42 U.S. Code § 10101 - Definitions

§ 10101.
For purposes of this chapter:
The term “Administrator” means the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
(2) The term “affected Indian tribe” means any Indian tribe—
within whose reservation boundaries a monitored retrievable storage facility, test and evaluation facility, or a repository for high-level radioactive waste or spent fuel is proposed to be located;
whose federally defined possessory or usage rights to other lands outside of the reservation’s boundaries arising out of congressionally ratified treaties may be substantially and adversely affected by the locating of such a facility:
, That the Secretary of the Interior finds, upon the petition of the appropriate governmental officials of the tribe, that such effects are both substantial and adverse to the tribe; [1]
(3) The term “atomic energy defense activity” means any activity of the Secretary performed in whole or in part in carrying out any of the following functions:
naval reactors development;
weapons activities including defense inertial confinement fusion;
verification and control technology;
defense nuclear materials production;
defense nuclear waste and materials by-products management;
defense nuclear materials security and safeguards and security investigations; and
defense research and development.
The term “candidate site” means an area, within a geologic and hydrologic system, that is recommended by the Secretary under section 10132 of this title for site characterization, approved by the President under section 10132 of this title for site characterization, or undergoing site characterization under section 10133 of this title.
The term “civilian nuclear activity” means any atomic energy activity other than an atomic energy defense activity.
The term “civilian nuclear power reactor” means a civilian nuclear powerplant required to be licensed under section 2133 or 2134(b) of this title.
The term “Commission” means the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
The term “Department” means the Department of Energy.
The term “disposal” means the emplacement in a repository of high-level radioactive waste, spent nuclear fuel, or other highly radioactive material with no foreseeable intent of recovery, whether or not such emplacement permits the recovery of such waste.
The terms “disposal package” and “package” mean the primary container that holds, and is in contact with, solidified high-level radioactive waste, spent nuclear fuel, or other radioactive materials, and any overpacks that are emplaced at a repository.
The term “engineered barriers” means manmade components of a disposal system designed to prevent the release of radionuclides into the geologic medium involved. Such term includes the high-level radioactive waste form, high-level radioactive waste canisters, and other materials placed over and around such canisters.
(12) The term “high-level radioactive waste” means—
the highly radioactive material resulting from the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel, including liquid waste produced directly in reprocessing and any solid material derived from such liquid waste that contains fission products in sufficient concentrations; and
other highly radioactive material that the Commission, consistent with existing law, determines by rule requires permanent isolation.
The term “Federal agency” means any Executive agency, as defined in section 105 of title 5.
The term “Governor” means the chief executive officer of a State.
The term “Indian tribe” means any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community of Indians recognized as eligible for the services provided to Indians by the Secretary of the Interior because of their status as Indians, including any Alaska Native village, as defined in section 3(c) of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1602(c)).
(16) The term “low-level radioactive waste” means radioactive material that—
is not high-level radioactive waste, spent nuclear fuel, transuranic waste, or by-product material as defined in section 2014(e)(2) of this title; and
the Commission, consistent with existing law, classifies as low-level radioactive waste.
The term “Office” means the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management established in section 10224 [2] of this title.
The term “repository” means any system licensed by the Commission that is intended to be used for, or may be used for, the permanent deep geologic disposal of high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel, whether or not such system is designed to permit the recovery, for a limited period during initial operation, of any materials placed in such system. Such term includes both surface and subsurface areas at which high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel handling activities are conducted.
(19) The term “reservation” means—
any Indian reservation or dependent Indian community referred to in clause (a) or (b) of section 1151 of title 18; or
any land selected by an Alaska Native village or regional corporation under the provisions of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.).
The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Energy.
(21) The term “site characterization” means—
siting research activities with respect to a test and evaluation facility at a candidate site; and
activities, whether in the laboratory or in the field, undertaken to establish the geologic condition and the ranges of the parameters of a candidate site relevant to the location of a repository, including borings, surface excavations, excavations of exploratory shafts, limited subsurface lateral excavations and borings, and in situ testing needed to evaluate the suitability of a candidate site for the location of a repository, but not including preliminary borings and geophysical testing needed to assess whether site characterization should be undertaken.
The term “siting research” means activities, including borings, surface excavations, shaft excavations, subsurface lateral excavations and borings, and in situ testing, to determine the suitability of a site for a test and evaluation facility.
The term “spent nuclear fuel” means fuel that has been withdrawn from a nuclear reactor following irradiation, the constituent elements of which have not been separated by reprocessing.
The term “State” means each of the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, and any other territory or possession of the United States.
The term “storage” means retention of high-level radioactive waste, spent nuclear fuel, or transuranic waste with the intent to recover such waste or fuel for subsequent use, processing, or disposal.
The term “Storage Fund” means the Interim Storage Fund established in section 10156(c) 
of this title.
The term “test and evaluation facility” means an at-depth, prototypic, underground cavity with subsurface lateral excavations extending from a central shaft that is used for research and development purposes, including the development of data and experience for the safe handling and disposal of solidified high-level radioactive waste, transuranic waste, or spent nuclear fuel.
The term “unit of general local government” means any borough, city, county, parish, town, township, village, or other general purpose political subdivision of a State.
The term “Waste Fund” means the Nuclear Waste Fund established in section 10222(c) of this title.
The term “Yucca Mountain site” means the candidate site in the State of Nevada recommended by the Secretary to the President under section 10132(b)(1)(B) of this title on May 27, 1986.
The term “affected unit of local government” means the unit of local government with jurisdiction over the site of a repository or a monitored retrievable storage facility. Such term may, at the discretion of the Secretary, include units of local government that are contiguous with such unit.
The term “Negotiator” means the Nuclear Waste Negotiator.
As used in subchapter IV of this chapter, the term “Office” means the Office of the Nuclear Waste Negotiator established under subchapter IV of this chapter.
The term “monitored retrievable storage facility” means the storage facility described in section 10161(b)(1) of this title.

