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Yucca Mountain Project Document Suspension, OAS-M-08-07

The Department or Energy's Office of Civilian Radioaztivc Waste Management
(OCRWM) is preparing to obtain a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to
construct a permanent repository at Yucca Mountain for the disposal of high-level
radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel. In December 2005, OCRWM identified design
process inadequacies and suspended the appro\lal of new7 documents 'important to waste
isolation' or safety analysis that were subject to quality assurance procedures. Waste
isolation refers to limiting radioactive exposure to the public after the waste is placed in
the repository; while safety refers to limiting exposure prior to emplacement.
OCRWM lifted the suspension in October 2006 after its contractor, Bechtel SAIC
Company, LLC (BSC), revised its quality assurance procedures. Subsequentlq, the
Office of Inspector General and OCRWM received allegations concerning the
effectiveness of the suspension. The objective of our inquiry was to determine whether
quality assurance procedures were followed - specifically, whether quality affecting
documents that were important to waste isolation and safety were issued during the
suspension or reclassified so that they would not be subject to the established quality
assurance process.