
new fault or fracture zones that could lead to a realignment of groundwater
flow conduits. A review of regional water level data following the 1992
Little Skull Mountain earthquake indicates that water level changes induced
by earthquake/fault movement have caused changes in local flow gradients
and flow directions that may increase or decrease groundwater travel time.
The Agency has concluded that the ability to predict, with reasonable certainty,
these hydrologic gradient changes and any effects on the regional aquifer
system over geologic time is not possible with current technology.
- Agency research found that pumping of the regional carbonate aquifer
could adversely impact a natural barrier to radionuclide migration at the
site. Underlying the repository site is an extensive regional carbonate
aquifer known to be highly permeable, transmissive (moving large amounts
of underground water over large distances), and containing large quantities
of high quality water. Should radioactive contaminants reach the carbonate
aquifer, they could, in a relatively short time period (several thousand
years), appear in water supply wells in Amargosa Valley and in springs
in Death Valley. Limited site information suggests that the upward hydraulic
pressure that exists in the carbonate aquifer is considered a natural barrier
to downward contaminant migration. Significant water supply pumping in
Amargosa Valley or a large climate change to significantly drier conditions
have been postulated as scenarios that could adversely affect this potential
barrier to radionuclide migration into the carbonate aquifer.
Future Climate Variations
- Agency studies suggest that pluvial (wetter) climatic conditions will
reoccur within the repository's design life. A shift to a pluvial climate
characterized by cooler temperatures and significant and persistent increases
in rainfall will likely result in increased infiltration of water into
the subsurface, increased groundwater flow velocities, and higher water
table levels. Rock geochemistry studies, investigations of ancient spring
deposits, studies of evidence of past water in presently dry washes, and
models of past climate changes all suggest that wetter conditions will
reoccur at the site. Should this pluvial climate occur at the repository
at a time when the area has been heated to high temperatures due to the
emplacement of waste, changes to natural and engineered barriers (some
possibly adverse) are likely and not predictable with any reasonable degree
Fault and Earthquake Hazard
- Research confirms that a fault and earthquake hazard exists at the
site. A repository sited in a seismically active area is vulnerable to
damage and possible loss of isolation capability from seismic events and
fault movement. It is the conclusion of Agency earthquake researchers that
a magnitude 6.5 - 7.0 earthquake is likely in the vicinity of the site
in the next 10,000 years. Of the 33 known Quaternary faults (less than
two million years old) in the vicinity of the site, at least five of these
faults contain observed volcanic ash, thus providing evidence of a contemporaneous
(closely spaced in time) volcanic eruption at Lathrop Wells volcano south
of the site with a fault rupture event at the site. Apart from the potential
for direct damage to the repository and waste packages, earthquakes cause
faults to move and have the potential to result in changes in water tables,
to initiate volcanic or geothermal activity, and to drastically alter the
hydrologic and geologic conditions at the site.
- The Agency's work has contributed to the finding that the tectonics
of Yucca Mountain are complex. There is considerable scientific debate
over which tectonic model (i.e., which conceptualization of site-specific
conditions) appropriately represents the site's complexity. Much of this
debate is based on the recognized uncertainties and gaps in knowledge about
the geology and tectonics in the region. Resolution of the debate appears
unlikely in the near future, and without resolution, it is not possible
to predict with any certainty how waste isolation can be impacted by tectonic
processes, something that will make licensing a repository at Yucca Mountain
difficult, if not impossible.
- Agency researchers have found that, contrary to DOE assumptions, a
volcanic eruption is probable within the repository design life. Five volcanic
centers are located within 10 miles of the site. Also, geophysical studies
suggest that there are buried volcanic features beneath the site. Evidence
developed by numerous researchers has concluded that the probability of
renewed volcanic activity in the Yucca Mountain area is real, but the exact
location of this future activity cannot be predicted.
Geochemical and Thermal Conditions
- An important finding that bears directly on Yucca Mountain's waste
isolation capability is that volcanic tuffs are unstable at elevated temperatures.
The volcanic tuffs beneath Yucca Mountain are locally altered to zeolites
and clays that form layers underneath the tuff layer designated as the
repository host rock. Chemical properties of zeolite minerals allow them
to act as a natural barrier to the migration of radionuclides in water
by absorbing the radionuclides. However, these zeolites have been found
to be unstable at elevated temperatures (above 100 C). As a result, zeolites
will not absorb radionuclides at the above-boiling temperatures the repository
is expected to generate. Thus, research indicates that zeolites may not
be a natural barrier to the migration of radionuclides as DOE assumes,
and DOE models for predicting repository waste isolation performance may
be seriously deficient as a result.
