121st Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste (ACNW) Meeting, September 19, 2000

                       UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
                          121ST ACNW MEETING

                            PUBLIC MEETING
                              Ballroom B
                              Crowne Plaza Hotel
                              Las Vegas, Nevada

                              Tuesday, September 19, 2000
               The Commission met in open session, pursuant to
     notice, at 9:05 a.m., B. John Garrick, Chairman, presiding.

     DR. B. JOHN GARRICK, Chairman, ACNW
     DR. RAYMOND G. WYMER, Vice Chairman, ACNW
     DR. JOHN T. LARKINS, Executive Director, ACRS/ACNW
     MR. HOWARD LARSON, Acting Associated Director, ACRS/ACNW
     DR. JOHN TRAPP, NMSS.                         P R O C E E D I N G S
                                                      [9:05 a.m.]
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Good morning.  The meeting will
     now come to order.
               This is the first day of 121st Meeting of the
     Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste.  My name is John
     Garrick, Chairman of the ACNW.  Other members of the
     Committee include George Hornberger, Ray Wymer, and Milt
               Today, the Committee will discuss activities
     regarding planning and future agenda items, and we have, as
     a matter of fact, already done that.
               We will hold a special session, Key Technical
     Issues.  Bill Reamer of NMSS will discuss the considerations
     involved with KTI closure.
               We will discuss saturated and unsaturated flow
     under isothermal conditions.  Neil Coleman, NMSS, will
     discuss the partial closer of this KTI, namely that having
     to with unsaturated zone flow.
               We're going to discuss igneous activity, Dr. John
     Trapp, NMSS, will discuss the considerations associated with
     closure of this particular KTI.
               This afternoon, we're going to hear public
     comments from stakeholders and members of the public, and
     interested parties between 1:00 and 4:30 p.m., and we're
     going to discuss potential technical committee issues for
     the Calendar Year 2001.
               Lynn Deering is the Designated Federal Official
     for today's initial session.  This meeting, as usual, is
     being conducted in accordance with the provisions of the
     Federal Advisory Committee Act.
               We have received one request from Dr. Jacob
     Powers, who has indicated a desire to make a few remarks.  I
     assume that's going to take place during the afternoon
     session, unless I'm advised otherwise.
               In connection with people who will be speaking, it
     is requested that each speaker use one of the microphones,
     identify himself or herself, and speak clearly and with a
     volume that we can all hear.
               Also, I should note that there were some
     last-minute changes in our agenda, due to activities of the
     Commission, and these changes were made, however, learned
     that the revised Federal Register Notice on the meeting did
     not get out until, as a matter of fact, today.  So we
     apologize for that inconvenience, especially to those of you
     who were expecting to see an agenda item on the Yucca
     Mountain Review Plan.
               That was out of our control, and pretty much out
     of the staff's control.
               Before proceeding, I'd like to note a few items.
     Jim Lyons, who is supposed to be sitting on my right here,
     we welcome him as the Associate Director for Technical
     Support, ACRS/ACNW, at this meeting.
               We did discuss his activities and experience and
     curriculum vitae at our July meeting, and we welcome him.  I
     understand he had some personal matters he had to take care
     today, but he will be here for the rest of the meeting.
               The Committee also welcomes Judith Goodwin to the
     Technical Staff as secretary.  She reported on August 28th.
     Judith was with the High-Level Waste Branch, so,
     fortunately, is familiar with a lot of the business that we
     engage in.
               Janet Schleuter who is Commissioner McGaffigan's
     Technical Assistant, is on a rotational assignment to
     High-Level Waste for a couple of months, serving as the
     Acting Branch Chief.
               An item of interest is that the Utah regulators,
     subject to some public comment, have approved license
     amendments to the EnviroCare license to allow construction
     of a new disposal cell for Class-A, low-level radioactive
               TLG Services, a company leader in the
     decommissioning services business, has been purchased by
     Entergy Nuclear.  Entergy Nuclear is a nuclear power plant
     generating company.
               Some of us have been interested in following the
     Maine Yankee activity.  Maine Yankee has indicated that it
     intends to remove all fuel from the spent storage pool by
     April 2001, by unloading it to NAC Universal Multipurpose
     Systems Spent Fuel Storage and Transportation Cask System.
               I think that's all the opening remarks, unless
     there are some comments from members or staff or something
     that I missed.
               [No response.]
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Hoping that there have been
     none, I think we will proceed with the agenda.  The first
     issue is going to be key technical issue closure business,
     and Bill Reamer is going to cover that.
               MR. REAMER:  Thank you, Dr. Garrick.  And we have
     actually three presentations today, as you enumerated.
               The three presentations today all give some kind
     of introductory description of issue resolution, the
     process, what the staff is trying to achieve, the issue
     resolution, what does it mean; then we'll have two of the
     technical presentations on saturated zone and igneous
     activity to follow, where we will really show what we've
     done to implement issue resolution in those two areas.
               So, what I'll be talking about today are the
     givens that drive -- some of the givens that drive issue
               I'll be talking about the context of issue
     resolution, which is prelicensing consultation.  Issue
     resolution, as we're talking about it today, is a
     prelicensing concept.
               I'll define, as best I can, issue resolution, and
     will be interested in any questions that you have to kind of
     assure that we have shared understanding of what it is that
     we mean when we say issue resolution.
               I'll talk about the constraints on issue
     resolution which are very important as well, and the revisit
     the distinction between prelicensing and the licensing
     context, and hopefully driving home some of the points that
     I want to make on issue resolution.
               I talked about the drivers of issue resolution,
     and I just want to mention several items here:
               One is the statutory requirement that the
     Commission complete its license application review in three
     years.  That assumes, of course, that there is a license
               There are many steps in this project that need to
     be completed before there can be a license application.
               The Department of Energy needs to complete the
     scientific studies at the site, and needs to prepare a site
               That site recommendation needs to be approved by
     the President.  It needs to be approved by the Congress.
     This is not a project that is a foregone conclusion; there
     are many steps that still need to be taken.
               But assuming that there is a license application,
     one of the requirements in the statute is that the
     Commission must complete its review and issue a decision on
     whether or not to authorize construction within three years.
               This puts the onus on the DOE to submit to the
     Commission, a high-quality license application.  By a
     high-quality license application, what I'm talking about is
     a license application that addresses all of the issues in
     some way.
               That puts the onus on the Department to identify
     the issues early on, and to address them.  The three-year
     timeframe that we work under, once the license application
     is filed, really doesn't permit very much time to be
     addressing questions.
               The premium is on the early identification of
     issues, and it's DOE's responsibility to do that.
               What do we mean when we talk about issues?  We're
     talking really very broadly here:  Questions, comments,
     concerns.  They can come from the staff, they can come from
     the state, they can come from the Department of Energy,
     technical people.
               They are broadly defined; they relate to the data,
     the models, the codes that the Department proposes to rely
     on in its argument in favor of the project.  As I said, the
     Department's responsibility is to address all of these
     issues in some manner.
               For the NRC staff's part, we, too, are
     implementing a policy of early identification of issues.
     The Nuclear Waste Policy Act directs the Commission to
     monitor and comment on the Department of Energy's site
     characterization activities.
               The staff takes that to mean that we should be
     raising our questions now, not holding them.  These, I would
     emphasize, are questions at the staff level.
               We're not speaking for the Commission, we're not
     speaking for the Licensing Board, if there is a license
     application.  We're not speaking for other aspects of the
               The other point, of course, in prelicensing
     consultation is that the staff has focused its review
     activities on nine key technical issues.  These are issues
     that we have identified as what we think are most important
     to performance.
               We have done that identification based on our
     iterative performance assessment activities, the insights
     we've gained from that.  And this is, in prelicensing, our
     focus for issue resolution, the key technical issues.
               What is issue resolution?  To me, issue resolution
     is an agreement by the Department of Energy that it will
     address all of the questions, comments, and concerns, that
     the staff raises at the staff level, before there is any
     license application, and it will include that information in
     the license application if there is a license application.
               So that puts the onus on the Department of Energy
     to provide to us, sufficient information so that the staff
     can review the application and write a safety evaluation
               It puts the onus on the Department to provide a
     complete record that we can review and reach a decision on
     at the staff level.
               Now, I say that issue resolution is achieved when
     there is an agreement between the staff and the NRC, but
     what I mean here is that there is an understanding on the
     Department of Energy's part about our comments, and there is
     an agreement on their part to respond, to provide the
     information that the staff says is needed, that they have
     heard our comment, that they have heard our question, and
     that they have agreed to accept it and identify it.
               Issues are, from the staff's standpoint,
     considered closed when we have no further comments or
     questions at a particular point in time about how the
     Department of Energy is addressing something.
               How is issue resolution achieved?  In a very
     general process description, we're using our TPA insights to
     risk-inform our approach to issue resolution.  We, the
     staff, are focusing on those areas that we have identified
     as areas of potential concern.
               We're also identifying, at the staff level, what
     additional information DOE needs to provide to address those
     concerns, and I think the two following presentations on
     unsaturated zone and igneous activity will really give you
     concrete examples of how issue resolution in certain areas
     has been achieved.
               We have working definitions for issue resolution.
     I haven't included them on the slide, because it looks like
     the words are written by a lawyer.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  You wouldn't want to do that.
               MR. REAMER:  In any event, I'll just give them to
     you orally:  Issues that fit within the closed category,
     we're saying that issues can be closed if the DOE approach
     and available information acceptably address the staff
     questions such that no information beyond what is currently
     available will likely be required for regulatory
     decisionmaking at the time of initial license application.
               In other words, we're saying that the data that's
     been presented is sufficient for us to conduct a review.
     Issues are considered closed-pending, if the NRC staff has
     confidence that the DOE proposed approach, together with the
     DOE agreement to provide the NRC additional information
     through specific testing or analyses, acceptably addresses
     the staff's questions such that no information beyond that
     provided or agreed to will likely be required at the time of
     initial license application.
               The key difference between a closed issue and a
     closed-pending issue is that closed-pending issues are
     relying on an agreement by the Department of Energy to
     provide certain information in the future before there is
     any license application.
               And the third category issues -- Yes?
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Just a clarification:  Is it that
     they agree to provide the information before or at the time
               MR. REAMER:  Well, at the time of, but as a
     practical matter, that means it's going to have to be done
     before the license application is submitted.  It's
     information, typically, that will require potentially
     additional data-gathering or additional analysis of
     information that exists, or additional justification of some
     aspect of the argument.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  I think also, Bill, that it's
     important to comment, maybe with respect to closed issues
     and the issue of uncertainty.
               You're not saying that the elimination of
     uncertainty is a requirement for closure, but you may be
     saying that good knowledge of the uncertainties is a part of
     that process.
               MR. REAMER:  Yes, what we're looking for is the
     DOE story, and the evidence that supports that story.  And
     the threshold for issue resolution is not that all questions
     have been resolved such that there is no uncertainty that
     remains; it's understanding the way in which the DOE has
     used the uncertainty in their argument.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Right.
               MR. REAMER:  And, finally, issues that are open,
     are open if the NRC has identified questions regarding the
     Department of Energy approach, and the DOE has not yet
     acceptably addressed the questions or agreed to provide the
     necessary additional information in the license application.
               DR. LARKINS:  Bill, could that potentially affect
     the acceptability of a license application, if there are
     several open issues?
               MR. REAMER:  Absolutely.  A license application
     with a major hole may not be docket-able.  As you may be
     aware, there is an initial review that the staff does to any
     license application that it receives, which is to assure
     that the license application is complete.
               And it must meet that acceptance review in order
     to be docketed and reviewed.  If a license application has a
     major hole, there's always the possibility, the risk, that
     it's not going to be a docket-able license application.
               MR. LEVENSON:  Bill, also, the term, closed, here,
     applies just pre-license application.  Is that correct, that
     these things will all get thoroughly reviewed?
               MR. REAMER:  Issue resolution is a pre-closure
     concept; that's right.  It relates to the sufficiency of
     information to conduct a review.  It is not a merits
     determination on that issue, and that's a very important
     point, and I appreciate your raising that question.
               The constraints on issue resolution are also
     important points, and I try to remind people of this every
     time I have an opportunity.
               Issue resolution, the results of pre-licensing
     activities, are not binding, if there is a license
     application.  They're not binding on the staff, they are not
     binding on any potential party.
               They are not binding on the state; they're not
     binding on the Commission; they're not binding on the
     Licensing Board, if there is a Licensing Board hearing.
               Issue resolution is a prelicensing concept that's
     designed to assure that there is a complete license
     application, a complete record, that will provide the basis
     for the staff to do its review, and write a safety
     evaluation report.
               The other point is that issues that are closed can
     be reopened.  And I think that Neil in his presentation,
     Neil Coleman, may note in the unsaturated zone area, just
     such a circumstance.
               New information can always lead to the
     consideration of what impact does this new information have
     on that closed issue?  Is it significant, such that that
     issue should be reopened?
               And so in conclusion, as I have said, issue
     resolution relates to the left-hand side.  It is a
     prelicensing phase concept.
               Its focus is on assuring that there is sufficient
     information in any potential license application for the NRC
     to conduct a review.
               At the license application stage, the right-hand
     concept, compliance determinations will be made by the NRC.
     The DOE has the obligation, the burden of proof, really, at
     all stages in this project, but particularly in the license
     application stage, to demonstrate safety against the
     Commission's regulations.
               And it will be DOE's obligation at the time of a
     license application, if there is one, to demonstrate
     compliance with NRC regulations.
               And so the logical conclusion is, in the
     prelicensing phase, there are no safety conclusions against
     the Commission's regulation, and it would be inappropriate
     to attribute to issue resolution, any such conclusion or
     finding with respect to compliance with the Commission's
               Any other questions?
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  I failed to recognize my
     colleague here, George Hornberger, who was going to lead our
     discussion on these next few presentations.  George?
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Any questions, John?
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Any questions from the members?
               [No response.]
               MR. REAMER:  Any questions on just broader aspects
     of issue resolution that I haven't addressed?  What I've
     tried to talk about specifically, or is the meaning, the
     definitions, the meanings, the constraints, the boundaries,
     the limits?
               DR. HORNBERGER:  As Bill well knows, we have been
     quite interested in the issue resolution process, and I
     think this is a good introduction to make sure that
     everybody is on the same page with regard to the issues.
               I think that I, at least, am looking forward to
     the two specific discussions to follow, because my point is
     that I think that we're okay on the general nature of the
               What we need to do is better understand how this
     really works.
               I think one comment, though, worth making, is that
     this is an open -- it sounds like it's just between the
     Department and the NRC, but it's really an open process for
     public and other stakeholder participation.
               MR. REAMER:  Right, the technical exchanges that
     are frequently the point where we discuss issue resolution
     with the Department of Energy are all open meetings, and the
     documents the staff issues to document its progress in issue
     resolution, those are public documents as well.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  The only thing I would ask,
     though, is from your perspective, you've had some experience
     with this.  I know we're going to get at the detailed level,
     but from your perspective, has the issue resolution process
     so far accomplished what staff had hoped it would
               MR. REAMER:  Yes, but I wouldn't want to give the
     impression that we're done.  I think we have a lot more to
     do in the issue resolution area.
               Remember that there are essentially nine key
     technical issues that we are focused on.  We've held
     technical exchanges with the Department of Energy on three
     of those.  We're hopeful to be able to meet with the
     Department and the other -- the remaining key technical
     issues as well.
               So there's a good deal of work to be done, but
     what we've found is an understanding and a willingness on
     the part of the Department of Energy to hear what we're
     having to say, and to respond to those questions and
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Thank you.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Thanks very much, Bill.  We're
     going to -- even though the schedule says -- we're going to
     move on.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  We're going to move on.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  We're going to move on.  And so
     we're going to --
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  The speakers are here.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  We're going to hear about the
     unsaturated flow under isothermal conditions at KTI, and
     Neil Coleman is with us for that.
               MR. COLEMAN:  Hello everyone.  It's nice to be
     here today to talk to you about a meeting that we had a
     month ago in Berkeley, California.
               I know from your staff, Lynn Deering attended that
     meeting.  Also, David Diodato, with the TRB attended, and we
     had some very good technical discussions.
               This was the first of this group of meetings on
     issues resolution, and under our KTI, the unsaturated and
     saturated flow under isothermal conditions, we've divided it
     into two meetings, because it's really a lot of material to
               The first meeting covered the unsaturated zone
     issues and matrix diffusion, and also, to the extent we
     needed to go over it, the climate issues as well, shallow
     the infiltration.
               The saturated zone issues will be covered in a
     meeting that starts October 31st, and that is a definite
     date.  It will be a three-day meeting in Albuquerque.
               And my counterpart with the Center for Nuclear
     Waste Regulatory Analyses, Jim Winterly, is here today.  A
     number of folks from the Center were at this meeting as
     well, and a host of NRC management and staff.
               Briefly, again, the basis of these meetings is to
     review the basis to resolve open issues at the staff level,
     and for this meeting, those involving unsaturated zone flow
     at Yucca Mountain, and to look at paths forward, if you
     will, for any of the remaining issues under the unsaturated
               Bill went through this, so I won't go through it
     again, other than to stress that new information at any time
     could cause us to reopen an issue, whether it's closed or
               And as you will see, new information prompted us
     to reopen an issue that was resolved for several years, and
     that was the shallow infiltration subissue.
               Now, there are six subissues altogether under this
     KTI or Key Technical Issue.  And climate change, there are
     two issues related to climate change:
               There is one on just the general nature of what
     kinds of climate change could be expected over the next
     10,000 years and longer.  This is a principal factor in
     reviewing performance assessments.
               And one reason we did look at it again is because
     DOE changed their climate approach.  They no longer assume,
     as was done in the viability assessment, that a full pluvial
     climate will occur over the next 10,000 years.
               That was an extremely conservative assumption in
     the VA.  They now assume that a monsoonal climate, which is
     somewhat wetter and warmer than today, will begin as soon as
     600 years into the future, and last about 14000 years, and
     that a glacial transition, which would be transitioning to a
     pluvial climate, would occur in the following 8,000 years.
               The mean annual precipitation during the glacial
     transition is about 70 percent greater than in the present
     day.  DOE' assumptions about climate change are based on
     generalized paleoclimate trends, and are acceptable.
               The basis for this was published in a report by
     Forester et al, 1999.  The title of that is Climatic and
     Hydrologic History of Southern Nevada During the --
               So that subissue was closed, remains closed, even
     though there was a revised approach.
               The second subissue on hydrologic effects of
     climate change, there was no real change in the DOE
     approach, but because the climate change assumptions were
     altered, we looked at this.
               And we found that the same assumption made in VA
     was made in -- continues to be made now, and that is that a
     water table rise of about 120 meters would occur for the
     future climate scenarios of both the monsoonal and the
     glacial transition climate.
               And you'll find that documented in the unsaturated
     zone PMR on page 172, that that continues to be an
               This is a very conservative assumption that
     continues to be, because we know that the water table rise
     was probably nowhere near that much, and that was one of the
     discoveries of the Nye County Drilling Program under the
     leadership of the late Nick Stellavato, that one of the
     first bore holes they drilled, Nye County Number 1, which is
     drilled at a diatomite deposit known to have been flowing in
     the very latest Pleistocene, just before the Holocene, and
     confirmed that the water table depth there today --
               We know it was flowing somewhere around 12,000
     years ago, at the surface.  Today, the water table there is
     about 30 meters deep.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Neil, are these assumptions
     absolute or probabilistic?
               MR. COLEMAN:  It's not an assumption; it's a
     direct observation.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  So they are absolute.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  I don't think he means the
     flowing water.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  No.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  He means the 120-meter rise.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes, yes, rise in the water
     table, for example.
               MR. COLEMAN:  It's not treated probabilistically.
     As each of the future climate --
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  So it's an on/off thing?
     Either it's this or it's that?
               MR. COLEMAN:  At 600 years in the future, suddenly
     the water table is treated as being 120 meters higher, and
     it stays that way thereafter.  It's a very conservative
               So this subissue remains closed.  It was closed
     and it remains closed.  This is not closed-pending, this is

               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  This is called shoot yourself
     in the foot, but go ahead.
               MR. COLEMAN:  Then present-day shallow
     infiltration, which was previously closed, since the
     viability assessment, DOE has revised downward, the mean and
     the upper part of the range for shallow infiltration.
               In TSPA-VA, a total system performance assessment
     viability assessment, DOE used a value of about 8
     millimeters per year for the mean annual infiltration over
     the repository block.
               The distribution now used in the UZPMR ranges from
     about one to 12 millimeters per year, with a mean of about
     five millimeters per year.
               Now, the main reason for this change is further
     incorporating the effects of vegetation and performance
     assessment, which increases the transpiration, and also
     runoff effects and how much water is assumed to run off
     under different kinds of rainfall events.
               However, we can perhaps buy off on the mean, the
     lowered mean, but the upper end of the range, we feel should
     be about 50 percent higher, should account for the many
     uncertainties that exist in the system, some of which
     include the true range of soil thicknesses and textures over
     the Mountain, and the bedrock hydraulic properties which are
     only known to some extent.
               And then there are the effects of the plant
     distributions, because on different slopes, with different
     solar aspects, you actually get different types of local
     populations of plants.
               Uncertainties in the methods used to develop the
     shallow infiltration model -- oh, I do have a slide on this,
     too.  Sorry about that.
               I'm at this point down here, uncertainty in the
     methods used to develop the shall infiltration model.  And,
     by the way, you might correct on your slides, at the end of
     neutron probe, that semicolon should not be there.
               But some of the main tools that DOE has used to
     look at shallow infiltration include determining water
     counts and profiles using neutron probes; chloride mass
     balance method; and temperature profiles.
               Now, the main DOE action on this is that they've
     indicated they would like to respond further to the comments
     we made, and by October, provide an action plan on where to
     go from here.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  The 50-percent higher figure,
     this is present day?  Do you feel that perhaps it should be
     as high as 18 millimeters per year?
               MR. COLEMAN:  Around there, yes.  We couldn't come
     up with an exact number, of course.  It's a number that was
     more comparable to what was used in VA, and that certainly
     does a lot better job of accounting for the uncertainties
               DR. HORNBERGER:  The uncertainties, for example,
     in the chloride mass balances are uncertain to the extent
     that it could be 18 millimeters per year?
               MR. COLEMAN:  Well, some of it has to do with the
     distribution of where the bore holes were placed, that it
     doesn't really give you a true sampling of the site.  It's
     probably more that than anything else.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  But I guess what I'm -- you're
     doing this based on a technical assessment, and you look at
     it and say, well, okay, the chloride mass balances, because
     of the placement of bore holes, it looks to us as if 18
     millimeters per year is the -- would be reasonably
     consistent with the information available?
