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Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste 126th Meeting, May 15, 2001

                Official Transcript of Proceedings


Title:                    Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste
                               126th Meeting

Docket Number:  (not applicable)

Location:                 Rockville, Maryland

Date:                     Tuesday, May 15, 2001

Work Order No.: NRC-223                                Pages 1-87

                   NEAL R. GROSS AND CO., INC.
                 Court Reporters and Transcribers
                  1323 Rhode Island Avenue, N.W.
                     Washington, D.C.  20005
                          (202) 234-4433.                         UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
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                                 + + + + +
                               126TH MEETING
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                               MAY 15, 2001
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                            ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND
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                       The Committee met at the Nuclear
           Regulatory Commission, Two White Flint North, Room
           T2B3, 11545 Rockville Pike, at 10:30 a.m., B. John
           Garrick, Chairman, presiding.
                 B. JOHN GARRICK, Chairman
                 GEORGE M. HORNBERGER, Vice Chairman
                 MILTON LEVENSON, Member
                 RAYMOND G. WYMER, Member

           .                                A-G-E-N-D-A
                       AGENDA ITEM                         PAGE
           Progress Update on Key Technical Issues,
                 Vertical Slice Report. . . . . . . . . . . . 4
           Update on Thermal Effects on Flow. . . . . . . . . 5
           Discussion of Total System Performance
                 Assessment Investigation . . . . . . . . . .41
           Discussion on Schedules and Deliverables . . . . .52
           Highlights of DOE's Site Recommendation
                 Process. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .70
           Adjourn. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .87

           .                           P-R-O-C-E-E-D-I-N-G-S
                                                   (10:40 a.m.)
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Let's come to order.
           We're not at the agenda item that's referred to as the
           key technical issues, vertical slice report and the
           purpose of this particular session is for the
           Committee Members to give a progress report on where
           they are in their assigned KTIs.  And unless somebody
           has a suggestion of a different order, we'll just take
           it as it's shown on the agenda.
                       So Lynn and George, you've got an update
           on the saturated zone flow?
                       Where's Lynn?
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  I think that I
           can go ahead.  There's not too much of an update, all
           right?  Neither Lynn nor I have -- you sort of got our
           views last time.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  The only thing
           -- I just simply have --
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  By the way, we are now
           on the record, I'm told.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  So I'm going to
           have to use this?
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  One thing, just
           as a bit of an update, at the High Level Waste
           Conference I did go by and heard John Kessler gave a
           paper for Frank Schwartz.  Frank Schwartz is a
           hydrogeologist, a consultant to EPRI who looked at the
           saturated zone flow modeling.  And well, not to go on
           at length about hydrology which I know is near and
           dear to everyone's heart, the bottom line conclusion
           that they come to, that EPRI came to was that the DOE
           approach was overly conservative in their treatment of
           the saturated zone transport.  Frank Schwartz,
           depending upon -- he felt that with his most realistic
           assumptions, he felt that ground water travel times
           might be on the order of 30,000 years.  That may be
           pushing it, but nevertheless, their bottom line
           conclusion was that the DOE model was and I think this
           was in their slide, overly conservative.
                       MEMBER WYMER:  What's the downside of
           being overly conservative?  Is it a credibility issue?
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  It is leaving the
           public in ignorance as to what the experts think can
           realistically happen.  It's a very serious downside.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  We are involved in the
           EPA versus NRC, should it be 15 MR or 25 MR, when in
           fact, if it's .01 MR it's a pretty important issue.
                       It's just a poor way to practice risk
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Besides, it can
           lead to you think that some trivial things like
           chemistry are actually important.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  When we know it's all
                       It's been suggested that we do want to
           change the order here and for reasons of availability
           of people, maybe we ought to ask Milt to give us an
           update on his next thermal effects on flow.
                       You've got to use your mike.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Our objective was to do
           a vertical slide on thermal effects on flow.  Decided
           to interpret that rather than a strict vertical slice,
           try to follow a drop of water from rain that fell on
           the surface to what might get to the repository, so
           the slide might be slightly diagonal because it goes
           through a lot of different issues.  But we visited the
           Center and talked to a number of people there and then
           came back here and talked to people here.  And the
           question came up, first of all, what are we trying to
           do and I decided that before to decide whether I
           thought the staff was doing a good job or an
           acceptable job or whatever, really needed to have an
           understanding of what the staff's role was which is
           why in the book there's the item on page 7 which was
           an attempt to condense down what is the staff's role.
           And I think an important part of it is the recognition
           that it's not the NRC's responsibility to minimize
           risk.  It's only to assure that the standards are set
           and are met by the licensees.  And in the area of
           ALARA, it's not NRC's responsibility to implement an
           ALARA program, but only to assure that the licensee in
           this case, DOE has one.  And have to keep coming back
           to recognizing that because otherwise why doesn't the
           staff do this or do that?  It's not the responsibility
           of the staff to minimize risk.  And so that sort of
           dictated how we were going to review things.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Of course,
           minimized risk is sort of a bad concept anyway, right?
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Right.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  It potentially
           might lead you to do some goofy things, unless it's
           minimized risk in a global context.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Or unless you're doing
           quas. benefit, but the key point is that minimizing
           risk by itself is not only the staff's job, it's
           probably not in the public interest.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Right.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Because you divert
           resources for more important other things.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  But it is in the public
           interest to manage the risk.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  But somehow, some part
           of the public thinks the target ought to be zero risk
           and that's (a) not achievable, but form our standpoint
           of --
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  But I mean the
           following comment only to assure that the standards
           are met presumably Part 63 is a risk-based or at least
           a dose-based --
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Oh yeah, there's a lot
           of different standards.  It's not a single standard.
           It's all the codes and standards, all the licensing
           requirements, that they're met.  There's no -- it's
           not the staff's role to see that they do better than
           any requirement or code or standard.  And where that
           comes in is in this discussion and John and I both saw
           an awful lot of this in connection with WIPP where DOE
           went way beyond the requirements of any codes and
           standards.  In some cases, in fact, increased the risk
           because they've done that.
                       We had a lot of interesting discussions at
           the Center.  Some of the things that impact the
           vertical slice is that some of the concerns that I
           had, that had them after talking at the Center were
           resolved when we came back here and talked to the
           staff and got how I interpret the staff's version,
           that the KTI -- just because something was resolved in
           the KTI did not mean that that particular issue was
           resolved for the TSPA.  It only meant that it was
           resolved for the data input stage and that whether the
           abstractions and the modeling and everything else on
           that issue were acceptable, the staff is not inferring
           all of those other things are acceptable when they say
           that the KTI is resolved and that, in fact, the staff
           is moving forward now in studying all of those other
           issues and aspects of it.  I must say that made me
           feel much more comfortable because in a lot of cases
           when I saw something in the KTI and I said yeah, but
           that doesn't mean it's being handled right and I got
           the feeling the staff had just about that same point
           and it's going to be moving on.
                       One of the -- a couple of things that came
           up and the answers we got out, I have to qualify
           because I don't know whether it's real or not.  I'll
           tell you the answer we got.  One of the questions I
           asked was in connection with long-term humidity in a
           repository, how important was the effect of barometric
           pumping because I know some cases in Idaho it's been
           very important, quite different conditions, but
           barometric pumping is important.  And the answer I got
           was that they don't think anybody had looked at that
           at all.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  That's not
           true, barometric pumping is known to be important at
           Yucca Mountain and there are papers that have been
           written on it.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Okay.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  I think the
           question you asked was would the effect be on
           humidity.  That's probably what they were talking
           about, but not necessarily had been looked at.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  That's why I said the
           answer I got from the people I talked to was that they
           said as far as they knew nobody had looked at.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  What aspects is
           it important if it is not relative to humidity?
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Are you asking with
           respect to the repository?
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Yes.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  I believe that the
           biggest question would have to do with C14 and Iodine
           129, that is the gas phase transport.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  The place the
           inconsistency comes up is that you assume that the
           repository, the drifts, etcetera, always stay
           saturated with oxygen or at equilibrium, but at the
           same time they don't allow any moisture movement and
           so clearly that's an area that needs to be looked at
           because --
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  My gut level feeling is
           that the barometric pumping is not going to
           significantly affect the relative humidity in the
           repository which is the question that I think you are
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Well, my gut
           feeling is not that because --
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  That's fine.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Because the
           humidity becomes very high because it's treated as a
           closed box and so it slowly builds up.  If it's not a
           closed box --
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Well, except all of our
           experience in mines would dispute that.
                       Relative humidity in mines, once they're
           in salt are very high.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  But not 100
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  In caves, not in mines,
           where the ventilation is not forced, it is darn close
           to 100 percent most of the time.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  In this type of
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  Yep.  You basically need
           open caves to get the dry atmosphere where you get the
           presentation of organic --
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  That's a great bit step.
           The difference between 90 percent and 100 percent can
           be quite important when you're talking about
           condensation and things like that.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  My suspicion is
           you're talking perhaps of 98, 99 percent instead of
           100 percent.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  The more important point
           is it hadn't been looked at.
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  John Walton looked at this
           quite a few years ago and wrote a paper and I think
           it's in Water Resources Research.  Anyhow, I have a
           copy of it, but the effect of even a very highly
           unsaturated rock, with a very high matrix potential is
           on the order of a couple percent.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  I just think you need an
           analysis of this thing.
                       One of the things which came out of some
           of the discussions was my own opinion that the
           sensitivity analysis being done by DOE is probably not
           of much use because they appear to be using the
           extreme bounding values and in fact, that can be very
           misleading because if you do a sensitivity analysis,
           you use that to pick the things you want to focus on
           and if you're bounding values are in some cases high
           by a factor of 2 and in other cases high by a factor
           of 20, you come out with the wrong identification of
           the wrong things that are important.  And so that was
           not a happy finding on my part, that unless you really
           either are consistent in your safety factor or are
           using best estimates, your sensitivity analysis is
           going to cause you to focus on wrong things.
