United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

List and Status of Key Technical Issues for High-Level Waste Disposal

The staff has identified the following nine key technical issues (KTIs) associated with the proposed geologic respository for the disposal of high-level waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada:

KTI No. Title Short Description Status
1. Igneous Activity The likelihood and consequences of volcanic activity Closed-Pending
2. Structural Deformation and Seismicity Evaluation of earthquake and fault activity Closed-Pending
3. Evolution of the Near-Field Geochemical Environment Changes in the waste package environment over long periods Closed-Pending
4. Container Life and Source Term Prediction of the waste package container lifetime, including estimates of the amount of radioactivity that may escape from deteriorated waste packages Closed-Pending
5. Thermal Effects on Flow Understanding the effects of heat generated by the waste on moisture flow around the repository Closed-Pending
6. Repository Design and Thermal-Mechanical Effects Evaluating how heat from the waste may affect the mechanical properties of the geologic repository design Closed-Pending
7. Unsaturated and Saturated Flow under Isothermal Conditions Characterization of ground water flow near the repository Closed-Pending
8. Radionuclide Transport Identification of key geochemical processes that may control radionuclide transport at Yucca Mountain Closed-Pending
9. Total System Performance Assessment and Integration Development of the capability to conduct and review total system performance assessments Closed-Pending

Explanation of Status:

Issues are closed-pending if the NRC staff has confidence that the DOE proposed approach, together with the DOE agreement to provide the NRC with additional information (through specified testing, analysis, etc.), acceptably addresses the NRC's questions such that no information beyond that provided, or agreed to, will likely be required at time of initial license application. The term "closed pending" is merely a bookkeeping term. It means that DOE has agreed to provide information that, in the NRC staff's view, should close the issue, but, at the same time, this characterization does not imply that the staff has prejudged the outcome of the review of that information. Notwithstanding any such characterization, all issues will remain subject to further consideration during licensing if a license application for Yucca Mountain is received.

NUREG-1762, "Integrated Issue Resolution Status Report," provides background information on the status of pre-licensing interactions between the NRC and DOE concerning the proposed high-level waste geologic repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, January 18, 2013