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No. 03-034 March 24, 2003

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The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is making publicly available a draft final version of the plan it would use to review an expected application from the Department of Energy (DOE) to construct a high-level nuclear waste geologic repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.

The principal purpose of the Yucca Mountain Review Plan would be to ensure the quality and uniformity of the NRC staff's reviews. A previous draft of the plan was released in March 2002, and public comments were invited during a 5-month public comment period that ended August 12 of last year. The staff also conducted three public meetings in Nevada on the draft plan to solicit comments. Approximately 1000 comments were received, including comments from the NRC’s Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste.

The current draft version is being made available today for information - - not for comment. It has not yet received Commission approval and is subject to change by the NRC. If the Commission approves the plan, the NRC will issue the final version and publish an associated Federal Register notice that will include a summary of public comments received and changes made to the March 2002 draft.

The plan has separate sections for potential reviews of repository safety before permanent closure, safety after permanent closure, the research and development program to resolve safety questions, the performance confirmation program and administrative and programmatic requirements. Each of these sections would define how NRC would review DOE's compliance with NRC regulations.

The "Yucca Mountain Review Plan, Draft Final Revision 2,” is available electronically through the NRC's website at

NRC news releases are available through a free listserv subscription at the following Web address: The NRC Home Page at also offers a Subscribe to News link in the News & Information menu. E-mail notifications are sent to subscribers when news releases are posted to NRC's Web Site.

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