119th Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste (ACNW) Meeting, June 14, 2000

                       UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
                                   Nuclear Regulatory Commission
                                   Two White Flint North
                                   Room 2B3
                                   11545 Rockville Pike
                                   Rockville, MD 20852-2738

                                                                 Thursday, June 14, 2000

               The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 8:34

               B. JOHN GARRICK, Chairman, ACNW
               GEORGE M. HORNBERGER, Vice Chairman, ACNW
               RAYMOND G. WYMER
               MILTON LEVENSON.                            C O N T E N T S
     ATTACHMENT                                              PAGE
     Update on Repository Design and Flexibility
     in Operations                                            102
     DOE's Respository Safety Strategy                        173
     Proposed Yucca Mountain Site Suitability
     Guidelines, 10 CFR 963                                   220
     Status of the NRC Low-Level Radioactive Waste
     Program                                                  239
     .                         P R O C E E D I N G S
                                                      [8:34 a.m.]
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Good morning.  The meeting will
     now come to order.  This is the second day of the 119th
     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.  This entire meeting will be open to the public.
               Today the committee will first hear from
     representatives of the Department of Energy on the status of
     the design for the proposed high level waste repository at
     Yucca Mountain.  We will discuss the evolving Revision 4 of
     the Yucca Mountain repository safety strategy, hear a
     briefing on Yucca Mountain's specific siting guidelines, 10
     CFR Part 963, review the status of the NRC's low level
     radioactive waste program with representatives of the
     staff's Uranium Recovery and Low Level Waste Branch and
     prepare reports and letters on such topics as:
               (1) risk-informed approaches to nuclear materials
     regulatory application;
               (2) comments on the NRC's plan to provide
     sufficiency comments on the Yucca Mountain Site
     Recommendation Consideration Report;
               (3) comments on DG 1067 and 1071, Decommissioning
     Regulatory Guides;
               (4) comments on the Low Level Waste Branch
     Technical Position on Performance Assessment;
               (5) highlights of the visit to the U.K. and France
     by the ACNW and staff; and    (6) hear discussions with
     Divisions of Waste Management staff regarding the NRC's
     policy to decommissioning the West Valley Demonstration
               Richard Major is the designated federal official
     for the initial portion of today's meeting.
               This meeting is being conducted in accordance with
     the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.
               As far as I know, we have received no written
     statements from members of the public regarding today's
     session, and, as usual, should anyone wish to make comment,
     please contact one of the committee's staff.  And we suggest
     that each speaker use a microphone, identify themselves and
     speak with clarity and volume so that they can be readily
               Okay.  The member of the committee that will lead
     the discussion on the first part of the Yucca Mountain
     material, and we will be talking Yucca Mountain essentially
     all morning, the committee member will be Milton Levenson.
     So, Milt, I am just going to let you take over.
               MR. LEVENSON:  Thank you, John.
               We realize that the design of Yucca Mountain is
     still in a significant state of flux and that some of the
     things in the way of design may be firm, some may not be.
     We want an update at this time.  I think it would be helpful
     to the committee if you could differentiate for us what
     aspects of the design are concepts that you think you will
     be staying with and what parts of it are details which may
     be getting revised between here and the license application
               There is still a fair amount of time and I would
     hope that we might benefit from some of the experience of,
     say, the WIPP project, where they locked in very early
     details on, in this case, a shipping container, and once
     they had their license, they found that they had an almost
     impossible design to build, and I think they are now on
     their twentieth amendment to the license, and that is not a
     helpful thing for either the licensee or the regulator.  So,
     I, for one, would encourage you to make a best effort to get
     a design, but one that is practical and one you can live
               With that, I think we would like to hear what you
     have to say.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  I am Paul Harrington of the
     Department of Energy, I am the engineering lead for Yucca
               The intent today was to do several things, talk to
     you about the design changes, but not really to go through
     an elicitation of hardware, but to also talk about what it
     means to us and why we have the flexibility that we think we
     ought to have.  This is, in part, driven by some of the
     concepts we went through when we did the enhanced design
     alternative study and came up with enhanced design
     alternative 2 as a recommendation.  One of the reasons for
     that was the flexibility that that particular design
               We are making use of that flexibility in several
     different modes now, operational modes, ability to react to
     higher thermal content in waste packages, so, I think that
     is valuable.
               Also, I will talk about the uncertainties from the
     thermal concerns that we and others have, now that is
     driving the design process.  If you have questions that go
     to the process itself, I may defer those to Dr. Brocoum or
     Jack Bailey, they own the process.  My interest is in
     primarily how that affects the engineering.
               And, lastly, talk about the operating flexibility
     concepts.  We have realized that many of the discussions
     that we have had regarding above-boiling or below-boiling
     repositories are not mutually exclusive.  The concept that
     we have now, we think has sufficient flexibility that, by
     turning some knobs, we can accomplish either goal,
     accommodate either concern.
               In the subsurface area, I have to apologize, I
     didn't put graphics in many of these first several pages.
     If you do want to flip to page 25, there is a layout of the
     current subsurface.  I will talk to that more, obviously,
     when I get there, but just to give you a visual of what it
     looks like now.
               The drifts have been reoriented.  They had been 18
     degrees above the east-west plain, as you go to the west,
     now they are 18 degrees below the east-west.  We have also
     changed the ventilation shaft arrangement.  It used to be,
     especially in the VA concept, that the supply was through
     the emplacement tunnel and exhausts were out through shafts
     through the top of the mountain.  This current concept,
     because we have gone to the higher flow velocities, we have
     more modularized, so, now there are several sets of panels,
     five or six panels within the layout and each of those -- in
     fact, I will just go ahead and put that one up, each of
     those has its own supply and exhaust arrangement.
               Within the upper block, this is the access ramp,
     the ESF, north and south portals, okay, this has been the
     basic development.  You will see now that there is a supply
     and an exhaust system about every fifth of the repository.
     There is one set here, one set there, one set there, again
     and again.  You will also see that this is extended to the
     south further than it had been before.
               It used to be that there was a low point at the
     northeast corner and the repository continually rose as we
     went to the south.  We put an inflection point in the
     middle, though, and now this slopes back down as you go
     further to the south.  That is because the overburden slopes
     down as you go to the south.  So, doing this, we were able
     to pick up additional area.
               Also, you will see on the emplacement, or the
     supply ventilation shafts, there are cross-drifts that will
     then distribute the supply to either side of the emplacement
     drifts, the same collection through the emplacement drifts,
     the same drop from the emplacement drift down to the
     ventilation shaft underneath, and the same collection and
     exhaust that there had been.  We have just done it a number
     of different panels now.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Yeah.  If we looked at this in
     cross-section, are these basically at the same level as the
     emplacement drifts?  Above it, below it?
               MR. HARRINGTON:  These cross-supply drifts are.
     They will distribute air from the surface down and then to
     each of the sides of the mains.  The ventilation drift here
     is about 10 meters below the emplacement drifts and they are
     connected by vertical risers from each of the emplacement
     drifts.  That concept is the same as we have had before, but
     because of the increased flow rate, we needed a more
     distributed supply system.
               Let's see, other changes, we are looking at the
     lower block now to accommodate larger inventories.  I will
     get to that in that part of the discussion, but there is the
     general layout.  So, the main changes are the expansion to
     the south, the panelization, if you will, with attendant
     supply and exhausts, there.  The way we do that, doing that
     reorientation reduced some of costs of construction.  It
     also had an affect on the size of the design basis rock.
               Now, one of the IRSRs, one the KTIs with the NRC,
     it was the subsurface design, and in there we talk about
     rock size.  We had a technical exchange about a month ago
     where we went through why we did this.  Now, it is important
     to note that the resultant largest rock, by the time you go
     out to the end of the tails, is still larger than we are
     using as the design basis rock, but the reason for that is
     the orientation of that rock, to get that large, has to have
     length down the drift greater than the length of an
     individual drip shield segment or waste package.  So, all of
     that load from a rock that gets that long would not be taken
     on an individual drip shield or waste package segment.
               Remove the backfill.  Okay.  That came about in
     January of this year, that was driven by our realization
     that the input waste stream had changed.  Earlier in '99,
     the M&O redid the waste throughput study.  In there, there
     were two major factors.  One was the removal of a
     hypothetical interim storage facility, which resulted in the
     average age of the fuel being a couple of years younger than
     it had been presumed to be earlier, and, also, the fact that
     the utilities will go to higher burnups that the earlier
     study had assumed.
               So, due to the higher burnup and slightly lesser
     fuel life, there was a higher thermal content in the fuel
     assemblies, primarily for 21 PWR packages.  Consequently,
     the average thermal content of the 21 PWRs went from 9.8
     kilowatts to 11.3 kilowatts per package.  The maximum that
     we wanted to have for a waste package was 11.8.
               So, moving the average up that much caused some
     thermal problems.  We had problems meeting the thermal goals
     of 350C on the cladding, of 200C on the rock, and, also,
     having a reasonable preclosure period, especially when we
     are looking at what do we do to keep the ability to remain
               So, we went through several iterations of that,
     and in January decided that the most appropriate response
     would be to remove the backfill.  That was effectively a
     thermal blanket.  Backfill would have been applied at
     closure.  It isn't something that is applied earlier in the
     preclosure life.  But having that backfill prevented the
     packages from radiating heat and caused us a problem with
     that higher thermal load.
               There were a couple of other options that we had
     looked up, but that decided that was the most appropriate.
               DR. WYMER:  What do you mean by a reasonable
     preclosure period?
               MR. HARRINGTON:  We are looking for something that
     could be closed as early as about 100 years.  Now, you have
     heard us talk about 300 years.  The intent there was not to
     have a design that required 300 years of preclosure
     ventilation to be acceptable, because of the concerns over
     institutional control, others, but, rather, have a design
     that was flexible enough to be able to be closed reasonably
     early, and we chose about 100 years as that lower limit, or
     be kept open should people choose to do so.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Excuse me.  Now, what about the
     advantages of the backfill?  What does that mean to you in
     terms of the loss of those advantages?  They didn't put the
     backfill just because they wanted to put backfill, it was --
     there were good reasons.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  We thought that the benefits of
     the backfill were outweighed by the problems that it created
     with respect to thermal management.
               Now, part of the benefits, if I remember right,
     were that it would keep the temperature higher so that you
     would delay the onset of moisture on the packages.  But the
     problem with the higher thermal content within the package
     was that the temperatures became too high.
               So, because of that, it became more of a problem
     than the solution and we pulled it out.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  As I recall, one of the other
     benefits was that it provided some protection against
     falling rocks, et cetera.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Right.  The drip fields
     themselves, initially the first concept out of the gate was
     that they would be 20 millimeters thick and corrugated.
               As we've done more rock analysis, rock fall, we've
     determined that we can accommodate a rock fall without
     backfill with a drip shield that's only 15 millimeters
     thick, with internal stiffener ribs inside that drip shield.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  You've made the point several
     times that with the flexible design, you have the
     opportunity to vary the ventilation.  You have some control
     over the aging of the fuel, and you still have some control
     from a design standpoint over the spacing of the fuel.
               Now, I suppose you did tradeoffs between
     backfill/no-backfill, and the aging control.  Certainly you
     can control the thermal lode by what you put in the
     mountain.  I suppose you did those kind of tradeoffs?
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Yes, and, in fact, some of the
     first cuts at resolution of this issue were to have further
     spacing between waste packages.  There were one or two
     others, but ultimately because of the problems that those
     created in terms of additional space, number of waste
     packages, extent of drip shield, the cost of the titanium
     for the drip shield, we came to this conclusion of removing
     the backfill as the preferred alternative.
               As we get to the back, there is some discussion on
     what it means to have additional space between packages.  We
     can do that for thermal control, but there's a cost,
     obviously, associated with that.
               A question?
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Yes, just a followup.  Was
     backfill considered in your analysis in terms of the
     intrusion of magma into the drift in terms of a volcanic
               MR. HARRINGTON:  I can't answer that.  Can someone
     else here, somebody from the Science side?  Dr. Brocoum?
               MR. BROCOUM:  This is Steve Brocoum.  Yes,
     backfill did add a benefit in terms of the volcanic
     scenario, which is a benefit we lose when we remove
               One point I want to make on backfill:  We're not
     precluding it.  In other words, the design will not preclude
     it, and we will consider that again in the future if it's
               But the design we're going into the SRCR and ESER
     with will not have backfill.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  One final question on backfill:
     Of course, in the WIPP facility, the backfill plays a very
     important geochemical role, because it provides some
     assurance of maintaining the pH within a certain
     well-defined range.
               And that's important in the mobilization of the
     waste.  Dos the backfill -- did it have any role with
     respect to geochemical role, for example, with respect to
     the establishment of the source term?
               MR. HARRINGTON:  We had a geochemical concern
     about backfill, and that's one of the considerations that
     was leading us to a selection of a particular backfill
               I think that for that reason we were leaning
     toward the silica sand rather than crushed tuff, for
               But as far as a significant beneficial feature in
     terms of geochemical performance of backfill, I don't know
     that we had assigned any particular performance to that.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Okay, thank you.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  We were just trying to make sure
     it wasn't a deleterious feature.
               MR. LEVENSON:  I have one question:  You mentioned
     that one of the problems with the backfill was that it
     reduced radiation heat loss from the containers.
               I'm having a little trouble identifying that
     radiation heat transfer would really be significant if the
     clad temperature is 350 and you've got a double-walled
     container.  What's your surface temperature of your
               MR. HARRINGTON:  It was on the order of 250 C,
     somewhere in that range.
               MR. LEVENSON:  And so radiation cannot be the
     primary mechanism by which it's transferring heat.  And the
     titanium drip shield you're going to add is, in fact, a
     reflector, and probably interferes with cooling of the
               Has all of that been taken into account in your
     assumption that you're better off, heat transfer-wise?
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Yes, actually, as I understand
     it, the radiant transfer is the predominant mechanism.
               MR. LEVENSON:  Even at that low a temperature?
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Yes.  There is very little
     conduction because of the minimal contact with the --
               MR. LEVENSON:  That's without backfill.  With
     backfill, conduction would probably be the major transfer.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Well, except the backfill would
     not be contacting the waste package directly.
               It would be contacting the drip shield, so you'd
     still have to radiate from the drip shield -- or from the
     waste package up to the drip shield.
               MR. LEVENSON:  Did you ever have a concept of
     backfill without the drip shield?  The question is, why do
     you need the drip shield if you have backfill?
               MR. HARRINGTON:  The drip shield was there to make
     sure that water didn't condense onto the waste package.  It
     was an attempt to keep moisture off of the waste package,
     and provide a dry environment around it.
               One of the concerns with having backfill on the
     waste package directly was the ability to hold moisture on
     the waste package surface.
               MR. LEVENSON:  But also the ability to channel
     moisture around the waste package.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Yes, yes.  Others?
               [No response.]
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Okay, we pulled the backfill.
     That gave us back the cladding credit.  One of the concerns
     that we also had on backfill was the physical act of
     emplacing it at closure.
               Obviously, both the drip shield and backfill were
     to have been emplaced.  You'd be working in an environment
     that you couldn't really send personnel into.  You were
     relying on performance.
               That was another more near-term personnel exposure
     benefit to pulling it out, obviously, removing dose in
               We've also defined the drip shield emplacement
     gantry concept.  It really looks quite similar to the waste
     package emplacement gantry.
               There is a set of rails on either side of the
     waste package, running down the sides of the drift, and
     either of -- we have actually about three gantries, one for
     emplacement of the waste package, one for emplacement of the
     drip shield at the end of the preclosure period, and another
     one for performance confirmation.
               That one hasn't really changed much since the VA
     design approach.  It's basically another gantry-mounted
     device that would straddle waste packages and be able to go
               With respect to the waste package, the biggest
     issue is our success at causing stress corrosion cracking at
     Lawrence Livermore test facility, and then what that meant
     to us in terms of the design for closure lids.
               The approach that has been taken for SR is to
     identify a third lid of C-22, as second of C-22, a third lid
     overall on the outside of the waste package.  I'm sorry I
     didn't bring a graphic today.
               It is this.  I know some of you got a chance to
     see it beforehand.  Basically, this brown outer section is
     the Alloy 22 shell.
               There is a device now that's mounted to the
     outside of it with a groove in it, one on each end.  That
     will be for lifting.  I'll talk about that in a moment.
               Inside of that is the yellow stainless steel
     structural material.  There is a blue inner Alloy 22 lid,
     and a red outer Alloy 22 lid.
               Now, because of the stress corrosion cracking
     concern, we decided we need to do a stress relief activity
     on the closure welds, not of the 316 stainless, but of the
     two Alloy 22s.
               The mechanism for that, because we can't post --
     heat-treat stress relief the closure welds, we can the rest
     of the vessel, so it's really only the closure welds that
     are in question.
               We came up with the concept of laser painting the
     weld on the inner lid, and believe that will give us on the
     order of two to three millimeters worth of penetration of
     stress relief.
               And doing a thermal stress relief by induction
     coils on the outer weld, there's a little device that's to
     fit over that weld and rotate around the lid.  They could
     have done the entire lid at once, but the power requirements
     for that are pretty extreme.
               The intent is to take this up to about 1100 C for
     about 15 seconds, and then cool it quickly.  That much power
     was too much to try and do the entire vessel at once, so the
     concept is now rotated.
               Admittedly, this is a complex solution, three
     separate welds to close a waste package with no shielding on
     the inside of the package means that trying to rework
     rejectable indications on any of the welds would be
               So, one of the advances that we're looking at
     between SR and the LA, is how to simplify this.  With
     respect to a site recommendation, we think this is
     technically understandable.
               We think that we can make a case to show the
     corrosion resistance of multiple barriers.  But from an
     operational perspective, for a license application, we would
     expect to have something simpler.
               Okay, use of a trunion ring:  This outer groove is
     designed to accept a section trunion ring to fit around each
     end of the waste package.
               Now, the reason we did that was in the earlier VA
     design, there were skirts.  The outer skirt of the waste
     package extended out past the inner lid of the waste
     package, and the lifting apparatus came in from each end and
     engaged the skirt.
               Okay, we have decided in this line-loading concept
     to move the packages much closer together.  Now they're
     about a tenth of a meter apart, end-to-end, and because of
     the change of the joint geometry on the end for the welding,
     there's no skirt and you can't lift it that way.
               So, we need some other way to grapple the package,
     so the concept is to put a ring, a recessed ring on each end
     and to have a section -- and it may be bolted, it may be
     screwed in some fashion -- the two sections lifting trunion
     apparatus that would be assembled to the disposal containers
     in the surface facility prior to loading the waste package.
               The waste package would be loaded and handled
     within the surface facility with those rings, and they would
     be used to lay it down onto a pallet prior to taking the
     waste package underground.
               At that point, the lifting trunion rings would be
     removed, and the package would simply sit on the pallet.  We
     would then lift and handle the pallet.  We would not be
     handling the waste package directly.
               That's the reason for that.  Now, that poses some
     problems for retrievability.  Obviously, we have to be able
     to retrieve.
               The older design had three holes and the screwed
     extension, and the intent was to grapple into those holes,
     if we were unable simply to reverse the emplacement process
     for retrieval.
               With this, the hole are gone, there is no
     extension.  We're working to come up with some mechanism
     that would be able to in situ engage that ring recess there.
               Let's see, a smooth surface drip shield, earlier
     concepts were looking for simplicity and drip shield concept
     by having it corrugated so that you wouldn't need stiffeners
     on the inside to the extent you would with a flat piece.
               But trying to roll the corrugations and then form
     that into a U, caused its own set of problems, so we've
     gotten away from that.
               The current concept for a drip shield is that it
     is a flat plate, weld into not quite a 180-degree V.
     There's a little bit of a slope to it, and it has a series
     of almost labyrinth seals, if you will, on the end of each
               DR. WYMER:  To what extent have you experimentally
     tested these concepts?
               MR. HARRINGTON:  In the ATWS facility over on
     Lossee Road in Las Vegas, we're doing some drip shield
     segment or testing now.  And they do have some conceptual
     drip shield models there with simulated waste packages heat
     inside of them, and some backfill on it in some cases,
     looking at moisture movement and drip shield performance.
               DR. WYMER:  So you've got some fabrication
               MR. HARRINGTON:  I think that the fabrication of
     those was so conceptual it's not particularly relevant to
     the real concept that we're looking at here.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Are the stiffeners welded?
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Yes, yes.  There are stiffeners
     welded to the inside of the U-shape above it and they are
     welded to the outside of the supporting skirts underneath
     it.  Obviously you have a sketch there.
               The emplacement pallet we talked about a little
     bit.  The supporting pieces of that and dimensionally the
     pallet consists of two V-grooves, V-blocks with each block
     under each end of the waste package. Each block is about
     half a meter wide and each block is made out of Alloy 22, so
     there is no dissimilar metal issue.
               The two blocks are tied together by stainless
     steel tubing.  That really only serves a role during the
     emplacement and potential retrieval period. For post-closure
     those tubes don't serve any real function.  The function
     will be taken by the Alloy 22 support pads.
               Are there questions on the waste package before I
     go to the waste handling building?
               [No response.]
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Okay.  On the waste handling
     building itself, and notice this one is specifically flagged
     as potential changes between SR and LA, the reason for that
     is for the SRCR and for the SR itself the designed for
     surface facility will be very much the same as what we had
     in the viability assessment, a few changes.
               The VA had three wet assembly transfer lines and
     two dry canister transfer lines. For the SRCR and SR there
     will be two wet assembly lines and one dry canister line, so
     we will have made a few changes to the access to the
     building but effectively it's very much the same as it had
     been in the VA.
               When we talked last, you folks expressed some
     concerns about what does that mean to us in terms of worker
     risk, especially with the blending, the blending hotter and
     cooler packages to achieve these lower thermal goals, so for
     a license application we are getting ready to take a much
     closer look at that.
               For a site recommendation obviously the focus is
     really on the subsurface facility, on waste package, on
     waste form, how that might interact with the site.  Not as
     much focus was given to the surface facilities.  For license
     applications certainly we need to put much more effort into
     that than we have in the past, so we tasked the M&O several
     months ago with doing a study to identify what an
     appropriate set of requirements would be for the license
     application design evolution for a surface facilityy.
               This is a series of recommendations, of
     considerations that are in the analysis right now.  This is
     certainly not final.  The M&O hasn't even presented it to
     their own management yet.  It has not been therefore
     presented to the DOE as a set of recommendations but I
     thought it appropriate to share it with you because it is
     insight as to where we may be going or are certainly
     considering going in a license application to simplify
     surface facility to give us a little more flexibility,
     reduce personnel exposures, those sorts of things.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Do you have any -- it's the
     wrong word but I'll use it anyhow -- interim storage
     capacity in the waste handling building?
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Inventory -- and yes, we do.
               The earlier concept, about a year ago, was that
     when we first looked at blending we might need on the order
     of 5,000 MTU worth of storage to accomplish that.  That is
     driven by the very narrow delta between the average 21 PWR
     of 11.3 kilowatts and the maximum of 11.8 kilowatts.
               With only about 4 percent margin you need quite a
     bit of inventory then to be able to hit that average, so
     that looked at the time like it might mean something like
     5,000 MTU worth of available inventory.
               One of the concepts here is that we may not need
     to hold the maximum waste package thermal content at 11.8,
     so they have looked at moving it up to 13.5 kilowatts. What
     that did, because you then have about 20 percent margin
     between that and the average, it cut the amount of inventory
     needed for this thermal blending down to a few hundred, on
     the order of 500 MTU but, yes, there is some operational
     inventory to accommodate thermal blending and also for
     upsets of either incoming waste stream, if the
     transportation system stops for some reason, or if the
     emplacement system stops or the canister or assembly
     handling systems stop, yes, we do have some inventory to
     accommodate that.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Just one more question on that.
               You talk about the aging as one of the
     parameters --
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Correct.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  -- for which you have some
     flexibility.  Is most of that going to come from the
     arrangement between the repository operation and the reactor
     sites, for example, and is the whole shipment process going
     to be coordinated with respect to providing some control
     over the thermal load?
               MR. HARRINGTON:  We would like to get to that
     point.  At this point we haven't defined what an optimum
     receipt scenario would look like.  Now it may be that we
     would want to try and load the hotter packages earlier so
     that we would have time then for them to cool during a
     ventilation period and save some of the older, cooler fuel
     from utilities until late in the emplacement period to
     offset some of the hotter fuel that would be being generated
     at that point, but we haven't yet really determined what an
     optimum scenario would be.
               Right now in the standard contract with the
     utilities really is not a vehicle for us to define to them
     what would be sort of a DOE preferred waste stream.
