114th ACNW Meeting U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, November 18, 1999
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON NUCLEAR WASTE
MEETING: 114TH ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON
NUCLEAR WASTE (ACNW)
Conference Room 2B3
Two White Flint North
11545 Rockville Pike
Thursday, November 18, 1999
The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 8:31 a.m.
B. JOHN GARRICK, Chairman ACNW
GEORGE M. HORNBERGER, Vice Chairman, ACNW
RAYMOND W. WYMER, ACNW Member. P R O C E E D I N G S
DR. GARRICK: Good morning. The meeting will now come to
order. This is the second day of the 114th 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
Milton Levenson, serving as an ACNW consultant.
This entire meeting will be open to the public.
Today the committee will first review 10 CFR Part 63, NRC's
proposed high level waste regulation; second, to describe the process of
moving from issue resolution status reports to a Yucca Mountain review
plan; third, review the Yucca Mountain draft environmental impact
statement; and, fourth, prepare ACNW reports on -- a white paper on
near-field chemistry considerations, a report of the joint ACRS/ACNW
subcommittee on implementing a framework for risk-informed
performance-based regulations in the Office of Nuclear Materials Safety
I understand we have actually issued that letter, which is a
milestone. Three, risk communications; four, the Yucca Mountain draft
environmental impact statement; five, 10 CFR Part 63 and the
rubblization decommissioning concept.
Those are the topics on which we will be writing and
Lynn Deering is the Designated Federal Official portion of
This meeting is being conducted in accordance with the
provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.
We have received one request from Mr. Robert Bernero, who
wishes to talk to the committee on 10 CFR Part 63. Should anyone else
wish to address the committee, just make your wishes known to one of the
As usually, it is requested that each speaker use one of the
microphones, identify themselves, and speak clearly and loudly so that
he or she can be readily heard.
Unless there are comments on the part of the committee
members or consultant or staff, I think we'll jump right into the first
topic on the agenda, which is 10 CFR Part 63, NRC's proposed high level
waste regulation, and I guess Tim McCartin is going to lead it off.
I would ask that each of the subsequent speakers introduce
themselves prior to their briefing.
MR. McCARTIN: Thank you. Today I'd like to give an
overview of the comments we've received on Part 63 and Janet Kotra,
sitting over at the table over there, will help me out in some of the
areas, because obviously we've gotten comments across a lot of different
I would like to stress that today we will be giving you --
this is work in progress and there are really no final responses for the
comments. However, we have areas where this is where we're headed, we
There are discussions, internal, going on. We were trying
to give as much information of where we think we're coming out. We
certainly would appreciate the committee's comments, either today in the
meeting or in the letter that you write, and I will show you briefly the
schedule we're on.
As with the proposed Part 63, final Part 63 is on an equally
Briefly, what I would hope to do today is give you a brief
summary of the public comments, our schedule. In terms of responding to
comments, we're grouping them into categories. I'll give you some of
those categories, what our potential responses are, where we're leaning
as we can in the responses, and then, finally, at the end, I'll give --
as you know, the Commission has sent comments to EPA on their proposed
It is in the PDR, but I'll give a brief synopsis of the main
points that the Commission provided to EPA on their standard.
First, in general, what do the comments look like for Part
63? There are approximately 100 sets of written comments that we
received. We had five public meetings, where transcripts were taken,
and we got comments there.
All that translates into approximately 700 specific comments
with regard to Part 63. We also got comments, in one of your previous
letters on Part 63, that has been docketed as part of the rule-making.
Right now, as I indicated to staff, we've compiled and
categorized all the comments and we're preparing responses in a format
similar to what was done for the Part 35 rule-making, which what was
done is you would state an issue and then that would be somewhat a
grouping of a lot of comments. For example, let's take compliance
period, we might have had 50 comments on compliance period and the issue
could be, well, what is the appropriate compliance period for evaluating
high level waste repository.
That would be stated as the issue and then underneath it we
would summarize the comments we received, some pro, some against
potentially, and just give the reader what kinds of comments we had
received, and then, finally, it would be followed by a response. So for
all the -- we would identify a number of issues.
Right now, I'd have to say, I have not counted them, but if
I had to take a guess, we probably have on the order of, I would say,
100 to 150 issues coming out of the public comments. Each one of those
would have comments and responses.
As we prepare the responses, we are looking -- there might
be some response that, gee, this is pretty much the same answer and we
might do further grouping to reduce the number of overall issues we
have, but that's what was done in Part 35. It seemed to be a fairly
effective way to show people how we responded to the comments.
DR. GARRICK: Tim, is this compilation and categorization
part of the public documentation?
MR. McCARTIN: Yes. It would be part of the Federal
Register notice when we go for a final Part 63. That would be up front,
here's all the issues and responses, followed by then we'd give a
summary of how the rule changed, and then finally what the final rule
In terms of the schedule, I figured I'd start off with
today. We're briefing the ACNW in November on where we're at and, once
again, I do stress that we're right in the middle of it, which makes it
very timely, but in some areas, we really can't say much, because we
have not discussed them enough internally to come up with an approach.
We are shooting to have all the responses completed by the
end of December and have a draft final rule by January 31, and then
ultimately the final rule-making packages, our schedule today is getting
it to the Commission by March 31, which, once again, I stress it is a
fairly quick schedule. So you an see the need for comments. We do need
them somewhat timely.
In terms of the categories, this is not all the issues, in
terms of some of the more large categories that I'll be talking to
today, we have NRC's regulatory authority, safety analyses, dose limit,
lack of ground water protection, multiple barriers, additional
requirements in the rule, such as retrievability, human intrusion, et
We have comments on specific aspects of the regulatory
process, such as the hearing process itself, multi-stage licensing,
transportation, and selection of the Yucca Mountain site. I will go
through all of these in more detail and try to give you a flavor of some
of the comments we received and what we believe the staff response will
be at this time.
First, NRC's regulatory authority. In bold, I have somewhat
the issue and in italics is some of the NRC thinking with respect to
responding to that comment. We've received comments that EPA should set
the standards, not the NRC; that we should have held off until there was
a final EPA standard and not proceed until that time.
As we said in the background to Part 63 when we proposed it,
that there are many aspects to Part 63 other than the standard that we
felt the NRC needed to get on record and talk to and get that out in the
public and get comments and finalize that in a timely manner.
As I go through some of the slides, you'll see a number of
these topics, that we have received substantial comment on that we
believe are NRC's job. We needed to get out and get that out and start
getting comment and working on it, because it takes a fair amount of
time to think through some of these issues.
Finally, we did say in Part 63 that we will amend the
regulation, as necessary, to conform to a final EPA standard. However,
because of the tight timelines in the program, we feel it would be much
easier to have a final rule in place.
With everything there that NRC has to take care of, to amend
it to a final EPA standard would be a relatively easy thing to do if we
have a final Part 63 and all the other aspects in place, rather than
trying to do everything at once.
There were comments that we received that Nevada should be
provided the same level of protection as New Mexico. Generally, people
were referring to the WIPP standard, that had a 15 millirem individual
dose limit and had separate requirements for ground water protection.
The NRC still believes that the individual all pathway dose
limit of 25 millirem is protective. It includes the ground water
pathway, and, at this time, we do not see changing that. However, we
will amend our regulation, as needed, if the EPA standard comes out
There were comments that the statute requires a
site-specific standard, does not necessarily require a site-specific
We noted, however, the NAS, in their recommendations,
provided things to the NRC, such as subsystem requirements. There are
things that we felt needed to be changed to be consistent with those
recommendations, as well as we're talking about a single site rather
than a generic regulation.
There were things we felt we could simplify from Part 60 and
make those changes in Part 63 to make it clearer what was required. So
we have done that. We believe we're consistent with the forward-moving
comments of the NAS.
Safety analyses, not surprising, we got a number of comments
on the safety assessments. Generally, if I had to put them in a
nutshell -- and be aware that what I'm listing here, some of these are
not the issues. There are many issues under these, but in the -- just
to get done in an hour's time, I had to group a lot of things.
There was a general concern of how NRC would ensure that the
repository performance is properly evaluated and this goes for both pre
We believe right now we have requirements for doing the
safety assessments, both pre and post-closure, and we have still
provided flexibility to the DOE on how the analysis is to be done.
In terms of changing the rule, there might be some minor
clarifications, but in general, we believe our requirements for the
integrated safety assessment, for the performance assessment, encompass
enough that we believe that if the Department of Energy adheres to all
the things that need to be in those assessments, that it will be
properly evaluated. We will have to obviously evaluate that to ensure
We can provide guidance in other documents, such as the
IRSRs and the Yucca Mountain review plan. People looking at the IRSRs,
we've talked to scenario selection, model development, et cetera, and we
hope to give further guidance there. But in terms of the rule, we don't
believe there needs to be any significant changes there. We may clarify
In terms of the integrated safety assessment, some
commenters associated that with a very particular analysis and we did
not have a very particular analysis in mind, such as what is done for
the chemical industry. We looked on performance assessment, integrated
safety assessment as a generic description of a type of analysis that
you're looking at all these issues that we at least identify in the
regulation that need to be analyzed, and we weren't suggesting a
particular type of analysis, but more or less these are the topics that
need to be considered.
How best to do that, the Department is free to how best to
analyze these things. So we weren't suggesting that, say, an integrated
safety analysis is exactly the same kind of analysis that the chemical
industry does, for example.
Can NRC clarify the scope for what's required for category
one and two design basis events, and generally the Department of Energy
provided comments in this area. I think we do need to clarify and will
have to clarify in the Federal Register notice exactly how these design
basis events are to be evaluated.
For example, what the Department suggested, and I think it
went along with our thinking, not necessarily could you read that into
what was stated in the regulation, I think we do need to make it
But what their comment was for, say, design basis event,
category two design basis event, rare things that happen infrequently,
do they have to analyze them and group them all together or are they
analyzd a single events and compared to the dose limit.
We believe the latter. You analyze them as single events
and you compare the dose -- compare the estimated dose to the dose
limit. Likewise, they said that they intended to aggregate all the
category one events. These are the things that happen frequently.
So you look at, in the course of a year, all the things that
could happen in that year would be aggregated and you would have a sum
dose due to all the category one events that are likely to occur in a
single year and you analyze that dose. They would not be done on
isolated event basis.
So that I think we need to clarify. So you will see
something, I believe, in the change there.
One thing in terms of the design basis event probabilities.
There was a question raised whether it was the initiating event
probability or the entire sequence.
Although we believe we did make statements in the rule that
it was the event sequence we were interested in, there is no question
that we could make it clearer that the probability of a category one or
category two design basis event is the probability of the event
sequence, and we will clarify that in the regulation.
There are a few places in the definitions that we could have
made that more explicit.
DR. GARRICK: Is the concept of a design basis confusing the
issue? Did you get any comment on that?
MR. McCARTIN: No. Actually no. But I will say, most of
the design basis event questions, comments, came from the Department of
Energy. Not too surprising. They're the ones that have to implement
I think when we look back, we could have done a better job
in making it clearer exactly what was required. The Department also
asked, in terms of reg guides that have been developed with regard to
other applications, what kind of precedent would they have for setting
design basis events for the repository.
At this time, we think -- and the discussions are still
going on, I might add, but this would be considered on a case-by-case
basis. It's very difficult to say whether something done for a reactor,
how it would apply to an underground potentially accident at Yucca
So we certainly would look at it, but we can't give a
blanket statement that we would necessarily adopt every reg guide or
everything set up for design basis events for other applications. Right
now, I think it's a case-by-case basis.
There were a lot of comments on the thermal limit. I think
it might be a tribute to the internet, in that there was a lot of
e-mails going back between different groups, but we did get a lot of
comments on requesting a thermal limit.
Right now, we realize that the thermal effects, both pre and
post-closure, will need to be evaluated by the Department of Energy. It
is possible at a later date that we could put a license condition on the
thermal limit if the uncertainties were so great that felt it necessary.
Right now, we're not contemplating that, but that is -- there is always
the possibility of placing a license condition, but right now most of
the comments siad we needed to have a thermal limit, with no
There were a few that pointed to the great uncertainties as
the TRB has talked about, a cool repository would have less
uncertainties and it might be wise to go to that. But there were a
number of comments on that.
Continuing in the broad category of safety analyses, there
is a question, if one looks a the rule for performance confirmation,
there are some prescriptive requirements that people commented were not
consistent with a performance-based approach in other parts of the rule.
We're looking at that and I think there is some merit to
what people said and we're looking at those requirements and as needed,
anything inappropriate we will look to remove from the regulation, where
we really don't need that level of detail of specification.
Why does NRC require DOE to evaluate alternative repository
designs? That was a question by the Department. They are required to
evaluate different designs.
Right now, that's under discussion. The original thinking
that we lose something that actually was in Part 60, that came over into
Part 63. Part of the thinking there at the time was that we wanted to
see an evaluation of different designs, if there were some designs that,
even though met the dose limit, if there were some designs that
significantly improved performance, didn't cost a lot, well, maybe it
would be prudent to include that, even though it isn't necessary to show
That was the thinking why that's there. It wasn't an
attempt to try to put DOE through more and more hoops, but we are
looking at that provision and right now it's under discussion.
MS. KOTRA: Tim, if I might add, on the last bullet, with
regard to performance confirmation. I think one of the areas where we
may address that is in the statement of consideration to explain more
crisply and with more clarity what performance confirmation is supposed
to accomplish and that if that objective is well defined, then the
prescriptive details are not as necessary.
But it's not that we're just going to remove them wholesale.
It's going to be after careful consideration and a better description of
what the NRC expects or the NRC staff expects performance confirmation
DR. GARRICK: I would also assume that the last bullet,
having to do with alternative repository designs there, the extent to
which that is an issue would depend on the level of detail that you
would want the alternatives.
MR. McCARTIN: Sure. Yes.
DR. GARRICK: And I could see where it could get quite out
MR. McCARTIN: Yes. That's the one thing I will say we got
a lot of very good comments that it only takes a few words here or there
in a requirement and are you creating mischief or are you helping your
overall intent of what you're trying to accomplish, and this is one of
those that I think we need to clarify what's intended, so that mischief
DR. GARRICK: On the other hand, I can also see the view
that one of the most basic tenets of decision analysis is the
consideration of alternatives and I think that from a public
perspective, one of the criticisms that they often offer is that there
are no alternatives and that DOE and the regulator are simply trying to
push a specific concept, without consideration of alternatives.
So I can see it going either way, but it seems that the key
here is how it's managed.
MR. McCARTIN: Right, exactly. And as you pointed out, what
level of detail of analysis are we expecting, and that, I have to say,
in the regulation, there isn't any clear statement as to, yes, you have
to evaluate alternatives, but to what level of detail, et cetera.
DR. HORNBERGER: Are there any parallels? That is, are
there requirements in anything for reactors to evaluate alternative
MR. McCARTIN: That I don't know. It's worth checking,
we'll have to do that, yes.
In terms of the individual protection limit, there are a
number of comments. We got some on the compliance period with regard to
setting it at 10,000 years. The staff, while there were comments raised
to lengthen the compliance period, we still believe that the 10,000
years is appropriate for -- based on some of the technical reasons we
put forward in the statements of consideration and policy
One of the things that we got too smart for ourselves, I
guess, does expected dose equate to the mean dose, and I guess we really
did ourselves an injustice by using expected dose and it got
misinterpreted by various people and I think we need to clarify that in
the new rule, and we'll just use a mean dose, which is much more readily
understood by people.
Why did NRC select a dose limit of 25 millirem? Well, we
believe it's protective of health and safety, consistent with the NAS in
terms of a starting point, and there are international and national
practices that have a similar dose limit and it's consistent with how we
regulate other things at NRC.