               MR. COLEMAN:  Well, not just chloride mass
     balance, but also from temperature profiles, yes; that there
     is certainly enough variability at the site, and over the
     whole range of different environments at the site, from the
     crest where you have very thin soil environment, and, in
     fact, bedrock exposure in places, quite a few places.  And
     then locations of the washes where a lot of the bore holes
     are concentrated where you have much thicker alluvium, and
     we suspect that infiltration is very much dominated by the
     thinner soil environments and including the Western Slope.
               When you're at the crest of Yucca Mountain, you're
     looking down the other side, there's a lot of bedrock
     exposure there, a location where you can have a lot of
     fairly rapid infiltration.
               You will notice that there are no bore holes in
     that side of the Mountain.  None of these measurements were
     taken on that side, because you physically couldn't get in
     there to do it.
               MR. WINTERLY:  Could I add to that point?  Jim
     Winterly, Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analysis.
               If I understand Dr. Hornberger's question --
               VOICE:  I'm sorry, is your mike on?
               MR. WINTERLY:  We're discussing the technical
     basis for our requesting a higher number of infiltration
     somewhere around 18 millimeters per year.
               The DOE has an analysis model report, AMR as we
     call them, on uncertainty in infiltration that considers all
     the parameter uncertainties and the uncertainties and what
     the climate states are, but the analysis was only done for a
     future climate.
               And the infiltration rates used in the PMR aren't
     really based on that AMR.  The results of that AMR sort of
     go into a different model abstraction for PA.
               But the result of that AMR shows a certain
     distribution of uncertainty for what the infiltration would
     be under future climate.  So we sort of extrapolate from
     that that if present-day climate uncertainty follows a
     similar distribution, that would move the upper bound up
     quite a bit from where they are currently saying it is.
               MR. COLEMAN:  I just wanted to mention, while
     we're still on this slide, that deep percolation, which
     we'll get into in a minute, that is closed-pending, that is
     present-day and future deep percolation.
               Ambient flow in the saturated zone un-dilution,
     that is one of the topics that will be covered at the
     October 31st meeting.
               At this meeting in Berkeley, we dealt with matrix
     diffusion, and it has two parts:  Matrix diffusion in the
     unsaturated zone, that is closed-pending, as we'll discuss;
     Matrix diffusion in the saturated zone, which is a quite
     different issue, remains open, and that will be addressed in
     the November meeting, as well.
               Now, the agreements that we came up with at this
     meeting, just reviewing Subissues 1 and 2, these are closed,
     no agreements were necessary.  Subissue 3, present-day
     shallow infiltration, which is now, again, an open issue.
               The DOE folks are planning to respond to our
     comments, provide an action plan for further work, and also,
     if needed, we will have a third meeting under this key
     technical issue, and that would be scheduled by March of
     next year.
               Now, it's also possible that if we have the
     information available that DOE wants to provide to us, this
     could be discussed as an item of old business, shall we say,
     at the October/November meeting, if there is time.
               And by the way, from our summary meeting minutes,
     the proposed DOE actions on shallow infiltration -- let's
     see if there is anything different here from what I
     mentioned --
               No, that's it.  The bottom line, again, on shallow
     infiltration is that it's open because we feel the new upper
     bound is simply too low, approximately 12 millimeters per
     year, does not encompass the uncertainties that we see at
     the site.
               DR. LARKINS:  Neil?
               MR. COLEMAN:  Yes.
               DR. LARKINS:  Do you go -- I assume that you're
     going to go back and re-factor these into your TPA analysis
     and see what results, how these impact the results of your
     TPA analysis?
               MR. COLEMAN:  Oh, yes.  I'm glad you mentioned
     that, because something that came up in our meeting -- and I
     suspect that it will come up in other meetings as well --
     the extremely robust waste package that DOE has proposed
     makes it very difficult to see the effects of varying
     assumptions in the natural system, the effects of the
     different components in the saturated zone, such as effects
     of valley fill, retardation in the valley fill, the role of
     the Calico Hills in slowing down or absorbing radionuclides.
               It has become much more difficult to see just
     truly what those effects are.
               Now, we talked with the DOE folks about this, and
     they are thinking about ways to make this more transparent.
     We really do need to see that more clearly, since in a
     number of cases, a path to resolution might be a sensitivity
     study, showing the true effects, NPA, of, say, assumptions
     about matrix diffusion.
               It was easier in VA to see what the effects were
     of changing matrix diffusion on the overall system.  We
     noticed that even significant changes in dripping scenarios,
     the numbers of waste packages that received dripping of
     water, did not have nearly as large an effect as seen
               You would expect that, given a very robust waste
     package, but there needs to be a treatment to make it more
     transparent, what these effects are.  Whether it -- where an
     analysis would not include all the robust components of the
     waste package, just so we can clearly see how the changes in
     the natural system play out.
               Agreements related to deep percolation,
     present-day and future deep percolation, in order to reach
     closed-pending on this subissue, we know that the importance
     of the ongoing and planned tests, really most of the
     remaining program of data collection that DOE has going on,
     is focused in some remaining work in the east-west drift, a
     fair bit of work in the cross-drift or east-west drift --
     what I meant was, in the ESF and in the cross-drift, and
     then the other work is concentrated to the south in the
     saturated zone, involved with the Nye County drilling
               But it is very important for the ongoing and
     planned tests to proceed and to be completed.  Two of the
     key examples here are the isolated part of the east-west
     drift, and perhaps its --
               This projector is not too good.  The isolated part
     of the east-west drift, you can see the beginning point
     where it comes off the north ramp, and then right about
     here, at Station 16+95 or 1695 meters into the tunnel, is
     the -- I'm sorry, 1763.  I'm reading the wrong one. -- this
     is the first hydrologic bulkhead.
               This then isolates the remaining part of the
     tunnel from the ventilation effects, which all of the tunnel
     from here back are highly ventilated for the safety of the
               And this test -- an additional bulkhead had been
     added back here.  There are two additional bulkheads at the
     end, and these are isolating the test zone from a number of
     things:  There's a transformer at the end, the tunnel boring
     machine is still here at the end of the drift; there's a
     transformer there that gives off a fair bit of heat.
               And at one time, in order to read the instruments
     that are in the tunnel, it was necessary to leave the lights
     on.  They were all connected together.  That's been
     corrected so it's not necessary to have the lights on.
               And this additional bulkhead then helps isolate
     the effects of the heat.  This transformer apparently gave
     off so much heat that it was detectable in the isolated part
     of the tunnel.
               The idea of this test is to bring this section of
     the tunnel as closely back to natural conditions as
               The reason for doing that is to see just what the
     moisture conditions are like in the wall rock, and help
     answer the key question, does dripping occur in the
     underground at Yucca Mountain under natural conditions,
     fully equilibrated conditions?
               This is a key finding to be made.  It does not
     depend on model assumptions, it does not depend on trying to
     understand output from a black box.  It's a true test of the
     performance of the Mountain.
               And one of the most recent additions to this part
     of the tunnel -- and it's mainly in the farther end -- is a
     series of cloths which are impregnated with a pH-sensitive
     reagent.  They are drip cloths which are designed to detect
     whether any dripping takes place today.
               So that while this tunnel is isolated, they will
     record, because if a drop falls on them, it produces a spot,
     a chemical reaction, and is preserved on the cloth, whether
     dripping is happening.
               I would say the main reason that we were able to
     agree with DOE that this is a closed-pending, is the
     commitment to run this test, and until equilibration is
     achieved.  That's very important that that happen.
               The other test I want to mention is here at the
     point where the east-west drift crosses over the main
     tunnel.  Now, an alcove has been constructed off the
     east-west drift called Alcove 8.
               Below it, off of the ESF, is a niche called Niche
     3, and what are planned are infiltration tests to percolate
     water down from the overlying tunnel to the underlying
               This will be done at a series of different rates,
     and approximately three weeks will be used for each of the
     tests.  There will also be a series of tracer tests to look
     at matrix diffusion phenomena in there.
               One of the agreements from DOE was to provide test
     plans for Alcove 8 and Niche 3, and, in fact, they had done
     that a few weeks ago.  We have reviewed it, and provided
     those comments -- in fact, I hand-carried the letter for
     that today to give to one of the DOE folks.
               Another commitment is for Alcove 8 and Niche 3 to
     try to get a better mass balance of the water use in the
     testing, and we talk about that in the comments that we
               And for all of the continuing tests in the
     underground at Yucca Mountain, for DOE to carefully monitor
     evaporation during these tests and to see what the effects
     are.  One of the things we understand is that a similar type
     of infiltration test was done involving Alcove 1.
               So where you first enter the Mountain at the north
     portal, if you look up on top of the ridge, you'll see kind
     of a disturbed area, and this is a place where water was
     ponded on the surface, directly above the first alcove known
     as Alcove 1, and a very considerable amount of water was
     percolated there.
               And it was noted -- the reason I bring this up --
     if the bulkhead door was opened during the process of the
     test, there is a dramatic decrease in the water that was
     entering the tunnel.
               Correct me if I'm wrong, Jim, but I think it was
     about 50 percent, roughly.  This is a dramatic effect,
     showing how very quickly the infiltration -- or, I should
     say, percolation in this case is affected by the dryout of
     the tunnel ventilation.
               And a couple of other agreements to enable us to
     get to closed-pending, to let -- well, to get DOE to
     closed-pending -- that they should include the effect of
     film flow in evaluating the seepage fraction and seepage
     flow in the underground, affecting waste packages, or
     justify that this is not needed, that there is no need to do
               In seepage studies, DOE should consider smaller
     scale irregularities in simulating collapse of a drift.
     Because what happens is, if a block of rock were to fall
     from the overhead, you will get considerably more
     irregularities, perhaps on smaller scale, which can enhance
               And we have a commitment to do just that, or show
     that it's not needed.
               And we are looking for additional documentation on
     the effectiveness of the Paint Brush Tuft non-welded unit to
     dampen episodic flow.
               This unit is above the repository, and a key part
     of this is reconciling the differences in the Chlorine-36
     studies that we all recently became aware of.
               It is very important for the DOE conceptual models
     of the site, and the resulting mathematical models, that
     they get to the bottom of these differences in Chlorine-36.
               I was at the TRB meeting where this first was
     presented.  And TRB, of course, is also quite concerned
     about this.
               The differences that were found between the
     Lawrence Livermore studies and the Los Alamos work, the
     longstanding Los Alamos work, are really quite large, and
     this must be resolved.
               And then finally, we need to see more of an
     analysis of the geochemical data that are used to constrain
     the flow field below the repository, involving the Calico
     Hills and the potential for a fraction of flow to bypass the
     vitric and zeolitic units there.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Now, before we leave this issue,
     I know that one of the comments that DOE had made was that
     in this issue, the NRC staff says the DOE drift scale
     process level seepage model has not been shown to be of
     reasonably conservative upper bounding values.  And it goes
     on then to the status and path of the resolution and says
     that therefore conservative assumptions are needed.
               DOE took exception to that, noting that there
     isn't anything in risk-informed regulations that would
     suggest that upper bound conservative estimates are
     required.  Have you made any progress on resolving this
               MR. COLEMAN:  Well, we're not saying, to make
     unreasonable -- bounding analyses, as long as they are
     reasonable, are okay.  That does not get away from
     performance-based, risk-informed.  This is a seepage issue.
               This is one of the number one factors identified
     by DOE and in our own performance assessments.  And it
     relates, in a way, the same question that you asked, that
     applies to shallow infiltration.
               And I don't think I mentioned under it -- and I'll
     mention the same thing about seepage -- we're not
     necessarily looking for, in the case of shallow
     infiltration, a lot of new data collection.  The easier way
     is to increase the upper bound and to account for the
     uncertainties in that way.
               If they choose, they could collect a lot of
     additional information.  That's another way to go.
               But I realize there is a line that --
               DR. HORNBERGER:  But, you see, I ask the question
     I asked on the infiltration for specifically that purpose.
               Now, Jim gave me an answer that would suggest that
     there is a technical basis for suggesting a 50-percent
     increase.  And to me, that's different than saying that this
     is important, we better make it reasonably conservative, and
     therefore raise that upper bound.  They are two different
               Do you agree with that?
               MR. COLEMAN:  I do, but I think they're related.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Okay.
               MR. COLEMAN:  Because percolation and infiltration
               DR. HORNBERGER:  No, no, the percolation and
     infiltration are related.  That wasn't my point.  But I'm
     just interested in how you resolve this, because DOE
     obviously, when you say -- and these are NRC words,
     evidently -- the DOE drift scale process level seepage model
     has not been shown to yield reasonably conservative upper
     bounding values.  That sounds pretty conservative.  It
     sounds like that's what you want them to do, rather than
     take into account, the uncertainty in a reasonable way.
               MR. COLEMAN:  Well, you notice that closed-pending
     was achieved here.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Yes.
               MR. COLEMAN:  The reason is -- and I stress the
     importance of these tests -- where there's no professional
     judgment involved if there is dripping going on in the
     Mountain.  And the thing we would expect, and the reason we
     can get to a closed-pending and make statements like the one
     you read, is if they proceed with these tests, let them run
     the full course, and then calibrate their models based on
     the results from east-west drift, Alcove 8, Niche-3 testing.
               So the closed-pending is not based on here's what
     we think the seepage rate is, but it's based on an
     affirmation that DOE will make their models consistent with
     the observations of these tests to be completed.  Does that
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Yes.
               MR. WINTERLY:  Could I add a sentence to that,
     Neil?  This is Jim Winterly again.
               I think DOE does raise a good point there, that
     there is really no regulatory requirement that they be
     conservative, and that's Revision 2 of the IRSR for this key
     technical issue that is quoted there.
               And in the current working draft of Revision 3
     that's not out yet, the language has been changed more along
     the lines of they need to adequately bound the uncertainty
               MR. COLEMAN:  Thank you.  Subissue 5, as I
     mentioned earlier, this will be -- this is open, involves
     the saturated zone issues, dilution, and also matrix
     diffusion in the saturated zone.  That will be covered at
     the meeting that starts October 31st in Albuquerque.
               Matrix diffusion for the unsaturated zone was
     dealt with in this meeting at Berkeley, and for those who
     are not familiar with matrix diffusion, this refers to the
     migration of radionuclides from flow-in portions of a
     fracture into the unfractured matrix of rock.
               And once it happens, then minerals like the
     zeolite minerals that are present in there can absorb
     radionuclides.  And that's the importance of matrix
     diffusion; it's the mechanism by which radionuclides might
     get into the solid part of the rock.
               From work that we've done over the years, it
     appears that DOE should not take a great deal of credit for
     matrix diffusion in the unsaturated zone.  The saturated
     zone is very different, and we would expect that much more
     credit could be taken for that.
               In fact, matrix diffusion is usually talked about
     as just a fractured rock phenomenon.  That's not true.
               In the valley fill materials, it's probably one of
     the most important things that could happen, because of
     diffusion into the rock class which range from gravel size
     up to boulder size that are entrained in the valley field
     materials, so it's a very effective mechanism there as well.
               We'll talk about that at the Sat Zone Meeting.
     But to achieve closed-pending, although DOE pointed out that
     they feel they don't take a huge amount of credit for matrix
     diffusion in the unsaturated zone, we wanted to see an
     update of this in the TSPA SR, showing just how much credit
     was taken.
               We pointed out an example -- let me see if I can
     read the page number on this -- from the viability
     assessment, Volume 3, page 5-36.
               There are a series of diagrams that show the
     relative effects of matrix diffusion, so we want to see
     documentation similar to that, and I'm sorry that I don't
     have a slide of that.
               Also, for DOE to provide the final testing plan
     for Alcove 8, which I mentioned already that we have
     reviewed and provided comments on that.  And it will also
     address matrix diffusion for the unsaturated zone.
               And that DOE take into consideration, these
     comments that we've made.
               Okay, it's taking me a moment to get to future
     milestones, where we go from here.  We will review the DOE
     action plan on shallow infiltration which I mentioned should
     be available in October.
               We have the upcoming meeting, October 31st to
     November 2nd.  We also plan to release Revision 3 of our
     issue resolution status report in the coming months.  We
     hope to have that out by January, if not earlier.
               And there will be a followup meeting on shallow
     infiltration that will be held by March of 2001, if that's
               So that's for the KTI, unsaturated and saturated
     flow under isothermal conditions; that's where we are today.
     I'm ready for any additional questions.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Great, thanks very much, Neil.
     Questions from the Committee?  Ray?
               DR. WYMER:  No.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Very well.
               MR. LEVENSON:  I have sort of a philosophical
     question:  As you go through this procedure, you're
     collecting more and more information.  In fact, you had one
     closed issue which when subsequent information becomes
     available, you reopened.
               As more and more information is collected, do you
     or do you intend to back away a little bit from the required
     over-estimates, the word you call conservative, which I
     don't agree with, because over-estimating quite often is not
     conservative.  It forces you to do something else.
               But using your definition of the word, it's to
     cover uncertainties.  As more and more information becomes
     available, do you have a mechanism for backing that down?
               MR. COLEMAN:  Are you referring to infiltration,
     in particular?
               MR. LEVENSON:  Just generically, as you go into
     the technical issues.  This applies to almost all of them.
     Since you use over-estimates to cover uncertainties, as more
     and more information becomes available, do you back down
     your over-estimates?  And if not, why not?
               MR. COLEMAN:  Well, for deep percolation, really
     in the hydrology area, the amount of water that could
     contact an engineered barrier, drip shields, waste package,
     here's where DOE doesn't have to become overly conservative.
     We don't have to require things that may be perceived as
     overly conservative.
               The results of those two tests that I mentioned --
     and we don't have the results of them yet -- that there's
     very little professional judgment that has to be made in
     interpreting them.  They will be really some of the best
     understanding that there will be until and if a construction
     authorization would be made.
               Certainly the best way to learn about the Mountain
     is if it looks okay now, to excavate it and see what's truly
     there, what we call performance confirmation.
               But before that can ever happen, it has to be
     shown that a good safety case has bee made on what is known
     today.  But these tests -- and this relates to the
     present-day percolation, because DOE has very little chance
     of reasonably estimating future conditions under future
     climates without establishing the present-day case.
               So, I think whatever they come up with in these
     tests, they could use in performance assessments, because
     they would have the best data they're going to have.
               There would still be some bounding in the case
     because there will be variability.  There may be no dripping
     at all in the East-West Drift, but no one has to make that
     estimate.  You simply wait and see.
               MR. LEVENSON:  I understand that for the unusual
     case, in a way, where you have an experiment that can answer
     the question.
               But I was asking it more generically.  In a lot of
     the technical issues, you can't have a simple test that says
     when we do this test, we can forget the modeling and the
     analysis that's the fact.
               There aren't very many like that, so I'm asking
     the generic question about as you get more information, do
     you have a mechanism to reduce your over-estimates as you
     reduce uncertainty?
               MR. COLEMAN:  I think the way I'd answer that is
     that the whole story has to hang together.  So, it could be
     that the information that's been learned about the
     stratigraphy of the site, the geochemistry of the site, the
     hydrology parameters, everything has to hang together or it
     will hang separately.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  That sounds like the answer is
     yes, that you do have a mechanism for changing assumptions.
               MR. COLEMAN:  Quite frankly, it's not something
     we've talked a great deal about, because DOE is moving in
     the right direction, we think.
               Now, you did see a case where new information
     reopened an issue, but this issue was resolved.  It would
     not have been reopened, if DOE had not cut the numbers in
     half, which is really a dramatic change to make this late in
     the program.  That's why we really scrutinized this
               DR. TRAPP:  Let me try and answer that.  One of
     the things that -- this is John Trapp from the NRC.
               One of the things that we do have is what we call
     the Iterative Performance Assessment, in which each time we
     do get the new information, this is factored right into the
     performance assessment model to get us a better estimate of
     where things stand.
               So, yes is the answer to your question, that the
     iterative performance assessment is basically the way we
     work through it.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Thank you.  John?
               DR. LARKINS:  I don't think so.  Thank you.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Okay, thanks very much, Neil, and
     thank you, Jim, for piping in.
               We're going to move right along and move to the
     KTI on igneous activity, and John Trapp is going to give us
     a presentation on what's been happening in this arena.
               DR. TRAPP:  I have asked Dr. Hill to assist me in
     doing this, actually for two reasons:  It makes it a little
     easier on me, and also if I don't know the answer to the
     question, Rick does.
               The presentation today is going to be focused on
     the results of the technical exchange we held two weeks ago
     on igneous activity.  This is actually the second in a
     two-seek series of exchanges we had with DOE.
               The first was basically an observation audit which
     was dealing with the total disruptive process and events
     area which covered week one.
               The objective of the exchange is basically to
     resolve the open issues related to igneous activity, and by
     resolve, I'm going to say it again, is resolve as was
     explained by Bill Reamer.
               We were trying to discuss a basis to resolve these
     issues, determine which ones we could resolve at present,
     and if we couldn't resolve them at the meeting, come up with
     some mechanism by which we had a path forward to reach
               Now, going into the meeting, we had the two
     issues, probability and consequence, and they were in the
     open state.  Next slide, please.
               On these next two slides, there are what I listed
     as NRC technical concerns, and I'd like to discuss these
     just a little bit.
               First off, how did we get to these things?  If you
     take a look at the IRSR, and go through the IRSR and take a
     look at the sensitivity analysis, we basically made a run
     through this thing and said, okay, which points have to be
     resolved, have to have the information to get to licensing?
               We then, like I said, used the sensitivity
     analysis, so we used the risk information that we could get
     out this to rack these out and see, are the ones that we
     have left important?
               So this is basically what we call technical
     concerns.  These are the things that are necessary to be
     addressed, to be resolved, so that we've got sufficient
     information to get to a licensing application, to docketing.
               Or, another way to describe this is, how much is
     enough?  If DOE can resolve these and the ones that are on
     the next slide, we basically have enough information that we
     can get to licensing.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Are these approximately
               DR. TRAPP:  No, these are not important ranked.
     The only two that don't quite fit into this thing -- and
     I'll get to them later -- are these two at the end, and
     those are there to make sure that we know our mechanisms for
     doing the modeling.
               Go to the next slide, would you?  I'd also like to
     just talk a little bit about these three points:
               If you take a look at the IRSR, we did have at
     that time, expert elicitation, quality assurance, in there.
     We knew they really didn't belong in there, per se, but we
     didn't have a mechanism to hang them on at that time.