                       One of the other things that I mentioned,
           this tirade came out of following the drop of water is
           that apparently most of the analysis being done at the
           Center, at least, on the evaporation and build up of
           salts and the corrosion problem in the container are
           all being done as a, I guess I'd call it a semi-
           permeable closed box.  That is, everything comes in,
           but as you boil the water off, nothing leaves except
           the H20 and you don't lose any chlorine, any nitric
           acid.  You don't lose anything by boiling it to
           dryness and that certainly has to lead to significant
           over-estimates of concentration.  In fact, I was
           pointing out to Ray this morning, I poured some water
           from this container into the glass and this is cold
           water.  You can smell the chlorine coming off it by
           just smelling it.  You boil it to dryness, you
           certainly lose amounts.  That's being called
           conservative, but again, I don't know.
                       I think we may have -- we discussed some
           of the experiments that are being done and of course,
           DOE picks which experiments to do, but there is some
           concern as to how relevant they are to the real cases
           that are being done.
                       But let me summarize it by saying since I
           understand the intent of the vertical slice is to
           determine whether we think the staff is doing what
           it's supposed to be doing, my answer to that in the
           areas I've looked at, I think the answer is pretty
           much yes.
                       That doesn't mean there isn't a long ways
           to go yet, but they've recognized that and they're
           going there.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  So are you pretty clear
           on how you're going to implement your vertical slice?
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Yes, I think so.  If we
           accept that the intent of the vertical slice is to
           determine whether we think that the staff is doing
           what it should be doing in preparing for a license
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  On the page 8,
           I guess, where you discuss emerging issues, that's
           sort of a list of things that we all might be alert
           for in terms of as we proceed to see if there are
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Oh yeah, one other thing
           which may be one of the most important things and
           again, I'll tell you what I was told.
                       The people at the Center say that they're
           pretty sure that there is no conservation of mass or
           conservation of energy that threads through the entire
           TSPA.  Some of the modules have it internal to the
           modules and most cases it does not go from module to
           module and in one case that they gave an example,
           there's an absolute conflict, because in the seepage
           model the assumption is made that all water moves into
           the drift and then the thermal hydrological model, the
           assumption is made that under thermal effects all the
           water moves away from the drift.
                       But that overall, there is no conservation
           of mass.
                       MEMBER WYMER:  That's time dependent
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  No, for the same time
                       MEMBER WYMER:  Okay.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Of course, that
           might result in local inconsistencies in terms of
           treatment, but not necessarily a violation of
           conservation of mass --
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  But the point is there
           is no specific module to assure conservation of mass.
                       Now this becomes most important, not in
           the context of --
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  What you're saying is
           that the model isn't modularized in a pinch point
           fashion such that the outputs of module A become the
           inputs of module B.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  In mass.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  In mass and energy and
           liquid and --
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  How this turned up some
           years ago, when this question first came up was when
           some -- at that time, much more primitive models were
           run for a very small amount of aluminum fuel to be
           added to Yucca Mountain.  It turned out that that was
           the controlling, eliminating contaminant.  It couldn't
           possibly have been the case.  And we went back and dug
           in into the models, maybe five years ago, got involved
           in this.  This was on an academy committee.
                       We discovered that they had no
           conservation of mass and without a conservation of
           mass you can have a one curie source and 10,000 years
           later you have one curie per cubic meter 20 miles out.
           And so conservation of mass, if it's not an integral
           part of the total TSPA, it's not so much the water
           problem, you don't know what the hell you've got.
                       MEMBER WYMER:  I'm surprised at that.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  My guess is
           that that is not an overriding problem with either TPA
           or TSPA
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  The only thing I can
           tell you is that the people we've talked to said they
           are pretty sure there is no overall conversation.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  But at the
           scale, for example, the unsaturated zone, we're pretty
           sure that they're not putting more water into the
           water table than is coming in.  Okay?  So     we're
           pretty sure they're conserving water mass on the
           mountain scale.  And I would be really surprised if
           somebody hadn't looked at whether or not they were
           keeping track of their total inventory of
                       On the overall basis, I would have grave
           difficulty believing -- unless it's a blunder, that
           they could get more aluminum out than they had --
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  George, on the water
           issue, forget the model.  From everything you know,
           what fraction of the incident water on the surface
           will drip into the drift.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Right.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  And the answer that we
           got, when you apply it to the extremes of current
           rainfall turns out to be less than a quarter of an
           inch per year will enter the drift.
                       Well, when you go down into the detailed
           modules that are looking at things, there's many, many
           times that much water coming into the drift.  Seepage
           models show a hell of a lot of water coming in the
           drift.  So the conservation of mass --
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  No, no, no, no.
           That doesn't violate conservation of mass.  That just
           says that perhaps the model funnels more water into
           the drift than they really believe go in.  But that
           doesn't mean that they've created that water out of a
           whole cloth to put into the drift.  They're still
           keeping track of the critical mass.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Well, okay.  I think
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  You've got an
           observation there, Brett.
                       MR. LESLIE:  Brett Leslie, the staff, NRC.
           I was just making a notation that we perhaps can get
           at this in the gold sim. demonstration.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  What is important here
           is if they do anything that is equivalent to it, but
           you know, they're not doing it rigorously, but if
           their inputs at these different stages of the model
           are such that it's representative of conservation of
           continuity and -- see, what you're really talking
           about is a very fundamental thing.  You'd like to be
           able to start with the continuity equation, the
           conservation of energy --
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  No, no, no.
           That's exactly what they do.
                       So if you look at Bovartson's model, three
           dimensional model at the mountain scale, unless he's
           made a blunder, it conserves mass.
                       MEMBER WYMER:  Through the continuity
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Yes.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  It seems as though it's
           something the NRC could probe and be satisfied on.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  I am much more concerned
           about it as it applies to the fission products than to
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  But, you know, the 800
           pound gorilla is the water, that reaches the waste
           package.  And the end package chemistry that takes
           place --
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  But the aluminum fuel
           had nothing to do with water.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  That's right.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Again, my gut
           feeling is different from yours.  I would be really
           surprised if they weren't keeping track of their
           inventory, but who knows.  Maybe they aren't.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Okay.  Ray?
                       MEMBER WYMER:  AS you know, Andy and I
           have been following the chemistry issues fairly
           assiduously over time here.  We did have a working
           group meeting in February and I'll say a few things
           and then I'll invite Andy to say a whole bunch more,
           which I'm sure he will and then --
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Excuse me, before you go
           on, I screwed up.  I should ask Rich if he has --
                       MR. MAJOR:  I think you covered it.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Okay, I'm sorry, go
                       MEMBER WYMER:  So after Andy elaborates on
           what I say, which he does very well and I'm sure will
           do -- let me say first that I'll say at the outset
           what Milt said toward the end of his talk, what the
           sort of the bottom line is, namely that the staff does
           appear to be addressing in a comprehensive way all the
           chemistry issues that are likely to be important to
           the dose at the site boundary.  That's sort of the
           bottom line of all of this.  They are after it, on it
           and I think doing a good job.
                       I'll say a few more conclusions before I
           turn it over to Andy.  Andy has written, incidentally,
           jointly, but Andy has done, as always, the yeoman's
           work on it, a draft report of this meeting and we have
           yet to prepare a cover letter for it.  And we have yet
           to polish the draft and rake out any inconsistencies
           that are in it, but there is a lot of work already
           been done on a draft.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Do we have copies of
                       MEMBER WYMER:  Not yet.  That's not quite
           -- it's predecisional.  It's prediscussional.
                       The NRC model is by necessity is not as
           comprehensive as DOE's model for chemistry, but
           there's a -- the NRC model has to rely very heavily on
           a DOE data and input since they don't -- NRC doesn't
           have the resources to pursue all these things.
                       We looked at three, basically three
           aspects of the Deerfield chemistry.  One is the waste
           package and drip shield.  The second one was the
           release of radionuclides from the engineered barriers.
           And then the third one was the delay an dilution of
           radionuclide concentrations provided by natural
           barriers.  These are the three points we emphasized.
                       We're still concerned about the way that
           coupled processes ar handled and we have a little
           uneasy feeling that because of the complexity of the
           coupled processes and the fact that it's -- much of
           the coupling studies have been done on the
           abstractions of the model that we're a little
           concerned about and in particular, we think that the
           changes in the chemical reactivity of the incident
           water, as the temperature and the concentration and
           chemical composition of the water changes as it
           undergoes reactions with the engineered barriers with
           the waste package and waste materials that maybe they
           are not well-enough characterized to give assurance at
           all that important processes have been identified.
           We're pretty sure that they haven't.  Maybe we've got
           to qualify the word "important" and not stress it too
           much, but certainly all the processes have not been
           identified or dealt with.
           That's a point.
                       A lot of things have been identified that
           have not been pursued in detail.  It would be hard to
           point to something that at one place or another in the
           reports that have been written by the Center and by
           the staff here that it would be hard to point to
           something that has been left out.  The people have
           fought long and hard about these things and one place
           or another  one thing has been mentioned, but not
           everything has been studied in the kind of depth that
           they, as well as we, would like to see.
                       We're still concerned about the potential
           catalytic activity of trace impurities as it affects
           the corrosion of alloy 22, in particular, the welds in
           alloy 22.  Over the very long time period, 10,000
           years is such a long time, that it doesn't take a lot
           of catalytic activity to cause a serious problem in
           that length of time and it's hard to predict for
           10,000 years what will go wrong, even though
           predictions have been made based on shorter term
           studies.  So that's still a concern.