     Effectively obligated to take whatever it is that they
     choose to send us.  Now I think both we and they believe
     that some accommodation would be appropriate and can be made
     by both parties.  I think we have the ball now to try and
     identify what a good receipt scenario would look like to us
     and then once we have that and agree that this is something
     we want to take forward we would probably then get with the
     utilities and see what arrangements we could make to have
     them accommodate that.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.  The thrust of my question
     is just how are you going to achieve age management and it
     seems as though the alternatives are to basically use the
     reactor sites as the interim storage site.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  That's if we have the ability to
     do that --
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  -- certainly that would be
     helpful.  If, for whatever reason, we are not able to ever
     get there, and we did decide to do the aging of the fuel
     prior to emplacement, then that could be done at the
     repository facility.
               MR. LEVENSON:  One follow-on question -- what
     conceptually is the nature or form of this inventory
     storage?  Do you just kind of store it in shipping
     containers?  Unload shipping containers?
               MR. HARRINGTON:  No.  The transportation casks we
     need to recycle -- to return them.  For SRCR and SR that
     will be wet pool storage for the commercial fuel both BWR
     and PWR.
               One of the notes here --
               MR. LEVENSON:  You are going to be putting back
     into wet storage fuel that has been dry stored for a number
     of years?
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Well, that is the reason we have
     the bullet here. Obviously there were a number of problems
     associated with that -- why would we do that, would we want
     to get the transportation cask wet, would we want to wet the
     fuel and then have to redry it, what happens to a pool in a
     seismic event -- a lot of concerns are causing us, given the
     potentially smaller inventory needed, to consider dry
     storage instead.
               Now for SRCR and SR we simply don't have time to
     put that in there.  We will have the ability to show a waste
     storage facility but the expectation for license application
     is that dry storage may make a lot more sense for the
     reasons we just talked about.
               See the numbers here in reduction of cranes and
     drop heights.  I certainly at this point wouldn't want to
     commit that four is the final number of cranes but the whole
     concept in this facility reassessment was to try and develop
     a simpler approach to fuel handling and we are using as
     models a lot of what the Navy is doing up in Idaho.  They
     don't lift their canisters very often.  Generally they left
     by using lifts, hydraulic lifts, underneath them, up-end the
     devices, close shutters underneath them, transport on
     skidpads, rollers.  There's not a lot of lifts by crane
     involved.  Consequently they have removed a lot of the drop
     accident scenarios so we are taking that sort of approach to
     try and define a set of requirements that says if you can
     get around having to do a crane lift, do so.  If you can
     minimize the lift height, do so.
               There are some conceptuals of a different approach
     to the surface facility that are trying to simplify it a
     lot.  Another -- let's see, we obviously reduce the number
     of lifts there.  We talked about the pools.
               Shielding -- okay, when transportation casks come
     in, we have to remove the end-fittings, open the lids, that
     sort of stuff.  Also for the packaging within the waste
     package itself, we'll have to be putting lids on there,
     doing backfills of inert gases, doing welding, doing NDEA on
               Part of the concepts we are looking at is how can
     we do that with more protection to workers than previous
     designs, reduce exposures, facilitate potential reworks, so
     one of the concepts they are looking at is putting a set of
     shielding jackets around the waste package, around the
     disposal container.  I mentioned earlier the trunnion thing.
     Part of that, one of the concepts there is that part of that
     trunnion arrangement is a shield and that that would be on
     the disposal container during its handling process through
     the facility.
               Also, another is that on the closure weld
     arrangement you could do that in an area where shielded
     floor sections come down over the package and a shielded
     work station, if you will, comes down over the end of the
     waste package.
               That leaves you a little annual gap for access to
     the individual welds but does in some manner facilitate
     being able to work closer to that device.
               Another concept that the Navy at least has
     included in their large canister concept is inclusion of
     shield material within the canister itself.  I wouldn't rule
     that out either.
               Before I leave the design change part and go to
     the thermal uncertainties, any other questions on that?
               MR. LEVENSON:  One quick question.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Yes?
               MR. LEVENSON:  What is the shielding internal to
     the Navy casks?
               MR. HARRINGTON:  I don't know.  I don't know that
     I have asked them that.  Certainly we have -- we can get
     that from them.
               Because of the thermal uncertainties, we're having
     a lot of difficulty, both inside and outside the program,
     producing uncertainties.
               And one of the big considerations is what can we
     do to reduce uncertainties.  We're trying to address what
     are those things that contribute to it, and what is an
     appropriate set of actions to be taken to resolve those.

               Obviously, there are physical and chemical
     changes, a function of time and temperature.  We can reduce
     the temperatures.  Some of those effects will be reduced.
               The magnitude and duration of the coupled effects
     go up with increasing temperatures.
               We've gotten a lot of input, and it's really
     obvious to us that the period of time of performance of a
     repository engineered solution is far longer than the
     history available to us for the engineered materials.
               Certainly, some metals have hundreds of years or
     thousands of years worth of history, but because we're
     wanting the increased corrosion performance that we can get,
     we believe, from the latest corrosion-resistant,
     nickel-based materials, consequently there is really not a
     significant history to them.
               So, as you know, we're doing a lot of
     age-accelerated testing in very aggressive environments up
     at Lawrence Livermore, but this is always an issue; that
     there's just not a lot of history associated with many of
     these materials that we're crediting.
               Also, now, the extent of testing of the natural
     system that was induced by, say, the large block test, the
     single heater test, and even the drift scale test, is not
     the same extent that an overall repository would be subject
               So all of these are thermally-driven
     uncertainties.  We're having to then decide how we represent
     those in PA space, and what that means to us in terms of
     design to be able to come up with solutions that can
     adequately address those uncertainties.
               This next graphic really is just a set of the
     various design features associated with the near-field
     processes.  I won't go through all of the processes.
               You can see them on your handout and I think
     they're things that you've heard about many times.  But with
     respect to what that means to design, the current era has a
     preclosure period of 50 years.  Okay, a moment ago I said
     100 years.
               The delta is trying to define what an adequate
     period would be that could allow us to remain sub-boiling,
     and still be something that we think is reasonably short?
     Now, Part 60 and Part 63 say that we have to have the
     ability to retrieve for at least 50 years from start of
               That sort of defines a 50-year period as the
     minimum preclosure.  It also says that the Department has
     the ability to come back and ask for a different period, if
     we so choose.  I don't expect we would ever do that.
               So if we were looking to close in the minimum
     amount of period necessary, that would be 50 years, but
     given the design solution we have, that would be also be an
     above-boiling solution.
               If we wanted to keep the host rock below boiling,
     that would be something longer than 50 years, and a little
     later in the presentation, there is a series of curves that
     are tradeoffs between ventilation durations, waste package
     spacing and aging of the fuel.
               Thermal loading is 60 metric tons per acre.
     That's with these waste packages spaced a tenth of a meter
     apart, and it's really staggering.  It's a repetitive
     pattern of 21 PWRs, Defense high-level waste packages, with
     DOE S&F canisters inside of them; 44 BWR packages.
               There are a few 12-element PWR packages for the
     very hottest PWR fuels, but it's effectively a repeating
     pattern of a number of different packages, but the intent on
     having them close together is what we call the line-loading,
     and that's to have the cooler packages adjacent to the
     hotter packages, trying to act as heat sinks to allow
     removal of heat from the hotter packages and then reject it
     a little further down the drift.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  I think that I heard last week,
     62 metric tons heavy metal.  Did I mishear last week?
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Sixty-two per acre, you mean?  I
     don't know where that came from.  We've generally been using
     60.  Out of curiosity, where was that?
               DR. HORNBERGER:  That was the technical exchange
     last week.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Okay, I'll find out where that
     came from.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  It may just be that I misheard.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Okay.  What this means to us is
     that if we did do the closure in 50 years, the boiling of
     water within the rock would peak at a few hundred years,
     200-500 years.  That front would extend about 12 meters into
     the rock.
               It's really quite circular.  We had asked the M&O
     to take a look at it, vertically, above and below, and
     horizontally, both sides, with the expectation that there
     may be some delta between vertical and horizontal, and it
     was really quite circular.
               It would take 1-2,000 years for the drift wall to
     come back down below boiling, and at 10,000 years, drift
     wall would be back down at about 50 degrees C.
               MR. LEVENSON:  I have a question.  Everybody keeps
     using the word, boiling.  Here I see that you've put it in
     quotation marks.
               What is the significance of boiling?  There's no
     discontinuity of the vapor pressure curve at boiling.
     What's the significance of boiling?
               MR. HARRINGTON:  A sensitivity to mixed-phased
     flow.  There is a concern that if we have the rock above the
     boiling temperature of water, then it will be very difficult
     to model what happens to moisture coming in, and then the
     vapor phase of that water as it goes somewhere, either out
     or back in.
               MR. LEVENSON:  So this isn't a safety issue at
     all; it's your inability to model it.  If you adjust your
     design, would it be easier to model?
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Obviously, there is a perception
     that if we can't model, then we don't know what would happen
     to the waste package, and that it would translate to a
     safety issue.
               MR. LEVENSON:  That's true of a lot of things in
     this world we know about, that we can't model.  But I don't
     understand the significance.
               This is not going to heat up instantly.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  That's right.
               MR. LEVENSON:  It heats up relatively slowly.
     And, in fact, a significant amount of the water, since there
     is no discontinuity in the vapor pressure curve, a fair part
     of the water in rock will be evaporated long before you ever
     reach the boiling point.
               How do you take that into account?  You're not
     going to have two-phase flow in a rock surface for a very
     long time, if ever.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Sure you will; you'll just have
     it below boiling as well as above -- below 100 degrees as
     well as above.
               MR. LEVENSON:  Yes.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  If your problem is two-phase
     flow, then whether you're five degrees below or five degrees
     above boiling makes no difference.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  There is very strongly a
     perception that having it above boiling is a step function,
     in both performance and uncertainty, and I'm trying to
     relate concern --
               MR. LEVENSON:  But where does that come from?  It
     doesn't come from vapor pressure.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  I really can't answer that.
     Possibly Dr. Brocoum or Mr. Bailey or someone might want to
     take a cut at that.
               MR. BROCOUM:  This is Steve Brocoum, DOE.  As Paul
     said, there is a lot of concern, particularly by the Nuclear
     Waste Technical Review Board, that the uncertainties
     increase above boiling.  We don't observe -- you know, we're
     now in the -- all the data collection we do is at ambient
     temperatures, so -- and we just have a few thermal tests.
               So, their concern was that the uncertainties are
     lower and easier to understand and easier to model below
     boiling.  I don't think there is a real concern, because a
     lot of people on the project believe that above boiling, in
     fact, improves performance, because it tends to drive the
     water more away.
               So the real concern has been the degree of
     uncertainty in how we represent that and how we understand
     it as we develop our design.
               MR. LEVENSON:  Uncertainty in connection with
     what?  It isn't uncertainty in connection with vapor
     pressure or rate of evaporation or any of those things.
               MR. BROCOUM:  I think that it's more connected to
     the information we collect, which is mostly at ambient, and
     being able to model and understand it, and then being able
     to extrapolate it to above-boiling design.
               You would have to ask the people that raised these
     concerns.  These are generally concerns, as I told you, that
     come from the Nuclear Waste Review Board.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes, but you're designing this
     thing, and it seems that what we're trying to do is figure
     out the design basis.  And I think that's -- you know, if
     you're saying that you're doing it because people are asking
     questions, and you can't rationalize it from a first
     principles basis, you know, that's something maybe to be
     concerned about.
               MR. LEVENSON:  I would hope that you didn't modify
     the design on the basis of some of the questions we ask,
     some of which are based in ignorance.
               MR. BROCOUM:  One of the things we're doing is, we
     don't have to make that decision today.  And I think that
     what Paul is trying to tell you is, we're trying to keep a
     flexible design so that as we get our arguments together and
     develop our models, and better understand the uncertainty
     and how it's related to all the parameters we're having, we
     can then make the best decision on how to operate the
               So that's the whole point of this presentation
     today, is to point out that we don't have to know that
     today, because this design that we have can both accommodate
     a below boiling by a few degrees, and an above boiling by a
     few degrees.
               And if it ends up not being important, which way
     we go, then we can make that decision on cost, for example.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  We have a design basis for the
     design.  We believe that we have adequate modeling to show
     what will happen during above- and below-boiling scenarios.
               The part I was struggling with was explaining the
     rationale of other organizations.  So, I'm comfortable with
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Contributions to corrosion of the
     waste package.  Obviously we need to know near field host
     rock issues, temperatures above boiling temperature of water
     at that elevation, low relative humidities, what that does
     in terms of precipitants and salts.  Obviously accumulation
     of that can affect the ingress of water into the drift,
     therefore onto the package potentially.
               The drip shield and the waste package surfaces
     themselves be above boiling, lower relative humidity, what
     has been deposited on them by water coming in from the host
     rock and how does that then drive corrosion of the waste
     package, and the invert itself.
               One of the things we're looking at in the invert
     and the host rock below invert proper is fracture flow out
     of the drift -- will the flow paths remain to remove water
     similar as to what brought water in, or may there be
     something going on that would cause them to plug and
     increase water concentration in the drift.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.  Do you have any specific
     information about what sort of salts you expect to be more
     concentrated than 10 molal?
               MR. HARRINGTON:  I don't.  I'm sorry.
               Okay.  Several different types of corrosion
     mechanisms on the right-hand side of the page, general and
     localized corrosion, we will have that.  There's nothing we
     can do to get away from that.  It's relatively low
     dependent, not very dependent upon temperatures.  Given the
     aqueous conditions, we expect that.
               Pitting and crevice corrosion, though, we don't
     expect to see that based on the lab testing that we've been
     doing.  We are continuing that.  Stress corrosion cracking,
     though, based upon what we've done at Livermore, we have
     seen some of that.  Consequently, then, the redesign of the
     closure lids on the end of the waste package.
               Somewhat temperature dependent, near boiling.
     Less so otherwise.  And phase segregation fairly low for
     temperatures below about 260 degrees C, which, as I said,
     the waste package skin will be generally lower than that.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  What does phase segregation
               MR. HARRINGTON:  The question is, what does phase
     segregation mean, and I'm not a metallurgist, I have only a
     vague understanding of the mechanics of the metal phases
     within the heat affected zone and they change.  I think
     there is some migration.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  That's what I understand it to
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Okay.
               Degradation of the waste form itself, okay, the
     degree of cladding degradation is formerly dependent.  We
     recognize and understand that, but that's primarily an
     effect above about 350 C.
               To date, we have held simply a straight 350-C
     temperature requirement on cladding.  We've gotten input and
     recognize ourselves that it would be more accurate to have a
     time-temperature dependence, but that's additional work,
     that if we don't exceed 350 at this point may not offer us
     commensurate benefits with the resources.  So, yes, we'll
     understand the issue there, but as long as we're keeping the
     cladding below 350 C, we think that's conservative.
               Solubility of the waste form, somewhat temperature
     dependent.  Degradation rates of uranium oxide vary by about
     one order of magnitude between 25 and 96 C.  We don't have
     test data above those temperatures yet but think that we're
     being conservative in our modeling of that at this point.
               Okay.  These are -- the next page --
               MR. LEVENSON:  Excuse me.  Is that in salt water
     like what's in the bottom here, or is that in pure water?
               MR. HARRINGTON:  I understood that to be in
     concentrated J-13 water.  That's generally what we're using
     as the testing medium for these in situ tests.
               MR. LEVENSON:  What's J-13 water?
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Oh, I'm sorry.  J-13 is one of
     the water wells at the site.  We took water from that,
     analyzed it for much of the testing that's going on at
     Lawrence Livermore, we have concentrated that.  We duplicate
     the water in a concentrated fashion.
               MR. LEVENSON:  Okay.  The context of my question
     is, from the previous slide, one of the things that could
     cause pooling is if you get salt accumulation which plugs
     things up and --
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Right.
               MR. LEVENSON:  -- fill things back up.  So I guess
     the question is, what's the rationale?  If you're going to
     have water there, isn't it going to be whatever came from
     the previous slide?
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Yes.  Yes, that's the J-13 water.
               MR. LEVENSON:  But that's not -- no, no, no, no.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Wait.  Okay.  Let me go back.
               MR. LEVENSON:  No.  The previous slide, the invert
     accumulation and fractures, precipitants and salts could
     result in pooling of water.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Yes.
               MR. LEVENSON:  That's the water that's going to be
     in contact with the fuel, right?  So why --
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Yes.
               MR. LEVENSON:  -- do you use a different water for
     the test?
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Well, the J-13 water is
     representative of the water at the site and the
     concentration --
               MR. LEVENSON:  Not what's representative of what
     would accumulate in the repository.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Right, but I don't think that we
     would expect that the local pooling in the invert would
     flood the waste element.  The waste elements would still be
     exposed to water dripping in through the rock, and it might
     be concentrated due to the thermal effects, evapo
     concentrated, but it certainly wouldn't be the same as water
     that you would anticipate pooling in the invert.
               MR. LEVENSON:  I disagree because what drips in
     from the top is not going to see the fuel.  Fuel is only
     going to see what pools up from the bottom and reaches it.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  If that's the case, I think we
     all doubt that the fuel would see any water.
               MR. LEVENSON:  Well, I agree.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Yes.  The actual expectations are
     for water on the fuel is that dripping would eventually
     degrade the top of the package, fill the package up rather
     than filling the entire drift.
               These are a series of tests and analyses to
     address thermaling induced uncertainties.  They are
     categories, hydrologic, mechanical, chemical, et cetera.
               Within the hydrologic, for example, the volume and
     the fate, what happens to the mobilized water, is one
     uncertainty, so we have a series of tests going on or that
     have gone on or are planned to address that, including the
     drift scale test and the single heater element test, which
     are complete.  Our large block test and the single heater
     test are complete.  Drift scale test is ongoing now.  A
     cross-drift thermal test is something that we're planning
     for the future.
               We drove the somewhat smaller cross-drift across
     the repository horizon, somewhat above the plain of the
     emplacement drifts in the repository horizon down at about a
     45-degree angle simply to get a more representative
     understanding of the rock across the plain.  And because in
     part the existing drift scale test is in a rock that's
     representative of a relatively small portion of the
     repository horizon itself, we expect to do another drift
     scale -- or heater test over at the end of the cross-drift
     just to be in the actual lower lift where about 85 percent
     of the repository resin is located.
               Mechanical fracturing of the rock above, there is
     a concern, especially with elevated temperatures, that you
     may get degradation of the rock itself if you subject it to
     significantly elevated temperatures and what then would be
     the effect on drift stability post-closure.
               Chemical processes going on there.  We've talked
     about that a little bit.  Corrosion, we've talked about that
     a little bit.  And waste form degradation.  Again talked
     about that a little bit on the previous slide.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Paul, just a quick question.  I
     notice under corrosion, you have iron meteorite analogs.
     Are there natural minerals that -- nickel alloys that are
     close to Alloy-22?
               MR. HARRINGTON:  I think that what I've heard is
     the use of those meteorites, since they contain some nickel,
     as being maybe the closest analogs to that.  I have not
     heard of anything more representative.  It doesn't mean that
     somebody hasn't determined that there is.
               Let me jump to page 12 -- 11 was very similar to
     10 -- and I see I'm getting a little close on time.  We're
     creating a strategy for addressing the uncertainties.  The
     next several pages capture that.
               That has been presented by Abe Van Luik to the
     Board.  We're treating the uncertainties in the SRCR and
     then developing guidance for how to do that in the LA.
               This is being led in part by Bill Boyle and a team
     and participating on that are Abe Van Luik and the PA folks.
     You folks may or may not have had some interaction with that
     yet.  But it's basically got four key parts to it:
     analyzing the known uncertainties, assessing all of the
     uncertainties, managing the uncertainties, and communicating
               So in a little more detail, the analysis is to
     identify what the uncertainties with respect to the
     mathematical models are, variability and parameters, what
     are the potentially disruptive events, sensitivity and
     importance analyses, determine which features are truly
     sensitive to performance and which are not.  That sort of
     activity is really kind of fundamental to repository safety
     strategy which Jack Bailey will talk to a little later.
     It's identifying what are the significant contributors to
     uncertainty and where should we put our resources.
               Okay.  Assessing all the uncertainties, how do we
     treat that in TSPA, the limits that we're assigning to the
     distributions of those uncertainties, confidence in the
     models and importance of those with respect to conclusions
     that we're drawing, and what uncertainties do we know about
     but have not incorporated, and how might we treat unknown
               We think we're identifying design basis events.
     What happens if there's something that comes up that we have
     not yet identified?  Stress corrosion cracking is a good
     example.  Until relatively recently, we had not thought that
     was going to be an issue.  It turned out to be, so we came
     up with a design.
               So what sort of defense-in-depth features do we
     need to have to allow us to have a design that can
     accommodate uncertainties in the future?
               We need to manage those uncertainties, identify
     which are the important ones, and how might we reduce or
     mitigate them.
               There are a number of different contributors
     there:  What measures do we need to have to increase
               What flexibilities, we talked about that a moment
     ago, potentially changing the design to address those, and
     then communicate those.
               I want to go the operational flexibility
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Just in passing, the whole
     issue of uncertainty deserves a special session all of its
     own, and I don't want to get into it too much.
               But the Committee is, of course, very interested
     in this, given the emphasis that exists with respect to a
     risk-informed approach.  And I think eventually we're very
     interested in knowing just exactly how you're handling
     unknowns of unknowns, for example, and whether or not you
     are building into your distribution functions, allowance for
     what some people might call unquantifiable uncertainties.

               MR. HARRINGTON:  Okay.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  I don't particularly like that
     term myself, but that's a term that's being used in the
     reactor arena.
               So, I think that the state of the art is in pretty
     good shape as far as information uncertainty is concerned,
     but once you get into modeling uncertainty, it's an entirely
     new ball game.
               I think there are those who believe that this is
     the major contributor to uncertainty, and given that, it has
     to be something that we put quite a bit of attention on.  So
     I think that sooner or later, we're going to really want to
     home in on those contributors to uncertainty about which
     there's not really a good mathematical trail.
               Sooner or later we'll want to come back to that.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  We'd be happy to do that and make
     sure we get the right people here to do that for you.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Right.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Okay.  A lot of discussion had
     taken place a year or two years ago, even relatively
     recently about an above-boiling versus below-boiling design.
     And they were almost considered to be either/or; either you
     had one or you had the other.
               One of the considerations criteria for selection
     and the LA design selection activity a year ago was
     flexibility for change, as I mentioned earlier.  We chose
     EDA-2, Enhanced Design Alternative 2, in part because it has
     quite a bit of flexibility.
               Given the interest and potentially keeping the
     host rock below the boiling temperature of water and the
     post-closure arena, we've come to realize that EDA-2, by
     turning a few knobs, can also be made to do that.
               So this next discussion really is on which knobs
     are the right knobs to turn?  Why did we come to that
     conclusion, the conclusion of which knobs are appropriate,
     and what does that mean to us in terms of tradeoffs between
     ventilation duration, waste package spacing, and aging of
               And there are obviously a few other things that
     could be considered also.  So, what will be in the SRCR
     design and considerations in establishing that, controlling
     thermal responses, this is the intro to the rest of it.
               There may be a number of reasons to have a
     flexible design.  Obviously, policy, should we develop
     alternative technical objectives, get new information like a
     somewhat hotter waste stream, for example or other
               There were a few design requirements and features
     that we have, really not a lot.  The cladding, we want to
     protect that, so we'll keep below 350 C.  Now, certainly if
     that were sort of the defining feature, we'd probably want
     to invest more time in developing the time/temperature
     curves above that.
               But especially in consideration of host rock
     temperatures, cladding at 350 is reasonable as an item to
     keep.  We also wanted to allow water to drain between
               That was one of the fundamental precepts of EDA-2,
     where we move from the VA spacing of 28 meters to the last
     spacing of 81 meters between drifts.  That really was to
     dissociate the thermal effects from one drift to another to
     provide a cool regime between drifts so that you wouldn't
     develop a potentially pond of water above drifts if you were
     above boiling.
               Even if you had localized boiling, there is still
     a reasonable flow path between drifts.  The DOE simply said
     provide a flow path; the M&O has assigned a number of 50
     percent of the pillar ligament width to be the number.
               Design features, 81 meters; the 7.6 kilowatt
     average waste package power, I mentioned earlier, 11.3.  The
     11.3 is for the 21 PWRs, taking all waste packages together,
     the Defense high-level waste co-disposal, the BWR, the Navy
     fuel, et cetera, average is 7.6.
               At a tenth of a meter spacing between them, that
     then comes out to just under 1.5 kilowatts per meter,
     average power density.