A lot of this, most people wanted to see a 15 millirem
standard, consistent with what, at that time, was the WIPP standard.
Is the dose limit protective of children? We still feel
that the 25 millirem limit was selected based on what's appropriate for
a lifetime exposure, 25 millirems every year. So we feel that that is
-- in using that, a lifetime dose limit to pull out the annual limit is
sufficiently protective of children. It also, by using the critical
group, where we're identifying those people expected to receive the
highest doses, it is protective of children and other sensitive segments
of the population, because it's looking at a lifetime.
Obviously, the child does not remain a child for his entire
MS. KOTRA: Tim, Janet Kotra, again, from Division of Waste
Management. I just wanted to take this opportunity at this point. This
is probably one of the best examples we have of where our public
meetings have served us very well in pointing out areas where we've not
explained ourselves in plain English, and we've taken the opportunity to
sharpen up our explanation of how the dose limit and the basis for
selection of a dose limit which has been made throughout NRC programs
does take into account protection of individuals at all ages and
But we do need an awful lot more work at explaining what's
in the regulation, not just in this area, but in others, and we are
going to be working to do that as we shape mostly the language
accompanying the additional -- supplemental information accompanying the
final rule, but, where necessary, also perhaps language changes in the
But I think the problem here that became very evident in a
number of public meetings is that we hadn't done a very good job of
explaining the basis for what we were doing in a way that people could
understand, and I think we're going to try a lot harder to do that in
the final rule package.
MR. McCARTIN: Has NRC used cautious and reasonable
assumptions about the characteristics of the critical group? We
certainly got comments suggesting that we should do a subsistence
farmer, for example.
Other comments saying that they felt our approach was
appropriate. We believe that we have the location and the diet of the
critical group, have been based on cautious and reasonable assumptions,
looking at the characteristics of the Yucca Mountain site, farming
practices in the southwest of the United States.
However, having said that, we are continuing to look at the
basis for these assumptions and their impact on the dose estimates, and
we did not get much in the way of additional information in the
comments. People wanted, say, a subsistence farmer. There wasn't a lot
of basis for, well, why should I go to a subsistence farmer. So we
still feel we're cautious.
We are looking, continuing to look at different closer-in
locations, different sensitivities, as Janet pointed out, based on some
of the comments we heard about doses to children. We are improving the
TPA code to look at doses to other groups, such as children, to get a
better understanding of what the impacts are on these other groups.
So we will continue to look at it, but we still believe
right now the approach is cautious and reasonable.
DR. HORNBERGER: Tim, I don't think I understood what you
just said. I didn't realize the TPA code carried on beyond calculated
doses. You're telling me that TPA now you're evaluating responses,
you're doing -- using a dose response curve?
MR. McCARTIN: No. Well, we're -- we can put in the dose
conversion factors for a child and get the dose to an infant for a given
year for an exposure of X, and we're trying to actually -- one of the
improvements for the TPA code, it has been a single dose, set of dose
conversion factors, and we're looking to make that more stochastic and
include a range of things, but also being able to target, well, what
would the dose this year be to a child.
So just to get a better sense, once again, and hopefully we
may have some of the analytical results in responding to comments. So
we can say what the doses are, because generally the -- it's a fairly
complicated process, because the child has less intake, more sensitivity
to some nuclides. So there is this balance and the calculations we've
seen to date, the doses are not that different. Maybe a factor of two
to three times higher for the child.
We got a number of comments on the absence of separate
ground water protection criteria. People pointing to WIPP, et cetera.
The NRC still believes that the all pathway individual
protection limit for radiation protects individuals. It treats all
organs on an equal basis. It ensures a consistent level of protection
and we don't see changing this. Obviously, if a final EPA standard has
ground water protection in it, we will amend our regulations, but we
believe the -- we will once again reemphasize in our responses that the
individual all pathway limit does look at the ground water pathway and
it ensures that it is protective to the limit of the individual
Here's my easy slide. Multiple barriers. Easy because I'm
going to pass it off. What's required to demonstrate that the
repository is comprised of multiple barriers? Generally, we will
provide more clarity on this requirement. Christiana Lui will talk
later after me, discussing where the staff is at this particular time.
So I won't talk to that at all. That's why it's easy.
In terms of the additional requirements, when I spoke before
of why did NRC go out when they did with the regulation, some of these
additional requirements are all things that a lot of them are NRC's job
exclusively. We needed to get feedback on some of these things and get
that part of the regulation in place, and they're not that dependent on
So for example, retrievability, we got comments. There is a
requirement for retrievability for the plants. We got comments that DOE
should have to demonstrate that they can retrieve things consistent with
their plan. Right now, that's under discussion, a comment we received.
Probably the biggest surprise, at least to me, in the public
comments was on human intrusion. We got far more comments on human
intrusion than I would have imagined. I would say if there was one
single lightning rod in Part 63 for public comment, it was human
Should NRC -- should we prescribe a more realistic approach
to the stylized calculation for human intrusion? We got a number of
comments to the effect that it was impossible for someone to
inadvertently drill through a C22 container at 100 years. So that
should not be there. The probability of that is zero. You should
prescribe something else, a later time, per chance.
W also got comments that, well, gee, why not -- if it can do
it in 100 years, it should be every 100 years drill another bore hole
all the way to 10,000 years, and every 100 years you have another
penetration by a drilling event.
So we got a lot of comments, probably, I'll say, I believe
DOE and NEI were commenters that questioned the logic behind what we
were requiring and I think there were a lot of very good comments made.
We are looking into that at this time. There were -- I
don't know if there were many things misunderstood, but people were
questioning the stylized calculation, how we would use it in estimating
compliance, et cetera. We need to go back and look at that.
Some of the things we're doing, the center, the
metallurgists and the hydrologists are looking at well drilling
practices, what would be the type of drilling event interacting with a
container of C22. So technically we want to examine some of the
questions that we were called on, was this could not happen.
Well, they're looking into that to see technically using
current drilling practices, et cetera. One thing I believe was
misunderstood. Some people interpreted that we would put waste down to
the saturated zone. We thought we had excluded that by saying that use
standard drilling practices. We felt that standard drilling practices,
drill cuttings went up to the surface, not down.
So by that clause, we thought we weren't putting waste down
to the saturated zone. However, people misinterpreted that. At a
minimum, we would certainly clarify that in the regulation. But there
were a lot of discussions with respect to the human intrusion
calculation. Like I said, we really got a lot of comments on that and
some of them have really caused us to think a little harder.
Will NRC require that DOE provide funding to local
communities to enhance emergency preparedness? Some of these comments
came from our public meetings, as Janet pointed to. The public meetings
were very, very useful, I think.
Communities, such as Caliente, there was concern that if
there's a transportation accident and we have to respond to a radiation
accident, we are not prepared; what happens. And the question is, is
DOE going to provide funding to enhance the capability for these
communities near Yucca Mountain, so that they are ready to respond to a
radiation accident. Right now, that's under discussion, but there were
a number of -- the communities that aren't necessarily affected by
releases from Yucca Mountain itself, but the transportation to Yucca
Mountain, there was a lot of concern.
We're going to see a lot of traffic through here of a lot of
high level waste, and what happens if an accident occurs.
MS. KOTRA: Tim, can I supplement that a little bit? I just
came from a meeting yesterday where issues of transportation of --
safety of transportation were discussed, and I think that this is a very
important issue and we got a lot of comment from corridor communities.
We certainly, as Tim indicated, got a lot of concern
expressed in very concrete terms in our meeting in Caliente. But to the
extent that we determine that this is a requirement that would go beyond
what we would logically include in the emergency plan for the operation
of the repository, we will be discussing with the Spent Fuel Project
Office other mechanisms whereby we can address these concerns for
transportation corridors generally.
In my mind, there is some limitation to what you would put
in Part 63 and what would be a general transportation issue, and I think
we need to be discussing that. So this is very much a work in progress,
as Tim indicated at the beginning of his talk.
MR. McCARTIN: Quality assurance was also brought up and
there were issues of how will ensure that DOE maintains an appropriate
quality assurance program.
The quality assurance requirements are being revised as the
agency is making some overall general changes in quality assurance and
we will revise Part 63 consistent with that.
As necessary, we will provide some clarifying language on
what's required of QA, so that DOE implements the QA requirements
The other side of it is that we will certainly provide
people -- part of the response to public comments is giving further
information that the NRC does conduct observation audits and
surveillance and we will be inspecting the repository to ensure the QA
program is implemented appropriately.
How will DOE document decision-making as new information is
obtained? That was the people were worried that DOE could make changes
and not document it if the level of importance wasn't high enough, and I
think we need to -- we'll be clarifying the intent on changes, tests and
experiments consistent with how the agency is looking at that issue, and
tailoring it to an application to Yucca Mountain.
In terms of the regulatory process, even though we did not
specifically ask for comments on the hearing process, merely let people
know that there was an effort within the Commission looking at the
hearing process, we did get comments on that.
There were comments both ways. Some people felt we should
stay with an adjudicatory hearing. Some people felt the hearing
process, a more informal approach was more appropriate.
However, I will say on both sides, even though people we
were suggesting different hearing -- a different hearing process, they
all wanted -- they were suggesting the one they -- their recommendation
was for the process they believe would be most amenable to presenting
information and making clear to the public that all the issues were
So their goals were exactly the same, but they had a
different take on what process would allow that. Right now, as you
know, the Commission is still considering that and we will incorporate
things into the rule, but that would require obviously changing the
hearing process is a Part 2 change and that's done at the Commission
In terms of the multi-stage licensing, should NRC allow DOE
to receive waste prior to completion of the construction, and
there were many aspects of the multi-stage licensing that people brought
up very good points.
Part of it was some people believe until everything is
completely done, we should not allow them to receive waste. There were
also questions of at what stage, what kind of information do you want to
see with respect to confirming post-closure performance. They felt that
should be made clear.
When you grant a construction authorization, what level of
information do you need for post-closure performance versus the license
determining. So when you have the multi-stage license, there was
concern that we would require everything at the construction
authorization, but if not, what's the level across those three, the
different stages of the licensing. That's something under discussion.
DR. HORNBERGER: Tim, that means that the suggestion --
prior to completion of construction, that would mean every single one of
the mine drifts would be completed and the tunnel boring machines would
all be out and that's when the licensee could receive waste? Is that
what is meant by that question?
MR. McCARTIN: Well, in the regulation, it's the surface
facilities. So the regulation states, and I won't say I'm quoting it,
but in spirit, it's when the surface facilities are substantially
complete, they can apply for a license to receive waste.
And there were comments that people -- they felt they should
be -- everything should be completed on the surface facilities prior to
DR. GARRICK: Is the point here to prevent the surface
facilities from being an interim storage facility?
MR. McCARTIN: Generally, I think the tenor of the comments
in this regard were more that there was a concern that safety of
operations was compromised, rather than say, well, you just want to get
the waste there and then you're going to -- it will be a done deal once
the waste is there.
As I read the comments, it was more that what do you mean
you're not going to have everything in place; you won't be able to
safely handle this if it's not totally complete.
But in addition to that, I mean, I'm grouping a lot of things under here
and let me say I think that also very challenging was let's say if you
look at three big segments of the high level waste repository, the
construction authorization, a license to receive and emplace waste, and
the amendment to close the repository, at those three stages, what kind
of information do we -- what level of analyses do we expect for the
I think it was a very interesting comment, that certainly
there will have to be a complete license application at construction
authorization, but how much information do you allow to gather, and it
gets to performance confirmation.
There's some very difficult and important concepts that I
think we're wrestling with right now and how best to express that.
As Janet noted, we got a lot of comments on transportation
and there were questions as to how will NRC ensure the safe
transportation of radioactive waste to Yucca Mountain, especially from
some of the surrounding communities that will see the highest volume of
Right now, we are not looking to change or add any
requirements in Part 63 for transportation. They're handled by other
parts of NRC's regulations. We will provide, in terms of responding to
the comments, we will provide a summary of what NRC does for
transportation regulations, to give them a sense of how it's being
protected, but there would be no changes to Part 63 at this time.
A number of people questioned the selection of the Yucca
Mountain site, saying why should we consider Yucca Mountain, and
generally the Energy Policy Act identifies Yucca Mountain as the sole
site to be characterized, and we will certainly respond to those, but a
lot of people did not want us to be considering Yucca Mountain.
That's it for the main points on the rule. In terms of --
and I don't know, I'm assuming the committee has copies of our comments
on the EPA standard. If not, we can certainly get you a copy.
But in terms of the three big comments that we provided to
the EPA, first and foremost, we objected to the inclusion of a separate
ground water protection requirements, because these requirements result
in non-uniform risk levels, are a misapplication of the MCLs, and far
exceed what's needed for public health and safety.
We tried to illustrate our point by converting things into
risk rather than getting into the -- we've always felt that it gets very
difficult to explain when you talk about 15 pico curies per liter, four
millirems for beta photon emitters. It gets cumbersome very quickly.
Let's turn it all into risk and see what we have, and if we
look at the health risk from neptunium, at its MCL, the health risk is
approximately three-times-ten-to-the-minus-five per year. Whereas
iodine-129, at its MCL, is seven-times-ten-to-the-minus-eighth per year,
approximately 400 times more restrictive.
Then if we look at the health risks of the 15 millirem
standard, it's nine-times-ten-to-the-minus-six per year. So you can see
you really have a range of different things. One of the problems with
the MCLs, as we see it, for iodine, the health risk is so far below the
individual protection limit that the individual protection limit is
essentially meaningless. The repository will rise and fall on the
health risk of iodine-129 at a ten-to-the-minus-eighth risk level.
As you can see, approximately three orders of magnitude
range and risk levels by these three numbers, you get just a wide
variety of risk. It's hard to explain to the public what you're
protecting, how you're protecting, et cetera. It becomes very
DR. HORNBERGER: Tim, was it also pointed out that -- Milt
suggested yesterday or pointed out yesterday that iodine, it may be a
health risk, but it's not a risk of a latent fatal cancer. It's
MR. LEVENSON: The majority of thyroid cancers appear to be
curable and, therefore, the difference here is not a couple orders of
magnitude, it may be four orders of magnitude for fatalities.
MR. McCARTIN: Well, that is actually taken into account in
this risk level, in that the MCL for iodine is four millirem to any
So if you look at -- this risk number takes into account
four millirem to the thyroid and then we would weight it by its
weighting factor of .03, primarily because of its resiliency to dose.
So it does account for the weighting factor.
Now, I don't know if that's --
MR. LEVENSON: Well, in the letter itself, that isn't clear
at all, because it identifies fatal cancers from neptunium and fatal
cancers from iodine-129, and they're certainly not on a comparable
MR. McCARTIN: Well, the weighting factor does that. It
takes the --
MR. LEVENSON: That's not obvious, that it was used.
MR. McCARTIN: Okay. But that's how we got -- that's why
the risk number is so low. It's four millirem times .03, the weighting
factor to put it on a fatal cancer, equate it the same.
DR. GARRICK: What this also suggests is that depending on
the species, you could be in compliance with the four millirem
requirement at a much higher dose than 15 millirem or 25 millirem even
MR. McCARTIN: Yes.
DR. GARRICK: So depending on the species, you might even
have 100 or 300 millirem and be in compliance with the ground water
standard. So it works both ways in terms of --
MR. McCARTIN: No, it works against you in terms of that.
In terms of neptunium, you actually are allowed a higher dose limit, but
the four millirem to the thyroid is really in terms of -- if you turn it
into TEDE, it's actually you multiply that by .03, you're limited to .12
millirem TEDE to the thyroid, and that's why the health risk of iodine
is so low.
