120th Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste (ACNW) Meeting, July 26, 2000

                       UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
                          120TH ACNW MEETING

                                   Nuclear Regulatory Commission
                                   Room T2B3
                                   Two White Flint North
                                   11545 Rockville Pike
                                   Rockville, Maryland

                                   Wednesday, July 26, 2000

               The Commission met in open session, pursuant to
     notice, at 8:30 a.m., THE HONORABLE DR. B. JOHN GARRICK,
     Chairman of the Committee, presiding.
               DR. JOHN B. GARRICK, Chairman
               DR. GEORGE W. HORNBERGER, Vice Chairman
               DR. RAYMOND G. WYMER
               MR. MILTON N. LEVENSON
     .     ALSO PRESENT:
     DR. JOHN T. LARKINS, Executive Director, ACRS/ACNW
     MR. HOWARD J. LARSON, Acting Associate Director, ACRS/ACNW
     LISA GUE, Public Citizen
     ERIC SMISTAD, Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Office,
     CAROL L. HANLON, Yucca Mt. Site Characterization Ofc., DOE
     KING STABLEIN, High-Level Waste Branch, NRC
     DAVID BROOKS, High-Level Waste Branch, NRC
     JEFFREY POHLE, High-Level Waste Branch, NRC
     PHILIP JUSTUS, High-Level Waste Branch, NRC
     JOHN BRADBERRY, High-Level Waste Branch, NRC
     MERAJ RAHIMI, High-Level Waste Branch, NRC
     BRET LESLIE, High-Level Waste Branch, NRC
     MYSORE NATARAJA, High-Level Waste Branch, NRC
     JAMES FIRTH, High-Level Waste Branch, NRC
     JOHN TRAPP, High-Level Waste Branch, NRC
     BILL REAMER, High-Level Waste Branch, NRC
     MARK SELLARS, U.S. Department of Energy
     ERNEST LINDNER, U.S. Department of Energy
     ROBERT ANDREWS, U.S. Department of Energy
     LARRY HAYES, U.S. Department of Energy
     GUSTAVO CRAGNOLINO, Ctr. for Nuclear Waste Regulatory
     MARTIN VIRGILIO, Ofc. of Nuclear Material Safety &
     RICHARD TURTIL, Ofc. of Nuclear Material Safety & Safeguards.                            C O N T E N T S
     ITEM                                                    PAGE
     OPENING STATEMENT                                        51
      NUCLEAR ,ATERIALS SAFETY AND SAFEGUARDS                 183.                         P R O C E E D I N G S
                                                      [8:30 a.m.]
               DR. GARRICK:  Good morning.
               The meeting will come to order.
               This is the second day of the 120th meeting of the
     Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste.
               My name is John Garrick, Chairman of the ACNW.
               Other members of the committee include George
     Hornberg, Ray Wymer, and Milton Levenson.
               The entire meeting will open to the public.
               Today the committee will hear from the Department
     of Energy on the performance confirmation program for the
     proposed repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, present an
     update on Yucca Mountain Key Technical Issues resolutions
     strategy, prepare for the next public meeting with the
     Commission, currently scheduled for October 17th, and meet
     with Martin Virgilio, Deputy to the Director of the Office
     of Nuclear Materials and Safeguards to discuss items of
     mutual interest.
               Richard Major is the designated Federal official
     for the initial portion of today's meeting.
               This meeting is being conducted in accordance with
     the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.
               We have received no written statements from
     members of the public regarding today's session.
               Should anyone wish to address the committee,
     please make your wishes known to one of the committee's
               It is requested that each speaker use one of the
     microphones, identify himself or herself, and speak with
     sufficient clarity and volume so that he or she can be
     readily heard.
               Our first presenter today is going to be Eric
               The committee member that's going to lead the
     discussion on performance confirmation will be Milt
               Milt, do you have any introductory remarks?
               MR. LEVENSON:  Good morning.
               Just a couple of comments.
               It's my understanding that the presentation this
     morning is for information only, and it's also my
     understanding that the general requirements for the
     performance confirmation plan are to measure, wherever
     practical, any sub-surface condition and changes in those
     conditions during construction and waste placement to assure
     they're within limits assumed in the licensing review.
               Since we don't yet have a licensing application,
     we have to make maybe some assumptions as to what DOE will
     put in the license application, and also review those things
     that might be necessary or assumed to function after
               This program goes from the time of starting to
     build a repository until it's permanently closed.
               There was also a general requirement that any time
     during this period in which changes occurred, the Commission
     would be notified as to any changed condition that might
     lead to a change in design requirements.
               I don't know if we're at that stage or not, but
     maybe that's another issue to keep in mind as we go through
     this proceeding.
               And with that, Eric, if you're ready.
               MR. SMISTAD:  Good morning.
               My name is Eric Smistad.  I am the DOE functional
     manager for the performance confirmation plan and program.
               Just a couple of words of introduction here.
               We have a performance confirmation plan that's on
     the street now.  It's Rev. 1.  It was approved in May, and I
     think maybe the committee has copies of that already.
               Since this is a Rev. 1, we are early on in the
     development of the plan and, indeed, the program.  So, a lot
     of the details that will eventually be in this plan are not
     there yet.
               We anticipate incorporating -- and I'll talk about
     this in the pitch here in a minute -- incorporating a lot
     more detail next year and in subsequent revisions of the
               We also have some folks out west, in Vegas there.
               You guys awake?
               A couple of the authors of the plan and some other
     folks, in case we get into some real detailed questions on
     the plan and the input to the plan.
               What I want to do today is to walk through a
     definition of the performance confirmation as we understand
     it, describe the process that we went through in developing
     the plan and its relationship to the overall testing program
     that we have and will have in the future, describe elements
     of the program, and then give a status and path forward.
               The definition we're working with, straight out of
     Draft 63.
               There's a lot in this definition.  I'll just go
     ahead and read it.
               Performance confirmation means the program test,
     experiments, and analyses as conducted to evaluate the
     accuracy and adequacy of the information used to determine
     with reasonable assurance that the performance objective
     will be met.
               Like I say, it is a broad definition, but that is
     the definition we're working with.
               Further in 63, at section 131, there is some
     fleshing out of requirements for the definition itself.
               It must focus on items that are important to
     post-closure safety, and it must indicate where the
     sub-surface conditions and changes during construction and
     waste emplacement may affect what has been established in
     the license application and whether the natural engineered
     barriers are functioning as we anticipate or had predicted,
     and as Milt mentioned earlier, it starts during site
     characterization and ends at closure.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Eric, if I can interrupt just a
     second, is there any provision in Draft 63 anywhere for
     long-term monitoring following closure?  Do you know?
               MR. SMISTAD:  I believe those words are in there,
     so there is a requirement, and we, in fact, intend to do
               Aspects of the program here -- don't pay too much
     attention to the pie here.  It's not a comparison thing,
     it's just an illustration.
               This is intended to illustrate the entire test and
     evaluation program.  There is obviously a lot more to it
     than I have got on this slide, but the point here is that
     the performance confirmation program which is outlined here
     in this black outline is part of an overall test and
     evaluation program.
               There are essentially two components to the
     performance confirmation program -- inputs, if you will --
     the testing of factors important to performance through our
     TSPA, one major component, and the other is the regulatory
     piece, inputs from the regulatory -- the regulation.
               This piece of the pie here represents the
     remainder of the test and evaluation program.
               I won't go into detail on that program, but it
     really involves engineering, design, prototype testing,
     start-up testing, that sort of thing.
               Some additional aspects of our program:
               We will, indeed, comply with the requirements in
     Draft 63 or 63, and we will focus on the areas that are
     important to post-closure performance, and this is done
     through the TSPA, as communicated in the RSS, and I think
     you had a presentation on the RSS earlier.
               These are factors, principle factors from RSS 3.
     There is an RSS 4 coming up.  That's going to be published
     at the end of August.
               And as I said, the basis for these principle
     factors are firmly established in the -- from TSPA and
     communicated in the RSS.
               So, we are focusing on post-closure performance to
     set this program up.
               A little more on inputs here -- I have a flow
               Essentially, two or three classes of inputs here
     -- 63, obviously, and regulatory commitments here, as they
     are communicated in the KTIs.
               Our of 63 comes the regulatory requirements, and
     those can feed directly into the performance confirmation
     plan, and I have the RSS here.
               The strategy or the intent behind the RSS is to
     satisfy the regulation, to communicate those areas that are
     important to post-closure performance.
               TSPA feeds the strategy, and out of this comes the
     plan itself.
               I've got a box here at the end, detailed test
     plans and packages.
               We're not there yet.  That will be a separate --
     separate publications, if you will, of the details of the
     tests themselves.
               Process -- this slide is a little involved, and I
     hope I don't myself wrapped around the axle here.
               Starting with the repository safety strategy, we
     identify the processes that are important to performance,
     and again, this is driven by TSPA.
               Out of that, we identify the parameters that we
     want to measure related to the processes.
               If you follow the two arrows shooting diagonally
     across the page, we would establish bounds on any given
     parameter as part of the process.
               Also at this juncture, if we can go ahead and
     anticipate maybe unexpected outcome and start outlining
     steps we would take early on if we did have something that
     was out of bounds, at least, on an example like this.
               Following down the page, out of the parameter box,
     you would conduct a test, acquire the data, process the
     data, and compare that against what you have established as
     your predictions, and there are two -- basically two
     outcomes from this process.
               You have an expected outcome and then you're
     finished.  You can fold that into a compliance argument.  Or
     you have a unexpected outcome.  In the next slide, I'll talk
     about outcomes.
               The first bullet there is if you do confirm your
     predictions, you're complete, and you can move, at least
     with that process, that parameter related to the process,
     towards the closure evaluation on that.
               The measurement is out of bounds, and it is
     significant.  It's very important.  We've got to determine
     through the TSPA if falling out of bounds is, indeed,
     significant to the dose.
               Then there's the four major categories of
     corrective actions you could take.
               You can go ahead and look at your technical basis,
     your models and your codes themselves, look at the tests
     themselves, see if they were conducted properly or executed
               You can look at the changes to design or
     construction or the effect of that on, perhaps, the test, or
     finally, you could get to removal of waste, either in a
     limited sense or a full-scale sense.
               I think I would be remiss if I didn't show
     something out of the plan.  So, I've got a table of contents
     and appendices here.
               What I really wanted to -- I won't walk through
     each one of these chapters or appendices, but I did want to
     point out that, in Appendices G, that is where we -- where
     the rubber kind of hits the road in this plan.
               There are test descriptions there.  They're more
     of a -- they're more along the line of scoping descriptions.
     They're not, like I mentioned, the detailed test plans as of
     yet.  That's in the future.
               On the next slide, I'll talk about some of the
     categories of tests in that appendix.
               You might recognize the test types here from the
     document, if you've seen it, and what I've done is I tried
     to bucket these test types in terms of what they're
     complying with or driven by.
               The first box here is the RSS or the TSPA, and
     these are essentially the principle factors out of RSS 3
     rolled into what we're calling testing or monitoring, and
     then there's the other main driver, which is regulatory
     requirements.  You'll recognize some of these out of
     sub-part F in 63.
               There is some overlap.  Some of the regulatory
     requirements do drive some of these tests here.  So, there
     is some overlap, but I wanted to give you an idea of the
     drivers that we were working with to come up with some of
     these scoping tests or test descriptions.
               A little bit on methodology or locale, essentially
     three areas we would be testing in.  There would be in situ
     monitoring within the repository itself, lab testing, and
     field testing, and in fact, we are using these methodologies
     today in site characterization.
               The next few slides I'm going to walk through
     examples of each one of those methodologies.
               I've listed -- for instance, on this in situ
     slide, I've gone ahead and listed tests that you saw on one
     of the previous slides on test types.  I've just gone ahead
     and bucketed these in terms of methodology.
               Just as an example, this diagram here, a cartoon,
     is depicting the post-closure simulation, and we talk about
     that in a little bit of detail in the plan.
               This is for the grand-daddy of all tests.  It's
     going to be getting a couple of processes and looking at
     that in an environment as close as we can get to the actual
               The idea is to emplace real waste or heaters -- we
     haven't gotten to that stage yet -- in one of the first two
     drifts to give us the longest time possible to look at these
     couple of processes, and the drifts will be instrumented,
     and there will also be bore-holes, instrumentation similar
     to what we have in the heater tests we've got in the
     repository now, or in the ESF.
               Field testing -- we've done quite a little bit of
     this in the past.  We've done a lot of drilling out at the
               A couple of examples from the previous slide here
     is ground water quality and ground level monitoring and
     temperature monitoring of the ground water.
               You'll see seals testing here, for instance,
     driven by sub-part F in this category, as well.
               I won't go through each test unless you have
     specific questions on the tests.
               MR. LEVENSON:  One question.
               How are you doing the surface uplift monitoring?
     Is that being done by satellite?
               MR. SMISTAD:  I think it's being done by remote --
               Mark Sellars, are you out there?
               MR. SELLARS:  Yeah, we're here.
               MR. SMISTAD:  Did you hear the question?
               MR. SELLARS:  Yeah, we heard the question, and the
     concept for that is GPS-driven.
               MR. LINDNER:  We've been using an extrapolation of
     the existing precision level, and it's done across the
     country, and we'd hopefully use GPS in the future if it's
     accurate enough.
               MR. SMISTAD:  Okay.
               The idea at this point, in terms of monitoring and
     technology, we are anticipating not going into and
     developing new technology or doing R&D based on the
     performance confirmation program.
               For instance, the post-closure simulation test I
     mentioned before will use -- we're anticipating using
     similar instrumentation that we're using in the ESF now for
     the heater tests.
               Laboratory testing:
               This would involve long-term materials testing,
     waste package and drip shield, waste form included, as well,
     in long-term testing.
               Currently, we are testing -- you see materials
     sample rack here out at Livermore.  Currently, we have -- we
     are two years into an alloy C-22 testing program out at
               Status and path forward:
               The PC plan and program will evolve for the
     license application.
               I think I mentioned that earlier.
               We have determined the test types that are in the
     plan now and I showed on an earlier viewgraph.
               Some of the PC testing has occurred during site
     characterization.  We do have baseline data that we have
     gathered and that we will use.
               The PC testing will be performed concurrent with
               We have -- we're doing this now with our testing
     program, and we have a process and a program in place to
     look at the effects of construction on testing and vice
     versa, and it's a program we've had in place for several
     years, and it works fairly well.
               The specific tests will be determined prior to
     license application, with the details -- will be developed,
     obviously, before the testing begins.
               We plan to rev the PC plan in August of 2001.
               We would like to get some of the bounds and
     predictions that I talked about earlier on the process slide
     into the document for this iteration, and it may be modified
     based on new principle factors emanating from TSPA, and we
     will incorporate any updated test defined parameters, as I
               We anticipate continuing to rev the plan through
     construction and operation.
               In other words, we'll have our e on it, because we
     think it's obviously a very important thing to do, and we
     want to keep it up to date.
               Just a short summary:
               The PC program will comply with the requirements
     in 63.
               The program will focus on factors important to
     post-closure performance, as performed in the TSPA, and the
     PC program is part of an overall integrated test evaluation
     program, as I discussed earlier.
               That's all I have.
               MR. LEVENSON:  John, did you have any questions?
               DR. GARRICK:  Just a couple.
               I'm really curious about what you really are going
     to end up testing and how it relates to the regulatory
     requirements and the performance assessment results.
               Now, you have already indicated that your
     over-arching driver will be, of course, Part 63, and then
     you identify what the TSPA and the repository safety
     strategy have indicate as important things to measure.
               One of the things I'm a little curious about -- it
     looks like all you've done is take the principle factors,
     essentially, and add all of those kinds of tests to the
     regulatory requirements.
               There has not been -- at least on the surface,
     there does not appear to be any merging or analysis that
     would indicate that one is a subset of the other or
     importance ranking or what have you.
               I guess I would like you to comment on that, and
     what I'd really like to know is, if you were going to design
     a performance confirmation testing program strictly on the
     basis of performance, how would you importance-rank the
     specific things that you're going to measure, and is there a
     chance here that you could end up with a confirmation
     testing program ever so much simpler than what this is
     beginning to look like?
               MR. SMISTAD:  Let me put that slide up, and then
     I'll try to get to your questions, John.
               DR. GARRICK:  I'm looking at slide 11.
               MR. SMISTAD:  We haven't -- I'll kind of start at
     the end of your questions here.
               We haven't prioritized from the PC program
     standpoint these test descriptions here.  We haven't gotten
     to that stage yet.
               I think we have the information to do that from
     the TSPAs.
               It would require a little more analysis from the
     TSPA group to do that.
               Certainly, that's one of the next steps that we
     need to get, is to prioritize, because it may be, when the
     time comes, we don't -- we just don't have the resources to
     do all that, and clearly, we have to prioritize -- even if
     we think we're going to get to it all, we have to prioritize
     these tests.
               As I mentioned, I think you asked, there are some
     of these things here, tests here that are driven by
     regulatory requirements, and I didn't choose to rack that
     slide up.
               I think any long-term materials testing -- I don't
     know if they specifically call for a post-closure
     simulation, near-field environment testing from a couple of
     standpoints is definitely called for in the regulation
     itself, and by the same token, some of these tests, test
     types I'll say, driven by regulatory requirements, are not
     generated -- would not be generated by our post-closure
     analysis themselves, itself.
               There's, you know, some of the seal testing and
     whatnot is not something that we're producing as a
     sensitivity out of our TSPAs.
               DR. GARRICK:  Now, if the TSPA were the sole
     basis, then, of course, all the measurements would be
     directed towards improving the long-term performance or at
     least verifying, if you wish, the long-term performance of
     the repository.
               One of the strategies that this committee tries to
     take is to understand what the real requirements are of
     things and the real needs are before we start tacking on
     conservatisms and safety margins and what have you, and so,
     what's behind my question is really, from a purely technical
     and purely long-term performance standpoint, what makes
     sense to -- where do you get the biggest bang for your buck?
               I suspect some of these tests, you're probably not
     going to get much out of them, and they may be the most
     expensive ones, and so, I'm kind of looking for how are we
     going to optimize this, or is there going to be any attempt
     to do that?
               MR. SMISTAD:  There definitely will be an attempt,
     and we will optimize this in the future.
               We're not there yet.  As I said, this is kind of
     our first or second put to this plan.
               DR. GARRICK:  Right.
               MR. SMISTAD:  The challenge ahead of us is to look
     at the type of tests that we are coming up with, the
     categories of tests we're coming up with out of the RSS and
     the TSPA, and determine, number one, are these testable
     areas, can we field a test, and coupled with how much do we
     think we'll get out of this test from learning about
     post-closure performance, is there a real sensitivity that
     we can get at with these tests?
               So, that's definitely a challenge we have ahead of
               DR. GARRICK:  Is there any research going on to --
     that would contribute to this optimization process,
     particularly in the monitoring area?
               The monitoring is a big question-mark in deep
     geologic repositories.
               WIPP is having the same problem.
               They have a requirement for long-term monitoring,
     and -- but nobody quite knows how to do it and what to
     monitor and what have you, and I sense there's some of the
     same kind of problem here, and so, I think this is a major
     issue, and it has a lot to do with building public
     confidence, and yet, there is an opportunity, because of the
     long operating period, to do some in-repository
     measurements, in-facility measurements, an opportunity that
     usually doesn't exist on facilities.
               So, I think this is one of the reasons why this is
     of considerable importance to us all.
               One other thing I wanted to just pick up on what
     George Hornberger said a little while ago, in the Part 63
     there's a section called "Permanent Closure," and the
     submission of the application to amend the license before
     permanent closure includes a requirement for a description
     of the program for post-permanent closure monitoring of the
     geologic repository.
               That's another program?  Is that somebody else?
               MR. SMISTAD:  I think that would be a different
               Mark Sellars, did you hear John's question?
               MR. SELLARS:  Yeah.  That's actually defined
     outside of the performance confirmation program, and that
     would have to be a program that's established prior to
               This is Mark Sellars.
               Let me go back and just comment a little bit on
     the prior discussion.
               The items that are identified in the repository
     safety strategy are one means by which we attempt to comply
     with the regulation by identifying those things that are
     most important to post-closure safety, which is required by
     the regulation.
