42 U.S.C. § 10134 - U.S. Code - Unannotated Title 42. The Public Health and Welfare § 10134. Site approval and construction authorization

(a) Hearings and Presidential recommendation

(1)  The Secretary shall hold public hearings in the vicinity of the Yucca Mountain site, for the purposes of informing the residents of the area of such consideration and receiving their comments regarding the possible recommendation of such site.  If, upon completion of such hearings and completion of site characterization activities at the Yucca Mountain site, under section 10133 of this title, the Secretary decides to recommend approval of such site to the President, the Secretary shall notify the Governor and legislature of the State of Nevada, of such decision.  No sooner than the expiration of the 30-day period following such notification, the Secretary shall submit to the President a recommendation that the President approve such site for the development of a repository.  Any such recommendation by the Secretary shall be based on the record of information developed by the Secretary under section 10133 of this title and this section, including the information described in subparagraph (A) through subparagraph (G).  Together with any recommendation of a site under this paragraph, the Secretary shall make available to the public, and submit to the President, a comprehensive statement of the basis of such recommendation, including the following:

(A)  a description of the proposed repository, including preliminary engineering specifications for the facility;

(B)  a description of the waste form or packaging proposed for use at such repository, and an explanation of the relationship between such waste form or packaging and the geologic medium of such site;

(C)  a discussion of data, obtained in site characterization activities, relating to the safety of such site;

(D)  a final environmental impact statement prepared for the Yucca Mountain site pursuant to subsection (f) of this section and the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 ( 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq. ), together with comments made concerning such environmental impact statement by the Secretary of the Interior, the Council on Environmental Quality, the Administrator, and the Commission, except that the Secretary shall not be required in any such environmental impact statement to consider the need for a repository, the alternatives to geological disposal, or alternative sites to the Yucca Mountain site;

(E)  preliminary comments of the Commission concerning the extent to which the at-depth site characterization analysis and the waste form proposal for such site seem to be sufficient for inclusion in any application to be submitted by the Secretary for licensing of such site as a repository;

(F)  the views and comments of the Governor and legislature of any State, or the governing body of any affected Indian tribe, as determined by the Secretary, together with the response of the Secretary to such views;

(G)  such other information as the Secretary considers appropriate;  and

(H)  any impact report submitted under section 10136(c)(2)(B) of this title by the State of Nevada.

(2)(A)  If, after recommendation by the Secretary, the President considers the Yucca Mountain site qualified for application for a construction authorization for a repository, the President shall submit a recommendation of such site to Congress.

(B)  The President shall submit with such recommendation a copy of the statement for such site prepared by the Secretary under paragraph (1).

(3)(A)  The President may not recommend the approval of the Yucca Mountain site unless the Secretary has recommended to the President under paragraph (1) approval of such site and has submitted to the President a statement for such site as required under such paragraph.

(B)  No recommendation of a site by the President under this subsection 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   1 require any environmental review under subparagraph (E) or (F) of section 102(2) of such Act [ 42 U.S.C.A. § 4332(2)(E) or (F)  ].

(b) Submission of application

If the President recommends to the Congress the Yucca Mountain site under subsection (a) of this section and the site designation is permitted to take effect under section 10135 of this title, the Secretary shall submit to the Commission an application for a construction authorization for a repository at such site not later than 90 days after the date on which the recommendation of the site designation is effective under such section and shall provide to the Governor and legislature of the State of Nevada a copy of such application.

(c) Status report on application

Not later than 1 year after the date on which an application for a construction authorization is submitted under subsection (b) of this section, and annually thereafter until the date on which such authorization is granted, the Commission shall submit a report to the Congress describing the proceedings undertaken through the date of such report with regard to such application, including a description of--

(1)  any major unresolved safety issues, and the explanation of the Secretary with respect to design and operation plans for resolving such issues;

(2)  any matters of contention regarding such application;  and

(3)  any Commission actions regarding the granting or denial of such authorization.