DR. GARRICK: But my only point is if indeed you do focus on
the ground water standard, you get a swing in the all pathways. You can
get a swing in the all pathways dose, depending on the species that
you're working with.
MR. McCARTIN: I'm not sure --
DR. GARRICK: We can talk about that.
MR. McCARTIN: Okay. There were a number of portions of the
proposed standard that addressed technical matters of compliance,
determination and implementation, and we feel those are NRC's job and
they should not be in the standard, and there were a number of things
that we pointed to, reasonable expectation versus reasonable assurance.
They said that we could not use reasonable assurance, we had to use
It's a matter of implementation, how we judge what's
appropriate for the standard. Specification of the reasonably and
maximally exposed individual, once again, is getting at what are you
going to use to do the calculation of whether you've met the standard or
We believe specification of an RMEI is inappropriate to the
standard. We have used, as people know, the average member of the
critical group, consistent with the NAS. Specification of the stylized
calculation of human intrusion, they specified a calculation. We also
believe that that's a matter of implementation, not the standard.
The last two ticks, they asked for comment on whether they
should include assurance requirements. We believe that's appropriate to
NRC, not to the EPA, and, in fact, some of the assurance requirements
they asked for comment on of whether they should include it are required
by NRC by law. The authority for them are given to us.
And inclusion of the requirements for the use of expert
opinion, how we would use expert opinion in the licensing hearing we
believe is a matter for NRC.
For some of these, I will say we aren't necessarily
disagreeing with what EPA put in there in some cases; however, it does
not belong in the standard, it belongs in NRC's implementing regulation.
And finally, we object to the 15 millirem individual dose
limit from all pathways. We believe a 25 millirem limit is sufficiently
protective of public health and safety.
With that, I'd be happy to answer any questions.
DR. GARRICK: Thanks, Tim. Ray, you got any questions?
DR. WYMER: I've got a comment. As you know, the ACNW has
taken an interest in communication recently and for quite a while, and
one of the things that we have heard at some of the meetings we've held
is the feeling of impotence on the part of the public that what they say
doesn't make any difference.
You've just pointed out a number of examples where it looks
like it will make a difference. It seems to me that in the interest of
communication, which is the Commissioners have taken up pretty
aggressively now, you might want to work a little harder somehow at
pointing out to the public that you are accommodating this Part 63 to
the input. Maybe you are already planning to do that.
MR. McCARTIN: That's a good point and I'd have to say that
as a staff, we've grown quite a bit over the five public meetings we've
had in Las Vegas and they, I think, help us quite a bit. When we first
went out there, I think for most of us, we had never talked in a public
forum to that. We talked to scientific bodies, technical meetings, and
there's a different way to communicate, a different way to explain
things, and we've learned.
I think the participation has gotten better over those five
meetings. We would like to continue that, because we certainly wanted
people to feel that we're there to protect them. That's our role.
You're right, part of the responses to the public comments we hope were
-- we have not thrown out any comment we have received and we will
provide some type of written response in the Federal Register notice of
how we dealt with it.
We do have planned, there is no date as yet, that when the
rule is finalized, to go back out to Nevada and explain, at least give
people, okay, here's what we did and here is why, and explain things for
them, and I think that would go along the lines as you're suggesting.
I think, from a personal standpoint, probably the first
couple of public meetings were a bit hard, fairly stressful for us. I
think by the fourth and fifth meetings, they actually were enjoyable and
I think we learned a lot from those meetings. I know our management is
interested in keeping the dialogue going, because there's things you
hear that sometimes we're just too close to what were doing here.
I'll give one simple example, expected dose. We had
blinders on. Everyone is going to know that. Well, no. And it carried
the wrong meaning, and little things like that, I think, go a long way
to improving the rule and proving our intent.
DR. WYMER: One other point. If you'd stop kicking the cat
in frustration over Part 63, you probably wouldn't hurt your foot.
DR. GARRICK: George?
DR. HORNBERGER: No.
DR. GARRICK: Milt?
MR. LEVENSON: I've got a couple of questions or comments.
On your slide 11, on the question of will NRC require DOE provide
funding to local communities to enhance emergency preparedness, the
question I have is this is really much broader a generic issue than
shipping stuff to Yucca Mountain.
I mean, even the stuff going to Yucca Mountain, the most
likely accident is a shipping truck accident without radioactive
consequences. To be equivalent to other things, are other industries
being required, gasoline trucks are going through the communities, are
they going to have to fund emergency preparedness? I don't see what's
particularly unique about the hazards here, and I wondered, as part of
the discussion, whether that general matter has been discussed.
Some of those communities, for instance, have no hospitals,
have no medical facilities at all and sure they need them, but how is
this all put in perspective?
MR. McCARTIN: As noted on the slide, it was a very real
concern that we heard both in writing and at public meetings about we
aren't ready for a radiation accident and the fear that it would happen
and they wouldn't be prepared is real.
What we are going to do, as Janet alluded to, are we looking
at changing our rule to require funding. There are many implications
under that concern.
Right now, we have not gone very far at all in discussing
it, but we have to weigh a lot of things and the one thing I think is
fair to say, these people deserve an answer to that question and part of
it could allude to what's done for other industries and what types of
accidents are expected, et cetera.
But the question we feel is a legitimate one. The fear is
out there in the communities. I think the only way to deal with that is
to give an answer to that.
MR. LEVENSON: I agree that people need an answer. The
point is will the answer identify that the radioactive part of this is
only an incremental increase in the risk from the shipping accidents, et
cetera, to put it all in perspective.
MR. McCARTIN: Well, I'd like to give you a more concrete
answer. At this time, it's work in progress and this is one of those
areas where we have not gone very far at all.
MS. KOTRA: Might I add here that at a very minimum, the
emergency planning requirements for a repository will be no less
stringent than what we would require for any other fuel cycle facility
of appropriate to the risks involved, and that includes a careful and
deliberate assessment of the risks and all of the nuclear facilities
that the NRC regulates, at least the large ones, have to prepare an
And the requirements for that, which were held in abeyance
in the old Part 60, we have proposed in the new Part 63 to be comparable
to those that are required for MRS and storage facilities.
Now, in those instances, and as for reactors, our licensees
are expected to assure, through their plan, that there are facilities
and capabilities in the community to address a radiological emergency,
irrespective of that community's ability to handle other emergencies.
So I think at a minimum, I think it's safe to say that it is
incumbent upon us to require of the repository that adequate emergency
Now, what I was speaking to earlier was how far beyond that
along the transportation corridor NRC will consider in view of the
strong comments that we received, and I think that's very much under
But I think the fact that there will be requirements for an
emergency plan for the repository is not news. It's comparable to what
we require for the large facilities that handle and manipulate fuel.
MR. LEVENSON: And I think the people along the shipping
corridor don't care about what you're doing at the facility. They want
to know about them.
On page 13, you say how will NRC ensure safe transportation
of radioactive waste and the answer is a brief summary of the NRC
I think for the public, that's no answer at all. The reason
being, the public really doesn't understand the limited role of NRC in
this versus the role of DOT versus the states, and I know in the public
meeting that we had in Nevada, that kind of an answer will really
antagonize the public.
You need to communicate to them the fact that NRC is
responsible for only a piece of that.
MR. McCARTIN: I think that would be part of our -- when we
talk about our regulations, at least allude to how they mesh with other
parts of the U.S. Government, like DOT, et cetera. Yes. But there's a
lot under there, because people ask questions of us, the local
communities wanted some say in terms of the route selection.
So there's a lot of issues under there that we'll try to get
forward. Some communities, obviously enough, distrusted the state,
saying that, yeah, we're not a transportation route yet and we don't
have good roads, but we know the state is going to move it away from
this county over to us, and we're worried that, at the last minute,
they're going to make that change. We want a say in those routes.
So there's more than just the regulations there, but I do
think we have to talk to -- how transportation in general, that's a good
point, is protected.
DR. GARRICK: One of the factors that came out of the public
meetings, of course, is this whole issue of building public confidence
and public trust, and I'm just curious. When you talk about additional
requirements, as you did on Exhibit 11, how will NRC ensure DOE
maintains an appropriate quality assurance program, how will DOE
document decision-making as new information is obtained and these kind
Is there any evidence on the basis of DOE going beyond
specific requirements or legal compliance that would enhance public
confidence on some of these kinds of issues?
I guess what I'm thinking of is that there is now an
operating repository. DOE is the applicant, so to speak, and while it's
not NRC-regulated, it is regulated.
I guess the question then is, is there any evidence at this
early date from that operation that would contribute to a building of
public confidence in some of these specific areas?
The one thing that builds confidence is to do more than
you're asked to do or to do more than is legally required. I think that
in most regulated activities, applicants at least make the claim that
they do a lot more than what is required by the regulations, in the
interest of safety or in the interest of performance.
Is there any merit in looking at that issue in the context
of WIPP operations, for example?
MR. McCARTIN: In terms of trying to transfer some of the
things they did right to --
DR. GARRICK: Going back to the underlying problem here
being public trust, public confidence. Of course, the way you deal with
public trust and public confidence is with evidence, and that a good job
is being done and that the applicant knows how to run a repository, et
This whole issue, for example, of information and how it's
used as it's accumulated is still an issue at WIPP, because one of the
issues there is what can be done during operation that would enhance our
confidence in the long-term performance of the repository.
All I'm getting at is some specific examples are much better
than a lot of talk and discussion.
MR. McCARTIN: Yes.
DR. GARRICK: And is there any tracking going on by the NRC,
even though it's not an NRC-regulated facility, of activities there that
might have relevance to your decision-making process?
MR. McCARTIN: We certainly follow WIPP to a limited extent.
Off the top of my head, I guess I can't give you any specific examples,
but it would be interesting to look at some of the things that are going
on there and try to transfer -- I'm just thinking even in some of our
responses in terms of how will we ensure DOE, we could maybe point to
some examples at WIPP, DOE did this, we might expect them to do a
similar kind of --
DR. GARRICK: See, the emphasis in the regulatory process
has always been on the post-closure activity, and that's understandable
when you're talking about a 10,000-year compliance period.
But on the other hand, we're also talking about facilities
that are going to have pre-closure operations much longer than anything
that the NRC has ever licensed in the past.
So it seems that there is an opportunity there to do some
things that would enhance our ability to reduce the uncertainties in the
long-term performance or to increase confidence and what have you.
So that's the only point I'm making, is the NRC taking more
than a casual interest in WIPP in respect to that point. It sounds like
the answer is you're taking an interest, but it's not disciplined or
deliberate or systematic.
MR. McCARTIN: Right. But the only thing, at least in terms
of the pre-closure activities, we believe we're drawing upon a lot of
the requirements and what would be done, we believe, would be drawn upon
fuel handling facilities that the NRC has regulated.
In terms of moving spent fuel, there's a lot of experience
in terms of that and so we certainly can draw upon that experience base
in terms of the pre-closure aspect.
DR. GARRICK: Okay. Any other questions? Staff? Yes, go
MS. DEERING: Thank you. Tim, I had a question about the
location of the critical group. One of the public meetings that I
attended, there were individuals that were challenging NRC's assumptions
about drilling technology, whether it was economically feasible to drill
deeper than 100 meters, which was the basis for the location.
Do you expect that -- at the time of the meeting, you all
seemed pretty impressed with that information coming in. Do you think
that's going to weigh in at all on any decisions you make?
MR. McCARTIN: We still have not seen any significant
information that says for the type of minimal farming that goes on, that
people would pump from much beyond the 100 meters that we have at the 20
It does get to be expensive, if you have to pull up a large
amount of water, the energy, et cetera, for a minimal type crop, like
alfalfa. You're right, people said, well, I could still do it if I had
to. Well, that's true. I mean, there's nothing to preclude someone
from pumping from 200 meters.
But in terms of the economics of farming, it does get to be
a bit questionable. And in terms of cautious and reasonable, we have
never said it's impossible and could someone go in -- just a single
household, not farming, and live, you can pay a lot more for a limited
amount of water than if you're trying to put, say, five feet of water on
an alfalfa field.
But we didn't get a lot -- we have not -- we continue to
look at farming practices within the southwest, arid, similar arid-type
environments, and we have not seen enough information to come in to
suggest that farming would be limited, significantly limited as you
started getting to water tables 100 meters or deeper.
DR. GARRICK: Andy?
DR. CAMPBELL: This is follow-up to John's question about
following WIPP. To what extent are you guys involved with or following
the updated modal study? The transportation risks to spent fuel casks,
MR. McCARTIN: We're in discussions with the Spent Fuel
Office and we're allowing them to -- obviously, Division of Waste
Management, we want to be aware of it, but we are going to let those
people handle the transportation questions, et cetera, and has Janet has
something she wants to add.
MS. KOTRA: Yes. I attended the Washington meeting
yesterday, where the Spent Fuel Project Office held a very large and, I
think, very successful roundtable discussion, getting public input on
the structure of the updated modal study. They'll be holding additional
public meetings in Henderson, Nevada and in Pahrump. I'll be attending
those meetings as an observer and will be keeping fairly close eye on
what information comes from those meetings.
But they're in a preliminary stage of that and the final
product, as I heard yesterday, will not be in place until probably 2003.
So we're kind of at a point now of observing their progress,
but as Tim indicated at the beginning of his presentation, we have a
deadline imposed by the Commission of this coming March.
So if there are some suggestions you would have as to how we
could incorporate that information in a timely way, I'd certainly be
interested in hearing it. But I'm not sure, other than just being aware
of what's going on and participating to the extent of any comments that
would come up that would affect Part 63, which is my main intent, I'm
not sure what else we can do at this time.
DR. GARRICK: I think we want to move on now. Thanks very
much, Tim, and we'll hear from Christiana later. But I think right now
we want to hear from Mr. Bernero, in the context of a public comment,
and I have indicated to Bob that he has the 15 minutes that's needed to
cover what he has to say.
MR. BERNERO: Thank you very much for the opportunity. For
those of you who don't know me, I am Bob Bernero, formerly of the
Director of Nuclear Materials Safety and Safeguards here at NRC.
I just -- these comments -- I filed comments last May or
sometime like that on Part 63, but I had the pleasure of participating
in the international workshop that the National Academy of Science just
held in Irvine a little over a week ago, and that prompted me to seek
Now, my comments are directed toward the decision process
for Part 63 or for high level waste licensing. They are just an
amplification really of my previous comments that I filed. The reason
the international workshop prompts it is I think there are certain
matters of consensus that are quite clear.
Deep geologic disposal is internationally recognized as the
logical solution. There are questions in some nations, Belgium, for
instance, that they don't have much ground under them, and it can be
quite limiting. But nevertheless, people are setting aside or have set
aside pretty much any other alternative.
Now, what that has done is it has led to a widespread
consensus, an international consensus on the approach to licensing or to
approving, to demonstrating a repository, and a thing I like to call a
societal pledge is another consensus.
That is, the objective is that no one in the future will
suffer radiation exposure or harm or risk from this disposal that we
would not find acceptable today, and that's just the universal fact.
You go look at anybody's standards and you will find they are trying to
Then they have great debate about when does it come out, is
10,000 years adequate or should you go to 100,000 years or something
These corollaries are important. Most people are selecting
the objective to be exposure limits that are the same as those
acceptable, permitted, licensed today. Now, that's not harmful levels
that would be clinically detectable in the human body, that would get
you way up. That's not the level that is widely tolerated in radiation
exposure from background in certain areas.
That's not the radiation level that is accepted for
radiation workers, because of its controls. This is a very low level.
It is that fraction of the tolerable exposure to the general public that
we find acceptable and, therefore, you get numbers that are so low.