               Just to give you a sense of the focus that we have
     established here, we have been looking at the life-cycle
     cost of these types of tests, and I can say that the lion's
     share of the emphasis is on the items that we've identified
     ourselves through the TSPA as being important to
     post-closure performance, but in addition to that, we do
     meet the specific items called out by the regulation, as
               So, that's just a small clarification there.
               DR. GARRICK:  Yes.
               Well, I think that the intent of the regulatory
     process, of course, as you know, is to move towards a
     risk-informed approach, and so, I would think that there
     would be some flexibility, if, in fact, the license was able
     to demonstrate in a rather convincing manner on the basis of
     risk arguments that a particular confirmation program
     embodies or covers the important things and puts you -- and
     you could be in a pretty strong position to negotiate, if
     you wish, a program that really gives you the best bang for
     your buck.
               MR. SMISTAD:  We fully anticipate doing that with
     these test types or whatever the future listed test types
     are going to be, including the regulatory sides, as well.
     We'll look at how those really do play into post-closure
     performance from the prioritization standpoint.
               DR. GARRICK:  Okay.
               MR. LEVENSON:  I have just one short followup on
     John's question.
               You mentioned that you are going to be
     prioritizing these sometime in the future.
               Do you have established the criteria you're going
     to use in prioritizing, or is that yet to be developed?
               MR. SMISTAD:  That's yet to be developed.  Just
     from a broad sense, you know, what's the biggest bang for
     the buck?  I mean what really does move the needle on a dose
     curve, is what we're after.
               I guess I can throw that out west.
               Mark, you guys have thought about this a lot more
     than I have.
               MR. HAYES:  This is Larry Hayes.  Let me comment
     on that.
               Through our TSPA, of course, we identify those
     things that are most important to performance.
               One of them is keeping water off the waste,
     seepage monitoring.
               We have put a lot of effort into seepage
     monitoring to try to understand whether or not there is a
     seepage threshold and how much water we might expect to
     contact the waste.
               The other aspect is our waste packages.  Right now
     our plan is long-lived waste packages.
               So, performance of those packages are very
     important, and we're putting a lot of effort into the waste
     package performance corrosion work, testing to demonstrate
     that these waste packages, indeed, will last a very long
     time in the environment they're expected to perform in.
               So, those are two very important priorities,
     frankly, of our program, the amount of water that may
     contact the waste packages and then waste package
               MR. SELLARS:  But the priorities are driven by
     TSPA, and we use the RSS as our vehicle to, you know, help
     us decide -- make those type of decisions.
               MR. LEVENSON:  I understand that, but how you use
     the TSPA is of some interest in that just because from some
     particular run, some parameter gives you bad results, but on
     the other hand, the distribution of that particular
     parameter over all of the cases might be quite different.
               So, will you be taking -- in other words, not just
     use the results, but will you be using a weighting process
     in setting your priorities?
               MR. ANDREWS:  This is Bob Andrews out here in Las
               Let me try to help elucidate a little bit what
     we're doing.
               You know, the TSPA -- there are many facets in the
     TSPA, including the uncertainty and variability of the
     various component piece-parts that go into the total system
     and, in fact, the uncertainty of their conceptualizations
     and models that are used as the bases for the uncertainty
     included in the TSPA, and we're doing, you know, several
     different things with these.
               We're doing a lot of different regression-type
     analyses to understand what drove the total variance or
     spread of the outcomes.
               The outcome of the TSPA is not simply the expected
     or mean dose response as required in Part 63, but it's the
     entire spectrum of potential responses for alternative
     models and the uncertainties that are incorporated in it.
               So, one aspect is simply doing regression to try
     to understand the spread of the results and what is driving
     the spread of the results.
               Another aspect is looking at -- given that the
     spread of the results is quite a broad spread over many
     orders of magnitude of potential dose response, the other
     aspect is trying to understand what drove the extremes of
     the dose response, what drove the top 10 percentile, what
     drove the top 5 percentile of the dose responses to be the
     way they were, and in terms of supporting the performance
     confirmation, are there additional tests or monitoring or
     evaluations that can be done to confirm that the range of
     uncertainty that's presently incorporated in the TSPA, or I
     should say will be incorporated in additional TSPAs as we
     move closer to licensing, if the site is found suitable,
     that those are adequately accounting for the natural
     variability and uncertainty in those piece-parts.
               In addition to those, we are doing a wide range of
     what-if kind of analyses, what-if kinds of analysis with
     respect to alternative scenarios, what-if kind of analysis
     with respect to different ranges of parameters for the
     different component parts of the system, in order to gain
     understanding and to elucidate what is driving system
     performance, in order so we can do some of the
     prioritization, you know, that I think you guys are talking
     about back there.
               Right now I think it's true to say we don't have a
     quantitative basis for prioritizing.
               I think what we have is we look at the whole
     spectrum of results, including the uncertainty analyses, the
     regression analyses, the importance analyses, the barrier
     analyses, and in fact, the neutralization analyses to gain
     insights into the overall system performance and what is
     significant rather than pick any one of those and make a
     quantitative basis for prioritizing significance, and I
     think the final prioritization, of course, is somewhat
     negotiated.  It's negotiated based on the cost of doing the
     performance confirmation, negotiated with respect to the
     significance and the degree of uncertainty of each of those
     piece-parts as they affect the total system performance.
               MR. LEVENSON:  Thank you.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Eric, I have a question related
     to your mother of all tests, your post-closure --
               MR. SMISTAD:  Grand-daddy, yeah.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  You indicated that this is going
     to be the first -- in one of the first drifts, I guess.
               MR. SMISTAD:  Yeah, first couple of drifts, is the
     idea, right.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Now, to do this, I presume you're
     going to seal those off.
               MR. SMISTAD:  Yes.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Okay.  And I'm curious, because
     of course, you have the experience with your heater tests
     and the pluses and minuses with your heater tests, and
     assuming a 40-or-50-year operational period, is that the
     right time scale to get the performance confirmation on,
     let's say, water contacting the waste packages, for example,
     which is really what you're after?
               MR. SMISTAD:  Right.  That's why I alluded to
     heaters, as well, because with a heater you can speed the
     process up and, you know, watch for the re-wetting and the
     seepage, if it occurs.
               You won't have that -- that part of the cycle --
     with real waste.  We don't anticipate having that part of
     the cycle with real waste.
               It may be in the end that we do both.  We're not
     there yet.
               But certainly, with real waste and real packages,
     you're limited from a time scale as to what you're going to
     see, but that's part of our considerations in trying to plan
     this test out and what we're after in the end.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  The other half of that, then, is
     -- again, as John found the statement in Part 63 that we
     hadn't found when I asked you the question -- the
     requirement for some kind of post-closure monitoring, and
     one of our -- the reason we're curious about this is,
     basically, as you answered, it's a separate program, yet to
     be determined who's going to do it, and yet it's pretty
     clear to us, anyway, that there probably should be some kind
     of coordination, and I know the answer would be, well,
     that's 50 years from now and we'll know a lot more then, but
     just in terms of this mother of all tests, it would strike
     me that, even now, it might be wise to do a little planning.
               You might, in fact, want to somehow continue
     monitoring post-closure those first drifts.  If you're going
     to instrument the heck out of them, there's no reason that I
     can see that you couldn't remotely do that, run some wires
     up the shaft.
               MR. SMISTAD:  I anticipate that we will do that
     when that time comes.  I cannot imagine the Department not
     doing that when the time comes.
               MR. LEVENSON:  One follow-on question.
               If you proceed fairly soon to seal the first drift
     or two, the difference between that test and reality of the
     rest of the repository is that that drift hasn't dried out
     for 30 or 40 years before you seal it, anticipate that
     introducing major perturbations into the value of the test?
               MR. SMISTAD:  The planning on this test, in a
     rough sense, is we would ventilate those drifts for a period
     of 10 years, is the current thinking, so we're trying to get
     at the most realistic situation we can, even though the time
     is limited.
               MR. LEVENSON:  Okay.  So, the sealing is down the
     road a ways.
               MR. SMISTAD:  Yes.
               MR. LEVENSON:  Ray?
               DR. WYMER:  I have, I guess, an observation and
     then a question that relates to view-graphs number 8 and
     number 10.
               On number 8, you point out that there will be
     expected and unexpected outcomes.
               MR. SMISTAD:  Those are two possible --
               DR. WYMER:  Yeah, sure, those obviously are the
     two ways it can go.
               And in viewgraph number 10, you have nine chapters
     indicated there.
               Number four is processes and predictions.  Then
     you have six, which is daily evaluations.  But you don't
     have a chapter which I would consider to be the most
     important, namely comparing the process predictions with the
     outcomes.  It seems to me that's worthy of the total chapter
     since that's the whole ball game.
               MR. SMISTAD:  Yeah, I think that's buried, and
     Mark, I'm digging for the slide now.
               The chapter that we would have talking about the
     strategy and the steps for unexpected outcomes --
               Mark Sellars, are you --
               MR. SELLARS:  Yeah, I'm going to have Earnest
     answer that.
               MR. SMISTAD:  Okay.
               MR. LINDNER:  This is Earnest Lindner.
               When we talk about data evaluation, the process
     for performance confirmation goes up to the -- identifying
     that something is occurring that we don't expect, whether
     it's a trend or the data itself is outside the bounds.  At
     that point, we identify a process of going back to the NRC
     and to the public and recommending action.
               At that point, it ceases to be a performance
     confirmation activity but it becomes a remedial activity
     that the repository has to deal with, and we might have to
     re-do the TSPA, we might have to re-building some process
     models, or it may be something very significant, and in that
     case, we'd have to take the least favored option of
     retrieving the waste, but that's to be done outside the
     performance confirmation process, where performance
     confirmation is limited to gathering of test data and making
     recommendations and evaluations on it.
               MR. SELLARS:  Doing the comparisons.
               This is in chapter six, though, right?
               MR. LINDNER:  It's in chapter six.
               MR. SMISTAD:  It's buried in six, yeah.
               MR. LINDNER:  When we talk about data evaluation,
     we're talking about reporting requirements and the what-if's
     if something doesn't occur the way we expect it, what do we
     do then?
               DR. WYMER:  Okay.  I guess I didn't read data
     evaluation in that sense.  I probably would have had a
     different title for the chapter.
               MR. SMISTAD:  It's buried.
               DR. WYMER:  Thanks.
               MR. LINDNER:  I have to apologize -- this is
     Ernest Lindner again.
               The titles here are very abstracted from the
     actual report.
               If you had the full title, you would say that, as
               So, these are abstractions of the title for
     brevity on the slide.
               MR. SMISTAD:  This is slide dynamics here.
               DR. WYMER:  Thank you.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  There seems to be a presumption
     here in some of these answers that, if you measure
     something, that it's going to be worse than you had
     indicated, when in fact what you might find, for example, is
     that TSPA has water raining into the drifts, and you go in
     there and you make some measurements and find out that the
     parameter isn't what you assumed but maybe inverted comma is
     better.  Do you still go through and have to re-do the TSPA?
               MR. SMISTAD:  Yes.
               We would first determine if that out-of-bounds, so
     to speak, in a better sense or in a good direction, does
     impact the TSPA or the dose curve if it swings it
     appreciably enough, but you have to do the sensitivity
     analysis to do that, and at the end of all that, if we
     determine that we need to shift our baseline data set based
     on that or subsequent values of that same parameter that
     more or less confirm that we were off, I fully anticipate
     that would be incorporated back into the TSPA as a baseline
     parameter or number.
               We certainly want to go forward with the best data
     we have or the most -- the data that we have the most faith
     in or confidence in, and if that's in a better direction, we
     certainly would go there.
               Somebody out west have a comment on that?
               MR. ANDREWS:  Eric, this is Bob Andrews.
               MR. SMISTAD:  Yeah, Bob.
               MR. ANDREWS:  What I was going to say was, you
     know, in areas of significant -- of course, one of the
     reasons we're doing the tests is to confirm that we're
     within the bounds of the performance assessment to begin
               The performance assessment that's done in the year
     2000 or the year 2001 or the year 2002 has some uncertainty,
     residual uncertainties associated with it, just because we
     have not, you know, directly observed some aspects of the
     repository or repository block or timeframes of the response
     of the system that will be observed over these longer-term
     performance confirmation-type tests.
               If, in those TSPAs done in 2000 and 2001, in order
     to address that complexity and that large uncertainty, if
     there were conservative, you know, assumptions made to
     minimize, you know, the regulatory -- how should I say? --
     exposure, I guess, of that uncertainty, that would be okay,
     and we would probably do that in a number of areas, and if
     the test confirms that the conservatisms used were adequate
     and were appropriate, that would be, I think, a very useful
     and sound confirmation.
               It may be that, as Eric says, you want to re-do
     that aspect of the TSPA to see how much did it move the
     needle in the better direction, but you may not re-do the
               The one that you used as your basis for the
     license application if the site is found suitable would
     still be an adequate basis for the decision-makers to make.
               MR. LEVENSON:  I have sort of a followup to
     George's question.
               You're going to have some limits which include
     uncertainty, and if the confirmation indicates you're on the
     negative side of that, you will make some changes to bring
     you back in range.
               If I understood what you just said, if, in fact,
     you identify that you're way out of range on the
     ultra-conservative side, would you undertake to do anything
     to reduce the cost and exposure to workers to bring you back
     into range, and if not, why not?
               MR. SMISTAD:  Anybody in the west want to take
     that one on?
               MR. LINDNER:  This is Ernest Lindner.
               MR. SMISTAD:  Yeah, Ernie.
               MR. LINDNER:  The last phrase you were referencing
     is pre-closure safety.
               The safety of the workers in the work-place is a
     high priority that is not addressed by the post-closure
     plan, concerns of the performance confirmation plan, rather,
     so that we would not do anything that would compromise
     safety with the performance confirmation program.
               We would evaluate if there is a trend or data
     variance from the bounds, the bounds being set so that we
     have exceeded our abstractions in the TSPA, then we would
     have to evaluate what's wrong, take a look.
               I mean is the data reliable?  Is that data coming
     in as it should?
               Is there some -- perhaps we should put some
     different instrumentation in that area to validate that we
     might have a wrong transducer, or there may be something
     that wasn't considered in the process models, the models
     that model the overall geologic and mechanical processes, or
     there may be something a little bit further.
               So, your response has to be evaluated at that time
     of what's gone wrong or what is wrong, but I mean in no
     sense would we compromise the safety of the facility for
     performance confirmation.
               MR. LEVENSON:  The question I'm asking is really
     the reverse of that.
               Nothing will come out of the performance
     confirmation to increase risk of the staff above ground, but
     will you utilize anything that comes out of performance
     confirmation that indicates you could reduce the exposure of
     the people that are working on the facility, or are these
     two completely different things in your mind?
               MR. LINDNER:  This is Ernest Lindner.
               I would see them as two different aspects of the
               I mean, obviously, you'd like to see something in
     testing that would reduce the exposure to personnel.  I
     would indicate that's so.  But I don't anticipate anything
     from the test that would suggest that.
               MR. SELLARS:  We would get the information from
     the performance confirmation program.
               This is Mark Sellars.
               What you're getting at basically are like
     enhancements to the safety case, enhancements to the design
     to do even better than what you have in your licensing
     basis, and that's not one of the fundamental objectives of
     the program.  The program is to confirm the basis that you
     have when you go up front.
               But certainly, the information that you gather
     from the program could be used to do that.
               But that's not one of the fundamental tenets or
     objectives of the program.
               MR. SMISTAD:  I certainly think that could be an
               I mean, you know, that's a possibility, and I
     would be remiss by not saying that we would consider safety
     first in all the testing that we do.
               MR. LEVENSON:  If we look at history, which -- not
     necessarily what happened, it's what historians say
     happened, but nevertheless, we look at it, we see that WIPP,
     which is a little farther down the road than you are, is now
     recognizing that a major fraction of the exposure to the
     people in the program is coming from requirements that, in
     fact, have apparently no basis in either safety or legal
     reasons, and they have a major program to try to back out.
               It's not easy to do, but if the objective is
     overall safety, then one has to recognize that you have an
     envelope, if you go out either side of it I think it
     requires serious assessment as to what it means, because any
     action you take has some consequence.
               MR. LEVENSON:  Ray, more comments?
               DR. WYMER:  No, nothing more.
               MR. LEVENSON:  I just have one more question.  I
     don't really want to hang you on any of your own words, but
     you did say it.
               You said that the schedule for the plan in detail
     would be available prior to license application.  Would you
     care to estimate the decade or year in which the plan will
     be ready for us to look at?
               MR. SMISTAD:  Let's see.  What did I say?
               I guess that was a statement that I put into the
     presentation to communicate that this plan is evolving; the
     details aren't on the table yet for the particular tests.
               Those will be detailed at the time of the license
     application, obviously, and obviously prior to the time of
     the testing.
               So, that was kind of a bullet I threw in to give a
     sense that we're not at that stage right now.
               MR. LEVENSON:  But you say it needs to be done
     before license application.
               Do you have a target date for completion of the
               MR. SMISTAD:  We have not established a target
     date bond the August date of next year for an iteration, but
     we certainly think there will be one.  We just haven't
     established the date yet.
               DR. GARRICK:  I want to press my earlier question
     just a little bit.
               We know that things get done on the basis of
     budgets, and then it becomes a problem of allocation from
     that budget to certain activities, and in a situation here
     where you have some 23 tests or measurements that you're
     trying to make -- and we all know that probably three or
     four of these are 10 times more important than the other 20,
     and in fact, if I were to pick one -- and Bob Andrews may
     either verify this or dispute it -- if I had excellent
     information on seepage monitoring, I would be very satisfied
     with respect to a lot of the driver of performance on the
     basis that, if there is an 800-pound gorilla in the
     repository design, it's water access to the waste package.
               So, what I'm really saying is are you going to
     have the kind of flexibility where, when the analysts or the
     scientists put forth what they consider to be the truly
     important things to know about in terms of monitoring, to
     allocate budgets accordingly?
               MR. SMISTAD:  I'll take it first, and then if Bob
     wants to go, he can go.
               Yes, there's no question about it, that the
     process will work in that way, and in fact, this is not a
     foreign process to us.
               We've enumerated many tests through the years and
     through all the budget cycles, and we have managed to
     prioritize those.
               Especially in recent years, I think we've done a
     real good job of that, probably over the last five years, of
     using the results from the TSPA, and with input from the
     PI's, as well, to determine what tests are really important,
     and you've mentioned the seepage test.
               In fact, we have fielded seepage tests, and we are
     currently fielding seepage tests, and we will continue to
     field seepage tests in the repository.
               So, the point is this is not a foreign process to
     us, prioritizing testing based on importance, and it will be
               MR. HAYES:  This is Larry Hayes from back west.
               Obviously, an indication of how important one
     thinks something is how much mon they put into it.
               Let me talk about what we perhaps think are two of
     our most important tests.
               Seepage, absolutely right, how much water may
     contact the waste.
               I believe, from what I see in the budget process,
     seepage is very well-funded, perhaps more so than most other
     natural science testing.  Seepage is our priority.
               Over on the engineering side, waste package
     performance is very highly funded, because that's perhaps
     equal to seepage in importance.
               So, indeed, if you look at where we're putting
     some of our mon in testing, those two areas, relatively
     speaking, are fairly well funded.
               MR. LINDNER:  This is Ernest Lindner.
               I'd also like to clarify that, even though
     something may be very important to performance, in the PC
     plan, performance confirmation plan, we evaluate if we can
     measure something that's significant to reduce the
     uncertainty of that item.
               In other words, we don't do a measurement of
     something just because it's there.
               We do the measurements because we will, indeed, if
     we do measure it, have some effect or can have some effect
     on the modeling of that process or the evaluation of that
               So, just to gather data is not the intent of the
     performance confirmation plan.
               DR. GARRICK:  Thank you.
               MR. LEVENSON:  Tim?
               MR. McCARTIN:  Tim McCartin, NRC staff.
               Just one quick comment that the amendment for
     closure does require DOE to update the TSPA based on the
     performance confirmation program.
               So, all the -- both plus and negative things that
     they find along the way, when you get to closure, they do
     have to update the TSPA.
               So, it is wrapped all together at the end there.
               MR. LEVENSON:  Any comments from ACNW staff?
               [No response.]
               DR. GARRICK:  Okay.
               We've received a request from a member of the
     public citizen group to make a comment, and I think now is
     the time to do that.
               I think it's Lisa Gue.
               MS. GUE:  Thank you very much.
               Lisa Gue from Public Citizen.