- Agency research clearly demonstrates the existence of past episodes
of geothermal intrusion within Yucca Mountain and the proposed repository
host rock. It is widely recognized by the scientific community that in
tectonically active areas, such as around Yucca Mountain, tectonic processes
(earthquakes and faulting) can be accompanied by upward intrusions of highly
mineralized thermal fluids from deep within the earth. Evidence developed
from site investigations suggests that such mineralized thermal fluids
have invaded Yucca Mountain on numerous occasions in the geologic past.
Any future return of those hydrothermal fluids could have significant and
potentially catastrophic effects on repository integrity and radioactive
waste isolation. While Agency findings in this regard are compelling, DOE
has sought to close consideration of this issue based on earlier and seriously
incomplete information and analyses.
- The heat generated by the spent fuel and high-level waste in the repository
(i.e., the thermal load) could result in adverse impacts on waste isolation.
Agency-sponsored research on the effects of thermal loading concluded that
above-boiling rock temperatures in the repository will redistribute rock
silica minerals to reform the tuff rock matrix and fracture pathways into
"hydrothermal funnels" that could focus future water infiltration
directly onto nuclear waste packages. DOE's repository design assumes a
"hot" facility where temperatures are maintained above the boiling
point of water for up to 1,000 years. This is intended to permit more waste
to be placed in the limited space available and to "dry out"
the area around the waste packages to keep water from eroding the waste
package material. However, Agency research suggests that the overall effects
of such a thermal loading strategy could impair waste isolation in the
Natural Resource Potential
- Agency research has shown that "indicator" minerals suggesting
the presence of precious metals (e.g., gold and silver) that could attract
future exploration/extraction activities are present at Yucca Mountain.
Agency-sponsored studies of mineralization at and near the site have found
trace quantities of gold and silver that could, in some future time, be
attractive for further exploration. The greatest uncertainty in assessing
the suitability of the Yucca Mountain site may be the potential for human
intrusion into the repository caused by the search for valuable natural
resources. The evidence to date suggests that the potential for valuable
mineral resources in the immediate area surrounding Yucca Mountain must
be recognized, along with the potential for resulting human interference
and intrusion of the repository.
- While the actual potential for future oil and/or gas production at
or near Yucca Mountain is presently unknown, Agency researchers have found
rocks known to be hydrocarbon source rocks in areas surrounding the site.
No deep wells have been drilled to determine the presence or absence of
source rocks beneath the site, so the potential remains unknown.
- Agency studies have concluded that the potential for exploitable geothermal
resources appears low. There are no hot or warm springs at the site, and
the geothermal gradient measured in site wells suggests that high-temperature
water is unlikely at economic geothermal production depths. However, there
is evidence of historic geothermal activity on and under Yucca Mountain,
therefore, the possibility of future geothermal exploration in the area
cannot be ruled out.
Findings from Engineering Oversight
- The choice of a thermal load for the repository is a key decision in
the waste management system. It will influence all aspects of the system,
including if and how long the spent fuel should be aged before disposal,
the size and design of the repository, and the design of the waste package.
While the DOE program has yet to look at alternative thermal load choices
in a comprehensive technical manner, it continues to make program decisions
that have the effect of driving the repository temperature strategy toward
long-term above-boiling thermal loads. The Agency, as a result of its oversight
and independent review activities, has concluded that DOE is making critical
and irreversible decisions about repository thermal loads that could have
negative impacts on other components of the waste management system and
on public health and safety and the environment.
- Nuclear criticality (endnote 5)occurs
when neutrons from "fissionable" radioactive materials (such
as certain isotopes of uranium and plutonium) bombard each other with such
repetition that they spark a runaway "chain reaction." Some scientists
have suggested, based on theoretical calculations, that highly radioactive
waste emplaced in a Yucca Mountain repository could, under certain circumstances,
reach nuclear criticality and possibly explode. The criticality is reached
when fissionable materials released from the waste containers are concentrated
in high silica rock like the volcanic tuff at Yucca Mountain. The Agency
and the NRC are concerned about the potential of repository nuclear criticality
and its effects on public health and safety and the environment. Agency
technical personnel do not believe that DOE has adequately assessed the
potential for such an event, is not properly considering criticality control
in its waste package design, and is not incorporating the issue into repository
performance models that will be used for assessing repository risks.
Findings from On-Site Monitoring
- The Agency's on-site monitoring program has concluded that there is
an unwarranted air of optimism among DOE program managers and contractors
regarding Yucca Mountain's underground conditions - an optimism that is
unsubstantiated by the findings of DOE's limited analysis of tunnel-generated
data. The DOE view is that, because a five-mile tunnel can be mined in
volcanic tuff, then it must be an acceptable site for a repository. Agency
on-site monitors have questioned whether any characterization data from
the exploratory tunnel, especially hydrology and rock mechanics information
from test alcoves and heater test data from the thermal alcove, will be
factored into the repository viability decision because either the data
will not be available at the time the decision is made or because what
data there is will be ignored.