Now, at the back of the handout, there is a table that I
submitted with my public comments and it just gives a radiation exposure
scale and the whole point of it is people debate in high level waste
acceptable exposures at the bottom of that ladder.
They are virtually off the scale. In fact, the four
millirem per year, even calculated with more modern or up-to-date
figures, four millirem a year was one of the candidates for below
regulatory concern, when I was here, when we had the infamous debate
about that about 1988, '89 and '90.
Now, the problem in the decision process -- this, by the
way, is the same slide I used in the National Academy workshop. The
regulator is trying to set down a framework of decision ahead of time
that is sufficiently accurate, sufficiently precise to predict in
advance how do you satisfy that pledge, that societal pledge, have you
taken into account the uncertainties, are the multiple barriers
And we're hearing from Christiana a little bit later about
some of the thoughts on that.
But everyone, all the regulators use a phrase like this;
proof, in the ordinary sense of the word, is not to be had. And, yet,
we have arguments and argument after argument about whether you have
One of my concerns is that there is an undue concern about
the compliance with regulations to be demonstrated or proven in the
Now, the Board on Radioactive Waste Management had the
workshop a little over a week ago. There was a prequel to that about
ten years ago, and many of the people in this room, I think,
participated in it, I did, the board met and the board came up with
these recommendations and basically they said you ought to have a
flexible process, you ought to deal with problems as they come, don't
pile up all the requirements at the beginning.
Well, the Yucca Mountain process or the review and
regulation process for the high level waste repository that is now Yucca
Mountain didn't follow that advice and at the time, I and many others
felt we couldn't.
Only one repository apparently could follow that advice.
That was WIPP. Because remember, at WIPP, at that time, it was not a
certified repository. It was DOE from beginning to end, it was DOE the
developer, DOE the regulator, with the long range knowledge that they
would never be allowed to operate unless they had some kind of external
So my concern that right now in 1999 there's been great
progress on site characterization. Carbon-14, which was a terrible
problem ten years ago, a really, really difficult problem, because on
its face, the NRC should have told DOE close the door. In fact, DOE
should have closed the door without being told. And yet, there was no
health risk, no threat to the public involved, and it was a very grave
What we have now is the two proposed standards, 40 CFR 197
and 10 CFR 63, and there is hot debate, as you well know. You
undoubtedly read the NRC comments on 197 and it's a repeat session of
what we've had in the past of warfare through literature.
The agencies are in hot contest with one another. They need
to resolve it. The nation needs to have resolution of that. There is a
ray of hope, if you look at it, there is perhaps a little more in common
There are the problems about who is supposed to have the
details of implementation, who sets the standard and who decides how to
implement the standard. But if you look at the terms, 10,000 years as
the time of compliance or demonstration, they both have the recognition
that, yeah, we know more comes out later, and I think the words EPA used
were you want to look at later releases to see if they have a dramatic
I think that was the word they used, dramatic. I don't know
how you deal with that, but NRC, the same, is talking about being aware
of or analyzing those releases later and having some basis of fitting
them into the evaluation.
Well, to get to the decision process, what we face today in
the current decision process, and I'll refresh your memory by going back
to the site characterization plan. I'm sorry to say that was ten years
ago and the statute doesn't have NRC approving the site characterization
plan, but it put a very powerful weapon in the NRC's hands.
It was the prerogative to review, to comment, and to object.
I remember vividly July 31, 1989, I signed a letter to DOE that objected
to the site characterization plan. That's a showstopper. It was and it
Anytime that the regulating agency can say, in effect, you
better stop now, because there's no way you'll get there from here, that
is a very serious and powerful weapon.
Now what we have in this decision process, we have a
viability assessment that was invented, it was invented about the time I
retired, because time had passed. Many, many dollars had gone past.
And DOE was trying to develop a support for their request to the
President to submit to Congress, to get to the action in here.
The present decision process has this viability assessment,
most of it issued last year or early this year, I forget the exact
timing, but the key step is the Presidential recommendation. That puts
the vote to the Congress. That's when the nation gets to decide is it
Yucca Mountain after all on a political basis.
Then there is the construction authorization, where DOE is
applying. Now, the Presidential recommendation is just that DOE feels
that they're ready to apply. The application follows later. NRC
reviews it. There's litigation. Then there's the emplacement of waste
decision years later.
DOE applies, NRC reviews for license to emplace, that's what
I call the OL, the operating license, and there's litigation opportunity
again, and then years later, there's the site closure, DOE applies, and
you go all over again.
What has happened is there has been a backup of proof
expectation not just at the end, but all the way back up even -- I have
talked to many people, people expect the TSPA/VA -- that is, the total
system performance assessment for viability assessment -- to prove that
Yucca Mountain is acceptable.
Two things that are something of a contradiction. Probative
use of probabilistic analysis is certainly not a demonstrated art, and
what is wrong is the design is evolving. The Yucca Mountain design, in
fact, we heard a little bit about it in the public comments, the
From what I gather, talking to a number of people, this is
kind of a prognosis, that Yucca Mountain is evolving to an open gallery
with no backfill, to be force ventilation cooled and to be retrievable
for many, many years. In other words, an underground MRS.
It solves a great deal of the thermal uncertainty by getting
down on that decay heat curve quite a bit and it also ensures
retrievability. This is something that I think is not reflected in the
current decision process. The proof of acceptability coming at the VA
stage, NRC can agree, there needs to be a decision process that defines
the body of information for the demonstration of acceptability, and that
needs to be phased. That needs to be scaled.
And I have a suggestion to recalibrate, and starting at the
viability assessment. The viability assessment is DOE's job. It's a
programmatic judgment on expectations. They ought to be able to do that
job and the only thing, it should be without NRC objection. NRC has
still, in its hands, that very powerful tool of objection and, of
course, there needs to be an understanding of the standard or a
reasonable expectation of what the disposal standards will be and the
For the construction authorization, it really would be
sufficient, in my mind, if there was a clear basis that Yucca Mountain
can be licensed as an MRS, as an underground MRS, without compromising
its role as a repository, and that there is a promising basis that
further work will demonstrate that the site closure can be licensed; in
other words, that ultimately it can be an acceptable repository.
Recall that reactors had construction permits and operating
licenses so that the owners wouldn't invest too much in the facility
until you saw all the details and thereby it puts you in an -- put the
regulator in an untenable backfit situation. You didn't want that
That does not fit the repository. DOE has spent, I think
the number is 5.9 billion already. That concept just doesn't fit here.
What we're dealing with is a national program where the construction
authorization, which is excavation, is really geared more toward storing
The operating license, and this would be when it begins to
receive waste, it's really the MRS. It's licensed as an MRS and there
is a strong, the very strong basis that it can ultimately be
demonstrated as a final repository, but the finding is this is safe,
without compromise, and here is further examination, research,
consideration to be done, and then closure.
Yucca Mountain would be licensed as a repository before
closure and, therefore, it would be the final action of closing the
facility, sealing the shafts, doing whatever you do to close the
I suggest that this Part 63 revision has the flexibility
within the statute to take this kind of an approach. I, of course,
recommend that the resolution of the conflict on the standard between
EPA and NRC be resolved as soon as possible. That's not something that
the committee can do, but it certainly is needed.
I thank you, and would be happy to deal with any questions.
DR. GARRICK: Sure. Thanks, Bob. Questions?
DR. HORNBERGER: Bob, I think that I could probably have an
argument with you on at least some level that what you're suggesting is
merely semantics; that the current track is every bit what you suggest
at the end de facto.
So my question is why would calling it an MRS make things go
any more smoothly than they are likely to go by not calling it an
MR. BERNERO: That's a very good point. One of the things
-- let me just put the slide back on. This is a slide I used at -- it
had a different heading, but the same slide, at California. That's
societal pledge. I've used that expression quite a few times.
I had someone, a senior person, approach me and say if we
adopt your proposed standard, referring to that, you have killed Yucca
Mountain. There is a -- what I think might be called a paranoia that I
have to prove it. I have to prove. It's not there in writing, but when
the peer panel for the TSPA/VA, they had a phrase like you cannot
predict with TSPA. Immediately, you killed Yucca Mountain.
That was the reaction. There is an expectation of proof
that is not clearly written and it can only be -- in my view, it can
only be set aside with clear language.
One of the main criticisms I had of Part 63 as proposed is
the expected value and I registered complaint about that, that expected
to a lot of people means it might be higher, it might be lower. It's
the most likely thing, and I don't think a mean is that.
It is something that demands a clear exposition, just how
far do we have to go at this stage, the next stage. That's why I say I
think this flexibility is within the existing statutes. But there's a
lot of stuff embedded in the old Part 60 which is being replaced here
that needs to be clarified and enunciated in a far better way.
DR. GARRICK: Ray?
DR. WYMER: No. Sounded excellent.
DR. GARRICK: Milt?
MR. LEVENSON: Bob, I have a question. It's not related to
your presentation, but based on your past and a lot of years of thinking
about the issues and thinking about what underlies what we're trying to
do, rather than just superficial things.
I know when dose limits were set for occupational workers,
long before there was an NRC -- in fact, we dropped the dose by a factor
of five the day after the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The crisis was over.
But one of the factors considered was not only that it was
controllable, but you were talking about a small subset of the
population. So that the matter of integrating it over the whole
population wasn't directly relevant.
In that context, where, if it's a very small part of the
population, you ought to be considering maybe a different dose, since
it's a statistical thing.
Do you care to comment on the use of a single person as
setting dose limits for a repository as opposed to general population?
MR. BERNERO: Well, in my view, the reasonable maximally
exposed individual and the average member of the critical population
group are different, but not terribly different. I think that is a
My real point in looking at an individual dose, whether it's
an individual dose as average member or reasonably maximally exposed, is
when we begin to argue about the levels of risk that are associated with
25 millirem, 15 millirem, four millirem, we're counting angels on the
head of a pin.
It is because we are consistently and carefully trying to
use the linear hypothesis and that was exactly the problem with
carbon-14. 40 CFR 191 is an ALARA standard that says this is
achievable; therefore, that's my objective, is to achieve it, that's the
bound of acceptability.
It had an individual dose limit. If only it had been
willing to say if you discover an isotope that leaks out due to
peculiarity, like carbon-14, use the individual dose limit as a measure,
that problem would have gone away. We wouldn't have the Energy Policy
Act of '92 dealing with high level waste in Yucca Mountain. We would
have saved an awful lot of grief and we would have had the same standard
in this nation for both repositories.
And individual dose, if carried to such low extremes that
are not genuine safety concerns, if we are really concerned about four
millirem a year, then we better do something about controlling air
traffic and any other number of things.
But we're not. We tolerate wide variations in background
radiation, in people receiving exposure, whether voluntarily or not,
most people don't realize what they're getting, it's that use of
individual risk or individual exposure down at such low levels that
It's as if that is -- that acceptability or unacceptability
hangs on that. How does society decide whether Yucca Mountain is
acceptable or not? It's not established. It's a process that will take
years. The same thing with WIPP and society has apparently made the
decision in WIPP successfully.
Now, you can -- certainly the political atmosphere was quite
different and the site is quite different, different waste, but I think
we've got to be very careful with the use of individual doses at these
very low levels.
DR. GARRICK: Any other comments?
MR. IBRAHIM: Bakr Ibrahim, NMSS. I got the impression from
your talk that you -- I feel that you may prefer to extend the period of
opening the repository instead the 100 year to 300 years, which can work
as an MRS. Can you comment on that?
MR. BERNERO: Having many times looked at the decay heat
curve and recognizing that when you get out to decades, it's pretty
flat, you aren't much cooler at 50 years than you are at 40 years and
certainly waiting 100 years isn't going to be all that much.
I think retrievability, controlling closure, that retrievability is a
conceptual thing. Yes, you have obvious retrievability. It's like
parking a car in a garage, you can back it right out, if you haven't
closed the galleries.
If you have this retrievability to the point where both the
thermal issue are -- you're sufficiently cool and you're sufficiently
confident of the data to proceed with closure.
So there is nothing that says that emplacement of waste has
to wait or, rather, site closure has to wait for 100 years after the
initial emplacement of waste. It could be moved forward or backward.
It's the conceptual basis of are you ready to close
galleries, and it might be easier to operate that way, to backfill
galleries in sets or something like that.
DR. GARRICK: Any other comments, questions?
MS. DEERING: What should NRC do to help resolve this
difference with EPA?
MR. BERNERO: That's a job for the Commission, in my view.
I spent many, many hours when I was at NRC working with EPA. I think
the staff has to provide substantial support with the Commission, to the
Commission, but I really think that's the leadership of EPA and the
Commission have to deal with that.
DR. GARRICK: Thank you very much.
MR. BERNERO: Thank you.
DR. GARRICK: I think what we'd like to do right now is take
a 15-minute break.
DR. GARRICK: May we come to order, please? Staff has
informed me that we have a gentleman that wants to make a few remarks,
after Christiana's presentation and perhaps later in the day, after the
EIS discussion, and that person is Mike Baughman. We will accommodate
Okay. Christiana, you have the floor.
MS. LUI: Thank you. I usually have difficulties with
microphones. I just want to make sure that I'm at the right place this
As the title implies, this is our current thinking on
multiple barriers. So this is work in progress and we welcome the
committee's input on this particular topic.
What I'm going to do here today is exactly to present you
what's the current status of the staff's work on multiple barriers.
Before I start, I would just like to mention that we
actually have a team of technical staff working on this particular topic
and the team members are Norm Eisenberg, Tim McCartin, Janet Kotra, Seth
Coplan, Keith McConnell, on the NRC staff. We also have contractor
support from the Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analysis, and Budhi
Sagar, Gordon Wittmeyer, and James Weldy are the staff who are assisting
us on this particular task.
I see that most of the people are here willing and eager to
help answering questions at a later time.
As Tim has alluded to in his presentation, that we have
received approximately 100 sets of public comments, written comments,
and staff has also held two sets of public meetings out in Nevada.
Approximately 20 commenters commented on the topic of defense-in-depth
and multiple barriers.
Also, on November 2, we held a public roundtable discussion
out in Nevada to further try to clarify the concept on defense-in-depth
of multiple barriers.
There are basically three categories of comments that we
have received. Use the approach in the old rule, that's 10 CFR Part 60.
The other category is the proposed approach in the proposed 10 CFR Part
63 is clear and good enough. The third group of comments is people feel
comfortable enough with the proposed approach in Part 63; however, there
are a few concepts and implementation issues that they would like to
have clarifications on.
The rest of the presentation will focus on the third group
of comments and, where appropriate, we will touch upon the first
category of comments; i.e., use the approach in the old rule, and, also,
where appropriate, I will mention the key points that came out of the
roundtable discussion on November 2.
What is the intent of multiple barriers? As in the
Commission's white paper on risk-informed and performance-based
regulation, defense-in-depth is an element of NRC's safety philosophy
and the multiple barriers concept is used to implement the
defense-in-depth philosophy for the repository system. In fact, it's a
way for us to evaluate the physical system of the repository.
And the next bullet, before I jump into that, I just want to
mention that performance assessment is really the tool and the means to
show compliance with the safety limit in the 10 CFR Part 63. The intent
of the performance assessment is for DOE to do as realistic as possible
and as defensible as possible analysis based on the current state of
That means all the uncertainties that are from all the
different sources DOE has collected need to be appropriately factored
into the performance assessment.
However, because of the long compliance period, we will
never know everything people would like to know; in other words, predict
exactly how the repository is going to behave. So there is this
imperfect knowledge part and we would like to use the multiple barriers
requirement to tackle that particular aspect.
So multiple barrier, as an assurance requirement, goes
beyond and above what is required in the performance assessment.
