NRC issues draft environmental impact study on proposed Yucca facility

The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) announced Friday that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has released a supplement to an environmental impact statement on the Yucca Mountain repository, citing minimal environmental impact.

The NRC's analysis found that the radiological doses of the facility at its estimated peak would still be far below the federal limitations regarding the area's groundwater supply. Non-radiological contaminants impact would be even smaller, the NRC reports that this grade of contaminant would be so small that it would be difficult to detect. 

“The NRC’s analysis updates the methodology by which potential groundwater releases are evaluated. This further affirms the finding earlier this year in the agency’s final safety evaluation report that Yucca Mountain will protect public health and safety for 1 million years,” NEI Senior Director for Used Fuel and Decommissioning Programs Rodney McCullum said.

The NRC statement supplements two environmental impact statements that were conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2002 and 2008.

The Yucca Mountain Repository would house spent nuclear fuel and other highly radioactive nuclear waste from several decommissioned nuclear reactor sites and some that are still in operation. The NRC will allow public comments on this draft environmental impact statement beginning on Aug. 21. They will also hold public meetings in September and a conference call in October.

The NRC intends to release the final draft in 2016.

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Nuclear Energy Institute

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