NRC applies million-year standard to Yucca Mountain

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The Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved a rule incorporating Environmental Protection Agency radiation protection standards for the proposed high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nev., for the period beyond 10,000 years and up to 1 million years.

The rule makes NRC’s regulations for Yucca Mountain consistent with EPA’s revised standards. The EPA standards were issued last September. The EPA’s revised standards and the NRC’s rulemaking were required by a 2004 federal court ruling, which overturned an earlier EPA standard limiting the compliance period to 10,000 years.

The final rule retains EPA’s standard dose limit of 15 millirem for individuals for the first 10,000 years after disposal. It also adopts EPA’s 100 millirem dose limit for the period after 10,000 years and up to 1 million years.


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