There are -- yes?
DR. GARRICK: I'm trying to distinguish the difference
between the two. You say known uncertainties are addressed in
performance assessment and then the repository is sufficient to account
for imperfect knowledge.
From my perspective, uncertainty is synonymous with
imperfect knowledge. Isn't one really a subset of the other? Why do
you distinguish between these two?
MS. LUI: Okay. It's trying to get at the question of
known/unknown a little bit. Basically, we have probability distribution
to account for what we believe we do not know or the impreciseness.
However, there may be additional pieces of information that
we have not discovered that will either widen the distribution, narrow
the distribution, or shift the distribution completely.
That's the distinction that we're trying to make here. At
least people were talking about the probability of probability.
DR. GARRICK: And I don't like that concept.
MS. LUI: I understand that. But --
DR. GARRICK: Okay. But you're grading different states of
uncertainty, is what you're really trying to do here.
MS. LUI: Yes.
DR. GARRICK: Okay. All right.
MS. LUI: And Dr. Eisenberg would like to say something,
MR. EISENBERG: I think you have to recognize that all the
uncertainties will probably not be represented in the performance
assessment. We tend to quantify many uncertainties, many of the related
parameters, and try to quantify the probability of various scenarios,
but there are other types of uncertainties which may not be represented.
So part of the idea behind defense-in-depth is to treat
those uncertainties and if they are not quantified in the performance
assessment, you need a separate consideration to look at those.
DR. GARRICK: That's good for now.
MR. LEVENSON: Could I ask? Because I'm having a little
trouble with the same wording.
MS. LUI: Okay.
MR. LEVENSON: Is what you're saying that the first bullet
is uncertainties in known phenomena and the second one is to cover
phenomena that you have not addressed?
MS. LUI: We can look at it this way, if that helps people
Okay. What is required of DOE for multiple barriers? The
current proposed Part 63 covers the first three and the last bullet.
Basically, DOE is required to incorporate all the significant negative
impacts into its performance assessment.
And DOE needs to identify the credits that they are taking
in the performance assessment or what are the barriers that they have
built into the system safety analysis.
And DOE needs to describe and quantify capabilities of the
barriers, such as what would be the waste package lifetime, because the
waste package will help prevent release, or what would be the transport
time in the saturated zone, because that would delay the arrival of the
radionuclide material to the critical group.
And what we would like to clarify or possibly add to the
final rule is DOE will need to be -- DOE will be required to perform
additional analyses to show that safety does not rely wholly dependent
on one single barrier, and I will elaborate on this point a little bit
later, what we mean by additional analysis.
And most importantly, DOE needs to provide all the technical
basis supporting its assertions, supporting the analyses that they have
We are getting into a little more detail here. How can DOE
demonstrate multiple barriers or what kind of analysis DOE would need to
do to demonstrate basically the additional calculations that I mentioned
before, what are we trying to get at?
What we are requiring or asking DOE to do is that to show
that a balance of the repository system can compensate for any single
under-performing barrier, because these are the "what if" calculations.
What if the barriers that DOE has taken credit in the performance
assessment do not behave as expected, in the negative sense, because if
the barriers perform better, the system is safer.
However, what if the barriers do not perform as expected in
the performance assessment?
There are two technical issues associated with what I just
stated. First of all, what should be the degree of barrier
under-performance. There are two different choices here. One is the
staff can prescribe the level of under-performance, for example, in
DOE's performance assessment, if it shows that over the compliance
period, one percent of the waste package will fail, whether by corrosion
or by juvenile failure or by disruptive events, staff can say, well,
under-perform the waste package, say that instead of one percent, ten
percent of the waste package will fail and show us the result.
Or we can provide DOE flexibility, let DOE decide, based on
the amount of evidence DOE has, and the level of confidence DOE has on
the barrier's performance, and there could be a whole range from just
slightly under-performing to all the way, not taking any credit for the
The staff's recommendation at this point is to use the
performance-based approach rather than prescribing what should be the
degree of under-performance. The reason being that it's consistent with
NRC's performance-based -- risk-informed and performance-based
regulatory approach and, also, if staff prescribe a particular degree of
under-performance, it's bound to be overly conservative for some and
perhaps not as prudent for the others.
We do not have basis to do that prescription at this point
The next technical issue, how should NRC evaluate the
outcome of the barrier under-performance analysis by DOE? Should we
judge that against individual protection standard or increment above the
individual protection standard, or we should not set any pre-determined
The recommendation or what staff is thinking right now is
not to set any pre-determined numerical limit, because we need to weigh
all the available evidence come license application time, and it will
also depend on the level of conservatism that DOE has built into its
performance assessment and also depend on the state of knowledge at that
particular point in time.
I'm sure that the committee will have lots of thoughts on
these two technical issues.
DR. WYMER: In that case, you're talking about a single
particular barrier, not the aggregate of the barriers.
MS. LUI: Yes. The reason that -- remember, the performance
assessment -- the condition that entering into these additional analyses
is that the performance assessment captures all the relevant phenomena
and are as realistic as possible, and if there is a combination of
barrier failure, it should have been captured in the performance
assessment. These are "what if" analyses, just to go further than
what's in the performance assessment.
DR. WYMER: My point was you're not suggesting that any
case, you're allowed to go over the prescribed limit.
MR. McCARTIN: The individual dose limit you're suggesting,
no. What Christiana was saying, we would leave that open. We're not
saying we won't set a particular value for it. One would look at -- the
Commission would have to look at the conservatisms in the analysis and
what the values are and make a determination whether indeed there are
multiple barriers. You're not relying exclusively on one value, but
there's no, at this time, we're certainly not saying that it has to meet
the 25 millirem limit.
DR. WYMER: Well, that is what you're saying.
MS. LUI: Yes.
MR. McCARTIN: It's going to be a subjective decision and
it's quite possible you could exceed 25 millirem and still show that the
system is comprised of multiple barriers.
MS. LUI: And these additional analyses are not done for
demonstrating compliance to the system safety. The performance
assessment was being held to that individual protection standard and
these are "what if" analyses, which we do not have any evidence that
these are going to happen, but we would just like to know what if these
type of phenomena happens.
Then there one other option, demonstration of the multiple
barriers, that we have heard from the public comments and also the
roundtable discussion is to specify performance for individual barriers.
In particular, the natural barriers should be the primary
barrier and engineered barriers should be secondary, primary meaning
that greater than 50 percent of the performance should come from the
natural barriers rather than the engineered barriers.
We do not recommend this particular option because the
ultimate goal is that all the components in the system work together to
protect public health and safety, rather than focusing on the individual
Another thing is if we go with this particular
recommendation, that means DOE can design a waste package that's a lot
worse than what it has presented to us now.
What we want to do is what we really emphasize here is that
we want all parts of the system to be as safe as possible. By
specifying performance for individual barriers, we will most likely
defeat that particular purpose.
Generally, what is the NRC's review? We welcome that
detailed technical evaluation of DOE's work and determine whether it's
acceptable or not. We also will perform our independent confirmatory of
the calculations to take apart DOE's analysis piece by piece to have
confidence that DOE has actually met all the requirements for
performance assessment and further the multiple barriers demonstration.
In particular, what is the NRC's evaluation of multiple
barriers? As I have stated before, the multiple barrier requirement is
an assurance requirement that built upon the performance assessments
requirement. So we will look at, in performance assessment, we will
look at the data collected and the quality of the data that has been
demonstrated by DOE, the conceptual models, the assumptions that DOE has
submitted with these license application, and what are the mathematical
models put into the performance assessment to do the safety assessment
or compliance demonstration, and results and conclusions.
So these are what's in the performance assessment portion.
To go above and beyond the performance assessment portion,
we will make sure that both the engineered and the natural barrier
contribute to system safety. As the rule is written right now, DOE is
required to have at least one natural barrier and one engineered
All the evidence that we have seen to date, we believe that
DOE will have more than one in each of the systems.
Then, of course, looking at the additional analysis
performed by DOE, DOE would have to demonstrate that the repository
system has the ability to compensate for something that we do not
believe is going to happen, but what if it happens, the system is still
In summary, in the final rule and statement of consideration
for Part 63, we will clarify the intent of the multiple barriers
requirement and we will also discuss potential methods that DOE can use
to demonstrate the multiple barriers, such as sensitivity analysis,
importance analysis. Those have already been mentioned in the statement
of consideration, but we will provide more explanation to clarify that.
Most importantly, multiple barrier is a separate
requirement. A lot of the comments that we have received seem to now
believe that multiple barrier is a separate requirement from the
performance assessment requirement. We want to emphasize that it is a
separate requirement and if DOE does not demonstrate that they have met
this particular requirement, they will not get a license.
That's the end of the prepared presentation and I'm sure
that the committee will be happy to provide input -- we'll be happy to
answer any questions that we can possibly answer at this point.
DR. GARRICK: Thank you. George?
DR. HORNBERGER: I have two questions, Christiana. First of
all, what you've described is a flexible kind of approach and as you
probably know, this committee has been on record as advocating such
flexibility from NRC.
So in general, I think that you have a sense that we would
approve of this kind of approach.
Now, the question is, on one hand, giving the license
applicant such flexibility has potential benefits. On the other hand, a
license applicant can get really nervous over not knowing exactly what's
Do you have any expectation from interactions, technical
exchanges, whatnot, with DOE as to the level to which they would be
comfortable with the approach that you're taking?
MS. LUI: During the roundtable discussion on November 2, we
basically presented this particular approach and we did not detect any
level of uncomfort from DOE. Another thing is DOE has been using the
At the beginning, they say that it's part of the multiple
barriers demonstration, but now they are shifting the emphasis to they
are using the analysis to prioritize their work.
The proposed approach here does not preclude them from using
neutralization, if that's what DOE is comfortable with. However, it
does provide latitude for DOE to go less than total neutralization,
because there is knowledge out there and total neutralization, though,
is very easy and simple to do, but it may not be too realistic, because
it almost shows that we don't really know anything about the behavior of
DR. HORNBERGER: The second question I have is by taking the
"what if" analyses outside the performance assessment, I can understand
the demonstration for multiple barriers and the potential advantage, the
difficulty, you've already pointed out the difficulties, and that is,
well, how is one going to evaluate the results.
That's the difficult bit. But by taking it outside the
performance assessment, I could see that some people might criticize it,
because what you're doing is saying, well, all right, if the drip shield
performance is degraded, then we have a demonstration that performance
is degraded by so much, and someone is going to say but what if both the
drip shield and the Paint Brush tuff or whatever is not functioning;
that is, people are going to say, well, how about all of these things
work in concert and how do we know that the appropriate analysis is to
just do one off analyses, one barrier at a time.
And if you say, well, no, we might look at multiple
barriers, then all of a sudden you're thrown back into a performance
assessment type of arena.
MS. LUI: Or the question is where do we stop.
DR. HORNBERGER: Yes.
MS. LUI: Right. We actually have thought about the one
barrier or more than one barrier issue a little bit, too. First of all,
this "what if" analysis has helped the staff to probe DOE's performance
assessment. So doing one-off analysis is a lot more transparent than if
you have more than one, because then you become difficult to separate
out what's the effect.
Another point is these are "what if" analyses, so the
probability of these type of situations happening is hopefully zero or
close to zero.
As the committee has advocated before, that the performance
assessment should be as realistic as possible, we have already gone
beyond that to ask DOE to do these additional analyses, and do we really
go that far beyond the performance assessment.
So those are the reasons why we are looking at just one
barrier at a time.
MR. EISENBERG: Christiana, perhaps another part of the
answer is that the performance assessment considers the interaction of
all the barriers and we would expect the -- whatever the demonstration
is for multiple barriers to also have one barrier under-perform, but
then look at the interaction of all the rest of the barriers with it.
But one of the things that might lead somebody to say, well,
what if several barriers under-perform simultaneously is the equivalent
in the reactor business of common cause failures.
I think we have that covered, to some extent, in the
performance assessment itself, because we require them to analyze, DOE
to analyze the response to various scenarios, disruptive scenarios,
which, in fact, are believed to impair several barriers simultaneously.
So I think that kind of thinking is already inherent in the
total system performance assessment and this is a -- as Christiana
mentioned earlier on, is a way to treat our imperfect state of knowledge
and the fact that we are projecting for unprecedented periods of time,
and you don't want to make this additional test much more robust than
the primary goal itself.
So if you start going to multiple barrier failures or
under-performance, I'm not sure that you can really justify it.
DR. GARRICK: Thank you. Ray?
DR. WYMER: No.
DR. GARRICK: Milt, you got any?
MR. LEVENSON: No.
DR. GARRICK: One of the things that is very important in
this whole multiple barrier concept, I think, that is a source of
confusion is the sense that when we removed the subsystem requirements,
we were suggesting by that possibly less attention being paid to
Of course, the committee just had the opposite view. The
committee's view was that the attention should not be on subsystem
requirements that may or may not be closely coupled to the overriding
performance measure, but the attention should be focused on the coupling
between the individual barriers, if you wish, and the overall
So in many respects, the committee's view was quite the
opposite from what it might have been interpreted by some, and that is
that we wanted more emphasis on the barriers, not less, but we wanted
that emphasis in the context of being able to directly relate it to
performance rather than relating it to a surrogate measure of
One of the things that is also of -- that's just a point of
clarification. One of the things that also of concern here is that, of
course, the source term that we're talking about here is very dependent
upon the composition of the medium that's leading to degradation of the
waste package, for example, and that composition, of course, is driven
by how the previous barrier, if you wish, degrades.
So the one thing that's a problem with the one-off approach
is that it doesn't necessarily conserve or preserve the composition of
the barrier as a contributor to the degradation of the waste package,
and I'm sure this is something that you're looking at very carefully.
But it is something that concerns us and I think that this
is why it's got to be a combination of multiple barrier analysis and
individual barrier analysis. You can't just turn it off and then treat
it as if it's there as far as the downstream effects are concerned.
It's no longer there, so the impact it's going to have on
geochemistry, on subsequent transport is different, depending on whether
it's there or it's not there.
This is an area that the committee has quite a bit of
interest in determining in the end just how the multiple barrier
analysis is performed.
Have you looked at that specific problem in the one-off
MS. LUI: Okay. If I understand you correctly, are we
pointing at what Dr. Eisenberg and Dr. Sagar presented before in terms
of the removing the barriers?
DR. GARRICK: Yes.
MS. LUI: I think it may be a communication glitch or a
perception issue here. When they say removing, it really means that
we'll zero out the protecting function of that particular piece of
component. It still physically is there.
DR. GARRICK: Yes.
MS. LUI: So if it has any impact on the near-field
geochemistry, such as, say, waste package interacting with the
near-field alignment and leading to change in the near-field
geochemistry, that particular impact will still have to be modeled.
DR. GARRICK: Yes.
MS. LUI: But the main function of the waste package of
basically protecting the waste form from the water is being zeroed out.
Am I correct?
DR. GARRICK: But the impact from a transport phenomena is
not being zeroed out.
MR. McCARTIN: Right. I think the key word, I think, that
we use is under-performance. So if there is something about the waste
package, be it the way it corrodes or something that enhances transport,
if you wouldn't neutralize the waste package, let's say, or
under-perform the waste package and thereby remove a deleterious effect
that it would have.
The net effect would that you -- whatever -- as Christiana
was saying, whatever positive aspect that it was providing, that is
degraded, but negative, if there's certain like chemical aspects that
affect release or transport that are associated with the, say, corrosion
of the waste package --
DR. GARRICK: Right. The secondary products of corrosion
are extremely important in the downstream performance.
MR. McCARTIN: Right. If they were degrading performance,
it would still be included.
DR. GARRICK: Right.