               If you take a look -- well, you can't take a look
     -- if you could take a look at the Yucca Mountain Review
     Plan, you would see that there are specific sections dealing
     with expert elicitation, the mechanism of quality assurance,
     the mechanism.
               And so these parts of the issues that we had in
     the IRSR will be taken out of the IRSR and moved on over to
     those areas.
               Features, events, and processes is a means of
     trying to make sure that we have all the different
     mechanisms that could possibly be related to igneous
     activity, all the features and events considered in the
               The previous week, during the review, the quality
     assurance out -- the FEPS PMR was one of the main parts of
     the audit.  Very simply, what we came out with at that time
     was that we really didn't have any disagreements with what
     was being presented, but the basis, the justification for
     what was in there was, we felt, not quite up to speed.
               However, we also had a chance to take a look at
     some of the stuff that was going into the next revision.
     And my only statement I can make right now is that if you
     take a look at what appears to be going into the next
     revision, a lot of this concern about justification should
     be taken care of when we get to that point.
               Okay, where do we sit?  Like I said, probability,
     that one was open, and on the ACNW meeting following the
     April technical exchange, there were some questions raised
     about this.
               One of the agreements that came out of this
     meeting is that DOE would put together their licensing case,
     and they would use what they considered the best value that
     they could justify.
               At present, it looks like this is going to be
     something like about 1.2 to 1.6 times ten to the minus
     eighth.  However, in addition to this value, what they're
     going to put in the license application -- and it doesn't
     have to be right there; it can be in a reference document,
     anyplace -- is an analysis which is also done at one times
     ten to the minus seventh.
               I feel quite comfortable with this.  Both parties
     agree that these values do fall somewhere in the range.  The
     big difference is how we would put the adjectives on them.
               DOE would say that ten to the minus eighth is
     their main value, and ten to the minus seventh is something
     at the extremes.
               We would say that ten to the minus eighth is a low
     value, and the value should lay somewhere between ten to the
     minus eighth and ten to the minus seventh, so we feel that
     by doing this, we've got stuff available for us and for the
     Licensing Board to make a decision as to the site.
               In addition, there was another agreement raised on
     this.  And we do necessarily expect at any time new
     information does come in, that DOE would take a look at it
     and factor it into their analysis.
               This, however, was kind of a specific case.  It's
     new aeromagnetic data, which basically was funded by Nye,
     Clarke, and Inyo County.  I believe those are the right
     three ones, and then was run and put into an open file
     report by the USGS.
               Because this information just became available, I
     think, the week before the meeting, we wanted DOE to agree
     to take a look at this, see if it made any changes in the
     number of buried features that they could find, and they
     have agreed to do this.
               We don't know the actual survey specifications, so
     we're not sure that they can actually accomplish much by
     doing this.  They are first going to take a look at the
     survey specifications, find out if it's worthwhile, report
     back to us if it is, give us the plan on how this is going
     to be analyzed.
               Therefore, the probability is one we call
     closed-pending.  We've got this stuff coming in, but we feel
     quite comfortable.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  John, I take it that if the
     aeromagnetic specs aren't up to snuff, it's not required
     that DOE redo the survey?
               DR. TRAPP:  That's correct.  We're not asking for
     a redo of the survey; we're just asking for an analysis of
     the data, if the data is sufficient to analyze, yes.
               Just to give you the bottom line on where we're
     situated, if you take consequences, the issue is described
     as open, but the reason that it's open is that if you go
     through the various acceptance criteria and divide them into
     intrusive and extrusive and take a look at them, everything
     is closed-pending, except for one point.
               So, we in this meeting, I think, made tremendous
     progress, and we'll talk about where we're sitting on that
     right now.
               Yes, that is important.  This does come from
     Revision 2 of the IRSR, the acceptance criteria.  The
     acceptance criteria in Revision 3 will actually change.
               I have said that so many times, I'm not sure I
     need to.  And the way they will change is, they will
     basically be reflective of the ISIS that you'll see in the
     Yucca Mountain Review Plan, so, for instance, most of this
     will end up going into volcanic disruption, and airborne
               Most of the material right through here, will end
     up going into mechanical disruption of the waste package, so
     you'll see slightly different acceptance criteria in
     Revision 3, however, the basic thought is still there.  We
     are not trying to ratchet anything; we're trying to make
     sure that we've got things up to date as the license will be
               If we take a look at Acceptance Criteria 1,
     basically it states that models are consistent with the
     geologic record of basaltic igneous activity in the Yucca
     Mountain region.
               For records, you can track it right back to the
     technical points we were talking about.  This is Technical
     Point Number 12.
               Our concern, very simply, was that if you take a
     look at the tougher volumes that are being used in the DOE
     analysis, they were coming up with values which we felt were
     too high.
               The range was basically too large, and one of the
     things we found in doing our sensitivity analysis is that
     when we go to these higher ranges, we kind of get a dilution
     of the material.
               Therefore, we wanted DOE to document the real
     range that we're using, come up with a better basis for this
     range, and put it in the TSPA analysis.
               Since they have agreed to do it, this is something
     that we expect to see in June of 2001.
               Acceptance Criteria 2:  Models are verified
     against analog igneous systems.  This is really the model
     for the airborne transport.
               And the question is, can you show that ash plume,
     as it's being used, can be run against some well-documented
     volcano, and replicate the results?
               This is one that DOE has readily agreed to.  They
     are using this 1995 Sierra Negro eruption, the same one that
     we used to run through this.  Very honestly, it's the one
     that's got the best documentation that you can check the
     model against and make sure that you have got an exact
               Again, this is a June 2001 date that we expect to
     find this information.
               AC-3, models account for magma/repository
     interaction.  This right here, we are dealing with the
     extrusive component, and one of the things in the change of
     the repository layout -- what happens when you change the
     repository layout and start figuring out the most likely
     angle for dikes?
               You start getting a spot where the dikes and the
     repository layouts coincide.  When they coincide, you have a
     very large probability that the conduits will not be in a
     circular nature, but will be elongated, and if they are
     elongated, you could end up with a larger number of waste
     packages being intercepted.
               In reality, this will probably not be that big an
     effect, because if you take a look at the range and possible
     dike orientations, and the range -- not the range, but the
     present layout -- the angles at which they can intercept is
     relatively a small range.
               However, DOE is going to take a look at this
     concern, find out how it does affect their whole analysis,
     and, again, this will be documented in the Revision 1 of the
     TSPA of June of 2001.
               AC-4, models account for interactions within magma
     and engineered barriers and waste form, this takes care of
     Points 2 and 3.  Another concern, as they took the ash flow
     cone which was developed by the Center, they modified it for
     their own use, and we're not totally sure, exactly some of
     the modifications they've done.
               In reality the dates and the repository layouts
     coincide.  When they coincide you have a very large
     probability that the conduits will not be in the circular
     nature.  It will be elongated, and if they are elongated you
     could end up with a larger number of waste packages being
               In reality, this will probably be that big an
     effect, because if you take a look at the range and possible
     dike orientations in the present layout, the angles at which
     they can intercept is relatively a small range.  However,
     DOE is going to take a look at this concern, find out how it
     does affect their whole analysis and again this will be
     documented in the revision, one of the TSPA of June, 2001.
               AC-4, models account for interactions between the
     magma and engineered barriers and waste form.  This takes
     care of points 2 and 3.
               One of the concerns as they took the ASHPLUME code
     which was developed by the Center they modified it for their
     own use and we're not totally sure exactly some of the
     modifications they have done.
               The question we've got is in doing so and
     incorporating the waste into the ash, have they correctly
     accounted for the density variations in two of the
               At the meeting nobody could lay their hands on
     enough documentation to determine if it had been or not,
     therefore they are going to be taking a look at this to make
     sure they have handled it correctly if they haven't handled
     it correctly make the modifications that are necessary and
     we'll have this in January of 2001.
               Document the results of sensitivity studies for
     particle size consistent with the above -- if you take a
     look at the interactions between the magma and the waste
     form itself, you really end up with extreme thermal and
     physical load.  The information that DOE has been using is
     according to our waste package people, first off the best
     basic information we've got on fragmentation of magma and
     fragmentation of waste forms, but from that there are
     basically three different slots you can choose.
               DOE happened to take one slot and use this in the
     range which is documented in the literature.  However, the
     question is, hey, why didn't you use the other two slots?
     What's the basis?
               DOE is going to take a look at these two
     different, two other grain size distributions in the
     sensitivity analysis, find out exactly how it does affect
     the TSPAs and report back to us on that in June, 2001.
               SPEAKER:  Where did these come from, Joe?  Brit?
               MR. HILL:  This is Britt Hill from the CNWRA.
     There were a number of studies done even back to the '60s in
     changes in waste grain size during mechanical disruption
     from crush impact studies, for examples.  DOE has now pulled
     together a range of some of the literature for nonoxidized
     spent fuel.  They are coming up with an average grain size
     of about 20 microns with about plus or minus one log unit
     for the grain size distribution.
               We have been using an order of magnitude approach
     at about 10 microns.  We have first to see that the waste is
     being incorporated properly into the ash for the disruption
     in the modeling and then see if that difference is
     significant or not or other potential waste forms, other
     spent fuel forms and glass, whether the grain sizes for
     those would significantly affect how much was transported
               DR. TRAPP:  Also in going through this whole thing
     one of the difference that has happened is there's been a
     jockeying back and forth trying to decide if we are going to
     have backfilled repository or not.
               The AMRs that we have received were based on a
     backfilled repository and based on the backfilled repository
     DOE had calculated that if a dike is going through the
     repository that you should end up with about three waste
     packages on either side of it.  Basically it's completely
     destroyed as far as any ability to protect the thing from
     groundwater movement.
               Going through a nonbackfilled repository what you
     have got is a much greater potential zone of effect.
     Instead of the magma coming in basically being stopped by
     the backfill, the magma will go in, hit the initial waste
     packages, continue on down the drift.  However, if you
     logically look at this, as the magma is going down the drift
     there should be some dissipation of energy but for some
     places along this line it's not really reasonable to assume
     complete disruption.  There should be something else that
               According to the DOE's analysis and it agrees with
     what we have done, the temperature alone when you get down
     to that point would be enough to cause cracking of the
     endcaps but not complete disruption of the waste package, so
     what we really need, and this is the one point where we have
     got the open issue, is to really understand how this
     mechanism is being modeled by DOE, how the energy
     dissipation is being taken into effect, what the effects of
     thermal flow are and then actually how they are modeling the
     whole groundwater flow out of this thing to take care of it.
     Next slide, please -- the groundwater flow post intrusion.
               What DOE will do is basically go through analysis,
     show which one of these and how these waste packages are
     affected.  There are a number of packages that are hit on
     this thing in Zone 1 or Zone 2 total disruption or partial
     disruption.  We expect to get that by 2001.
               They will also show what the relative contribution
     to the whole TSPA is from these two different zones.  This
     also would be coming but that would not be until June, 2001.
               To better understand how the thermal effects are
     being modeled, they basically provide an evaluation of these
     thermal effects in Zone 1 and Zone 2.  Again this is in
     January, 2001.
               As I said, this is the one point that was left
     open.  It was felt that we couldn't have the degree of
     confidence with the amount of analysis that had to be done
     to close this one at this time.
               SPEAKER:  But the good news is that it seems to me
     that you have an agreement on what needs to be done.
               DR. TRAPP:  We definitely have a path forward and
     very honestly if we'd had a few more waste package and waste
     form people at the meeting we might have gotten farther
     along with this.  Because of the change from the backfilled
     to nonbackfilled we really have not, neither site had enough
     people in that area to cover it, so, yes, it's open, and it
     will take some analysis.
               Acceptance Criteria 5, parameters are constrained
     by data from Yucca Mountain, et cetera, we have four areas
     that really fell into this -- wind characteristics, airborne
     particle concentrations, deposit remobilization, and
     inhalation effects.
               Up to this point neither DOE nor NRC have had wind
     data that really covered the range of the plumes that we
     needed to deal with.
               Now basically you have up to about three and a
     half, four kilometers above ground level.  The levels that
     you would have to be dealing with for a plume would be
     somewhere between two to six, seven kilometers.
               During the QA audit we did some talking to people
     and I am not sure who actually found it but somebody did
     find some additional data that carries the information on up
     to the elevations of concern. Because of this, DOE is going
     to take a look at this data, put an analysis together, be
     able to give us a composite wind speed and altitude and use
     this really in a stratified way because there is a
     tremendous amount of difference between what you have at
     ground level versus what you have at height, and then use
     this in the analysis.
               This will be available in June, 2001.
               One of the things that we want to make sure is
     when they are doing the dose conversion, et cetera, this
     type of thing, that the mass loading parameters are really
     correct for the type of deposit that they are dealing with
     and the type of activity that the people are working with.
               Taking a look at some of the information we were a
     little concerned that some of the measurements may have been
     static measurements instead of the dynamic measurements you
     would expect with people walking out in the fields, this
     type of thing.
               We are concerned that some of the information may
     be dealing with mass loading parameters that are from
     deposits that really are not reflective of ash deposits.
               DOE basically during the meeting, I had a fairly
     good feeling that they probably do have the right
     information.  They just don't have it at the present time,
     but in January, 2001 they will document exactly what mass
     loading parameters, et cetera, and the basis for these
               This last one on this page is a very complex one
     and it really wouldn't be there if we were dealing with a
     rule slightly different than it was.
               In going from a rule that -- well, the previous
     rule where we were primarily dealing with peak dose and the
     one which is totally risk informed and this type of thing,
     we had to take a look at the overall changes in the area of
     the critical groups or time.
               If you assume that you have got in eruption at the
     Yucca Mountain area the majority of the ash, et cetera, is
     going to be going into the 40 mile wash drainage basin. As
     it goes in 40 mile wash drainage basis erosion is going to
     start and materials is going to be moved on down the slope,
     and just about Highway 95 is where you go from primarily an
     erosional transport situation to an area where you are going
     to primary deposition.
               As such, what you have got is an area which will
     have material constantly being brought in, but in addition
     to the material being in, there will be some subsequent
     erosion of material coming out, so you have got a tremendous
     problem on mass balance of this material.
               You also have a problem in trying to figure out
     during the erosion what is the amount of dilution that you
     have got going on.  You have got to deal with the changes in
     particle size in the ash and this type of thing.
               This is going to be, I believe, the second hardest
     of the whole bunch to resolve and I rather suspect that DOE
     is going to be using kind of a bounding analysis to come
     through this.  That seemed to be the results of the meeting
     and I just saw Eric Smithstead come in here and he's just
     kind of shaking his head, so it looks like I am correct on
     that, so they will probably be using the bounding analysis
     to try to resolve this concern.
               Originally the analysis in the VA was only talking
     about doses and was only using the 1 to 10 micron range in
     calculating these.  However, with a lot of the isotopes that
     you are dealing with, the 10 to 100 micron range can provide
     a significant dose impact even though it doesn't get down to
     the lungs, it will lodge in the nasal and pharynx region and
     this type of thing.
               DOE basically had realized this was a problem.
     They proposed to treat this as an additional soil ingestion
     and have it calculated that way.  They are going to review
     how they are considering these things and make sure that
     this is the right way to handle it or if they don't do it
     that way use ICRP 30 analysis methods.
               Again, we will see this in January, 2001 so this
     should be taken care of without any problem.
               Miscellaneous -- if you go back to the VA, one of
     the things that was assumed during an eruption is that there
     really wouldn't be a dose because people would be running
     out of there.
               If you take a look at what happens in areas where
     you have got these type of eruptions, people do not leave.
     They stay in that area and so really it's been resolved
     totally because they are no longer assuming the
     self-evacuation during an eruption.
               These two were kind of miscellaneous concerns.
     Remember, I mentioned them before, because they don't fit
     into the risk deal, but one of the things that we were
     noticing is that there was quite a bit of difference between
     what DOE was getting in their intrusive scenario from what
     we were getting, and we are trying to understand the
               I first off wanted to make sure it didn't have
     anything to do with igneous activity so I don't have to
     worry about it, and truthfully it doesn't.  It's totally a
     difference in the way the two model release and transport in
     the saturated zone, or both saturated and unsaturated zone.
               Integration of results from all pathways -- this
     is basically making sure that with a change in the rule and
     going to the expected dose that the calculational
     methodology that DOE was using was correct.  It appears to
     be -- well, it is correct as far as Jim McCartin is
     concerned and Jim is supposedly the guru on this stuff so I
     am taking his word for it.
               From where we sit, well, truthfully, while we have
     got all these "closed pendings," there's an awful lot of
     work left to be done.
               The first thing we have got to do is issue
     Revision 3 of the IRSR, which will have the modification
     going to the Yucca Mountain Review Plan type criteria.
               It's listed as 2001.  Basically the Center's
     component is supposed to be due in mid-November and the
     exact date past then is how fast I work.
               We've got a review of the TSPA-SR.  We have got
     the basic topics we've got and basically with some of the
     things that came in from the biosphere we've got some
     additional topics on surficial process that go into this
     review that have to be factored in.
               If you were looking at that list and listening to
     me talk, I kept on saying January, 2001 and June, 2001.
     There's a lot coming in those two dates.  We are going to
     commit ourselves to review these things, get the response
     back to DOE in a quick timeframe.
               In addition, however, we do have some research
     going on still at the Center on magma-repository
     interactions which would get into this whole waste package
     type deal and the tephra deposit evolution which gets into
     the remobilization, and we're talking a little more of a
     look at wind speed and we will be taking a look at the new
     data, looking at stratification until we exactly find out
     how this all fits together.
               In conclusion, I guess I would say I was extremely
     satisfied with the technical exchange we had.  We went
     through an awful lot of material.
               Like I said, Eric Smithstead just came in, Carol
     Hanlon is sitting there.  Those two I think really deserve a
     lot of credit because they put an awful lot of time and
     effort to making sure from DOE's side that it would get
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Thanks very much, John.  Ray?
               DR. WYMER:  Yes, I have one general question.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Want to use the microphone?
               DR. WYMER:  I have a general question. Presumably
     whether or not the site is acceptable in the context of
     volcanic activity at least is some sort of a product of
     probabilities occurring and the consequences of the
     occurrence.  I heard the probability was 10 to the minus 7,
     10 to the minus 8.
               What do you look for as the product of the
     probability and consequences?  25 MR per year?  Is that your
               DR. TRAPP:  Basically, yes.  The criteria would be
     a probability weighted consequence, which should have to be
     at the present time assume less than 25 MR per year.
               DR. WYMER:  Okay, I didn't see that.
               DR. LEVENSON:  I have one question.  Back on your
     fourth slide you identify the elicitation of expert opinion.
               My question is, is that a relatively important
     part of this issue?
               DR. TRAPP:  It was a relatively important part
     back on the probability because that is the basis of DOE's
     probability.  We had some concerns with how expert
     elicitation was conducted.  However, if you go back to I
     believe it is a 1997 letter from Mike Bell to Steve Brocum,
     we had basically talked about these concerns but decided
     that even though there were some concerns that we would
     accept the results of expert elicitation and give it its due
     consideration, so, yes it was at that time.
               As far as consequences, no, there is no expert
     elicitation being planned on the consequences.
               DR. LEVENSON:  Okay -- because the expert
     elicitations are a couple of nice-sounding words but there
     is a huge range of application, and the reason I think I
     have to raise the question is that in another activity in
     which I am involved which has nothing to do with ACNW or
     Yucca Mountain expert opinion was provided and it was a
     group of very highly qualified technical people.
               The question was what is the likelihood that this
     new facility being considered could be licensed.  The only
     thing wrong with the group of experts -- not a single person
     had ever worked in a licensed facility, ever worked for the
     NRC, had ever applied for a license, and in fact there's
     some relatively new literature on how valid are things like
     probability projections made by technical experts in other
               If expert elicitation is a significant factor
     here, I think I'd suggest it really be looked at very
               DR. TRAPP:  Well, like I said on probability,
     DOE's an expert elicitation.  Ours is not.  There's a
     difference in the mechanism that both of them were used,
     therefore I think we have got a real good range in values.
               Like I said, there's technical disagreement and
     difference in adjectives but I feel quite comfortable with
     the numbers.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  In fairness, I think I'll put in
     that DOE expert elicitation of the probability of volcanic
     activity, the experts were informed of all the data that
     John mentioned, to the extent it was available at the time,
     so it wasn't that they were just put in a room and asked.
               Also, for the most part there is a NUREG giving
     procedures for expert elicitation for NRC and that procedure
     was basically followed.  John?
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  John, I guess where we are now
     is that preliminary analysis indicates that igneous
     processes are the main contributor to the dose during the
     10,000 year compliance period.
               Is that kind of where we are?
               DR. TRAPP:  Very honestly, it was one of the
     things I enjoyed because after getting hammered on this
     thing for years and years and years, to have DOE actually
     say the same thing, yes, that's where we came up.
               Dose -- no, it would be expected dose, the risk.
     It's the main contributor to risk.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Okay.  I am still behind in
     trying to understand this decoupling process of the
     probabilities from the consequences because we know that
     extrusive and intrusive igneous processes have a very big
     range of values associated with them.
               Can you give me a little bit of a discourse on how
     the consequence thresholds are established to which a
     specific probability is assigned?
               DR. TRAPP:  Really it is not assigned to a
     specific probability.  It is all stochastically sampled
     throughout the end and by doing enough repetitions hopefully
     you would have a stable product.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  But then you must surely get a
     result that has a wide range of uncertainty associated in
     terms of the consequences?
               DR. TRAPP:  Very definitely.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Because it seems -- go ahead.
               MR. HILL:  This is Britt Hill from the Center.
               Compared to, say, earthquakes, where you would
     assign an annual probability to a ground acceleration, with
     earthquakes you would see a significant range in the event
               The range of ground acceleration that you would
     get greatly exceeds the range of volcanic eruption energy,
     if you will, that you would get from a basaltic igneous
               While it seems at times that there is a lot of
     uncertainty about that event, the volumes, the mass flow,
     the temperatures, all of that is very narrow compared to the
     range that you get from, say, an earthquake, so we are not
     assigning a probability to a different event volume or mass
     flow rate, we are saying the probability is the initiating
     igneous event.
               Now that event can have a range of column heights.
     It can have a range of mass flow rates and durations, but
     those ranges are much smaller than the range that you get
     in, say, ground acceleration from an earthquake.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Okay, in a seismic analysis you
     have something called a hazard curve.
               MR. HILL:  Right.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  And this gives you information
     on the frequency of occurrence of earthquakes of different
               You are saying that you don't have a counterpart
     to that necessarily for a igneous event and if you do have
     it, the ranges are much, much more narrow?
               MR. HILL:  That's correct.  There's really no
     fragility curve, if you will --
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Right.
