From: Reuters
Published March 10, 2008 05:56 PM

Nuclear regulators seek comments on Yucca Mountain

HOUSTON (Reuters) - A Nuclear Regulatory Commission review board seeks information from members of the public interested in setting the direction of a hearing on Yucca Mountain, the long-delayed, high-level nuclear waste repository in Nevada.

The battle over licensing and construction of a long-term geologic waste repository at Yucca Mountain is one challenge to a revival of nuclear-plant construction in the United States.

A board created last month will use information from interested parties to make recommendations on the hearing process to the nuclear agency.

Potential parties include individuals; public interest or nuclear industry organizations; or federal, tribal, state or local government entities that want to introduce or litigate a legal or technical issue in the anticipated high-level waste repository proceeding, the NRC said.

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The U.S. Department of Energy has indicated it plans to submit an application to the NRC by the end of the summer to construct a geologic high-level waste repository at Yucca Mountain.

The NRC is required by law to complete its review of the application within three years, with a possible one-year extension, the agency said in a release. To meet this timeline, the NRC regulations establish a schedule for an adjudicatory hearing on the application.

The board issued its first request for information March 6, asking potential interveners to estimate the number of contentions they might file. Potential parties are asked to respond to the current request by March 24.

(Reporting by Eileen O'Grady; Editing by David Gregorio)

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