MR. McCARTIN: You wouldn't say, oh, we'll remove that.
That negative effect, too. Under-performance is under-performance, I
guess. You're not taking away something that potentially has a negative
MS. KOTRA: One way to think about it, in reflecting on
this, is that looking at individual barriers, they may have several or
multiple functions in overall performance. Some of them are
contributing to overall performance, some of them are neutral, some of
them are, as Tim indicated, deleterious.
What you're conceptually trying to get at is the either
partial or in total under-performance of one of those functions. So you
have to separate conceptually the barrier function from the presence of
the barrier, and I think this has caused a lot of confusion in
communication, as Christiana has talked about.
What we're really looking at is the loss, either partial or total, of
the function, not the loss necessarily of the entire barrier and the
other functions that it may provide to the system.
DR. GARRICK: The reason, of course, we emphasize this is
that when we had our working group session on engineered barriers and
the performance thereof, the whole issue of secondary products and
degradation products came out as major contributors to the downstream
transport of material and the ultimate establishment of the source term.
So this is something that, of course, is not so
straightforward as switching on a pump and then switching it off or
switching on a filter and then switching it off.
It's considerably more subtle than that.
MS. KOTRA: Yes. And the whole question that Christiana was
trying to get to, I think, at the very beginning is what if the barriers
perform in a different way than you have expected; not that they go
away, but what if they perform in a suboptimal, to use jargon, way.
DR. HORNBERGER: Can I follow up on that?
DR. GARRICK: Yes.
DR. HORNBERGER: Given John's question, do you see it
important to provide guidance to DOE on what might or might not be
acceptable? It's one thing to say three cheers for Budhi and Norm, but
that's internal. And what we're doing is actually in the position of
having to evaluate what DOE does.
MS. LUI: Yes. What we would like to do is this is
basically the direction that the staff is proceeding right now and if we
can basically get the committee's input and, to a certain extent,
endorsement of the directions that we are heading down, then what we're
planning on doing is in the Yucca Mountain review plan and the TSP IRSR
provide further technical guidance.
Basically what kind of -- the detail of the technical
analyses that DOE can perform and how to demonstrate and also how the
staff is going to do our evaluation.
MR. McCARTIN: The downside of flexibility is it adds burden
and there's no question that -- I think currently we believe a key point
to get across in Part 63 is we're looking at under-performance. We want
to give DOE flexibility to define what is under-performance for this
barrier for our system, and we aren't going to prescribe it at this
Now, what does that do? That's flexibility. However, DOE
has the burden of developing some basis for their under-performance.
The NRC has the burden to -- we now have to evaluate their basis and I
think we're going to try, as Christiana pointed out, in the Yucca
Mountain review plan, provide some things that we would do that
hopefully gives DOE some direction, some guidance.
But that is the dilemma. Everyone wants flexibility, but
there is a cost and that's it.
MS. LUI: What we want to prevent is to actually have a very
flexible rule, but end up putting all the prescriptive requirements in
the guidance document. That's what we do not want to do. But we will
try to gauge what will be the right level.
DR. GARRICK: Yes, Norm.
MR. EISENBERG: I think what we want to do is clearly
indicate in the rule what the intent of this provision is, which is to
assure that safety in the repository does not depend on any single
barrier. We want to give -- and this is very consistent with the
Commission's regulatory philosophy. We want to give licensees,
especially in a performance-based context, the ability to, having stated
that goal, the ability to demonstrate compliance with it however they
see the best way to do it.
This has always been the Commission's policy, even if we
write a reg guide, the licensees can come in and use some other means of
demonstration. It may take us a little longer to evaluate it, but we
always still allow that.
DR. GARRICK: Okay. We have slowed you up a bit. I think
we better proceed.
MS. LUI: Should I move on to the next presentation?
DR. GARRICK: Yes. Well, I think he wants to comment maybe
after her next -- or is it Part 63? Okay. Then let's hear from Mike
MS. DEERING: One of his comments relates to Part 63.
MR. BAUGHMAN: Should I use one of the microphones?
DR. GARRICK: Yes. And would you introduce yourself and
affiliations, et cetera?
MR. BAUGHMAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the
committee. My name is Mike Baughman. I'm here representing Lincoln
County, Nevada. I am from Nevada and I work with some of the different
local governments out there.
I have participated in the DOE and the NRC roundtables that
have been held in Las Vegas and we certainly appreciate the opportunity
to do that.
With regard to the Part 63 proposed regulations, I'd like
to, I guess, request that the ACNW may make a recommendation to the
Commission that the Commission defer adoption of that portion of the
proposed regulation that deals with revisions to the radiation exposure
standards until after the EPA issues its final revisions to 40 Part 197.
And let me just give a justification and a few points as to
why we think this is an appropriate recommendation for you to make to
the Commission and for the Commission to ultimately adopt this course of
First of all, the public relies upon NRC to protect public
health and safety and there is a clear link between the actions of the
NRC and public acceptance of this project and the hazards associated
I would just note that with regard to public confidence and
acceptance, we kind of see this as there being, during the
pre-construction, pre-emplacement, pre-closure phases, that public
acceptance and confidence is largely dependent upon process.
We have no site monitoring, no site performance to go on.
It's process. It's regulatory process. It's analysis.
When we get to pre-closure or when we're in emplacement and
after post-closure, we do then have site monitoring and performance
kinds of monitoring to help us obtain that confidence and acceptance.
So it's the actions that we take now in deciding how to do
this project that really cause the public to determine and those of us
that live in the state to determine whether the risks will be acceptable
Secondly, NRC adoption of a standard perceived as being or
affording less protection than the EPA proposed standard may erode
public confidence and NRC's resolve to protect public health and safety
in later repository licensing proceedings.
I think we need to be worried about that. Clearly there is
a difference of opinion here and if the NRC presses on, what message
does that send to the people that are going to be impacted by this
project over time.
Thirdly, the ongoing debate between NRC and EPA regarding
radiation exposure standards may result in a public perception that
significant public health and safety protection benefits result from the
EPA standard over the NRC proposed standard.
We're talking about very low levels of exposure. An ongoing
concern we have had is that as people perhaps perceive that we ought to
be affording more and more protection, perhaps we spend more and more
dollars in over-design, we are actually then perhaps taking dollars away
from other areas where we could truly be affording some public health
and safety protection.
Again, it's a public perception issue. Your actions,
though, and the actions of the EPA to raise this debate, I think,
provide the public with some sense that, gee, these must be real
significant numbers and the differences must be important. And I think
we really ought to be concerned about what message we're communicating
and then what does that do to project expenditures.
Our primary concern is that we are spending inordinate
amounts of money to reduce very, very miniscule levels of risk which
produce virtually no benefit in protecting public health and safety in
terms of, for example, fatalities, when over 95 percent of the
fatalities in this whole program will result from simple transportation
If we could defer a rather modest amount of spending in
terms of over-design and construction of the repository on some modest
highway improvements, we might cut down greatly on fatalities in this
So we would encourage this group to perhaps consider
recommending to the Commission that they do hold off. We see two
avenues to do that. One would be the Commission go forward and adopt
all of the proposed revisions except the release standards and simply
wait until EPA issues theirs and then amend the regulations to
incorporate a release standard.
Secondly, the Commission could adopt the revisions to 10 CFR
Part 63, including their proposed release standards, but include in the
regulation a sunset clause, in essence, which says when the EPA adopts
its standards, it supersedes ours.
I think that would be a recognition that NRC is willing to
go along with whatever NRC does and perhaps puts this debate, to some
extent, to an end.
DR. GARRICK: Thank you.
MS. LUI: Okay. Now, we are moving on to the Yucca Mountain
review plan development presentation. I would like to introduce Pat
Mackin, who is the center coordinator for the Yucca Mountain review plan
development, and he will be assisting me talking to the Commission about
the detail of what we are doing today.
MS. DEERING: You're one page ahead.
MS. LUI: Maybe page 2 was missing, that's the problem. I
will try it again. I think it's actually missing.
DR. CAMPBELL: We have hard copies.
MS. LUI: You have introduction. I knew that it's risky
always to depend on technology alone. Hopefully, most of the people
have the briefing package in front of them. I would just briefly go
through the introduction page.
We last briefed the committee May 11, 1999, and during that
particular briefing, I introduced a framework for developing a
risk-informed and performance-based Yucca Mountain review plan and
presented a schedule for development.
Since then, the NRC staff and the center staff have been
working together on development of the Yucca Mountain review plan and we
have made progress on all the aspects. Basically, the general
information that's detailed in the proposed Part 63 under paragraph
63.21(b), and also the safety analysis report, that's in paragraph
63.21(c), and the safety analysis report, we basically segregate the
evaluation into three different chapters, the pre-closure safety
evaluation, the post-closure safety evaluation, and the requirements
associated with administrative and programmatic plan and procedures.
Now I would just like to turn to Mr. Pat Mackin to give you
more detail on the progress and where we are today.
MR. MACKIN: Thanks, Christiana. First of all, just as a
reminder, this Yucca Mountain review plan will be like other NRC review
plans. It will identify areas of review, review methods, acceptance
criteria, evaluation findings and so forth.
And as we looked at the task of developing the Yucca
Mountain review plan, we saw it kind of split into three separate pieces
that needed to be attacked in slightly different ways.
First of all, for the general information, the
administrative and the programmatic sections, under the first bullet
there, you'll see a number of sub-bullets which identify the sections of
the review plan in these areas, and they're very common to reviews that
are being done by the staff every day in a wide variety of regulatory
So our assumption was that essentially a wheel has already
been developed in these areas and there's no need for us to reinvent
anything and we will draw heavily upon successful regulatory guidance
documents that already exist to develop our review plan in these areas.
Specifically, we felt that many of the operations at the
repository will be similar to what goes on at an independent spent fuel
storage installation and so the review plan for those licensing reviews,
NUREG-1567 we anticipate being an excellent source of information to
develop the Yucca Mountain review plan.
We will, of course, then have to tailor it to specific
aspects of the Yucca Mountain operations as necessary.
We also have realized that certain aspects of the review may
not be done within the Division of Waste Management, that the expertise
in some of these areas may lie in other areas of the staff.
So our development of the review plan for those areas, we
will integrate or cooperate with those other staff entities to make sure
that the product we produce is something they can use if they're going
to be doing the review.
The second major piece of the review plan is pre-closure
safety. As I think you all know, as Tim has mentioned this morning, in
CFR Part 63, as proposed, it is performance-based, and for the
pre-closure safety portion of the regulation, it specifies performance
objectives which are essentially compliance with the radiation exposure
limits in 10 CFR Part 20 and specifies also that an integrated safety
analysis or an ISA will be the means by which DOE demonstrates
compliance with those requirements.
So the review plan in the pre-closure safety portions will
focus on the integrated safety analysis and the way in which DOE uses
that to demonstrate compliance with the performance objectives.
To be able to do that, one of the first things we've done is
in the last fiscal year, we had a training session by an expert in this
area for about 20 of the NRC and center staff. In the year to come,
we're looking at a follow-on course that would focus on not so much the
techniques for integrated safety assessment as how you evaluate a safety
Tim mentioned also this morning that we'd like to have
flexibility in how this is done. So our review plan won't identify a
specific ISA technique that we would expect DOE to use. It will
identify -- it will be flexible enough to allow us to work with and
assess whichever technique DOE selects to present in its license
The follow-on portions of the pre-closure safety part of the
review plan I have listed here. Plans for retrieval and performance
confirmation, in particular, as Tim mentioned this morning, are still,
to some extent, under discussion and particularly in the performance
confirmation area, the structure of the review plan will largely depend
upon what the final requirements in Part 63 there are, although we
expect it will certainly be a multi-disciplinary kind of activity and
that it will need to be integrated closely with the post-closure
licensing reviews in the sense that the design, of course, will need to
be able to accommodate any performance confirmation program that might
The final, the third portion of the review plan will deal
with post-closure performance and I've listed the primary divisions of
the review plan here under performance assessment. Tim, again,
mentioned this morning, and Christiana, the approach that's being taken
toward multiple barriers, the scenario analysis section we assume will
basically be the place where we evaluate the methods DOE has used to
identify and screen features, events and processes.
I'm going to come back to model abstraction in just a
second. Then, of course, there's an overall demonstration of compliance
and, again, performance confirmation program that has to be integrated
with pre-closure safety.
But I want to spend just a minute wrapping up my part of
this presentation on the model abstraction portion of the post-closure
review plan, because it's where the bulk of the review for post-closure
safety will be done.
I need to establish a little bit of background here, because
the term model abstraction could be misconstrued to be fairly narrow.
It's actually a quite broad scope. As many of you know, for some years,
the program has been based on the key technical issues and those key
technical issues have a number of sub-issues.
What we found through the performance assessment work and
other interactions and technical work was that those KTI sub-issues tend
to be somewhat single discipline oriented, and that as we evaluated the
results of performance assessments, we found out that we needed a way to
better integrate these KTI sub-issues over a number of disciplines, and
also then to take the results of that integration and abstract, if you
will, the process level models into the performance assessment.
Consequently, 14 what are termed integrated sub-issues were
identified, which span the areas covered by the KTI sub-issues, but
which integrate them across multiple disciplines, and a determination
was made that these 14 integrated sub-issues would form the basis for
the post-closure portion of the review plan.
Now, the hard part of writing the review plan is identifying
the acceptance criteria and the review methods that the staff will use
to assess compliance and the way we have approached that is if you
examine the total system performance assessment issue resolution status
report, it contains five what we call generic acceptance criteria that
look at the whole scope of activities associated with performance
assessment, from the collection of data from site characterization, to
the analysis of the data, to the development of conceptual and
mathematical models, to the abstraction of those models into a
So we've taken each of those five generic acceptance
criteria and used them as a foundation for each of these integrated
sub-issues, and that's where we're obtaining the acceptance criteria for
the review plan.
To get the review methods, we're going to the individual key
technical issue, issue resolution status reports. In there, you find
documented the acceptance criteria that the staff proposes for
resolution of each of these KIT sub-issues. We're extracting them and
putting them in the review plan as review methods.
That doesn't completely fill the bill, because it doesn't
deal with the follow-on steps, which is multi-disciplinary integration
among these sub-issues and the abstraction of models into the
So there's a little more to it than that, but that will be
the source of information for the post-closure portions of the review
plan. Then subsequent to that, those combined evaluations will appear
in the review plan, in the issue resolution status reports, although
this process is still being thought out, to some extent, we envision
that the issue resolution status reports will be where the staff
documents its technical basis for considering issues to have been
resolved, and that can ultimately form a source for information for the
safety evaluation report.
That's the basic way we're approaching the post-closure
MR. LUI: Thanks, Pat. So in summary, following what Pat
has briefed the committee, that we are systematically examining work in
the issue resolution status report and we are focusing on DOE's
approach, because now we are entering into the phase of the program
where DOE are meeting their major milestones and staff also needs to
proceed along the same timeline.
We tried to prioritize our work based on risk significance,
utilizing all the information and knowledge base that we have gained in
the past year, in the past decade, the site information, the performance
assessment, exercises on reviewing DOE's work.
And as Pat has mentioned, where possible, we want to utilize
the applicable existing regulatory guidance documents. So we're not
duplicating any prior efforts.
The current schedule for the production of the Yucca
Mountain review plan is as follows. The Rev. 0 of the Yucca Mountain
review plan, which will contain the post-closure sections, will
accompany the final Part 63 to go to the Commission by the end of March
Revision 1 of the Yucca Mountain review plan, which is going
to be a complete review plan, in other words, we are adding all the work
on pre-closure safety evaluation, the administrative and programmatic
requirements evaluation, and the general information portion to what's
going to be in the Rev. 0 Yucca Mountain review plan to form a complete
review plan is scheduled for the end of FY-2000, or the end of September
What we intend to do with this complete version of the Yucca
Mountain review plan is to formally invite public comments and we are
planning on a series of interactions with DOE and also public meetings
to get people up to speed and become familiar with what's going to be in
the Yucca Mountain review plan.
