NRC Panel Hears Nevada Challenge To Yucca Mountain Database

A Nuclear Regulatory Commission panel is considering whether to again reject an Energy Department database supporting plans for a national nuclear waste dump in Nevada.

The three-member judicial panel made no immediate decision after three-plus hours of oral arguments today in Las Vegas between lawyers for Nevada and the Energy Department.

The chairman of the panel pointed to an analyst's written account of trying to sift information from more than 30 million pages of documents posted on the so-called licensing support network -- or LSN.

The frustrated analyst compared the task to trying to put a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle together from a box containing several million pieces.

The Energy Department wants NRC approval for an Oct. 19 Energy Department declaration that the database was complete.

The NRC rejected a similar request in 2004.

The DOE is trying to stay on schedule to submit an application for an NRC operating license by next June 30th.

The state argues that while the digital library may contain lots of analyses, reports and technical documents, a lot of important information is missing or hard to find.