The US Nuclear Energy Institute has lost its appeal against a ruling by the US Circuit Court of Appeals that labelled the Yucca Mountain design standard invalid.

The court ruled on 9 July that the US Environmental Protection Agency’s standard, ‘improperly deviated’ from a recommendation by the National Academy of Sciences that radiological release from the facility should be limited for a period in excess of 10,000 years. Releases from the Yucca Mountain repository are projected to peak about 270,000 years after its closure.

In another blow to the marathon project, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) has unanimously ruled that the DoE’s design documentation database, submitted as a precursor to the licensing process proper, was seriously flawed, branding the 1.2 million document database ‘incomplete’.

About one million documents and four million emails relating to the project remain unposted. Until the ASLB is satisfied with the DoE’s submission, the six-month public review period that precedes licensing cannot begin.

Yucca Mountain

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