In early May 2016, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) published the staff’s final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) supplement on a proposed permanent repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. The supplement analyzes potential impacts on groundwater and surface groundwater discharges and determines all impacts would be “small.”
The May 2016 NRC document that supplements Environmental Impact Statements that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) prepared on the proposed repository. DOE issued the final EIS in 2002, then supplemented it in June 2008 when it submitted a construction authorization application to the NRC.
Under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, the NRC is to adopt DOE’s EIS to the extent practicable. In September 2008, NRC staff recommended adoption of DOE’s Environmental Impact Statements, but noted the need to supplement the study of groundwater effects in the Yucca Mountain aquifer beyond DOE’s analyzed location at the site boundary. DOE ultimately deferred to the NRC to prepare the supplement.
In August 2015, NRC published a draft of the supplement for public comment. (See LLW Notes, July/August 2016, pp. 28-29.) During the 91-day comment period, NRC staff conducted public meetings to present the report and receive comments in Rockville, Maryland and in Las Vegas and Amargosa Valley, Nevada.
The NRC received more than 1,200 comments on the draft supplement, including comment letters and oral comments. The NRC staff’s responses to these comments, and descriptions of changes made to the final report in response to comments, can be found in Appendix B of the supplement.
The supplement to the Yucca Mountain EIS is available on the NRC’s website at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/nuregs/staff/sr2184/.
For additional information, please contact David McIntyre of the NRC at (301) 415-8200.