106th ACNW Meeting U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, February 23, 1999

                        UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

                           106th ACNW Meeting

                               U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
                               Two White Flint North
                               Room T-2B3
                               11545 Rockville Pike
                               Rockville, Maryland

                               Tuesday, February 23, 1999

                The above-entitled proceedings commenced at 8:30
      a.m., pursuant to notice, B. John Garrick, chairman,

                George Hornberger, Vice Chairman
                Charles Fairhurst, Member
                Ray Wymer, Member
                Mary L. Thomas, Member

                Dr. Larkins (EDO), Andrew Campbell, Lynn Deering,
      Richard K. Major

                Martin Steindler

                Richard Craun, DOE; John Greeves (Director, NRC
      Division of Waste Management, Division of Waste Management,
      Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards

                          P R O C E E D I N G S
                                                       [8:32 a.m.]
                DR. GARRICK:  Good morning.  The meeting will now
      come to order.  This is the first day of the 106th Meeting
      of the Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste.  My name is John
      Garrick, chairman of the ACNW.  Other members of the
      committee include George Hornberger, Ray Wymer, and Charles
      Fairhurst.  Dr. Steindler is with us today as a consultant
      to the committee.  The entire meeting will be open to the
                During today's meeting the committee will first
      discuss the Department of Energy's license application
      design selection process, review nuclear waste-related
      research and technical assistance underway in the agency in
      preparation for a report to the Commission on that subject,
      and meet with John Greeves, NRC's Director, Division of
      Waste Management, to discuss developments at Yucca Mountain,
      rules and guidance under development, resources, and other
      issues of mutual interest.  We will be preparing for the
      next meeting with the Commission which will be on March
      17th, 1999, and we will be discussing possible new ACNW
      reports on ACNW self-assessment, NRC's waste-related
      research and technical assistance program, DOE's viability
      assessment for Yucca Mountain, and a white paper on
      repository design issues.
                Richard Major is the designated federal official
      for the initial portion of the meeting and, as usual, this
      meeting is being conducted in accordance with the provisions
      of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.  We have received no
      written statements from members of the public regarding
      today's session, and should anyone wish to address the
      committee, please make your wishes known to one of the
      committee's staff.
                It is requested that each speaker use one of the
      microphones, identify himself or herself, and speak with
      sufficient clarity and volume so that he or she can be
      readily heard.
                Before proceeding with the first agenda item, I
      would like to cover some brief items of current interest.
                Paul Lohaus has been appointed Director, Office of
      State Programs, following the retirement of Richard Bangart.
                New Mexico's government began hearings on February
      22nd to decide whether to grant the Department of Energy a
      permit to begin using the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
                Chancellor Gerhard Stroder has delayed approval of
      appointments to the German Reactor Safety Commission -- this
      is the government's top nuclear safety advisory body.  A
      spokesman for Stroder said that the matter may be discussed
      by Stroder during the next meeting of his cabinet, which
      maybe has taken place by now, and according to other
      sources, Stroder agreed to shelve 12 appointments to RSK
      proposed by the Federal Minister of Environment, after
      industry exerted pressure to block his designation of
      nuclear critics.
                A sad note.  Former Congressman Morris Udahl died
      at age 76 from Parkinson's disease.  Many consider him the
      father of the Low Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act.  He
      also sponsored legislation under which Congress consented to
      the formation of the Southwestern Low Level Waste Compact.
      He represented the Tucson, Arizona congressional district
      from 1962 until he resigned in 1991, and was clearly a
      prominent figure on the Hill in the nuclear waste area.
                I think with that, we will get the jump on our
      first agenda item, which is the Department of Energy's
      license application design selection presentation, and I am
      going to ask Vice Chairman of the Committee George
      Hornberger to lead us in that discussion.  George.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  Thanks, John.
                I think we will just proceed right into the
      presentation by Richard Craun.
                MR. CRAUN:  Hello, I am Richard Craun.  I am with
      the Department of Energy, and I would like to share some
      information with you today on the license application design
      selection process.  Why don't I just go ahead and get
                Today's discussion -- I wanted to give you a brief
      history.  The effort has started a couple years ago, and I
      wanted to give you a brief history, I wanted to talk to some
      of the current schedule of status of events and give you
      some information on how the designs that we are looking at,
      how they compare to the design that was issued in the
      viability assessment.
                The design selection effort really started back in
      December of '97 with a working group that we called the
      Repository Design Alternatives Working Group.  There they
      went through and tried to assimilate all the information
      they could find on the different inputs that we had on our
      design and came down with a series of design alternatives
      and design features.
                Now let me just take a minute and describe a
      design alternative.  Design alternatives are a conceptual
      design.  It's a broad, sweeping perspective of the design
      wherein it consists of several features to implement that
      alternative.  So a design feature would be a smaller item
      within a larger set of a design alternative.  A design
      alternative might be a high temperature design, a low
      temperature design, whereas a design feature may be a filler
      material that you would put into a waste package and/or a
      ceramic coating that you would put on the waste package.  So
      it's not -- it's a smaller group, the features are, compared
      to the alternatives.
                The license application design selection process,
      we call it LADS, started in June of '98.  Now I want to
      focus in on the activities before, during and after what we
      call an enhanced design alternative workshop, which was
      January 4th through the 15th.  We call it an enhanced design
      alternative simply because it is the next generation of
      designs, the next generation beyond the viability
      assessment.  So in order to present that information, I want
      to go through a little bit of the pre-workshop activities,
      which includes an independent review panel that we pulled
      together, the activities of the workshop, and then the
      post-workshop activities leading up to what we are doing
      right now, leading up then to the final report that should
      be coming out.  In the April 15th timeline, we expect the
      M&O contractor to submit to the Department of Energy a
      report summarizing the designs that they have studied.
      Between April 15th and May 28th, the Department of Energy
      will review that report and make a final selection of the
      design to go forward with to -- the activity is entitled
      License Application.  It's to both site recommendation and
      the license application, so it will be the next generation
      post the viability assessment, and I would also state at
      this time that it will continue to evolve as we go through
      the licensing process.  But those are the major milestones,
      and those will come up again later on in the presentation.
                And I give you an overall image of the process.  I
      put this flow diagram together, and the top three boxes are
      really associated with the pre-workshop activities.  There
      we took the initial activities, the initial box was defining
      the design alternatives and features, and that was actually
      done before the LADS effort.  During the LADS effort, those
      alternatives and features were changed.  Some features were
      dismissed, some new features were added.  We went through an
      evaluation process or development of an evaluation criteria
      for the LADS effort, and then also evaluated each DA and
      design alternative and design feature for the workshop.
                Now I will come back to this pre-workshop, I
      believe, on the next slide, which will give you a little
      more information on what that analysis consisted of.
                During the workshop we identified the enhanced
      design alternatives, the next generation of design concepts
      that we wanted to look at.  We have developed -- we further
      refined -- we didn't develop new criteria, we further
      refined the evaluation criteria that we would use for
      assessing the enhanced design alternatives.  This is really
      a break point.  We are now in the process of ranking the
      enhanced design alternatives right now, it's in process, so
      that's really a post-workshop activity, and then we will
      come up with our final documentation which is the April and
      May time line, that's the level 2 and level 3 milestone for
      the Department of Energy.
                Let me give you a little more detail on the
      pre-workshop analysis.  We have prepared what are called
      one-off analyses.  By that, I mean we took the VA reference
      -- the VA base case design and we modified only one feature
      at a time.  For example, the VA base case design is a 5/16
      outer -- carbon steel outer package with an alloy 22, A-22
      inner package material.  For the one-off case, if we wanted
      to reverse that to do an alloy 22 on the outside, carbon
      steel on the inside, that would be the only change we made
      to the base case.  If we added a ceramic coating to the base
      case analysis, it would be added to the carbon steel outer
                Now we recognized when we did that a one-off
      analysis has inherently some weaknesses.  For example, a
      ceramic coating on a carbon steel outer package material
      will not have a very long lifetime.  We don't get the full
      benefit of a ceramic coating.  So we recognized that there
      were some synergisms that we would lose by doing the one-off
      analysis, so that was recognized during that process of
      performing those one-off analyses, and was discussed fairly
      extensively during the workshop.
                We went through prior to the workshop and we had
      nine criterion that were used.  We assessed each feature and
      each alternative to those criterion, and that information,
      which I will get to a little bit later, was presented during
      the workshop.
                In addition, some of the one-off analyses that we
      did were just different enough that the designers had to
      work carefully with the PA personnel, the performance
      assessment personnel, to come up with the models that would
      allow them to come -- to prepare information on the
      performance of how that feature would work.
                And then at the very end of the process prior to
      the workshop we went through an elicitation process to talk
      to the designers and the PA personnel that were involved
      with the effort to get a sense for how confident are you in
      the results that you've predicted, because they've given us
      performance results, and defense-in-depth information, and
      as they went through that, some of the designers had a very
      strong sense that their modeling captured the essence of
      that issue very effectively, and some indicated quite
      clearly that the model was in its initial stages of
      development to the point where it was a rough approximation.
      So we elicited that confidence in the preworkshop
                The Department was interested in wanting to make
      sure that the LADS effort was objective, transparent, and
      defensible.  To that end we pulled together an independent
      review group to look at the process we were using itself.
      The review group met prior to the workshop.  We walked them
      through the process that we were going to use leading up to
      the workshop and the process that we were going to use
      during the workshop.  After going through that they came
      back with some recommendations to us prior to the workshop,
      and they suggested strongly that we simplify the criteria,
      they thought that it was too complicated, we had too many
      elements in it, and that the level of design detail we
      needed to be very cautious that we try not to make the
      lowest-level design decisions.  In the LADS effort they
      suggested strongly that we look at the broader conceptual
      decisions that we need to make and try to make those
      decisions.  And they also talked to us about the timing of
      decisions, when we need to make decisions.  Many decisions
      can be delayed and not adversely affect our schedule.  So
      those decisions need to be identified so that we can make
      them as we need them and not try to rush them, so that we
      can get as much information as possible.
                They did have some limited involvement in the EDA
      workshop itself.  We asked those that were available -- not
      all were available -- to observe as much of the workshop as
      possible.  That was that January 4 through 15 workshop that
      we had were we actually created the enhanced design
      alternatives.  Now we have another workshop coming up March
      8 and 9.  Now that workshop will be a workshop where we
      actually rank the enhanced design alternatives in accordance
      with the criteria, and I'll show you the criteria in just a
      minute or two, and that workshop's coming up here shortly.
      And we will have some of the independent team observing
                Now during the enhanced design alternative
      workshop the first part of the workshop was a presentation
      of the one off analyses.  And in those presentations they
      not only discussed the strengths of their analysis, but also
      the limitations of their analysis so that the designers that
      were using that information had a very clear picture of what
      the limited use of the limited knowledge was associated with
      each of those features and alternatives.
                That was the first day or two of the workshop.
      The remainder of the workshop was a brainstorming session.
      We focused that brainstorming session by having three design
      focuses.  We had a high-temperature design focus, a
      low-temperature design focus, and an enhanced-access focus.
      We felt those gave us a diverse view of what we could come
      up with as far as a design for the repository so that we
      ensured that we had a wide spectrum of alternatives to
                Initially we came up with, on the first
      brainstorming session, we came with 23 enhanced design
      alternatives.  We looked at them and thought well, if we
      take 23 designs into our licensing process it just doesn't
      seem like a good success path.  So we stepped back and we
      started looking at them and said now how can we break these
      down so that they make more sense.
                We identified those features that were integral to
      the implementation of that goal.  Now, for example, we
      had -- I'll just talk high and low temperature.  On the
      low-temperature team they had specific thermal goals that
      they tried to meet.  Now what we found was there was a whole
      series of features that were not integral to meeting that
      design goal of low temperature.  For example, if we modified
      the surface of Yucca Mountain, regraded it, recontoured it,
      put a cap on it, something of this nature, which was one of
      the features, that was independent of how you design a
      low-temperature repository.  And so it wasn't really
      integral to the design.
                So we identified those features that were integral
      to the design.  And once we did that we found a lot of
      similarity from the 23 design alternatives that we had.  So
      we were able to bring those down to the eight.  So we ended
      the workshop with eight design alternatives, which was a
      more manageable number.  Our goal was to have between five
      and eight, five and ten.  We were still in my mind on the
      high side, but we were getting closer.
                Now let me talk for just a moment on the
      postworkshop activities.  Toward the tail end of the
      workshop it became apparent to us that we really needed to
      have an ability to interface very closely with this process
      and make the necessary decisions in a very timely manner.
      The schedule that we've got for this activity is very
      aggressive.  So if we in that process take a protracted
      period of time to make a decision, it's not compatible with
      our schedule.  So toward the tail end of the workshop as we
      started seeing these issues coming to the surface we could
      anticipate needing to make rapid decisions.
                We pulled together a group that we call the
      License Application Design Integration Group.  It's a
      process that we used in the preparation of the viability
      assessment itself.  What we found is when we were writing
      the VA many, many issues came to the surface that we needed
      to make decisions on immediately.  So we formed a group then
      and now consisting of both DOE senior representatives,
      senior representatives from the M and O, and senior
      representatives from the MTS DOE subcontractor that is in
      support of the DOE.
                That team meets on an as-needed basis and the
      information is brought, principally the issues that come to
      those committees are policy-setting issues in nature.
      They're significant to the development and direction of the
                For example, one of the first features that came
      or first issues that came to the committee was that the
      Enhanced Access Design Alternatives, of the three categories
      I mentioned -- high, low, and enhanced access -- at the end
      of workshop we had eight enhanced design alternatives.  Two
      were low, three were high, and three were enhanced access.
      What we decided was is that the enhanced access alternatives
      really could be treated as a feature that could be added to
      any of the other design concepts.  So we converted the
      enhanced design -- enhanced access alternatives from an
      alternative to a feature.  So that was a committee decision
      that said listen, what we'll do is all of the designs will
      have to have provisions to allow for access to the
      repository.  Okay?  So those are types of decisions that
      have been made.  If any of you were here or --
                DR. HORNBERGER:  Richard, excuse me a second.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  Just a point of clarification.
      Enhanced access, is this the idea of going to a 300-year
      period or is it just ventilated or being able to go into the
                MR. CRAUN:  Yes, it's the latter.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  It's the latter.  Thank you.
                MR. CRAUN:  It's to provide shielding, either
      self-shielded or temporary shielding plus a thermal
      consideration so you have both shielding and thermal issues
      that you have to manage in order to get access.
                It would not be unrestricted access.  We are still
      anticipating somewhere like a 200-millirem field or
      something of that nature.
                Okay.  So we're now down to five EDA's, and I'll
      show you here briefly on the next chart, on the thermal
      goals associated with those five enhanced design
      alternatives.  The current five EDA's or enhanced design
      alternatives are being assessed now from a performance
      assessment cost analysis and a defense-in-depth perspective.
      That is under way right now, as we speak.
                Now this is kind of like a pie chart.  I try not
      to have very many busy slides in the presentation, but I had
      to put at least one in the presentation.
                I don't plan on going through the details.  It
      gives you the pertinent details associated with the five
      EDAs.  I am more than willing to answer any questions that
      you have on this.  They are numbered across the top -- EDA 1
      through 5, and here are primarily the integral features
      towards the top and some of the bottom features are
      non-integral features.  They are not germane to the thermal
      goals and really the reason I put this slide in here was to
      really have you focus on the thermal goals at the bottom, 1
      through 5.
                What you will notice is our decision is not as
      simple as a hot versus cold, low versus high.  There are
      several -- this is a range of thermal goals from 1 through 5
      starting with a drift wall temperature of about 96 degrees
      centigrade working its way up, so that is what we have ended
      up with from the Enhanced Design Alternatives that we are
      carrying forward, so right now we have five designs that we
      are taking forward in the process of evaluating with those
      varying thermal goals.
                Now those five Enhanced Design Alternatives are
      being evaluated using both a screening criteria and an
      evaluation criteria.  For those who may have seen a recent
      NWTRB briefing, a couple of weeks ago I think it was, we had
      three screening criteria.  They were post-closure
      performance, environmental considerations, and
                The LAD, or License Application Design Integration
      Group that I was mentioning earlier not only made the
      decision that we should convert enhanced access to a
      feature.  What we have also been looking at very carefully
      are the screening criteria, so we have come to the
      conclusion in that group that in fact those two screening
      criteria should be converted over to evaluation criteria,
      screening criteria being a criteria that if you don't meet
      it that Enhanced Design Alternative is off the table.  It's
      dropped.  An evaluation criteria will be simply that.  We
      will be gathering information for that and ranking them.
                Some of these decisions, environmental
      considerations I believe, was in a meeting last week that we
      made that decision to go ahead and move that from a
      screening criterion to an evaluation criterion.
                Now one of the evaluation criteria that I have
      mentioned was a defense-in-depth analysis.  We have not --
                DR. STEINDLER:  Could I go back to that last one?
                MR. CRAUN:  Yes.
                DR. STEINDLER:  You said screening criteria,
      post-closure performance.
                MR. CRAUN:  Yes, sir.
                DR. STEINDLER:  If it doesn't meet it, you won't
      continue it.  Compared to what?  Is there a base case?
                MR. CRAUN:  Well, we have a VA base case so there
      is a base case, but there's a performance standard that we
      used for this project of 25 millirem and that is what we
      used.  That was our criteria, our threshold.  If it exceeded
      that in the first 10,000 years, then in fact it was a no-go.
                Does that answer your question?
                DR. STEINDLER:  Yes.
                MR. CRAUN:  I believe we were also looking at 15
      millirem, I believe also.
                Primarily -- there have been no EDAs that I am
      aware of that not successfully completed that screening
      criteria.  They have all passed it.
                We are looking at the defense-in-depth
      methodology.  We, the DOE, are looking at that now.  We have
      had meetings last week on that.  We have given some
      presentations to the TRB and other members on our approach
      and methodology that we are looking at.  That is not
      finalized yet.
                We know that the defense-in-depth will be very
      important relative to assuring safety when the quantitative
      analyses include significant uncertainties.  We know that
      the defense-in-depth methodology will be a significant
      element or important element in our post-closure safety
                This analysis is expected to identify the
      principal barriers, both natural and engineered barriers,
      and the relative contribution of those barriers and the
      resilience of the overall system.
                Now taking a little bit of time, I have put
      together a couple more slides on that to give you kind of
      how it's done.
                First of all, we start off with defining the
      system design attributes.  As you are probably aware there
      are four attributes in our repository safety strategy.  The
      first attribute is effectively -- I'll use my own words --
      keep the waste package dry, make the waste package last a
      long time, a slow dissolution rate and a reduction and
      concentration after it is released from the waste package,
      so are the four basic attributes.
                Of those four attributes there are 19 principal
      barriers that have been identified for those attributes.
      Those principal barriers are in the VA -- Viability
                They are discussed extensively in Volume 4.  In
      there we talk about our confidence in understanding their
      performance.  We will look at in the defense-in-depth
      process the common uncertainties of those barriers and the
      common failure modes of those barriers and we will be doing
      or conducting a neutralization analysis where we take those
      barriers effectively out of the system and look at the
      effect on the performance of that overall system and it will
      show us the resilience of the design in our mind.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  So I can infer then that DOE
      equates multiple barriers and defense-in-depth?
                MR. CRAUN:  Yes, they are tied together.  Yes,
      very definitely.
                Now, the methodology that we are looking at, or
      using at this point in time is very similar to that which
      the NRC staff published some papers on, the importance
      measure, and they go through a neutralization process or a
      removal of the barrier, similar to the same thing that we
                We are looking right now, we are focusing on how
      do we present this information at the latest NWTRB meeting.
      We basically looked at a dose rate with the barrier removed.
      Probably not the most effective way to communicate that, you
      get lost in the numbers, and people lose what the focus is.
      So we are looking at different ways of presenting that,
      different ways to maybe come up with dimensional-less
      numbers.  I don't -- we have got a couple of ideas on the
      table.  As of last week, we have not selected a methodology
      yet for that.
                Currently, the defense-in-depth is being used in
      the LADS effort where all of the enhanced design
      alternatives are going through that analysis, and it is one
      of several tools that we are looking at and evaluating the
      enhanced design alternatives.
                In order to meet our objective of the April 15th
      and the May 28th dates, we will be evaluating each of the
      EDA in accordance with the evaluation criteria that I showed
      you earlier, and we will not, for the report of April 15th,
      be looking at a weighted score, we will be looking at things
      individually.  And the next slide, I will show you kind of a
      format that we expect to be using.  The DOE will -- we will
      review the data and the raw information associated with the
      evaluation and make the decision from there.
                Now, on March 8th and 9th, I mentioned it earlier
      in the discussion, we will be having a workshop, it is our
      second workshop there.  We will be looking at the ranking of
      each EDA in accordance with the design criteria, or the
                Now, this is just an example format, it is not --
      it is just simply a ranking, showing a ranking, potential
      format, where, really, there's five EDAs, but this, a
      typical example, I just used four.  Each EDA will be ranked
      to the four evaluation criteria.
                As I mentioned earlier from the independent team
      that we have brought on to look at our process, we expect to
      be making a design selection.  And my expectation is that we
      will keep it at a fairly high level.  It may be as simple as
      hot versus cold.  It may not be.  As I showed you already,
      there are five EDAs were varying thermal goals, so it may
      not be as simple as a hot versus cold.
                We will also be carrying a lot of features along
      with design for flexibility, to ensure that if we continue,
      as we go down the data acquisition on our waste package
      materials and other data that we are trying to gather to
      prepare ourselves for a license application, if we get
      information or data that is not supportive of that, our
      current understanding, we need some flexibility in order to
      adjust to that information.  That's where are in the LADS
      process, the License Application Design Selection process,
      and with that, I will just open it up for any questions that
      you may have.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  Thank you.  Questions?  Marty,
      want to start?
                DR. STEINDLER:  I have got several.  You opened
      your discussion with a comment that the design will continue
      to evolve as you go through the licensing process.
                MR. CRAUN:  Yes.
                DR. STEINDLER:  A couple of questions.  Is the
      lack of a fixed design due to uncertainties in costs or
      uncertainties in performance, or, you know, what is the
      driver for leaving the issue of design open?
                MR. CRAUN:  Well, I think the basic design concept
      will be -- will not be open, but whether or not we have two,
      or three, or four levels of defense-in-depth may vary with
      time.  It is a process, in my mind, of margin of safety --
      how much will we need?  I don't believe those discussions
      are complete.  I believe the basic concept will be selected
      and we will carry features with that design to provide some
      latitude.  I guess primarily from the standpoint, as we
      continue to gather data, if we find information that is not
      supportive of a specific assertion being made now in the
      performance of an element, then, as that data comes to
      light, we can basically fall back and look at ways to adjust
      the design for that.
                So I think the basic design focus will be --
      concept will be selected, so we will be going forward with a
      specific design.  But there will be features there that I am
      sure will be negotiated through the licensing process
      relative to uncertainties associated -- from our
      perspective, and also uncertainties associated with the
      NRC's perspective on how that might perform, those features
      might perform.
                DR. STEINDLER:  Have you had a chance to think
      about how a licensing board might view a design that is not
      fixed and what it is, in fact, they are going to be asked to
                MR. CRAUN:  Well, I don't really want to present
      it as a design that is not fixed.  That is -- I wouldn't be
      representing the design properly.  To me, an alternative
      that we may carry forward would be like we might carry --
      for example, now we have about four materials in our waste
      package material program, or five.  We have selected two,
      and we will go forward with -- for example, if we go forward
      with the base case, the A design, we will go forward with a
      516 and an alloy 22.  We have in our back pocket other
      material information so that if we run into a problem in
      licensing the 516 and the allow 22, that we have some
      fallback information.
                So I don't want to present it as a design that is
      totally flexible.  We will have a reference design, a base
      case design that we will take to licensing.  We will also
      have some enhancement features that we can bring into that
      design, if needed.  If, in fact, we don't need them, there
      would be no change, there would simply be no change.  I
      don't want to represent it as a totally flexible design,
      that would not be proper.
                DR. STEINDLER:  Your focus seems to be on issues
      like hot versus cold and issues of that general nature.
      Yet, the VA certainly shows fairly clearly that the near
      field chemistry and what goes on very close in to the EBS
      drives to a significant extent what the dose at the
      downstream well is.  I don't notice much in the way of
      attention to that chemistry in the broadest sense in the
      options that you look like you are pursuing, except there's
      a couple of processes that impinge on it.  Is that
                MR. CRAUN:  Well, the hot versus cold, in my mind,
      has to do with the uncertainty associated with the near
      field environment.  There has been a lot of discussion that
      the warmer you are, the more that uncertainty that you have;
      the cooler you are, the less -- the more certain you are
      relative to what that chemistry is.  So they are coupled
      together and they are not separable in my mind.