And Revision 2 of the Yucca Mountain review plan is planned
for the end of FY-2001.
Another point to mention is Rev. 1 of the Yucca Mountain
review plan will most likely be used for staff's evaluation of the site
recommendation, because this is the way we tried to structure, to have a
complete review plan before the site recommendation comes out.
I think we'd be happy to answer any questions that you may
have at this point.
DR. GARRICK: Okay. Ray?
DR. WYMER: I have one. In the course of doing -- setting
up this review plan, have you unearthed any deficiencies in the
available projected regulations that you have or plan to make input on
to make sure that you have everything you need to be able to carry out
the review the way you want to?
MS. LUI: You mean deficiency in 10 CFR Part 63 or all --
DR. WYMER: Anything that you're using.
MS. LUI: Anything. I do not believe we have uncovered
MR. MACKIN: So far, we have not. I guess the area that I
mentioned earlier, we felt that many of the things that happened, for
example, at an independent spent fuel storage facility might be similar
and regulatory guidance would be applicable.
Maybe one of the areas where we're not sure yet, because we
haven't gone far enough, is the underground operations portion.
DR. WYMER: I see. By and large, you haven't plowed up any
MR. MACKIN: No.
DR. WYMER: To use a good old southern expression.
MR. MACKIN: No.
DR. GARRICK: George?
DR. HORNBERGER: When were the 14 integrated sub-issues
defined and have we seen that list?
MR. MACKIN: I believe they have.
MS. LUI: Yes, you have. We actually have a backup slide on
DR. HORNBERGER: I think it was about a year and a half ago.
MR. MACKIN: Oh, I remember that diagram.
DR. HORNBERGER: Yes.
MR. MACKIN: Now I remember. I just didn't remember the
MS. LUI: The name has changed and also the title has
evolved to -- they were first introduced a the key elements of subsystem
abstraction, because in the staff's strategy paper in SECY 97-300, we
basically identified these as the key points that we want to review in
DOE's performance assessment. Now we are using the framework layout
here to basically integrate that effort and through that particular
process, we found that some of the original names were too narrowly
So we have changed the name to be more encompassing, while
the focus is still on performance.
DR. GARRICK: Milt, do you have any questions? Any
questions from the staff?
DR. CAMPBELL: I've got one, John. In terms of one of the
things the committee heard in Las Vegas, in the October meeting, from
DOE is this whole process of their revising the repository safety
strategy in light of the EDA-2 design that they've accepted, which
they've now written to NWTRB saying that DOE has accepted that design.
In that process, they have increased their number of
principal factors. I think there are now 27. I think before in the VA
there were 19.
Is the intent of moving to the integrated sub-issues to
provide an interface, more or less, between NRC's set of issues and
DOE's set of principal factors? Is that where the two performance
assessments, if you will, interface?
MS. LUI: Staff right now is undergoing a major effort using
the TSPA IRSR as a mechanism to really focus staff's effort on what DOE
is doing and what we intend to do in Rev. 2 of the TSPA IRSR that's
scheduled for the end of January next year is to focus on DOE's
features, events and processes database and also to identify which
principal factors in particular integrate sub-issues focus on.
So we are making that particular linkage and hopefully --
but my understanding is that DOE is still in the process of finalizing
its reactor safety strategy Revision 4 -- Revision 3 or Revision 4, I
kind of lost track, sorry.
DR. CAMPBELL: I think it's three at this point.
MS. LUI: Okay. And, yes, they have increased the number of
factors, but my understanding is it's not going to be all 27 or 30
factors to be labeled as principal factors. They're probably going to
have a dozen of them are the really key factors that DOE is going to be
DR. CAMPBELL: And that will be the focus. There were seven
of them, I think, that they talked about at the time of the presentation
that they considered their most important principal factors and then
that would be the focus of where NRC is placing its resources and its
MS. LUI: That will certainly be taken into consideration.
DR. CAMPBELL: But there might be other ISI areas that NRC
would say we think this is important even if DOE says we don't think
it's that important.
MS. LUI: Those are the areas where we believe DOE hasn't
done sufficient amount of work. It may be not be important from the
performance standpoint, but it may be deficient in terms of the
defensibility of what DOE has done in those areas.
DR. GARRICK: A continuing interest on the part of the
committee has always been to more clearly understand how the performance
assessment process enters into the prioritizing of the issues, both at
the key technical issue level and sub-issue level. I think part of what
Andy was getting at is what is the link between the issues as
interpreted by the NRC and the issues as interpreted by DOE, both of
whom claim some involvement of the PA in their development.
So this is something we will continue to try to understand.
MS. LUI: That is certainly our goal here, to really use the
performance-based and risk-informed approach.
DR. GARRICK: Right. Any other questions or comments from
either the committee, the staff, or anybody else? Very good. Thank you
MS. LUI: Thank you.
DR. GARRICK: I think we will adjourn for lunch and commence
[Whereupon, at 11:40 a.m., the meeting 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
DR. GARRICK: The meeting will come to order. This
afternoon we're going to start off with an NRC staff review of the Yucca
Mountain draft environmental impact statement.
The committee member that will lead the discussion on this topic will be
Vice Chairman George Hornberger.
DR. HORNBERGER: And we have James Firth at least starting
us off, James, and you'll take care of any subsequent introductions.
MR. FIRTH: Yes, I will.
DR. HORNBERGER: Are there other people?
MR. FIRTH: I'll be doing the main presentation, but I've
been project managing the review, but we have a lot of people involved
and a lot of people will be sitting at the table, Charlotte Abrams, Skip
Young, we have Neil Jensen. If questions come up, then I will then
direct them to the appropriate people or person.
I want to tell you briefly about where we are in terms of
the staff review of DOE's environmental impact statement. This is a
review that's in process, so things I'm going to be discussing in terms
of possible comments are still preliminary, we're still working on that,
and that's something I will reemphasize as we go through.
Starting with NRC's role, we're commenting on the draft
environmental impact statement. This is our main chance at giving DOE
feedback on the environmental impact statement. The Nuclear Waste
Policy Act has directed that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
adopt, to the extent practicable, DOE's final environmental impact
So our role is pretty much commenting on the draft
environmental impact statement and then after DOE comes in with a
license or if they come in with a license application, we will then look
to see to what extent we can adopt the environmental impact statement,
and NRC has established criteria, Part 51, to describe what basis we
would use to judge adoption.
Those are as DOE has significant and new information
developed or is NRC potentially going to be putting requirements on DOE
that would cause impacts that are significant on the human environment.
What we've done is a two-part review. The first part was a completeness
review, where we were looking to see were all the pieces there. The
second part is an evaluative review, which is where we were doing more
The reason we did this two-step review was to make sure that
we could focus our efforts on the most important parts of the
environmental impact statement.
In the completeness review, basically we asked the question
has DOE provided all of -- addressed all the required topics, and the
basis for what DOE needed to include are established by the National
Environmental Policy Act and the CEQ regulations.
The Nuclear Waste Policy Act then constrained what DOE had
to do to fulfill those requirements. So what we did is we looked at has
DOE addressed everything and this was an initial top level look.
Another question that we asked at this stage of the review
was has DOE conducted the appropriate inter-agency and
inter-governmental coordination. There are certain things, like
coordinating with the Fish and Wildlife Service, the State Historic
Preservation Officer, that are more required.
Then there is also coordinating with other Federal agencies,
state and local agencies, as appropriate.
The next step was to do an evaluative review, which is
merely where we went into more detail in those areas that we identified
during the completeness review, and this review was focused on, in
essence, compliance with the requirements of NEPA and the CEQ
regulations, which is a different standard than we would apply for
The questions that we asked were did DOE use the appropriate
data, are the analysis methods appropriate, do the analyses support the
conclusions that DOE has in the environmental impact statement, and we
also looked at has DOE identified and discussed the appropriate
The environmental impact statement covers a lot of territory
and what we needed to do is bring in a lot of people to help with the
review. We've concentrated the review in the Division of Waste
Management. We have support from other areas within the agency, such as
the Spent Fuel Projects Office, the Office of Nuclear Reactor
Regulation, and the Office of General Counsel. We also involved the
Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses and the Center provided us
with expertise that was not available to the NRC staff, such as looking
at sociological impacts and ecological impacts, as examples.
I wanted to give you a feeling for the broad areas that we
had reviewers looking at in the environmental impact statement, cover
the areas of the scientific disciplines, economics, risk assessment,
Our review schedule began pretty much in August of 1999. We
had briefed the committee in June about our staff guidance. In August,
we finished our initial completeness review. In October of this year,
we met with the Department of Energy, through a video conference, where
NRC staff asked for where specific information was in the environmental
impact statement, where in the references would we find certain
information, and we did make some requests for additional information.
Examples of that would be socioeconomics and transportation.
So DOE, after the technical exchange, has provided NRC with some of this
additional information and we've been reviewing that as part of our
Looking up at future dates, in early December, we're looking
at finishing our staff review, and in January we will brief the
Commission and the public comment period will close in early February.
As we were going through our review, we also undertook
several related activities. Our intent is to observe as many of the
public meetings that DOE is holding around the country as we can,
without negatively impacting our review. On this slide, you can see
that we have attended quite a number of the hearings that are located in
In early November, on the 9th, staff from NRC and the center
went out to Caliente, Nevada, at the request of local officials, and we
held our own public meeting in between two of DOE's hearings. This was
done at the request of the local officials.
What we discussed there was our review process and the role
that NRC has in the environmental impact statement.
Now, I want to move into some of the broad areas that we may
be commenting on the environmental impact statement. There is some
overlap as you review the environmental impact statement. So this will
give you a synopsis of areas where we are looking at commenting. I'm
planning on moving through these one at a time.
The first area is that what we found is that there is a lack
of synthesis in the environmental impact statement. DOE has not really
fully developed and described in one place the proposed action and it is
very difficult for a reader to look at the environmental impact
statement and to determine what all the impacts are from the proposed
They're having to take information from different parts from
within the environmental impact statement.
There's also some difficulty in terms of doing a comparative
table and looking at a comparative table in the environmental impact
statement, so that someone reviewing it could see what is the difference
between the no action alternative and the proposed action.
We have looked at consultations. We have noticed that DOE
has given limited consideration to available information that was
developed by local governments. Examples of this would be population
data, which is more current than the 1990 Census data that DOE used in
the environmental impact statement.
Also, a number of local governments and Federal agencies had
asked to be cooperating agencies. DOE has declined their involvement
and we have not seen a basis for how DOE made a decision in terms of
declining the involvement of those groups.
In the area of mitigation measures, what we've noticed is
that DOE has included an incomplete set of mitigation measures in their
discussion. Part of this arises from how they've analyzed cumulative
impacts. Some of it has arisen in terms of how they have analyzed
specific impacts, such as the land withdrawal that would be required for
constructing and operating the repository.
There have been mitigation measures that have been proposed
by the Indian tribes and local governments, and one thing that we have
not seen in the draft statement is a discussion of these
recommendations. DOE has not indicated that they are considering them
further, that they're declining on proceeding with those mitigation
Also, there's a lack of specificity. So it makes it very
difficult to determine which mitigation measures DOE is planning on
pursuing or how effective DOE expects these mitigation measures to be on
mitigating the impacts.
For cumulative impacts, we have noticed that DOE has not, in
our mind, considered all paths and reasonably foreseeable actions when
they've looked at cumulative impacts. So this would include other
Federal actions within Nevada and in the proximity of Yucca Mountain.
There's also potential for an independent spent fuel installation in
Utah that would impact the analysis of transportation and possibly
So some of the areas that we're looking at being potentially
needing more information and development is the land withdrawal, water
resources, cultural resources, socioeconomic impacts, and environmental
justice, and this is because DOE has not fully analyzed cumulative
In the area of environmental justice, the U.S. Nuclear
Regulatory Commission did its own independent and brief environmental
justice analysis. What we've done is identified that DOE has not
identified the potential impacts to groups other than Native Americans.
DOE has not culled out the specific locations and
characteristics of the groups that they were discussing for
environmental justice and these are important considerations because
this information tells you are there disproportionate impacts to those
With the no action alternative, what we've done is take a
top level review. We have not reviewed all of the assumptions and
analyses within the no action alternative. We've focused our effort
more on the proposed action and the associated activities.
But in conducting this top level review, we have identified
that there are some comments that we may have to make to DOE.
The first is that it does not provide a clear baseline. DOE
has described in the environmental impact statement that it's included
the no action alternative to provide a baseline, and since the no action
alternative was included in the environmental impact statement, we
looked at it to see if it was reasonable and if it meant the intent that
DOE had for the no action alternative.
What DOE has done is included two scenarios. On one hand,
it's a scenario that includes institutional control over 10,000 years,
so it has a lot higher cost than the second scenario. The second
scenario has much higher environmental and health impacts, but has a
DOE has indicated that both of these are not likely
scenarios, but they have not provided any discussion in terms of how do
the two relate or what happens for intermediate scenarios; what numbers
is a reader going to use to prepare to the proposed action. So that's
one of the questions that we have with the no action alternative, that
by using two scenarios and just presenting them as bounding scenarios,
it doesn't help to make a comparison with the proposed action.
The other issue associated with the no action alternative is
that it appears to be incomplete and not representative. DOE has not
discussed to any extent the local environmental conditions, what are the
local ecological resources or biological resources to the individual
reactor in DOE sites.
DOE used jurisdictional boundaries based on the NRC regions
to develop five regional hypothetical sites. They used a weighting
factor of plutonium and americium inventory that was released as a
So what this means is that they've taken, in one region,
sites from both sides of the Continental Divide with very different
environments, very different pH in the ground water, and very different
So the sites that they're combining in a regional site
affect very different environments. Some releases will go into the
Mississippi water shed and others will go into the Pacific.
So it makes it very difficult for a reader to see what
really are the impacts in a regional way and follow the analyses.
In transportation, one of the possible comments is that DOE
has not specified a preferred route or mode of transportation. DOE has
identified a number of national transportation options and regional
Within Nevada, DOE has not indicated whether they have a
preference for a rail scenario, which would involve building a rail spur
to Yucca Mountain, or a truck scenario.
Without this information, our feeling is that the proposed
action is incomplete and it makes it very difficult to evaluate the
cumulative impacts and the other associated impacts, such as
DOE has included, in our mind, an insufficient consideration
of non-radiological impacts associated with transportation. So by not
considering this non-radiological issues, DOE may not be able to
differentiate between the options that it does have.
Also, we have noticed that DOE has not included the
potential for an away-from-reactor independent spent fuel installation.
In the area of socioeconomics, what we have noticed is that
a full range of impacts have not been addressed. DOE has used a
specific model that will not capture all of the microeconomic and some
of the qualitative issues in terms of what are the impacts on property
values, are the workforce that would work in constructing the rail spur
in some of the counties the same as the skills that already exist in the
So do you have individuals migrating into the area that will
then work in the construction phase, requiring infrastructure, and then
they'll have to possibly move out or go into a new line of work after
the construction is completed in several years.
Also, we have noticed that the impacts -- or not all of the
impacts have been supported by data or analyses. DOE has made a number
of claims in the area of socioeconomic impacts that we have not found
the analysis, may not be referenced in terms that would support those
Also, as I said earlier, DOE has not used the best available
information for populations.
