Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Program on Energy and Sustainable Development Stanford University


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What does 1 million years mean to a regulator?


Edward Blandford - Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow at CISAC
Robert Budnitz - Staff Scientist, Earth Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Rodney C. Ewing - Professor, Department of Geological Sciences at Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Michigan

Published by
Nuclear News, November 2011


When the Obama administration withdrew the license application for the proposed geologic repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste, the United States not only ended more than 25 years of research and effort in developing a long-term solution for dealing with HLW, it also lost the regulatory framework for the same. The Environmental Protection Agency’s standards and the implementing regulations of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission are site-specific, unique to Yucca Mountain. In the absence of a repository at Yucca Mountain, a new standard and new regulations will be required. In this article, two different viewpoints are given on how to assess compliance.