                We may have been focusing on different thermal,
      but the drivers behind that were the near field, the
      corrosion rates, the dissolution rates, all of the other
      related issues associated with the overall performance of
      the mountain, not separable in my mind.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  But just to pursue that just a
      little further, I think in earlier in earlier versions of
      some of the design features, I believe I saw it say getters
      considered, and I don't see that on your current list that
      you showed us today.  Is that deliberate that it was left
                MR. CRAUN:  Well, there were 22 features that we
      have had on the list.  I don't know that I have the exact
      numbers.  We have -- during the LADS effort, we did look at
      materials that we could insert underneath the waste package.
      Those could be -- those are somewhat non-integral to the
      thermal goals.  Those could be added to any feature.
                Some may assume that the getters have so much
      uncertainty as to whether or not they will be there when
      they are needed, that, in fact, they should fall off the
      list, but they are not intentionally off the list, in my
      mind, they simply were not an integral feature in the
      implementation of our thermal goals.  They may be brought
      back in, similar to filler materials that you would put
      inside the waste package.  But you are right, you did not
      see them in that -- those detailed charts.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  One of the obvious features -- I'm
      sorry, the word "features" is not correct, distinguishing
      elements between the hot and cold is, of course, your
      footprint.  So if you stay on a single level repository, you
      know, if you have the lower thermal density, obviously, it
      has to occupy a larger plant area.
                In the various options, has the question of
      multiple layer repository been considered?
                MR. CRAUN:  Absolutely.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  Okay.
                MR. CRAUN:  That was one of the objectives.  You
      can meet your thermal goal in more than just aerial mass
      loading now.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  I agree.
                MR. CRAUN:  Okay.  Because we did look at
      blending, we did look at aging.  We did look at ventilation,
      other means of -- okay
                DR. FAIRHURST:  And I see your goal is usually set
      at something like 96, that is to keep the stuff from
      boiling, right?
                MR. CRAUN:  That's correct.  Absolutely.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  And there's another goal lower
      than that to which -- below which most metallurgists would
      say you would get no corrosion even with carbon steel.
                MR. CRAUN:  That's correct.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  And that's about 80 to 90, I don't
      -- I mean that's conservative.
                MR. CRAUN:  And it varies from expert to expert.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  Pardon?
                MR. CRAUN:  It varies from expert to expert.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  That's right.  That's right.  But
      no lower than 80, I think.
                MR. CRAUN:  Not that I am aware of.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  And the driver, it appears, for
      the corrosion allowance material is humidity more than
      temperature.  In other words, given the two, you could keep
      the temperature low, but if the humidity gets very high,
      then you would get some corrosion of the carbon -- of the --
                MR. CRAUN:  516.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  Yeah.
                MR. CRAUN:  Yes.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  Now, some of your alternative
      materials, is it titanium and things like that, are they to
      substitute for the corrosion allowance material rather than
      the C-22, or what?
                MR. CRAUN:  Yes to both Yes to both.  But they --
      we are looking at an inside-out, an alloy 22, carbon steel
      on the inside.  We are looking at titanium and C-22
      combinations, and at one time there was a triple combination
      of, I believe, a -- I don't remember inner and outer, but
      there was a corrosion resistant material inner and outer,
      and then a structural member in between.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  Okay.  Now, you mentioned briefly
      the surface modification.
                MR. CRAUN:  Yes.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  Don't laugh, I think it is a good
                MR. CRAUN:  No, no, no, no, no.  No, I -- they all
      have merit.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  What are the main objections to
      it?  As you say, it is something to be done totally
      independently of anything you are doing.  Not totally, it is
      almost -- but are they questions of permanence, erosion?
                MR. CRAUN:  There is a permanence issue, you are
      right.  Will it last?  There is a little bit of a cost
      issue.  How much does it cost to prepare the surface like
      that?  Which one of them was recontouring the whole top of
      the mountain, all 1300 acres -- I guess 1300 acres.  1300,
      yeah, 1300.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  It depends.
                MR. CRAUN:  Yeah, it depends.  You're right, it
      depends.  It depends.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  I have heard the number, yeah.
                MR. CRAUN:  And the third was kind of -- I was
      just going to say optics, but that is not the right thing to
      say, so there would be just those two.
                MR. RICKERTSON:  Environmental impact.
                MR. CRAUN:  Environmental impact.  Thank you.
      Thank you.  I knew there was a third and I knew it was more
      than optics.  Thank you.  Thank you.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  Would the environmental impact of
      doing that be more than the environmental impact of putting
      a monitored retrievable storage on the surface?
                MR. CRAUN:  Oh, you just jumped out of my area of
                DR. FAIRHURST:  Okay.  That's all right.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  I am just trying to see how --
                MR. CRAUN:  Monitored retrievable storage.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  There is a notion to put that
      there, and I would imagine, to me, you would have to do a
      lot of environmental --
                MR. CRAUN:  I have looked at some of the LAG
      storage associated with how a repository is operated, but I
      have not really looked at the monitored retrievable storage.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  Anybody else have any questions?
      Or I can go to some others.
                DR. WYMER:  I have one here.  You are using
      barrier neutralization to estimate barrier effectiveness.
                MR. CRAUN:  Yes, sir.
                DR. WYMER:  Does that mean that you have
      determined that the effect of one barrier on the next, with
      the coupling of the barriers, is not going to be
                MR. CRAUN:  Well, I think we are looking at the --
      I want to say the coupling, and that is the common modes of
      the barriers.  If they have same degradation mode, the same
      common failure modes, then, in fact, one would have to look
      at the neutralization of those together.  You may want to
      look at them separately, but you may want to look at them
      together, combined, also.  So that is part of the process in
      looking at that, is to assess what are the modes of failure,
      how might they fail.
                For example, if you had a multi-layer waste
      package of the same material, obviously, you would want to
      look at those, the failure of that together.  If you had a
      titanium and an alloy 22, might those be separable so that
      you could neutralize one versus the other?  And, also, maybe
      from a standpoint of just from an information standpoint,
      you may want to neutralize them both at the same time, just
      to look at the effect of that.
                I think when you do that, you get some interesting
      input or feedback from the analysis itself.  We have had
      some really interesting results out of our defense-in-depth
      analysis.  For quite a while we have had some very strong
      supporters of backfill and drip shield combinations that we
      would install in the repository toward closure.  And when we
      went through the neutralization process we found that if you
      neutralized the waste package, that, in fact, you may have
      some effect, that the drip shield and backfill may have an
      effect that wasn't originally anticipated.  So I think that
      neutralization process of both a single barrier and multiple
      barriers, I think it is educational.  It will provide us
      input on the resilience of the system.
                DR. WYMER:  All of the neutralizations you talked
      about are certainly appropriate.  I had a little bit
      different spin on it, though.
                MR. CRAUN:  Okay.
                DR. WYMER:  I was thinking about the chemistry.
      As you move through one barrier into the next, you change
      the chemistry of the material that is being transported, and
      change the compositions and so on, and this could have a
      significant effect on the next -- effect of the next
      barrier.  And I wondered if those kind of things were
      determined to not be important, or whether you are
      considering those.
                MR. CRAUN:  No, we would be considering those.
                DR. WYMER:  It would be interesting to see how you
      do that.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  Would you like to elaborate a
      little on what you said about the backfill and the fact that
      -- how the -- I am sort of amused.  If you had no
      engineering material in there, and there's nothing to
      backfill, but what -- you said if you take out the waste
      package, you know, the backfill seems to have -- and, in
      fact, you didn't anticipate --
                MR. CRAUN:  Well, the backfill provides an
      insulator.  It insulates what would be the waste package.
      It then changes the thermal cool-off curves associated with
      the waste package.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  Sure.  Sure.
                MR. CRAUN:  The waste package actually stays
      warmer, so the warmer it is, you have different dissolution
                DR. FAIRHURST:  Right.
                MR. CRAUN:  That is it.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  I see.  But there was nothing --
                MR. CRAUN:  That is -- it was that simple, but it
      was the initial -- the initial look at the curve, it was
      somewhat counter-intuitive, like, why would -- then, as you
      thought your way through it, it became obvious that with
      backfill, it cools down a little bit slower, your
      temperatures are higher, your dissolution rates are a little
      bit higher due to the warmer temperatures.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  And the backfill material that you
      would use for the low temperature would be quite different
      from the high temperature?
                MR. CRAUN:  They are looking -- they are looking
      at different types of material, for different purposes.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  So you could it at a lower
      temperature, you couldn't use it in a high temperature.  I
      mean you have got to be effected.
                MR. CRAUN:  Most of the issues we ran into with
      the backfill in the -- during the workshop, and a lot of the
      discussions were, once you install the backfill, depending
      on your closure, whether you are closing the repository 10
      years after your last waste package is inserted, or 300
      years after it is placed, the backfill really changes your
      temperature of your waste package.  So if your thermal goal
      was to maintain a waste package surface temperature of,
      let's say, 100 degree centigrade, then that backfill really
      makes that goal much more difficult to obtain.  You have to
      do more aging.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  You put it in early, right.
                MR. CRAUN:  That's right.  Blending those sorts of
                DR. HORNBERGER:  But the backfill, per se, is
      crush-tough, is that correct?
                MR. CRAUN:  That is one of the alternatives.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  What are some of the other
                MR. CRAUN:  Well, there was a fine sand material.
      There's -- let's see, those are two that I can think of.
                MR. RICKERTSON:  Those are the two.
                MR. CRAUN:  Those are the two.  Thank you.  That's
      all there is.  Those are the two.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  You mentioned that, clearly, some
      of the things have been identified as features that are not
      an integral part of the design, and so they can be
      considered in any.  I was wondering about such things as
      tunnel design and tunnel liners, materials for inverts.  Are
      you considering any of these kind of design options?  Are
      they off the table?
                MR. CRAUN:  Absolutely.  Absolutely.  We have
      looked a multiple layer design.  We have looked at designs
      that would include both the principal area, the primary
      footprint area, about 1300 acres, I believe it is 1300
      acres, and the lower repository design, depending on how we
      orient and our drift spacing, and whether we should use a
      line load or a point load in the waste packages.  We have
      looked at tunnel diameter.  We have some smaller diameter, I
      believe some 4.5 versus the 5.5 meter diameter.  We have
      looked at carbon steel, steel set liner -- steel liner.  We
      have looked at the concrete liner.  We have looked at
      different types of inverts.
                Orientations, how we would support that, and I
      believe we even looked at using some getter material in the
      invert, so, yes, there was -- a whole series of those
      options have been looked at.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  How about rock bolts and wire
                MR. CRAUN:  To some extent, yeah, we're
      appropriate.  It's a function of safety.  I think if you go
      with a -- personnel safety.  If you go with a ground control
      system, then you -- if you want to go with rock bolts and
      wire mesh, you would have to have some ground controls
      designs that would go beyond just rock bolts and wire mesh.
                For example, in the ESF, as you go down the ESF,
      you will see different areas of different levels of ground
      control, from the simplest five bolt rock bolt pattern and a
      little bit of wire mesh, to some steel straps, some steel
      sets, and steel sets with full lagging, and that's just
      simply due to the different ground conditions we've got.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  How about apart from tunnel size
      diameter?  How about tunnel shape?
                MR. CRAUN:  Round is -- yeah, round --
                DR. HORNBERGER:  Round is beautiful.
                MR. CRAUN:  Round is by far the nicest to build.
      TBMs come better when they're round.
                MR. CRAUN:  I'm not trying to joke there.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  No, no, no.  I think the issue is
      one of if rock fall is a concern, whether you could --
                MR. CRAUN:  Well, we did -- let me go back and say
      we did look at different ways.  In fact, we looked at some
      of the alternate configurations which were two parallel
      drifts with some interconnecting drifts, and those
      interconnecting drifts -- the layout of those might have
      been -- might not have been TBM style construction, it might
      have been a road header type style construction, so in all
      reality there's -- we did look at some of that.
                DR. GARRICK:  Let me first compliment you because
      we don't often get this much time to ask questions, and this
      is --
                MR. CRAUN:  What, was my presentation too short?
                DR. HORNBERGER:  No, no, just the opposite.
                DR. GARRICK:  Just right.
                MR. CRAUN:  Yes, sir.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  One of the things that I like to
      do is to work from a reference position on consideration of
      issues, and if we take the VA as our reference, I guess what
      I would like you to do is to summarize what's different
      between now, between the VA.  You talk about a change in
      criteria and the division of it between screening and
      evaluation.  Of course, the whole issue of enhanced design
      alternative evaluations appears to be at least emphasized
      more, and I guess I'd like to know if that's what is
      different and what is the driver for that.
                I know the technical review board has been pushing
      the issue of the consideration of alternatives.  Is that
      what this is primarily in response to?
                MR. CRAUN:  Well, I think you asked several
                DR. HORNBERGER:  Yes.
                MR. CRAUN:  So let me kind of --
                DR. HORNBERGER:  I'm really trying to know what
      the delta is.
                MR. CRAUN:  That's fine.  Let me try to break it
      into little pieces, and if I miss one, please remind me.
                The driver is not just the NWTRB.  They have been
      -- they have indicated that they wanted us to look at
      alternatives, and they really were wanting us to look at
      alternatives because they were concerned with the what if.
      What if you're wrong?  What if you've missed something?
      What if you can't analyze it?  If you read the four TSPA
      peer review reports, they infer that we may have more
      difficulty analyzing the reference case, the high aerial
      mass loading, the 85 MTU per acre, than what we are
      currently expecting.  They may or may not be right.  But the
      NWTRB basically has been, I think, on record in saying what
      if they are right?  What if you do have more difficulty?  So
      they have been asking the question are you certain you can
      analyze that?  So they have been wanting us to look at
      alternatives that may be simpler from an analysis
      standpoint, where you don't have as many coupled processes
      and that sort of issue.
                So, yes, they have been asking us to look at it.
      The DOE themselves has been -- it's a natural part of the
      process of design, so as we go through the selection of our
      design that we take forward into the site recommendation and
      license application, we took want to look for the most
      resilient design.  So it's a natural part of the process.
      So if the TRB hadn't been writing us letters and talking to
      us, we probably would have done it, anyhow; maybe a little
      bit differently, but we still would have done something
      similar to it.
                Now has the criterion changed?  And the answer to
      that is yes.  And it will continue to mature as we go
      through this process.  And you also ask how does the VA
      differ?  Let me take you back to the eye chart.  I apologize
      for doing that, but I will take you back to this very busy
      chart, and let me see if I can kind of -- if somebody could
      do a little bit with the lights, that would be great.
                Okay.  The reference case -- I'll just kind of
      take it one line at a time.  If I get to a line that I don't
      remember the base case, I'll tell you that.
                The reference case for the VA design is 85 MTU per
      acre.  You will notice that we have gone below that, down to
      50 MTU per acre, and as high as 150 MTU per acre.  We really
      wanted to push the thermal boundaries of the reference case.
      We wanted to look at the sensitivity of the design to that
                The acreage -- well, it's important, but let me
      say that it's not a significant issue to me.  Obviously the
      lower MTU per acre, the more acreage would be required.  The
      upper level is 1300 acres, so the 1260 fits within the upper
      block, with a little bit of room left over.
                Point versus line.  You notice that predominantly
      we have selected a line load.  The VA reference case is a
      point load.  What we are wanting to do is to, in the VA base
      case, as you look down an emplacement drift, you see a --
      and if you were to look at a temperature profile of an
      emplacement drift, you'll see a fairly substantial variation
      in temperature as you go down that drift.
      we'll couple them thermally so that we will levelize that.
      If we blend in age, it will also have a tendency to levelize
      that.  If we right now in the VA base case -- somewhere on
      here should be power.  Right now.  The VA base case I
      believe ranges from about 2 kW to about 18 kW on the power
      loading of waste packages, the 21 PWR waste packages, and
      here you see us wanting to meet specific goals on the power
      of the waste packages.
                Again, the purpose of that was to levelize down
      the emplacement drifts, levelize the power, to minimize that
      temperature delta.
                We did look at rod consolidation.  I believe in
      the process of evaluating, that has now shifted over to a
                We looked at -- I'm jumping around here a little
      bit, I apologize -- waste package size; we looked at a 12
      PWR, 21 PWR, and somebody in the audience help me, I think
      we looked at a 42 PWR -- yeah, 42, it's on the slide, 42 PWR
      waste package, and that was with rod consolidation.  We were
      wanting to make that as hot as possible, put as much power
      in there as we could.
                And diameter, some variation, base case, 5.5.
      Looked at 4.5, smaller.  We haven't had any indication that
      larger is necessarily better for the emplacement drift, so
      we have had indication that smaller is better from a
      stability standpoint.  In fact, we have had a workshop on
      tunnel stability on that very issue.
                And then the drift spacing, I believe this is the
      VA base case, which is 56 meter spacing -- no, that's not
      right.  VA base case is 28 meters.  28.  Who said 28?  Thank
      you.  Thank you very much.  It is 28 meters.
                This is 56 because we went from a point load to a
      line load, that's why that changed.
                So I think I have answered all four kind of
      questions.  If I think I -- yeah.
                DR. GARRICK:  And it would have helped if one of
      your cases would have been the VA base case.
                MR. CRAUN:  Well, it's pretty close here.  I mean
      this is pretty close.  But we really did not want to
      constrain the license application design selection process,
      so there was no mandate to have a case called a base case.
      We basically looked at it from the standpoint of take it as
      a natural evolving process, these two I would select 3 and 4
      as being those that are closest to the VA.  Remember, the VA
      design was supposed to be a snapshot, supposed to just look
      at it to identify how it was supposed to perform, what it's
      supposed to cost, how you get it to licensing, and so now
      that we are looking at how that works relative to the --
      assessment relative to criteria on performance,
      defense-in-depth, margin of safety, those sorts of
      arguments, I think it is a natural process for the VA base
      case to evolve to the next generation.
                DR. GARRICK:  Yes.  One of the back room
      criticisms of the design has often been that maybe it's more
      complex than it needs to be, especially in the international
      community, one hears this from time to time.  And I noticed
      -- and you used the word earlier, simpler, but I notice in
      your criteria that simplicity is not an explicit part of the
      criteria.  How much effort is being made to move in the
      direction of the design being simpler and the consideration
      of such things as a combined corrosion-resistant material
      and structural material as the same material?  Just as an
      example, a simpler invert design, a simpler approach to
      water diversion, et cetera.
                One impression is that the design is quite
      complex, and the combinations and permutations are quite
      large, and so I think there is this continuing anxiety about
      the lack of stability with respect to the design, and based
      on your presentation today, one can't get a particularly
      comfortable feeling that that process is moving in the
      direction of stability.
                In fact, it seems to be more in the direction of
      more alternatives and more combinations and permutations.
                MR. CRAUN:  Well, I hope we didn't leave you with
      the impression that we are going with more combinations,
      permutations, and -- from my standpoint, this is a process
      where we are looking at the design on how to carry it
                Now in the criteria, which I had in the slide
      here, it had a screening criteria and evaluation criteria.
      For example, the safety licensing probability and
      environmental consideration, that first bullet underneath
      the evaluation criteria, is composed of several elements,
      sub-elements, that address specifically this issue of
      simplicity.  And since my memory is not as good as it used
      to be, I'll just read some of it to you.
                We are looking at the function of each element and
      how simple and easy it is to define the function of that
      element and the analysis associated with that.  The
      post-closure function, can it be simply -- can it be
      demonstrated simply, straightforwardly?  So we are looking
      at simplicity.  Are there regulatory or engineering
      precedents associated with that feature?  Has it been in a
      licensing design before?  Have people relied on it before?
      Is there a track record associated with that?  So we are
      looking at simplicity, licensability, so in that first
      category there are a whole series of subcategory elements
      that are addressing specifically the issue of simplicity and
                Now -- and again I want to come back to to me this
      is a natural process of design, of the evolution.  We have
      to narrow it down.  This is the narrowing process.  A fairly
      formal process.  We are looking very carefully at
      defense-in-depth, we are looking at licensability, we are
      looking at cost, schedule, maintenance, et cetera,
      flexibility.  Flexibility is also another important term,
      and that's not intended to broaden it, it's a reality.  What
      if we have to receive more than 70,000 metric tons?  What if
      we need to receive more than 105,000 metric tons?
                I think those are good questions to be asking now
      as we are focusing in on that final design that we'll carry
      forward.  And even when we carry that design forward into a
      site recommendation and the license application process, I
      suspect that design to continue, I would hope it would
      continue to mature even in some cases into construction as
      we go into the process of building and operating the
      repository.  At least from the commercial background that I
      had, our plant learned a tremendous amount when we went from
      zero power to 5 percent on out to 100 percent power.  We
      learned quite a bit about how our plant does and doesn't
      work.  So I would expect that design not to shift in a broad
      conceptual basis from one thermal goal to another thermal
      goal.  I wouldn't expect to see that.  But I would expect to
      see some subtleties in some of the features change, and I
      think that's healthy, and I think that's good.
                DR. GARRICK:  One of the things that you
      introduced into the process was something called an
      independent review panel.
                MR. CRAUN:  Yes, sir.
                DR. GARRICK:  Can you tell us a little bit about
      this panel, how it works, who's on it --
                MR. CRAUN:  Certainly.
                DR. GARRICK:  Not necessarily by individual, but
      by discipline or where they came from.  Are they all
      internal to DOE?  And also, maybe against this LADS process,
      where you show various steps, can you help us as to the
      independent review panel and how it fits into that process?
                MR. CRAUN:  Well, relative to each step we wanted
      them to look -- in the beginning we had them there to look
      at the preworkshop activities.  Now let me kind of go
      through again, since my memory is not as good as it used to
      be, a listing of who's on that.  And they are really not DOE
      personnel.  Mr. Angelo Giambusso.  He's a retired Stone &
      Webster, many, many, many years in the licensing and
      engineering nuclear power.  That's his background.  Dr. Saul
      Levy.  He is another engineer involved for quite a while in
      nuclear power.  Dr. Peter Morris, decision analyst, do we
      have the right decision analysis approach?  Dr. Joseph
      Payer, materials behavior.  Dr. Terry Surles, risk
      management.  Dr. Wendell Weart, performance assessment.  And
      Dr. Chris Whipple, risk management.  That was the team that
      we pulled together to have them look at our process.  We
      thought that would give us a diversified background of
      personnel to look at it.
                They gave us a lot of input.  They gave us some --
      we presented a lot of information to them, and they gave us
      some really -- I think some valuable feedback.  We wanted to
      have them view all steps of the process.
                Now because of their schedules they're not all
      going to be able to be there at the same time, but we did
      get them all together prior to the first January 4-15
      workshop, we had them there during the workshop.  I think
      most of them were there at least a day or so.  And then they
      will be -- some will be there during the March 8 and 9
      workshop.  And then they will also probably -- we haven't
      decided this yet -- but I would imagine that we'll also
      involve them as we come toward a conclusion in the April
      time line.  As the reports are starting to come together,
      we'll involve them again.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  You have not brought anybody from
      other programs in other countries.
                MR. CRAUN:  No, sir.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  Who have been, you know, working
      on --
                MR. CRAUN:  No, sir; we did not.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  Similar problems for a long time?
                MR. CRAUN:  No.  Wendell Weart would be the only
      other -- from WIPP --
                DR. FAIRHURST:  He comes from the South.
                DR. GARRICK:  From New Mexico.
                MR. CRAUN:  But, no, not any other foreign
      countries.  No.  No, not any foreign countries, not other
      foreign countries.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  I notice you've got after --
                MR. CRAUN:  Let me, if I can, interrupt you for
      just a second.  On the tunnel stability workshop, if I
      recall right, we did have other participants from other --
                DR. FAIRHURST:  The Italian fellow --
                MR. CRAUN:  Yes.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  The head of ITA.
                MR. CRAUN:  Yes.  Yes.  Yes.  So we have had --
      but that's all.
                MR. NATARAJ:  One from Canada, also.  Canada.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  Neil Chandler.  Torbreki's a
      Norwegian, too.  He's been here a while, like me.
                But I noticed that your aging and preclosure
      ventilation, that in all of them you have a minimum of 25
      years of preclosure ventilation.  Now this implies then that
      every package that's put in -- are they all being ventilated
      for the entire time?  In other words, you're not going to
      backfill anything until the entire repository's full, until
      25 or 50 years has passed?
                MR. CRAUN:  Backfill is a closure process.  You're
      right.  So backfill --
                DR. FAIRHURST:  So it's a remote process too.
                MR. CRAUN:  It would be remote if in fact we
      have -- if we have not embraced enhanced access fully.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  Right.
                MR. CRAUN:  But assuming -- with an assumption
      that it is not accessible then it would be remote; that's
      correct.  And the 25 years is a combination of either aging
      and/or ventilation preclosure.  And if you choose to
      ventilate the repository, preclosure ventilation, the entire
      repository would be ventilated.  So it wouldn't be just this
      drift versus this drift.  They would all be ventilated.
                Now we've looked at a variety of different
      ventilation rates during this process, everything from about
      one cubic meter a second to ten cubic meters per second.
      The higher the ventilation rate obviously the more --
                DR. FAIRHURST:  Heat.
