Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the
  Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982:
  Establishing Yucca Mountain as
 America's Nucl...
Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of
                             1982:

 Establishing Yucca ...
during the Joint Hearing of the Railroad and Highway Subcommittees hearing on
transport of spent rods to the Yucca Mountai...
Analyzing Yucca took much of the next decade. Working through its contingencies produced a
         detailed knowledge of ...
The nuclear waste is to be stored in emplacement tunnels7[17]. These tunnels are bored
into the mountain, sealed by doors ...
U.S. are considered to have been triggered by the magnitude 7.4 Landers earthquake, in
        California.

        The on...
are wrong, or there's some kind of pulse of activity going on and we just happened to take our data
        during the pul...
Transport of the nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain is a concern. Both truck transport and
rail transport will be used14[24]....
Yucca Mountain is located approximately 100 miles Northwest of Las Vegas19[29].
quot;The scientists have researched and de...
Though the nuclear industry has been quoted as saying that Yucca Mountain is quot;oppressively hot,
         bone dry, and...
including compound interest. The US has made no equitable offer of settlement, and the
Western Shoshone Nation is under no...
This controversial project has gathered much attention. Studies upon studies continue as
this project develops. Environmen...
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has taken on a tough and much needed project.
Much litigation and legal issues have been...
References

A Closer Look at Yucca Mountain. (n.d.). Retrieved March 28, 2006 from

       http://www.yuccamountain.org/ph...
Colburn, J. (2004). The Yucca Mountain Radioactive Waste Site Controversy: The

       Role A Recent Federal Appellate Dec...
Geologically Ill-chosen (n.d.). Retrieved April 22, 2006 from

       http://www.nvantinuclear.org/ill-chosen.htm


Gold, ...
Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management. (n.d.). The Environment in the

       Potential Waste Emplacement Tunnel...
http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/bpl/jors/2003/00000043/00000003/art

       00001


Sitler, A. (2003). Yucca Mountai...
U.S. Department of the Interior U.S. Geological Study. (n.d.). Geological Study,

       Retrieved March 29, 2006 from

  ...
Dr. Andrea Leigh Sitler, PhD



April 23, 2006
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  1. 1. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982: Establishing Yucca Mountain as America's Nuclear Waste Dump Site By, Dr. Andrea L. Sitler, PhD
  2. 2. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982: Establishing Yucca Mountain as America's Nuclear Waste Dump Site The Nuclear Regulatory Commission [1] was designed to oversee nuclear related issues due to the hazards involved with such a product. The transportation[2] of nuclear material is highly regulated as are the dump sites for nuclear waste. The factors of half lives[3] and potential of contamination [4] is what brought the need for the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982[5]. From these policies comes the Yucca Mountain Project which was selected to be the dump site for all of America's Nuclear Waste. The Yucca Mountain Project is under strict scrutiny. It is the ultimate terrorist [6] magnet as well as a myriad of legal issues and processes. This project must provide a secure site for over 10,000 years of nuclear waste housing.[7] In 1982, the U.S. Congress enacted a law called the Nuclear Waste Policy Act. The Act established a comprehensive national program for the safe, permanent disposal of highly radioactive wastes. This law is based on the principle that our society is responsible for safely disposing of the nuclear wastes we create. The Act directed the U.S. Department of Energy to study suitable sites for a geologic repository. The geologic repository envisioned by the Act is an engineered disposal facility located deep underground. After more than two decades of scientific study, in 2002, Congress and the President approved the development of a geologic repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.[8] quot;Approximately 45,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel is currently stored at 131 sites in 39 states. Each year, approximately 2,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel is generated by operating nuclear power plants. The total amount of commercial spent nuclear fuel is expected to reach approximately 60,000 metric tons by the year 2010.quot;[9] Locating a safe haven to rest these spent fuel rods is what the Yucca Mountain Project is all about. Transporting the rods to Yucca Mountain, NV is the concern of the Department of Transportation (DOT).[10] Safe transport to a designated facility came under heavy debate