               We've got a ventilation flow rate of 15 cubic
     meters per second.  That's up appreciably from the VA.  We
     think that's effectively about as fast as you can pump air
     through there and still remove additional heat.
               We've looked at going above that, but the amount
     of heat actually removed above that flow rate was minimal.
     It wasn't worth the tradeoff in additional capital
     expenditures for that.
               In terms of what that means relative to miles per
     hour of wind down the tunnel, that's about a mile an hour,
     given a 5.5 meter cross section.
               MR. WYMER:  That's the flow rate per drift?
               MR. HARRINGTON:  That's per drift.  Now, remember
     that a drift has inlets on each end, and an exhaust down
     through the middle.
               So when you look at the number of drifts, you have
     to consider each end of each drift when you add up to get
     the total flow rate.
               Also, drip shield on the packages, the fuel is an
     average of 26 years old at point of receipt at a repository.
               Now, operational features, as distinct from design
     features are the spacing between waste packages.
               The preclosure period, how long might you keep the
     repository open, and the amount of staging or aging of fuel
     prior to emplacement, and the last drift loaded, takes about
     25 years to do emplacement.
               There are about 70,000 MTU at about 3,000 MTU per
     year, so it's about 25 years, so that means that the last
     drift emplaced would only have about a 25-year cooling
     period prior to closure, if you did a 50-year closure of the
     entire -- 50-year entire preclosure period.
               So that means that, again, the host rock would get
     up to about 200 degrees C, and that the front would
     eventually advance in about 12 meters.
               A number of considerations, starting in the top
     left with the fuel itself, okay, the enrichment of the fuel
     as a contributor, the exposure -- that's the time in core,
     leading to burnup as a contributor, the age from point of
     discharge from the reactor is a contributor.  The longer the
     point of discharge, aging, the cooler it is.
               Those factors then determine the thermal output of
     the individual fuel assemblies, and that along with the
     number of assemblies in a waste package, the mix of
     assemblies in a waste package, sets the hotter and colder
     assemblies -- potentially, we might even mix boiling water
     reactor fuel elements along with PWR elements in a single
               That introduces some additional design and
     operational complexities, though, so we wouldn't do that it
     unless it really provided a benefit.
               MR. WYMER:  How much analysis have you done on
     what you might call the tradeoff between the controlling the
     temperature in the drift by providing a lot more surface
     storage capacity for long decay times before you put it into
     the drift?
               It seems to me that that's a tradeoff that you
     could consider if you're talking about years.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Right.  And that shows up in a
     couple of slides on a set of curves.  There is a set of
     curves for staging that is the aging of the fuel, either on
     the surface at a repository or if we're successful with
     utilities, there.
               MR. WYMER:  So that's coming up later?
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Yes.
               MR. WYMER:  Okay.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  In this issue of operational
     flexibility, one of our former members reminded us that
     there is not only the opportunity here to engineer the
     near-field, and, most particularly, the waste package, but
     there is also a great opportunity to engineer the natural
               Now, except for the spacing of the tunnels, you
     haven't said much about things that are under consideration
     or that you might do to the natural setting to enhance the
     flexibility of the repository, or, more particularly, to
     reduce the likelihood of water having access to the
               Is this something you're also doing?  I'm thinking
     here of everything from a drainage system, to diversion
     systems, to Richard's barriers, to what have you.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Well, we've talked a lot in the
     past about what modifications we might do to the natural
     system around the drifts.  I know one concept had several,
     two or three emplacement drifts stacked vertically with a
     cap over it to try and shed water.
               What that did for us, though, was concentrate the
     heat, and, effectively, you were reducing the overall
     emplacement area, you were having drifts closer together
     than they would otherwise have been.
               So we were not then able to take advantage of
     being able to reject heat into the further-field.  That was
     causing some problems.
               Another consideration with that was what happens
     to the water once it passes the lips of those shields?
     There is a fair amount of fracturing, and there is some
     lateral movement of water also as it goes down.
               So, yes, we've looked at number of different
     natural system modifications.  To date, we have not
     determined that we would proceed with many of those, simply
     because of the concern over how well they can work, how well
     we can demonstrate them to work in a regulatory arena, and
     the cost/benefit tradeoff of them versus some of the other
     things we're doing.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  I guess what I'm thinking of is
     that the regulations are pretty explicit with respect to the
     performance being dependent on both engineered systems and
     the natural setting.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Right.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  And it seems that we're moving,
     we're getting a much better handle on what the contribution
     to performance might be from the engineered systems than we
     are from the natural setting.  I realize that the whole site
     characterization program was designed to provide the
     baseline information on the containment capability of the
     natural setting, but somewhere along the line, that question
     is probably going to have to be addressed in a quantitative
     form or some sort of a quantitative form as to how much of
     the performance really comes from the natural setting.
               I'm just curious as to -- without taking a lot of
     time here to discuss that, if there is some sort of an
     effort comparable to what you're doing here, to quantify the
     impact of the natural setting on bottom-line performance.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  We are spending a great of time
     trying to understand what the natural system is and what its
     effect on engineered features would be, and, therefore, the
     contribution of the natural system to the total system
     performance.  Modifications that we might do to the natural
     system, I guess I would really have considered those to be
     engineered features, something like a shield of clay or
     whatever it might be, above emplacement drifts, is really an
     engineered feature.  Trying to make this --
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  But you try to engineer it in
     such a way that you take advantage of the natural
               MR. HARRINGTON:  This is true.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  And that connection has got to
     be very important.  We all know, too, that the state is
     extremely interested in having insight on the capability of
     the site to do this job as much as it possibly can on its
     own, without undue assistance from the near-field engineered
               And, of course, in Europe it seems that the
     emphasis is much more on the natural setting than it is on
     the near-field and the elaborate designs of the waste
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Yeah.  I had the opportunity to
     go to Sweden last fall and went to the hard rock lab, to the
     canister development lab, and to their interim storage
     facility, and that was very enlightening.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Right.  Okay.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  They have a little different set
     of issues to deal with.  Because of the interim storage
     facility, they inherit, at a repository, appreciably cooler
     material than we are having to accommodate in a design, and
     they also have only about a tenth of it.  So, both of those
     would be beneficial tradeoffs.
               DR. WYMER:  But you don't really have to
     accommodate higher temperatures if you have substantial
     surface storage for an extended period of time.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  That's true.
               DR. WYMER:  It seems to me that is a tradeoff that
     a fair amount of attention ought to be paid to.  You are
     actually talking about going down in your amount of
     inventory you need.  It seems to me, you might be thinking
     about going up.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Well, if we go to staging, some
     appreciable staging, yes, that number would go up by --
               DR. WYMER:  And the total problems go down.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Yeah.  Yeah.  Well, the thermal
     content, the temperatures would go down.  Whether or not is
     a problem, you know, if we can make a case that says an
     above-boiling repository is adequately understandable,
     defensible, uncertainties are acceptably low, then that may
     be a reasonable path to take if we show commensurate cost
               Now, as we get a little further back to that chart
     I mentioned earlier, there are a number of five different
     cost points on it.  Every one of them is $6-$8 billion more
     expensive than the closure at 50 years with letting the
     post-rock go somewhat above boiling.  So, again, it is a
     tradeoff.  So, if we can make an adequate technical case
     that says it is reasonable to close and go above boiling,
     then that is a substantial amount of money that doesn't need
     to be spent.
               MR. LEVENSON:  I want to ask a question.  In your
     present concept, at the time you get ready to close the
     repository, when would the last fuel that is scheduled for
     the repository have come out of a reactor?  What is the
     minimum cooling time?
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Five years.  The minimum cooling
     time is five years.  In the standard contract, there is a
     requirement that all fuel be at least five years out of
     reactor.  With respect to defining a waste stream other than
     that, at this point we don't have that.  That is something
     that we would like to get to.
               We talked about that a little bit earlier, our
     need to develop what the best emplacement scenario would be.
     I am not convinced that I want to take all the cold stuff
     first and delay the very hottest till the end.  It may make
     sense to retain some of the colder stuff toward the end to
     offset some of the hotter stuff that will be generated then,
     but we haven't finished that work yet.
               MR. LEVENSON:  Okay.  That was the exactly the
     context of my question, is that, if, in fact, putting hot
     fuel in the repository causes problems, you ought to put the
     hot stuff in while you have the longest period of forced
     ventilation and cooling, put the coolest stuff in just
     before you are ready to close it up.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Yeah, that is an approach, and,
     obviously, that is one of the things we are considering.
               Let's see, that is thermal output of assemblies
     along with -- another question?  Okay.  Along with those
     things contribute to the thermal loading, distance between
     drifts, ventilation duration and rate give the overall
     thermal response.
               Why did we choose the things that we did to use as
     operational variables?  Enrichment, we can't control that.
     Exposure, time spent by assembly in core, we can't control
     that.  Age from discharge, we can address that through the
     use of staging, either at point of receipt or prior to
     emplacement.  Number of assemblies in the waste package,
     obviously, that is something we can change, but changing the
     spacing between waste packages has the same effect, so we
     settled on the latter, it is a little more manageable.  It
     also would not necessarily increase the number of waste
               Let's see, blending of dissimilar assemblies, we
     talked about that a little bit in terms of the BWR and PWR.
     For perspective of this exercise, though, we have already
     got blending covered as an operational mode with the hotter
     and cooling waste packages, and, so, we think that is
     manageable.  Distance between waste packages, obviously, we
     can control that.
               Distance between drifts, now that we decided to
     move them out as far as they are to 81 meter spacing, that
     is center line spacing, there is relatively little effect on
     thermal interaction from one drift to the next by trying to
     keep this large sub-boiling region between them to
     facilitate the drainage.  So, that is not a significant
               Ventilation duration, we can control.  Ventilation
     flow rate, right now we are expecting that the 15 cubic
     meters per second would remove about 70 percent of the heat
     generated by the waste after placed underground prior to
     closure.  There may be some ways we can change the layout of
     that, but, operationally, it might not get greater than
     maybe 80 or 85 percent efficient.  But we think that we have
     got that effect bounded by the consideration of staging,
     that is 100 percent heat removal.  So, from an operational
     perspective, we think staging covers it.
               DR. WYMER:  At closure, do you intend to plug up
     all these ventilation ports?
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Yes.  Yes.
               DR. WYMER:  In general, close the whole darn
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Yeah.  We talk about the backfill
     in the emplacement drifts and we said that we have made a
     decision that that would not be part of the case, as Steve
     correctly pointed out.  We didn't rule it from future
     consideration, but that is just the emplacement drift for
     the thermal issue.  The parameter drift, the ventilation
     drifts, the access ramps, those, we would expect to backfill
     and put seals in.
               DR. WYMER:  It would be sealed?
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Yeah.  We have looked at what is
     the feasibility of operating this design to keep the rock
     below boiling.  Those three things that we have talked
     about, the staging, it is aging of waste packages,
     increasing the spacing between the waste packages and
     increasing the duration of the ventilation, there is a link
     to preclosure duration there certainly, are things that we
     can, from an operational perspective adjust to keep the host
     rock below boiling if we determine that that, in fact, is a
     necessary or valuable feature.
               There are some hot spots, some areas in the host
     rock that would be above boiling even if we did that.
     Typically, that is in the invert blow the waste package
     where the support component for the waste package is
     touching the waste package and then able to conduct to the
     invert, and in some areas of the host rock immediately
     adjacent to the hottest packages, but that is a very limited
               We have, we think, general consensus that that
     very limited amount of rock above boiling is not
     problematic.  The concern by many is really a more extensive
     degree of above-boiling.
               That brings us to the curves.  This has been
     referred to as the Rosetta Stone, a number of other things.
     Let me walk through it in a set of issues.  Okay.  First, we
     will talk about the years of staging.  This is the amount of
     life of aging that would be given to fuel assemblies prior
     to emplacement beyond the average age of fuel at receipt
     now, which is 26 years.  So, basically, if we received it in
     the front door and emplaced it relatively soon, that is
     considered to be no staging, if we had the ability to let a
     fuel assembly cool for an additional 10 years, either at
     repository or utility, it doesn't matter, then we could be
     out on these curves.
               What this is is the set of distances between waste
     packages, this is the gap, not a center line spacing, versus
     ventilation duration after loading of a waste package, that
     you would then either be below boiling in the host rock
     after closure, or above boiling in the host rock after
     closure.  Preclosure period, it stays below boiling all the
     time because of the higher ventilation flow rates that we
     have now.  The issue is postclosure.  So, above and to the
     right of each of these curves, host rock stays below.  Below
     and to the left of each of these curves, host rock would go
     above boiling to some extent.
               Now, we have got SR base operations here.  That is
     because SR has a tenth of a meter spacing between packages,
     and for a 50 year closure, with about a 25 year emplacement
     period, then that leaves about a 25 year ventilation period.
     So, that is where that falls, but that is also relative to
     years of staging zero, so, it is substantially on the
     above-boiling side.
               One point to consider is if we had no staging and
     we wanted to keep the minimum distance, we could, between
     waste packages, minimize the extent of tunneling and drip
     shields, but yet close at 100 years.  What is the point?
     Okay, this is the point, there is no staging and it
     intersects this 100 year preclosure line.  What this line
     represents, each point on this line is a sum of three
     things.  It is the sum of the staging, plus a 25 year
     emplacement campaign, plus a ventilation duration after
     completion of emplacement.
               So, for example, here, no staging, 25 years about
     of emplacement, plus an additional 75 years of ventilation
     after that means closure in 100 years.  In January, when we
     agreed with the M&O that the removal of backfill was the
     most appropriate solution to the increased thermal content
     issue, we sent the letter -- a letter to the M&O and
     directed them to develop a change request to remove the
     backfill from the current design, not to preclude it, but to
     also answer a number of other questions.  And one of the
     caveats we put in that was to come up with a design solution
     that could allow closure in about 100 years.  That seemed to
     be a reasonable approach for trying to keep a sub-boiling
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Each of these points on the
     curve, then, represent what a 100-year preclosure duration
     would look like.  So if we ended up with, say, ten years of
     staging and had a spacing between the packages of about 1.4
     meters and had about a 65-year preclosure duration of
     ventilation after completion of emplacement, we could close
     in 100 years and remain -- keep the host rock below boiling.
     So that is then these sets of curves and what this one
               Now, we put some limits on this thing.  One of
     them, you see nothing goes beyond 75 years.  We could have,
     but the reason for that was we said we wanted to see
     100-year preclosure, so this represents 75 years in
     ventilation plus 25 years of emplacement.
               There is also an upper bound to it, and we'll get
     to that in a slide or two where I had shown you the layout
     of the repository subsurface with the lower and upper
               To accommodate 97.4 MTU -- it's really MTHM --
     what that represents is 84,000 MTU of commercial fuel and
     all of the DOE high-level waste and SNF.  That's considered
     to be equivalent to about 13,000 MTHM.  That's what we're
     using for our total system life cycle work, so that's
     something that we wanted to be able to address.
               Given the finite amount of space in the upper and
     lower blocks, we wanted to see how much we could use and
     still fit within that.  Now, you may remember that in the
     EIS, we show for the low thermal load, the 25 MTU, 105 -- 25
     MTU per acre low thermal load -- the 105,000 MTU commercial
     fuel case.
               Obviously that is more than in the upper and lower
     block, so we have some satellite regions out below Jet Ridge
     across the canyon for that.  But with respect to really the
     primary area of focus, the upper block and the lower block
     on the east side of Ghost Dance, there's a fixed amount of
     space.  So to fit the TSLCC quantity, the total system
     quantity into that space, we can't have more than about four
     meters between packages.  So that's the upper limit.
               Now, we wanted to do some trade-offs, okay?  We
     have the costs associated with that point on the curve, but
     we wanted to see what it would take for several other
     scenarios, so we looked at this cost and doesn't involve any
     more staging, but it's about 2.3 meters between package, so
     there's more tunnelling involved.
               The drip shield segments are not individual drip
     shields over individual waste packages; they are continual
     segments.  Therefore, if we increase the space between waste
     packages, that then increases the amount of drip shields
     required even though it doesn't increase the number of waste
               So because of the increase in spacing, tunneling,
     drip shields, and also because it would require 75 years of
     ventilation after emplacement rather than shutting it off at
     50 years, there's about $6 billion additional total system
     life cycle costs and net present value that's discounted to
     about six-tenths of a billion.
               One of the reasons for that is the procurement of
     the additional drip shield material doesn't happen until the
     end, until closure, so you would be setting that out 75
               Okay.  Also on that zero year of staging, we went
     out to the maximum spacing that would still fit within a
     characterized area -- four meters -- that's about seven
     billion, about nine-tenths of a billion net present value.
     It's a little more expensive than this, driven by the
     tunnelling and drip shield costs more than offsetting the
     reduced operations and maintenance cost of having the
     extended ventilation.
               Okay.  It went down to the ten-year staging line
     and took several spots on it.  One again is the 75-year
     ventilation period, and that's about six-tenths of a
     billion.  We came back to the same 2.3 meter spacing as we
     looked at here.  It's about seven-tenths of a billion.  And
     came back to the same 4 meter spacing as we looked at here,
     and that's about 8 billion.
               The progression here is the same -- six to seven
     to eight.  We see that it's costing us more money to go with
     the greater spacing, the additional amount of tunnelling,
     the additional amount of drip shields than we're saving due
     to reducing the O&M costs on the ventilation period.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Paul, I hate to do this to you,
     but can you wrap it up in about five minutes?
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Yes.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  We have a comment from the
     public that we want to accommodate.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Okay.  There's just a couple more
     slides after this.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Okay.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  The next one is the layout we
     looked at earlier.  The reason I put this in here was to
     point out where these items fell with the 70,000 inventory
     at a tenth of a meter.  It goes here.
               The whole TSLCC at a tenth of a meter goes to
     here.  70,000 at 2.3 meters goes here.  The EIS inventory,
     the 119,000, that's the extended case for EIS at a tenth
     takes this much.  We can even accommodate the EIS at 2.3
     within this, but trying to go beyond goes out further.
               This is a graphic representation of the tradeoffs
     between space and amount of the upper and lower blocks
     that's required, and really the last are summary slides.  We
     think it's flexible, we think it's the right thing to do,
     and that's the main discussion.  The rest of it really is
     summary of what I've already said, so I won't do that in the
     interest of time.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  I'm just curious.  This whole
     project and its immensity would lend itself well to very
     interesting simulation, particularly with respect to the
     operations and the exercising of these parametric curves and
     what have you.  Are you doing some of that?  Are you doing
     computer simulation of the operations?
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Yes.  There's something called a
     witness model that the M&O is using.  I'm not sure how
     widespread it is.  I understand it's fairly widely used.
     And they are using mean time to repair values, mean time
     between failure values that they're pulling in from industry
     from previous experience, and plugging into the witness
     model is primarily an exercise that the surface facility
     folks are going through to identify where the hold-ups might
               We have, obviously, more work to do there.  Some
     of the initial values that they were using were very
     optimistic with respect to, say, times to repair major crane
     failures, things like that.
               So yes, we're doing a lot of computer modelling of
     handling activities, those sorts of things.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Using the VA as a baseline for
     a moment, and you've presented some of that information and
     you have the curves that probably answer the question, but
     what price are you paying or savings are you attaining as a
     result of going from, say, the VA design to the so-called
     flexible design?
               Obviously you've saved about a billion dollars,
     have you not, by eliminating the backfill.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Going overall from VA to LADs was
     more expensive by about $4 billion.  Giving up the backfill,
     the number associated directly with that, last I remember,
     was about $600 million, so say on the order of a billion
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  So the $4 billion is what the
     -- the delta increase?
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Was, yes.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.  Was.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Yes.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Okay.
               Go ahead.
               MR. BAILEY:  I would only restate what I said
     earlier.  It seems to me that there is some advantages in
     putting in more surface storage space not only with respect
     to the thermal problem, but with respect to giving you a
     chance to evaluate some of your design as you go along and
     make changes over time in the package design or whatever.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Yes.
               MR. BAILEY:  So I suppose you've done these
     trade-offs, but it seems to me that that is very much
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.  I would extend that
     question to include the total system, because with the
     direction that plants are going with dry storage and
     extensive risk assessment of the dry storage facilities, it
     seems as though something that would be very interesting,
     and I don't see that you have that, would be a comprehensive
     plan for the management of the -- of a variable is critical
     as fuel aging.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Okay.  The surface study that I
     was referring to earlier that you won't see in the SR but
     what we'll be using as a basis for the LA work is
     identifying how the surface facility would accommodate that,
     and right now, what they're looking at is to have the
     flexibility for three major sets of target approaches to
     developing inventory.
               One is to -- if you had some particularly hot fuel
     that you really did not want to take underground but you
     were ready to load into a waste package, load it into a
     waste package and set that on the surface and some structure
     and allow it to age there rather than inputting all of that
     heat underground.
               Another is that you may want to have some sort of
     canistered storage facility rather than the waste package
     either if we're receiving non-disposable canisters, store
     them that way, or develop our own non-disposable canisters
     if that was the right design solution.  So we're looking at
     those two.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Isn't that kind of going back
     to the original concept of multiple-purpose containers or
               MR. HARRINGTON:  Well, the multi-purpose canisters
     were intended to be disposable also in addition to storable
     and transportable.  We've never really given that up.  Yes,
     the department quit developing it, but from a disposal
     perspective, obviously that would simplify our surface
     facility immensely if we didn't have to handle individual
     fuel assemblies.
               The Navy canisters are in effect MPCs.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  They are large disposable
     canisters that we would never have to open.  But the other
     side of that is, then, that any understanding of fuel
     necessary for disposal would have to be accomplished at
     point of canisterization.
               Right now, the standard contract doesn't require
     utilities to identify a great deal of information.  If we
     need to do some more characterization or do some observation
     prior to canistering, that will have to be done at point of
               The third thing between either loaded waste
     packages or canisters is also DOE waste.  Because of the
     need to sort of intermingle the hotter and cooler packages,
     it makes sense to us to have some DOE both S&F and high
     level waste canisters available for that, so this study is
     looking at adjacent pads to be able to store that sort of
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Okay.  Well, thank you very
               We do have Amy Shollenberger who wants to make a
     comment, then maybe we should do that right now, and then
     the committee has a picture appointment at 10:30, which we
     have just passed, but as soon as we break up, would you stay
     together so we can accommodate that.
               I guess, Paul, we're finished with your
     presentation.  We appreciate it.  It helps us a great deal.
               MR. HARRINGTON:  All right.  Thank you.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Amy.
               MS. SCHOLLENBERGER:  I'm here representing Public
     Citizen's Critical Mass Energy and Environment Program.
     Thanks to Chairman Garrick for making a few minutes for
     allowing me to comment.
               I have a few questions that I don't really expect
     answers to right now, but I just wanted to get them on the
               The first is, this discussion about interim
     storage happening onsite at the reactors to allow for aging,
     I'm curious to know how, if there's an agreement worked out
     with the reactors for that onsite storage, how will that
     affect especially the transportation schedule and the queue,
     and also eventually the placement schedule?
               Will that push it out past the 25 years, because
     it may take longer to get everything to the repository if
     stuff is aging onsite.  If anybody has an idea where I might
     get that answer, I'd appreciate it.
               Secondly, I'm wondering, with this idea about
     flexible design, it seems to me like what DOE is really
     saying here is that this design is never actually going to
     be finalized until the repository is closed, if that ever,
     indeed happens.
               And I'm wondering how in the world they're going
     to complete an FEIS and show what the effects on the local
     environment and the local public health is going to be if
     they have no idea until they're actually emplacing the
     waste, how it's going to be emplaced.
               And as a follow on to that, I'm wondering,
     shouldn't there be another DEIS to allow the public to
     comment on all of these changes that are happening between
     the draft and the final EIS, because, you know, obviously
     what we commented on last year has nothing to do with what's
     actually going to happen at this point.
               And, finally, this is not explicitly related to
     this presentation, but I think it is indirectly related.
     There has been a move throughout the NRC and also now it's
     in Congress with Senator Murkowski's new Energy Security
     Act, S. 2257, to take away the public's right to formal
               And that move would specifically impact the Yucca
     Mountain licensing.  And I'm really worried for the public
     that there's nowhere.  If that happen, a move to informal
     hearings, there is nowhere where the public has recourse to
     any of these design changes, to even get the information
     until it's actually happening, and to comment on that
               So, I would really once again -- Public Citizen
     has been saying this repeatedly for the past several months,
     but once again I would really like to say that it's really a
     mistake to take away the public's right to formal hearings.
               It would be fine and maybe even desirable to do
     informal hearings along with the formal hearing, but it's
     absolutely not acceptable to not have formal hearings on
     this license.