                MR. CRAUN:  Massive the whole system becomes, the
      more -- somewhat the more heat you remove.  But we are
      looking at both -- a combination of either aging or
                Now as we're going through -- as you saw those
      five EDAs, individually they're continuing to mature, so
      some of them may -- you know, some of the ventilation issues
      as we -- what we found when we were developing those EDA --
      enhanced design alternatives -- is that because we were
      different than the base case for the viability assessment,
      we didn't have all the necessary analysis performed in order
      to help us fully understand where we were in a
      low-temperature repository.  So we had to make some
      assumptions during the initial brainstorming sessions.
                So now that we're in the process of evaluating
      them, we're finding that some of our assumptions were really
      good, and some of them were close to good.  So we're having
      to make some little adjustments to those also.  So they are
      continuing to mature through this analysis process, but at
      this point in time, yes, the ventilation and/or aging
      combination, and that's because we're wanting to go with a
      line load and we're wanting to distribute that load in the
      emplacement drift.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  If I can just pick up on John
      Garrick's question about complexity, by what date was it
      that the M&O contract is going to pass over to DOE, the --
                MR. CRAUN:  April 15.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  April 15.  That's when -- with the
      preferred design; right?
                MR. CRAUN:  That'll be --
                DR. FAIRHURST:  At that stage.
                MR. CRAUN:  That'll be his ranking of the designs
      to the criteria, and they may identify their preference.  I
      would assume they would.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  April 15, right?
                MR. CRAUN:  Yes.  That's the current --
                DR. FAIRHURST:  Same day they put the taxes in.
                MR. CRAUN:  I beg your pardon?
                DR. FAIRHURST:  Same day your taxes are due.
                MR. CRAUN:  Oh.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  But, secondly, I'm not sure how
      justified sometimes complexity argument is, because is it
      true that a significant part of your design includes a
      serious look at retrieving damaged packages?  In other
      words, retrievability if necessary is an integral part of
      your design; right?
                MR. CRAUN:  It is an integral part of the design;
                DR. FAIRHURST:  All right.
                MR. CRAUN:  That's correct, sir.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  And you have a definite plan of
      how you can get stuff out if necessary.
                MR. CRAUN:  The plan -- and I'll use the VA
      reference design; that's kind of the most appropriate thing
      for me to select to use as a discussion point -- is simply a
      reversal of the installation process.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  Right.
                MR. CRAUN:  So to that extent yes, we do have a
      plan, and considered to be a reasonable plan.  We also have
      anticipated periodic rockfalls and how to recover from that,
      and so we've looked at the tracks and the gantry systems
      associated with emplacement on the durability and resilience
      of those to rockfall and that sort of issue.  So to that
      extent, yes, we have a retrieval portion of our design.  I
      don't know that it's controlling the design from a
      complexity standpoint.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  No, but if you put -- and many
      countries are moving to this -- all of your packages down
      the center of the tunnels rather than in the floor, sides,
      you know, it's a little more complicated to get to the one
      that is malfunctioning or whatever, and retrieve it.
                MR. CRAUN:  Yes, most --
                DR. FAIRHURST:  Because if you --
                MR. CRAUN:  Most of the concepts that we're
      looking at now would just simply start at the outer edge and
      work their way in.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  Right.
                MR. CRAUN:  And it's accessible from either end,
      so you've got upwards of --
                DR. FAIRHURST:  Yes.
                DR. GARRICK:  I just want to make sure I
      understand what you mean by one off analysis.  I gather that
      what you're talking about there is primarily changing the
      material or changing the configuration to perform a
      particular function.  You're not talking about
      neutralization.  Is that correct?
                MR. CRAUN:  That's correct.  The neutralization
      process is something that we're considering in the
      evaluation of the Enhanced Design Alternatives.  The one off
      analyses that we did on the design features and design
      alternatives was to simply, for example -- a good example
      would be the addition of a ceramic coating.
                We only added ceramic coating, even though to
      optimize its performance you would reverse the waste package
      material so that you'd have carbon steel on the inside,
      Alloy 22 on the outside, and then apply your ceramic
      coating.  Its durability, its life expectancy would greatly
                The analysis we did for the design feature on
      ceramic coating showed that it had I think a lifetime of
      about 600 or 700 years because of spalling underneath the
      ceramic coating.  So even though we knew that there were
      some synergistic -- excuse me, there were other features
      that if we combined multiple features together, we would get
      maybe a ceramic coating that would perform better, we made
      the decision to have simply a one off analysis.  We would
      only vary one parameter at a time, so we only added ceramic
      coating, even though in combination the addition of other
      features would have helped that analysis.
                Does that answer your question?
                DR. GARRICK:  Yes.  I think so.  Go ahead.
                DR. STEINDLER:  But that process, as I understand
      it at least, ignored any coupled effects and so I guess I am
      trying to figure out what true information you can extract
      out of a one-off process.
                MR. CRAUN:  What do you mean by ignored coupled
                DR. STEINDLER:  Well --
                MR. CRAUN:  Thermal-hydrologic?
                DR. STEINDLER:  Well, if you add -- I'll go back
      to my chemistry.  If you add a ceramic surely there are
      effects, chemical effects, that it brings, like it or not.
                MR. CRAUN:  Oh, I see what you are saying.
                DR. STEINDLER:  And if you take away something or
      you change an alloy or reverse the two, for example, you do
      change the chemistry but --
                MR. CRAUN:  Yes, you are right.
                DR. STEINDLER:  Am I not correct?  You just simply
      ignored that?
                MR. CRAUN:  You're right, and I am trying to think
      whether or not the analysis of the ceramic coating included
      a change in the chemistry, in the local near-field
      environment chemistry, and I am not -- yes, Larry?  Do you
      know the answer?  Larry Rickertson.  He may be able to
      answer this question.
                MR. RICKERTSON:  I am Larry Rickertson from DOE's
      M&L contractor.
                The one-off analyses were really initial analyses,
      the first cut to look at the features.  Those analyses were
      done as if you had a base case and you added something to it
      or took something away from it and then you did a broader
      evaluation in a qualitative sense of what chemical effects
      might come into play in a synergistic way and for a
      different conceptual design.
                After you finished that stage of evaluation, you
      looked -- you developed these Enhanced Design Alternatives
      that are completely evaluated.
                MR. CRAUN:  That's right.
                MR. RICKERTSON:  All the chemistry, all of the
      interactions and so on would be evaluated for that design
      with all the features in place, so there are six or five
      EDAs that are being evaluated that way.
                DR. GARRICK:  So it sounds like some one-off
      analyses are indeed the same as neutralization analyses.
                MR. RICKERTSON:  Well, the one-offs that he was
      talking about was this initial phase.  The Enhanced Design
      Alternatives that are being evaluated now are being
      evaluated fully in terms of all performance aspects,
      functional aspects, and for the design defense-in-depth
      evaluation in addition there is a neutralization that is
      done of the principal barriers of that system, to see how it
      works in that case, so there is a broad range of analyses
      that are now underway and that will be evaluated in this
                DR. STEINDLER:  Did you make any decisions on the
      basis of the one-off results?
                MR. CRAUN:  No, we really used the one-off
      analyses to help us identify those features that we should
      combine together and recognizing also in the one-off
      analysis we identified the limitations of that analysis and
      said now, listen, we are ignoring the synergistic effects
      that would be associated with changing the base material, we
      are ignoring the effects of chemistry, so that those
      discussions were there to provide information to the design
      teams that were trying to formulate or pull together the
      features necessary to pull together the Enhanced Design
                As Larry pointed out, it's the EDAs that are going
      through a more complete evaluation.  It was the preparation
      for the workshop where we were looking at individual
      features and individual items to identify as much
      information as we could for the designers, and that is where
      the one-off analysis was conducted.
                EDAs are getting a complete evaluation.
                MR. CRAUN:  Hopefully that clarified that.  Thank
      you, Larry.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  Go ahead, John.
                DR. GARRICK:  Well, I was just going to say,
      Charles, that one of the advantages of being Chairman is
      that you can put the other members on the spot once in
      awhile and you have been doing a lot of thinking about this
      whole issue of design, design alternatives.  Is there
      anything that you could add to the discussion that would put
      some of the questions and commentary here in context and
                DR. FAIRHURST:  No, I have a couple of specific
      questions too.
                DR. GARRICK:  All right.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  I will answer yours but then --
      no, frankly I think what DOE is doing is very laudable
      considering that you were, if you like, not quite put on the
      spot but the TRB about 18 months, two years ago said take a
      good look at alternatives.  I think your response to that to
      me has been a very good one.
                They have assembled people and tried in a very
      short period of time to come up with a lot of credible
      scenarios or alternatives and I think that come April 15th
      it will be interesting to see what you have come up with.
                I have a couple of sort of personal biases -- that
      initially being an advocate of a high temperature
      repository, I see a great deal of merit seeing the
      complexities as they are introduced into the whole
      performance analysis process of the high temperature
      repository from some effects that have not been given a
      great deal of mention.
                For example, if you have very dense loading you
      have a very high thermal stress regime around the tunnel,
      and you create a lot of problems for tunnel support that you
      wouldn't need to have in the low one.  On the other hand, it
      isn't all bad in a sense, for awhile at any rate, because if
      you have a highly stressed tunnel region than the tunnel is
      more stable with response to a seismic loading than if you
      have the current -- in the extensional field you've got a
      greater potential for roof fallout for example in a low
      temperature, but given everything around and the fact my
      question about international participation was that
      virtually everybody else in the world is thinking about a
      low temperature repository and they have done an awful lot
      of thinking about typical appropriate backfill materials, et
      cetera, et cetera.
                Of course, they are not in the unsaturated zone,
      but nevertheless I suspect there is a fair amount of that
      technology transfer that is valuable, and actually I was
      with Paul Harrington at a meeting in France recently where
      the whole question of retrievability was considered and
      public perception of it, and I think Paul would agree it was
      very valuable to see how publics in different countries are
      looking at ways to isolation and what questions they are
                To me it would be important and not very costly in
      looking at various alternatives to put some in with the idea
      of yes, we may never use them -- we'll take them out without
      a great deal of cost.  This came to another questions that
                In your ranking format example that you gave, you
      gave A, B, C, D.  Cost and schedule is in there.  Will that
      kind of data be available for somebody to look at --
                MR. CRAUN:  Absolutely.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  -- around that time?
                MR. CRAUN:  Absolutely.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  It would be very interesting to
      see what -- particularly with costs there are certain
      perceptions about, in one country, about how costly it is to
      do something, whereas another country has been doing that
      kind of thing for years and they have a very different
      section of the cost and the technical capability to do it.
                So no, I am very fascinated by what is going on
      and I do, as I say, give you a fair amount of credit for
      pulling a tough thing together fairly quickly.
                MR. CRAUN:  Well -- and I think also just from a
      positive standpoint, the January 4th through the 15th, when
      I gave a presentation to the TRB, I indicated that I was
      very, from a DOE perspective I was very pleased in that
      process because the people that were on the individual teams
      became sponsors for their either high or low and they were
      really -- and I monitored a team all the way through the
      process that I personally was in favor of that one winning,
      but anyhow -- and I didn't vote, but in seeing that team and
      watching that team they really were advocates for their
      concept and they really, the people on the high temperature
      really felt from many perspectives theirs were the best, and
      the low temperatures theirs were the best, and so that I
      think was a very good interaction.
                A lot of information came to the table and for
      those who were able to observe or watch that process go --
      watch the teams go through that process a lot of valuable
      discussion, a lot of good debate took place on some of the
      technical issues, so that was very, very productive in my
      mind, whether we end up with hot versus cold or whichever
      thermal goal we end up with.  I will eventually cast my vote
      at the end.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  Ray?  Oh -- go ahead, Charles.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  I will throw one other out.
                You mentioned ventilated repositories and of
      course there's been quite a bit of talk about a naturally
      ventilated repository.
                MR. CRAUN:  Yes, sir.  We looked at those.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  Yes.  Presumably the answer is
      yes -- you have looked at the ability, the relative merits
      of aging and the ability of ventilated humid air to take
      heat out over 50 to 100 years?
                MR. CRAUN:  Yes.  Yes.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  Because I may want some more
      details about that later.
                MR. CRAUN:  Actually, there is quite a bit.  We
      have done quite a bit of analysis in that area, so if you
      are interested --
                DR. FAIRHURST:  No, I am very interested.
                MR. CRAUN:  -- we could get you more detail.
                Any of these, if you look at each of the features
      or each of the alternatives each of the presentations were
      about an hour or so in length and now we have been, since
      January, working diligently on these issues so we have quite
      a bit of information available.
                As Larry pointed out -- thank you again, Larry --
      we have continued with that analysis so we are starting to
      get more and more detail, but it is still again at a broad
      conceptual level.  We want to make sure that we don't -- I
      think if we find ourselves driving down to make all of the
      decisions in that April 15th report, I think we will have
      trouble and we need to hold them to a broad conceptual level
      and make those decisions that we need to.  Those that can
      from a scheduler's standpoint be delayed, let them be
                Any other questions?
                DR. HORNBERGER:  Ray?
                DR. WYMER:  Yes.  I want to see if I understand
      what I have heard, which I probably don't.
                First, you are looking at the effects of
      individual barriers by neutralization and we talked about,
      both Marty and I, about some of the difficulties with
      ignoring coupling because of those things -- all kinds of
      coupling and our emphasis was on chemical coupling, but then
      I thought I heard here a few minutes ago that then you are
      taking a series or number of integrated systems based on
      various things you want to incorporate differently from one
      system to the next, and you have looked at those and seen
      what the net effect of those integrated systems were, but
      between those two I still don't get a way to cleanly
      separate out the contributions of individual barriers to the
      defense-in-depth concept.  Now what am I missing?
                MR. CRAUN:  Well, let's how to handle this one.
      If I understood your question right, the integrated -- each
      EDA has a complete integrated evaluation, okay?  So we would
      be looking at all of the couple processes.  So as we are
      neutralizing each individual barrier, we would be
      identifying those associated effects of neutralizing that
      barrier, taking that barrier out, and looking at how that
      changes the performance of the system.  So that integrated
      perspective on the individual barrier neutralization is
      taking place.
                DR. WYMER:  It seems to me there is not quite a
      coincidence there, unless I don't understand it, and maybe
      my --
                MR. CRAUN:  Okay, did you --
                DR. FAIRHURST:  If you don't do a full TSPA
      analysis with one thing in and one thing out.
                MR. CRAUN:  Yes, I do.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  The defense-in-depth computation
      of neutralization is done for each EDA.  It's not a
      comparison across EDAs.
                MR. CRAUN:  No, it's not a comparison across EDAs,
      no.  Oh, I missed that, if that was the point.  No, it's not
      from EDA to EDA.  It's within an EDA.
                MR. RICKERTSON:  This is Larry Rickertson again
      from the M&O.  When we talk about this neutralization
      analysis, what we are trying to do is it's a stylized
      calculation, of course, because what we do is we don't
      really remove the barrier, per se, the barrier is still
      there, but a particular function of it is assumed to not be
      effective.  So, for example, if there is a thermal effect,
      that thermal effect could still be in place.  If the barrier
      was an insulator, it would still be insulating, producing
      those kinds of effects.  But, for example, we would assume
      that its permeability is much higher for one reason or
      another, it's fractured or it's cracked, so water could go
      through it more readily.  So we look at it only from that
      change.  So when we say neutralization, we don't really mean
      it in the sense of removal.  I guess you -- I didn't know if
      you caught that, but it's clear that you understood that
      part.  So barrier interaction still exists of various types.
                DR. WYMER:  Only in a limited sense.
                MR. RICKERTSON:  In a limited sense.
                DR. WYMER:  And it seems to me -- and again, my
      emphasis is on the chemistry of the process, is if you
      remove a barrier, then you will change what chemically goes
      from one barrier to the next.  With the barrier in there,
      you have some chemical changes that take place.  If you
      remove that barrier, then you have removed those chemical
      changes and what goes into the next barrier downstream does
      not see the effect of the chemistry changes.
                MR. RICKERTSON:  Let me give you an example.  We
      have a drift invert.  When we neutralize that invert, we
      just assume the water goes through it more rapidly and that
      the sorption is less effective.  All other aspects of the
      chemistry are still there.  Whatever it's doing, it still
      does; it's just that the retardation effects that we have a
      wide range on, we assume that they are minimal or zero, zero
      effect.  So a retardation factor of one.  But in other
      respects -- so there is an impact on the chemistry there,
      but other aspects, for example, the fact that degradation
      products are now carried forward and were carried forward
      more rapidly, that is fully calculated in the neutralization
      analysis.  So we are not quite capturing -- obviously it's a
      simplification in approximation to what happens, but we're
      trying to see the effect of that barrier and the role it's
      playing and, of course, because it is an approximation, it's
      only an approximate effect, it's only an indication of the
      importance.  And the kind of effect that you are talking
      about, that there may be important things that you have to
      consider in that, is the most important part of that
      analysis.  Before you conduct that analysis, you look into
      those aspects very carefully to make sure you are not being
      nonphysical in what you're doing, that there is some
      meaningfulness to the particular analysis.  But the points
      you are looking at are those that have concerned all the
      analysts who were working on this problem.  It would be good
      at some point to possibly show you a detailed analysis so it
      can be clarified.
                DR. WYMER:  That's what I asked earlier, whether
      or not you had actually made a determination that these
      effects were not significant, and you're saying now that you
      do on sort of offstream, you make that determination.
                MR. RICKERTSON:  Yes.  In the process that he
      showed you, one of the steps or the second step in that is
      something called assess barriers, and it had something about
      common mode sources of uncertainty and failure.  But that is
      actually a complete assessment of all of those aspects of
      the things that you are worried about with regard to the
      role that barrier plays.  When you want to neutralize its
      effect as a barrier, there are all kinds of other effects
      that you have to take into account.  So that is, in my
      opinion, the most significant step that you take in that
      process.  The actual calculation itself is relatively
      simple, once you have made that decision.
                DR. WYMER:  I can tell you are qualitatively doing
      it, but quantitatively, I think you are not.
                MR. RICKERTSON:  I can say that is a very serious
      interaction that goes on.  You are exactly right.  That
      consideration is a very serious -- we take it very
      seriously.  We will never get it quite right, but the fact
      that we have looked at it and will have documented that for
      each of those neutralizations will be --
                DR. GARRICK:  So it sounds like what you are
      really doing is just impacting the rate of degradation of
      the barrier?
                MR. RICKERTSON:  For example.
                DR. GARRICK:  Yes, for example.
                MR. RICKERTSON:  There are other things.  For
      example, --
                DR. GARRICK:  So that really doesn't get to the
      question of the true impact of that barrier, because you are
      sustaining considerations of chemical effects, geochemical
      reactions, et cetera, of the barrier, even though the rate
      of degradation may be greater.
                MR. RICKERTSON:  It's a case-by-case basis for
      each barrier.  For example, one of the barriers is the
      barrier that keeps water from coming down and raining on the
      waste, so it's the overlying rock units.  We assume in the
      neutralization of that that water can come down more readily
      and the flux could be equivalent to the precipitation at the
                Well, that could just mean that it's a leaky
      system, the fractures communicate, but there's a whole
      impact of how that assumption affects the temperature, it
      affects the chemistry and all, and that thought process goes
      into evaluating just how you do a neutralization.  And other
      barriers get treated other ways.
                Again, the point you are making is you just have
      to see the example, whether it's meaningful or not.  That
      evaluation is the most important part.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  The one that -- the neutralization
      that caused the most concern -- not concern, but most
      eyebrows to be raised was taken out of the waste package.
                MR. RICKERTSON:  Yes.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  The three orders of magnitude
      change in the dose, and then people were arguing, well, but
      that was because we were very conservative on some of the
      other components.  If you were to -- it still gave a very
      dramatic indication of the significance of the waste
      package, even if you didn't take the numbers too seriously.
      But how much of a change, you know, to say how realistic is
      that factor of 1000, did you attempt to say let's take a
      more conservative view of the unsaturated zone?  That is a
      more -- give it a bigger role to play to see how much that
      1000 would change to?
                MR. CRAUN:  Yes, that is being done, and you are
      right, as you establish your base case, depending on how
      much performance is allocated to the individual barriers,
      based on that base case, as you look at neutralization of
      the individual barriers, it will change the dominance of
      that element.  For example, if you have a single waste
      package with a single corrosion-resistant, if you then have
      multiple corrosion-resistance, that's a different base case,
      so you have to start from a different basis and then look at
      the one-offs from that.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  You can see that we are quite
      interested in important measures and defense-in-depth and
      everything else.
                MR. CRAUN:  I know that.  That's why Dennis and
      Larry --
                DR. HORNBERGER:  I have a question, one more
      question, though, related back to the design business that
      you did your presentation on.
                You have mentioned that you see changes in design
      features as you go.  I think this is probably in accordance
      with Board of Radioactive Waste Management rethinking high
      level waste.  Document design as you go philosophy was
                On the other hand, you have heard Marty ask you a
      question, how the heck are you going to get past the
      licensing board without having every last detail of design
      nailed down?  And there -- I'm overpainting it, the
      extremes, of course, but there is this, it seems to me, an
      essential tension, and one of the things that the BRWM
      document suggested was that DOE and NRC were going to have
      to be able to work this out to allow, if you will, some
      aspects of a design as you go philosophy.
                Do you anticipate this being a problem as you move
      toward licensing?
                MR. CRAUN:  Actually, no.  I think from the
      standpoint of our focus on our development for our license
      application, I believe we will be focusing on those features
      that are important to post-closure performance, which we
      have been focusing on, a lot of discussion here today on.
      Those features that are associated with some of the surface
      facility construction is still part of the safety case,
      licensing case, that are more tried-and-true engineering
      principles that have been demonstrated at a variety of
      different locations in the United States, those will
      probably receive less focus in our license application.  So
      I think, one, the license application will be focused in a
      specific direction of post-closure performance; and as we go
      down the -- down through that process, I would imagine there
      will be negotiation taking place and discussion taking
      place, not only now but throughout the entire process.
                DR. STEINDLER:  Let me just make a comment.  I
      would have been happy if you had said yes.
                MR. CRAUN:  Can I say yes?  I'll say yes.
                DR. STEINDLER:  Well, I mean the issue is that if
      DOE persists in its approach, whatever the rationale and
      however sound it is, unless there is some change in what has
      been the past practice of licensing boards, they are going
      to hold your feet to the fire on a particular design.
                Now you can get the change notices and reopening
      of the hearings, but I would caution you that any one of
      those reopenings opens up the world, your world, to an
      enormous amount of mischief every time.  If you think you've
      got a schedule that you want to follow, you've got to nail
      that down earlier.  And so I think George is exactly
      correct, there's got to be some kind of an early agreement
      on what that licensing process is going to look like.  It
      isn't going to be DOE that dictates that.  I would think
      that the Commission will be sought out on how that is going
      to work, and you need to attack that issue early.
                MR. CRAUN:  Okay.  Thank you.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  That's a good point.
                MR. CRAUN:  Thank you.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  It's interesting, in the WIPP
      situation, there's a process of recertification every five
      years and there's negotiation that certain things which
      right now you need operating experience to really improve
      your reliability or your confidence, that's built into the
      whole process, and I don't know how well that's been worked
      out with NRC, but --
                DR. STEINDLER:  Well, I mean there are tech spec
      changes in the reactor domain, as you well know.
                MR. CRAUN:  That's right.
                DR. STEINDLER:  It's not impossible and there are
      mechanisms that just haven't been applied, I think, to this
                MR. CRAUN:  Good feedback.  Thank you.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  Any questions?  Staff?  John?
                MR. CRAUN:  I'm done?
                DR. HORNBERGER:  Andy.
                MR. CRAUN:  Almost.
                DR. CAMPBELL:  We heard in December about -- the
      committee heard in December about the prioritization process
      and the selection of work as the program goes into the site
      recommendation and license application.  How does the LADS
      process interact, how does it fit with this prioritization?
      Obviously if you go with a very different design than say in
      the base case or modification to the base case, that is
      going to have a major impact on, one, the uncertainties for
      different features and elements of that design and, two,
      then that will impact how you prioritize your work.
                MR. CRAUN:  The LADS effort is part of the
      integrated schedule that we have for now to 2001, 2002, so
      it's part of our integrated schedule.  So as the LADS effort
      comes to closure, and there is a design selected, if it
      represents a change in work scope, then that will be
      factored in, we will have a change control process that we
      go through on our schedules, and that will be factored in.
      If there's specific work that needs to be identified in one
      area or activated in certain areas, that will then come to
      the table, and we will process that.  So it is part of our
      integrated schedule system, and actually those two dates I
      had up on the board, the April 15th and the May 28th, are
      part of our integrated schedule.  So it's all integrated
                If we make a substantial change, or depending on
      how extensive the change is, might it have some effects on
      other schedule or dates?  It may.  It may.  And we'll work
      that out as we get to that point.  But at this point we are
      not there.
