42 U.S. Code § 10133 - Site characterization

(a) In general
The Secretary shall carry out, in accordance with the provisions of this section, appropriate site characterization activities at the Yucca Mountain site. The Secretary shall consider fully the comments received under subsection (b)(2) andsection 10132 (b)(2) of this title and shall, to the maximum extent practicable and in consultation with the Governor of the State of Nevada, conduct site characterization activities in a manner that minimizes any significant adverse environmental impacts identified in such comments or in the environmental assessment submitted under subsection (b)(1). [1]
(b) Commission and States
(1) Before proceeding to sink shafts at the Yucca Mountain site, the Secretary shall submit for such candidate site to the Commission and to the Governor or legislature of the State of Nevada, for their review and comment—
(A) a general plan for site characterization activities to be conducted at such candidate site, which plan shall include—
(i) a description of such candidate site;
(ii) a description of such site characterization activities, including the following: the extent of planned excavations, plans for any onsite testing with radioactive or nonradioactive material, plans for any investigation activities that may affect the capability of such candidate site to isolate high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel, and plans to control any adverse, safety-related impacts from such site characterization activities;
(iii) plans for the decontamination and decommissioning of such candidate site, and for the mitigation of any significant adverse environmental impacts caused by site characterization activities if it is determined unsuitable for application for a construction authorization for a repository;
(iv) criteria to be used to determine the suitability of such candidate site for the location of a repository, developed pursuant to section 10132 (a) of this title; and
(v) any other information required by the Commission;
(B) a description of the possible form or packaging for the high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel to be emplaced in such repository, a description, to the extent practicable, of the relationship between such waste form or packaging and the geologic medium of such site, and a description of the activities being conducted by the Secretary with respect to such possible waste form or packaging or such relationship; and
(C) a conceptual repository design that takes into account likely site-specific requirements.
(2) Before proceeding to sink shafts at the Yucca Mountain site, the Secretary shall
(A) make available to the public the site characterization plan described in paragraph (1); and
(B) hold public hearings in the vicinity of such candidate site to inform the residents of the area in which such candidate site is located of such plan, and to receive their comments.
(3) During the conduct of site characterization activities at the Yucca Mountain site, the Secretary shall report not less than once every 6 months to the Commission and to the Governor and legislature of the State of Nevada, on the nature and extent of such activities and the information developed from such activities.
(c) Restrictions
(1) The Secretary may conduct at the Yucca Mountain site only such site characterization activities as the Secretary considers necessary to provide the data required for evaluation of the suitability of such site for an application to be submitted to the Commission for a construction authorization for a repository at such site, and for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).
(2) In conducting site characterization activities—
(A) the Secretary may not use any radioactive material at a site unless the Commission concurs that such use is necessary to provide data for the preparation of the required environmental reports and an application for a construction authorization for a repository at such site; and
(B) if any radioactive material is used at a site—
(i) the Secretary shall use the minimum quantity necessary to determine the suitability of such site for a repository, but in no event more than the curie equivalent of 10 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel; and
(ii) such radioactive material shall be fully retrievable.
(3) If the Secretary at any time determines the Yucca Mountain site to be unsuitable for development as a repository, the Secretary shall—
(A) terminate all site characterization activities at such site;
(B) notify the Congress, the  [2] Governor and legislature of Nevada of such termination and the reasons for such termination;
(C) remove any high-level radioactive waste, spent nuclear fuel, or other radioactive materials at or in such site as promptly as practicable;
(D) take reasonable and necessary steps to reclaim the site and to mitigate any significant adverse environmental impacts caused by site characterization activities at such site;
(E) suspend all future benefits payments under part F of this subchapter with respect to such site; and
(F) report to Congress not later than 6 months after such determination the Secretary’s recommendations for further action to assure the safe, permanent disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste, including the need for new legislative authority.
(d) Preliminary activities
Each activity of the Secretary under this section that is in compliance with the provisions of subsection (c) shall be considered a preliminary decisionmaking activity. No such activity shall require the preparation of an environmental impact statement under section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332 (2)(C)), or to  [3] require any environmental review under subparagraph (E) or (F) of section 102(2) of such Act.


