2002: The Department of Energy continues work on unresolved scientific issues as it prepares an application for a construction permit that will be submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

2003: The Department of Energy completes a detailed transportation plan, working with 45 states on routing and security, and with the NRC on waste canister designs and safeguards.

2003: Courts expected to rule on the first of five lawsuits already filed by the state of Nevada challenging the Yucca Mountain project.

2004: The Department of Energy plans to apply for a construction permit. The NRC licensing process is expected to take three to four years.

2007: Construction of the Yucca Mountain National Nuclear Waste Repository expected to begin.

2010-2034: 3,200 tons of highly radioactive waste per year will be shipped by rail, truck and barge to the Yucca Mountain site. The site’s initial capacity is 77,000 tons of waste. However, with congressional approval the site could be expanded to hold up to 120,000 tons, to be filled by 2048.

2035 and beyond: The Yucca Mountain site is expected to remain open for 100 to 300 years, after which it would be shut in.

source: US Department of Energy