- Agency oversight has concluded that the Exploratory Studies Facility
tunneling emphasis continues to be on "showing progress" of mining
completion by deferring scientific work in test alcoves or totally eliminating
test alcoves that were in the original ESF design as required. The original
ESF design called for 44 test alcoves and a core test area consisting of
8,400 feet of tunnel containing numerous alcoves and supporting facilities
for scientific investigations. Currently (as of the end of 1996), the revised
ESF design identifies only seven alcoves and no core test area.
- The unexpected highly-fractured nature of the host rock at the repository
level presents unique challenges for the design, construction, and operation
of a repository in a high temperature, poor rock quality environment. Initial
Agency analyses of the conditions encountered in the first 4 ½ miles
of the ESF loop indicates that the fractured nature of the rock, if it
is present (as is likely) in the rest of the repository block, will create
major problems for modeling waste isolation performance and will add greatly
to the cost of constructing the more than 120 miles of tunnels needed to
emplace the volume of waste that is intended.
Findings from Environmental Oversight
- Many environmental activities within the Yucca Mountain project address
routine regulatory compliance matters. These requirements are enforced
and monitored by the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection and include
stipulations applying to air and water quality, radioactivity, and hazardous
wastes. The Agency's environmental oversight program has determined that
DOE is typically in conformance with environmental regulations and the
- A joint environmental baseline and impact assessment program principally
provides descriptive biological information for use by DOE in the National
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance process for the Yucca Mountain
project. The Agency has found that DOE's study design and statistical approach
to be erroneous, subjective, and without scientific credibility. DOE's
approach has also been the subject of similar criticism from others (endnote
- Two other environmental studies at Yucca Mountain mandated by the federal
Endangered Species Act and the Federal Land Management Policy Act consist
of basic ecological investigations. The Agency found that both of these
studies are credible activities yielding good scientific information on
little known ecological aspects of southern Nevada (endnote7).
- In 1993, the White House Office of Environmental Policy called for
federal agencies to adopt "a proactive approach to ensuring a sustainable
economy and a sustainable environment through ecosystem management."
While policies designed to foster the concepts and practices embodied by
achieving sustainable development through applied ecosystem management
have been established by the Secretary of Energy and have been adopted
for the Nevada Test Site, the Agency has found that the Yucca Mountain
project so far has refused to acknowledge and implement these policies.
In a program with the long time span that characterizes the Yucca Mountain
project, incorporating resource and ecosystem management as integral elements
of all program activities is crucial to long- term protection of the environment.
- The Agency's environmental oversight program has found that DOE has
not approached the NEPA (endnote 8)
process in a substantively scientific manner. Instead, DOE views NEPA matters
as procedural rather than having scientific and technical significance.
DOE's NEPA studies are, without exception, ill conceived and lack scientific
credibility. Environmental professionals and the Agency's environmental
oversight personnel have openly criticized the project for failing to recognize
the scientific requirements of NEPA. In the Agency's view, missing from
DOE's environmental program for Yucca Mountain is the competent professionalism
needed for applying concepts of holistic, integrated, and interdisciplinary
science suitable for addressing environmental threat to future human generations.
|In summary, the Agency's technical review,
on-site monitoring, and independent studies lead to the conclusion that
the Yucca Mountain site's natural conditions cannot isolate radioactive
waste from the environment for 10,000 years and beyond, as required under
federal regulations. While the Agency's assessment acknowledges that data
and knowledge uncertainties in some issue areas are large, the Agency's
evaluation of site conditions is based on available data (facts) and objective
interpretations of the data, not on favorable assumptions, opinions, beliefs,
or optimistic judgements about the site's viability.
FINDINGS FROM SOCIOECONOMIC
IMPACT ASSESSMENT AND MONITORING ACTIVITIES
The Agency for Nuclear Projects formally initiated a study of the socioeconomic
impacts of a proposed high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain
in 1986 after the Nevada site had been chosen for study as a potential
waste disposal site. The State study recognized that the effort would need
to go well beyond what was traditionally considered adequate for socioeconomic
impact assessment because of the unique nature of the repository project
and the challenges posed by this first of a kind undertaking. Between 1987
and 1996, the State's study produced over 200 reports and work products,
in addition to numerous publications in scientific and academic literature.
The work has been overseen by a Technical Review Committee comprised of
nationally regarded experts in various socioeconomic disciplines. A complete
and in-depth treatment of the impact studies and their findings can be
found in the three major summary reports on the Nevada socioeconomic studies
published in 1989, 1993, and 1995, respectively (endnote
9). In addition, two major books dealing with the policy implication
of the findings of Nevada's socioeconomic research have been published
by the Agency's study team (endnote 10).