[1]  See References in Text note below.

[2]  So in original. Probably should read “Congress and the”.

[3]  So in original. The word “to” probably should not appear.

Source

(Pub. L. 97–425, title I, § 113,Jan. 7, 1983, 96 Stat. 2211; Pub. L. 100–202, § 101(d) [title III, § 300], Dec. 22, 1987, 101 Stat. 1329–104, 1329–121; Pub. L. 100–203, title V, § 5011(e)–(g), Dec. 22, 1987, 101 Stat. 1330–228.)
References in Text

Subsection (b)(1), referred to in subsec. (a), probably means subsec. (b)(1) ofsection 10132 of this title, which relates to nomination of repository sites for radioactive waste and submission of environmental assessments for those sites.
The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, referred to in subsec. (c)(1), is Pub. L. 91–190, Jan. 1, 1970, 83 Stat. 852, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 55 (§ 4321 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 4321 of this title and Tables.
Amendments

1987—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 100–202and Pub. L. 100–203, § 5011(e)(2), which contained identical amendments directing that “at the Yucca Mountain site” be substituted for “beginning” and all that follows through “geological media”, were executed by substituting “at the Yucca Mountain site” for “beginning with the candidate sites that have been approved under section 10132 of this title and are located in various geologic media” as the probable intent of Congress.
Pub. L. 100–202and Pub. L. 100–203, § 5011(e)(1), amended subsec. (a) identically, substituting “State of Nevada” for “State involved or the governing body of the affected Indian tribe involved”.
Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 100–202and Pub. L. 100–203, § 5011(f)(1), amended par. (1) identically, substituting “the Yucca Mountain site” for “any candidate site” and “the Governor or legislature of the State of Nevada” for “either the Governor and legislature of the State in which such candidate site is located, or the governing body of the affected Indian tribe on whose reservation such candidate site is located, as the case may be”.
Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 100–202and Pub. L. 100–203, § 5011(f)(2), amended par. (2) identically, substituting “the Yucca Mountain site” for “any candidate site”.
Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 100–202and Pub. L. 100–203, § 5011(f)(3), amended par. (3) identically, substituting “the Yucca Mountain site” for “a candidate site”, striking “either” before “the Governor”, and substituting “the State of Nevada” for “the State in which such candidate site is located, or the governing body of the affected Indian tribe where such candidate site is located, as the case may be”.
Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 100–202and Pub. L. 100–203, § 5011(g)(1), amended par. (1) identically, substituting “the Yucca Mountain site” for “any candidate site”, “suitability of such site” for “suitability of such candidate site”, and “repository at such site” for “repository at such candidate site”.
Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 100–202and Pub. L. 100–203, § 5011(g)(2), amended par. (2) identically, striking out “candidate” before “site” in two places in subpar. (A) and in two places in subpar. (B).
Subsec. (c)(3), (4). Pub. L. 100–202and Pub. L. 100–203, § 5011(g)(3), amended subsec. (c) identically, adding par. (3) and striking out former pars. (3) and (4) which read as follows:
“(3) If site characterization activities are terminated at a candidate site for any reason, the Secretary shall (A) notify the Congress, the Governors and legislatures of all States in which candidate sites are located, and the governing bodies of all affected Indian tribes where candidate sites are located, of such termination and the reasons for such termination; and (B) remove any high-level radioactive waste, spent nuclear fuel, or other radioactive materials at or in such candidate site as promptly as practicable.
“(4) If a site is determined to be unsuitable for application for a construction authorization for a repository, the Secretary shall take reasonable and necessary steps to reclaim the site and to mitigate any significant adverse environmental impacts caused by site characterization activities.”

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40 CFR - Protection of Environment

40 CFR Part 191 - ENVIRONMENTAL RADIATION PROTECTION STANDARDS FOR MANAGEMENT AND DISPOSAL OF SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL, HIGH-LEVEL AND TRANSURANIC RADIOACTIVE WASTES

40 CFR Part 194 - CRITERIA FOR THE CERTIFICATION AND RE-CERTIFICATION OF THE WASTE ISOLATION PILOT PLANT'S COMPLIANCE WITH THE 40 CFR PART 191 DISPOSAL REGULATIONS

 

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