USGS Involvement at Yucca Mountain

The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 designated Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as the candidate site for the Nation's first permanent geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level nuclear waste. The act charged the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management with overseeing the necessary studies of the geotechnical, geochemical, geologic, and hydrologic characteristics to determine whether the Yucca Mountain site met the technical and regulatory requirements for a permanent repository. These studies were set up as a collaborative effort between the USGS, DOE, and other cooperators. To meet this effort, USGS established the Yucca Mountain Project Branch Office (YMPB) to oversee investigations and analyses run jointly by scientists from the Nevada Water Science Center (NWSC) and the Geologic Division (GD).

The USGS-NWSC office in Henderson, Nevada assisted the USGS-YMPB by maintaining a water-resources monitoring network (Yucca Mountain Environmental Monitoring Program) to assist DOE in meeting environmental and water-permit requirements. However, this monitoring network was discontinued in March 2009. Participation in other hydrologic studies was provided in response to YMPB requests.


For More Information

Jeff Sanders
U.S. Geological Survey,
Nevada Water Science Center
160 N. Stephanie Street
Henderson, NV 89074-8829
Phone: 702-564-4562