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Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste 124th Meeting, January 17, 2001

                Official Transcript of Proceedings


Title:                    Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste
                               124th Meeting

Docket Number:  (not applicable)

Location:                 Rockville, Maryland

Date:                     Wednesday, January 17, 2001

Work Order No.: NRC-030                             Pages 114-230

                   NEAL R. GROSS AND CO., INC.
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                                 + + + + +
                            124TH ACNW MEETING
                                 + + + + +
                             JANUARY 17, 2001
                                 + + + + +
                            ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND
                                 + + + + +
                       The Advisory Committee met at Conference
           Room 2B3, Two White Flint North, B. John Garrick,

                 JOHN GARRICK
                 GEORGE HORNBERGER
                 MILTON LEVENSON
                 RAYMOND WYMER

                 John T. Larkins, Executive Director
                 Lynn G. Deering
                 Richard Major
                 Andrew Campbell
                 Robert Johnson, NRC

           ALSO PRESENT:
                 Dr. Thomas Leschine
                 Larry Camper
                 John Ahearne
                 John Greeves
                 Paul Genoa, NEI
                 Bob Andrews
                 Bob Budnitz
                 Bob Bernero

           .                                 I-N-D-E-X
                         AGENDA ITEM                       PAGE
           Opening Remarks by Chairman Garrick              117
           Institutional Control Status
             Opening Comments by Larry Camper               119
             Presentation by Bob Johnson                    120
             Comments by Paul Genoa                         144
             Comments by John Greeves                       152
             Comments by Larry Camper                       154
           NRC Report, Long-Term Institutional
           Management of U.S. Department of Energy
           Legacy Waste Sites
             Presentation by Dr. Thomas S. Leschine         168
             Comments by Bob Budnitz                        210
           Adjournment                                      229

           .                           P-R-O-C-E-E-D-I-N-G-S
                                                    (8:30 a.m.)
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Good morning.  The
           meeting will now come to order.  This is the second
           day of the 124th 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, Milt Levenson and Ray Wymer.  This
           entire meeting will be open to the public.  Today, the
           Committee will hear a presentation by the NRC staff on
           the Institutional Control Status, hear a presentation
           on the principal findings in the National Research
           Council Report, "Long-Term Institutional Management of
           U.S. Department of Energy Legacy Waste Sites."
                       That presentation will be given by the
           Chairman of the Committee, of that Committee, Tom
           Leschine.  We will meet with the Office of Nuclear
           Materials Safety and Safeguards to discuss items of
           mutual interest.
                       And finally, we're going to review the
           ACNW 2000 Action Plan and discuss relevant changes for
           our 2001 Action Plan.  And in the course of this we
           were going to be honored by having a discussion with
           former NRC Chairman John Ahearne.
                       Richard Major 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 haven't received any statements from
           members of the public regarding today's session.  The
           procedure is for anybody wishing to do so, to make
           those wishes known to the Committee staff.
                       And as usual, it's requested that each
           speaker be sure and use one of the microphones and
           identify themselves and speak clearly.  So with that
           we're going to move directly to the Agenda.
                       The Committee member that has the lead on
           institutional control matters is Ray Wymer, and I'll
           turn the meeting over to Ray.
                       DR. WYMER:  Thanks, John.  This morning,
           we're going to hear two presentations on the issue of
           institutional control, which is a particularly thorny
           issue in that it's open-ended.  There is really no end
           in time to institutional control.
                       It goes on as long as there is something
           to be controlled, and in some cases that's a very long
           time.  We're going to hear first from the NRC staff.
           Bob Johnson will talk about it, and then about the
           NRC's approach and the handling of this issue up to
           this point and where they plan to go.
                       And then we'll hear from Tom Leschine,
           who, as John said, chaired the Nuclear -- the National
           Academy of Sciences Committee that wrote a report on
           this about a year ago.  So we'll start right off here
           with Johnson and --
                       MR. CAMPER:  Good morning, Mr. Chairman,
           Committee.  For those of you who don't know me, I know
           the Committee does, I'm Larry Camper, the chief of the
           Decommissioning Branch, and I wanted to make one or
           two comments before Robert --
                       DR. WYMER:  Okay.  Fine.  I'm sorry.
                       MR. CAMPER:  -- gave you the briefing.
           You know, in decommissioning we face a lot of
           challenges.  Decommissioning's highly visible.  The
           Commission has a great deal of interest in
           decommissioning, and perhaps one of the most daunting
           challenges that we face is with this question of
           adequate institutional controls.
                       We have about 10 to 12 sites right now
           that are opting to pursue the restricted release
           scenario at this point in time.  We've not had a site
           go from A to Z yet.  We've not put in place a
           successful set of institutional controls.
                       So literally, we are talking with you in
           real time as we go through the implementation of the
           license termination rule and the provision for
           institutional controls set forth in sub-part (e) of
           Part 20.
                       Robert is the project manager dealing with
           the institutional controls issue.  He's a member of
           our Institutional Working Group and he has been the
           lead on the staff as we work toward an arrangement,
           hopefully, ultimately with the Department of Energy,
           and he'll tell you more about that.
                       So I just wanted you to know from my
           standpoint that we're putting a lot of management time
           and energy into the institutional controls issue.
           It's very challenging, in particular, finding a
           responsible third party to step up to the plate and
           assume the stewardship in perpetuity that's called for
           in the Regulations.
                       So with that, I think I'll ask Robert to
           step us through the briefing.
                       DR. JOHNSON:  Thanks, Larry.  Good
           morning, and it's a pleasure to be with you today as
           a speaker.  I've in my past been your coordinator for
           many years, so I trust that you'll be kind to me.
                       DR. JOHNSON:  But really, you now --
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  Fat chance.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  We've finally got you
           where we want you.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  And some of us are new and
           don't have to be kind to you.
                       DR. JOHNSON:  So we'll see how this goes,
           but as Larry said, this is an emerging issue.  It's a
           new issue, not only that we're facing, but of course,
           other federal agencies, Department of Energy and EPA,
           are also wrestling with this issue, maybe on a
           different scale, but it certainly -- our work on this
           issue is very important.
                       And it's sort of right now, I kind of view
           it as there's more questions about this issue than
           there are answers.  So I'll say I welcome your
           questions.  However, I may not have all the answers.
                       But it's good to kind of get those out and
           understand, you know, what other people's views are,
           what people think some of the key concerns are with
           proceeding here.  So today, in this talk I'll give
           -- it's just to point -- kind of -- it's like a status
                       In a sense, this is new and a starting for
           us.  We'd like to tell you where we are right at this
           point in time, and where we're headed.  And then maybe
           periodically, you know, as we go down this sort of
           uncertain path, you know, we'll keep you informed you
           and we'll brief you on the status of our progress.
                       But today, I thought it was useful to give
           you some background, you know.  What are just a
           summary of the institutional requirement --
           institutional control requirements of the license
           termination rule, what we see the institutional
           control issue to be, the NRC initiatives to seek
           resolution, where we are right now with respect to
           seeking that resolution, and then just mention, you
           know, our involvement in keeping stakeholders
                       And of course, the ACNW is an important
           stakeholder, too.  I'd like to just go over some of
           the requirements in the license termination rule.  Of
           course, as you're familiar, the license termination
           rule allows for the option of restricted release,
           assuming certain requirements are met.
                       And institutional control requirements are
           one part of the set of requirements that would have to
           ultimately be met for any site that is proposing for
           a restricted release.  And so today's talk is only
           focusing on just those parts of the license
           termination rule.
                       First of all, with respect to dose
           criteria, legally enforceable institutional controls
           are required so that doses will not exceed 25 millirem
           in the future.  But the rule also included caps on
           doses, assuming that institutional controls would
                       So in a way, I think the rule was
           recognizing, you know, some of the issues that have
           been brought up about it's not likely or it will be
           very challenging for institutional controls to remain
           effective over the time period, the long time period
           that, you know, we're faced with.
                       And so as a result, caps were put into the
           rule to minimize those consequences.  Two caps,
           possibilities are there that if controls fail that
           doses would not exceed 100 millirem per year, or for
           special cases they would not exceed 500 millirem per
           year, and that's for special cases.
                       Now, let's look a little bit at the
           special case for 500 millirem, because this is a
           special case.  It is a higher dose, of course; 100
           millirem being public, you know, dose limit, the 500
           exceeds that.
                       So the rule contemplated this would be
           very rare and certain very stringent criteria would be
           needed if this were to be approved, and certain
           conditions would have to be met if this were to be
                       First of all, it would only be, or this
           particular case would only be acceptable if the
           applicant could demonstrate that further reductions
           down to the 100 millirem are either not technically
           achievable, prohibitively expensive or would result in
           net public or environmental harm.
                       So that's the first criterion that they
           would have to meet.  Secondly, they would -- the
           applicant would have to put in durable institutional
           controls.  This might include things like redundant
           controls, multiple; that is, multiple controls.
                       Should one fail, you know, others would be
           available to act.  This might include certain
           engineering features that might be more durable.  And
           then lastly, government ownership was contemplated as
           a possibility in the statement of considerations, and
           possibly federal ownership and control.
                       Also, in the rule, five-year rechecks for
           institutional controls were required so that doses
           -- could be confirmed that doses would not exceed the
           25 millirem.  And this limits the time period.
                       Should there be a failure, theoretically
           anyhow, if you do have five-year rechecks then you
           would only have a dose exceeding the 25 millirem limit
           for a limited period of time, a five-year period of
                       The rule also required that a government
           entity or an independent third party be -- that
           arrangements be made, you know, to either provide
           oversight to make sure that the monitoring and
           maintenance, you know, and the five-year rechecks were
           being done or step in and provide for that themselves.
                       Finally, requirements for sufficient
           financial assurance are put in place so that there is
           funding available for rechecks and controls and
           maintenance.  So the net result for this special case,
           500 millirem, if it's needed, you know, is that you
           would be limiting it to five-year periods of time.
                       It would also be a flag that more durable
           controls, whatever they can be proposed, you know,
           would be needed.  And so it's a way of saying, these
           are the higher risk cases, and so more, much more
           needs to be done, you know, to protect health and
           safety over the long period of time for these
           particular cases if they're to be approved.
                       The rule also has requirements to seek
           public involvement, in particular, that licensees are
           to seek the advice of affected parties in the public
           early in the planning process.  And this is important
           for two reasons in particular.
                       The local, state governments are often the
           ones that understand the controls that are appropriate
           for this particular area the best.  Which ones, you
           know, are going to be most effective, most
                       So it's important to get their advice
           early on in the planning stage.  Secondly, seeking
           advice from the public is important because they're
           the people that are going to be affected.  They're the
           people that will be living with the facility, you
           know, for a long period of time.
                       And so their views on impacts to them and
           their community are important to consider.  It's
           important also to say that the decommissioning plan
           that is required before any remediation begins is to
           contain the plan that the licensee has for
           institutional control.
                       And it's to contain a number of the things
           listed here.  It's a report on how they sought the
           advice of stakeholders, what things were recommended
           by the stakeholders and how they considered the
           stakeholders' input in coming up with their
           institutional control plans in the decommissioning
                       So this is all done up front before any
           work is started.  It's also done up front when the
           planning for remediation is going on, so that you have
           this sort of integration of how you're planning for
           the long-term institutional controls, and maybe how
           that fits into the actual clean-up of a site.
                       All that is done up front in the
           decommissioning plan before any work begins.  All that
           is done, the input from the parties is done up front.
           The rule asks that advice be sought from the public on
           whether or not they feel doses, you know, will exceed
           25 millirem; sufficiency of financial assurance.
                       Will the controls proposed by the licensee
           be enforceable?  And then making sure that the plans
           proposed will not impose undue burdens on the local
           community or the affected parties.
                       The NRC, of course, will review what the
           licensee has done and how they've considered the
           public input as the staff, you know, reviews and
           approves the plan.
                       The rule also has requirements for
           sufficient financial assurance to allow a third party,
           including a government custodian, to assure and carry
           out the five-year rechecks in the control and
                       In the event that, you know, the
           arrangements that the licensee has made, you know,
           fail financially, there will be a fund, you know, set
           up that would provide funding for this over the time
           period needed.
                       Now, what is the issue?  I've just sort of
           summarized, glossed over the requirements in the rule,
           but what is the issue?  And of course, I think it
           first focuses on durability.  We certainly have
           mentioned that the institutional controls require a
           long time period.
                       And when you look at the 10 or 12 sites
           that currently we're thinking are either planning or
           considering restrictive release, for the most part
           they're uranium/thorium sites, long-lived radio
           nuclides that will require up to a 1,000-year time
           period for controls.
                       And so this long time period is one of the
           challenges.  And you know, there are many factors that
           could contribute to durability, you know, that you
           might hope would help deal with this challenge like
           redundancy or layering of controls that might be
           proposed, like I said, the five-year rechecks, and
           having funds available.
                       These all contribute, you know, to
           achieving, you know, the duration or making sure that
           the controls remain effective over the time period.
           But the time period is still unprecedented.  It is
           kind of the crux of the problem.
                       And I think, of course, as we'll hear in
           the talk after myself from Dr. Leschine, the National
           Academy Report identified a number of limitations on
           institutional controls.  I'll just mention a few, but
           of course, he'll be giving you the summary.
                       But some of their conclusions were that
           there's a limited likelihood that controls will remain
           in effect over this time period.  Some oversight
           enforcement in enforcement of these controls is
           needed, but there's going to be a lot of difficulty in
           enforcement and in providing sustained oversight.
