NRC's Yucca Mountain Pre-Licensing Activities
In implementing its regulatory program for high-level waste (HLW) disposal, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) initially focused on pre-licensing activities and activities to determine how the NRC will regulate the proposed geologic repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, throughout its lifecycle if the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is granted a license to construct and operate the facility. In so doing, the NRC was assisted by the Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses (CNWRA). The CNWRA was established in 1987 as a Federally funded research and development center, sponsored by the NRC, to resolve technical and regulatory issues related to the potential geologic repository.
Before DOE submitted its license application to the NRC on June 3, 2008, the NRC had the following pre-licensing responsibilities, in addition to establishing High-Level Waste Disposal Regulations, Guidance, and Communications:
- Review of DOE's Site Characterization Process
- Review of DOE's Site Recommendation
- Review of DOE's EIS for Yucca Mountain
- Development of Licensing Criteria