               And it's been pointed out by my colleague, Jim
     Riccio, several times that there was a promise made in the
     SECY paper that said that Yucca Mountain would have formal
     hearings, no matter what the NRC decided on the hearing
     process in general, and we would just really like to
     encourage you all to keep that promise.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Than you.  Those questions vary
     from the very specific having to do with design, to the very
     global, having to do with Congress.  And they are a part of
     the record, and I think they are deserving of a response.
               I think we'll have to find a way to do that, other
     than through the session today, but we are pleased with your
     bringing them up, and somehow we will get to them.
               Now, unless there are members of the Committee
     that would like to comment on anything that's been said, I'd
     like to maintain our schedule as close as we can, and,
     therefore, call for a break right now.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  We're going to now turn our
     attention to repository safety strategy, and George
     Hornberger will lead our discussion in this area.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  The repository safety strategy,
     as we understand it, is continuing to evolve.  Jack Bailey
     is here to give us an update so that we can try to keep
     abreast of the progress that DOE and the contractors are
               Jack, it's good to see you again.
               MR. BAILEY:  Thank you, sir.  It's a pleasure to
     be here.
               Yes, we're going to talk about the repository
     safety strategy.  We're going to talk about the ongoing
     development of the repository safety strategy.  As you
     pointed out, it is, in fact, continuing to evolve; it is not
               I will preface the entire discussions by, these
     are preliminary results.  There are some results and some
     findings in here, and they are, in fact, preliminary, and
     we'll be back as we continue to move forward and work it.
               We've had some confusion as to what is the
     repository safety strategy?  It's a strategy, but it also is
     a plan.
               I've got several slides here to try and get around
     what we're trying to accomplish with the RSS and how we're
     going about it.
               It's central to the DOE's evaluation of the
     current technical knowledge and how to move forward.  That's
     what the repository safety strategy is about.  And we do
     that in a couple of ways:
               First, there's a safety case, and you've heard the
     safety case before, and it will show up a couple or three
     times in here.  It's the five elements, the TSPA, margin,
     defense-in-depth, natural analogs, disruptive events, and
     performance confirmation.
               And we think about how to hang the flesh on those
     bones, of here's how we want to make the argument.  It's a
     layered argument.  It's a mean by which we gain confidence
     that the system will work through all of these methods.
               And the RSS takes a look at what we know about the
     current safety case, what we know about the current
     knowledge and how to move forward.  So the plan is
     determined by management after you get technical input.
               Now, management also gets to make some choices in
     this.  It is not purely technical.  You can decide where to
     put your resources.  You have timing issues, you have money
     issues, you decide where it is that you want to go work.
               Now, we chose the current, and we went to the
     license application.  You can put VA, you can put EDA-2, you
     can put EDA-2 and SR, you can put SR and SRCR and SR, and
     you can think about it.  We tried to do it in an iterative
     fashion as we get some new set of information.
               I'm not sure everybody's slides in the audience
     came out as well as we had hoped.  I think there was some
     double printing.  If there was, let us know and we'll try to
     help you.
               The iterative nature, you can jump in anywhere you
     want.  Let's start up here with the repository system
     characteristics.  That's the entire system, not just one
     piece of the system, but the entire system, because you have
     to look at the whole system here in terms of satisfying the
     standards, which happens down here.
               And in there, you address your hazards for
     pre-closure, or your performance in the post-closure.  You
     identify your credible features, events, and processes,
     define your scenarios, your event trees, get your
     probability, assess your consequences.
               And evaluate results of your hazards analysis with
     the results of your performance analysis.  Compare it with
     your standards, and then assess the uncertainties.
               Decide what you know.  Decide how well you know
     it, decide what confidence you have in order to move
               You assess then what do we need to do next?  In
     one direction, you go and you say here's the safety case, we
     write it out, here are the requirements we're going to place
     on the system, and in some cases, the Q-list.  We go all the
     way back to the basics of we have systems, structures, and
     components, and we're going to place requirements on them.
               And so from there, you can do that.  You also feed
     that back into the safety strategy.  How do we hang the meat
     on the bones from what we know now?  And then you decide
     what new information do I need to acquire?
               How do I need to modify designs?  What models do I
     really need?  And so you're constantly going through these
     processes in an iterative fashion to come up with a design
     that is the design that you want to move forward with.
               And I use design in the system sense here, not
     just in the engineering sense, but in the system sense.
     What do you choose to rely upon?  What is providing you with
     the performance that you need?
               What can you demonstrate about that performance
     through a rigorous licensing process?  That always has to be
     in the back of your mind or in the front of your mind
     sometimes, because it becomes very important as to whether
     or not you can really prove what you're saying.
               What are we trying to do in the RSS?  Get an
     adequate understanding, the identification of the principal
     factors determining safety.  We really try and look at the
     system and say what is it about this system that really
     drives the performance?  What really makes a difference?
               In a probabilistic sense, if we think we
     understand the system and we take a parameter and we push it
     all the way to the bad -- I'll call it -- edge of the
     distribution, and it doesn't change the result to the
     receptor at the biosphere, then we probably don't have to
     know a whole lot about that, other than have confidence that
     we have captured correctly, the basic behavior of that
     particular parameter.
               If, on the other hand, we find something that
     really affects the far end, then we really need to have a
     good understanding of that.
               We need to have an understanding of how it behaves
     and how either a good look at what the probability density
     function looks like, or something that we can clearly defend
     as a bound or a simplified area.  I'll talk about that a
     little bit more.
               We need to do the performance assessment.  That is
     our tool for putting all of these pieces together for
     looking at the interaction, and it is not just the tool that
     -- I want to speak highly of the PA, because it isn't just a
     tool that gives us a squiggly line or a bunch of squiggly
     lines at the end.  It is the tool by which you assemble
     this, and then you start using your intellectual processes
     from your principal investigators, your PA analysts, and
     start deciding, does this system come together correctly?
               Do these things make sense?  Are they borne out by
     what we're seeing?  Is the modeling really representative
               And have we done simplified or bounding type
     approaches that, in fact, are skewing the answer or hiding
     something from us?
               Those are the types of analysis we have to do.  We
     learn from the PA.  We not only get squiggly lines; we learn
     from the PA.
               And then finally you have to have measures to
     increase your confidence in safety.  Why are we sure?  Why
     do we think we're right?
               And there are measures to address residual
     uncertainty and any other potential vulnerabilities.  And
     the word, vulnerabilities, is going to come up again later,
     and I'm not sure that's the right word.  That's why this is
     preliminary, but we'll talk about some vulnerabilities.
               I think you've seen this slide, but I really like
     it.  There's an evolving technical basis, and it keeps
     going, and it runs off the edge of the page.  It should be
     out here because it doesn't stop.
               Performance confirmation doesn't stop.  Study in
     the rest of the world doesn't stop.  Inquisitiveness doesn't
     stop.  It may not be quite the same height, but it's still
               The viability assessment we put together,
     basically a viability assessment safety case that was found
     in Volume IV of the VA.
               And it said here's what we know about the system,
     here is how important we think it may be, here's how much we
     know, and here's how much more we can know in a couple of
     years.  That was the first look at where do we need to apply
     resources, because we can learn something in another few
     years, as opposed to 20 or 30 or 40.
               For the enhanced design alternative, which if you
     recall was the corrosion resistant on the outside package,
     the drip shield, backfill, we did some preliminary analysis
     and came up with -- and we actually made some decisions as
     to where the performance seemed to be clustered, if I can
     use that word.
               We did in this -- it's important to note that we
     did.  In this, it's important to note we did a traceability.
     We did a transparency type approach where we followed a drop
     of water through the mountain.  That's not how you did the
     TSPA.  We tried to find a way to get what are all the
     processes that it faces as it moves through the mountain?
               And we gave all of them equal weight, and you'll
     see that in a minute.  Here we went through there and we did
     exactly what I said, we started skewing those probability
     distributions to find out which ones really made a
               And the ones that didn't push the answer at the
     back end, we chose not to try and study as hard or in as
     much detail as we did the others, because the others make a
     bigger difference to the overall safety.
               And what we're doing in Rev 3 -- Rev 3 was done
     off of VA models that were modified for a nominal run only,
     no probabilistic runs to speak of, off of the Enhanced
     Design Alternative 2.  In Rev 4,, we will have run the TSPA
     for the SRCR, which I'll talk about in a minute.
               We have a big improvement in the models that we
     can use to do our sensitivities, do our barrier analysis and
     do our study of the system.
               Elements of the safety case.  I ran through this
     one for you, you have seen it many times in the postclosure
     safety case.  The repository safety strategy for Rev. 4 is
     going to include considerations of the preclosure.  We have
     looked at the 10,000 year dose in accordance with the
     regulation.  We are now going to start looking at the
     preclosure safety case.  What happens in the local area
     because we are handling fuel, we are packaging fuel, we are
     moving fuel?  And I talk about that, I will come back to it
     at the end.
               And we go back and we do what is called an
     integrated safety analysis.  That is a probabilistic
     approach to identify the operation of the system, what is
     important.  We look at safety margin and defense-in-depth as
     a part of that.  We do an analysis of design basis events.
     It still comes back to what are the events that typically
     bound the others, as opposed to a pure probabilistic.  We
     look at industry precedent and experience.  What has worked?
     What hasn't worked?  How can we use it?  And technical
     specifications and surveillance, this is a facility we can
     touch every day, and, so, we can place some operational
     conditions to ensure safety.
               Safety margin and defense-in-depth can be handled
     a couple of ways, by the way.  One is choosing codes and
     standards, commonly used.  We would like to help ourselves
     in the licensing process by using existing codes and
     standards that the NRC is familiar with.  And the
     defense-in-depth, we will probably do some barrier tech
     analysis again.
               So, what do we do for the postclosure?  Site
     characteristics and engineered barrier design, we do the
     analysis, we do the performance assessment.  Identify
     credible features, events and processes.  Get our scenarios,
     probability, assess consequences, evaluate the expected
     performance.  Same chart, only this for the postclosure.  We
     compare with the standards and assess uncertainties.  We go
     over and look, what can we do to improve the PA?  Gain
     confidence, make it better.
               How do we enhance our safety margin, our
     defense-in-depth?  How do we evaluate them?  Increase the
     information about potentially disruptive events.  Increase
     natural analogue information and update the performance
     confirmation plans, what should be done next.
               Now, Rev. 2, the principal factors, as I said, and
     I will go through this quickly, because I have covered some
     it, nominal case factors, all that might play a role.  The
     drop of water moving through.  There was no consideration of
     disruptive events.  The performance assessment was the VA
     design and the VA models.  And what did we do?  Well, we
     decided we had better look at safety margin, and we had
     better look at defense-in-depth and some of the other
     elements of the safety case, because at this point we are
     working almost purely with the PA, the performance
               It is noteworthy at this point to identify the
     attributes of the system, because the attributes of the
     system haven't changed in years.  And the attributes are to
     limit the water contacting the waste package.  They are to
     have a long-lived waste package.  To keep the waste inside
     the engineered barrier system, inside the drift area,
     near-field.  And to identify and understand the reduction of
     radionuclides as it is transported through the unsaturated
     zone and the saturated zone out to the receptors.
               Those four things, those four pieces of the
     strategy have no changed over the last many years.  The
     approach is still the same.  Which factors, which models and
     how they have evolved has changed a bit.  But the basic
     approach has not changed.
               In Rev. 3, it is important to see Rev. 3, the
     principal factors, we made some subjective judgments about
     the factors expected to be the most important to
     performance, and they were supported by the barrier
     neutralization analysis.  What we did was is we sat down the
     PA analysts, we sat down the principal investigators, we sat
     down this preliminary PA that we had done, we did these
     barrier neutralization analysis, non-mechanistic cases.
     What if there is no rock above, and it rains right on the
     package?  What if there is no package?  Those types of
     things.  Classical "what if."  And we went back and asked
     questions of these people.  Do you think we got this right?
     Did we not get it right?  How does this do this?  And this
     was important and we spent the time with those people
     because it, in fact, did point the way at where we spent our
     resources in the last two years getting ourselves ready for
     the SRCR.
               Our performance assessment was this design, we
     used the VA models for the natural system.  And what did we
     do?  We did the preliminary consideration of safety margins
     and defense-in-depth, that was the barrier analysis, in
     particular.  And we put out Rev. 0 of the performance
     confirmation plan, which basically said, what might we need
     to measure and how can we measure it?  Very broad scope, not
     a plan as much as a capability document to be able to look
     at things in the future.
               Rev. 4, the principal factors are being developed
     following the risk-informed, performance-based approach,
     which I will describe.  We did our first full evaluation of
     features, events and processes.  We went through every
     portion of the system, international database, and worked
     through what features, events and processes should be
     considered and marked them in or marked them out, documented
     that.  That has been -- some of those have been reviewed.
     We are supplying some of our technical material to the NRC
     staff, and they have looked at those and had comments on
     them, and our documentation probably needs a little
     tightening up, but we have done that -- or we are doing
               And this is, however, the first full evaluation of
     features, events and processes.  Up until this point in
     time, the PA analysts generally tried to make a good guess
     at what it was going to be.  They documented what and why.
     This time we did it a different way, and that different way
     was our updated models are fully documented in the process
     model reports and the analysis and model reports.  We have
     done a lot of science on this over the years.
               What we imposed in this past year, or past two
     years, has been an architecture of these AMRs and PMRs,
     where we have broken it down into the models that go into
     the PA, and we have assigned a lead to every one of those
     models in the scientific community.  And he has on his team,
     himself, that is the scientific lead, he has a PA analyst
     for that area and he has a regulatory engineer to assist him
     to make sure we answer the NRC's questions, and to make sure
     we have the integration between the science and the PA.
               We wrote RSS 3 and said, here is the basis that we
     want you to follow.  These can be simplified.  These should
     be more realistic.  And they followed that basis in terms of
     putting together some 122 AMRs which together, including
     FEPs, AMRs, process AMRs and abstraction AMRs, put together
     all of those pieces in a unified approach to get the models
     pulled together for the TSPA and to create a PMR that shows
     how you derive from what you learned in the field to how you
     model in the TSPA.
               So, we have, as it says, fully documented, it is
     fully traceable, we can explain why we did what we did.  We
     will probably have lots of arguments about that, but we can
     explain what we did, why we did what we did.  The FEPs are
     fully involved in that piece.  And, in fact, it followed
     RSS 3 with pieces of bounding or pieces of full
               Now, you will notice it says the analyses address
     a range of uncertainties.  This may or may not be the full
     range.  The unsaturated zone leader will tell you that he
     has simplified how he has gone about doing seepage.  It is
     not -- you know, it is skewed so as to be defendable.  I
     think that the waste package people would tell you the same
     thing, that they have skewed it a certain extent to be
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  What are they saying?  Are they
     saying they have made a distribution curve conservative to
     be defensible?
               MR. BAILEY:  Yes.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  That is bad.  The whole idea of
     risk modeling is to tell it the way you believe it is and
     what the evidence can support, not some fudging to the right
     or to the left on the basis of trying to win a case.  This
     is just a sore point that those people who are practicing
     risk assessment and start monkeying around with
     distributions on the basis of hunches or what-have-you, and
     changing them, and that that change is not supported by
     tangible evidence, are violating the most fundamental rule
     that exists with respect to risk assessment.
               MR. BAILEY:  I understand the sore point, and let
     me see if I can clarify.  What they have is, in fact, fully
     supportable and it is not a hunch.  It is, however, perhaps
     not the full extent, it is supportable.  There are no
     hunches, there are no -- well, we are going to put it over
     here because we don't know anything.  It is we know that we
     can defend it being here, and here is the data that can
     support it being here.  Could we defend it to be more?
     Perhaps.  I do understand the sore point.
               TSPA includes both the nominal and igneous
     activity scenarios this time.  We did pick up one of the
     disruptive events.
               What measures do we have?  Full evaluation of the
     safety margins and defense-in-depth will be done when RSS 4
     is done.  And Revision 1 of the performance confirmation
     plan goes back to the repository safety strategy Rev. 3,
     since one of most important things to measure are the things
     that we want to be confident of, and starts to focus the
     performance confirmation plan on the most things to review.
               MR. LEVENSON:  I have a question about that.
               MR. BAILEY:  Yes, sir.
               MR. LEVENSON:  You use the term "full evaluation
     of the safety margins."  That implies that you are keeping
     track as you go about the conservatism and every component,
     and that you are going to add them up at the end.  Is that
     really what you are doing?
               MR. BAILEY:  No, sir.  You saw a slide in Paul
     Harrington's discussion that said we need to do a better job
     of that than we are doing.  This is a full evaluation based
     on what is in there and then the back end look at it.
               What did we do?  That is what we did, the same
     thing that I said.  It comes over to principal factors and
     then we try and find some specific vulnerabilities.  Where
     do we think we are weak?  Here is an example of features,
     events and processes evaluation.  We have a waste package.
     We numbered all the FEPs so that we can track them and find
     why we did them like we did.  We have a title.  We went back
     over to which process model factor we fit them into, and you
     can see we have some that fit and we have some that we have
               This is an example, these are, in fact,
     documented.  One that is kind of interesting here,
     mechanical impact on the waste container, effects of
     rockfall on the drip shield or on the waste package.  Even
     if the drip shield is not present, excluded by design, -- it
     caught my eye.  I expect it caught yours.  It will show up
     again in a couple of minutes, if I can beg your indulgence.
               Again, the documentation that we have been
     providing to the NRC Staff, which I presume you have access
     to, contains the AMRs and the FEP analysis that would
     support these in particular.  We will be having a lot of
     discussions over that.
               So what were the process model factors that we
     came up with for the nominal scenario?  We had flow, which
     included -- and you go back to the lists -- climate
     infiltration unsaturated zone flow seepage, thermal effects,
     the environments, the drip shield and waste package
     performance, the wasteform performance, the concentrations
     dissolved and colloid associated, the EBS radionuclide
     transport, the transport in the UZ and the SZ, and finally
     the biosphere dose conversion factors.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Jack, when you use the words
     "credible factors" you are suggesting that the issue of
     likelihood entered into the decision as to what you consider
     and what you don't consider, and when the issue of
     likelihood enters into it, the issue of probability is an
     inherent part of it.
               Is that a formal process?
               MR. BAILEY:  Yes, it is.  It is a formal process
     in accordance with the regulation, which tells us to
     conclude one of three things.
               First, does it meet a probabilistic rate of
               Second, you look at it from a systemwide basis.
               Third, you look at the consequences.
               You go through those three screens and that is why
     you see some of these FEPs, Features, Events and Processes,
     that we probably did screen number three without having run
     the TSPA -- judgment as opposed to numbers.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Thank you.
               MR. BAILEY:  For the igneous case, and all this is
     preliminary I remind you, we looked at the igneous activity
     factor.  It was kind of interesting.  You have a probability
     of the igneous activity.  Does it even occur?
               The magma intrusion characteristics -- how does it
     intrude into a drift?  Does it erupt down a drift, does it
     flow down a drift, what exactly is the energy content?  That
     makes a difference in terms of how the waste package and the
     waste respond; the response of the repository to the magma
     intrusion, as I just said; the UZ flow contacting the
     waste -- if you damage the packages, now you are back
     into -- your engineered barriers are gone and you are
     carrying it straight through with UZ.  The concentrations,
     how does it get into the system?  Radionuclide transport in
     UZ and SZ.
               Then of course you have two biosphere conditions.
     One is an inhalation pathway and one is an ingestion
     pathway.  You have to consider and combine them, which is
     different than the water-borne pathway that we have been
     concerned with in the nominal case so we pick up a few more
     things that we have to work on in order to answer those
               TSPA, as I said before, is our basis. We look at
     sensitivity studies, barrier importance analysis and try and
     bring all that together.
               We have been holding a series of workshops to work
     through the features, events and processes to work through
     our understanding of the system.  We have another workshop
     in a couple of weeks which is going to be the workshop where
     we actually get TSPA results in sensitivity analyses and it
     will be a well-attended workshop but a large number of PA
     analysts and principal investigators in order to understand
     the results and have the discussion of what does it really
               Now the approach changes focus from the subjective
     judgments to the specifics identified.  What does the math
     tell us?  What does it mean?Do we have the data to support
               The approach also helps ensure consistency and
     completeness.  It also makes you look at the whole system.
     You have to find a way to look at the whole system.
               In simple form, the VA, we looked at everything --
     what can we learn about it, how much more can we learn, and
     how do we represent it?
               In Revision 3 we went back and found seven
     principal factors, which we discussed several times.
               RSS-4 pretty much ratifies that.  You will notice
     the colloid-associated radionuclide concentration has come
     back on the screen based on investigations in the last year.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Could you tell us, the ones that
     popped back up, could you say just a few words as to why
     they popped back up?  Colloids in igneous activity is what I
     am interested in.
               MR. BAILEY:  I'll go back to the igneous activity.
     It is the first time we have analyzed it, to be honest with
     you.  It just hasn't been analyzed because we have always
     done a nominal case up to this point in time.
               Part 63 says that we have to include the
     disruptive events along with the nominal case and so we had
     always done the disruptive case separately and now we are
     putting them together.  That is why that one shows up.
               The colloids was in fact an issue back in this
     timeframe and we didn't have enough data to kick it up or
     not kick it up.  We kind of left it in the dissolved
     radionuclide concentration and now that we understand the
     issue better, we believe it deserves its own name so that we
     can keep track of the ongoing development.
               What this says is that we have chosen a path and
     the math still seems to support that.  The naysayers may
     say, well, you chose a path and you are making it work.  We
     don't believe we are doing that.  We believe that we have
     adequate understanding in these areas. We believe we
     understand them.  We believe we have confidence in why that
     is and that in fact what we knew a couple years ago, after
     many years of study, and now some concerted effort to put it
     into place, stayed about the same.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Jack, before you leave, there was
     one other than fell into that category and that's the
     biosphere dose conversion factors that fell off in Rev. 3
     and came back in Rev. 4.
               MR. BAILEY:  You're correct.  I'm sorry.  The
     biosphere dose conversion factors was in Rev. 2 because
     there were ways to put the biosphere together at the back
     end of the system.  There were different ways to do it and
     how you put it together was important.
               In Rev. 3 it came off because the regulation
     specifies how it is to be done.
               In Rev. 4 the igneous activity is not specified
     per se because it basically specifies an aqueous ingestion
     approach and if we in fact have to deal with an eruptive
     event then you have got to look at the inhalation as well,
     so it came back because of that.
               Then we said let's look at barriers.  Wet makes
     the difference.  Wet gives us a 1000 year holdup time, 1000
     year delay or a 10 to the minus 4th reduction in
     radionuclide transport, and these are the things, the
     overlying rock, the drip shield, the waste package outer
     barrier, the UZ, the SZ transport.
               There are some other barriers and this come back
     to Dr. Garrick's hot spot of why aren't they in there?  That
     is the waste canister and the waste package inner barrier.
     Both of them are metals.  They are not particularly robust
     metals in this environment, and so we don't model them.
     Does that carbon steel inner lining fall off the moment the
     outer lining gets a pinhole in it?  No, but conservatively
     we don't try and make that modeling.  We do look to see if
     there is deleterious effects because of it but we don't try
     to model it, but in actual fact the inner barrier is there
     and the defense high level waste in particular is inside a
     canister, which takes some period of time to fail.
               We look at cladding.  How much credit do you get
     for cladding?  That is probably a good example of part of
     the problem in the probabilistic approach -- at the risk of
     going to the hot button --
               MR. BAILEY:  -- and that is clad's there.  Clad's
     there.  I have the same problem.  Clad is there.  You know,
     we have a fairly good understanding of clad because it was
     manufactured with certain requirements.  It was handled by
     the utilities and they know what happened to their clad, at
     least during operation.  It's now been in a pool.  It's been
     transferred perhaps to a canister.  It's been transported.
     The question that is unanswerable is what is the condition
     of the clad when you receive it, because you have got to go
     through a corrosion calculation here, and what has happened
     to it over that timeframe.
               When you have got 17 by 17 roughly, 289 pins per
     element and you are handling hundreds of thousands of
     elements, how do you sample that.  How many of those do you
     have to rip apart?  How much sampling do you have to
     do?Different utilities, different handling, different
     scenarios, different burnups, different smelts of the zirc.
     It becomes very difficult to come up with a realistic or an
     exact initial condition and so you select one that bounds
     it.  Is it as good as the real one?  Probably not.
               The drift invert may have some capability if we
     engineer it correctly in conjunction with the drip shield we
     may be able to get diffusive transport and really get a much
     slower movement through the EBS which is both retardation,
     decay, and delay.  We haven't tried to do that at this point
     in time.  In fact, we basically let it out of the drift very
     quickly right now, so there are some other barriers that may
     be important that we haven't gone full up on yet.