                       What we need, they concluded, was some way
           of detecting failures that might occur, and then the
           ability to correct over that long time period.  So in
           a way, I might say that some of the requirements in
           our license termination rule addressed some of the
           National Academy recommendations, like our legally
           enforceable controls, five-year rechecks, independent
           oversight, financial assurance.
                       You know, these are all good things in the
           rule, you know, that at least and of course, some of
           these issues in the National Academy Report are not
           new.  They've been around, and so our rule
           incorporated a lot of thoughts on what might make
           these effective.
                       However, that's sort of the good news
           part.  The rule has some good things in it, you know,
           but we're now finding difficulties with implementing
           those requirements.
                       We're finding difficulties in identifying
           willing and acceptable governments or independent
           third parties, you know, to provide the continuity,
           the sustainability, the oversight, the enforceability.
                       There's a potential and in some cases a
           real unwillingness of local and state government to
           accept this long-term responsibility.  Secondly, there
           are a lot of concerns raised, also in the National
           Academy Report, with the long-term effectiveness of
           private arrangements, ownership, passage of ownership,
           you know.
                       How do you maintain or transition from one
           owner to the next, you know?  How do you assure that?
           And then lastly right now, at this point in time
           there's uncertainty regarding DOE's agreement to
           assume authority provided by the Nuclear Waste Policy
           Act, for them to provide long-term institutional
           controls for sites like ours.
                       I'll talk a little bit more about this in
           a minute, about this provision in the Nuclear Waste
           Policy Act.  But the way the law is written, it's
           discretionary rather than mandatory that DOE assume
           this authority.
                       So where do we go from here?  We have an
           initiative underway or just beginning to resolve this
           -- hopefully resolve this institutional control issue.
           We have begun discussions with DOE regarding the
           feasibility of DOE providing long-term institutional
           control under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, what we
           call 151(b).
                       That's the shortcut, you know, 151(b).  We
           met in December, first with DOE most recently, and
           we're meeting again this week.  We've provided them
           background information about our rule requirements,
           about the sites that we envision are possibilities in
           going this route, and we proposed some plans for
           proceeding, you know, for their consideration.
                       Again, we emphasize the point that we're
           really only looking at maybe 10 or 12 sites that are
           currently considering restrictive release.  The actual
           number of sites that might be candidates for transfer
           to DOE might be far fewer.
                       And that has to be worked out, you know,
           as licensees firm up their plans, as the staff, you
           know, reviews their applications.  But in any event,
           it's important to understand, you know, for DOE to
           understand, for others to understand how many sites
           we're thinking of and the nature of our sites compared
           to sites that DOE may be used to, more used to in
           facing every day within their complex.
                       Those are far smaller, far simpler
           relatively speaking.  So that's important for all of
           us to keep in mind.  Like to point out that in
           December the Commission did approve the staff's
           initiative to seek an MOU with DOE regarding 151(b).
                       And very importantly, the Commission wants
           to be kept informed about our progress, and we're to
           immediately inform them if we're not successful in
           gaining DOE's agreement, you know, for possible
           transfer of these sites.
                       Now, let's just summarize a little bit of
           what the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, 151(b) provisions
           include.  As I said before, DOE is authorized to
           assume title and custody of the low-level waste and
           the lands following license termination by NRC.
                       And then they would be the owner and they
           would provide protection over the long-term, but
           that's discretionary and DOE has to agree to accept
           that authority.  There are conditions specified in the
           Nuclear Waste Policy Act for Commission
                       One is that, of course, our license is
           terminated.  Two is that NRC requirements, including
           financial assurance, have been met, that there would
           be a no-cost transfer to the federal government.
                       And then the Commission would have to
           determine and make a finding that federal ownership is
           either necessary or desirable for protection of the
           public health and safety over the time period.
                       Now, I'd like to just sort of mention a
           few of the benefits that might be gained by proceeding
           with this approach to resolution.  We feel that the
           federal government may be in the best position to
           provide sustainable controls over the long-term.
                       Of course, I don't think that you can
           really guarantee something for the time period we're
           looking at, but you can do the best you can, and
           federal control may be the best way for achieving
           sustainable controls.
                       But federal control may be the only option
           that we have if local and state governments are
           unwilling to accept this responsibility.  Our rule did
           say local, state or federal governments might be
           preferable, you know, for providing this type of
           oversight long-term control.
                       Federal control may be the most convincing
           way to assure the affected parties that the controls
           will be sustainable.  But of course, I'm sure there'll
           be many concerns about, you know, showing that or
           demonstrating that.
                       The statement of considerations in the
           license termination rule notes that federal control is
           acceptable.  So the Commission previously, or when the
           rule was promulgated, you know, did consider that
           particularly for sites with the uranium/thorium long-
           lived radio nuclides that federal control is
                       The statement of considerations in the
           license termination rule also recognized that DOE is
           an option under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act 151(b).
           So they at that time recognized that this particular
           part of the law was applicable to these kinds of
                       We feel that resolving the institutional
           control issue is very necessary for the acceptability
           of the restrictive release option.  If this issue
           can't be resolved then that option is going to be very
           difficult, if not impossible, to implement.
                       Lastly, DOE has valuable experience and
           expertise in long-term stewardship.  You're probably
           aware that, I think it's over the last 11 years
           they've been working with us under UMTRFCA, and for
           the Title I sites, about 20 sites have been -- or
           long-term stewardship arrangements have been set up
           and DOE is providing long-term stewardship for those
                       And I believe two Title II sites have been
           transferred to DOE and long-term stewardship.  So
           under -- we have worked together with them under this
           program for very similar sites.  Although they may be
           larger sites, they're very similar, and we've had a
           very positive experience working that.
                       It's been successful.  Of course, DOE will
           also have the responsibility for long-term stewardship
           of their sites, over 100 sites.  And they're in
           transition, as you know, some of you know very well,
           and their responsibilities for long-term stewardship
           for these more complex sites, you know, will be
           growing in the future.
                       So they're experience and their expertise,
           you know, there's a fair amount right now, but a lot
           more will be growing in the future.  So this is a
           benefit to our few sites kind of going in with that
           pool, we feel.
                       I'd like to mention that we're just
           beginning our talks with DOE, as I mentioned.  Of
           course, in the transition with the administration and
           some of their people that have been in leadership
           positions, there'll be a changeover.
                       And so more background and negotiations,
           you know, are planned, you know, over the next few
           weeks and we'll probably have a better idea of where
           we're headed in the next few weeks.
                       But the Commission has asked us to give a
           status report next October, you know, of our -- of how
           we've progressed, unless, you know, there's something
           to report on sooner than that.
                       So today is more of letting you know that
           we're starting this effort, and where we're headed in
           general, and we'll keep you informed of the status
           along the way.  What I also wanted to mention is that
           we're keeping our stakeholders and licensees informed,
                       In the November workshop on
           decommissioning with industry and other stakeholders
           I gave about the same talk to them, letting them know
           of the issue and how we're proceeding, and invited any
           feedback from them at that time.
                       And we plan on keeping them informed, as
           there are important -- as important progress comes up.
           If we have an agreement in principle or if we have a
           draft MOU, we'll be involving those stakeholders
           appropriately.  So that's an important part of our
                       So in conclusion, this is an important
           issue for us.  We wanted to keep you informed about
           starting work in this area.  And while it's very
           important for us and we've made that case to you I
           think this morning, you now, we welcome your feedback,
           but it really depends on how much, you know, you want
           to be involved with this issue.
                       But at least I think we should keep you
           informed because it is important to the success of the
           whole part of the Decommissioning Program, that is,
           the part that relates to potential restricted release
           sites.  Any questions?
                       DR. WYMER:  Thank you very much.  I had a
           couple of comments and then a question.  One is, this
           problem divides itself pretty cleanly into two parts.
           There's the institutional controls part, which is sort
           of the legalistic part, the who owns it and who's
           responsible for it and financial assurance.
                       And then there's the other part, which is
           the technical part, which how in the world do you keep
           this stuff where you want it, which is really the
           issue that relates to health and safety.  How do you
           keep the material from getting out and affecting
                       On the technical side -- the first side is
           much more difficult, the financial assurance side and
           the guarantees and that sort of thing.  That's a
           thorny issue.
                       The technical side, just to throw out some
           thoughts with respect to what might be required on the
           part of NRC on a development or research program, the
           areas that emerge pretty cleanly are hydrology and
           early nuclide transport.
                       There needs to be a lot understood about
           what the water does and what the radio isotopes do
           when they move.  There's some work going on in the
           research program on the retention of radio nuclides.
                       And then a second R&D point is monitoring.
           You mentioned monitoring and that's extremely
           important, and it's particularly difficult because it
           has to be done over such a long period of time.
                       So the instrumentation has to be durable,
           has to be maintained.  So there's a major monitoring
           activity, which is a technical problem.  And a third
           area is the one of engineered barriers where if you
           want to gain assurance that you're going to -- or
           reasonable assurance that you're going to keep the
           material contained, then you probably, often you will
           not be able to rely on just what is naturally in the
           environment, what the setting is, the natural setting
                       And there have to be some sort of
           engineered barriers like chemically reactive screens
           that are put into the ground, absorbents of various
           kinds, or other kinds of materials that can sequester
           these materials.
                       One of DOE's favored approaches, as I
           mentioned to you before the meeting is a pump and
           treat approach, which is not a long-term answer.  You
           can't keep pumps running very well for hundreds of
           years, and you can't keep treatment plants running for
           hundreds of years reliably without a lot more
           assurance than it's likely that will be available.
                       So the third point is engineered barriers
           from the technological point of view.  That's my
           speech.  Now, I had a question.  You talk about
           uranium and thorium sites, but it seems to me that,
           you know, you got 104 reactors sitting out there, some
           of which will have probably institutional controls
           over those sites.
                       So I don't think that this business of
           going to green field, while it's a goal of all the
           utilities, they'd love to all go to green field,
           that's their stated goal, it may well not be possible
           in all cases to get to green field, and there'll be
           restricted release sites.
                       I wondered why those weren't mentioned in
           what you were talking about.
                       DR. JOHNSON:  I'll attempt to answer part
           of the question, but maybe some of the other staff
           might support me.  As currently, as I've been told,
           reactor sites right now aren't proposing restricted
           release, although --
                       DR. WYMER:  I know they're not proposing
                       DR. JOHNSON:  -- they're certainly -- I
           mean, we're saying this certainly could be an issue in
           the future, and I don't know if Larry or others might
           want to further elaborate on that.  But that certainly
           is a possibility in the future.
                       MR. GREEVES:  It's not a plan.
                       DR. JOHNSON:  It's not a --
                       MR. GREEVES:  The reactors are all telling
           us that, you know, they're going to clean up to our
           criteria.  John Greeves, for the record.
                       And Larry, just jump in here, but --
                       MR. CAMPER:  Yes.  No, I would -- John,
           simply I would only add to that.  I mean, we have no
           indications at this point that any of the rector
           facilities would be pursuing a restricted release
                       In fact, what we're finding is for reactor
           sites, as compared to some of the processing sites
           like Robert's referring to, I mean, the reactor sites
           are pristine by comparison.
                       I mean, they're able in their unrestricted
           release scenario, in fact, to demonstrate DCGLs and
           clean-up methodologies that can come down to a few
           millirem, I mean, a few millirem.
                       So probably, the most complicated thing
           that I might foresee in some reactor sites would be
           the potential for groundwater problems.  You know, the
           reactors have a rent program which is designed to
           monitor off-site biota and water and what have you,
           but we're finding that there's more of a need for on-
           site groundwater monitoring.
                       And there might be a few sites where
           there's a groundwater issue, but by and large, at
           least at this stage of the game, there's not an
           indication that the reactor sites are going to need to
           or want to pursue a restricted release scenario.
                       DR. WYMER:  This sort of goes back to one
           of the presentations we had yesterday on entombment.
           And there were some indications that there might be
           some possibility for restricted release -- during that
           discussion -- at reactor sites.
                       So I certainly agree it would be highly
           desirable to go to unrestricted release, green field,
           for the reactor sites, but I don't know.
                       MR. CAMPER:  Well, of course, the
           fundamental difference there in the entombment
           approach is the degree of clean-up that takes place as
           compared to pursuing an unrestricted release.  You
           know, under entombment, of course, the idea is to do
           some clean-up and ultimately come down to the question
           of what to do about greater than Class C waste under
           entombment --
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes, that's right.
                       MR. CAMPER:  -- is it in or is it out.
           That's a big deal.
                       DR. WYMER:  It is a big deal.
                       MR. CAMPER:  So the question is, you're
           letting this scenario -- you're entombing it.  You're
           letting it cool off as a mechanism of decommissioning,
           as opposed to --
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       MR. CAMPER:  -- pursuing a rather
           extensive clean-up.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       MR. CAMPER:  And of course, unrestricted
           release.  So fundamental difference there, as you
           appreciate, I'm sure.  But again, the problem that we
           see for the restricted release scenario and the sites
           that are, you know, unrestricted release, or the
           complicated materials --
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       MR. CAMPER:  -- and their processing
           sites, and there's extensive contamination in many
           cases.  That's not the case for the reactor sites.
                       DR. WYMER:  No.  No, I --
                       MR. CAMPER:  Which of course, is a good
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.  Okay.  Well, I just
           wondered why it wasn't even mentioned that it was --
                       MR. CAMPER:  Yes, right.  It was a good
                       MR. GREEVES:  Let me just add, if I could,
           we're prepared to deal with both, and you got a
           briefing, apparently, yesterday on entombment.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes, we did.
                       MR. GREEVES:  So that would be the vehicle
           that we could use, per chance, somebody in future
           years came forward with that approach.  The industry's
           interested enough to have asked us to look seriously
           into the entombment topic, but that would be subject
           to -- you know -- advance notice of rule-making, and
           I'm sure we'll get plenty of comments on it.