               In response to one of the questions that was asked
     earlier, I think it was said that, in the event of an
     unexpected outcome, a process would have to be identified
     for informing the public and the NRC, and I'd just like to
     know -- and certainly, I'd advocate for a process to be
     built into the plan for regular and complete reporting
     available to the public on the results of the performance
     confirmation tests and what actions were being recommended.
               Thank you.
               DR. GARRICK:  Thank you.
               MR. SMISTAD:  If I could just comment on that --
               DR. GARRICK:  Yes, go ahead.
               MR. SMISTAD:  That's certainly something that we
     have in mind.
               In fact, we discuss it a little bit in the PC
     plan.  We haven't got the details of exactly how we're going
     to do that yet, but it's certainly something the Department
     has in mind to do.
               DR. GARRICK:  Okay.
               MR. LINDNER:  This is Ernest Lindner, out west.
               I'd like to add to what Eric said.
               In the PC plan, we have identified the process of
     getting the data from down-under, so to speak, and from
     sub-surface to the public, so that eventually we hope to
     have the data in a real mode, a real-time format, rather,
     available perhaps in reports or on the web, if possible.
               We would like to get to that point, so that the
     data can be viewed by the public, so they can actually see
     the data as it comes out from the sub-surface and get
     assurance that, indeed, things are behaving as expected in a
     real-time fashion.
               In other words, within a week or so, we would have
     the data posted or available to the public, so that you can
     compare it against the published bounds.
               To add to the -- what Eric said about the test
     descriptions for the LA, as required by the license, we will
     have to describe the tests in some detail, but the detailed
     test plan will follow separate plans, which will specify the
     actual measurement frequencies, the instrument types, their
     accuracy and reliability, etcetera, but the LA will contain
     a description of the tests that we consider necessary and
     adequate for the license.
               MR. McCARTIN:  Tim McCartin, NRC staff.
               NRC licensees are held to a very strict
     requirement of notification, if they learn something that's
     going to change anything that we made our decision on, and I
     don't have the -- off the top of my head, I can't recite the
     requirement, but I'll be happy to find it and get that
     information, but there's very strict requirements on
     notification, if you learn something that was different than
     what you told us.
               MR. LEVENSON:  But that does not apply prior to
     license application.
               MR. McCARTIN:  No, once they're a licensee.
               DR. GARRICK:  All right.
               Any other comments or questions from anybody on
     this topic?
               Eric, we want to thank you for honoring the
     requirement to allow us plenty of time to have an exchange
     and ask questions.
               Are there any final comments from the people out
     west on this topic?
               [No response.]
               DR. GARRICK:  All right.
               MR. SMISTAD:  I want to thank you for giving us
     the opportunity to come talk about the plan, and I wanted to
     thank the guys out west for getting up at the crack of dawn
     to participate.
               MR. LEVENSON:  Some of us are on the same time
     schedule they are.
               DR. GARRICK:  All right.
               Then I think what we'll do is move directly into
     our next topic, which is a summary of Key Technical Issues,
     strategy, etcetera, and the committee member that has the
     lead on this topic is George Hornberger.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Thanks, John.
               We're going to have a discussion on Key Technical
     Issues and their resolution and how this process is going.
               Some of the interest has been stimulated by how
     the NRC and DOE put their different lists into conjunction,
     so that the NRC has Key Technical Issues and the DOE has k
     program principle factors -- well, at any rate, something
     else, and furthermore, the DOE has issued process model
     reports, and the NRC staff and DOE are interacting on these,
     and we heard just a little bit yesterday that the NRC and
     DOE have revised their strategy for how they're going to
     treat these PMRs and the analysis.
               So, before break -- we'll come back after break
     and have the NRC staff in this discussion, but before break,
     I'm going to ask Carol Hanlon if she would do her
     presentation on the revised approach that DOE and NRC are
               MS. HANLON:  Thanks for the opportunity to talk to
     you about our evolving and revised approach to presenting
     information that's going to assist, hopefully, the Nuclear
     Regulatory Commission staff in doing their considerations of
     sufficiency, and perhaps I could shed just a little bit of
     clarifying light on the three things that Dr. Hornberger
     mentioned, especially the principle factors in the process
     model reports, as compared with the Key Technical Issues.
               You will recall that, in earlier repository safety
     strategies and, indeed, in the viability assessment, we
     identified items that we believe to be important --
     principle factors that were important to post-closure
     performance and, therefore, were used to prioritize the work
     that we were planning to take from the phase on into license
               So, we have used iterations of those principle
               I think you remember that there were 19 in the
     viability assessment.
               As we've gone through the evolution of the
     performance assessments and we've looked through the
     principle -- or excuse me -- the repository safety strategy
     again, we've winnowed that down to, I believe, seven or
     eight, and we're evaluating those to see where the real
     principle factors are and if there are other issues that are
     important to performance.
               So, we've done a little bit of modifying there,
     but it's, I think, essentially the same set, with the same
     emphases that you're familiar with, and that process has led
     us to look at process models, which feed into the Total
     System Performance Assessment and helps us evaluate our
     total system, repository system, the natural and engineered
     barriers, to again see how that system is functioning and
     consider that we still do have the same principle factors,
     and that is in comparison with the Key Technical Issues.
               I'm a little bit out of bounds here.  Probably it
     would be better for the NRC staff to explain this, but I'm
     sure they won't be shy about correcting me.
               The Key Technical Issues are those nine or 10
     areas which they feel are very important areas to overall
     repository performance and areas that they have concerns on,
     they want to share their concerns, they want us to be aware
     of those concerns, and they want us to take those into
     account as we're moving forward to resolve open items.
               So, hopefully that helps a little.
               I was going to say that, due to the excellent
     presentation that the NRC staff has made on their
     sufficiency process, I will use that as a basis to
     discussing with you some updated input on how we are hoping
     to conduct meetings that support that process of doing
     sufficiency considerations and giving us their comment and a
     little bit of history that probably by now you all could
     recite better than many of us.
               As a component of any site recommendation that's
     given, the Nuclear Waste Policy Act requires the NRC to
     provide comments on certain aspects of our repository
     information leading to license of that repository.
               So, that's a requirement out of section 114.  I'll
     let you read it; I won't.
               Last year, we developed and put forward an initial
     -- we proposed an initial approach to the Commission to
     assist them in preparing for their comments.
               That was in Dr. Brocoum's November 24th letter to
     John Greeves where he proposed this approach.  Parts of that
     approach were we proposed to conduct meetings on various
     aspects, including the process model reports and the Total
     System Performance Assessment, to provide information to the
               We also identified types of information and
     documents which we intended to provide to assist the staff
     in their evaluation, so that they would fully understand the
     technical basis leading to any site recommendation, and we
     wanted to include an evaluation of the Key Technical Issue,
     the status as we saw it in our own self-assessment of where
     our status might be against those.
               Recently, April 25th and 26th, in Las Vegas, we
     had a technical exchange.
               This meeting focused on two aspects.
               It focused on the staff's discussion of their
     sufficiency strategy, and additionally, it focused on a
     discussion of the status of the key technical item open
               NRC's management made it very, very clear that
     their intent was to evaluate the status of closing KTI open
     items as an important part of the sufficiency
     considerations, and in the two days of meetings that
     followed, NRC and DOE staffs presented their respective
     assessment of where we with regard to those Key Technical
               The NRC staff perspective, I believe, was
     basically from their development of the issue resolution
     status report, their revisions of those, and where they
     found the status to be, as well as their progress in moving
     toward -- forward for developing the Yucca Mountain review
     plan, and DOE status was based on not only an evaluation of
     the issue resolution status reports and what we saw in there
     but also the information that we were getting then from the
     process model reports and the analysis and modeling reports
     which were well underway by April, and many were
     substantially completed.
               So, with this technical exchange in April as a
     foundation and a departure point, we developed a set of
     planned interactions on process model reports.
               We originally developed a set of nine process
     model reports, and again, those were basically model --
     excuse me -- process model report meetings.
               They were basically those which we had promised in
     our November 24th letter, and we wanted to allow the
     opportunity to go through those.
               The meetings would have, as envisioned, had two
     main purposes, both to discuss the process model report
     itself and to evaluate progress against the KTIs.
               In discussing the process model report, we wanted
     to present the purpose of that particular report and
     conclusions that it might have reached and the basis from
     Analysis and Modeling Reports that substantiated those
     conclusions, so walk through the process model reports and
     see why we were reaching the conclusions we were reaching,
     in addition take the next step into taking that forward into
     Total System Performance Assessment implications, what it
     meant for the performance assessment and a correlation with
     the repository safety strategy principle factors where they
     were relevant.
               A second very important part of that meeting and
     really the heart of the meeting was to discuss again those
     conclusions and that information and the evolving
     information from the Analysis and Modeling Reports against
     the KTI status and how that moved the ball forward on the
     open issues, and one of the tools we used and we began to
     develop we're now referring to as our delta analysis.
               We had called it a gap analysis, and the purpose
     of that was to evaluate the -- to compare the process that
     the Commission staff was beginning to develop against these
     KTI open issues with our own self-assessment of where the
     status was and how we could show the basis for it.
               So, with that in mind, we moved forward to the
     first technical exchange on Total System Performance
     Assessment, June 6th and 7th in San Antonio.
               That focused on the status of the TSPA, SR, and
     assumptions that had gone into it, the various components,
     and it also focused on related issues from the Key Technical
     Issue on Total System Performance Assessment and
               It was an ambitious agenda, and it was an agenda
     that was developed through extensive interactions between
     DOE and NRC.
               Much work was done and much planning was done on
     that agenda, and I think both sides did a lot of effort, and
     from that meeting, I think we had a number of positive
               We exchanged a lot of new and important
     information, understood opinions.
               We laid the ground work for future meetings which
     would address specific areas of the Key Technical Issues and
     the particular concerns of performance modeling reports,
     process model reports, and throughout the meeting, we
     identified -- at the end of the meeting, we identified ways
     that we could improve the effectiveness of these future
     interactions that we had laid out.
               However, we didn't -- we were not able to close
     any additional items, and there remained no status really --
     no change in the issue status, and therefore, NRC and DOE
     management sought ways to improve our ability to reach
     resolution on these issues.
               So, based on that, we re-focused our interaction
               DOE and NRC management agreed to focus on those
     subset of interactions which were believed to have the most
     potential for resolving KTI open items and fully resolving,
               So, we came up with a set of five meetings that
     we'll have in the next four months.
               Unsaturated zone flow and saturated zone flow are
     really a pair that address one KTI, unsaturated zone and the
     saturated zone, and I can never get the acronym for USFICI.
     I just don't do acronyms.
               USFIC, igneous activity and structural
     deformation, again are a pair which address the KTI and
     structural deformation and seismicity.
               Container life and source term stands on its own.
               And the dates for those are August 16th and 17th
     in Berkeley for the unsaturated zone flow meeting; August
     29th, 30th, and 31st for the igneous activity meeting --
     that's a change; September 12th and 13th, container life and
     source term -- again, both that and igneous activity are in
     Las Vegas, as well as structural deformation and seismicity,
     which will be October 3rd through 5th, and they include a
     field trip.
               November 1st and 2nd, we'll have saturated zone
     flow.  That will be held in Albuquerque.
               So, one of the considerations we've used in these
     meetings is carefully considering and developing the agenda
     nd making sure that we have adequate time for sufficient
     discussions, and I think that's shown right here where we've
     extended that for an additional day to make sure that we
     have the time.
               We would invite you to participate or attend these
     meetings.  You or your staff representatives would be most
               The one in Berkeley -- we'll have to travel to
     Berkeley to participate in that meeting.  We've decided not
     to have details, telecons for these meetings.  We believe
     it's much more effective to have the participants working
     face to face in the same room.  We think that promotes
     dialogue, promotes discussion, and may help us to expedite
     and facilitate closure of issues.
               So, we're not going to V-tel these.  We hope that
     works out.
               So, please join us.
               Just for your information, the ones that remain to
     be scheduled, thermal effects, repository design, thermal
     mechanical effects, radio-nuclide transport, evolution of
     the near-field environment, and total system performance
     assessment integration -- so, we have not forgotten those.
               In preparing for these meetings, we've kept a
     number of things in mind, and we're going to continue the
     technique that we used in San Antonio of having an
     issue-oriented agenda that's organized by sub-issues, so
     that we can have categories to close out the issue and the
     criteria and the open items issue by issue or sub-issue by
               We're going to continue developing our delta
     analysis so that we can use that as a tool to facilitate
     these meetings, and what we're doing with that delta
     analysis is, for the various criteria, acceptance criteria,
     we're attempting to identify where in AMRs we have
     information that addresses that, we are identifying where
     there are differences, and we're attempting to focus on a
     path forward to resolution.
               So, we hope that that delta analysis will prove to
     be a very useful tool for both parties, and it has certainly
     been effective for us, and we're working on the one for UZ
     right now and hope to have it to NRC very soon.
               The staff, in its turn, has agreed to review the
     AMRs carefully and to identify questions that they may have
     for discussion in technical exchange, in those areas where
     they'd like additional information or they'd like
     clarification, how we might facilitate that, and at this
     point, I think they may have more than they wished.  I think
     they have 115 or so AMRs, Analysis and Modeling Reports, to
               So, hopefully you're enjoying those.
               In addition, at all these meetings, we've agreed
     that we're going to -- and we would have anyway -- discuss
     the performance assessment implications, make sure that
     there are people there that are prepared to discuss
     performance assessment, and also features, events, and
     processes will be addressed.
               I think that you have perhaps seen this analysis.
     We changed the name to delta analysis.  We change names
     every week or so.
               But the main components that it will have is the
     acceptance criteria, what the NRC staff analysis is, and as
     you see, it's sub-issue by sub-issue, what DOE's view of the
     status is based on what we believe is in the AMRs or in
     other documents, so our view, and a proposed path forward,
     and we are also going to add columns that we can fill out,
     hopefully as we go through the meeting, that will indicate
     at least a preview of what agreements we've reached in terms
     of the status as we evolve.
               You had seen the sample from the June TSP meeting.
               Do you all have copies of that?
               So, just see how it's evolving just a little bit.
     It's basically not much different.
               And where it is for the unsaturated zone flow
               We have a copy of this draft delta analysis.  If
     you would be interest in having copies, just let us know and
     we can get it to you.  We have them here today.
               So, just to summarize, DOE and NRC management have
     established an approach which we hope will facilitate issue
     resolution, fully close open items, as focused on the Key
     Technical Issues more specifically.  Five interactions are
     scheduled over the next four months for those Key Technical
     Issues which are believed to have the most potential for
     complete issue resolution.
               The objective is to support NRC's preparation of
     their sufficient comments by closing as many open items as
     possible and, where they're not fully closed, by agreeing on
     the path forward to resolution of the open items for the
     license application.
               So, that's basically where we are.
               May I answer any questions for you?
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Thanks very much, Carol.
               Questions for Carol?
               [No response.]
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Carol, as you know, I teleconned
     to San Antonio.
               MS. HANLON:  A remarkable experience.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  I think both Lynn and I approve
     of your not teleconning anymore.
               No, actually, it was still worthwhile.  I was glad
     to have an opportunity to sit in.
               Clearly, you say you did learn from that.  You
     have a better sense of how to move forward efficiently.
               It did strike me that a lot of the issues that
     were raised at the TSPA meeting really got down into the
     details that would be contained in the PMR, the PMRs
     themselves, and I guess the question that I have is, is
     there any plan farther in the future to come back and
     revisit the TSPA itself after these other issues are -- that
     kept coming up at the TSPA are resolved?
               MS. HANLON:  Well, yeah, I'm sure -- yeah, and I
     don't know if Bob is still there.  He could probably say
     more if he is.
               But one of the things about this meeting was it
     was a bit early in the process, not really all that early in
     the process, but the results were not in yet.
               So, we were talking about some things where the
     TSPA was not completely finished, the results were not in,
     and the package hadn't been wrapped up.
               So, we realize, you know, that it was in some ways
     early and in some ways late.  That's why I mentioned the
     fact that it set the tone for future meetings where we would
     go into the specific process model as we'd previously
     envisioned and go into the Analysis and Modeling Reports
     that provided the specific data that fed the process model,
     again that fed the TSPA.
               So, that was the plan we envisioned.
               Now we're focusing on the Key Technical Issues.
     We'll do somewhat the same, but with the assistance of the
     staff, who are reading the AMRs and identifying questions,
     then we will interact to define the agendas and again find
     those spots where we may want to look at the TSPA, we might
     want to look at the results, what the results are telling
     us, and understand those or identify sensitivities or feed
     them back into the meeting.
               I think that we were both thinking about it
     anyway.  I'm sure that NRC was intending to have a
     performance assessment component.  I know DOE was.  At that
     meeting, we both assured each other that there would be that
     TSPA component in all the future meetings.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Okay.  Thanks.
               Questions or comments from the staff?
               MR. FIRTH:  James Firth, NRC.
               In the letter from Steve Brocoum that initially
     proposed the interactions, there were TSPA interactions
     scheduled for basically the spring/summer, before DOE had
     completed their TSPA, then one in November, and then there
     was one in April of 2001.
               So, there are opportunities, depending on how
     things shake out, for doing the AMRs and PMRs and the
     changes to those, what comes out of the results of DOE's
     TSPA, that there are opportunities through the process to
     continue to revisit and to continue to make progress on
     resolving the issues, and I would reiterate what Carol had
     said in terms of -- that given that the DOE documents,
     either the TSPA/SR model report or the technical document,
     neither one of those were available to the NRC staff in
     advance of the meeting.
               So, for us to be able to really make progress on
     moving issues from open to closed or closed pending, we need
     a little bit more in terms of detail that's in-hand, as well
     as more detailed commitments.
               So, it was a little bit premature in June, given
     the status of DOE's TSPA, the documentation, and the
     information that was available to the NRC staff to move
     things from the open status at this point.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Thanks, James.
               Don't take my comment as a criticism of the June
     meeting.  I think it was, as you say, very valuable.
     "Premature" is perhaps too strong a word.
               MS. HANLON:  We just noticed those things, and
     that's why we've taken some actions, in fact, getting the
     delta analysis to the staff early so that they can see where
     we think the things are.
               I think they have almost all of the AMRs now.
     There are just four remaining that are probably coming very
     soon.  In draft, I think they have almost all of the PMRs,
     if not all, and they have formal copies of two, and
     hopefully, the relevant AMRs and PMR will be available.
     They're available now and will be to them for the meeting in
     August.  So, hopefully we're moving forward on those.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Good.
               Thanks again, Carol.
               MS. HANLON:  You're welcome.
               DR. GARRICK:  I think what we'll do is take a
     15-minute break and then continue with our next item on our
               As I understand it, the people that are going to
     make the presentations are here.  So, rather than 10:30 or
     whatever it was, we will have that presentation in 15
               We'll break for now.
               DR. GARRICK:  George, do you want to carry on?
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Okay.
               We're reconvening on our discussion of Key
     Technical Issues, and King Stablein said that Carol Hanlon
     stole everything that he was going to say and so his
     presentation was going to be short.
               And I don't say that to have you make it even
     shorter, King, but go ahead.
               MR. STABLEIN:  Thank you very much, Dr.
               I had intended this to be short and informal and
     kind of a concise status report on issue resolution anyway,
     and Carol did touch on a lot of the things that I was going
     to say.
               It gives you a chance to kind of contrast and
     compare and make sure that we're being consistent in what we
     put out before you, and although my own presentation will be
     relatively short, I have with me representatives of all of
     the key technical issues, all nine of them, in the audience
     and near microphones, so that if any of the members is
     interested in a particular Key Technical Issue or sub-issue
     and its status or how we view it in terms of issue
     resolution, I would encourage you to ask these staff
     members, because they're the experts in those individual
     areas, and I wanted to have them all available.
               They were all at the issue closure meeting on
     April 25th and 26th, so they are well up to date on what
     transpired there, and they're all actively involved in this
     issue resolution process.
               So, to indicate to you the importance that the NRC
     is putting on this area of issue resolution, we have, in
     fact, installed a new senior project manager who is in
     charge of issue closure, Jim Anderson.
               He can't be with us today, but in the future, you
     will be hearing from Jim as to how we will proceed to work
     on the issue closure meetings that Carol talked about.
               So, let's turn to the first slide, background for
     Key Technical Issue resolution.
               This is material that you're familiar with, but
     just quickly to remind us that we refocused the high-level
     waste program in FY '96 to pay attention to those issues
     that we viewed in the post-closure as most important to
     performance, and we have nine of those issues.
