Nuclear Waste: Disposal Challenges and Lessons Learned from Yucca Mountain

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The United States has generated over 75,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel and high-level nuclear waste--extremely hazardous substances--at 80 sites in 35 states and is expected to more than double that amount by 2055. The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA) required the Department of Energy (DOE) to investigate a geologic repository for nuclear waste. In 1987, Congress amended NWPA to direct DOE to focus on a repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. In 2008, DOE submitted a license application for the repository but in March 2010 ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. June 1, 2011.

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The United States has generated over 75,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel and high-level nuclear waste--extremely hazardous substances--at 80 sites in 35 states and is expected to more than double that amount by 2055. The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA) required the Department of Energy (DOE) to investigate a geologic repository for nuclear waste. In 1987, Congress amended NWPA to direct DOE to focus on a repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. In 2008, DOE submitted a license application for the repository but in March 2010 moved to withdraw it. However, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) or the courts--as a result of federal lawsuits--might compel DOE to resume the licensing process. GAO has reported on options for interim storage of this waste and the effects a Yucca Mountain termination could have on both commercial waste and DOE-managed waste. This testimony is based on that prior work and discusses (1) the status of the Yucca Mountain repository and national policy for nuclear waste disposal, (2) options for storing nuclear waste and their benefits and challenges, and (3) principal lessons that can be learned from past nuclear waste management efforts."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • June 1, 2011

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  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Nuclear Waste: Disposal Challenges and Lessons Learned from Yucca Mountain, text, June 1, 2011; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc295199/: accessed December 10, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.