The Agency's Technical Review Committee has also issued two reports of
its findings with respect to the studies, and a summary of the Nevada research
was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (endnote
The federal high-level waste program presented the Agency's socioeconomic
research team (endnote 12) with
many challenges. The unique nature of a repository facility; the potential
for stigmatization and its implications; the uncertain schedules; public
risk perceptions and consequent behavioral responses; the highly charged
political atmosphere; and the need to develop new and innovative research
approaches have had to be addressed and dealt with in the design and implementation
of research at every step in the process. The Agency's work assessed social
and economic impacts not only by collecting and analyzing data, but by
developing new ways of understanding the factors that motivate responses
to high-level radioactive waste and the repository program. The research
effort strongly argues for the recognition of the critical importance of
socioeconomic factors and impacts in evaluating the nation's efforts to
site a repository. The overall conclusion is that the federal government
is not prepared at the present time to address the effects of such a project
on society, and that it will have to do so in new and effective ways to
solve the nuclear waste problems presented by public opposition and resistance
to such facilities.
The Agency's research has developed a convincing body of evidence that
indicates the greatest potential socioeconomic threat from the proposed
repository stems from what has been termed the "special effects"
of the project. These are impacts related to intense negative perceptions
and stigma associated by the public with a high-level radioactive waste
repository, combined with the unique vulnerability of the Nevada economy
to changes in its public image. Because of the high profile nature of the
whole nuclear waste disposal program, the potential exists for Nevada to
become associated with these negative perceptions to the detriment of its
ability to attract tourists, conventions, in-migrants, and diversified
new industry to the state. This is especially troublesome in the event
of a nuclear waste accident in or near Las Vegas that might stigmatize
the area and cause visitors to stay away in significant numbers. The work
to date demonstrates that Nevada is uniquely vulnerable to such stigmatizing
effects because of its tourism-dependent economy and State revenue structure.
Some key findings that relate to this overall conclusion are as follows:
- The primary economic concern for Nevada comes from the potential impacts
of stigma on the tourist and visitor industry. Such impacts could produce
significant losses to an economy dominated by visitor-based revenues. The
unique importance of the visitor and tourist industry for Nevada and Las
Vegas required a major effort to understand the potential for stigma impacts.
- Studies indicated that populations important to Nevada's economic well-being
may be highly sensitive to the radioactive risks associated with a repository
and spent fuel/HLW transportation, and that the attractiveness of the state
as a place to visit, move to, or invest in could be negatively impacted.
- Research results provided evidence that a repository could have an
adverse impact on Nevada's tourism economy. First, the research found that
people associate "special" facilities with the places they are
located (e.g., nuclear-weapons testing and related nuclear imagery was
associated with Nevada), suggesting that the repository might also become
associated with Nevada and/or Las Vegas if it is located at Yucca Mountain.
Second, a nuclear-waste storage facility consistently evokes extremely
negative imagery. Third, the presence of negative imagery has a dampening
effect on a person's propensity to visit a place. Respondents reported
lower preferences for vacationing, attending conventions, moving, or starting
a business when the target place had high negative imagery scores. Fourth,
the presence of nuclear-related imagery produced a much lower preference
for Nevada as a vacation site.
- Research found that convention planners are averse to holding a convention
in a city near a repository. Even under a benign (i.e., no accident) condition,
one-third of the planners surveyed reduced their preference for Las Vegas.
This figure increased when planners were presented with scenarios in which
the repository program experienced a series of accidents or events.
- A 1988 survey of 400 members of the National Association of Corporate
Real Estate Executives found that, in making decisions about business location,
the existence of a repository within 100 miles of a community would detract
substantially from its suitability as a location for administrative offices,
business and professional services, and businesses to serve the hospitality
industry. Fifty-two percent (52%) rated "a site adjacent to a highway
leading to an underground facility for disposing of radioactive waste"
as a "very influential" negative factor in making a location
- These stigma effects are potentially of significant magnitude. In the
event of a radioactive waste accident or incident that caused Las Vegas
to become commonly and negatively associated with radioactive imagery,
behavioral responses in terms of the visitor economy, in-migration, and
economic development could result in substantial negative impacts. Estimates
of 5, 10, and 20 percent or larger reductions in key economic sectors are
not inconsistent with the empirical evidence gathered.
- A one percent drop in visitors in the year 2010 (endnote
13) would result in a decline of about $155 million in spending
in the Las Vegas area; a five percent decline would mean a decline of more
than $775 million; a ten percent decline would mean a decline of over $1.5
billion. (For comparison, the recession of 1980 and 1981 resulted in Las
Vegas visitor declines of about 1% for 1980 and 1.5% for 1981.)
