Nebraska Low-Level Waste

Gao ID: RCED-93-47R October 14, 1992

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the site selection for a low-level radioactive waste facility in Nebraska, focusing on the Boyd County Low-Level Waste Monitoring Committee's (BCLLWC): (1) reservations about the proposed site in the county; (2) concern about the facility licensing proceeding and any plans to store mixed and decommissioned wastes at the site; and (3) concern that the site might receive wastes from other states. GAO found that: (1) although they did not find the site unsuitable, two BCLLWC geology consultants reported that groundwater could become contaminated and be discharged into a nearby creek, and therefore the site would not meet regulatory requirements; (2) the site developer did not include mixed wastes and decommissioned wastes in its application for state licensing, but would request such permission later; (3) BCLLWC believed the plans for mixed and decommissioned wastes should have been raised at the licensing proceeding; and (4) the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) alone could grant emergency access to the Nebraska facility if the denial of access would pose a public health threat, but NRC said that applicants first had to exhaust all other alternatives, and it did not anticipate any such situation arising.

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