If the U.S. Department of Energy receives a license from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to build and operate a repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, it will begin shipping nuclear waste from commercial and government-owned sites to the repository sometime after 2017. This opening date of 2017 is a "best-achievable schedule" and is predicated upon enactment of new legislation.

The department must ship the waste according to strict federal regulations. The waste will be transported in heavily shielded casks certified by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission along approved transportation routes.

Additionally, the department will provide technical assistance and funding to states and Native American tribes for training emergency response personnel.

The DOE submitted their License Application to the NRC on June 3rd, 2008. Part of the application contained the following transportation documents.

Overview: The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) proposed spent nuclear fuel and High Level Waste (HLW) transportation systems:  DOE states they have developed a private sector approach for moving spent nuclear fuel to a national geological repository (Yucca Mountain) in southern Nevada.  DOE is pursuing an acquisition process that relies on private industry (contractors) to help the department provide services and equipment required to move waste to Yucca Mountain, Nevada.  Under a draft Request for Proposals (RFP), published on September 1998 by DOE's Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (i.e., OCRWM or RW), the department intends to purchase services and equipment from Regional Servicing Contractors (RSCs) who will perform waste acceptance and transportation operations to Yucca Mountain, Nevada.

OCRWM will maintain primary responsibility to the States, Tribes and Affected Units of Government (AUG) for assuring appropriate interaction and consideration of their input on transportation of spent nuclear fuel and will retain final approval of all transportation routes.  The private sector contractors will accept spent nuclear fuel from its owners and generators (i.e., public and private nuclear power plants) and supply transportation casks and equipment for moving spent fuel to Yucca Mountain.