                DR. CAMPBELL:  One other follow-on question to
      that is to what extent, if at all, does the program plan on
      some sort of pre-licensing interactions with the NRC Staff
      on this LADS process, particularly with respect to some of
      the features and stuff?
                MR. CRAUN:  I know we are interacting quite
      frequently with the NRC Staff, but I don't know that we have
      been involved much with the NRC Staff on the LADS process.
      I would love to do that.  If we haven't already -- has there
      been some interaction?
                MR. RICHARDSON:  There were some NRC
      representatives at our last workshop.
                MR. CRAUN:  That's right.  Thank you, Dennis.
                MR. RICHARDSON:  We also have --
                DR. GARRICK:  Could you go to the mike?
                MR. CRAUN:  Yes.  Dennis Richardson.
                MR. RICHARDSON:  Dennis Richard, M&O.  Yeah, we
      have reps from NRC at our workshops.  We also have a number
      of ongoing Appendix 7 meetings with the NRC where we talk
      about some of the details along the LADS, but more in
      pre-closure, but I suspect that we will have -- we will get
      going on post-closure and how we are doing the
      defense-in-depth.  We have had conversations with the NRC in
      terms of our DID methodology, comparing to their
      methodology, the type of assumptions we are using, so we can
      come closer in terms of recognition of what is important,
      and how that will be used, and also when we had the major
      TRB presentations, we had NRC people there and we had
      discussions with them, and we met offline with them also.
      So we do have ongoing discussions, and I think this will
      greatly increase in the future.
                MR. CRAUN:  And I think also your point being that
      maybe we should look at enhancing those discussions with the
      Staff relative to the details of the LADS effort.  Excellent
      idea.  I agree with you.  Good idea.
                DR. CAMPBELL:  Well, and the follow-on to that is,
      of course, the Staff has their issue resolution status
      report, and what happens in the LADS process then feeds back
      into the acceptance criteria that ultimately become part of
      the Yucca Mountain review plan.
                MR. CRAUN:  Absolutely.  They are related.  Thank
                DR. HORNBERGER:  Thank you.  We look forward to
      hearing next time from the license application site
      suitability investigation, evaluation and simulation team,
      because if we have LADS, we will surely have LASSIES.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  John?
                DR. GARRICK:  Thank you.  And, Richard, the
      committee again appreciates your excellent skills at time
      management and giving us an opportunity to get better
      educated.  Thank you.
                I think what we will do now is take our break, a
      15-minute break.  We will be back here at about 10:31.
                DR. GARRICK:  The meeting will come to order.
                One of the highlights of our committee meetings is
      to get an update from John Greeves, who is the NRC's
      Director, Division of Waste Management, Office of Nuclear
      Materials Safety and Safeguards, and also have the
      opportunity to quiz John a little bit on his observations
      and comments.  We are pleased to see you here today, John,
      and look forward to hearing from you.
                MR. GREEVES:  It's good to be here, and thank you
      for being able to accommodate my schedule in moving from
      this afternoon to this morning, so I appreciate that.
                I have got, you know, a list of topics that I
      think are timely and we seem to have enjoyed going over in
      this format in past meetings, so I will run through those,
      and if you have got a question on, you know, as I go through
      a comment, let's address it then.  We have developed a kind
      of informal atmosphere on this part of the agenda, so just
      jump in and we will address the questions.
                Just a little update.  My deputy position, as you
      all know, Mike Webber went up to the Chairman's Office, and
      Joe Holonich has been named as my deputy, so congratulations
      to Joe, or condolences, I'm not sure which, but Joe can't be
      with us today or he'd be up here with me also answering the
      questions.  So I'll take notes on the hard ones and pass
      them on to him.
                So with that, I think I will launch into the
      topics that I thought were good to mention this time.  A
      little comment.  I see you just had a meeting on the design
      selection process, and I'm glad you had a chance to put that
      on your agenda.  Dr. Fairhurst and some of your staff and I
      sat through a much more lengthy version of this at the TRB
      meeting which I found very useful, so I commend your efforts
      to get this in front of you and the whole set of slides was
      on CD that Dr. Fairhurst saw out there at the TRB meeting.
      So I -- he was making a lot of progress, but there's also a
      lot that needs to be done between now and the license
      application, and one of my fears is I don't want to see
      eight different designs in the license application, so
      between now and then we've got to narrow that thing down,
      and I'd be happy to talk to y'all about that.
                DR. GARRICK:  We talked about that.
                MR. GREEVES:  We can't have eight; in fact, I'd
      like to see one.  We'll go from there.
                The topics I want to go into, the first of which
      is the clearance rule, and I know you are aware of the Staff
      efforts on this process.  The Commission made it real clear
      to us that this was to be one of our top priorities, and
      asked the Staff to march off and take the lead and go out
      and work on the so-called clearance rule.  The status of
      this clearance rulemaking was delivered to the Commission
      January 27th, SECY 99-028.  I commend that to you for
      reading.  It's a good place to catch up with what the
      current status is, and I think you all are on pretty much
      the distribution of that document.
                The -- what you will learn is that the preliminary
      technical basis report -- this is a report developed by a
      contractor which addresses dose factors to individuals on
      specific cleared items will be published either later this
      month or early in March.  I think a lot of people will be
      looking for that.  EPA actually had done some work also, and
      I think the results compare favorably.  It will identify
      work associated with scrap steel, copper, aluminum, concrete
      rubble, as well as tools for reuse.  These were the things
      we were actually working on before the Commission formally
      asked us to go forward on this process.  So you can look
      forward to seeing that particular report.
                Another part of that process is that we need some
      help contractually.  We are going to go out and develop an
      Environmental Impact Statement associated with this
      rulemaking, a regulatory analysis.  There's going to be a
      whole series of public meetings, and we need some help
      externally on putting some of that together, so we will go
      out with some statements of work that we expect to be out
      and awarded by the summertime.
                Also associated with this is an issues paper
      trying to frame the questions for these public meetings, and
      that paper is being reviewed by our steering group at the
      present time, and we expect to publish that in the Federal
      Register in the March timeframe.  And all this is sort of
      heading towards a series of public meetings this summer
      planned for August, where this early technical basis report
      out there and people had a chance to look at it, and the
      issues paper trying to frame some of the questions.  We did
      a similar process on the Enhanced Participatory Rulemaking
      for the decommissioning rule, and it always good to, you
      know, have some resource documents out there.
                I would expect that the Committee and some of your
      staff with be sitting in on these various meetings that we
      have around the country, and we would, you know, ask for
      your support in that process.  So that is the update on the
      clearance rule, if there's any questions.
                DR. GARRICK:  What is the target date?
                MR. GREEVES:  For?
                DR. GARRICK:  March, for a draft rule.
                MR. GREEVES:  Well, this is all really background
      headed for a rulemaking process.  I think if you recall, on
      the decommissioning rule, and I think it was like 1994,
      something like that, we did a whole series of meetings, met
      with the public and developed background information, and
      all of that led towards the more formal process of producing
      the proposed rule and then the final rule.  So we are at the
      front end where we are taking information, trying to contact
                So this whole series of meetings in this calendar
      year will help us develop the input for that rulemaking
      process, so it is off beyond 2000, 2001, and it normally
      takes a year or two anyhow to get through a rulemaking, and
      this one is going to be a particularly interesting
      rulemaking.  There is going to be a lot of comment on this
      one.  So I would sense that it would probably take a few
      years.  If there is somebody in the rooms that knows the
      schedule better than I, please speak up.  But this is the
      front end work, trying to make sure we listen to what the
      stakeholders have to say before we start putting pen to
      paper on what the actual rule is.
                There is a lot of interest in this.  I know the
      utilities will be interested in it for the materials.
      There's a lot of reactors going into a decommissioning phase
      and very much need this kind of information, so I expect
      they will be part of the stakeholder group.  And what I will
      do is just take a note and try and get back to you with an
      estimated schedule on what the rulemaking, actual rulemaking
      process would be.
                Moving on to low level waste, it seems like about
      once every couple of weeks I get a question of -- well,
      where is Barnwell now?  And it is interesting, we don't have
      any actually licensing actions in low level waste anymore.
      Those actually reverted to the agreement states.  But I
      still have a program, I still have questions coming in, but
      we actually don't have a licensee.
                And I am sure you have -- your staff has kept you
      up to date on a number of these issues, but the latest is
      the new governor in South Carolina, Jim Hodges, announced in
      his state address in January that they would be exploring
      rejoining the Southeast Compact.  The state was a member of
      that compact up until '95.  The then governor, David
      Beasley, withdrew from the compact and opened the facility
      to all states expect North Carolina, and imposed this $235
      per cubic foot tax that was on top of that.
                So the country has enjoyed the time that
      everybody, just about virtually about could send their waste
      to Barnwell, and that is the way it has been for a number of
      years.  However, things have a way of changing.  We
      understand there's two bills that have been introduced
      within the state legislative session.  One would implement a
      policy where the state would go back into the Southeast
      Compact, and another would exclude all out-of-state waste
      from the facility, so it would just take waste within the
      state, at least that is the understanding that I have.  It
      is not clear whether either would pass, but those are the
      topics under discussion.
                For the legislation to rejoin the Southeast
      Compact, I understand the member would be conditional upon
      other member states coming up with some kind of an agreement
      in terms of compliance.  It is like the Low Level Waste
      Amendments Act, it had conditions that you had to meet to
      stay in the process.  So people at looking at that.  Is
      there any method to come up with enforcing penalties or
      sanctions?  And it doesn't take a lot to figure out what
      this is about, the question is, can North Carolina, which
      had the lead for developing the site, come along and do that
      without additional delays?  So, it is, as we all know, very
      difficult to push these things through, so we will stay
      tuned as to how that plays out.
                On the operating front, Chem Nuclear, the operator
      down there, I understand has abandoned their Barnwell
      initiative.  This was a long-term financing plan for the
      disposal facility.  Maybe somebody had briefed you on this.
      Under that initiative, generators would enter into a
      contract with Chem Nuclear to provide disposal capacity for
      the next 25 years.  The state was to receive about $75
      million and a trust fund of $1 billion would end up at the
      end of 25 years.
                Chem Nuclear, I think was looking for something
      like 4 million cubic feet from the generators in terms of a
      package for futures.  They only received a commitment for
      about 1.2 million, and generators were concerned about the
      length of time and the commitment of tying themselves up,
      especially with the disposal costs in the range of $300 per
      cubic foot.  So I think we are all seeing various attempts
      here to try and sort out ways to make low level waste
      disposal viable for, you know, the decades to come, it is
      just a difficult process.  So, apparently, that approach did
      not work, and I think we are all sort watching what goes on
      in South Carolina.
                I am going to move on to the General Accounting
      Study that was asked for unless you have got some specific
      questions about what I mentioned about Barnwell.  Moving on,
      I think you are familiar with the fact that Senator
      Murkowski, in September, -- Senator Murkowski, who chairs
      the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
      requested GAO to conduct a study of the national system for
      commercial low level waste.
                Senator Murkowski raised a question about recent
      developments that I think we have all been watching about
      whether the policies of the Amendments Act can be
      implemented in an acceptable timeframe.  These included the
      things that I think we have talked about some in the past,
      the delays with the Ward Valley site, the reduction in
      volumes showing up at the Barnwell disposal facility, the
      ability of Chem Nuclear to meet the continued financial
      requirements assessed there, increased amount of low level
      waste going to the Envirocare facility, the suspension or
      termination of siting efforts by a number of states and
      compacts.  I think you have heard what happened in the State
      of Texas and Nebraska.  So I think all these things went
      into the thinking behind the Committee's request to GAO.
                Specifically, what they requested GAO to do was
      review and report on the status of how the country is
      addressing the Low Level Waste Amendments Act, review and
      report on the timing of state and compact efforts to
      establish new facilities, keeping in mind we started this
      business back in 1980 and the Amendments Act came along in
      '85, and here we are almost to the millennium.  They also
      asked to identify potential orphan waste that may exist out
      there.  And specifically, they were asked to identify and
      analyze any potential alternatives, including reliance on
      the private sector, possibly similar to what happens with
      RECRO wastes in this country, or possibly transferring
      disposal responsibility to the Department of Energy.
                GAO has been going around meeting with the
      generators, the disposal site operators.  I understand they
      visited Barnwell and Washington State, and Envirocare.  They
      are meeting with the various state stakeholders in this
      process, the compact officials.  They have been meeting with
      others since October.  We have had some limited discussion
      with GAO.  Their current schedule on this, as I understand
      it, is a report by the end of April.
                In the first part of this month, February 3rd,
      Senator Murkowski sent another letter to GAO asking them to
      augment what it was that they were looking at, to look at
      what the costs for DOE compared to disposal in the private
      sector.  They want to analyze those costs for DOE disposal
      of low level waste, and what efforts DOE may have to utilize
      private disposal facilities, I think is -- a number of you
      know that DOE does utilize the Envirocare facility, for
                The second part of the report is expected to be
      issued late this year or early next year.
                DR. GARRICK:  Has NRC had any role in this
                MR. GREEVES:  To me NRC's role is public health
      and safety.  As I said, we don't have a single licensee in
      this category.  Most of the work that I'm involved with is
      consultation with the agreement States that do have this
      responsibility.  We frequently are asked -- for example,
      several times we were asked to comment on the sampling plan
      out at Ward Valley, both by the State and by the Department
      of Interior.  So that's a role we fulfill, as you all are
      familiar with.  We put out a standard review plan years ago
      that --
                DR. GARRICK:  But I would think that one of the
      most important inputs into trying to find answers would be
      expertise and knowledge of the low-level waste program, and
      that the NRC would be one of the best sources for that.
                MR. GREEVES:  Dwayne Wygal is the person that is
      in charge of this at GAO, and we've met with him several
      times.  In fact, I talked to him earlier this week.  I've
      invited him to come to one of our ISCORS meeting --
      Interagency Steering Committee on Radiation Standards.  So
      we're trying to maintain the dialogue with him.  I'm just
      not sure of what NRC's role in that process is, and we
      should be, I think, a resource entity to answer all of his
      questions, and he contacts us frequently.
                Jim Kennedy, who's our point in this area, talks
      to him regularly.  And I think it's difficult to picture
      what role would we have in terms of influencing this thing.
      I think we need to be transparent, tell them everything that
      we know, and as I said, I spoke to Mr. Wygal earlier this
      week, and there will be followup discussions.
                If you've got any ideas on what kind of input NRC
      could have other than making our knowledge transparent to
      him, the question of how you proceed on this thing is
      clearly a policy issue.  It's a policy of the States, and
      DOE's involved, you know, for example, the question of cost.
      DOE doesn't have a licensing cost per se.  They're
      self-regulated.  So as they go through this process, what I
      pointed out to Mr. Wygal was that I don't know how you
      compare apples and oranges when you compare the cost of a
      commercial program with the cost of a Department of Energy
                DR. GARRICK:  Yes.
                MR. GREEVES:  These are the kinds of things we are
      talking to him about.
                DR. GARRICK:  Well, I would guess that the reason
      that Congress is asking these questions there is a sense out
      there that the agreement-State process or the compact States
      is not working, it's not getting the job done, or else
      there's no job to do.  Maybe the job that was to be done is
      not as big as was believed at the time these agreements were
      developed.  Also, this committee has thought about this
      quite a bit, and as you know --
                MR. GREEVES:  Um-hum.
                DR. GARRICK:  John, we wrote a letter a few years
      ago that was specific to what constitutes an adequate
      program for NRC in low-level waste.  I don't know if -- you
      know, you say it's a policy question.  Are any of the
      recommendations or any of the thoughts that were presented
      in that letter being implemented, or do you know?
                MR. GREEVES:  Well, that letter's been a while
                DR. GARRICK:  Yes, it has been.
                MR. GREEVES:  Marty, back in your time frame.
                DR. GARRICK:  Right.  That's --
                MR. GREEVES:  So the best I can do is revisit --
                DR. GARRICK:  Um-hum.
                MR. GREEVES:  The letter and I don't think I
      could --
                DR. GARRICK:  Yes.  Right.
                MR. GREEVES:  It may be that we provide a copy of
      that to the GAO.  And in fact the next time that we sit down
      and talk with them, I'll send word down to you and your
      staff, if one of you are available to sit in on our next
      discussion with them, I think that would be useful.
                DR. GARRICK:  Yes.
                DR. STEINDLER:  I'm not going to comment on the
      letter, because I think you can easily dig it out of the
      files somewhere.  But I wonder whether or not your group
      wouldn't be one of the better ones to point a GAO study to
      the -- one of the issues that we covered at least in the
      deep, dark past here, namely, what is the impact of not
      having available to universities and research institutions
      and hospitals, et cetera, et cetera.  It's not obvious that
      that's part of their charter, but it is obvious that it
      should be part of their charter.  If the question is, you
      know, so the compact process is shut down because it isn't
      functioning.  But there are still problems out there.  They
      simply ought to be alerted.  I would think that you folks
      are probably in as good a position in an oversight, overview
      position as any to at least alert the GAO study to that
                DR. GARRICK:  Yes.
                MR. GREEVES:  And there's got to be data on that,
      because Michigan was without disposal --
                DR. STEINDLER:  Exactly.
                MR. GREEVES:  Capacity for a long time.  So it
      shows a State can go without disposal -- and North Carolina.
                DR. STEINDLER:  Massachusetts had the same
      problem --
                MR. GREEVES:  There's data.
                DR. STEINDLER:  National Institute has come before
      us here and provided presentations on the difficulties, et
                MR. GREEVES:  And we get cards and letters from
      California regularly on this very topic, so although they
      have availability, they're not, you know, excluded.  The
      price is what causes a problem also.  You can get rid of the
      bulk waste at Envirocare, but I think some of the biotech
      communities and the hospitals have a more difficult time,
      and $300 a cubic foot for that kind of waste comes high for
      a research facility.  So I'll mention this to them, and as I
      said, next time we get together with them, I'll check in
      with you and see if you've got somebody available.
                DR. GARRICK:  Thank you.
                MR. GREEVES:  I'll move on.  We brief you
      regularly on the Standard Review Plan development process
      for decommissioning, and as you know, we have held a number
      of workshops.  We have a separate but runs in parallel dose
      modelling effort going on.
                We are addressing how to do surveys, how to
      address ALARA, and the question of restricted use and
      alternate criteria.
                I have sat in on two of the workshops.  We had one
      in December, one in January, and I believe Dr. Wymer sat in
      on the one in January and we got some good feedback from
      you.  Thank you very much for the feedback.
                I am finding these are quite useful.  We are
      getting good input from the various stakeholders.  People
      are bringing things to the table that save us work.  We have
      got data.  We have got real live situations that we can
      factor into our guidance documents.
                We have another four meetings scheduled so we
      would appreciate any attendance that the committee and your
      staff could provide in terms of helping us with that
      process.  We have a website up and operating. We are taking
      comments on the draft guide that is already out there.
                We want to post modules from the Standard Review
      Plan on the website.  I think that will be a good tool and
      people can comment specifically on portions of the Standard
      Review Plan that they have a need to address.
                We have briefed on our milestones in the past.  As
      you know, we formed these working groups late summer.  We
      also did develop the default table for the Reg Guide 1.86
      values, updated to 25 millirem.
                We have put together the Dose Modelling Group and
      we expect to have some material available in June of this
      year and the comment period for the draft Reg Guide 4006
      closes in August and people have been commenting on that all
      along though, so we would be able to update it based on
      those comments.
                The schedule calls for a draft Standard Review
      Plan to be in final review in June of next year and to be
      published out as a Standard Review Plan in July of next
                Just to give you a bit of a status, as with all
      things you think you can do a little more than you planned
      for.  We have also had some attrition in the Staff ranks.
      Dave Fauver has moved on.  Dave has been here, briefed you
      on a number of topics and he was one of our key Staff.  He's
      moved on so we'll have to make up for that loss.
                We have had some Staff reassignments, so the dose
      modelling component is not working out as efficiently as I
      would have like it go, so I will probably be talking to you
      some about that and maybe coming to you looking for some
      donations of staff time, help us with the Dose Modelling
      Group, so I'll talk to you about that on the side.
                So we are going to have to re-evaluate the dose
      modelling component.
                It's really kind of the backbone of the process
      and I think Dr. Wymer probably got a good visibility of how
      that was working at the last meeting.
                We will probably need to retool that a little bit
      and I'll try to find a way to talk to you about our plans on
      that front.
                We will be back briefing you next month on some of
      the details on the Standard Review Plan, but this is one
      that bears watching so I appreciate the input we have been
      getting from you and your Staff.  Unless there's questions,
      I will move on.
                I mention West Valley periodically when I come and
      visit you.  At one point in time I sort of had a thought
      that maybe we could engage you on this topic.  It's a
      fast-moving train.  The fact is that there was a Commission
      paper that went up the end of October and we have received
      numerous comments on this paper.  There's a large number of
      stakeholders and public who have commented on it.
                There was a briefing the second week in January
      and I am finding that I learn things each time I touch this
      issue, so even in the Commission briefing things came out.
      I don't know whether any of you were there or your Staff,
      but it is a very significant case that the Commission is
                The stakeholder groups participated in this
      meeting.  I think there were like four different panels that
      participated and as a result of the meeting the Commission
      asked the Staff to supplement the West Valley paper and we
      are just about to the point where we are working that issue,
      and you should see that very shortly.
                It would address things like precisely what is the
      NRC's authority at West Valley?  It is this unique case
      where it formerly was, the licensee was NFS and the State of
      New York.  It reverted to DOE for the demonstration act and
      it ultimately will go back to the State of New York, which
      sets up a number of questions.
                So the implications associated with this
      particular decommissioning site are broad and I just would
      invite you follow it.  At one point in time I would have
      hoped that maybe we could have had more active involvement,
      but at this point I think the thing is moving rapidly and if
      you have got some comments on either of the papers I would
      individually like to find out what they are and visit with
      you, but this one is pretty much in front of the Commission.
                If there are no questions, then I will move on to
      another topic that has been in front of both of us, which is
      10 CFR, Part 63.  I am pleased to note that it was published
      in the Federal Register yesterday and there is a public
      comment period that we were looking for a 75-day public
      comment period.  I think we may have to renote the date
      because when you do these Federal Register notices, you are
      not quite sure what day they are going to get published on,
      so you put down 75 days, so I think our expectation was that
      the comment period would go until May 10th and I didn't
      think it quite worked out that way in the Federal Register
      notice, but that would be corrected.
                The point is this sort of kicks off a process in
      terms of comments on this regulation.  We need to go out and
      make sure stakeholders have good visibility on this.  One
      step we took was to participate in the TRB meeting that Dr.
      Fairhurst participated in in January.  That gave us a chance
      to kind of tell people what was in Part 63.  It wasn't out
      yet but Tim McCartin did an excellent job of portraying what
      was there and also a chance for us to identify the follow-up
      in terms of a public outreach program.
                We have a plan to be out in Las Vegas and Amagorsa
      Valley.  The dates are March 23rd and the 25th and we will
      hold two meetings to get some feedback and comment on Part
      63 -- it is obviously out there for comment and people would
      have had a chance to review it -- and engage the Staff as
      part of that process, so I would encourage the members and
      your Staff to the extent you can to attend one or more of
      these meetings to help us kind of field the comments that
      are coming in from the stakeholders.  I know if you are
      available, the members do like to get out to these important
                Follow-on to that -- we will be developing a
      review plan for Yucca Mountain.  We will have an exchange
      with the Department of Energy on that review plan in April
      and we will be back briefing your committee on the issues
      that are raised in this open comment period, and we expect
      probably in the July-August timeframe we would like to be
      back talking to you about what were the comments and where
      do we see it going from here.
                The final package should be to the Commission late
      this year, so I think we can look for some additional
      exchanges on part 63 with the Committee.  I hope that fits
      your schedule.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  On 10 CFR 63?
                MR. GREEVES:  Yes, 63.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  The VA indicates that the dose is
      likely to be increasing beyond 10,000 years, and the TYMS
      committee, as you know, recommended one should at least look
      at the regulation to peak dose.  You've chosen to use the
      10,000 year.  It would seem to be it wouldn't be surprising
      if the public comment was somewhat negative about that, and
      have you got any ideas of how to address that issue?
                MR. GREEVES:  I think we would expect to get some
      comments on the 10,000-year time frame.  That's one of the
      ones, you know, I think we want to hear some things about.
                We've -- the Committee, the staff -- have all been
      involved in these issues for a period of time, and my sense
      is the staff is comfortable with 10,000 years as a
      compliance time frame.  Not only the staff, but the
      Commission.  And in a minute I'll give you some of the
      information that the Chairman testified for down on the
      Hill.  And the sense that I have is that for compliance
      calculations you need to have a target, okay, let's look at
      this, what is compliance.  And, you know, there's pros to
      con, is it 10,000 years, is it 100 -- in fact, the Committee
      wrote a report on this.
                DR. GARRICK:  Yes.  It's not only the staff and
      the Commission, it's the ACNW recommended.
                MR. GREEVES:  Correct.  You wrote a paper on this.