               Coming back to that vulnerability word, and that
     is now that we have some analysis, and this is what has come
     out of the workshops, what do we think are the problems with
     what we have done to date?
               Well, oddly enough, inadequacy of the treatment of
     model uncertainty -- Paul talked about that.  We are taking
     some action.  We need to increase the consistency of the
     treatment of uncertainty.  We need to mitigate uncertainties
     to defense-in-depth.  That is a way to deal with it if we
     have high uncertainties that we can't learn any more
     about -- we may understand them but we may not be able to
     make them go away -- and lo and behold, maybe we better
     ensure the effects of rock fall are analyzed, if you go back
     to what happens with designing a way rocks falling on the
     package.  The question in the workshop was maybe we haven't
     covered that one quite right yet, so we are going back to
     look at that.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Jack, when you go back to look at
     that, I know Paul talked about a really huge rock.  Now our
     friend Charles Fairhurst tells us both that that is an
     impossibly large rock, that the rocks that really come out
     of the roof are not going to be anywhere near that huge.
     Are you going to actually again try to do this a little more
     realistically when you go back and look at it?
               MR. BAILEY:  Yes.  That is part of the issue.  The
     rocks that will come out of the roof we believe will be much
     smaller than the one that -- I didn't hear Paul's particular
     talk.  I didn't see the size but I think we are going to go
     back to try to look.  Hopefully Paul will nod that he
     agrees.  That is our intent.  We took a very conservative
               We have some overconservatism in some models.
     There is no question of that.  I think wasteform is one of
     your absolute stellar examples of that.  The waste is in
     fact inside of zirc.  It is a metal oxide. When that first
     drop of water penetrates the package we consider that the
     entire exposed fuel, whatever we choose because of the clad
     assumption, is immediately saturated.
               That first drop of water goes a long way.  Not
     only is it immediately saturated, it is immediately
     equilibrium and it is available for transport back out
     through the same hole that it came in as soon as the next
     drop comes in.  Very conservative.
               Can we do better than that?  Probably -- but we
     haven't yet.
               MR. LEVENSON:  I have to object.  You punched my
               MR. BAILEY:  Okay.  Good.
               MR. LEVENSON:  Overestimating the consequences so
     severely is almost never conservative because it causes you
     to make other decisions and do other things which have their
     own risk.
               MR. BAILEY:  Yes.
               MR. LEVENSON:  And when you severely overestimate
     by many orders of magnitude a consequence -- sometimes you
     have to because of uncertainties, but when you do things
     that are ridiculous you seriously challenge your credibility
     in other things you are doing.
               MR. BAILEY:  I understand that, sir, but we do a
     number of overconservatives and that is in fact the word we
     chose.  There is some overconservatism that we would like to
     take out.
               We believe our answer is in fact overstating it
     but --
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Of course, it is important here
     to know what the intervening events are.  Sometimes in the
     case of cladding on fuel and a reactor loss of coolant
     accident, who cares?  It doesn't make any difference what
     the quality of the cladding is, and that is because once you
     lose the coolant you lose all hope of integrity of the fuel
               MR. BAILEY:  Right.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  So it really depends upon what
     the intervening events are and this is something that has to
     be picked up in the FEPs, I guess, since you don't seem to
     employ the more traditional approach of risk assessment,
     namely a scenario-based approach where you can clearly see
     the sequence of events that are taking place and have a
     basis for judging what these intervening conditions might
               Now you must have them in your FEPs analysis and
     in your process models, but it is something that has to be
     taken into account because if you start isolating these and
     say you are conservative on these out of context, it is a
     lot like in the old days in the reactor PRAs where people
     would say, well, we have analyzed System A, System B, we
     have done the fault trees on them. All we have got to do is
     connect them together and we have a PRA.  The answer is you
     absolutely do not --
               MR. BAILEY:  Right.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  -- because the boundary
     conditions of those systems are very dependent upon where
     they appear and what they are asked to do in the sequence
     you happen to be in.  That is very boundary condition
     dependent, so this is something we were talking about during
     the break that we really have to take a very hard look at is
     this whole issue of the uncertainty analysis and how the
     uncertainties are aggregated.
               MR. BAILEY:  Yes.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  And whether or not there is
     indeed a structure or a mechanism with which this
     aggregation makes sense.
               MR. BAILEY:  Yes, sir.  I don't disagree with you.
               MR. LEVENSON:  A slightly different question.
     Listening to your discussion about the complexities of the
     state of the cladding, and I appreciate and understand that
     exactly, but if I now go back into the model, has that been
     carried along or will I find that in the model the
     assumption is made that all the cladding fails coherently at
     the same time rather than over an extended period of time?
               MR. BAILEY:  I have to think.  I believe that the
     way we have clad modeled now is that there is a certain
     amount of clad that is available and then it fails through
     two or three different mechanisms. Some of it is
     corrosion --
               MR. LEVENSON:  But all at the same time?
               MR. BAILEY:  No.  Some of it corrosion, some of it
     a splitting, if you will, and I think it is in fact time
     spaced.  I believe it is.  I will have to check on that for
     you, sir.
               You have two vulnerabilities the team has
     identified -- we'll have to work on it -- the thermal
     loading issues which Paul talked about at some length.
     Those of course make a difference in how you do your
     modeling, perhaps not to the overall result but certainly in
     how you do your modeling so we have to be alert to it.
               The potential for igneous activity at the site --
     we have to go through.  You saw the new chart of all the
     pieces that are there.  We really have to solid that up.
               The reliability of the complex metal barriers --
     the waste package provides a lot of performance right now.
     I think Paul described a number of the modeling pieces that
     are in there.  We are looking at general corrosion. We are
     looking at stress corrosion cracking.  We looked at
     microbiologically induced corrosion. We looked at small weld
     failures inside the package that help, if you will,
     accelerate the failure of the throughwall of the package.
               We have got a fairly comprehensive model in there
     but metals are tough, and so we need to look.
               Consideration of peak dose -- peak dose is pretty
     far out.  As you might expect -- go to Dr. Garrick --
     running this model for a million years isn't how the system
     works.  This has FEPs that are in the 10,000 year timeframe,
     not in a million year timeframe.
               The conservatisms we placed there for a regulatory
     basis, if you will, for 10,000 years is probably
     inappropriate out hundreds of thousands of years.  That is a
     long way out. We are looking at how do you make a licensing
     argument in some of these in taking some conservative
     stances that probably aren't appropriate, so we have to
     think through how to deal with the peak dose because it is
     in fact a different analysis.
               Now, if you work this back the other direction,
     which is the five pieces of the safety case, the quality of
     the performance assessment, we need to address the issue of
     uncertainty.  There is a confidence issue there.
               Dr. Levenson has suggested that conservatism may,
     in fact, not build confidence, it may, in fact, hurt
     confidence.  We need to finish our FEPs.
               MR. LEVENSON:  Not conservatism.  Severe,
     over-estimating consequences, which is different.  You need
               MR. BAILEY:  Yes.
               MR. LEVENSON:  But you need to know what it is, it
     needs to be a defined safety margin, you have to understand
               MR. BAILEY:  Okay.
               MR. LEVENSON:  Just throwing in over-estimates
     wherever you go is not conservatism.
               MR. BAILEY:  That's fair.  That is also a good
     clarification.  Thank you.
               I think he is working on his tapes.  I'm sorry he
     missed that.
               And we need to ensure a consistency in the overall
     uncertainty.  The safety margin and defense-in-depth, we
     don't want the single failure point.  It is a system, the
     system needs to be used in total.  We need to evaluate the
     designs to look and see what we can do with the
     defense-in-depth aspects.  And we need to look at the
     confidence in the process models that we are putting in
     there for defense-in-depth, not just throw them in, but
     really believe that they work.
               The explicit consideration of potentially
     disruptive processes and events.  We have got to finish our
     evaluation of the features, events and processes, document
     our basis for excluding others, the criticality, seismic
     activity and water table rise, which we have excluded from
     this particular runs of the TSPA, although we do consider
     them as additional runs to show what would happen.  But we
     don't believe that they occur and we need to document that.
               And we have got to finish the igneous activity
     and, of course the human intrusion scenario, now that it is
     being defined by regulation.
               Insights from natural analogues.  Obviously, it
     would be nice to get some metal passive layer knowledge,
     better knowledge on the transport models and the effects of
     heat on host rock.
               There was a question earlier about, are there any
     natural analogues for the Alloy-22?  And I can't pronounce
     them, I am not a geologist, Josephenite, I will just take a
     stab at it, is apparently a nickel/iron, naturally occurring
     mineral that may or may not have some capability in that
     arena, and we believe we ought to go take a look at it and
     see if, in fact, it does work as an analogue and if we, in
     fact, can learn something.  There will probably be a
     recommendation from the repository safety strategy.
               Pena Blanca, looking at what we are doing in
     Busted Butte, the analogue volcanoes, so we get better
     knowledge of what is really out there.
               And, finally, we called it safety assurance here,
     it should be the performance confirmation, but they are
     trying to making a point that, in fact, you are going to do
     performance confirmation testing.  You always have
     retrievability available to you during this because of the
     regulation.  You have to make a closure decision at some
     point.  Why?  What is the basis for it?  And there is a
     requirement there for some postclosure monitoring.  So, you
     really have four thing that you are working with
     institutionally before you can make your decisions to close.
     And, of course, we want to go back and work the performance
     confirmation plan.
               Now, there was another piece on the agenda that
     talked about the relationship between the RSS and the KTIs,
     and I have a couple of pages to just go through that
     quickly.  Obviously, working the repository safety strategy,
     which is the whole system, touches or runs across the KTIs,
     which are the NRC's key technical issues.  So, we cross-cut
     them as we walk through all of this.
               Several of the KTI subissues are closely linked to
     the principal factors, the things that we find important,
     the things that we find really control performance.  Some of
     them, where detailed questions are asked, we don't find make
     a lot of difference to performance, and that, in fact, we
     may have enough knowledge now to move on from there.
               And we have been discussing this, I think the next
     slide does that.  No, actually, the next slide tries to give
     you a relationship between the KTI and what our principal
     factors are.  And what we are telling you here is that in
     the radionuclide transport arena, the thing that we consider
     important out of that KTI, and before the staff gets too
     worried, on a gross scale, it is the retardation pieces that
     are most interesting.
               The rest of the radionuclide transport is not as
     significant as those.  And, so, that is the simple purpose
     of this table, is to point out the KTI.  And what is shown
     over here are those portions of that KTI or our principal
     factor, which could be related back, is what we think is
     really important to that, and other items are of lesser
               Plans for addressing the individual KTI acceptance
     issues obviously come from the RSS because that is our basis
     of what we think is important and where we are going to put
     our resources.  We need to focus work on the LA on reducing
     uncertainties in the areas closely linked to performance.
     As I said, we will tend to bound or to simplify in other
     areas.  And the information that we intend to provide for
     each subissue will reflect the importance of that subissue
     to the safety case.  That is our strategy.
               We had a technical exchange with the staff on
     April 25th and 26th.  It was kind of one of these.  We told
     them what our -- what we thought we were and what we thought
     were the principal factors, and they told us theirs.  And we
     go some alignment and some misalignment, and we have a whole
     series of meetings throughout the summer and fall to come
     back, basically, to the process model report, is how we
     chose to focus it, because that is our summary document, and
     work backwards, if you will, to make sure we get some
     alignment on what the KTIs and the principal factors and the
     factors are.  And those meetings will, hopefully, make that
     happen so that we can have the meaningful discussions to try
     and close on it.
               Preclosure safety, I will talk to very quickly.
     The same chart, you do almost the same things.  You evaluate
     your hazard, you select your category 1 or 2 in accordance
     with the regulation, and you find your design basis events,
     and you find out what you need.  Your strategy, you do
     prevention.  Keep it from happening.  Paul talked about it
     today.  Don't do a lot of lifts, you know, kind of shimmy it
     up and shimmy it down if that is all you have to do.  Open
     something and push it up and close it.  Try and get into
     prevention.  Don't let the event happen.  If it has to
     happen, find the best way to mitigate it.
               And, of course, you can go back and modify design
     or you can modify operations in order to control those
     items.  Feed it back, get it into the system, and, again, it
     feeds the safety case, the requirements, and the Q-list.
     Make sure that you put these pieces together.  And, of
     course, out here, now that you know this information on
     frequencies and importance and what it contributes, you can
     start getting into grading.  So, you can get the
     classification and then you can get the grading.
               How do you do it basically?  I don't think there
     is any revelations here.  You have to look at your external
     events, your fires, your tornadoes, your tsunamis.  Tsunamis
     probably won't make it.  Determine your project
     applicability of the events.  Does it exist?  Is it
     operative during the preclosure?  No.  You screen it out,
     define why.  Yes.  How do you handle it?
               External events, obviously, are problematic, you
     can't prevent them, but you have to mitigate them.
               Come back to the internal.  The internal,
     obviously, has to do with what your design looks like, what
     your operational modes are, how you put the system together.
     It is design-dependent.  And you go back, you determine your
     design and operational features.
               We chose to put a big emphasis here on the energy
     source.  What is it that makes the radionuclides become
     active?  This is really a fairly benign facility, this is
     not like a reactor with high pressure, high temperature.
     This is move some stuff, it is not -- you know, it is
     material that has to be respected, but it is not a high
     energy material at this point in its life.  And, so, we
     obviously want to put a lot of energy into not having a lot
     of energy.  That is part of the prevention strategy.  So,
     you look for it.  If there isn't an interaction, then you
     are okay.  If there is, then you start looking at -- how do
     you put these together?  How do you come up with your design
     basis events?  Where can you do prevention and mitigation?
     And pull that together.
               So, what are the decisions?  Well, what the RSS
     will give us, postclosure, preclosure assessments,
     mitigation, additional information.  Consider the
     feasibility, any other factors that we need to go work at.
     Work on the safety case for the LA.  How do we put it
     together, get our confidence?  Develop the requirements
     based on the safety case, so that we can go back.  As Paul
     said, they want to do some different work in the fuel
     handling building.  We need to work on how to go about that.
     And, finally, get the Q-list, so you can get into the
     system, structure component portion of this if the site
     recommendation is advanced and told to continue.
               We are in process.  I expect that late summer or
     early fall, we will be able to get a pretty good view of
     what the results are.  I can't commit to that, that is a
     rough schedule, in that timeframe.  But I expect that is the
     next time when there is a meaningful update on actual
     progress of this document.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Thanks very much, Jack.
               MR. BAILEY:  You're welcome.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  I am sure that there are some
     questions, I think.  Let me start.  I want to -- I accept
     your point, -- go back to the fact that igneous activity
     popped up in your RSS Rev. 4 preliminary.  And I accept what
     you said, that this is the first time that you have included
     this in the analysis.  However, it strikes me that it is, in
     part, based on preliminary results that you have seen.
               MR. BAILEY:  Yes.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Which might lead one to think
     that the way that you have modified the analysis post-VA,
     mainly in response to NRC's staff urging to use the ash
     plume model and you had the size of the material too large,
     possibly, your preliminary analysis suggests that you do
     have to look at this and that it isn't a no-never-mind.  Can
     I take that as the status?  Am I reading this correctly?
               MR. BAILEY:  We have modified the analysis.
     Analysis was, in fact, performed to the viability
     assessment, which I think is what you are referring to.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Well, it was performed separate.
               MR. BAILEY:  Yes.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  But the NRC staff had some major
               MR. BAILEY:  Yes, they did, and they made some
     comments in many of the areas that you have suggested, and
     we have gone back and put some of those changes in the
     model, and see what the model results are.  We have not yet
     agreed that those are, in fact, the right changes to make to
     the model.  But now with the NRC's approaches and their
     beliefs in how this looks, yeah, we have to look at it.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  I am curious a little bit about
     how you are going to use the RSS as -- are you going to use
     it as kind of a management tool, or is it principally
     documentation of the strategy?  What function is this
     document doing?
               MR. BAILEY:  It does both.  It does both.  It has
     to -- let me see if I can explain this correctly.  It does
     the evaluation of the technical work of the TSPA.  It is
     intended to put the meat on the bones of the safety case,
     so, this is how we would make these arguments.  It then sets
     up a strategy of what are the next things that we need to
     work on based on the way we want the safety case to come
     out.  And it is endorsed by the DOE management through the
     process.  And when that happens, it becomes the planning
               And, so, it does both.  It lays out the strategy
     of what we intend to rely upon, the basis for that reliance
     as it comes through the analytical basis.  It lays out how
     we are going to accomplish that, and then it lays out where
     we need to go do more work, which becomes a planning basis.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  I guess for those people who
     lack confidence in the performance assessment process, and I
     am not one of those, --
               MR. BAILEY:  Yes, sir.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  -- it answers the question --
     what else is being considered for the safety case beyond the
     performance assessment?
               MR. BAILEY:  That's correct.  That's correct.  It
     says there is four more things, take a look at it.  Now, you
     could roll -- I will go back.  I will show the right slide,
     it is the next one.  If we stick to whichever side this is.
               The PA is your mathematical representation and all
     the sensitivity studies that go with it to gain that
     understanding.  It is not just a squiggly line, it is, in
     fact, the understanding.
               We chose to segregate safety margin and
     defense-in-depth.  This treatment of uncertainty,
     conservatism, how much do we have, and doing an analysis.
     Perhaps in a manner here for the defense-in-depth, it is not
     purely probabilistic.  It probably will be a stressing of
     the system to see how it responds.  You could call that a
     sensitivity analysis, but we believe it, in fact, is a means
     of stressing the system to make sure that you don't have any
     single dependencies.
               The insights from natural analogues, that could be
     rolled into the total system performance assessment and,
     obviously, will be, as part of the basis for how we chose
     the probabilities that we used inside of there.  But we felt
     that it was appropriate to separate it and give it a higher
     level of visibility so that you can see that some of the
     results, in part from this, can be related back to nature.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes, I would hope, though, that
     those who are raising the question about what else are you
     considering would appreciate the fact that what you mean by
     total systems performance assessment is the consideration of
     any evidence that would in any way impact the performance of
     the repository and would have something to do with the
     quantification of that performance, and that is all those
     things.  So, I don't see those as separate and independent
               I would think that, to the extent that natural
     analogues tell you something about the long-term performance
     of the repository, that has to be a part of the TSPA.
               MR. BAILEY:  It does.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  I would think the extent to
     which measurements are going to be made or monitoring is to
     be done, that has to be a part of the evidence base that you
     have for the TSPA.  So, to me, this is all sort of an
     artifact of displaying information for people who are asking
     questions who don't have confidence in TSPA or don't
     understand TSPA, which should include every one of those
               So, anyway, but that is --
               MR. BAILEY:  It is, in fact, communications.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Right.
               MR. BAILEY:  I don't argue that at all.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Right.
               MR. BAILEY:  In fact, I think I made the same
     discussion, that each of these could be and should be, in
     fact, found inside of there.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Right.
               MR. BAILEY:  But you break them out in order to
     show the layering.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Sure.  Sure.
               MR. BAILEY:  That it is in there, it is ragout,
     right, it is in there, but let's bring it out and show you
     that we have tomatoes and peppers.
               Well, I am reassured to know that you understand
     that, because there is no bounds on what you put in a
     performance assessment.  It should be everything that has
     anything to do with, in any significant way, in a visible
     way, with the performance of the repository.  And all those
     things are in that category.  Okay.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Just one quick follow-up on that,
     if I may.  Is it your understanding, Jack, that this list,
     in fact, then would satisfy the TRB, in particular, who has
     said that you need something more than performance
     assessment?  Is it your understanding that this is what they
     mean?  It is hard to put Jack on the spot, he is very
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  I didn't want to name names.
     George has named names.
               MR. BAILEY:  I want to give you a responsive
     answer here.  To Jack, this communicates very well to me.  I
     am a deterministic guy, I will admit it.  I think I
     understand probabilities on odd-days, odd-days of the week.
     But, to me, this communicates.  It provides that layering.
     It brings it out in a communications manner.  I mean we can
     find all of these things.
               Now, for example, the barrier analysis,
     neutralization analysis, is kind of an example here.  The
     neutralization analysis is probably not really part of this
     because there is no case where the overlying rock isn't
     there.  You know, it might be a .00001 that it isn't there,
     but there is not a zero that it isn't there.  And, so, in
     that one area of neutralizations, it probably isn't
     necessarily part of the TSPA.
               But, to me, this communicates.  It says, I have
     got the math and I have put the system together and I have
     learned from it.  It says, I know I have got a separation, I
     know I have some margin.  I know it is going to work better
     than -- I know it is going to beat the regulation.  I have,
     like I said, I am a deterministic kind of guy, I like to go
     "what if."  You know, what if I step on the brakes and it
     doesn't work, what do I do next?  Do I downshift?  Do I pull
     on the brake that has a wire?  At least I hope it still has
     a wire.  I know what I am going to do next.
               The analysis of potentially disruptive events, it
     is a classical, of course, which is the low probability,
     high consequence, and people, I find people think like that.
     I do.  What is the worst thing that can happen to me?
               In here, it is just part of the curve.  Now, is it
     in there?  You bet it is in there.  The analysis is there,
     you can pull it apart.  This displays it.  And I think this
     answers the questions that deterministic type people tend to
     answer, and create that layered argument that says, yeah, we
     have a probabilistic view of it and we also have some other
     views of it that lend some confidence.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  We keep making it difficult to
     communicate what we mean.  There's another one out there,
     too, that clouds the issue, and that's the Integrated Safety
     Analysis.  I, for the life of me, don't know what gave that
     a berth, because the ultimate integrated safety analysis is
     a PRA.
               MR. BAILEY:  Yes.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  And so integrated safety
     analysis has to be a subset of that.  But, nevertheless, if
     it enhances understanding and communication, you know, it
     has its value.
               But at the same time, we shouldn't misrepresent
     it.  We shouldn't lead the Technical Review Board or anybody
     else to think that PSA, TSPA, is bounded or PRA is bounded.
               It all depends upon what we have identified as our
     performance measure or our risk measure.  With respect to
     that risk measure, it should be totally unbounded.
               Now, we may not have identified enough risk
     measures or the proper risk measure, and that's another
     issue, but to the extent that you identify one, then the
     analysis has to include everything that affects that
               MR. BAILEY:  Oh, yes.  I would not even suggest
     that the TSPA doesn't include this.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Right.
               MR. BAILEY:  This is a representation of that
     external for communications.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Okay, good.
               DR. WYMER:  John sort of stole my thunder, but I'm
     going to go ahead anyway.
               MR. BAILEY:  Can I give the same answer or
               DR. WYMER:  I'll get to a question eventually.
               DR. WYMER:  It's clear that the RSS is central to
     the license application, and it's really needed to get on
     with this whole business.
               But unless there is feedback from this activity
     into the design or the analysis or request for additional
     data, it's a passive exercise with respect to what you're
     doing in building the repository.
               So the question then is what formal mechanism is
     there for feeding back the results of the safety analysis,
     and what's the documentation of that formal process?
               MR. BAILEY:  It goes into the planning guidance
     for the upcoming year.  The RSS is published, signed out by
     the Department of Energy's management.  It says here's our
     path forward.
               And it provides guidance, on, factor-by-factor,
     what we need to know, what we think we need to work on, what
     the minimums are to do in those areas, and where we want
     those results, if you will -- not predetermining the
     results, but what basic answers we want those results to
     provide us.
               We'll let the chips fall where they may, but this
     is the part of the puzzle that you have to fit into, and it
     goes into the planning guidance.
               And that's what gets funded, and that gets
     reviewed by all levels of management, including DOE, to say
     this is the right work to do.
               I can guarantee you that when the RSS is issued,
     people know it and it has an effect.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Thank you.  Staff, anyone with
     any questions?
               MR. LARSON:  I have a question.
               MR. BAILEY:  Yes, sir?
               MR. LARSON:  You know, reactor safety strategy, I
     assume that it's based on the Part 63 is going to be your
     basis, but does it include a contingency, should EPA's 197
     standard require changes to Part 63, or is it so broad now
     that it covers everything including groundwater travel and
     groundwater release?
               MR. BAILEY:  The repository safety strategy is, in
     fact, tied to Part 63.  Part 63 will be conformed with 40
     CFR 197 when the time comes.  There are a few differences
     between the receptor.  The biosphere data is slightly
     different in the EPA approach.
               Obviously, the groundwater analysis is different
     or is additional, and there are some slight nuances, I
     believe, in the human intrusion scenario.
               And we will true all that up.  We chose at this
     point to follow 63 for the site recommendation, and we
     consider 197, but it's mostly focused on 63, and we'll have
     to true it up when the time comes and the analysis to do the
     groundwater can be done.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Thank you very much, Jack.
               MR. BAILEY:  You're welcome.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  We'll look forward to keeping
     posted as you make more progress.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  As it evolves.