(d) Commission action

The Commission shall consider an application for a construction authorization for all or part of a repository in accordance with the laws applicable to such applications, except that the Commission shall issue a final decision approving or disapproving the issuance of a construction authorization not later than the expiration of 3 years after the date of the submission of such application, except that the Commission may extend such deadline by not more than 12 months if, not less than 30 days before such deadline, the Commission complies with the reporting requirements established in subsection (e)(2) of this section.  The Commission decision approving the first such application shall prohibit the emplacement in the first repository of a quantity of spent fuel containing in excess of 70,000 metric tons of heavy metal or a quantity of solidified high-level radioactive waste resulting from the reprocessing of such a quantity of spent fuel until such time as a second repository is in operation.  In the event that a monitored retrievable storage facility, approved pursuant to part C of this subchapter, shall be located, or is planned to be located, within 50 miles of the first repository, then the Commission decision approving the first such application shall prohibit the emplacement of a quantity of spent fuel containing in excess of 70,000 metric tons of heavy metal or a quantity of solidified high-level radioactive waste resulting from the reprocessing of spent fuel in both the repository and monitored retrievable storage facility until such time as a second repository is in operation.

(e) Project decision schedule

(1)  The Secretary shall prepare and update, as appropriate, in cooperation with all affected Federal agencies, a project decision schedule that portrays the optimum way to attain the operation of the repository, within the time periods specified in this part.  Such schedule shall include a description of objectives and a sequence of deadlines for all Federal agencies required to take action, including an identification of the activities in which a delay in the start, or completion, of such activities will cause a delay in beginning repository operation.

(2)  Any Federal agency that determines that it cannot comply with any deadline in the project decision schedule, or fails to so comply, shall submit to the Secretary and to the Congress a written report explaining the reason for its failure or expected failure to meet such deadline, the reason why such agency could not reach an agreement with the Secretary, the estimated time for completion of the activity or activities involved, the associated effect on its other deadlines in the project decision schedule, and any recommendations it may have or actions it intends to take regarding any improvements in its operation or organization, or changes to its statutory directives or authority, so that it will be able to mitigate the delay involved.  The Secretary, within 30 days after receiving any such report, shall file with the Congress his response to such report, including the reasons why the Secretary could not amend the project decision schedule to accommodate the Federal agency involved.

(f) Environmental impact statement

(1)  Any recommendation made by the Secretary under this section shall be considered a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment for purposes of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 ( 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq. ).  A final environmental impact statement prepared by the Secretary under such Act shall accompany any recommendation to the President to approve a site for a repository.

(2)  With respect to the requirements imposed by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 ( 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq. ), compliance with the procedures and requirements of this chapter shall be deemed adequate consideration of the need for a repository, the time of the initial availability of a repository, and all alternatives to the isolation of high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel in a repository.

(3)  For purposes of complying with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 ( 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq. ) and this section, the Secretary need not consider alternate sites to the Yucca Mountain site for the repository to be developed under this part.

(4)  Any environmental impact statement prepared in connection with a repository proposed to be constructed by the Secretary under this part shall, to the extent practicable, be adopted by the Commission in connection with the issuance by the Commission of a construction authorization and license for such repository.  To the extent such statement is adopted by the Commission, such adoption shall be deemed to also satisfy the responsibilities of the Commission under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 ( 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq. ) and no further consideration shall be required, except that nothing in this subsection shall affect any independent responsibilities of the Commission to protect the public health and safety under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 ( 42 U.S.C. 2011 et seq. ).

(5)  Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to amend or otherwise detract from the licensing requirements of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission established in title II of the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 ( 42 U.S.C. 5841 et seq. ).

(6)  In any such statement prepared with respect to the repository to be constructed under this part, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission need not consider the need for a repository, the time of initial availability of a repository, alternate sites to the Yucca Mountain site, or nongeologic alternatives to such site.

1 So in original.  The word “to” probably should not appear.

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