The Last Twelve Months at Yucca Mountain

by Carl P. Gertz, US Dept of Energy, Las Vegas, United States,
A. C. Robison, US Dept of Energy, Las Vegas, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1991


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is evaluating Yucca Mountain in Nevada to determine if the site would be a safe location for a high-level radioactive waste repository. As mandated by Congress, the DOE must study the geology, hydrology, environment and other factors to predict whether a geologic repository about 305 meters (1,000 feet) below Yucca Mountain's surface could isolate high-level waste for 10,000 years. Yucca Mountain lies on the western edge of the Nevada Test Site, 177 kilometers (110 miles) northwest of Las Vegas. Figure 1 shows where Yucca Mountain is located in the Southern Nevada region. The Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP) has embarked on a broad-based testing program designed to examine all factors that could impact the performance of a repository. While there are several site studies under way, major site investigations have not progressed as planned. The DOE is presently involved in litigation with the state of Nevada, which has refused to issue environmental permits that are required before new site characterization studies can begin. This paper will examine progress made on the YMP during the past year, discuss studies that are planned in the near-term, and will describe the Project's interactions with oversight groups, government entities, and the public.

Subject Headings: Radioactive wastes | Site investigation | Federal government | Waste sites | Waste management | Geology | Waste storage | Nevada | United States | Las Vegas

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