Does the EPA regulate nuclear waste?

The EPA has the authority to regulate the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) which is a Department of Energy repository that permanently disposes of transuranic waste from defense programs. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) also has authority over nuclear power plants’ waste and spent nuclear fuel.

What is the 1982 Nuclear Waste Policy Act?

(1982) The Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) supports the use of deep geologic repositories for the safe storage and/or disposal of radioactive waste. The Act establishes procedures to evaluate and select sites for geologic repositories and for the interaction of state and federal governments.

What are some regulations associated with nuclear waste?

The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 is a United States federal law which established a comprehensive national program for the safe, permanent disposal of highly radioactive wastes. During the first 40 years that nuclear waste was being created in the United States, no legislation was enacted to manage its disposal.

What containment period does EPA recommend for long term storage of radioactive wastes?

The radioactivity of the wastes decays with time, providing a strong incentive to store high-level waste for about 50 years before disposal.

Why is nuclear waste bad?

Although most of the time the waste is well sealed inside huge drums of steel and concrete, sometimes accidents can happen and leaks can occur. Nuclear waste can have drastically bad effects on life, causing cancerous growths, for instance, or causing genetic problems for many generations of animal and plants.

Why was Yucca chosen for nuclear waste?

The DOE maintains that Yucca Mountain was selected because it was consistently ranked as the site that possessed the best technical and scientific characteristics to serve as a repository. The Department says that Yucca Mountain is a good place to store waste because the repository would be: In a desert location.

When did nuclear waste become a problem?

The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 dictated that the federal government would identify a permanent geological repository—a long-term storage site—and begin transferring waste from nuclear power plants to that repository by 1998.

How long is nuclear waste radioactive?

1,000-10,000 years
The radioactivity of nuclear waste naturally decays, and has a finite radiotoxic lifetime. Within a period of 1,000-10,000 years, the radioactivity of HLW decays to that of the originally mined ore. Its hazard then depends on how concentrated it is.

What are the environmental regulations for nuclear power?

Learn more about Environmental Radiation Protection Standards for Nuclear Power Operations (40 CFR Part 190). This regulation sets environmental standards for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel spent nuclear fuelFuel that has been withdrawn from a nuclear reactor after use.

How does the EPA work with nuclear power plants?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) The EPA uses its authority from the Clean Air Act to set limits on the amount of radioactive material released into the air from nuclear power plants. The EPA sets environmental standards for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel, high-level wastes.

Who is responsible for the disposal of nuclear waste?

The NWPA assigns the Department of Energy (DOE) the responsibility to site, build, and operate a deep geologic repository for the disposal of high-level waste and spent nuclear fuel. It directs EPA to develop standards for protection of the general environment from offsite releases of radioactive material in repositories.

Where is radioactive waste stored in a nuclear power plant?

High-level radioactive waste must be stored on-site at each individual nuclear power plant. Public safety is a high priority when nuclear power plants are built and operated. During normal operation, nuclear power plants release very low amounts of radioactive materials into the air.