Science and Policy Clash at Yucca Mountain

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Science  28 Apr 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5466, pp. 602
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5466.602

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The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) draft standards for protecting groundwater at Yucca Mountain, the proposed repository in Nevada for the nation's highly radioactive wastes from nuclear power plants and national defense activities, are drawing fire from scientific groups, including a panel of the National Academy of Sciences. The academy's Board on Radioactive Waste Management has argued that, among other problems, EPA's supporting data were out of date and it was needlessly duplicating the protection of human health by proposing two sets of standards, one covering all possible ways humans could be exposed to radiation and the other focusing on groundwater.