- The research suggests that for each one percent drop in tourism, State
revenues would be reduced by approximately $7 million and employment in
Clark County would drop by approximately 7,000 jobs (endnote
- Under current State tax laws, repository-related increases in population
cost the State and local governments more for providing public services
than they provide in revenues, and that difference is between $670 and
$1,000 per person, per year (endnote 15).
This is a consequence of the "standard effects" of the project
and is separate from any stigma-induced economic effects that may occur
during the life of the program.
- Repository-related stigma effects, depending on their scale and character,
could have wrenching effects on Nevada's state and local government systems.
Changes in the economic base (e.g., visitor-gaming), service population
(e.g., residential and nonresidential land use and income), or population
distribution could have significant effects on government facility and
service systems, and even on the institutional arrangements for delivery
of public facilities and services. Government systems that depend on visitor-generated
revenues and are geared for growth could find it particularly difficult
to adapt to declining revenues.
- The repository project, even if it were not accompanied by risk/stigma
effects, would act as a net drain on the State General Fund. The positive
revenue effects would derive chiefly from the state sales and use tax.
On the average, General Fund revenues under the standard effects future
would increase by about $1.8 million annually during site characterization,
$5 million annually during repository construction, and about $1.5 million
annually during emplacement. However, economic modeling done as part of
the Agency's research in 1989 found that additional General Fund expenditures
required as a result of the repository-related population increases would
be approximately $4 million during site characterization, $9.6 million
during construction, and about $3.1 million during emplacement with almost
half of the additional expenditures made for educational purposes (primarily
the Distributive School Fund). The net projected fiscal shortfall is estimated
at about $21.7 million during site characterization, $27.3 million during
construction, and $40.5 million during emplacement.
- The estimated costs outlined for a sample of state agencies identified
as potentially most affected by the repository project, excluding the Department
of Transportation, total from about $85 million to over $156 million through
the year 2010 of the repository time schedule. The costs to the Department
of Transportation could reach over $800 million when all necessary route
segments are included (endnote 16).
Other state agencies still need to be studied, the repository project description
needs to be more clearly and specifically articulated by DOE, agency responses
need to be clarified, and management strategies need to be developed before
a final impact assessment can be completed.
- Consistently over three-quarters of Nevadans oppose the Yucca Mountain
project in repeated surveys taken since 1987. They support strong state
opposition to the repository program even if this means giving up potential
economic benefits. The research found that even direct cash payments would
not induce respondents to support the repository.
|In summary, the analyses undertaken to date
indicate that the development of the Yucca Mountain repository represents
a significant gamble for Nevada's future economy. The nature of that gamble
cannot be specified precisely given the uncertainties inherent in the federal
program, but the characteristics of Nevada's economy make it uniquely vulnerable
to the risk-related impacts associated with high-level radioactive waste
transportation and storage. The research has demonstrated that there exist
credible possibilities of losses to the visitor economy, the retirement
economy, and the business economy. These losses could be large and, under
certain conditions, long-lasting.
FINDINGS FROM THE
AGENCY'S HIGH-LEVEL NUCLEAR WASTE TRANSPORTATION IMPACT ASSESSMENT AND
The transportation of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level radioactive
wastes (HLW) to the proposed Yucca Mountain repository site in southern
Nevada has the potential to impact communities throughout Nevada and across
the nation. Depending upon assumptions made about the mix of shipping modes
(rail and highway), handling and shipping capabilities at points of origin
(e.g., reactor sites), size of the shipping canister or cask, and other
factors yet to be determined, a Yucca Mountain repository, if constructed
and opened, would receive between 18,800 and 92,000 shipments of spent
fuel from civilian nuclear power plants and high-level radioactive waste
from DOE weapons facilities. The repository would also receive an unknown
number of shipments of so-called "miscellaneous wastes requiring geologic
disposal." Studies by the Agency indicate that 43 states and 109 cities
with populations over 100,000 would be directly impacted by SNF and HLW
shipments to the proposed Yucca Mountain repository.
Waste transportation decisions in Nevada (e.g., routing, ports of entry,
etc.) will have implications for communities throughout the country, just
as decisions made in other states and communities will significantly impact
how HLW transportation affects Nevada and Nevada's citizens. Transportation
issues remain extremely important to the State and local communities and
may well be the most visible and dramatic "driver" of potential
repository impacts for Nevada.
Transportation studies undertaken by the Agency involved two interrelated
purposes: to characterize the transportation conditions and risks specific
to Nevada and to understand national HLW transportation issues and conditions
and their implications for Nevada. The following represents a summary of
important findings of the Agency's decade-long transportation study effort.
More complete treatment of the transportation work can be found in the
various summary reports and transportation reports published by the Agency
and its researchers.