               They are listed there for you.  We don't have to
     read them off.
               You have performance assessment, you have the site
     issues, and you have the design issues.
               On the next slide, we have the objective of Key
     Technical Issue resolution, and the goal for the NRC is to
     complete resolution of all of the Key Technical Issues and
     the 38 associated sub-issues before DOE submits the license
               And the rationale for this is that Congress has
     given us a mandate to review DOE's license application
     within three years, and for us to be able to do that, DOE
     needs to prepare a license application that's sufficiently
     complete and high-quality such that we can accomplish our
     goal of docketing the application, reviewing it, and writing
     the SER in that three-year period.
               So, this issue resolution process is very
     important to us to meet that mandate.
               We have established a basis for issue resolution.
     We had an agreed-upon definition in the regulations on the
     pre-licensing process and our 1992 agreement with DOE.  It
     involves staff-level resolution being able to be achieved
     during the pre-licensing process.
               These issues can be reopened as new information
     becomes available, and very important for all parties to
     understand is that these are non-binding resolutions and
     they're non-binding on any party to the licensing process.
     These issues can be raised and discussed in licensing.  They
     are not closed by virtue of what happens in the
     pre-licensing consultation phase.
               Now, the April 25th and 26th meeting was, in my
     thinking, a real watershed.
               We've been working on issue resolution in this
     program, actually, for more than 10 years, but we had never
     come together with as much focus as we did at this meeting
     with a real intensity in terms of finding the paths to issue
     resolution, and there was just a changed attitude and focus
     on the parties involved in this meeting.
               We've been looking at the technical information
     over the more than 10 years.
               We have been documenting the status of issue
     resolution in our issue resolution status reports for the
     last three or four years, and in those reports, we've been
     indicating the status of the sub-issues and what is needed
     to close those issues.
               So, the information has been there.  DOE has read
     those, and they've provided us, in fact, with feedback on
     some of those issue resolution status reports.
               Now, the April 25th and 26th meeting represented
     this attempt to take a quantum leap forward in the
     resolution process, and what we promised to do and we think
     we did was to summarize the current resolution status of the
     Key Technical Issues, the associated sub-issues, and most
     importantly to state specifically what is needed from DOE to
     close these issues and sub-issues, and for its part, as
     Carol told you in greater detail, DOE staff would discuss
     its plans and schedule for providing the needed information
     and also would give their views on how close they were to
     actually having some issues resolved or providing the
     information that we were asking for, and I might say that
     the format that DOE provided that information in we found
     very useful and are still working with.
               It's important to understand what we mean by our
     various categories of issue resolution.
               We now have three categories open.
               DOE has not yet acceptably addressed staff
     questions regarding the model, data, or other information
     pertaining to an issue or its subordinate sub-issues, and
     what this means is that, in the staff's view, additional
     information is required to provide an adequate basis for
     regulatory decision-making at the time that we're reviewing
     the license application, and in fact, the failure to provide
     the needed information could even result in the LA not
     managing to be docketed.
               Closed is when the staff has no further questions
     regarding the model data or other information.
               The DOE approach and the supporting information
     acceptably addresses our questions and our comments, and no
     information beyond what is currently available will likely
     be required for staff regulatory decision-making when we are
     writing that SER and when we are reviewing the license
               The third category is one that we more recently
     added, and it's closed pending the license application or
     construction authorization review, and this closed pending
     means that, right now, the staff has no further questions
     regarding the model data or other supporting information
     pertaining to an issue or the subordinate sub-issue, but the
     staff is awaiting additional information from DOE.
               The staff feels that it needs more information to
     gain confidence that that information, combined with what is
     already available, if provided by the time we're doing our
     licensing review, will be enough to enable us to proceed
     with regulatory decision-making.
               And the last point is very important.  If the
     additional information has not been provided before the
     license application, the LA itself will include the
     remaining required information sufficient for staff to make
     its determinations.
               Now, the commitments we're looking for, where DOE
     has not yet done the data gathering or the analyses that
     we're looking for, these commitments need to be documented,
     they need to be specific in terms of what will be done and
     when it will be done.
               At the KTI resolution meeting, the staff presented
     the current status of each sub-issue and the overall Key
     Technical Issue and specifically what DOE needs to provide
     or consider to close the sub-issue.
               There were three categories of information.  The
     DOE needed to provide additional analyses or initial data
     and analyses or, in rare instances, one or more additional
     aspects of the sub-issue need to be addressed, something
     that DOE simply had not yet even looked at.
               At this stage in the program, there weren't too
     many of those situations.
               The outcomes of the April meeting -- in
     preparation for that meeting and/or at that meeting, seven
     sub-issues were able to be called closed or closed pending,
     four in the container life and source term Key Technical
     Issue and three under repository design and thermal
     mechanical effects, and those are listed there for you, and
     you see my note indicating that, on the next page, it gives
     you a summary status for all of the nine KTIs and the 38
     sub-issues.  Right now, 14 sub-issues are considered closed
     or closed pending and 24 are considered open.
               Two other outcomes of the April meeting -- there
     was a much better understanding of DOE plans and schedules
     for providing the information to close issues, and the bases
     were established for NRC staff to develop more detailed
     schedules by the end of September for implementation of the
     paths toward resolution, and in fact, all nine Key Technical
     Issue teams are currently engaged in working out detailed
     schedules and plans that can lead to resolution of their Key
     Technical Issue and the associated sub-issues.
               This is the chart showing the underlying
     sub-issues are the ones that are open and the others are
     closed or closed pending.
               If you have questions about any of the individual
     KTIs, as I mentioned, the staff members are here who can
     discuss those for you.
               You can see that, in most of the -- well, I don't
     want to exaggerate, but in many of the Key Technical Issues,
     there is at least one sub-issue which is closed or closed
               There are a couple of Key Technical Issues where
     everything is open at the present time.
               And finally, the path forward, the next steps --
     NRC staff will continue development of the plans that I just
     discussed to reach closure of the sub-issues and the issues,
     especially incorporating review of the transmittals that
     Carol mentioned, the AMRs, the PMRs, and the proposed
     near-term meetings to attempt to achieve closure of the
     first four KTIs that DOE identified.
               I want to point out in my chart that I didn't mean
     to unilaterally move the saturated zone meeting from -- to
     Berkeley from Albuquerque.
               That's a little flaw in my slide for the November
     1st-2nd meeting.
               That should be Albuquerque.
               And for the SDS meeting, I've got a TBD, where
     Carol had October 3 through 5, because it appears that,
     right now, ongoing discussions may cause a slight change in
     those dates, and of course, you all will be informed as soon
     as those dates get re-established.
               The dates being considered are a week or two from
     the October 3rd through 5th date.
               The issue resolution status reports for the for
     KTIs involved in these meetings will be deferred until after
     the meetings take place so that the staff has an opportunity
     to include the results of the meeting in those issue
     resolution status reports, document any further closures or
     at least the path toward closure, and as Carol mentioned,
     meetings on the other five Key Technical Issues have not yet
     been scheduled, and the staff will go forward and issue
     those issue resolution status reports by the end of October
     of this year, and then we will proceed to schedule those
     meetings as soon as possible based on both parties'
               So, that's pretty much the status of issue
     resolution from the NRC point of view, and certainly, what
     Carol talked about in terms of sufficiency is important.  We
     are looking at the available information in terms of what we
     would write about the sufficiency of the data available for
     DOE to prepare a license application.
               NRC, in issue resolution, has the long-term view
     of the license application and whether the information that
     will be provided will be enough for a complete high-quality
               At this point, I will stop and let you ask
     questions of me or the leads for the Key Technical Issues.
               Dr. Hornberger?
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Thanks, King.
               Let me ask a first quick question.
               On your last slide and what Carol showed us, it
     does look -- or it's obvious that these meetings are focused
     on KTIs, and the question I have -- do you have any
     gut-level feeling as to how many PMRs and AMRs feed into
     each one of these KTIs?
               That is, they're no longer strictly PMR meetings.
               MR. STABLEIN:  That's correct.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Could you give me some feel for
     how many?
               MR. STABLEIN:  I know that there are a lot of AMRs
     that feed into the PMRs for these, but why don't we pick
     one, because the KTI leads are --
               DR. HORNBERGER:  -- are here.
               MR. STABLEIN:  -- on top of this.
               How about, for example, the USFIC?
               Latif, would you like to address that?
               Introduce yourself first.
               MR. HAMDAN:  Yeah.  I'm Latif Hamdan.
               I can deal with the saturated zone exactly.  We
     have one saturated zone flow and transport PMR, and it is
     supported by 13 AMRs.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  So, it clearly, then, is either
     one PMR associated with each of these meetings or no more
     than two?
               MR. STABLEIN:  Gustavo?
               MR. CRAGNOLINO:  Gustavo Cragnolino, Center for
     Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analysis.
               In the case of the CLST KTI, there are two PMR,
     one for waste form and another one for waste package.
               MR. STABLEIN:  James?
               MR. FIRTH:  James Firth, NRC.
               In the case of Total System Performance Assessment
     and Integration we sort of capture elements of all of the
     PMRs, like primarily the abstraction AMRs and the FEP AMRs.
     We also have some documents that are not in the set of PMRs.
     We have the TSPA SR documents, which is the model document
     in the technical report.
               So, we have some things beyond just the PMRs that
     we have to look at, as well.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Thanks.
               Milt, do you have questions?
               MR. LEVENSON:  I have one sort of general question
     that I suppose I should ask you and Carol independently, but
     do you feel there is general agreement on these open issues
     where more information is needed?  Do you think the two
     sides are pretty much talking about the same thing as to
     what's needed, etcetera?
               MR. STABLEIN:  I think that the April meeting
     brought us a lot closer in assuring that we are focused on
     the same needs for data and analyses.
               I wasn't at the meeting.
               David, would you want to comment on that from your
     experience at the meeting?
               MR. BROOKS:  Yeah.  Dave Brooks.
               I would agree with King.  I think the meeting
     indicated that the DOE and the NRC are focusing on the same
     kinds of information needs.
               An example would be, for example, in the
     unsaturated/saturated flow, it would be the flow paths and
     the data needed to define flow paths in the saturated zone.
               You know, I don't think there's any disagreement
     with -- among the staff on the need for that information,
     for doing the total systems performance, and I think you
     could probably come up with examples for all of the KTIs.
               MR. LEVENSON:  I was really thinking more about
     detailed information at the meeting where there are very
     many or any responses where when you said, well, we need
     more on this, were the responses, well, we thought we gave
     you what was wanted.
               That's a fairly normal problem in this kind of
               Do you feel there is a good understanding?
               MR. BROOKS:  Yes, I do.
               I can't remember any areas where there was extreme
               We always have discussions about igneous activity.
     I think we've come very close together on that one.  That
     one's a priority issue to meet with DOE on, and we'll be
     doing that in August.
               MS. HANLON:  Yeah, I just want to note that we
     worked very carefully together to make sure that we minimize
     areas of discrepancy such as that.
               It was very helpful to have the April meeting and
     to clearly identify where NRC thought we were with regard to
     the status and where we thought we were.
               In addition, we've provided -- at NRC's request,
     we've provided copies of all the analysis in modeling
     reports in draft phases, and they will get them in final
     phases.  So, they have the actual documents to look at the
     information and see if, in fact, the information that we
     think makes a point does make that point, or if they have
     any additional questions on that, and one thing we did in
     San Antonio was to agree that, as we prepare for these
     meetings, it's very important that we've digested the
     Analysis and Modeling Report, we've gone through the gap
     analysis, and we've looked where we are and tried to define
     points where we need to further clarify in order to have
     meaningful understanding and to reach resolution.
               So, we may not be perfectly there yet, but we
     certainly are focusing on getting there.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Ray?
               DR. WYMER:  I have a question that's probably a
     little more specific than is appropriate for this meeting,
     but I want to ask it anyway.
               I noticed under your Key Technical Issues and
     sub-issues on viewgraph number nine, the evolution of the
     near-field environment has a lot of underlining.
               DR. WYMER:  And it's basically chemistry.
               And I wondered if -- two things:  one, if there's
     any feeling for whether or not DOE is really addressing
     these things at the level of effort that will get to the
     answers in a timely way and, secondly, whether or not there
     is adequate support at the center and elsewhere in NRC to
     evaluate what DOE turns in.
               MR. STABLEIN:  Well, Bret Leslie is the lead on
     that, and I think he can respond.
               MR. LESLIE:  Bret Leslie, NRC staff.
               Ray, I think one reason why you see those things
     underlined is that, in terms of bringing in geo-chemistry
     into performance assessment, it's been rather a late-comer.
               DR. WYMER:  Yeah.
               MR. LESLIE:  I think the TSPA VA was the first
     real attempt by DOE to really try to bring in the
     complexity, and they made very good progress.
               We feel that, after our review of the AMRs, that
     -- I wouldn't say that everything's open.  We're definitely
     focusing on major -- on the things that are most important
     to risk, and I think they understand that, that, for
     instance, you don't need to know everything about the
     geo-chemistry, but you need to know certain particular
     things, and I think we've focused at that April meeting what
     it is that we're looking for.
               So, I don't -- I think we have the resources
     necessary to do it, and I think DOE -- you know, we're in
     the process of reviewing the AMRs.
               We still see that there are some things that
     aren't being focused on by DOE and the AMRs in terms of the
               DR. WYMER:  But you do think you have the
     resources necessary to evaluate what you see?
               MR. LESLIE:  If not, we'll make noise.
               DR. WYMER:  Okay.  Thanks.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Bret, could you perhaps give us a
     specific example of something that you want to focus on and
     perhaps you're not quite sure that -- how DOE is going to
     get there?
               MR. LESLIE:  We'll give you the example.
               Primarily, as you well know, the near-field is
     really looking at how it impacts performance, and so, we
     rely on the container life and source term folks to tell us,
     okay, well, for the drip shield, we need to know what the
     fluoride chemistry is.
               Well, if you look at the AMRs on evaporates and
     salt analysis, they don't evaluate fluoride, yet we know
     that fluoride concentration could be critical to one type of
     corrosion mechanism in the drip shield, and so, that's one
     of them where it would be fairly easy to do, but they
     haven't addressed it to date, and so, this is likely to be
     something that we'll be bringing up in our interactions with
     DOE sooner rather than later.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Okay.
               So, you don't have like major issues in inadequacy
     of the thermo-dynamic database or something really
               DR. WYMER:  I wouldn't say that.
               MR. LESLIE:  In some ways we're a little fortunate
     that the geo-chemical parameters for both the waste package
     and drip shield are things that tend to behave
     conservatively, like chloride and fluoride.
               So, we're not really relying on exotic things, and
     it just happens that the engineered barriers are not
     necessarily reliant on things that don't -- there isn't a
     good thermo-dynamic database.
               Sure, if you wanted to model the mountain in a
     scientific sense, that's -- you know, there are some gaps,
     but when you focus on what things are important to risk, the
     chemistry is rather simple or the breadth that you need is
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Ray?
               DR. WYMER:  I'm done.
               MR. McCARTIN:  John?
               DR. GARRICK:  Sort of continuing a discussion of
     viewgraph number nine, I was struck at first -- and as the
     discussion proceeded, I was less -- it was less of a
     mystery, but at first I look at number three, which is
     container life and source term, for which there has been
     considerable progress in resolution of sub-issues for a part
     of the repository that the design is still reasonably
     dynamic, and then I look at -- and yet, there's closure on a
     lot of the sub-issues, and then I look at KTI 4, which for
     the -- on first look, is basically the mountain, which is
     pretty well-designed, and there is nothing resolved, and it
     was kind of a curious thing to me that we had made so much
     progress on a part of the repository where the design is in
     a high state of dynamics and very little progress on a part
     of a design where things are reasonably stable, but part of
     the problem is the coupled process issue.
               I was just wondering if anybody wanted to comment
     on that.
               And the other thing, I would like to have somebody
     just spend a few minutes taking us through one of these
     issues to get a little better feel for, at the technical
     level, what constitutes closure, and I don't care which one
     we take, although maybe, because there's been so much
     discussion of it, we could use as our example igneous
               So, there's two kinds of things.  One is how come
     we've made so much progress on the container life and source
     term KTI and so little progress on the natural setting,
     given that we've been dealing with the natural setting for
     many, many, many years?
               Is this an artifact of scheduling?  Is it because
     of the complexity of the issue?  What are some of the
     contributing factors?
               MR. LESLIE:  Dr. Garrick, this is Bret Leslie, NRC
     staff.  I'll answer that.
               I think I touched a little bit about it, but
     basically it's been a lack of an analysis.  While they may
     have collected a lot of data, the drip shield heater test is
     a relatively new program.  The EBS testing at DOE is
     relatively new.
               The state of knowledge in terms of applying it to
     risk is new, and so, when we're focusing on closure, we're
     focusing on those things that aren't necessarily just the
     description but how that information is applied in a
     performance assessment to evaluate the risk.
               And the other thing is that the issue resolution
     is, really, when we write these things, it's a snapshot.  If
     the design were to change, container life and source term,
     if they introduced a new exotic thing, one of the sub-issues
     would open up again.
               I think I'll let CLST explain why they can close
     and we're not.
               MR. CRAGNOLINO:  I will take a different example
     that is in some ways related.  This is what we consider
     sub-issue number three, the rate at which radio-nuclides are
               For us, this issue is closed but pending
     additional information, and I think that the way that it has
     been underlined, this is a little different and it's very
               Closed pending additional information doesn't mean
     that it's closed.
               Maybe there's critical information there that is
     not essentially relevant to the nature of the problem but
     will impact in the uncertainties, and let me make example.
               I don't know if I have enough time, but DOE is
     dealing very well with the rate of dissolution of the spent
     fuel.  They use a good model and database.  There are some
     minor problems, but we agree, essentially.  There are some
     problems later on regarding the solubility of neptunium, but
     I will leave this aside.
               Now, if the cladding is very important in their
     performance demonstration, we have a problem, and this is
     related in some way with some aspect of the impact of
               If fluoride, coming back to the example, is not
     tied up, fluoride can impact the zircalloy cladding, and the
     zircalloy cladding will corrode right away.  On the other
     side, if fluoride is tied up with silicone or something else
     from the fuel or from the environment inside, you don't have
     the same problem.
               I mean the problem is well-defined, but DOE needs
     to provide additional information, and here is a problem
     that is not thermal-dynamic in nature, but it has to do with
     the problem of concentrated solution.
               There is no good way with EQ326 to deal with
     concentrated solution.
               Well, they have to conclude the solution are
     diluted or are concentrated.
               This is the root of the problem.
               However, the approach is sound, they have good
     models, enough databases, but they need additional
     information before we can close the issue.
               We consider the issue is closed pending this
     additional information, but it's not closed.  It all depends
     upon how the impact of the failure of the cladding will
     further release.
               I think that this clarifies the issue for us.
               DR. GARRICK:  So, a lot of these closures are
               MR. CRAGNOLINO:  Conditional.  And if you want, I
     can amplify on the others.
               To take another simple example, second one,
     sub-issue related to mechanical failure, with the change in
     design, thermal embrittlement of carbon steel is moot, and
     for the temperatures we are talking about, we don't
     anticipate problems with embrittlement or the regulation of
     mechanical failure for alloy-22.
               Therefore, it's very much information that we need
     there, and mostly, it is related with initial failures, how
     they handle initial failure, with a lack of information in
     the fabrication of component of alloy-22.
               For stainless steel, they have a lot of components
     over there, but it's different to weld, stainless steel to
               It's closed pending additional information, but we
     can capture this information very soon, we believe.
               DR. GARRICK:  Is this kind of strategy,
     conditional closure, consistently applied, reasonably
     consistently applied throughout all the sub-issues?
               MR. STABLEIN:  I can tell you that, in preparation
     for the meeting, we worked very hard, staff and management,
     on each sub-issue, looking at the information, looking at
     how the criteria were applied, and it is my belief that it
     is reasonably consistently applied.
               DR. GARRICK:  Now, is there close interaction or
     strong interaction in the effort to develop the technical
     case for closure, the preparation of the issue status
     resolution reports or issue resolution status reports?
               Is there close tie between that activity and the
     NRC experts on the TPA such that there is that element of
     consistency, namely the attempt to bring the risk-informed
     aspect to the resolution process?