                       With respect to transport of
           radionuclides, that's handled in a fairly simplistic
           way through the use of KDs.  Now KDs do represent what
           happens, but they don't give you insight and
           understanding what the mechanisms of what happens
           really are and we'd like to know more, have a better
           understanding of what goes on that's included in this
           very broad blanket summary of all the things that are
           going on through the use of KDs.  That may be an
           impossible request in light of the time and resources,
           but still we don't think that the understanding is
           there as much as it should be.
                       And we're still a little bit concerned
           about colloids.  One of the things that seems to come
           out is that most of the emphasis on the study of
           colloids has to do with what is normally called
           pseudo-colloids, absorption of materials on the
           surface of alumina silicates and this sort of thing
           that form natural colloids.  And not much attention is
           played to colloids themselves, you know, the actinides
           are notorious for performing colloids all by
           themselves.  They don't need to be carried on some
           sort of a natural colloidal material.  So that seems
           to be an area that needs more study.
                       That's pretty much the summary.  Now I'll
           turn it over to Andy who will tell you what really
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Can I interject
           before you start, just one thing?  Your report strikes
           me as having a flavor of science that we have to know
           and understand --
                       MEMBER WYMER:  It does --
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  And we have to
           go down the staff and if we are to follow that
           uncritically, I'm convinced that we wind up never
           being able to do any engineering projects.
                       MEMBER WYMER:  I didn't say have to.  I
           just said the word "liked to" or however the desire.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  It's just an
                       MEMBER WYMER:  In fact, as I said in my
           first statement, the staff is doing what it needs to
           do in order to go ahead in all of this licensing
           process.  That's the bottom line.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  And we know with each
           of these issues when we're done, there's going to be
           uncertainties associated with that and the question is
           what's the impact of that uncertainty.
                       MEMBER WYMER:  Insofar as it is possible
           in the time and resources to gain a greater
           understanding that I talked about mostly here, we'd
           like to see it done.
                       But I don't think it's essential.
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  I am going to share this.
           I'll just hit a couple of things and this is an issue
           that at first blush you might think well this is just
           a science issue.  The issue is how do they calculate
           the pH waste package which affects a lot of different
           things in the model so it's not just an academic
           question; pH is the master variable that determines
           the speciation of all the radionuclides that are in a
           dissolved state.
                       So the solubility and what I'm showing
           here, here is this is from a single run from their
           EQ36 model which I've pulled out of their data set and
           plotted.  Shows the variation of the solubility on the
           Y axis is in moles per liter because it was done by
           chemists and the pH scale at the top ranges from 3 to
           8.  And the pH scale that you see in the calculations
           that are in input to TSPA range from 4 to 8 and that
           changes as a function of time.  So it's a lot of
           uncertainty as to what the pH is at any particular
           time.  And all of that is abstracted into TSPA.  So
           you get this abstraction into TSPA, but if you've not
           got it right or if the basis of your calculation isn't
           supported or you can't find how that's supported, then
           this cascades down the rest of the analysis.  It
           affects the solubilities as you see here of neptunium
           and plutonium but several orders of magnitude between
           a pH of 8 and a pH of 4.
                       MEMBER WYMER:  And if you throw eH into
           that you could change it a whole lot more.
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  What they do in the
           analysis is they set the amount of oxygen dissolved in
           the water coming in, equal to an atmospheric value and
           so that doesn't merit -- if they impose an oxidized
           environment on the system, they don't actually
           calculate what this effect of consuming all the waste
           package materials.  There are steels in there that
           produce acid.  And there are aluminum alloys, in the
           case of glass, glass produced consumes acid, so you
           have forces driving pH in two different directions and
           you have a series of reactions with competing reaction
           rates, that essentially determine the pH at any one
           point in time.
                       And so it's not just an academic question.
           It also impacts the dissolution rate in spent fuel
           which pH is a parameter used in that dissolution orate
           because that's what comes out of the laboratory
           experiments.  It's used in, I believe, the dissolution
           of glass and the stability of colloids is a function
           of pH, so if they don't have the pH right, it will
           cascade all the way down into your various components
           of your source term, you release radionuclides.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  The reason
           -- we know they're never going to have quote unquote
           have the pH right.  The real question is whether or
           not we can represent --
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  They have bounded the
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Not bounded,
           well, okay, bounded --
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  Had they put bounds on the
           pH such that they had a realistic adapt and for me, as
           I dug into the analyses and from TSPA into the AMRs
           into one of the more recent in-package chemistry AMRs
           which is a very different pH result than from previous
           AMR in-package chemistry, I got to a roadblock.  I got
           to a point where I was still asking questions.  What
           are the driving forces for pH?  Have they sufficiently
           characterized this system so these series of a dozen
           or two or so EQ6 runs truly puts a box around what the
           pH could be.  Because if they have put a box around
           what the pH could be, then it's simply a matter of is
           the abstraction a reasonable thing to do?  If they
           haven't put that box around what the pH could be, then
           it's anybody question whether it's a conservative or
           nonconservative approach because you run into this --
           so that's an example where the chemistry question on
           something like as basic as pH or in our looking at all
           of this, we came across an issue and it's not that
           they're doing it wrong.  It's that at some point you
           don't know what they're doing.  And it's a critical
           parameter that carries through the entire analysis.
                       That's basically all I'm going to say
           about pH at this point.  Our conclusion, I think, is
           going to be that there's going to be a need at least
           for a much better explanation for what's going on in
           pH.  Keep in mind that this also affects other things
           because the solubility of radionuclides are determined
           and this whole reaction vessel is determined by
           assuming this big waste package is full of water,
           that's about 4500 liters of void space.  So this
           amount of water with all the materials of the waste
           package, a smaller volume of water reacting with a
           smaller amount of material, they acknowledge, could
           significantly affect the pH, but they figure that's
           too complex to deal with.  But they at least need to
           bound it to ensure that the statement that this is a
           conservative approach really is conservative and it's
           not clear to me --
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  The thing is
           that when this information goes across from us to
           whomever and presumably back to DOE, what I think has
           to be taken into account is what we have said all
           along and that is we'd like to be as realistic as
           possible and the fact of the matter is that you can
           look at this pH and say oh, well, this could affect it
           by an order of magnitude or something.  DOE is already
           assuming that solubility of two orders of magnitude
           are probably two orders of magnitude too high.
           They've got to fix that too.
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  Right.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Which brings
           them two orders of magnitude in the other direction.
           This is the kind of thing that Milt has been harping
           for a long time and I agree with him.  And this isn't
           a criticism.  I think that NRC staff, their job is to
           go and look for possible difficulties and the possible
           difficulty that they might not -- they might have
           lower pHs than they say, but by the same token, it
           would be nice to say yeah, and also their neptunian
           solubilities seem a little weird to us, too high.
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  Right.  And it affects the
           technetium which is simply a fuel degradation issue
           because it's assumed that technetium comes out.
                       There's a series of couplings within the
           system which are essentially the way it's being
           modeled are decoupled and you don't get the kinds of
           feedbacks you would need to be able to say what is the
           right solid phase or what is the reasonable range of
           pH values over time for the system.  A number of other
           issues that come up in the context of what's going on
           inside this waste package.
                       They also have a diffusion model or
           diffusion through stress corrosion cracks that
           literally does not need water to move waste.  It needs
           a thin film of water.  But when you dig deep enough,
           what you find is you can't find, or at least I haven't
           been able to find the actual description of that
           model.  So I'm taking a guess as to what they're
           doing, but I can't find a specific description of the
           model which carries the components of spent fuel
           through the internals of the waste package out and
           into the invert.  I find the detail mathematical model
           of diffusion through the invert.  I find nothing on
           the release from the spent fuel to the invert.  And
           yet, it turns out that when they do their sensitivity
           analyses, the stress corrosion cracking dominates, at
           least in the first 100,000 years, the sensitivity
           analyses and the importance analyses and the only way
           that that can be is that diffusion out of these tiny
           cracks on this thin film of water is dominating the
           dose in that period of time.  The question is how are
           they doing it?  And frankly, I don't know.  It may be
           conservative.  It may be so conservative that it's
           ridiculous, but you're left with this feeling of we
           don't know what they're doing.
                       MS. DEERING:  I have a question to make
           sure I understand the pH.  Are you saying that in
           NRC's IRSRs or in DOE's TSPASR, the issue of pH as an
           uncertainty and a potential impact on performance has
           it been identified in either of those places?  Maybe
           you don't know.
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  As far as the chemistry
           issue which is dealt with in both CLST and near field
                       MS. DEERING:  Because I'm thinking in
           simple terms like would it be something, I would think
           you would expect that to see in something DOE's TSPA
           would say this is an uncertainty, there's a range of
           impacts.  If you have this range of possible pHs,
           here's how it would play out somewhere down the way in
           performance or source term.  And here's how we're
           choosing to model it with the information we have and
           here's why this is an appropriate and acceptable way
           to do it.  I mean to me that would be transparent and
           that would be a way to try to deal with uncertainty,
           but if you saw something like -- you haven't seen
           that, is that right?
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  What --
                       MS. DEERING:  Or is that even off-base to
           what you think you'd want to see?
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  What they've done in their
           analysis is the variability of this limited subset of
           modeling runs, geochemical modeling runs with this
           code EQ36 are abstracted into TSPA as several
           different response surfaces and in what time frame
           you're dealing with because the pH varies like that
           with time in their latest effort.
                       The uncertainty analysis in TSPA is in a
           sense looking at the variability of this set of
           modeling runs.  That's not necessarily the same thing
           as the uncertainty in the pH that's important to
                       I believe the staff is concerned very much
           about material reactions and the potential for the
           different materials reacting with water coming into
           the system.  And so I'm not prepared to say whether or
           not the staff has completely dealt with this issue.
           They're certainly aware of this issue, but we only got
           this in package chemistry AMR, the revised one, just
           in the last month or so.
