WASHINGTON—The Nuclear Energy Institute’s president and chief executive officer, Frank L. (Skip) Bowman, made the following remarks today in response to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s decision to accept for review the license application for the planned repository at Yucca Mountain, Nev., for used nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The U.S. Department of Energy submitted the license application to the NRC in early June:
“This is another important step toward determining the scientific and technical basis for disposing of the radioactive byproducts (used fuel and/or other waste forms from future used fuel recycling) of the nation’s commercial and defense nuclear activities in a geologic repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This progress in the Yucca Mountain licensing process demonstrates that the United States is at the forefront of international efforts to safely manage used nuclear fuel in the manner that the scientific community has recommended for decades.
“The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has determined that the license application submitted by the Department of Energy—after two full decades of scientific study—is sufficiently complete, and that the NRC’s independent, technical evaluation can begin.
“This determination initiates the most rigorous phase of an unprecedented licensing process that will be transparent to the public, with the state of Nevada, several affected units of local government and Indian tribes among its active participants. As the NRC undertakes its formal scientific and technical review, there will be multiple opportunities for the public to participate in and observe the process.”