               MR. STABLEIN:  Very much so, and if Gordon or
     James want to give us a little --
               DR. GARRICK:  I was kind of looking for that
     connection as we cite an example of just walking us through
     how a sub-issue is actually resolved.
               We are reading the IRSRs, and we do see that kind
     of information, but again, at a time when the agency is
     preaching the gospel of risk-informed, are they, indeed,
     practicing it?  Here is an opportunity to turn up the
     microscope on an activity and see if, in fact, that's taking
     place, and we're kind of interested in doing that.
               MR. FIRTH:  James Firth, NRC staff.
               To get to the point about the external review that
     we had of the TPA code, that activity has been done.  We are
     still in the process of trying to pull in the comments of
     the experts into our TPA code, which will then filter
     through the entire process.
               We have not been able to complete all of their
     recommendations or to evaluate them all in terms of pulling
     them into the TPA code and then informing what's going on in
     the issue resolution process.
               All of the KTI leads do have a copy of the report
     and the recommendations.  We have pulled them out into an
     action plan that we're working on developing exactly where
     and how we are going to be addressing that.
               That process is still underway.
               We are going to be doing a lot more as we work on
     updating the TPA code for version 5.0, and we are also
     looking at pulling that into all of our activities beyond
     the TPA code, because some of the comments that they're
     making do apply to the other areas.
               So, we are looking at in a comprehensive way.  We
     have not completed that effort, however.
               DR. GARRICK:  One of the things I was half
     expecting to hear was we know from the TPA presentations
     that there has been quite a bit of effort in modeling the
     waste package and what might happen over long periods of
     time, and I was very curious to see if that would manifest
     itself as one of the contributing factors to closure of
     those items, because you were more advanced in your TPA
     modeling with respect to the waste package than you, say,
     might be with respect to some of the other things, but I
     didn't quite hear that.
               MR. FIRTH:  In terms of the comments on our waste
     package modeling, I mean just to take -- we had some very
     positive comments in terms of the approach that was buried
     into our EBSPAC model and incorporated into our TPA model in
     terms of the chemistry and the degradation of the waste
               So, that was seen as very positive, as a
     significant advance in terms of how you would look at the
     long-term performance of metals.
               We also are in the situation for the TPA code of
     trying to keep up with DOE's design, which includes adding
     the drip shield, changing the dimensions and the structure
     of the waste package over time.
               So, we're still end up having to try and play
               So, while we're relatively current, there are some
     degradation modes that we are still looking at trying to
     pull into the TPA code and making sure that we do have the
     full coverage, because the waste package is very significant
     when it has a very long life that cascades through the
     entire process of what's important and how you would
     evaluate the repository system and DOE's safety case.
               DR. GARRICK:  Thank you.
               MR. STABLEIN:  Dr. Garrick?
               DR. GARRICK:  Yes.
               MR. STABLEIN:  I think John Trapp is willing to
     address your igneous activity question, if you'd like.
               DR. GARRICK:  Yes.
               MR. TRAPP:  If you take a look at where we're
     sitting in igneous activity and if I go under the
     consequence sub-issue, there's a whole series of things that
     we can talk about, and I can go into as much detail as you
     really want.
               For instance, one of the things that we have got
     under the igneous consequence sub-issue is the need to put
     together models which accurately transport ash through the
               Now, there have been a series of questions with
     DOE as to which models they were using and this type of
     thing, and they are presently using the ash plume model
     which was developed on the center.
               We've had that looked by experts on our side, and
     everybody agrees that the model itself, while it's got a few
     warts and this type of thing, is probably about the best
     that we've presently got in the field of volcanology.
               The question that still remains on this right now
     is that, now that DOE has got the model, they are going to
     have to actually go through the validation and verification.
               We have seen a little bit of stuff, but there is
     nothing formal, and we understand that what they've done --
     well, we've seen what they've done, which is compare it to
     the 1995 Cierra Negro eruption and show that they're getting
     a good match, but this has not been run through the QA
     process, etcetera, this kind of thing, and documented.
               So, one of the things to be done there is really
     go through this documentation, get it QA'd, and then there's
     one point that's taken care of.
               As mentioned in some of the other discussions that
     we've had, one of the big things we've got to worry about is
     magma/repository interaction.
               We've done quite a bit of modeling on it in both
     mathematical and analog, and the DOE now is doing a series
     of modeling where they are also going through this.
               The problem that we've got with the DOE modeling
     so far -- and they recognize it -- is they were using the
     assumption of a backfilled repository.
               They are presently doing some work on this, and
     actually, the person that could tell you more about it is
     sitting right here, is Eric Smistad.  He could tell you
     exactly what the status is of the modification there, but we
     know that it's being done, and hopefully, this is something
     during the August technical exchange that we can come much
     closer to.
               Dropping back to the previous one, in addition to
     the technical exchange, the week prior to that, there is a
     week-long QA audit on the disruptive processes, and this,
     hopefully, will get, also, some of these models and QA
     questions and documentation taken care of.
               MR. SMISTAD:  Eric Smistad, DOE.
               The ICNs or the analysis for the no-backfill case
     has been completed, and those -- that analysis has been
     incorporated into our TSBA runs.
               The documentation for that should be out within a
     week or so, so we should have that prior to the technical
     exchange that we've been talking about today for igneous
               DR. GARRICK:  Good.
               MR. TRAPP:  So, anyway, in that area, the question
     of closure is going to require us to, you know, take a look
     at it, see where we're sitting, and based on what we saw on
     the non-backfilled case, it's probable that this one can --
     this specific issue, once we have time to review it, can be
     taken care of.
               If you go through some of the other concerns --
     for instance, interaction of the waste package and all these
     other kind of things -- we had a lot of problems back in the
     VA stage because of the assumption that was gone through on
     survivability of the waste package.
               We did not believe it and we did not believe that
     the data was there to support it.
               In simplest form, DOE, at present, has decided not
     to take credit for the waste package during a volcanic
     eruption, therefore we don't have to worry about the data
     case, all we need is just one piece of paper or a formal
     commitment that says they're not -- we got this informally.
     If they'd just say it formally, then that part of the issue
     is closed.
               We break off into stuff dealing with the
     biosphere, and this is a case where we're going to have to
     deal slightly with two of the different PMRs, and I am not
     sure how many AMRs are dealing with biosphere, but a big
     question deals with re-distribution.
               This is something that we -- well, previously,
     when we were looking at standard or not, it was really
     looking at peak dose.
               We looked at expected dose, then we had to start
     evaluating a few other things, and through time, the
     redistribution factor really started becoming important or
     appears important, because no matter where the stuff is
     going to be deposited from a volcanic eruption, 40-mile wash
     is going to basically be taking it up, picking it up,
     rolling it, and transporting it down to the area of the
     critical group.
               The effect of this is something we recognize can
     be important, but very honestly, at the NRC, we are only in
     the very juvenile stages of evaluating it.
               Now, we've talked to DOE.  They recognize the
     importance, and in the meeting coming up in August, they are
     going to present, if I understand it correctly, a scheme or
     a methodology by which this can be probably bounded.
               I'm not sure if we can get very much closer
     without a tremendous amount of expenditure of money, which
     I'm not sure is necessary.
               We haven't heard exactly how they are going to do
               So, once we get the presentation, take a look at
     it, etcetera, then hopefully this can be closed.
               I can go into a whole bunch of other examples, but
     this is basically where we're sitting.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Can I just ask about one example,
               The probability of igneous activity -- it seems
     the NRC has been standing very firm on 10 to the minus 7th
     and DOE has been standing firm on their expert elicitation
     that they say includes 10 to the minus 7th.
               Can you tell us a little bit about how you're
     going to take that underline away?
               MR. TRAPP:  Yes.
               In simplest form, we realize that we've still got
     some very, very deep differences.
               During the meeting in August, we are planning on
     covering all these different points to find out if we still
     have the same amount of difference or not.  If we do, then I
     guess the best way to say it is we're going to try to
     finesse it.
               DOE -- and this has been discussed at the NRC/DOE
     management level -- would be coming in with something like a
     licensing case using exactly the numbers that they want to
     use, with no variant as to 10 to the minus 7th or anything
     like this, and this would be presented as the licensing
               However, there would be a reference case someplace
     else, and not necessarily in the licensing document, but it
     would be in a document that is readily referenced and
     available, which would do an analysis at 10 to the minus
               We may have the technical differences, but if they
     can show under both those cases that the site's safe, who
     cares what the probability is?  And that's really the way
     that we're trying to get around it.
               DR. WYMER:  I had sort of a general question with
     respect to the design of the facility and how it affects the
     resolution of the KTIs.
               We've seen a lot of flip-flopping by DOE, and they
     steadfastly maintain they have not frozen a design, although
     they have a design, at the moment, but we've seen C-22
     inside the waste package, we've seen C-22 outside the waste
     package, we've seen backfill and we've seen no backfill, and
     we've seen drip shields and no drip shields and drip shields
     again, and we've seen above boiling and below boiling
     repositories, and the question I had is, are the technical
     inputs into the KTIs flexible enough and broad enough that,
     if we have another flip-flop or something -- dramatic change
     in design -- they can be encompassed in what has already
     been agreed upon, or will this throw a bunch of the KTIs
     back onto the drawing board for re-resolution?
               MR. STABLEIN:  Well, let me start the discussion
     and then bring up the experts to comment on either the
     repository design or the container design.
               In general, we mentioned that these sub-issues can
     be closed on the basis of current information but can be
     re-opened, and I would say, for design issues, this is one
     of the weaknesses, if you will, with the closure process, is
     if the design changes, we have to revisit.
               MR. TRAPP:  Could I give a couple of examples just
     to kind of fill in there?  Because one of the things in
     igneous activity that has made an effect -- well, two things
     -- are the presence or absence of backfill and the actual
     orientation of the drifts.
               We have -- well, basically, like I stated, DOE has
     done the analysis under the backfilled case, and what
     happens there is, because of the backfill, the possibility
     of magma getting into the drifts and migrating far down the
     drifts is quite limited.
               Therefore, the effects are much less, especially
     from an intrusive standpoint, than they would be from an
               In a no-backfill case, there's an awful lot more
     canisters from an intrusive case which would be affected.
               Our code basically goes through and allows us to
     vary the number of canisters, etcetera, put this in, do
     these things, and find out the effects, and from what I've
     seen, DOE's code also does.
               In addition, there has been some talk lately about
     the change in design where they change the actual angle of
     the repository.
               While it does an awful lot of good for rock fall
     and all this other kind of thing, one of the things it does
     is, if you start talking about bringing an igneous intrusion
     through there and bringing the cone to the surface, the
     actual layout of the repository now would end up with an
     elongated cone, therefore increasing the number of waste
     packages that could actually be in the eruption and brought
     to the surface.
               Again, we've taken a look at the mathematics,
     changed it in the code, found out the differences, and yes,
     we are able to factor them in.
               DR. GARRICK:  Being a bit of an opportunist and
     recalling, King, that you said that all your experts were
     here representing each of the nine Key Technical Issues and
     having heard something from experts on at least three of
     them, namely the container life and the near-field
     environment and igneous activity, I think the committee
     would appreciate a five-minute summary from the expert of
     each of the remaining technical issues on the status of the
     KTI from their perspective.  Is that a reasonable request?
               MR. STABLEIN:  That's reasonable, and we've come
     prepared for that kind of discussion.  So, we can take them
     in whatever order you'd like and provide you with kind of a
     quick status, sure.
               DR. GARRICK:  Sure.  I think that would be very
               So, you can take whatever order you wish.  I'll
     let you make that decision.
               MR. STABLEIN:  Okay.
               Raj is standing up.
               Go ahead, Raj.
               MR. NATARAJA:  This is Nataraja from the staff.
               We have four sub-issues.  As you can see, there's
     only one underlined.
               This is repository design and thermal-mechanical
               The design control process issue is something that
     has been monitored for quite some time.
               We had a number of problems with the design of the
     exploratory storage facility for quite some time, and if you
     remember, we had an objection based on that particular issue
     that was raised during the site characterization plan, and
     we have been monitoring that for quite some time, and we had
     a number of issues related to their document hierarchy and
     documentation of design changes and so forth, and based on
     the number of audits and surveillances and observation of
     design reviews, we concluded that they had made significant
     progress in the area of design control process, and although
     we continue to monitor that for the global design, based on
     our work so far, we have concluded that most of the serious
     issues that we have raised have been addressed adequately by
     the Department of Energy, and that's the first one, design
     control process.
               And the second issue is related to the design of
     the repository with respect to seismic vibratory motion and
     fault displacement, and this was handled by the NRC staff
     when DOE agreed for a topical report process.
               DOE agreed to write three topical reports -- TR1,
     TR2, and TR3.
               TR1 comes under SDS.  Perhaps Phil might talk
     about it later.
               That's the one that deals with the probabilistic
     hazard assessment methodology, and that has been reviewed
     and accepted by the staff.
               The second one is the design methodology itself
     for the -- both surface and underground facilities --
     seismic design methodology, that is -- and we have reviewed
     that and we have accepted that, and that's all documented.
               There is one final, TR3, that is supposed to come
               It has been postponed a number of times.  We
     understand that it's now slated for 2001.
               We have encouraged DOE to complete that as quickly
     as possible, and that's the one which talks about the design
     inputs that will be used for the surface and sub-surface
     facilities, and that's the reason why we have closed it
               Once the information from TR3 is submitted, we
     understand the information is already available, it's only a
     question of putting it in the format of a topical report,
     and we have a procedure to review the topical report, and we
     expect that should be a reasonably straightforward exercise,
     and that's the reason that's also closed, but that's closed
     pending submission of TR3.
               And I'll take the fourth one first, the repository
               The reason why that was closed was because of a
     change in the rule.
               Part 60 had a specific requirement for the design
     of the seals.
               Now that it's handled slightly differently, it's
     not directly connected to -- you know, they don't have to
     show that the design of the seal is done in such a way that
     a failed seal will not become a preferential pathway.
               Right now, we are going to look at it as any other
     part of the design of the repository.  We'll look at the
     tests and the specifications, but we are not going to insist
     on linking the Total System Performance Assessment as was
     done in Part 60.
               So, because of the change requirement in the rule,
     that has been closed.
               The one that's still open is the design of the
     repository to withstand the thermal-mechanical effects, and
     that's the one which deals with issues like change of the
     rock properties as a function of temperature and time and
     the change of material properties as well as change of
     permeability which might have an impact on the amount of
     water that seeps into the repository as a function of time.
               We have some differences.
               We have reviewed a number of AMRs that the
     Department has given us, and they have concluded that the
     thermal effects on the permeability changes are quite
     negligible, but we think that there are some significant
     changes that might happen.  But what is not clear at this
     stage is whether that change has a significant impact on the
     overall performance.
               We are looking at that, and that's a matter for
     discussion that's going on between NRC and DOE, continuing.
     Perhaps in the next revision of the IRSR, we might be able
     to close that aspect of it.
               And the other thing that comes under this
     particular sub-issue is the rock-fall.
               Here is an example where the change of design
     might have an impact.
               If they have, for instance, backfill, the
     rock-fall issue will not become a significant issue, whereas
     if the do not have the backfill, then we have to look at the
     impact of rock-fall and the performance of the drip shield
     as well as the waste package.
               We have some modeling being done at the center to
     analyze the impacts of falling rocks both on the drip shield
     as well as the waste package, and that's an activity that we
     will be spending a lot of time on during the upcoming months
     and perhaps a couple of years.
               DR. GARRICK:  Thank you.
               MR. STABLEIN:  Phil, do you want to talk about
               Phil Justus is our KTI lead for the structural
     deformation and seismicity.
               MR. JUSTUS:  I am Phil Justus.  Raj always
     provides a nice segue for our structural deformation and
     seismicity because the facts of the matter are that it is
     recognized that there will be earthquakes during the
     lifetime of the repository.  There's likely to be false
     slippage occurring.  When these things happen, fractures
     will also open or close.
               The structural deformation and seismicity KTI
     deals with the natural system as it works to change
     discontinuities, in particular, is our interest.  This is a
     matter for preclosure analysis where the waste handling
     building facility and pad and other surface facilities
     during operations require appropriate seismic design and
     similarly, of course, for postclosure seismic hazard and
     fault displacement hazard analysis.  We interact with DOE to
     try to resolve what those hazards are.
               The fault displacement and seismicity subissues
     are both the subject of a probabilistic seismic hazard
     analysis that DOE performed.  We have no major issues with
     that PSHA.  The result of our interacting with DOE over the
     years to see that faulting and seismic characterization of a
     site has proceeded to an adequate level has essentially been
     moving along lines that have led to the current state of
     closed pending for these two subissues.
               In the area of fault displacement, we do believe
     that faults, active faults in particular, which we call Type
     1 faults, have been adequately characterized.  What we are
     waiting for to close the issue is to see how DOE has taken
     the characteristics of the faults and actually utilized them
     in their consideration of that hazard of fault slippage for
               DOE has indicated it will do this.  At our meeting
     to be scheduled some time in October we expect to see the
     benefits of DOE's activities in that area and presumably
     close or keep the issue closed in the sense or tighter
     closed than it is now.
               In the area of seismicity DOE is doing more work
     to characterize the effects of the seismic hazard that its
     experts have developed.  They are taking the hazard
     translated to accelerations under a certain probability of
     occurrence or excedence of occurrence into actual designs.
     To do that they need to know the way in which the seismic
     waves will be attenuated or interact with the soils and the
     other foundation and so forth, and they are proceeding to do
     work to get that information for finalizing their seismic
               We can't close the issue until we see DOE's final
     seismic designs and the basis for it, but we expect that we
     will be able to close that issue when we do get the
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  You are talking about
     translation of this what I will call a seismic risk curve
     into the actual design of the facility and hardware and what
     have you.  How about the seismic hazard curve itself?  Is
     there reasonable agreement between the NRC and DOE on what
     that is for the site?
               MR. JUSTUS:  Yes, there is.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Including the uncertainty?
               MR. JUSTUS:  Yes.  We are in general agreement
     with the range that the experts considered relevant models
     for input, that the uncertainty was generally appropriately
     defined and propagated through the final hazard curves.
               With regard to fractures, that is an open matter
     right now.  While we in general don't take issue with the
     characterization of fractures that has occurred, and in the
     last several years underground, much fracture mapping and
     analysis has been done.  We found though that we are not
     clear on whether the fracture information that has been
     developed or derived by the fracture mappers have been
     utilized consistently or within the range of uncertainties
     of the data.
               This is coming to light as we see and look and
     review, for example, rock fall and flow models where
     fractures are involved.  At different scales the fracture
     modelers make different assumptions and generalizations
     about the very detailed database.  We are now engaging DOE
     in interdisciplinary meetings where we follow through, seek
     to follow through the use of the actual data and how they
     have been abstracted into the models.
               What is pending is our review of the PMRs that
     utilize fracture information.
               To go on to tectonic framework, the major portion
     of tectonic framework is the array of tectonic models that
     exist to describe the tectonism in Southern Nevada including
     Yucca Mountain, of course.  There is no unique model.  This
     is because of the state of the art of geological
     understanding of that part of the world.
               However, tectonic models have been included in
     PSHA.  In a generally satisfactory way, prior to PSHA in
     fact we had reached some agreement with DOE on what the
     viable models are.  There were some dozen of them some years
     ago.  We agreed that five actually described the
     uncertainties involved and DOE agreed to utilize those in
     their calculations or as background for hazard analysis.
               The experts brought in their own tectonic models
     or variations on them.  That was perfectly acceptable.
               What concern remains is not so much what models
     are there -- we agree what they are -- it is that, for
     example, the igneous activity group utilized some aspect of
     tectonic models that we felt was incompatible or at least
     inconsistent I should say with the aspect of hazard analysis
     that the seismic -- seismotectonic experts used, and we are
     looking to resolve this apparent inconsistency.
               Our aim really is to ensure that one group or the
     other, although we think we are focusing on the use for
     igneous activity source term development, it hasn't picked
     the model or emphasized tectonic models that might
     underestimate their use for determining the igneous source
     terms.  We have no indication that this will not be resolved
     at the igneous activity technical exchange coming up in
               That is the detailed analysis -- we can go into
     more detail if you would like.
               MR. STABLEIN:  Thanks, Phil.  That's very good.
               Dr. Garrick, should we continue on?
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.
