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Yucca Mountain Licensing Standard Options for Very Long Time Frames: Technical Bases for the Standard and Compliance Assessments

Electric Power Research Institute
Publication Date


In the existing U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regulations governing the spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, the time period of compliance was set at 10,000 years. Recently, a Court ordered that EPA and NRC either revise the regulation on this topic to be "based upon and consistent with" recommendations made by a panel of the National Academy of Sciences, who recommended a time period of compliance out to as long as one million years, or seek congressional relief. This report summarizes the technical issues related to establishing a meaningful, reasonable, and implementable standard for such a long time period of compliance assuming no congressional action is taken. The report also makes a set of recommendations.