- The number and type of shipments remain undefined more than 13 years
after the passage of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act. In the absence of accurate
and useful DOE information, the Agency carried out a comprehensive analysis
examining the effects of three scenarios set as bounding conditions. These
scenarios included a current capabilities case, a Multi- Purpose Canister
(MPC) base case, and an idealized maximum rail case (endnote
18). The analysis showed a wide variation in the potential number
of shipments. Under the "current capabilities" case, there could
be as many as 12,636 rail shipments plus 79,345 highway shipments. For
the "MPC base case," 13,916 rail and up to 26,093 highway shipments
would be needed. For the "maximum rail" scenario, there would
be 16,792 rail shipments plus up to 4,722 highway shipments.
- The consequences of a worse case accident are poorly understood. Analysis
of existing literature by Agency researchers concluded that a credible
worse case accident releasing less than 1% of the contents of a shipping
cask could cost over $600 million to clean up in a rural area and several
billion dollars in an urban area. Without full-scale testing, shipping
cask performance is, of itself, an area of significant uncertainty. Moreover,
the new shipping cask designs proposed by DOE create new opportunities
for human error and thereby increase the uncertainties associated with
spent fuel and HLW transportation. The longer shipping distances required
because of Yucca Mountain's location (more than 2,200 miles on average
compared to 600 miles for past shipments) will create additional opportunities
for equipment failures and human errors.
- Agency research has identified rail as the safest mode of waste transportation
assuming the use of dedicated trains (short trains carrying three to five
cask cars and no other cargo) operating under "special train"
safety protocols, early identification of cross- country rail routes, early
stakeholder participation in transportation system planning by corridor
states, and adequate funding for safety inspections and emergency preparedness.
However, spent fuel and HLW that is shipped in general commerce (i.e.,
mixed in with other cargoes on standard freight trains) would pose significant
logistical problems and increased risks, and such shipments are opposed
by the Association of American Railroads. DOE has not agreed to any of
the proposed rail safety recommendations.
- DOE has not specified the national routes that would be used to ship
spent fuel and high- level waste to any Nevada facility. Regardless of
what national routing scheme is finally decided upon by DOE, the State
of Nevada would be significantly impacted. Potential impacts on the Las
Vegas Valley are of particular concern. Absent action by the State of Nevada
to designate alternative highway routes (endnote
19), all of the legal weight truck shipments would go through
the Las Vegas Valley. Depending on whether and where a rail spur to Yucca
Mountain is constructed - or if an intermodal transfer facility is located
at Caliente as proposed in recent congressional legislation - at least
9% and as much as 100% of rail shipments would be routed through Las Vegas
(endnote 20). If an intermodal facility
is constructed, the Las Vegas Valley could also be impacted by heavy haul
truck shipments from Caliente or from a transfer facility located near
Nellis Air Force Base or near Arden.
- Of four primary highway routes studied, the three that traverse the
Las Vegas Valley (I- 15 from California, I-15 from Utah, and I-15 to Craig
Road) have a similar potential for much greater direct impacts on residents
and on difficult-to-evacuate groups than does the Nevada Department of
Transportation (NDOT) B route that goes through Ely, Tonopah, Goldfield,
and Beatty. The ten-mile corridors along the I-15 and US 95 routes through
Las Vegas each contain more than 500,000 Nevadans, or over one-third of
the State's population. The ten-mile corridor along the NDOT A Route (I-15
to Craig Road) has a resident population of over 260,000, while the NDOT
B Route has a population of 14,000.
- Two of the Las Vegas Valley routes also have significant potential
for direct impacts on large numbers of nonresidents, such as conventioneers,
sightseers, and casino visitors. The estimated nonresident population of
the ten-mile corridors along both the I-15 and US 95 routes is over 300,000
and includes all the major hotels and casinos of the Las Vegas Strip. Indeed,
the estimated nonresident population within the one-mile corridoralong
I-15 from California is over 110,000 and almost 315,000 within the two-mile
corridor. Such concentrations of visitors near primary highway routes have
special significance for evacuation planning and for assessment of stigma
socioeconomic impacts based on perceived risk and are subject to risk amplification.
- Prior to 1994, DOE had identified three potential rail spur routes
in Nevada: a Caliente route; a Jean route; and a Carlin route. Detailed
analysis has been performed on only the Caliente option, and DOE has no
plans to study others in more detail in the near term. The Caliente route
would require the construction of 360 miles of new track from the Union
Pacific main line north of Caliente along a circuitous route to Yucca Mountain.
The cost would be between $1 billion and $1.4 billion (in 1990 dollars).
DOE's analysis indicated there would be significant engineering challenges
and environmental hurdles involved with this spur construction.