               MR. STABLEIN:  Okay.  Is Jeff Pohle out there?  I
     would like him to talk about thermal effects on flow.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Jeff, if I could make a
     suggestion, rather than go through each individual subissue,
     perhaps if you could just give us the flavor.  We can't
     digest everything in detail -- if you could give us a flavor
     of the issue and perhaps highlighting where you see
     potential difficulties in reaching resolution and why.
               MR. POHLE:  Okay.  Jeff Pohle, NRC Staff.
               Let me compose my thoughts to that question.  I
     was ready to go item by item.  I had a little table all
               DR. HORNBERGER:  I knew you were quick on your
     feet and so I could do that to you.
               MR. POHLE:  Well, actually I am in the process of
     working on the next provision of the IRSR, trying to forget
     about Part 63 and the review plan for a minute.
               As I recall, what we are interested in in this KTI
     is it relates to one of DOE's safety strategy factors,
     basically seepage into the drift -- that is one aspect and
     the other aspects will be temperature, humidity -- those
     aspects of the waste package environment given the
     importance of the waste package.
               So we kind of look at DOE's program from that
     perspective and we have to interact closely with USFIC, so
     these topics are covered in a number of PMRs.  There is not
     necessarily a thermal effects on flow PMR so we are spread
     across a lot of documents.
               One thing we have been following over the years is
     their thermal testing program and as you know our IRSRs will
     be structured such that the acceptance criteria in the
     review plan will be laid out there and we will evaluate
     those subissues in that context without going through this
     long list of criteria.  Based on our last Rev., we really
     only have one open regarding the thermal testing program,
     and that was the amount of heat and mass lost through the
     bulkhead, how that affects the modeling you do and your
     interpretation of the results of that test.
               Certainly the status at this point is I don't
     think there's been any change in our view or DOE's view,
     that I don't think they intend actually to do a physical
               Some DOE technical support people think it can be
     handling through modeling and some do not think so, think it
     is circular logic when you are trying to attack the problem
     that way.
               My perspective is that I am trying to look at it
     from the point of view does it make any difference,
     understanding that there is another test plan for the
     crossdrift where they are trying to evaluate this concept of
     draining through the pillars directly, and that wasn't
     necessarily in the draft objective of the driftscale thermal
     tests, so it may be that while we disagree on that aspect of
     the driftscale test it may not matter.  We may be actually
     monitoring our attention to this other test and seeing how
     relevant that is to supporting this design concept of DOE's
     on trying to enhance any drainage through the pillars to
     reduce seepage into the drift.
               Then we take it from there and try and look how
     that is propagated through the various levels of modeling,
     and, one, what are the estimates they are going to use in
     the performance assessment for how much water seeps in the
     drift?  Are those estimates or the approach used in the PA
     consistent with detailed, multidimensional process level
     models?  Is it capturing and consistent with what is in the
     results of those analyses, and further is that consistent
     with what is observed in the field, whether it is previous
     or current experiments being done?
               In terms of the modeling, I think in the RSR we
     have laid out some typical questions on how they are dealing
     with heterogeneity perhaps and looking more closely at the
     estimates of seepage into the drift.
               Now we are kind of in time box here where we are
     getting in the preliminary and the drafts of the AMRs and
     PMRs but we can't use -- unless the document is final and
     approved by DOE we can't close an issue.
               We have started to read them but they came in in a
     timeframe when we developed the next draft of the IRSR --
     those reviews were not complete and aren't necessarily all
     laid out in there, so we are kind of in an in-between
     situation here.
               We did do some level of review of the preliminary
     drafts and may have made some comments on here, but that
     can't be the basis for saying "closed" or like that.
               In fact, my support at the Center is also working
     closely with the USFIC KTI.  There is a lot of overlap here,
     dealing with the seepage issue, but within the context of
     thermal effects we are just trying to deal with what the
     super position of the effects of the heat from the emplaced
     waste would have on those estimates and how they are going
     to accounted for or if they are accounted for in DOE's PA.
               I think in terms of the subissues that we are
     dealing with in modeling that I just can't see anything
     there that should not be readily resolvable, because they
     are just modeling questions or they are questions related to
     you estimate this amount of seepage in your model; is it
     consistent with this; is it consistent with your
     observations or is it just a guess?  That would be the type
     of issues we would be dealing with.
               One thing, as new documents come in from DOE they
     may well address some of the older questions we had with,
     such as a lot of the models fundamentally didn't deal with
     the ventilation during this time period.  There's a lot of
     heat and mass can be moved through that system and your
     results certainly in temperature and humidity and estimates
     of seepage, it would be radically affected by ventilation,
     so we haven't reviewed in detail models that would include
     ventilation, so that is something that needs to be done that
     could be a source of comment beyond the comment we are
     already making that ventilation needs to be dealt with in
     these analyses.
               That is kind of in a nutshell where we are.  If
     you have anything more specific --
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Have the opinions of the NRC
     reviewers and Staff changed at all in the last few months,
     years regarding the impact of thermal effects on flow, given
     all of the debate and discussion of the cold versus hot
               MR. POHLE:  Conceptually -- from our point of view
     we didn't enter into the debate whether it should be hot or
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.
               MR. POHLE:  But to some extent I would think a
     cooler repository simplifies the problem.  We always had
     probably -- perhaps we had a differing view that it was our
     perspective that there was always potential for a large
     amount of water influx in a very hot repository, that this
     assumption that it was just going to dry out and this water
     was going to go somewhere, we didn't necessarily buy it.
               That is probably less of a concern with the lower
     temperatures, although there could be some increased amount
     of seepage, whether that would pass through any threshold
     that would matter to performance or not is primarily a waste
     package and corrosion issue.
               We are trying to feed into that issue in terms of
     are the temperatures and humidities predicted within this
     range they assume in the corrosion models, and is that
     technically supported and defensible.
               MR. STABLEIN:  Thanks, Jeff.  Latif Hamdan,
     representing the USFIC KTI.
               MR. HAMDAN:  Latif Hamdan, NRC staff.  Speaking of
     flavor, I would like to offer two very transparent examples
     in answer to Ray's earlier questions as to how things change
     that may result in reopening otherwise closed issues.
               In our KTI, we include the issue of shallow
     infiltration based on an infiltration rate of 7.7
     millimeters per year in the VA, and after the VA, and my
     understanding that in the UZ unsaturated zone PMR, that we
     received recently this infiltration rate was changed to 4.7
     millimeters per year.
               So when something like this has come, we need to
     follow up with DOE and see if we have to reopen otherwise
     closed issues.
               Another example, very transparent and direct, is
     in the VA, DOE took the position that they are not going to
     take credit for dilution due to -- so we closed that item.
               Now, in the saturated zone BMR and the other BMRs,
     DOE decided to take credit for dilution due to -- which is
     fine, except that we need to review what they did and make
     sure that it's okay, and so this issue may have to be
               So this is the kind of examples, Ray, that go
     directly to your question.  It's not like design.  It's very
     direct and very transparent.
               Now, in the USFIC, we have, as -- handout shows,
     we have open items in deep percolation, in the saturated
     zone flow, and in methods diffusion.
               Let me just go in the same order that -- put them.
     In deep percolation, and after the technical exchange with
     the Center in April, the issues that are -- we are concerned
     about in deep percolation go to the percolation above -- how
     much seepage goes into drift, and how much -- what goes into
     drift, and also --
               So, how much water seeps into drift and how much
     of that water actually contacts the waste packages, and also
     there are issues, and we have on that, some questions about
     some of the -- but more importantly about the model that DOE
     is using.
               And on that regard, it seems that there is
     basically -- we are very close to closure on the high range
     of the -- how much of infiltration is in contact with waste
     packages, something like 50 or 60 percent.
               But on the lower values, it seems DOE has a
     threshold where below which there is no seepage would occur
     and no water, and it seems that -- technical staff and our
     staff are -- had agreement with DOE in that.
               Below the repository, we have questions about
     basically two issues, the zeolitic and vitric distribution
     to the extent that affix the attenuation of contaminants in
     the unsaturated zone.
               And there's also another issue that keeps coming
     back, and that's the pairs water zone and how it will impact
     flow from the repository from the drift to the water table.
               So, these issues are on the table, and these are
     items that are to be closed.
               On the saturated zone flow, really this is a
     fairly -- we feel there are many weaknesses of the nine
     items in the saturated zone in the IRSR.  We have seven or
     now eight because of dilution due to -- that are still open.
               So this -- most of the items or the majority of
     the items in the -- are still open, and the reason for that
     -- I mean, to give you a flavor of that, we have concerns
     about the alternative conceptual models for the saturated
     zone flow.
               And it's not that only NRC is concerned about
     that.  I was in an audit in June of the saturated zone PMR,
     and even the contractor staff for DOE are recognizing that
     there are alternative conceptual models for saturated zone
     flow, and alternative conceptual models for delineating the
     potential -- heads in the saturated zone, but they stop
     short of identifying any alternative models, and, of course,
     if you don't find any, you don't analyze any.
               Just on the positive side, in the TSPA, they do
     look at alternatives that go and touch upon some of the
     concerns that we have in the USFIC KTI.  But at the KTI
     level, at the saturated zone level, there seems to be no
     identification or any alternative conceptual models, and, of
     course, therefore, there is no analysis.
               On the actual modeling of the saturated zone, we
     have a concern that they have a site scale model and a
     regional scale model, and the calibration of the site scale
     model is dependent, in part, on the regional model.
               Now, the regional model has -- is virtually
     obsolete, because they -- illustration in '97, '98, where
     basically indicated that the regional model is not
     acceptable, so much so that DOE contracted with the USGS to
     redo the regional model.
               And now the saturated zone model has been updated
     or advanced some, but still using the old regional model for
     calibration, among other things.  So we are concerned about
     that, that the site scale model should either not use the
     old regional model at all to the calibration, or wait until
     the new model comes in May of next year, and then calibrate
     the site model according to that.
               Another weakness in the saturated zone that we see
     is that these models, the site scale model and the regional
     model, have been reviewed by outside reviewers, including
     the technical peer review that DOE asked to review.  And
     they reviewed every word, and they gave comments on these
     models, and many of them are -- comments.
               You have the comments by the Nuclear Waste
     Technical Review Board, and there are comments also by NRC,
               And when you look at the saturated zone BMR that
     came out just last month, this aspect of the models are not
     handled very well because essentially either in the PRM they
     have this appendix that addresses all these comments by
     outside reviewers.
               The problem is that if you go to the appendix and
     look at them, either the comments they made there are
     non-responsive at all to these comments by the outside
     reviewers, or in our discussions with the contractors, they
     said their budget and instructions from DOE that we are not
     going to address many of these concerns that were raised in
     these comments.
               Then one perhaps last item on the unsaturated zone
     that keeps coming up, it's more of a concept, and that's the
     geothermal intrusion, you know, in the repository, and this
     is an issue that I'm not going to dwell on because you know
     about it from Mr. Szmanski and what have you.  It keeps
     coming back.
               The failed -- diffusion issue, basically, it
     addresses more the -- diffusion, the diffusion of -- but it
     is also, of course, the alluvium because now the alluvium is
     a major involvement for attenuating radionuclides, and
     there, basically at least for the alluvium, we need the
     data, and DOE is going to get the data from proposed -- and
     -- as for the -- , the basic question, as far as I can tell
     from our reading on our side is that basically the
     assumption that diffusion goes from the fractures to the
     metrics and not the other way around, is something that we
     need to follow up with DOE.
               So, basically, this is the flavor.
               MR. STABLEIN:  Thank you, Latif.  John Bradberry,
     do you want to bring us up on radionuclide transport?
     John's the KTI lead for this one.
               MR. BRADBERRY:  I am John Bradberry.  For
     radionuclide transport, we're divided into four subissues.
               With regard to porous rock the thought was in
     terms of developing acceptance criteria the Staff had to
     come up with a best guess as to what types of conceptual
     models would be used by DOE and it was concluded that we
     guess that the constant KD approach would be used.
     Consequently, the parameters needed for that would be KDs,
     porosities and bulk densities.
               We were prescriptive in saying that we thought
     batch sorption experiments along with flow through column
     tests would be adequate, and also along these lines,
     however, we identified the assumptions that are required for
     appropriate application of this conceptual model including
     linear sorption, isotherm, fast sorption reactions and
     constant bulk chemistry of the groundwater.
               Furthermore, the parts of the flow path that are
     considered to be applicable would have to be homogeneous.
     These models have been developed by chemical engineers using
     modeling flow through porous media, and so this would be the
     situation that would be appropriate when these models, when
     this model is applied.
               However, if material is fractured, fractures
     actually can act as features that bypass the sorptive
     capabilities and isolation capabilities of the solid, so
     with regard to fractured rock our main acceptance criteria
     had to do with DOE's capability to demonstrate its -- let me
     say this again -- capability to predict a breakthrough of
     both nonreactive and reactive transfers.
               The seawell complex is the only transport
     experiment done in the saturated zone presently, so we
     consider it is a very important set of experiments, the
     experiments in the Prow Pass, in the Bullfrog.
               These experiments are done on the scale of 30
     meters, however the size of the blocks used in the modeling,
     the TPA modeling, are 500 meters on a side.  It is unclear
     to us how one gets from one scale -- from the smallscale to
     the largescale, and this is definitely open, an open issue.
     We are trying to figure this one out.
               With regard to the alluvium, the model, the TPA
     code assumes a sandbox type situation and tests in the
     alluvium are currently going on and it remains to be seen
     whether that is an appropriate simplification of the
               With regard to criticality, that is closed
     pending, and the acceptance criteria that were dealing with
     that had to do with the probability -- were divided into the
     probability and the consequences.  The thought was
     criticalities near the repository were more probable that
     they most likely have lower consequences and the reverse
     might be the case farther out, closer to the biosphere,
     where probabilities drop off, but the consequences would
     increase if such an occurrence happened.  That's it.
               MR. STABLEIN:  Thank you, John.  Go ahead.
               MR. LEVENSON:  One quick question.  On the issue
     of criticality, what is the -- in your current thinking the
     relative probability of the criticality being a plutonium
     concern as opposed to an enriched uranium concern?
               MR. BRADBERRY:  I don't think I can go into detail
     on that right now.
               MR. STABLEIN:  We have Meraj here --
               MR. BRADBERRY:  Because I am the transport guy.
               MR. RAHIMI:  Meraj Rahim, NRC Staff.  I have the
     lead on criticality.
               Right now, actually we just finished putting out
     the safety evaluation report on a topical report that the
     DOE had submitted on the postclosure criticality on what
     they had proposed, an approach, a methodology how to analyze
     the in-package near-field and far-field criticality.
               Among other things they are going to look at the
     concept of Bowman-Veneri, what they propose in the far-field
     criticality or ex-package criticality, and right now the
     status of it is that DOE has developed an approach to
     identify the scenarios and configuration, what possible
     scenarios and configuration you could have that you could
     have critical conditions.
               With regard to external criticality they are going
     to look at their radionuclide transport and the possible
     reconcentration of fissile isotopes and they are going to
     look at the dissolution rate of plutonium and uranium
     exiting the waste package and the different mechanisms of
     reconcentration in the drift and further out in the
     unsaturated zone.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Is it more likely to be plutonium
     or enriched uranium though?
               MR. RAHIMI:  Well, for the uranium, you know,
     dissolution rate is higher.  It is probably going to be
     uranium.  The plutonium is going to be -- it has a lower
     dissolution rate and again the concept or theory that the
     Bowman-Veneri had presented, that concentration of the
     plutonium, what they were talking about, more of the weapons
     grade plutonium which are going to be disposed of in the
     high level waste glass logs migrating outside of the waste
     package and being reconcentrated and being reflected by 100
     percent silicon dioxide in the tuff, so that theory has been
     rejected due to various reasons, but DOE has as part of
     their approach to analyze criticality they are going to look
     at all the possible mechanisms of the fissile isotope
               MR. BRADBERRY:  I have a pet scenario that I like.
     It has to do with, probably has to do with plutonium, has to
     do with the generation of colloids, colloids transported
     through the Topapah Spring, the fractures at Topapah Spring,
     down to the porous media, the Calico Hills, at which point
     they stop and they are filtered out and the process
     continues until a critical mass is accumulated and the
     question is could that happen, but it is one scenario that I
     like to keep on thinking about
               MR. LESLIE:  Just to complete the criticality,
     Meraj was talking about -- this is Bret Leslie of the NRC
     Staff -- he leads the effort in the CLS team.  He was really
     looking at in-package, but I lead, I have a subissue on
     criticality as well, and to put it in risk perspective the
     DOE has indicated that criticality in postclosure would be
     screened out, so less than 10 to the minus 8th probability,
     so that is the bottom line, I think.
               MR. STABLEIN:  Thank you, John.  We could finish
     up with a brief statement on the performance assessment.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  That would be great.
               MR. STABLEIN:  Okay.  Would you like to hear more
     on CLST as well?
               Jim, go ahead and talk about performance
     assessment.  We will get to Gustavo right after that.
               MR. FIRTH:  Okay.  James Firth, NRC Staff.
               I want to give you the highlights in terms of
     generally where we are for performance assessment subissues
     and here there's a couple things that get wrapped up into
     that in terms of that we will rely on a lot of what is going
     on in the specific process KTIs so as the information is
     available in the models that are being developed.
               That feeds into our model abstraction subissue.
     So various things remain open in areas such as container
     life and source term, the near field, igneous activity and
     so forth.  We still will have model abstractions still open
     and there is also the integration component and some of the
     things that are more specific to how DOE does the TSPA
               Currently we do not have a performance assessment
     that reflects the current design that we have seen the
     results and have had a chance to analyze.  We are evaluating
     the abstraction model reports that talk about the model
     abstractions, so we are continuing our review for the
     current design, but we are awaiting the TSPA model document
     and technical document.  With those, we will have more
     information for evaluating how DOE is doing multiple
               On the overall performance objective for multiple
     barriers we did have some questions relating to what we saw
     on how DOE is deciding to degrade their barriers in terms of
     using 5th and 95th percentiles for parameter values or sets
     of parameter values to reflect the degraded performance of a
     barrier.  We may be hoping to see some additional
     documentation in terms of DOE's basis for that, but this is
     DOE's first opportunity in the TSPA SR to show us some of
     these analyses and we will be using those to continue to
     move forward on resolving the issue, but the things we are
     seeing in multiple barriers are generally very favorable so
     we are hoping that things will be continuing to move
               For scenario analysis as all of the process KTIs
     are evaluating their subissues they are identifying whether
     there are concerns or not with how DOE has evaluated the
     features, events and processes, and the screening of those
     features, events and processes in their area.
               In general, we have identified that there are some
     features, events and processes that have not been included
     in the initial round of AMRs and PMRs.  There are some
     issues related to the basis that DOE is using to screen out
     particular features, events and processes and I think that
     is a natural evolution.  It is iterative in terms of whether
     initial try is going to be enough for establishing the
     technical basis for probability or consequences for
     screening something out.
               We are looking for additional information from DOE
     on why they believe their initial list of features, events
     and processes is comprehensive.  This is something we are
     expecting to see in the TSPA model report when that comes
               The overall performance objective, again this is
     something that is a methodology issue along with multiple
     barriers to a large extent and there we are hoping to see
     things on how DOE is addressing it in their TSPA reports,
     and they are coming in later this year.
               One aspect of multiple barriers that I did not
     touch on earlier is the subset, which is transparency and
     traceability.  What we have been seeing in terms of DOE's
     model that has been developed using the GOLDSIM code is that
     there is some positive attributes for that code for showing
     how the data gets carried forward through the analysis, so
     we are interested in looking at that further to see how that
     would change what we might want to see in other documents
     that would reflect transparency and traceability, so the
     initial indications are that that is going to go a good way
     for improving the transparency and traceability of DOE's
     documentation of their TSPA.
               We are excited about seeing how well that is
     working and to take a look at it in a little bit more
               If you have any further questions on TSPA, I can
     answer them or David Esh, who has been pulling together the
     current version of the issue resolution status report may be
     able to answer them.
               DR. WYMER:  I have a comment or question.  I am
     not sure which it is.  It has to do with model abstraction.
     The committee has always expressed considerable interest in
     the model abstraction process and in particular how well it
     carries over to the coupled processes which are sometimes
     extremely complex.
               Can you comment a little bit on that?