               MR. HILL:  -- for an engineered facility when a
     volcano, basaltic volcano, comes up through it.  There's
     just a range in how many waste packages are damaged, but it
     is difficult to say that you would have, for example, a
     design threshold, which is a common application --
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  There are a number of waste
     package thresholds.
               MR. HILL:  Or a waste package threshold -- at this
     time there's no information to say that you would have a
     certain resiliency for a waste package in the center of a
     volcanic conduit while the volcano is erupting.
               It is pretty much that there is no basis to say
     that, well, "x" percent won't get in that conduit, "x"
     percent won't get transported to the accessible environment,
     so unlike with earthquake, you can say you have got .2g
     ground acceleration and that there is a lot of robustness in
     the system.  Here even a small igneous event, the smallest
     volume basaltic eruption, say about 10 to the 6 cubic
     meters, is comparable in size to the entire volume of the
     proposed repository layout, about again I think it is three
     or four times 10 to the 6th cubic meters.
               The minimal igneous event is comparable in scale
     to the entire volume of the repository and then it goes up
     to maybe 10 to 8th cubic meters, so even the smallest
     initiating event, to try to use the right language, the
     smallest initiating igneous event is capable of the same
     level of localized damage of the largest igneous event.
     There is just a change, the significant figure change, if
     you will, between those two.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  So the issue is more a matter
     of if you get an intersection than it is a matter of the
     size of the volcanic eruption?
               MR. HILL:  That is correct.
               Just for a final clarification, some of the
     highest potential concentrations of waste a 20 kilometers
     can come out from a relatively small volume event that has a
     high wind speed because you have a more concentrated plume
     and you can carry the material down in a very focused plume
     towards the critical group location as proposed, as opposed
     to something that is one of the larger ones with a more
     dispersed plume to it, so that is where we look at -- of
     course, we are considering the uncertainty in what that
     event is going to be.
               We are not predicting or trying to forecast the
     exact event, but we are taking a more probabilisitc approach
     of given these range of conditions in the magma system, what
     is the range of eruption characteristics that we could
     sample for a future igneous event.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Thank you.
               DR. TRAPP:  Just one thing to carry that a step
     farther, Britt kind of hit on it, but remember we are only
     dealing with a very small subset of the types of volcanoes
     you could be dealing with.  We are not dealing with the Mt.
     St. Helens type eruption.  We are not dealing with a
     Maunaloa type eruption.  We are dealing with a continental
     basalis eruption.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  John, a lot of this, it strikes
     me I would agree with you had I been at your meeting it
     seems like it was very profitable indeed.
               I would like to see Bill's writeup to find out if
     he agreed.
               DR. TRAPP:  Yes, he did.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Good.
               DR. TRAPP:  He did a good writeup.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  One of the things that you went
     through I would be a bit concerned about right now is this
     issue of remobilization and deposition, because as you
     indicated, that is going to be a nightmare to sort out so
     that some kind of bounding analysis is likely to be the only
     way that you can get at it.
               Do you have any gut level feeling that this is
     going to be a feasible thing and that the bounding analysis
     is not going to be so constrained as to produce something
     that is ridiculous?
               DR. TRAPP:  I wish I could give you a much better
     warm and fuzzy.  Generally from what I have seen, I think
     this would be a reasonable approach and I think they can get
     to it.
               If you start taking a look at models of erosion,
     et cetera, trying to put these all together, there are some
     models that you can put there.  There also are some ways
     that -- for instance, like I said, it's a mass balance, so
     instead of -- and I am not sure that this would work, but
     you could try it -- is, say, just shutting off the removal
     rates and only consider the rate of material coming in.
     This might be a way of getting the material.
               Now as you build up the section, you are starting
     to get some shielding, so someplace along there you should
     end up with something that is a reasonable value.
               I am actually kind of glad that DOE has got the
     problem of working with it and I also feel kind of good
     about this one because of the people they have got organized
     I have got quite a bit of confidence -- with Peter Swift,
     who is basically going to be taking the major role in this.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Has NRC Staff or anyone at the
     Center done any analyses?
               DR. TRAPP:  Not that I know of.
               MR. HILL:  Again this is Britt Hill from the
     Center.  That's one of our tasks this year is to try to take
     our own scoping calculations about the extent of
     remobilization, not just from waterborne remobilization in
     the 40 mile wash, but also having to consider the windblown
     processes out there.
               When you are driving up Amargosa Valley on your
     next trip, you can take a look out to Big Dune or the sand
     wraps up around Busted Butte to see that the wind can
     remobilize a significant amount of finer grain material and
     especially when we start to consider the critical group
     itself being a farming community that is erecting fences,
     buildings, growing crops that are all going to be serving as
     particle traps.
               We have to consider the potential influx of
     material into the critical group location from wind and
     water as well as the potential outflow of material also by
     wind and water, so it's really turning into a challenging
     flux problem, but it is a problem that is going to have to
     be addressed because the whole expected annual dose is based
     on the long-term behavior of the contaminated fall deposits
     through time, so we have to be addressing these problems and
     bounding them in a realistic, defensible way.
               SPEAKER:  You're going to apply your analysis to
     mill tailings, right?
               DR. HORNBERGER:  I have got sort of a follow-on
     question.  Do your models for things like the windblown and
     resuspension and all of these physical things have a nice
     sophisticated term for gravity, since even the highly
     oxidized uranium oxide fuel has a density of 10, which is a
     factor of four heavier than anything else that is going to
     be in there probably.
               DR. TRAPP:  This is one of the things if you took
     a look at the questions that's basically making sure that
     ASHPLUME is correctly considering these difference in
     densities in the evaluation.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Other questions?  Andy?
               DR. CAMPBELL:  Do you guys have any analog
     information on -- I mean it seems to me that one of the key
     uncertainties on kind of the conceptual model end of things
     is how magma intrusion disrupts and then disperses waste
     into the magma, which then either gets extruded at the
     surface or blown into a plume.
               Is there any analog information on the
     interactions of magmas and dikes and lava flows with
     human-made objects to give you some way of bounding this?
               DR. TRAPP:  There really isn't.  The only one that
     I can think of is the one in Iceland several years ago where
     they drilled into one of these active dikes by accident and
     caused a miniature volcano through the drill pipe.  Aside
     from that, no.
               DR. CAMPBELL:  But in terms of the percentages of
     material that starts out as a rather large steel and nickel
     alloy container with stuff inside of it, there's really
     nothing analogous to how that gets disruptive, so basically
     you would just assume that "x" number of waste packages
     based upon dimensional arguments get totally pulverized and
     carried up into the plume?
               DR. TRAPP:  Basically, yes, any analysis that we
     have done at least when you are dealing with the conduit
     itself, we end up with the thing so totally disrupted that
     we really can't go any farther than that.
               I am not sure that it would really gain that much
     in the analysis myself, but if you have some information I
     would be glad to hear it.  We don't have it.
               DR. LEVENSON:  One place there might be some
     information from is quite a few years ago I took the cable
     car up to the top of Mt. Vesuvius and I was a little
     concerned about how it looked, so I went up and asked them
     about the maintenance and they said, well, we don't maintain
     this because this gets destroyed by the volcano about every
     10 years or so, and it has to be replaced, so there might be
     some interactive information available.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  John?
               DR. LARKINS:  Just a quick question for
               Aerosol transporting deposition is a function of
     size, shape and density and what you assume for your load
     distribution.  How close are you between DOE analysis and
     what you are assuming in your ASHPLUME models?
               DR. TRAPP:  Well, Britt is closer to that than I
               MR. HILL:  We are very close.  The differences at
     this time don't appear to be significant in terms of the
     particle densities, the constants that we are using for eddy
     diffusivity, the dispersion.  We are using the same
     dispersional model.
               The differences on the waste, we're evaluating
     whether their mean value is significantly different from
     ours, but we are in the same ballpark on just about
               DR. LARKINS:  Okay, chemical remobilization would
     be impacted by the solubility and what you assume for your
     chemical form for aerosol.
               MR. HILL:  We haven't made any assumptions about
     chemical remobilization and surface leeching processes.  We
     are talking at this stage solely the physical transport of
     particles by wind and water.
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Any other questions?
               [No response.]
               DR. HORNBERGER:  Okay.  Thanks very much, John.
     That was an excellent presentation, lots of good technical
               We are glad to see progress.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  This is an unusual event.  We
     are ahead of schedule, but it is fortunate because the
     committee has been looking for some time to get access to
     some computers and download some information that we need
     for the balance of the meeting, so we are going to do that
     now, and in that regard I think we will adjourn until 1:00
               [Whereupon, at 11:03 a.m., the hearing was
     recessed, to reconvene at 1:00 p.m., this same day.].                           AFTERNOON SESSION
                                                      [1:00 p.m.]
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Could we get people to take
     their seats, please, because we are going to conduct this
     next phase partly by telecon and we have some timing issues
     that we want to deal with, and I will be back online in just
     a moment.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Will the meeting come to order,
               For the benefit of the Honorable Shelley Berkley,
     we want to get started, and I am John Garrick, Chairman of
     the Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste, and I am supported
     with the other members, George Hornberger, Ray Wymer, and
     Milt Levenson.
               This is the part of the meeting that is the
     primary reason that we have it approximately once a year in
     the Las Vegas area, and that is to establish direct contact
     with stakeholders and the public in connection with the
     Yucca Mountain Project.
               We always consider this a highlight of our
     activities and I can say with great confidence that it has
     had a considerable influence on our communication and our
     advice to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
               I think that in the last letter we wrote following
     last year's meeting we stated it pretty clearly about this
     sort of a session.  We said, "Our objective in holding these
     discussions is to enhance our own capability to communicate
     technical issues and to develop ideas about how to improve
     effective public participation in the NRC's regulatory
     process.  We also hope to strengthen our relationship with
     Nevada stakeholders and clarify our role as an independent
     technical oversight body to the NRC."
               We have as a result of these meetings, and this is
     our third one of this type, we have been specific in our
     advice to the Commission about public participation.  We
     also have to acknowledge that the Commission has had a very
     deliberate and determined effort to upgrade, if you wish,
     its own activities in relationship to public involvement and
     communication so we can't take all the credit but certainly
     we have been a stimulant in that regard and I think we have
     been pretty frank and direct in our advice on what should be
               Just as a minor example of that, in our last
     letter following our meeting last time, we were very candid
     in making some of the observations and I will just note a
     couple of them, and we indicated that some representatives
     of the state and counties and members of the public
     perceived the following about the NRC:
               One, NRC's attempt at risk communication is
     disingenuous because of a lack of opportunities to influence
     NRC's options and decisions -- all of this is in a letter
     that we wrote that is in the public record.
               Two, the NRC relaxed regulatory requirements to
     ensure that the Yucca Mountain Repository can be licensed.
     This was a comment made by state representatives.
               Three, the NRC and the DOE have a strong
     comraderie and a common language and have a common interest
     in getting the repository license -- that is, the NRC will
     not challenge the DOE, et cetera, et cetera.
               And there are many more, and I just cite these to
     indicate the frankness and candidness with which we
     attempted to communicate what we were hearing from the
     public about the project.
               Now as far as actions beyond these letters are
     concerned, there have been numerous.
               One of course is that we annual prepare an action
     plan for the committee that prioritizes its activities for
     the coming year, and these meetings have had a direct
     influence on establishing as first-year priorities such
     things as risk communication and offering advice on
     improving relationships with the public, et cetera.
               In addition, we have noted several specific issues
     such as transportation and have established a schedule for
     dealing with these subjects as seems appropriate in the
     context of the proceedings of the Yucca Mountain Project,
     and we will say something about that a little later.
               Now what I would like to do is give our guest, and
     we are delighted that she is taking the time to do this, the
     Honorable Shelley Berkley from the U.S. House of
     Representatives and First District of the State of Nevada an
     opportunity to address us for a few moments. Representative
               CONGRESSWOMAN BERKLEY:  [via telephone]  Yes,
     doctor, thank you very much.  Good afternoon.  I would like
     to thank the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and its Advisory
     Committee on Nuclear Waste for the opportunity to offer my
     testimony by telephone.  Needless to say, I would much
     rather be with you in person, but as you know, Congress is
     still in session.
               It is my understanding that the committee and the
     NRC Staff will be discussing how to handle an application
     from the Department of Energy to build and operate a high
     level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain.  I am also
     informed that tomorrow the committee will discuss the
     so-called progress at the Yucca Mountain site, focusing on a
     DOE site recommendation report and performance assessment,
     and with all due respect to all concerned and I mean that, I
     must say that the work of the Commission and the committee
     should be directly in an entirely different direction.
               Instead of continuing the Yucca Mountain Project,
     I urge that you begin to consider shutting it down.  The
     dangers of Yucca Mountain as a nuclear repository are now so
     well-known and so well documented that it is sheer folly to
     continue the project and dump additional billions of dollars
     literally in a hole in the ground.
               Long ago the Yucca Mountain Project reached the
     stage that the only way it could be kept alive was to
     undermine the safety provisions of the Nuclear Waste Policy
     Act.  The calculated erosion of these provisions has kept
     the project on life support for years.  It is time to pull
     the plug so that the nation may move on to consider safe and
     effective strategies to solve the problem of nuclear waste
               On three separate occasions the state of Nevada
     has demonstrated using DOE's own data that the site should
     be disqualified under both the EPA standard and the DOE's
     own internal site screening regulations and each time the
     DOE or Congress has changed the regulations to ensure that
     Yucca Mountain would not be disqualified regardless of the
     health and safety consequences to Nevadans.
               In fact, DOE has found the geology at Yucca
     Mountain so poor that over 90 percent of the waste isolation
     capability of the proposed repository would have to be
     provided by the metal waste container with only about 5
     percent of the site's waste isolation performance depending
     on the natural conditions.
               When this project started the idea was to find a
     place with natural geologic features to contain the
     radiation.  Clearly this objective has failed, and if that
     were not enough an aquifer flows beneath Yucca Mountain with
     water moving so rapidly that even with all of the engineered
     barriers radiation would unavoidably escape from the
     repository and contaminate the groundwater flow.
               The discovery of water migrating through the
     mountain is cause alone to abandon it.  Additionally, Yucca
     Mountain is located in a young geologically active area with
     four volcanoes within seven miles of the site.
               Yucca Mountain is surrounded by 34 -- 34 -- known
     earthquake fault lines and has experienced over 620
     earthquakes in the last 20 years.  One of these earthquakes
     measured a 5.9 on the Richter scale and caused over a
     million dollars in damage to DOE's own surface support
     facilities and I felt that in my bed in Las Vegas.
               Recently I testified before a House subcommittee
     to urge that radiation exposure standards not be relaxed to
     fit the needs of the Yucca Mountain Project.  It was
     shocking -- shocking -- to listen to experts debate this
     issue, with some of them actually advocating the abandonment
     of established safety standards, not for the United States
     as a whole, but only at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.
               In other words, my constituents would be the only
     people in this country living in an area where stringent
     standards of the EPA do not apply.
               I firmly believe that this is driven strictly by
     politics.  We have reached the point where the scientific
     practice itself is being compromised by political
               I again request that Federal agencies change their
     course.  Instead of trying to change the rules to keep the
     Yucca Mountain Project alive, we should begin the process of
     decommissioning the Yucca Mountain Project.
               Finally, when discussing a high level nuclear
     waste repository we must also address the transportation
     concerns that arise from the prospect of hauling 100,000
     tons of lethal waste across 43 states.  It is irresponsible
     that we would jeopardize the lives of men, women and
     children living along the routes the waste would travel on
     our nation's highways without trying to find a safe
               I have faith in the technological advancement of
     our nation and that our nation has experienced in the past
     few decades and the advancement in our future.  The NRC has
     stated that nuclear waste can be safely stored in its
     current containers for another hundred years.  I have full
     confidence in our scientific community that we can develop
     an alternative where we do not have to dump 100,000 tons of
     toxic materials into our earth.
               The bottom line is that the Yucca Mountain Project
     is a failed one.  We need to invest in our future and the
     future of generations to come and work together to find a
     responsible and safe solution.  Storing 100,000 tons of
     nuclear waste in Yucca Mountain is not the answer to the
     problem that this country faces with nuclear waste, and I
     want to thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to
     share my thoughts with you.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Thank you very much, and of
     course your remarks will be part of the record of this
     meeting, and again we appreciate your taking the time to
     give us these remarks.
               CONGRESSWOMAN BERKLEY:  Well, I am -- although I'd
     like very much to be discussing the decommissioning of Yucca
     Mountain, perhaps a number of our citizens that are there
     with you today will share my sentiments and express those to
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes, we are going to hear from
     a number of people.  We are going to hear from the State and
     we are going to hear from the various counties -- Nye,
     Clark, Lincoln, and Eureka, and we are going to hear from
     the Nevada Nuclear Waste Task Force, and I suspect they will
     all build on your remarks very effectively.
               CONGRESSWOMAN BERKLEY:  Well, thank you very much
     for your kind attention.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Thank you.
               CONGRESSWOMAN BERKLEY:  Bye bye.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Bye.
               One of the things that I wanted to continue with
     just for a second because I think the committee has to be
     sensitive to the fact that all of these kind of sessions are
     only as effective as the follow-up makes them, and I am
     anxious to reassure the stakeholders and the public that
     there has been extensive follow-up and it has become an
     integral part of the source material that we employ not only
     to decide what is on our agenda, but that has had influence
     considerably on how we view some of the issues.
               There are a couple of issues that I just wanted to
     mention.  I have mentioned the one about making public
     participation a priority ana making sure that we do a
     professional job of representing the public views before the
     body that we are offering advice to, but there's a couple of
     other areas that I think worth mentioning.
               One is transportation.  Transportation almost
     dominated the discussion of our last meeting and therefore
     the committee put transportation on its list of activities
     about which we would have a working group session, and that
     is in our plan, but I would like to point out that even
     though it is ahead of us in terms of addressing it
     specifically through the ACNW that there are members of this
     committee that have been actively involved in the
     transportation issue, and I would like to just mention that.
               In particular, I chair another committee for the
     National Academy of Sciences called the Waste Isolation
     Pilot Plan Committee, and interestingly enough one other
     member of the Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste is also a
     member of that committee, namely Milton Levenson, and the
     issue of transportation has been front and center in that
               I am pleased to report that there have been
     changes there already and a number of things taking place
     that I think those of you who have not been following the
     WIPP project and the details of its advisory bodies would be
     pleased to hear, and I think I am going to ask Milt, since
     he's been kind of the lead person on the transportation
     issue for both the Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste and
     for the WIPP committee, I am going to ask Milt to just
     quickly summarize some of the things that have taken place
     in the transportation field.
               DR. LEVENSON:  The committee John referred to
     issued an interim report and what I am really going to talk
     about is the actions that DOE has underway following the
     issue of our interim report.
               That committee identified in the shipping area two
     areas of concern.  One was the communication tracking, et
     cetera, system that DOE was operating known as Transcom.  Do
     you really know where the shipments are and what is going on
     with them?  The other general area had to do with the matter
     of training responders, HAZMAT type people, et cetera, along
     the route.
               The communication tracking system was not a matter
     of opinion of the committee by itself.  We had surveyed and
     got input from state highway patrolmen, local police and
     fire departments, almost everybody that has a responsible
     role in this sort of thing, and I think we were happy to
     learn, just meeting last week in fact, that DOE is
     completely revising the entire system and putting in place
     what the committee felt was a very high quality, modern
     communication and tracking system so that in real time
     responsible entities that need to know, like whether a state
     highway patrol, local police, et cetera, can in real time
     track each and every shipment no matter where it is in the
               Secondly, there's an area of really seriously
     divided responsibility here in the training of responders.
     That's normally a local or state's issue, but DOE will be
     funding it and DOE is playing a rather significant role in
     making sure that there are responders who are trained as to
     what to do, so that not only were we encouraged that
     something was taking place but on a personal basis made it
     clear that our work on the committee had not been in vain,
     and that rather major changes are being made.
               Now Yucca Mountain is some years away from
     shipping anything, but if and when it comes into being it
     certainly will be benefitting from a well-tested and
     smoothly functioning system.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Thanks.  Thanks, Milt.  Okay.
     I want to assure the representatives from the state and the
     counties and the task force that they will be given whatever
     time they need if they are concerned about us stealing some
     of their time.
               We will extend this session to whatever is
     appropriate to get the messages across.  All right, with
     that why don't we proceed with the agenda.  We will go just
     in the order of the agenda:  State of Nevada, Nye County,
     Clark County, Nevada Nuclear Waste Task Force, Lincoln
     County, Eureka County, and then finally we are going to hear
     from the gentleman I referred to this morning, Dr. Jacob
     Powers, who has asked to speak to us for a few minutes.
     Mineral County representatives would also like to make
               Now what I would like to do, starting with the
     State of Nevada is ask the representatives to introduce
     themselves, indicate their position, and give everybody the
     benefit of knowing what their connection is to the state,
     and we will start with Steve Frischman, I guess, who
     obviously doesn't need much introduction but I would like
     you to do it anyhow.
               MR. FRISCHMAN:  My name is Steve Frischman.  I am
     Technical Policy Coordinator for the Nevada Agency for
     Nuclear Projects.
               This is the text of my talk, but I'll shorten it
     up a little.
               I want to talk to you today about a subject that
     is within your purview and it is one where I have mentioned
     this topic to the Commission in a couple past statements
     over the years.  They didn't take it up and I think it is
     probably because there wasn't sufficient evidence to
     understand my description of what is going on.  I think now
     there is enough in print from the Department of Energy to
     make is clear that the Department of Energy has a
     fundamentally different view of what licensing means from
     what is clear in the regulations both in Part 60 and 63 --
     it is there in both.
               I think this needs to be explored and the
     significance of it needs to be understood because it makes a
     great deal of difference in how both the regulator, the
     applicant and the public and all affected parties will view
     a licensing proceeding.
               It may sound a little complicated, it may sound
     sort of esoteric, but I think it is really at the heart of
     something that is going on that has not been clearly
     identified by the Commission as something that they at least
     need to think about and respond to because I think there's
     enough evidence now to understand what the Department really
     has in mind.
               As some of you probably remember, I have spoken to
     the Commission in the past about an apparent disparity
     between NRC's approach to what is the primary licensing
     decision and DOE's apparent effort to modify this to suit
     its programmatic imperatives.  The critical question is when
     is the disposal decision made in the NRC's repository
     regulatory process, when is the decision for disposal made?
               I have interpreted the disposal decision with
     agreement of Staff members to be made in the licensing
     process when the finding of reasonable assurance is made
     that the repository will meet the safety requirements, and
     that is the original decision that is made when a license
     application is presented, reviewed and the license is
     granted and a construction authorization takes place.