                       So I think that's something we'll be back
           talking to you about and you'll get a lot of
           visibility of.
                       DR. WYMER:  Well, it was just -- of
           course, it's certainly an observation about the
           reactors.  I understood that the plan was in fact to
           go to green field.
                       MR. GREEVES:  NEI's in the audience if you
           want to hear from them.  That's up to you.
                       DR. WYMER:  Well, if you've got a few
           comments, Paul, you might want to kick them in.
                       MR. GENOA:  Yes.  Thank you.  Good
           morning.  Paul Genoa, with NEI.  And in fact, your
           point is well-taken.  We have every belief that
           virtually all the operating reactor sites in the early
           decommissioning sites can be released under the
           current unrestricted release scenario.
                       But we are looking to the future and the
           future is not, you know, completely certain.  Low-
           level waste disposal has been unavailable to certain
           generators in the past, and we view in the future it's
           possible again.
                       We would ask that the entombment option be
           explored so that we know that there is a safe way to
           decommission a power reactor, even in the absence of
           available low-level waste disposal.  So we're looking
           at it from a contingency point of view.
                       DR. WYMER:  Oh.
                       MR. GENOA:  And we certainly believe in a
           performance-based rule, if that's possible.  The only
           thing I would add is there are situations.  I mean, we
           do have the -- you know -- the failed TMI facility.
                       It's possible that that might be a
           restricted release, entombed facility at some point.
           It may make more sense to deal with it in place, in
           situ, as you pointed out yesterday, as opposed to
           moving it somewhere else.
                       That's just an example.  It has not been
           proposed by the company, but I use it for illustrative
                       DR. WYMER:  Right.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  While you're here I
           wanted to ask, many of the sites, the reactor sites
           have on site low-level waste burial facilities.
                       MR. GENOA:  A few have had very low
           licensed material at very low concentrations disposed
           of on site.  That's true.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.  Is it your
           expectation that those would -- those sites would be
           removed or --
                       MR. GENOA:  Not necessarily.  The criteria
           that's been used under the 2002 and the old 20.302,
           alternate disposal requests, were always in the range
           of a few millirem.
                       DR. WYMER:  A few millirem.
                       MR. GENOA:  That I know of.  And of
           course, the requirements are that we go back and
           reevaluate those at license termination, and that the
           dose components of any of those on site disposals must
           be factored into the equation of the residual activity
           and the dose consequences to the public.
                       So those would be considered under license
           termination.  And our view is that all that I know of
           would, either unremediated or remediated, meet the
           unrestricted release criteria.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  There is a couple of
           cases of tritium contamination as -- would you say the
           same applies there?
                       MR. GENOA:  I don't --
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  We mentioned TMI.  We
           know that there's some tritium contamination.
                       MR. GENOA:  Yes.  That facility I think is
           on a more complicated site and is not characteristic
           of the other sites.  I'm not aware of any of the other
           sites that have groundwater contamination exceeding
           drinking water standards.  And you know, I'm not sure.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Okay.
                       DR. WYMER:  Thank you, Paul.  It's always
           good to have the industry perspective.  With respect
           to trying to guess what's going to happen in the
           future, Nils Bohrs, quoted a note, said:  "Predictions
           that are very uncertain, especially about the future."
                       MR. GENOA:  I find that to be the case.
                       DR. WYMER:  Are there anymore questions of
                       DR. LEVENSON:  I have I guess two
           comments.  One, I'm sort of intrigued by your position
           that states are unwilling to accept responsibility and
                       In the part of the world where I spend a
           few days a month that I'm not concerned with ACNW I've
           been involved with a fair number of things at the
           state, county, city and all the way down to local
           school boards where the federal government has
           mandated unfunded responsibilities and liabilities.
                       And this seems to be a unique position of
           the federal government, that they don't have the
           ability to mandate that.  I wish that could be
           extended to other parts of the government.  It really
           is -- you really are taking a unique consideration.
                       The other comment I want to make is
           somewhat in the same line as Ray's about the business
           of, we need to know more about retention and
           hydrology, because if we accept what we know now in
           the current modeling there would not be a single ore
           body anybody -- anywhere in the world that our current
           assumptions about how rapidly things move through
           nature clearly is not sustained by what happens in the
           real world.
                       So it's kind of a plea to direct our
           research and our thinking that we can -- in the near
           term we can make overestimates of things and then say,
           well, we'll do this.
                       For the very long term where we're not
           going to be doing things, it's very important that was
           have a more basic understanding of what is real, not
           what is computed.
                       DR. WYMER:  All right.  George?  John?
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  I wanted to pick up on
           this option in the rule of the -- what I'll call the
           walk away option with a 100 MR and the 500 MR caps.
           What other provisions are there, other than dose, for
           removing institutional controls?
                       DR. JOHNSON:  For removing institutional
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Well, the one option is
           -- the conditions under which you can essentially walk
           away from the site.
                       DR. JOHNSON:  If I understand your
           question, I think the license would be terminated.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.
                       DR. JOHNSON:  If you have one of those --
           well, either you demonstrate 20 -- you don't exceed 25
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Right.
                       DR. JOHNSON:  And assuming institutional
           controls fail, you either are not exceeding 100 or not
           exceeding 500 --
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  So the failure of the
           institutional controls is not the same as eliminating
           the institutional controls.
                       DR. JOHNSON:  No.  It's a calculation
           again, you know, of what if, you know, we know they're
           fragile.  We know they may not last.  So calculate
           what the dose would be, assuming they fail.
                       And then that's intended to limit the
           consequence, should they fail, to either the public
           dose on that or in very special cases, the 500
           millirem.  And I listed all those requirements, you
                       It's a stringent set of requirements that
           would have to be met, you know, if you had a situation
           under the 500 millirem cap situation.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  You talked a little bit
           about experience and the DOE has already had quite a
           bit of experience in institutional control.  Also,
           hasn't EPA had a considerable amount of experience
           with institutional control of nonradioactive sites,
           but with hazardous sites?
                       DR. JOHNSON:  Exactly.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  And has that had any
           bearing on any of your approaches?
                       DR. JOHNSON:  I think it's -- like I said,
           this is early in our getting involved, but you know,
           recently I attended a conference and EPA gave a
           presentation of where they are.
                       And they summarized, saying they have over
           600 sites that are currently in the five-year recheck
           or their institutional control time phase, and around
           3,000 separate institutional controls at those 600
           some sites.
                       So yes, they do have a lot of experience.
           You know, we haven't yet kind of aggressively looked
           at what things might pertain to our particular sites.
           However, some of our staff, you know, have been
           involved with, you know, looking at their guidance and
           looking at, you know, their past experience, and this
           may be useful.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.  This sounds like
           a classical case for risk harmonization as far as an
           opportunity for it.  Are there any genuine gestures,
           given that we're now looking at institutional controls
           for nuclear sites for looking at the more broader
           issue of consistent regulation of hazardous sites in
                       Are there some over-arching requirements
           that are evolving?
                       DR. JOHNSON:  I guess I can say I'm only
           aware of the one study that recently was done by an S-
           Core (phonetic) subcommittee to compare --
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.
                       DR. JOHNSON:  -- the requirements and
           guidance among DOE, NRC and EPA, and I think that was
           recently published.  John, do you have any --
                       MR. GREEVES:  Yes.  John Greeves again.
           We're at what I would describe the front end of this
           process in terms of our regulation, but there are a
           number of paradigms out there in terms of
           institutional control.
                       You're going to hear from Dr. Leschine
           shortly, and I'm sure he looked into some of these.
           But there are the CERCLA approach.  That's under a
           piece of -- it's a different piece of legislation, and
           I think we do need to go to school as to what has EPA
           done with those 600 sites.
                       But it's a different paradigm.  They don't
           require, to my knowledge, federal or state control.
           They do require the five-year rechecks.  And you know,
           600 cases, that's a lot of experience.
                       So I think, Larry, that's something we
           really should go to school on.  We've worked with EPA.
           They're part of the Interagency Steering Committee on
           Radiation Standards.  What we have done is looked at
           the various regulations that are on the book, and
           evaluate how institutional controls is effected for
           each of those.
                       And we've gone to international meetings
           and made those presentations, mostly comparing what
           the differences are.  It is very hard to harmonize
           between legislation.  You have one set of legislation
           that controls the CERCLA sites.
                       Another paradigm is the DOE paradigm.
           They're automatically responsible for their sites.
           They provide institutional control for those "100
           sites" that are out there.
                       A third paradigm is Part 40, our
           regulation which is really a commercial site that by
           legislation turns over to the Department of Energy at
           a certain point in time.  So that's a third paradigm.
                       The fourth paradigm is the one we're
           dealing with, which is a commercial site that is not
           required for the Department of Energy to pick it up.
           It is discretionary.
                       So this is kind of a web that I expect
           we're going to be talking to you about for the next
           year or two, and sorting out over time.  We need to do
           more homework on what EPA is doing, because they may
           have some techniques that would be quite valuable to
           us.  So Larry, you want to add?
                       MR. CAMPER:  Yes, let me add to that.  I
           mean, I think you did a great job of framing the
           paradigms, the possibilities.  I mean, where we are as
           a staff right now is we have the license termination
           rule which went into effect in the '96-97 time frame.
                       Arguably, the institutional control
           scenario called for in the LTR is a stringent
           standard.  It really -- it requires very precise
           things in terms of durable institutional controls,
           financial shorts and what have you.
                       We know that we have this population of 10
           or 12 sites that appear to be headed that way.  So
           we're trying to make sure that the institutional
           control as envisioned in that regulation can in fact
           be carried out.
                       What we're finding out is that it's
           problematic.  We're finding, for example, in one case
           a state -- I won't name the state; it's not important
           -- but a state that has some of these sites made it
           very clear there's simply no way they were going to
           step up and become this third party.
                       Too much -- too many unanswered questions.
           The standards may change.  The role of government may
           change.  Politics is a factor.  Why do I want to
           assume responsibility for this site as a state that I
           don't have right now.
                       We don't mandate under our approach that
           they would do that.  That is unusual, you're right, in
           some cases.  We are finding -- we had one entity that
           came in and proposed a private enterprise scenario.
                       They have subsequently withdrawn that.
           They're not going to pursue restricted release after
           all.  They're going to go with unrestricted release,
           take everything off site.  The problem with the
           business approach was you start to worry about
           continuity and stability of a business arrangement for
           1,000 years.
                       It raises a litany of questions that have
           to be answered.  So it was going to be problematic.
           It was going to pose a lot of questions.  I don't know
           if in the final analysis it would have been sustained
           or not.  I doubt it, but it's possible.
                       So we look at this and we say, okay, we
           have this criteria now.  What is the most viable
           entity that -- whose paradigm is closest to ours that
           has the experience and infrastructure for managing
           these sites in perpetuity, if it comes to that, vested
           upon that entity?
                       We also recognize and we've had some early
           discussions amongst ourselves that as we go down the
           road, let's say, for example, if we're not successful
           in working out an arrangement for an MOU with the
           Department of Energy, then we're going to really have
           to stop and come back and say, okay.
                       Now, what have -- what is our experience
           to date on this institutional control scenario called
           for in our regulations?  The DOE's scenario didn't
           work out.  What do we do now?  What do we do now?
                       And one of the things we have in fact
           talked about, as John alluded to, is what other
           paradigms are out there?  How do they work?  Might it
           necessitate going back to the Commission and saying,
           we have this approach in our regulations.
                       We now have some experience, some three,
           four, five years of experience.  We have found the
           following.  We believe we now need to do x or y.  It
           could come to that and your point is along those
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.  Yes.  Well,
           there's always the question of, if we're being
           motivated here to protect the health and safety of the
           public, what contribution to the health and safety of
           the public are we making by focusing on the nuclear
           sites and somewhat isolating them in terms of how we
           perform things like institutional control?
                       And you can't help but wonder if this
           isn't one-tenth of one fraction percent of the real
           problem here.  And my real question, I guess, is
           -- and of course, the NRC can only do what the NRC
           Charters asks it to do.
                       But I can't help but wonder if there isn't
           a much, much bigger question out there when you start
           talking about health and safety.  And again, the
           public is being led to believe, because of all the
           attention we give to the nuclear sites, that this is
           the problem, when in fact it may not be.
                       And I was just curious what -- and I
           appreciate John's comment -- I'm just curious about
           whether these other paradigms are having any attention
           given to them in that regard.  I'm hopeful that
           somebody is trying to put this in some sort of global
                       DR. JOHNSON:  If I can just make an
           observation on that.  Even though the topic may be --
           the words were institutional controls you know -- DOE
           uses long-term stewardship.  That's a broader -- it
           just gives you the feeling that there's more to it
           than that.
                       And I think that certainly in our rule
           that's the same situation.  It's just not deed
           restrictions, you know, we're talking about.  It's
           maintaining the effectiveness of those engineered
           barriers over time.
                       But the importance I think in our process
           is that the decommissioning plan needs to look at not
           only the engineered barriers that should be proposed,
           but how they should -- how monitoring needs to be
           designed and how the effectiveness of those engineered
           barriers over time, you know, need to be monitored and
           maintained, you know.
                       So it's the broader picture and putting
           that whole picture together in the decommissioning
           plan to make sure that the designs for the engineered
           barriers, the designs for the monitoring, designs for
           the five-year rechecks are all done together, you
           know, with the thought in mind up front to possibly
           keep in mind that part of the engineered system is to
           -- is that it has to maintain its effectiveness over
           the time period.