               MR. FIRTH:  One of the areas that we are looking
     at is the -- in terms of the way we are evaluating the model
     abstraction is integrated subissues, and those are designed
     to capture the coupling and allow us to focus on the issues
     that are most important within the coupling, so it is
     embedded with how we are evaluating model abstraction, that
     there is the part within the specific process KTIs but we
     also do a look, which is the integration piece, where we do
     look outside of just the KTI to is there integration within
     the integrated subissue and then from the integrated
     subissues to the other parts of the model, so it is
     something we are looking at.
               DR. WYMER:  That's beyond the KTIs.  It's
     something --
               MR. FIRTH:  Yes, it's something that falls under
     the umbrella of model abstraction and total system
     performance assessment.
               DR. WYMER:  Thanks.
               MR. FIRTH:  And it is also within some of the KTIs
     as well.
               I don't want to give the impression that the KTIs
     are not looking at coupled processes.
               DR. WYMER:  But it is not constantly recognized in
     the KTIs?
               MR. FIRTH:  Some of the coupled processes cross
     KTIs, so the TSPA role is to help facilitate how the KTIs
     look at those and in terms of answering the question for the
     integrated pieces of the model that we want to come to some
     decision on that, and that will rely on what is coming out
     of the KTIs as well.
               DR. WYMER:  Thanks.
               MR. FIRTH:  And I also want to take this
     opportunity to add onto my answer to the question Dr.
     Garrick asked earlier regarding the external reviewer
     comments and how that is being reflected in resolving the
               I wanted to make sure the committee was aware that
     when we resolve the issues we are primarily looking at what
     DOE's models, data and total performance assessment are
     doing so we can reflect the external reviewer comments in
     our TSPA, which will give us risk insights, but we will also
     gain risk insights from evaluating DOE's TSPA and all of
     their other analyses, so the emphasis in terms of resolving
     issues is on what DOE is providing.
               We can use what the external reviewers give us to
     inform our own decisions, but it is still up to DOE and our
     analysis of DOE's to close issues.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Isn't it almost by definition
     that the performance assessment KTI will be the last one
               MR. FIRTH:  For model abstraction it will be.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.
               MR. FIRTH:  The overall performance objective and
     multiple barriers are a lot more in terms of methodology so
     the methodology issues can be closed before we get to
     reviewing the license application.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Right.
               MR. STABLEIN:  Thank you, Jim. Gustavo, do you
     want to finish up on CLST?
               I will try to summarize for you and give you a
     flavor of Issue 1 in CLST KTI, because it's one of the ones
     that remains open, and I will try to in some way summarize
     what we provide as an input for the IRSR Issue 3 that we
     gave it to the NRC about a month ago.
               For us, this issue is still open because there are
     models, data, and analysis provided by the DOE that we
     consider not acceptable for several reasons:
               For instance, we think that the -- data -- for the
     case of evaluating the susceptibility of Alloy 22 to
     localized corrosion and to microbial corrosion, that this
     really form of localized corrosion -- mediated by the
     metabolic activity of bacteria.
               I mean that we, in our work, called -- with this
     problem in a common basis with - -- but we need additional
     data an quantification from the DOE, from the work at
     Lawrence Livermore.
               Another important issue is the additional data and
     analysis in this case required for the long-term corrosion
     rates of Alloy 22 regarding the range of values and
               Here we have a very important point -- the
     methodologies that they are using for evaluating corrosion
     rate, and we believe that they have what you can call a
     systematic error in the measurements, that they are not able
     to handle pretty well.
               This is an issue, but separate from this issue is
     the very long-term prediction of corrosion rate.  That is an
     important -- in corrosion -- .
               And nobody has deal with that at the time we are
     dealing now.  We are trying to make it separate for doing
     some fundamental work in this area, but in order to resolve
     the issue, DOE has to come with a clear response, trying to
     bound the type of value that they get in these short-term
     measurements, because we have to recognize that in the last
     five years, they have had a significant effort in terms of
     increasing the modeling capability for waste package
     degradation and increasing the capability to obtain data in
     the laboratory.  There are many questions that are open.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Do you have any sense of what
     kind of short-term experiments or analysis would be
     convincing for long-term performance?
               MR. CRAGNOLINO:  Well, you know, this is the issue
     of performance confirmation into the picture.  That is an
     issue that has been brewing in some way and the discussion
     was partially this morning.  I think that we have to make a
     very close connection in between the result of ongoing test,
     what is going to be the performance confirmation.
               And I -- but my concern when I talking about
     performance confirmation is somebody has to start thinking
     about -- or monitor the -- for times that are far more
     longer than the ones that are used in the chemical
     industrial and many other applications, and this takes time.
               But I leave this aside.  Susceptibility to stress
     corrosion from cracking, this has been an issue that was
     brought by the DOE for -- Lawrence Livermore National
     Laboratory, and has not been clarified.
               We found that the -- they were using for these
     tests was not acceptable, and they have to improve the
     technique, and they have to get very sensitive methods to
     measure slow crack growth rate.
               And they are moving in the right direction.  They
     secured other laboratories to do additional testing.  But
     stress corrosion cracking is probably one of the most
     difficult problems to tackle in corrosion from the
     experimental point of view and from the mechanistic point of
               There are models, mechanistic models that have
     been in the literature for many years, but there is not
     clear consensus.  What is different for localized corrosion
     or -- corrosion that are clear, well defined models, just a
     matter of using the right value in your experimental
     measurement, and you can input in this type of model.
               But it's not the case for a stress corrosion
               The DOE has covered -- has done a significant
     effort for the first time because they -- from their own
     experimental work, to include in their -- in the waste
     package degradation code, a stress corrosion cracking as a
               What they used is two approaches:  One, empirical,
     that we proposed several years ago as a way to get rid with
     this problem with indetermination in the mechanistic model.
               And the other one, there is basically a model that
     was done by General Electric or by people at General
     Electric, not by General Electric, was developed in order to
     -- of cracking in boiling water reactors.
               The model is very successful, but there is no data
     equivalent to the data that was acquired through many
     failures involving reactors for the present application.
     Now, this is a problem.
               It's a model that even though it appeared to be
     mechanistic in nature, is essentially based in an important
     database to -- the data and therefore -- data.  But we don't
     have a repository yet.
               We are trying to deal with this issue of modeling,
     but, again, this is an important thing, and I think that
     this is an important contribution that we can do in order to
     improve the -- TPA code.
               Finally, one issue that has been floating around
     and we'd like to see more action from the part of the DOE is
     in terms of the issue of welding and fabrication of
               I think that they should move ahead in terms of
     the -- and doing specific testing, because the fabrication
     of these large containers is not easy, especially for the
     final closure well.  And this can have a significant impact,
     not only localized corrosion but in the stress corrosion
               They have an approach.  We have reviewed their PMR
     and approximately -- AMR plus -- information in order to
     produce the information that I summarized for you, but I
     think there is a long way to go, and I think that this is
     something that has importance in terms of the uncertainty
     regarding initial failures.
               Issue 2 is the reason that that -- is not
     completely closed.  It's closed, pending issuing
               This is a -- that gives you a flavor of the
     current status, and if you have any additional questions,
     you can ask them.
               DR. WYMER:  Is DOE doing, in your judgment, enough
     fundamental to enable you to have -- in the results that
     they're going to present you in a little while?
               MR. CRAGNOLINO:  You know, the problem is really
     the uncertainty, in particular.  I have to make a very clear
     point here:
               Alloy 22 is probably one of the best choices in
     terms of alloy for container material in this application
     due to the uncertainty of the repository and the unsaturated
     -- this put all this together.
               Now, if -- to localized corrosion could be
     extremely resistant to microbial corrosion, even though
     there are sensitivity data at Lawrence Livermore that we
     don't have yet, a complete conclusion.
               But if it is resistant to this mode of failure,
     and you can -- stress corrosion cracking by reducing --
     stress, is -- we are dealing now with calculation of --
     beyond the performance periods.
               It goes beyond the 10,000 years.  These are
     calculations on the basis of relatively short-term results.
     Could we predict if corrosion -- or, by the way, in any
     other discipline, there are not the geoscientists -- time
     beyond 100 years or less than that?  No.
               Total -- have been said now.  We have good reason
     to believe, by -- analysis, by comparing for other material
     that we have analogs, that these are valid conceptions, the
     material metal can resist many thousands of years.
               But this particular alloys that are complex
     alloys, could have a problem of what is called selective
     dissolution or preferential dissolution of one alloy and
     element in respect to the other in a very slow pace, but
     change the internal composition of the alloy in localized
     areas or in the interfaces and so on.
               And this is a subject of interest in corrosion
     science, but it's not in a complete secure answer at the
     present time, and we are trying to model this, as many other
     people are.
               In particular -- this has nothing to do with this
     meeting, but my manager is attending the Gordon's
     Conference, and really chairing a panel discussing precisely
     this issue, long-term prediction of corrosion rate for
     materials of this nature and in repository applications, in
     which people from the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board
     like -- are involved.
               It's a tough issue.  Nobody has a complete answer,
     but we look forward to provide information.
               DR. WYMER:  Thank you.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Okay, we have once again
     confirmed Parkinson's law, King, and had the discussion
     expand to fill the available time.
               MR. REAMER:  Bill Reamer from the NRC Staff.  If I
     could just say one final thing:  We're in the closing
     stretch, and I understand that, but this has given the
     Committee to get a glimpse of the KTIs, particularly at the
     technical level to see where the Staff and the DOE have
     technical issues.
               And I want to take the opportunity to reiterate
     the point that King made.  KTI closure, issue resolution, is
     an expectation or a goal that the Staff has for the license
     application, for license application which is in what we've
     heard that is in the 2002 context.
               The focus of the Department of Energy right now,
     and certainly a focus of our efforts as well is site
     recommendation, a nearer-term milestone, a 2001 milestone.
     The Staff's role with respect to site recommendation is
     narrower, more limited than it is in a license application
               It is to, as the law says, to provide preliminary
     comments with respect to a subset of what we've talked about
     today, at-depth characterization and waste form proposal.
               And so our expectations, I think we should be
     clear on that -- are not to state them in the negative.
     We're not saying that key technical issues need to be closed
     or need to be resolved before site recommendation, rather,
     in a positive sense, our focus, our first priority for site
     recommendation is that subset that's identified in the law
     that we should focus on, and specifically the DOE progress
     in that area, at-depth site characterization and analysis,
     waste form proposal, preliminary comments with respect to
     DOE progress in that area.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Thanks for that clarification,
     Bill.  I think we have a lunchtime special meeting, so I
     think we should move on.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes, I think so.  And we want
     to thank you for having an excellent support staff here.
     This is something that I think the Committee is very
     appreciative of getting this update, and we look forward to
     progress reports down the road.
               And I think at least for now, we'll adjourn this
     meeting and move into our other meeting.
               [Whereupon, at 12:23 p.m., the meeting was
     recessed for luncheon, to be reconvened this same day at
     2:30 p.m.].                           AFTERNOON SESSION
                                                      [2:30 p.m.]
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Come to order.  We are pleased
     to have Marty Virgilio here to give us an update on the
     activities of the Division of Waste Management and the
     Office of Nuclear Materials Safety and Safeguards.
               A lot of things are happening, I understand, so we
     would like to hear about them.
               MR. VIRGILIO:  Good.  Let me just go ahead and
     start right into the presentation then, John.  It is a
     pleasure to be here with you all today.
               What I want to do is structure my remarks today
     around your ACNW action plan and priority list.  We agree
     with the areas you have identified and we believe they are
     important and timely and we believe that your planned
     activities in conjunction with ours will contribute
     significantly to the overall agency efforts and our goals in
     the waste and materials area.
               Basically you know what your priorities are, but
     for those members of the audience that might not have had
     the benefit of reviewing that this slide here lays out what
     you have identified as your priorities in both the first
     tier and the second tier.
               What I want to do in this presentation is not
     repeat to you what your priorities are, because clearly you
     know what they are, but help you understand from our
     perspective where we see your interactions being most
     beneficial to us -- where do we think we can engage in a way
     that would be most helpful to us and support us in our
               The first tier priority was site suitability and
     license application associated with the repository for Yucca
     Mountain, and I have listed there bullets on the slide of
     some areas where I think that we can have productive
     interactions that would contribute to our success.
               On the sufficiency comments on the DOE site
     recommendation, we have completed development of a strategy
     that we are going to use to do the site suitability review
     and we are developing guidance to implement that strategy.
     We have given that strategy to the Commission and we are
     awaiting some feedback now on how best to proceed.
               Our milestone is to complete the guidance for
     implementing that strategy in the September timeframe.
               DOE's current schedule appears to be to issue the
     site recommendation consideration report for our review and
     comment in the December timeframe.  We are thinking that
     about six months would be the time period it would take us
     to complete our comments on that and we would therefore
     submit our comments sometime in the June timeframe, and I
     will speak more specifically in each of these areas to where
     and how I think we could interact the best through that
     six-month time period.
               On preclosure, we have met with DOE.  We are
     continuing to meet with DOE on design process issues and
     continuing to work aggressively on completing the preclosure
     portions of the Yucca Mountain Review Plan.
               On DOE's siting guidance, Part 963, we prepared an
     analysis of the proposed final draft in June and provided
     that to the Commission.  The Commission has that under
     review today and the KTIs, you've been meeting with our
     Staff throughout this week discussing the KTIs and we will
     have a series of meetings between now and November.  We
     intend to achieve closure for KTIs during that time period.
               Container life and source term, unsaturated and
     saturated flow, igneous activity, and seismic and structural
     deformation are the four that we will be focusing on.
               As far as how we propose to interact with you, and
     where we think this would be most effective, we are looking
     at the wintertime.  I think I said earlier that DOE's
     proposal now is to submit their site suitability report in
     the December timeframe, so we see in the late winter, mostly
     in the early spring, opportunities for us to interact and to
     have meetings on sufficiency comments.  We would look
     forward to your review and comments in that area.
               In addition, and maybe even going back further a
     step, looking at having the Yucca Mountain Review Plan and
     our proposal, our strategy for conducting the review of the
     site suitability completed sometime in the September-October
     timeframe, what we would like to do is interact with you on
     that strategy to make sure that we are all in agreement that
     that is the right approach for site sufficiency, which is
     different than what we are going to have to do in terms of
     our review of the license application.
               There has been a lot of concern from the
     stakeholders that we are not acknowledging that difference,
     so I think it is important to make sure that we agree on the
     strategy and the approach before we start into do the site
     sufficiency review and so I see that coming sometime in the
     October or November timeframe, getting an agreement with you
     all on that approach, and then actually conducting our
     review starting in December when we get the site sufficiency
     report and continuing through the spring, so that's our
     plans there.
               As far as the Part 63, it will require or does
     require DOE to perform a risk assessment for preclosure.  We
     would be interacting with you particularly on that in the
     preclosure area, and of course we will continue to interact
     with you on the resolution and closure of the KTIs.
               Our goal, what we would like to have, is as many
     resolved as we can as early as we can.  Bill Kane has set --
     put the gauntlet down before the Staff to say I would like
     these closed before the license application is submitted.
               I think Bill would like to see them closed before
     we got to site sufficiency review.  We see a tremendous
     advantage in having the KTIs closed early.  We are putting a
     lot more management attention and focus on KTI closure, and
     that is where we are headed in the near term, but Bill's
     direction to the Staff is before the application is
     submitted we want all the KTIs resolved, so that is just to
     kind of give you some insight there.
               On risk informing and our regulatory framework, we
     have had a number of interactions with the stakeholders.
     Right now our focus is to finalize screening criteria that
     we developed and presented to you back in May and develop an
     approach for safety goals for the NMSS scope activities.
               We had a stakeholder meeting back in the April
     timeframe.  From that stakeholder meeting I think we got
     good feedback on how to approach safety goal development.
     Stakeholders suggested and we adopted an approach where we
     are going to do some case studies.  The case studies will do
     a number of things for us.  They will help us inform the
     criteria we developed for what is it you want to risk
     inform, and I think that will give us some insights as to
     how to go about developing safety goals in the materials
               If we can through these case studies, I think we
     will have draft safety goals in a number of areas.
               We will have a meeting in September.  We are
     trying to set that up for the second or third week in
     September to roll out the approach that we are going to use,
     to roll out these case studies, to give you a sense of what
     areas that we are going to be focusing on for conducting the
     case studies and to give you a sense of how we would go
     about doing the case studies.
               We would invite you to participate in that
     meeting.  That will be not only your only opportunity to
     help share where we are going in terms of safety goals.  I
     suspect over the next several years as we proceed to safety
     goal development in this area we will have many interactions
     with you on this topic.
               Again the plan will be published and the meeting
     will be held in September and I think we will have lots of
     opportunity for interaction.
               On the ongoing activities we briefed you on a
     couple of these back in May, particularly on the dry cask
     PRA.  You have had briefings from Research staff on that.
     They are going to be doing the PRA of the Holtec
     International High Storm 100 System.  We believe that the
     draft project scope and schedules have been established at
     this point in time, and screening and preliminary
     consequence analysis should be completed in about a year,
     maybe 18 months from now, so we are working through that
     process, but I do believe in the stakeholders' belief at
     this point in time that there is a lot of advantage into
     doing this PRA.  They see it to help shaping our guidance
     documents, to help shaping our reviews, to identify areas
     where we may have large uncertainties, identify areas where
     we have large conservatisms to help us focus down and focus
     our review efforts.
               On the byproduct risk review study, right now --
     and the Commission paper that provided that study to the
     Commission recognized that we didn't do a very good job on
     uncertainty analysis, and that is an area where we are
     focusing on today to help upgrade the quality of that study
     by looking at the uncertainty analysis and the quality of
     the data that was used in that study.
               What we want to do is utilize that study today in
     going back and looking at some of our materials licensees.
     As you know, we have various categories and classes of
     materials licensees.  Some are general licensees.  Some are
     specific licensees.  That drives a lot of what we do in
     terms of license renewals, frequencies of reviews,
     frequencies of inspection activities, and we want to try to
     use that study, actually focus on how to improve that study
     and then use that study to shape our licensing and
     inspection program in the materials world to make it more
               The other issue I would mention is the ISAs for
     Part 70.  The Commission affirmed Part 70, the rule, on
     Tuesday, and gave us an SRM directing us to move forward.  I
     would like to continue to have dialogues with you on that
               Backing up to continue interaction, we are going
     to have public meetings the week of September 18th that we
     would like you to participate in on finalizing the screening
     criteria and the safety goal development.  We will also be
     developing a training program.  We will have the first of
     our pilot training program for the NMSS and Region staff
     starting the week of September 11th.
               We have developed, as I told you back in May, we
     developed a three-tier approach to training.  The first tier
     is the management level, second tier being the general Staff
     here in Headquarters and Regional staff, and then the third
     tier being our specialized experts that are using risk
     assessment and risk management techniques in the materials
     and waste arena, so that is the week of September 11th.  It
     will be a four-day pilot and we invite either you or the
     Staff to participate in those participate in those pilots on
     training to give us some critical feedback as to whether we
     are hitting the right topics.
               I know when we met with you back in the May
     timeframe -- actually it wasn't you all, it was the
     subcommittee -- you gave us some very good feedback on what
     we ought to have included in that training program,
     specifically with regard to the framework and some of the
     issues that why are we trying to risk inform our activities,
     sort of the "why" as well as the "how" -- and I believe we
     have incorporated some of these ideas and thoughts into the
     program activity and I hope that you can participate or that
     the Staff can participate and give us some feedback in that
               DR. LARKINS:  Marty, a quick question.  The
     specialist -- is this sort of going to be like the RAs in
     the reactor side?
               MR. VIRGILIO:  Yes.
               DR. LARKINS:  Risk Analysts?
               MR. VIRGILIO:  Yes, that is sort of what we are
     thinking about, and not necessarily consolidate it in
               That is one level of specialists, but I also see
     that there is problem more specialized training for people
     that will be using the risk assessment and risk management
     techniques in a very focused area, for example in Part 70
     for the ISAs.  I imagine we would want to have somebody
     there that really has the capability to do and to analyze an
     ISA properly, which is a lot more than I see as the base
     training that we would give to all the Staff in NMSS and the
               Let's see if I have covered everything on that
     slide.  I think that's pretty much it.
               On the next area, on decommissioning issues, we
     have got decommissioning guidance.  We have had feedback on
     the License Termination Plan, and decommissioning plan
               We have developed an SRP for License Termination
     Plan reviews, and we issued that back in May.  We have an
     SRP for decommissioning plan reviews, and we expect to issue
     that document later this summer.
