United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment
Home > NRC Library > Document Collections > ACNW > Meeting Transcripts > 1999 > 109th Meeting - May 12, 1999

109th ACNW Meeting U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, May 12, 1999

                       UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
                     NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
                                  ***
                  ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON NUCLEAR WASTE
                                  ***
                  MEETING:  109TH ADVISORY COMMITTEE
                        ON NUCLEAR WASTE (ACNW)

                        U.S. NRC
                        Two White Flint, North
                        11545 Rockville Pike, Room T2-B3
                        Rockville, Maryland

                        Wednesday, May 12, 1999

         The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 8:35 a.m.

     MEMBERS PRESENT:
         B. JOHN GARRICK, Chairman, ACNW
         RAYMOND G. WYMER, Member, ACNW
         GEORGE M. HORNBERGER, Member, ACNW
         CHARLES FAIRHURST, Member, ACNW.     STAFF PRESENT:
         LYNN G. DEERING, ACNW
         RICHARD K. MAJOR, ACNW
         ANDREW C. CAMPBELL, ACNW
         HOWARD J. LARSON, ACNW
         DR. LARKINS, ACNW
     PARTICIPANTS:
         WILLIAM TRAVERS, NRC
         FRANK MIRAGLIA, NRC
         MICHAEL JOHNSON, NRR
         BRUCE BOGER, NRR
         MS. HOWARD, NEI
         WALTER HILL, NEI
         DR. SCHOENFELD, Research
         MS. DAWES, EPA
         DR. CARL PAPERIELLO, NMSS
         MR. REAME.                         P R O C E E D I N G S
                                                      [8:35 a.m.]
         DR. GARRICK:  Good morning.  The meeting will now come to
     order.
         This is the second day of the 109th meeting of the Advisory
     Committee on Nuclear Waste.  My name is John Garrick, Chairman of the
     ACNW.  Other Members of the Committee include George Hornberger, Ray
     Wymer, and Charles Fairhurst.
         The entire meeting will be open to the public.  Today the
     Committee will first discuss recent experience and plans for improving
     risk communication and public outreach with representatives of the
     Environmental Protection Agency, the NRC staff, and the Nuclear Energy
     Institute.
         We will meet with the NRC's executive director for
     operations, Dr. William Travers, and NRC's deputy executive director for
     regulatory affairs, Mr. Frank J. Miraglia, to discuss items of mutual
     interest.  And we will discuss possible ACNW reports on first, low
     levels of ionizing radiation, second, a white paper on repository
     design, and third, NRC's waste-related research and technical assistance
     program.
         Lynn Deering is the designated Federal official for the
     initial portion of today's meeting.
         This meeting is being conducted in accordance with the
     provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.  We have received no
     written statements or requests to make oral statements from members of
     the public regarding today's session.  Should anyone wish to address the
     Committee, please make your wishes known to one of the Committee staff.
         And as usual, it's requested that each speaker use one of
     the microphones, identify themselves, and speak with clarity and volume
     so that we can hear what you have to say.
         Today we as a Committee venture into some relatively new
     territory.  One of the issues that we have on our first-tier priority
     list this year is to be more active in offering advice to the Commission
     on stakeholder participation.  A component of that activity is the
     business of how we communicate with each other and with the public.  We
     are planning a working group on that subject later this year.
         In preparation for that, we will be hearing from a variety
     of experts and organizations that have programs or activities having to
     do with outreach, having to do with risk communication, and the general
     subject of how to involve the public in the nuclear regulatory decision
     making process.
         So I think with that we'll move directly into the
     presentations.  Our first presentation will be from -- as I understand
     it there's been a substitute here.  It was to be Frank Gillespie, but
     it's going to be Michael Johnson and Bruce Boger.  I gather they're from
     the same Office of Inspection and Support from NRR, and they're going to
     talk to us about risk-informed, performance-based regulation
     communication strategy.
         Please introduce yourself and the subsequent speakers.
     Welcome.
         MR. BOGER:  Thank you.  My name is Bruce Boger.  I am the
     director of the Division of Inspection Program Management at NRR.  And
     today Mike Johnson, who's the section chief in the Inspection Program
     Branch, is going to provide a presentation on not quite what you said,
     but something pretty close.
         [Laughter.]
         DR. GARRICK:  Well, that isn't the first time I've
     misrepresented something.
         MR. BOGER:  When we make some of these last-minute changes,
     sometimes things fall through the cracks, but basically there has been a
     lot of interest and concern in whether or not the NRC inspection and
     oversight program has kept pace with the progress that industry has
     made.  By many measures the industry is performing better, and so in
     recognition of that, we've made some changes.
         We're looking at ways to change the inspection process, ways
     to change the performance assessment of licensees, and Mike's going to
     talk about that.  But it is a big challenge for us, because it's not
     only a communication issue with the public or with people outside.  We
     have a large communications challenge within the NRC, our inspectors,
     our supervisors, and the like.  So what we thought we'd do is talk about
     changes to the process itself, because you may not be familiar with the
     changes that we need to make, and along the way we'll discuss the
     communications issues that we have.  And if that's okay with you, then
     Michael, carry on.
         MR. JOHNSON:  Thank you.  Thanks, Bruce.
         As Bruce said, my name is Michael Johnson, from the
     Inspection Programs Branch.  And I've handed out a slide package, but
     again admittedly the slide package and the presentation I'd actually
     planned to give you focuses a lot on the oversight process, not a lot on
     what we've done in terms of bringing in stakeholders and the development
     of the process and what we plan in terms of the communication.
         So what I'll do is I'll go through that presentation very
     quickly to sort of give you the overview, but I'll try to weave in what
     has been a substantial effort, really an outreach effort for us in
     developing this revised oversight process, and I'll talk a little bit
     about what it is we plan to do to implement that process, to communicate
     the process both internally and to keep stakeholders, the external
     stakeholders, all of the stakeholders involved as we go into
     implementation.
         Just by way of background, as Bruce indicated, beginning a
     year ago and even earlier we began to recognize and get feedback on the
     fact that in fact there are some changes going on that we needed to be
     responsive to in the area of reactor oversight.  We had a maturing
     industry and a maturing technology, certainly a demonstrated history of
     improved plant performance.  We've had tools, regulatory tools that
     we've been working on and refining over the years.  And in the area of
     deregulation, where licensees are pressed upon to become more and more
     competitive, and with the internal factors that we had going on at the
     Agency, we certainly began to recognize that we need to find ways to be
     more effective, that is, to get the information that we need to allow us
     to do our mission, but do it in a way that minimizes unnecessary burden
     to licensees.  And so that was the real impetus for what we did, took on
     in terms of revising the oversight process.
         Just a quick couple of slides that I won't spend any time
     on, really, the trends are, if you'll just glance at them, this is the
     industry's performance, using the performance indicators that we keep
     track of and that the industry keeps track of, and as you can see, from
     '86 to 1988 there have been drastic improvements in the performance of
     the industry.
         DR. GARRICK:  Do you think that message is out to the public
     about this drastic improvement?
         MR. JOHNSON:  I think it is, actually.  We -- as I'll talk
     about in a few minutes, when we've gotten in front at public meetings
     and talked about changes to the revised oversight process, in fact when
     we've made changes, recent changes to the way we oversee reactors, we
     have tried to communicate the fact that in general the message is good,
     in general the trends are good, and we -- in fact, I'll talk about what
     we think are the important mission directions that we ought to take in
     the area of overseeing reactors, and that is reflective of the fact that
     the industry's performance is improving, and we try to communicate that
     in as many forms as we possibly can.  But you're right, it's a tough
     message to get out there.
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes.  Thank you.
         MR. JOHNSON:  One of the first things that we did with the
     thoughts that I've just mentioned with this maturing industry with the
     trends in improvements, with the need that we felt to improve our
     effectiveness and to consider stakeholder input and how we ought to
     really be overseeing the performance of reactors, one of the first
     things that we did was to develop a top-down approach to developing the
     revised oversight process, and we structured that top-down approach in
     terms of a framework that I'll talk about in just a second.  And then we
     looked at some -- given that framework, what are the defining
     principles, what are really the design specifications that you would put
     in place to implement that -- to defer the development and implement
     that framework.
         And then we conducted a public meeting.  That public meeting
     was in October, September and October of last year, where we invited
     members from the industry, utilities, NEI, INPO, State regulators.  We
     invited folks and as many people who would show up we entertained in
     that workshop, and the purpose of that workshop was to try to get
     alignment on this top-down approach to oversight in the area of
     operating reactors.
         This framework, and I won't spend a lot of time on the
     framework and the details of the process, but the framework really does
     start at a high level, our public safety mission, the mission as it is
     outlined in the Atomic Energy Act, and it's near and dear to us.  In
     fact, it shows up on our strategic plans and in many, many high-level
     documents.  It's to provide again adequate protection of public health
     and safety.
         Then if you look, working down, at the strategic plan, the
     strategic plan actually talks about areas of performance where we
     actually in the strategic plan have specific goals with respect to
     reactor safety, radiation safety, and safeguards.  And so we looked
     again to fulfill that mission at figuring out what those areas were.
         Now this whole framework then is driven by the next level
     down, which are our cornerstones, and basically what we've done in
     designing the cornerstones is asked ourselves to recognize that there
     are a lot of things that we could be worried about with respect to this
     revised oversight process.  There are a lot of regulations, a lot of
     regulatory requirements, there are many, many things that licensees
     ought to be worried about.  But what are those core essential things
     that if we have information on them we can know with a degree of
     assurance that if the licensee is performing adequately with respect to
     these cornerstones, that we are performing adequately in these strategic
     performance areas, and therefore the licensee and we are meeting our
     ultimate mission of providing adequate protection of public health and
     safety?  And so this process, the framework that we developed, really is
     very much driven by these individual cornerstones.
         What we did then was to look in those cornerstones and ask
     ourselves what are the important pieces of information with respect to
     these cornerstones, and the cornerstones are -- I guess I ought to just
     spend one more second to talk about the cornerstones.
         Basically what we said is if licensees maintain or minimize
     these initiating events that ultimately end up in resulting in core
     damage, if they can somehow minimize those initiating events, if even
     though they have those initiating events they can -- the systems, the
     functions that are required to be called upon to mitigate those events
     in fact do work if they maintain the barriers, the physical barriers
     that would result in exposure or release of radioactive material to the
     environment, if those barriers function properly such that even if you
     had an initiating event and your mitigation systems didn't work, the
     barriers would function well, and if the licensee had an emergency plan
     that could be implemented, exercised appropriately to get people living
     near the site away from and to avoid exposure to radioactive materials,
     if again the licensees performed in each of these areas appropriately,
     then we could say with respect to reactor safety that our public health
     and safety mission was being implemented.
         And so it's very much an indicator sort of an approach to
     looking at again these cornerstones, the essential information to make
     decisions about our public health and safety mission.
         Now within each of those cornerstones what we did was we
     asked ourselves what are the important attributes that I need to decide
     that the initiating events are okay, what of that information can I get
     directly from performance indicators, what of that information can I get
     directly from performance indicators, what of that information do I have
     to get from inspections because performance indicators are not
     appropriate or not adequate to give the information that we need, and
     then so it's the combination of those performance indicators and
     inspections and other information that we use to make decisions with
     respect to each of the cornerstones.  That's the framework.
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes, these strike me as the kind of
     performance indicators that really are in keeping with the transition to
     risk-informed, performance-based regulatory practice.
         Are you also able to at this level address the issue to the
     public at the level of the cornerstones for example of what the NRC
     means by defense in depth?
         MR. JOHNSON:  Are you asking if we are able to or --
         DR. GARRICK:  If the public asks the question.  I understand
     this has a very logical progression, but one of the fundamental tenets
     of our regulatory practice of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is the
     concept of defense-in-depth.  Now how does that enter -- I am asking
     this as if I were a member of the public.
         MR. JOHNSON:  I understand.  That is a real communications
     challenge, to answer that question, in fact, and if you look at what we
     have on the docket in terms of written information about
     defense-in-depth and how that fits into the process you would really
     have to go back to the Commission paper that forwarded the entire
     concept.
         We haven't done a lot in terms of speaking to the public in
     terms of how that fits within this process.  I am going to talk in a
     second -- I will show you very quickly what the inspection program, the
     risk-informed baseline inspection program ends up looking like to
     support the information that we need with respect to initiating events.
         DR. GARRICK:  The only reason, Mike, I bring up this point
     is I think one of the things that the public is looking for is
     connectivity, if you wish, logic between the practices that the NRC is
     engaged in and every time something is proposed, is it proposed just
     because somebody has raised a question and this is a response to that
     question, or is there a fundamental philosophy from which all of this
     comes that one can draw and provide mapping from one aspect of that
     fundamental philosophy to the other.
         MR. JOHNSON:  I understand.
         MR. BOGER:  Mike, I think one aspect of that is when you
     look in the inspection area certainly design control is an element that
     we have to inspect.  We can't go by performance indicators for design so
     that is an embedded thing, and that is where a lot of the
     defense-in-depth is already built into the system, so we would be
     monitoring actual design through the inspection process so I appreciate
     your question, but I think that is another element that we bring into
     this.
         MR. JOHNSON:  Yes.  Bruce is exactly right.  The other thing
     to keep in mind is, and again I will show you the inspection areas and
     you will see that we really do touch quite a bit outside of what we can
     directly monitor through performance indicators.
         The other thing to keep in mind is that this oversight
     process really is -- it doesn't supplant the regulatory requirements.
     It doesn't let the licensees off the hook with respect to all of those
     things that I said licensees need to worry about, but what it does do is
     it enables us to figure out by focusing on the key essentials how we
     ought to -- basically at a very quick look at where the licensee stands
     but also how we ought to interact based on where we think the licensee
     falls out with respect to performance.  That may become clear but it
     certainly is a good question.
         That is the framework.
         Let me mention just quickly the process.
         MR. BOGER:  It's straightforward.
         MR. JOHNSON:  Yes, with lots of colors.  The process then
     really does again rely on performance indicators and risk-informed
     baseline inspection because there are again holes in the performance
     indicators.
         Incidentally, there's an area of this risk-informed baseline
     inspection that needs to verify the PIs to make sure that the PIs that
     are being reported are being reported accurately.
         We take that information from the inspection program and we
     take that information from the performance indicators and that
     information -- we look at that information in each of the cornerstones
     to make decisions about -- to enter an action matrix.  I will show you
     the action matrix very quickly.  That action matrix then, based on the
     performance and the performance indicators and the risk-informed
     baseline, decides or helps us decide what actions we ought to take on in
     terms of interacting with licensees in terms of what should we have a
     management meetings, what licensee's actions would be appropriate based
     on the performance that we have seen, what NRC inspection is necessary
     to follow up on what we have seen, what other regulatory actions would
     be appropriate, what assessment reports, how do we communicate the
     results of that assessment to licensees and to the public and then how
     do we communicate that information in a public meeting such that all of
     the stakeholders can understand where it is we think the licensee stands
     with respect to the performance again in the framework and what actions
     we intend to take to address areas where we think performance
     deficiencies exist.  So that in a nutshell is how this revised oversight
     process will work.
         Now let me just go on to say very quickly that the process
     is very much thresholds driven.  The fundamental concept is if we
     establish PIs and we assign thresholds to those performance indicators,
     and if we establish somehow thresholds for the inspection that we are
     going to do, if a licensee hasn't crossed those thresholds then that
     really does belong, even though we may find things that are of concern
     to our inspectors or the management of the NRC, if the licensee hasn't
     crossed those thresholds that licensee's performance is in the licensee
     response band, or really the green band.
         This is sort of a conceptual model.  If you look at any one
     of those performance indicators, if you look t the inspection that we
     will do in any of the areas that we will do with then the cornerstones
     to supplement the performance indicators, we make decisions.  We apply
     those results to see where the thresholds fall out and if the licensee
     hasn't crossed any of those thresholds, then the licensee is free to
     manage themselves.  Issues that we find will go into the licensee's
     corrective action system.  They would address those concerns.
         I won't say a lot about the thresholds except to say that
     this threshold is set we think at a low enough level to allow us to
     recognize on those performance indicators and on the inspections
     deviations outside -- what we did is we took the normal, what is normal
     industry performance with respect to the number of scrams for example,
     and we looked at what is a nominal deviation outside of that normal
     performance, and so this threshold is set on picking up licensee
     performance outside what is a nominal deviation from normal performance,
     so this is set at a fairly low level.
         The reason for that is we want to be able to interact at a
     low enough level to enable us to take action again before a significant
     decline in performance occurs.
         This threshold is -- the white to yellow indicates that we
     leave the increased regulatory response performance band to a required
     regulatory response band and in the red zone again a greater performance
     degradation.  We have told ourselves that we are not going to allow
     plants to operate, and we in fact talked with the industry and the
     industry agrees, this is a band that neither the industry would expect
     to operate or we would expect to allow the industry to operate with
     performance in this particular band.
         Any question on that -- this band's performance?
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes.  We know about the maintenance rule and
     how it works but do the plant-specific PRAs enter into the threshold
     decision-making process in any way?
         MR. JOHNSON:  They do, but we are not driven by the
     plant-specific PRAs, so let me try to explain that a little bit.
         We set thresholds -- let me go to a chart of the PIs, for
     example, and that may make it clearer.  This is just a table of the
     performance indicators, a list of the performance indicators starting
     with that list.
         You actually have two slides in your hand on the performance
     indicators, and you will see that the right column is a little bit
     chopped off, so you won't be able to read it.  I apologize for that, but
     that is okay.  We really wanted to just give you a list.
         What we did in setting the thresholds, the green to white
     thresholds, again was to try to say what is the deviation from nominal
     performance?  To go to that next level, we really try to look at
     performance declines that where we could quantify them would result in a
     delta CDF of e to the minus 5.  That is how we tried to set that second,
     that green to white, threshold.  Let me see if I can find this chart.
         Where we could possibly quantify it, we tried to set
     thresholds for the PIs -- I'm sorry, from this white to yellow
     threshold, at a delta CDF of e to the minus 5.  Now we didn't do that
     baseline on any plant-specific PRA.  In fact, this is very crude, as you
     will recognize, but we think that's okay.
         MR. BOGER:  Mike, there is another aspect that I know you
     will get to when you talk about how we treat some of the inspection
     findings, and I think that is an opportunity where we would factor in
     some plant-specific PRA type information.
         DR. GARRICK:  The only reason for the question is to get
     some sense of the extent to which it is truly risk-informed and since
     risk is such a plant-specific phenomena I was just curious as to how you
     were accounting for the specificity issue.
         MR. JOHNSON:  So the way we account for it is we do it sort
     of on a generic basis.  We say this is a threshold -- this is sort of a
     generic threshold.  Does this mean that licensee tripped from a green to
     a white?  If that licensee has tripped from a green to a white based on
     the performance indicators, we do it sort of based on the generic PRA
     results.
         We don't actually require that we get to a plant-specific
     PSA result based on the PIs.  Now as Bruce has indicated, also we do an
     analogous thing with inspection results.  We run it through a
     significance determination process again set up to use generic sorts of
     insights to decide whether the licensee is in the green band, the
     utility response band, or the required regulatory response band or
     whatever.
         Now should enter into the later phases or have to do
     additional work, we get into discussions with the licensee as to where
     exactly the performance is that is supposed to have an issue, a finding.
     An inspector goes out and has a finding and based on that finding we
     would say the licensee is in the white band, so we are going to do some
     follow-up inspection, and the licensee says well, no, actually if you
     look at my plant's PRA, we really would be in the green band.  We have
     in fact in the significance determination process that Bruce has talked
     about provisions to actually take that additional step to make those
     kinds of discussions.
         We realistically hope that that kind of discussion does not
     have to happen, because, as I talk about in the action matrix, the
     thresholds, the consequences for crossing the threshold from green to
     white really simply are that we are going to go out and do some
     additional follow-up inspection to see in fact if there really is a
     problem so in that additional look we will be able to iron out any gross
     assumptions that we made in this performance indicator scaling or in the
     significance determination process.
         Let me just put up two additional charts and then let me try
     to talk about what we have done in terms of communicating this process
     and what we plan to do.
         You can't read this on the viewgraph.  It is really put up
     for effect.  The only point I am trying to make --
         DR. GARRICK:  It is really put up to show that you are
     probably an engineer.
         [Laughter.]
         MR. JOHNSON:  Right.  This wouldn't be a very good
     presentation if I didn't put up a slide you couldn't read.
         I am really just trying to indicate to folks who would say
     or be concerned that -- and in fact some of our non-industry
     stakeholders have been concerned or were concerned in the early days
     that we were giving it all to these very high level indicators and we
     were going to totally back off based on the fact that no plant is going
     to exceed -- the green and white threshold for scrams for example is
     three scrams per 7,000 critical hours.  The industry averages about half
     a scram.  If you just rely on the indicators alone you are never going
     to get to a point where the regulator goes out and does additional
     inspection.
         Well, there really are, as I have indicated, areas where we
     need to do inspection.  There are areas that the PIs don't touch.  One
     of those bullets, as Bruce talked about, is we know that we need to go
     out and we need to look at design.  We know that there are various areas
     that we need to look at within each of the cornerstones to satisfy
     ourselves that we know where the licensee's performance is, and these
     areas are captured in the performance-based baseline inspection program.
         Again we have a risk-informed approach to figuring out what
     we are going to sample in each of these areas and what frequency we are
     going to sample those various areas.
         The purpose of all of this is to get inputs to the action
     matrix to allow us to decide based on the performance of the plant,
     based on whether or not that plant has crossed thresholds, what actions
     should we take to ensure that the licensee is following up and
     addressing concerns and implementing lasting corrective actions.
         This action matrix has the results and the responses down
     the left column.  It has, as you look across the top, the results of the
     PIs and the inspections that we do, and as you can see in looking at
     this left column if you have a plant and that plant hasn't crossed any
     of the thresholds, that plant is simply going to get risk-informed
     baseline inspection, the risk-informed baseline inspection that I talked
     about, in that very busy viewgraph, and we are going to send out an
     annual assessment report that is very brief that tries to convey as
     concisely as possible the fact that the plant is all green because it
     hasn't crossed any thresholds.  We as a regulator believe that that
     plant is operating in a manner that enables us to say that the public
     health and safety is being protected -- so that is for a plant that is
     in -- again, hasn't crossed any thresholds.
         As soon as a threshold is crossed we do follow-up, focused
     follow-up in that particular area, to see what the cause was, to see
     what the licensee has done to address those particular -- the root
     causes that enabled them to cross that threshold, and again we sign
     out -- we do an annual assessment report and sign that out.
         Then as move -- and I won't go all through this table -- but
     you see as you go further to the right, the NRC inspection gets more
     invasive.  The regulatory actions get more severe, and again for a plant
     that is overall unacceptable we are not even going to allow that plant
     to operate.
         So what will the public see?  What will this look like?  We
     anticipate a report card.  If you remember the old SALP report with SALP
     functional areas and all of that, we envision on Internet, on the web
     page, external web page that you will be able to get on to, in fact, we
     are planning that you will be able to get on for a plant and pull up a
     screen that looks very much like this.
         Again, you will recognize the framework.  This will actually
     be in colors.  These are the PIs, scrams and transients.  This is trying
     to indicate, I guess the white -- this is actually a green.  The
     licensee hasn't crossed the threshold here, the licensee has crossed
     this threshold.  These are the inspection areas that we will do within
     each of the cornerstones.
         And so at a glance you can see where the licensee's
     performance is and then you will be able to click on any one of these if
     you want to see, for example, what the trends and scrams have been.  And
     there will be a graph, and I didn't bring one, but it will show that
     trend.  It will show where the threshold is.  It will show comments, for
     example, where the licensee has, in fact, crossed thresholds.
         Likewise, you can click on one of these inspection areas.
     Let's say in this area was a significant inspection finding, you can
     actually go and click on that inspection finding, see what it was, see
     why we think it was significant and see what the licensee has done in
     response to that.  So we think it is going to be a neat communication
     vehicle, again, that we make available to the public on the external web
     -- public and other stakeholders on the external web.
         Questions on that?
         DR. GARRICK:  I could ask a lot of questions, but I won't.
         Charles, do you have any?
         DR. FAIRHURST:  No, thank you.
         DR. GARRICK:  Do you have any questions, Ray?
         DR. WYMER:  I have a comment.  What you have got is very
     reasonable looking.  I would be very surprised if you hadn't been doing
     all this before your new framework.  I can't imagine that it is a
     radical departure from what you have been doing.
         MR. JOHNSON:  There are many elements of the revised
     oversight process and the revised inspection program that we have, in
     fact, been doing.  But one of the things, I think the beauty of this
     framework and the approach that we have taken has been that we, for the
     first time, have this framework on paper.  And, in fact, we have then
     the plans or the structure, if you will, to entertain changes, future
     changes to the inspection program or future changes to the oversight
     process based on what is going on.
         For example, we have -- we frequently have issues that
     inspectors find in the field that they are concerned about, that they
     believe ought to result in additional inspection.  And the question is,
     given this framework, where does it fit in the framework?  How does it
     line up with the cornerstones?  Does it, in fact, provide information on
     one of the attributes that we need information on to support what it is
     that we are trying to do?