                       So I mean, that's one good thing about
           doing the planning all up front.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.
                       DR. WYMER:  You got any questions with the
           staff here?
                       MR. LARSON:  I thought the 500 millirem
           requires a Commission decision that that's an
           acceptable release, the release site.  Isn't that what
           the license termination rule requires?  Don't they
           have to make a decision of 500 or more?  I'm just
           looking at some of the --
                       MR. GREEVES:  They have to consult with
           the EPA.
                       MR. LARSON:  All right.  I can't --
                       MR. GREEVES:  I don't -- you know -- the
           regulation is what the regulation is.
                       MR. LARSON:  Okay.
                       MR. CAMPER:  I do want to -- you know,
           Howard, I want to point out -- again, this is for Dr.
           Garrick and Dr. Wymer, too.  I want to make three
           comments here.  It gets back to the comments that Dr.
           Wymer made about the question of hydrology and
           engineered barriers.
                       And under the institutional control or the
           strict release scenario bear in mind again that the
           licensee has to demonstrate through its hydrologic
           analysis, through its modeling -- and we have taken
           steps recently to try to make the modeling approaches
           more realistic in bringing more probability to bear.
                       We've been constantly refining the codes
           that we use.  But the licensee has to demonstrate that
           that site is at 25 millirem under the scenario that it
           intends to leave it there, and that if those
           institutional controls fail, if they fail, it's 100.
                       It's the safety cap of the 100 and 500
           under certain circumstances.  So and our staff, of
           course, looks very closely at the proposed engineered
           barriers, the hydrology analyses that are provided,
           the dose modeling that's provided and so forth and so
           on, to insure that the engineered barriers and all the
           parameters the licensee is proposing for leaving that
           site under restricted release will in fact insure the
           25 millirem layer is met.
                       With regards to your point, Howard, I know
           there's consultation that's required with the
           Commission approval.
                       MR. LARSON:  Okay.
                       MR. CAMPER:  I have to really go back and
           look closely at that.
                       MR. LARSON:  And but as far as agreement
           states are concerned.
                       MR. CAMPER:  Come again?
                       MR. LARSON:  As far as agreement states
           are concerned, if an agreement state decided that a
           privately-owned facility was okay, I mean, that the
           land and disposal?
                       MR. CAMPER:  Yeah.  I mean, you know, the
           rule was in light of compatibility --
                       MR. LARSON:  Right, that's true.  Right.
                       MR. CAMPER:  The rule was in light of
           compatibility, of course, in the agreement states.
           Now, they had the normal three years to implement the
           rule.  We have been pulsing them recently, a number of
           meetings like the origination  agreement states, and
           CRCPD as to what the states are doing.
                       We're finding, of course, that they're
           still early in the game, as well.  But yes, I mean,
           they could entertain a private scenario situation,
           just as we could.  Whether they would find it
           acceptable or not, I just don't know.
                       MR. LARSON:  Well, would we comment if
           they proposed that in light of our own belief that it
           should be a federal, state or local --
                       MR. CAMPER:  Well, but again remember, we
           would entertain, we would --
                       MR. LARSON:  Okay.
                       MR. CAMPER:  -- when MOLYCORP, that
           proposed a private scenario, came in -- it was
           subsequently withdrawn -- we were going to evaluate
           that proposal.  And it doesn't have to be a
           governmental entity.
                       It's preferable because of the longer term
           -- the envisioned longer term stability of a
           government as opposed to a private enterprise
           scenario.  But a private enterprise scenario is not
           ruled out for consideration --
                       MR. LARSON:  But we had a proposed rule-
           making for private enterprise and we withdrew it.
                       MR. CAMPER:  Well --
                       MR. LARSON:  Seven or eight years ago.
                       MR. CAMPER:  Yes, but we -- under the LTR,
           we've not yet taken one all the way under the LTR,
           under the license termination rule.
                       DR. WYMER:  Any other comments,
                       (No Response)
                       DR. WYMER:  If not, well, thanks.  It's
           good to get this very early in front of briefing on
           this because I think it'll become a hot topic as time
           wears on.  So we'll look forward to having continuing
           input from the staff here on this.
                       MR. CAMPER:  Thank you.  And we suspect
           we'll come back to you and talk more about this again
           as we work our way through it.
                       DR. WYMER:  We would anticipate that, yes.
                       MR. CAMPER:  There's going to be a lot of
           lessons learned, and we'll be back to you.
                       DR. WYMER:  Now, before we turn to the
           next presentation I'd like to make a little personal
           aside here.  We have two representatives of the
           National Academy of Sciences here, Tom Leschine, whom
           you'll hear from in a few minutes.  Oh, three.
                       And the senior staffer who was the
           responsible Academy staffer on this committee that
           turned out the report on institutional management, Bob
           Andrews, who will soon be in that enviable state of
           grace known as retirement.
                       MR. ANDREWS:  Like you are.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes, like I am.  And of
           course, the ever popular Bob Budnitz, who are all
           sitting over here.  So okay.  I wanted to get the
           little personal things out of the way here.
                       So now, let's go ahead and hear from Tom
           about the Academy Report.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  He's ready to go and
           plug it right in for you.
                       DR. LESCHINE:  Okay.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  While we're getting set
           up here it's important to point out here that not only
           do we have with us today the Chairman, Tom Leschine of
           the current form of the Committee, but we have the
           last Chairman, Bob Budnitz.
                       So we have a lot of experience and
           continuity here, that of course, as Ray said, we have
           the staff member that has been through this for many
           years.  So we welcome you all here.
                       DR. WYMER:  While we're waiting for our
           high technology stuff to kick in here, let me go ahead
           and introduce Dr. Tom Leschine, who was the Chair of
           quite a long-running Committee that produced this
           report on institutional management.
                       And subsequent to the publication of the
           report has been subjected to numerous inquiries by the
           press and various organizations and has had to commit
           himself to many statements that he probably would have
           rather not made.
                       DR. LESCHINE:  Yes, I could tell some
                       DR. WYMER:  But anyway, it was a long,
           drawn out process and many facets of the problem were
           considered and they -- what I think was a very
           creditable report was turned out by the Academy.
                       DR. LESCHINE:  This is it.  I don't know
           if you got copies.  I saw something in e-mail.
                       MR. CAMPER:  Yes, we all got copies.
                       DR. LESCHINE:  Okay.
                       DR. WYMER:  The Academy was kind enough to
           present it to all members.
                       DR. LESCHINE:  I'm not sure what you
           really want me to do here.  So I have kind of too many
           pictures and I could, you know, spend a lot of time
           walking through a lot of conceptual ideas that we
           developed.  I think you should hear some of that.
                       And as I was listening to the last
           session, I guess the things that I might not have
           emphasized too much that are, in fact, at the -- kind
           of at the end of the talk are our findings and
           recommendations and, you know, what are some of the
           issues within.
                       The issues are sprinkled throughout my
           talk and then we come down to maybe what really just
           reinforces them.  So what's your pleasure?  You like
           dialogue?  How should I --
                       DR. WYMER:  I think the conclusions and
           recommendations are a key part of what you're going to
           give us, but let's hear the whole story.
                       DR. LESCHINE:  Okay.
                       DR. WYMER:  Especially some of the
           concerns about the durability of institutional
           controls; I think, Tom, some of our -- the Committee's
           concerns about just how long can you rely on various
                       DR. LESCHINE:  Yes.  Just in what I heard
           in the few minutes that I was listening in on the last
           session, I'll try to talk about some of those issues.
           These are not technical difficulties.  We need a
           different term.  These are just technical --
                       DR. WYMER:  Glitches.
                       DR. LESCHINE:  No, they're -- see, we need
           a positive of, just what you have to do.  It's the
           price you pay.
                       DR. WYMER:  Well, you've got three minutes
           before your scheduled, anyway.
                       DR. LESCHINE:  It's a type of Faustian
           bargain, maybe, the one with technology, as opposed to
           the one we quoted here from Alvin Weinberg.
                       MR. ANDREWS:  Ray, if I may, you might
           introduce Tom in terms of being a professor of marine
           policy at the University of Washington.  And this was
           a very unusual study for me at the Academy, since we
           had a blend of physical scientists and social
                       And we found that communication between
           these two groups is very difficult.
                       DR. WYMER:  I was going to question your
           word "blend."
                       MR. ANDREWS:  Each side accused the other
           of being ambiguous, muddle-headed and everything else.
           But it made for a very interesting study and it's
           -- this is not just a science and technology issue, as
           we found.  We have to deal with people, as well.
                       DR. LESCHINE:  Yes.  We discovered if you
           take a long time, longer than the Academy would like,
           and especially the sponsor, and you spend all your
           money and more, you can really get the two groups on
           the Committee to come together, and the social and
           natural science technology and human dimensions,
           really, to come together in what I think is a very
           coherent report that does this better than I've seen
           it happen before.  So I hope you'll see that reflected
           in what I'll talk about.  How we doing?
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Go ahead and open it.
                       (Pause to set up computer)
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Are we ready to go on
           the record?
                       DR. WYMER:  Looks like it.
                       DR. LESCHINE:  Okay.  We're set.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  All right.
                       DR. LESCHINE:  Maybe I should sit down.
           Well, I'll be in your way.  I'll walk.  I'll stand up.
                       It's a pleasure to be here.  I am not so
           familiar with the issues of commercial nuclear power
           plants, but I recognize that in the broad outlines
           many of the questions are the same.
                       And, you know, I already picked up in this
           short time that I sat here this interesting question,
           which is one that we've had to deal with in our study
           at the National Research Council, as well.
                       And that's when the commercial sector
           comes into things, because even though, you know, we
           look at nuclear power as a kind of commercial
           technology and we think of DOE sites as quite the
           opposite, we've got all kinds of ideas like re-
           industrialization around the fringes of the DOE sites
           that mean that, in fact, it's possible that commercial
           interests will be the ones doing long-term stewardship
           at some of those sites, as well.
                       So there's an interesting nexus here
           between those two.  Well, I already told you some of
           the dilemma, but I will, you know, try to march
           smartly through some ideas to make sure that you
           understand the conceptual foundations of this study,
           because it was very important to our thinking about
           really there being a couple of fundamental issues that
           we think are pretty insoluble at the moment that I
           heard echoed in the brief discussion beforehand, as
                       And I'll tell you in advance what they
           are:  that science and technology is really wanting,
           and yes, we need those models to tell us where
           contaminants are going to go and what long-term
           contaminant concentrations are going to be, because
           that's the basis of our institutional control design,
           and those models are not really up to par that we have
           to rely on.
                       And the second problem is the social and
           human dimension.  It's one thing to say we'll have
           institutional controls.  It's another thing to
           guarantee that they will be in place, and I think
           that's going to become a very big issue.
                       So this is the Committee and you already
           heard that we're very pleased to have our former
           Chair, Bob Budnitz, because this Committee, unlike
           most National Research Council Committees, was set up
           actually as Standing Committee, and we did five or six
           different reports.
                       I should mention that Bob Andrews, our
           retiring Staff Officer -- well, we did quite a few on
           this Committee.  We did a report on the Hanford tanks
           that I think was very prescient where we saw nothing
           but trouble in the privatization initiative that DOE
           was undertaking, but nobody listened to us.
                       So and we did a very nice study that Ray
           was really involved in on the Niagara Falls storage
           sight.  So these were all in the history of this
           Committee when Bob Budnitz was the chair.  I took on
           the chairmanship after him, and the Committee left as
           a Standing Committee, I guess I'm presiding over the
           end of now, but that's how things go.
                       But that's another comment on our -- the
           world we live in with institutional longevity.  So the
           Committee members are here, just to make the point
           that there was an interesting balance, very strong
           representation on both the natural and the social
           sciences on this Committee, much more-so than in my
           experience with other National Research Council
                       And by the way, way down at the bottom we
           have the redoubtable Bob Bernero, who was our
           consultant.  And so I didn't have to know anything
           about regulations, because he knew everything that
           there was to know about regulations.
                       Our charge is worth considering because we
           thought we were the masters of our own destiny and
           Chairman Budnitz very astutely was negotiating what
           this standing committee would do next as he left the
                       And we actually wrote the original charge
           and proposed it to DOE, but it went through the mill
           of the Academy and DOE repeatedly, and to Al Lamb's
           office and to Tom Grumley and back again.  And by the
           time it came back to us it ended up with a rather odd,
           you know, assess approaches for developing the
           criteria, don't just develop the criteria.
                       Don't state what the approaches are,
           assess the -- it was a little confusing.  But it made
           us realize that what we needed to do was to start from
           a conceptual place.  In other words, think of this as
           a conceptual problem and don't just rush into
           -- tempting though it might be, let's look at all the
           institutional controls that EPA has imposed, because
           there's a wealth of experience there, and let's go
           down the road that way.
                       So we spent a fair amount of time looking
           at the end of this statement in trying to come up with
           a conceptual model for long-term stewardship planning,
           if you will, that would encompass all the things in
           the charter as we were given it, so that at the end we
           could say something about appropriate criteria.
                       That's how we approach this job.  So what
           we gave back as an answer is a report on stewardship
           that avoids using this word "stewardship" that has
           become very current in DOE.  We call it long-term
           institutional management.
                       It's somewhat of a redundant term, in
           fact.  But we've -- because management is by
           definition an institutional enterprise, right?  But
           our purpose was to really underscore the importance of
           institutional reliability in the management that
                       And as you can see from this list of --
           you know, these characteristics are very general --
           that we're thinking in a broad, systematic,
           integrative, iterative way.  And you can see in this
           our conclusion that only this kind of approach,
           really, do we think will work.
