The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has concluded that a proposed permanent repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radio- active waste beneath Nevada’s Yucca Mountain will have minimal impacts on groundwater and surface groundwater discharges.
Although the May 5 report determines that the repository’s impact on groundwater would be small, industry officials aren’t holding their breath that the abandoned project will be revived any time soon.
The Obama administration halted the project in 2009, but a 2013 court ruling required the NRC to complete its environmental studies on the project. In 2015, NRC stopped short of calling for authorization. A House 2017 energy and water spending bill includes some funds for the project, but the version approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee does not.
John Keeley, a Nuclear Energy Institute spokesman, says the NRC report is just the latest of a series of studies that have concluded the repository would be “safe and environmentally sound.”