                       MS. DEERING:  Was this part of the
           agreements that DOE and NRC have reached?
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  I believe so.  So it's a
           revised thing.  But when you get an AMR that
           completely changes the story of long time frames.  You
           want to dig a little deeper and when I dug a little
           deeper what I didn't see was the descriptions of the
           main reactions driving pH.  They tell me it's the
           material reactions which I believe, but I don't really
           get a good handle on what are the main drivers for ph
           and what's perturbing it.
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  Or the impacts of those
           assumptions they're making in terms of performance.
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  Right.
                       MEMBER WYMER:  I keep coming back to this
           issue.  DOE has in almost all cases taken what they
           consider to be a conservative stance on all aspects of
           the TSPA and it does look conservative.  And I ask
           again what's the downside of being overly
           conservative?  I think we ought to consider whether or
           not we want to articulate what we think the downside
           is or what the downsides are.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  There is certainly no
           downside to regulating conservatively.  You should
           regulate conservatively, but there is a downside to
           not knowing if you're regulating conservatively.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Ray, let me give you one
           specific example.  If you are ultra-conservative and
           then force yourself say to go to a coal repository
           design which might triple or quadruple the amount of
           fuel handling you have to do on the front end, you in
           fact, have generated a new risk arising from something
           you called conservative because you may expose many,
           many more man rems of people on the front end to avoid
           something on the back end.  It very seldom is over
           estimating the consequences really conservative
           because it always forces you to do something else
           which has its own risk.
                       MEMBER WYMER:  I guess I would like to see
           something written that spells out why we think DOE's
           ultra-conservative, I could call it that, that
           position is a bad thing.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  It's a bad thing
           because they're not doing risk assessment and they're
           supposed to be doing risk assessment.  And you don't
           do risk assessments conservatively.  You do risk
           assessments to represent the truth.  You give the
           issue the best shot you can possibly give it in terms
           of what you think will really happen.
                       It seems to me if you don't have that as
           a baseline, you don't know where the heck you are.
           But it says nothing about how we want to regulate it.
           It only says this is what the experts have indicated
           as their best shot at what they think will happen and
           we'll use that and we will consider the evidence
           supporting that in making a decision as to how we want
           to regulate it.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Ray, there's also
           financial aspects.  Suppose -- I'm not saying this is
           true, but as an example, by being
           ultra-conservative on solution and dispersion, you
           force the C-22 container in being, when in fact, you
           could have buried it in plastic bags and tin cans and
           it would have been safe, you're spending some billions
           of dollars of taxpayers' money for no improvement in
                       MEMBER WYMER:  But that's not our concern.
           That's John's point.  Regulation is different.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  You were asking is there
           a downside risk to DOE's being overly conservative and
           I'm saying there's lots --
                       MEMBER WYMER:  I should have said in the
           context of what we're supposed to be doing.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Regulation is a
           different story.  But there's an inadvertent thing
           that we tend to do.  It's kind of a follow-on to
           George's questions.  We and the staff have to be very
           careful of, and that is if DOE comes in and this is
           clearly conservative, we don't say anything about it.
           It's acceptable.  They come in with something else
           that's less conservative, we say gee, you could be
           more conservative.  We inadvertently push them farther
           away from real risk-base thing into arbitrary
           increased conservatism and that would be an
           unfortunate thing.
                       If you talk to people on the other side,
           at Yucca Mountain and other licensing things, why did
           you do such an incredibly stupid thing and they say
           well, it was pretty clear that that's where the NRC
           staff wanted us to go.  You talk to the NRC staff,
           they didn't necessarily want the people to go there.
           They asked a question.  So I think this being
           nonsymmetrical about not commenting on being overly
           conservative, we do some things --
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  I think there's a high
           order of responsibility here too that actually goes
           beyond what we're supposed to be doing, but one of the
           words that appears in the NRC strategic language, at
           least it used to appear, I don't know, is the word
                       Society -- to enable society to use this
           technology to their betterment --
                       MS. DEERING:  In other words, safe.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.  And if we present
           this technology in the context of an
           ultra-conservative model, we may be denying society
           something that's very important.
                       MEMBER WYMER:  That is a higher goal than
           we are commissioned to pursue.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Well, I don't know how
           much higher it is given that's in the basic documents
           that govern our behavior, but I don't know.
                       MEMBER WYMER:  I'd like to see something
           written, that spells out why this being too
           conservative is a bad idea.  I hear what you're
           saying, but it would be nice to have some --
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  I will only tell you --
           I'll answer that in one word.  We want the truth.
           There's nothing more basic than the truth and if we
           don't put those kind of rules on it, we won't get the
                       MEMBER WYMER:  You're waxing philosophical
           on me.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  No, to me, it's very
                       MEMBER WYMER:  I don't know what the truth
           is in anything.
                       MS. DEERING:  Take the pH issue.  Say that
           you don't know the truth in terms of how it's going to
           vary over time and how that would affect solubility
           because you don't know what's going to make it vary
           over time, modeling it at say a constant value, that
           might lead to some conservatism in some cases because
           you don't have a basis to say how it's going to vary.
           Is that being what you would call too conservative or
           is that even -- I mean is that okay to do?  Is that
           your only way to go or would you still attempt to look
           at variable pHs that would allow the solubility to be
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  You've got to include in
           that discussion, Lynn, probability.  If the
           probability is 99.99 percent that it ranges between 5
           and 7, then you probably shouldn't use 8 or 3.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  By the way I think we
           really need to keep to our schedule.  This is
           something that --
                       MS. DEERING:  We have an hour after lunch
           to continue.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  We've got to finish the
           chemical one up or if we're not finished.
                       MEMBER WYMER:  I think we're done.
                 CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Then we need to say a few
           things about the TSPA one.  I notice we still have
           some time for doing that.
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  Let me just add one thing,
           John.  What I was talking about was commercial spent
           nuclear fuel.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Right.
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  High level waste, glass,
           the glass buffers, the pH, it's much more constrained
           and that's the key there.  It constrains the
           uncertainty because there's a pH buffer in there which
           is the glass that dissolves.  So my comments were
           focused on what happens in the commercial spent
           nuclear fuel waste packages.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Okay.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Is that at all, Andy, a
           function of what the glass is or -- it's now going to
           be a big range of glasses with significantly different
           titanium contents, for instance.  Is that pretty much
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  Glass drives pH.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Okay, let's adjourn for
                       (Whereupon, at 11:35 a.m., the meeting was
           recessed, to reconvene at 1:33 p.m., Tuesday, May 15,

                     A-F-T-E-R-N-O-O-N  S-E-S-S-I-O-N
                                                    (1:33 p.m.)
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Okay, let's come to
           order.  I guess the question is were we through with
           the chemistry?
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  I think so.  I sure was.
                       MEMBER WYMER:  We haven't drafted our
           discussion of conservatism yet.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  We'll take care of
           that.  That's probably a good idea.
                       Okay, the final item on our KTI list here
           is Total System Performance Assessment Investigation
           and of course this one overlaps with all of them and
           especially the chemistry so it only stands to reason
           that we involve Andy in both of them, maybe.
                       I think what I'll do is I'll just
           highlight a little bit what our approach is.  As you
           know, we have not had our technical exchange meeting,
           but it is now scheduled and it will be next month and
           that will preclude us from having any further excuses,
           but we do have an approach and we want to share that
           approach.  It's discussed in Tab 3.1, page 5.  I'll
           highlight it and then Andy will give some backup.
                       Generally, what we are talking about doing
           is taking a top down slice of the TSPA and related
           activities and what we mean by that is starting with
           the dose to the critical group we want to work
           ourselves backwards to the contributing factors of
           that dose and hopefully we will be able to focus on
           just a couple of radionuclides such as technetium 99
           and neptunium 237 and when we talk about working
           backwards to the contributing factors, we mean not
           only the contributions to the dose that come as a
           result of physical processes, but we mean the
           assumptions, the models and of course, the specific
           radionuclides that are involved.
                       In this process, we're going to be
           attempting to answer a couple of questions.  One is at
           least with respect to our vertical slice, what is the
           evidence supporting the results of DOE's TSPA and by
           that we mean the nature of the models, the most
           important assumptions and other relevant input
                       The second question has to do with the
           adequacy of the NRC staff's approach of using their
           TPA, their Total Performance Assessment, and the
           review plan to review the TSPA.  The thought here is
           that in order to assess the adequacy of NRC's review
           process, we need to know something about what it is
           they're going to be reviewing.
                       So we will try to in the vertical slice,
           identify the factors and satisfy ourselves that the
           factors controlling the release from the engineered
           barrier system are understood by which we mean the
           failure of the waste package, the water access and
           composition, the mobilization of the key radionuclides
           within the waste package such as technetium and
           neptunium and the release rates and mobilization.
                       Now there's two subissues that we are
           wishing to slice through and evaluate in some detail
           and one of those is the degradation of the engineered
           barriers and the other is the radionuclide release
           rates insolubility limits.  As far as the engineered
           barrier degradation issue is concerned, we will be
           looking at the NRC review process and activities.  We
           will at least to the extent that we can try to develop
           that first order understanding of DOE's modeling
           approach, and we will certainly lean on the chemistry
           vertical slice to develop an understanding in the
           context of the performance assessment of the impact of
           in-package water chemistry on radionuclide
                       Now we know that from the point of view of
           the NRC's key technical issue approach, that the
           emphasis is now on this integration of subissues and
           in this case there are four sub-issues of primary
           interest:  system description and demonstration of
           multiple barriers, the analysis, the selection and
           analysis of scenarios, model abstraction and the
           demonstration of the performance.
                       A primary area, a primary area focus is
           the abstraction process associated with the models.