               DOE seems to think that licensing is an
     incremental process with a final disposal decision made at
     the time that a license amendment is approved for closure of
     a repository.  This has some very serious consequences not
     only to the licensing process but also the upcoming
     sufficiency report that is statutorily required that the
     Commission has to provide to the Secretary as part of a site
               The key to understanding this approach as DOE
     appears to be applying it is in the use of performance
     confirmation, which DOE views in part as an extension of
     site characterization, even though they don't call it that
     in many places, so we are in a situation where we can
     interpret what DOE views as a disposable decision and when
     the decisions are really consequential in licensing by their
     use of performance confirmation.
               We glean this through the repository safety
     strategy.  The safety strategy, if you remember, has five
     key areas identified as the elements of the Department's
     safety case for a repository.
               Those five elements are:  performance assessment;
     design margin and defense-in-depth; explicit consideration
     of disruptive processes and events:  insights from natural
     analogs; and finally performance confirmation.  Performance
     confirmation is a part of the safety case.
               Now in Part 63 and in Part 60 performance
     confirmation is defined essentially the same.  That
     definition is that performance confirmation means a program
     of tests, experiments, and analyses that is conducted to
     evaluate the accuracy and adequacy of the information used
     to determine with reasonable assurance that the performance
     objective in the licensing rule will be met.
               Subpart (f) adds that performance confirmation
     starts during site characterization and continues until
     permanent closure of a repository.
               Now the repository safety strategy speaks about
     performance confirmation, and I am using Revision 3.
     Revision 4 is due out this month.  If it has come out I
     haven't seen it yet, but my guess is that performance
     confirmation is going to remain essentially the same in the
     Department's thinking.
               Now what I am going to be going through is some
     details out of DOE documents and I will be reading you some
     short quotes and then we can talk about what it all means in
     the end, and I will have one slide to show you out of one of
     these reports that indicates at sort of a minimal level
     where the thinking is.
               In the safety strategy, and by the way I will give
     page references just for your transcript so you can get back
     to these, the Revision 3 of the safety strategy, and this is
     page 2-12, says the increased understanding and confidence
     derived from long-term testing, observation and analysis
     will be of great benefit to decisionmakers -- for example,
     to determine when to apply to the NRC for authorization to
     close the repository.
               It goes on to say on page 4-8 that once sufficient
     design detail has been developed plans will be finalized to
     monitor -- and this is a list of elements that make up
     performance confirmation in their view -- (1) monitor
     subsurface conditions essential to performance of these
     designs; (2) measure and observe for comparison against the
     design bases and assumptions; (3) monitor the condition of
     the waste packages; (4) monitor the environment of the waste
     packages; and (5) perform lab experiments that focus on the
     internal condition of the waste packages, so here is a list
     of things that they believe are a part of performance
               The performance confirmation plan, and I am using
     Revision 1 dated May, 2000, on page 2-10 it says that
     performance confirmation testing activities also include
     post site characterization base line testing through
     completion of the subsurface construction in addition to
     pre-emplacement, pre-waste emplacement testing necessary to
     support the license application submittal, licensing
     interactions, and pre-emplacement licensing conditions.
               Now out of that report on page 2-16 is a timeline.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  It's just a lousy machine.
               MR. FRISCHMAN:  Okay.
               [Discussion off the record.]
               MR. FRISCHMAN:  What I was referring is this part.
     You can see the site recommendation --
               SPEAKER:  We need a microphone.
               MR. FRISCHMAN:  I am looking at the
     pre-emplacement testing on this schedule.  This is FY 2000.
     This is FY 2010.
               You can see site recommendation is here.  Submit
     license recommendation is here.  Receive construction
     authorization is here.  Updated license application, which
     is the updated or the application for an amendment to
     receive and possess, and then finally receive authorization.
               What I am looking at are these four elements of
     the program -- driftscale testing program, seepage
     monitoring and testing, unsaturated zone near-field
     environment testing, wasteform and waste package testing.
     If you notice, all of these are shown to be ongoing work
     beyond the site recommendation, beyond the license
     application, and beyond the construction authorization, so
     it is clear that there is work undone that needs to be done
     in order to make decisions in these four critical areas.
               Now all of this stems from the Department having
     decided that it had sufficient information for a license
     application.  A license application is supposed to include
     design and it is clear from this chart and also from the
     meeting last week on container lifetime and source term that
     the engineered barrier system including to a great extent
     the waste package design is not going to be finally tested,
     meaning the information proving up that the container will
     do with reasonable assurance what it is expected to do in
     the license application -- that work will not be completed
     at the time the site recommendation, license application, or
     receipt of construction authorization.
               Also, the thermal testing will not be complete at
     the time of site recommendation, so therefore the thermal
     design also can't be firmed up.
               Incidentally, the reference to repository design
     document, Rev. 3, that came out in August of this year, this
     document, is consistent in pointing out the work that needs
     to continue in order to make decisions about repository
     design.  These four areas that I pointed out on the slide
     are really at the heart of the principal factors of the
     repository safety strategy.
               The ones closest to it, of the seven principal
     factors, one is seepage into the drifts, which is as real
     key to the system, as was stated earlier today; performance
     of drip shields, once again key to the system; performance
     of waste package barriers, key to the system; and the others
     are, most of the others are in one way or another related to
     some portion of this work that is not planned to be finished
     at least until an application for an amendment to receive
     and possess.
               That includes the solubility limits of dissolved
     radionuclides, dilution of radionuclide concentrations,
     retardation of radionuclides, and maybe or maybe not related
     is retardation in the saturated zone.
               So we have the safety strategy which is the core
     of the Department's case that is not satisfied by data
     collection complete, complete data collection at the time of
     site recommendation, license application, or the expected
     issuance of the construction authorization.
               In discussing the sources of factors to be
     included in the performance confirmation, the performance
     confirmation plan, and it's on page 2-6, refers to other
     items of potential postclosure safety significance, such as
     residual data needs identified through process model
     development.  As you remember, the process models are at the
     core of the total system performance assessment.
               Data needs for processes important to postclosure
     performance will drive performance confirmation testing
     activities during preparation of the license application and
     may be needed to support licensing interactions, licensing
     interactions meaning discussions once the staff has the
     license application under review.
               Later in the discussion on data and validation
     needs for analysis and process models, and this is on page
     3-15, the performance plan says addressing these needs may
     require additional testing efforts which would be identified
     in the license application together with associated test
     plans in accordance with regulatory guidance, so now we are
     down with license application may contain plans for tests
     that are necessary to firm up and to validate and to even
     show the validity of the use of the process models.
               This is from DOE's own documentation.  They are
     consistent throughout in different documents and what they
     are essentially saying is that performance confirmation at
     least in part -- there are parts of their performance
     confirmation program that are very much in keeping with both
     Part 60 and Part 63, but this particular element, which is a
     most critical one, is outside the bounds of the performance
               Performance confirmation I think is fairly easy to
     understand if you look at it in terms of the Commission
     makes a decision that there is reasonable assurance that the
     safety factors will be met.  They make that decision at the
     time that they grant the license and the construction
               Now performance confirmation logically follows
     from that in that a reasonable assurance decision has been
     made.  Now over the period of time of construction and
     operation of a repository it is certainly reasonable that
     you would want to improve your confidence in that finding of
     reasonable assurance or if you found something that was just
     completely outside of it, then you have something else to do
     entirely, but performance confirmation is for the use of the
     Commission to try to improve its confidence in its
     reasonable assurance decision that was based on information,
     analyses and interpretations that the Department presented
     as its demonstration of safety.
               The Department in one place does state that
     performance confirmation is essentially a continuation in
     part of site characterization and that is in a draft EIS.
               There are some serious consequences of this whole
     issue and it is not one to be taken lightly, as I have said
               First of all, the statutorily required report from
     the Commission on sufficiency or whether the data from site
     characterization seem to be sufficient for a license
     application, the Commission needs to think very carefully
     about whether they are going to have sufficient information
     and how they are going to derive that.
               In a meeting in San Antonio earlier this year, I
     raised the issue of "closed pending," as you heard discussed
     earlier this morning.  Well, "closed pending" looks to me
     like it is a convenience for the Staff and the Commission
     for that sufficiency report.  What it says essentially,
     without using Bill's legalistic language, what it is saying
     essentially is if the Department does everything it has
     agreed to do and the results come out as the Department
     expects that they will, then the Staff has no more
     questions.  I think that is what "closed pending" means,
     because these agreements include provision of more
     rationale, provision in some cases of more data and more
     analyses, so if all of that is done as agreed and comes out
     to where it does not elicit more questions, then the issue
     is closed.
               We saw the dates on some of John's expected
     receipts.  Some of those are June 2000 or June 2001.  The
     Department expects in its current schedule to have a site
     recommendation at that time.  The Department expects the
     Commission Staff and the Commission to have provided its
     sufficiency report in May of 2001, so now we have if the
     Department does everything it agreed to do and if they have
     no more questions.
               Where does this leave the Commission and its Staff
     in terms of a sufficiency report?  Are you going to rely on
     the promises of the Department?  I am not sure that you can
     do that.  I think we have some past experience that says you
     ought to at least question whether you can rely on that.
               Does the Commission want submit a report, a
     sufficiency report, that points out places where it is not
     sufficient or where the results of site characterization are
     not sufficient and we have information here saying the
     Department plans that some of it will not be sufficient.
               We also have the fact that this report is a
     statutory requirement of the Commission.  Now the Commission
     is in a position where it is being relied upon by the
     Congress and by the President to give a straightforward,
     objective statement of whether the information at the time
     of site recommendation is or seems to be sufficient for
     license application.
               The Department itself is stating through these
     documents that it very likely will not be, because if we
     look at last week's meeting on waste package lifetime and
     source term, there is a mountain of work other than
     wordsmithing that has got to be done and it has got to be
     done in a very short period of time that relies upon
     availability of funding, availability of personnel to do it,
     and it also relies on ultimately that the results coming out
     pretty much like what the Department predicted they would.
               Well, we have one example where you are going to
     have a presentation next week or next month -- in your next
     meeting, at least one example where the Department has not
     even considered an impact to the waste package that could
     shorten its lifetime to the point where the waste package is
     essentially inconsequential for waste containment -- hasn't
     even been considered.  I think you will hear a lot more
     about that next month.
               So the first question is to what extent can you
     rely on the Department's agreements for meeting the
     statutory requirement to the Commission for sufficiency
               Now it also seems that the Department has another
     consequence of this.  The Department has gotten into the
     position where they are very comfortable now with the idea
     of "closed pending."  Well, it also suggests from looking at
     that slide and from looking at their considerations of what
     work needs to be done after certain milestone decisions, it
     looks like they are looking for something called "reasonable
     assurance pending" -- and that that reasonable assurance
     pending is going to last until the Commission approves an
     amendment for closure, because work will be continuing all
     along to try to prove that what they said originally some
     maybe 30 or 40 years before was in fact sufficient for a
     reasonable assurance determination.
               Another point of significance is that if you look
     at this in a larger scale, originally under the Waste Policy
     Act and under the approach of the Commission's Part 60, it
     looked as if the requirement that originally I think Joe
     Paladino, long time ago Chairman of the Commission, a
     requirement that he placed on the Department and I think
     Bill Reamer today even repeated that, and that is for the
     Commission to meet its responsibilities, especially in terms
     of the really short licensing review period, the application
     must be, first, complete, and second, of high quality.
               The Department has made clear through these
     documents that it is not going to be complete, so we are
     left with a situation where it never will really be complete
     until the amendment for repository closure, so what this
     does is it leaves a Yucca Mountain repository under this
     plan as an open-ended experiment.  It is an experiment where
     the Department will tell you they don't know when they are
     going to want to close it.
               You heard at the very beginning that the
     performance confirmation plan itself or the safety strategy
     says that performance confirmation will help decisionmakers,
     for example in the area of when to close a repository, so
     they are relying on the ongoing sort of site
     characterization as part of performance confirmation to
     eventually decide when the experiment is complete.
               Well, in reality the only outcome of this
     experiment regardless of when it happens is repository
     closure and that is because we can't accept or rely on the
     concept that, oh, the waste is retrievable, because the
     waste is only going to be retrieved out of a repository
     under really extraordinary circumstances and I don't think
     that anything short of waste packages breaking in a
     preclosure repository that we are going to see something
     considered so extraordinary that the waste will have to be
     retrieved and also it's very unlikely that the money will be
     available to reverse the emplacement process for the waste
     or that the money will be available to do anything else.
               What we have is a plan on the part of the
     Department to incrementally license their active experiment,
     with some confidence on their part that finally if the idea
     of being in so far you can't get out is self-fulfilling.
               I just point this out to you.  I believe that the
     evidence is here in DOE documents now to show that the
     Department's thinking about licensing is fundamentally
     different from the regulatory scheme for licensing and that
     it has really enormous consequences due to the magnitude of
     the project and the fact that once the waste is underground
     it is essentially not reversible.
               I guess finally what I would like to say is maybe
     helping you think about some counsel to the Commission and
     that is that if the Department is not ready at the time of
     site recommendation to meet its obligations to provide the
     Commission with information to make a sufficiency
     determination as is expected and required, and if the
     Department does not have sufficient information for a design
     that will stand whether it gets amended later or not, a
     design that will stand scrutiny at the time of initial
     license application, then they are not ready to move
               I think there are some serious issues here that
     the Commission with your counsel needs to consider in terms
     of how it first responds to its statutory duty relative to
     site recommendation and further how it responds to its own
     licensing philosophy, which is you must find from initial
     license application reasonable assurance that the safety
     standard will be met.
               I am sure you will have some questions.
               CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Thanks, Steve.  As usual I am
     impressed with the thoroughness with which you have
     dissected in this case the schedule of activities and before
     I ask others for questions I will just ask for a design that
     will stand -- whether it gets amended later or not, a design
     that will stand scrutiny at the time of initial license
     application, then they're not ready to move forward, and I
     think there are some serious issues here that the
     Commission, with your counsel, needs to consider in terms of
     how it first responds to its statutory duty relative to site
     recommendation and, further, how it responds to its own
     licensing philosophy, which is you must find, from initial
     license application, reasonable assurance that the safety
     standard will be met.  I'm sure you'll have some questions.
               DR. GARRICK:  Thanks, Steve.  As usual, I'm
     impressed with the thoroughness with which you've dissected,
     in this case, the schedule of activities, and before I ask
     others for questions, I'll just ask one myself.
               As you probably know, one of the major concerns of
     licensees down through the years in the nuclear regulatory
     environment has been the investments they have had to make
     prior to a decision being made about their facility.
               So, there is an inherent problem here, if not with
     stakeholders, certainly with shareholders, of
     decision-making and the timeliness of it and the efficient
     use of people's money, and I just wonder if, in your
     analysis of the Yucca Mountain schedule, if you looked at
     the licensing process associated with other major facilities
     -- say, for example, nuclear power plants, where there is a
     lot of experience, and saw the kinds of inconsistencies that
     you're presenting here today as a kind of a reference for
     your conclusions.
               MR. FRISCHMAN:  All right.  Well, first let me say
     that there is a great difference between this project and
     probably any other project that you would make reference to,
     such as a nuclear power plant, if you're thinking in terms
     of just the cost, and that's that nuclear power plants are
     an object of commerce, and anyone who gets in commerce
     understands that there are risks involved, financial risks,
     and the financial risk for the builders of nuclear power
     plants is one where, over the years, they've been looking
     for more and more essentially consistency, so they can plan
     on what it would cost to get to the point of a license
     application, and yes, there have been difficulties in the
     past some of them probably brought on by Three Mile Island
     as much as anything else.
               In this case, we're dealing with, first of all, a
     Federal Government project.
               We're dealing with a project that has gone on, in
     practice, since early 1983, and actually, expenditures at
     the Yucca Mountain site since 1978.
               We're looking at approximately $3 billion into
     Yucca Mountain site characterization right now.
               We're looking at, in 1998 dollars, for the entire
     project, something arguably on the order of $50 billion.
               So, what we're looking at is, yes, a lot of
     dollars right now, maybe what appears to be a lot more
     dollars, maybe another billion, billion-and-a-half dollars
     to get to where the Department could have what they and the
     Commission considers to be a complete and high-quality
     license application.
               You're looking at 10 percent -- less than 10
     percent of the total cost in 1998 dollars.
               If you had to walk away from it then, you're
     looking at less than a 10-percent sum cost.
               Less than 10-percent sum cost, even though it
     sounds like a lot of dollars in this case, is not
     unreasonable, even in the commercial world.  If you look at
     military base closings, they don't even blink to walk away
     from a 20-to-25-percent sum cost.
               So, the financial argument doesn't do a lot for
     me, because this is not comparable to a commercial venture,
     and also, it doesn't do an awful lot for me when we're
     talking about not having sufficient information in the core
     area of the safety strategy.
               You can do an awful lot of other things, but in
     this case, the Department itself is saying the place that we
     are most relying on safety, we don't have the data and we
     don't plan to have it until after we at least get the first
     green flag, waiting for a couple more green flags down the
               DR. GARRICK:  Thank you.
               Ray, do you have any questions?
               MR. WYMER:  No, I'm still digesting it all.
               DR. GARRICK:  Milt?
               MR. LEVENSON:  No.
               MR. HORNBERGER:  Steve, I wonder to what extent
     we're talking about interpretation of words versus real
               That is, I take it from your own words that you
     certainly wouldn't envision a case where an applicant came
     forward with a license application and, if the license
     application were judged to be -- have reasonable assurance,
     that no more work would be done.
               MR. FRISCHMAN:  No, that's not what I'm saying at
               MR. HORNBERGER:  So, the real question, then, is
     how one interprets the reasonable assurance words at the
     time of license application, and what you're claiming is
     that DOE's own words would indicate that they are not going
     to have the data for reasonable assurance.
               MR. FRISCHMAN:  Right.  They are not going to have
     the data for reasonable assurance, and they expect that the
     data that they do collect will, according to, at least their
     timeline, will add a sufficient increment to where, when
     they ask for an amendment to begin emplacement, at that
     point they seem to think that the Commission will have
     reasonable assurance, even though they're asking the
     Commission to give them reasonable assurance pending.
               I hope that word sticks, because I invent words,
     and usually I don't get credit for them, but I'd like it for
     this one.
               No, I believe that, yes, it's perfectly
     reasonable, especially if you can have an operating period
     of 30 years, it's perfectly reasonable that work should
     continue, but at the same time, I think it is obvious that
     work should not start until you have someone saying we
     believe that what you have right now, if you do it as you
     say, will provide the performance that it must provide, not
     wait and we'll give you a little bit more later, not to
     improve your confidence but just to get to where you can
     make a decision.
               DR. GARRICK:  Thank you.
               MR. FRISCHMAN:  Response pending.
               MR. LARKINS:  Steve, what's your comments on the
     adequacy of the document to address these key technical
     issues or key issues that are needed for decisions?
               Do you think that they do all the work that's in
     the document that that will provide a basis for an adequacy
     or a reasonable assurance decision?
               MR. FRISCHMAN:  The documents don't give the
     detail of the work that needs to be done.
               The places where we're gleaning what really needs
     to be done, which is kind of surprising at this point, but
     we're gleaning it out of the meetings that are going on
     right now relative to the Commission staff talking to DOE
     about specific process models, and the things that are most
     important are what come out of those discussions relative to
     path forward.
               That's where we're seeing the action, because
     that's where the Commission staff is slapping on, in some
     cases, the closed pending by saying that, if all of this is
     done and comes out the way that you anticipate and we don't
     have anymore questions, then it's closed.
               So, that's where it's sort of focusing down.
               The Department, obviously, is not going to do
     anything more than what these meetings require them to do.
               Regardless of all of the paper out there, the
     200-pound site characterization plan we had 12 years ago,
     they're at a point right now, they have a schedule, they
     have a mission, and they're not going to do anything beyond
     what the Commission staff leads them to agree to in these
     issue resolution discussions.
               DR. GARRICK:  Thank you.
               MR. FRISCHMAN:  Thank you for the invitation to
     speak again, and as you know, I always accept.
               DR. GARRICK:  We haven't been turned down yet.
               All right.
               Nye County.
               MR. BUCCO:  Good afternoon.  My name's Tom Bucco.
     I'm a consultant to Nye County.
               Les Bradshaw is currently at the Board of County
     Commissioners meeting and, unfortunately, was not able to
     attend due to the time change, but I'm sure if he were here,
     he would offer his greetings and thanks for the opportunity
     to come and speak with the Commission.
               This is very informal.  I don't have any hand-out
               I'd like to basically go over three items, and
     then if you want to have a dialogue or ask questions, that
     would be great -- three items, where one is the loss of our
     leader, the second is the status of the EWDP, with the
     particular emphasis today on what we'll be doing on Thursday
     afternoon, and then the third item is with respect to the
     AMRs that we're currently reviewing.
               As you're all aware, Nick passed away in July and
     we lost our leader.
               We'd like to point out that we haven't lost our
     focus, we haven't lost our desire, but one thing that we
     have lost is our communicator.
               Nick was a really good guy to get in and call
     people individually and get the results out.
               In his absence, we recognize communications are
     not as good as they were with Nick, and Nye County is
     looking at bringing people in, a couple of people to step
     into that capacity.
               In the meantime, we'll have to use forums like
     this to continue to communication and our web-page to get
     the information out to people.
               With respect to Thursday's field trip, we expect
     to see the Commission out there Thursday afternoon, ready to
     -- we'll put on a formal presentation at that time
     concerning progress to date on the phase two drilling, on
     the early-warning drilling program.
               Very briefly, we've got a couple exciting things,
     accomplishments this year.
               Number one -- and this is real tribute to Nick --
     is at our site two DP, we hit the carbonate aquifer, and
     that's where we'll be meeting and going over what our plans
     are for that.
               One of the unusual things about Nye County's EWDP
     is it's flexible.
               So, we're at a stage right now, we've got a
     bore-hole sitting out in the ground ready to case, and the
     casing operation -- we'll be reaming it out probably while
     you folks are out there, and then we're going to case it
     off, but we're trying to keep our options open, and we're
     actively solicitating comments, suggestions, ideas about
     where do we go forward.
               It's a unique opportunity to put a 3,000-foot hole
     in the ground, into the carbonate aquifer out there.
               Now we need to decide how do we spend our
     resources to get the most information out of that hole in
     the ground that we can possibly get with the resources that
     we have available, and we've always maintained Nye County
     doesn't have all the answers, we're looking for the answers,
     and the interchanges that we have with the Commission, the
     Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff, the NWTRP, and so on,
     are very instrumental in us making our plans for phase
     three, and we'll be providing an overview of those, also.