         So the framework really is one of the things that we think
     is the strongest point of this revised oversight process.
         The other thing that we think is important about the revised
     oversight process is that we developed it with the industry, with the
     external stakeholders, with internal stakeholders in a way that has been
     unprecedented.  Following that workshop that we had in September and
     October that we had outstanding participation on, that we had alignment
     at that workshop -- I led that workshop and I talked about alignment and
     we had agreement with the industry with the stakeholders that this was
     the framework, that if it is to be concerned, if we are to be concerned
     about safety, it is on these pages, within this framework.  We talked
     about the principles that we would use, that we would have thresholds,
     and we got alignment in that workshop on those principles.
         Moving forward from that workshop, we have had sometimes
     weekly meetings, no less than biweekly, with the industry, public
     meetings with the industry.  We have had meetings with David Lochbaum
     and members of the trade press, whoever would show up at those meetings,
     where we have done the development of this concept into the process that
     I just showed you, into the procedures that we have just talked about.
         We have shared the draft procedures with the industry,
     something that is largely unprecedented.  In all of the development that
     we have done in the past on inspection procedures, they are typically
     developed in-house, shared with the regions, and then we implement a new
     inspection, and for all but major things like inspection, for example,
     the maintenance rule we did a more interactive approach with the
     stakeholders on that, but, typically, licensees find out about new
     inspections because they see a new inspection procedure that has been
     implemented.  And so we have had an incredible outreach program to get
     people online instep with this development and get their input to make
     changes as necessary.
         MR. BOGER:  One subtle reaction.  Down in the lower
     righthand corner it talks about problem identification and resolution.
     There is a large reliance upon licensee's corrective action programs to
     identify problems and correct them.  So, one of the reactions you may
     have from an inspector to a reactor scram, if a licensee is in the
     licensee response band, the resident staff, if it was a scram without
     complications, would be expected to really not react the way they used
     to.  Rather than going in and finding out exactly what went on, what the
     details were and things like that, the reaction is to see what the
     licensee is doing and monitor the licensee's corrective action program
     as a result of that scram, because they are in the licensee response
     band.
         So that is a significant change for us to put our hands in
     our pockets and watch that.
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes.
         DR. WYMER:  The really important differences are kind of
     buried in the process.
         DR. GARRICK:  I think one of the -- we are the Nuclear Waste
     Committee, not the Reactor Committee, but we are interested in the
     process.  And one of the things that we will really move this into the
     regime of being risk-informed is to eventually be able to click on
     things that tell you where you are with to your risk measures.
         And, of course, the maintenance rule is a step in that
     direction in trying to be accountable for the different configurations
     of the plant and the risk is a function of those configurations.
         We know that the core damage frequency, for example, varies
     anywhere from one to three orders of magnitude depending on the
     configuration.  And so that is the kind of information that would really
     I would think maybe be the next step here, is to be able to display to
     how often a particular plant was in configuration A versus B, C, or D
     and, of course, what the risk was in those different configurations, so
     that you begin to get some insight into the dynamics of what is going
     on.
         But I would just make the comment because it seems to me
     that if, indeed, we are interested in being risk-informed, we have
     sooner or later got to be able to calibrate that against some sort of
     risk measure.  And the maintenance rule is clearly a step in that
     direction.
         MR. JOHNSON:  I understand and that is a very good point.
     Incidentally, and we are not there yet, but, in fact, this significance
     determination process that we are running the inspection findings
     through has the inspection finding that they would put forward as a
     finding of significance, in fact, consider aspects of configuration in
     sort of a risk framework approach to try to gauge the significance of
     that finding.  So that is how we are doing it today.
         But you are right, it would be wonderful to be able to see,
     from a historical perspective, where the plant has been with respect to
     risk based on the operating profile.
         DR. GARRICK:  Right.  If there was even something like a
     year summary --
         MR. JOHNSON:  Right.
         DR. GARRICK:  -- that would give you some sort of tabulation
     of the times that the plant was in these different configurations and
     what the risk assessment said the risk was during those times, you would
     begin to get some insight --
         MR. JOHNSON:  Right.
         DR. GARRICK:  -- into how often the plant had compromised,
     you might say, its baseline risk.
         MR. JOHNSON:  Right.  I understand.
         Let me, and I know I am out of time, let me just talk about
     the major transition milestones.  We are awaiting final Commission
     approval, I have seen the voted sheets, and we expect that approval,
     with comment, of course.
         We have been conducting workshops, a series of workshops,
     internal workshops for the staff, to bring the staff up to speed and to
     get them trained.  Also, the workshops with the industry, we had a PI
     workshop a few weeks ago now out in Chicago to meet with the industry
     and the staff, a joint workshop to talk about what the PIs were, how you
     calculate the PIs and so on.
         There was a workshop a couple of weeks ago down in Atlanta,
     an internal workshop to talk about the significance determination
     process for inspectors.  There is a workshop next week which is a joint
     NEI, joint industry-NRC workshop to talk about the entire process.  We
     are aiming for mid-level industry managers and NRC managers, to get them
     across the table sitting around talking about the issues that we expect
     will come out, to smooth implementation.
         We began a pilot process in June that will last until
     December.  We will have a further round of workshops, one held in each
     of the regions, to really do outreach, to get to the licensees so they
     can show up, but also to get to members of the public, to allow them to
     come in each of the regional offices to the extent they are able to, to
     talk about the process in a week-long workshop.
         We complete the pilot process, implement changes and then we
     expect that we are going to begin getting information reported to us in
     January of 2000, and we will complete the first annual assessment in
     April of 2001.  So that is the approach that we are taking and the
     course that we are on.
         We have done some additional things in terms of outreach,
     trying to get to the internal stakeholders.  We recognize that this is a
     fundamental change for inspectors, a fundamental philosophical change.
     And so we have, for example, established a change coalition, a
     coalition, a subset of folks in the regional offices, in the program
     office who are opinion leaders, who can go out, who we brought in to
     help them understand the process, and then we want them to go out and
     help facilitate that process to get feedback and to feed that feedback
     to us.  We have had that underway now for a couple of months and we have
     gotten great returns from that.
         In addition, we are going to have local -- we are going to
     have meetings in the vicinity at a number of sites.  I think we are
     thinking about -- I have seen scheduled now five sites, but we are going
     to try to get to sites in the vicinity of these pilot plants where we
     have an evening meeting, where we invite people, the local citizens, to
     come out and talk to us about the revised oversight process and to raise
     concerns and to talk about how we are proceeding.
         So we have done -- we have planned quite a bit of outreach
     in that aspect.  There is an entire communication plan.  Unfortunately,
     I wasn't smart enough, forward looking enough to bring that today, but
     we have really gone and thought about how we need to work with the
     internal stakeholders and the external stakeholders in terms of making
     this change come to pass.
         DR. GARRICK:  Thank you.  George.
         DR. HORNBERGER:  Mike, what group or groups do you envision
     to be the customers of your web page and how are you testing it with
     this group or groups to ensure that the information is being
     transmitted?
         MR. JOHNSON:  The customers of the web page we think are
     going to be licensees.  They are going to be members of the public, real
     members of the public.  I am sorry now that I put emphasis on "real,"
     because we also expect David Lochbaum, for example, is going to be very
     interested, Public Citizen.  There are people who are more attuned to --
     geez, I am so sorry I said that.
         [Laughter.]
         MR. JOHNSON:  Let me just say members of the public will be
     attuned to the web page.
         We have gotten calls.  We have had, from the Office of
     Affairs, a number of interactions with us in terms of our existing
     processes.  Members of local and state governments, for example, we
     expect that they are going to be attuned to this web page and trying to
     get in and understand the information.
         We have developed the input tool to get PIs in.  We haven't
     yet developed the output tool, what this web page is going to actually
     look like, but when we do, we will do what we have done with the other
     remaining parts of this process.  We will hold a series of meetings,
     public meetings, and we will show the web page and we will get input on
     how the web page out to look and what would be nice to have on that web
     page, those kinds of things.
         DR. HORNBERGER:  In addition to just having public meetings,
     I would think that on something like this, you would actually want to
     beta test it in some form, that is, actually have people use the web
     page, not just hear about it.  Is that in the plans?
         MR. JOHNSON:  Actually, we have plans for beta testing, but
     probably more limited beta testing.  Well, we probably hadn't thought
     about, or haven't yet planned to do beta testing for all of the
     stakeholders, and that is a good idea.  We ought to work on that, and
     that is something I will take back from this.
         DR. GARRICK:  Any other questions?  Staff, any questions?
         [No response.]
         DR. GARRICK:  Thank you very much.  Very interesting.  Even
     though it was substitute people and a little of a substitute message.
     Congratulations.
         MR. JOHNSON:  Thanks.
         DR. GARRICK:  All right.  I guess we are a little behind, so
     we will do our best to catch up.  Our next people is going to be
     Isabelle Schoenfeld from Research and she is going to talk about a risk
     communication project under a cooperative agreement with the University
     of Wisconsin, Madison.
         DR. SCHOENFELD:  Good morning.  I am going to be talking
     about research that's in progress that's being conducted by Professor
     Vicki Bier, who is director of the Center for Human Performance in
     Complex Systems at the University of Wisconsin.  And the focus of this
     project is to look at risk communication to the public and risk
     communication to decision makers, that is primarily internal within the
     Agency, but decision makers outside the Agency as well.
         The project got started about a year ago, and soon after its
     start we held a one-day workshop at the University of Wisconsin with
     subject matter experts in these two areas, that is, risk communication
     to the public and to decision makers.  The were eight subject-matter
     experts who broke into four in each group, public and decision makers,
     and they got a number of questions ahead of time, and those questions
     were addressed during the workshop.  I'll just show you a list of who
     those participants were so you have some idea.  They had expertise, as
     you see, in different areas and were affiliated with different
     organizations and universities.
         We produced a summary of the workshop that was made
     available as a letter report sort of highlighting the conclusions from
     this day's work.
         Following the workshop we then went to -- rather Vicki Bier
     produced an annotated bibliography on risk communication, and this
     annotated bibliography was actually a supplement to a bibliography that
     the Society for Risk Analysis had produced in 1995 for industry
     practitioners.  Her supplement focused on information available since
     1995 and also focused more on Government practitioners.
         Since then we have received a draft of a summary of the
     state of the art on risk communication to the public and a draft on
     summary of the state of the art on risk communication to decision
     makers.  These summaries are essentially a summary of the findings -- of
     the workshop and the findings and go into more detail than our annotated
     bibliography does in particular important areas related to risk
     communication.
         The major areas addressed in the summary for risk
     communication to the public are these areas.  They are primarily reports
     of empirical research, and what I'd like to do is just to provide you
     with some highlights from that summary.  These are not recommendations
     nor suggestions that I'll be discussing, but just findings of the
     research that appears in these summaries.
         The first area on format of risk communication messages,
     firstly, a major conclusion is that there is very little definitive
     results regarding format of risk communication messages because of the
     small number of studies or because of ambiguous results.  And this seems
     to be the case in most of the areas regarding risk communication.  It's
     just a very immature research area, and a lot of the information that we
     have is -- well, it's from empirical research, but small studies, or
     it's from anecdotal information or based on people's experiences.
         The research we've looked at, qualitative versus
     quantitative and command versus control, brochure versus
     computer-mediated communication, and no single presentation format
     appears to be the best.  The preferred format varies depending on
     whether the purpose of the risk communication is to educate, to affect
     risk perceptions, or to motivate people to take appropriate action,
     though verbal or graphical representation probabilities may be easier to
     understand than numerical values and may reduce the tendency to
     overemphasize small probabilities by effectively illustrating how small
     they are.  However, there was large variability in the interpretation of
     probabilistic phrases such as "highly unlikely."  And there are other
     areas in a probabilistic discipline that is hard to interpret for the
     public, to be understandable to the public in the way that they are
     presented today.
         So it is important to pilot-test risk communication messages
     before they're used, since the general guidance on how to best structure
     them is not sufficiently available.  That's one of the lessons we learn
     from this research.
         The other area, use of risk comparisons, what the research
     says is that risk communicators may be tempted to compare the risk of a
     rare event such as core melt at a nuclear power plant with the risk of
     being struck by lightning or the loss of life expectancy due to smoking
     a pack of cigarettes a day.  However, it is difficult to identify
     suitable risk comparisons, and they need to be used with caution.
         In addition, particular comparisons may be considered
     acceptable when used by, for example, a university professor to further
     understanding, but less so when used by an organization to justify an
     unpopular decision.
         Hence, it's difficult to identify suitable risk comparisons,
     and even seemingly reasonable comparisons can serve to increase the
     perceived risk of a particular hazard if there is a distrust of the
     entity giving that information.
         Finally, the acceptability of risk comparisons may depend
     not only on the nature of the comparison itself but also on the purpose
     for which it is used.
         Concerning differences in risk perception amongst different
     audiences, the evidence regarding differences in both attitudes and
     knowledge about risks highlights the importance of assessing what your
     intended audience already knows or believes about a particular issue.
     For example, this can be done through focus groups, public information
     officers, surveys, or already published information.
         In addition, one needs to consider the socioeconomic
     differences.  There is something called the white male effect, which is
     that white men -- research has reported that white men tend to judge
     risks as smaller and less problematic than women or nonwhites.  White
     males with the lowest risk ratings tend to be well educated, well off
     financially, and relatively conservative politically.
         Surprised?
         DR. GARRICK:  That about says it.
         [Laughter.]
         DR. SCHOENFELD:  In addition, if the hazards predominate in
     low-income areas, those most affected by the risks may possess the
     fewest resources, and therefore may be the least likely to participate
     in the risk communication process.  Special attention may be required
     therefore to ensure that their concerns are fully addressed.
         People who are highly motivated are likely to learn more
     from the message than people for whom the information is less salient.
     While it may be impossible to gain agreement of all the interest groups,
     carrying out risk communication in a way that indicates a desire to
     consider the various viewpoints of concerned citizens can help to
     maintain trust and credibility.  Hence, there appears to be no
     one-size-fits-all risk communication effort.
         Concerning mental models in risk communication, there are
     three barriers that have been identified in the literature regarding
     risk communication.  One is lack of mental models, that is, how people
     understand and view various phenomena.  Two, a lack of familiarity with
     a particular concept or a term.  And, three, the existence of
     misconceptions.
         Risk communication messages based on mental models are more
     effective at conveying both general knowledge and also information about
     risk-reduction strategies.  Assessing what your intended audience
     already knows or believes about a particular issue is clearly important
     in designing effective risk communication messages.  Some methods to
     assess this is through focus groups, consulting with public information
     officers, as we said earlier, or others who regularly interact with
     members of the general public, and relying on public information about
     attitudes.
         Risk communication messages based on a particular mental
     model of the phenomena being discussed convey information more
     effectively, it is found, than mere collection of facts and concepts.
         An explanation designed to clarify the meaning of a
     particular term should ideally include along with the definition a
     variety of examples illustrating what the term does but also what the
     term does not mean.  The intended audience for a risk communication
     message may already hold misconceptions about the specific hazard, and
     hence may find the information being conveyed implausible or difficult
     to understand.  When a significant misconception exists, it is important
     to address it explicitly by pointing out why the misconception may seem
     intuitively plausible, why it is flawed, and then present the expert
     viewpoint along with an explanation of why it fits with the facts than
     merely presenting the correct information right up front.
         Another challenge, as we said earlier, in risk communication
     is the complexity of the subject matter to be conveyed.  Some
     researchers advocate a problem-solving approach in which the first task
     is to identify the most important problem or problems to be overcome by
     the risk communication message.  The message can then be designed with
     those specific challenges in mind.  All too often, commonly known facts
     may be repeated, while potentially useful ones are presented without the
     necessary context.
         In addition, it is often helpful to structure messages using
     a concept map of the phenomena being described.  That is a spatial
     representation for each concept.  For example, circles and arrows charts
     that show how various ideas are related to each other.  Essentially it's
     graphically portraying the mental model.
         Some researchers promote a constructivist approach to
     surveys as an alternative to traditional surveys to elicit attitudes
     about complex problems.  Constructivist survey methods help people think
     through the questions they are being asked to respond to, and in so
     doing construct their values, beliefs, and preferences rather than
     expect respondents to already have preestablished views on the subject.
         Concerning credibility and trust in risk communication, as
     we know, trust is easier to destroy than to create, and negative events
     carry much greater weight than positive events.
         Risk communication methods and decision making processes
     should be explicitly designed to function effectively in situations of
     distrust.  Some strategies are when the audience has various concerns or
     negative impressions, one must begin by listening to them before giving
     information.  Attempting to convey new information before understanding
     which concerns are important to one's audience may suggest to them that
     those concerns are not being taken seriously or are being dismissed as
     misguided.  It may be constructive to create mechanisms by which
     concerned individuals can monitor potentially challenging situations as
     another way to establish credibility and trust, or the ultimate solution
     to situations of distrust is direct stakeholder participation in the
     process of decision making.
         We go to stakeholder participation process.  Again, there's
     little empirical evidence on how to structure stakeholder participation
     processes which are most appropriate for which situations.  Much of the
     research has been qualitative or anecdotal.
         As I was saying, much of the research has been qualitative
     or anecdotal, that is, evaluations of a specific stakeholder process
     rather than comparisons of multiple processes.  There's not yet
     agreement on the appropriate measures of success for stakeholder
     participation processes.  There is recommendation that -- or it's a need
     for further studies on the membership selection processes, for example,
     for citizen advisory councils, the role of the facilitators, the methods
     by which agendas are set, role of independent experts, methods by which
     the CACs can be held accountable to the public, methods of feedback from
     sponsor to CAC, and the purpose of CACs as perceived by members and
     sponsors.
         However, there are a few basic rules of thumb about
     stakeholder participation.  The organization should not attempt
     stakeholder participation without a true commitment to the process.
     That is, going through the motions of stakeholder participation will
     simply increase the hostility that might be there.
         Important to clarify the audience's role to all concerned
     early in the process, that is, it is important to distinguish between
     the role of the stakeholder is decisional, consultative, or
     informational.
         A needs assessment, that is, the purpose of the risk
     communication effort, the characteristics of the audience, what methods
     to assess the audience knowledge and attitudes about the subject matter
     is a critical part of any planning process for stakeholder
     participation, that is, two-way exchange of information to elicit what
     various publics believe they need and want to know.
         I'll now address the findings regarding the empirical
     research and risk communication and decision makers, which in this area
     there is even less research than in risk communication to the public.
         The research indicates that aims and objectives of risk
     communication to decision makers need to take into consideration the
     needs of the senior managers for risk assessment information.  These
     might include the applicability and usefulness of the assessment for
     public policy decision making should be clearly stated, the presentation
     must be credible and fully defensible, the basis for the choice of
     critical scientific assumptions should be described, along with
     discussion and resolution of issues as far as possible.
         Risk analysis should provide a variety of risk measures, as
     well as a clear statement of uncertainties.  It could be a discussion of
     the legal requirements and the available options for reducing the risk.
         The extent of concern about the issue on the part of various
     groups is also useful information for senior managers.  Risk
     communication briefings should address both quantitative and qualitative
     descriptions of risk, and should include key uncertainties.  Risk
     communication should be proactive, helping decision makers identify the
     most likely public responses to the various decision options under
     consideration.
         Diagnostic feedback and mechanisms for early warnings and
     quick adjustments to permit mid-course corrections if a particular
     decision or program does not seem to be working as well as anticipated
     is an important need.
         Finally, two-way communication between assessors and users
     is important, and therefore recommend conferring with senior managers
     before risk analysis is actually performed to determine how the results
     will be used and which questions most need to be answered.
         Regarding treatment of uncertainty and variability and
     correlation, decision making based on explicit statement of uncertainty
     has numerous advantages over decision making based purely on point
     estimates, the research shows.  Taking uncertainty into account will
     lead to a better decision than ignoring the uncertainty and relying on a
     single point estimate.  Decision theory provides guidance on whether it
     is preferable to make decisions or gather more information or to defer
     the decision until the information is available.  One important use of
     risk analysis is that it includes an explicit statement of uncertainties
     as to assist in determining whether additional research is needed.
         It also helps to clarify the concept of the value of the
     information, and there is a distinction between outcome uncertainty,
     that is, what might actually happen, and with what probability, and
     assessment uncertainty, how much the results of the analysis might
     change with additional information.
         Population variability, that is related to outcome
     uncertainty, and state of knowledge uncertainty, which is related to
     assessment uncertainty, for example, when the plants or facilities in a
     population differ a great deal from each other, that is, there is high
     population variability, but the risk at each one is accurately known, so
     there is our low state of knowledge uncertainty, then it makes sense to
     talk of regulatory efforts at the facilities with the highest estimated
     risks.  Hence, risk analysis results can be used to prioritize
     regulatory efforts.
         Finally, there is little research on effective methods of
     communicating risk analysis results to decision makers.  Hence, it's
     important to pilot-test communication messages and approaches wherever
     possible.  Even informal evaluations or anecdotal information on
     effective and ineffective approaches to risk communication can be
     valuable, since the understanding in the field is at a relatively early
     stage.
         Regarding format of risk communication messages to decision
     makers, briefing should ideally begin with an overview of why the
     action, that is, the regulatory decision under consideration, is
     important, who cares about the information, and what the major
     stakeholders are saying.  The technical portion of the risk
     communication should discuss the level of confidence in the data and
     where the data gaps are.
         Overly complex formats with more detail than needed to make
     decisions and overly simplistic presentations were found to be
     problematic.
         Rather than an emphasis on statistical methods, decision
     makers are likely to want more information about the qualitative
     assumptions underlying the analysis and the reasons for the results.
         We had a paper submitted by an NRC staff person, Doug Hull.
     He's a senior risk analyst, and he made the following several points.
     He believes that results of a PRA should be presented in a manner that
     places risk-important SSCs -- that is, structures, systems, and
     components -- into an accident sequence context that reveals their risk
     relationship to other SSCs, helps to reveal accident sequences in terms
     of their penetration through specific layers of defense in depth in a
     manner that shows how and where PRA uses traditional engineering
     analyses, that is, success criteria and its influence on the results.
         Another researcher who has worked at NRC, Bly, suggests the
     use of event sequence diagrams to graphically describe the steps leading
     to a particular type of accident sequence.  With an appropriate computer
     implementation, he suggests, the approach could let users click on
     elements of the overall event sequence diagram to obtain additional
     relevant information such as systems schematics and descriptions of
     operator actions.  Such an approach would reduce the emphasis on
     numerical results and statistics in presenting risk analyses results and
     instead focus attention on the physical phenomena responsible for the
     risk.
         However, in conclusion, the best presentation format may
     vary depending on the disciplinary background of the intended audience.
     Hence, once again, pilot-testing of different presentation formats could
     be very important for decision makers as well as for the public.
         And finally I'd just like to say that the reports I'm
     discussing today are providing a technical basis for us to establish
     guidelines that can be used by the NRC staff in communicating risk, both
     externally and internally.
         Our next step in this research is to have a needs assessment
     protocol which we will apply to the NRC Staff to find out what their
     risk communication needs are.  Following that will be the development of
     the guidelines.  Thank you.
         DR. GARRICK:  Any questions?
         DR. FAIRHURST:  Do you know of any examples where risk to
     public had had a severely wrong impression of something and where a risk
     communication program had significantly changed their perceptions?
         DR. SCHOENFELD:  That's a good question.  I don't know of
     any.  Perhaps EPA, the speaker from EPA will provide some examples of
     that.  A lot of the literature actually is information that was derived
     from a lot of the EPA programs but I could not give you an example of
     that.
         DR. WYMER:  I have a sort of general observation.  It seems
     to me that risk communication or any communication is basically a matter
     of human interactions.  The personality of the interacter or the
     communicators it seems to me plays a key role because either he is
     believed or he isn't, he or she is believed or isn't believed.
         DR. SCHOENFELD:  Right.
         DR. WYMER:  And I guess to cite a kind of anecdotal example,
     certainly the evangelists that we see are some of the most effective
     communicators that there are anywhere and so it seems to me that
     somewhere in all of this, which is technical and formal and what you
     would expect out of a bunch of academics --
         [Laughter.]
         DR. GARRICK:  Do you know any evangelists who are nuclear
     engineers?
         DR. WYMER:  I know some that would claim to be -- just like
     that.
         [Laughter.]
         DR. WYMER:  So it seems to me that somewhere in here there
     ought to be a recognition of the human.
         DR. SCHOENFELD:  Right.  My understanding is that the agency
     is developing training modules for people in the agency who will be in a
     position of communicating risk information, and those modules are being
     developed now.
         DR. GARRICK:  I think one of the things that Ray may be
     getting to is what are we going to use to test the utility or the
     usefulness of the research.  What kind of pilot programs are envisioned
     for interacting with the public?
         DR. SCHOENFELD:  Right, well, you are ahead of me on this
     research.  There are lots of different risk communication efforts and
     just public communication efforts going on in the agency.  On this
     research results there will be pilot testing of the guidelines after
     they are developed but we have not yet designed -- the guideline
     development and pilot testing and the implementation, et cetera, is a
     separate research effort from this, from our present scope.
         DR. GARRICK:  Okay.  George?