For cultural impacts, DOE has incompletely documented the
cultural resources that exist in the area that may be affected. DOE has
not provided any maps that would indicate what are the distribution of
known cultural resources within the affected environment, how do they
relate to the areas of construction of either the rail spur or the
repository operations area.
DOE has not discussed how they identified the cultural
resources, have they done walk-through surveys or have they used some
other information to identify which sites exist.
Given that they have not identified a -- or have not looked
closely at the transportation options, the treatment of cultural
resources in the areas that may be affected by potential rail spurs have
not been evaluated.
Looking at the proposed action, this is something that we've
evaluated previously in the viability assessment. The calculations in
the environmental impact statement draw upon what was done for the
viability assessment, with some minor modifications.
Although our review of the viability assessment had a
slightly different focus and the intent of what DOE had tried to do in
the viability assessment was a little different than what they need for
the environmental impact statement, one thing we're looking at doing is
raising, again, for DOE that we have had comments on their performance
assessment and related issues that would also apply to the environmental
impact statement calculations.
DOE has not examined, for example, the non-radiological
impacts from the ventilation. DOE has designs for ventilating the
repository at the low, medium and high thermal loads. That heat is
going to be vented out into the atmosphere. DOE has not looked at the
impacts from that ventilation.
We have also discussed with DOE, at the technical exchange
in October, that DOE has the EDA-2 design that they're working towards
and the question is that for DOE to pull that into the environmental
impact statement, that will require some additional work.
In our technical exchange in October, DOE indicated that
their intent for the final environmental impact statement was to use the
current design. So if DOE decides that the EDA-2 design is going to be
the current design, they will incorporate that in some way in the final
environmental impact statement.
So one question will be in terms of how much additional work
DOE may need to do to incorporate it.
The next step, as I indicated earlier, is that we're going
to be developing a Commission paper that will document our findings and
in January we will brief the Commission on the results of our review.
So, again, the possible areas that I presented earlier are
things that we're considering. We're still sorting through all the
information coming in from the individual reviewers.
Looking at the schedule ahead of us, we're hoping to
complete the Commission paper by December 6. By January 14, the paper
should be going to the Commission, in preparation of the briefing by the
staff on January 25.
And the comment period for DOE's environmental impact
statement closes in early February, on the 9th of February. So we are
seeking to have our comments in the public comment period transmitted to
Thank you very much. I'm interested in any questions that
you may have.
DR. HORNBERGER: Thanks very much, James. Milt, we'll start
over at the left end this time.
MR. LEVENSON: I have one question on the no action
alternative or the use of five regional sites. What does that really
mean? Are those storage sites or are they going to be considered
disposal sites or what is the no action case that you're referring to
MR. FIRTH: In the no action alternative, DOE has tried to
bound, in essence, the status quo. If a repository is not built,
currently -- well, currently, waste is being stored at individual
reactor sites and at DOE facilities. If a repository is not built, the
no action alternative just presents the status quo and rather than
analyzing 77 individual sites, DOE has elected to combine these into
five different sites and use a weighting factor based on some local
conditions to look at what are the releases to a given water shed.
MR. LEVENSON: That's a surrogate of analysis only. They're
not proposing to ship fuel to the five sites.
MR. FIRTH: No, they're not. It was just a means of
simplifying the calculation and it was an effort to save resources. DOE
is proposing -- their proposed action is the Yucca Mountain repository.
From the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, they are required to consider
alternatives to Yucca Mountain.
MR. LEVENSON: Is leaving the fuel at some 50 or 60
different sites considered an alternative?
MR. FIRTH: Charlotte?
MS. ABRAMS: You may not have realized, I think you
misspoke, they are not required to consider alternatives to Yucca
Mountain, I think you said --
MR. FIRTH: I thought that's what I said.
MS. ABRAMS: I just wanted to make that clear.
MR. FIRTH: I'm sorry. You were about to ask?
MR. LEVENSON: Is the no action alternative an alternative?
Can they leave the fuel at the 60 different sites?
MR. FIRTH: DOE has indicated in the environmental impact
statement that another course of action, some course of action will have
to be taken in the future. So they weren't proposing that keeping the
waste at the 77 sites indefinitely is what would happen.
MR. LEVENSON: The context of my question is are we asking
somebody to do a great deal of detailed analysis for an alternative that
is not a credible or possible one.
MR. FIRTH: DOE has elected to include the no action
alternative. The NRC regulations at Part 51 look to have an
environmental impact statement that would cover the possibility that NRC
would not grant a license.
If NRC were not to grant the license, one way of covering
the potential impacts would be to have a no action alternative.
DR. HORNBERGER: But, James, it's my understanding that DOE
doesn't have to analyze alternatives, but that they do have to provide a
no action alternative.
I had exactly the same question as Milt. It seems to me,
from your comments, that the NRC staff is leaning toward insisting that
DOE provide a, quote-unquote, realistic analysis of a no action
alternative and there may be no such animal as a realistic no action
Your criticism was that institutional control for 10,000
years is not realistic and institutional control for only 100 years
isn't realistic, and there is no way to map in between, the implication
being that there is some realistic no action alternative.
MR. FIRTH: What I was trying to say was that DOE has
provided two scenarios and no discussion in terms of how they might
relate. We aren't necessarily expecting that DOE has to determine
what's going to happen in the future and to spend a lot of resources
In terms of looking at the individual sites, DOE might be
able to do that qualitatively in terms of discussing what the
significant local resources might be that might be affected, in terms of
trying to make sense of the uncertainty in the future, DOE might be able
to do that qualitatively, but just present one scenario, provide their
basis for why they selected that.
We're not trying to get DOE, by any means, to say -- predict
what's going to happen. It's more just to have a baseline that you can
compare. It helps if you have one set of numbers, maybe an analysis
that will look at some of the uncertainty in the qualitative way rather
than saying definitively this is what is going to happen if the
repository does not go forward.
MR. LEVENSON: I guess the context of my question was also
that if these 50 or 60, whatever they are, power reactor sites, NRC has
already reviewed consequences, environmental, everything, because they
are licensed to store the fuel there.
So why are we talking about DOE now having to replicate a
great deal of analysis and spend a lot of money? From a standpoint of
safety, I'm not sure that this achieves anything.
MS. ABRAMS: This is Charlotte Abrams. Our intent is not to
ask DOE to do something like that, but we felt that because DOE did
address the no action alternative, we had to review that. That was our
And some of their analyses, some of their assumptions, we
don't think are reasonable assumptions. That's the main thing we're
getting to, not that we want considerable analysis, but we don't think
what's presented in the DEIS presents always reasonable assumptions.
MR. FIRTH: Also, if I could --
MR. LEVENSON: That's a little different than the words used
in the presentation, which said selecting five sites is incomplete. An
implication was that you wanted something representative of all 60
MR. FIRTH: The incomplete is that DOE has not even
presented any of the local information and we're not -- DOE, under the
National Environmental Policy Act, isn't supposed to going and looking
in detail at the 77 sites and redoing work. They can reference
environmental impact statements and other information and could do it in
a qualitative way without really going into a lot of detail.
But when they combine the sites, they combine very different
sites. So there's no clear way to understand how they selected the
sites. Generally, in the -- what the National Environmental Policy Act
drives at is that you use boundaries other than political boundaries,
that you use water sheds, for example, to look at the impacts of water
DOE has selected regional sites that include multiple water
sheds that are very different as just one example.
MR. LEVENSON: Would it have been acceptable if they had
just given you a sheet of paper, I guess it's a couple of pages, with
the 77 sites and referenced you to the license for fuel storage at each
of those 77 sites?
MR. FIRTH: We're still looking at what we are going to be
concluding as findings, but --
MR. LEVENSON: I'm trying to see what you're looking for.
MR. FIRTH: But in terms of a baseline, DOE tried to
establish a baseline for a very long period of time, 10,000 years. So
to try and use information that was not developed for that length of
time may not go far enough for what DOE has intended with the no action
MR. LEVENSON: What you just said implies to me that you
wouldn't be satisfied unless you got 10,000 years worth of information
for 70 different sites for the no action alternative. Is that what you
meant to say?
MS. ABRAMS: No, that's not the case.
MR. LEVENSON: That's what he siad.
MS. ABRAMS: I don't think the intent was that.
MR. LEVENSON: I'm trying to find out what is the intent
MR. FIRTH: Basically, what the staff was looking for are
things that might be found deficient upon judicial review, because
things that are found deficient would then result in the EIS being
returned to DOE and not be moving the -- the NRC's responsibility is to
provide our expertise in terms of what we know about the site and other
areas of expertise.
If we see something that we feel poses a risk on judicial
review, we wanted to raise that to DOE. And if DOE has a very -- looks
at a very limited period of time for the no action alternative and they
have a very long performance period for the proposed action, then it's
not clear that they do have a baseline to draw a comparison, and that's
what DOE intended with the no action alternative.
So what we did was look at their no action alternative from
the intent that DOE had for it and we colored our review in that way.
So it was DOE's decision to go 10,000 years as the baseline.
DR. GARRICK: It sounds like maybe Ray Wymer's comment of
this morning, the expression from the south of plowing up some snakes
would apply here.
I think one of the things that's bothering some people, and
trying to look at this from the point of view of the public, is the
issue of genuineness. If you really want to talk about an alternative,
it only makes sense to talk about an alternative that's an alternative,
that can be considered as something I can choose or not choose.
It's obvious that the DOE didn't look at it that way, but
there seems to be lacking some sort of consistent ground rules for what
constitutes the strategy for managing the high level waste, and then
look at the alternative against that strategy.
DR. HORNBERGER: And you have to realize we're talking about
an EIS here.
DR. GARRICK: I know. But the point I'm trying to get to is
that it's nonsensical to talk about on-site storage as we now envision
it as an alternative.
DR. HORNBERGER: But the EIS demands a no action
alternative. What is no action?
DR. GARRICK: That's what I'm getting to. It seems to me
that you can't accept, as a no action alternative --
DR. HORNBERGER: No action?
DR. GARRICK: -- no action. I mean, we keep talking about
communicating with the public and, boy, this is a classic example. The
only time that the alternative of on-site storage would make any sense
is to set up a ground rule that normalizes it with respect to the Yucca
DR. HORNBERGER: That's exactly what the intent is.
DR. GARRICK: Yes.
DR. HORNBERGER: That's exactly what the intent is.
DR. GARRICK: But it's useless information in its present
form and it certainly is not something that should bring any great
satisfaction to the public that this is a viable consideration.
But I guess you can't do anything about that, because you're
just following the rules of the game. But the rules seem to be pretty
MR. JENSEN: Neil Jensen, from the Office of General
Counsel. It's not clear that DOE had a legal obligation to consider the
no action alternative, but they chose to do so.
So it seems -- I'm interpreting the staff to be taking the
position that we have to accept and evaluate the DEIS that DOE chose to
write, and that seems to be the basis for their views.
MR. LEVENSON: My comment to that is that I think then it
might have been more appropriate for the staff response to say that the
no action alternative volunteered by DOE is incomplete and doesn't meet
the intent and not start providing detailed interpretations and guidance
about more information and -- it's that sort of thing which bothers me,
starting a major program going, because people tend to overreact in
response to suggestions from the staff.
I just wonder, DOE volunteered more than they needed to and
it looks to me like maybe the staff is going farther than they need to.
DR. GARRICK: The staff is giving credibility to a
DR. HORNBERGER: That's it. Ray?
DR. WYMER: I've made enough trouble.
DR. HORNBERGER: John?
DR. GARRICK: The only other question I had is that we know
from an earlier presentation that most of the effort, as far as the NRC
is concerned, is related to radiological impacts. I'm just curious how
much of your effort is, in terms of the total review, tied up in
addressing the non-radiological impacts.
MR. FIRTH: Within the NRC staff or overall?
DR. GARRICK: Yes. Well, I think within the NRC staff.
MR. FIRTH: Within the NRC staff, probably less than ten
DR. GARRICK: I wanted to get that perspective.
DR. HORNBERGER: My question had to do with that, too. So
it's a follow-up. My question then is are there -- have you identified
in your review of the DEIS any radiological issues that are not carried
over from your review of the VA? That is, is there anything new
post-VA, any new radiological issues?
MR. FIRTH: For the post-closure?
DR. HORNBERGER: For the post-closure. I don't mean
transportation. For the post-closure.
MR. FIRTH: Yes. There were no new radiological issues
compared to VA.
DR. HORNBERGER: Staff?
MR. SINGH: I have one question in the area of
transportation. Did you look at the issue of sabotage?
MR. FIRTH: I'll let Skip Young answer that. He's been our
lead reviewer on transportation.
MR. YOUNG: We looked at the presentation and the document
for sabotage. The answer is yes, we did. We feel that it's lacking.
MR. SINGH: Excuse me. It's what?
MR. YOUNG: It's lacking. It doesn't have the specificity,
draws conclusions with no -- doesn't provide you the specificity for the
conclusions that they made in the document.
MR. SINGH: Are you going to ask them any more additional
information on this issue then?
MR. YOUNG: We will note that it's lacking details.
MR. SINGH: Thank you.
DR. HORNBERGER: Other questions or comments? Okay. Mike,
you wanted to make a comment on the EIS, as well. You better
reintroduce yourself for the record, please.
MR. BAUGHMAN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This is Mike
Baughman, again, from Nevada, Lincoln County and Caliente. We have been
-- we're gracious -- the staff was gracious enough to come to Lincoln
County, as they indicated, on November 9, and had a meeting with the
residents out there concerning the NRC role with the EIS.
It occurred to us, when they talked about the Commission
meeting on the 25th, typically, on a project that you license, you are
responsible for preparing a NEPA document and there's a whole public
process associated with that, and then ultimately that whole record goes
into the licensing process and it just kind of builds upon each other.
In this particular case, you are going to adopt an EIS and
not necessarily go through a NEPA process yourself. So there won't be a
public process associated with your NEPA document, per se, because you
might actually do some revisions to it and whatnot as you amend it or
adopt it, I should say.
It occurred to us that at the Commission's meeting on the
25th, it would be very useful for stakeholders to be able to react
perhaps to the staff's proposed comments before the Commission, such
that the Commission then might be informed of the concerns that the
residents or the interested parties, as the Commission then deliberates
on adopting the staff's recommendations, to then submit the comments to
We recognize you're on a very tight timeframe. I think if
we were able to be at the meeting, to have the proposed comments
provided to us at the meeting, review them as the staff presents them,
and then simply react to those, that would certainly be very helpful to
the folks in Nevada and perhaps other parties for that matter, I don't
So it's a recommendation, I guess a request to this group to
perhaps consider that as a recommendation to the Commission. We do not
want to mess up the schedule, because you are under a tight schedule,
but it certainly would be helpful to be able to have some input and
reaction to the staff's recommendations to the Commission.
DR. HORNBERGER: Thanks, Mike.
MS. ABRAMS: Could I respond to one thing?
DR. HORNBERGER: Sure.
MS. ABRAMS: Mr. Baughman, if I understood him correctly, I
wanted to state that any supplement that the NRC would make to the EIS
would be submitted for public comment. It would have to go out for
public comment if the NRC did any supplement to it.
MR. FIRTH: Okay. Thank you.
DR. HORNBERGER: Thanks very much, James. I'll turn it back
to you, John.
DR. GARRICK: We're ahead of schedule, I think. It is
amazing. All right. I think what we'll do is, since this terminates
the requirement for the court reporting for the day, we'll take a
five-minute break and then the committee will reconvene and launch into
its report preparation session.
[Whereupon, at 1:18 p.m., record portion of meeting was
recessed, to reconvene at 8:30 a.m., on Friday, November 19, 1999.]
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