  3. 3. during the Joint Hearing of the Railroad and Highway Subcommittees hearing on transport of spent rods to the Yucca Mountain Facility.1[11] In June 1979, the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the transport of radioactive material. This agreement delineates the respective responsibilities of DOT and NRC for the regulation of radioactive material in transport. DOT and NRC also agreed to maintain consistent and comprehensive transportation regulations. Due to advancements of transportation and security programs, they both plan to review their regulatory plans within the next two years. The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 made the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) responsible for site selection, construction, and operation of an underground disposal facility for spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste. In 1987, Congress amended the Nuclear Waste Policy Act to set up a process for Congressional review of the site and directed DOE to study only Yucca Mountain and stressed that if, at any time, Yucca Mountain is found unsuitable, studies will be stopped immediately and DOE will seek new direction from Congress. In February 2002, the President approved Yucca Mountain as a repository site. Under the 1987 Nuclear Waste Policy Act amendment in April 2002, the Governor of Nevada issued a notice of disapproval of the site selection. The site is disapproved unless Congress passes a joint resolution to approve the site during the first 90 calendar days of continuous session following the notice of disapproval. On April 11, 2002, H.J.Res. 87 was introduced by Congressman Barton. Pending proposed Subcommittee action, the Energy and Commerce Committee plans to report H.J.Res. 87 on Thursday, April 25, 2002. If the Yucca site is approved, it is likely spent nuclear fuel will be shipped from around the country to the site primarily by railroads. Despite railroad opposition, the Interstate Commerce Commission ruled that railroads are required by federal law (as common carriers) to transport all goods tendered to it. 2[12] Yucca Mountain had many supporters as well as objectors. In the 1992 Energy Policy Act, Congress ordered the three agencies to focus their full attention on this site and to devise the safest storage structure feasible there. To ensure their success, Congress charged an independent panel of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) with analyzing Yucca Mountain. And, Congress required that the containment standards eventually created be quot;consistent with and based uponquot; NAS's findings. 1[11] Subcommittee on Railroads and Subcommittee on Highway and Transit, Joint Hearing. (n.d.). Transportation of Spent Rods to the Proposed Yucca Mountain Storage Facility, Retrieved April 3, 2006 from http://www.house.gov/transportation/highway/04-25-02/04-25-02memo.html 2[12] Subcommittee on Railroads and Subcommittee on Highway and Transit, Joint Hearing. (n.d.). Transportation of Spent Rods to the Proposed Yucca Mountain Storage Facility, Retrieved April 3, 2006 from http://www.house.gov/transportation/highway/04-25-02/04-25-02memo.html
  4. 4. Analyzing Yucca took much of the next decade. Working through its contingencies produced a detailed knowledge of Yucca Mountain and its probable futures. The design was tweaked accordingly.3[13] quot;Yucca Mountain was chosen as the potential site for geologic disposal of high-level radioactive waste partly because of its geologic setting, which is a natural barrier to the potential movement of radionuclides from the site. USGS geologists have worked for more than twenty years to characterize the site geology for repository design.quot;4[14] Analysis of rock properties, geologic history, geologic structures that could affect groundwater flow and contamination as well the potential for future geologic hazards such as volcanoes, earthquakes and erosion are all factors in selecting Yucca Mountain as the waste disposal site. 5[15] The chosen site, just as White Sands in NM, is one which has been used for years of weapons testing. Radiation and such is nothing new in this area. The disposal site is to be situated on the edges of Nellis Air Force Base and the Nevada Test Site. Both sites are government properties. The next neighbor is Death Valley. With temperatures topping 140 degrees, the population there is minimal as well. Nevada is a hot, dry, desert climate. There is little rain to be concerned with ground seepage and run off. Yucca Mountain is a 1200 foot high flat topped volcanic ridge extending six miles north to south. It is comprised of tuff, a rock made from compacted volcanic ash formed approx. 13 million years ago. The nuclear waste repository would be built approx. 1000 ft. below the land surface and 1000 ft above the water table. The repository would house 77,000 tons of highly radioactive material form 72 commercial and 43 research sites in 43 states. The material would come from commercial nuclear power plants and government’s weapons programs.6[16] 3[13] Colburn, J. (2004). The Yucca Mountain Radioactive Waste Site Controversy: The Role A Recent Federal Appellate Decision In The Controversy May Play in the Presidential Election, Retrieved April 23, 2006 from http://writ.news.findlaw.com/commentary/20041014_colburn.html 4[14] U.S. Department of the Interior U.S. Geological Study. (n.d.). Geological Study, Retrieved March 29, 2006 from http://water.usgs.gov/ympb/GeologicStudies.htm 5[15] ibid 6[16] Dickerson, A. (2003). Yucca Mountain, Retrieved April 23, 2006 from http://www.geocities.com/adickerson_consultant/yucca_mt.html