         DR. HORNBERGER:  Isabelle, perhaps it is a white male
     syndrome but we talk a lot about risk comparisons and trying to figure
     out how to convey information a risk-comparison basis.
         DR. SCHOENFELD:  Right.
         DR. HORNBERGER:  And yet I think we have been somewhat aware
     of the warning that you brought here again to us today that these things
     don't tend to work.
         Is there some way that we could work toward conveying such
     information?  I mean EPA now talks about risk harmonization and NRC,
     which inherently involves comparisons.
         DR. SCHOENFELD:  I think that when we get into the stage of
     the guideline development, we will get more specific information on what
     is applicable to the NRC environment.  A lot of what you heard is
     because of the structure of a cooperative agreement is information and
     research that is applicable to many environments, but it is in the
     guideline development stage that we will be more specific about NRC's
     use and I would hope that we will get more information on what
     comparisons work in our environment at that point.
         DR. GARRICK:  Okay.  Any questions?  Staff?  Lynn?
         [No response.]
         DR. GARRICK:  All right.  Thank you very much.
         DR. SCHOENFELD:  Thank you.
         DR. GARRICK:  Our final presentation from the NRC is going
     to be from Mal Knapp, Deputy Executive Director for Regulatory
     Effectiveness.  Mal?
         MR. KNAPP:  Good morning.  My voice may not be everything we
     would like it to be this morning.  I will ask your indulgence a bit.
         I have just a few slides.  I would like to talk about
     communications activities across the agency and you will note that the
     title of this slide is, "Communications Activities" rather than
     Communications Program.
         I don't think that the activities that we have, a number of
     which are a result of initiatives in various offices have yet coalesced
     to the point where I can say in good conscience that we have a
     well-constructed program, but we are communicating more with each other,
     and I will talk a little bit about that.  I will talk a little about
     communication from an overall agency perspective.
         This will be kind of a broad brush and I will be happy to go
     into more detail if you like.
         The first thought that we have is that I am sure you are
     aware of the various what we might today call performance goals or
     outcome goals that have been identified by NRR and in the Office of
     Research the High Level Waste Program, one of which is increasing public
     confidence.
         I would assert that public communications and public
     confidence are inextricably linked and that the former is really a means
     to increase confidence in the latter, so when we look at public
     communications and we look at the outcome goals associated with public
     confidence, I think we need to put those together and that is something
     we will be doing on more of an agency basis.  As we run these goals up
     to the Commission, I think the Commission is favorably inclined towards
     the goals, but those will begin to become drivers I think for some of
     our public communications activities.
         When I became Deputy I inherited the responsibility for
     public communications and as a part of that the plain language
     activities, according to the direction of the President last July, and
     more recently Bill Travers and I have agreed that I will also be
     responsible for internal communications as well as public
     communications.
         Internal communications take on a fairly important role as
     the culture change which we are going through goes through the agency
     and we want to communicate such things as the new reactor oversight
     process or the performance or outcome goals that are being developed to
     the Staff.
         To support me in this for this year I have been allotted one
     full time person, and that is Louise Lund, who is over there in the
     green suit, and most of the good things you will hear about in the next
     10 or 15 minutes I would like to take credit for but Louise deserves the
     credit.  She has in fact done the work.
         One of the things that I would like to do and were I to come
     back and discuss this with you in say six months or a year, I would tell
     you that we have a systematic approach to communications. We have a
     uniform program that deals both with internal and external
     communications in the agency and that all the parts worth smoothly
     together.
         At this point we are still bringing a number of these
     initiatives together, and what I will talk about a little more this
     morning is how that is going to happen with the Communications
     Activities Group that I will use briefly to give you a sense of all the
     communications activities that are going on.  I will talk a little bit
     about the public communications initiatives that resulted from the
     strategic assessment and rebaselining, and the implementation plan in
     response to those which is before the Commission as we speak, and then
     finally a bit about the plain language action plan which is responsive
     to the President's direction.
         In the second slide we talk a little bit about the
     Communications Activities Group.  Right now there are about eight areas
     or organizations that are involved in these.  The first two you have
     heard about this morning and of course the third is the one that Lynn is
     active in.  The fourth is the one that Louise and I are involved in, in
     implementing the DSI and plain language guidance.  The fourth area is
     work being done in the Office of Public Affairs -- Bill Beecher, Mindy
     Landau.  The fifth is internal communications, at this point largely
     done by EDO's office and for which I picking up the responsibility or
     have within the last couple of weeks.  The Publishing Services Branch
     under Walt Oliu is involved in communications in a variety of areas,
     among them the websites that the NRC has.
         Finally we are having work done by Chip Cameron in the
     Office of General Counsel.  I am sure you are aware of Chip's skills in
     public involvement, and Chip is going to be putting together a Public
     Involvement Handbook.  That handbook will I think address a couple of
     the concerns I heard just in the last few minutes when I came in as to
     how we might better interact with people.
         Principally in public meetings, how we might -- part of it
     will also be drawing on some of the work that Isabelle has done into how
     we can better communicate risk.
         More specifically, I believe that Chip will have the
     handbook -- our target for completion is the end of this calendar year.
     He is going to be doing that with some contractor assistance, and that
     should then be used, will be available to train folks that are going to
     be involved in that activity.  How much training we will do at this
     point is still under discussion, because this particular year we have a
     great deal of training to do associated with change and how much we will
     be able to devote to this activity, this particular training, isn't
     really clear yet.
         Let's see if there's anything else on this slide that is
     particularly necessary.  If you have no questions, I think I will just
     go on to the next slide.
         This is the Public Communications Initiative, sometimes
     referred to as DSI-14.  The source of the initiative is that after the
     Commission gave us the direction to proceed, Chip Cameron and Bill
     Beecher headed a team that put together a number of suggestions.  These
     went to the Commission last summer.  The Commission like what they saw
     and directed the Staff to put together an implementation plan, which we
     did -- more accurately I would say Louise with the help of a number of
     offices did.
         This was provided to the Commission in March.  We do not yet
     have an SRM but the votes I understand are pretty much in and they seem
     to be favorable.  As soon as that is the case we will continue with the
     implementation plan and I will be more than happy as soon as we can to
     share a copy with the ACNW.
         Some of the things in the plan that might be of interest,
     there are five principal areas which you can see on the slide.  I will
     just mention one or two items under these.
         Under Clarity and Timeliness of Communications, the Plain
     Language Initiative fits under there, which we will be discussing
     shortly.  There is direction that we will have -- some of these may seem
     kind of simple but they are kind of important.  We will create a
     glossary of technical terms so that we can communicate better, and there
     will be more emphasis on communicating clearly.  Instead of saying "1 e
     to the minus 5" we might say "one part in one hundred thousand" --
     things that we would like to move more and more in the direction of
     presuming that our readership is intelligent but not familiar with the
     NRC jargon and acronyms and not necessarily familiar with all the
     technology.
         There will be a number of activities.  We are going to be
     using more and more plain English in executive summaries of our
     technical reports.  We are going to have more coordination with the
     Office of Public Affairs as to how we can communicate clearly.
         In the public involvement process among the steps we are
     going to take, I think you are aware that when the agency proceeds
     toward a rulemaking, we initiate that with a rulemaking plan.  We are
     going to be considering more and more in the development of a rulemaking
     plan how during the rulemaking itself we should decide to involve the
     public.  Would we have an enhanced participatory process?  Would we take
     advantage of the website by putting up drafts of a rule early?  These
     decisions will be made more and more at the outset of rulemaking rather
     than on perhaps, as it occasionally has happened, an ad hoc basis during
     the rulemaking.
         This is also the area that the public involvement handbook,
     that I mentioned earlier that Chip is developing, will reside.
         With respect to responsiveness to public inquiry, we try to
     be responsive.  We are not always as responsive as we would like to be
     or as timely as we would like to be, and a part of this effort is just
     to ensure that we are fully responsive and, in some cases, for example,
     when we cannot respond in a timely way for technical or policy reasons,
     at least we communicate with the person and let them know what we are
     doing and why we are doing.
         I am just giving you one or two items under these various
     areas there.  In fact, some are in the neighborhood of 30 initiatives
     that were originally considered and we have I believe 14 specific
     activities in the implementation plan.
         With respect to public access to information, there are a
     number of changes with the advent of ATOMS and moving more into
     electronic information exchange.  This is having an impact on the public
     document rooms and the local public document rooms.  This is where this
     will be addressed.
         With respect to outreach, we are doing a number of things.
     Public Affairs is developing a centralized audio-visual library so that
     we will have materials that are available to make our presentations more
     clear.  We are going to develop some standardized presentations, again,
     with the ability to communicate clearly with the public.
         One of the things they have worked on this area which you
     might want to take a look at some point, if you turn to the NRC web
     site, there is a student teacher corner, and if you were to thumb
     through that, you would find that that is a pretty clear product.
         With respect to our web sites in general, again, I will be
     candid, right now it is a mixed bag.  If you go through our web site, it
     may not be as easy to navigate as you would like in some areas.  There
     are some areas which I think are very well done and some areas which
     need a lot of attention.  And one of the activities that I will be
     engaged is trying to set certain -- by the way, Walt Oliu is doing some
     good work on setting some standards, but our intent is that in the not
     too distant future, you will find the NRC web site is more easy to
     navigate and that the information is -- there is sounder information in
     there.  Frankly, some of our pages are now a couple of years out of date
     and we need to ensure that we are current in those pages.
         Moving on to the -- if there are no real questions, moving
     on to the next slide.  One aspect of this which is kind of interesting
     is the plain language action plan.  Last year the President directed
     that all federal agencies would move in the direction of plain language.
     He directed us to do such things as use easy to read design features,
     common everyday words, active voice, use you and we as opposed to the
     agency says and does.  Use short sentences, use logical organization.
         This does not sound to me like rocket science, but those of
     you that have read federal publications will be well aware that it will
     have a salutary effect to write this way.
         DR. GARRICK:  Not relevant to nuclear safety, but do you
     suppose he talked to the IRS about the same subject?
         [Laughter.]
         MR. KNAPP:  In filling out my return for this year, I didn't
     see what I would call strong evidence of that.  But as a matter of face,
     he did, and one of the things that is worth noting is that he also
     talked to the Securities and Exchange Commission.  And this is a book
     which they put out, which we have, with their support, taken and are
     using with our staff, a plain English handbook.  Bottom line is it was a
     lot easier to borrow theirs than to try to write our own, a lot more
     cost effective.
         One of the things that I think about with the plain language
     in general is we have to recognize the agency has a lot of activities
     going on, there is a lot of change, and while I want to be very
     responsive to the President, and I want us to address these issues, we
     also have to strike a balance between simply overloading the staff with
     everything else that is going on this year.  So what we have tried to do
     is to move in the direction, without using too many resources to do it.
     And one of them has been to use the plain language handbook.
         Another has been to use more of a carrot, if you like, than
     a stick.  We are moving more to sell this.  Louise is going around to --
     I think by the time she is done, she will have visited just about
     everybody in the agency and talked to them a bit about plain language
     and made copies of this handbook available.  We have information on the
     web site.
         We are not trying for perfection here.  We think that you
     can make a major difference with making -- putting an awful lot of work
     into it.  And this is not unlike, in fact, what the President, the Vice
     President are doing.  The Vice President puts out a no gobbledygook
     award each month for a product which is particularly clearly written.
         And as a matter of fact, we submitted an entry which,
     although a decision has not been made, it has been well received, and
     this is a primer which NRR put out on their new oversight process.  This
     is another item, if you would like to see something clearly written, we
     think it is very well done.  We have gotten compliments from the public,
     and you can find that on the web site as well.
         That, by and large, is where we are on the communications
     activities from an agency basis.  I would be happy to answer any
     questions that you might have.
         DR. GARRICK:  You talked about that what you were going to
     talk about was activities, and I guess you implied by that that this
     will evolve into some fundamental program.  Can you tell us a little bit
     about when that might happen and what it might be?
         MR. KNAPP:  Well, I went to be very careful here.  The
     implementation plan which we have put together has many of these
     individual activities in it.  And with respect to external
     communication, I will argue that we pretty well do have a program right
     now.
         The concern that I have is, for example, the work that
     Isabelle told you about should be included in the handbook that Chip is
     writing.  I will feel that we have a program when I am confident that --
     and, by the way, that communication is occurring and that will happen.
     I am not confident at this point that all of the players are as fully
     engaged with each other as they should be to make this, if you like
     effective and efficient.  And since that is --
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes.
         MR. KNAPP:  That is my interest.  What I anticipate is this,
     two areas where I think we have work to do.  One, I am not confident
     that our internal communication at this point is everything that it is
     going to have to be.  We have done a number of things, we have had a
     number of meetings.  We have talked to the staff.  But the fact is that
     when we go through the culture change that the agency is engaged in, one
     of the things that the people that the people that have talked to us in
     the past have said, or that have gone through this, is that we tend to
     underestimate the amount of resources, the amount of management time,
     and the amount of communication necessary to make this change
     successful.
         I don't think at this point we are putting enough energy and
     enough creative though into communicating the culture change.  That is
     one area where until we have that -- and, frankly, I am not even sure
     what that should be.  This is not intended as a criticism of what we
     have done, it is a recognition that we are still ourselves as we go
     through the process, and what we sometimes call the Arthur Andersen
     process.  We are still learning what some of these changes are going to
     be.
         This is expected to be probably a three to five year
     process.  It is one where we are going to need to involve all levels of
     management and the staff.  And to communicate to make that work is
     something that is still under development.
         The other thing that we need to, for example, we do not --
     we recognize that we have a problem with our web site.  We do not at
     this point have a plan in place where I can tell you by date X we are
     all going to be in lock step and by date Y the web site is going to be
     something that will reflect a great deal of credit on the agency.  Until
     we have things like that, then I am not going to be convinced that we
     have what I will call an internal and external communications program.
         But I think people are working well together.  I think there
     is a lot of enthusiasm.  In fact, there is a lot of individual
     initiatives which we are coordinating.
         I would estimate -- well, I won't actually estimate, I think
     Louise and I have an agreement that before she finishes her tenure at
     the end of the fiscal year, we will have a communications program
     agency-wide up and running, so I think that is what I can tell y about
     that.  But I can't really tell you exactly how it is going to look
     because we are still learning ourselves.
         DR. GARRICK:  Okay.  Questions?
         DR. FAIRHURST:  Yes.  With the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
     being what it says, regulatory and with litigation being always sort of
     the one just hiding behind the corner of anything, the use of the
     language is extremely litigiously directed or dominated, and so do you
     have -- are you going to attempt to put that into plain English?  Or are
     you going to have caveats which say, if in doubt as to what we meant,
     please consult the back of the agreement or whatever?  You know, how do
     you deal with that?
         DR. GARRICK:  Is the Office of the General Counsel really on
     board?
         DR. FAIRHURST:  Well, that is what I was quite fascinated
     by.
         MR. KNAPP:  I am sure that Chip Cameron will be anxious to
     speak to that.  And I couldn't think of a better way to set him up right
     off.
         [Laughter.]
         MR. KNAPP:  And, actually, Chip, you can correct me, but
     actually the fact is --
         DR. FAIRHURST:  It is a real serious issue.
         MR. KNAPP:  It is a legitimate question and that is
     addressed, in part, in this SEC handbook in the following way.  They had
     this very problem.  The reason that they wrote the handbook was the
     Securities & Exchange Commission was putting together stuff that nobody
     could understand, and I certainly would not say the lawyers in SEC were
     the only folks, everybody was concerned about making sure that we were
     completely -- they were completed covered, the language was right,
     touched all the bases.
         What they began to find was you could still do that and
     write it in a way that was understandable.  You could still write it in
     short sentence, you could still make it clear.  It is, if you like, a
     habit that can be overcome.
         [Laughter.]
         MR. KNAPP:  And the fact is, we are working with OGC and
     Karen Cyr, General Counsel, is very supportive, and I think we are going
     to make this thing work.  In fact, if Karen were here, probably the
     first thing she would tell you is that much of the difficulty that you
     have in understanding things comes to OGC that way and they are not --
     if you like, they are trying to clarify some of the products that we
     have.
         I have to give you a mea culpa.  I mean I have written or
     contributed to my share of regulations, and I know that I have written
     60 and 70 word sentences.  In fact, those of you have that have looked
     at Part 60 would probably agree there could be a little more clarity
     here and there perhaps in some of the parts.
         Your point is very well taken, and it is something we are
     going to have to pay attention to.
         But one of the things we are finding out, at least from the
     experience of others, is that it is not any harder to write in plain
     language.  You do not have to write it in a complicated way and make it
     simple.  You can start and write it simple, and once you get used to it,
     it turns out to be easier.
         So I can't promise how it will come out.  I can tell you
     that there is no interest in the agency in going back over existing
     regulation and attempting to rewrite them, because the problem that you
     described, that is, if we change it and then that has some sort of a
     ripple effect on subsequent -- on decisions made after the rule was
     promulgated, but prior to a rewrite, that is a direction we don't want
     to go.  But we are going to be looking very hard at every new regulation
     to see that they are written in plain language, that's one of the
     charges that the folks in admin have, and that's one of the reasons that
     Louise has, early on, talked to the people who are presently most
     actively involved in writing regs.
         DR. GARRICK:  Ray?
         DR. WYMER:  Well, maybe I can further ingratiate myself to
     the people that are involved in this communication issue.
         I did think, incidentally, that this, what I referred to as
     a bunch of academics, came up with a lot of good points.  I just thought
     that the business of personality of communicator was about equally as
     important as all the other stuff put together.
         But I want to discuss the web site issue.  I was pleased to
     hear that you are going to update the web site.  I think it will
     probably be very effective with respect to internal communication with
     the web site, with its improvements, but externally if you are talking
     about what we refer to as the public, the number of hits you are going
     to get on your web site as a fraction of the number of people out there
     that you really were trying to communicate I suspect will be extremely
     small.  In the first place, they don't even know what the web site is or
     how to access it, so I wouldn't put too much reliance on that.  It seems
     to me that there ought to be a parallel effort, totally independent of
     electronic activities, that we try to get out to them equally strongly,
     with as much effort.
         MR. KNAPP:  I agree, but you -- under your comment, that
     raises a whole series of questions that we need to wrestle with.
         For example, one of our outcome goals is increase public
     confidence.  What public are we talking about?
         DR. WYMER:  That's the point.
         MR. KNAPP:  We could spend the entire agency budget, and we
     wouldn't touch what would amount to, I think, what they spend on Super
     Bowl ads.
         DR. WYMER:  Have you identified your public?
         MR. KNAPP:  We are still identifying, and I can make -- I
     can identify a variety of them.  You know, for example, we could say
     everybody that lives within the EPZ around reactors.  We could add
     everybody that lives in the near -- you pick what you mean by the word
     near -- Yucca Mountain, our low level waste site, or an SDMP site.  You
     could pick everybody that lives along the route where we are going to be
     transporting spent fuel or high level waste.  And I am not again sure
     exactly when we want to increase public confidence.  For example, there
     are obviously going to be people at both ends of the spectrum that we
     are unlikely to convince, and so the question might arise, okay, who do
     we really want to convince?  You heard me earlier think of a target as
     an intelligent person who is simply not familiar with the way NRC does
     business.
         One of the tests we put to ourselves is a very simple one:
     Suppose someone were to tell you that they had decided that it made good
     sense to store biological weapons about two miles from your house.  I
     don't know about you, but I think I'd probably go to the public meeting
     on that and try to find out exactly how safe I was going to be.
         One of the things where I think we may have a bit of a blind
     spot within the agency is we are quite familiar with a number of aspects
     of risks, and we tend to forget that the public does not have that.
     Just as we would be concerned about biological weapon storage, they are
     concerned about spent fuel storage or about an SDMP site.  And I think
     to try to better put ourselves in the position of those members of the
     public -- in other words, deal with again -- recognize we are never
     going to reach everyone, but there is a group out there that we can and
     should attempt to reach.  We are still defining that group.
         DR. GARRICK:  One of the things that you keep referring to
     now that's very important is this business of the cultural change.
         MR. KNAPP:  Yes.
         DR. GARRICK:  And, of course, the topic we are involved in
     here is a part of that cultural change, the whole business of risk, of
     which risk communication is part of that taxonomy is a driver in the
     agency moving in the direction of a more risk-informed approach to
     regulation.
         What other issues do you see as being major parts of the
     cultural change that are complicating our ability to find resources to
     get to some of these issues?
         MR. KNAPP:  There are two that I think that are particularly
     significant.  Looking at what Reactors has done as they have changed
     their oversight process -- well, let me start perhaps with a fundamental
     one, and this is the Commission's movement in the direction of
     risk-informed, performance-based regulation.  If you take a look at what
     NRR was doing a year ago and you look at the changes that they are
     making, I think you could say that they are very consistent with the
     Commission's approach to risk-informed, performance-based regulation.  I
     am not going to take a lot of time and reiterate the setting the SALP
     process aside, changing the way that the senior management meeting is
     operating, but this is a whole different approach to oversight, and it's
     a link up between inspection and oversight, enforcement is taking a
     different role, as you are aware.  Level 4 violations have taken a very
     different path than they had a year ago, and this is a real change.
     This is we are focusing on what is really important to safety.  That's
     one change.
         And Carl Paperiello, in about November something, had a
     similar -- he had an all-hands meeting both at headquarters and with the
     regional folks, and he is taking similar directions with respect to
     licensing and enforcement in the materials program.  It's not the same
     thing, but again it's a recognition that we need to make some of these
     changes.  That's one type of change.
         Another type of change which we might call -- again, you've
     heard it with Arthur Andersen, PBPM, performance goals, outcome goals,
     but it's a concept of moving towards an outcome rather than an
     output-based set of goals for the agency, and one of the things I think
     folks don't tend to think about very much, in my view, this is a big
     change.  As recently as the strategic assessment work that I was
     involved in three to four years ago, the idea that the agency would base
     its reputation success on outcomes was foreign, because we can't control
     outcomes.  We can control outputs, but we cannot really control what a
     licensee does.  We can affect it, but we can't control it.
         And so moving towards outcomes, where we are judged not only
     on our success but the success of those that we license, that is a big
     difference, and that is going to drive a different way of looking at
     things.  And when we look at these outcomes, we are going to be less --
     well, for example, if we look at enforcement, we might have said that a
     good goal for enforcement a year ago is we will complete 95 percent of
     our cases within six weeks or three months or something like that.
     Maybe we should have another goal which says what goal -- or asks what
     goal shall we have for enforcement that says licensees as a whole will
     be more safe, what goal do we set to reach that?  It may be such things
     as whether the licensees are seen to change their activities; as a
     result of the enforcement process, there are fewer violations in a
     particular area in the future.  We haven't thought that far ahead.  We
     are still in this change.  But it will be a significant cultural change
     to look at outcome rather than output.
         There are two other changes which are not really cultural,
     but they are substantive in the agency, that are affecting us this year.
     One, to move to the eight-to-one staff ratio.  We have just gone through
     a substantive organization of most of our offices, and that takes
     management and staff time and attention.
         Another is we are going to be moving with the Adams system,
     this calendar year, to what I will call a semi-paperless office -- I
     don't want to say words that the CIO folks would disagree with, but we
     are certainly going to be much more involved in electronic media than we
     are today.  And so -- and again, reacting to this change will be
     substantive.  So we really have an awful lot of change going on right
     now.
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes.
         MR. KNAPP:  And I think we need to be very careful, --
     again, experience of those where we have taken major facilities and said
     you folks have got to make a change and they have brought themselves
     from a mediocre performer to a top one, they tell us that one of their
     common mistakes is just underestimating the resources necessary to get
     there in terms of communicating with the staff and the impact it has on
     staff.  So we are aware that these problems exist, but I would not be
     surprised, if we were to discuss this process one or two years from now,
     I would say and, as a matter of fact, when I was there in 1999, I had
     significantly underestimated the resources it would take.
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes.
         MR. KNAPP:  With respect to training, for example, just to
     train in these various areas, to talk more about how we are doing
     oversight, how we are moving to Adams and other things, is just about --
     it's taking a big chunk of the training budget that we have for 1999 and
     2000, and there's a lot of other training we need.
         DR. GARRICK:  Thank you.  That's excellent.
         Any other questions, comments?  Your voice held up very
     well, and we appreciate your being here and sharing the time with us.
     This was very valuable information.
         MR. KNAPP:  My pleasure.
         DR. FAIRHURST:  Is it possible to get a copy of the plain
     English handbook?  I think that would --
         MR. KNAPP:  We'd be delighted to provide them to you.
         DR. FAIRHURST:  I'd be very interested.
         MR. KNAPP:  And certainly -- Louise, do we have enough that
     we can do it today?
         MS. LUNDY:  Yes, I think we can do that.
         MR. KNAPP:  Yes, I think we can do that today.
         DR. GARRICK:  Charles is the plain Englishman on the
     committee.
         [Laughter.]
         DR. GARRICK:  All right, I think we will take a recess and
     reconvene at 10:45.
         [Recess.]
         DR. GARRICK:  I'd like to come to order, if we could, and
     continue with our presentations on this subject.  We are now going to go
     outside the NRC and hear from, among other people, the Nuclear Energy
     Institute and Angela Howard is going to carry the burden and introduce
     other people as appropriate on this subject.
