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Title: Milestones for Selection, Characterization, and Analysis of the Performance of a Repository for Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste at Yucca Mountain.

This report presents a concise history in tabular form of events leading up to site identification in 1978, site selection in 1987, subsequent characterization, and ongoing analysis through 2009 of the performance of a repository for spent nuclear fuel and high - level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain in southern Nevada. The tabulated events generally occurred in five periods: (1) commitment to mined geologic disposal and identification of sites; (2) site selection and analysis, based on regional geologic characterization through literature and analogous data; (3) feasibility analysis demonstrating calculation procedures and importance of system components, based on rough measures of performance using surface exploration, waste process knowledge, and general laboratory experiments; (4) suitability analysis demonstrating viability of disposal system, based on environment - specific laboratory experiments, in - situ experiments, and underground disposal system characterization; and (5) compliance analysis, based on completed site - specific characterization . The current sixth period beyond 2010 represents a new effort to set waste management policy in the United States. Because the relationship is important to understanding the evolution of the Yucca Mountain Project , the tabulation also shows the interaction between the policy realm and technical realm using four broad categories of eventsmore » : (a) Regulatory requirements and related federal policy in laws and court decisions, (c) Presidential and agency directives, (c) technical milestones of implementing institutions, and (d) critiques of the Yucca Mountain Project and pertinent national and world events related to nuclear energy and radioactive waste. Preface The historical progression of technical milestones for the Yucca Mountain Project was originally developed for 10 journal articles in a special issue of Reliability Engineering System Safety on the performance assessment for the Yucca Mountain license application [1-10]. The listing of mile stones, a distinct feature of those articles, has been collected and tabulated here. A lthough a brief description is presented here (based on the summaries in the 10 journal articles), the emphasis remains on the tabulation because of its usefulness in providing a comprehensive but concise history of the Yucca Mountain Project. The tabulation presented here is more elaborate than originally presented in that many of the interactions that occurred between the technical realm and policy realm can be depicted in separate columns. The usefulness of the milestones table is due in part to L.A. Connolly, for editorial and reference support, and S.K. Best, Raytheon, and L. Mays, Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), for illustration support. Reviewers P.N. Swift, SNL, and K. Gupta, University of Oklahoma, helped improve the discussion. The historical perspective presented is that of the author and is not necessarily held by reviewers, Sandia National Laboratories , and the US Department of Energy. As a historic perspective, the author is reporting on the work of others; however, any interpretative error s of the documentation are those of the author alone. The characterization and modeling of the Yucca Mountain disposal system required numerous participants with expertise in many areas of science and technology, as evident from the extensive reference list. Their diligent efforts are generally acknowledged here and through the many references to their impressive work, but the 10 journal articles acknowledge by name many of the numerous participants that contributed to the Yucca Mountain Project .« less
  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
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Resource Type:
Technical Report
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Related Information: This report supersedes SAND2014-0916.
Research Org:
Sandia National Laboratories (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States