           That is to say the transition from the subsurface
           models to the probabilistic analysis and there are, of
           course, three key subsystems involved in this, the
           engineered system, the geosphere and the biosphere.
                       So that's what we're going to do.  We're
           going to start with the dose and work backwards, but
           keep very focused on what seems to be driving the risk
           in order to keep it within a reasonable bounds of
           complexity and beyond that, there's a lot of technical
                       Andy, you may want to elaborate on some of
                       MEMBER WYMER:  Can we react to that a
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.
                       MEMBER WYMER:  It seems to me that much of
           what you've discussed in the beginning, what you said,
           is what's covered in the chemistry vertical slice.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  That's right.
                       MEMBER WYMER:  I don't know why you want
           to repeat that.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Well, we wont.  We
                       MEMBER WYMER:  It seems like what you
           talked about last four issues you outlined, that's
           really the guts of what you want to do.  That's the
           substance of a review of a TSPA.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.
                       MEMBER WYMER:  It seems to me that's what
           I -- what's about what I would do.  That's about all
           I would do.  That's a big job in itself.  We're sort
           of rehashing all the chemistry stuff.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Well, we won't rehash
           it, but we will try to put it in the context of the
           onion peeling process of working back from the dose to
           the --
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  My guess is
           that you'll be looking at the model abstraction
           process and how it carries into the TSPA.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Right.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Whereas you're
           going to be looking at processes and chemistry.
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  Let me try and put this in
           context.  What we want to look at is abstraction of
           models in the TSPA and how that abstraction process
           carries through the uncertainty into the final result.
           So really the focus, the reason I referred to
           chemistry was probably one that that's the lamppost
           phenomena, that's what I thought would be a good proxy
           for looking at -- I mean we could look at water flow,
           we would look at any number of things to trace through
           the TSPA, how abstraction is done and how uncertainty
           is dealt with in this process.  That just happened to
           be a useful thing which we had a lot of background
                       MEMBER WYMER:  The emphasis is on the
           abstraction process, not only the specifics.
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  Right and then how they
           analyzed the uncertainties and sensitivities and so
           on, how that's all carried through.  At least that's
           the concept that I'm coming from.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  I think there is a
           desire to understand the physical processes enough to
           appreciate that the abstraction makes sense.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Actually, I
           think that's why it sort of makes sense to have this
           plan because Ray and Andy are looking at the very
           detailed physical stuff and then you and Andy are
           looking at the abstraction, so you'll have a direct
           connect there.
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  That was the intent, was
           not to reinvent the wheel or redo that which has
           already been done, but rather okay, now that we have
           this large base, if you will, of information about
           what's going on in the process level and maybe even
           some concerns on that, start at the top, work your way
           down and then come back up, looking as to how did they
           abstract a particular set of information into the
           model and how is that treated within the model and
           then how are they dealing with the uncertainties and
           do their uncertainty and sensitivity results make
           sense in the context of all of this.  That's the idea
                       MEMBER WYMER:  That's not the flavor that
           I got, but that sounds very sensible.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  As far as the flavor
           that you got, I guess the way I'm presenting this is
           that the performance assessment is to take the
           relevant chemical models, the relevant geotechnical
           models and structure them in order to be able to
           abstract from them a probabilistic treatment.
                       MEMBER WYMER:  Fine.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  And if you start with
           the dose and work backwards, you work your way into
           what's going on inside the waste package because the
           source term is where most of the action is, the
           development of the source term.
                       And that's all water access and corrosion
           model and mobilization of --
                       MEMBER WYMER:  Chemistry.
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  He cringes.
                       MEMBER WYMER:  Sorry.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Anyway, that's where we
           are and I think that we'll be able to in about a month
           get some real momentum.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Is the
           technical exchange in Las Vegas?  I didn't know.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  It's June 25 through 28.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  And also the one that's
           going on now is very relevant.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  FEPs?
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yeah, Features, Events
           and Processes.  It's too bad that one of us is not
           there, but I'm sure Jim Clark will give us a full
                       MEMBER WYMER:  John, I would hope that
           there's a sentence that I raised a question about some
           time ago by e-mail because it appears dozens and
           dozens of places in DOE documents and since it's the
           identical wording in each case, I assume it isn't
           accidental and that's a statement that no confirmation
           of this is required.  When Rich and I asked about it,
           nobody seemed to know what that meant.  Does that
           really mean that any programmer, anybody can attach
           that sentence to something and nobody else checks it
           or reviews it?  None of the people, in fact, none of
           the people that we talked to, either staff or in the
           Center, were sensitive to the fact that this was a
           standard statement that appeared in many, many places
           in the DOE documentation.  I'd suggest that you put
           that on your list of things to ask about if you're
           looking at the total TSPA.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  I hope not.  I hope
           that's not the case, that interpretation.
                       MEMBER WYMER:  Well, I don't know.  What
           bothered me is that nobody else seemed to have --
           except for Ray, nobody else had raised the question of
           what does this mean.
                       But since it's the exact wording that
           appears many places in many documents, I think you
           have to ask about it.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  One of the concerns that we
           have is how do some of the conservatisms that are
           built into these various models carry through into the
           final analysis and what are the impacts of those
           conservatisms on your interpretation of the
           uncertainty and even the sensitivities?
                       And there may be issues along the way that
           we come across that we haven't and certainly there
           will be issues that we haven't anticipated that will
           possibly change our focus a bit.  There has to be a
           vehicle for where do you start and we thought, okay,
           let's start with this because this is something we
           know and then work from there and I recognize that
           that's a bit of a lamppost philosophy there, but it's
           a starting point.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  One of the things that
           we'll certainly be looking for is consistency of
           modeling.  The worry here is and maybe it's been done
           in such a way that it does not present a problem, but
           the worry is that you have in the same track periods
           of extreme conservatism and periods of nonconservatism
           and periods of totally probabilistic approach and
           periods of totally deterministic, sometimes.  And
           that's inevitable to a certain extent.  You can't
           really make the probabilistic approach completely
           pervasive or you'd never get done.  So just need to
           understand where it is and where it isn't and what the
           basis of the way it is, how it's presented.
                       I don't know if it's a feasible approach,
           but we'll know soon when we get into it a little more.
                       MR. LESLIE:  Brett Leslie, here, NRC
           staff.  Just one of the things you may have heard,
           John, is that DOE has just issued a corrective action
           request and I think you'll like this one because it
           had to do with model validation and in effect, they
           found a problem in that the DOE appeared to be saying
           the staff believes that this model is conservative and
           therefore it is validated and so it was as large
           portion of the models that they evaluated in these
           AMRs that had this specific problem.  And so the
           Office of Quality Assurance has brought this up as
           something as a high priority issue.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  I'm glad they did.  Do
           you want to add any more to it, Andy, or are we okay
           for now?
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  I think we're okay for now.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Okay, I guess this is
           a good time to hear from Lynn, isn't it?
                       MS. DEERING:  I just wanted to talk about
           schedules and deliverables.  If we could think about
           that a little bit.
                       I think, as we understand it, staff is
           looking to kind of get their sufficiency comments
           wrapped up by August to the Commission in mid-August
           and that means that we could have that meeting, our
           August meeting, we could also take that time we need
           to start wrapping this up.
                       One of the things to think about is what
           products we want and George and I are accountable to
           get out at least one of these on the overall
           sufficiency review.  And one idea we've talked about
           is having funneling some of our insights to the extent
           there's commonalities or nuggets we could share in
           this report into that single report.
                       We're also able to have, depending on the
           outcome of some of these vertical slices, we may
           decide we want to issue a separate report to the
           Commission on just that very vertical slice.  So
           George and I were talking.  We probably -- it's
           probably easier for the Commission if we try to limit
           the number of reports we're going to give them and try
           to package our insights into a single document or
           maybe, Ray, if you really want to give a chemistry
           report -- I think you do.
                       MEMBER WYMER:  We have about half
           committed ourselves to present four independent
           vertical slices, I felt.
                       MS. DEERING:  No, I don't believe so.
           We're committed to do them, but then how we report the
           results, I think we have flexibility.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Don't forget the
           objective was a single thing.  WE divided it up.
                       MS. DEERING:  We did.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  For implementation, but
           I would think that putting it back together for
           presentation to the Commission would make a more
           coherent story.
                       MEMBER WYMER:  Not really in a way because
           if you put it back together, then they can expect all
           the pieces to be covered and there's only four pieces
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  No, no, no.  More
           importantly --
                       MS. DEERING:  We would discuss our method.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  There's going to be a
           significant difference in degree of detail, so I'd
           suggest we put them together into a brief report as
           several appendices where you might include, for
           instance, a lot more detail on chemistry or a lot more
           on this or that to make the report itself.
                       The question we're addressing is a very
           narrow one, that is, is the staff doing its job.  The
           details are not really relevant to evaluating that
           point from a Commission standpoint.  they just want to
           know should they worry about what the staff is doing
           or not.  And I think we can best respond to that by a
           single report.  But maybe appendices for detail.
                       MEMBER WYMER:  It seems to me it would be
           a little illogical.
                       MS. DEERING:  I don't think -- it depends
           on the outcome of your review.  You may find that you
           have something to say beyond what the sufficiency
           report wants to say, which is fine.  I don't think we
           have to shut down on that now.  I think we're
           assuming, Ray, that you will go down that path, the
           loan bath of a chemistry --
                       MEMBER WYMER:  We're always alone in that,
           but I think that's right.  Again, I don't know how you
           can pretend to write a sufficiency review which covers
           everything when you haven't covered everything.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  First of all,
           of course, we wouldn't write a sufficiency review that
           covered everything because we didn't cover everything.