         So, Angela, it's your -- you have the floor.
         MS. HOWARD:  Good.  Thanks very much.  Let me introduce
     Walter Hill.  Walter is Director of our Communication Services Group
     within NEI, and responsible for a lot of our written product in plain
     English --
         [Laughter.]
         MR. HILL:  We hope.
         MS. HOWARD:  -- in our web development and our web sites and
     a number of other activities that we have, and also in prior life was
     responsible for some training in risk communications work, so has a
     history there as well.
         We really applaud what the committee is doing here in
     looking at risk communications and getting into the nitty-gritty of
     this.  In supporting your initiatives, we would like to provide sort of
     an industry view on your action plan, your communications action plan.
     I would like to try to go over some of our experience relative to risk
     communication, and I would like to leave you with some key
     recommendations that we have thought about as we go forward.
         We have participated in the NRC's DSI process and provided
     comments there on the communication plan, and look forward to also
     working with the NRC as we move forward in beginning to communicate not
     only to the industry but to the public about the new assessment and
     enforcement procedures; so very much a lot of communication that needs
     to go on over the next coming months.
         I was delighted to hear the comments this morning, both from
     Bruce and Michael on what they are planning to do in that area.  I look
     forward to getting more information from Isabel on the research.  That's
     going to be very helpful to the industry at large.  Not only to the
     nuclear industry at large, but I think it is going to be helpful to the
     communications profession at large, so I look forward to seeing those
     results, and then working with Mal Knapp.
         There's a lot of jargon, though, that we deal with.  The
     words risk-informed are words that resonate here.  I think we probably
     all have a common understanding of what we are talking about within the
     NRC, within NEI; to perhaps a lesser degree within the nuclear industry;
     and to a much, much lesser degree to a few members of the general
     public.  But I don't believe that we are really reaching the broader
     audience that we hope to do with these concepts and so, of course,
     therein lies the challenge:  How do we do that?
         You today, and particularly the committee, you are the
     experts in a lot of this probabilistic risk assessment and analyzing the
     technical processes that go into risk and how you deal with the
     technical subjects.  You are benefiting the regulatory process as you go
     through this.  But suppose as you leave here today, either to go out for
     lunch or this evening, you are staying in the community and you are
     talking with someone you strike up a conversation with at a shop you
     might go into this evening, and someone asks you what do you do.  You
     know, that's a tough question.  We all face that.  What do you do.
     Well, explain that to me.  You may have a problem.
         If you're talking to your office colleague who shares your
     fascination with risk assessments, you can talk to 10 to the minus 6 and
     all sorts of quantified types of dialogue.  But if you run into someone
     who is your neighbor, who is an expert in his or her own right, your
     neighbor, or you run into someone that you meet in a casual social
     setting, the average person may understand little, given the array of
     comments and discourse that we hear in the general public, they have
     misgivings.  They may have imagery that the public perceives about
     nuclear energy, radiation or radioactive waste in a very different way.
         You can be assured that the soccer mom, the single dad, or
     the retired grandfather going about their annual daily chores is not
     thinking about risk communication or they are not thinking about the
     subject in the same way that you want to communicate it.  So it's no
     wonder that they are sometimes suspicious of what we are saying, matters
     that are nuclear-related.  And then if you get into the situation where
     they believe their family or their children may be in harm's way because
     of what business we are in, their perception of the risk is something
     that's entirely different from yours and mine.  And seemingly no amount
     of education -- and I use that in quotes -- on your part, on my part,
     will convince them that the risks that they are concerned about is only
     10 to the minus 6.  So you lack the credibility at times to convince
     them that they and their families are really safe.  So, no, we are not
     talking to our colleagues.
         What I would want to try to do also is give you a little bit
     of my own perspective in dealing with the communities around nuclear
     energy plants that I have gone through.
         But just to step back a little more, to put this in
     perspective, you had the public meeting last March on Part 63 out in
     Nevada, and I think that's a very good case in point.  There were a lot
     of astute and technical questions that were asked, but most of the
     questions were highly personal in nature.  There were questions about
     the cultural heritage of the native people, and those present voiced
     their mistrust of the technical experts who were comparing radiation
     exposure from Yucca Mountain with the natural background radiation.
         We got feedback that there were mushy technical language
     that made it impossible to interpret the comments without a technical
     expert.
         There were comments to the effect that a change in the rules
     now was a quote, double-cross, close quote, on Nevadans.  There was an
     expression of concern about children and infants.  They are classic risk
     communications.
         The instinct and approach by many of our technically trained
     people is to respond to these issues in terms of facts, figures, and
     risk comparisons.  We have heard this.  Those responses don't clearly
     address the concerns of the local residents, and they don't do so even
     when there is awfully good intent on the part of the technical expert to
     try to communicate.  I am not suggesting that there is a purposeful
     obfuscation.  It's just that you are talking on two different plains,
     and what happens.
         Isabel told us that there was some credibility gaps that
     prevent some communications.  The regulator may suffer from a
     credibility gap that prevents them from communicating their most
     important objectives, their objective to craft the most efficient
     regulations that really should provide members of the public with a
     greater assurance of their safety.  But if they don't talk at the same
     level, they lose their credibility and lose it very quickly, if they
     don't listen early on to what the questions really are.
         So your objective in advancing your action plan is
     appropriate to establish a greater public trust, confidence, acceptance
     in NRC's decisions and actions.
         As I illustrated earlier, communicating risk among technical
     experts is considerably different from communicating risk to members of
     the public.  The trust levels do vary, and so must the approach.  That
     is if you expect to be listened to at all.
         As you go about what you are trying to do, I encourage you
     not only to hear from us, like we are doing today, but also look at
     various other experts on risk communications.  There are a number of
     individuals, they are well known.  Dr. Vincent Cavello is one and Dr.
     Peter Sandman.
     I am not an expert in the theory and the technical, but come September I
     will start my 30th year in this industry communicating to the public
     about nuclear energy, and there's a lot of experience and practical
     knowledge that I think I have gained over that time.
         I started out working at Oconee as it was under
     construction; this is in northwestern South Carolina.  It's where I grew
     up.  I was working there at the visitors center, talking to the public
     who was coming in, looking at a huge construction project.  Not only
     were there three nuclear units being built, but there were also three
     dams and two lakes.  It was big and there was a lot of activity, and
     there was a lot of genuine interest and questions about what was going
     on.
         As I would greet people, members of the public, they were
     coming in and they wanted to know if we were building another bomb
     plant, and very astutely we were trying to communicate that, oh, no,
     this is not a bomb, the plant cannot explode, this is -- we were going
     through all the technical language, until after a little while I started
     thinking these folks want to know if it's another bomb plant.  The bomb
     plant is in Aiken, it's about 100 miles south.  Bomb plant has been the
     greatest thing since sliced bread in Aiken at that time, in that
     perspective.  People were happy as bud up there about it being a bomb
     plant.
         [Laughter.]
         MS. HOWARD:  They weren't worried about that.  And so again,
     it was what was the question.  You know, to them, is this going to be a
     project that's going to give us good employment, it's been good to the
     environment, we've had a strong economy because of this, with influx of
     federal funding and all of the kinds of things.  And so it's how you
     were asking and where were those questioners coming up.
         Yes, there were other concerns and people wanted to know
     about the project, but it was not from an anti -- when your immediate
     reaction is, you know, to try to explain it away technically and they
     were just sitting there looking at me like I -- you know, you're not
     listening to me, and I wasn't.
         Is the source of the risk information trusted?  Do the
     people that you're talking to feel that they have a choice in
     volunteering or accepting the risk, or do they feel they have been
     coerced into it, into just living with it?  Those are -- are they
     familiar with the technology?  And I think that's a very key issue, and
     as we -- as you talk about risk comparisons, it's easy to compare, and
     we have things we can compare with, and in fact, in 1975, when WASH 1400
     came out, we used those comparisons and used them very effectively, in a
     way of sitting down with members of the public and talking through that.
     But you still had that, well, there's nothing that I can really do about
     a meteorite, and that actually was effective with the public because
     there wasn't anything they could do about a meteorite, and you knew that
     the risk of a reactor accident, of a fatality in a reactor accident, was
     about the same.
         But then there were the other aspects of I choose to drive
     an automobile and I understand what those risks are, but what are my
     benefits?  Or I choose to live where I live, or I choose to smoke
     because even that -- and that was in North Carolina -- there were a lot
     of us who were smoking back then.  Those were the kinds of things that
     were public choice, and to many of the public at the time I'm talking
     and today, talking about the risks that you are dealing with, if they
     have no choice or no say in the outcome, that puts a very different
     light in how one understands and wants to perceive what their risks are.
         One of the things we have also learned is a part of that is
     in perhaps not only comparisons of other risks, what you also need to
     talk about are what are the benefits in relation to the risks.  And
     those are some of the things that in the industry we have been doing a
     lot.
         If you have a lot of memorable or negative imagery
     associated with the technology, that creates a whole nother example of
     how you talk about risk.  Is there a sense of dread or catastrophe?
     Does the source of risk information appear open and honest with those
     sorts of issues?  And certainly today, in the nuclear industry to a
     certain degree, we live with Chernobyl, and our critics have now taken
     the transportation issue to mobile Chernobyl; very effective sound
     bites.  And those are the things that we have to talk through and talk
     about.  Yet you've got to appreciate the fact that the public does have
     an image of Chernobyl burning and, therefore, that image of mobile
     Chernobyl is a very, very effective communication that the critics can
     use to try to again sway public opinion.  You don't ignore it, but you
     simply have to work through that and communicate through that.
         One of the points that I learned also early on in
     communicating and what the images were and how people were perceived as
     being credible, probably within a year after the first unit at Oconee
     started operating, we did -- exceeded our instantaneous liquid rad waste
     release limit; not the hourly, not the daily; the instantaneous release.
     It was just a spurt that went down through the discharge and the
     discharge there goes on down in the tail race of the Keowee Dam that
     goes into Lake Hartwell which is the Corps of Engineer project
     downstream, but about eight miles downstream is Clemson, Clemson
     University.  And at the time it was reported to the NRC, and working
     with the region, we came to the conclusion that their advice that it was
     an instantaneous release limit and not really reportable to the public,
     no need to make a public statement.  We were young and just learning.
         About three weeks later, headquarters decided that we needed
     to make a public statement on this.  Well, that little bit of rad waste
     was probably already in the Atlantic Ocean by that point.  Certainly had
     the Savannah River still been free-flowing and not have all those Corps
     of Engineer dams on them.  But we did have to make a public statement
     about the instantaneous release limit and we tried to explain what that
     was.
         Well, probably within about three or four days, I found
     myself at a town meeting in Clemson that outgrew the town hall -- not
     that it was that big to begin with, but it outgrew the town hall, and we
     walked up the steps in this little community to the sanctuary of the
     Methodist church, which happened to have been the church that I went to.
     I'm from Clemson, and went to work at Oconee.  By this point I had moved
     and was working in Charlotte.  And here I am in the sanctuary, down in
     front of the pulpit, and Doc Murphy, who was one of our resident
     inspectors, first resident inspector at Oconee, and I and Ed Smith, who
     was the plant manager, were trying to explain what these limits were,
     and we also had someone there from EPA, and trying to explain to this
     public, the community there, who was furious, rightfully so.  It's the
     first that it happened, you told us we wouldn't have anything to worry
     about, and now our orange juice that we mix the concentrate in with the
     water from our taps has a chance of having radioactivity in it.
         And finally, you know, it came down to someone in the back,
     after all the technical experts had been up there trying to explain it,
     someone in the back saying, "Angie, would you stand up and tell us,
     would you drink this water?"
         Again, it comes back to I was someone who was trusted.  I
     had brought with us the experts who were trying to explain what was
     going on, but I was trusted, not because I was an expert, I was trusted
     because I was from there.  You know, I didn't bring anything other than
     the fact that I was local.  Some resented the fact that I was coming
     down there trying to talk to them and coming back to my hometown to try
     to quell the natives.  But others did say, "Would you do this?"  You
     know, "Would you drink the water?"  And I could say yes.  And then they
     quieted down.
         So the point I am trying again to come back to is do you
     know the local?  Do you know your constituency?  This is an awfully
     important point, and this was in probably 1975.  And one of the things
     that we decided at that point, at Duke, was to go back and make sure
     that our community relations were so strong within those communities
     around the stations that we never had a situation where we did not know
     our locals.
         One of the things that I think of the lessons learned from
     Three Mile Island was that we needed to have much better emergency
     preparedness.  And I always said as we talked through this, you cannot
     go in and introduce yourself to the local sheriff as the plant manager,
     introduce yourself to the local sheriff and say, by the way, I need your
     help in evacuation.  It just isn't going to work.
         [Laughter.]
         MS. HOWARD:  You've got to have some kind of ongoing
     communication, so then you have that credibility and that trust.
         We do a lot of research -- and I am going to talk a little
     bit more about it in just a minute -- but one of the things that we have
     learned from the public, in asking who do they trust, they trust the
     experts from the local plant, they trust their local utility more than
     they trust anti-nuclear.  And to some degree, more than they trust third
     party.  If they know their local people, they trust them.  And we see
     that in spades as we do research around reactor sites or around other
     nuclear sites.  There's a higher favorability rating.  Why?  Because
     there's a greater public understanding, and they go to church, they go
     to shop with people who work at the station.  So if John and Betty work
     there, and they live nearby, and they have their kids in school and they
     coached Little League, there is a feeling of trust and awareness.  And
     so that's how an element of risk communication can play if you use it in
     the way of communicating on a daily basis what the aspects are; or, if
     you are comfortable in the community.  And so I encourage, from the
     regulators' standpoint, of again from the residents or from the others
     who are coming in and out, you can't get to know the local community
     necessarily, but you can get to know the local officials.  You can have
     interactions.  You can do that through a process, and particularly as
     you are looking at the very specifics of the Yucca Mountain issue on the
     waste side, there are ways that you can become more involved through
     your process so that you have garnered and developed knowledge and
     therefore some credibility and trust.  And then you will be believed.
         I mentioned using the reactor safety study and risk
     comparisons and it really did have a profound effect as we were trying
     to go about public participation in building new reactor projects in the
     Duke Power Service territory.
         One of the things that we did was to try to identify public
     participation opportunities.  In the case of Yucca Mountain you have got
     so much work that is underway now, the extensive studies that are
     ongoing, how much exact contribution you can get to the technical
     aspects of the study may be problematic, but you can involve the members
     of the community in analyzing the results and understanding the results
     of the studies.
         One of the things that we found again as I was working in
     the '70s in building new additional sites is that we went in and
     identified the public and by this point we did have anti-nuclear
     opposition to the project, but we identified members of the public who
     ought to be stakeholders early on and invited them to participate in the
     process before we started the licensing process.  We were just as the
     site review stages and the preliminary stages of looking at sites and
     finalizing design.
         We tried it also and even more effectively with a storage
     project, of going in and identifying environmental groups, fishing
     groups, for a pump storage site up above Oconee, and the contribution
     there was significant as well because they came in and said your plan
     for the road, access road, is not as good as if you would look at this
     other ridge and coming in a different direction, and the company at that
     point could make those changes and as you went forward in licensing
     there was not the opposition, but it was bringing those stakeholders who
     were identified, not those that just showed up -- because oftentimes
     those that just show up are folks who have real concerns or haven't been
     talked to, but it was going out and proactively identifying within the
     community who were the people who you felt, we felt needed to know about
     this who were the opinion leaders, who were the labor leaders, who were
     the local community, and quite often it was not someone who was
     necessarily president of the local mill or the chamber of commerce.
         Very often it was someone who may have been a blue collar
     worker but just was a key that individual community, and you could
     identify those people.  That is not a hard process to do, but it's being
     on the ground and being local where you can really bring those people in
     and provide them background, give them ample opportunity to ask
     questions.  You are not teaching them.  You are gaining as much
     knowledge as you are imparting to them, so as a result those local
     people become the project's supporters.
         They have the buy-in and we are seeing that today as we go
     through the relicensing hearings with Calvert Cliffs and Oconee, some of
     those same folks who have been involved from day one coming back out and
     urging the NRC to relicense facilities.
         Let me move to just briefly why it is no wonder that some of
     the public may mistrust regulators or the industry if they feel there
     concerns aren't fully addressed.  Let me give you a couple of
     hypothetical questions and answers.
         Will this repository affect the safety of my family?  Now a
     couple of responses.  "Any exposure from the facility is well within
     regulatory limits" or "This facility will provide an adequate level of
     public health and safety."  Does that make you feel any better about --
         [Laughter.]
         MS. HOWARD:  -- about the radiation from this repository
     leaking in our groundwater and poisoning it?  No.  Not when we consider
     that the concentrations of radioactivity at that point will be of little
     regulatory significance.
         Or -- "I have got to review this issue with my colleagues.
     I will get back to you with an answer."
         Those responses are truthful and accurate and probably caged
     a little bit to be protective of perhaps the responder, but they aren't
     going to be perceived that way by your audience.  What that results in
     is a public ripe to listen to others who want to use the process to stop
     or to kill or to not allow a process to go further, and there are plenty
     that way out in the community and we know them.
         I will give you an example.  Certainly the transportation of
     nuclear waste is a very critical area.  It is one that we have seen done
     and handled extraordinarily successfully in the United States. We have
     transported spent fuel and other nuclear materials over miles and miles
     of highway and railway and we have had a few accidents and none have
     resulted in release beyond regulatory limits --
         [Laughter.]
         MS. HOWARD:  But we also have people going around using the
     term "mobile Chernobyl."  We have NBC coming out with a program next
     Sunday and Monday called "Atomic Train," which by the way, if you have
     not heard, is now a Russian warhead that has been smuggled onto a train
     carrying hazardous waste, not nuclear waste -- but there are those in
     Nevada who are taking out quite a lot of, we understand, perhaps even
     some ads that said, you know, "This can happen here.  If you transport
     nuclear material across the United States into Yucca Mountain, Nevada,
     this could happen to you."
         They are using the opportunity.  They are seizing the
     opportunity.  That is their right and that is the right of being an
     American citizen to do that.  I, to a certain degree, support that.
     However, if we aren't doing the proper communication and involving
     people in understanding and appreciating what the real risks of
     transportation are, those who seize the opportunities or we let them
     seize the opportunities will win the day with the public, because they
     are appealing to what the public can understand, they are ripe to
     understand, and if we are responding to them in obtuse kind of responses
     and regulatory-ese or engineering-ese is it easy to know who the public
     is going to turn to and listen.
         Words like "transuranic" or even "millirem" are words that
     we use daily but they sound like nothing more than technobabble to a
     mistrustful or an uninitiated audience -- not an uneducated audience --
     don't get me wrong.  It is uninitiated, and as the conversation we had
     earlier in the discussions a lot of very well-educated, well-informed,
     intelligent people simply don't pay a lot of attention to our side of
     the business and so they just don't know the lingo and the lingo-ese and
     it is our job to communicate correctly.
         At NEI we have learned a lot about communicating pure data
     about nuclear energy and we have also learned that it is impossible
     without a good background on how the audience is reacting in receiving
     the information. We know from our experiences that audiences are more
     inclined to understand the risks more clearly if they understand the
     benefits that are associated with nuclear energy.
         Let me go through a couple of results.  We have put in the
     back some of a public opinion writeup, some of the public opinion
     research that we have done.
         We see that 9 out of 10 college graduates agree that the
     U.S. should renew the licenses of nuclear plants that meet safety
     standards.  We know that 3 out of 4 of those polled agree that we should
     keep open the option of building more plants.  More than half said that
     the country should build more plants in the future.  So those are the
     kinds of responses that we get when we ask these kinds of questions --
     "Do you support license renewal?"  "What is your opinion on the nuclear
     use of the future?"
         We also have learned though that those who identify
     themselves as favorable to nuclear energy also have some real
     perceptions.  They perceive that nuclear is used more in other countries
     than here in the United States.  Most would guess when we have asked
     focus groups about this that there are less than 10 plants in operation
     in the United States.  When there are nuclear plants in the local area
     many of them don't even know that there are plants in the local area or
     are surprised to find that out.
         That means that they also don't understand the benefits.  If
     they don't know that there is a local plant in the area, they don't
     understand its clean air benefits, they don't understand its energy
     supply benefits.  So that tells us where we need to do some more work.
         Even more telling is some polling that we did last December
     among college-educated voters regarding legislation to take used nuclear
     fuel to a central temporary storage facility.  When informed that
     nuclear energy provides 20 percent of the nation's electricity without
     polluting the air, 68 percent of those polled said this would increase
     their support for the legislation.  And then when presented with the
     idea that it would be easier to monitor and regulate fewer fuel storage
     sites, 67 percent said that would increase their support of the
     legislation.
         Again, greater familiarity leads to a greater receptivity to
     the information.
         One other last part, while the polling has shown that a
     majority of those polled support nuclear energy, that same majority
     believes that their neighbors don't and we call this the perception gap.
     And when we did focus groups trying to understand the perception gap,
     why was this so, those that said that they -- those that felt
     comfortable about it may still have some reservations, but they had
     concluded themselves that nuclear energy is needed and provided real
     benefits.
         They also felt that others had failed to come to that
     conclusion, a little bit almost elitist in that, well, I have make this
     conclusion, but I am sure others haven't sorted through or thought
     through this process.
         Others also said they are influenced by what they see and
     hear, and what they don't see and hear.  So if they see and hear
     negative images and don't see and hear positive images, that, again,
     while they had made their opinion on nuclear somewhere else, they felt
     others perhaps hadn't come to that conclusion.
         The public also told us that they felt that there was not
     enough salient information in the media and other public forums about
     the benefits of nuclear energy, that the plants in themselves were
     absent from the public arena.  So, again, that told us that we needed to
     do a lot more and to communicate about the benefits.
         There is a great amount of information out there about risk
     communication, about the process and how to gain more confidence in it.
     There are a lot of pitfalls, but they are not insurmountable.  The NRC,
     I think has a desire to improve its ability to communicate the
     regulatory process efficiently and effectively.  As I said earlier, I am
     pleased to hear the direction that you are going.
         I think the bottom line is, as you communicate that, what is
     the public asking for?  Are they asking for zero risk?  I think the
     public, if we aren't communicating risk communication appropriately,
     expects to be told that it is zero risk.  And so as you go through that
     process, we have got to understand, and particularly I think the Yucca
     Mountain is a case in point.
         The studies that are being done there are to understand the
     mountain and understand then how to apply engineering principles and
     design principles for further protection of the public, not to make
     Yucca Mountain itself the sole protection of the public health and
     safety once -- if it proves suitable and the site is licensed, but to
     understand what is there.
         So the process that the public needs to anticipate is not
     that it is zero risk, but what is the risk and how they can understand
     it and accept that into their day-to-day.  I am confident it can be
     done.
         So let me leave you with just several recommendations.
     Recognize the wide range of public audiences that the NRC must reach.
     When we commented last year on the NRC's communications initiatives, we
     recommended that the NRC really revisit its apparent approach in looking
     at the public as one broad group with little distinction between the
     broad general public and those special interest groups.
         And if you don't make that distinction, the NRC can expend
     its energy debating highly technical issues with a very small subset of
     the public, and oftentimes the subset that has a very specific interest
     in not so much learning more about the technical issue, but in perhaps
     stopping the process altogether.  And what that results in is leaving
     those members, other members of the public who generally have an
     interest, confused and oftentimes feeling neglected or that their
     questions aren't answered.
         I think, you know, Chip, we have seen some of that in that
     process with license renewal hearings.
         Second, really risk communications training for the
     appropriate technical personnel.  And I was delighted to hear the NRC's
     talk about they do plan to do training, because it a kind of how you
     listen, and how you respond to questions that is unique.  And, first of
     all, those listening skills, it is just like my worry about people
     worrying -- asking whether it is a bomb plant.
         You know, you have got to know what they are asking and what
     they are wanting to know, and that is a unique skill.  And it is not so
     much a skill of being able to respond in a sound bite and getting
     everything down to what is going to appear on the evening news, but it
     is responding clearly and crisply to the questions that are asked, but
     also trying to think through to what is the question that is not being
     asked, but really is the question that they want -- is the answer that
     they want, or what it is that they are trying to know.  Sometimes we go
     far too far in answering the questions and really obfuscating the
     results.
         Adapt to the appropriate context when communicating risk.
     Again, not every audience is the same and the training can accommodate
     that.  You have got the opportunity to consider the best practices in
     the fields and to craft some of those protocols that work for NRC.
         And then, finally, solicit that routine feedback on
     communications effectiveness.  Don't buy the line that you can't measure
     communications.  You can, and you can get routine feedback.  You can get
     ongoing polling results and you know how you can resolve.
         Feedback is integral to NRC's ability to respond effectively
     to public input.  Being prepared in advance of the public meetings,
     incorporating the most effective and credible ways to respond to the
     public concerns is vital.  That way you can respond to the issues that
     are raised most effectively, thoughtfully and thoroughly.
         So I commend you for taking this issue up.  I pledge to you
     that NEI will be pleased to continue to work with you, answer your
     questions now that you might have, but, certainly, on an ongoing basis,
     share the information that we have learned and try to be as responsive
     as we can be to you.