                DR. GARRICK:  Right.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  Charles didn't recommend it.
                MR. GREEVES:  Everybody's entitled to an opinion.
                But the point is, ultimately the system needs a
      compliance time, and the staff and the Commission were
      comfortable with the 10,000-year figure, and we're going to
      get comments on this in the rulemaking process.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  Perhaps I understand exactly why
      when we make a calculation at a specific time and set
      some -- but I'm more interested in how one deals with the
      notion of the fact that that is showing it's the start of a
      rising dose.  And it's a significant increase beyond that.
                MR. GREEVES:  Well, and I think we're going to get
      some comment, and we'll listen to those comments, but one
      way that phenomenon will be addressed is in the NEPA
      process.  You not only do this calculation, whether it be
      low-level waste, decommissioning rule, high-level waste, at
      this time horizon, 10,000 years, but you separately have a
      NEPA responsibility to look at, okay, what does it look like
      for NEPA purposes.  So that full range of the curve will
      exist and will be looked at.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  Sure.
                MR. GREEVES:  So it's going to be transparent.
      We've got some questions out at the Technical Review Board,
      well, you know, you've got this much in the rule.  Will
      these issues be transparent?  The answer is yes, between the
      two, between the technical review and the EIS process, the
      full spectrum of those results are going to have to be
      shown.  And when I talk to some of the people that do the
      TSPA, what everybody seems to recognize is the uncertainties
      as you go beyond 10,000 years, as you go beyond 100,000
      years, get very large.  So I'm not sure what people really
      believe is going on beyond 100,000 years, you know, what's
      going on with mankind, what's going on with geology,
      glaciation, all those issues.  And that's why I think some
      segment of the group is comfortable with a compliance period
      of 10,000 and look at the rest of it under an EIS-type
                Is Mike Bell here?  If I've said anything wrong,
      Mike, help me out.  But that's what's out there on the
      street, and I expect comments on this.  And part of the
      response is we will be looking at all of it.
                DR. GARRICK:  Yes.  Marty?
                DR. STEINDLER:  Yes, a couple questions that that
      issue raises.
                First off, the implication is that the NEPA
      process is going to be at the time very large, therefore,
      will include the peak dose as a consideration in whatever
      conclusions one draws from the NEPA analysis.  Is that what
      you currently envision?  And if so, how does the NRC intend
      to deal with a peak dose that is significantly greater than
      what's currently in either Part 20 or any other regulation
      that I've seen?
                MR. GREEVES:  That was about five questions,
                DR. STEINDLER:  Well --
                DR. GARRICK:  He's sneaky that way.
                DR. STEINDLER:  I can break it down.  Let me just,
      you know.  But I'm sure you can follow it just as well as I
                Do you think that the NEPA process basically has
      an open-ended time schedule?
                MR. GREEVES:  Well, I think the NEPA process will
      call for disclosure of what this thing looks like through
      time.  I mean, these curves --
                DR. STEINDLER:  It's not disclosure that concerns
      me, it's the action that you take as a result of whatever
      conclusions you draw.  This is not a visibility issue, this
      is what kind of, you know, decisions or actions --
                MR. GREEVES:  Well, I think we would probably be
      well to have OGC join us in this dialogue, but the
      regulation Part 63 is going to be set up, the staff is going
      to have to write an SER.  Do you meet this standard at that
      time frame?  The staff will have to write that document.
      And if the time frame is 10,000 years, that's what the staff
      will say.
                Now the Commission is -- you know, has to be aware
      of the EIS process and make a decision based on did it meet
      the regulation and with the rest of the information.  The
      question I think is when the decision makers make a
      decision, how are they going to weigh the additional
      information?  And, you know, the question could be turned
      back to any one of us.
                Bob Bernero, somebody we're all familiar with,
      used to talk to us about if it -- the answer was 20 millirem
      in a decommissioning case, do you think this Commission is
      going to turn it down if this case, whatever it is, is 26
                DR. STEINDLER:  That's not the issue.  The issue
      is that 700,000 years if the dose is 3 r per year, what's
      the, you know, what's the Commission response at that point
      in time, and does the NEPA process play any role in this?
      And has the staff thought about this issue to be able to
      formulate some kind of a we hope logical response?
                MR. GREEVES:  Well, if you're expecting a crisp
      answer today, you're not going to get it.
                DR. STEINDLER:  Okay.
                MR. GREEVES:  Good question.
                DR. STEINDLER:  I already got a crisp answer then.
                MR. GREEVES:  I think, you know, maybe the
      Committee can think about this.  What would the Committee do
      with a 3 r answer or, you know --
                DR. STEINDLER:  I'm just a consultant.
                MR. GREEVES:  Well, consultants are allowed to
      raise questions.  That's a beauty, Marty.
                MR. BELL:  John?  Mike Bell.  I think what happens
      in the NEPA process is you look at the, you know, proposed
      or the preferred alternative, geologic disposal, in the
      context of other alternatives, and are there any
      environmentally superior ones.  And if someone has an
      alternative that would keep doses well below 3 r, then you
      would question whether the geologic disposal is the
      preferred alternative at that stage.
                DR. STEINDLER:  I mean, Mike, not geologic
      disposal, but Yucca Mountain.
                MR. BELL:  Well --
                DR. STEINDLER:  Some very special characteristics
      of that site --
                MR. BELL:  Whether the recommended option is
      the --
                DR. STEINDLER:  Right.
                MR. BELL:  The correct one at that stage, but --
                DR. STEINDLER:  But, Mike, you know perfectly well
      that the NEPA -- a NEPA analysis has extreme shortcomings as
      being very narrowly focused.  It doesn't address issues of
      costs or social policy or all the other things that in fact
      play some at the moment still reasonably important role in
      the use of geologic disposal.
                So what I guess I'm driving at is as long as the
      issue has been raised, so what have the staff -- what kind
      of activities have the staff looked at to either try and
      make some recommendations to the Commission or at least
      think about it internally, and I think John gave me the
      answer.  If I expected a crisp answer, the answer is yes,
      I'm not going to get it.  I just wanted to raise the issue.
                MR. BELL:  Well, we'll look forward to seeing your
      comments on the proposed rule.
                DR. STEINDLER:  I'm not sure I'm going to give you
                MR. GREEVES:  Well, keep in mind, you know, that
      this is going to be a question that plays out, and there
      will be a bunch of people commenting on it, but what did the
      Health Physics Society say about the impacts of 5 rem?  I
      mean, you can go back and look at that issue also.  So
      there's going to be a whole range of views on this topic.
                DR. STEINDLER:  Another issue there is I gather
      you're going to talk about defense in depth someplace in
      Part 63, and if so, have you found it either necessary or
      desirable to define what you mean by that?
                MR. GREEVES:  How much time do you all give Marty?
                Mike, I'm sorry.  Mike, could you help me out on
      that one?
                MR. GREEVES:  I'll withdraw the question if the
      Chair so rules.
                MR. BELL:  This is Mike Bell again.  In the
      proposed rule there is a requirement that the repository be
      the combination of natural and engineered barriers, but
      there is no quantitative specification on how much either of
      those should contribute.  Rather, it's up to the Department
      of Energy in the application to say how he's designed the
      system and what the relative contribution of each component
      of the system is, and then the NRC will review it.
                DR. STEINDLER:  And you then assume that the
      licensing board -- assuming that the normal process is
      followed -- the licensing board will take Part 63, read what
      you have, and also not require any quantitative distinctions
      among the various barriers.  Is that your anticipation?
                MR. BELL:  Well, I mean, they would not have a
      basis in the regulation to require anything like that
      whether -- I really can't speak for what the Board --
                DR. STEINDLER:  I know that.  I just wondered what
      your anticipation was.
                MR. GREEVES:  But, Mike, there was no intention in
      the regulation to require that, so I think Mike's answer was
      he doesn't see a basis in the regulation.
                DR. GARRICK:  Of course, the underlying dilemma in
      this whole issue is the matter that the better the
      containment is, the worse the results are in terms of peak
      dose, in that as you improve the containment of the waste
      package, you push out in time further the occurrence of the
      peak dose, and uncertainty seems to be a function of time.
      So it grows also.
                So it is a dilemma that was recognized by many,
      and is one of the reasons why, when the ACNW wrote their
      letter on time of compliance, they also recommended that
      while there should be a time of compliance, there should
      also be visibility, if you wish, on what the peak doses are
      and when they occur.  So it is going to have to be a part of
      the evaluation process, I would think, one way or another.
                One of the other -- I guess it was the National
      Academy report that said that one of the other
      justifications for doing a peak dose analysis was to give
      one a sense of the robustness of the site against human
      intrusion.  So there's a whole list of issues here that,
      when it comes to Atomic Safety and Licensing Boards, and
      actual processing of this license application, we are going
      to be on new turf, and it is going to be interesting to see
      how it plays out.
                MR. GREEVES:  Yeah, there was some discussion of
      this in the TRB meeting where DOE made presentations of some
      of these alternatives between engineering and the natural
      features, and we would like to get together with DOE and
      show them what we have done in this area, some of the work
      that Norm and Booty have worked on showing the variations
      when you remove barriers.  So that is a topic that needs
      some additional time to address it, so -- and I know the
      Committee is quite interested in that, and commented on the
      reports that we put together.  So we will be talking about
      this in future meetings.
                Let me move on.  The -- just kind of a
      completeness.  One might ask, where is the EPA standard?
      There is a provision in Part 63 that --
                DR. GARRICK:  You notice, we have stopped asking
                MR. GREEVES:  Well, it is on my list.
                MR. GREEVES:  You are familiar with the history on
      it.  As of my best information, it is not to OMB yet.  The
      system administrator, Robert Perciasepe, in the hearing a
      week ago, testified that it would be forwarded to OMB soon,
      so I am sure we will hear more about that.
                At the same hearing, the Chairman testified, and,
      actually, the full Commission was a panel, and they were
      commenting on H.R. 1270 -- excuse me, this is -- the bill
      that is H.R. 45 is very similar to 1270, which the House
      passed last year.
                The Commission testimony, generally, was
      supportive of the approach in H.R. 45.  It, you know, has
      the basic elements of an integrated system for management
      and disposal.  The Commission agrees, with a 10,000 year
      timeframe, it would be sufficient for demonstrating
      isolation capability.  The Commission agreed with a 100
      millirem dose to the average member of the population,
      consistent with the public health and safety limit.
      However, the Commission believes that, to provide reasonable
      assurance, that the 100 millirem limit should have within
      the flexibility for an average member of the critical group
      to receive 25 millirem, basically what you find in Part 63,
      and that was pretty much played out in the hearing
                So that is sort of the wrap-up on where the
      regulation and the EPA standard sits for the moment.
                The last thing I wanted to go over was kind of
      some things that we are doing in the high level waste
      program.  I know the Committee is interested in how the
      staff is working issues and what role the center has in
      these processes.  We did receive some of your questions
      about, quote, research efforts.  We are going to try and
      weave answers to those in these presentations.  What we
      don't address, we will have to get back to you on.
                And, also, last year's questions.  It seems like I
      answered those, but they just haven't quite gotten back to
      you all yet, right.  So I am not quite sure how that works,
      but -- I don't know, something is in the mail.
                In any event, back to --
                DR. HORNBERGER:  They got lost.
                MR. GREEVES:  Back to some changes we have made
      recently.  As, you know, your questions in the past have
      asked, the program is evolving, and in order for us to try
      and keep up with the direction DOE is moving in, we have
      increased the emphasis in the engineering and design area.
      I know the Committee is quite concerned with that.  The
      funding for the three key technical issues that address
      engineering and design now represent about 26 percent of our
      technical program, so we have moved our energy in that
                We are also finding that there are things that
      either we or the center just -- there is not enough of us to
      go around, and we have come up with what we called augmented
      work.  The High Level Waste Board came up with 19 additional
      tasks to help with the key technical issues, and we are
      trying to work our way through that list, and getting some
      outside experts to help us through the center.  We have
      approved 14 of these tasks.  The total funding for that is a
      little in excess of $600,000.  Most -- five of these tasks
      are directed towards the waste package and repository design
                Virtually all of this work is being augmented by
      consultants that the center has available to it.  There's
      more than 40 consultants and subcontractors regularly
      engaged in work for the center and a number of these are
      experts with international reputations.  This was one of the
      things you mentioned in last year's report.  We are paying
      attention to that comment and think that we are responsive
      to it.
                That is pretty much the issues that I put
      together, in fact, the staff put together for me, and I
      think worked out quite well for my perspectives.
                Separately, you have submitted your Action Plan,
      and we are looking at that, and I would like to sit down and
      talk to you about a few of the items in there.  I haven't
      looked at it close enough to do that today.  Maybe a
      follow-up session with one or two of you would be in order,
      and, obviously, we will respond also to the formal written
      letter.  But we do have some comments on your Action Plan, I
      just don't think today is the time to address them.
                So that is the end of my prepared remarks.  I
      would be happy to answer any other questions on those topics
      or anything else.
                DR. GARRICK:  Excellent timing.  Questions?
                DR. STEINDLER:  I get the sense that the NRC is --
      let me choose the words carefully, chronically unhappy with
      DOE's QA approach, and, presumably, it is focused to a
      significant extent on the quality assurance attributes of
      the evidentiary base used to fuel the models that are
      currently being exercised.  Is that reasonable -- reasonably
                MR. GREEVES:  I am not sure I would have used the
      exact same words, but, yeah, DOE themselves --
                DR. STEINDLER:  Are you concerned about it?
                MR. GREEVES:  Oh, we are concerned about it.
                DR. STEINDLER:  It is a concern issue.
                MR. GREEVES:  You are going to hear about it in
      our viability assessment comments that -- I think, Mike, you
      are on tomorrow morning.  You are going to hear more about
      that tomorrow morning.
                MR. BELL:  Tomorrow afternoon.
                MR. GREEVES:  Okay.  Tomorrow afternoon.  QA is a
      vital organ.  You know, once you get into license
      application, you have to have it right.  Those of us sitting
      around the table that lived through Marble Hills and some of
      the other cases in reactor-land, you cannot afford to have
      that problem.  And, so, you are going to hear about it from
                DR. STEINDLER:  Okay.  Well, if I am going to hear
      about it, let me simply wait.
                MR. GREEVES:  And, also, DOE recognizes the
      problem.  Lake Barrett came in on February 8th and he
      devoted a significant amount of his presentation to the
      Commission on that topic, recognizing the problem,
      recognizing the need to address it in a timely way.
                I, in conjunction with the TRB meeting, had a
      meeting with DOE on quality assurance, sat down with all the
      key players, and went through the litany of the issues.  And
      my sense is it is headed for probably a meeting in April
      where they have done their diagnostic, their root cause
      analysis, and would be able to explain how they get to where
      they need to be from where they are now.  And my sense is it
      really has to come together to fit in the site
      recommendation process, because the Commission is going to
      be commenting on the site recommendation, and the Commission
      comments on that, they are going to want to know that the QA
      program is supportive of whatever the data is saying.
                And, Marty, yes, a lot of it does go to the
      modeling approaches.  And if you want, I could down and show
      you some of the data that we have where things were not
      where they need to be.  It is pretty -- pretty clear.  So,
      hopefully, you will hear more about that.  And, hopefully, I
      have partially answered your question.
                DR. STEINDLER:  Well, let me just make a comment
      for 30 seconds.  It is reasonably clear that, following the
      QA program that NRC has asked for, and DOE has, in its
      wisdom, put together, does not assure you that the data that
      you are using for your models is any good.  And somewhere
      along the line, the time schedule between now and the time a
      licensing application has got to be assembled and laid in
      front of the Commission, that time is now so short that it
      seemed to me that it would be much more worthwhile to look
      at the quality of the output than to focus heavily on those
      details of the quality assurance program that is the mandate
      of DOE.
                That does not, obviously, result in an increased
      chance that the data are going to be good, or good enough.
      That is a comment more than anything else, and I will -- you
      know, when you talk about it, or whoever is talking about, I
      think it is Mike who is going to talk about it, let me talk
      a little further on this thing.
                MR. GREEVES:  Are you suggesting we focus on the
      output from the models and not look at the front end?
                DR. STEINDLER:  I am suggesting that those aspects
      of the QA program that are both bureaucratic and
      paper-shuffling do not contribute one bit to the quality of
      the output, and, in fact, they mask quality criteria so
      severely that you can't tell whether or not the data are any
      good, just based on whether or not the QA program has been
      followed religiously, and that is easily demonstrated.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  The distinction between quality
      and quality assurance.
                DR. STEINDLER:  Yes.
                MR. GREEVES:  I understand that -- that comment.
                MR. BELL:  This is Mike Bell again.  For more than
      a year now, we have changed the way we are looking at the
      DOE QA program to do what we call performance-based audits,
      and we essentially don't pay any attention to the audits
      that are just the paperwork, with all the "i's" dotted and
      "t's" crossed and the right things in the files.
                The audits that we pay attention to are the audits
      of the technical work and the complaints or the chronic
      problems that we have problems with are the fact that they
      can't show that they calibrated their instruments.  They
      don't have traceability of the data they are using, where
      they got it from.  They don't have a documented basis for
      the assumptions that the models are based on.
                We don't think that these are just paperwork
      issues.  We think they are really fundamental to are the
      models any good and are the outputs reliable?  You know,
      there is a very, very old expression in the computing
      business -- "Garbage in, garbage out."  We have got to be
      enough interested in and knowledgeable of the data that goes
      into the models to be able to make a judgment about the
      quality of the output.
                DR. STEINDLER:  It sounds encouraging.
                MR. BELL:  That is where we are trying to focus.
                DR. STEINDLER:  Sounds encouraging, okay.
                DR. GARRICK:  Any other questions from the
      committee members?
                [No response.]
                DR. GARRICK:  I think we are going to talk some
      time tomorrow, John.
                MR. GREEVES:  It's on my schedule, yes.
                DR. GARRICK:  Yes, so we have got some other
      things we can bring up at that time.
                All right, then I thank you.  It was a very
      interesting report, and we are especially interested in the
      progress of 10 CFR 63.  We think that is a very important
      piece of work that is going on.  We are anxious to hear what
      the response is as a result of your public outreach
      meetings, which we had a glimpse into when we were out
      there, so we will be following that very closely.
                Thank you very much.
                I think we will now adjourn until 12:30.
                [Whereupon, at 11:35 a.m., the hearing was
      recessed, to reconvene at 12:30 p.m., this same day.]

                   A F T E R N O O N    S E S S I O N
                                                      [12:32 p.m.]
                DR. GARRICK:  Our meeting should come to order.
      We are now going to turn our attention to waste-related
      research activities in the NRC, which is very important to
      us because we have to contribute to a report to the
      Commission on this subject and we are, I am told, on a very
      short time schedule.
                The committee member that has had the lead in this
      activity is George Hornberger.  I'll let him lead the
                DR. HORNBERGER:  And I am going to just turn it
      over to you, Bill, to start.
                MR. OTT:  All right.  Thank you, George.  I am
      going to start with this package that doesn't have any logo
      on the front and which says General Topics of Interest,
      because there are some things going on in the Agency --
      well, in the Office of Research that I thought you might
      find of interest, so without spending a lot more time than
      that discussing it, we are reorganizing.  You have probably
      heard that that is happening.  It is going to happen right
      around the end of March.  When that happens the current
      Waste Management Branch and the Radiation Protection and
      Health Effects Branch will merge.  They will become a single
      branch with Cheryl Trottier as the Branch Chief.
                The new title of the branch will be, "Radiation
      Protection, Environmental Risk, and Waste Management."
                DR. GARRICK:  There are fewer branches with longer
                MR. OTT:  Precisely.  The new Division Director --
      we will be in a new division.  In addition to merging us,
      they are going to move us into another part of the
      organization and the new division will be called Risk
      Analysis and Application Division" and the Director will be
      Tom King -- Tom is over here on the right-hand side.
                This will be one of his first glimpses of probably
      our entire program.  So much for the reorganization.
                The second thing that you may have heard rumblings
      about is self-assessment. Self-assessment is being actively
      pursued by the major Offices in the Commission.  NRR has
      taken the lead.  Research is following fairly vigorously and
      NMSS has begun work in self-assessment themselves.
                The self-assessment is led at first by an
      executive team, which is our Division Directors and above,
      so it is the three current Division Directors and the Office
      Director and the Deputy Office Director and their two
      Assistants and they are being assisted by Arthur Andersen.
      Arthur Andersen essentially assisted NRR in its
      self-assessment and there was significant -- it was received
      favorably by the Administration and so we have involved
      Arthur Andersen in ours as well.
                This self-assessment will establish goals and
      objectives of the Office by establishing statements that
      characterize a successful research program for the agency
      and the factors important to that success.  This rather long
      statement essentially says the executive team has defined
      success statements for the Office.  For each success
      statement, they are defining success factors -- what do we
      have to do to achieve success for the Office?  So you can
      see that this approach is starting from the very objectives
      of the Office.  It's a very fundamental approach.
                Eventually the self-assessment process is going to
      prioritize issues and activities for the Office.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  How does this tie in with the
      reorganization, Bill?
                MR. OTT:  It is unrelated.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  So the reorganization, you are
      going to take RES and just call it by a different name?
                MR. OTT:  No.  RES is still going to be called
                DR. HORNBERGER:  Okay.
                MR. OTT:  Okay -- but the divisions and branches
      within RES are being reorganized to meet management-to-staff
      ratios imposed by agencies external to the agency.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  Got you.
                MR. OTT:  Okay.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  I am with you now.
                MR. OTT:  John was exactly right in terms of
      putting them together and making them larger -- essentially
      to change the ratio of management to staff.
                A topic dear to your heart is prioritization and
      prioritization is being addressed at the Office level.  This
      makes it fairly difficult when you consider how broad the
      programs of the Office are as well as our own programs and
      they all have to be put into the same bucket and compete for
      the same pile of resources which is given to the Office.
                As a part of self-assessment there was a separate
      team established even prior to self-assessment which was put
      together back in August and took output from a retreat of
      all the SES managers in the Office, which tried to come up
      with goals and objectives for the Office, and then this
      prioritization team was established to try and develop a
      structure that could use these goals to prioritize
      activities in the Office of Research.
                The prioritization team examined processes
      employed by six other Federal agencies.  We met with FAA.
      We met with NIST.  We met with USGS.  We reviewed
      documentation from NIH, from DOE and from EPA.
                The one thing that strikes you when you look at
      these processes, no matter how much people try to put into
      them quantitatively they are substantially based on expert
      judgment.  Professional experience and expert judgment --
      it's almost impossible to eliminate that from the process.
                Various groups had tried different ways of
      quantifying prioritization processes.  The only one that was
      really successful that was doing it from the top and trying
      to prioritize dissimilar activities and using criteria which
      weren't necessarily all quantifiable -- some are extremely
      judgmental -- was NIST, and that was a fortuitous
      circumstance because the people at NIST happen to be
      involved with their economic research operation where there
      were some people that were very familiar with prioritization
                What they did was they applied AHP -- same process
      our Office tried to apply probably several times in the
      past, most recently about a year ago -- and got fairly
      severe reviews.
                The difference is that I think NIST did a rigorous
      and very convincing application of the Analytical Hierarchy
                There are other things that have evolved -- well,
      NIST was the only one that had done this successfully. FAA
      is now looking at using the Analytical Hierarchy Process.
      My understanding is that several other Federal agencies are
      also doing it now, because everybody is experiencing the
      same kind of pressure to do quantification in some kind of a
      systematic prioritization effort.
                RES has tentatively decided that they will employ
      AHP and prioritization of research in the Office -- i.e.,
      they are going to try and use it to come up with a 1 to end
      ranking of all research activities.  I say it is tentative
      because we haven't done it yet and it's not complete.
                DR. GARRICK:  Bill, when they say quantitative,
      what do they mean?
                MR. OTT:  In terms of AHP?
                DR. GARRICK:  Yes.
                MR. OTT:  Well essentially they mean that in the
      final analysis they are going to use ratio-scaled variables.
      If you look at decision theory there are ways of rating and
      ranking things.  A lot of these ways of rating and ranking
      things don't allow you to do an arithmetic manipulation of
      the results, so a lot of times when you see prioritization
      processes, people have done things which are not allowed
      mathematically because they haven't properly established the
      ratio scales.
                We are going to attempt to use AHP in the correct
      fashion, which allows us in the final rating stage to use
      ratio scales variables which will allow quantification of
      different types of objectives and sub-objectives and compare
      it and add it to give a one to end ranking -- so there will
      be an attempt to quantify at the lowest level and translate
      that into a score for each project.
                I am certain that later on both ACRS and ACNW will
      receive a detailed briefing on what the end-result of
      self-assessment and the 1 to end ranking process is.  Right
      now I don't want to go into any more detail, but that is
      where we are right now.
                DR. GARRICK:  It's really more of an analytical
      process than necessarily quantitative.  To an old risk
      analyst, quantitative is almost synonymous with
                MR. OTT:  Exactly.  It's what the social sciences
      have done to try and quantify things which are normally not
      quantifiable or additive.
