Nuclear Waste:

Quarterly Report on DOE's Nuclear Waste Program as of September 30, 1988

RCED-89-22FS: Published: Nov 22, 1988. Publicly Released: Nov 22, 1988.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO provided its quarterly report on the Department of Energy's (DOE) efforts to implement the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, focusing on the: (1) nuclear industry's and Nevada's comments on the DOE draft plan for investigating the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository site; and (2) DOE and Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) efforts to streamline the licensing proceedings and to develop the Licensing Support System.

GAO reviewed the comments on the draft site characterization plan, and found that: (1) the utility industry noted that the plan was thorough, and exceeded the act's requirements; (2) the industry believes that DOE should develop a methodology for evaluating the Yucca Mountain site separately from the plan to discover any factors that would eliminate the site from consideration; (3) Nevada believes that the plan did not comply with the act's requirements for site characterization; (4) Nevada noted that the characterization was incomplete, lacked decontamination and decomposition plans, and did not contain the required conceptual design of a repository; (5) the DOE Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management estimated that the $195 million needed to develop the Licensing Support System would equal the cost of a 1-year delay in streamlining licensing procedures; and (6) DOE awarded a $5.7-million contract to develop the system, which would be capable of producing all relevant documentation associated with repository license application procedures.

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