               Finally, with respect to something else Nye
     County's got going on right now is the review of the AMRs,
     and you know, from a county perspective, this is a very
     difficult task.
               The AMRs are very complicated.  They're very, in
     some cases, esoteric, and I've got a pile personally -- I've
     gone through and reviewed two of them.  I've got a pile of
     paper sitting like this, and I'm just a poor desert
               I don't understand some of these technical issues
     and these things.
               So, what we'll do is we'll make the best comments
     that we possibly can and do it in the right avenue and the
     right attitude, but you know, as we look at these things, we
     see things that the EWDP was directly designed to address,
     is data deficiencies.
               So, when we see things in the AMRs about analog
     models, we always wonder, why use an analog model somewhere
     over on the peninsula when we go take direct measurements
     within the region of influence?
               Why are we using expert elicitation?  Why are we
     using best scientific judgement?
               One thing the EWDP is showing us is the only way
     to resolve some of these things is go out and collect the
     data, okay?
               With that, that's all we really wanted to convey
               At the field trip on Thursday, we'll be putting on
     a formal presentation with a hand-out package, but other
     than that, I'd be happy to answer any questions or just sit
     down and get out of the way.
               DR. GARRICK:  Okay.
               MR. HORNBERGER:  I think I'll wait until the field
               MR. BUCCO:  Okay.
               DR. GARRICK:  Other committee members?
               [No response.]
               DR. GARRICK:  Appreciate you coming in and doing a
     good job.
               MR. BUCCO:  Great.  We appreciate the opportunity.
     Thank you.
               DR. GARRICK:  Clark County.
               MR. TIESENHAUSEN:  My name is Engelbert
     Tiesenhausen.  I'm with Clark County.
               Fortunately, I am not the only one who is going to
     speak for Clark County, so I'll keep my comments very short.
     Dr. de Portolo is going to get up after me and make some
               Some of what I have to say kind of echoes what
     Steve Frischman -- the comments that Steve Frischman made
     earlier.  My concerns are not of a technical nature but in
     the nature of policy.
               I have attended -- so far, I have attended two of
     these technical exchanges, igneous activity one and the one
     on container life and source term, CLST.
               The robust waste package, as has been mentioned
     several times today, has become the cornerstone of DOE's
     repository safety strategy.
               As Neil Coleman mentioned earlier today, the
     robust waste package makes it very difficult to see the
     effects of the natural system.
               I just want to mention some of the concerns that
     we have that deal not with license application but with the
     sufficiency comments that the NRC will make on the SR.
               According to the current schedule, they are due by
     5/2001, one month before the Secretary makes a site
               In the CLST technical exchange, about 40
     sub-issues were agreed upon by NRC and DOE.
               The timeframe for completion of these, in the
     majority of the cases, greater than 50 percent, at least,
     was given as prior to LA.
               I can only assume that this means after site
               We are concerned as to how the NRC will consider
     all of these open issues based on plans that have yet to be
     funded in their sufficiency comments for SR.
               We urge the ACNW and the Commission to take a
     critical look at the issues and to evaluate the impact on
     the sufficiency comments, taking into consideration not what
     has been promised but only the information that is available
     at the time of the review.
               We feel very strongly that the SR should be a
     stand-alone document and not be judged on what might be
     produced in the future.
               And now, Dr. de Portolo is going to make some
     comments regarding socio-economic issues which we feel very
     strongly about in Clark County.
               Any questions?
               DR. GARRICK:  Questions?
               One thing I need some help on -- and maybe I get
     this from the NRC.  We keep making reference to the fact
     that it's very difficult to evaluate the impact of the
     natural setting because of the emphasis on the waste
               Is that -- what's difficult about asking DOE to
     provide the information you want?
               MR. TIESENHAUSEN:  Well, that's a comment from
     Neil Coleman this morning.
               DR. GARRICK:  Well, I don't understand it.  I
     didn't understand it then either.
               I mean they are the licensing agency.  They can
     ask them for whatever they want.  Why do we go around
     complaining about the fact that they're not getting us
     information that we want?  That's only because we're not
     asking for the right information, isn't it?
               MR. TIESENHAUSEN:  I can't speak for the NRC, but
     if you have a 10,000-year regulatory period and you have no
     waste package failure for in excess of 10,000 years, then
     how do you evaluate the natural system?
               DR. GARRICK:  The NRC doesn't have to accept that.
     They don't have to accept anything.
               MR. TIESENHAUSEN:  I agree.
               DR. GARRICK:  So, I don't understand comments like
     that, and to me, they are totally irrelevant, but let's go
               MR. TIESENHAUSEN:  Okay.
               DR. de PORTOLO:  Thanks for the nice lead-in.  I
     appreciate it.
               DR. de PORTOLO:  My name is Russell de Portolo.
     You've previously been -- members of Clark County Nuclear
     Waste Division have previously addressed this group with
     regard to transportation and socio-economic issues.  So, I
     feel a little bit off the path today, but I'd just like to
     make some comments here, because I see that, in your
     comments with regard to the DEIS, you did address some
     transportation issues.
               What you had said was that the Department of
     Energy has failed to describe preferred routes and modes and
     has failed to consider different options in sufficient
     detail to allow meaningful comparisons among impacts and
     mitigation strategies, some of that detail involving risk of
     impacts regarding traffic, land use, socio-economics, and so
               You're pretty much saying the same thing we're
     saying, and that is that we don't even know what the plan
     is, let alone have the ability to address or even identify
     particular impacts because of the lack of detail, and we
     have, for some time now, been suggesting or recommending a
     transportation feasibility study, just like a site
     suitability study.
               There just is no rhyme nor reason and no structure
     for us to make any -- what we would think to be meaningful
     comments on that.
               Over the past year, we and our contractors have,
     in preparation for the comments on the DEIS, have integrated
     over 10 to 12 years of work regarding socio-economic impacts
     in Clark County.
               Much of this work was done by the State of Nevada
     and contractors for Clark County in the early '90s and late
     '80s, primarily in the early '90s, and some interesting
     documents came up, and what we have found is there was a
     rationale by our County Manager that was provided when we
     first accepted Unit of Local Government status, and that had
     to do with the role of local government, and we generally
     understand our role to be to protect the health and welfare
     of our residents and maintain and enhance the socio-economic
     and natural environment, all of which leads to an improved
     and sustainable quality of life.
               Sometimes we have been strapped with regard to
     staff, funding, programming, and so on, because of tenuous
     DOE funding.
               We're okay now, but the fact is, we will have to
     continue to do this no matter what happens.  This is our
               We further found that, in fact, we are dealing
     with what we call -- what certain scientists, social
     scientists, and so on, have called the precautionary
     principle in local government, and that is that people in
     institutions have a duty to take anticipatory action to
     prevent harm; the burden of proof of harmlessness of a new
     technology or project falls with the proponent, not with the
     general public; third, before using a new technology, people
     have an obligation to examine a full range of alternatives,
     including the alternative of doing nothing.
               Now, that's been -- DOE has been absolved of that
     responsibility by congressional directive, but we feel very
     strongly that that is a -- the alternative -- the no-action
     alternative should have been more strongly considered.
               And last, the decisions regarding a new technology
     or project must be open, informed, and democratic and must
     include affected parties, and we have had much to say about
     that in our comments.
               It's very easy to jump from those principles to
     the role of NEPA, related laws, guidelines, and procedures.
               In our view, the purpose of an EIS is to provide
     enough information to allow us to identify impacts and ways
     to possibly address those impacts with regard to mitigation,
     monitoring, and so on.
               Because of the vagueness and incompleteness of the
     DOE DEIS, we feel that, despite the fact that there have
     been many, many hundreds of thousands of pages and comments,
     that the document is so flawed that it is necessary for us,
     as an affected unit of local government, to do our own
     impact report, and hopefully, that impact report -- parts of
     that impact report will be submitted with the report of the
     State of Nevada under section 114(a), possibly a report
     under section 116(c), and hopefully, our report, or certain
     aspects of our report, will be included in the Secretary's
     recommendation for approval to the President, which should
     take place next year.
               So, we're under the gun at this point to try to
     have the Secretary and others who are involved in
     decision-making take a look at our issues, none of which
     were either looked at or adequately looked at by the
     Department of Energy.
               The way that it's set up under the DOE's approach,
     which is the black-and-white traditional approach, is that
     issues like land use conflict, for example, effects on
     tourism, the life blood of Nevada and Clark County are not
               Issues like traffic congestion, traffic patterns,
     costs to local government, costs to communities and other
     such areas which I'll describe very briefly a little bit
     later -- they're just not -- they just don't occur.
               In fact, the Department of Energy appears to be in
     conflict with the NRC definition of the region of influence.
     In the EIS for -- in the environmental assessment for the
     re-licensing of reactors, Las Vegas Valley was defined as an
     area -- as a local area of influence, region of influence.
               We see this in spots in the DEIS.  We're not sure
     what the region of influence is.  It sort of seems to be a
     moving target.
               But the fact is that when the environmental
     assessment was done with regard to re-licensing, Clark
     County, especially the urban area of Clark County, was
     defined as a region of influence.
               So, what we're going to be doing -- what we are
     doing right now in Clark County is -- are a number of
     activities that have to do with our impact report.
               These include preparing an impact report or
     section with regard to property values along routes, and
     this has to do with the modeling -- this will lead to
     certain modeling with regard to appraisals, assessed
     valuation, and so on, so that we can also take a look at the
     fiscal impact on government.
               There are a number of impacts, fiscal impacts,
     that have not been looked at by Department of Energy.  This
     is one of the more important ones.
               So, we are now doing a property value study in
     Clark County and in each of the local jurisdictions,
     including North Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Henderson, Mesquite,
     Paiute, and other communities.
               We are preparing a governmental fiscal impact
     report for all of those jurisdictions.
               We are preparing a public safety program impact
     report, which will include initial cost estimates, and we
     plan to integrate all of this information into an impact
     report that we hope will be used and considered in the
     approval process and that will be considered by the
     Department of Energy, Congress, the President in making
     certain program decisions.
               We will continue to report our progress to you,
     and we ask for your assistance in allowing Clark County's
     concerns and those of other affected units of local
     government to be heard and considered.
               DR. GARRICK:  Thank you.
               When do you think you will have some preliminary
               DR. de PORTOLO:  We'll have preliminary results
     for the cities by January with regard to emergency
     management or public safety programs and government fiscal
     impacts, and we'll be happy to pass those on to you as soon
     as we get them.
               DR. GARRICK:  Good.  Thank you.
               MR. LEVENSON:  I have a minor one for
               DR. de PORTOLO:  Sure.
               MR. LEVENSON:  When you talked about reactor
     re-licensing, what reactor are you referring to?
               DR. de PORTOLO:  There was an environmental
     assessment that came out in January of this year.
               Steve, can you help me with that one?  That was
     the -- remember, it was a re-licensing.
               MR. FRISCHMAN:  Part 51.
               DR. de PORTOLO:  Yeah, Part 51, right.
               MR. FRISCHMAN:  It was a generic assessment
     regarding overall impacts of re-licensing within the last
               DR. de PORTOLO:  Yeah, I think it was in January.
               MR. FRISCHMAN:  And it took the Las Vegas area as
     an area to analyze impacts.
               DR. de PORTOLO:  This is the first time we had
     seen that.
               I could make sure you get a copy of that.
               MR. LEVENSON:  I'm confused.  It took Las Vegas as
     an area to analyze the transportation?
               DR. de PORTOLO:  It defined the Las Vegas Valley
     as a local area surrounding the repository.  It, in effect,
     expanded the region of influence.
               MR. LEVENSON:  A re-licensing document refers to
     Yucca Mountain, which hasn't even yet applied for a license?
               DR. de PORTOLO:  Yes, it did.
               MR. FRISCHMAN:  We were a little surprised, too.
               DR. de PORTOLO:  It assumed that, yes.
               MR. FRISCHMAN:  And it has to do with re-licensing
     and, ultimately, the removal of the spent fuel from
     re-licensed facilities.
               MR. LEVENSON:  Okay.
               DR. GARRICK:  So, it's kind of an industry impact
     analysis, looking ahead, the nuclear industry.
               DR. de PORTOLO:  Yes.
               DR. GARRICK:  Yeah.  Okay.  Thank you very much.
               All right.
               I guess now we're to the -- we're going to take a
     break here pretty soon, depending on how long Judy talks,
               DR. GARRICK:  We're going to now hear from the
     Nevada Nuclear Waste Task Force.
               MS. TREICHEL:  Well, I sure hope nobody's thirsty
     or tired.
               I have to say a couple things before I say what I
     intend to say.
               There was a response over here about the dialogue
     that just went on with some surprise shown.
               DR. GARRICK:  I hate to interrupt, but following
     protocol, would you tell us your affiliation, name,
               MS. TREICHEL:  Judy Treichel, Nevada Nuclear Waste
     Task Force.
               In regard to the last exchange that just went on
     at the microphone there and the surprise that was shown over
     the fact that Las Vegas was shown as a place influenced by
     the repository -- sometimes referred to as proposed,
     sometimes not -- in that EA, we've all been pretty surprised
     in the way that it's treated in the Draft Environmental
     Impact Statement for the Goshute facility that was prepared
     by the NRC, which blatantly says that, as soon as Yucca
     Mountain opens, all the waste that would be in the Goshute
     facility would just be taken right on over to Yucca
               So, this isn't a one-time shot.  This happens
     quite a bit.
               I also take issue with the word "stakeholder," and
     I have for a long time.  It kind of denotes that you're
     cooperating or participating in the project.  I'm not doing
     that, and I never will be doing it.
               I am a public participant, and I do work with the
     process, not with the Yucca Mountain project, and there
     again, I think that would make it sound like a done deal,
     and I don't think it is at all, and I don't think it's going
     to be.]
               So, there's just a lot of little wordy kind of
     things that happen that sort of zing me like a little arrow,
     and they may not be important to somebody else, but the fact
     that we hear these things so often -- so many times people
     call this -- well, it's just politics, you know, science
     should really be deciding, and it appears that, when someone
     comes out for the project, their decision has always been
     driven by good science.
               If they come out in opposition to it, they're
     simply pandering or have been a victim of politics.
               So, it's just the way that things are seen.
               The only other thing I want to do before I finish
     up here with the rest of the stuff I had was to let you all
     know that, in Sunday's paper, they had a good part of a
     section with a lot of pretty pictures, which you can take a
     look at, since you're going out to the site, but some of the
     dose receptors, the four-legged ones, are featured in here
     from the organic dairy that's out there.
               It's called Goodhart Milk, which is organic and
     sells for about twice the price, and I talked to Ed Goodhart
     one day, and he said, you know, the last thing I need -- and
     he's been a vociferous opponent to this project -- is when
     somebody say this is really good, this is great, we'd like
     to buy more of your stuff, exactly where are you located,
     and he has to tell them that I'm just right down the hill
     from the Nation's high-level nuclear waste repository.
               So, yes, they would be severely impacted in ways
     like Russ de Portolo was talking about.
               The main thing that I'm very concerned with right
     now is the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and their move to
     using risk-informed performance-based regulation.  I believe
     that, if that is done, there will never be any sort of a
     real level of public trust and confidence.
               There has got to be, in licensing this repository
     or not, a strict pass/fail list of tests, much like the
     guidelines that DOE is trying to throw out, probably
     stronger than those guidelines, and somewhat like subsystems
     requirements that the NRC used to have, and probably
     stronger, as well.
               The public is not only skeptical of the kind of
     statistical analysis that goes on for this sort of
     regulation, but they're also convinced that there is not
     enough known about a repository or how it would or would not
     work at Yucca Mountain to reach any kind of a meaningful
               Nevadans are convinced, and with very good reason,
     that any such analysis is pure guesswork and can and will be
     slanted toward the desired outcome.
               Regardless of the reasons that NRC gives for
     adopting this type of regulation, the people will believe
     that it was done to ensure that there is a license given to
     Yucca Mountain.
               And one of the reasons I believe that this is
     happening is because of the waste package.  There were
     questions just asked about that.
               It's the only way, when a site fails the natural
     system tests, like ground water travel time or like
     seismicity or igneous activity or any of those, that can all
     be brushed aside with this robust waste package.
               Many times the NRC staff and representatives have
     announced and tried to explain to public audiences that they
     are not part of DOE, and the public will not believe that
     you're not working in cooperation with the DOE unless, when
     you request comments on a licensing rule, it's clear that
     you're utilizing the recommendations that you receive from
     the public.
               The public are the ones with the health and safety
     that are up for grabs here.
               If the public saw regulations being created that
     reflected their views and their expectations, you would
     never need to explain what your role was in this program,
     but it's going to keep coming up until that happens.
               In August of this year, the NRC published a white
     paper regarding risk-informed, performance-based regulation.
               The justification for changing to the approach
     centered around increases in understanding and knowledge of
     risk and performance in regard to reactors and materials
               That may be true.  We may know a lot more, but
     with one significant exception, and that's a high-level
     nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain.
               There's no previous experience with nuclear
     materials over the years that would be involved in this
               There's never been a mountain or any piece of
     geology used in this way.
               There is simply no credible knowledge or
     experience, and the public who your decision directly
     affects -- eternally affects -- knows that.
               In lay terms, anybody who believes that they know
     the unknown either has a deity complex or a serious lack of
               In this white paper that the Commission did, they
     talk about a risk triplet.
               The risk triplet is what can go wrong, how likely
     is it, and what are the consequences?
               The answer to all of these questions, when it
     comes to Yucca Mountain, is who knows?
               I've got a file that I keep that's called things
     that can't happen, and any of the examples in there is
     probably called a worst case scenario, and it would be, with
     the kind of analysis that DOE does in order to come up with
     the probabilities that they have.
               These things have such a remotely small
     possibility of ever happening that DOE would say they didn't
     need to be considered, but they're all sitting in there in
     the file, they all happened -- or most of them happened in
     Las Vegas, and probably all within the last 10 years.
               I agree that you shouldn't have to look at
     everything.  You shouldn't have to believe that you thought
     of everything, because I don't think that you can.  I don't
     think that anybody can imagine whatever could go wrong and
     the range of consequences.
               But the question, how likely is it to happen, I
     don't think matters.
               This project, unlike a reactor, cannot be turned
               If you came up with the wrong answer using the
     risk triplet, you're stuck.  There you have it.
               Remember, this project is being imposed on people
     who don't want it.  They aren't going to be cooperating with
     it, they aren't going to be working with it, and they are
     unwilling to take those risks.  They've already been the
     victims of deception and terrible surprises with nuclear
     materials before.
               In licensing, there might not be a box that you
     have to check off that shows whether or not the community
     wants the facility, but there should be.
               I think it's very important, and it should be
               The DOE has adopted a method of graphically
     showing radiation doses that employ some sort of new magic
     math.  It lowers the dose if the probability of the
     dose-spewing activity is unlikely.
               That would mean that, if I decided that -- or, in
     looking back, if I thought that I probably got the flu about
     once every six years, then it would mean that I always sort
     of had one-sixth of a case of flu every year, and it just
     doesn't work that way.
               I don't think that the NRC should accept that sort
     of calculation from the Department.
               When you talk about a repository being directly
     impacted by a volcano, I think you need to know the exact
     dose that would result from that.
               That's the way DOE is using this risk triplet, and
     it's the consideration of how likely is it, and that plays
     the most important part of all, and I don't think that that
     should be accepted.
               Risk is sort of all the rage these days.  Experts
     are trying to decide what's wrong with Nevadans when it
     comes to Yucca Mountain, and we're subject to risk
     assessment, risk analysis, risk communication, and all kinds
     of new schemes that try and straighten out our thinking and
     our hysterical or sort of ignorant perceptions.
               I don't think other communities are being taught
     these kinds of lessons in citizenship.
               A good example of the sort of research that we're
     continuously hit with is where risks -- how risky it is with
     various activities to die of those activities.  We see risk
     ladders, risk charts, risk circles, all sorts of risk
     things, and then the hope is that we'll just accept those
     numbers and stop objecting to the project.
               But it's just a hope.  If we don't, somehow the
     experts go the next mile, and they believe that they're
     justified in imposing these risks on us because they've
     determined that they're acceptable.
               Wouldn't it be interesting if your surgeon could
     just decide that you'd be better off, or at least not worse
     off, if he or she operated on you and you didn't need to
     give any consent or anything, you just suddenly found
     yourself under the knife.
               My point is that risk-informed performance-based
     regulation is not acceptable, and it won't work in this
               In the past, we've discussed the line about DOE
     not being a burden on the licensee.  If you don't require
     that this application pass very rigorous tests, you'll be
     placing a dreadful burden on yourselves.
               TSPA and/or PA are not appropriate tests.
               Again, in the case of the surgeon, you want to
     know that the board that gave him or her a license to
     practice medicine required that person to pass all of the
     tests.  You would find it unacceptably risky if that doctor
     was, you know, just a little weak or clumsy in a few areas
     but good in others.  It wouldn't be enough to know that he
     or she was really well-intentioned.
               You should want the DOE to have strict guidelines
     that Yucca Mountain must pass, and you should have tough
     pass/fail requirements so that you don't have to assume the
     burden of making a judgement call about issuing a license
     and then take the responsibility if there's failure.
               The white paper was right about the fact that we
     now have more knowledge and experience.  We've learned a lot
     about non-volunteer dose receptors from weapons activities
     and from nuclear testing, and we're arguing about how they
     or their survivors should be compensated.
               The test for Yucca Mountain or any disposal
     facility should be that there will be no dose receptors
     ever.  The only time anyone should be called a dose receptor
     is after they have given their informed consent.
               That's it.
               DR. GARRICK:  Thanks, Judy.
               You represent an interesting challenge.  If we
     could away on an island alone for about 10 years --
               MS. TREICHEL:  Is it time for a break?
               MS. TREICHEL:  Well, John, what do you want?  I
     think they just finished up the survivors.
               No, I don't think we need to go off to a desert
     island.  I think you've just got to use your head.
               You know, the analogy with the surgeon is a really
     good one.  You want to know that this guy -- let's, for the
     sake of argument, say it's a man -- had to pass the most
     rigorous tests, couldn't fail in any single one of them,
     couldn't be, you know, just a little clumsy when it came to
     the knife but great at stitches.
               You just don't average this out when you do stuff
     that matters to yourself.
