The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has formally restarted work on its safety evaluation report for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada. In August, a federal appeals court ruled that the agency had effectively ignored federal law by suspending licensing work on the project, which had been shelved by the Department of Energy under the Obama administration. The NRC had argued it had the authority to suspend the work because only $11 million of $99 million needed to complete the licensing process was available, and the agency did not foresee further congressional funding.In a release Monday, the NRC said it directed staff to load documents from the Licensing Support Network into the non-public version of the ADAMS database, although it will not reconstitute the LSN – a Web-based system maintaining millions of pages of DOE documents that must be made public for the licensing process to proceed. The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board's adjudication of 319 contentions related to the license will remain on hold. While the LSN documents are public records, the NRC said publishing them will be dependent on funding to do so. The agency also requested a supplemental environmental impact statement from DOE.
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I understand that the biggest problem with the Yucca Mountain Repository is not with the repository itself, but the actual transporting of nuclear waste and spent fuel from nuclear plants to this site. No one has a problem with permanent storage in a safe facility like Yucca Mountain. What scares everyone, and rightly so, is getting it there. We would have to use existing rail routes, which generally go through cities, or trucks on our interstates to transport this material. All of which puts the general public at risk. Meanwhile the government and the NRC continue to play this game about money all while every nuclear plant continues to store all their spent fuel on site.
It's long past time where they need to figure out an answer to this problem. Either we find a way to safely transport this material to a safe repository, or decide to continue to store it, and let it pile up, on site. Why are we wasting money on ANY concern other than this?
I don't understand all this concern about transportation. The WIPP site is already accepting shipments of TRU wastes that are being trucked in. Large volumes of propane and other hydrocarbons are shipped by train. I think I'd rather live next door to a railroad that transports used nuclear fuel than propane, anhydrous ammonia, or chlorine.