                DR. GARRICK:  Yes.
                MR. OTT:  But there is a fairly large body of
      knowledge out in support of "the proper use of AHP."
                We have tentatively decided to go -- use
      commercially available software called Expert Choice, which
      was developed by Dr. Saady at I believe the University of
      Pennsylvania, who is one of the originators of AHP.
                There's Dr. Foreman downtown, at George Washington
      University, I believe it is, who is the co-developer of the
      software package with Dr. Saadi.  We were getting ready to
      place a consulting contract with them for support during the
      application process, so if the tentative decision is
      confirmed and we go with that, we will also be bringing in,
      to say ACRS or ACNW people extremely expert in the theory
      and practice of the rating process.
                DR. GARRICK:  Okay.
                MR. OTT:  So much for matters and topics of
      general information.  I thought you might appreciate having
      some update on sort of some of the general things that are
      driving us today.
                We have -- I'm going to apologize for one thing.
      Apparently when you asked us to come down, you were looking
      at our operating plans and saw a whole bunch of topics and
      said come up and talk to us about those.  One of those, dry
      cask storage, isn't in our division, and I don't think Sher
      made any -- excuse me?
                MS. THOMAS:  Is that still under Sher's budget?
                MR. OTT:  Sher -- it's under Sher's name in the
      budget, but the actual work is being done in Annie Murphy's
      branch upstairs, and I don't think Sher, before he got sick
      and left, contacted Annie Murphy, and I didn't have time.
      So we are not going to talk about dry cask storage today.
                I am going to talk to you about two programs, and
      the approach is going to be slightly different for the two
      programs.  We did a fairly major debrief or briefing of you
      last year on the waste management program, and we are just
      going to give you an update.  I am going to go through
      basically the same structure that we used then and say this
      is what we have done over the last year or the significant
      accomplishments in each of those areas.  It's just going to
      be an update.  I did not bring the one-page summaries with
      me.  We have done a first cut at updating them, but they
      need to be edited and we will try and get those down to your
      staff within a week or so, okay, so that will give you a
      detailed statement, but there won't be a whole lot more
      information there than I present today.
                The second piece is for Cheryl's program in the
      Radiation Protection and Health Effects Branch, and what I
      have done there is I have separated out four programs which
      are -- I think will be of significant interest to you, and
      we are going to try and go through the contract support, the
      objectives, and the status of these procurements to support
      those activities in Cheryl's branch.
                I guess I will start with Cheryl's branch because
      I'm not certain how much you have seen of that before.  This
      is the one that's entitled Radiation Protection and Health
      Effects Program.  That's this one.  Okay.  They both look
      the same because it's the same slide with different words on
                The first program I am going to talk about a
      little bit, and I don't know if Shlomo came in or not -- I
      don't see him.  Okay.  This is a program with the University
      of Pittsburgh.  The principal investigators are listed
      there.  It's also jointly with the Russian Biophysics
      Institute of the Russian Federation.
                The objective of the project is to test and
      improve deterministic health effects models by using some of
      the data from rather extensive exposures to workers at some
      of the production facilities in the former Soviet Union over
      a good number of years.
                Essentially what we are looking at is data bases
      from the Mayak Production Association; production
      association because it was involved in reactors and the
      production of plutonium.  Are you looking at the footnote?
                There are three major facilities involved; the
      reactors that are producing the plutonium, a chemical
      facility which essentially separated the plutonium out, and
      then a third facility which used the plutonium for various
                There is extensive data, apparently aerosol
      exposures from people in the chemical facility, doing the
      chemical separation of plutonium from fuel elements.  There
      is also potential major exposures from people in the
      production facility, the reactors.  The data is -- how would
      I say this?  There are problems with the consistency of the
      collection of the data with the consistency -- with the way
      data would be collected in this country in terms of how they
      actually measured doses, how they calculate doses, and so
      there are a lot of things that have to be resolved in the
      actual use of this data, and there are some questions as to
      whether in the final analysis it will be usable.  That is
      going to be assessed in the course of the project.
                The general scope is to analyze the data bases for
      the worker population, examine the evidence in the data
      bases for deterministic health effects, acute and chronic,
      long term exposure to internal and external radiation, and
      the intent is to validate or modify the existing morbidity
      and mortality models such as those presented in NUREG 4214.
                The project manager is Shlomo Yaniv.  He's not
      here today.  I expect that at some time later you will
      probably get a more direct and complete briefing on the
      content of the project.
                The status for the project.  There is a data
      access agreement that had to be negotiated with the Russian
      Federation, and there are two different entities in the
      Russian Federation that have to agree.  There's the
      administrative control of the Mayak Production Association,
      and there's the Biophysics Institute, and there has been
      some difficulty in getting both of them to agree that there
      will be access, and the final agreement has been signed by
      the Russians and is in transport between various points in
      the U.S. to get University of Pittsburgh signatures and
      signatures here.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  Am I correct in interpreting that
      they just had to buy it from two people, buy the data from
                MR. OTT:  Both, yeah.  Essentially the Biophysics
      Institute is very interested in working with the data, and
      the Mayak Production Facility views it as a resource.  They
      are reluctant to give up title to the resource, so there are
      problems with getting agreement for the final release of all
      the data that's necessary.  Sometimes there are parts of the
      data, not all of the data, but you can't do anything unless
      you get all of the data.
                DR. GARRICK:  Bill, we heard this morning how
      difficult it is to accept information and results of field
      work and research work in the absence of a quality assurance
                MR. OTT:  Yes.
                DR. GARRICK:  Sounds like this is even one level
      worse than that.
                MR. OTT:  There is a potential for that.
                DR. GARRICK:  Now how does this result in being
      used in fact to improve the health effects models given this
      skepticism of the quality of the data?
                MR. OTT:  Well, it's highly dependent on what
      happens.  Right now we don't have a guarantee of success.
      If you had to look at this project and compare it to other
      projects and rate it by likelihood of success, I would say
      that there is considerable question whether this would get a
      high rating or fairly low rating.  But it is unique in the
      amount of exposure.
                DR. GARRICK:  Yes.  You certainly can't ignore it.
                MR. OTT:  Okay.  So there is tremendous potential.
      The only question is whether we can realize the potential,
      and essentially we are taking a gamble at this particular
                MR. LARSON:  How long is the project, Bill?  And,
      you know, what is the dollar value of it?
                MR. OTT:  I think it's presently planned for two
      years.  It was budgeted this year at around 300,000.
      Because of constraints in the way we budget things, it's
      probably only going to get about 150.  What the actual total
      dollar value is, I'm not sure.  That may still be
      negotiable.  We are still waiting on the second year
      proposal from the University of Pittsburgh.  That hasn't
      come in yet.
                MR. LARSON:  Suppose you found somehow, you know,
      that the data was really good and you are going to modify
      the NUREG.  Now is that going to be a basis for changing
      Part 20, or do you feed that into NCRP, or -- you know, how
      long is it before the results of this would be of benefit to
      anybody, assuming that the input is any good?
                MR. OTT:  How long?
                MR. LARSON:  Yeah.  I mean what's the process?
                MR. OTT:  I couldn't tell you.  Ask me the same
      question next year; I might have a better answer for you.
                MR. LARSON:  We might write the report this year.
                DR. GARRICK:  Yes, we will.
                MR. OTT:  Actually, the next time you ask that
      question, I'll probably have Cheryl sitting here instead of
      me, and so she could probably answer it right away.  I have
      been acting for Cheryl for about the last month while she
      has been at FEI, so I've got a reasonable familiarity with
      much of this stuff, but you get into deep questions like
      that in terms of plan and how much, I'm not going to be able
      to satisfy your answers.
                DR. GARRICK:  I guess kind of in anticipation of
      the research report and the issue that you introduced in
      your earlier presentation having to do with prioritization,
      did this program result from any kind of systematic process,
      such as a prioritization program for deciding what research
      would result in the greatest benefit?
                MR. OTT:  I think this research program resulted
      from an opportunity being presented to take advantage of a
      data base which we formerly didn't have access to.
                DR. GARRICK:  Okay.  So there's nothing wrong with
      that.  We certainly want to position ourselves to be
      opportunistic, but I was just curious if this --
                MR. OTT:  I have no idea also whether this is
      under the umbrella of any of the IP initiatives or State
      Department initiatives.  Certainly they would be trying to
      expedite projects like this which have some potential for
      assisting the former Soviet Union.  So there are political
      aspects to it that are probably involved as well.  I
      couldn't say for sure.
                DR. STEINDLER:  Do you have anything else of this
      kind in the mill for the area surrounding Chernobyl?
                MR. OTT:  Not like this; not at the moment, I
      don't believe.
                I will turn to the subject now.  I understand that
      you're scheduled in March, get a briefing on the development
      of the Clearance Rule.  This is a portion of that process.
      Essentially we've been asked to develop the technical bases
      to support for clearance of materials and equipment.  The
      contract is being put out for bid this month or next month.
      So all projections or dates with regard to when anything is
      going to come in is going to be subject to the procurement
      process and negotiation with the contractor.
                There is going to be a tendency to hold very
      tightly to schedules because it's tied into the Clearance
      Rule schedule.  The objective is to provide a technical
      basis for both individual and collective dose assessments
      and the respective costs of potential alternatives for the
      clearance of materials and equipment.  That's essentially
      allowing their recycle or reuse without any further
      reduction in content of radioactive material.  Sufficient
      quantity -- quality, defensibility, and quantity support in
      NRC clearance rulemaking.  Soles are excluded from this
      contract at the present time.
                Is Bob here?  Ah, you are there.  Okay.  You'll
      correct me if I say anything dumb, right?
                MR. MECK:  Yes.
                MR. OTT:  The project manager for this project is
      here.  Shlomo wasn't here on the previous one.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  Bill, just a quick question.
      John Greeves was here this morning and mentioned something
      about a technical basis document for clearance to be
      published in March.
                MR. OTT:  There is a report that Bob is working
      on.  Is that going to come out in March?
                MR. MECK:  I think that it will be on the street
      in March.
                For the record, my name is Robert Meck, and I'm
      project manager on this report that you're referring to.  It
      will be published as a draft NUREG-1640.  It's currently in
      the final stages of getting down to publication.  I think
      it'll have a February date on it and be available physically
      in March of this year.  And in that it evaluates 79
      scenarios for the 85 radionuclides that are most commonly
      expected to be in materials that would be potentially
      eligible for clearance, and the materials that are analyzed
      in that report are ferrous metals, copper, aluminum, and
      concrete.  The report is limited to scenarios for
      individuals and does not include collective doses, and the
      contract that Bill is talking about now is the follow-on
      contract to that report.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  Thank you.
                MR. OTT:  So there are three major parts of the
      contract, essentially inventorying the kinds and amounts of
      scrap and equipment that can be cleared, and at the same
      time assessing the amounts of radioactivity associated with
      the potentially cleared materials, evaluating the collective
      doses for the various scenarios, whether we clear to this
      level or clear to that level, if we have to send it to
      disposal, if we send it for cleanup.  So there are a number
      of different scenarios that have to be considered, and then
      they have to estimate the costs associated with both the
      occupational and public health impacts and the relevant
      financial considerations for the different alternative
                The status as I said is we've just put the
      contract out for proposal.  This whole rulemaking is being
      overseen by a steering group and a working group, and the
      SOW's -- this is not the only SOW involved.  There's also an
      SOW for -- I'm not going to go into that.  There are other
      contracts involved in this process which will be covered
      when you have your detailed briefing in March, I'm fairly
                The products are going to -- there are going to be
      a large number of letter reports.  Letter reports and NUREG
      reports are going to be coordinated with the publication of
      the GEIS for the clearance rule to make certain that
      everything comes out in a reasonably consistent time frame
      and comments can be received and incorporated in a rational
      and organized manner.
                That's all for clearance.
                This is an update on a contract --
                DR. STEINDLER:  Before you leave that, is the
      rationale for this whole exercise basically to back into the
      de minimus question?
                MR. OTT:  Can I take the fifth?
                DR. STEINDLER:  Yes.
                MR. OTT:  I'll let Bob answer that question.
                MR. MECK:  In Bill's defense, he is really new to
      this, and I've been in it for about six years, so I'll try
      to field some questions for him.
                The concept of clearance on the international
      level, the foundation of it is basically the adoption of the
      internationally accepted trivial dose for individuals and
      collective dose.  And that's seen in IAEA safety series 89.
      And so that's the underlying principle that clearance is
      looking at.  And so given a trivial dose then that's widely
      accepted and internationally, then that's the basis and the
      rationale for no further controls from the radiological
      properties -- of the radiological properties.  Clearance
      does not speak to hazardous chemical properties or other
      kinds of properties.
                MR. LARSON:  Wasn't the SRM, though, the
      initiating thing -- wasn't there a Commission SRM that all
      the staff were given the schedule?
                MR. MECK:  That's correct.  That's correct.  The
      history of it as far as I got into it was somewhat after the
      de minimus idea, but it was in the below regulatory concern
      arena.  At that time the Commission told us to, you know,
      wanted us to make some rules covering amongst other things
      license termination and what's called clearance now, and we
      informed the Commission that we did not have the staff
      resources to tackle both at once.  And so after the license
      termination rule was completed we had a plan to go ahead
      with clearance, and with the completion of the license
      termination rule, we sent up a Commission paper -- it was
      98-028 -- and subsequent to that, the Commission gave us an
      SRM of June 30 of last year and told us to proceed.
                DR. GARRICK:  If it's based on the adoption of the
      international trivial dose, why wouldn't we just adopt that?
                MR. MECK:  The Commission has not established the
      dose, and they've made it very clear to us that that's their
      prerogative, and we understand that.  What I said was that
      the concepts arising out of the IAEA and also the European
      Community is the acceptance of that internationally
      agreed-upon trivial dose level.  But the Commission has yet
      to establish that, and we've been very careful not to
      prejudice their choice.
                And so the NUREG that I was talking about earlier,
      the 1640, is actually normalized.  And so you could fit any
      dose into that.  You get how many micro sieverts per year.
      You get from this many becquerels per gram of scrap, foe
      example.  And so those are the kinds of dose factors that
      you should expect to see in NUREG-1640.  But it's the
      Commission's prerogative to establish that.
                DR. GARRICK:  Thank you.
                MR. OTT:  Radiological criteria for
      decommissioning.  This is a project that's ending.  It was
      to develop a technical basis supporting a dose model to
      calculate dose to the average member of the critical group.
                Essentially this produced D and D, the model
      that's used for clearance -- version 1 of D and D, to
      clarify that.  And the contract is ending, and the next page
      is the one that's really of interest, because there are a
      number of products that were supposed to come out of this
      project, and they are listed here in terms of when they're
      going to be available.
                You know this 5512, volume 2, is due in March of
      '99.  The description of parameter distributions is due in
      March of '99.  There's a comparison of D and D and RESRAD
      due in March of '99.  So there are three major reports,
      three volumes of NUREG-5512, that are due next month.
      D and D version 1 was published and available in August of
      '98.  So last year in August D and D actually became
      available.  All those documentations are becoming available
                There is a new phase going into D and D.  I
      believe you were made aware of this previously, you
      commented on your last letter and said you recommended -- or
      you were in concert with our intention to put a Monte Carlo
      around D and D and make it more site-specific, make access
      to the parameter distributions so that you could do
      site-specific calculations.  That is what is being done in
      this particular version.
                Again, this project has just started.  We have --
      well, it hasn't started yet.  We have sent the appropriate
      contracting work out to Sandia and we are waiting for their
      response back, but it should be starting, you know, within
      weeks in terms of the actual work getting done.  It will
      also be at Sandia.
                This one will produce Version 2 of D and D.  It
      will support probabilistic calculations.  There will be
      online access to all predefined parameter distributions.
      The distributions can be modified or replaced based on
      site-specific information, and we feel this will provide a
      tool for moving from the very gross screening that is
      capable -- that is possible with D and D, to something which
      is more representative of the parameters that are
      appropriate for a specific site.  The models remain the
      same, it is only the parameters that are being given any
      more site-specific basis in this new version.  Okay.
                The next page gives you a list of the products
      that are going to come out of this.  We anticipate the beta
      testing version of D and D this fall, in September.  We
      anticipate a public version in December of this year.  We
      expect to finalize the software documentation in July of
      2000, and a final NUREG on all aspects of the project in
      September of 2000.
                Chris is here in the back if anybody has any
      specific questions about any parts of this project.  But,
      basically, this is implementation of what was discussed with
      the ACNW before.
                Is Tim here, Tim Mo?  Yes.  Okay.
                As a result of the process, the direction setting
      issues process, there was an evaluation of work in other
      offices that should come to research and work in research
      that should go to other offices.  As a result of that, this
      project came to us from NMSS.  They were doing an effort
      which is looking at RESRAD, which is what has been touted as
      the DOE equivalent, or the DOE superior version of D and D.
      It has its own particular problems and NMSS was planning to
      put out a contract to essentially bring RESRAD into a
      situation where everything -- where RESRAD could do what
      needed to be done for NRC licensing decisions, and it would
      also be more comparable to D and D, the final version, when
      that comes out.
                This is the project that is going to be modifying
      RESRAd.  It is being placed with Argonne, which is the
      developer of RESRAD and the laboratory that maintains
      RESRAD.  The objective is to modify and revise RESRAD and
      RESRAD-Build for eventual NRC licensee staff use -- NRC and
      licensee staff use, okay.  I don't think there is a lot more
      in there.
                They are going to start out with a parameter
      analysis of RESRAD, identify the appropriate parameters in
      RESRAD and RESRAD-Build codes and define distributions for
      those parameters.  They are going to use the methodology
      developed by Sandia for the D and D code to calculate
      default parameters.  Then they are going to revise RESRAD
      and RESRAD-Build to have the capabilities to perform
      site-specific probabilistic dose assessments.  So, from our
      perspective, this will be a much more licensing oriented
      code when this development is completed.  We are currently
      awaiting Argonne's response to our contract proposal.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  Can you explain that -- I'm sorry,
      go ahead.
                DR. STEINDLER:  Well, I was going to go back to
      that D and D.  You indicated that the framework in that
      D and D is not going to get revisited, you know, the
      fundamental model, but rather that the --
                MR. OTT:  We are not going to change the models in
      D and D.
                DR. STEINDLER:  In 1997, this group heard a
      discussion on that, and the conclusion from that seems to
      have been that that model was completely untested, and as
      far as I know, it remains untested.  So, my question is, why
      do you go with an untested model that produced Version 2?
                MR. OTT:  In terms of untested, are you talked
      about D and D as a collection?
                DR. STEINDLER:  Yes, the code.  As a code.
                MR. OTT:  Okay.  So you are not talking about the
      component health effects models or the groundwater model.
                DR. STEINDLER:  Right.  Right.
                MR. OTT:  It has been beta tested.  Do you want to
      offer a response to this one, Chris?  You have more
      experience with the background on D and D than I do.  This
      is Chris Daily from the --
                MS. DAILY:  This is Chris Daily.  It has not been
      tested to the same extent as some other codes.  All of the
      components have been tested and were actually taken from
      standard calculational approaches.  It was designed -- the
      pathways are all calculated with standardized approaches.
      So there is nothing terribly unusual or new in the way that
      the code itself is constructed.  But as part of this testing
      period, we are testing it at real sites now and trying to
      get funding to do more extensive testing of the code.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  Could you --
                MR. OTT:  You will also note that Volume 3, or
      Volume 4, is a detailed comparison of RESRAD and D and D.
                MS. DAILY:  It is Volume 4.
                MR. OTT:  And a very extensive comparison of the
      one model to the other model.  So there is a lot of that
      going on as well.
                DR. STEINDLER:  That is not the focus, at least
      that wasn't the focus at the time.  You are talking about D
      and D versus PRA, or PRA applied to D and D, and the focus
      at the time was, where is the test to reality, and comparing
      two models doesn't do that.  And that was my reference, but,
      you know.
                MR. OTT:  Yeah.  I don't want to go too far out on
      a limb, but there is some question as to how close to
      reality you are trying to get with D and D.  It is, after
      all, a screening model.  It is supposed to be something that
      allows you to dismiss the trivial.  And from that point of
      view, you know, a departure from reality, as long as that
      departure is predictable in its direction is, I guess,
      warranted -- or desired.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  Do we now have sort of a situation
      where RESRAD and D and D are sort of competing for prime
      time, or what is it?
                MR. OTT:  This is -- it is actually an apropos
      question, because if you look at it, you wonder what we have
      when we are done with both of these codes.  RESRAD was
      developed by DOE for a different purpose.  DOE has its own
      regulatory structure for evaluating the performance of its
      laboratories, it is not necessarily the same as what we use
      for -- in our decommissioning rule.  The kinds of things
      that we calculate, the basis for the calculation,
      evaluations are not necessarily the same.
                So, RESRAD is not designed to do NRC's job.  It
      would have to be -- it has to be modified, which is what is
      being done here, to make the kind of calculations to make it
      useful for a DOE licensee.
                In terms of D and D, it is designed specifically
      around NRC's regulation.  Okay.  So we have got a code here
      that is designed to do the job.  It was designed as a very
      -- as a fairly coarse screening tool.  There is a desire
      that it be made more useful by making it site-specific,
      i.e., can we reduce some of the conservatism by going from
      parameters which are intended to be conservative nationally
      to parameters that are conservative on a site-specific or on
      a regional basis?
                So, there were different purposes in developing
      these two.  If you look at the way they are going, in the
      end you may have two products that are very, very similar.
      There is a question over -- on RESRAD, it is a DOE code,
      although we make some modifications to it and produce it, we
      still don't have the right -- we would still not be
      responsible for maintaining it.  We still don't have actual
      control over further development or modification to the
                And there has been some desire, that if we are
      going to have a code to support our licensing office, we
      ought to have at least control of its development and
      modification, the quality.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  So, what are you going to do?
                MR. OTT:  Well, right now we are pursuing these
      two tracks to at least have a comparison of these two codes
      at the end of that period, and at the end of that period, we
      are going to make a decision whether we stay with D and D or
      whether we go to RESRAD, or whether we do something else.
                MR. LARSON:  Are there criteria, Bill, for
      acceptance or rejection when you finish going down this
      parallel path and these --
                MR. OTT:  No.  It will --
                MR. LARSON:  I know it is the subject of these
      workshops that have been going on.  But there is no criteria
      for acceptance as to, well, this is the one the industry
      should use or not?
                MR. OTT:  Well, I would expect that both of these
      codes are going to be able to do the same thing at the end
      of this period.
                MS. DEERING:  So how can you choose one over the
      other?  Or why would you?
                MR. OTT:  I am not going to do that.  I would --
                MS. DEERING:  They are the same.
                MR. OTT:  There is going to be a financial
      decision that has to be made.  Do we try and maintain one
      code, or do we rely on another code that is going to be
      maintained by DOE?  And I --
                DR. HORNBERGER:  I don't understand why the code
      would have to be maintained by DOE.  I mean Argonne surely
      isn't just going to give you an executable.  They will give
      you source code if you want it.
                MR. OTT:  They haven't so far.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  You are going to pay them to do
      this job, and you are not going to get the source code?
                MR. OTT:  I would hope that we will get the source
                DR. HORNBERGER:  That's amazing.
                MR. OTT:  But that is something that is under
      negotiation.  It is something that hasn't been resolved yet.
      There are different parts of DOE which are -- how do I put
      this?  The degree of cooperation you get from different
      people varies from one point -- one part of the country to
      the other, and it also happens with regard to laboratories.
      I mean --
                DR. HORNBERGER:  But we know there are no
      difficult people ever associated with Argonne.
                DR. GARRICK:  I was going to say that, but --
                MR. OTT:  Nor with Advisory Committees.  Again,
      the RESRAD contract came to us from NMSS as part of this
                DR. HORNBERGER:  I know.
                MR. OTT:  The program we were following was to
      revise and correct D and D.  NMSS, because there are so many
      people out there using RESRAD, wanted a version of RESRAD
      which essentially does the kind of calculations that our
      licensing staff need.  So that is why NMSS wanted to do a
      revision to RESRAD.
                Let me look at -- put up the slide on the
      products.  They are going through a parameter analysis.
      They are going to have a publication.  There is a long list
      of deliverables in this contract.  I just pulled three that
      I think are supposed to be NUREG CRs out.  The revised
      RESRAD-Build and RESRAD software will be available in August
      of 2000, and the final NUREG on the project will be
      available in October of 2000.  Financially, this project is
      actually running -- is slightly more costly than the D and D
                DR. GARRICK:  Bill, all these projects that you
      have described seem to be addressing either methods, that is
      to say, computer codes or information or databases.
                MR. OTT:  Yeah.
                DR. GARRICK:  Does that mean we don't have any
      more questions about biological uptake phenomena, health
      effects interaction?
                MR. OTT:  No, it doesn't mean that at all.
