NRC makes millions of Yucca Mountain hearing documents publicly available

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has made nearly 3.7 million documents from the adjudicatory hearing on the proposed nuclear waste repository at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain publicly available in the agency’s online documents database.

The documents were formerly part of the Licensing Support Network (LSN) created to allow various parties and the public access to documents needed for the hearing on the Department of Energy’s request for a construction authorization for the repository. The NRC’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Boards had admitted nearly 300 contentions from various parties challenging aspects of DOE’s application. The LSN was shut down when the hearing was suspended in September 2011 after Congress reduced funding.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ordered the NRC in August 2013 to resume its review of the application using the remaining previously appropriated funds.

In response, the staff completed the Safety Evaluation Report in January 2015 and a supplement to DOE’s Environmental Impact Statement in May 2016.

The LSN documents were placed in the NRC’s online documents database, known as ADAMS, to comply with federal records requirements and assist the staff in completing the safety review. At that time, only LSN documents submitted by the staff were publicly available. However, the Commission directed that all LSN documents be made publicly available in ADAMS once the staff completed its license review activities.