               MR. BAILEY:  As it evolves.  Thank you.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  So, typically, the ACNW looks
     forward with relish to having the chance to grill Carol
     Hanlon, but Carol has decided not to make the next
     presentation, despite the schedule, and Chris Kouts is going
     to deal with our very difficult questions.
               MR. KOUTS:  Can you hear me everyone?  Am I
     electrified?  That's good.
               My name is Chris Kouts.  I'm not related to Herb
     Kouts who some of you may know, but he did call me up once
     and ask me if we were related.
               MR. KOUTS:  Kouts is a shortened Greek name, so I
     think his is more germanic in origin, I think.
               Here we go.  Okay.  Today I'm going to give you a
     presentation on the status of the Department's effort to
     revise the repository siting guidelines, the Yucca Mountain
     suitability guidelines.  Before I get into the presentation
     of what our proposal was, I think I ought to go back and do
     a little history.
               I should mention also that I know the item on the
     agenda following mine is of most importance to everyone
     here, and I will endeavor to keep my remarks short.
               For those of you who followed this program for
     awhile, you might remember in 1984 that the Department
     issued repository/ -- what we called siting guidelines at
     that time.  It was based on a requirement in the Nuclear
     Waste Policy Act, Section 112, which indicated that the
     Department needed to develop these guidelines in order to
     select among sites for suitability -- not for suitability,
     but for site characterization.
               Comments that we got back during that time
     indicated that the public wanted us also to use these
     guidelines for the suitability decision the Department would
     make, and the Secretary's decision to recommend the site to
     the President.  So we also are going to use those guidelines
     for that same purpose.
               Flash forward:  Let me flash back for a moment.
     Those guidelines were originally written to select among
     sites, in other words, compare among sites.
               We don't have -- we only have one site at this
     time, as required by Congress under the amendments to the
     act in 1987.   As a result, we toyed with the idea of
     changing the guidelines, removing the comparative aspects of
               We went through a series of public meetings back
     in the early 90s to address whether or not we ought to
     change the guidelines based on the amendments to the act in
               We essentially came to a decision that we wouldn't
     change them, but we did reserve the right that we would
     change the -- we could change them, if, indeed, regulations,
     our parenting regulations, either the NRC or the EPA, did
               In 1996, although there were no changes in
     regulations, we felt that we had a basis for modifying the
     guidelines.  We went through a rulemaking, a propose
     rulemaking at that time which we never finalized.  And last
     November, we issued a revised Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
     in which we proposed that the Secretary of Energy would use
     site-specific guidelines for Yucca Mountain to determine
               And those site-specific guidelines essentially
     said that if the required evaluation showed that the
     proposed repository is likely to meet applicable radiation
     protection standards for the preclosure and post-closure
     periods, then the site could be deemed suitable by the
     Secretary of Energy.
               Now, suitability, in and of itself, is a
     necessary, but not -- is sufficient, but not a necessary
     requirement for the site recommendation.
               There are other requirements under Section 114
     that the Secretary needs to evaluate before he makes his
     recommendation to the President.
               So, a) if, indeed, the Secretary does decide the
     site is suitable, that's not necessarily -- that doesn't
     necessarily mean that he'll recommend the site.  There are
     other issues that he has to take into account.
               And those issues are again outlined in Section 114
     of the Act.  Okay, I think that covers most of that slide.
               I'm going to focus more on the post-closure
     aspects, but our rationale for revising the guidelines
     essentially is to align them with the latest science and
     scientific analytical techniques for assessing repository
     performance.  One of the real sore points associated with
     the changing of the guidelines is the removal of the
     subsystem requirements that were in the original guidelines.
               When NRC issued Part 63 and essentially indicated
     that those subsystem requirements were no longer needed and
     that essentially we were going to a TSPA approach, the
     Department is basically following Part 63, proposed Part 63.
               We're also following what's proposed in 40 CFR 197
     which are the EPA proposed standards.
               We also issued them in -- we also addressed the
     public comments in the 1996 proposal in our revised Notice.
               Now, we are leaving 10 CFR 960 in place.  We are
     not taking that out of play, if you will If at some future
     date we are selecting among sites for site characterization
     purposes, we will use 960 or revise 960, as appropriate, at
     that time.
               We are recommending or we are proposing a new Part
     963 to establish the suitability guidelines for Yucca
               963 presents the criteria and methodologies for
     assessing the performance of a potential repository, Yucca
     Mountain, in meeting both preclosure and post-closure
     applicable radiation protection standards.
               The preclosure approach, I won't spend a lot of
     time talking about it, but it essentially utilizes a
     preclosure safety evaluation that is generally consistent
     with proposed Part 63.
               Post-closure aspects essentially use TSPA, which
     we have been talking about this morning, and is generally
     consistent with the regulatory structure in the EPA proposed
     rule, and the NRC proposed rule, and is consistent with what
     the NAS suggested in their 1995 report on technical bases
     for Yucca Mountain standards.
               The post-closure suitability criteria which we
     call out in the rule, are essentially represent those
     characteristic traits, what we believe pertinent to
     assessing the performance of the repository, Yucca Mountain.

               This addresses essentially the physical processes
     of water falling on the mountain, moving down through the
     mountain to the unsaturated zone, interacting with the
     engineered barrier system, down through the rest of the
     unsaturated zone to the saturated zone and then out to the
               The criteria that we use are essentially the --
     mirror the process model reports that we are producing for
     our TSPA for the SRCR, and if we go forward, to the SR.
               Disruptive events, we also address, and there are
     four of those, which is somewhat inconsistent with 63, but
     we added another one.
               The disruptive events that we're proposing are
     vulcanism, seismic events, nuclear criticality, and
     inadvertent human intrusion.
               And these would all be part of the TSPA for
     evaluation of the suitability of the site.
               The post-closure suitability criteria, if you're
     familiar with our PMRs, which I'm sure you are, you'll see
     how they track essentially one-for-one.  For each PMR we
     have, we have a suitability criteria.
               We opened a 90-day public comment period which was
     extended and closed on February 28th of this year.  We
     received nearly 100 responses from the public, held two
     public hearings, one in Pahrump, Nevada, and one in Las
               We considered the comments we received, and
     developed a draft final notice of proposed rulemaking.  That
     notice was transmitted from the Director of the program to
     the Chairman of the Commission on May 4th, in which we
     requested concurrence, NRC concurrence on the rule.  We're
     following the procedural requirements of Section 112 of the
               In that request, we asked for timely consideration
     of the draft final rule, and its concurrence to allow the
     Department to utilize the final rule in the upcoming site
     recommendation process that is right now planned for this
               And that's all I have, and I'll be willing to
     answer any questions you might have.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Thanks very much, Chris.  Milt,
               MR. LEVENSON:  No.
               DR. WYMER:  I have just a naive question.  963 is
     so close to 63, why did you need it?
               MR. KOUTS:  Well, you could say, why did we need
     960 then.  Simplistically, the suitability evaluation on the
     part of the Secretary is an evaluation as to whether or not
     the site is likely to be licensed.  It's a DOE evaluation as
     to whether or not we feel we have enough information to have
     a credible license application.
               So it's a DOE internal decision, and it's a
     logical one.  If the Department felt that after doing all
     this site characterization work, we didn't think we could
     meet NRC licensing requirements and the EPA standard, then
     why go forward?
               So this is essentially an evaluation on the part
     of the Department to see whether or not the site is likely
     to be licensed in our own estimation.
               DR. WYMER:  But you could have made that
     evaluation based on Part 63.
               MR. KOUTS:  We could, but it created a process,
     and it creates a regimented process the Department would go
     through in order to do that evaluation.
               DR. WYMER:  That's the answer.
               MR. KOUTS:  Okay.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  John?
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  I don't think I have a comment,
     but I'll just say to Chris that the rule for speaking to
     this Committee is to use 50 percent of the time, not 15.
               MR. KOUTS:  Oh, I'm sorry.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  But we appreciate it; it's
               MR. KOUTS:  Well, as I mentioned at the beginning,
     I was concerned about the next agenda item.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  I understand.
               MR. KOUTS:  I was sensitive to that.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  I just had one quick one that is
     really, I think, basically the same question that Ray asked.
     But in answer to Ray you said that this somehow creates a
               So part of 963 is a process for the DOE internal
               MR. KOUTS:  What it does is direct the Department,
     under its own regulations, for the Secretary to go through
     this evaluation for the suitability of the site.
               Now, it's arguable that we never had to go through
     a regulatory framework in order to do this.  The original
     guidelines in Section 112 of the Act, never indicated that
     the Department should issue federal regulations on this.
     But we started that process back in 1984.  We're going
     through a regulatory process on these, and for our own
     evaluations in order to get public input on it.
               There will be, for instance, at the end of this
     year, assuming we go forward with an SRCR, part of that
     document or those -- that several-volume document will be an
     evaluation against the guidelines, our own preliminary
     evaluation against the guidelines, and we'll be issuing that
     for public comment.
               So, we're going through what we feel is a
     reasonable process in order to do this evaluation, and it
     also allows the public to give some input, as we went
     through a process to allow the public to comment on the
     proposed rule.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  It's almost to keep you on a
     parallel track because 960 came into being?
               MR. KOUTS:  Yes, and we actually did get comments
     from certain organizations that felt that we should
     withdrawn the guidelines and not go through this, but we
     felt it was important still to do it.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Okay, thanks very much.
     Questions from the Staff?
               [No response.]
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Thanks very much, Chris.  I
     appreciate it.  We have another request from Amy
     Schollenberger to make a comment, so now would be an
     appropriate time.
               MS. SHOLLENBERGER:  Thank you.
               Amy Shollenberger, Public Citizen.  I just wanted
     to add our two cents in here.  I think that it's very nice
     of Mr. Kouts to consider that lunch is the next agenda item
     and do a very cursory review of 963 as a result.
               I think this whole thing is really just a farce
     because it is not a system that is set up to allow public
     comment.  It is not a system that is addressing public
     concerns.  What it is is it is moving the individual
     disqualifiers from Yucca Mountain so that there's no way to
     say that it is not a suitable site.
               I think that, you know, I have heard your argument
     several times that you are saying the amendments to the NWPA
     say that we shouldn't consider more than one site, we are
     going to focus on Yucca Mountain but that language does not
     specifically say we should remove the individual
     disqualifiers, which are specifically required in the
     original Act.  I think the Department of Energy's
     justification of doing 963 is really just that.  It is a
     just a justification and it doesn't really address what the
     public wants or what is required by the Act.
               Also, I think that to say that you are doing it
     just to bring it in line with Part 63 again is just a
     justification because if it is truly for the Department of
     Energy to look at the site and say is this a suitable site,
     should we recommend it, then it shouldn't have anything
     really to do with whether the NRC thinks it is a suitable
     site because, as you said, it is all before the
     recommendation.  It doesn't have anything to do with
     applying for a license and I think that it is really a joke
     to even say that you are doing this to consider what the
     public wants unless you are considering the public as NEI
     and the nuclear industry because that is who really wants
     this to happen.  Thank you.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Thank you, Amy.  Back to you,
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Thank you.  I guess there's
     been -- the question that we always have to ask here is do
     we want to write a report or a letter on this topic, and is
     there a need for one.  I really thinking of not only the 963
     topic but maybe the topic before as well, but let's talk
     about 963.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  No.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Okay.  What about the other
               DR. HORNBERGER:  I think that the other topics
     really --
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  The design --
               DR. HORNBERGER:  -- fall into some of what Lynne
     presented yesterday and probably will come into play in
     terms of the Yucca Mountain Review Plan and what the Staff
     is doing, so I think probably not individually but I think
     that they very much fit into what we seem to be planning.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  So it is part of the
     aggregation of those things that you described yesterday and
     the preparation of some specific reports downstream?
               MS. DEERING:  As long as we do capture through our
     other means, there is not an explicit letter on repository
     safety strategy, I think there are some issues on for
     example the alignment of key -- the subissues and the
     principal factors.  To the extent that NRC and DOE are -- I
     guess what I am trying to say is that as Jack Bailey pointed
     out, they had found some of the subissues that were not
     necessarily relevant to the strategy DOE is taking and at
     some point I guess what we would do is want to look at the
     Yucca Mountain Review Plan and make sure Staff has a
     mechanism to in fact when it reviews and is concerned about
     these subissues that they have a flexible approach to back
     off if there is a bounding analysis, for example.
               We are doing that.  I understand that with the
     Yucca Mountain Review Plan, and that is one way to capture
     it.  That is kind of my thinking on it.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Well, another way to split this
     is to think of the repository safety strategy as an
     individual product and maybe if the committee had some
     comments or suggestions to make that would be of benefit to
     the Commission to address them, but as far as the design
     update is concerned on Yucca Mountain I don't think at this
     time it would be appropriate for us to comment given the
     heavy agenda we have over the next three months of Yucca
     Mountain activities in relation to the review plan and the
     suitability issues.
               I think that if we have a comment on the strategic
     plan, that could be a possible source for a letter, but
     again I think that here we are not talking about a letter to
     DOE. We are talking about a letter to the Commissioners on
     what we heard in this repository strategic safety strategy
     and I don't know if there was the kind of information there
     that is a basis for such a letter, and I would like to hear
     from the rest of the committee on that.
               MR. LEVENSON:  On the design issue, John, we heard
     from DOE about work in progress.  DOE has not yet made their
     final selections as to what is going to be.
               I think it would be inappropriate for us to
     comment that we think things are acceptable or not
     acceptable when they haven't even been submitted to NRC.  We
     don't write letters to DOE. We write them to the
     Commissioners, so I think this is just a status report at
     least on the design aspects and I don't think it warrants a
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  I think the update on the design
     was very important for us because this is the design that we
     are going to see as part of the SR and therefore I think it
     was critical that we have that update and have a chance to
     ask Paul and some others questions, but I agree with what
     everyone's assessment is.
               On the RSS the ACNW said for a long time, years,
     that the RSS was something that we really did want to keep
     tabs on.
               Again, as Jack presented it, it is evolving and it
     is on purpose it is evolving and so I think that I agree
     with you that in mulling this over we have some comments
     sort of on the nature of a high level strategic approach
     that we need to make to the Commission there may be a
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  I believe that we may find that
     this will better wait until we see some of these details.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Okay, so I think it sounds like
     the question is still slightly open on the repository safety
     strategy but we have other places in the net here to address
     the issues of design and we will do that later.
               One of the things that struck me as Amy was
     talking earlier was the possible confusion between the
     notion of a flexible design and the issue of fixing the
     design.  A flexible design can be fixed, of course, and I
     think that is kind of what they are talking about, but it
     did suggest that there might be some confusion there that
     somewhere along the line needs to be resolved.
               I would be uncomfortable too if we were getting
     ourselves in a situation that this design continued its
     instability deep into the licensing processess.
               We have said and we have had working group
     sessions on this that there is real merit in not fixing the
     design too early because of things that we learn and the
     fact that the site characterization program is an ongoing
     activity and the fact that this is the first time such a
     license has been attempted and where everybody is learning a
     great deal as we go along, and I think even the National
     Academy of Sciences' somewhat famous document on rethinking
     radioactive waste management made the same point, that we
     should not too far in advance try to put a fix on what that
     design should be.
               I do think it is very important that we be very
     clear on what is meant by that and that we not get ourselves
     in a position of confusing the current strategy of adopting
     a design that is reasonably flexible as meaning that we are
     going to keep the design open, so to speak, deep into the
     licensing process, so we may want to at some, sooner or
     later, clarify that issue.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  You have just muddied it for me.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  I am pretty much of the opinion,
     and I think that Ray asked a question I think of Paul that
     would reflect that, and that is that even deep into the
     operational period if you have surface storage and somehow
     you discover a better way to do something, you certainly --
     and I know that you preclude this --
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  right.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  -- and I don't think on the
     record we would want anyone to interpret something that we
     would say that you would fix the design and freeze it and
     the never improve it, ever.  If you can make improvements
     you want to have the flexibility to make improvements.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Well, absolutely, and even all
     of the things that the NRC licenses, you will find a large
     number of amendments and design changes associated with
               On the other hand, there is a fundamental aspect
     about the performance here that we have to have high
     confidence in, and so there are certain parts of the design
     that clearly have to be understood in advance, but no, we
     would not want to close the door on any breakthroughs that
     might come about as a result of the long-term operating
               In fact, the opportunity is kind of unique that we
     have a long operating period during which to do continued
     study and research to increase our confidence in the
     longterm performance and we should take advantage of that,
     but I think what I am talking about here, and I didn't mean
     to muddy it, is communication again, making it clear what is
     meant by what is said.
               The words "flexible" and "fixing the design" could
     be confused.
               Okay -- any other comments from either the
     members, the Staff, the NRC Staff, or any from the audience?
               [No response.]
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Having none, I think we will
     adjourn for lunch.  Thank you.
               [Whereupon, at 12:25 p.m., the meeting was
     recessed, to reconvene at 1:30 p.m., this same day.].                   A F T E R N O O N  S E S S I O N
                                                      [1:30 p.m.]
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Good afternoon.  The meeting
     will come to order.
               This afternoon we are going to talk about the
     status of the NRC Low Level Waste Program.  The committee
     member that will lead the discussion will be Dr. Wymer.
               DR. WYMER:  This is an activity which NRC has
     apparently given a fairly low priority to in recent years,
     largely because the low level waste had to a large extent
     been relegated to the states and undertaken and the disposal
     undertaken by private concerns.  An ever decreasing number
     of private concerns are accepting low level waste.
               There is sort of a sleeper in this.  If it should
     happen that the Department of Energy facilities come under
     DOE regulation there could be a substantial increase in the
     amount of effort required in this and, as many of you know,
     there was a pilot program where several sites sort of had
     the NRC looking over their shoulder with respect to what
     they were doing with handling the waste materials, but that
     is still in abeyance and we don't know where that will
     ultimately turn out, so we are looking forward to getting an
     update in this field.
               Tom Essig, Chief of this branch, will make this
     presentation this afternoon.  Please.
               MR. ESSIG:  Thank you very much.  I realize that
     my name may be new to this committee.  I came to NMSS from
     NRR about six months ago and at that time I came in as the
     chief of the Uranium Recovery and Low Level Waste Branch, so
     I have had low level waste responsibility since that time.
               You will notice on the title slide that it is now
     the Environmental and Performance Assessment Branch and I
     will go into that reorganization, just touch on it so you
     understand where some of the pieces fit together and then
     John Greeves, when he is here tomorrow, will go into the
     subject a little bit further.
               What I would like to talk to you about today are
     basically these five areas and Jim Kennedy, who is my
     technical assistant, will be sharing the presentation with
     me, so I am going to cover probably the first two-thirds and
     then Jim will cover the last two-thirds and then any of the
     really tough questions I get I am going --
               DR. WYMER:  That's four-thirds of a presentation.
               MR. ESSIG:  I'm sorry.  I thought the last
               DR. WYMER:  I am not sure we have got enough time.
               MR. ESSIG:  That was a test question.
               Today I am going to talk to you about the status
     of the National Low Level Waste Program, and by the national
     program we really are referring to that which is outside of
     the NRC that is conducted by licensees and so forth and
     which we regulate, either directly or through an Agreement
     State, and we will talk about the future of the program,
     some initiatives that are on the horizon and then we will
     talk about the NRC's program, and that is the internal
     resources that we have devoted to it, and then we will get
     into related activities and activities that involve low
     level waste in some way or other, like decommissioning,
     TENORM and so forth, and then lastly we will summarize.
               In terms of the current status, this map is
     reasonably up to date except for one addition.  It doesn't
     reflect the fact that South Carolina --
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Why don't you give him the
     lapel mike and then he can be as flexible as he wants.
               MR. ESSIG:  Okay.  The only thing that we could
     have possibly updated on this would be to reflect that South
     Carolina is now part of the Atlantic Compact, including
     Connecticut and New Jersey and that just has happened very
     recently.  In fact, June 7th the Governor of South Carolina,
     as I think many of you know, signed the legislation that
     established South Carolina as a member of the Northeast
     Compact and yesterday the Northeast Compact approved an
     order authorizing South Carolina to join the compact.
               There will be some exchanges of money -- $70,000
     here and $12 million there and then it will be effective and
     as I mentioned be the Atlantic Compact.
               Now some events that have happened over the last
     several years -- I am just trying to summarize here on this
     slide -- that have happened in the course of developing or
     attempting to develop new sites pursuant to the Low Level
     Waste Policy Amendments Act or Low Level Waste Program
     Radioactive Policy Act, 1985, Texas, as you well know,
     started to develop the Sierra Blanca facility and the
     regulator denied the application on October of '98.
     Nebraska in December of '98, the regulator denied that
     license application.  It was to be in Boyd County.  Then
     more recently in California, the Governor announced the
     formation of an Advisory Group on Low Level Waste to study
     alternatives to the Ward Valley.  Of course, Ward Valley is
     no longer being considered.
               The last point there is a conclusion that was
     reached by the GAO in a report that they prepared at the
     request of Congress to determine the status of the state and
     compact efforts to develop new facilities and alternative
     approaches, and they have just basically concluded that
     efforts by the states in compact to develop new facilities
     have essentially stopped, which I think that would be a
     pretty accurate statement of what we see currently.
               With the possible exception of U.S. Ecology -- I
     think it was mentioned yesterday in the Chairman's opening
     remarks -- is -- I'm sorry, I am getting a little ahead of
     myself.  I want to talk about U.S. Ecology first.  It
     operates a facility at Richland on the Hanford site that
     provides support for the 11 Western states, the ones that I
     have listed there that are members of the two compacts,
     Northwest and Rocky Mountain.
               Then of course we still have the Chem-Nuclear
     facility at Barnwell, which as I mentioned will be part of
     that Atlantic compact.
               The provisions of the compact, as you may be
     aware, are that it will gradually step down the amount of,
     the volume of waste that can be received at that facility
     until after 2008.  There will be no waste received at that
     facility from outside of the three-state compact.
               Recently the operator of the site, Chem-Nuclear,
     has been sold to GTS Duratek, and as best we know, that will
     not have any effect on the operations of the Barnwell
     facility.  We fully expect it to continue as it currently
               Next, talking about Envirocare of Utah, it
     currently accepts Class A waste along with, under their
     state license, and then 11(e)(2) byproduct material under
     license from NRC and NORM.
               I believe as the Chairman mentioned yesterday,
     Envirocare has applied to the Utah DEQ, Department of
     Environmental Quality, for a Class B and C license, and I
     will be saying a little more on that a little bit later.
               Waste Control Specialists, the other private
     facility in this business, is currently accepting NORM and
     other low activity waste for storage.  It was recently
     discussed with the -- and then disposal in a RCRA cell --
     but it was recently discussed with the Texas compact.  That
     is still being discussed with the legislature so we are not
     sure exactly where that is proceeding but I think as was
     mentioned yesterday also we are aware that Waste Control
     Specialists is also considering a site right across the
     border from the Andrews County, Texas, site, and New Mexico
     has expressed an interest in reviewing the application
     should it be tendered, but that is about all we know at this
               I believe our recent discussions with Waste
     Control Specialists indicate that that isn't moving anywhere
     real quickly but it still is on the horizon.
               MR. LARSON:  That is not an Agreement State so
     that would be a facility that if they proceeded ahead that
     the NRC would license.
               MR. ESSIG:  That would be a New Mexico licensee,
     as I understand it, if that went forward.
               MR. KENNEDY:  New Mexico I believe is an Agreement
               MR. ESSIG:  Yes.
               DR. WYMER:  Tom, let me make a comment.
               MR. ESSIG:  Yes.
               DR. WYMER:  I had a request from the audience that
     any time we use an acronym that we go ahead and say what the
     acronym stands for, because people get lost in the alphabet
               MR. ESSIG:  Certainly -- such as NORM on the
     slide?  Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material.  Yes.
               The Waste Control Specialists, whether or not that
     materializes, remains to be seen, but at least it is in the
     discussion stages..
               In terms of the future of the national program,
     the California Low Level Waste Advisory Group has issued a
     draft report.  They are considering four options -- shipping
     to other states, decaying the short-lived radionuclides in
     California -- in other words, the status quo, dividing the
     waste stream by hazard, building a short isolation facility
     or building and operating a new disposal facility, but the
     group, the blue ribbon panel that advised the Governor, made
     no specific recommendation on that.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  How does that second one provide
     an option?  How does dividing the waste stream solve the
     disposal problem?