                DR. GARRICK:  Isn't that where there is the
      greatest need for research in this area?  And is the NRC not
      interested in that, or are there other programs that they
      are engaged in where that is being addressed?  Because some
      of those --
                MR. OTT:  I hate to say I am glad you asked that
      question, but I am glad you asked that question.  As part of
      self-assessment, the large thing that is being undertaken by
      the office, there are groups which are identifying issues
      which fall under the category of areas where there are
      uncertainties that would be appropriate for the office to
      continue to do research.  One of the areas that I know has
      been identified is this issue of, say, soil plant uptake
                There is a separate group that is addressing
      materials issues.  I don't know all of them, I am not on the
      group.  All I know is that we specifically contacted
      somebody on the group and said, let's make sure at least
      that one gets considered.  But there are probably others on
      the list.  I can't tell you right now what the totality of
      the list is, nor can I tell you right now how the office's
      prioritization scheme is going to rank those issues.  I wish
      I could, but I can't.
                But, yes, we are aware that there is a problem
      there.  We would like to do some work in the area.  We have
      brought it to the attention of the issues identification
      group that is working in the materials area.  Where that
      eventually winds up being prioritized is something I can't
      -- it is premature to discuss it right now.
                DR. GARRICK:  Is possibly one of the problems that
      in the reactor side of the business, they don't really
      emphasize any longer the risk of health effects, that they
      use surrogates of such risks, such as the frequency of large
      early releases and other source term descriptors and, of
      course, core damage frequency, et cetera?  Is that maybe a
      reason why the agency is not really pushing better health
      effects models, which haven't basically been changed in
      forever?  And I suspect a lot of the uncertainty in the
      analyses, in the dose calculations are rooted in those kinds
      of fundamental issues.
                MR. OTT:  I don't think that that is the problem.
      I don't think there is a problem from the reactor side.  I
      think what you are seeing is inertia from, say, the early
      days, people worked on it, and they thought at one time,
      say, in the early '80s, that they had what they needed, and
      only now are we coming back and revisiting and looking at
      the data and saying, well, I think -- we think that we can
      do better now.  And so I think you are looking at the
      initiation of a new phase in concern and consideration, at
      least, for this kind of issue.
                I don't know if there is anybody out there that
      would like to say more.  I probably can't because I am too
      new at this particular aspect of the job.  I do know that we
      are specifically trying to get into those kinds of things
      right now.
                Hopefully, that isn't the view -- we aren't being
      hampered by a reactor bias in that direction, and,
      hopefully, if there is a reactor bias in that area, it won't
      affect the actual prioritization process.
                Okay.  Let's go on to the other package.  That was
      my filling in for Cheryl task for the radiation effects and
      radiation --
                DR. WYMER:  Let me ask one question before we do.
      I want to return to this RESRAD versus D and D for a minute.
      I attended a meeting in January where industry
      representatives were present, and the question of what do we
      use, RESRAD or D and D, came up.  And the industry people
      were saying, basically, we are familiar with RESRAD, we have
      got people trained in its use, we understand it, we want to
      use it.
                And the answer that I think came back, at least
      from -- on the spot, was, without going back and consulting
      with anybody, was, sure, go ahead and use it and it will be
      okay.  Now, if you want to use that, okay.  And that is not
      the same as saying we are going to make a decision someplace
      down the line.  Which one are you going to use?  So that
      results in a question, to my mind, first, is that right?
      And, second, are there any criteria, or any guidelines that
      will be prepared that will tell you which of those two you
      would use?
                MR. OTT:  I think these are questions that are
      probably better asked a little down the line.  I don't think
      someone is going to -- if we evaluate, if we do development
      work on RESRAD and D and D and come out with two codes that
      essentially make the same dose predictions within, you know,
      a few percentage points, or, you know, a factor of 20
      percent or something like that, I don't think anybody is
      going to say either one of them is better or worse than the
      other one.
                If there is a consistent over-prediction by one in
      a situation where we know the result, if there is a
      demonstrable advantage to one, then I can see somebody
      making that kind of conclusion.  I think the conclusion you
      are going to wind up having is going to be based on where
      the Commission feels that it is more efficient for it to
      place its resources in terms of maintaining support for the
      regulatory structure.  If they feel that it is better for
      them to maintain D and D, make certain that if new platforms
      come out, the code is modified so it runs on those
      platforms, and that kind of thing, as opposed to depending
      on RESRAD, or depending on the goodwill of DOE and the
      modification of RESRAD to do things like that.
                I think it is a question -- it is something that
      going to be -- a question that is going to be answered down
      the line, not right now.  And I don't -- I can't say right
      now what all the criteria will be employed.
                MR. LARSON:  I think one thing we will be
      interested in, Dr. Wymer, is maybe next month when we hear
      the SRP presentation, whether there is an intention in there
      for the staff to say that, you know, for reviewing,
      decommissioning, you should use one code or the other.
                DR. WYMER:  Of course, that is not what we heard
      in January.
                MR. LARSON:  No, no, I know.  But I mean we are
      supposed to have a presentation next month on the SRP, so
      maybe we will get some sense and proceed.
                MR. OTT:  Do you want to make a contribution,
                MR. EISENBERG:  Yeah.  This is Norman Eisenberg
      from NMSS.  One thing that has been a constant in the
      regulatory environment is that the licensees can always use
      whatever tools they want to use to prove their point, and
      the staff will evaluate it.  However, we always say, if you
      use a way that is not our standard way, this is what we say
      in all the Reg. Guides, it will take us longer.
                DR. WYMER:  I see.
                MR. EISENBERG:  So, I think it is not possible,
      certainly, it is not traditional for the staff to come out
      and say you have to use this particular code.  Now, in some
      cases, we can greatly accelerate things by agreeing either
      unilaterally or with industry participation on a particular
      approach.  Some of the thermal-hydraulic codes, that is the
      approach that was taken.  So that is the kind of thing we
      are looking forward to doing.
                But I don't think we will ever say you have to use
      one or the other.  A licensee is always free to choose
      whatever method of analysis they want to to demonstrate
      compliance with the regulation.
                DR. WYMER:  Okay.  Well, that's what I thought I
      heard at the meeting.
                MR. OTT:  I mean the decision that has to be made
      is, you know, essentially what we will maintain and do for
      staff use.
                We are now into the other branch.  First, this
      stuff is just -- you have seen all this before and it merely
      speaks to how we organize the program.  And I have divided
      all this stuff up into the same piles that we divided it up
      into before, engineered barriers, source term, transport,
      infiltration and flow, and performance assessment.  And I
      will just throw up a little diagram for each one of them and
      show you which part of the pile we are in.
                This one says we are in Engineered Barriers.  In
      Engineered Barriers we have a very small program.  One part
      of it is essentially ending.  That is the work that was out
      at Beltsville on covers.                                   ers.
                We ran this program for a number of years on
      demonstrations of covers.  The program has been relatively
      successful.  There is now a demonstration cover at West
      Valley, full-scale, full-scaled cover.  When you look at a
      picture of West Valley you see this green line down the area
      that they've got all this waste disposed of, and that is the
      single trench that's got the junipers and the engineered
      cover on it.
                We maintained it for a little while with the
      Agricultural Research Service out at Beltsville.  We have
      now stopped funding even that amount so there will be no
      more data collected after this year.  This is the last year
      of data collection.  It's too bad.  It would have been nice
      to have long-term data on the covers, but we did demonstrate
      the relative performance of them and the feasibility of the
      techniques involved.
                DR. STEINDLER:  How much money did you save by
      closing it up in April rather than letting it go for another
      year, say?
                MR. OTT:  We have been maintaining it for about
      $20,000 a year.
                It has been a low maintenance activity but it has
      been a high visibility activity from the point of view of
      the Licensing Office.  They are no longer doing low level
      waste.  They are no longer supporting any low level waste
      research in terms of supporting our program -- low level
      waste research -- so the project always draws a lot of
      attention and a lot of criticism.  Because of that reason
      it's essentially being terminated.
                We also lost one of the trenches, one of the more
      interesting trenches, which was the capillary break cover.
      When we went to a low maintenance phase with the
      Agricultural Research Service, they went from six trenches
      down to four or three -- I forget which the number is -- but
      one of the trenches that was taken out was the capillary
      break cover, which would have been one of the better ones to
      maintain.  Enough said.
                The first one up there we also tended to draw
      fire, on concrete, from the Licensing Office, because we are
      no longer doing low level waste research directly, but
      concrete is going to be used in a lot of places.  It could
      be used in a remediation application.  It is going to be
      used in Yucca Mountain.
                Long-term performance of concrete is not well
      documented.  We have got to develop a model that was
      developed a NIST, primarily theoretical, but we didn't have
      any data to support it, so we have gone into a phase of
      supporting that model by collecting field data.
                We have gone out and they have been collecting
      samples from dams out in Colorado and from other structures
      that have been in the environment for extended periods of
      time.  I think there's some intent of actually getting some
      archeological concrete samples to get datapoint to calibrate
      the model.  That is what is being done at NIST.
                They are also adding some models to the NIST -- to
      the Forsythe computer code that will deal with hardened
                This is a fairly low cost project.  It runs at
      about $100,000 a year and it is also being supported by one
      of the Staff members working 20 percent of his time up at
                That's the status of it.  Basically we went out
      this year and made a couple of field trips Is another one
      planned soon?
                MR. MECK:  Yes.
                MR. OTT:  There is another field trip coming up
      when they are going to go out and collect environmental
      samples of concrete for the validation program.
                That is the sum total of the work we have got
      going on in Engineered Structures.
                Next we are going to move on to source term, where
      we have a somewhat larger amount of activity.
                One of the activities that we have been working
      on, and it comes up first because we have got three
      different components in this program.  There is a component
      being conducted down in San Antonio at the Center for
      Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analysis for NMSS.  There is a
      component being conducted for us at PNL which will be on the
      next page, and there is -- you know, this work, which is
      Linda Veblen's work at Johns Hopkins University -- and they
      have gone out and collected slags from a number of different
      decommissioning sites.  They have taken them back to
      characterize them mineralogically.  The common phases found
      in all these slags were the ones listed here -- glass,
      Perovskite, Zirconolite, Hibonite and Pyrochlor.
                We have collected archeological slags.  Linda made
      a trip over to Europe last year some time.  She went to the
      Czech Republic, she went to UK.  They collected slags from
      very old smelting operations in both those countries and
      they have gotten additional slags from both Turkey and from
      Malaysia.  We hope to use those to essentially create a
      timeline for degradation of these slag phases -- which is
      the last bullet.  We hope to use the alteration studies from
      both the ST&B and archeological slags to provide leach rates
      as a function of time.
                A side benefit is that many of the phases that are
      being seen in the slags are phases that you would also see
      in glass, synrock or ceramic wasteforms being considered for
      parts of the high level waste process, so there is a side
      benefit here, even though we are no longer directly doing
      high level waste work.  There is a side benefit to --
                MR. LARSON:  How long have the studies been going
      on for, though, Bill, and by now you must have some results.
      Have they been factored into anything?
                MR. OTT:  They have been going on for about a year
      and a half.
                MR. LARSON:  That's all?  On some of these?
                MR. OTT:  Yes -- I think two years.  About two
      years, I guess, and the work on the domestic slags is
      nearing completion.  There is a draft report that Linda told
      me today she expects to have in fairly good shape by the end
      of his week.
                The archeological slags were just collected last
      fall so we are still in the phase of identifying and
      characterizing the slagss, the archeological slags.  We
      expect to complete the project by this September, at least
      this particular phase of the project.
                There is another project that is related to this
      that's looking at solubilities and degradation rates for the
      slags and doing the conventional kinds of leaching studies.
      This is being connected at PNL.  And the basic status of
      this one is that we've collected and made laboratory
      measurements on samples from five sites.  The analytical
      work is proceeding, and we anticipate looking at two more
      sites for this particular project.
                One of those has actually been identified, but the
      final arrangements haven't been made, and until that
      happens, they don't want to make it -- they don't actually
      say what the site is going to be.  Oh, wait a minute.
      Forgot the rest of that page.
                There are some projects we've talked to you from
      time to time back when it was decided to terminate the
      low-level-waste research program a pot of money was found to
      forward-fund a lot of that work.  Much of that is coming to
      final reports now, the actual period of performance for some
      of those contracts has actually ended, and we had to give
      them no-cost extensions to let them finish up final reports.
                Some of those that are listed here, there are some
      reports that came out this year or are going to come out.
      There's a NUREG on low-level radioactive waste
      classification and assessment of waste streams,
      neutron-activated metals, that's supposed to come out in
      June.  That was from the activated metals project,
      essentially looking at radionuclides that weren't listed in
      the Part 61 tables in terms of perhaps making potential
      contributions to the dose that weren't previously
                The lycimeter studies that were run at three
      different sites -- Oak Ridge, Argonne, and INEL for a number
      of years -- that was terminated.  All the lycimeters have
      been dug up and have gone away.  But the final reports and
      publications are coming out.  NUREG/CR-6569 was published.
      There was a peer-reviewed journal article.  One of the
      significant results was that they were showing upward
      migration of both strontium-90 and cesium, and they were
      showing the presence of colloidal forms of both of those in
      the lycimeters.  So those were results that they actually
      hadn't anticipated, neither the upward migration nor the
      presence of the colloidal forms.
                Now we're moving on to the transport area, and in
      terms of transport, what I'm talking about is processes
      other than flow, infiltration flow processes, essentially
      the chemical processes that affect the transport of
                We have two ongoing activities here.  I'll mention
      one activity that isn't listed here, because it ended last
      year, which was the international project at Alligator
      Rivers.  Our final report on that project is going to come
      out within the next month to 2 months, and currently
      negotiating with publications on things like whether they're
      going to have two columns or one column and that kind of
      stuff.  So that report will be out and will be a summation
      of five years' worth of work on that particular
      international project.  Should be a fairly major NUREG.
                The follow-on to that was the demonstration
      project at Naturita, Colorado, which was done as a result of
      a meeting that we had out in Menlo Park challenging a bunch
      of people as to whether they were getting anywhere on doing
      mechanistic modeling absorption, because we've been funding
      work on it for a number of years, and a number of people at
      the meeting said if we can't soon make a demonstration that
      this particular approach is going to be feasible in a PA
      context, we probably shouldn't fund much more work in the
      area.  And the USGS people at that meeting said we think
      it's possible based on the Alligator Rivers work on uranium
      to do that at a uranium site.
                So we initiated this demonstration project.  We
      deliberately had a site-selection phase to look for sites
      where there were varying chemical conditions such that we
      thought the KD would not do well.  And the question is
      whether we can do better with mechanistic modeling.  If it
      turns out as a result of this demonstration project that we
      can't do anything any better either in terms of uncertainty
      or in terms of actual prediction of migration, then it'll be
      a fairly strong blow to the group that wants to do
      mechanistic modeling.  But USGS feels that they can
      effectively do mechanistic modeling absorption, and they can
      do it in the PA context.
                Two of our staff, Ralph Cady and Linda Veblen,
      will be working on them when they get to the modeling phase
      to actually apply these concepts within an NRC-type PA
      modeling context.
                DR. STEINDLER:  I thought the reason you dropped
      out of the Alligator River was because you didn't think you
      were getting very far.
                MR. OTT:  No, no, no.  We didn't drop out of it.
      We completed it.  Alligator Rivers project is done.
                DR. STEINDLER:  It's done?
                MR. OTT:  It's done.  We didn't drop out of that.
                DR. STEINDLER:  That was an international project.
                MR. OTT:  International project; yes.  It was --
                DR. STEINDLER:  I thought the rest of the world
      was still going at it.
                MR. OTT:  Not at Alligator Rivers, they're not.
      The participants met last -- a year ago February in Korea,
      and one of the things that was considered was whether there
      was follow-on work to do at Alligator Rivers.  There was
      consensus that there was follow-on work to be done in the
      area, general area absorption modeling, but it would not be
      profitable at Alligator Rivers at this time.  If they ever
      mine Alligator Rivers, it would be an opportunity to go in
      while they're doing it.  It would be a pit mine.  They could
      extract a tremendous amount of data over a short length of
                If they do that, I suspect that ANSTO, the
      Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization, will
      probably go in and institute an investigation program.  But
      the way things go in Australia, when the Government gives
      authorization to mine, they mine very quickly, and they
      essentially mine over a 12 to 18-month period, and then
      start reclaiming.  They pile all the ore someplace and then
      process the ore over a period of years.  But because the
      ability to mine changes with the party in power in the
      Parliament, when you get permission to mine, you go out and
      you mine right away.  There wouldn't be time for the
      Australians to organize an international project in such an
      instance, because it usually takes a year to a year and a
      half just to get the international approvals to start
      something like that.
                Anyway, there is that aspect of it that would be
      very interesting and profitable, but if it happens, it'll
      probably be a data-collection effort by ANSTO with perhaps a
      follow-on analytical effort.
                So anyway, after the site-selection phrase we've
      picked a site at Naturita, Colorado.  We've begun
      characterization.  They've collected soil samples.  They've
      installed monitoring wells, and they've begun laboratory
      measurements on the collected samples.
                The other component of this program is a much more
      theoretical approach that's being taken at Sandia National
      Laboratory where they're looking at the process from the
      point of view of atomistic modeling using quantum mechanical
      equations and quantum mechanical modeling techniques to try
      and look very fundamentally at this.  They're also doing
      laboratory work on cesium, strontium, and barium.  But
      that's soil-forming minerals.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  But that's certainly not what
      you're talking about putting into a PA model.
                MR. OTT:  Not at that level.  No.  What you expect
      to get is the basis for what goes into the PA model.  In the
      final analysis what you're probably going to wind up for
      calculational simplicity is something that changes KD from a
      constant into a variable that is calculated.  And the
      question is can we get a more fundamental understanding of
      how that should be calculated.
                And actually as a result -- and the top element on
      this, which I haven't mentioned yet, we have a program
      review at Sandia to which we invited your staff in December,
      and Andy didn't come to the meeting.  Andy Campbell attended
      for your staff.  We made it a public meeting.  We invited
      EPRI, we invited NEI, we invited DOE, EPA.  We had a fairly
      good turnout for the fact that we didn't give the people a
      lot of lead time.  We even had somebody come from the German
      Republic, from the GRS.  We had EPRI attend.  Carol
      Hornebook, who appeared before you last year, attended our
      program review, was very favorably impressed with the work
      that we were doing.  DOE sent people from both Nevada and
      from Idaho.  We didn't have any participation from EPA.  We
      did invite appropriate people from there.
                I can't think of anybody else right now.
      Anyway --
                DR. GARRICK:  Now what was the driver for this one
      again?  I am always curious as to whether these evolve from
      logical planning and technology needs development --
                MR. OTT:  There are several drivers --
                DR. GARRICK:  -- program or opportunistic or
                MR. OTT:  One of the drivers was criticism that
      the Office has received with regard to involving
      stakeholders in the -- not only the initiation but the
      development and the follow-on review of programs and we look
      in our division an initiative to open program reviews of
      projects to the public and to try and invite portions of the
      public or other stakeholders that might have a very specific
      interest in it.
                We invited the Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory
      Analyses to send some people but unfortunately they were all
      committed to supporting another meeting at that time.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  I don't think that was the focus
      of John's question.  John's question has to do with this
      research project.  How was this particular research chosen?
                MR. OTT:  Oh, how was it chosen?
                DR. HORNBERGER:  Right, John?
                DR. GARRICK:  Yes.  That's right.
                MR. OTT:  Meaning either project.
                If you go back to the overall conceptual model of
      performance assessment that we are looking at, we
      essentially have tried to look at areas where we think there
      are weaknesses in the PA process and one of the areas which
      has been criticized and criticized fairly heavily for a
      number of years is KD as a constant parameter.
                Almost nobody is willing to stand up and say KD is
      an accurate representation of what happens in reality.  It
      is essentially a parameter which varies from site to site,
      from radionuclide to radionuclide, from geologic substrate
      to geologic substrate, and unless you have perfect
      information you don't really know what is going on with KD.
                What we are hoping to do with this particular
      approach is establish a method for assessing KD which is
      based on the fundamental properties of what happens when a
      radionuclide is sorbed -- what is the sorbing substrate,
      what are the chemical conditions, is it pH that has a
      substantial effect on it, what effect does pH have on it?
                We know for instance from some of the work on the
      uranium that KD, if you measure a KD it varies as a function
      of pH.  It will peak around a certain value and it will be
      low for both low values and high values of pH.
                We also know the presence of carbonate complexes
      can shift the position of that peak.  If you go in and
      measure a KD and then rely on that for predictions of
      performance of a facility and the chemical conditions at
      that particular site can vary, then your prediction of the
      sorption capacity of that material can vary by orders of
      magnitude as well, so we felt we needed something that we
      could use to address variable conditions and do it in a
      calculationally not simple but calculationally friendly
                What we were attempting to do with these two
      programs is, one, USGS contends that they can do it for
      uranium.  We are going to try and go out there and see if
      that is true in a demonstration project.  We have been
      working at Sandia on radionuclides much much lower z than
      uranium, the assumption being and I think provable that they
      have different sorption characteristics.
                If we are proved to be correct in that we can do
      it for uranium, then we should be able to extend it to other
      radionuclides.  Then it becomes a case of what data do you
      collect on a site-specific basis.
                You collect chemical information and mineral
      substrate information, as opposed to grinding up rocks and
      measuring how much radionuclide comes through and goes out
      one end or the other end.
                DR. FAIRHURST:  But I think again wasn't the
      question how did this come to be the top of this list?
      Would this work have been done if NRC had participated or
                MR. OTT:  No, I -- in terms of how this came to be
      at the top of the list or I mean it's not at the top of the
      list.  It's just two components.
                We looked at the parameters and we just felt that
      this was important.  This was done based on professional
      judgment -- Staff recommendations -- international opinion.
                When we had the Menlo Park meeting a year ago,
      that Menlo Park meeting included PA modelers as well as
      geochemists from five different countries as well as people
      from three different DOE national laboratories.
                We essentially took a look at this whole process
      and the recommendation coming out of that was that we should
      continue to follow on doing this, so there is a lot of
      expert judgment involved, but it is not just the Staff's
      judgment.  It is the judgment of other experts in the area.
                There is also an International Sorption Forum
      which was funded by the NEA, which should be coming out with
      a report very soon.  I haven't seen the final report yet.
      They tried to take an international perspective -- I think
      there were 15 or 16 nations involved.  Everybody provided
      experts to a forum to discuss the future of PA modelling and
      mechanistic sorption modelling within the context of
      performance assessment to make recommendations on how people
      should proceed.
                Preliminary indications are that the Sorption
      Forum of the NEA is also recommending continuing work so
      this kind of work is also responsive to the general opinion
      being reflected in the international scene right now as
                DR. STEINDLER:  I've got a serious problem
      convincing myself that a quantum mechanical calculation that
      is derived from who knows what, presumably to be broadly
      applicable to feeding into a model is likely to be the kind
      of approach that you are looking for.
                Do I paint an unfavorable picture?
                MR. OTT:  You present a picture which is -- I
      would think it is an uncommon picture.  I mean if you --
                DR. STEINDLER:  It's not a question of
      commonality.  It is a question of whether it is correct.
                MR. OTT:  I don't think it is correct.
                DR. STEINDLER:  Well, then you tell me how quantum
      mechanics is going to be funneled into a -- particularly
      since it is broadly applicable, not presumably restricted to
      a particular nuclide or a particular substrate.x
                MR. OTT:  In this particular instance they are
      doing a particular mineral with its electronic structure and
      a particular radionuclide.
                DR. STEINDLER:  Well, how is this going to --
                MR. OTT:  And they are looking at the way the
      radionuclide moves with regard to the charge distribution on
      the substrate.
                DR. STEINDLER:  And you have also then presumably
      fixed the environment, such as the EH and pH and the
      chemical content of the solution?
                MR. OTT:  Those are reflected in the calculation
      as well.
                DR. STEINDLER:  And how is this then going to be
      applicable to a model that is moderately broadly applicable
      to the real world?
                MR. OTT:  The question arose at the Menlo Park
      meeting as well --
                DR. STEINDLER:  I would imagine.
                MR. OTT:  In fact, I was the one that really sort
      of pounced on somebody about it.  The thing that worries me
      about all these models -- you start with models up here.
      You ask a modeler to model a situation and you give him some
      data and he comes back in and he's got this model and it
      goes through all the datapoints and you say, oh, that's
      great -- how many degrees of freedom do you have left or how
      many adjustable parameters did you use to do this
                Unfortunately with KDs and with almost all the
      models, there are a tremendous amount of adjustable
      parameters.  The question that I raised, which is not quite
      the same question as you raised, is how do I go from
      molecular modeling with a very strong physical basis.
                I mean you can't argue that we are not being
      extremely physical when we do this, to applying this in a PA
      context, which is going to be in terms of a KD, if I have to
      do from this process to this process and the number of
      adjustable parameters I have to use is greater than that is
      being used by somebody doing an empirical calculation with a
      KD, I haven't done anybody any favors.  I have lost all the
      value of the information in the process.
