Welcome to Lander County's Repository Oversight Program

This website contains information about the Lander County, Nevada Yucca Mountain repository oversight programs:

  • Scientific publications and reports,
  • Studies conducted by the program to create baselines for the counties current conditions,
  • Impact report assessements related to the propsed High-level Radioative Waste site at Yucca Mountain,
  • Information about the on-going licensing hearings for construction authorization for Yucca Mountain,
  • Photographs and maps, and
  • More about the history and current developments concerning the Yucca Mountain Repository program.

    Program Oversight Activities:
    The primary function of oversight activities is to attend program related meetings, conferences and workshops, monitor program activities, review studies and other related information and provide periodic reports to the Lander County Board of County Commissioners. Oversight functions will be administered by county staff, elected officials and the planning consultant. Lander County anticipates coordination with or attendance at meetings with the following entities:

Updates on Yucca Mountain

The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 gave DOE the responsibility to construct and operate a geologic repository for high-level waste.

The NRC was given responsibility for regulating geologic disposal of the waste. In 1987, Congress directed DOE to focus solely on Yucca Mountain as the site of a repository. DOE made its determination in 2002 that Yucca Mountain would be a suitable location; President George W. Bush and Congress accepted that determination and directed DOE to submit its license application.

May 10, 2011 - GAO: Death of Yucca Mountain Caused by Political Maneuvering

"The Energy Department began pursuing a license for the Nevada site in 2008 but pulled support a year later when the Obama administration said it was not an attractive solution for storing nuclear waste in the United States. The administration then closed out funding for the site, eliminated jobs and contractor activities and disposed of Las Vegas properties associated with the project." (The New York Times)

The Obama administration created a presidentially appointed blue ribbon commission to review alternatives for storing, processing and disposing of nuclear waste but directed the panel not to review individual sites, including Yucca Mountain. (Blue Ribbion Commissions final report).

"House lawmakers are investigating whether NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko (Greenwire) stalled the decision to politically protect his former boss, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), a leading opponent of the project(Greenwire, May 4)." (The New York Times)

August 13, 2013: A federal appeals court ordered that the licensing process for a nuclear waste storage facility in southern Nevada to resume.The Yucca Mountain project in Nye County, NV, 100 miles north of Las Vegas, Nevada, was built as a nuclear waste storage facility, and was originally slated to open in 1998. However, legal challenges and a cut in federal funding has delayed the project indefinitely.

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Judge Brett Kavanaugh sided with petitioners by granting an order that would move the licensing process for the facility, which has been stalled since 2011, forward.

"Our more modest task is to ensure, in justiciable cases, that agencies comply with the law as it has been set by Congress," Kavanaugh said in the ruling. "Here, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has continued to violate the law governing the Yucca Mountain licensing process."

Kavanaugh referenced the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, which was passed by Congress and then signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1983. The law calls for the NRC to consider an application to store nuclear waste at the mountain site and issue a decision within three years of the submission. He said that application was submitted in June 2008, but the NRC's deadline on a decision has passed.

Timeline of events for Yucca Mountain


The Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future
Final BRC report - BRC Report to the Secretary of Energy - January 2012

July 2011 - Blue Ribbon Commission's draft report:

On January 26, the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future delivered its final report to the U.S. secretary of energy. The commission was formed at the request of President Barack Obama two years ago after he announced that his administration would no longer pursue the Yucca Mountain, Nevada, nuclear waste site. Led by former U.S. representative Lee Hamilton and former U.S. national security adviser Brent Scowcroft, the 15-member commission examined various aspects of the nation’s spent fuel policy, such as repository siting and management systems, technology options, transportation, and storage.

The report calls for a range of reforms to the existing repository siting and management system and emphasizes the importance of U.S. leadership in nuclear energy technology and in global nuclear safety and security. The report’s key recommendations are that the United States needs to move forward with the siting of a permanent nuclear waste repository based on consent by “affected units of government—the host states, tribes, and local communities”; that the waste repository process should be managed by a federally chartered corporation; and that this new entity should take charge of the Nuclear Waste Fund. Additionally, the report urges the development of an interim storage site, as well as resumption of the site selection process for a permanent repository.

The Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future (Commission) submitted its final report to the Secretary of Energy on January 26, 2012.

LEE HAMILTON, CO-CHAIRMAN, represented Indiana's 9th Congressional District from January 1965-January 1999. In Congress, Hamilton served as the ranking member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and chaired the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He is president and the director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the director of The Center on Congress at Indiana University.

BRENT SCOWCROFT, CO-CHAIRMAN, served as the national security adviser to Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush. Served in the military for 29 years, and concluded at the rank of lieutenant general following service as the deputy national security adviser.

MARK AYERS, president, Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO

VICKY BAILEY, former commissioner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; former Department of Energy assistant secretary for policy and international affairs

ALBERT CARNESALE, chancellor emeritus and professor, UCLA

PETE V. DOMENICI, senior fellow, Bipartisan Policy Center; former U.S. senator from New Mexico

SUSAN EISENHOWER, president, Eisenhower Group Inc.

CHUCK HAGEL, former U.S. senator from Nebraska

JONATHAN LASH, president, World Resources Institute

ALLISON MACFARLANE, associate professor of environmental science and policy, George Mason University

RICHARD A. MESERVE, president, Carnegie Institution for Science; former chairman, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

ERNIE MONIZ, professor of physics and Cecil & Ida Green Distinguished Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

PER PETERSON, professor and chairman, Department of Nuclear Engineering, University of California-Berkeley

JOHN ROWE, chairman and chief executive officer, Exelon Corp.

PHIL SHARP, president, Resources for the Future

NV. State Legislature

Tunnel inside Yucca Mountain


September 30, 2011 - Licensing Suspended

The TER was prepared as part of the agency's knowledge management activities during the closeout of the Yucca Mountain licensing review. The closeout, including publication of two additional TERs as NUREGs, is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2011. (http://www.nrc.gov/waste/hlw-disposal/yucca-lic-app.html ).