Yucca Mountain EIS
Environmental Impact Statements
Readers Note — This webpage attempts to present how DOE complied with the requirements of the the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) and the National Environmental Policy Act concerning the preporation of various Environmental Impact Statements for the proposed Repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.
Yucca Mountain EIS Description — Geologic Repository for the Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada Environmental Impact Statement - Document Number: DOE/EIS-0250
Background —The Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) requires the Department of Energy (DOE) to assess the potential environmental impacts from construction, operation, and closure of a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licensed geologic repository for disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The above referenced Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was required to support DOE's site recommendation to the President, as per Section 114 of the NWPA.
As noted above the final EIS was issued in February 2002. Of note, when the NWPA was amended (i.e., in 1987) the amendment directed DOE to evaluate only Yucca Mountain as a candidate disposal site. The Act also restricted the analysis of alternatives that the EIS must consider. To assist with meaningful comparison of potential impacts associated with the proposed action, the EIS evaluated a No Action alternative and three thermal loading implementing alternatives: (1) high thermal load; (2) intermediate thermal load, and (3) low thermal load. The EIS included an evaluation of the environmental impacts of surface and subsurface construction, operation, and eventual closure activities, as well as national and regional transportation and various packaging options for shipping spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste.
Repository [Suplementail] SEIS — In October 2007, DOE issued two additional Draft National Environmental Policy Act documents related to the Yucca Mountain Project. The first document, the Repository SEIS, is a supplement to the Yucca Mountain Final EIS that DOE issued in 2002 (see above). The Repository SEIS evaluates the potential environmental impacts of constructing and operating the Yucca Mountain repository under the repository design and operational plans that have been developed since the Yucca Mountain Final EIS was issued. Repository SEIS [12 MB, PDF] Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for a Geologic Repository for the Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada
Nevada Rail Corridor SEIS — The second document relates to the transportation of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste in Nevada and contains two parts. The first part, the Draft Nevada Rail Corridor SEIS, considers the potential environmental impacts of transport along the Mina corridor, which was analyzed in response to public comments. It also updates the information and analysis for other Nevada rail corridors evaluated in the Yucca Mountain Final EIS. The second part, the Draft Rail Alignment EIS, evaluates the potential environmental impacts of constructing and operating a railroad along specific alignments for both the Mina and Caliente corridors, although Caliente is the Department's preferred corridor [See Caliente 2004 EIS ROD]. [See Map]
The Rail Alignment EIS (DOE/EIS-0369) analyzes the potential impacts of railroad construction and operation along common segments and alternative segments within the Caliente (selected in a previous Record of Decision, 69 Federal Register 18557) and Mina rail corridors for the purpose of determining an alignment for the construction and operation of a railroad for shipments of spent nuclear fuel, high-level radioactive waste, and materials from an existing rail line in Nevada to a geologic repository at Yucca Mountain. The Rail Alignment EIS also analyzes the potential impacts of constructing and operating support facilities.