  5. 5. The nuclear waste is to be stored in emplacement tunnels7[17]. These tunnels are bored into the mountain, sealed by doors and back filled with rock material. Inside the tunnels, robotic observation gantries monitor waste packages for possible leaks or disturbances from natural occurrences. According to government engineers, waste packages can be removed and the process reversed, in emergency situations. The design of the facility is such that waste materials will pose no significant risks for a period lasting beyond 10,000 years. The bulk of the disposed material is to be 90% inactive within 100 years. Opponents are concerned by the area’s seismic and volcanic history, erosion and other natural geologic events. They say that if a natural disaster were to happen in the area and compromise the repository’s design, water passing through Yucca Mt. and storage tunnels might pick up radioactive elements and carry them to the aquifer water table below. This flows southeast into the Amargosa Valley where there are people and agriculture.8[18] Geological events are of concern when determining where to construct a nuclear waste disposal site. The DOE ordered studies of earthquakes and volcanic events in the area. The largest earthquake at the repository itself, as known from geologic evidence, had a slip of about 1 meter; earthquakes of this size appear to recur at intervals like tens of thousands of years there. The possibility of strong ground motion from faults outside the immediate area exists at a much smaller recurrence interval, but their ground motion is predicted to be less and is being considered in the seismic design. Study 1 - Analysis of the available data indicates that, since 1976, there have been 621 seismic events of magnitude greater than 2.5 within a 50-mile radius of Yucca Mountain. Reported underground nuclear weapons tests at the Nevada Test Site have been excluded from this count. The most notable event during this period was a magnitude 5.6 earthquake near Little Skull Mountain, about 8 miles southeast of the Yucca Mountain site, which occurred on June 29, 1992. This earthquake caused damage to a nearby Department of Energy field office building. This earthquake, and many after-shocks, occurred on a fault that had not previously been identified. The Little Skull Mountain earthquake and numerous others at about the same time in the western 7[17] Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management. (n.d.). The Environment in the Potential Waste Emplacement Tunnels, Retrieved March 28, 2006 from http://www.ocrwm.doe.gov/ymp/science/emplacetunnel.shtml 8[18] A Closer Look at Yucca Mountain, Retrieved March 28,2006 from http://www.yuccamountain.org/photo/graphic0202.jpg
  6. 6. U.S. are considered to have been triggered by the magnitude 7.4 Landers earthquake, in California. The only significant cluster of earthquake activity in the 50-mile radius area is in Rock Valley, about 12 miles southeast of Yucca Mountain. The data base also reveals that, in 1948, there was a magnitude 3.6 event on the southeast boundary of the Yucca Mountain site, in an area known to have a number of faults. Recently, there have been other events recorded beneath Yucca Mountain with magnitudes less than 2.5. Earthquake activity is a safety concern both during operation, above and below ground, and after closure of a repository at Yucca Mountain. The mountain ranges and valleys of the Basin and Range, including the Yucca Mountain area, are a result of millions of years of intense faulting and volcanism. Records of recent events indicate that faulting is an ongoing process in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain that is expected to continue long into the future. Thirty-three faults are known to exist within and adjacent to the Yucca Mountain site.9[19] Study 2 - PASADENA--Recent geodetic measurements using Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites show that the Yucca Mountain area in southern Nevada is straining roughly 10 to 100 times faster than expected on the basis of the geologic history of the area. And for the moment at least, geologists are at a loss to explain the anomaly. In the March 28 issue of the journal Science, Brian Wernicke of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and his colleagues at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, report on Global Positioning System surveys they conducted from 1991 to 1997. Those surveys show that the Yucca Mountain area is stretching apart at about one millimeter per year east-southeastward. quot;The question is why the predicted geological rates of stretching are so much lower than what we are measuring?quot; asks Wernicke. quot;That's something we need to think through and understand.quot; The answer is likely to be of interest to quite a few people, because Yucca Mountain has been proposed as a site for the permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste. Experts believe that the waste-disposal site can accommodate a certain amount of seismic activity, but they nonetheless would like for any site to have a certain amount of stability over the next 10,000 to 100,000 years. Yucca Mountain was already known to have both seismic and volcanic activity, Wernicke says. An example of the former is the 5.4-magnitude quot;Little Skull Mountainquot; earthquake that occurred in 1992. And an example of the latter is the 80,000-year-old volcano to the south of the mountain. The volcano is inactive, but still must be studied according to Department of Energy regulations. The problem the new study poses is that the strain is building up in the crust at a rate about one- fourth that of the most rapidly straining areas of the earth's crust, such as near the San Andreas fault, Wernicke says. But there could be other factors at work. quot;There are three possibilities that we outline in the paper as to why the satellite data doesn't agree with the average predicted by the geological record,quot; he says. quot;Either the average is wrong, or we 9[19] State of Nevada Nuclear Waste Project Office. (n.d.). Earthquakes In The Vicinity Of Yucca Mountain, Retrieved March 28,2006 from http://www.state.nv.us/nucwaste/yucca/seismo01.htm
