Monitored Retrievable Storage (MRS)
The The Nuclear Waste Policy Act (1982) authorized the Department of Energy (DOE) to, among other things, remove spent fuel from commercial reactor sites beginning in 1998, and to develop a Monitored Retrievable Storage (MRS) site at which the waste would be stored prior to disposal. Sites subsequently selected by the DOE for a MRS were opposed by the elected officials of the potentially affected states.
In 1987, under an amendment to the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, the Office of the United States Nuclear Waste Negotiator was established with the intent of reaching agreements with states or Indian Tribes to host nuclear waste facilities under any "reasonable and appropriate terms." This also proved unsuccessful, although it should be noted that several communities (including Indian tribes) expressed formal interest in being considered. In each case, however, the host state was not supportive and the process did not move forward.
In 1996, several private companies formed a consortium and signed an agreement with the Skull Valley Goshute Indian Tribe to open an Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation on the Tribe's reservation in Utah. The consortium applied for and received from the NRC a license to construct the proposed storage facility. However, it faced opposition from the State of Utah, and decisions by other federal agencies stopped the project. Subsequent court rulings have been in favor of the Tribe, but the future of the storage facility is still uncertain.