[1]  So in original. The semicolon probably should be a period.

[2]  See References in Text note below.
References in Text

Section 10224 of this title, referred to in par. (17), was in the original a reference to section 305 of Pub. L. 97–425, which is classified to section 10225 of this title, and was translated as section 10224 of this title as the probable intent of Congress, in view of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management being established by section 10224 of this title.

The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, referred to in par. (19)(B), is Pub. L. 92–203, Dec. 18, 1971, 85 Stat. 688, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 33 (§ 1601 et seq.) of Title 43, Public Lands. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1601 of Title 43 and Tables.

Section 10156(c) of this title, referred to in par. (26), was in the original a reference to section 137(c) of Pub. L. 97–425, which is classified to section 10157(c) of this title, and has been translated as section 10156(c) of this title as the probable intent of Congress, in view of the Interim Storage Fund being established by section 10156(c) of this title.


1987—Pars. (30) to (34). Pub. L. 100–202 and Pub. L. 100–203 amended section identically adding pars. (30) to (34).

Short Title of 1987 Amendment

Pub. L. 100–202, § 101(d) [title III], Dec. 22, 1987, 101 Stat. 1329–104, 1329–121, and Pub. L. 100–203, title V, § 5001, Dec. 22, 1987, 101 Stat. 1330–227, provided that:

“This subtitle [subtitle A (§§ 5001–5065) of title V, enacting sections 10162, 10163, 10164, 10165, 10166, 10167, 10168, 10169, 10172, 10172a, 10173, 10173a, 10173b, 10173c, 10174, 10174a, 10175, 10204, 10241, 10242, 10243, 10244, 10245, 10246, 10247, 10248, 10249, 10250, 10251, 10261, 10262, 10263, 10264, 10265, 10266, 10267, 10268, 10269, and 10270 of this title, amending this section and sections 10132, 10133, 10134, 10136, 10137, and 10138 of this title and enacting provisions set out as a note under section 5841 of this title] may be cited as the ‘Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1987’.”

Short Title

Pub. L. 97–425, § 1, Jan. 7, 1983, 96 Stat. 2201, provided that:

“This Act [enacting this chapter] may be cited as the ‘Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982’.”

Termination of Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands

For termination of Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, see note set out preceding section 1681 of Title 48, Territories and Insular Possessions.

Nuclear Waste Management Plan; Report

Pub. L. 102–486, title VIII, § 803, Oct. 24, 1992, 106 Stat. 2923, provided that:

“(a)Preparation and Submission of Report.—
The Secretary of Energy, in consultation with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency, shall prepare and submit to the Congress a report on whether current programs and plans for management of nuclear waste as mandated by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (42 U.S.C. 10101 et seq.) are adequate for management of any additional volumes or categories of nuclear waste that might be generated by any new nuclear power plants that might be constructed and licensed after the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 24, 1992]. The Secretary shall prepare the report for submission to the President and the Congress within 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act. The report shall examine any new relevant issues related to management of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste that might be raised by the addition of new nuclear-generated electric capacity, including anticipated increased volumes of spent nuclear fuel or high-level radioactive waste, any need for additional interim storage capacity prior to final disposal, transportation of additional volumes of waste, and any need for additional repositories for deep geologic disposal.
“(b)Opportunity for Public Comment.—
In preparation of the report required under subsection (a), the Secretary of Energy shall offer members of the public an opportunity to provide information and comment and shall solicit the views of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other interested parties.
“(c)Authorization of Appropriations.—
There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section.”

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