           We would simply have to outline what we did and what
           we did was an audit, but Lynn and I chatted briefly
           and again, not looking at it from our point of view
           because I think from our point of view it would
           probably be easiest to write four separate reports,
           but trying to look at it from the Commission's
           standpoint and what we could do to benefit the
           Commission and it's pretty clear at least to me and I
           think to Lynn as well, that it will be harder for us
           to do, but it would really benefit the Commission most
           if we wrote a single report.
                       MEMBER WYMER:  Properly qualified.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Properly qualified.  A
           summary report that deals with the question of
           sufficiency.  And then appendices --
                       MEMBER WYMER:  That's part of the question
           that we've audited.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.  And then
           appendices as appropriate.
                       MEMBER WYMER:  Absolutely.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  So we don't lose the
           detail and we don't lose what Ray wants to
           communicate.  He wants to convince the Commission that
           the only thing that's important is chemistry, well,
           let him do that.
                       MEMBER WYMER:  That seems to be the way
           it's turning out.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Actually,
           though to go a little farther, I also agree with
           exactly what Lynn said, that if, in fact, as you delve
           into chemistry or if we look into groundwater flow and
           dilution and what not that if there are issues that
           really aside from sufficiency, issues that really
           deserve a letter, then we should by all means follow
           those up.
                       MS. DEERING:  And it could even mean we
           save those issues until we do our research report.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  And I think it fits in
           nicely --
                       MS. DEERING:  Depending on how we use the
           information we gather.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  I think it fits in
           nicely with our briefing to the Commission where we
           indicated what our approach was going to be and we can
           make reference to that and show continuity.
                       MEMBER WYMER:  And indicate the
           limitations of what we've done.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Right.
                       MEMBER WYMER:  We can do that whether we
           have four reports or one.
                       MS. DEERING:  We have June and July and
           then August, we're really under the gun, and then
           we're going to get the staff briefing on sufficiency
           in August.  I think we've accepted that.  We've agreed
           to that.
                       And we want to hear from DOE also, be it
           July -- hopefully, July, August, somewhere in there.
           No later than August.  So we still have some pieces
           that we won't get to later, but we need to start
           thinking about bringing -- we've isolated our areas,
           now recombining and the staff can do that, help do
           that here on our own, help you do that and we also do
           it -- when we're all together.  But the templates, I
           don't know how useful those are.  It's probably worth
           revisiting, if those will guide us to where we want to
                       I tried to tweak it a little bit for this
           notebook.  It's revised slightly, just based on some
           of our experience, but it still probably needs, as
           you're finding, filling this thing out, you may find
           some of it just doesn't have relevancy and there might
           be areas that are missing, but  originally I was
           thinking we would use something like this to start a
           letter and I might take a stab at that with George to
           just get -- even if we don't have the answers, but
           just see if I could structure the thing in a way that
           would -- I mean it's time to start thinking about
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Sure is.
                       MS. DEERING:  Is that what you've been
           trying to tell me?
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  No.  I live in
           a glass house.  I'm not throwing any stones.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  I think we have a
           template in our current book?
                       MS. DEERING:  Yes, we do.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Page 13 under Tab 3.1.
                       MS. DEERING:  How comfortable is everybody
           on where we stand on this?  Is this about as clear as
           mud or do we feel we have a path forward as the staff
           would say?
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  I am sure that ea
                 ch one is going to be a little different in the
           final analysis because we're going to tailor it to the
           specifics, to the specific vertical slice, but I think
           for now, it's plenty of guidance and we just need to
                       MS. DEERING:  I think we're going to come
           up with a number of interesting, even if they don't
           make it in the report, observations that will be very
           useful as we pursue issue resolution beyond
                       My assumption, tell me what you think,
           just as a staff -- sufficiency is sort of a snapshot
           with where they are with issue resolution and
           ultimately if they get to licensing.  Same with our
           vertical slice.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Right.
                       MS. DEERING:  I think this is a snapshot.
           This concept, if it works for us, we can continue
           using it.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes, that's right, as
           issues pop up.
                       MEMBER WYMER:  I like your Part 2
           questions and I think we need to work a little harder.
           Andy and I are writing to respond more directly to
           those questions in our report.  We haven't really sort
           of pulled them out, highlighted them yet.
                       MS. DEERING:  Now those are the kinds of
           questions I would envision in the total report.  Say
           if you and -- to the extent if we individually can
           answer those, all the better, but this is the kind of
           thing I'm picturing as things we tried to get at in
           that one big --
                       MEMBER WYMER:  If we don't do it
           individually you'll have a hard time doing it in
                       MS. DEERING:  I know.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Are you accepting
                       MS. DEERING:  No.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  On your second question
           in Part 2, I'm not sure that any of the sub-issues
           have a risk.  It's really the contribution to risk of
           the subject, rather than the risk of the sub-issue.
                       MS. DEERING:  How should that be worded?
           How is the relative --
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  Contribution to risk of the
                       MS. DEERING:  Contribution --
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  On the other
           hand, if Lynn picks up that sub-issue, it might be a
           risk to you.
                       MS. DEERING:  No.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  But it's only NRC or DOE
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  But just simply is the
           contribution to risk of the sub-issue known or
                       MS. DEERING:  This gets at what I was kind
           of trying to get at earlier.  Does the staff have a
           good feel for risk insights, their own that they found
           with their TPA code and their own perspective and/or
           has DOE provided that in repository safety strategy?
                       Does it hit that top ten list that you
           kind of referred to earlier, Milt, that top ten, are
           there top ten issues?
                       I'm not sure how well we'll ever get to
           this, but I think it's pretty important.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Actually, Lynn,
           it strikes me that for you to move forward, as you
           said, to try to structure a letter, it would be
           extraordinarily helpful if each of the four of us took
           these questions and answered them, as Ray said, as
           best we could.
                       MS. DEERING:  That was the idea.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  And then you
           could compile them and see (a) if there are
           commonalities, what they are; (b) what is specific to
           the individual things, so we would have to call out
           specifics.  It might really help us structure the
                       MS. DEERING:  And it might even help us
           structure that working group that we have six months
           from now.  If we really can't get to the answer of
           this, it may be that that helps us structure it
           differently -- we just keep on the path to try to get
           at this.
                       I like that.
                       MEMBER WYMER:  The one problem with
           answering some of these, some of them are very
           appropriate generic question, that is, for instance,
           are they focused on the most risk significant issues.
           Well, we picked sort of four arbitrary slices and
           we're not in a position to say whether the four that
           we picked are or are not among the most significant.
           We didn't pick them for that reason.  We did a random
           sample.  I think that the questions are good ones, but
           we won't necessarily directly answer them in a letter.
           In fact, maybe one like number 4, the letter ends up
           saying we did a slice and we sampled.  There's no
           assurance that the four we picked are the most
           significant.  I think it's the right question to ask.
           We don't necessarily need to answer it --
                       MS. DEERING:  That's a good point.  That's
           very reasonable.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  There's another point
           that may be worth just mentioning and that is none of
           the questions have anything to do with DOE except
           Question 2.  Is the contribution to risk of the
           sub-issue known or understood by NRC or DOE?  Is it a
           principal factor?  Well, that's just slipped in there.
           That's a mouthful.  And a big one.  See, the way I
           characterize it in our general approach was the two
           questions were the first one is what is the evidence
           supporting the results of DOE's TSPA in the context of
           the vertical slice as background.  And the second one
           has to do with the adequacy of the NRC staff's
           approach of using their TPA and review plan to review
           the TSPA.
                       MS. DEERING:  John, what is that you have?
                       Is that something you wrote a while back,
           right, and we all had it?
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  I might have.
                       MS. DEERING:  I thought I adopted those.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yeah, well I think you
           did.  And I'm just trying to correlate the two and --
                       MS. DEERING:  I don't know where they are.
           I'm going to have to relook at your list and make
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  He only has
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  I split mine into two
           basic questions and then there's a lot of
           sub-questions and yours are -- many of yours are the
           right sub-questions.  But two basic questions that we
           want to get out of the vertical slice.  One has to do
           with developing a warm, fuzzy feeling about what DOE
           has done.  And having done that, and having that as
           background, you're in a position to evaluate the
           adequacy of the NRC approach to review.
                       MS. DEERING:  That makes sense.  That's
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  It's on page 5 if you
           want to check it.  It's the second paragraph on page
                       MS. DEERING:  Page 5.  That's probably
           good.  That's probably something I need to start
           building into the overall template and I don't know
           why --
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  You can steal it.
                       MS. DEERING:  May I?
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  Let me add that the
           advantage of having four different perspectives and
           four different, somewhat different ways of doing these
           vertical slices is to pull together common
           observations and common trends.
                       To me, in a sense that then becomes
           abstracted into our letter, the overall letter to the
           Commission or what are the commonalities in our four
           different vertical slices, from widely different
           perspectives, did we come across.  I think both in
           terms of the DOE approach and how the staff is
           handling that, I think those -- that's really going to
           be key.  Not a bunch of details, necessarily in the
           overall letter.
                       On the other hand, as Ray and I have
           talked about, there are a whole series of issues at,
           if you will, the process model level and how those are
           carried into TSPA that at least we think in terms of
           the chemistry warrant a separate report, but what we
           will pull forward, I think, I'm getting in a vision
           how we can put together the cover letter, is pull out
           of this issues that address these questions and then
           that's backed up by this report.  And then ultimately
           from the other three Members of the Committee, the
           other three processes we pull out of that and then sit
           down and basically look, do we see common issues.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  I think what you're
           kind of saying is that let's see what kind of product
           we develop or generate and then it will be much easier
           for us to decide how to aggregate that into a single
           package or multiple packages, whatever seems to do the
           best job.
                       MS. DEERING:  Do you want to talk about
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yeah, we should.
                       MEMBER WYMER:  Nag, nag, nag.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  We should.  Chemistry
           next week --
                       MEMBER WYMER:  Why wait so long on that?
