United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment
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Review of DOE's Environmental Impact Statement for Yucca Mountain

The NRC has reviewed the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) prepared by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the proposed geologic repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The NRC has provided comments to DOE on their EIS.

Background

As part of the site characterization and recommendation process for the proposed geologic repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, the DOE is required by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended, to prepare an EIS. By law, the NRC is required to adopt DOE's EIS, to "the extent practicable," as part of any possible NRC construction authorization decision (see NRC's comments to the Secretary of Energy). NRC efforts to review the DOE's EIS are described below.

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Process Description

The content of the EIS must meet the directives of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as limited by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act. In accordance with its responsibility to prepare an EIS, DOE published a draft EIS (DEIS) for public comment. The NRC, as a commenting agency, has brought its expertise and concerns on environmental issues to DOE's attention through comments provided on DOE's DEIS. Under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, as amended, NRC's comments are to be included with any site recommendation provided by the Secretary of Energy to the President. The DOE published a notice of availability, in the Federal Register on May 4, 2001, of a supplement to its DEIS (hereafter referred to as the SDEIS), for a proposed geologic repository for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel and other high-level radioactive waste (HLW) at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. On February 15, 2002, the DOE submitted its site recommendation and Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), along with the NRC's comments on the FEIS.

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Status as of December 2004

NRC has completed its comments on DOE's Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement, and Final Environmental Impact Statement.

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Public Involvement

The DOE submitted its FEIS to the President along with the NRC's comments on the FEIS on February 15, 2002. At this time, before any DOE license application (if one is submitted) there are no planned opportunities for public comment.

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Page Last Reviewed/Updated Monday, November 18, 2013