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Nuclear Regulatory Commission renews SwRI contract

The $87.6 million renewal authorizes SwRI to operate the Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses for another five years

San Antonio -- October 15, 1997 -- The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) recently renewed a contract with Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®)  to continue providing technical assistance in licensing a proposed geologic repository in Nevada for 70,000 tons of high-level radioactive nuclear waste. The $87.6 million renewal authorizes the Institute to operate the Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses (CNWRA) for another five years.

"Since it was established in 1987, the CNWRA at SwRI has grown to become the principal contractor for scientific and engineering assistance to the NRC," says CNWRA President and SwRI Vice President Dr. Wesley C. Patrick. "The NRC has consistently given high marks to CNWRA technical and programmatic achievements in its first 10 years of operation." The CNWRA is helping the NRC establish and implement regulations and related guidance that will govern the licensing of an underground repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, intended to safely contain spent nuclear reactor fuel and other wastes for a period of 10,000 years and beyond.

The CNWRA supports the NRC by developing criteria and methods to evaluate the Department of Energy (DOE) site characterization, as well as design, construction, operation, and ultimate closing of the proposed repository. The CNWRA staff will also assist the NRC in determining the adequacy of the DOE license application for the site.

In recent years, the CNWRA has extended its role to assist several foreign countries in developing regulatory procedures and technical methods for evaluating their candidate high-level waste repository sites.

For more information about the CNWRA, contact Maria Stothoff, Communications Department, Southwest Research Institute, P.O. Drawer 28510, San Antonio, Texas 78228-0510, Phone (210) 522-3305, Fax (210) 522-3547.

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