         DR. GARRICK:  Thank you very much.
         Questions from the committee?
         [No response.]
         DR. GARRICK:  I wanted to just pick up on a couple of things
     you said, because I think they are very key to this whole process of
     communication.  You know, there is the issue of communication and then
     there is the issue of influence.  And I think one of the biggest
     challenges that exists is to be able to represent before the
     legislators, for example, the balanced public view.
         I have participated in a number of public forums and most --
     many of the public forums were attended in such a way that it was
     clearly not balanced, and so the communication that took place was in
     many cases not representative of the public, but representative of some
     segment of the public.
         I am also reminded that if you spend some time at
     particularly the state legislature, that you find that the lawmaking and
     the influence comes from professional lobbyists and groups that in many
     cases are not, again, a balanced representation of the public views.
         You commented on how important it is to have that kind of
     representation and I agree with you.  I guess the question is, how do
     you get it?  And, secondly, how do you get the output of that in a way
     that does in fact represent a reasonable approximation of the truth as
     far as public views and interests are concerned?
         MS. HOWARD:  It is hard, it is real hard because so often
     there is a -- whenever there is a public meeting, you have got to have a
     yea and nay, and then you have a debate, and oftentimes the questions
     don't get fully addressed.
         I think one of the ways that you do get your input into the
     legislative process, both at the state level and at the federal level is
     through both grass roots and coalition building.  From the grass roots
     standpoint, it starts at home, it starts within the businesses that use
     nuclear technology, if we are talking nuclear-specific.  It starts with
     those that have affiliations with them and educating and providing
     information to the employees, to the suppliers, to the vendors, to
     labor, in a way that they see a picture and are willing -- and, also, a
     very key part of that is communicating the importance of public
     involvement in a public decision making process.
         That, just as it is important to vote, it is important to
     communicate views and opinions to the legislatures.  And we understand
     that legislatures oftentimes make opinions based on 10 or fewer comments
     from the public.  They will listen and they will get those, and that
     means more when it come from home than any kind of lobbying than can
     take place at the state house or at the Congress, that input that comes
     from the local district.
         And so, again, it is development of effective grass roots
     communications, it is interactions with the state officials, with the
     county officials.  It is bringing in your constituencies.  In the
     nuclear industry, some of the constituencies today that have a lot of
     interest are folks who are interested in maintaining and meeting Clean
     Air Act requirements.  The states today are very concerned that nuclear
     plants may shut down.  And the states that are concerned are those that
     are responsible for meeting the state implementation plans in the 22
     states that are not in attainment with the Clean Air Act.  Because if
     stay out of a containment, you won't have highway funds.
         So those -- it is knowing who those audiences are and
     presenting them with information that they can then use and oftentimes
     they do.  But it is ongoing, day-in, day-out kind of communication.
         DR. GARRICK:  Another key word that you used is the word
     "choice."  I think if you think of people and why they get angry at
     certain decisions, it is more often than not because they did not feel
     there was a choice.
         And I think a lot of that is our fault, it is the technical
     community's fault.  It is so logical that it is rather amazing that
     somehow it is not a very visible part of the whole process of
     development of any project of any activity.  It's so logical that indeed
     there was a process that was -- the promoters of the project probably
     went through to look at different alternatives and to evaluate the
     alternatives against certain attributes such as cost and risk and
     benefits.  And I think that one of the things that you'll hear out in
     Nevada as much as anything is they're angry because they feel that the
     whole process of decision making was an arbitrary one.
         So if it seems if there's one device that we need to employ
     more or at least make more visible, because I think it is employed, I
     believe what the primary problem is is that we just don't make it
     visible -- is to structure these issues and projects and activities in a
     form that makes it clear that there is an alternative, there are
     different options available for solving a particular problem.
         MS. HOWARD:  Yes.
         DR. GARRICK:  It's my belief that even in the Yucca Mountain
     project the thing went through several evolutions, and it was ultimately
     Congress that said let's stop looking at alternatives and start thinking
     about evaluating whether a specific location is suitable.  But somehow
     in that whole process it was lost that early in this process they were
     clearly utilizing the concept of decision analysis --
         MS. HOWARD:  Um-hum.
         DR. GARRICK:  As a tool for moving towards a solution to
     this problem.
         Have you had any experience or any activity where the issue
     of alternatives has been kind of a central theme of public
     participation?  In a democracy you'd like to think that these projects,
     civil projects certainly have to submit to that process.
         MS. HOWARD:  Well, the ones that I mentioned when I was at
     Duke, where we were in the building mode then, we did implement that.
     Unfortunately the Cherokee and the Perkins nuclear sites fell victim to
     the cancellations of the late seventies and early eighties time frame,
     both from a need -- the pump storage project did go forward, and again,
     where there we solicited as well as, you know, received any, but
     solicited those individuals who we felt would want to have a say or who
     could, you know, be potentially adversaries to come in and sit down with
     us as we did the initial planning of, one, how we were going to meet
     additional, in this case it was peaking capacity, the attributes of pump
     storage, and the sites -- and there were several sites that were
     possible -- within a certain geographic area -- it was not a matter of
     going 100 miles east -- but of these sites, and actually got technical
     as well as experience in the part of nature, naturalist experience, to
     come and really provide a strong input into the project.  And everyone
     left not getting everything they wanted.
         Some of the choices that Duke made cost more than the
     original plan, but it was a better road, you know, this happened to be
     the access road going in, and the project went forward, you know,
     without the public intervention.  That's a big site.  But the plans
     early on in the idea of going to a one-step licensing with early site --
     preapproved sites and preapproved designs -- the preapproved siting
     process very much, and this was in the late seventies and eighties, as
     we were doing these ideas had that exact element of public participation
     in coming in and looking at the regional energy needs and how do you
     site energy facilities or energy complexes before, you know, plans were
     drawn and designs were put down on sites.
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes.
         MS. HOWARD:  So it's very much a process that I think you
     can involve the democratic process.  It doesn't mean you won't have
     intervention, but it also means that if you have intervention, you can
     hold the intervenor much more accountable because of the overall public
     process that's been put into place.
         DR. GARRICK:  Any other comments?
         DR. FAIRHURST:  I think something you said almost alluded to
     a fear that I have, and that is that technical people tend very much to
     overreact to provide far more information than anybody wanted, to give a
     complex answer when a simple one can do, a simple yes or no.
         I was kind of intrigued as to what you have done.  You
     actually have, if you like, a position in this.  You would be perceived
     as having a position.  Recently I was at a meeting, it was a conference
     on retrievability, and the public apparently were -- the main reason for
     retrievability is not that anybody technically feels that it is going to
     be necessary, it's something to satisfy public concern that you're
     stuffing something away forever.  And most of the technical people in
     the audience were talking about keeping the repository open for 100
     years and so on, and this was across the board, not -- many countries.
         And Swedish people said what we're going to do is we're
     going to take a couple of our waste packages or simulated waste packages
     and drill holes and put them in, would invite the TV crews in and all
     the press and bring it in, stick it down, pick it up, take it out, and
     say that's retrievability.  And it'll take us maybe three or four years
     and the public will have -- we'll see how they react to that and get
     onto the next problem.  And I suspect it wasn't the technical people
     that had told them that, it was somebody else.
         And so I have a great reluctance to become, if you like, a
     direct participant in this.  I'd rather be guided by somebody who has a
     much better understanding, or be like you, fall into a situation where I
     happen to be at that time a member of the local community, fight the
     railroads like I'm doing right now.
         I was wondering to what extent you've been able to identify
     a pattern for success, if you like.  You mentioned one where you
     happened to be in the church where you grew up and so on, but are there
     any --
         MS. HOWARD:  I think some other patterns that we've seen is
     the visual imagery is very important.  As people have talked about spent
     fuel or waste, the public conjures up green goo, and when you can take
     them into a spent fuel and show them a spent fuel assembly and show that
     being loaded onto a cask, even if it's a dry storage pad, you know,
     cask, as opposed to -- and many companies do do some of this, and
     they've shot footage of that.  So it's the bringing the real image of
     what it is that you're talking about to the public so that they can see
     it, they can visualize it, they can get a sense of what you're talking
     about.
         On the retrievability, I don't go along with the creating
     something that is not real.  I think that's a mistake.  But if you -- I
     think you've got some who want to simply be reassured that the
     engineering is there -- there are some who would like you to believe
     that you're just going to throw these spent-fuel canisters in the
     mountain and walk away and nobody's going to do anything.  And, you
     know, who knows what, what if it should leak or what if or what if or
     what if, instead of giving an assurance that it is an engineered
     facility that's going to be there and is going to be monitored and with
     engineering judgment we can monitor and we can make decisions down the
     road.  There's a managed process there.  There's a responsibility there.
         Because others would have you believe that you are just
     going to throw it there and ignore it, and I think that is the element
     that -- and some of that goes back to how we have managed other
     hazardous waste in this country.  It is not just a matter of perception.
     There is key to or a tie back to, you know, the rogue waste haulers
     opening the spouts from between 2:00 and 4:00 in the morning and driving
     down a country road.  That's how they dispose of hazardous waste.  I
     mean we know some of that has occurred.  We've seen it with PCBs so the
     public learns about that and they cannot necessarily trust that that
     won't happen with nuclear.
         That is why you have to continue to give them the images and
     the sense of responsibility and the sense of management that there is an
     integrity on the part of the process.
         DR. FAIRHURST:  Has NEI talked to debating, high school
     debating groups, or something like that, to get them to take this topic
     up and debate it pro and con?
         MS. HOWARD:  Was it last year?  I believe last year or maybe
     two years ago that was a part of one of the national high school debates
     was nuclear and we did provide a lot of packages of material and use our
     website extensively for those sorts of things.
         DR. FAIRHURST:  It is likely you would get a reasonably
     balanced argument there.
         MS. HOWARD:  You do.  You do.  As a matter of fact, I was a
     little bit taken aback by my daughter's eighth grade science teacher
     chose to teach nuclear energy, the components in nuclear energy, by
     assigning people to be pro and con and have a debate.  I didn't think
     that was exactly, you know -- wasn't sure that they were going to get
     all the technical information they needed, but we went along with it and
     my daughter, who is a fairly rabid pro --
         [Laughter.]
         DR. FAIRHURST:  I wonder why.
         MS. HOWARD:  -- drew an anti slot and had to argue the
     other, which was great fun.
         DR. FAIRHURST:  No, that is the whole point.
         MS. HOWARD:  And they did learn and, you know, we had people
     come, so to me they didn't treat coal or they didn't treat other aspects
     that way.  That is the choice of the students probably enjoyed it and
     they probably got a little more out of it because they put a little more
     into it, but we don't do a lot with the general public and with the
     schools because our resources are simply not -- we do more of our work
     at opinion leader and policy maker.  That is why you see in our research
     that it is the college-educated voter that is more the opinion leader as
     opposed to the general public.
         MR. HILL:  I think just to follow up on your original
     question about is there a pattern in addressing some of the matters that
     you talked about, with the discipline of risk communication, yes, there
     are a lot of proven examples where varying approaches in talking about
     risk comparison work better than others, and I think the research that
     Ms. Schoenfeld alluded to this morning point that up, but just to
     emphasize Angie's point that providing training to technical people to
     make them aware of those sensitivities is really key, because applying
     those principles they feel largely foreign to those who have a great
     deal of technical background and it takes a lot of practice, a lot of
     dedication to the principles.
         There are advocates of risk communication that think that if
     you have a technical background and you communicate to the public where
     you are not typically or predisposed to be trusted, then knowing those
     principles should be part of your profession, should be just simply one
     of your course requirements as you go through school that you have these
     proper communications tools as you move forward.
         DR. GARRICK:  Very good.  All right.  Well, we appreciate
     your sharing your information with us.  It was a very timely message and
     I am sure it is going to help us a great deal in formulating our
     planning for the working group session.
         MS. HOWARD:  Good.
         DR. GARRICK:  So we thank you very much.
         MS. HOWARD:  Thank you.
         MR. HILL:  Thank you.
         DR. GARRICK:  In our final presentation we turn from an
     industry-oriented association back to a Government agency.  We are now
     going to hear from Catherine Dawes from the EPA.  I guess you are going
     to talk to us about the EPA XL Program for Regulatory Excellence.  We
     are all very interested in that.
         MS. DAWES:  Good morning, my name is Catherine Dawes.  I
     work for the USEPA, the Environmental Protection Agency.  I have been
     with the agency for about nine years, I am now working in the Office of
     Reinvention, in which I work on the XL program, which I will tell you a
     little bit more about.  I have also worked on what we call the Common
     Sense Initiative, which was a sector-wide effort to work with industry
     and stakeholders on a variety of issues.  And in the past I have also
     worked on what we call brown fields, which are redevelopment sites, a
     little bit on Superfund, which I think has a lot of parallels to the
     work that you all do.
         And I just want to start out by saying that working with
     stakeholders is an area that EPA has been recently gaining a lot of
     experience in.  I think like the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, we are
     an agency made up generally of engineers and lawyers.  I am neither one.
     I am policy wonk, which is just as bad I think in some cases.
         So risk communications, stakeholder involvement,
     environmental justice, these are terms that have really come to a lot of
     use in I would say the last ten years of the agency.  The first 20 years
     of the agency was really focused more on regulations, rules and command
     and control.
         So let me get more into Project XL.  Project XL is a USEPA
     reinvention initiative.  It stands for Excellence in Leadership and it
     has been underway since March of 1995 when it was announced by the
     Clinton Administration.  The XL program designs experimental,
     site-specific pilot projects that are aimed at carrying out new ways of
     doing things like permitting and reporting.  The key of Project XL is to
     give facilities the flexibility in how they implement rules, regulations
     and policy in exchange for superior environmental performance.
         Right now EPA has 11 of these projects underway with
     companies like Weyerhauser and the Intel Corporation.  We have 27
     projects in development, and there are a whole host of proposals that
     have come in to EPA which we have chosen not implement for one reason or
     another, in some cases because the stakeholder involvement component did
     not work -- did not work well, or some might say it did work well and
     that is why we do not have those projects.
         Since its inception, meaningful and organized participation
     on the part of the community and national non-governmental organization
     representatives has been a criterion of the project selection process
     and a cornerstone of the XL program.
         Public participation has also proven the most difficult,
     most challenging component of the program.  Because EPA views public
     participation in XL to be so important, the agency has undertaken
     efforts aimed at looking at the program stakeholder processes, including
     formal stakeholder evaluations of individual projects, a copy of which
     has been passed out to you all; stakeholder roundtable meetings, as well
     as a process reengineering work group.  And this process reengineering
     work group was composed of EPA staff, industry, stakeholders, local
     representatives as well as national NGO representatives, and it worked
     to streamline the XL process, while improving stakeholder access to
     information, input into decision-making, influence on the project's
     design, implementation and evaluation.
         Overall, all of these forums revealed difficulties
     experienced by public stakeholders involved with XL, several of which
     EPA has taken formal steps to address, and I will summarize them for you
     now.  And if you have any questions, please jump in and interrupt me.
     First -- and some of these findings are going to seem like common sense,
     but difficult to implement.
         A clearly superior model of involving stakeholders in the XL
     project development process has not emerged.  There is no cookie cutter
     formula.  There is no one model of doing it.  We, early on in the
     program, determined that a one size fits all approach would not be
     suitable, particularly for the innovative nature of the initiative, but
     I think you would find that it is not suitable for any site-specific
     effort.
         Therefore, EPA chose to focus on defining the principles and
     process by which stakeholder involvement in the XL project should be
     governed.  By focusing on principles, the project sponsors, i.e., the
     Weyerhausers and the Intels of the world, are the managers of the
     process and can tailor the stakeholder involvement to reflect the scope
     and complexity of the process -- of the project rather.
         EPA expects each project to reflect the complexity and the
     uncertainty of the project in the investment of the stakeholder process.
     In other words, we expect that if a project is a relatively simple one
     to implement and to comprehend, that the stakeholder involvement is not
     going to be that complex.  However, if you have a project that involves
     multimedia, involves a number of different statutes, or is
     controversial, we expect the stakeholder involvement process to be more
     complex and involved.  The key to this is to allow the stakeholders
     themselves to have a say in how the process is structured and conducted.
         The second major finding is that the clarity of the
     structure and objectives for the process are the most important
     indicators of success and credibility of the stakeholder involvement
     effort.  Early in XL we found that the confusion about and the
     time-consuming nature of the process -- procedures for negotiating the
     project's final agreements created problems in how our stakeholders
     perceived our efforts.
         EPA took steps to clarify and improvement and streamline
     this process, resulting in a better understanding from all participants
     and a related reduction in the what we call transaction costs of the
     stakeholder process.
         The reengineering effort that we initiated led to changes in
     the actual negotiation process, including a Project XL Stakeholder
     Involvement Guide, a copy of which you all should have.  The guide
     provides information on (1) how to determine what type of process is
     appropriate; (2) the stakeholder needs regarding time commitment and
     technical assistance, which I will come back to, and, also, as I
     discussed before, the scope and complexity of the involvement process.
         EPA is going to continue to evaluate these process changes.
     We have only recently initiated them, but we are already seeing better
     participation and better sense of credibility on the part of our
     stakeholders.
         Now this is, as I said, one of our obvious findings, but it
     is still critical to state, and that is building and maintaining trust
     is critical.  The program XL has faced perceptions that a project
     sponsor could orchestrate stakeholder support and that EPA also needed
     to better define the parameters of stakeholder involvement.
         A crucial means to addressing both of these issues has been
     for EPA to clarify its role versus that of the project sponsor in
     managing the stakeholder groups.  Now, the project sponsor, not EPA, is
     responsible for initiating and maintaining the stakeholder involvement
     process.  The new Stakeholder Involvement Guide also recommends steps
     for a sponsor to follow and identify and work with stakeholders on
     project ideas.
         While the stakeholder has -- rather, the project sponsor has
     the primary responsibility for this stakeholder group, experience shows
     that in the most successful processes, the sponsor and stakeholders
     co-create the process, in other words, they talk through how they are
     going to manage public meetings, how work groups are going to be
     constructed, the time that is going to be needed as well as technical
     assistance.
         While this participation is important to help ensure that
     these processes are transparent, it should not be confused with EPA's
     ultimate role of guaranteeing an adequate stakeholder process.  In other
     words, EPA still retains and understands that it has a responsibility
     for ensuring that these stakeholder groups are transparent and are
     working credibly.
         We also -- EPA also retains the authority to approve or
     disapprove an XL project based on how well the criteria are met, and
     also States share the ability to veto any one project.  So our
     authority, EPA's authority is not delegated to stakeholder groups, but
     the views and recommendations of direct participants strongly influence
     the decisions of the regulators.
         EPA has taken other activities aimed at building and
     maintaining stakeholder trust.  For example, we now have facilitation
     assistance for project sponsors to initiate or kick off the overall
     process, and also we've found that facilitation by a third party and
     face-to-face meetings and also having site visits stand out as
     demonstrated mechanisms for building trust.
         And I can't emphasize to you more how important it is to
     consider the third-party facilitation, to have a sense of someone who is
     not invested in the process but who can help you work through the
     issues, and in this case we chose, that third party is not EPA.  When we
     say third party, we really mean someone who is not associated either
     with the Agency or with the project sponsor.
         As I talked about before, an especially important step in
     the XL process is for the sponsor and stakeholders to agree on ground
     rules and responsibilities.  Well-defined and transparent ground rules
     are very, very important.  I can't emphasize that more.  Key topics for
     consideration include participants' role, are they going to be part of
     an advisory group, are they going to be a group that is simply
     consulted, or are they going to be a group that has a decisional role?
         Also, you need to define how that input should be expressed.
     Particularly when you're talking about decisional group, you need to
     talk about whether things are going to be done by consensus or by
     majority vote.  And I will further remark that you have to define what
     consensus means.  There are many different ways to define a constructive
     consensus process.  And if it's not clearly defined from the outset,
     you're going to have a lot of troubles.  These topics as well as other
     ground rules must be discussed and consented to by the direct
     participants.
         Another finding, again common sense, tells us that input
     needs to be obtained by local and national stakeholders early in the
     process.  We found that there's nothing more difficult than going to the
     stakeholders and their having a sense that a decision has been made
     among EPA agencies as well as the project sponsors, particularly
     companies, big companies, and they sense that we've already made a
     decision about what was going to happen and how things were going
     forward.
         So the stakeholder involvement guide emphasizes steps that
     we expect sponsors to take to obtain stakeholder input as early in the
     project development process as possible.
         On the flip side, we also recognize that if you go to
     stakeholders with a project idea too early, it may not be well
     formulated enough to communicate it well.
         Resources such as third-party technical assistance should be
     made available to ensure local stakeholders have the ability to assess
     the technical and environmental issues.  What we heard from our
     stakeholders repeatedly is that they had trouble comprehending the
     technical issues and that they felt that using the project sponsor as
     their resource for understanding those technical issues did not
     necessarily satisfy them, and they did not necessarily consider that to
     be credible, nor in every case did they consider EPA to be a credible
     resource.
         So what EPA has done to address this is to seek out means
     for local stakeholders to receive technical assistance.  In some cases
     it may be fine from the project sponsor.  There may be a State
     government resource that is available or a national environmental
     organization or academic institution may be able to provide technical
     information or assistance to local stakeholders.  However, when these
     means are not available or appropriate, EPA has set up a mechanism to
     provide specific technical assistance to stakeholders using the
     Institute for Conservation Leadership.  This assistance is available to
     up to $25,000 per project when requested by a stakeholder group.
         What we've found, and this is now going back to more the
     issues of who is participating in these stakeholder processes, one of
     the key findings that we've seen is that a number of our industry
     project sponsors really have lacked experience in convening and managing
     a site-specific intensive stakeholder process, and they have asked --
     and they asked us frankly, EPA, to come up with recommendations for how
     they should conduct a good stakeholder process, and so the stakeholder
     involvement guide is part of our response to that.
         One of the things that we found interesting to note,
     however, is that the past industry participants both who have had
     successful projects as well as proposal ideas that did not become
     projects have reported that in every case they found the stakeholder
     experience to be beneficial in the long run.  So even though it was
     difficult and challenging and in some cases more expensive than they
     expected it to be, they found it beneficial for their reputations in the
     community in the long run.
         Also, another very interesting finding is that we have
     learned that the participation of national nongovernmental organizations
     such as your NRDCs, your EDFs, have received very mixed reviews from
     other stakeholders.  This surprised us.  In some projects the
     participation of the national -- and I'll just say NGOs -- the national
     NGOs was consistent, timely, and really helped the project process to
     move forward.  And too the local stakeholders gave national NGOs very
     high praise for being helpful to them by bringing expertise to the table
     that the local citizens felt that they themselves lacked.
         On other projects, however, the participation of national
     NGOs was perceived as being inconsistent, late, difficult to predict,
     and in some cases undercutting the goals and desires of the local
     community.
         The national nongovernmental organizations' approach was
     perceived as intervention and believed by the local citizens to be
     disconnected from what they were trying to do, and we think -- we're not
     exactly sure, I don't want to speak for the communities when I just --
     but I'd like to just suggest as to why we found that disconnection.
         I believe that part of it was because the national NGOs are
     much more considered with the effects of a site-specific project on the
     implications of national regulations and national policy and national
     guidance.  They felt that this could be precedent-setting, and therefore
     if there was something that they were nervous about or didn't
     understand, their goal was to stop it, not even to discuss it, but to
     stop it, whereas local communities, when you're talking about a
     site-specific effort where they were assured and sure that the companies
     were not going to do anything that was jeopardizing them in their local
     area, they were much more willing to go along with an innovative project
     idea and not necessarily interested in the national implications of an
     unusual or flexible process.
         To try to get beyond this local versus national issue, XL
     took the time to define different tiers of public participation.  For us
     direct participants are involved in the day-to-day aspects of project
     negotiations.  You must sign on to be a direct participant as a national
     or local stakeholder and they influence the design and development of
     the project and they may also influence EPA's ultimate decision to go
     forward, but they have to be prepared to make a time commitment in the
     project.
         Commenters are stakeholders who have an interest in the
     project but do not participate on the day-to-day negotiations and
     project development.  EPA requires sponsors to provide information to
     potential commenters and create periodic forums in which they can
     express their comments.  That may be through periodic public meetings or
     through the Federal Register or other means.
         The general public is involved -- that is our third tier --
     is involved by having clear access to information on the development and
     environmental results of the project on an ongoing basis and we expect
     them to arrange public information or rather the project sponsors who
     arrange public meetings where information is available and allowing
     opportunities for the public to influence the decision-making.
         Where we can, EPA also encourages viable links between the
     national and local groups who are interested in individual XL projects
     when a direct participant role is not feasible for the national groups.
         With a major goal of facilitating more timely participation
     with national NGOs in the commenter role EPA is currently compiling an
     XL Commenters List that will assist the agency in notifying any NGO when
     a proposed project is covering a topic they have shown interest in
     before.