               MR. ESSIG:  I don't know that it particularly
     solves the disposal problem.  It is another way of handling
     it.  That is, they would either dispose or store certain
     materials in the state and then would have to -- what they
     didn't dispose or store there they would have to go
     elsewhere.  Is that --
               MR. KENNEDY:  Yes.  The principal dividing line
     would be the nuclear power plants on the one hand and
     everybody else on the other.  I think in general it is fair
     to say that the group and the report focuses on an option
     whereby everyone like universities and hospitals and so
     forth, they would all fall into one category and potentially
     be managed at a facility with 100 years of institutional
     controls and closed up after that, and then the nuclear
     power reactors would be left to store it on site or put it
     in their containment building or something.
               That basically is where the division is.  It's
     between nuclear power plant waste and everything else.
               "Hazard" by the way is defined by half-life
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  It is hard to separate alpha
     and beta and gammas.
               MR. KENNEDY:  Yes.  There has been a lot of debate
     about the recommendation.
               MR. ESSIG:  And then the last point there, Texas
     we expect will take up the low level waste issue again next
     January during the legislative session and they will be
     considering short isolation.
               Back to the Envirocare situation, the Class B and
     C application.  The state required that they do this in two
     steps.  One was the first they had to get approval of the
     site even though it was, the site was already in use, but
     the state insisted that a siting application be tendered.
     That application has since been approved and then the next
     step will be the actual review of the license application by
     the Utah DEQ and then it will ultimately have to go to the
     legislature and the Governor.
               There is a window of opportunity for doing that.
     The legislative session is 45 days each year, starting in
     late January, so if the Utah DEQ has approved and is ready
     to pass it on to the legislature and the Governor by late
     2000 or even very early 2001 then the legislature could
     possibly consider it and act on it, but if they miss that
     window of opportunity it won't be until 2002 when that could
     be a reality.
               The second point there is that there has been a
     study that was completed in September '99 by the GAO and it
     examined the status of compacts, the current disposal
     situation, and looked at alternatives for waste management
     including repealing the Low Level Waste Radioactive Waste
     Policy Amendments Act and letting private industry step in,
     using DOE low level waste sites.  The study found that the
     underlying and recurring reason that no disposal facilities
     have been developed is public and political opposition, the
     number one reason, and the report didn't make a particular
               The last point on this slide is really a
     work-in-progress which we have been approached by the
     National Academy to fund a low level waste study.  We are in
     the process of replying to the Academy.  The letter hasn't
     been signed out yet but it is very high in the concurrence
     chain and it is about ready to be issued, and we will in
     that letter if it is issued as we understand it, the latest
     version of it will offer to work with the National Academy
     and fund at some level to be determined.
               Our internal program or in-house program is,
     basically, the current direction that we have, that we are
     pursuing was established by the Commission in '97, based on
     a strategic assessment effort.  At that point, a larger
     program was rejected and the staff efforts to actively
     promote new site development were rejected as well.
               The current level of effort is about three FTE,
     down from what we had was five.  And we were told that the
     staff should maintain every effort -- or should make every
     effort to maintain the core technical disciplines needed to
     assess the low level waste disposal issues and that the
     technical experts should be utilized in other NRC programs
     as appropriate.  And, as you will see in a minute, we try to
     do just that.
               I will say a word about our organization and then
     after I am done, then I am going to Jim Kennedy, but this is
     -- of course, these organizational elements are familiar to
     you, Bill Kane, our office director, Marty Virgilio, John
     Greeves, who I mentioned you will be hearing from tomorrow,
     and Joe Holonich, our deputy division director.
               What is new is, as I mentioned at the outset, we
     have this environmental performance assessment branch which
     was formed after the uranium recovery function was moved to
     fuel cycle safety and safeguards, and the performance
     assessment function was moved from the high level waste
     branch to here.  So, my branch then currently has the low
     level waste function, environmental impact statement, which
     is an office-wide function and performance assessment, which
     is a division-wide function.
               And the resources that we have drawn upon
     currently, and in the past, of course, are Jim Kennedy, who
     is sitting at the table with me today, Tim Harris, who is
     sitting over to my left, and Mark Thaggard, whom you heard
     from yesterday, and Boby Eid, who has been involved with a
     lot of dose assessment activities, and Nick Orlando from our
     decommissioning branch, who frequently we view as our mixed
     waste cognizant person, and Mike Lee, who has also worked on
     some PA guidance recently.
               So, that is pretty much our new organization, so,
     we have an environmental and low level waste section, and
     that is where the EIS function is discharged, as well as the
     low level waste responsibility.  Well, it is actually split
     because Jim Kennedy reports directly to me and he has some
     and then Tim Harris has some at the section level.  And
     Charlotte Abrams is the newly announced section chief for
     that.  And Sandy Wassler is the section chief for
     performance assessment.  Those were just announced within
     the past week.
               So, with that, I will turn it over to Jim Kennedy.
               MR. KENNEDY:  I want to talk about some of the
     details of our low level waste program, both the narrow low
     level waste program that we define, basically, by our budget
     and, also, sort of more expansively, the low level waste
     program in general, that is, the word low level waste as
     applied generically into all kinds of radioactive wastes
     that happen to be low in radioactivity or specific activity.
               First, this is the low level waste program as it
     is defined in our budget.  Some very specific activities,
     most of which are performed in the division of waste
     management.  One thing to point out at the very outset is
     that it does not involve any licensing of Part 61
     facilities.  There is a little bit of import-export
     licensing, but, unlike other NRC programs where the bread
     and butter of their work is licensing and inspection and so
     forth, we have none of that in the NRC low level waste
     program.  There are no states about to submit a license
     application to us.  We have no licenses that we have issued
     to states, and the only licenses for Part 61 facilities that
     are out there in the country are Envirocare, Barnwell and
     U.S. Ecology out in Washington State.  So, this sort of
     basic NRC activity, or Agreement State activity even, is
     just not a part of what we do.
               But we do do a number of different things.  First,
     you are aware of the performance assessment guidance, which
     we talked to you about yesterday.  I won't go into that, but
     that has been a long effort beginning around 1993 or so, and
     it has been a lot of work, and we are on the verge of
     completing it.
               Another item that we have in our budget for low
     level waste activities is providing assistance to states
     that request assistance on low level waste.  In the past,
     this used to be at times a fairly large activity.  Nebraska,
     for example, asked for help on their performance assessment
     of that site.  We have assisted California, actually, with
     respect to the Ward Valley site in a number of different
     ways over the years.  We had involvement with Texas and all
     kinds of other states.
               At the moment, as you might imagine, that effort
     is not large.  We do, for example, go to low level waste
     forum meetings, as long as they will continue.  They will
     have another this fall.  I was out at a conference of
     Michigan generators at the request of the State of Michigan
     a couple of weeks ago, talking to their generators about all
     the low level waste and clearance initiatives, and so forth,
     that we have underway here at NRC.
               But our goal is to continue to be responsive to
     state requests for low level waste disposal and management,
     given their important responsibility in that respect.
               Another activity that we have is to review on-site
     disposal requests under 10 CFR 20.2002.  That is a section
     of the regulations that allows licensees to dispose of their
     waste, not in a Part 61 facility, but by other unspecified
     means that we review, basically, on a case-by-case basis.
     Now, it may be disposal, for example, most often of
     carbon-14 on a licensee's site.  It could also be disposals
     of relatively low levels of radioactivity at a regular
     landfill.  And under the regulations in 20.2002, a licensee
     can submit a request to us to authorize that disposal.  Tim
     Harris of our staff generally does those, using, basically,
     the license termination rule and Part 20 as the criteria, 25
     millirem per year, and evaluating it with DandD and RESRAD
     and so forth.
               Generally, those are -- or I would say always
     those are not large disposals, they are fairly small
               Another activity we have is to review
     import-export applications.  We do about a half a dozen of
     those a year.  Technically, there is not any challenge to
     that.  The criteria in the regulations are not technically
     stringent because the technical criteria kick in when the
     waste comes into the country and falls under the control of
     the licensee and the disposal site.  But they are important
     to us because they get a lot of -- potentially, get a lot of
     visibility, waste crossing international borders.
               We want to make sure that there is a place for its
     disposal in the U.S.  And the problem we most encounter with
     these applications to us is that the states that have
     disposal facilities, namely, Utah, Washington and South
     Carolina, often are reluctant to accept this out-of-country
     waste.  And I would say probably about half of our
     applications don't address adequately where it is going to
     be disposed of, and, ultimately, they are dropped.
               Another activity that we have underway is to
     coordinate with the Environmental Protection Agency on mixed
     waste rulemakings.  Now, EPA, over the past couple of years
     has had two rulemakings underway to better address mixed
     waste, and let me see if I can get this right.  One of the
     rulemakings is to allow for the disposal of low hazard mixed
     waste in 10 CFR Part 61 radioactive waste disposal
     facilities.  And what they mean by that, and what we mean by
     that, is that radioactive waste that has small
     concentrations of hazardous constituents that normally would
     go to a hazardous waste landfill can, instead, go to a Part
     61 facility and utilize the waste isolation features in a
     Part 61 facility to not only isolate the radioactive waste,
     but also the hazardous waste constituents that are in it.
               The converse to that rule, or the flip side of
     that rule is to allow low activity mixed waste, or low
     activity high hazard mixed waste to go to a Resource
     Conservation and Recovery Act, Subtitle C, hazard waste
     facility.  And the same idea applies there, that when the
     radioactivity is low, the specific activity is low, that the
     risk management features and waste isolation features of a
     hazardous waste landfill can be adequate to not isolate the
     hazardous waste from the environment, but also the
     radioactive waste.
               It turns out, I understand, that the biggest
     hazard in the hazardous waste facility, excepting
     radioactive waste, is to the worker.  That is, once it goes
     into the cell itself, there is not much of a hazard to the
     environment or to the public, but there are doses associated
     with exposures of workers to radioactive materials coming
     into the facility.
               MR. LARSON:  How old are those, Jim?  The reason I
     ask is that the EDO, under Dr. Paperiello's signature, asked
     the committee to comment on that if they had any
     observations.  And, you know, it has never been -- neither
     one of those has been presented to the committee, so I don't
     know how old they are or what the status is, and we have
     been asked to say something.
               MR. KENNEDY:  Yes.  Well, both are a couple of
     years old.  I mean they started out as an idea, one
     rulemaking, the one that allows hazardous waste to go --
     slightly hazardous waste to go to a Part 61 facility, that
     was issued for public comment as a proposed rule on November
     19th and that is expected to be issued, actually, as a final
     rule around the end of this year.  Our involvement has been
     relatively minor in that, as you might imagine.
               Now, the other rule is one where, once EPA passed
     its rule, this is the one that would allow low activity
     mixed waste to be disposed of in a RCRA facility, once EPA
     promulgated its rule, or just before that, NRC would also
     need to promulgate a rule to issue a general license to RCRA
     hazardous waste facilities that would enable them to accept
     radioactive waste.  And that would be the one where there
     would be both more NRC staff involvement, because we would
     have to write a rule allowing for a general license for RCRA
     hazardous waste landfills, and there would be ACNW
     involvement, too.
               Now, that rule at the moment actually is on hold.
     NRC and EPA, first off, have some issues on it, including 15
     versus 25 millirem per year.  There is also some concerns
     about whether EPA has authority to set standards based on
     worker protection, because it turns out that the limiting
     factor is exposure of the workers, and, under law, EPA does
     not have authority over worker protection.  And, so, that
     needs to be ironed out.  We know what the issues are.
               EPA, at the moment, actually, is devoting more
     attention to the high level waste standard that they are
     developing for 40 CFR 197, and, so, this rule is on the
     back-burner at the moment, but it is a rule that folks have
     an interest in, particularly, the industry.  It is a better,
     more efficient way of managing waste and more sensible,
     risk-informed way of managing low level waste and mixed
     waste, so that we hope that will come in the future.
               Another effort, specific effort that we have
     underway on the staff is to develop a rule for greater than
     Class C low level waste storage at nuclear power plant dry
     storage facilities.  Many nuclear power plants at the moment
     store their small quantity of GTCC waste, it isn't very
     much, many of them store that waste in their spent fuel
     pools now.  And under our existing regulations, if they get
     an independent spent fuel storage installation, a dry
     storage facility, and license it under Part 72, there are no
     provisions that allow them to store greater than Class C
               It turns out that, under Part 72, all they can do
     is store spent fuel and nothing else.  So, when they get rid
     of their spent fuel pool and try to transfer everything, not
     just the spent fuel, but the small amount of GTCC, there is
     no place to put it.  Unless they were to get -- they could
     get a separate NRC license under Part 30 to store byproduct
     material, which is what the GTCC is.  But that doesn't make
     a whole lot of sense, and what we are doing is streamlining
     things and allowing for, with this proposed rule, the
     storage of GTCC, under Part 72, in spent fuel storage
               That proposed rule has just -- it is about to go
     up to the Commission in a Commission paper.  Maybe it has
     gone up as of today, but it is imminent, and it will be
     going out, after the Commission decides on it as a proposed
     rule in the near future, we hope.  That might be something
     you would want to look at.  I don't know, but I think,
     normally, don't you often get involved in proposed rules
     reviews?  I leave that to you.
               Another activity that we have is to participate in
     IMPEP reviews.  IMPEP is Integrated Materials Performance
     Evaluation Program.  It is our reviews of both NRC regions
     and Agreement States to ensure that they are carrying out
     their programs adequately.  It is managed out of the Office
     of State Programs.  It is something that largely has to do
     with Agreement States, because there are many more Agreement
     States than they are NRC regions.
               But they take teams of, typically, four to six
     people out to either the region or an Agreement State, with
     NRC staffers from different offices, typically, the Office
     of State Programs, of course, but, also, our materials
     licensing folks, division of waste management people, and
     they always include a member of an Agreement State, too, to
     go along as a member of the team.  And they routinely do
     those reviews, of course, for materials licensing, and we
     also do them occasionally for Part 61 disposal facility
     licensing in the states of Washington, Utah and South
               We were down in South Carolina, I believe it was
     last summer.  Boby Eid actually participated in that review.
     I think we were out in Washington last year also, and, Utah,
     I am not sure when we will be going to Utah, but we will be
     a part of that review and go out and examine their low level
     waste disposal program and see how well they are doing.
               And, finally, there is just a whole host of
     miscellaneous things that come up in low level waste
     disposal.  Nuclear power reactor inspections, for example,
     where they have to classify and package waste under Part 61.
     We get involved in that.  We get involved in guidance
     interpretation for members of the public and licensees
     around the country.  We work with Congressional Affairs on
     miscellaneous issues that come up on the Hill and public
     affairs issues that come up mainly with members of the
     public, periodically, we get a few of those a week.
               Any questions on that part?  Do we want to save
     those for later?
               [No response.]
               DR. WYMER:  Fine.  Proceed.
               MR. KENNEDY:  I don't say a lot, but I think I
     could talk about this chart for a hour, but I'll try not to.
               MR. KENNEDY:  To me, there is so much here.  This
     is a chart.  Now, let me just explain what it is first.
               It's a chart of relative specific radioactivity
     for the different kinds of radioactive waste.  Specific
     radioactivity means curies per cubic meter, or picocuries
     per gram.
               Originally, we had these units down here in terms
     of curies per cubic meter, which are the units that are in
     Part 61 for waste classification, and we prepared this slide
     actually for some Congressional testimony that hasn't
     happened yet.
               But we wanted to simplify it, and rather than put
     in curies per cubic meter, what we did was, we took the low
     end of soil and just called that one and put everything else
     in terms of the low end of soil.  In other words, TENORM,
     for example, the high end of TENORM is technologically
     enhanced naturally occurring radioactive material; that is
     naturally occurring radioactive materials that have been in
     some way altered by man, either moving them or concentrating
     the radionuclides, or both.
               It would, for example, be uranium ore that's
     removed from the earth and left in the pile.
               You can see that's about five times ten to the
     fourth or about 50,000 times higher than the low end of soil
     in terms of its specific radioactivity.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  What soil is that?  When you
     say soil, that's your standard?
               MR. KENNEDY:  That's standard, run-of-the-mill
     U.S. soil.  We got it from NCRP-50, typically like, oh, one
     to four picocuries per gram of uranium, plus Thorium 232 and
     radium and so forth, and their daughters, in that
               The absolute numbers are not so important here.
     They are approximate, first off, because many of these don't
     have a rigid, firm, top end.  TENORM doesn't, low-level
     waste doesn't.  Exempt source material does, and I'll talk
     more about that.
               Uranium mill tailings doesn't have a single number
     that's at the top or even at the bottom for that matter, but
     you get the idea.
               And what we've done is just calculated from -- a
     lot of this data came from DOE's integrated database report,
     last published, I believe, in 1996, which is an excellent
     overview of radioactive wastes in the U.S., all the sources
     of it, and radionuclides and concentrations and volumes and
     so forth.
               And what we've done is take that information and
     just put a range of the relative radioactivity for 11(e)(2)
     byproduct material, or uranium mill tailings, for low-level
     waste, for NORM and TENORM.  NORM is naturally-occurring,
     and accelerator-produced radioactive material.  TENORM is
     naturally-occurring material that's been technologically
     enhanced in some way by man, by humans.
               Exempt source material is a provision in the
     regulation under 40.13 whereby source material less than .05
     weight/percent is exempt from regulation by NRC, so that
     turns out to be .05 percent uranium and/or thorium, and this
     is spent reactor fuel way up here.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  I'm wondering if that sends the
     right message?  Because your low-level waste, as you just
     said, goes up to your -- almost to the bottom of your spent
     fuel category.
               MR. KENNEDY:  We've had that pointed out to us.
     And actually there is a corresponding chart that we've made
     that can go along with this.  We haven't always used it.
               But what it shows is that this waste up here --
     and, in fact, you can take radionuclides out of Part 61, and
     what you will find is that the shorter-lived radionuclides
     are the ones father up like Cobalt-60 and Strontium-90.

               And if you look at this chart after 1,000 years or
     10,000 years, what you'll find out is that the spent fuel
     has decayed a couple of orders of magnitude, the high end of
     low-level waste has virtually disappeared and it's all down
     in this end now; and down for these other materials,
     11(e)(2) byproduct material, NARM and TENORM, and exempt
     source material, they're principally made up of uranium,
     thorium, and radium, and so they stay virtually the same.
               So, another way to look at this chart is take it
     after 1,000 or 10,000 years and what you'll see is that this
     is way down here.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes, yes.  It's just that it
     seems that there needs to be some sort of benchmark or
     markers that would give people some measure of the specific
     activity or something that would indicate whether it's
     dangerous or not dangerous.
               MR. KENNEDY:  Yes.  Well, I hear what you're
     saying, and like all of these things, this chart, there is a
     lot of information here that's pertinent that's not shown
     because it's two-dimensional.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Right.  I'm always a little
     suspect of dimensionalist, non-physical meaning methods of
               DR. HORNBERGER:  We just plot them on an
     arithmetic scale and you only see the high level.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Right, yes, okay.  Well, I
     appreciate what you're trying to do.  It's just that it's a
     question of whether or not it's a good way -- a good form of
     risk communication.
               MR. KENNEDY:  Yes, I understand what you're
     saying.  We've had a number of folks, environmental groups,
     in particular, come back to us and say, ah, what do you
     mean, low-level waste?  Low-level waste is almost like
     high-level waste, you know?
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.
               MR. KENNEDY:  And so more needs to be said about
               MR. LEVENSON:  Can you show distributions with
     activity level?  That would help.
               MR. KENNEDY:  Yes.  Like I said, I could go on all
     day with this, but another thing that's not shown on this is
     volumes.  I think that's really instructive.
               You know about spent fuel volumes.  All of that
     will go to Yucca Mountain, and there's not much greater than
     Class C waste, which is right up here, and maybe comprises
     just the tip of that bar there.
               There's 2,000 cubic meters that will be generated
     in the next -- both in storage now and that will be
     generated by nuclear power reactors over the next 30 years
     -- 2,000 cubic meters.  That's not very much.
               NARM, TENORM, there's, I understand from a recent
     EPA report, some 1.6 billion tons of TENORM in the U.S. --
     1.6 billion tons.  I don't know about the quantities for
     that.  Low-level waste, I don't know the precise quantities
     of that down here, but we do know it's millions and millions
     of cubic feet, just in the commercial programs when you take
     the SDMP sites and decommissioning of nuclear power
     reactors, for example, and contaminated soil and so forth.
               So, you know, compare 2,000 cubic meters, which is
     90,000 cubic feet or so, and millions of cubic feet down
     here, so another dimension of this, if we had a third
     dimension, would show volumes very, very large down here on
     the orders of magnitude difference between what's down at
     this end and what's up here.
               Another thing that's important is that these
     materials have in some cases, anyway -- are required by
     regulation and law to be disposed of in different ways, even
     when the hazard is similar or the same.
               For example, 11(e)(2) byproduct material or
     uranium mill tailings, must go to a licensed 11(e)(2) mill
     tailings impoundment under 10 CFR Part 40, Appendix A.
               Low-level waste, on the other hand -- I'll talk
     more about this end of low-level waste, but in general, it's
     required to go to a Part 61 disposal facility, and we'll
     talk about some exceptions to that.
               TENORM, well, TENORM is regulated not by -- it's
     regulated by states.  They regulate it in different ways.
     There are some states that don't regulate it at all.
               Some of it or much of it is allowed to go to RCRA
     Subtitle C facilities.  In the state of Michigan, anyway, if
     not a few other states, it's also allowed in some cases to
     go to conventional landfills.
               And some of the TENORM, at the high end in
     particular -- this is really hot here, by the way.  This is
     like 400,000 picocuries per gram at the high end.
               It's not required to go any particular place, but
     it's often sent to a low-level waste disposal site because
     it's so hot and so hazardous.
               Exempt source material is simply exempt under our
     regulations right now, and that typically either goes to a
     Part 61 facility, or more and more these days it's going to
     RCRA hazardous waste facilities.  Of course, you know about
     spent fuel.
               Any questions on that, because I'm going to flip
     to the next page?
               [No response.]
               MR. KENNEDY:  And what we find being the focus of
     low-level waste these days is not Part 61 facility
     developed.  We talked about how the state and compact
     efforts are stalled.  There are some private initiatives out
     there, which are ongoing and which we support.
               But what we also find in a much larger respect is
     folks encouraging us generators and even the Commission
     taking some initiative in this, too, of looking at
     alternatives for better managing -- let's see if I can do
     this right -- better managing the low end of low-level
               I was trying to get that back up there, but --
     yes.  It doesn't seem to be working.
               Let me start up with rubbelization.  It's such a
     large file it takes a long time to do it.  But we find a lot
     of focus, because of the large volume and high cost of
     generators coming to us and we're taking some initiatives on
     our own, of addressing this end, this waste down here.
               Part 61 facilities, in general, are designed to
     handle the higher activity, B/C waste, and higher end of
     Class A, and are really not needed in all cases for this low
               And yet this is where there's a lot of waste.  The
     cost is high to get rid of it, the hazard is not very high,
     and so what we see is an increased emphasis on the low end.
               And one thing that just jumps out to me from this
     chart is that why can't some low-level waste go to a mill
     tailings impoundment when everything else is the same, and
     why can't some go to where TENORM goes, when everything else
     is the same?  So, we'll talk about how we're answering that
               Let me continue with that point before I come back
     to entombment.  But one of the ways that that is manifesting
     itself is this concept of rubbelization whereby nuclear
     power reactors would clean up buildings and leave some
     residual radioactivity on buildings, but dispose of the
     rubbelized concrete and building debris and so forth in a
     building onsite in the foundation of a building, and cover
     it over with soil.
               And it's low specific activity material.  It's
     material that could be called low-level waste and might, in
     the old days, be sent to a low-level waste site.  But with
     that approach, it becomes simply residual radioactivity from
     decommissioning, and can be left onsite because even with
     that material there, they would be required to meet the 25
     millirem per year dose limit for reactor decommissioning.
               Another takeoff on that earlier chart and
     expanding the disposal options is the use of uranium mill
     tailings impoundments for disposal of similar low-level
     waste, that is, waste that has the same radionuclides,
     uranium, thorium, and their daughters, and disposing of
     those in uranium mill tailings impoundments.
               Now, the Staff prepared a Commission paper last
     year, SECY 99-012.  It was prepared in response to some
     National Mining Association initiatives, a white paper that
     they prepared that proposed and argued for expanded use of
     mill tailings impoundment for low-level waste disposal.
               And so the Commission has addressed that in the
     Commission paper.  That's been before the Commission about a
     little bit more than a year now.  And the Commission, we
     think, is going to be issuing a decision on that shortly.
               The decision will be, first, whether to
     incorporate into a new Part 41, provisions that would allow
     for that, and to specify which low-level waste and under
     what conditions it could be allowed to go to a uranium mill
     tailings impoundment.
