When you open your project, besides the audio conforming, the other thing that Premiere is doing is generating thumbnails for all the clips in the project window & for your timeline, assuming you're displaying thumbnails.
My bet is that one particular clip is crashing on decode, possibly due to a corrupted frame 0 at the start of a clip. This would also make sense since there were some MPEG fixes made to the indexing - previously, Premiere would always reject the first two frames of an MPEG stream without checking whether the first GOP was closed. Now, it respects a closed GOP properly, but if an MPEG file is malformed, this could be the problem.
I would try to see if you can isolate the problem to a particular clip, either by making a copy of the project, removing half the clips in the project, see if it crashes, & repeat until you narrow down the specific clip, or alternatively by trying to import the same clips one at a time in a new project.
If you do find a particular clip that's giving you trouble, I'd like to take a look at it if you can upload it somewhere.