         Our final finding on what we have been learning about public
     interest and participation is that it may drop off significantly once a
     project is in the implementation stage.  This surprised us.  We expected
     it to be even more intensive but it seems that once you have broke
     through what the project is going to be and once they are getting
     information, knowing that the project is either working or they
     understand what the status of the project is, the day-to-day interest in
     the project drops off quite a bit.
         We are not absolutely sure that it's because they are sure
     of the project.  It may also be because the technical nature of the
     project is too much for sustained interest.  We have heard a little bit
     of that, but until we understand this trend we are going to focus our
     future EPA evaluations to get a better understanding of this.
         As a final point I will quickly wrap up by saying that there
     are things outside of XL that the agency is doing in order to gain
     better experience and expertise on community involvement.  In fact, EPA
     now is going to have its second annual Community Involvement Conference
     coming up in May and I don't have the details on that but I can
     certainly send it back to you all later.
         We also have what we call a Stakeholder Involvement Action
     Plan where we are looking to do research on what different EPA programs
     have learned about their experiences in implementing stakeholder
     involvement in public participation mechanisms, and also I would like to
     point out that the Superfund program has a very long history of building
     a stakeholder involvement component, and if you haven't had them come
     speak to you, I would recommend that you do that, and again I can supply
     you with names of people to do that, because I think there are a lot of
     parallels because of the kinds of hazardous waste issues that they are
     handling that you all may learn from if you haven't already.
         DR. GARRICK:  Thank you.  Questions?
         DR. HORNBERGER:  Is XL still in EPA's view sort of in a
     pilot stage?  Is there a plan to move this -- have you learned enough to
     do a lot more of these or are these so energy-intensive because they are
     specific that they are going to remain sort of just a small fraction of
     EPA's --
         MS. DAWES:  That is a great question and it is one that
     we not debate but one that we consider regularly.
         Our goal is to have 50 XL projects by 1998 We have 11.  We
     have 27 -- or rather 1999 we have 11 in implementation.
         We think we are on track to have 50 but we don't know when
     we will have 50.  Clearly we hope to have it before Year 2000.
         We pretty sure that XL will -- the program itself will stop
     once we get to 50 projects.  The question is what is the life after XL
     and how are we going to integrate what we have learned about running
     innovative experimental projects into the agency culture as a whole, and
     we are having a lot of input from people as to how we do that.
         Ours is not the only program that is working with
     experimental items.  There's also an agreement we have with the
     Environmental Commissioners of the States -- oh, boy, I hope I had that
     right -- ECOS, which similarly to XL is designed to have innovative
     projects that are more focused on what state interests and so between
     those two programs we should be able to decide in Year 2000 I think is
     going to be the crucial year for us what is life after 50, as we like to
     say.
         DR. HORNBERGER:  You probably have seen there was an Academy
     report that came out perhaps a year or two ago on basically barriers to
     innovative technologies, cleanup technologies --
         MS. DAWES:  Right.
         DR. HORNBERGER:  Of course, one of the things they point out
     is are some of the difficulties with the standard regulatory approach
     that presumably a program like XL could overcome --
         MS. DAWES:  That's right.
         DR. HORNBERGER:  -- and so is that part of your thinking?
         MS. DAWES:  That is certainly a part of our thinking.  We do
     have some projects that have incorporated innovative technology into the
     overall project effort.  We haven't had a project that directly gets to
     the type of innovative technology that you are talking about.
         Our first projects operating under Superfund, which as I
     said, I think the program that most parallels what you all do here, is
     focused on stakeholder involvement, having a more intensive stakeholder
     involvement component than it would otherwise, interestingly enough, and
     the goal of that is to ensure that the cleanup is done -- that there is
     a stakeholder involvement process in the cleanup so that redevelopment
     at that site has already incorporated what the community's goals are at
     that site, so yes, it is a very interesting project -- and that is the
     Exxon Project we have -- it is not signed but it is one that has been
     proposed in the Federal Register and we expect it to be a final project
     agreement sometime this spring.
         DR. GARRICK:  Some programs have groups that are called
     Citizen Advisory Groups.
         MS. DAWES:  Sure, yes.
         DR. GARRICK:  Now is this as far as you know taking
     advantage of that experience --
         MS. DAWES:  Yes.
         DR. GARRICK:  -- or is this a similar kind of activity is
     one question, and in relation to that, some problems that have developed
     with the Citizen Advisory Groups is that certain special interest groups
     have sort of taken over the Citizen Advisory Group.
         How do you protect against that sort of thing and the first
     question was, of course, are you familiar with the Citizen Advisory
     Groups.
         MS. DAWES:  Yes. Citizen Advisory Groups really are linked
     to the Superfund Program.
         DR. GARRICK:  Right.
         MS. DAWES:  That is where it started.  They also have
     similar groups with the Federal Facility Cleanup Programs, which I am
     sure you all are familiar with, so are where I know of that the Citizen
     Advisory Groups are part of the norm for the programs.
         In terms of working with ongoing stakeholder groups where
     you have special interests having a strong voice, I am not sure how to
     answer you on that.  I am not the best person to respond to that, except
     I can say that with XL what we have tried to do is create a sense of
     balance by saying, first of all, don't exclude -- as you pull together
     your stakeholder involvement group, don't reaching out to your critics,
     because if you do they are going to get their way.  They are going to
     find their way onto your stakeholder involvement group anyway.
         DR. GARRICK:  Right.  I don't think the issue is that they
     shouldn't reach out.  Certainly they should --
         MS. DAWES:  That's right.
         DR. GARRICK:  The issue is that it shouldn't be taken over.
         MS. DAWES:  That's right, that's right, and maintaining a
     sense of balance is challenging to say the least.  I mean we experienced
     that with the difference between the local and the national groups where
     you have national groups who did not participate day to day and yet when
     they weigh in for EPA we really stand up and pay attention.
         I don't know what to tell you in order to reduce that,
     except to say that you have to keep on reaching out to other groups as
     well, finding ways of providing -- because one of the reasons I think
     that some of those special interest groups are able to participate more
     in the day to day process may be because they have better technical
     expertise.
         DR. GARRICK:  Right.
     @@  DR. GARRICK:  Right.
         MS. DAWES:  They have access to technical assistance.  If
     you make access to technical assistance available to the general -- to
     other members of the general public, people who have interest in
     participating but won't do it without feeling like they can come to the
     table and speak intelligently about the issues, then I think that that's
     maybe one of the ways that you can help get more balance.
         DR. GARRICK:  Does the potential exist for more than one
     stakeholder group per project?
         MS. DAWES:  Absolutely.
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes.
         MS. DAWES:  Absolutely.  When we say the stakeholder
     involvement group, we are assuming for XL that there is a series of
     different types of representatives.  They may be private citizens
     representing themselves.  They may be representing the local church, the
     local environmental organization, as well as the national environmental
     or State environmental organizations.
         DR. GARRICK:  When do you think you'll have enough
     experience with this process through the pilot programs to --
         MS. DAWES:  Well, we think we have a lot of experience now,
     but I think it's one of those areas where you never stop --
         DR. GARRICK:  Um-hum.
         MS. DAWES:  Learning.  And each -- what we've found is
     consistent with XL projects is that each XL project is different.  So
     because we -- I think the one area in which we are quite sure of
     ourselves is saying that whatever process you do initiate, it has to be
     clear and transparent, and it has to focus on building credibility and
     face-to-face trust.
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes.
         MS. DAWES:  And without those components, no model is going
     to work.
         DR. HORNBERGER:  One of the things that -- well, the terms
     that we use now quite frequently and you're probably familiar with is
     risk-informed, performance-based regulation, and --
         MS. DAWES:  Sure.
         DR. HORNBERGER:  Clearly XL is performance-based.  There's
     just no --
         MS. DAWES:  Yes, sir.  Right.
         DR. HORNBERGER:  Doubt about it.  To what extent do you see
     it having the risk-informed aspect, and how do the stakeholders --
     again, how do you communicate this aspect to the stakeholders?
         MS. DAWES:  Could you help me more with the risk-informed
     part?
         DR. HORNBERGER:  Yes, well, I mean, the risk-informed would
     have to do with the whole idea of there being risks associated --
         MS. DAWES:  All right.  Okay.
         DR. HORNBERGER:  Residual risks associated with whatever
     activity you're doing.
         MS. DAWES:  I understand.
         DR. HORNBERGER:  And how do stakeholders buy into that.
         MS. DAWES:  Yes.  The key to getting them to buy into any
     risk associated with these projects is that the goal of the project is
     to produce superior environmental performance in the first place, and we
     also work to ensure that there's no transferring of risk from one media
     to another.  In other words, if the project is going to reduce risk in
     air, if it's increasing risk in water, that's not superior environmental
     performance for us.
         So by putting that into place, more communities are willing
     to take a risk on a new way of doing things, and by ensuring -- the
     other key that we're finding is by finding ways to communicate the
     results of a project in very straightforward and technical yet simple
     terms so that people are assured that they understand what the
     monitoring of the project is and how the project is doing.  And what we
     built into the whole process is should a project not be working in
     sustaining superior environmental performance, we're looking for ways to
     find a "soft landing" so that they can return to their traditional ways
     of doing things to get back to the baseline that they were at before.
         DR. WYMER:  To what extent do you think that the very nature
     of the EPA organization and its mission gives you sort of a leg up in
     credibility, and how do you try to capitalize on this if it's true?
         MS. DAWES:  It doesn't give us a leg up in credibility
     necessarily.  With some groups that's true.  With many groups it's not.
     I've been at many a public meeting at which I can assure you EPA was not
     considered the guy in the white hat -- gray at best.
         So what I will say, though, I think that because EPA has
     been on the front lines of people's thinking about environmental cleanup
     that we have been forced to learn a lot about working with the public
     and risk communication.  But again I'll say we have a long way to go,
     and a lot of our learning has been very recent, because making the shift
     from communicating in a forum that is normal for engineers and lawyers
     has been hard for us to do, so it's -- I think we have a long way to go.
         DR. WYMER:  That's disappointing.
         DR. GARRICK:  Any other questions?  Lynn.
         MS. DEERING:  Yes, a quick question, please.
         You mentioned that the risk communication -- you are
     starting to get an education in that more and more.  Do you mean across
     the whole EPA?  Is there interest in your average engineer or scientist,
     you know, getting training on that specifically?
         MS. DAWES:  I would say five or six years ago my answer to
     that would be no.  I think today most EPA staff recognize the need to be
     able to communicate well with the public, and to communicate simply and
     honestly with the public, and that the goal is not to deluge them with
     so much information that they don't want to, you know, ask you any more
     questions, but the goal is to really hear and understand the questions
     that they're asking.
         I think we now -- we're having under way a new Environmental
     Information Office.  It's not in place yet, but we're transitioning to
     that.  And one of the major goals of that office will be to develop
     policies and mechanisms for better presenting technical information and
     providing technical information to the public.
         MS. DEERING:  What was that office called?
         MS. DAWES:  It's going to be the Office of Environmental
     Information.
         MS. DEERING:  Okay.
         MS. DAWES:  It's under way.  It has not --
         DR. GARRICK:  Any other questions?
         MR. HAMDAN:  My name is Latif Hamdan.  I'm with NRC Division
     of Waste Management.
         Actually I have two questions, but they are related.  The
     first question is to the previous speakers.  I didn't have a chance to
     ask it, and let me ask it first.  And that is, there was mention of the
     importance of the image and credibility to communication of risk, and I
     just wanted to ask if considering the problems, the image problems that
     the industry had in the past, if there was any effort to have risk
     communication training specifically targeting this rehabilitation of
     this image.
         The question for the EPA is are there any negative aspects
     of XL like, for example, delays and costs and even so much -- even
     conservatism in the rules ultimately because you see this -- or if the
     program is so good that the nuclear industry can use to rehabilitate
     their image maybe.
         Thanks.
         MS. DAWES:  Of course the program is great.  The program is
     great; XL is great.
         No, XL is not perfect by any means.  It's a very difficult
     program to manage.  It frankly is recovering in the last year from three
     years of difficulties in how we manage the process.  It took very long.
     The transactions costs were great.  People were unhappy.  And so we're
     really working on rehabilitating our own image right now.
         In terms of working with the nuclear industry, I would
     assume and suppose that if there was a project that came in, a proposal
     that came to EPA, that we would consider it as we would consider any
     other project.  We have projects that we're considering with the
     chemical industry, so -- which I think also has certain image problems.
         But I think the key to remember is that with the XL program,
     the only way for a project sponsor to participate is for it to be one --
     for its proposal to be providing superior environmental performance, as
     I talked about before, and also XL has a compliance screening process
     where if a sponsor has had regular day-to-day noncompliance with EPA's
     or a State's regulations, we're not going to move forward on the
     proposal.  So those are the two mechanisms that XL used to ensure that
     when we move forward with a project, the project sponsor is able to
     manage the process.
         As to the other program, I can't respond.
         DR. FAIRHURST:  John?
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes.
         DR. FAIRHURST:  Just a comment.  It was EPA that regulated
     or decided to give the license for WIPP, and I was in the audience when
     I heard one of the intervenors say we have been betrayed by the one
     agency we'd learned to trust.  So once you get associated with
     nuclear --
         MS. DAWES:  Yes.
         [Laughter.]
         DR. FAIRHURST:  There are certain things that are difficult.
         DR. GARRICK:  Thank you very much.
         I think we have learned about a very important program, and
     we want to learn a good deal more.  So maybe down the road a little we
     can hear some more about it.
         MS. DAWES:  Certainly.
         DR. GARRICK:  So thank you for coming.
         MS. DAWES:  Thank you.
         DR. GARRICK:  I think we're right on schedule, and we will
     adjourn for lunch now and reconvene at 1:30.
         [Whereupon, at 12:28 p.m., the meeting was recessed, to
     reconvene at 1:30 p.m., this same day.].                   A F T E R N O O N  S E S S I O N
                                                      [1:32 p.m.]
         DR. GARRICK:  The meeting will come to order.  We have a
     very interesting opportunity this afternoon to meet with Dr. Bill
     Travers and Carl Paperiello and have a little bit of a face-off with
     respect to issues and topics.  I think that one of the things we want to
     get out of this is an opportunity to maybe better coordinate with your
     office on some of the issues that you see that are important that we
     might offer advice on.
         We have heard a good deal about the cultural change that is
     taking place at the NRC and how implementing that cultural change is
     presenting some problems with respect to resources to carry on the other
     initiatives that you have in place.  So it is a time when we need to be
     very careful in our decision-making about what we offer advice on, and
     so this, we hope, will provide us additional information to help us make
     good decisions in that regard.
         One of the things that we thought might be a reasonable
     preamble to the discussion would be to give a brief overview of what the
     committee has been up to for the last year or so, and the staff person
     that has been helping us be organized in that regard is Lynn Deering,
     and so we are going to continue to lean on her for that kind of
     information, and I have asked her if she would give a brief summary of
     some of those activities as a possible framework for our discussion.
         But, anyway, we are very happy you are here and we hope that
     this is the beginning of something that happens quite routinely.
         DR. TRAVERS:  Thank you very much.  Before Lynn goes, if you
     will just spare me a moment I will respond briefly.
         DR. GARRICK:  Sure.
         DR. TRAVERS:  I am glad to be here, glad for the
     opportunity.  I am relatively new in my position, it has been a little
     over six months now, but I have been looking forward to meeting with the
     members of the committee.
         Certainly, we are open to any ideas you have or maybe we
     have for better coordination.  But I think -- it is our perception that
     we have some pretty good mechanisms in place through Carl and his senior
     staff generally to assure that we are well coordinated.  In fact, I have
     seen your proposed action plan and some of the informal comments I think
     you have received to date have given you some sense of views on some of
     this.
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes.
         DR. TRAVERS:  I would be glad to enter into discussions
     today a little bit further on that.  I should point out that Frank
     Miraglia, who I have sort of sequestered on budgetary issues, you
     mentioned the ever-pressing issue of resources.
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes.
         DR. TRAVERS:  And it is certainly one we face seemingly
     every year, about this time in particular, because of the sessions that
     we are called into.  Frank would love to be here.  He is unfortunately
     tied up.  It was him or me and I opted to keep him pressed on the
     budget, so we are going to let him move forward in that regard.  But I
     know he will look forward to perhaps coming to your next meeting if that
     is something we can arrange.
         DR. GARRICK:  Great.
         DR. TRAVERS:  But I will turn it over to Lynn.
         DR. GARRICK:  Okay.
         MS. DEERING:  Thank you.  I am just going to take a few
     minutes.  Forgive me if I say something that you already are aware of,
     but we are just going to give you an overview of some of the planning,
     our planning process, and it is new as of two years ago.  This was the
     second year that we developed an action plan and the committee believes
     that it has really helped them focus their efforts and produce some
     tangible results, that, you know, we weren't totally sure you were aware
     of what we were up to.
         So, in addition to the two strategic plans we also produced
     a self-assessment and that came out only about two weeks ago, and it is
     a rather thick document.  But it was an attempt to look at outcomes,
     measure the committee's outcomes relative to metrics that we selected.
     And we learned a lot in that process as well.
         I also wanted to mention, typically, we take the action plan
     and we try to coordinate that with the Commissioners and their technical
     assistants and get their buy-in -- Do you think we are on the right
     track? -- before we go down the path.  And the Commissioners have
     encouraged the committee to -- before I say that, there is basically
     three areas.  The committee does some self-initiated work, things that
     they believe the Commission ought to be worrying about that perhaps it
     is not, and the Commission encourages them to do that.  So that is one
     area that we feel there has been some real accomplishments in.
         They also respond to the staff, as you know.  And, in
     addition, they -- what is the third category?  Things that are most
     urgent to the Commission, requests from the staff and self-initiated,
     those are the three.
         In doing our self-assessment, we thought that some of our
     most important accomplishments and most effective were the
     self-initiated.  And just a couple of examples this year on topics that
     were self-initiated include the LNT, the status of the LNT model, which
     took place a few months ago.  And that, we had the endorsement of
     several Commissioners to go ahead and move forward in that area.
         The topic of risk communication this morning.  We spent the
     morning looking at that topic and there are plans for the rest of this
     to also have more initiatives on risk communication.
         DR. TRAVERS:  Is October a workshop or a working meeting?
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes.
         DR. TRAVERS:  I saw some particularly --
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes.
         MS. DEERING:  Yes.
         DR. GARRICK:  we are going to see what we have learned.
         MS. DEERING:  Right.  That is the idea, is to get an
     education and then go use it.
         And I also wanted to mention the viability assessment
     comments that the committee made, because that was, again, what we would
     call a request from the Commission and we felt that was effective, and
     that it is being sent along to the DOE along with the staff's comments.
         Last year, some of the accomplishments of the committee were
     -- again, that were self-initiated or Commission requests were the
     efforts to try to help make 10 CFR 63 more risk-informed and the topic
     of dropping the subsystem requirements.  And the committee feels they
     had some influence on how that regulation turned out, and they are proud
     of that.  And they also made comments on the risk-informed,
     performance-based white paper at the request of the Chairman last year.
     And, again, that was what we would consider in our self-assessment a
     successful outcome.
         DR. TRAVERS:  It had a long incubation period, but I think
     it turned out right at the end.
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes, it did.  We thought maybe for a while our
     comments put it to bed.
         MS. DEERING:  I was coordinating with Dan Martin last week
     and provided him a copy of some of the -- these are beans as opposed to
     outcomes, but some of the statistics for this year, what we have some
     far, and just very generally, of our five first tier priorities, we have
     first and second tier priorities, the committee has already looked or
     has already addressed all five of those, with the exception of risk
     communication, there is not a letter yet, but that is forthcoming.
         And they have addressed two out of six or their second tier
     priorities already this year.  And the effectiveness of that advice and
     those letters will be evaluated this fall when we do another
     self-assessment.
         And I just wanted to wrap up by saying that the committee
     advises the Commission, of course, but they consider the staff a key
     primary customer of the advice, and the committee believes that its
     independent oversight role does add value to the NRC's process and helps
     with credibility in the stakeholders' eyes.  And we hope that you agree
     as well that the committee does add value to the staff's work.
         DR. TRAVERS:  We do, I should add.
         MS. DEERING:  There is a commitment in the strategic plan --
     by the way, our '99 one is about to come out in this little format -- to
     work with the staff in an environment of mutual problem-solving.  And
     the committee has made a real sincere attempt to try to do that and
     continues to try to do that, and we all look forward to working with the
     staff this year in that regard.  Thank you.
         DR. TRAVERS:  Thanks very much.
         DR. GARRICK:  Thank you, Lynn.
         DR. TRAVERS:  You mentioned one thing and maybe I can ask
     you a question about it, because I do have a list of your first and
     second tier items, and you have identified several different groupings
     under which these particular items might fall, self-initiated being one.
     Commission or staff -- I guess staff requested or Commission requested.
         And I was wondering if you could just briefly identify for
     me, I was just curious as I went through these, which ones fell into
     which category.  I have a list but it wasn't clear.  The first one was
     viability assessment.
         DR. GARRICK:  I don't have a list in front of me.  Well, is
     this --
         DR. TRAVERS:  I have this one.  I could guess at the ones
     the staff probably -- I mean I am sure this would be us, the staff.
         DR. LARKINS:  Some of these issues are developed from the
     '98 strategic plan, and then the Commission will endorse or ask the
     committee to do something additional.  Like on the first one, the VA,
     there was pretty much a strong Commission interest in having the
     committee's views on that.  And in addition to doing a report, they also
     came in for a special Commission briefing on that subject.
         DR. GARRICK:  Well, a summary of this, Dr. Travers, is that
     the LNT and the risk communication are self-initiated.  But I think the
     rest of these are pretty much Commission or staff requested.
         DR. TRAVERS:  Or staff, yes.
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes.
         DR. LARKINS:  But even on the LNT, I think it was first
     suggested by at least one Commissioner that the committee take a look at
     the set, after which there were two other Commissioners who requested
     that the committee keep them abreast of what was going on in this
     particular area.
         DR. GARRICK:  Right.
         DR. TRAVERS:  There is certainly going on internationally
     and even nationally in this realm, so I can understand how that outcome
     ultimately could affect some of the key parameters, for example, the
     high level waste repository and some of the design issues.  But you are
     staying on top of it, I think is good.
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes.  Well, our thought here is to monitor it
     and have a meeting on it based on what we see from our monitoring, and
     right now that seems to be happening about every one to one-and-a-half
     years.
         DR. TRAVERS:  I see.
         DR. GARRICK:  And if there is a major event such as the NCRP
     report, we try to time a consideration of it when there is new
     information about to be published.
         DR. TRAVERS:  Yeah, I know.  I talked to Dr. Thadani -- Mr.
     Thadani on the way over here, and he mentioned that there is some
     considerable work going on in the Office of Research, you know, sort of
     in the national, international front.  It would probably be useful from
     time to time for us to give you, even from the research perspective,
     some sense of what we are learning in this realm.
         As we go forward, maybe we can go into that some.
         DR. GARRICK:  Right.  We learned from our working group that
     DOE is some research into the LNT area as well and we hope to be able to
     note in our letter where we think the strengths and weaknesses are with
     respect to what we know and what we don't know.
         DR. TRAVERS:  It certainly has some large implications for
     waste generally --
         DR. GARRICK:  Right.
         DR. TRAVERS:  -- but certainly for the High Level Waste
     Program in particular.
         DR. LARKINS:  John, could I add one other thing?  Len
     mentioned the three areas the Commission requested, Staff requested and
     so I'll finish it.  There are also individual issues that Commissioners
     will raise from time to time, some of which if they are of a generic
     nature the committee would consider.  Others which are more specific
     individual issues like the Trojan vessel and some of the other things,
     the Envirocare issue, the committee because of timing and resources
     doesn't take up in its workload.
         There are a number of other issues that do come up from time
     to time.
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes, and you talked earlier about limited
     resources and no matter how much we try to systematize the process of
     priorities and select things particularly with respect to self-initiated
     there are things that we would like to address that either time doesn't
     permit or it competes with something, and of course we have learned
     about a couple of those and that is one of the reasons we want to get
     input from you especially prior to our next planning session, because
     there is a sense that there's a couple of projects that we could have
     addressed or provided advice on that we did not.
         We would like to reduce those as close to zero as we
     possibly can.  I think one of those was the West Valley Project, that it
     was brought to our attention that maybe we could have provided some
     advice on that and it just got caught in competition with other issues
     and we were unable to do so.
         DR. TRAVERS:  Are there other matters of that sort that we
     have identified a potential for coming before ACNW?
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  I don't know, but one of the things is we
     have an operating plan and I don't think there's much I do that is not
     in our operating plan.  If you will look through the operating plan,
     unfortunately the operating plan for NMSS is about this thick and I
     don't think, as I said, that there is much I do that is not in there.
         From my viewpoint West Valley was -- I am not saying it
     wasn't important, it was all important, but it was two FTE out of a 450
     FTE program that I am running and some of the problems there is I was
     not here for three months last year, and there's a number of projects
     where there was a break and that was one of them -- has affected how the
     thing went.
         Yes, looking in retrospect you probably should have looked
     at it, but I don't know what else is in there, since there's just a
     whole lot of -- I just have a whole lot of things on my plate.  It
     wasn't a question of conscious decision.  It was just shells going
     overhead.
