NRC Finds Environmental Impact of Yucca Mountain Would Be ‘Small’

In a 301-page supplemental environmental impact statement, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission found the potential environmental impacts of groundwater and impacts associated with the discharge of any contaminated groundwater from using Yucca Mountain as a repository for nuclear fuel and radioactive waster would be “small”.

The direct, indirect and cumulative effects on water, soil, public health, ecology, historical and cultural resources and climate change would neither destabilize nor noticeably alter the environment, according to the report released late Thursday.

Yucca Mountain has been a point of interest in Congress as Republicans want to move forward on securing nuclear waste repositories. In a March hearing, Senate Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) named Yucca Mountain as one of the best options for disposing of used nuclear fuel. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy Chairman John Shimkus (R-Ill.) also sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office requesting information on the DOE’s plan to restart and review the facilities license application.

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