The Reclamation Program for the Yucca Mountain Project

by W. Kent Ostler, EG&G/Energy Measurements, Las Vegas, United States,
Thomas P. O'Farrell, EG&G/Energy Measurements, Las Vegas, United States,
Von K. Winkel, EG&G/Energy Measurements, Las Vegas, United States,
Brad W. Schultz, EG&G/Energy Measurements, Las Vegas, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1991


The U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) is required by law and other regulatory requirements to reclaim disturbances created by site characterization activities at Yucca Mountain. Because of the difficulty of reclaiming arid areas and the lack of site specific information on successful reclamation techniques and procedures, the DOE has developed a comprehensive reclamation program. The program consists of three phases: planning, operational and research. The planning phase is a continuing process that ensures that program policy, goals, tasks and responsibilities are clearly identified and linked. Three interrelated planning documents have been released by the DOE that establish the program objectives and outline the steps needed to successfully meet those objectives. The operational phase uses best available knowledge to develop and implement reclamation plans that are site-specific for each disturbance. Reclamation activities start prior to any surface disturbance with a survey of each disturbance by trained scientists. The scientists survey the area for the presence of protected species or critical wildlife habitat. They also gather vegetation, landscape, soils and other environmental data that is used to assess the impact of the proposed disturbance. Recommendations can be made to either avoid areas or mitigate impacts. The operational phase includes interim reclamation to protect valuable resources and control erosion prior to final reclamation. Monitoring of reclaimed sites is conducted to correct problem areas and insure that reclamation objectives are achieved. The third phase of the reclamation program is designed to provide site-specific information on effective reclamation techniques through research and field demonstrations. Information on potentially successful techniques will be used to update to improve the effectiveness of the reclamation activities at Yucca Mountain.

Subject Headings: Radioactive wastes | Geomatic surveys | Landscaping | Erosion | Industrial wastes | Arid lands | Ecosystems | Geology | Nevada | United States

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