                       And in fact, if you knew the work of this
           Committee, I think the consistent theme in all our
           work, Bob, was that every study really said, you've
           got to look at things in a big, broad, integrative
                       We can't look at these K-65 wastes at
           Niagara Falls and not think about what we're doing at
           Fernald because we've got a very similar situation
           there.  And we were always trying to fight against I
           guess what is sometimes called stove-piping in the
           Department of Energy, where problems tend to get
           single processed without much learning across the
                       So we think this is a situation where
           learning is really going to be at a premium, and
           that's why we went in that direction.  Let me -- we
           have a number of side bars in here and this is my
                       It came out of a master's thesis of a
           student at the School of Marine Affairs where we do
           nothing nuclear, except Ann Ballou was very interested
           in what happened to all those Pacific islands and all
           those marine resources where all the atomic testing
           took place, and she wrote her master's thesis on that.
                       There's a very interesting, I'll call it
           a moral tale, in Bikini, because if you know the
           story, we did a lot of testing there and Bikini was
           resettled probably a little bit before it should have
           been resettled.
                       And in fact, the old Atomic Energy
           Commission resisted the resettlement of Bikini, but
           the natives went back anyway.  This is a story from
           the New York Times, which is very recent, and it is
           literally true.
                       And what is interesting about Bikini is
           all the mistakes you can make, and I think are still
           very vulnerable to, were made then.  We did let 167
           people resettle the island of Bikini, but on an
           understanding that turned out to be erroneous in two
                       The first point was that modeling was done
           to determine what kind of doses people resettling the
           island would receive under various scenarios, and the
           modeling was in error.  The modeling was based on
           terrestrial soils, continental soils, not islands in
           the Pacific.
                       And the relative lack of potassium in the
           real soils meant that cesium, which covered the place
           basically, was readily available for uptake by coconut
           palms.  Okay.  So we sort of understood the mechanism,
           but not the degree to which that was really going to
                       And we told the Bikini Islanders, you can
           go back, and we shook our fingers at them and said,
           but don't eat the coconuts.  But they did, okay, and
           they did because this is everything to their life.
                       It's the symbolic connection to their
           homeland.  It's the most important food.  These are
           Marshall Islanders.  These people in the Pacific eat
           coconuts.  So they did eat the coconuts and they did
           very quickly develop these body burns.
                       This was an early attempt at risk
           communication before there was even the term, right?
           So we got it all wrong.  We just told people once who
           didn't even understand what the real risks were, what
           -- how they should control their behavior.
                       We didn't really monitor.  But then we did
           something right.  We also had medical monitoring.
           Every single person that went back was required to
           take a physical exam every year, and it was this
           medical monitoring that picked up the signal, okay.
                       So another kind of lesson comes out of
           that, a sort of wrong scientific model, an
           inappropriate control message, but a system of
           control, of management, if you will, that had this
           component of layering in it, redundancy, right?
                       Medical monitoring was an additional
           measure put on top of the idea, don't eat the coconuts
           and rely on foodstuff from off island, okay.  Now, you
           know, easy to look back and draw a lesson on something
           like that, but that's a difficult thing to do and this
           is one of the institutional challenges.
                       You know, what you're gong to be asked to
           do is to assure that the institutional controls put in
           place will be effective.  What's that medical
           monitoring doing?  Is that sort of betraying that
           there's doubt about the -- you know -- there's this
           difficulty that we might call political that will be
           faced by people that try to do these kinds of things
           and it's something to really take into account.
                       So we took out of this the idea that we
           shouldn't talk about stewardship.  We should talk
           about something that is a different term that we kind
           of invent in the report.  And here's our problems with
                       So what I want to do for a few minutes is
           talk to you about this word that's just all over the
           place in the Department of Energy right now, long-term
           stewardship, already been reduced to an acronym, LTS.
                       Well, there's a lot of problems with it.
           The activities, institutional controls do not equal
           long-term stewardship.  Stewardship is a management
           function.  Institutional controls are a set of
           measures that are part of that system; essential
                       And also, this idea that stewardship is a
           nice-sounding word and it becomes all things to all
           people, and that can be its undoing.  So in fact, I
           went to -- DOE has a brand new website, energy.gov,
           and they have -- oops.  What did I do.
                       More technical problems.  The Department
           of Energy website has a stewardship category.  And I
           was two minds about this.  What else is there -- in
           back of mine?  Okay.  Here we go.  Okay.  On the one
           hand -- you hear me fine?
                       Okay.  Well, on the one hand I like the
           idea that stewardship is getting very prominent play.
           On the other hand, applying it to all these very
           disparate activities, will the real essence, the gem
           of what I think needs to occur really be maintained
           when stewardship applies to everything?
                       And by the way, what's missing here?
           Stockpile stewardship.  It's another term they use,
           right?  That's their word, and it's not even on this
           list.  And if you saw the newspapers or maybe the
           report, they're really being blasted for their, you
           know, failed stockpile stewardship, according to the
           GAO or somebody.
                       So you need to think about this term and
           recognize -- this is something I made up -- this is an
           old, old term that has a lot of meanings, and not the
           meanings that we're now investing in it.  I would
           argue that real stewardship is out here.
                       I don't know if you're familiar with Aldo
           Leopold, but kind of the birth of the model
           environmental movement in these very lyrical essays he
           wrote, "The Sand County Almanac."  He coined the term
           "land ethic," you know.
                       And between that and Gifford Pinchot's
           conservation management, I'll spare you the details on
           his school of natural resources, this is the
           difference between Bruce Babbett and Gail Norton,
           okay?  This is a huge --
                       DR. LESCHINE:  -- this is a huge
           ideological divide about what you do with forest lands
           and whether the purpose of why stewardship is
           productive use of environments versus leaving them
           alone, right.
                       The wilderness concept versus the well-
           managed forest that produces timber, fish, wildlife,
           et cetera.  And I would argue that reuse and re-
           industrialization, DOE terms on what we're going to do
           with surplus sites and facilities are, you know,
           moving along further still.
                       And protection from harm, DOE's idea, is
           really way over there, especially by comparison to
           this, okay?  So you have a term which has a lot of
           different meanings to different people.
                       And I'm a professor of public policy, and
           let me just say that when you're in that kind of
           situation you tend to get a lot of conflict because
           people have different ideas about what they think
           should go on.
                       So EM, you know, Department of Energy has
           this kind of institutional controls, and stewardship
           after remediation is pretty much the concept.  And
           yet, part of what we're saying in the report is that
           stewardship has to be part of remediation, has to be
           part of remediation planning, in fact, has to be part
           of construction of waste management facilities and
           maybe in your world, reactors in the first place.
                       You build the reactor with the thought of
           how you're going to decommission it.  Maybe the
           commercial nuclear power world does better at that
           then we did in the DOE world.
                       But you know, hey, taking those kinds of
           considerations into account right at the beginning so
           that you have a continuum between operations and
           decommissioning, and then dealing with the wastes is
                       Here now are some of what our report said,
           and we said that, you know, it's basically echoing
           what I'm already saying, stewardship has to be a
           pervasive concept and waste management -- today's
           waste management has to become part of tomorrow's
           stewardship planning.
                       So I just want to point out, the
           Department of Energy has itself changed its story
           quite a bit, and this is what Hazel O'Leary was
           saying.  She was giving -- she was using the term
           "stewardship" about this report, called "Stewards of
           a National Resource."
                       This was right at the point where we were
           starting to talk about deaccessioning a lot of
           surplused lands and facilities, and noticed that it's
           a very Aldo Leopold like concept, and it's only under
           Secretary Antune (phonetic) that stewardship has
           become associated with this idea of long-term care and
           so forth.
                       So this doesn't come through very well.
           It's in the report.  This is the Alan Croft diagram.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       DR. LESCHINE:  This is our model for long-
           term stewardship, our conceptual model.  This diagram
           appears in the report.  We adopted the idea of a
           three-legged stool.
                       I think it was, well, came out of a
           Committee meeting where the idea is that you have
           stewardship activities on one leg, okay.  And I'll
           talk about what those activities are.
                       They include but are not limited to
           institutional controls.  You have contaminant
           isolation on another leg.  You have contaminant
           reduction on the third leg.  It's a package.  It's
           three things.
                       They form the configuration of a stool.
           They support an end state.  I'm looking at John
           Garrick as I say that because he's been the crusader
           constantly for the idea that you can't do management
           and clean-up at DOE sites and not have an end state in
                       It's very important that you have one,
           even though it might change, but that's the nature of
           things.  And the idea here of the rungs is that this
           is an iterative process.  We're not going to get there
           in a day.
                       There's a guy -- you know -- Milton
           Russell's talking about rolling stewardship, the idea
           that you put a set of controls in place today and you
           keep those controls going into the distant future, but
           you keep revisiting them, keep changing them, you
           don't expect to be able to -- you don't expect to put
           anything in place for 1,000 years.
                       You expect to put something in place and
           start revisiting it right away and see how it's
           working and make adjustments as appropriate.  But
           maybe those adjustments are more clean-up in the
           future, because you realize you can't really sustain
           the system you're trying to retrain, and you've got to
           get rid of the waste or build a better cap or deal
           with the fact that the cap is failing or will fail,
           and take other measures.
                       So there's also a lot of terminology that
           relates to the fact that these decisions that are made
           at every stage, we call them contextual factors,
           they're represented on the rungs, is costs and risks
           and life-cycle analysis and all kinds of things,
           political factors, what stakeholders want, community
                       All that stuff in the case of a DOE site
           is really going to figure big time.  In fact, any
           federal facility, I would argue, because the federal
           government has taken this notion that, you know, we
           don't take -- withdraw lands and facilities and hold
           them forever.
                       We've got the idea that they go back to
           the people at some point.  So there's this -- and also
           this notion of perpetual responsibility for any hazard
           we create.  So you've got an interesting kind of a
                       It's really built into our notion of
           governance in this country, and that is the federal
           government on the one hand has the duty to return
           things to the people, return things to productive use
           in the economy.
                       On the other hand, it has this
           responsibility for perpetual care of the problems that
           the federal government has created.  So if you're
           thinking that way about nuclear power plants, you see
           the same kind of dilemma in a way, but it's certainly
           built into the DOE world.
                       So the tools, I've kind of mentioned this
           already.  But I guess my real point here is to focus
           on the stewardship measures and the fact that
           institutional controls, which are use and access
           restrictions, basically, that's the primary tool and
           that's where EPA always goes in these CERCLA-type
                       That's really only one part of the story
           of stewardship from our perspective, and the rest of
           the story is all of these things which -- I guess the
           point I want to make here now is that this list is
           kind of organized on a continuum -- it's discussed in
           the report -- that goes from sort of the familiar and
           the accepted to things that we think are necessary,
           but not considered by most people, and certainly not
           by DOE as part of what they're up to.
                       So yes, institutional controls,
           monitoring, surveillance, oversight and enforcement,
           we talk about that all the time, and yes, we're
           talking about the necessity of maintaining information
           and very good records on contamination.
                       This is a very essential feature of
           anything you're going to hand off to the future.  But
           then we get into things that it's not so clear
           anybody's committed to do.  Is the Department of
           Energy really committed to periodic reevaluation of
           the whole site protective system?
                       What I know about that is that DOE is
           looking very carefully at its legal responsibilities.
           It's not clear the extent to which they or anybody
           else is required to do this.  We'll probably see some
           congressional action, I would think, that takes on
           this question of clarifying responsibility for the
           waste, but there's not necessarily responsibility for
           the situation in which the waste is left.
                       And then we would argue more radically
           still, you've really got to keep looking at technical
           options.  You can't say the problem you couldn't fix
           in 1990 is one that you don't have to fix in 2020, or
           ever, because you didn't have the technology then.
                       So we think that it's important not only
           to be passive here, but really force the R&D.  So if
           the Department of Energy, you know, they have this new
           technology program emerging at the Idaho site, INEEL,
           and I would guess and hope that that's sort of the
                       Some people are a little bit skeptical,
           but that's the idea, that they should be pushing
           towards what we'll call stewardship technologies,
           which are remediation technologies at large, let's
                       So to talk about the R&D a bit, you have
           to have it.  Your technical capabilities are
           deficient.  We don't understand sites and residual
           contaminants very well, and I want to show you some
           -- I'll stop showing you lists and show you some
           pictures in a minute.
                       But there's two issues here.  We don't
           really have as much knowledge as we should about the
           bio-geophysical character of sites.  Surprisingly, we
           don't know much about the subsurface where all the
           wastes are, especially, and in some cases even the
           contaminants themselves.
                       Not that we don't understand radio
           nuclides, but radio nuclides in the complex site
           environments can sometimes be a problem.  And then,
           you know, and this is very much consistent with the
           spirit of this report, we extend that list right into
           the demographic and social dimensions.
                       In fact, what we're saying is we do have
           to understand.  We went to the Nevada test site and
           started asking questions about what if Las Vegas needs
           water?  Well, you know, they'll find water up north,
           not a problem.
                       This is the fastest growing city in the
           country.  Is it really not a problem that there's a
           lot of contaminated drinking water 100 miles north of
           Las Vegas, the fastest growing city in the country in
           a desert, and the biggest user of water on a per
           capita basis by far of any city in the country, and
           this bugaboo of how well institutions really can
                       We just want to kind of assure people we
           will perform and not really look at what adds up to
           effective performance.  So the science and technology
           issues, then, really relate to understanding long-term
           risks and conceptual modeling.
                       And I think I reversed the order of these
           two things; I did.  I want to talk about this because
           this is the undercurrent of this whole -- what I heard
           you talking about, you know, how do you assure that an
           institutional control is going to achieve a numerical
           standard, whatever that -- 25 millirem or 15 millirem,
           like we're using at Hanford for the clean-up of soils
           along the Columbia River.
