February 14, 2002
Secretary Abraham formally recommends to President Bush that the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada be developed as the nation's first long-term geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste. "I have considered whether sound science supports the determination that the Yucca Mountain site is scientifically and technically suitable for the development of a repository," the Secretary informs the President. "I am convinced that it does. The results of this extensive investigation and the external technical reviews of this body of scientific work give me confidence for the conclusion, based on sound scientific principles, that a repository at Yucca Mountain will be able to protect the health and safety of the public when evaluated against the radiological protection standards adopted by the Environmental Protection Agency and implemented by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission." The Secretary also notes that there are "compelling national interests" that require development of a repository, including energy and national security, homeland security, nuclear nonproliferation policy, secure disposal of nuclear waste, and ongoing efforts to clean up the environment at former nuclear weapons production sites.