               DR. GARRICK:  Yeah, I understand, and my comment
     was not so much Yucca Mountain as the discipline of risk
     assessment, which has served society unbelievably well in
     terms of giving them added understanding and insights into
     what the populations of the planet are exposed to and what
     the likelihood of different outcomes are.
               The evidence is overwhelming.  The juggernaut is
     rolling.  The discipline is increasing.  I just attended an
     international meeting with the European Commission.  It is
     extending into every field of endeavor, from food to
     technological systems to natural systems, and it is having
     an enormous impact on our quality of life in a positive way,
     and so, it is not reasonable to condemn a discipline that is
     having that kind of an impact on the basis of its
     application and your interpretation of that application to
     Yucca Mountain.
               But I understand where you're coming from and that
     the human side of these issues clearly have to be taken into
     consideration, and if the discipline can't stand up to that,
     then, you know, there's -- a change has to be made, a
     different algorithm has to be applied, but there is no doubt
     that the concept is as basic as any law of physics that
     we're subjected to, and the problem here is not the risk
     assessment, it's who does it and how it's done.
               There is no problem with the concept, it is a
     problem of application, and I agree that some of the
     applications have been badly performed and that it has been
     associated with the game of statistics, which it is not.
               Statistics may be 2 or 3 percent of a
     comprehensive and important risk assessment, but most of it
     is other things in understanding the system that you're
     dealing with and being able to decompose that system into
     the kind of pieces and parts that will allow you to
     reassemble it into answering questions that we have to
               MS. TREICHEL:  I think risk assessment works
     really, really well in a case --
               DR. GARRICK:  It works on everything.
               MS. TREICHEL:  No, in a case where somebody wants
     to do something.
               DR. GARRICK:  Yes.
               MS. TREICHEL:  If you've got a town that really
     wants an airport and they know that occasionally a plane is
     going to land a little too soon, maybe a little too late,
     but they really want an airport --
               DR. GARRICK:  Or on fire.
               MS. TREICHEL:  Yeah, whatever.  Or you want to --
     you're dying to get someplace and it's so important to you,
     so you don't care if it's an Explorer with Firestones on it.
               Anytime that you're making those decisions, you
     have the ability to take those risks into account and then
     you make your decision.
               I have a couple of friends who are smoke-jumpers,
     and the way people use risk now, they would condemn them to
     put up with anything, because after all, look what you're
     doing over here.  How can you possibly not want to have, you
     know, an operation done on your thyroid or whatever?
               But it's misused when you don't have volunteers
     and when you don't have people working with their own
     cooperation and informed consent.
               DR. GARRICK:  Yes, and it's misused if there is
     confusion about the risk assessors and the decision-making
               The risk assessor doesn't make the decision, they
     analyze the risk, and the risk assessment has to pass the
     test of acceptability and go through a tedious process
     before it can reasonably become a basis for a part of the
     decision-making process, and a risk assessment is not a
     decision analysis.
               It's a component of decision analysis that has
     been neglected for many, many decades that we're finally
     getting a better handle on.
               But let me ask the committee members if they have
     any questions for Judy.
               We're always very pleased to hear from you --
               MS. TREICHEL:  Thank you.
               DR. GARRICK:  -- admire what you're doing and the
     abilities you demonstrate at being on top of these very
     important issues, and we'd like to think that we're as much
     on your side as anybody's side, and we'll keep trying to be
     that way.
               MS. TREICHEL:  All right.  Well, let me know about
     the island.
               DR. GARRICK:  All right.
               DR. GARRICK:  All right.
               We've had a few names added to our list, and it's
     obvious we're going to probably go over the time here, and
     that's okay, because as I said, this is the most important
     session of the trek to Nevada, but I'd like to break it up
     now and take a 15-minute break, and then we'll resume with
     the agenda.
               DR. GARRICK:  We're now to my favorite county in
     Nevada, Lincoln County.
               We've had a program shift because of some time
     commitments and problems, and we're going to hear from Mr.
     Corbin Harney from the Western Shoshone, and you have the
               MR. HARNEY:  Well, my question's going to be
     simple to you people.  It is really a simple for you people
     to answer.
               I have asked the DOE people once before.  Give me
     the document saying that they own the land.  Where is that
     document today, if somebody's got it here or who's got it?
     Under what law did the United States took our land?  Under
     which law?
               We talk about law.  Give me an answer on that.
     What law did you guys, the United States Government, took
     our land where the test site, where the Yucca Mountain is
               Under the treaty of 1863, at that time, it stands
     today, it's still the way it was, at no time the Federal
     Government, as we operate under, as you people operate
     under, have give us a written statement saying they took our
     land and so forth.
               Today, you guys talk about somebody else's land.
     You don't have a title to that land, but I have, under the
               What are you guys talking about here?
               If I own the land, how did you guys get this land
     from us, from the Shoshone?  Shoshone own that land under
     the treaty.
               If you guys ever read that treaty, it's documented
     under your Federal law.
               I hope you guys would understand what I'm saying
     to you.
               This law that we all operate under -- we're
     talking about law.  Where is that law that protects our
     land?  Or you guys are making up your law as you're going?
     And this is the reason why we're running out of things,
     because the DOE have accumulated, developed something that
     they don't understand, and today, throughout the world, the
     DOE, as we call the nuclear energy department, terminating
     the life on this earth of ours today.
               We, the Shoshone people, have lived here for
     thousands or maybe a million years.  We took care of what we
               We took care of the water.  We took care of the
     earth.  We took care of the plant life and so forth.  Under
     your law, what did you guys do so far?
               You have contaminated our water today, not
     thinking about the future generation at all.
               As we look at it, as a native people throughout
     the country, it seem to me that you people, the Federal
     Government today, don't recognize us as human.
               Maybe we are not human according to your eyes.
     Maybe we don't have a law.  Maybe you're the only people
     that's got law to protect yourself, not protecting us at
     all.  Why not?
               You enjoy our land, each and every one of you.
     Your forefather came here, made those treaties, peace and
               We as a native people have made our agreement with
     you.  We enjoy you people.  We've made sure that you have
     enjoyed your life on this land of ours.
               In turn, what are you guys doing for us as a
     land-owner?  Seem like you're just treating us like dirt,
     like if we're nobody at all.  Is that what you guys are
     doing?  Is this what the Federal Government is doing?
               I'm going to ask you again, you people, to show me
     that document where you own the land.  I have asked those
     questions before.  I'm going to continue to ask those
     questions until, somewhere, sometime, someday, you might
     give me the answer, the answer, what I'm looking for from
     you people.
               You're talking about my land, you're talking about
     law, you're talking about this and that, transportation over
     our land, shortening people's life.
               Now you don't have much water left.
               Just think about it.  Let's think about the
     younger generation.  We talk about future generation.  Seem
     to me like we're not even concerned about them.  We're
     concerned about today, not concerned about tomorrow.  Let's
     all think about this.
               I want a document from the Federal Government.
     You are the people talking about how you're going to license
     people that's going to be bringing this nuclear waste
     throughout the country, into Nevada here.
               How many accidents are we going to have happen?
     If any accident ever happens in the future, what do we do
               Right today, the DOE is not bringing the issue
     out, they're not talking to anybody it.  How much accidents
     so far happen already?
               If it didn't happen, we would have clean water, if
     they didn't happen, but somehow we're searching for clean
     water.  We're selling each other water today.  There must be
     something wrong here.
               I hope you guys can understand what I'm saying to
     you.  I'm a native person from Nevada here.  Under the
     treaty your forefather have signed with us, it's still
     there.  I hope you people can realize that, if you think
     we're humans.
               If you think we're something else, maybe someday
     you are going to terminate us.  Maybe this is what you're
     trying to do today.  Seem to me like you're terminating
     yourself at the same time.
               So much sickness developed since 1953, since the
     testing took place.
               Now, how many more people is going to lose their
               Think about it.  You are the people going to have
     to make that decision over the land here, not only for us,
     the plant life, the animal life, the bird life.  Those are
     the things you will have to make a decision on.
               If you don't want nothing on this planet of ours,
     wipe everything out, the plant life, animal life, bird life,
     and so forth.  Maybe this is what we want to do.  Maybe this
     is what the DOE is looking at, already contaminating our
     water, our air.
               I hope that you, the people, would stand up to
     your right, think about the future, your own children,
     grandchildren, and so forth, the unborn, how they're going
     to survive.
               We're barely surviving today.  We're contaminating
     all our food with radiation, all the water that we can
     drink.  We're eating some of that today.  When are we going
     to be telling each other truths?
               This is what I came up to do, to say to you.  I'm
     going to continue to say what I've been saying for many,
     many meetings that you guys are going to be here, but I
     don't see my people in this room at all.
               Are you guys hiding from the native people, trying
     to talk about their land behind their back, behind the bush?
     Is this what you guys are doing?
               So, I want an answer from you people.  Write me a
     letter.  Tell me if I'm wrong, where I might write telling
     you what I think, what I know, what I see so far around the
               The country around us is suffering for water, the
     land, the food, and so forth.  Here we are, listening to
     somebody that's going to shorten our life for us, already
     been happening.
               This is something I'd like to bring out to your
     attention.  I hope each and every one of you understand what
     I'm saying.  I want that treaty to be here.
               I've been asking my government, because they hold
     a trust over my land.  They say they do.  What are they
     doing?  The Federal Government, I'm talking about, your
     government, what you're operating under.
               Is there a law protecting the treaty round the
     world, or are you guys just doing what you think you're
     going to do without the law?  Are you making up your own
     laws as you're going?
               This is the reason why the people round the world
     is suffering today.  We're not looking at each other.  We're
     not talking about nothing among each other.  We're going
     along where we think.
               I hope to talk to you again someday, somewhere.
     I'm going to continue to talk about what I said to you.
     Show me the treaty.  I have asked for that once before.  I
     asked that DOE show me the document where you own the land,
     but I got the paper.  I own the land, according to your
     Federal Government law.
               So, thanks for listening to me.
               Is there any question among you people?  The whole
     room here should have some kind of question about what I
     said, or did you guys went to sleep when I was talking, or
     what happened, or ashamed to ask questions.
               I was ashamed person one time, now I'm not,
     because I see things are dying around me.  Even the plant
     life is dying around me.  That's the reason why I had to
     stand up in front of you to say those things.
               I hope you guys think about it.  Thanks for
               DR. GARRICK:  Thank you.
               DR. GARRICK:  All right.
               Now we can go to our next county, and I had
     started to say my favorite county.  That's because I spent
     several years of my elementary training in two communities
     in Lincoln County, one Pioche and another Mackett, and they
     were very interesting times of our lives, as my father was
     kind of a miner.  We know that county pretty well, and it's
     changed a lot.
               Let's hear about it.
               MR. BOFFMAN:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members
     of the committee.
               My name is Mike Boffman, and I'm a consultant to
     Lincoln County, to the board of Lincoln County
     Commissioners, and also to the city council, and I'm here
     today on behalf of the Chairman of the County Commission and
     the Mayor, who serve as the Chairman and the Vice Chairman,
     respectively, of the Joint City/County Impact Committee
               Let me just preface my remarks by indicating and
     offering some apologies.
               Let me just begin by saying that I'm really sorry
     that they're going to ship nuclear waste through Lincoln
     County and that residents of the county are going to be
     exposed to shipments for a 25-to-27-year period of time, and
     coupled with the other kinds of wastes that come through
     that area, it's going to increase their risks, and the DEIS
     tells us that two to three dozen people will die as a result
     of transportation accidents, not exposure to radiation but
     just simple transportation accidents.
               I'm sorry that we're going to be impacted.  We've
     done work in that area that demonstrates that, if we were to
     have an unanticipated accident with no releases of radiation
     but lots of attendant media amplification of that risk,
     during the peak season of tourism -- we have five state
     parks -- that we may lose a million to a million-and-a-half
     dollars of revenue in a county of about $4,000 people, very
     significant impact.
               And I'm sorry that the rest of the Nation hasn't
     paid attention to the service that is being asked in Nevada
     to host this facility, to solve what is a very pressing
     environmental problem, and that the rest of the Nation
     hasn't stepped up to the plate and indicated what value they
     would place on that service that Nevada is being -- not
     asked but being requested -- or that's not even correct --
     being forced, if you will, to take.
               In Lincoln County, there's a growing sense of
     resolve that this project will come to Nevada.  That waste
     will be shipped through the state.  It's uncertain whether
     it will be by rail, whether it will be truck, and the
     elected officials in Lincoln County have, I think, taken a
     rather pragmatic position about all this, and I will tell
     you that their approach to the repository is really
               They are focused on understanding and minimizing
     risks, understanding and minimizing impacts, and
     understanding and maximizing benefits.
               In the past year, your staff, I think, did an
     admiral job of trying to help you as a committee understand
     risk and how to communicate risk, understand perceived risk,
     and how to communicate that, perhaps, to the public, and how
     to factor that into your own decisions and advice to the
               And I guess the theme of what I'd like to just
     touch on here briefly today has a lot to do with risk and
     where I think the Commission may be going awry in its work
     and, ultimately, in its efforts to protect public health and
     safety, and I would remind us all today that that is what
     the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's mission is, is to
     protect public health and safety, and everything that we do
     and every outcome of the licensing process should lead to
     that conclusion.
               I'd like to just talk a little bit about the
     package performance study that's underway.  Actually,
     they've completed a draft of that.  They've got it out.
     They're circulating it.  They're getting comments on that.
     This is the NRC.  It's the Sandia report.
               I've attended a couple of workshops concerning
     that, and what I find interesting about that is that the
     NRC, certainly Sandia, and seemingly NRC is moving towards
     spending unknown quantities of money to demonstrate further
     the integrity of the packaging system that will be used to
     ship nuclear waste, and they are doing this at the same time
     they have recently released their update of the risk
     associated with transporting spent fuel, and for your
     reference, that's NUREG/CR-6672, and let me just read one
     quote out of that study.
               "The current estimates of risk are less than those
     estimated in 1977.  Year 2000 estimates indicate a
     confidence that the anticipated increase in spent fuel
     shipments from reactors to interim storage or to a geologic
     repository will not entail a greater risk to the public than
     that considered acceptable in 1977."
               So, the NRC has concluded in their most recent
     assessment of risks that the risks are now lower than what
     we estimated in 1977, and in 1977, the level of risk was an
     acceptable level of risk.
               I ask you, then, why are we spending scarce
     resources to further refine our understanding of the
     integrity of the package system, which ultimately simply
     reduces the uncertainty associated with our estimates of
     performance, which gives us a little better estimate of risk
     and presumably will lower the risk estimates further?
               By the NRC's own admission, the levels of risk are
     already acceptable.
               I would encourage this committee to encourage the
     Commission to reconsider the direction they're going.
               Let me underscore this a little bit with a
     proposal within the package performance study to perhaps do
     full-scale testing of casks.
               The Sandia folks are seemingly leaning towards a
     recommendation that we do a full-scale test of a cask to
     demonstrate the cask's integrity, to help us refine our
     modeling, to calibrate our models, to understand the
     responsiveness of different components of the cask when
     they're all assembled together and you have, you know, a
     severe accident, a beyond-regulatory kind of a scenario.
               And in the workshops I've been in, it's very clear
     that the public, you know, whoever the public is, will not
     accept the results of a single test and will not be willing
     to extrapolate the results of that test of a single cask
     across all other casks of a similar model, let alone all
     other models of casks, and in the NRC report, they are
     basically -- one of the driving reasons for doing the work
     that NRC is proposing through the package performance study,
     or that Sandia is recommending be done, is, and I quote, "to
     increase public confidence in the safety of spent fuel
     shipments."  That's the reason they're doing the work.
               A full-scale test of a single cask will not
     increase public confidence in the safety of spent fuel
     shipments, and if you want to argue with me on that point
     then let's take a look at how the results of the Sandia
     crash test have been used over time and how the results of
     the European tests have been viewed over time.
               It's propaganda.
               So, I really question the merits of the direction
     we're going, and again, I would encourage perhaps this group
     to consider do we need to go down the path of, for example,
     full-scale cask testing and other recommendations in that
     report to try and better understand the performance of these
     components in the package and also the risks associated with
               Getting back to the purpose of the package
     performance study and the proposed studies is to increase
     public confidence in the safety of spent fuel shipments.
               I guess an underscoring point, a kind of
     rhetorical question that I'd like to pose is, is that the
     role of NRC, to increase public confidence in the safety of
     spent fuel shipments, or is the role of NRC to increase
     public confidence in the capability of the NRC licensing
     process to protect public health and safety?
               There's a very clear difference, and it would
     appear to me that the Commission is heading down a path to
     try and become an educator of the public about the risks
     associated with things nuclear, and this has a lot to do
     with risk communication, when, in fact, the public may be --
     if they are concerned at all -- may be most concerned about
     the integrity of the licensing process itself.
               And I guess I would look at that from the
     perspective of, for example, the KTIs, and we have a current
     licensing process going on in Utah right now for a facility,
     and I can tell you that people in Nevada that watch the
     resolution of these key technical issues or watch the
     Private Fuel Storage licensing process that's underway --
     and there is grave concern about the integrity of the NRC
     licensing process.
               For example, is the key technical issue resolution
     process -- and I apologize, Bill, I wasn't hear for your
     presentation, you probably just nailed this, but is the KTI
     resolution process going to result in largely the -- making
     non-relevant the raising of contentions by parties to the
     licensing process, because in essence, all of the potential
     contentions, or the ones, certainly, that NRC believes to be
     important, will have been dealt with through the KTI
     process, and anything else that anyone raises will be viewed
     as largely non-relevant, or certainly not a contention
     that's worthy of pursuing.
               And ultimately, NRC staff recommend to the board
     decisions about those matters, and so, from the outside
     looking in, we have the KTI process, which is not a part of
     the formal licensing process, per se -- we're not even in
     licensing yet, but in essence, are we resolving all the
     contentions that might be raised?
               Well, the answer, obviously we have to say no, but
     outside looking in, it sure has that appearance.
               I would also -- I guess, just finally, just to
     kind of close up here, because I'm taking way too long, I
     guess just three recommendations, just to kind of close out.
               I did talk about the importance of perhaps the
     ACNW considering whether or not the Commission should,
     indeed, be trying to educate the public on the safety of
     things nuclear or whether the Commission should be worrying
     about making sure the public has confidence in their
     licensing process.  I think that's very important.
               Second of all, should the NRC be spending its
     limited resources to further refine or to further understand
     the performance and the risks associated with the packaging
     system given the conclusion they've reached that
     transportation risks are now safer than we ever thought they
     were before, and before, we thought they were acceptable, so
     they must be even more acceptable.
               Finally, I would just ask that this advisory
     committee begin to consider prospective conditions and how
     the NRC will view prospective conditions to a license.
               This is an unprecedented process or project.  If
     you look at the conditions on licenses for nuclear power
     plants, they are certainly not very creative, they're not
     very novel, and we would hope, certainly in Lincoln County,
     that prospective conditions to a license would include
     minimizing risks, would include minimizing impacts, and
     would include maximizing benefits.
               Thank you.
               DR. GARRICK:  Thank you.
               Questions, comments.  Committee?  Staff?
               MR. LARKINS:  One question.
               DR. GARRICK:  Yes.
               MR. LARKINS:  You mentioned the revised
     transportation risk study.  What's your views on the
     adequacy of that and those results?
               MR. BOFFMAN:  My view on the results is that it's
     NRC's perception of risk.  It is nothing more than the NRC's
     perception of risk.
               It is not the real risk associated with
     transporting nuclear waste in a technical sense.  I'm sure
     the preparers of the report think that it is, but the next
     risk assessor is not going to necessarily agree.
               So, clearly, it is nothing more than the NRC's
     perception of risk, and I think it's important that we
     recognize that and that that perception is going to be
     different than other people's.
               Personally, I'm comfortable with that.  I'm
     comfortable with the estimates they've prepared, I'm
     comfortable with the analysis that's been prepared, and I
     think we ought to deal more with reducing accident risk that
     results in fatalities because people have run into a truck
     or a truck runs into their car and things of that nature
     than latent cancer fatalities associated with the exposure
     from an accident.
               DR. GARRICK:  Would you accept the notion of the
     NRC's calculated risk rather than perception, because it
     seems to me, when you say perception, you're implying that
     they have already made up their mind and that they're
     unscientific in their application of risk tools.
               MR. BOFFMAN:  Well, the risk estimates are based
     an awful lot on observation and historic data, and I, as an
     individual, will get on an airplane because of observation
     and historic data, and I'm not a scientist.
               So, I consider my assessment of that risk to be as
     technical, perhaps, as a technical risk assessor's work, you
     know, so I'm a little bit concerned about that.
               I would also suggest that I just lost my train of
     thought, but beyond that -- it's too bad, too, because it
     was a good point.
               Anyhow, the answer is no.
               DR. GARRICK:  Any other questions?
               [No response.]
               DR. GARRICK:  Thank you.
               MR. BOFFMAN:  I'm sorry, Dr. Garrick.  I do
               MR. BOFFMAN:  You know, the NRC has indicated in
     their report that the levels of risk in '77 were acceptable.
     By what measure?  Is that simply a judgement on the part of
     the NRC and its staff?
               It appears to be.  I don't know.  Maybe it's
     compared to other levels of risk, like smoking, voluntary
               You know, there are a lot of voluntary risks, and
     that seems to be how we determine what's acceptable, is we
     take a look at what people do voluntarily, and if the
     calculated risk falls within the realm of voluntary risk,
     then it must be acceptable, at least to those people that,
     you know, assume those voluntary risks, but I don't know
     what the measure of acceptability was that was used.
               DR. GARRICK:  Yeah, but isn't there an important
     point here that, just because we maybe don't know what the
     levels of acceptability are, does that mean that we should
     not try our damnedest to calculate them?
               MR. BOFFMAN:  Yes, because the old adage,
     paralysis by analysis, will set in, and we will end up
     spending dollars, perhaps, assessing risk to see if we can
     get it down to 10 to the minus 9 rather than 10 to the minus
     8, when we could take that money and build a Jersey barrier
     on the highway and save three lives over the life of the
     project.  For those of you that don't know, a Jersey barrier
     is what keeps people from running into each other head-on.
               DR. GARRICK:  I think that's perception, too, of
     the highest order.
               Well, it's obvious that we have a different view
     of the scientific process.
               The scientific process says that we should keep
     looking for answers to things that we don't understand, and
     the genuine risk assessor is supposed to do that, be a part
     of that process, not to use it to cover up lies or to
     confuse the public or what have you.
               So, I think that if you're advocating that we not
     try to calculate these things systematically and
     deliberately, then it seems to me you're advocating the
     rejection of logical processes, and I really challenge that.
               Any other questions?