  7. 7. are wrong, or there's some kind of pulse of activity going on and we just happened to take our data during the pulse.quot; The latter scenario, Wernicke believes, could turn out to be the case. But if Yucca Mountain is really as seismically active as the current data indicate at face value, the likelihood of magmatic and tectonic events could be 10 times higher than once believed.10[20] Earthquakes are common on the San Andres fault. This line runs to the west of the Yucca Mountains. When a large earthquake is experienced in CA, there is ground motion felt at Yucca but nothing that can do damage.11[21] The facility is designed to California earthquake standards or higher. This meaning that CA standards say building must withstand an earthquake up to a magnitude of seven. This facility is being constructed to withstand even greater magnitude quakes. The Yucca Mountain facility is to withstand earthquakes up to any currently conceivable level. The issue of earthquakes during transport is also taken into consideration and provisions have been put into place. Only solid waste is proposed for storage, therefore an earthquake would not result in any direct release of radioactivity to the air or ground water even if, in an extremely unlikely event, a canister were ruptured.12[22] Seismologists believe that the level of seismic activity in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain has stayed about the same, except for a few years following the 1992 Little Skull Mt. earthquake which had thousands of aftershocks, but confined to a relatively small area. The current level seems consistent with the historical level and probably with the level over the past few thousand years. Continued monitoring is important in verifying that this level stays nearly constant. The appearance of many earthquakes near Yucca Mountain on some NSL maps of seismic activity is, in large part, due to the dense and sensitive network that NSL operates there. In geologic time, it has been over 50,000 years since an event of at least M 6.5 has occurred within this range.13[23] 10[20] Yucca Mountain is possibly more seismically active than once believed, geologists discover. (1998). Science Magazine, Retrieved April 2, 2006 from http://pr.caltech.edu/media/lead/032698YUCCA.html 11[21] United States Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board. (2003). Joint Meeting of Site Characterization and Repository Panels on Seismic Issues, Retrieved April 22, 2006 from http://www.nwtrb.gov/meetings/030224.doc 12[22] Baciak, J. (2002). Pro Yucca Mountain Final Paper, Retrieved April 22, 2006 from http://www.engin.umich.edu/class/ners211/project2002/pro/main_finalpaper.doc 13[23] Nevada Seismological Laboratory. (2005). Earthquake Information, Retrieved April 3, 2006 from http://www.seismo.unr.edu/quakes.html
  8. 8. Transport of the nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain is a concern. Both truck transport and rail transport will be used14[24]. The routes for entrance to this facility are being carefully thought out and designed. This is to insure the least amount of access to people or natural disasters such as an earthquake enroot. Flight plans from Nellis Air Force Base was also discussed.15[25] The potential for terrorists' attacks upon the shipments is also under study. Specially equipped facilities and personnel specifically trained in the handling of high- level radioactive waste will man this facility. This holds true for any personnel involved in any way with this facility, the transportation, packaging, handling at either end and so forth. What people in general fail to realize is that the people working with this product are taught to respect the product. They desire their own personal safety and will be subjecting themselves to great personal harm should they not be diligent in their work.16[26] President George W. Bush agreed with the logic and studies of these scientists and engineers enough that on July 23, 2002, after two decades of study17[27] and debate in both the House and Senate, he signed House Joint Resolution 87- the Yucca Mountain Bill. This quot;will allow us, after a decade of scientific study, to take the next step in establishing a safe repository in which to store our nation's nuclear waste.quot;18[28] 14[24] Riddel, M., Dwyer, C., Shaw, W.D. (2003). Environmental Risk and Uncertainty: Insights from Yucca Mountain. Journal of Regional Science, 43(3), pp. 435-458(24). Retrieved April 20, 2006 from http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/bpl/jors/2003/00000043/00000003/art00001 15[25] State of Nevada Nuclear Waste Project Office. (1996). U. S. Air Force Notice of Intent (NOI) for the Nellis Range, Retrieved March 27, 2006 from http://www.state.nv.us/nucwaste/eis/nell-eis.htm 16[26] U.S. Department of Energy Nuclear Transportation Program. (1999). Transporting Radioactive Materials, Retrieved March 27, 2006 from http://web.em.doe.gov/otem/ntp/htdocs/ramquestions.pdf 17[27] Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management. (n.d.). Nuclear Waste Policy Act, Retrieved April 5,2006 from http://www.ocrwm.doe.gov/ymp/about/nwpa.shtml 18[28] President Signs Yucca Mountain Bill. (2002). Retrieved March 27,2006 from http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/07/20020723-2.html