           You don't ever get where you're going unless you have
           a nag --
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Well, I guess we could
           look at this schedule and be guided.
                       MS. DEERING:  No, probably not.  Would you
           like to defer and talk about that for a minute while
           you talk about DOE's schedules and then we can align
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  If we work
           backwards, we know that we want to have this finished
           in August.  We really do.  We need to come into the
           August meeting with a draft, a good solid draft and we
           can then add to modify in response to the staff's
           presentation, but we should have our act together
           coming in.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Are you talking about
           the vertical slices?
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Yes.  That
           means that --
                       MS. DEERING:  That would be the final
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  That's what I
                       MS. DEERING:  We need those even sooner.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Well, to have
           -- to get to a final, good final letter in August,
           that means that we have to be in a position to discuss
           everything in July.  Okay?  And if we're going to
           discuss everything in July, that means that by our
           June meeting, we're going to, at the very least, have
           to have this information.  So we know that we need it
           at least by the June meeting and the only question
           then is whether we push it to get it ahead of time on
           the June meeting to have a first pass at trying to
           pull it together.
                       So it's bounded.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  So we need a draft of
           our individual vertical slices for the June meeting?
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  For the June
           meeting or ahead of the June meeting, one or the
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  How can we do that?
                       MS. DEERING:  Do we make an exception for
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Yes, we have to
           make an exception for John.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  When is the June
           meeting again?
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  So we need
           yours two weeks after that tech exchange.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Okay.  19, 20, and 21.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  And if you want
           to put the same pressure on the rest of us, then we
           should get ours probably a week ahead of the next ACNW
           meeting which is going to be impossible for me.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  So three of the four
           vertical slices, we'll see a draft at the next
           meeting.  Is that what we're saying?
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  At least the
           template version.
                       MS. DEERING:  To answer these kinds of
           questions and any other insights beyond these
           questions you want to share.  We'll start to really
           have some results.
                       Sound good?
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Have to.  We
           have to do it.
                       MS. DEERING:  Okay.  The staff seems open
           to continue on with informal information exchanges, if
           you have the need for that.  Let's schedule those.
           Let's continue to schedule those.
                       MEMBER WYMER:  What did you just say?  I
           heard the words, but what does it mean?
                       MS. DEERING:  I have that effect on
                       MEMBER WYMER:  I saw your lips moving, but
                       MS. DEERING:  These information exchanges
           we've been having with the staff, we just had one at
           lunch.  It was pretty useful.  The staff indicated
           they would be willing to continue doing that between
           now and August and beyond, but if you need them, make
           that known and let's --
                       MEMBER WYMER:  You mean at the time of the
           regular scheduled meetings.
                       MS. DEERING:  Any time.
                       MR. LYONS:  Or conference calls, if you
           need, we can set something up like that or if you're
           in the area, we can come in and talk.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  The one that Rich and I
           had, we just came here for a day and did it.
                       MS. DEERING:  Don't be constrained by our
           meetings.  George and I had a conference call once
           between meetings.
                       MEMBER WYMER:  They work pretty good,
           conference calls.
                       MS. DEERING:  Yes.  Would you like me to
           give some highlights?  We heard a few of them at
           lunch, but for the benefit of everybody about DOE, how
           DOE plans to get this site recommendation process
           under way.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  I think that would be
           useful, unless we're breaking any rules.
                       MS. DEERING:  This won't take more than 10
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Okay.
                       MS. DEERING:  And we have about 15 left.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Go ahead.
                       MS. DEERING:  Sure.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  We got the clock
                       MS. DEERING:  Okay.  Some of these
           highlights come from this colorful package that you
           have.  This is pretty neat.  It's very pretty.
                       Some of these highlights -- this is like
           a report from the TRB meeting.  I'm just going to give
           you orally some highlights that came out of it.  Okay?
                       And I'm using this point paper, if you
           want to follow along.
                       Let's talk about the revised SR approach.
           That's what DOE is calling it.  Their LA is expected,
           I think we've all heard this by now, it's going to be
           now late 2003.  They're looking to issue the LA in
           late 2003.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Why are we worrying
           about it?  It's after my term on the committee.
                       MS. DEERING:  That is no excuse to slack.
           I don't know whether I have whether that's FY or
           calendar.  Calendar.  Thank you.
                       All right, the SR decision, I think we
           also know and it's expected in early 2002, FY 2002.
           I'm sorry, that's FY 2002.  So November-December time
           frame.  That's when DOE is planning to make an SR
           decision, unless there's delays in getting 963 out,
           etcetera, delays in the EPA standard.
                       What they're calling the revised SR
           approach includes a series of documents.  It's no
           longer what we once refer to as SRCR.  The first --
           the SR process was initiated on May 4th.  That was the
           official beginning of the process and the public -- it
           was announced in the Science and Engineering Report,
           this big thick thing that you'll have an Executive
           Summary of in your mailbox with the disk, started that
           process.  And the draft DEIS is also considered part
           of this process supplement to the DEIS.
                       In those documents, there's a summary.
           Those tend to summarize, as I understand it, there's
           two things.  It complies with what's required in NEPA
           part 114.  There's some very specific information DOE
           has to address.  That document does that, in their
           opinion and it also attempts to summarize the PMRs and
           the AMRs.
                       As I understand it, it also tries to focus
           more on this range of temperature modes, operating
           modes as does the DEIS.
                       So next after -- I guess in the June time
           frame, DOE's, the next series is what they're calling
           the Supplemental Science and Performance Analysis
           Report and it has Volume 1 and Volume 2.  Now let me
           tell you about what this is.  Volume 1, they call
           Scientific Basis and Analysis.  Volume 2 is a
           Performance Analysis.  The idea here is that new
           information has come in since the TSPASR.  They've
           altered some of their conceptual models.  They
           consider them to be less conservative.  They also have
           done some work on uncertainty, trying to deal with
           quantified uncertainties.  And they also now want to
           evaluate this cooler range.  They're talking about a
           single design that would operate from cool to warm and
           they're not willing to lock in to either of those just
           as of yet, so they're going to carry along both ideas
           and this, the emphasis now, so since TSPASR, this is
           how they're going to factor in this new information
           are in these documents that are coming out this
           summer.  There will not be a TSPASR rev. 1 in other
           words.  The new information for SR decision making
           will be captured in the supplementary documents to be
           issued this summer, which is interesting, really.
                       And as I understand it, they're also --
           even though the TSPASR focused on the warmer
           temperature, they're going to now with their updated
           information and new conceptual models, reevaluate the
           warmer temperature also and compare it to the cooler
           temperature in these supplementary documents, so
           they're going to revise what they did for warmer and
           compare it to cooler with the same information.  Is
           that clear?
                       Now a third document in the series to be
           issued, this may be July, I believe, is what they call
           their Preliminary Site Suitability Evaluation and this
           is something they will actually do against Part 963,
           okay.  And apparently, they're going to look over a
           range of thermal operating modes and at that point
           when they issue this document, they're going to
           announce some public hearings, the dates of those
           public hearings and specify a formal public comment
           period for whole SR process.
                       So they believe they're doing this partly
           -- partly they're doing this because (1) the SRCR they
           needed more time to get updates from this technical
           information and I guess the IG report that was pending
           also played into why they've changed their whole --
           revised their SR process.  And they think that this
           will give people more time to review each piece.
                       The Board seemed concerned at the meeting
           last week that there's no one integrating document and
           it does seem a little unruly, but that was some
           comments from last week.
                       On page 2, I'm going to talk a little bit
           about the design.  I may have already covered some of
           this, but I mentioned that it's a single design,
           flexible, capable of operating over a range of
           temperatures.  They're looking at tradeoffs between
           the two, the cooler and the warmer.  I think the
           original objective was does a cooler reduce
           uncertainties and enhance performance?  And I think
           the NWTRB has been convinced that it does.  I think
           there's -- I know Charles Fairhurst has been working
           with TASCA and they're doing some analyses that
           suggest there might, you know, there might be more
           seepage.  There might be more concerns, more
           uncertainty.  But DOE, as we understand, is going to
           carry forward both and continue to quantify in terms
           of performance, both ideas.
                       I mentioned that there will not be a rev.
           1 to this TSPASR.  All the new information will be
           quantified in what they call the Supplementary Science
           Performance Analysis.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  This is a Supplementary
           Science and Performance Analysis, is just an
           aggregation of other things including the TSPASR and
           the System Description documents and the Site
           Description --
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Just the cold
                       MS. DEERING:  It's what?
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  It's just the
           cold depository.
                       MS. DEERING:  Well, but it also will
           include the warmer repository design quantified also.
           Yeah, it's a way to bring the new information they've
           collected in some of their less conservative
           conceptual models and some of the way they're dealing
           with uncertainties, they've been doing a comprehensive
           and systematic study on uncertainty.
                       They're going to try to bring all that in
           as I understand it, to these documents.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Is this -- I'm trying
           really to understand if this is real or just cosmetic.
           Is this DOE's attempt to respond to the TRB's
           frequently asked questions having to do with what
           other evidence are you going to present beyond the
                       MS. DEERING:  Oh, I don't -- you know
           what, these documents will also deal with the multiple
           lines of evidence, but that -- a lot of this is an
           attempt to address TRB's concerns about a number of
           things.  Low temperature operating modes, the Board
           has beat up on them on that.  This is a way to bring
           that into -- on to the table.  Multiple lines of
           evidence, use of natural analogs in a way to help
           quantify some of this information.  They're going to
           try to bring that in to the extent they can for the
                       The Board also has beat up them and John
           on uncertainty, dealing with unquantifiable
           uncertainties.  So again, they're trying to bring that
           in.  It is a way to structure, yes, to answer to the
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Okay.