                       The fact is, we are finding surprise after
           surprise in that the contaminants that are released
           into the environment are not behaving as expected.
                       Techniicium, appearing in the -- under the
           tank farms at Hanford, plutonium well down the
           gradient from the test site at Nevada, the Benham
           test, and plutonium migrating at the Rocky Mountain
           -- sorry -- Rocky -- that place, RWMC in Idaho.
                       Subsurface could -- you know -- you know
           where this stuff comes from.  It's a much bigger
           problem at DOE sites than at the typical nuclear plant
           with all that stuff everywhere.
                       But this is a very -- this is borrowed, by
           the way, from Jane Long in another National Research
           Council study, a very nice study, Research Needs in
           Subsurface Science.  She was the Chair of that study.
                       This is the changing view of how long it
           takes radio nuclides to get to the Snake River from
           the Idaho RWMC.  And what's happened here is going
           back in time to the 1960s, a four order of magnitude
                       We used to say they don't move, takes
           70,000 years.  We're saying now, they can under some
           circumstances move in mere tens of years.  This is a
           -- basically, what we're learning is that we had a
           casual, naive conceptual model of the site.
                       The model wasn't really tested by reality
           or data, and when we started to do that, which is now
           happening, we're discovering that things are quite
           different than they were in the past.
                       So this other report, Research Needs and
           Subsurface Science, has a very nice discussion in it
           of the problem of site conceptual modeling, something
           that was represented in our Committee by Schlomo
           Neuman, who insisted that our report had to really
           emphasize this, a very nice discussion of what the
           need is, what the requirements are, what the standards
           should be.
                       So you know, I don't need to show you too
           many pretty pictures, but this is the estimate of the
           new picture of the Hanford Tank Farm, with cesium and
           other contaminants distributed at depths, cesium-137.
                       And you know, this is also the reality.
           Again, Hanford is the worst site in the complex, and
           I'm from Washington State, so this is the one we think
           about a lot.  And here's the radio nuclide tritium
           contamination above drinking water standards.
                       And you know, I mentioned this kind of
           interplay between the human and the technical, and I'm
           about to switch.  So I want to point out, here's the
           old Hanford town site.  As Bob Andrews was pointing
           out, there's not much there but it's a historic site
           and people like to visit it.
                       And what's our President Clinton been
           doing in his waning days?  I heard he did a bunch more
           this morning.  He's creating national monuments all
           over the place and is trying to hide this stuff from
           the Republicans so they don't cut all the treaties, I
                       DR. LESCHINE:  But here's the Hanford
           Reach National Monument, the Bruce Babbett vision of
           stewardship, right.  And notice, this is the proposed
           boundary.  You see that lobe?  Okay.  Well, that's so
           the people can visit the Hanford town site, though.
                       So you know, I know that contamination is
           in the subsurface and we don't really expect the
           average national monument visitor to put in a well.
           But you know, do we really understand all the
           mechanisms that could bring contamination to the
           surface, taproot plants with 12-foot taproots, the
           typical sagebrush that lives in the desert, which this
                       You know, these are the kinds of questions
           you have to start thinking through so you don't
           recreate Bikini and the coconut trees.  So let me talk
           about long-term risk, a little bit at my peril because
           John Garrick's sitting here and he's the guy who
           clarifies completely the discussion of risk.
                       But the way we see it is this way.  You
           know, it's a question of stewardship technologies in
           looking at who's going to use them, how they'll use
           them, will they use the technology if it's intended to
           really be a protective technology.
                       And very importantly, who else out there
           might do something that would change the way our
           protection system might work?  These are questions
           without answers, and the message of our report is,
           somebody's got to get into the business of starting
           the research and looking seriously at answering these
                       So the groups that we're thinking about
           now are not just the agency people administering the
           institutional controls, but certainly it includes
           them, the long-term stewardship managers, employees,
                       What other agencies, as well?  Agencies
           that DOE is not necessarily used to thinking about as
           kind of partners.  This is a very good news/bad news
                       As I was telling it, I was meeting with
           Gerald Boyd, because I'm part of this Press Program if
           you know about that, a few weeks ago, and telling him
           about the good news at Hanford when the fires blew up
           last summer and led to the near catastrophe there,
           people in the community were not blaming DOE.
                       They were blaming the Fish and Wildlife
           Service.  That's really unique in DOE's experience
           that something involving radio nuclides happened and
           they didn't get the blame for it.  Well, you know, the
           story there is that if you're going to have a
           wilderness area next to a hazard, that wilderness area
           gets managed, too.
                       And do we manage these sites in ways that
           prevent fire or do we have -- you know -- what did we
           learn out of the Yellowstone fires.  You know, I'm a
           westerner, a land -- not -- from Pittsburgh but a
           westerner now, right.
                       And these big land management issues loom
           large, and after the Yellowstone fires we decided the
           fire policy is let it burn, that fire is part of
           nature's intention that renews forests and ecosystems,
           and is an essential part of those systems.
                       So that's what you get from the Aldo
           Leopold way of thinking now, but fires that are
           unchecked in the vicinity of hazards are fires that
           can be very dangerous, and we sure found this out at
           Los Alamos, as well, right.
                       So you've got a conflict between two
           ideals, separate managers.  Somebody's going to have
           to work that out.  The public certainly is very
           important and users and visitors have been hinting at
                       So we're worried about things like water
           and water demand.  Again, in the west where a lot of
           the biggest hazards are, that's where the water issues
           loom very large.  Development encroachment is very
           important, and that's true in many of the eastern
                       Mound and Fernald are really good examples
           of that.  The industrial, commercial and residential,
           recreational use that we're inviting onto the sites,
                       What we're talking about doing in Oak
           Ridge at the East Tennessee Technology Park is re-
           industrialization where facilities that were formerly
           used for, you know, weapons production get turned over
           to the private sector for use, and they're not
           facilities that are scrubbed free of any
                       And then the learning aspect becomes very
           significant.  So here's some of the lessons that loom
           large to us.  Looking at sites -- so this comes right
           out of DOE's own report from clean-up to stewardship.
                       Rocky Flats, 1940.  Here was Denver and
           here's Boulder, I guess, and here's Rocky Flats today
           and this is, you know, the kind of stuff you get off
           of a LANDSAT image, that's how this was created, of
           how growth and development has changed.
                       So if you've been to Rocky Flats, it's
           obvious to anybody driving down that road there's an
           awful lot of housing right there nearby.  And this is
           a site which is -- you know -- DOE creates a vision of
           it in a kind of computer animation that shows
           buildings disappearing and a green field, basically.
                       But you know, Ray was using that term and
           that's one we thought about in this report, too.  You
           know, what does it mean to call something a green
           field?  It really doesn't mean that what you see is
           green grass.  It means it's free of contamination.
                       Well, Rocky Flats will be the green grass,
           but by no means free of contamination.  So and this
           is, you know, with the encroaching settlement.  So
           these kinds of issues really have to be looked at.
                       I also wanted to show you a couple of
           pictures from Hanford again, because the way that we
           think about sites -- you were talking about EPA -- you
           know, tends to be in a very management-driven way.
                       And what's interesting about Hanford, we
           see maps like this all the time.  You know, what is
           the 100 area at Hanford?  Is there a boundary line?
           Is there something you can see from a satellite?
           There's not -- this was an operational term.
                       It was meant to be cryptic, you know.  It
           was created during the war, the 100 area, the 200
           area.  Something went on there, you know, take this
           stuff over to the 200 area.  Don't -- whatever you do,
           don't open the doors in the back of the truck.
                       So these were operational designations and
           it's how we're used to thinking about our sites.  And
           we bring in somebody like EPA and we start targeting
           a clean-up.
                       And this is one that I've been looking at
           through my involvement in the Press Program, you know,
           playing the game of CERCLA, which is a dice and slice
           approach.  It's a reductionist approach that I would
           argue drives us away from the big picture of what
           we're really trying to do.
                       And I think that's something really
           important.  So you get, you know, all these reactor
           areas, and you've got all this contaminated
           groundwater.  But you know, the approach with CERCLA
           is basically, take the problem down to its smallest
           relevant scale and deal with every single facility,
           pipeline, et cetera, on top of this mass of
           contaminated groundwater that we really don't have any
           way to do anything about, right?
                       So what's interesting there is we start
           imposing, you know, the devil's in the details.  But
           let me just say, the institutional controls that have
           been created in associated with soils clean-up
           deliberately are created in a way that ignores the
           reality of this contaminated drinking water plume.
                       In other words, we're only asking the
           question, what minimizes the contribution from this
           site to the drinking water as if it were
           uncontaminated because we're trying to, you know,
           remove every iota of contamination.
                       And we're doing that in a way where we are
           actually, in order to kind of force the removal of
           contamination, we're using a residential scenario
           here.  So the thought here is residential, and the
           whole construction of institutional controls is
           oriented toward this notion of residential use which
           will never occur.
                       And people think that's a good thing
           because it's a high standard.  I argue it's a bad
           thing because it's preventing you from thinking about
           what really will occur and whether you're really being
           protective about that.
                       So you're not protective by creating
           little holes where you're cleaning up these little
           individual sites that are very clean to a residential
           use that could never be supported because of all the
           other hazards in the area.
                       So no one would ever -- you'd never want
           anybody to live here, but is the area really being --
           are you doing the best thing to make the area safe for
           the uses that are likely to occur?  That's the
           question that seems to us to not be getting approached
           through the kind of things that we're doing in our
           most dominant cleanup strategies.
                       So you end up with that.  Swiss cheese,
           basically, we have excised some holes.  We've created
           some brown fields, and that's the world we're going to
           try to live in.
                       And I guess I'll just -- I've switched now
           to Savannah River and I've borrowed this slide from
           Chuck Powers and, boy, it doesn't show much.  But I
           made that point about looking at sites in operational
           terms over and over.
                       You know, every maps shows the 100 area
           and the reactor sites.  This is a aerial photograph of
           the Savannah River site, and here's the Savannah River
           site boundary.  And this is, I think, Steel Creek and
           supposed to show -- doesn't show very well -- but it's
           supposed to be cesium concentrations in surface
           sediments in the creek.
                       And what you see here in the aerial
           photograph is an active working farm snugged right up
           against the site boundary.  Well, I argue -- we argue
           -- there's a reality in this kind of image that you
           just don't quite get to when you keep looking at
           things in regulatory-driven and sort of operational
                       You're not really looking at who your
           neighbors are and what's likely to happen, like if we
           change this boundary.  You know, should this boundary
           actually be pushed out so that we don't have a farm
           here for the institutional control period at this
                       And those are the kinds of questions we're
           not asking, and I know that if you -- because I've
           been to the 100 area at Hanford, and if you go to the
           -- so if you haven't been there in awhile you might be
           surprised, because if you stand there at the end
           reactor or any of the others and look out across the
           river, what you see marching down the other side of
           the river are vineyards.
                       The Washington Wine industry is booming.
           It's really hot stuff.  Everybody's planting
           vineyards.  No pun intended, but you know, even the
           perception that there's contamination that's affecting
           those grapes, and perception, not necessarily reality,
           would be a financial disaster to the agricultural
           sector in Washington State.
                       And a downstream view, too, this is part
           of the story right off site, the fact is, there are
           off site affects, and I think any reasonable
           institutional control, stewardship planning has to get
           serious about those.
                       This is fish consumption from the Savannah
           River, a study done by Joanna Berger, who's at Rutgers
           University.  And her point was, she interviewed
           fishermen, intercepted them and talked to them and
           went to their homes and interviewed them about their
           fish consumption, and found that the EPA model is
           assuming 19 kilograms per year consumption.
                       And this is actual consumption and here's
           50 over here, and you see that there are some
           consumers of the fish caught in this river who are
           well, well over those assumed limits.
                       So again, you know, the kind of artificial
           constructs we're using in our risk modeling aren't
           necessarily verified by empirical reality.  And if
           we're really going to be protective at these sites,
           we're going to have to change those things.
                       Well, I think what I ought to do is --
           let's see where we are.  I'm inclined to sort of --
           I've talked enough, I think -- to rush toward the --
           rather than -- let me just tell you what we did.
                       I'll summarize it briefly, you know, and
           I'll show yo some of the things, because you've
           already seen some of the recommendations from the
           report.  We did come up with -- we would say our
           report is a blueprint, that we talk about these tools
           that the -- are available to site managers, you know,
           isolation barriers, remediation as a stewardship tool,
           and institutional controls and other stewardship
                       The contextual factors, the ways and risks
           and costs and political accountability and so forth
           will shape and constrain the decisions at site.  And
           then what we do in our report is talk about these
           desirable characteristics of institutional control
                       This is our coming back to the criteria
           question that was part of the charge, and then our
           generic design and implementation criteria and some
           recommendations and so forth.  So let me finish up,
           then, by just talking briefly about some of these
                       I think the lists of the characteristics
           of what we want in the ideal are not hard to find.
           Everybody's talking about them.  You can look at the
           work that Resources for the Future is doing.  There's
           some very nice stuff by John Applegate, who some of
           you may know.
                       You know, here's the layering and
           redundancy idea that I talked about.  This notion of
           reliability, you know, it's one thing to say that a
           system will be reliable.  I'm working with a professor
           of government at American University, a guy named
           Howard McCarty, who studies something called high
           reliability organizations.
                       And he points out that the bureaucratic
           organizational model is absolutely the enemy of
           reliability.  I mean, this is government theory.  What
           you want a bureaucracy for is constancy and
           maintenance, and it has worked.
