Eureka County, Nevada
Nuclear Waste Program
Key Issues for County Commissioners Regarding Yucca Mountain Review and Licensing Process
The purpose of this Issues Paper is to provide background and perspective in support of a Resolution by the County Commissioners to establish its principles and priorities for future oversight of and participation in the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC's) licensing proceeding for a high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) proposes to build and operate the repository, and to transport large quantities of spent nuclear reactor fuel (SNF) and other high-level radioactive waste (HLW) to the repository through Nevada -- including, potentially, through Eureka County. Eureka County established its Nuclear Waste Program in 1992 and participated in the NRC licensing proceeding until 2010, when the proceeding was suspended. During the past decade . . .
Socioeconmic Conditions & Trends
As a part of efforts to assess the potential impacts upon Eureka County of construction and operation of a Nuclear Waste Repository at Yucca Mountain, Eureka County has developed and maintains an accurate picture of existing socioeconomic conditions and trends in the county. Seven previous Socioeconomic Conditions and Trends Reports have been completed: one in 1994, one in 2003, 2006, 2013, 2014 and 2015. This 2018 report is an update to the 2015 report. The update is divided into eight sections:
- Population and Housing,
- the Economy,
- Local Government Fiscal Conditions,
- Social Indicators,
- Natural Resources, and Conclusions.
The series of reports presents a wide range of information that shows socioeconomic conditions and trends in Eureka County for a
period exceeding twenty years.
Eureka County Comments on Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future
The Draft Commission Report contains many useful recommendations for improving the management of nuclear wastes in a post-Yucca Mountain environment. From a local government viewpoint, the key factor in successful siting of nuclear waste storage or disposal facilities is the maintenance of public trust. Confidence in the goals and actions of the implementing agency and in its capacity to ensure public safety build and sustain that trust. The Blue Ribbon Commission has recognized the essential role of public trust and has made a conscious effort to address this issue in its recommendations. We believe that the key recommendations are:
- To adopt a new approach to siting of nuclear waste facilities that is consent based, transparent, phased, adaptive and science-based.
- To recognize the key roles, responsibilities and authorities of local, state and tribal governments, including the delegation of direct authority over aspects of regulation, permitting and operation of nuclear waste facilities.
- To replace the Department of Energy (DOE) with a single-purpose federal corporation that can seek to re-establish public trust and confidence in the nuclear waste management program.
- To retain the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board as a source of independent review.
Read/Download the final report by Eureka County, it's titled "Lessions Learned, Summary of Findings and Recommendations for the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future.
Newsletters From YuccaMountain.org
Staff from Eureka County's Nuclear Waste Office (YuccaMountain.org) has been preparing newsletters on the Yucca Mountain project since 1993. The Newsletters have been disseminated to local residents, elected officials and posted for general public consumption. The
newsletters themselves provide an historical record of events and issues of controversy during the decades of site characterization and study at Yucca Mountain.
Mineral Assessment Report
The Department of Energy (DOE) has proposed to transport radioactive waste to the proposed repository at Yucca Mountain in Nye County using "mostly rail." The Department estimates that about 90 percent of shipments will be transported by rail, using a new corridor constructed through Nevada to the repository site. Ten percent of the waste will be shipped by truck, using the Interstate system. One of the proposed rail corridors to transport the waste, the "Carlin corridor," originates from the rail mainline in northern Eureka County and extends approximately 24 miles within the county near the towns of Beowawe and Crescent Valley. Interstate 80 runs east-west through the northern
part of the county, roughly parallel to the Union Pacific mainline. This report addresses the potential minerial impacts in Eureka County.
Transportation Corridor Impact Assessment Report
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has indicated that transportation of nuclear waste to the proposed Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository will be conducted with a combination of rail and highway routes. Eureka County has three federal and state highways that potentially could be used for truck transport of nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain. A Union Pacific main railroad line also passes through northern Eureka County.
In addition, DOE has considered the construction of a rail corridor route through Eureka County - the "Carlin Spur" - leaving the Union Pacific main line at Beowawe in Eureka County and running southwest through Crescent Valley, as an alternative for waste transport. While in 2005 the DOE selected an alignment leaving the main Union Pacific tracks at Caliente, in Lincoln County, as the only route currently to be studied for rail transportation to Yucca Mountain, there still is a possibility that the Carlin route might be used if the Caliente
route proves unfeasible.
This report examines current use and operations of the three state and federal highways, and one railroad main line that pass through Eureka County, including traffic volumes, accident statistics, physical conditions, weather effects, operations, and the regulatory structure, so that potential areas of delay, hazard, and other conditions that might affect nuclear waste transport may be identified.
Yucca Mountain Rail Corridor Impact Study
The Eureka County Rail Corridor Impact Study identifies construction and operation issues associated with development of the Carlin Alignment, a proposed U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) rail route that would transport high-level nuclear waste and spent nuclear fuel from the mainline Union Pacific Railroad to the proposed Yucca Mountain repository in southern Nevada. This alignment originates near Beowawe and continues southwest across Eureka County for approximately 18.5 miles before entering Lander County near the Cortez Gold Mine.
Online Atlas of Eureka County Nevada
A major portion of the data used to create this online Atlas was developed by the Eureka County GIS Department. Some data was developed to identify Yucca Mountain impacts. Other data sources included the Nevada Department of Transportation, the United States Census Bureau, the United States Geopolitical Survey, and the TerraServer, USA. When unavailable, data has been omitted.