United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Acceptance Review of DOE's Yucca Mountain Application

Before the staff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) begins its detailed technical review, it will first need to decide if it can accept, or “docket,” the application as it was submitted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).  This initial review to assess the completeness of the application is called the acceptance review.  The NRC’s decision regarding whether to accept DOE’s license application is also known as the “docketing decision.”

Scope of the NRC’s Acceptance Review

The acceptance review is not a detailed technical review of the application.  Rather, it serves as a screening process to determine whether a license application contains sufficient information for the NRC to begin its safety review.
During this initial review, the NRC staff will verify that DOE has met all of the following acceptance criteria:

  • The application contains all information required by NRC regulations.
  • The application contains supporting information to address all elements of DOE’s compliance demonstration.
  • DOE has complied with the NRC’s document access requirements.

Outcomes of the Acceptance Review

The acceptance review process has two possible outcomes, as follows:

  • The NRC staff is unable to accept the application for review:
    If the NRC cannot accept the application for review, it will be returned to DOE, with the deficiencies identified.

  • The NRC staff accepts the application for review:
    If the NRC accepts the application, the staff “dockets” the application and begins its detailed technical review.  The NRC will then publish a Notice of Hearing in the Federal Register to provide an opportunity for interested persons to participate in an adjudicatory proceeding (i.e., a hearing) on the license application.


The NRC staff expects to complete the acceptance review and issue a Notice of Docketing in the Federal Register approximately 90 days after receipt of the application (approximately September 2008).

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Monday, November 18, 2013