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Nuclear Law Bulletin

Nuclear Energy Agency

Published twice a year, the Nuclear Law Bulletin covers legislative developments in almost 60 countries around the world as well as reporting on relevant jurisprudence and administrative decisions, bilateral and international agreements and regulatory activities of international organisations.

Each issue typically includes the following sections: Articles, Case Law, National Legislative and Regulatory Activities, International Regulatory Activities, Agreements, News Briefs, and a Supplement.

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The status of radioactive waste repository development in the United States – December 2011

Nuclear Energy Agency

The current state of affairs concerning development in the United States of a permanent repository for disposal of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level radioactive waste (HLW) is, in a word, uncertain. The President of the United States has asserted that he believes licensing and development of the Yucca Mountain repository should be abandoned, while other important parties believe licensing and development should continue. And not surprisingly, there is a disagreement as to what the law requires and whether the licensing process for the Yucca Mountain repository can be terminated at this point, even if the President would like for that to happen. The future of Yucca Mountain, and the future of radioactive waste disposal in the United States generally, currently are pending before the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and eventually the Supreme Court of the United States may decide some of the important legal issues concerning Yucca Mountain’s future. The November 2012 US elections also likely will have a significant impact on future radioactive waste repository development.

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