  9. 9. Yucca Mountain is located approximately 100 miles Northwest of Las Vegas19[29]. quot;The scientists have researched and developed advanced methods of disposal that works with the mountain to protect the general population.quot; 20[30]Supporters say the winds do not blow in the direction of Las Vegas. They claim the area to be sparsely populated, dry and stable. Even after the President signed the Yucca Mountain Bill, much object still surrounds this project. quot;As always, the population in these remote areas is primarily Native Americans.quot;21[31] A local Indian Tribe, the Western Shoshone Nation,22[32] is near by the mountain living on reservation land. Many claim that the government still sees this land as government land thereby being able to use it as they deem fit. History has proven to us that the government has placed little value in the life of an Indian23[33] and therefore would not consider them a potential factor of risk. Local groups, tribes and scientists paint an entirely different view of the Yucca Mountain project. On the surface, you see a quot;not in my backyard syndromequot; however the reasons for choosing Yucca Mountain may be more political than scientific.24[34] 19[29] Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management, Yucca Mountain Project. (n.d.). Retrieved April 15, 2006 from http://www.ocrwm.doe.gov/ymp/about/remote.shtml 20[30] Kurowski, J. & Reich, S. (n.d.). How Yucca Mountain Would Work, Retrieved April 2, 2006 from http://www.rgj.com/news/files/2002/01/11/4186.jpg.php 21[31] Dickerson, A. (2003). Yucca Mountain, Retrieved April 23, 2006 from http://www.geocities.com/drandrealsitlerphd/yuccamountain.html 22[32] Yucca Mountain - The Public perspective. (n.d.). Retrieved April 22, 2006 from http://www.nvantinuclear.org/undemocratic.htm 23[33] Dann, Carrie. (2004). Western Shoshone Defense Project, Retrieved April 12, 2006 from http://www.wsdp.org/arc_distribution.htm#060104 24[34] Ewing, R. (2003). Nuclear Engineering Professor Questions Feds' Commitment to Yucca Mountain, Scientific American, 1(6), Retrieved April 23, 2006 from http://www.state.nv.us/nucwaste/yucca/ymupdate/ymupdate030220.htm
  10. 10. Though the nuclear industry has been quoted as saying that Yucca Mountain is quot;oppressively hot, bone dry, and uninhabited,quot; there is actually a large water table there that supplies water to the very much inhabited Amargosa Valley farming region. From this region milk from dairy cows, alfalfa, and nuts, amongst other things, are produced and shipped all over the country for consumption. There are 33 known earthquake faults in and around the Yucca Mountain site. And did you know that it is in a volcanic zone? One volcano, just 10 miles away, is believed by scientists to be the biggest threat to the site. Do you think that a small mountain that sits near volcanoes, in an active earthquake region, and atop a large water table, the cleanliness of which affects food products which feed the entire country, is a good place for permanent high-level nuclear waste storage? Neither does the Department of Energy (DOE), really. Since nuclear waste is so unpopular, the only quot;goodquot; place for it is wherever the nuclear industry can force it. It figures that Nevada was thought to be an easy target because the federal government has been forcing things on Nevada for more than 50 years ... above and below ground testing at the Nevada Test Site, etc. More than two-thirds of the land in the state of Nevada is owned by the federal government; and, though Nevada is the third most seismically active state in the Union, it has fewer representatives in the congress than many states. Only California and Alaska have more frequent earthquakes. During the last 20 years there have been more than 600 earthquakes within 50 miles of Yucca Mountain. However, with the permanent population of Las Vegas, NV currently growing at a rate of 6,000 per month, Nevada's political power continues to increase. And the unpopularity of nuclear waste and of the nuclear industry continues to increase. People everywhere are recognizing the insanity of the nuclear fuel cycle.25[35] The U.S. Government, through Senate Bill 95826[36], introduced, May 24th, 2001, - the quot;Western Shoshone Claims Distribution Actquot;27[37], is attempting to once again renege on a treaty with an Indian Nation. The government needs the Western Shoshone Nation to sell them the land or to find a way to force the Nation off the land in order to build this site and its railway. This bill avoids just compensation under the Fifth Amendment, which would provide approximately $20 billion to the Western Shoshone Nation. In the US v. Sioux Nation, 448 US 371 (1980); the Supreme Court28[38] held that a taking by the US in violation of a similar treaty was covered by the Fifth Amendment 25[35] Geologically Ill-chosen (n.d.). Retrieved April 22, 2006 from http://www.nvantinuclear.org/ill-chosen.htm 26[36] Bills and Joint Resolutions Senate Bill 958. (2001). Congressional Record, p. S5635, Retrieved April 7, 2006 from http://www.nativeweb.org/pages/legal/shoshone/reid958.html 27[37] Western Shoshone Claims Distribution Act. (2001). Retrieved April 2, 2006 from http://www.nativeweb.org/pages/legal/shoshone/s958.html 28[38] United States v. Sioux Nation of Indians, 448 U.S. 371 (1980).