               Let me come back up to entombment.  That is a
     little bit different in the sense that it doesn't involve
     particularly the low end material but involves the high end
     material and the idea is to take lower level waste from a
     nuclear power reactor, entomb it into the containment
     building -- that is, seal it into the containment building,
     to monitor the containment building for 100 to 300 years and
     then to allow for unrestricted release after that period of
               What it does is it allows for onsite disposal, of
     course, but it allows for leaving a lot of the relatively
     short-lived low level waste in the building itself and
     letting it decay away after 100 to 300 years and then
     releasing the site, rather than send it to a Part 61
     disposal facility.  That is something that is being explored
     right now.  We have had a couple of workshops on that. There
     is a Commission paper also about to go up to the Commission
     describing the results of a workshop that we had last
     December, and we expect to be moving ahead with that.
               The step that we need to take to make that more
     real is to promulgate a rulemaking allowing for that to
     happen.  The rulemaking is probably somewhat far off, but we
     are moving step by step on that effort.  That would also, by
     the way, have a huge impact on the amount of low level waste
     that is generated from decommissioning of a nuclear power
     reactor because most of it would be left onsite.
               Another alternative in a somewhat different sense
     are short isolation facilities.  A short isolation facility,
     I think most of you are familiar with that, right, Howard?
     -- is a new concept that is not disposal but it is an option
     for managing low level waste whereby the waste would be
     placed into a facility that looks like a modern, highly
     engineered facility but it would be placed there without any
     commitment to leave it there forever.
               In other words, it might be left there or it might
     not be.  The options for how it gets handled into the near
     future or just in future even are left open.
               One of the ideas behind that is that the local
     community would have a chance to gain confidence in the
     performance of the facility if it were going there without a
     final decision and would be there forever and --
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  What of the licensing, what are
     the alternatives for the duration of the license?
               MR. KENNEDY:  Well, that is the $64,000 Question,
     and that is the one that we haven't given an answer to.  The
     proponents of a short isolation have come up with a
     licensing strategy whereby a license would be issued for
     storage in renewable terms of, say, 10 to 30 years, and that
     after each term one would simply decide at that point --
     first off, the operators would decide whether they were
     going to keep the waste there and the licensing organization
     would decide whether it could be renewed for another 10 to
     30 year term.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  So it is not unlike the way EPA
     has certified WIPP --
               MR. KENNEDY:  Yes.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  -- where they have five year
               MR. KENNEDY:  Exactly.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.
               MR. KENNEDY:  In fact, conceptually in some ways,
     in important ways I would argue, it resembles a RCRA
     permitting scheme and even risk management approach in that
     the primary means of managing risk with a short isolation is
     through institutional controls and the commitment to monitor
     it and survey it and make sure it is working right.
               One of the advantages that the proponents argue is
     that you don't need a good site.  You can put it anywhere,
     and you don't need to do a performance assessment and
     modeling for 10,000 years, which they argue is difficult and
     creates difficulties in licensing, but that one can simply
     issue a storage license for 10 years or 30 years and that is
     no big deal.
               It has some advantages.  The Commission has not
     been very much involved in that.  We are certainly aware of
     it.  Chairman Jackson has written a few letters on it.  We
     have identified some concerns like the main one being under
     what provisions of our regulations or in Agreement State
     regulations should such a facility be licensed -- that is,
     the storage regulations or Part 61 and, you know, just what
     is it?  Is it storage or is it disposal?  The Commission has
     not spoken on that.
               We are simply waiting to have a proposal put
     before us, which we haven't had yet.
               The state of Texas has an application from
     Envirocare of Texas for one of these facilities.  They had
     rejected the application or put it on hold.  I understand
     that as of last month they have taken it off hold and I
     think they got some eight pages of review comments on it
     right now.
               We have been talking to Texas.  We have asked
     Texas to keep us informed of what they are doing so that the
     Commission is informed and agrees with whatever licensing
     concepts that they come up with.
               Clearance of solid materials -- that is the
     clearance rulemaking, an extension of what we were talking
     about earlier, and that is allowing some of the low end, low
     level waste go to other types of facilities.  If you carry
     that thinking a step further, it is logical to include the
     release of solid materials at some very low levels for
     unrestricted use and of course that is what the clearance
     effort is all about.  I am sure you are all aware of that.
               What that is basically is that at some level near
     background radiation, near the level of radioactivity that
     is in soil it is okay and it is safe to release licensed
     radioactive material for unrestricted use.
               Another item that we are working on right now is
     low and source material rulemaking and one of the bars on
     that earlier chart was exempt quantities of source material,
     which is .05 percent uranium or thorium in our regulations
     that is exempt from regulation.
               In SECY 99-259 the Staff proposed that we add a
     provision to that rulemaking to better define the conditions
     under which it could be released for unrestricted use and
     for disposal.  It turns out that in some cases some fairly
     conservative cases of unimportant quantities of source
     material like a worker handling zircon flour for 2000 hours
     a year of flour material that he inhales a fair amount of,
     you can get doses up over a rem per year potentially and so
     we are doing a rulemaking that addresses some of those cases
     and it looks like the proposed rule will have in it a 100
     millirem per year maximum dose to anyone including a worker
     at a facility handling these quantities of source material.
               That rulemaking is just beginning.  I think we are
     supposed to have a proposed rule in place or out on the
     street -- we are up to the Commission rather in September of
     this year.
               Finally, I will mention something different here,
     the FUSRAP program or Formerly Utilized Site Remedial Action
     Program.  This is a program that is currently being
     implemented by the Army Corps of Engineers.  It involves
     Manhattan Engineer District sites around the country from
     the 1940s and 1950s that have radioactive contamination.
     Much of it is 11(e)(2) byproduct material that is the
     residuals from the extraction of uranium.
               That program was transferred to the Army Corps
     from the Department of Energy in 1997 and the Army Corps has
     been quite vigorous in looking at alternatives to disposal
     from conventional disposal facilities like 11(e)(2) disposal
     cells in low level waste sites and they have promoted I
     would say and looked at carefully and are using RCRA
     Subtitle C facilities around the country for disposing of
     this kind of waste and kind of the basic principle is that
     if it is good enough for TENORM or it's good enough for
     other low end radioactivity materials, it is okay for the
     FUSRAP material, which also is down at the low end.
               Mostly it is 11(e)(2) byproduct material mixed
     with soil so it is not even as big a range as what we are
     showing up on that chart.
               We don't regulate FUSRAP.  The Army Corps is
     self-regulating under CERCLA for their onsite cleanups but
     there has been a lot of interest in it.  It was on the front
     page of the Washington Post about two months ago I think.
               We get a fair number of requests from people on
     the outside concerning the FUSRAP program, from states
     sometimes.  We have a couple of 2.206 petitions, one from
     the Snake River Alliance out in Idaho concerning a RCRA
     Subtitle C facility out there that is accepting some of this
     waste and the other from Envirocare of Utah, both asking us
     to regulate the disposal of that material.  They believe it
     needs to be done and those were submitted about three months
     ago I think and we are processing those petitions right now.
               One thing I didn't mention today is research.
     There is no discrete Low Level Waste Program or research
     program for low level waste but we do do research upstairs
     under a program that is called Radionuclide Transport in the
     Environment that pertains not just to decommissioning and
     high level waste but also potentially to low level waste
     disposal facilities, and we are doing work for example on
     degradation of concrete which applies to most modern
     disposal facilities and potentially to our short isolation
               We are doing work on absorption of radionuclides
     and monitoring and transport of waste in the ground and the
     Vadose zone for example, so there is some research being
     done by the Office of Research, although it doesn't fall
     under the name of low level waste per se.
               Here is a summary of what -- wrong way -- whoops.
     That is the first time I have used Corel Presentation, so
     bear with me.  Here's the summary of Tom and I, both Tom and
     I talked about today.
               First, I think it is fairly clear.  It states some
     compacts haven't been able to develop new facilities. We do
     have disposal capacity available today but the future isn't
     certain.  Barnwell is going to be closing down over the next
     eight years.  It is not clear when or whether Envirocare
     will get their BC application approved.
               We continue to implement our Low Level Waste
     Program as directed by the Commission in general in 1997. We
     continue to support other in-house initiatives and I would
     say spend even more time on this.  That involves
     alternatives to conventional management and disposal of low
     level wastes, such as entombment, rubbelization, low end
     source material, use of mill tailings, empoundments and so
     forth, and we are also supporting outside efforts to examine
     alternatives such as the NAS study for low level radioactive
     waste disposal in the country.
               DR. WYMER:  Thank you very much for a very
     thorough and informative presentation. We appreciate it.
               Are there any questions?
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  I just have one.  Approximately
     four years ago this committee, which was made up of mostly
     different people than now exist, sent a letter to the
     Chairman describing what ACNW thought would constitute a
     basic or an adequate Low Level Waste Program for the NRC.
               The overarching message of that letter was that
     the NRC should maintain a national cognizance of the low
     level waste business.
               Do you in your branch have information or do the
     type of analysis that would really respond to a question
     that might come from Congress or somewhere that says
     something about the urgency or lack of urgency of low level
     waste disposal?  Do we really have a good handle on where we
     are, given that we have had so many failures, if you wish,
     at the state compact level?
               Two or three of the items that we had in our
     letter was to maintain an evaluation capability, to maintain
     some of the elements of a research perspective, and to be in
     a position to fill gaps as we learn about them, as the
     states get experience.
               So my real question is should we be worrying about
     this?  Should this committee be pushing the Commission to be
     more active or to look for alternatives or what have you?  I
     am basically an analyst so what I would say is needed is an
     analysis of the inventory and what capacity exists and some
     sort of a time-wise assessment of when we are getting in
               Obviously you can probably always have the
     capacity if you are willing to pay the price, but I am
     thinking in terms of a cost benefit being a part of that
     equation as well.
               MR. KENNEDY:  I would think we would all agree
     that that kind of study would be useful, that most people
     agree if not everyone that even though we have disposal
     capacity today the future is uncertain, that anything could
     happen, and particularly with decommissioning of nuclear
     power plants coming on in the next, who knows? -- I mean
     some of it is ongoing now and certainly there will be more
     as time goes on.
               My sense is when the Commission considered this
     back in 1996 and 1997 with respect to the strategic
     assessment effort, they decided to not get into some of
     these bigger issues about what might we do to better ensure
     future disposal capacity.  You know, we put that option
     before them and they intentionally did not choose it, and my
     personal sense is, and I think this is an Agency sense too,
     is that that is something that would be difficult to do, to
     study the future and do all the analysis and so forth.
               I think where we are on it is this letter
     supporting the National Academy proposed study that should
     be going out any day now where we make a commitment to
     provide some funds and that is the exact thing that they are
     going to do.  They are going to look at the waste stream
     today, what it might be in the future, what the disposal
     needs might be in the future, what the likelihood is of
     having new disposal capacity to handle that waste, and we
     feel and I feel that they are far better equipped to look at
     that and study it and make recommendations than we are.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Do you have a schedule for
               MR. KENNEDY:  No, we don't.  There are -- they
     haven't begun it yet.  They are looking for funding.  They
     need to get a certain level of funding before they can begin
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  The problem with the Academy,
     and I am involved with several of those types of studies, is
     that it is usually a three-year effort.
               MR. KENNEDY:  Yes.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Before you get results.
               MR. KENNEDY:  Right.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Okay --
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Sometimes they are more timely
     than that.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  I have a question, sort of a
     two-part question.
               You have mentioned research.  I am glad you did
     mention that.
               The two parts of the question are, first, can you
     tell me how you use the results that are produced by
     research, how they feed into low level in the more general
     sense, the more expansive sense that you have used it today.
               Second of all, how do you have input that might
     shape the priorities for the Office of Research?
               MR. KENNEDY:  I'm not the best person to answer
     that.  I think one of the -- the Office of Research and the
     fellows up there who are working on projects that
     potentially involve low-level waste in the future -- Tom
     Nicholson, Ed O'Donnell, Jake Phillip and so forth, Linda
     Kovach -- they tend to have much more interaction with folks
     in the performance assessment section, Mark Thaggard, Bobby
     Eid and so forth, than they do with me.  I'm more a project
     manager type.
               I'll be honest, I think we could do more with the
     information that they are generating in terms of being aware
     of what it is and making sure that it's being utilized as
     best as possible by the technical staff.
               I think another place where we could do better at
     that is making sure that that information gets out to the
     states and other people who potentially have an interest in
     it, because as you know, the states are the ones who are
     doing the licensing of these facilities right now -- that
     is, Barnwell, Washington and Utah -- and they need to be and
     I think can be better plugged into what we're doing in
     research.  We right here could do a better job in making
     that connection happen than we have in the past.
               MR. ESSIG:  I would offer that we'll try to speak
     to that a little bit more tomorrow when John Graves is here,
     see if we can --
               MR. RANDALL:  May I add something?  Years ago when
     there was a program dedicated to low-level waste research,
     we had an outreach meeting with several state parties and
     some that aren't even involved anymore, like North Carolina,
     and I think we dropped the ball because we didn't follow up
     on it.  We had a staff member designated to keep the states
     involved through a newsletter and she changed jobs and we
     didn't get anybody else to pick up on it.
               I think that Jim's idea is good, that we should --
     that the Research Office should be doing something to
     support the state programs, state low-level waste programs.
     We're really not doing it.
               MR. KENNEDY:  Tim, did you have something you
     wanted to add?
               MR. HARRIS:  Yes.  One thing that we were doing
     was attending -- DOE had a technical TCC, technical
     coordinating committee, which was basically a technical
     meeting of states developing things, and that was really an
     interchange.  Ed O'Donnell and I used to attend those, and
     that would be an information transfer.
               They are no longer conduct that, I don't believe,
     so --
               MR. KENNEDY:  That has been eliminated.
               MR. HARRIS:  That activity has ceased.  But that
     was one way that we did transfer that information to the
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Is there any comment on the
     second part of my question as to the input you have, or did
     you want to put that off until we talk to John Greeves?
               MR. ESSIG:  I think I would just as soon put it
     off until we talk with John and we'll give you a better
     answer than we're able to give you today.
               DR. CAMPBELL:  I think part of your question, I
     think can answer since I've been a team leader up in
     Research for the last six months for the Rad Transport and
     Decommissioning Group.
               First of all, about 75 percent of the work up
     there is in response to user needs from NMSS.  Virtually all
     of that is decommissioning type of work, work on DND, work
     on RESRAD.  Some of the work that Tom has been doing is user
     need work.  There are a few other projects.  But most of the
     work done up there is in response to a need from Division of
     Waste Management, and certainly Research, with or without me
     up there, is going to be responsive to any user need
     requests that come from the division from the performance
     assessment and low level waste branch.
               In terms of how that's used, you know, that's
     usually in response to very specific needs that they have
     for modeling decommissioning sites, dose modeling the
     decommissioning sites and materials.  Linda's work on the
     slags was in response to -- we had no information on what
     those slags were, what the mineralogy was, what their
     potential for leeching was.  That's where Linda's work fit
               The input to Research, there's a lot of
     interaction at the branch chief level.  Cherly Trottier
     attends branch chief meetings John Greeves holds on a
     regular basis.  I've been to those meetings.
               So there is an ongoing dialogue, if you will, and
     interactions.  In addition, the Ops plans, which have very
     specific products and targets, are coordinated between the
     two offices, if you will, and the Division of Waste
     Management has on its Ops plan RES projects and specific
     products out of those projects, and our Ops plan requires
     that the people in the group make sure their products get
     done in a reasonable timeframe, and if there's a missing of
     a target date or something like that, then that's done.
               So there is a lot of interaction going on and
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Just one other comment.
               We've heard pretty much what you've said, Andy, so
     it's not as if we're operating in full ignorance of those
     things.  I'm just curious to ask the question of people
     let's say in the trenches doing the work to see whether or
     not, in fact, the transfer is as efficient as those in
     Research and elsewhere would like it to be.  That's just a
     curiosity question.  I was curious as to your views.
               DR. WYMER:  I want to follow up just a little bit
     on one comment.  It had to do with cost and cost benefit.
     As you are more aware than I am, the amount of money at
     stake for the industry is enormous, and the decision such as
     rubblization and the clearance rule and in general the high
     volumes of low-level waste going to expensive storage
               So my question to you is, can you go beyond the
     statement of saying people have got to meet the 25 millirem
     per year standard, can you go beyond that and say how cost
     figures into what you do and the kind of recommendations and
     decisions you make?
               MR. KENNEDY:  Well --
               MR. ESSIG:  I could attempt to answer that.  Of
     course, the licensee has to meet the 25, but then there's an
     ALARA provision and that's where cost considerations come.
               DR. WYMER:  That's where you've got your
               MR. ESSIG:  That's where the tradeoffs are made.
               DR. WYMER:  So how do you handle that?
               MR. ESSIG:  That's unfortunately an area that we
     aren't involved in.  It's our Decommissioning Branch.  We
     could again offer to provide an answer tomorrow when John is
               DR. WYMER:  It does become low-level waste.
               MR. ESSIG:  Yes.
               DR. WYMER:  Okay.  Let's wait.
               MR. ESSIG:  It's really a cost consideration
     that's being made by the licensee that's undergoing the
     decommissioning, and that aspect of it is reviewed by our
     Decommissioning Branch.
               DR. WYMER:  We'll hold that one until tomorrow,
     too, then.
               MR. ESSIG:  Okay.
               MR. KENNEDY:  Can I add one thing on that?  Or
     actually, two things.  I can't resist.
               One of them is, on the 25 millirem for year in the
     decommissioning rule, cost was looked at in the generic
     environmental impact statement for that rulemaking.  That
     was one of the considerations.
               The other is, of course you have a point.  I mean,
     to illustrate that, we just look at TENORM, for example.
     Much TENORM isn't being managed or it's going to other kinds
     of facilities, in large part because there's so much of it
     and the cost is so enormous to dispose of it that folks are
     allowing it to basically be disposed of with potentially
     higher dose levels than 25 millirem per year.
               DR. WYMER:  That's in the nature of the kind of
     thing I was getting at, yes.
               MR. KENNEDY:  Yes.
               DR. WYMER:  Okay.
               MR. KENNEDY:  And you probably know that under
     CERCLA, cost is a consideration that's allowed to be
     considered, and the risk range for CERCLA cleanups,
     according to the recent NAS report, goes all the way down to
     ten to the minus two lifetime cancer risk, which equates to
     about 300 millirem per year, and that's because cost is a
     factor that's allowed to be considered in CERCLA cleanups.
               DR. WYMER:  You and I should sometime have a more
     thorough discussion of just that aspect.
               MR. KENNEDY:  Yes.  Exactly.
               MR. LEVENSON:  Can you retrieve slide 12?  That's
     your bar graph.  You can expect to be challenged when you
     come here.
               MR. KENNEDY:  I don't think it will load up.
               MR. LEVENSON:  Well, okay --
               MR. KENNEDY:  No, I'm trying, actually.  It's
     about two megabytes.  That's why --
               MR. LEVENSON:  Oh.  Yes.  Okay.
               MR. KENNEDY:  Here it is.
               MR. LEVENSON:  Let me ask you a question.
     Congress chose to define a whole category or radioactive
     materials as non-radioactive if they came from sources like
     coal plants.  Are they listed in your bar graph under like
     exempt, or are they just not there at all?
               MR. KENNEDY:  They would be TENORM, actually.
               MR. LEVENSON:  So all of the coal-plant fly ash
     and everything is in the TENORM category?
               MR. KENNEDY:  Yes.  Yes.  And actually, your
     probably aware, it sounds like, that EPA just exempted
     everything in coal ash from being regulated, not just the
     radioactive materials, but also the hazardous constituents.
               MR. LEVENSON:  Yes.  The mercury and everything.
               MR. KENNEDY:  Right.  But that's part of the
     TENORM.  Usually, the coal ash is pretty low in
     radioactivity, like ten picocuries per gram, I think, but in
     some cases, it's as high as 3,000 picocuries per gram.
               MR. LEVENSON:  Yes.  Fly ash can be quite high.
               MR. KENNEDY:  Yes.
               MR. LEVENSON:  The second thing which your chart
     doesn't show is volume.
               MR. KENNEDY:  Yes.
               MR. LEVENSON:  Of the TENORM, is the coal residue
     a major -- I don't want any numbers -- is it a major
     percentage of the total TENORM?
               MR. KENNEDY:  You know, I just don't know.  I
     could find out and get back to you, because I do have
     figures on it.
               MR. LEVENSON:  I'm curious.  Okay.  Thank you.
               MR. KENNEDY:  There's a lot of TENORM out there --
     phosphate fertilizer residue, --
               MR. LEVENSON:  Tin mill smelting.
               MR. KENNEDY:  Tin mill smelting, yes.  Radium pipe
     scale, uranium mining overburden.
               DR. WYMER:  There's a lot of don't ask, don't tell
               MR. KENNEDY:  Yes.
               MR. LEVENSON:  One that usually gets overlooked --
     people are aware of thorium and uranium.  People don't
     necessarily know that tin is normally accompanied by uranium
     and thorium, and so the slag --
               MR. KENNEDY:  Yes.  Yes.  We have a couple of NRC
     licensees that were simply metal processors who got above
     .05 percent source material and had to get an NRC license
     because of the concentration of uranium and thorium.
               MR. LEVENSON:  Thank you.
               DR. WYMER:  Anybody else.  The staff?
               DR. CAMPBELL:  I have a couple of questions.
               In California, this advisory committee said they
     were talking about dividing the waste stream by hazard, and
     use half-life.  Is that the only criteria they use?  Because
     a lot of the low-level waste with a long half-life doesn't
     necessarily come out of power reactors.  A lot of it comes
     from industrial producers, label product compound products
     and the biotech industry and so on.  Carbon 14, uranium,
     thorium and things like that show up in low-level waste as
     Class A waste.  Did they make some further distinctions or
     was it just power plants versus everybody else?
               MR. KENNEDY:  I believe -- I haven't read the
     report that carefully, but I believe it's mainly based on
     half-life or what they call hazardous life.  There are a few
     exceptions, but in general, it seems to be geared toward
     separating out the nuclear power plant waste from everything
     else and doing that as effectively and as best they can.
               DR. CAMPBELL:  Okay.  On the -- and I don't know
     what page it was, there was a -- said the Commission
     rejected a larger program of staff efforts to actively
     promote new site development.  We always steered away from
     that concept.  We were promoting regulatory oversight, but I
     didn't think there was ever any effort to promote site
     development on the NRC's --
               MR. KENNEDY:  That was one of the options we put
     before the Commission as part of strategic assessment, was
     to take that role of promoting new site development, and the
     Commission explicitly rejected that, said don't do it.
               DR. CAMPBELL:  The only other question is, do the
     assured isolation facilities provide for a decommissioning
     fund?  I mean, obviously the radionuclides are there whether
     you call it storage, whether you call it assured isolation
     or you call it low-level waste disposal, at the end of some
     period of time, you've still got the same stuff there.  Do
     they then provide a fund for decommissioning at the end of
     their storage lifetime?
               MR. KENNEDY:  Yes, they do, and the idea is --
     assured isolation by definition has as one of its future
     options the off-site disposal of low-level waste, and so
     they would have to decommission the facility, they would
     also have to provide funds to dispose of whatever residual
     radioactive waste there might be just from the low-level
     waste that was put in there.
               Now, that's a big, important question because if
     you do the numbers, if you assume that after ten years,
     whatever low-level waste is left needs to be disposed of at
     Barnwell at $500 a cubic foot, that facility is not going to
     be economical just by inspection.
               On the other hand, the assumptions I've seen them
     make are that there's about $50,000 set aside at the
     beginning and that waste would not be removed for at least
     100 years, and you get so much growth in the $50,000 fund
     that there is enough money at the end of 100 years to get
     rid of the remaining waste and to decommission the facility
     because it appreciates in value so much.
               DR. CAMPBELL:  Does it require a change in NRC
     policy that preferred disposal over storage?
               MR. KENNEDY:  In effect, it does.  That's one of
     the big questions, right.  Right.
               DR. WYMER:  Are there any other questions from
               [No response.]
               DR. WYMER:  If not, well, thank you very much.
     Again, it was very a very informative presentation.  We
     appreciate it.
               MR. KENNEDY:  Thank you.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  All right.  Our plan is now to
     -- we'll take our break, and then we're going to come back
     and discuss reports.  Most of that time is going to be taken
     in the members working at their word processors and actually
     writing reports and letters.  We will reconvene for a few
     minutes to consider some guidance on that, and also the
     sufficiency letter that we were contemplating sending to the
     EDO, but most of the time is going to be taken in our
     respective offices developing drafts.
               So unless there's comments, questions, we'll
               [Whereupon, at 2:54 p.m., the recorded portion of
     the meeting was concluded.]

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