Many people may wonder why they should participate in the EIS scoping process by writing DOE with their comments on the proposed project at Yucca Mountain. This is one of the few times that the public will have the opportunity to comment on the scope of this project, for the record. Legally, DOE is bound to consider each scoping comment, and address it in the draft EIS for the Yucca Mountain repository.
The Repository EIS will discuss the proposed action of constructing, operating, and closing a geologic repository at Yucca Mountain, and will also discuss alternatives to that action, including a No Action Alternative. The DOE has said that under the No Action Alternative, nuclear utilities would continue to store nuclear waste on-site until they run out of room. At that point the utility reactor would be shut down.
In this initial phase of the Repository EIS called "scoping," the document preparers offer the public the chance to determine what the boundaries of analysis of the project should be. It is the public's chance to state what issues, concerns, and impacts should be discussed in relation to the proposed action. Although a second phase of public review and comment is available after the draft EIS is released, this initial is very important in setting the stage for what will be analyzed. Public comments can voice concerns about the project, point out issues that should be addressed, and identify impacts that the DOE may not have considered.