  11. 11. including compound interest. The US has made no equitable offer of settlement, and the Western Shoshone Nation is under no obligation to sell property that is constitutionally guaranteed. The Treaty of Ruby Valley29[39] shares equal status with the US Constitution, Art. IV30[40], quot;This Constitution… and all treaties made… shall be the supreme law of the land.quot; Congress can not legislatively supersede the US Constitution. To do so is constitutional subversion. Additionally, the Western Shoshone Nation, as any Indian Tribe, does not wish to sell their land.31[41] This entire land issue has delayed but not stopped the project. One thing not mentioned is that the most legally secure argument against Yucca Mountain and any further spending is the fact that the DOE cannot show clear title to the area. The US DOE is required to show ownership of the quot;controlled areaquot; by 10 CFR 63.121. It cannot do this because Yucca Mountain, sacred to Western Shoshone, is located within Western Shoshone ancestral and Treaty lands. The 1863 Treaty of Ruby Valley, recognizing Western Shoshone land boundaries is still in full force and effect. See Western Shoshone v. U.S., No. 03-CV-2009, U.S. District Court, D.C. (Judge Lamberth), www.hermanlaw.org. Further, ancestral title is still very much alive despite U.S. attempts to silence the issue through use of the Indian Claims Commission Act. See Complaint, Western Shoshone v. U.S.. In fact, in January of last year, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Organization of American States, found the U.S. in violation of international law (right to property, to due process and to equality under the law) with regard to the U.S.' refusal to recognize Western Shoshone rights to these lands. See www.indianlaw.org (Dann decision).quot;32[42] 29[39] Native America in the New Millennium, p. 42. (n.d.). Retrieved April 23, 2006 from http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/hpaied/docs/CIP%20- %20NANM%20Final%20Working%20Draft%20July%2011%202001.pdf 30[40] Cornell Law School. (n.d.). U.S. Constitution, Retrieved April 23, 2006 from http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.articleiv.html 31[41] Action Alert. (2001). Retrieved April 11, 2006 from http://www.shundahai.org/claims_action_alert_0501.htm 32[42] Yucca Mountain Plan Irresponsible and In Light of Western Shoshone Title, Illegal. (2004). Retrieved April 10, 2006 from http://www.wsdp.org/arc_distribution.htm#020404yucca
  12. 12. This controversial project has gathered much attention. Studies upon studies continue as this project develops. Environmental Impact Studies top the list.33[43] Even the studies34[44] disagree and conflict.35[45] This adds more fuel to the fire of the opposing parties. The exponentially growing Las Vegas population36[46] is providing Nevada with the potential for new representation. Law suits abound to end the project while threats from key senators edge the President forward. Despite all the set backs and distractions, Yucca Mountain is forging forward.37[47] Yucca Mountain was approved for development in 2002 and DOE had to delay their request for a site license for construction in 2004. Submission of a license application was delayed for several reasons; however, two primary and persistent problems are a court ruling that invalidates the EPA compliance period for waste disposal and under funding of the Yucca Mountain project by about $1 billion over the past 10 years. Spending within OCRWM will focus on defending the department's license application at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, improving decaying site infrastructure, planning facilities for the receipt of spent waste and developing a transportation infrastructure for spent waste. Overall the Yucca Mountain project would receive $355.4 million, an increase of $49.5 million over FY 2006 funding. Transportation development would increase from $19.9 million in FY 2006 to $67.8 million and the President's request eliminates funding for the Integrated Spent Fuel Recycling program that Congress appropriated $49.5 million for in FY 2006.38[48] 33[43] Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) quot;Issuesquot; for Yucca Mountain. (2005). Retrieved April 19, 2006 from http://www.yuccamountain.org/eis_news_archives.htm 34[44] Pielke, R. (2004). Prometheus: Yucca Mountain, Politics, Science, and the NRC, Retrieved April 23, 2006 from http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/energy_policy/000131yucca_mountain_poli.html 35[45] Buffa, A., et al. (2003). Public Citizen Global Exchange Corp Watch, pp. 17-18, Retrieved from http://www.citizen.org/documents/profilebechtel.pdf on April 22, 2006 36[46] Census Scope. (2000). Retrieved April 2, 2006 from http://www.censusscope.org/us/m4120/chart_popl.html 37[47] What's New -Yucca Mountain in the News. (2006). Retrieved April 22, 2006 from http://www.yuccamountain.org/new.htm 38[48] American Geological Institute. (2006). FY2007 Department of Energy Appropriations, Retrieved April 22, 2006 from http://www.agiweb.org/gap/legis109/appropsfy2007_energy.html
