Proposed High-Level Nuclear Waste Repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada: Final Base Case Community Analysis: Indian Springs

Given its status as the population center closest to Yucca Mountain, the town of Indian Springs was of great interest since it logically would be subject to changes induced by development and operation of the repository. Coupled with extensive regional baseline description and analysis then being developed by IAI, this case study helped public officials better understand the nature of social life in rural northwest Nevada, and the kinds of social, demographic, economic, and environmental variables that were subject to development-related change should the repository move forward.

As the community closest to the proposed site, Indian Springs may be seen by site characterization workers, as well as workers associated with later repository phases, as a logical place to live. This report develops and updates information relating to a broad spectrum of socioeconomic variables, thereby providing a `snapshot` or `base case` look at Indian Springs in early 1992. With this as a background, future repository-related developments may be analytically separated from changes brought about by other factors, thus allowing for the assessment of the magnitude of local changes associated with the proposed repository. Given the size of the community, changes that may be considered small in an absolute sense may have relatively large impacts at the local level. Indian Springs is, in many respects, a unique community and a community of contrasts. An unincorporated town, it is a small yet important enclave of workers on large federal projects and home to employees of small- scale businesses and services. It is a rural community, but it is also close to the urbanized Las Vega Valley. It is a desert community, but has good water resources. It is on flat terrain, but it is located within 20 miles of the tallest mountains in Nevada. It is a town in which various interest groups diverge on issues of local importance, but in a sense of community remains an important feature of life. Finally, it has a sociodemographic history of both surface transience and underlying stability. If local land becomes available, Indian Springs has some room for growth but must first consider the historical effects of growth on the town and its desired direction for the future.