                I don't have any question about the theoretical
      validity of the calculations that we've made.  My only
      question -- from microscopic structure to macroscopic
      structure.  And I think it can be done, and I think the
      contractor has demonstrated that he can.
                What I would actually like at some time in the
      future to actually bring these people in and let's just see
      what they're actually doing.  I had actually hoped that I
      could have gotten somebody from the Committee to go out in
      December, but that didn't happen.  It's probably a risk to
      point out this atomistic modeling here, but basically we're
      looking at.
                DR. STEINDLER:  Well, now that you've done it, you
      know --
                MR. OTT:  Well, I think there's a good deal of --
                DR. STEINDLER:  Pandora's box is open.
                MR. OTT:  Pandora's box is open, but the
      contractor I think has a very good basis for what he's
      doing.  I believe the connection is there.  He's actually
      asked for the opportunity to demonstrate what he's doing
      with radium values that are being seen at Naturita.  So as a
      result of the program review that we had out in December,
      we've made a connection between the Sandia project and the
      field demonstration project that USGS is using.
                One of the species, one of the metal ions that
      Sandia is looking at, is barium as a radium analog.  They're
      actually going to continue that work.  They're going to
      focus on it.  They're going to go down and do some
      confirming experiments with radium to confirm the analogous
      behavior.  And then they're going to try and use this to
      connect up to the barium -- the measured radium
      concentrations at Naturita and include that in the
      demonstration project.  So I'm hoping that over the next
      year to two years we'll have a demonstration which very
      strongly connects us to the theoretical work at Sandia as
      well as the work that was done at Alligator Rivers.
                We're getting very close to my being way behind
      schedule.  I think I've got five minutes left.
                I'm going to skip this, because it's an old
      project.  This is the PNL work on organic complexions.  You
      can look at the update.  The final report on that should be
      out soon, and I presume that you guys generally get most of
      our NUREG's.
                MS. DEERING:  Yes.
                DR. WYMER:  Is there a number on that report yet?
                MR. OTT:  I don't think there's a number on that
      one.  Not yet?  Okay.
                DR. WYMER:  Will it be out in April?
                MR. EISENBERG:  Hopefully, yes.
                DR. WYMER:  Okay.
                MR. OTT:  We've been doing a lot of work on flow
      and infiltration.
                In view of time, I'm trying to figure out exactly
      how much detail I should go to.
                Maricopa, we had a field study looking at
      monitoring strategies.  We did two major technology-transfer
      kinds of activities during the year.  The office -- well,
      our program has been trying to become much more active in
      transferring the results of our work to the licensing office
      and to other potential users out there.  So we had this
      hands-on technology transfer at the Maricopa Agricultural
      Center for NMSS and RES staff.  They went out in the field
      with the principal investigators and actually did a bunch of
      work.  We then convened a public workshop on lessons learned
      back here in Washington, and here we had DOE, DOE national
      laboratories, EPA agreement States, industry
      representatives, a very large meeting in terms of doing
      technology transfer on the monitoring strategies.
                These are just the reports that are coming out of
      the Maricopa study.  The one on the bottom -- I believe this
      is the -- okay, this is the new project, project we started
      last year at the University of Arizona to look at conceptual
                A related thing I want to mention to you is coming
      up this next month, and I meant to bring a schedule of it
      down.  There's a meeting of the National Academy of
      Sciences, one of their subcommittees, they're having a
      meeting on conceptual models out at their research center in
      California.  We think that's going to be a fairly important
      meeting.  It's one that we helped initiate and fund.  This
      is a contract that we have let with the University of
      Arizona, particularly Shlomo Newman, to look at the question
      of how do we choose, how do we select conceptual models for
      processes, and what's the uncertainty associated with that
                If you want to go back to the coarsest example
      possible, you can think of the early days of the Yucca
      Mountain project when the original DOE assertion was that
      you only had to worry about matrix flow, you didn't have to
      worry about fracture flow.  The question of how much error
      there would be from modeling only matrix flow or only
      fracture flow, you know, is the kind of question you would
      have to address in determining the uncertainty associated
      with fracture models, or the type of fracture models.  Do
      you use a dual continuum model?  Do you use the discrete
      fracture model?  How much uncertainty is associated with
      those different approaches to quantifying your
      conceptualization of the site?
                We think the work on conceptual models -- within
      the Office of Research, we think it is a fairly fundamental
      and a fairly important piece of work to complete.
                At PNL we're doing some work to specifically
      assess parameter uncertainty in some of those codes like
      RESRAD, and D and D, and MEPAS.  There are a lot of
      parameters that have been thrown into those codes without a
      great deal of thought in terms of, you know, are those the
      right parameters to use.  So at PNL they're looking at
      default values.
                There's going to be a letter report, D and D,
      MEPAS, and RESRAD on the review of default parameters used,
      particularly in the flow models.  The PNL is only looking at
      the flow models.  Most of the work on default values of the
      dose models is being done either in the RESRAD contract or
      the D&D contract.
                Essentially another program review that is going
      to be open to the public.  You are invited to attend or send
      one of your staff or come yourselves if you are so inclined.
                DR. STEINDLER:  Are you doing instrument
                MR. OTT:  No, we are looking at instruments and
      testing various types of instruments with regard to that.
                DR. STEINDLER:  Existing instruments?
                MR. OTT:  Yes.  Years ago we did some instrument
      development, but not for a long time.
                DR. STEINDLER:  Should you be doing instrument
      development?  Especially non-invasive.
                MR. OTT:  That's a good question, I don't have an
      answer for you.  I don't know, it would depend on how good
      the instrumentation that is available is at getting the
      answers you need, and I am not an instrumentation expert, I
      leave that to the staff.  Nobody has come to me saying that
      they think that there is a specific kind of instrumentation
      that ought to be developed.
                There was work at one time -- we did work at NIST
      on development of microprobes for measuring PH that would
      have been very, very useful if you were going in and trying
      to look at a microscopic level at things like changes in
      chemical conditions affecting sorption.
                That was actually done for the high level waste
      program to examine microscopic conditions around pits in
      metal, okay, the problem being that when you got very, very
      small probes, there was a lot of drift in the electronics
      and you didn't necessarily have predictable measurement
                That kind of thing hasn't been proposed to us, at
      least in terms of instrumentation development for the
      program that we are in right now.  Nobody on the staff has
      identified it as a particular problem.
                This meeting will be held at the Agricultural
      Research Service facility in order to get people away from
      the building and make certain that there aren't any
      interruptions to the day to day operation.  We are trying to
      hold these program reviews at the location of one of our
      contractors.  In this case, the Agricultural Research
      Service volunteered their facilities.  So we will be meeting
      here in Washington, but it will be off at the ARS meeting
                PA.  This is the diagram everybody likes to take
      all the boxes off.
                DR. STEINDLER:  You see, John, I told you.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  My comment was perfectly clear.
      We asked for transparency in PA but that is not what we
                MR. OTT:  I went to Ralph, I said, by the way, I
      want to put in a lead-in page for performance assessment.
      Do I just include everything and just repeat the first
      diagram that we used that talks about the PA process?  He
      said, no, what I am really about is connections.  How do we
      make all these things interact together?  So we took off all
      the boxes and left in all the lines.  These red ones, by the
      way, over here, relate to some of those questions that you
      talked about earlier.  Do we know -- do we have some
      question about the, say, soil to transfer factors?  We had
      indicated some interest in that even before we got
      associated with Cheryl's branch, but the red indicated it
      was an area we weren't doing any work in.  So, anyway.
                The last thing on the board is our performance
      assessment work at Sandia, which is the development of the
      Sandia environmental decision support system.  We have just
      gone through -- we reviewed that when we were out at Sandia.
      It is part of that program review in December.  This
      particular year both NRC and EPA are contributing to it, but
      because of some problems we had in previous years because of
      the interconnected nature of some of our products with a
      dependence on EPA funding, when EPA didn't fund, all of a
      sudden, our deliverables started being delayed by six and 12
      months.  So we have essentially disconnected any dependence
      on EPA funding.  We are -- this project is no longer what
      you would call a coordinated and interdependent effort.
                EPA still has some goals for SEDSS in mind.  They
      are doing some testing of it, but I don't know that there is
      going to be any significant further development by them.  We
      have made some fairly major changes in the way we want do so
      some of the work.  The SOW has been revised and we are
      proceeding, but we have disconnected from our dependence on
                In terms of what happened, we put out an
      MS-Windows version in March, essentially it did drinking
      water contaminated by single source multiple radionuclides,
      decay chains and a 1-D groundwater pathway.  In this next
      year we will complete a modification to SEDSS that
      incorporates all the pathways, not just a drinking water
      pathway, but all the pathways there in the 5512, and we will
      incorporate a fairly simplistic groundwater alarm, much more
      simple than the one we have in there right now, so that you
      could some fairly simple calculations with SEDSS.
                I don't see anything else in there to focus on.  I
      am seven minutes over.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  Are there any further questions
      for Bill?
                DR. GARRICK:  Just a global question, and maybe
      while I was daydreaming you answered it.  Can you give us,
      in a capsule, the magnitude of the research program for
      supporting NMSS?
                MR. OTT:  The total budget for '99 -- and I
      apologize, I actually didn't look at that before I came
      here, I should have -- is around $1.8 million, I believe, it
      might be as high as $2.  I haven't looked at the actual
      bottom line recently, I have been worried about all the
      little lines in between.  That is for the radionuclide
      transport program that I just went over.
                The work that I went over here with Cheryl's
      branch is about 13 -- about another $1.3 million, so $1.3
      and about $1.8, we are talking about around $3 million
      between the two programs.
                Now, and as I said before, I apologize, but I
      didn't get a chance to get the people from the dry cash
      storage business down here.
                There are some other small programs in Cheryl's
      branch which I didn't bring in, some contracts that haven't
      started yet.  The total adds up to another maybe half a
      million dollars.  Two of those, a couple of hundred thousand
      dollars, are going to be in direct support of the clearance
      rule, in addition to Bob Meck's project.
                There is a major program on -- well, there is a
      major effort going on right now on an exemptions report that
      came in, it was developed over the last eight years.  Major
      problems were found with the report and it is having to be
      rewritten, primarily being done by staff, but there is also
      a small contractor effort, about a hundred thousand dollars
      in support of that.
                There are some small grants to some people like
      NCRP.  Actually, there is a major grant to NCRP that
      supports a meeting that comes out annually, too.
                MS. THOMAS:  This is Mary Thomas.  NCRP's funding
      had been on the level of 200,000 per year, and it has slowly
      dwindled down and the last I had funded them was for 100K.
      And a lot of that money goes to fund their annual meeting
      every April.
                MR. OTT:  That's one of the other things --
                MS. THOMAS:  It's their core grant.  ICRP gets
      25K, and there's a effort with NEA for information system on
      occupational exposure.  That gets about 20K a year.
                MR. OTT:  So there are small things that add up to
      make another couple hundred dollars.  But you're talking --
      Cheryl's program then probably totals around 2 million,
      total around 2 million.
                DR. GARRICK:  Thank you.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  One of the things that I think
      has to strike one when even going through a very quick
      summary like this, Bill, is that you do a tremendously wide
      range of stuff, everything from, you know, ginning up a
      generic code, as John said, sort of putting together bits
      and pieces of things to do a very applied kind of
      calculation all the way down to doing quantum mechanics
      calculations on sorption.  Now that's a pretty broad range,
      and I guess it's difficult for us in a short time to come to
      grips with how one decides whether you don't spend 20,000
      bucks to collect another year's data on caps out at
                MR. OTT:  I appreciate your problem.  I mean, we
      have the same problem.  And there are times when decisions
      are made on a political basis as opposed to a rational
      basis.  You know, I could look -- if I had the opportunity
      today to maintain the Beltsville full six trenches and fund
      it for 30 years because it would give me information on how
      really well constructed trench caps work, I think that would
      be an extremely valuable thing to have.  But unfortunately
      it was focused on low-level waste.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  It went away.
                MR. OTT:  And it went away.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  Yes.
                MR. OTT:  We did -- don't get me wrong, we
      achieved our major objective.  We tested four different cap
      designs.  We had a couple of controls.  We essentially
      demonstrated that the bioengineered concept worked.  We also
      demonstrated that the capillary break covers work.  There
      had been work done at Sheffield which indicated that it
      didn't work.  The principal investigator, Bob Schultz,
      essentially said it didn't work because they didn't build it
      right.  There was a really interesting demonstration in that
      project of the importance of quality assurance in
      construction, because if you get fines into the capillary
      break, it breaks down.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  It's gone.  Right.
                MR. OTT:  So we did achieve the objectives of that
      project.  Don't get me wrong about that.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  No, I understand.
                MR. OTT:  It's almost nostalgic to say boy, I'd
      really like to have that data over 30 years.  We're doing
      other things.  We're looking at archeological samples of
      slags to try and get that time constant.  There are so few
      things that we do that allow us to demonstrate time
      dependence over a long period of time, and when we find one,
      such as natural analogs, say Alligator River is looking at
      an ore body that's evolved over time, those snapshots when
      you're available to get time dependence in for a program
      that is essentially concerned with long-term performance,
      that's really a thing that's very desirable.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  For the record, I just wanted to
      say one last thing, and then I'll ask for questions.  But I
      don't know -- obviously I don't know all of the research
      that's going on, but I do know the people with the USGS
      involved in your work in Colorado and the people in Sandia
      involved in some of the fundamental geochemistry and
      sorption stuff, and I know the Arizona group very well.  And
      these are all very good people, so I'm sure that you're
      sponsoring some very good work.
                MR. OTT:  Actually the program at Sandia, Ed -- is
      Ed still here?  Wasn't there a national or an award given to
      that group this last year?
                MR. O'DONNELL:  They got one of the -- this is Ed
      O'Donnell of the Office of Research.  They did get one of
      the laboratory quality awards for the work, and the group is
      linked with many others in the community.  The group is
      working on natural attenuation, geochem, and everything
                I'd also like to just make a note to Dr. Steindler
      again, the viewgraph gave you a distortion.  If I understood
      you, you were really disturbed about the first sentence of
      that thing with the atomistic modeling.  And that's only --
      this is one of those geochemical projects -- and that was
      only a small part of the project, you know, the
      characterization of the soil-forming minerals, the clays and
      everything else was part of it, sorption and everything
      else.  And it was an integrated whole series of things in
      that project.  And I'll try and get maybe a statement of
      work to Howard or something so you get a bigger view of the
                DR. STEINDLER:  But on the other issue that George
      just raised, an agency that doesn't understand long-term
      programs and the importance of long-term programs ought not
      to be in the business of doing long-term regulations.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  Right.
                MR. OTT:  No comment.
                DR. STEINDLER:  I mean, I made the same comment
      that the Department of Energy when they decided they were
      going to close down long-term corrosion testing of things
      like metals and glass.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  Right.
                DR. STEINDLER:  And it turned out that for one
      reason or another we managed to keep some programs going,
      and it was a good thing, because it turns out that the
      models don't necessarily allow linear extrapolations
      forever.  You can pass on the rest of it.
                MR. OTT:  As I said, you know, you go into a
      project with certain objectives that you have to meet, and
      we met those at Beltsville.  There are others that it would
      be nice to meet that we partially achieved.  We got 10 to 12
      years worth of performance --
                DR. HORNBERGER:  And, you know, we do understand
      that.  It's just as -- we share some of the frustration that
      you expressed in that long-term data sets, as we know, are
      very difficult to come by, and it's always a crime when we
      see something that's relatively inexpensive terminated
      because of -- well, at any rate, we're just expressing our
      frustration as well.
                Other questions?  Charles?
                DR. FAIRHURST:  No.
                DR. GARRICK:  I just would like to make a comment
      or two.  I guess what I'm -- one of the things that I'm
      looking for is what the underlying drivers are for the
      research program, and I'm having trouble with that one.
                As I understand it, basically what happens is NMSS
      decides what they want to do research on, and farms that out
      to RES to do it.  But I guess to give an example of why I'm
      not clear on what the process is, given the challenges that
      the Commission has ahead of it in the area of nuclear
      wastes, I guess I would have expected to see a more
      systematic process of identifying research projects, and I
      would have also expected to have seen some of the things
      that are really important and fundamental issues in for
      example the Yucca Mountain project that are facing us, such
      as simple things like the temperature effects on Alloy-22,
      the issue of seepage, the issue of chemical processes that
      drive the releases of radionuclides from the EBS or from the
      fuel itself, the issue of dilution factors, which is
      something that is talked about a lot.  You did have
      something on flow and transport, but it wasn't clear that it
      was focusing on some of the areas of greatest uncertainties
      such as in the saturated zone.
                And so on.  And I'm having trouble coming to grips
      with what the structure is for decision-making with respect
      to research projects, and I have to apologize, I just
      finished chairing a meeting or committee for the National
      Academy of Sciences that was taking a hard look at DOE, and
      their underlying bases for identifying technology needs in
      research and development, and have been engulfed in a sea of
      research projects there, and trying to understand their
      rational basis and origin, and I am having the same problem
                I don't expect an answer, but I think that's one
      of -- and if you take away the bookkeeping part and the data
      collection part and the methods development part of your
      program, except for this last stuff you have shown where
      there were some laboratory measurements and what-have-you,
      very little of it really seems to be what I would really
      call research.  And so it's a very small program, it doesn't
      seem to have an underlying mechanism for its evolution, or
      at least I haven't seen it, and it makes it very difficult
      to write about it which we have to do.
                MR. OTT:  Let me make a couple of observations.
      In terms of user needs, in terms of we do only what NMSS
      asks us to do, we haven't received a comprehensive user need
      from NMSS in probably more than four years.  The last one
      occurred when there was still a low level waste program.
                We have had since that time a couple of small user
      needs on in situ uranium mining which we have responded to
      with an in-house task force which is doing the work on that,
      so it doesn't show up in the briefings because it's a
      non-funded project.
                In terms of temperature dependence and high level
      waste, we have no high level waste dollars.  There is
      nothing in our budget, and as soon as we'd start doing work
      on elevated temperatures, it automatically becomes high
      level waste work, because nothing else involves elevated
      temperatures.  So we can't, the way the operation works
      right now, we cannot do any work on things with elevated
      temperature effects.
                I agree that, for instance, sorption, when we
      first started working on it, one of the real critical
      questions was there's data below 100 degrees C, but there's
      very little data on geochemical effects above 100 degrees C.
      We ran a fairly large program at LBL for a number of years
      on elevated temperature geochemistry, but that doesn't mean
      we finished the job.  But there were certainly -- but
      certainly elevated temperatures are an important thing for
      the high level waste program.  Without high level waste
      money, we cannot do any high level waste research.
                DR. GARRICK:  It's a strange situation you find
      yourself in.  We have one presenter telling us that we are
      pretty much out of the low level waste business, that that's
      handled by the states, but that seems to be the arena in
      which you are doing some research.
                On the other hand, your -- the agency is faced
      with licensing a facility unlike it's ever licensed before
      that is totally dependent upon understanding long term
      phenomena and what-have-you and essentially it's a hands-off
      situation.  One of these days I would like somebody to
      explain how all this works.
                MR. OTT:  Our staff has -- all our staff has been
      previously involved at least in the nuclear transport
      program, or previously involved in doing high level waste
      research as well.  They try to stay up with the program, we
      try to remain conversant.  We talk to them.  We try and let
      them know of things that we are doing in the generic program
      that would be of value.
                For instance, this mechanistic sorption modeling
      work we think would be of value to the far field, not
      necessarily to the heated region, because we aren't doing
      anything in the heated region.  But certainly in the far
                One thing we are not looking at right now at least
      is fracture coatings and sorption on the fracture coatings
      and how that might differ from the mechanistic modeling of
      just doing matrix flow.
                In terms of the structure and in terms of doing
      what's important, everything that I have looked at -- I'm
      part of that prioritization team for the office.  When I
      looked at NIH, when I looked at DOE, when I looked at EPA,
      everything I saw there had an extremely strong component of
      expert judgment.  I reviewed the prioritization of research
      for the mouse genomics research program which is about the
      same size as the Office of Research in the Nuclear
      Regulatory Commission, about $40 million, but focused only
      on mouse genomics research.  They brought in an expert
      review panel of something like 200 experts from around the
      world.  They sat them down in Bethesda for a week, they
      divided them up into committees, they closed the doors, and
      at the end of the week they came out with a list of
      prioritized programs.  Three of them.  One for about $13
      million; one for about $18 million; and one for whatever the
      remainder is.
                There was nothing in that process that spoke to me
      of a systematic, organized method of evaluating research.
      NIH is one of the most respected research organizations in
      the world.
                We do as much as we can with the experts and the
      Staff.  We do as much as we can with the contractors on the
      Staff.  We bring in outside experts as much as we can.  We
      don't have the resources to convene a 200-person expert
      panel from around the world.  We take targets of
      opportunity.  When we hosted the Alligator Rivers meeting in
      Menlo Park a year ago, what I did was I said I've got
      experts from five countries here.  I'm going to hold a
      workshop on the day after the Alligator Rivers meeting and
      I'm going to invite them to attend, and they all attended.
      Usually what happens is the day after the meeting, we all go
      off and we visit a national forest or we take a laboratory
      tour or something else.  I cheated.  I tried to get the
      international experts to come in.  We had a good discussion.
      As a result of that, we had a reason for doing the work at
      USGS and for refocusing some of the work at Sandia.  So that
      part of the program we brought them in.
                Tom Nicholson is probably one of the most
      aggressive people I know of in terms of going out and
      getting the National Academy involved in looking at our
      programs.  We have a grant with the National Academy where
      Jake Phillip will take down his work on concrete, and we
      will take down the work on covers, Tom will take down the
      work on hydrology and ask them for informal reviews.  If we
      are asking for a formal review, we have to give them money,
      you know, additional money so they can farm it out.  He goes
      down and he asks for an informal review, and he gets people
      to give him comments back.
                We are factoring in professional judgment wherever
      we can.  The work that we are doing on conceptual models,
      the workshop that we have sponsored out in California next
      -- in a couple of weeks from now, I think is some of the
      most fundamental and some of the most important work in the
      area of PA modeling and hydrology modeling that has been
      done in the last 10 years, because it is addressing a
      fundamental question that nobody has addressed before.  I am
      real interested in that.  I'd like to go to the meeting.
      Unfortunately, I can't, because I have to do a peer review
      of a bunch of DOE projects.
                In other areas, PA, we have got one project, we
      have got one contractor.  We are trying to pull together a
      systematic tool for NMSS.  NMSS wants that tool.  We don't
      have a user need for SEDSS, but they sure as heck want it.
      They want a usable tool that they can use for a large
      variety of sites, particularly for the difficult sites.
      That's what SEDSS is determined -- is designed to use.  We
      are responding to a want in the absence of a specific user
                The slag work, NMSS wants the slag work.  They
      need help on those slag projects.  Where they want help and
      they need help, we are trying to respond.  Where they have
      expressed a specific interest, we are trying to gather the
      national and international experts in the fields, get their
      opinions and reflect them in our program.  With the
      resources we have, I don't know what more we can do.
                DR. GARRICK:  Well, I didn't mean to drag it out.
      I was just trying to express some of the concerns I have
      about trying to establish a logical basis for identifying
      research projects and prioritizing them.  And I would agree
      with George that it is obvious that the people you have
      working on the projects, that's not the problem; they seem
      to be extremely competent.  But I do have some concern about
      the logical basis of the research program, of the size of
      the research program, given the challenges that the NRC has
      and so on.
                MR. OTT:  I guess one thing I could say is that if
      we go forward with AHP in the office, there will be pressure
      to apply AHP to individual programs as well, and
      unfortunately AHP is not a process which is based solely on
      risk or solely on -- it considers a lot of factors.  The
      feasibility.  Is it -- for this particular research project,
      what is the likelihood that you are going to succeed?  I
      mean you do need to consider things like that, but it's not
      the kind of thing like I'm going to do this because it's --
      this contribution -- it is only going to be one factor.  How
      important it is with regard to the risk calculation.  So --
                DR. HORNBERGER:  Don't misread some of these
      comments too much.  We have all, I think all of us here have
      been involved in research for our careers, and we know that
      expert judgment or whatever you want to -- professional
      judgment has to enter into a lot of these choices.  We are
      not arguing that, okay.  In fact, I would be aghast if you
      came in and told me that you had a formula where you just
      plugged in a couple numbers and out came what you should do.
      That isn't the point at all.
                Questions from anyone else?  The Staff?  Anyone
      else?  Okay.  Well, thanks very much, Bill.  I appreciate
      your time.
                MR. OTT:  Thank you.
                DR. HORNBERGER:  Mr. Chairman.
                DR. GARRICK:  Okay.  I think that what I would
      like to suggest, given that this is a break point between
      being on the record and off the record, I would like to
      declare a short recess of five or 10 minutes, and then we
      will come back and address our Commission meeting, et
                [Whereupon, at 2:30 p.m., the recorded portion of
      the meeting was adjourned, to reconvene at 8:30 a.m.,
      Wednesday, February 24, 1999.]


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