  13. 13. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has taken on a tough and much needed project. Much litigation and legal issues have been examined and decided. Many more legal issues are still on the horizon. A solution for disposal should have been considered before construction but as with many projects, this was not the case. Since the beginning of the Nuclear Age39[49] in 1895 by the discovery of x-rays by Wilhelm Roentgen, we have been dealing with nuclear concerns.40[50] The Manhattan Project41[51] in 1942 brought the reality of the effects of radioactivity to the attention of the government. Finally, over sixty years later, thanks to the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, we are beginning to provide an answer for these issues. 39[49] U.S. Department of Energy. (1999). Nuclear Age Timeline, Retrieved April 23, 2006 from http://web.em.doe.gov/timeline/ 40[50] Makhijani, A. & Saleska, S. (1996). High-Level Dollars, Low-Level Sense. Takoma Park: IEER Press 41[51] Department of Energy. (n.d.). The Manhattan Project: A New and Secret World of Human Experimentation, Retrieved April 23, 2006 from http://www.eh.doe.gov/ohre/roadmap/achre/intro_3.html
  14. 14. References A Closer Look at Yucca Mountain. (n.d.). Retrieved March 28, 2006 from http://www.yuccamountain.org/photo/graphic0202.jpg Action Alert. (2001). Retrieved April 11, 2006 from http://www.shundahai.org/claims_action_alert_0501.htm American Geological Institute. (2006). FY2007 Department of Energy Appropriations, Retrieved April 22, 2006 from http://www.agiweb.org/gap/legis109/appropsfy2007_energy.html Baciak, J. (2002). Pro Yucca Mountain Final Paper, Retrieved April 22, 2006 from http://www.engin.umich.edu/class/ners211/project2002/pro/main_finalpaper.d oc Bills and Joint Resolutions Senate Bill 958. (2001). Congressional Record, p. S5635, Retrieved April 7, 2006 from http://www.nativeweb.org/pages/legal/shoshone/reid958.html Buffa, A., et al. (2003). Public Citizen Global Exchange Corp Watch, pp. 17-18, Retrieved from http://www.citizen.org/documents/profilebechtel.pdf on April 22, 2006 Census Scope. (2000). Retrieved April 2, 2006 from http://www.censusscope.org/us/m4120/chart_popl.html
  15. 15. Colburn, J. (2004). The Yucca Mountain Radioactive Waste Site Controversy: The Role A Recent Federal Appellate Decision In The Controversy May Play in the Presidential Election, Retrieved April 23, 2006 from http://writ.news.findlaw.com/commentary/20041014_colburn.html Cornell Law School. (n.d.). U.S. Constitution, Retrieved April 23, 2006 from http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.articleiv.html Dann, C. (2004). Western Shoshone Defense Project, Retrieved April 12, 2006 from http://www.wsdp.org/arc_distribution.htm#060104 Department of Energy. (n.d.). The Manhattan Project: A New and Secret World of Human Experimentation, Retrieved April 23, 2006 from http://www.eh.doe.gov/ohre/roadmap/achre/intro_3.html Department of Transportation. (2002). Review of Department Oversight for Transportation of Nuclear Waste, Retrieved April 22, 2006 from http://www.oig.dot.gov/StreamFile?file=/data/pdfdocs/cr2002073.pdf Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) quot;Issuesquot; for Yucca Mountain. (2005). Retrieved April 19, 2006 from http://www.yuccamountain.org/eis_news_archives.htm Ewing, R. (2003). Nuclear Engineering Professor Questions Feds' Commitment to Yucca Mountain, Scientific American, 1(6), Retrieved April 23, 2006 from http://www.state.nv.us/nucwaste/yucca/ymupdate/ymupdate030220.htm
  16. 16. Geologically Ill-chosen (n.d.). Retrieved April 22, 2006 from http://www.nvantinuclear.org/ill-chosen.htm Gold, E. (n.d.). Nuclear Waste Disposal, Retrieved April 3, 2006 from http://www.history.rochester.edu/class/EZRA/ Kurowski, J. & Reich, S. (n.d.). How Yucca Mountain Would Work, Retrieved April 2, 2006 from http://www.rgj.com/news/files/2002/01/11/4186.jpg.php Makhijani, A. & Saleska, S. (1996). High-Level Dollars, Low-Level Sense. Takoma Park: IEER Press Makhijani, A. & Zerriffi, H. (2000). The Nuclear Alchemy Gamble. Takoma Park: IEER Press Makhijani, A. Ph.D. (2001). Securing the Energy Future of the United States. Takoma Park: IEER Press Native America in the New Millennium, p. 42. (n.d.). Retrieved on April 23, 2006 from http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/hpaied/docs/CIP%20- %20NANM%20Final%20Working%20Draft%20July%2011%202001.pdf Nevada Seismological Laboratory. (2005). Earthquake Information, Retrieved April 3, 2006 from http://www.seismo.unr.edu/quakes.html Nuclear Energy Institute, Inc. v. EPA, et al., 373 F.3d 1251 (D.C. Cir. 2004).