               The Staff is currently getting feedback from use
     of the LTP reviews, the License Termination Reviews, and
     assessing whether we have got it right, assessing the
     effectiveness of that document, and we will be soliciting
     feedback from licensees and stakeholders on the
     decommissioning process in a workshop that we are planning
     to have in the November timeframe.
               In terms of future actions, we will be evaluating
     guidance, decommissioning guidance as part of what we are
     going to be doing in 2001 and 2002.
               We are going to look at how we can risk-inform in
     performance and make those guidance documents more
     performance-based.  So it's sort of a two-pronged approach
     in 01 and 02 time periods.
               And with respect to institutional controls and
     long-term stewardship, we realize that there are a number of
     sites that we have today that may require long-term
     stewardship, including institutional controls, once we
     terminate the license.
               We've started some dialogue with DOE over this,
     and we may wind up going back and utilizing provisions of
     the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, specifically Section 151(b)
     that would provide for DOE oversight and long-term
     stewardship of these sites, if DOE agrees.
               So we've started some dialogue with DOE, we're
     looking to possibly re-institute some work we had started in
     the 1997-1998 timeframe to have an MOU established with DOE
     in this area.
               And in West Valley decommissioning criteria, we're
     evaluating public comments that we received on the
     decommissioning criteria.  We'll be providing a paper to the
     Commission on this, and interacting with the Commission on
     closure of this issue.
               Back to where and how we believe that we can
     interact most effectively on the decommissioning SRP, we'll
     be involving and interacting with you to do updates and
     revisions to make it more risk-informed and
               I understand that tomorrow the staff is actually
     going to be presenting to you, and overview of the
     decommissioning program, so here's an opportunity for us to
     start interacting now.
               And we really do welcome your input.  On West
     Valley, the staff is still awaiting some Commission guidance
     on how to sequence our review, and completion of that
     effort.  In that guidance, we would hope that we get some
     further instruction of how best to interact with you over
     those issues.
               DR. LARKINS:  That's a question that I think the
     Committee is deliberating on, as to how they could provide
     some value in the area of the West Valley.  Hopefully there
     will be some specificity in terms of particulars that the
     ACNW would look at.
               I know there are some discussions going on right
               MR. VIRGILIO:  There are some ongoing discussions.
     You know, there are issues like incidental waste that I
     think are going to be significant issues that we're going to
     have to deal with, and I think that's going to be an area
     where we could use some interaction.
               DR. LARKINS:  It would be good if there were some
     specifics, because, you know, it's a rather large program,
     and I don't think we want to try to bite off more than we
     can chew.
               MR. VIRGILIO:  Okay.
               MR. LARSON:  Both of the last two on that
     viewgraph are tentatively now on the October schedule.
               MR. VIRGILIO:  Good.
               MR. LARSON:  There is some question as to the
     breadth of the institutional control, and as John says, what
     Committee should really look at West Valley, because they
     have only heard little bits here and there.
               MR. VIRGILIO:  Okay, we'll try to be as specific
     as we can in terms of requesting support.
               MR. LARSON:  It's such a complex issue that it
     isn't easy to sort out what is appropriate for us to worry
     about and what we shouldn't bother with.
               MR. VIRGILIO:  Maybe there are areas that we can
     then focus your attention on, to say we could really use
     your insights and assistance in these particular areas, if
     the scope is, from your perspective, large, and, I sense, a
     little daunting, as it is to us.  Okay, good.
               On Part 71, we've got rulemaking underway to
     incorporate international ST-1 guidance, and other issues
     directed by the Commission.
               Did I jump ahead one?  Oh, good.  Risk-informing,
     okay, good, I'm sorry.  Risk-informing the economic review
               Revision 0 went forward to the Commission, and
     they asked us to make it more risk-informed and
     performance-based.  I think they had a lot of concern that
     it was not, and we stepped back and looked at it critically
     and said, yes, we could do quite a bit more in this area.
               So we're currently working on Revision 1, based on
     the feedback that we received from the Commission.  We
     intend to transmit a revised version of that Yucca Mountain
     Review Plan to the Commission in the early September
               Consistent with the direction that we got from the
     Commission, we have been interacting with you as we have
     developed that risk-informed document.  We really do
     appreciate the comments and feedback we've gotten already
     from your staff and individual members.
               We just continue to foresee additional
     interactions as we move forward, but we're on a fairly tight
     schedule.  We want to get it completed and get it out into
     the public domain.
               I appreciate what you've done so far, and look
     forward to continued interaction in this area.
               DR. LARKINS:  Mary, we are going to have a public
     workshop on that on September 21st?
               MR. LARSON:  19th.
               DR. LARKINS:  I assume that we have plenty of
     staff to support that.  It will be in Las Vegas.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  A public workshop on YMRP?
               DR. LARKINS:  Yes, that's the first one that the
     Rev 1 will be publicly available.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Oh, right.
               DR. LARKINS:  Yes.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  When John says we, I think of the
               DR. LARKINS:  Right, so actually the ACNW will be
     the first to provide the forum for the Agency's disclosure
     of the Yucca Mountain Review Plan.
               MR. VIRGILIO:  And I know that you have been
     interacting with the Staff, but I see this as the Staff
     actually taking what we've gotten in terms of insights from
     the performance assessment, and bringing it back into the
     review plan in a way that will guide a reviewer, focus a
     reviewer, not only on what's important, but also to give a
     sense of where you want to go in terms of scope and depth of
     review.  Where do you want to focus your attention?
               We've only got a certain amount of resources
     available to us, and shouldn't we be doing this on a
     risk-informed basis?  So I'm pleased with the way that has
     developed, and look forward to continued improvements in the
               Going ahead now to Part 71, we are revising Part
     71, consistent with the Commission directions to incorporate
     the IAEA ST-1 standard and additional items that the
     Commission has asked us to look at.  We published an issues
     paper on the 17th of July, and plan to hold three public
     meetings to solicit comments in August in Rockville, in
     September in Atlanta, and September in Oakland, California,
     as well.
               We're on a schedule to get a proposed rule to the
     Commission in the March timeframe, March 1 timeframe.  We
     also have a package performance study that we're working on.
               The purpose is to investigate the performance of
     spent nuclear fuel transportation casks during severe
     accident conditions.  We've held two public workshops so
     far, and two public meetings, and we intend to hold
     additional public meetings in the August timeframe, and
     workshops in August and September as well.
               Regarding the package performance study, the ACNW
     and Staff members are invited to participate in the public
     meetings and workshops that we're going to be having in
     August and September.
               We really do look forward to interactions with you
     on how we can improve our risk communications in this area.
     You've spoken to us before on this matter, and particularly
     on how we best communicate risk in this area.  I think we
     would like to continue that dialogue and understand from
     you, insights and how best to do this.  I think it's a
     significant issue that you can help us on.
               Your next item in the priority scheme was on
     research, and I really have no comments there.  I know
     you're interacting with Research.
               Second-Tier Priority Issue 2 is low-level
     radioactive waste in the Agreement State Programs.  We're
     working on mixed waste in two ways:
               We've got two separate rulemaking efforts
     underway.  Rulemaking 1, if you will, is allowing disposal
     of low-hazard mixed waste in a Part 61 facility.  And on
     that, we've got public comment period that ended in February
     of this past year, and this is an EPA-led initiative, and
     they're currently resolving the public comments that they
     have in that area, and they expect to issue a final rule
     sometime in the Spring of 01.
               We've had no major comments on that rulemaking.
     On Rulemaking 2, this is the rulemaking that would allow for
     disposal of low-level activity mixed waste in Subtitle C
     RCRA facilities.
               It requires that NRC develop a rule to allow for
     such a proposal, and we provided comments earlier this year.
     The outstanding issue between us and EPA continues to be
     dose issues, and, you know, surrounding 15 millirem, 25
     millirem groundwater issues, some of the same issues that we
     deal with with EPA on license termination for reactors, as
     well as Yucca Mountain.
               Another issue that we're working on is with the
     National Academy of Sciences.  NRC is going to be providing
     support to the Academy on a civilian low-level waste
     disposal study.  I think it's called Challenges and
     Opportunities Ahead, and we'll be working with them on that
               The last item, the NUREG on performance
     assessment, we've got a Commission paper under development
     that will provide the NUREG, and that's currently under
     management review.
               In terms of opportunities to interact with the
     ACNW, we see opportunities on that NUREG on the performance
     assessment.  We understand that comments are coming, that
     you're developing comments based on presentations you've
     received, and we would look forward to those comments.
               On the NAS study, we also see some potential
     opportunities for informational briefings and interactions
     on that issue as well.
               On the rulemakings that we're working with EPA on
     low-level waste disposal, we also see opportunities for
     interaction, if you want to engage on that issue, and we
     would be scheduling meetings with you, if you would like to
     discuss those actions with us.
               DR. LARKINS:  What's the timeframe for that
               MR. VIRGILIO:  EPA expects to issue the final
     first rule in the Spring of 01, and with regard to the
     second rulemaking, John, I'd have to get back with you on
     that, on the timing for that.
               On the second-tier Priority Issue 3 on risk
     harmonization, I have already spoken on what we're doing in
     terms of developing safety goals for the NMSS activities,
     and there are lots of opportunities, I think, to interact
     with you there.
               I see this as a significant project, and we're
     going to be looking for a lot of your input on this
     activity, in particular, so it's a big issue for us in terms
     of risk-informing our programs, and I see the Subcommittee
     that you've established as a great opportunity, a great
     sounding board for us to get some good feedback and
     direction on how to proceed in this area.
               Those are my prepared remarks, and I'm ready to
     answer questions that you have on this or other issues that
     you've got underway.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Good.  By the way this is very
     helpful and very timely.  We usually don't get this until
     the week before our planning session for establishing
     priorities, and this gives us an opportunity to really
     evaluate what you have identified as ways in which we could
     provide useful advice to NMSS.  So we appreciate this.
               Can you elaborate a little bit on what you're
     actually doing in the arena of developing safety goals, and,
     in particular, as you know, in the Subcommittee meetings
     we've had considerable discussion about it's quite possible
     that the best strategy for safety goals for nuclear
     materials is to do it by category of activity.
               Is that the direction you see that you're going?
               MR. VIRGILIO:  Yes, and we'll roll this out in the
     September meeting, but I can give you a sense of what we
     heard from the stakeholders and what we've done in response
     to what we heard.
               They proposed that we look at it in categories as
     well.  And so what we've done is, we've lined up a half a
     dozen or so case studies, looking at decisions that we have
     made to try to, from those decisions, particularly where the
     rules -- cases where we did not just make a decision based
     on the rules say do it this way, therefore, we're going to
     do it this way, trying to find decisions that we made as an
     agency in an area where the rules weren't quite clear, and
     from that, see if we can derive what -- some of the thinking
     behind the decisions were and how that might influence us in
     terms of safety goals.
               So we've looked at it by categories.  For example,
     we're looking at it across the materials arena.  If think
     we've got -- we've got seven programs that we're dealing
     with within NMSS, you know, high-level waste, low-level
     waste, decommissioning, our fuel cycle activities, our
     materials and waste activities, our transportation
               If you look at it from that perspective, we kind
     of condense down into a smaller set of areas, looking for
     commonalities, but, you know, trying to look at, for
     example, our materials area, medical and industrial area as
     one area where we made decisions.  On what basis did we make
     those decisions?  We're using those case studies to kind of
     pick apart, peel back the decisions and look at what were
     some of the considerations?  What did we look at in terms of
     risk to the public?
               What did we look at in terms of risk to the
     worker?  What did we consider acceptable risks in those
               How did we come to those conclusions?  And we are
     using those case studies to hopefully step back and say,
     now, based on that, what could be possible safety goals in
     these areas?  And that's what we want to lay out to you and
     to the other stakeholders in the September meeting, as to
     how we would propose to approach this.
               MR. LARSON:  Is this is a one or two-day thing?
               MR. VIRGILIO:  Well, we want to do it in basically
     a half a day.  Basically it's not to do anything other than
     to lay out the plans.
               As we go forward and actually conduct the studies,
     we would have individual meetings.  My vision would be for
     individual meetings in each of the study areas where we
     would not only roll out what we've done, but use the
     meetings as opportunities to get input from the stakeholders
     as well.
               MR. LARSON:  Because that's the week that the
     Committee will be out at Yucca Mountain.
               MR. VIRGILIO:  I think you're not going to miss a
     lot in terms of the documentation is there.  It's basically
     what we heard at the stakeholder meeting that we had, this
     is what we've done with it, this is how we propose to
               And we're going to have additional meetings as we
     move forward in each of the areas where we're going to be
     trying to formulate safety goals.  From maybe five or six
     different goals, if you will, what we'll do is then step
     back and say is there some overarching goal that we can
     develop for the waste arena?
               Is there an overarching goal that we can develop
     for the materials arena, and how do we harmonize that with
     what we've already done on the reactor side?
               I think it's a step-wise process that we'll go
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.
               MR. VIRGILIO:  I see it as challenging.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  I guess one of the avenues of
     harmonization could be through the underlying principles
     that you adopt.
               MR. VIRGILIO:  Yes, and whether we ever get to
     quantitative goals remains to be seen.  It may be about
     principles in the end.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes, right.
               DR. LARKINS:  As you know, the problem with the
     QHOs for the Agency safety goal is that it's set at such a
     level that when you try to apply it, it's difficult.
               MR. VIRGILIO:  You're always looking for
               DR. LARKINS:  You're looking for surrogates, yes.
               MR. VIRGILIO:  And what are the right surrogates,
     and how do they relate back to those goals?   And that's the
               I will also mention now, take an opportunity for a
     commercial message here; we're working on the risk-informed
     regulation implementation plan.  We used to every six
     months, brief the Commission, provide the Commission with a
     paper and a briefing on what we're doing in risk-informed
               It was sort of a compilation of our ongoing
     activities.  And we got a lot of criticism from our
     stakeholders that it was just a listing or a summary of the
     activities and there was no relationship established; there
     was no overarching strategy to say how do these things fit
     together?  How do they build back up to some goal or some
     overarching strategy for the Agency on how it's going to
     risk-inform its programs?
               And so we've taken that criticism to heart.  We're
     in the process of revising the risk-informed regulation
     implementation plan to include an overarching summary of how
     does -- starting from the Agency's mission, looking at the
     strategic goals and performance goals, looking at the safety
     goals that we already have, establish looking at our
     strategies and our strategic plan and these activities, what
     are the linkages?  What are we trying to do?
               How are we trying to move the Agency forward in
     some controlled manner to become more risk-informed?  That's
     a challenge that we're going to be working on between now
     and the October timeframe.  So that I think that at some
     point in time, we ought to come back and brief you and the
     ACRS on that activity as well.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.  Well, as you know, the
     Subcommittee was quite pleased to see the work that you're
     doing with respect to the dry cask probabilistic risk
     assessment, and also the risk assessment that you've already
     performed on byproduct material.
               And I assume from that other categories are also
     probably going to be addressed in a similar manner.  This
     follows quite nicely from questions that we raised earlier
     about it would be very important for the inside expertise of
     NMSS to draw on their experience and their expertise to
     assess the risk of materials and wastes as a kind of a
     starting point for getting effective and efficient advice
     from us on what you do beyond that.
               MR. VIRGILIO:  Good.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  So I take it that you will do
     more of these kinds of analyses?
               MR. VIRGILIO:  Yes.  I think, if I look at the
     byproduct study that's been done so far, I think there's a
     lot more we can do with that.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Right.
               MR. VIRGILIO:  I think there is a lot of
     refinement that we can do, but I want to do it in a
     controlled way, decide how we want do -- what we want to do
     first, for example, looking at our materials program and the
     frequency at which we conduct inspections.
               How do we need to, if we need to at all, improve
     that report in order to inform our decisionmaking in that
     area?  So, what I don't want to do is create shiny books on
     people's shelves, go back and do studies that are not going
     to be used.
               What I want to do is try to decide what is the
     decision that we're going to have to make in making our
     programs more risk-informed, making them more efficient,
     making them more effective, and then look at how we can use
     risk insights to inform those decisions, and then initiate
     the studies or improve on the studies that we have today in
     order to support that decisionmaking.
               So that's the kind of thought process that we're
     going through today.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Right.
               MR. VIRGILIO:  And we would develop more of those
     studies in order to do that, or refine the studies we
     already have.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.  Comments?
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Marty, we've been -- as John
     said, I think this is very helpful.  We've been talking,
     obviously, about a mix of things, some ACNW, some Joint
     Subcommittee.  I'm just curious about what kind of process
     do you go through as to deciding which issue should go to
     the ACNW and which should go to the Joint Subcommittee?
               MR. VIRGILIO:  Dialogue through your staff is the
     way we have done it so far.  If you want to do it in another
     way that is okay with me.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  No, it was just a naive question.
               MR. VIRGILIO:  It's a matter of just dialogues
     with John and the Staff --
               DR. LARKINS:  George loves the subcommittee.
               MR. VIRGILIO:  What we have done, I guess, is
     looked at -- well, we worked with the Commission on this in
     one regard.  Think back to SECY 99-100, you know, the
     framework paper.  What we said was that we were going to
     work with the subcommittee on those issues, so that has been
     sort of a guiding principle and our interactions with John
     and the Staff as to what are the activities we were going to
     just really focus on with the subcommittee, so things that
     have come out of the SECY 99-100, in particular some of the
     things that we are talking about in terms of the safety
     goals and the screening criteria, we have been -- I have
     been thinking anyway that these are issues for the
     subcommittee to focus on, but if you want to do it a
     different way, however it works best for you I think.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  The other question I have, I even
     hesitate to raise it because you have done such a nice job
     here, in mapping between our priorities and how you see us
     interfacing, but do you have any issues that aren't on our
     list that you would like to see on our list?
               MR. VIRGILIO:  We are working on providing
     comments on the charter right now and we have got a lot of
     internal discussion about those issues.
               MR. TURTIL:  The MOU.
               MR. VIRGILIO:  I'm sorry, the MOU, not the
     charter, on the MOU, and there's -- I struggle with a
     recognition that you have only got a certain limited,
     there's a finite set of resources you have and there are
     priorities for us and you here and there's a temptation to
     add a number of other things onto that list, but I struggle
     with doing that because I don't want to dilute your efforts,
     particularly now as the activities with respect to the
     repository are increasing dramatically.
               The amount of time that Bill Kane and I are
     engaged is going up.  The amount of time that you are
     engaged is going up.  The Commission's engagement is going
     up -- so it is tempting but I am hesitating -- but we will
     give you feedback.  I will give you an answer to that in the
     context of looking at the MOU.
               DR. LARKINS:  This is the draft MOU that we
     prepared, I think presented a couple months back, which
     talks about how we interface with the NRC Staff.  It also
     talks a little bit -- well, I don't know if it does or not,
     about the separation between ACRS and ACNW but basically it
     defines the protocol for our interactions between the NRC
     Staff and the ACRS, ACNW.
               MR. VIRGILIO:  As part of the -- is it the second
     section or third section of it, it provides a summary list
     of all the areas where you are engaged and gives you some
     sense of priority and -- yes.
               DR. LARKINS:  Now as I recall the response that
     came back from the EDO on our tier one and tier two, there
     were a few things that were added there that we didn't have
     on it initially and we are going to provide some response,
     but certainly like you said we are going to be limited in
     the number of things that we can undertake this year.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Ray?  Questions?
               DR. WYMER:  No.  I thought it was good.
               MR. VIRGILIO:  Thanks.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  It was excellent.
               MR. VIRGILIO:  Thank you.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  And we appreciate it much.
               MR. VIRGILIO:  We appreciate the opportunity.
               DR. LARKINS:  One comment -- the Part 71
     rulemaking I guess we need to think about whether we want to
     schedule that sometime in the spring or late winter this
               MR. VIRGILIO:  The issues paper is out for public
     comment.  We have got the meeting scheduled, hopefully, that
     you or the Staff can participate in a couple of the
               DR. LARKINS:  Right, and I guess if we can move
     forward in looking at this ISA methodology at some point
     that could probably come to the committee, since that is
     being used as a method of risk-informing several of the
     regulations, so at some point I think all the committee
     members should be exposed to that.  We are working on it.
               MR. VIRGILIO:  Okay.  Thank you very much.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Thank you.
               All right, I think this brings the recorded part
     of our meeting to a close.
               [Whereupon, at 3:12 p.m., the hearing was
     recessed, to reconvene at 8:30 a.m., Thursday, July 27,

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