                       We have a postal service that we've had
           since Benjamin Franklin still delivering the mail and
           doing it pretty well, you know, constantly changing,
           but basically delivering the mail.
                       So we have a flywheel in our bureaucratic
           form of government that came from Max Weber that keeps
           it all going in a way where it's predictable that what
           we did in the Truman administration we can still do in
           the Bush administration in pretty much the same way.
                       But that's not the same as reliability
           that applies when you're dealing with hazards by any
           stretch.  And in fact, it gets very difficult to do
           that, right, and we all know the reasons, the budgets
           and so forth.
                       You know, the money for long-term
           stewardship, the things that's got many states
           refusing to cooperate, refusing to say yes to DOE, is
           they're just not assured that there's going to be the
           commitment from anybody with funding to keep the
           system going.
                       It's a real hard problem, let alone this
           notion of how you really do.  I mean, when you look at
           reliability people start looking at things like the
           flight crews that launch the space shuttle, or the
           people that land planes on aircraft carriers.
                       And that's a very different kind of
           organization.  It's one that actually when you study
           it, you discover it's not at all bureaucratic in its
           character.  It doesn't even respect its own hierarchy.
                       The guy who's -- the term "inside the
           bubble," apparently, we were operating in the bubble
           or along the bubble, comes from people on flight decks
           who are in these plexiglass bubbles watching planes
           come in for landings.
                       And this is usually a young -- you know
           -- this is a navy, but this is a young guy.  This is
           an ensign at best.  It may even not be an officer.  He
           has authority.  He has authority that won't be
           questioned by his commanding officer.
                       If he waves the plane off, the plane is
           waved off.  He has a -- he's making a snap judgment.
           He's running -- you know -- I don't want to dwell on
           this too much, just to point out, though,
           bureaucracies don't operate that way.
                       We do have accountability and slow process
           and that isn't necessarily the way to assure that the
           operations of something you really care about are
           reliable.  So you know, again, accountability,
           feasibility, defense in depth that I talked about,
           stability through time, you know, these are the kinds
           of things we want to worry about.
                       And we want to make sure that when we put
           these systems in place the objectives are clear,
           right, of our organizations, the governance is clear.
           Who's in -- we can't -- you know -- the Fish and
           Wildlife Service and the Department of Energy are
           going to have to come to some terms that relates to
           fire suppression policy where it's necessary, right?
                       So it's got to be clear who's doing what.
           It has to be integrated and there has to be positive
           incentives.  Employees, people at the bottom who
           really make sure that things really happen, if they
           don't perceive that the incentives are in the right
           direction, they don't behave in the right way.
                       So we think that we wanted to kind of
           invert the sort of standard thought process here.  We
           think people should plan for uncertainty and plan for
           fallibility.  We wrestle a lot with this language, as
           Ray will well remember.
                       And what we mean is, you know, not really,
           literally, everything is going to fail, but to plan as
           if it's going to fail and not as if it's going to
           succeed.  It's a different planning basis.  It gets
           you to a different place in a cautionary approach to
           what you're doing.
                       Incentive structures have to be real.  I
           was at a -- I think -- were you on the -- no, actually
           it was -- maybe you were on the committee with
           Elizabeth Pate-Cornell (phonetic), where we looked at
           maritime safety.
                       She gave a talk at the Society for Risk
           Analysis last month in Washington, a very nice talk
           about a study she did on the space shuttle system
           where she was engaged to look at the problem of the
                       If you know about the space shuttle, these
           heat-resistant tiles are everything to whether a
           shuttle's going to be able to land or not without
           burning up.  And one of the things they found is that
           the incentive structure was such that among the lowest
           salary employees were people who were tile inspectors.
                       And there were jobs they aspired to where
           they could make more money.  So what you discover was
           you never had any experienced tile inspectors.  And
           this is a purely intuitive thing.  You know, this
           one's got to be replaced or these are okay.
                       It's people learning in a kind of
           intuitive way how to be good at that job, but they
           don't stay in it.  So when they realized that they
           changed the whole job classification system with the
           help of the union, and made tile inspector one of the
           better-paying jobs.
                       And now, it's one that everybody wants and
           you do get senior people.  So that kind of stuff is
           out there lurking and it's things that you really need
           to be worrying about.  So our findings were that
           -- this isn't our finding.
                       It was DOE's finding, but we stole it from
           them, I guess.  All sites will require future
           oversight.  That's, you know, they count 140 some
           major sites and they say 109 of them require long-term
           stewardship, no matter what clean-up occurs.
                       Engineered barriers do have limited lives.
           That's the reality of them.  Don't talk about 1,000-
           year barriers.  Institutional controls will eventually
           fail.  And by that I mean, if you don't keep renewing
           them, they fail.
                       It's like it's got to be -- you've got to
           keep starting all over again.  There's nothing you can
           put in place that you can reliably say will continue.
           Remediation planning isn't taking long-term factors
           into account.
                       Transport modeling is inadequate, and
           we're recommending things like, for example, taking
           the performance assessment idea -- this is something
           that I think would be a natural to you people, to the
           Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and talk about
           institutional performance assessment.
                       What kind of standards and criteria for
           the performance of institutions, you know, basically
           administering, implementing institutional controls,
           can we hold them to?  And what should those standards
           be?  What's the error rate that's the tolerable error
                       Bob Bernero used to talk about this a lot.
           He used to say the essence of the problem is the
           consequences of failure have to be tolerable.  And if
           you're not operating inside that domain, then you're
           not operating in the right domain.  Very interesting
                       You have to have a basic research program.
           It's fundamental.  We're just not to the point where
           we know very much about these things in our scientific
           understanding, both the natural and social side.
                       We need these organizational designs that
           are more reliable than traditional bureaucratic forms.
           That's a very difficult challenge, but it's the
           reality.  And we need to be, as I said, pessimistic in
           our planning.
                       Assume that the institutional controls
           will fall apart and then what.  Ask yourself that
           question.  Assume that contamination migration
           assumptions won't -- they tend to be very rosy
           scenarios when you look at the kind of modeling that
           is done at sites, for example, using EPA's REDRAD
           model, where we assume the kind of homogeneity in the
           subsurface that isn't necessarily there.
                       And you know, our basic conclusion is that
           the approach is really the key.  We call it long-term
           institutional management.  It's very comprehensive.
           It's definitely iterative.  It tries to be goal-
           focused and goal-oriented and tries to overcome all
           the natural problems of bureaucracy.
                       Do we end up saying, here's a recipe for
           how to do that?  We don't.  In fact, we say, there's
           no recipe for success.  It's something that's just
           going to have to be worked out by people like you.
           Believe it or not, that's all I have to say.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Great.
                       DR. WYMER:  As usual, very, very lucid,
           very interesting, Tom, and thank you very much.
                       Are there any questions here from the
                       DR. LESCHINE:  And fire away.
                       DR. WYMER:  I think we're still reeling a
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  What do you think's
           going to happen to your report?
                       DR. LESCHINE:  Good question.  You know,
           among organizations which are not real strong on
           follow-through, the National Research Council.  And I
           think what should have happened or should happen are
           some follow-up studies to try to turn this into kind
           of an empirical reality.
                       There was a suggestion that there be some
           studies that look at actual sites and try to look at
           the planning as being done in a detailed way and
           compare it to this model.  And I know that Kevin has
           been working with Gerald Boyd on trying to come to
           terms on something like that.
                       But my understanding is, nothing has
           happened.  So I think if there isn't follow-up, what
           the difficulty is with all National Research Council
           studies, they tend to appear in isolation.  You know,
           Bob Budnitz had the point -- although he's
           masquerading as Carol Harris right now --
                       DR. LESCHINE:  -- made the point a couple
           of years -- he's on the board.  You still on the
                       MR. BUDNITZ:  No.
                       DR. LESCHINE:  And one of his point on the
           board was the board should do a study which is simply
           to study its own studies and look for the consistency,
           the coherency and start putting that out as a separate
           message, that there are all these reports that point
           in this direction, because otherwise, the follow-
           through doesn't occur.
                       And DOE says fine, thank you, we're
           already doing it, and that can be the end of the
           story.  So I don't know if we're going to have an
           impact in the long run.  I hope that the stakeholders
           and people like that take on the charge.
                       I was at a meeting in San Francisco and a
           guy representing the Colorado Attorney General's
           Office got up and gave the talk on the report.  He
           just had read it so thoroughly that every slide was
           about a report.
                       And he said, this is the best -- he said,
           this is what we need to finally be able to deal with
           DOE on the terms and conditions for long-term care of
           Rocky Flats.  So you know, if it gets out in that way,
           then if it's received in that sense I think you do
           have a lasting impact.
                       But I am worried about that.  As usual,
           John Garrick asks the key question.
                       DR. WYMER:  Any other questions, George?
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  No.
                       MR. BUDNITZ:  Can I make --
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes, sure, Bob.
                       MR. BUDNITZ:  I'm Bob Budnitz.  I just
           want to raise a question that seems to me fundamental
           to the whole enterprise, and without knowing what the
           answer is.
                       The reason why these meetings are
           necessary and the reason why we're worried is because
           there's risk out there that we think is troubling if
           it's not managed properly.
                       Risk to the environment, risk to public
           health and safety, various kinds of risks that differ
           from site to site, and in fact, differ over the
           decades and millennia, depending on your time scale.
                       Now, part of the problem that I understand
           involving the skepticism of the people at the sites,
           these are DOE sites, but by the way could perfectly
           well apply to a site where one or two or three nuclear
           reactors are now sitting that it's going to be
           decommissioned and managed whenever, some years hence,
           exactly the same thing, is that the people at the site
           having these concerns insist on certain end-points for
           risk which they want because many of them wish there
           had never been that thing there.
                       They'd just as soon it was 1930.  And like
           I said, this could perfectly well apply to a reactor
           site or it could be Hanford or Fernald or wherever.
                       And sometimes, the reason why they're
           skeptical of signing on to something like this is that
           they don't believe -- and I understand why they don't
           believe -- that the federal government will be there
           50 or 100 years from now, the Congress will be there
           with appropriations and with follow-through, or you
           know, and so on.
                       You say the Postal Service works.  Well,
           the Postal Service has revenue, you know.  It's 34
           cents and it's doing something -- I mean, we
           understand this, but -- and the revenue's guaranteed
           by as long as there's, you know, revenue.
                       But that's not true of most other
           government agencies.  In fact, hardly anything else is
           like that.  And so local people are afraid to sign
           onto something without knowing, and they can't know
           because Congress by definition in the Constitution can
           only appropriate one year at a time, except when
           they're building ships it can be three.
                       They just don't read the Constitution,
           although it's literally what it says.  Now, the
           problem has to do with what risk is acceptable or what
           risks are risks, and that's where the trouble comes.
                       You see, I remember hearing the classic
           phrase.  It's called the man from Maine.  That's
           interesting because the DOE has no sites in Maine.
           That's why you use the man from Maine.  Why would the
           man from Maine appropriate his or her tax dollars to
           fix something at Hanford and Savannah River?
                       The answer is because the man from Maine
           benefitted from those activities, you know.  I mean,
           that's always the rationale.  We understand that
           rationale.  But sometimes, the remedy sought costs far
           more than the real objective risk is, and that's the
                       And therefore, I want to insist on
           something that is at least the perspective I bring to
           this.  Until and unless there is some agreed-on -- and
           this is very hard politically -- rational allocation
           of these risks and the benefits that allows the man
           from Maine, the skeptical appropriator in the
           Congress to feel that the money is being properly
           allocated roughly, there will always be this concern.
                       And it rears its ugly head every time you
           turn around and see something nuts.  And if you'll
           indulge me I'll just give you a 90-second thing about
           something that's absolutely nuts that I was just
           involved in.
                       At Idaho they have all this low-level
           waste that's contaminated with a little bit of
           plutonium that could otherwise go to WIPP, except it's
           got a little bit of PCBs, so it can't go to WIPP.
                       So the scheme that the department came up
           with after six or eight years of hard work was, we're
           going to incinerate the stuff to get rid of the PCBs,
           and then the ash -- it's perfectly good technology, it
           works -- the ash can go to WIPP.
                       And they did all this.  They had the EIS
           process.  They had a record and decision.  They were
           going ahead with an incinerator to incinerate 65,000
           cubic meters of this stuff.  And the incinerator met
           all applicable regulations at its fence post, which
           was 35 miles from Idaho Falls.
                       The people in Jackson, 90 miles further
           east, or 125 miles from the site, objected that some
           of that stuff might get to them, and in fact, some
           does, 10 to minus 44 or something.  I don't know the
           number, but anyway, it's nothing, but it's something.
                       And they had enough political muscle that
           the secretary in August put the incinerator on hold
           while he commissioned a blue ribbon panel that I set
           up to explore alternatives to incineration, of which
           there are some.
                       And we identified alternatives to
           incineration.  That was the charge.  It's just been
           published December 15th.  You can go and read it.  It
           came out of the secretary's office at SEAD (phonetic).
           I was part of that.
                       But all those alternatives cost tens of
           millions of dollars more than the incineration, and
           there's no risk that's being averted that wasn't
           averted before.  And when that nonsense goes on, the
           man from Maine is skeptical.
                       And that then leads to the skepticism of
           the local people that the government will carry
           through because they listen to political noises that
           aren't necessarily risk-based.
                       And I think that this Committee, ACNW,
           ought to wrestle hard with whether there's some
           mechanism -- because obviously, you're concerned with
           NRC licensed facilities, which are not necessarily
           -- not just reactors that are going to be
           decommissioned, but other facilities like that, that
           NRC licenses and the -- you know -- the initial
           facilities and obviously the waste sites, the Part 61
           sites and Part 60 sites, Part 63 sites.