         DR. GARRICK:  But it is my understanding that some of the
     key issues that through Carl we have identified certainly include Part
     63, which you helped with --
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  Right.
         DR. GARRICK:  -- and you have identified that, Lynn.  Yucca
     Mountain Review Plan, more recently.  We are looking at clearance
     rulemaking and the decommissioning program, decommissioning standard
     review plan, which we think the committee can add value to as well.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  Part 40.
         DR. GARRICK:  Part 40?
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  We owe the Commission a paper in September
     on Part 40.  Part 40 has been ducked by -- for god knows how many years.
     There's two pieces of Part 40, because I am going to probably suggest to
     the Commission we do it piecemeal.
         One deals with all the exemptions and the GLs that we have
     authorized, which were never done from a viewpoint of public health and
     safety but were done from the viewpoint of control of strategic material
     historically, but the other piece is the threshold, the 500 parts per
     million or either something not being source material or being exempted.
         That is going to be an incredibly difficult thing to deal
     with because there is no health-based way to move that number without
     getting us into regulating TENORM, and I just don't think we want to
     regulate TENORM and licensing in particular is not any way to regulate
     TENORM, so the question comes down to how do we handle that problem.
         I had an offsite retreat about two months ago.  I think we
     did a good job in defining the problem.  I have a proposal for what I
     call an interim fix and then a proposal for a long-term fix, long-term
     fix meaning legislation, but I think that would be something that we
     ought to share with you.  It is not an easy problem because the numbers
     were picked in 1947 and they were picked from the viewpoint of national
     security and the goal was to ensure that every extractable gram of
     uranium wound up in Uncle Sam's enrichment plants for weapons and wasn't
     wasted on other things, and then as uranium became more and more
     plentiful the regulations were revised to allow more material to flow
     into, say, researcher's hands or things like that, but nothing was ever
     done from the viewpoint of radiation protection.
         The more I think about it, and I am glad you raised the
     issue.
         DR. TRAVERS:  And that is an interesting one, and as I
     understand it the Spent Fuel Program office reviews or at least
     activities are going to be briefed to the committee as well some time
     later this summer.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  I think one thing to do is having the Staff
     go through our operating plan and see if there's issues in there.  We
     may not have thought they involved waste but Part 40, I mean it is all
     entangled in there and the exemption gets heavily involved in waste
     disposal.  If I have waste and it is less than 500 parts per million,
     does it then automatically exempt (c) in Part 30 -- you can't throw
     material over the fence.  You can't distribute stuff that is exempt
     automatically but Part 40 doesn't have that restriction.
         DR. TRAVERS:  Well, and that is certainly one way to look at
     it, but I think we would like to go through that same operating plan and
     give you -- I mean we have been giving you a sense that the key issues
     that we think, at least from our perspective, selfish as it may be, that
     the committee ought to focus on Part 63, some of the key technical
     issues --
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  Right.
         DR. TRAVERS:  -- in the High Level Waste Program and so
     forth -- you know, we feel rise to the top, or hopefully can be seen by
     the committee as rising to the top of your activity level and we will
     certainly take another look at the operating plan, but we will give you
     a copy as well.
         DR. LARKINS:  The ACNW does have an operating plan
     themselves and we try to make sure there is some connection at least in
     the timing of things between the two, and also when we look at plant
     activities or accomplishments for the year.  We try to compare it with
     those which are published or available from NMSS also.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  But the big ticket items, at least in the
     coming year, still are going to involve high level waste.  The EIS for
     Yucca Mountain is clearly right now the next big high level waste big
     ticket.  It is kind of in parallel with where we go with Part 63, and
     then of course if the EPA does in fact promulgate a Yucca Mountain
     standard over the next several months -- I mean a week ago it was going
     to be last Monday.  Well, obviously it wasn't happened.
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes.
         DR. TRAVERS:  I was interested to see of your interest in
     risk communication.  I think I know, Dr. Garrick, you have had an
     interest in this area for some time and just generally you have talked
     about some of the work we have been doing to formalize some of our
     outcome based planning and certainly public confidence has been
     recognized by the Staff as a goal that we need to actively consider as
     we move forward in a number of initiatives that we have underway, not
     just initiatives but in sort of our day to day planning efforts.
         I would be interested in understanding perhaps just a little
     bit better about what your focus is or at least activities or at least
     where you think you see yourselves heading in that regard, because it
     can be, as you know, it can be a fairly broad area.
         DR. GARRICK:  Well, it is.  I once got myself in great
     trouble with my risk communication colleagues by telling them I thought
     it was about a half-hour subject and I have learned a little
     differently, being a risk assessor not a risk communicator.
         I argued that one of the things that is required in order to
     have effective risk communication is to have effective knowledge of what
     the risks are, and that we need to do that.  On the other hand, I have
     since seen the light as far as the importance of risk communication,
     partly as a result of participation on this Committee, and having some
     genuine field experience in being in the cross-fire of a public forum
     meeting and understanding the kinds of questions that people in the
     local communities of these facilities, the kinds of questions that they
     have on their mind, and have gained a great deal of appreciation for it.
     That had something to do with thinking that maybe we better give this
     topic more attention.
         But what we're really trying to do is look at it from the
     standpoint of technical people and the contribution that technical
     people can make to the whole process of risk communication.  We are not
     public relations experts.  We're not even holding ourselves out as risk
     communicators.  We're technical people trying to understand what the
     problems are and offer rational, reasonable advice on them.
         But I do believe that what we have learned is that
     communication with the stakeholders, understanding their problems, and
     more importantly, conveying to stakeholders that you're interested in
     their problems as well as understanding them, and that you are, to the
     extent that your charter allows, providing a service to the
     stakeholders.  So we thought that well, in order for us to be an
     effective instrument in this whole process, that we needed to learn a
     lot more about it and to do a lot of listening.
         And to the extent that we can be a player in the process, we
     will, but we, as I've said, we recognize that our principal role is to
     offer technical advice, but that offering of technical advice in itself
     is a kind of a form of risk communication, especially with an agency
     that's transitioning to a risk-informed way of practicing regulation.
     So that's kind of behind why we're doing this, and based on what we've
     heard, at least so far, I think we're inclined to think that it was
     probably a good decision that we do something about it, and we're
     looking forward to our working group session in October, putting some of
     it to practice and seeing what happened, fully recognizing that, you
     know, there is some risk of doing that.  But I think we're prepared to
     deal with that.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  Can I make an observation here, because --
     only because I also saw a draft Commission SRM that sort of raised my
     eyebrow.
         Within NMSS the term we're using is not "public confidence"
     but "stakeholder confidence," and the reason I want to -- I think I need
     to distinguish is stakeholder confidence includes something which we
     call the public, whatever that may be.  But in my mind it also for me
     and for us it includes the Congress, and our congressional oversight
     committees are specific stakeholders that are interested in what we're
     doing and give us direction.  It includes the Commission.  That's a
     stakeholder.  They give me direction.  Licensees who are affected by
     what I do, the industries I regulate, the public around the facilities
     certainly has a different interest than say public that may not live
     around the nuclear facility.  The State and local authorities that are
     involved with the facilities we regulate.  Our technical peers, both in
     the United States and worldwide, and things like public utility
     commissions.
         So I'm kind of bothered, because when I did the Arthur
     Andersen process within NMSS and looked at high-level waste, we were
     very explicit in defining our stakeholders.  It was not just the public.
     There was a category of "the public," but we explicitly said the
     Congress, the Commission, the utilities, DOE, EPA.  I'm just saying
     there's been a -- I'm worried right now with some of the what I see
     happening is somehow this is going to public confidence, and I guess you
     could use the term.  It's almost like the kicking around what a PRA was
     yesterday.  I kind of look at stakeholder confidence being consciously
     aware of some explicit special interest groups out there that we
     interact with.
         That's all of my observation.
         DR. GARRICK:  Well, I think one of the things that a couple
     of the speakers observed this morning was the importance of
     understanding who the stakeholders are.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  That's exactly right.
         DR. GARRICK:  Right.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  I don't like the idea of somehow there's a
     nebulous public.  I think you need -- because in fact there's a lot of
     people who probably don't pay attention to us because they don't feel
     they're affected.
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes.  Yes.  And so I think the outcome of
     this, one of the outcomes of this whole exercise is to put us in a
     better position to offer advice on stakeholder participation, and we --
     again, from the standpoint of technical people and what role the
     technical community can play in that overall process.
         DR. TRAVERS:  I think your expertise may be particularly
     valuable in that realm, you know, with scientific peers and some
     exploration of communication of risk within that group in particular,
     not that it doesn't have importance across all of the organizations that
     you were making reference to.  Carl, I happen to agree with you.  I
     think it may be a somewhat a question of semantics, but you participate
     in the process.  But I think there's a good recognition within the staff
     and within the Commission even that stakeholders that we are I won't say
     beholden to but the stakeholders who have a stake in the process are
     numerous and certainly quite varied and can at times exert great
     influence on us in some variety of ways, not the least of which being
     authorizing and appropriations.
         So, I mean, the Congress, we've certainly identified the
     Congress of the United States as an important stakeholder, and the way
     in which we communicate with them as we go forward in a number of these
     realms, including the one that you've recently proffered to the
     Commission, and that is your own strategy for risk-informing and
     performance-basing, perhaps, but certainly risk-informing the great
     variety of NMSS programs.
         I worked in NMSS for just a few years, but I came to
     understand after having been in the reactor program for most of my
     career the great variety of issues over which that particular program
     office, statutory office, has a domain.  And in many instances what Carl
     is dealing with on a day-to-day basis does not fit so very neatly into
     the kinds of categories that we're becoming familiar at least and
     discussing in terms of risk for commercial reactor power plants.  So
     it's even more of a challenge I think as we go forward to look at the
     spectrum of activities that you have and find some sort of agreed-upon
     basis to which -- you know, for which we can communicate.
         DR. GARRICK:  Right.
         DR. TRAVERS:  Particularly in a risk-informed way so that we
     have a common understanding of some of this.  It's going to be vital, I
     think.
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes.  Well, I want to make sure that the other
     Members of the Committee here are involved in these discussions, so
     since we have a chance to talk to these leaders of the Agency, if
     there's issues or questions on your minds, don't hesitate to come
     forward.
         One of the difficulties of getting involved in this whole
     process is there is a tendency to want to focus, there's a tendency to
     want to see some examples, and what we're hopeful of in the working
     group session is that while the subject is rather general and broad, the
     subject of risk communication, that we can look at it in the context of
     a particular issue or a few issues.
         One issue that keeps coming up in this business as really
     sometimes considered to be a major obstacle and sometimes considered to
     be maybe not as current as it ought to be with respect to the risk
     perspectives is the issue of transportation.
         And I'm reminded of how big of an issue it is by a project
     that does not come under the auspices of the NRC but rather the EPA, and
     that is the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, and the old joke at WIPP for a
     long time was that the repository has been certified, but the waste has
     not.  And so we had essentially a repository with nothing to put in it.
         Well, fortunately most of those obstacles have been overcome
     and material is on the move somewhat to the repository.  But one of the
     components for which there were lots of questions and lots of confusion
     was the transportation, and when you start looking at the requirements
     in transportation, they come from a whole battery of agencies and
     organizations and what have you, and I think we -- in connection with
     WIPP we did a count of at one time of requirements that had to be met to
     ship material from not very far away, namely Los Alamos to Carlsbad, and
     there were something like 4,000 requirements to ship a barrel of
     material from Los Alamos to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.
         But when you started peeling away the onion here of the
     requirements, you found that a lot of those requirements were kind of
     self-imposed and just came about somewhat by rather strange events that
     occurred that sometimes didn't have a great deal to do with the issue of
     risk or the issue of safety, but were a product of the management
     decisions at either the DOE level or the laboratory level or what have
     you.  And the sorting of those things out finally when it was ready to
     ship the material revealed a great opportunity for streamlining the
     process, making it simpler without compromising anything to do with
     safety.
         So I'm sure Carl has a lot to say about transportation, but
     it is one of the areas that we had identified as possibly being a
     rallying point for the discussion, for example, of risk communication,
     and I was curious if this is something that you think would be a useful
     application for us to consider in our discussions of risk communication.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  Well, I think that that would be a good
     example, because -- and you're right about the fact that there are a
     variety of requirements.  Frankly, the lead Federal agency for
     transportation of course is the Department of Transportation, not the
     NRC, because radioactive material is only one of probably thousands of
     listed hazardous materials that go, you know, in commerce and on the
     highways, and so there are requirements.
         I mean, I had, when I was a section chief and I had to deal
     with just ordinary shipments, I had a book about this think on my desk
     that listed all the requirements that dealt with transportation.  Very
     few were toward the NRC requirements.  In fact, for most of what we do,
     we have a line in Part 71 that says licensees will comply with DOT
     requirements.  And so if you're looking at Type A shipments, which in
     fact the bulk of radioactive material shipments are, when we do an
     inspection we're really looking at whether or not people comply with
     DOT -- our licensees comply with DOT requirements.
         Where we get involved is when -- because DOT says hey, we
     don't have the expertise, you do, is when you're dealing with large
     quantities.  And so when you deal with fissile material or you're
     dealing with Class B material, large quantities of material where you
     need special packaging and packaging that can survive accidents and the
     like, then you wind up -- then we get involved.
         So yes, I think that would be a good thing to discuss.  We
     have raised the issue with IAEA, because by and large our requirements
     map IAEA -- international requirements, because transportation is done
     not only on a national scale but an international scale.  And so one of
     the problems you have, for example, is the requirements are not
     risk-informed.  They are deterministic.  And many times they are offered
     by certain national authorities and enough people decide hey, that
     sounds like a good idea, we do it.  And it doesn't have the kind of --
         DR. TRAVERS:  Some of them aren't really technically based.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  Right.  So that sort of thing.  So it's
     an -- I think it's an interesting area, and I think it's clear from the
     pblic interactions I have had that that is going to be a major issue, in
     whether or not you have central interim storage or --
         DR. TRAVERS:  Yes.  I can't think of a, you know, aside from
     perhaps the repository itself, you know, where risk communication comes
     into play or will come into play in a more important way.  I happen to
     be -- one of my previous jobs was at Three Mile Island.  I was stationed
     on site for 3-1/2 years.  And one of the things that came up in the
     context of my tour up there was the shipment of the damaged core off to
     Idaho.  And perhaps nothing since the accident garnered as much
     attention --
         DR. GARRICK:  Right.
         DR. TRAVERS:  And concern, not just locally, but all along
     the route, as did this plan and the ultimate implementation of the plan
     to ship the damaged core off to Idaho.  So it became an important realm
     in which to communicate well.  And I don't know that we did all that
     well, frankly.  DOE had some primary responsibility.  We were at that
     time responsible for the certification of the package that was used for
     the shipment, ultimately for the equipment that's been used since to
     store that material.
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes.
         DR. TRAVERS:  But I think if you look at things like the
     atomic train that's on people's minds today, we're hearing stories about
     what sort of the story line is associated with that, and its
     implausibility, and so there's a real opportunity I think for all of us
     to learn and practice, you know, good communications skills as it
     relates to risk communication, particularly in the transportation realm.
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes.  The irony here, and Carl's already
     alluded to it, is that there's probably no other issue that stirs the
     emotions more than the issue of transportation, and not just of nuclear
     materials, but all hazardous materials and toxic substances.  But on the
     other hand, there's probably no other component of the whole
     infrastructure of the nuclear program where there's less risk
     information in terms of analysis, not necessarily in terms of data, but
     in terms of analysis than for transportation.  So --
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  I'm not -- I don't know whether I can agree
     with that.
         DR. GARRICK:  Well, that's what I wanted to stir you up on a
     little bit.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  Okay.  I think there's not only that,
     there's a lot of empirical data --
         DR. GARRICK:  Um-hum.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  On it.  Because --
         DR. GARRICK:  Well, that's why --
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  There is an awful lot of shipments of
     waste, high-level waste, ordinary material.  I mean, you've got -- I
     think you've got a pretty good shape for your risk curve.
         DR. GARRICK:  Um-hum.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  I think you've got a pretty good shape --
     which you don't have for a lot of other risks you look at.  I mean,
     there's -- in fact, one of the things we're going to be doing is
     another -- over the next couple of years as we did one several years ago
     as a transportation survey to try to get some numbers, how many
     shipments per year, and how many -- look at type A shipments, of which
     there's millions per year with nothing but ordinary protection.  How
     many of them cause a problem?
         Now you could say well, that's not high-level waste, but you
     can certainly take a look at accidents per mile and you can -- and the
     packaging, type A packaging, is designed to do certain things.  Does it
     function as -- I don't know how many crushed packages I wound up
     inspecting at O'Hare Airport when I was in Region III many years ago,
     not one of which ever leaked.  So -- and these are type A packages.
         DR. TRAVERS:  Is there some work being done to update the
     modal study or some of the experience-based --
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  Well, we're looking at doing that.  Right
     now it dances around with budget constraints, and we have it budgeted to
     do it, and if we can do it sooner than later, we would like to,
     particularly if we can get the $4 million that Congress appropriated for
     the MPC and get authorization to spend it, we would very much like to do
     a redo, and that redo of the modal study involves the cooperation of not
     just the NRC but the transportation industry, the rails, the Department
     of Transportation.  In other words, it's not an NRC stand-alone project.
         But I think it would be a good thing for our staff to talk
     to you about what we are doing and then look at risk communication but I
     think the comment that we don't know that much, I would just have to
     disagree with that.
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes.  Well, my comment was not so much that we
     don't know.  I stated it as an exception, the observation -- the data
     that we had -- my comment was that it has not been under the microscope
     from a risk analysis or risk assessment as much as other components,
     even fuel reprocessing facility we have done specific, plant-specific
     risk assessments for and fuel fabrication facilities and storage
     facilities, and now disposal facilities.  They have all had accompanying
     with them major probabilistic based either performance assessments or
     risk assessments.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  About two years ago we had a presentation
     here by I am going to say the Department of Transportation, the people
     who deal with rails, and they not only can show you, they can pull up on
     the computer not only where all the rails are.  They can actually give
     you the risk of an accident, actuarial data, on a segment by segment
     section of track, because this is the time we were looking at -- there
     were issues raised over the transportation of foreign reactor fuel from
     California up to Idaho Falls, so there is a lot out there.
         DR. GARRICK:  So this raises the real question of then why
     is there such an absolute fear of transportation accidents where we
     have, we actually have actuarial data, we have lots of information, even
     though maybe we don't have a lot of the analysis that I alluded to
     earlier.  Why is that so?  Is this just a risk communication problem?
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  I think that it deals with emotions.  Many
     years ago -- many, many years ago -- when I was in Region III I met with
     the Aurora City Council.  A rail line went through the town bringing
     spent fuel to G.E. Morris and it was a question of risk.  Now having
     lived in the Midwest for 15 years, for which there are very few
     overpasses or underpasses, and watching crossing gates go down and start
     counting the diamonds, the hazardous material diamonds on rail cars that
     go by you, there's rarely a train goes by that you don't see the
     diamonds, and so then I raised that.
         The city fathers couldn't see the fact that -- I mean in the
     Midwest at least you will see large railcars of propane go through the
     suburbs.  Now what happens if a railcar goes over and a spark hits?
     Does that meet the same test standards as a spent fuel canister?  I can
     assure you it doesn't but, you know, if that -- people don't do
     quantitative risk analysis.  I think you are reaching people on an
     emotional level.
         DR. TRAVERS:  No, when you are in transportation you are in
     the mode of delivering the goods into the neighborhood.  It's a question
     of optics and my back yard comes into play even if you can discount the
     likelihood of a problem with a repository for example, I think many more
     people along the route will have legitimate concerns in their minds,
     concerns about the risks attendant to the shipment of this material to
     the repository, so I think that is the context.
         It doesn't mean that you can't overcome that to some extent.
         DR. GARRICK:  Right.
         DR. TRAVERS:  I think some of what has been done in the
     Department of Energy films for example that have shown some of these
     packages withstanding tremendous impacts --
         DR. GARRICK:  Right.
         DR. TRAVERS:  -- you know, at 80-90 miles an hour when shown
     to people had a pretty strong impact.  It doesn't mean everybody gets to
     see them though.
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes.
         DR. TRAVERS:  And so your sort of base case without that
     kind of communication is natural fear of hazardous waste and nuclear
     waste even more as you get into transportation.
         DR. GARRICK:  But in any event, if we were to utilize
     transportation as a model for our risk communication discussions, you
     agree that it would be a reasonable one, a reasonable choice.
         There was something else that we were talking about
     considering.
         MR. LARSON:  Yes.  Groundwater had been mentioned because it
     is such a major issue to the people in Nevada, in the West in general
     but in Nevada in particular.
         DR. GARRICK:  Amargosa.
         DR. TRAVERS:  You mean in terms of the risk communication
     issue?
         DR. GARRICK:  Right.
         DR. TRAVERS:  Oh, yes, that's certainly -- it has direct
     applicability certainly to --
         DR. GARRICK:  Well, I guess what we would like to be darn
     sure is that if there are some issues that you haven't seen on our list
     or that we don't have in Tier 1 that you see coming up that we ought to
     be alert to, this is among the times to mention them to us because --
     when is our next planning exercise, Lynn?  October?
         MS. DEERING:  September.
         DR. GARRICK:  September?  Yes.  So we will obviously review
     the operating plan.  Do you have -- yes -- yes?
         DR. TRAVERS:  I am not sure that we have identified, in fact
     I think we haven't identified, but I think this is a reasonable list,
     you know, our sort of entreaty to you would be to give -- and I think
     you have done that relatively will -- to give principal focus to the
     kinds of things we have been talking about that have the most direct
     applicability, some of the deliverables that we have.
         I notice in your plan you have outcome stated --
         DR. GARRICK:  Right.
         DR. TRAVERS:  -- and strategies -- I think that may not be
     exactly the word you used, but I think that is a good tool for helping
     you focus and give us an opportunity to identify where your focus is and
     give you some input on that.  I trust we have been doing that all along.
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes.
         DR. HORNBERGER:  Yes.
         DR. TRAVERS:  And we will certainly work with you to
     continue that.  It's been working well.
         I would be curious in terms of your question to me about
     coordination and whether or not the committee feels that you have had
     the kind of support and coordination from the Staff that you need to
     plan and to ultimately implement the kinds of reviews that you are most
     interested in.
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes, we certainly have, and as a matter of
     fact our one exposure to risk communication out in Amargosa Valley last
     year, where Mike Bell accompanied us, that turned out to be a very
     valuable resource when we got into the discussions with the ranchers and
     the people that lived locally.  It was extremely helpful, and we have
     excellent cooperation with the Staff, getting information and
     accompanying us on such missions and discussions.
         I think that we wanted to be darn sure that we were not
     doing was -- we wanted to be sure we were doing was communicating with
     the management on some sort of a periodic basis to make sure we weren't
     missing some issues at your level that perhaps we did not have as much
     direct information on as we might get directly from you.  So, no, we
     have been very pleased with the coordination and cooperation of the
     staff.
         DR. TRAVERS:  Good.  Well, I have a pretty direct link to
     Carl here and so we have had the good fortune to be able to coordinate
     provide, you know, in the main, information through Carl and John
     Greeves, of course, to the committee and we would propose to do that in
     the norm and be happy to come and sit with the committee from time to
     time and mare sure that we are in contact.
         DR. GARRICK:  Right.  And a regular agenda item for the
     committee is to chat with John Greeves.
         DR. TRAVERS:  I know.
         DR. GARRICK:  Essentially at every -- all of our meetings.
     And he has been very helpful on keeping us fully abreast of what his
     anxieties and concerns are.
         DR. TRAVERS:  Right.  Jim Blaha in my office helps
     coordinate the list of agenda items that we would recommend be included
     for your consideration on your meeting list.
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes.
         DR. TRAVERS:  And that is a direct result of the kind of
     continuous sort of interaction the senior management team has through
     Carl.
         DR. GARRICK:  Right.  Right.
         DR. TRAVERS:  And his team.  From our perspective, it is
     working well.
         DR. GARRICK:  Charles?
         DR. FAIRHURST:  I know that the main issue with Yucca
     Mountain right now is the TSPA and the long-term releases, the long-term
     does.  And this mainly out of my ignorance, not -- I don't say anything
     is not being done that should be done, I just don't know.  But the
     period of operation and pre-closure is going to be a significant period,
     50 to 100 years, and there is a lot of things that will be included in
     the license application which will relate to the operation of that place
     and the potential for retrievability and what you do with unshielded
     casks and tunnels, and if the roof falls in, how do you go in there and
     get it fixed and so on.
         How is NOC staff positioned to look at the adequacy of what
     is being proposed or not proposed?
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  What I plan on doing is swiping a bunch of
     people out of the spent fuel transportation section, because, in fact,
     we are licensing all the things you would do above ground or in movement
     in the operating phase of Yucca Mountain, we already doing.  I mean, you
     know, we are already licensing.  People are already taking spent fuel
     out of reactors, putting them in the canisters, sealing up the
     canisters, moving the canisters around, unloading canisters, that is all
     being done.
         DR. TRAVERS:  Is there any dry transfer systems on --
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  The dry transfer system is being reviewed
     right now.
