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Historical Information

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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:

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NRC's Yucca Mountain Licensing Activities (June 2008 – September 2011)

The NRC received an application from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on June 3, 2008, for a license to construct and operate the nation's first geologic repository for high-level nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.

On March 3, 2010, the DOE filed a motion with the Board seeking permission to withdraw its license application. The Board denied that request on June 29, 2010, and the parties filed petitions asking the Commission to uphold or reverse this decision.

On October 1, 2010, the NRC began orderly closure of its Yucca Mountain activities. As part of the orderly closure, the NRC staff prepared reports summarizing NRC staff's technical review of DOE's application.

On September 9, 2011, the Commission issued an order stating that it found itself evenly divided on whether to take the affirmative action of overturning or upholding the Board's June 29, 2010, decision. Exercising its inherent supervisory authority, the Commission directed the Board to complete all necessary and appropriate case management activities by the end of September. On September 30, 2011, the Board suspended the proceeding.

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NRC Staff's Technical Evaluation Reports

NRC Makes Public Staff's Postclosure Technical Evaluation Report (July 21, 2011)

  • News Release
  • NUREG-2107, "Technical Evaluation Report on the Content of the U.S. Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain Repository License Application; Postclosure Volume: Repository Safety After Permanent Closure." (ML11223A273)

NRC Makes Public Staff's Preclosure Technical Evaluation Report (September 1, 2011)

  • News Release
  • NUREG-2108, "Technical Evaluation Report on the Content of the U.S. Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain Repository License Application; Preclosure Volume: Repository Safety Before Permanent Closure" (ML11250A093)

NRC Makes Public Staff's Administrative and Programmatic Technical Evaluation Report (September 12, 2011)

  • News Release
  • NUREG-2109, "Technical Evaluation Report on the Content of the U.S. Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain Repository License Application; Administrative and Programmatic Volume" (ML11255A002)

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NRC's Knowledge Management Reports

October 2010 – September 2011

November 2016 – September 2017

High-Level Waste Disposal Meeting Archive

The meeting archive contains records, such as transcripts, meeting summaries, and presentation materials for meetings associated with the high-level waste repository.

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Page Last Reviewed/Updated Monday, February 12, 2018