NRC licensing Web site revamped

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Licensing Support Network web site

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) officials have upgraded the Web site dedicated to sharing documents related to the Yucca Mountain, Nev., radioactive waste repository.

Energy Department officials are preparing an application to obtain an NRC license to begin constructing the nation's first long-term repository for used nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste.

NRC officials have implemented the latest version of Autonomy Corp.'s search and infrastructure software to enable individuals and organizations involved in the licensing hearing to search and share discovery documents more uniformly.

Participants and potential participants in the hearing can access NRC's Licensing Support Network (LSN) Web site (www.LSNNET.gov) to retrieve and share documents that might be used as evidence. This includes officials from Nevada, several of the state's counties, the National Congress of American Indians, various environmental groups, DOE and NRC.

The Web site provides a single interface to access dozens of databases that house the documents related to the Yucca Mountain repository, said Dan Graser, LSN administrator.

The collection contains more than 2 million documents that consist of correspondence, memos, scientific reports and other materials stored in DOE and NRC databases, Graser said. Popular search engines such as Google would not be applicable in this setting, he added.

"Autonomy's [software] is more of a sophisticated knowledge management tool" than a search engine, said Whit Andrews, a research director at Gartner Inc.

The software integrates unstructured, semi-structured and structured information from multiple repositories by understanding the content, or pattern recognition, he said.

At the center of Autonomy's infrastructure is the Intelligent Data Operating Layer server, the platform for understanding the meaning and significance of information. The ability to perform advanced operations can be integrated into it, company officials said.

People using "LSN can index documents from many sources and accept information from hundreds of repositories and formats," said John Cronin, vice president of Autonomy's federal group. "The strength of the software is its ability to take text, audio and video, [analyze it] and link together information."

NRC's Web site, built by AT&T Government Solutions and hosted at the company's facility in Northern Virginia, began operating in October 2001, Graser said.

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