         DR. TRAVERS:  I see.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  So the point is, because resources were
     very limited in high level waste, we have concentrated, up to now at
     least, all our efforts in that particular area in post-closure, because
     there are all the arguments.  How can you predict for 10,000 years?, and
     things like that.  But I am not ignoring the above ground and the below
     ground, the operational aspects, because the operational aspects will be
     -- but the operational aspects are ongoing right now.  Pieces of them
     are going in different places.  People handle spent fuel.
         DR. FAIRHURST:  But you will hear assurances from DOE, and I
     am not saying they are not right.  For example, if they decide to
     backfill, I am saying it will not be any big deal to remotely backfill
     160 drifts --
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  DOE has not made a decision whether they
     are going to backfill or not.
         DR. FAIRHURST:  I know they have not.  But that is -- you
     know, does NRC understand the possibility of backfilling remotely and so
     on, or not backfilling?  I have not seen it done before but maybe it is
     being done, I don't know.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  Well, I can't give -- my staff might be
     able to give the answer, I can't.
         MR. REAME:  I think the answer is that we are waiting for
     that design decision, including the timing of the backfill in order to
     get a context to respond.  We would like to see the proposal kind of
     settle down into a firm proposal.
         DR. FAIRHURST:  I understand what you are saying.
         DR. TRAVERS:  Let me ask Dr. Fairhurst, is there a unique
     aspect that your concern suggests we might want to be thinking about
     today that is associated with either remote backfill or the implications
     of some of that?  I was just curious about where your line of inquiry
     was headed.
         DR. FAIRHURST:  Well, there has been a big discussion of
     late about, for example, the initial design had a concrete liner and
     there is a great deal of concern that concrete wasn't the right thing to
     put into the drifts, and to take it out.
         Then there was a suggestion that, from the drift stability
     panel, that they could use grouted bolts and that that would be
     preferable.  There was a big tug of war about that.  And one of the
     arguments was, well, what is going to happen if there are some rockfalls
     which interfere with operations, how do we go in there and fix it?  We
     have this blast cooling because it would be hot.  It is just a whole
     suite of things that -- it would be the first high level waste
     repository in the world.
         I am not saying it is not going to be done, I am just
     interested in that I would suspect there will be a fair number of things
     that won't go right the first time and there are unshielded canisters,
     at least in the present design.  What is the worker exposure?  What is
     the -- again, Carl may be right that, you know, you have operated
     reactors and spent fuel pools and so on for a long time and most of the
     issues that will be raised though have already been raised.
         DR. TRAVERS:  Yes, but sort of as a more fundamental and
     practical issue, given the failure at least -- not failure, but the lack
     of a definitive design having been decided upon, --
         DR. FAIRHURST:  No, I understand that.
         DR. TRAVERS:  -- we are put in the position of not being
     able really to sort of explore some of the paths that may ultimately be
     the ones that are decided upon.
         I was just wondering if you had identified an issue that you
     believe warrants some particular early-on consideration that might be
     fundamental to one of the options, including backfill, that DOE is
     considering.
         DR. GARRICK:  I think one of the things that we talk a lot
     about as a committee is the question of what can we learn during the
     pre-closure period and during -- that is, during the operations, that
     will allow us to reduce some of the uncertainties associated with the
     long-term performance.  And while the NRC is neither operating nor
     designing this facility, and not the licensee, but rather the regulator,
     even the regulator would like to have their knowledge enhanced as much
     as possible about whether there are some things in operations that they
     ought to be thinking about, dealing with, that could in fact impact the
     whole licensing review process.
         If we are really thinking from a risk perspective, we know
     that the long-term performance is going to be accompanied with a
     considerable amount of uncertainty.  Now, what are the contributors to
     that uncertainty?  And are any of those contributors anything we can do
     anything about during the pre-closure phase?  So we have found a lot of
     those in the WIPP facility, for example.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  Right.
         DR. GARRICK:  And so the question is, is there a lesson
     learned here for Yucca Mountain?
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  I would say on a generic basis, I would not
     be surprised that if, in fact, we do complete a licensing action for
     Yucca Mountain and find it acceptable, it is conceivable that we would
     put license conditions on them that would require further studies.
         Now, I am going to -- just based on my background, I am well
     aware that in the licensing of many of the reactors in this country,
     there were significant numbers of environmental studies that were
     mandated in those early licenses, because I can remember, when I first
     joined the agency as an inspector in '75, going out on environmental
     inspections where people were doing -- looking at the impact of, you
     know, hot water discharged into the Chesapeake here.  I remember going
     -- in fact, getting rather sick going between hot and cold places at
     Calvert Cliffs back in December of '75.  But, you know, visiting, going
     out to where people had stations and that was just -- that was that
     particular era.
         And I would not be surprised.  I don't know what the range
     of issues are.  In other words, I don't know what the range of issues
     that still might be cloudy by the time we get to an application in the
     year 2002, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were issues after -- if
     we did have a successful licensing action there would not be license
     conditions that you would have to do further monitoring, further
     studies.
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  I am not saying there will be, I'm just
     saying if it happened, it wouldn't be the first, you know, there is
     precedent in prior licensing.
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes.  I think the notion that we keep thinking
     about is we're so used to now as far as Yucca Mountain is concerned
     thinking about tens of thousands of years and maybe even hundreds of
     thousands of years that we have a tendency maybe sometimes, and this is
     just something we're suggesting, to not look at the 50 to 200 or 300
     years that this thing may be in an operating mode, in which case it
     would be a situation where we would be licensing something longer than
     the NRC has ever licensed anything.  And that activity is coming up on
     us much sooner --
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  Well, I would argue with that.  We have
     licensed things perpetually.  As a general license --
         DR. GARRICK:  That involve operations perpetually?
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  There is -- Part 40 gives DOE a perpetual
     license, general license, for mill tailings.  I mean, I'm just saying
     psychologically.  I understand differences between --
         DR. GARRICK:  Right.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  Operations and -- but in fact we in fact
     have perpetual licenses out there today for DOE for mill tailings piles.
         DR. GARRICK:  But I guess I see here an actual operating
     activity.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  Well --
         DR. GARRICK:  It's a little different.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  There is annual inspection and if need be
     maintenance, and there are trust funds set up for that.
         DR. GARRICK:  Um-hum.  Um-hum.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  I understand what you're saying.
         DR. GARRICK:  Well, maybe all we need to hear as a committee
     is more about this experience base that you refer to.  We have discussed
     the kinds of activities that are going to be going on, especially when
     you sort of look at the materials issue, risk issue, versus say the
     reactor-risk issue, the real risk in materials is probably not in the
     upset conditions, it's in the operations.  And --
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  That's very true.
         DR. GARRICK:  So if you have something that's contemplating
     a real operation where they're moving material and they're dealing with
     high-level waste and there's heavy equipment and there's long working
     cycles involved, and if you really have a risk perspective, you might
     conclude from a back-of-the-envelope analysis that the real risk of
     Yucca Mountain is going to be that first 50 to 300 years.  I'm just --
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  I would suspect in terms of radiation
     exposure that's certainly true.
         DR. GARRICK:  Right.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  And probably when you start looking at even
     industrial risk.
         DR. GARRICK:  Right.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  I mean, I'm aware of people being killed in
     nuclear power plants, never from radiation, but people have fallen --
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  People have had electrocution.  People have
     been burned in steam ruptures.
         DR. GARRICK:  Right.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  I'm aware of one individual who may have
     been horseplay with helium and suffocated.  So you've had things that
     are in the realm of industrial accidents, ordinary, you know, if you
     want to use such a term, ordinary industrial accidents.  And I would not
     be surprised in the operation of -- clearly in the operation of Yucca
     Mountain in the operating phase that is going to probably be the
     greatest risk in terms to human beings; the environmental risk and the
     risk to people offsite will be far less than the risk to the workers.
     And it would be a combination of radiation -- well, even now, if you go
     Yucca Mountain, I mean, what do you do?  You get indoctrinated on
     underground mine safety.  You walk in with hard hats.  You have a mine
     rescue thing you wear on your belt.  So it's clear that there are risks
     in there that are industrial risks.
         DR. FAIRHURST:  Another slightly different aspect of that is
     the, you know, the DOE's own TSPA review group, who are critical of the
     lack of real data on which some of the isolation dose estimates were
     made.  We don't have any real data to support -- there's not enough real
     data.
         And the TRB recently came out and said that to submit the
     license by 2002 is on a very ambitious schedule.  And one way one could
     interpret some of that is to say that there's a certain amount of --
     minimum amount of data that is going to be required before they would
     think it was reasonable to give a license, in the context of saying but
     on the other hand there's a 100-year period here where I know from my
     point of view I think there's a lot that could be done during that
     period that could actually not be done before.  For example, if you want
     to get better insights into the water flow pathways during the time it's
     heating up, it would be useful to have maybe some observation drifts
     that were in a region that got hot but was not exposed to radiation.
         So maybe I'm asking is NRC thinking about what information
     they will require, because they're getting -- and this is part of what
     Cal you're saying about maybe requiring something, you know, to be
     confirmed down the road or something.  But I think a real perspective on
     data, there is some data or are some data that cannot be reasonably
     gotten before they start stuffing waste in there.  During the period in
     which they can take it out if something's not going right.  You know, I
     don't think -- one of the big issues is how much water is going to drop
     on the canisters.  And I don't want to go into it long --
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  Let me comment on that.  I could ask Bill
     there what thought we've given -- have we given any thought to it?
         MR. REAME:  Really the first point that the Commission goes
     on record is the site recommendation stage in 2001 where the statute
     requires that it provide its comments on the sufficiency of the data
     that the DOE has put together.  We are right now working on a plan and a
     set of steps, a plan and a set of steps that we will bring to the
     Committee and coordinate with you, but the short answer is yes, we are
     thinking about that question.
         DR. FAIRHURST:  Okay.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  Now I'll make a comment on it.  I think it
     would be very -- I don't think we could make a licensing decision and
     say go ahead and give a licensing -- a construction permit and then say
     and we'll give you six more years to gather the data to make your safety
     case.
         DR. FAIRHURST:  No.  Right.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  You're going to have to establish your
     safety basis, confidence that you can meet the standard --
         DR. FAIRHURST:  Sure.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  Before we issue a construction permit.  If
     in the framework of say the -- since we're dealing with performance
     assessment in a probabilistic distribution, you turn around and say it
     would be very nice, and you can establish a cost-benefit -- a reason for
     narrowing, you know, that fuzziness down, then you can certainly
     condition the construction authorization for continued, you know, to get
     more data.
         DR. FAIRHURST:  Um-hum.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  So, I mean, I think right now it's
     premature to say this is the data you're going to have to gather before
     you get your license, and here's your program after you get your
     license.  A lot depends upon when I'm ready to license.  I'm just making
     something up.  If in fact I can use a lot of incredibly conservative
     bounding conditions and still show that I meet the performance
     objective --
         DR. FAIRHURST:  Right.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  Whereas from a scientific viewpoint it
     might be nice to gather a lot more data over the next 100 years and
     somebody might do it, for me as a regulator to require a licensee to do
     it, I don't think I could make the case based on cost-benefit.  I mean,
     I would have an obligation under risk-informed regulation to, you know,
     maybe it's scientifically nice, but I don't need it.
         On the other hand, it would be inappropriate I think if
     well, we can't make it, but we think if we do six more years of work,
     give us a construction permit and take us on -- maybe we'll make it, you
     know.
         DR. FAIRHURST:  No.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  Do you see what I'm saying?
         DR. FAIRHURST:  Let me give you another example, though.
     Let me give you another example.
         Sorry, am I --
         DR. GARRICK:  No, go ahead.
         DR. FAIRHURST:  One of the ideas now is to put a titanium
     drip shield, and the price estimate right now is about $4-1/2 billion.
     Now if they come in with a license application and say we'll put the
     shield in and that shield will take care of it, however, if certain
     things show up that we don't need it, can we go ahead?  That to me is a
     more realistic -- and some other option which costs a billion is going
     to take care of the problem.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  And I'll make another observation.  It is
     possible that I come up with an engineering design to compensate for
     uncertainties in knowledge of the geological system that in fact is
     cost-beneficial to the applicant over the next 20 years to reduce the
     uncertainty in the geological system.  I know we're defaulting to a lot
     of conservative parameters.  When we don't know, we default
     conservative.  So what happens is over the next 20 years after I give a
     construction permit, if that happens, I turn around and measure these
     things and find out you're right, I don't need your drip shield.  I
     understand that.  And I can also see, thinking about that thing being
     open for 50 years, God knows what will be done in materials research.
         DR. FAIRHURST:  Sure.  Waste canisters --
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  In terms of waste canisters.  For all I
     know, they'll grow some fiber canister which will have all kinds of
     wonderful, you know -- I don't know.  You know, I would be --
         DR. FAIRHURST:  There is somewhat a precedent with the
     Swedes saying we're going to use a copper canister, and then find out
     it's going to take half the mines in the world to supply the canister.
     But -- and break the bank at the same time.  But they did propose
     something that convinced the public that there was a technical solution
     available.  It may not be cost-effective, but now we've got some time to
     work on perhaps ways of coming back from that.  And that's a little bit
     how I see the titanium shield.  Nobody said anything to me.  You know, I
     view that, I think it's in concert with what you're saying, that you're
     going with something that will work, and as time goes on, it would not
     be appropriate really to tell someone, you know, that we can't save some
     money by doing this with a new material or whatever.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  I fully expect if a safety case can be made
     and we do certify Yucca Mountain as a high-level waste repository and
     this place operates for 50 or 100 years, that certificate, that license,
     like a lot of other licenses, will be amended.  And I couldn't begin to
     foresee the changes.  But I could see changes because of materials, I
     could see changes due to our knowledge of, you know, the geological
     setting, any number of reasons I could --
         DR. TRAVERS:  It's fair to say our focus right now
     principally is on that safety case for the --
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  The initial safety case.
         DR. TRAVERS:  Philosophically I think what I heard Dr.
     Fairhurst agree to is that we have to be able to when we license that
     facility it's with that confidence --
         DR. FAIRHURST:  Couldn't do it with something that might
     work.
         DR. TRAVERS:  And then after that I think there are a number
     of different issues that arise that could be potentially optimized or --
         DR. GARRICK:  I guess the question is can the safety case
     have design flexibility in it.  Can the safety case have design
     flexibility, or do you have to come with a fixed design?
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  I think you can have variable designs, but
     you can't turn around and say we want permission to use these ten
     designs, but we don't know which one will make -- I think you need to be
     able to show you can in fact make the safety case.
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes.
         DR. TRAVERS:  With whatever range --
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  With whatever range of designs you want to
     use.
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  I don't think -- I don't think, I mean, I
     don't want to prejudge anything at this point, but I don't think I could
     turn around, I'm not sure a licensing board would be willing to grant a
     construction permit on a promise.
         DR. GARRICK:  Well, there is a --
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  You know, in the sense -- what I mean is we
     can't show we meet the standard, but let us start, and we expect in
     three years to turn around.
         DR. GARRICK:  Right.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  We have not done that I'm aware of in the
     past.
         DR. GARRICK:  But in the old days there used to be something
     called a provisional construction permit.  So there is a precedent for
     some flexibility.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  Before I would even think about that, I'd
     have to talk to --
         DR. GARRICK:  Right.
         DR. TRAVERS:  And the five Commissioners as well.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  Right.
         DR. FAIRHURST:  When we had I'll call it corrosion experts
     here, I remember Staley saying hell, we'll be at least seven -- I don't
     know he picked seven -- but seven changes of canister design before they
     get the right one, based on design and any other, you know, reactor
     design too that changes.
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes, I think the reason this is such a big
     issue on this one is because of the costs that are involved, number 1,
     and, number 2, because of the long period prior to the closure, and the
     benefit that may accrue to the public from having design flexibility.  I
     think it is a little different facility than anything we have ever
     encountered.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  I know, but I have to -- whatever I do has
     to be in accordance with, you know, what the Congress has legislated,
     and --
         And as I said, I don't think we can issue -- where I do
     expect design to change after we issue a license, particularly when you
     look at 50 years, and as I said we can learn more about the geology over
     the next 50 years and in fact I think more materials.
         I just think of the evolution of materials over the last 50
     years --
         DR. FAIRHURST:  We didn't have C-22 fifty years ago, did we?
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  Yes.  It's just that, and synthetic
     materials and we build aircraft out of carbon fibers and things like
     that.
         I mean material science is very likely to change over the
     next 50 years and wouldn't we allow a change in a canister design
     because somebody designed one with a material that is much, much better?
     But I think you have to make the safety case at the time of licensing.
     You could conceivably condition a license where there's uncertainties,
     where it is expected that the uncertainties would be resolved favorably.
         As I said, we have conditioned reactor licenses years ago
     when we started them up to do environmental studies, probably other
     things too -- the environmental studies I am much aware of because
     that's one of the areas that I inspected in.
         DR. GARRICK:  Ray?
         DR. WYMER:  Yes.  I would like to drop down a level or two
     from these important technical issues and get down in the area of our
     interactions, if I can, for a minute.
         In doing it, I want to return to this topic of
     communication, with maybe a different twist.  In order to be effective
     you have to effectively communicate.  We communicate with you people and
     we want to communicate effectively with you people.
         John has already mentioned Mike Bell's contribution the last
     time we were out in Nevada and had that open meeting to the public, but
     in addition to providing technical expertise we got Mike to sort of give
     us his take on how we communicate with you folks, and it was very
     enlightening and it sensitized us a little bit to the way that we
     communicate.
         One of the things he said, for example, is it would be nice
     if when we write our letters if we would acknowledge that we weren't the
     first people in the world who ever thought of this.  Maybe one or two of
     the Staff might have had an inkling about it a little earlier.  He also
     made the point that an 'atta boy once in awhile wouldn't be amiss, you
     know, where we thought the Staff had done something particularly well.
         What I am leading up to is I think there is room for
     improved communication.  There always is, and the more effectively we
     communicate, the more likely you are to receive our communications in
     the way we want you to receive them, so either now or some time in the
     not too distant future it would be nice if we got some feedback from you
     on how we might be more effective, things we might do, the way we might
     put things -- anything you could think of, it would make our input more
     palatable, more acceptable, and improve the communications process.
         DR. TRAVERS:  We will take that as an assignment.  I think
     that is a good request.  I think it is something that we should
     reasonably do and I would like to be involved in it with Carl and the
     senior management team, because that is an invitation to even further
     better the good relationship I think we have.
         I will be honest.  There was a time not too many years ago
     when dealing with ACRS, that the relationship between the Staff and the
     ACRS was not that good.  We had a number of problems.  We couldn't seem
     to overcome them.  That has changed, changed dramatically, and so your
     entreaty to us that we continue not to ignore the way -- you know, if
     you are going to take on communication in its broader sense we have got
     to make sure that we are communicating well at the start.
         I think that is a good point and at the same time we would
     ask for your consideration and any input, criticisms, what have you,
     that relate to the way we provide information to the committee, the
     kinds of briefings, the level, and so forth.
         DR. LARKINS:  One recent model that you might think about is
     when we did the viability assessment there was a lot of interaction
     between the committee as a whole, individual committee members, with
     Staff, and I think it aided in a better understanding of the Staff's
     views of DOE's VA and also the committee's views on the VA, and I think
     it helped present a good picture or story to the Commission.
         You know, we didn't agree with everything, but there was a
     lot of agreement and it led to a good report.
         It was very resource-intensive.  I would like to get some
     feedback some time if that's -- you know, something we might want to
     consider in the future as we do the draft environmental impact
     statement, the site recommendation review, and some of these other
     things which are coming down the pike which will probably take a lot of
     time and resources, so, Carl or Bill, if you think that type of
     interaction is useful in the future, it would be worthwhile knowing, and
     there are things, other things like the research report or some of these
     other activities in decommissioning I think, because right now I see
     more work on the committee's plate than it might be able to handle in
     the future at the current level.
         DR. TRAVERS:  Yes, and we are obviously -- I mean your
     activities take support from us as well, so we are obviously in
     self-interest looking to optimize the relationship in a way that
     optimizes our resource expenditure as well.
         DR. GARRICK:  We have identified a couple of resources that
     are very important to our planning process.  One of course is the
     operations report that Carl spoke of earlier, and the other is exactly
     what we are doing now, having this kind of exchange, and of course that
     extends to the other Staff members in exchanges we have.
         Is there any other mechanism or resource that we should be
     consulting or be aware of in doing our planning, because the planning
     exercise is very critical in establishing on the basis of the best
     evidence that we can pull together what our priorities are going to be
     for the following year or some similar period of time -- are we missing
     a resource or is there anything else --
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  While I am thinking about it, an obvious
     thought came in now.
         I think I know I have not met with you very much because I
     have issues with my own staff on decommissioning for example.  I am very
     concerned about modelling.  I am very concerned about what I consider
     excruciating conservatism in the name of screening models.
         You know, if I plug natural background into a code and I
     wind up getting a number that is almost an order of magnitude greater
     than what I know natural background to be, I mean we know very, very
     well what the dose is in the United States from uranium, thorium, and
     radium in the soil.  We measured it, not only measured external dose but
     we have done autopsies on people and all that we know to dose.
         When we go to model and you turn around and look at the
     parameters we are defaulting to, and you wind up getting a dose out of
     it that is an order of magnitude greater than what we have measured --
     you have got to ask whether that is a bit -- I don't mind a factor of
     two but an order of magnitude sort of bothers me when you go to default
     the screening -- finite areas.
         I just think -- to me decommissioning is a big deal, because
     Yucca Mountain may be three years from now and decommissioning is right
     now.  How do I handle reality?  The reality at least around the nuclear
     plant, I got a ditch, I got an underground pipe, I got a tank that
     leaks --
         DR. TRAVERS:  In terms of their planning, is there
     anything --
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  Yes, but I don't know how much of this my
     staff has relayed that to you.  Certainly I have relayed it to my staff.
     It occurred to me that we don't have enough interactions where I could
     kind of give you my stand on some of these things.
         DR. GARRICK:  So Carl, what you are suggesting is maybe we
     need to step up this kind of interaction?
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  Yes.  I was thinking about that, you know.
     Maybe I'll steal some of John Greeves' time.
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes, yes.
         DR. FAIRHURST:  Please do.
         DR. LARKINS:  I think that would be useful --
     @@  DR. LARKINS:  Yes, I think it would be.  We had a
     presentation on all the decommissioning activities and it was several
     pages of potential Reg Guides and changes in the regulations and I now
     understand that there is an initiative underway to look at
     risk-informing the decommissioning regulations as related to Part 50.
     That is something we probably would be interesting between the two
     committees to look at.
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes, that is another thing.  We have the
     precedents now of joint committee, joint subcommittee between the two
     advisory committees, but one of the things that I want to comment
     maybe -- and just about in closing here -- is that this committee has
     the same anxieties that you just expressed about decommissioning, and
     the screening process.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  Let me give you a challenge -- you
     technical experts.  What can I do to fix it?
         DR. GARRICK:  Yes.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  You know, it doesn't do you or me a whole
     lot of good to get a letter saying --
         DR. FAIRHURST:  -- this is a problem.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  -- saying this is a problem, you ought to
     fix it, because I know it is a problem.  I am looking for somebody to
     tell me how to fix it.
         DR. FAIRHURST:  We'll send it back.
         DR. GARRICK:  They do.  They do send them back.
         DR. PAPERIELLO:  It is -- I am serious.  I mean to me this
     is the challenge.  What has somebody done somewhere else?  I mean I love
     to steal.  I mean we don't have a big enough staff to rediscover the
     wheel around here, so the question is what is -- I find it hard to
     believe I am the only person who is raising these questions.
         I think in the whole world somebody ought to be trying to
     work -- I mean I am not confining myself to the United States.  There
     are a lot of smart people overseas.  I can't be the only person thinking
     of this.  What are people doing?
         DR. GARRICK:  Okay.  Well, I think we have gotten some ideas
     and we will take your advice as well in trying to figure out how we can
     get the maximum amount of input into our decision-making process for
     priorities, and also, as we say in our plan, that once we make a
     decision about Tier 1 and Tier 2 priorities that doesn't mean we are
     inflexible, that Tier 2 priorities can't jump up to Tier 1.
         The important thing is that the committee be prepared to
     address any issue that comes up from any of the three sources that we
     mentioned.
         We appreciate the time.  It is a very generous amount of
     time on a busy schedule, and are there any other final comments,
     questions from either the committee or the Staff?
         We want to, if not, thank you again and look forward to
     doing this again relatively soon.
         DR. TRAVERS:  We also thank you for the opportunity to meet
     with you.  As I said, this is my first opportunity.  I did attend the
     Commission meeting --
         DR. GARRICK:  Right.
         DR. TRAVERS:  -- where you briefed the Commission on some of
     your activities and I have had a chance to read over a number of things
     that speak to your contributions and we certainly appreciate them and I
     look forward to working with you in the future.
         DR. HORNBERGER:  Thanks.
         DR. GARRICK:  I think even though it is not shown on our
     agenda, I am going to declare a 15-minute recess.
         [Whereupon, at 3:02 p.m., the recorded part of the meeting
     was concluded.]

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Monday, January 27, 2014