- The difficulty of constructing rail access to Yucca Mountain should
not be under- estimated. Construction of any of DOE's three options would
be the longest new rail project in the United States since the 1930s. The
Agency has concluded that the feasibility of direct rail access to the
Nevada Test Site or Yucca Mountain cannot be confidently assumed until
DOE demonstrates that one or more routes are not only technically feasible
from an engineering standpoint, but also are environmentally, economically,
and politically viable.
- Agency research found that the location of an intermodal transfer facility
in Caliente will not eliminate rail shipments of nuclear waste through
downtown Las Vegas. Using standard routing models similar to those used
by the railroads, Agency researchers found that at least 1,150 rail casks
(9 percent of the total under the current capabilities scenario) would
be delivered to Caliente via the Union Pacific mainline through Las Vegas.
If most rail shipments from the eastern United States enter Nevada from
California, an increasingly likely prospect following the Burlington Northern-Santa
Fe and Union Pacific-Southern Pacific railroad mergers, Las Vegas could
be traversed by as many as 11,700 rail casks (over 69 percent of the total
under the maximum rail scenario) en route to Caliente. Moreover, operation
of an intermodal transfer facility in Caliente could result in an additional
12,600 to 16,800 oversized heavy haul truck shipments within Nevada.
- Initial scoping research conducted by Agency contractors concluded
that nuclear waste shipments are more vulnerable to terrorist attack than
previously thought (endnote 21).
Studies sponsored by the NRC in the early 1980s found that terrorists using
a high energy explosive device could breach a shipping cask and release
one percent of the cask's contents. The type of terrorism (domestic as
well as international), the methods that might be employed, and the weapons
available to terrorist groups have changed markedly over the past 15 years.
As a result, the risks of terrorist action - and the consequences of such
action - against spent fuel or HLW shipments may be much greater than current
- The Agency found that NRC underestimated the potential health effects
of an attack resulting in a release and that NRC did not evaluate either
the standard economic impacts nor the perceived risk-driven socioeconomic
impacts of an attack resulting in a release. Agency research has identified
major areas of uncertainty requiring further evaluation of terrorist attack
consequences by NRC and DOE. In particular, Agency research concluded that
the NRC should reexamine its earlier proposal to reduce counter terrorism
regulations and should reverse its proposal to eliminate the requirement
that armed guards escort shipments through highly populated areas.
|In summary, the Agency's research has documented
that there are substantial risks to Nevada communities and to communities
in other states along potential shipping routes from the transport of spent
nuclear fuel and high-level waste to a repository or interim storage facility
in Nevada. These risks are likely to be significant "drivers"
of many of the socioeconomic and related impacts associated with the federal
program. The Agency also found that DOE activities in the area of transportation
analysis and planning have done little to attenuate these risks and could,
in certain cases, actually exacerbate risks and their consequences.
1. Scientific experts selected to conduct
the independent studies included academic researchers from the University
of Nevada - Reno, University of Nevada - Las Vegas, Desert Research Institute,
as well as respected consultants from within and outside the State.
2. M. Johnson, 1994, "Bibliography
of Publications Related to Nevada-Sponsored Research of the Proposed Yucca
Mountain High-Level Radioactive Waste Repository Site Through 1994",
Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects, NWPO-TR-021-94.
3. Letter from E. F. Gloyna, National
Research Council/National Academy of Sciences, to S. Meyers, Office of
Waste Management, Department of Energy, April 23, 1979.
4. Such models are important because they
will be used by DOE to predict how the site will perform in isolating waste
for the 10,000 years required. If DOE uses models that do not reflect real
conditions, the results as to whether or not Yucca Mountain can isolate
waste from the environment will be skewed. DOE's insistence on using models
that reflect slow water movement conditions appear driven by the necessity
to keep groundwater travel times within required bounds, something the
actual conditions at the site do not support.
5. When nuclear material goes "critical",
it generates a great deal of heat and, under certain circumstances, can
cause an explosion - as in the case of a nuclear bomb. The criticality
concern with respect to high-level waste in a repository is that the material
might somehow become concentrated enough in the proper configuration to
begin generating heat, creating steam and pressure that could result in
a breach of isolation or cause an explosion.
6. See, for example, NWTRB (U.S. Nuclear
Waste Technical Review Board) 1994, "Report to the U.S. Congress and
the Secretary of Energy: January to December 1993", NWTRB, Arlington,
VA; and C. R. Malone, "Ecology, Ethics, and Professional Practice:
The Yucca Mountain, Nevada Project as a Case Study" in The Environmental
7. (1) "Secondary Plant Succession
on Disturbed Sites at Yucca Mountain," DOE, 1995; and (2) "Diet
of Desert Tortoises at Yucca Mountain and Implications for Habitat Reclamation,"
8. See, for example, "The Precautionary
Principle: Scientific Uncertainty and Type-I and Type-II Errors,"
by J. Lemons, K. Shrader-Frechette and C. Conner; and "The Federal
Ecosystem Management Initiative in the U.S.," by C. Malone in Prospects
for Science and Ethics (due for publication in 1997).