                       Seems to me that until and unless there is
           some way to overcome that skepticism, the skepticism
           just arises out of this risk misallocation, so people
           feel they're mis-spending money, there isn't going to
           be any easy way to overcome that problem.
                       And I think that's one of the real roots
           of this long-term problem with commitment, and the
           problem of commitment goes back to the risk.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.  And we have a member in
           our Committee who's sitting on my left here, Milt
           Levenson, who echoes or says exactly the same thing
           you've just been saying.
                       MR. BUDNITZ:  I knew perfectly well that
           Milt thought --
                       DR. LEVENSON:  Well, I can give you --
                       MR. BUDNITZ:  I've known Milt for a few
           days or so.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  I'll give you a better
           example in connection with WIPP.  A piece of plutonium
           that's chrome-plated is taken into a glove box and
           stripped the chrome off because you can't put it into
           WIPP, but then you put that piece of plutonium in a
           stainless steel barrel and bury it in WIPP because
           "the stainless is not part of the waste," quote,
                       MR. BUDNITZ:  But the chrome --
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes, that's a lot of chromium
           in there.
                       MR. BUDNITZ:  But I guess I was trying to
           focus on the fact, and it is a fact, that when public
           at the sites insist on measures that are very costly
           that are not beneficial to the risk, it induces the
           skepticism that induces their skepticism that Congress
           will appropriate, and so it becomes a cycle.  Okay.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  Yes.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       MR. BUDNITZ:  And I don't know what to do
           about that.
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  So why does Jacksonhole
           have more clout than the people from Maine?
                       DR. WYMER:  He said they have more money.
                       MR. BUDNITZ:  Well, in this particular
           case they have more clout because there was an
           election going on.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       MR. BUDNITZ:  And there were donors; and
           there were donors and they went to court.  I mean, you
           know, just different things, they're political things
           that are --
                       DR. LESCHINE:  Yes.  They did see it.  It
           was in their back yard from retrospective, and the man
           in Maine is silent --
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  Yes.
                       DR. LESCHINE:  -- because it's not in his
           back yard.
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  That was my point.
                       DR. LESCHINE:  Yes.
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  And I think that will
           always be true.
                       DR. LESCHINE:  Yes.
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  I don't think that
           there's a resolution for that.  I had another comment
           on -- for you, Tom.  Then again, it's a little bit off
           the subject.  But as you pointed out, that nice graph
           from Jane Long's report on travel time at INEL, and I
           think that it is important, though, that we contrast
           a minimum travel time with a mass flux.
                       MR. BUDNITZ:  Yes.
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  Those two things are
           really different.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.  Yes.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  Right.
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  And it's not huge
           quantities of plutonium that have made it down to the
           inner beds in the Snake River plain.
                       DR. WYMER:  Right.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  So you need to talk
           about mass flow.
                       DR. WYMER:  Mass flow.
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  Well, that's -- at least
           it's another facet of the problem.  I'm not saying
           that we shouldn't talk about travel time, but it is
           important to not think that everything is going that
                       MR. BUDNITZ:  But I insist that that was
           the problem with the incinerator.  People in Jackson
           asked the question, will any of that stuff get to me,
           and the answer was, 10 to minus 14 will.  And by the
           way, there's no -- you know -- there's nothing -- no
           such thing as zero.
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  Right.
                       MR. BUDNITZ:  And they said, we want
           nothing, and nothing is nothing.  But there are no
           zeros in the environment in this way, and that then
           feeds, you know, the perception -- and then they gave
           in so that that feeds the next guy who's going to try
           it again, because they gave in this time.
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  I actually do have
           another question that follows on what Tom was
           suggesting, and that is the -- I think you called it
           the fragility of government controls, and I suppose
           that in some ways the commercial controls are viewed
           as even more fragile.
                       And I know in discussions like this people
           somewhat frivolously say, well, why don't we engage
           the Catholic Church because it's been going for a few
           thousand years.  Do you have any alternatives, other
           than, say, national governments for being less
                       DR. LESCHINE:  Well, yes.  I think in one
           word, oversight, that if you really have an engaged
           citizenry that cares about a place and has a stake in
           the environmental health of the place, that that would
           -- I mean, that's what democracy should make work.
                       So you'd like to believe that maybe -- you
           know -- everybody kind of looks to the Internet as a
           solution to all problems, but the idea that it is
           possible to put a lot more information out in front of
           a public in a form that, you know, right now I would
           say we're not doing all that well.
                       But got a graduate student, in fact,
           working on the problem with transparency and what it
           means and how you achieve it.  And part of her
           dissertation research is going to be to develop a
           website based on this 100-area clean-up where you try
           to put out information and then test it with a group
           of people knowledgeable about Hanford and see, does
           this help you understand what's going on and could you
           imagine this thing being a useful way to track and
           understand the system -- any system of controls and
           the institutional controls being in place.
                       And I guess that's ultimately what you
           have to rely on, right, because there just isn't a
           magic priesthood out there that's going to do this
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  In some ways it strikes
           me that what you're suggesting is an equivalent to a
           local priesthood, and that is, to have local interest
           with an Aldo Leopold ethic.
                       DR. LESCHINE:  Yes.
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  Who will provide some
                       DR. LESCHINE:  And again, the difficulty
           at DOE sites is some of the -- you know -- they have
           the Citizen Advisory Boards and these things have been
           very fractionated at some of the sites.
                       And the one at Oak Ridge is one where -- I
           think it was Oak Ridge -- where we had an exit
           actually from the board of the entire environmental
           contingent.  And Oak Ridge is very split because the
           community there, the business interests, the Chamber
           of Commerce, have really been pushing hard this re-
           industrialization approach.
                       And we went down there and we got some
           presentations from them, and I have to say, I did feel
           that there were people in very nice suits who
           represented the business community and didn't know
           anything about the risk who were simply asserting that
           there was no risk, or that there would be no risk,
           because, really, what they wanted was economic
           development, and you have to be able to counter that.
                       And so yes, but you know, how you maintain
           that is very difficult.  You really have to take the
           long perspective, and recognize that there may be
           periods where you don't have a very good balance
           between the two interests.
                       And you hope that you will restore that
           balance in the future.  But you have to take into
           account what Bob was saying, too, that you know, that
           the Citizens' Group is just as capable of sort of
           pushing down the road toward these unrealistic clean-
           ups that are very expensive.
                       And that kind of creates its own kind of
           difficulty because that starts creating economic
           inefficiency, which raises the ire of the counter to
           that, the business interests.  No easy solution.
                       DR. WYMER:  No, there's no easy solution.
           Are there any other questions around the table here?
           How about from the audience?  That certainly was a
           -- John, please.  John Greeves.
                       MR. GREEVES:  Yes, just -- John Greeves.
           I don't know whether it's a question or really a
           comment.  The report presents at least two problems to
           us.  One is, the report identifies inadequate
                       And frankly, that's what we use to
           terminate sites.  We do this all the time.  We're
           terminating sites every year.  We use modeling,
           predictive tools.  So the Academy putting out a report
           like that, it's a tool that people could bring to the
           table, you know.
                       If it went to a hearing, Academy says the
           models are inadequate.  So that I'm not looking for an
           answer.  I'm just identifying a concern.  And Bob, you
           chuckle over there.  Maybe you can give me some help
           on that, because as you know, we -- you do use
           modeling for high-level waste, low-level waste,
           terminating sites.
                       And for a National Academy Report to say
           inadequate is a challenge.  The second one is, I know
           you did this report in the context of the Department
           of Energy and you stressed an integrated approach in,
           it sounds like an evolving management process.
                       Maybe that's okay for the Department of
           Energy, but in the commercial sector the idea is
           you've got to terminate sometime.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       MR. GREEVES:  How do you price out
           something that stresses an evolving approach so you
           can get enough money up front to account for what you
           described?  I see that as a bit of a challenge for
           the, you know, the bigger sites, the 10, 12 that we,
           you know, may have a similar problem with.
                       So I don't expect an answer, but I share
           with you what a read of the report you produced has in
           terms of impacts on the commercial sector.
                       DR. WYMER:  Right.
                       DR. LESCHINE:  Well, what you just said,
           I mean, you used the key words in your remark, price
           out, and that's that notion of creating some kind of
           a fiduciary mechanism, a trust of some sort that can
           be there when the private enterprise -- private entity
           is gone.
                       And yes, you know, that absolutely is the
           case of any brown fields or Super Fund site in the
           private sector.  That private entity always wants to
           buy out of that site.  It's a liability that they're
           carrying and it's only sensible.
                       And it's sensible when you get to the
           appropriate point to permit them to do that.  So then
           it really does become a question of the mechanism.
           Resources for the Future last month had a meeting on
           trust fund mechanisms.
                       I didn't go to it, but I heard from
           several people -- I think Bob was there -- that it was
           a very interesting meeting, and they -- you know
           -- they talked about some of the -- I think they came
           down on the side of kind of state and local
           arrangements over federal, because federal trust funds
           have some innate difficulties from our constitution
           that they really just become IOUs and not real money
           in the bank, and you're actually not avoiding the
           Congressional appropriation problem.
                       But I think there's, you know, good
           experience in the brown fields world, for example.  At
           one point in our report we got a presentation from a
           guy named Ed Frost who's a very prominent attorney
           who's worked in brown fields area, worked with Tom
           Grumley for awhile, in fact.
                       And they were talking about these kinds of
           arrangements where essentially you've got to figure
           out up front what the right amount of money is.  And
           if you do that and you turn that over to the
           government entity or whoever, it could even be another
           private sector entity, why not, you know, that's how
           you do it.
                       So that's the mechanism, but we have to
           rely on that mechanism.  You know, the State of
           Tennessee has an interesting experiment where they did
           negotiate a trust over some facilities at Oak Ridge.
                       But it was very interesting what they did,
           because even after this tremendous battle with DOE
           over the principle of the trust fund, DOE relented and
           they created a trust.
                       But they did it for -- when it was done,
           the battle was won -- I guess we would argue and it's
           in our report -- the war was lost because they took no
           uncertainty into account, and only looked at the
           predicted cost of maintaining and monitoring a cap.
                       And so they settled on $14 million, which
           they amortized into the exact dollar value of the
           estimated monitoring and maintenance of the cap at the
           site in perpetuity, or for as long as was necessary
           for the -- given the hazard.
                       Well, you know, that's kind of the right
           approach but the wrong answer, because what's missing
           there is factoring in the uncertainty and the real
           scenarios of what can go wrong and what happens if
           that goes wrong.
                       So you know, these trusts could be the
           answer but they have to be done in a way that takes
           the uncertainties into account and doesn't just ignore
           them.  And again, that gives --
                       MR. GREEVES:  Those uncertainties will
           drive the cost up significantly.
                       DR. LESCHINE:  Yes.  Well, that's where
           you -- but you know, those exist in the private sector
           and don't we use insurance to do that?  And so
           sometimes, insurance schemes are preferable because
           you pool the risk if you have an insurance company out
                       And something will go wrong at one site,
           but it won't go wrong at every site.  So in that way
           we sort of meter out the money on a, you know,
           actualized risk basis.  That's some people's
                       DR. LEVENSON:  Has anybody gone back and
           looked -- we do have a lot of experience over a long
           period of time in a somewhat different field -- in
           perpetual care in cemeteries, who make estimates and
           funded things and costs have changed over time.
                       Have anybody gone back and see if there's
           anything to be learned from all of that experience?
                       DR. LESCHINE:  If you read the literature
           that comes out of the social sciences on long-term
           care and maintenance, cemeteries are a very prominent
           model.  National parks are another model, too.
                       You know, Yellowstone is still there as
           Yellowstone.  As our first national park, it's more
           than 100 years old.  But cemeteries are good ones, you
           know, except what happens with cemeteries is they do
           drive you to the edge of sort of your limits of
           control, you know, that kind of cultural imperialism
           where one group overcomes another.
                       And often, what they do is go out and
           desecrate the cemeteries.  So the Arlingtons get very
           well taken care of, but the Jewish cemetery in Warsaw
           does not, you know.  So those are the dilemmas that
           you have to face, but yes, a cemetery is a good model
           because there's an income flow in a way.
                       People die, except you know, the Catholic
           Church is having a hard time maintaining some of its
           cemeteries right now, and it's turning into kind of a
           little crisis for them because of the changing
           demographics of the population.
                       And they're not maintaining the income
           flow they had expected.  So but it's an interesting
                       DR. WYMER:  Okay.  Well, is there any
           other comments or observations?  It's certainly a
           provocative talk, and it's a challenging field.
           There's no question about it, this whole business of
           institutional management.
                       DR. LESCHINE:  Yes.  I think this report,
           I have to say, we raised many more questions than we
           had answers, as Carolyn Huntoon pointedly said.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       DR. LESCHINE:  So.
                       DR. WYMER:  Well, thanks again.  I know
           you came here at some personal sacrifice.  We
           appreciate it.
                       DR. LESCHINE:  Well, it's my pleasure.
           Thank you.
                       DR. WYMER:  Very much.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  All right.  This
           actually ends the presentation phase of our meeting,
           especially since I regret to announce that John
           Ahearne came down sick this morning, with chills and
           headaches and sore throats and has had to cancel his
           visit with us this morning.
                       So from this point on we will not need
           recording and there will no longer be any formal
           presentations and the committee will, after the break,
           reconvene to do some planning and business-related
                       So we adjourn with a 15-minute break.
                       DR. WYMER:  Thank you.
                       (Whereupon, this portion of the 124th
           meeting of the Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste was
           concluded at approximately 10:50 a.m.)
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Monday, January 27, 2014