  17. 17. Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management. (n.d.). The Environment in the Potential Waste Emplacement Tunnels, Retrieved March 28, 2006 from http://www.ocrwm.doe.gov/ymp/science/emplacetunnel.shtml Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management. (n.d.). Nuclear Waste Policy Act, Retrieved April 5,2006 from http://www.ocrwm.doe.gov/ymp/about/nwpa.shtml Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management, Yucca Mountain Project. (n.d.). Retrieved April 15, 2006 from http://www.ocrwm.doe.gov/ymp/about/remote.shtml Pielke, R. (2004). Prometheus: Yucca Mountain, Politics, Science, and the NRC, Retrieved April 23, 2006 from http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/energy_policy/000131y ucca_mountain_poli.html Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration. (2005). Retrieved April 15, 2006 from http://hazmat.dot.gov/regs/rules/final/69fr/69fr-12088.htm President Signs Yucca Mountain Bill. (2002). Retrieved March 27, 2006 from http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/07/20020723-2.html Riddel, M., Dwyer, C., Shaw, W.D. (2003). Environmental Risk and Uncertainty: Insights from Yucca Mountain. Journal of Regional Science, 43(3), pp. 435- 458(24). Retrieved April 20, 2006 from
  18. 18. http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/bpl/jors/2003/00000043/00000003/art 00001 Sitler, A. (2003). Yucca Mountain, Retrieved April 23, 2006 from http://www.geocities.com/drandrealsitlerphd/yuccamountain.html State of Nevada Nuclear Waste Project Office. (n.d.). Earthquakes In The Vicinity Of Yucca Mountain, Retrieved March 28,2006 from http://www.state.nv.us/nucwaste/yucca/seismo01.htm State of Nevada Nuclear Waste Project Office. (1996). U. S. Air Force Notice of Intent (NOI) for the Nellis Range, Retrieved March 27, 2006 from http://www.state.nv.us/nucwaste/eis/nell-eis.htm Subcommittee on Railroads and Subcommittee on Highway and Transit, Joint Hearing. (2002). Transportation of Spent Rods to the Proposed Yucca Mountain Storage Facility, Retrieved April 3, 2006 from http://www.house.gov/transportation/highway/04-25-02/04-25-02memo.html United States v. Sioux Nation of Indians, 448 U.S. 371 (1980). U.S. Department of Energy. (1999). Nuclear Age Timeline, Retrieved April 23, 2006 from http://web.em.doe.gov/timeline/ U.S. Department of Energy Nuclear Transportation Program. (1999). Transporting Radioactive Materials, Retrieved March 27, 2006 from http://web.em.doe.gov/otem/ntp/htdocs/ramquestions.pdf
  19. 19. U.S. Department of the Interior U.S. Geological Study. (n.d.). Geological Study, Retrieved March 29, 2006 from http://water.usgs.gov/ympb/GeologicStudies.htm U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. (2006). Who We Are, Retreived April 2, 2006 from http://www.nrc.gov/who-we-are.html United States Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board. (2003). Joint Meeting of Site Characterization and Repository Panels on Seismic Issues, Retrieved April 22, 2006 from http://www.nwtrb.gov/meetings/030224.doc Western Shoshone Claims Distribution Act. (2001). Retrieved April 2, 2006 from http://www.nativeweb.org/pages/legal/shoshone/s958.html What's New -Yucca Mountain in the News. (2006). Retrieved April 22, 2006 from http://www.yuccamountain.org/new.htm Yucca Mountain Plan Irresponsible and In Light of Western Shoshone Title, Illegal. (2004). Retrieved April 10, 2006 from http://www.wsdp.org/arc_distribution.htm#020404yucca Yucca Mountain is possibly more seismically active than once believed, geologists discover. (1998). Science Magazine, Retrieved April 2, 2006 from http://pr.caltech.edu/media/lead/032698YUCCA.html Yucca Mountain - The Public perspective. (n.d.). Retrieved April 22, 2006 from http://www.nvantinuclear.org/undemocratic.htm
  20. 20. Dr. Andrea Leigh Sitler, PhD April 23, 2006

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