9. Ref. (1) "An Interim Report on
the State of Nevada Socioeconomic Studies," (June, 1989); (2)"State
of Nevada Socioeconomic Studies of Yucca Mountain 1986 - 1992: An Annotated
Guide and Research Summary," (June 1993); and (3) "State of Nevada
Socioeconomic Studies Biannual Report: 1993 - 1995," (June, 1995).
10. Ref. One Hundred Centuries of Solitude,
by James Flynn, et al., Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado (1995); and The
Dilemma of Siting a High-Level Nuclear Waste Repository, by D. Easterling
and H. Kunreuther, Kluwer Academic Publishers (1995).
11. Ref. "Interim Statement of the
Technical Review Committee on the Yucca Mountain Socioeconomic Project,"
by G. F. White, et al. (January, 1990); "Nuclear Waste's Human Dimension,"
by K. Erikson, et al., in Forum for Applied Research and Public Policy,
Fall, 1994; and "Socioeconomic Studies of High-Level Nuclear Waste
Disposal," in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol.
91, pp. 10786 - 10789, November, 1994.
12. The study team for the State socioeconomic
program is comprised of respected academic researchers and consultants
from around the country. The team was originally put together as a result
of the extensive planning process that preceded the awarding of the contract
for the effort in 1986. While members have been added and deleted over
the years, the core group of researchers has remained with the program.
Represented on the team are experts in an array of socioeconomic disciplines
from the Nevada universities, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania,
Clark University, Arizona State University, University of Oregon, the University
of South Florida, Utah State University, and consultants from the private
13. The year 2010 was used in the modeling
exercise since it is a point in time when the risks from transportation,
packaging, handling, and storage could be present.
14. These figures are expressed in terms
of 1989 dollars and use 1988 employment baseline projections. It is likely
that projections would result in larger losses/reductions if calculated
and expressed using more recent data.
15. The dependence of Nevada state and
local jurisdictions on revenue contributions of visitors is unique and
results from the fiscal structure of the state. Other economic developments,
private or public, that do not expand the contributions of visitor spending
also will have negative fiscal impacts. Public expenditures per person
would have to be provided for repository-related population in excess of
the revenues that these people would contributed through taxes, fees, etc.
This means that, in the absence of payments made by DOE for mitigation
or compensation, or changes in the Nevada tax/revenue structure, the repository
program will consistently produce significant negative fiscal impacts even
without negative stigma-related effects.
16. This analysis was initially done
in 1989 and updated for certain agencies in 1990 and 1992. Subsequent changes
in the proposed federal program (such as the addition of heavy haul transport
along state highways) will likely increase the costs to State agencies
substantially from the figures reported here.
17. A listing of Agency transportation
reports is contained in the "List of Agency Publications" included
as an appendix to this report.
18. The "current capabilities case"
assumed that shipments would occur to an interim storage facility in the
near term (i.e., beginning in 2000) and would be constrained by currently
available shipping canisters and handling/operational constraints at reactor
sites. The "MPC base case" assumed that large, multiple purpose
canisters would be supplied to utilities by DOE (a plan DOE has recently
abandoned) and increases the utilization of rail shipments. The "maximum
rail case" assumed that new, large rail shipping containers would
be available and used by utilities who also have made needed infrastructure
and related investments at reactor sites to handle rail casks rather than
shipping by truck. All information used in the analyses was obtained from
DOE and from reactor operators, railroads, etc. The full analysis is contained
in the report, "The Transportation of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level
Waste: A Systematic Basis for Planning and Management at National, Regional,
and Community Levels," by Planning Information Corporation (September,
19. Under federal law, states may designate
alternative routes for transporting radioactive materials if those routes
can be shown to be safer than the default routes - i.e., the interstate
highway system. However, such designations do not automatically mean that
shipments will follow state alternatives. Shippers can - and do - challenge
such designations on the grounds that they impede commerce, especially
if the alternative routes are significantly longer and require more time
in transit - as would be the case with any Nevada alternative.
20. If an intermodal facility is located
at Caliente, at least 9% of the waste would still be routed through Las
Vegas. If the railroads use a southern routing strategy for operational
and weather considerations, at least 68% of shipments would go through
Las Vegas. If a rail spur is built at the proposed Valley, Jean, or Dike
locations, 100% of the waste would traverse the Las Vegas Valley.
21. Ref. "A Preliminary Study of
Sabotage and Terrorism as Transportation Risk Factors Associated with the
Proposed Yucca Mountain High-Level Nuclear Waste Facility," by James
David Ballard (September, 1996).
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