                       MS. DEERING:  But I don't think it's
           cosmetic.  I do think that there's concern that this
           cooler repository and them wanting a single, flexible
           design that operates at different modes is a way to
           not -- to resist the Board's demands for a cooler
           repository.  I could be wrong with this, but I'm just
           talking here.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Right.
                       MS. DEERING:  That seems like the Board
           quizzed them pretty heavily, like why would you go
           with this flexible design?  Would this be the optimal
           design if you were just designing a cooler repository?
           Would you do this flexible design and what are your
           criteria?  What is it that -- what do you want the
           flexibility for?  And they very heavily quizzed them
           on what is the need for the flexibility?  You have to
           meet a certain dose at 20 kilometers.  Where does the
           need for flexibility come in.  What drives you toward
                       And so they encourage the DOE to
           articulate that in writing and get that -- clarify
           that so that the Board can live with it, okay?
                       Just a couple other highlights, DOE, the
           waste package peer review we're aware of that was
           announced last week, that's on May 23rd.
                       There's an international TSPA peer review
           that's on-going, but there's a report, an interim
           report due in October and the final report due in
           February 2002.  So the interim results of that will
           probably be -- support the SR decision, hopefully, if
           they come out in October.
                       I'm on page 3 now.  There a biosphere peer
           review report that was issued last week.  Howard
           announced that.  The revised repository safety
           strategy, I think should be rev. 5, comes out this
                       Unless there's questions, I can talk a
           little bit about the fluid inclusions, that was a big
           highlight of the meeting.
                       It should be on the top of the pile,
           because I just handed it out right after lunch.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Thank you.  I'm sorry.
                       MS. DEERING:  All this is is an interim
           report, there will be a bigger report on the CRB
           meeting.  This is just designed to give you the
           latest, what I heard last week and what DOE is saying.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Right.
                       MS. DEERING:  Just my best attempt at
           keeping us as informed as possible.
                       And I wanted to mention this fluid
           inclusion because we had had our own session on that
           less than a year ago, was it?  Less than a year ago.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Back in October.
                       MS. DEERING:  It was Yuri Dublionsky and
           Jerry Shamansky and Jean Klein and this study that DOE
           funded for the ULNV to take a hard look at this whole
           fluid inclusion issue and whether or could be hot
           water coming from up and based on evidence in the
           mountain and fluid inclusions plays into it in that
           sense.  And the study is over and she reported very
           definitely on her results, feels with high confidence
           that there are no other interpretations other than the
           ones she's putting forth and the USGS backs her up and
           some other independent advisors also who -- a man
           named Bob Bodner, I believe, who facilitated these
           quarterly meetings that they had.  Everyone praised
           the study in terms of its openness, involving the
           public, the quality of the data, the quantity of the
           data.  And in the end, she basically is saying these
           two phase inclusions which contain the record of the
           heated water, hot water is throughout Yucca Mountain
           is evident.  However, these two phase fluid inclusions
           are only found in rocks or calcites older than at
           least 2 million years old.  So this -- and she used
           uranium, lead dating of the opal to come up with this
           finding.  And she took all kinds of samples and
           basically that's her ultimate conclusion that they are
           at least 2 million years old which puts in her mind
           and others the concerns raised by Dublionsky and
           Shamansky about seismic upwelling potentially
           occurring into Yucca Mountain, based on the past.  It
           has not happened any time in recent geologic history
           and Bodner went on in pretty great detail about the
           fact that the evidence you would expect to see if you
           did have this type of episodic, heated invasion of
           fluids and it just isn't there.
                       Yuri Dublionsky had his change to also
           counter this.  The Board was very, very fair and
           allowed him opportunity to show his data and his
           information.  He's now kind of saying well, he thinks
           that there could have been this episodic upwelling
           only along the faults which there really, we didn't
           focus on those in the study.  And anyway, the Board
           was great because they made him address each and every
           point.  It was uncomfortable, I think, probably,
           forcing him to address, but they did.  And I think to
           everyone's -- most people's satisfaction it looks
           pretty good, that that's a safe conclusion.
                       Anyway, that just puts -- since we had
           opened that up at our own meeting, so I thought I
           would share that.  It was pretty exciting because then
           Jean would stand up and then Yuri would stand up and
           Jean would get back up to stand up and then the USGS
           would stand up and there was a lot of opportunity and
           very fair, I thought, forum for this discussion.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  It's
           interesting how science can be politicized.  Jean, I
           think, first reported those results at GSA in Reno, if
           I'm not mistaken.
                       MS. DEERING:  Probably.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  And boy, she
           got lambasted publicly in the Reno press and basically
           had to defend herself in a public forum.  It's just
           very interesting and yet Shamansky and Yuri, this goes
           on.  It's a never-ending sage.
                       MS. DEERING:  Because they're still
           missing, I guess a hypothesis of exactly why there are
           these -- evidence of elevated temperature water.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Three million
           years ago, you could still have some heat from
           vulcanism, I think.
                       MR. LESLIE:  I hesitate to butt in.  This
           is Brett Leslie from the staff.  As you may know, we
           do have an agreement in the near field in which there
           are some observations that weren't even talked about
           at the NWTRB meeting that the Center has made and
           still remained to be addressed, where clearly there
           were saturated fluids at high temperatures.  They have
           no dates.
                       Second, we believe that currently the DOE
           as Lynn suggested, doesn't have a very robust
           hypothesis for how you can maintain temperatures,
           elevated above ambient for millions of years after we
           know that vulcanism occurred.  So to kind of further
           this, I actually got something today from Yuri
           Dublionsky going through the hypothesis saying that
           their model which is basically a conductively cooled
           model is seriously flawed.
                       So even though publicly the NWTRB thinks
           things are resolved, there are still on-going
           information by State-supported people who are going to
           follow this and this is one of the reasons why we had
           that agreement is that we would have the necessary
           information to address this issue.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  It's clear that
           the State is going to follow this.  In something that
           Howard gave us this morning, they're saying that
           Shamansky and Dublionsky have been commissioned to
           write a Nevada Paper on this aimed at a court case.
                       MS. DEERING:  Yes.  Any questions you have
           about some of this design, what not?  I have all these
           handouts from the meeting, if you require information
           right away, until I do my report and send the handouts
           to you.
                       So this DOE SR process, you got the basic
                       And you know, NRC will be needing to take
           into account that new information they receive in
           terms of these supplementary performance analysis
           documents, some of which may affect, impact their
           sufficiency review and so they need to deal with that
           and factor that into their schedule somehow.
                       DOE wants their comments, sufficiency
           comments by October.  I think the staff thinks they
           can meet that, as long as this new information doesn't
           -- first of all, they don't have exact deliverable
           dates.  NRC needs to have a better idea of when
           exactly these documents are going to be coming out.
           I think a lot of people want to know that, but DOE is
           pretty nebulous on that.
                       MEMBER WYMER:  Is it really new data or is
           it just a reformulation of the old information that
           they're coming up with?  In all these new reports that
           they write, things that are coming up, it seems to me
           that there's not been enough time to really dig into
           new information.  They must just be recasting --
                       MS. DEERING:  You know, even at TRB
           meeting in January, they had a lot of new analysis
           beyond the TSPA --
                       MEMBER WYMER:  So there really is new
           scientific information?
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Things like
           this, this fluid inclusion --
                       MEMBER WYMER:  Yeah, that's new.
                       MS. DEERING:  And a lot of these
           assumptions in some of these conceptual models have
           changed to be less conservative and they believe they
           have the evidence to support this.  I know in
           saturated zone that's true.  They've got a lot more
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  I mean there's
           still an awful lot of lab work going on at the labs at
           Livermore and Argonne and what not.
                       MS. DEERING:  It's that time lag problem.
           They had to lock into that TSPASR quite a while ago
           and here as the SR decision wants to be -- need to do
           something this summer, there was a whole year's worth
           or more of information, somehow needs to be quantified
           that DOE thinks helps their case for the SR finding.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  It's a little
           disquieting if it made any major differences, wouldn't
                       MS. DEERING:  Yeah.  Well, maybe this
           cooler repository will open up a new can of worms in
           terms of -- who knows?  Maybe there will be some
           interesting things.
                       So is the ACNW going to review the S&ER,
           the Science and Engineering Report and the -- I mean,
           how do we factor that into our vertical slices?  If
           they're due in June, I guess we're not.
                       I don't know that we need to.  I don't
           know if it's relevant to our purpose.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  What's due in
                       MS. DEERING:  Our vertical slice.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  What information is in
           it that's safety related that we don't have?
                       MS. DEERING:  In the S&ER, I don't know
           anything other than just a look or consideration of
           the core repository.  I'm only going by hearsay on
           that one.
                       MR. LESLIE:  I thought it was a
           consolidation of the AMRs, PMRs and they all get more
           compact --
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Until they get
           to something this thick.
                       That's my question.  I thought there was
           more of a matter of consolidation, integration and
           unification than it was novelty.
                       MS. DEERING:  And as I mentioned this
           cooler design, in some ways is considered in the S&ER.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  But if we're expected
           to use them, we better have the full report and I
           guess that's on the CD.
                       We're getting copies of that?
                       MS. DEERING:  We have one hard copy.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  But are the
           graphs in it using different colored lines, and
           whenever you make a copy of it those all disappear
           into a single color and sometimes it's difficult to
           sort it out.  DOE likes to use these --
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  You said we have copies
           on the way.
                       MS. DEERING:  CDs.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Now the CDs, I assume
           are colored?
                       MS. DEERING:  Yes.  We also are expecting
           the hard copy to come in for everybody too.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  That's useful.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Okay.
                       MS. DEERING:  Thank you.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Anything else along
           these lines because we're going to move from what
           we're doing now into reports, preparation and what
           have you and for that part of our meeting we'll go off
           the record.
                       (Whereupon, at 2:35 p.m., the meeting was

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