               MR. HORNBERGER:  As usual, I can't resist
     responding to a soap-box speech.
               I'm not sure that what I heard from the exchange
     -- I didn't hear Mike say the same thing.  So, perhaps I
     should ask Mike to clarify, if nothing else.
               What I heard Mike say was that, fine, given the
     calculations that the risks are tremendously low and you
     face a decision of whether to spend a lot of money doing a
     full-scale cask test or putting Jersey barriers on the
     highway, there might be a very logical thought process and
     analysis that would lead you to do the work on the highway.
               MR. BOFFMAN:  Thank you.
               DR. GARRICK:  I agree with that.
               MR. BOFFMAN:  That's exactly what I meant.
               DR. GARRICK:  I agree with that, but the whole
     concept here should be one of a decision analysis
     What we want as citizens is alternatives and to be able to
     choose between alternatives, but we also want, as citizens,
     responsible analyses of those alternatives, and that's where
     the technical community has, more often than not, failed, is
     that we don't give our policy-makers and our leaders
     quantitative information about the alternatives, and the
     other thing is that our speaker didn't talk about
     calculations.  He talked about perceptions in a way that
     would suggest an arbitrariness that I do not think exists,
     and that was what triggered my comment.
               Any other comments?
               [No response.]
               DR. GARRICK:  Thank you very much.
               MR. BOFFMAN:  Thank you.
               DR. GARRICK:  Okay.
               Our next speaker is from Eureka County.
               MS. JOHNSON:  Hi.  My name is Abby Johnson.  I am
     the nuclear waste advisor for Eureka County, Nevada.  I
     appreciate the opportunity to address the group, and I'm
     going to play it safe today.  I'm not going to talk about
     risk.  It's way too risky.
               MS. JOHNSON:  One of my areas of interest and
     something that Dr. Garrick talked about in his opening
     remarks which he indicated he might want some feedback on is
     public involvement.
               That's a special interest of mine.  It's something
     that our county has committed to do a variety of things on,
     and I'd like to tell you about a couple of those things and
     then make some suggestions and observations related to this
     quandary about how the NRC involves the public and what the
     public's perception of the NRC is, and then, at the end, I'd
     like to make a personal comment, not for Eureka County but
     just as a citizen of Nevada.
               Just to give you a little background, I think when
     we were last in the same room, it was last October, and that
     was during the DOE's environmental impact statement process.
     We in Eureka County had not yet had our public hearing.
               Eureka County is one of the ones that looks like
     New Hampshire and Vermont, looks a little bit like this, and
     it is the one that has the Union Pacific line running
     through the northern part of the county, and there's a
     proposal to build a rail line southwest through Crescent
     Valley and into Lander County.
               As part of our program, we do community meetings
     where needed in the county to explain these complex issues
     and answer questions.
               We do a newsletter, and we do the web-site, Yucca
     Mountain.org, my little advertising here, and that's a
     challenge to do all that and to take this complex
     information, the kind of information I hear at these
     meetings, and then be able to distill it in such a way that
     I can answer people's questions, and sometimes I can and
     sometimes I can't, depends on what the information is.
               One thing that I did this summer was I went to the
     NRC's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board application hearing
     for the independent spent fuel storage facility in Salt Lake
     City related to the Goshute project.  I think that's enough
     big words there.
               It was very interesting.  You have to realize that
     certainly I and most of us in Nevada are unfamiliar with
     your licensing process at all, since, of course, we do not
     have any nuclear power plants in Nevada, and so, it's very
     educational.  It was extremely educational, and one thing I
     learned was -- actually, I came away appreciating, no
     offense, the Department of Energy, because when you go to
     one of their meetings, there's always like tree-killing
     paper in the back of the room and hand-outs, and you can
     really follow what's going on.
               Well, it's a different world at these licensing
     hearings, I learned, and I took that as an early signal
     that, if we are to get to the point of licensing a
     repository at Yucca Mountain, I feel very strongly that the
     Nuclear Regulatory Commission should look at its public
     involvement process related to the licensing hearings.
               I know there's an issue about whether or not to
     have a formal or informal hearing, and we support a formal
     hearing process, but that doesn't mean that that the public
     has to be left out.
               I think it's essential, especially for a public
     that's used to the hand-outs in the back of the room and
     kind of the view-graph kind of thing, the way DOE does
     things, that they need to understand what's going on, and
     it's up to the NRC to make that possible and not necessarily
     to go by the way we've always done it.
               I think it's really important to think of
     different ways to do that.
               Last night, I almost finished my comments on
     behalf of the county on the Draft Environmental Impact
     Statement for the private spent fuel storage facility on the
     Goshute project, and in reading that document, I had a
     couple of you've-got-to-be-kiddings and a couple of aha's.
               And one that I hadn't realized until I really sat
     down to read it is that the proposal is to store up to
     40,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel at the Goshute
     facility in western Utah, virtually at Nevada's doorstep,
     which is, you know -- I think I did the math -- 57 percent
     of the commercial spent fuel that's currently in the law
     scheduled to go to Yucca Mountain, of the 70,000 metric
     tons, and the other thing in that document is it's rail
               There aren't any real options, they say.  The
     Commission says rail.
               Now, here we are, Eureka County, looking at DOE's
     proposal, reading that EIS, which, as Bart from Clark County
     well articulated, doesn't have route or mode decisions.
     Here we are in Eureka County reading NRC's EIS on this other
     project, also dealing with commercial spent fuel, which says
     it's going to be rail, we're not going to do any analysis in
     Nevada, because we're depending on DOE's EIS to provide that
               To NRC's credit, I thought they did some very
     strong comments on that draft EIS, but that's the same EIS
     that you had serious concerns about, including
     transportation concerns, that in this document you're
     relying on.
               And it's very hard from the standpoint of us as a
     county, trying to figure out what's going on.
               The other thing that was very clear to me,
     knowing, as I do, and hearing Bill Reamer talk earlier about
     the process with key technical issues, in the NRC's EIS on
     Goshute, the Department of Energy isn't even listed as an
     agency that was consulted.
               Now, in the Yucca Mountain project, you know, you
     guys are talking all the time.
               What are we to make of that?  If 40,000 metric
     tons of spent nuclear fuel are actually going to be in
     Nevada's doorstep in western Utah, that changes a lot of
     things.  That changes a lot of things for the State of
     Nevada, for the affected counties, potentially for Eureka
     County, and we're asked to make sense out of that.
               You know, from the standpoint of the people that
     I'm trying to explain this to, they're taxpayers, and
     they're going, well, it's all the Federal Government, isn't
     it?  How come they're not talking to each other?  This
     agency says this and that agency says that.
               So, I guess my message is your message is very
     mixed, and I realize you have a number of jobs to do, and it
     may some flies in the whole organizational structure of all
     the different things that -- I mean I say you, I mean NRC --
     that NRC has to do and all that hat-switching, but from the
     perspective of the public, it's very confusing, it's not at
     all clear, and I think that NRC needs to be a little --
     needs to be much more aware of these kind of inconsistencies
     that appear, and I don't mean that we're talking about just
               I mean I believe that, fundamentally, it should be
     corrected, not just make it look better.
               Finally -- this is the personal comment part.  I'm
     the one that's going to take the bait that Shelley Berkley
     put out there earlier today.
               Speaking personally as Abby Johnson, someone who
     has been involved in this issue since 1983, she said a lot
     of things in a politician's sort of way that I think are
     very true, and all of the logical disconnects between what
     we were told and what's happening to us, it's all true.
               Every time I come to one of these technical
     meetings, not just you guys, TRB, as well, as many times as
     I attend these technical meetings where the flaws of Yucca
     Mountain are discussed in-depth, if you excuse the pun, I
     never fail to come away with what I call information
     vertigo, and that is the clash of common sense with
     technical justification.
               I mean, as just a member of the public and
     possibly a member of the public from back east, if you
     transplanted them here and you had them sit in this room and
     they heard that you were seriously talking about the risks
     from volcanoes exploding and that it's okay, I think they'd
     be horrified to hear that was happening in their state, and
     I'm horrified, too, and I know how the game is played, but
     it's a bad site, and no one has the guts to say it's a bad
     site, and Congressman Berkley got around to that.
               It's the emperor's new clothes, but no one says
     it, because everybody is so into the system that no one
     really kind of blows the whistle on it.
               So, that's my personal opinion.
               Thank you for listening.
               DR. GARRICK:  Thank you.
               MS. JOHNSON:  I feel a little better.
               Does anybody have questions, like not on the
     personal opinion, on the public involvement part.
               DR. GARRICK:  No, except we agree, the public
     needs to be involved, and it's an issue we continue to push,
     and we're learning as we go.
               MS. JOHNSON:  The affected units of local
     government have had a very positive meeting with Chairman
     Meserve, and we're hoping to have more meetings like that.
               It appears to be a constructive process, and we
     appreciate that.
               DR. GARRICK:  Milt, do you have a question?
               MR. LEVENSON:  Yeah, I have one comment.
               You expressed a certain amount of frustration with
     the difference between different facilities and different
     licenses, and it was very modest compared to the frustration
     some of us on the committee have from the same cause.
               Maybe one of the things you could feed back to
     your congressman is that a lot of this frustration arises
     from Congress, that Yucca Mountain has a law that has
     different requirements than licensing an interim facility,
     and there isn't anything anybody at this committee or the
     NRC or anything else can do when Congress gives us
     conflicting things.
               In this specific case, this is one.
               MS. JOHNSON:  There's one other thing I didn't
     mention that I really would like to get on the record, and
     that is that I have really, really tried to use NRC's
     web-site, and it drives me nuts.
               I can never find what I'm looking for, and I end
     up taking staff time to call people who shouldn't have to
     answer these little tiny questions of mine.  I mean I'm
     calling people who are making a lot of money an hour, and I
     shouldn't be having to call them.
               There should be a way so that I can be -- I can
     easily find out, for example -- I can easily read the
     Federal Register notice for when the comment deadline is on
     the Goshute EIS and figure out if it's received by or if
     it's postmarked.
               I should be able to find out when meetings are.
               It's a maze, it's a mess, and I can't figure out
     how to use it, and I take up staff time calling when I could
     get the information on the web, and I think it really,
     really, really needs to be overhauled.
               DR. GARRICK:  We agree with that.
               DR. GARRICK:  All right.
               We have a request for one more county
               MS. SCHENKLE:  Hi.  I'm Judy Schenkle.  I'm the
     affected unit of local government representative.
               Basically, I have a question that would be more or
     less what our public feel, and as the DOE wants this design
     to be flexible, new developments arise during various
     studies on the safety of Yucca Mountain, and new questions
     will arise -- for example, the degradation of the waste
               At the August Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board
     meeting, an uncertainty about the corrosion of alloy C-22
               How can a final waste package be developed if new
     uncertainties arise?
               How can the NRC approve a waste package design if
     there is no final design?
               This is only one example of new uncertainties that
     question whether Yucca Mountain is suitable.
               The DOE should have a final design to be reviewed
     and tested before it's recommended as a site that is safe
     and suitable as a repository.
               Since I've been here, they have gone from a design
     with no back-fill, hot to cooler design, no drip shields
     until later, no final design in the waste package.
               My question is, if I'm going to go out and buy a
     vehicle, I want to make sure the product is there before I
     can recommend that I'll buy it or not, and that's my basic
               DR. GARRICK:  Does anybody want to answer it or
               [No response.]
               DR. GARRICK:  The committee has also been
     frustrated by the lack of stability in the design of the
     waste package.
               Thank you very much.
               All right.
               I think we're down to Dr. Jacob Powers.  You'll
     tell us a little bit about what you're up to?
               DR. POWERS:  My name is Dr. Jacob Powers, and very
     briefly, history, I make in Israel atomic bombs and explode
     them at the Nevada test site, as a background.  I'm a
     self-employed consultant.
               My concern has been risen several times on the
     issue of complex mixtures.  I raised it up at the
     environmental meeting reply to EIS and twice with NRC, and I
     have here a dilemma which I'm going to open to the
     scientific community to open for debate.
               The EIS, which addressed risk assessment, is an
     old model and, in my professional opinion, is inaccurate.
     It does not take into account the issue of heavy metals
     mixture and radio-nuclide mixtures.
               The issue is far more complex.  There are EPA
     guidelines which has been issued in 1996, 1990, 1988, NAS,
     National Academy of Sciences, and in 1997, there is a
     presidential commission, congressional commission which
     address the issue of complex mixture, and it's a matter of
     concern and important, and the EPA, in 1999, is going to
     issue revised guidelines.
               The question is, is this going to apply to Yucca
               We cannot ignore it.
               Usually, what we have, we have a hazardous waste
     site first, then we have all the chemicals and so on.  Here
     we have a different situation.
               We have a situation which we're going to have
     later on.
               We create one of the most hazardous waste sites on
     earth, because what's happened first, you're going to have
     corrosion of the canister in the plume, and it will increase
     the toxicity, carcinogenicity, and nobody has modeled it
               There is very little information in the literature
     with regard to combination of two or more radio-nuclides
     and/or heavy metals.
               I can just mention two Russian works, one which
     they have irradiated cesium-137 and strontium-189 and they
     find increasing rate of radio-nuclides.  So, this bring to
     the basic question, what is the mixture of radio-nuclides,
     together can have an effect.
               To the issue of synergistic effect, there is a
     Russian work which took irradiated cell -- I'm sorry --
     first was adding to cell, cutting with chloride, and then
     irradiate them, and they have found an increase in formation
     of free radicals, which suggested synergistic interaction.
               Second, what they have done, the first irradiated
     cell, then they cut in chloride, they found out that there
     is a synergistic effect.
               The issue for Yucca Mountain -- there are two.
     One is the ground water pollution, and I was surprised not
     to see on your agenda to be addressed this issue today,
     because this is catastrophic event and must be addressed.
               If you're going to look at EIS at Yucca Mountain
     project, I am seeing the least scenario, and in between,
     there is a very big question-mark.
               With regard to transportation, potentially, in the
     worst scenario is terrorism, and who knows, it can happen on
     the waterway, it can happen on soil or air.  The end result
     is unknown.
               Before I am concluded, there is one French work
     from 1999.  They investigated the effect in staining of
     actinide.  Their conclusion was the following, that
     lactinide and iridium are highly toxic.  The LC-50, which 50
     percent of the cell was 10 to the minus 5, 10 to the minus 6
     molar, and they concluded that the study of potential
     chemical and irradiation interaction should be taken into
               What I'm calling, my approach, I proposed a
     research to YMP to carry some initial, to address the issue,
     unofficial.  It is basic research.  I don't think so,
     because the model, the methodology already exists for about
     12 years.
               Second, it's the regulatory agency to set the
     standard.  My reply to this is that EPA, NRC must interact
     together to answer this issue.
               How are you going to address this issue, because
     all the projection of cancer or toxicity is a very big
               There is one model which exists called
     physiological pharmokinetic models, and this should be
     incorporated into the study of Yucca Mountain.
               I would call again to EPA, NRC, really to look at
     very closely, because this is a really serious issue from a
     scientific point of view.
               I don't want you to start with the politics of
     science, because the politician would love my results if I'm
               What I'm calling is I'm making some recommendation
     -- number one is to establish a joint between EPA, NRC,
     Yucca Mountain, and the state, and maybe also academic, to
     open this issue, because this is a very serious issue, and I
     can provide some review of the literature.
               Number three, have a symposium open to the public.
     Address the issue of complex mixtures.  If you're not going
     to do it, then it's the politics.
               What I have found is everybody say you apply this
     grant, this grant here and there.  If you're going to go in
     licensing and you don't address this issue, this is one of
     the first things which I go before the licensing board and I
     will challenge, because there is enough scientific data to
     support my position, and if I finish it, it may be a joke,
     but you never know who will explode, and there will be a lot
     of business.
               So, please think in all the issues which I have
               If somebody wants to get some more elaborate
     information, I have a draft proposal which summarize some of
     my thoughts.  I'm willing to give it.
               Thank you very much.
               Do you have any questions?
               DR. GARRICK:  Thank you.
               Milt, do you have any questions?
               MR. LEVENSON:  I have one question.
               On the Russian work which you referenced which
     demonstrated synergistic effects, under what conditions was
     it done relative to, say, the doses that we're expecting out
     at the edge where people will actually interact?
               DR. POWERS:  I don't read Russian, so I can't give
     you complete information.
               MR. LEVENSON:  My question is if it was done at
     radiation levels that are couple of orders of magnitude and
     on chemical concentrations that are orders of magnitude
     higher, then the question of relevancy comes up.
               DR. POWERS:  Okay.  The relevancy comes out if
     you're taking -- I can give you only partial answers.
               I have done some work in the past, and I think,
     when you're talking about 10 to the minus 4, 10 to the minus
     5, you can see some interaction on heavy metals.  The issue
     has not been addressed.
               The only one which I can address is to show some
     effect, linearities at about 100 millicurie.  I can give you
     later on.
               DR. GARRICK:  Ray?
               MR. WYMER:  No, no questions.
               DR. GARRICK:  George?
               I guess your point is the toxicity of toxic
               DR. POWERS:  Correct.
               DR. GARRICK:  Now, are you more concerned about
     the chemical side of the toxicity than the radiation side?
               DR. POWERS:  I have concerned both.  I cannot give
     you, because there is insufficient information to give you.
     I can give you just hypothesis.
               If you take just hypothesis -- and I can cite this
     Russian work -- if you're taking cadmium, which is an
     important carcinogen, and it's 10 to the minus 4, and you
     interact it with irradiation, and the same mechanism is
     involved, formation of free radicals, as a target organ
     injury, I say this is an example, because we don't have
     information to answer these questions.
               There's very little information in the literature,
     and I think this is one of the first times it comes into
     effect from the point of view of interaction.
               DR. GARRICK:  Is this a problem you've thought
     about, Andy?
               Any comments from the staff?
               [No response.]
               DR. GARRICK:  Okay.
               Well, thank you very much.
               DR. POWERS:  Thank you.
               DR. GARRICK:  Okay.
               We have been asked to allow Mr. William Basconi to
     make a few remarks.
               We welcome you back.
               MR. BASCONI:  I assume the benefit of listening to
     me is I'm the last one, right?
               DR. GARRICK:  No.  You are only the last one to
     asked to be listened to.
               MR. BASCONI:  Very good.
               Well, I'm a 40-year resident of Nevada, originally
     from Pennsylvania.
               I worked 17 years at the Nevada test site as a
     construction worker, radiation technician, and monitor.
               I continue to be involved with the test site
     through employee transition committees, historical
     foundations, committee to reuse organizations, Nevada Test
     Site Development Corporation, study committees, etcetera, on
     preservation of the test site, bringing on new jobs,
     utilizing the buildings, etcetera.
               So, you've got the basic feel of why I'm standing
               I am a Nevadan.  I love Nevada.  I'm an
     outdoorsman.  I spend a lot of time in the hills.
               Yet, I'm an American, and I just want you folks to
     know there's a good many Nevadans that look at this in a
     national issue.
               The national issue and the respect that, yes, you
     can talk spent fuel rods from 103 nuclear power houses, but
     there's a good many of us know that we have nine aircraft
     carriers, plus one under construction, that's nuclear, we've
     got 65 submarines, plus five more under construction, that
     are nuclear.
               Those are national issues.
               We've got 83 reactors in universities or medical
     facilities.  That's a national issue.
               Nevada will say they have nothing nuclear, but
     they utilize nuclear products.
               A lot of the electricity that comes in over the
     grid is from nuclear.
               Cars from Japan -- they have 59 nuclear reactors.
     Germany.  Even Canada has 14.
               A lot of the countries in the world have nuclear
     reactors.  There are some 400 of them.  It's nuclear.
               What it means to me is the waste on the nuclear
     issue would cover a football field 15 foot high after 40
               You know, we move more dirt than that for any of
     these hotels here in town.  We move more dirt than that for
     any one of these hotels here in town.
               Nevada -- Nevada says it's not our problem.  Well,
     it might be those Nevadans that feel it's not their problem,
     but they may well be the solution for problems, this
     Nation's nuclear problems for many generations to come.
               We hear terminologies like 10,000 years, the
     canisters aren't going to maintain themselves.  Well, I
     think that terminology is ludicrous.
               Ten thousand years?  Ten thousand years, it's
     going to be awful crowded here in southern Nevada, by the
     time we have that ice age come down across Montreal and New
     York City and New Jersey, 200-foot ice in New York City.
     Where do you think them folks are going to move?
               I'm not so concerned with whether there's going to
     be grass growing in Amargosa Valley as I am that ice age
     going to come down here and get all of us anyway, right?
               What brings you back to 10,000 years -- I give our
     educational system -- even here in our Nevada, I give our
     educational system more credit, folks.
               You're building that place with today's
     technology, today's metals, today's brains.  In 300 years,
     that may well be a renewable energy resource.
               You convince this old gray-haired man that oil --
     I know you pay attention to oil -- you convince this old man
     that oil and coal is going to be around in 300 years.  I
     doubt that very seriously.
               Yucca Mountain, consolidation of spent fuel rods,
     high-level waste -- there's a lot of Nevadans that think
     it's doable, it's a viable solution.
               There's a lot of Nevadans -- yes, they'll say,
     hey, let's maximize ourselves on this, let's do what we can
     to maximize the benefits to be derived from five decades of
     nuclear expertise at the Nevada test site.
               You know, we detonated 928 nuclear devices at the
     test site.  Twenty-four of them was for Great Britain.  Nine
     hundred and four were our own.  A hundred of them were
               We're educated nuclear.  We got it figured out.
               We've got underground right now 904 repositories
     at the Nevada test site, 904.
               I was a meeting a while back here, and I said NTS,
     and somebody says what does NTS mean?  Another person in the
     audience said new to smoking.
               You ask folks what their concerns are here in Las
     Vegas, Nevada.  You know 50 percent of the people in Clark
     County have been here less than 10 years?  It's 1.3 million
     people.  Fifty percent have been here less than 10 years.
               They're worried about crime.  Crime?  There's a
     murder every other day.  There's a rape every nine hours.
     There's a car stolen every 40 minutes.  They're worried
     about crime.  They're worried about water.  They're worried
     about schools.  They're worried about jobs.
               Yucca Mountain is way out there someplace, maybe
     number 14.
               You hear about saboteurs, going to saboteur these
     hauling the high-level waste.  Why would a saboteur want to
     blow up a truckload of waste?  Why not go right out here to
     Nellis Air Force Base where we store 1,450 nuclear devices,
     weapons guarded by America's finest, 18 and 20 years old,
     that don't have those drip shield on those out there, by the
     way?  That's all public information, 1,450 nuclear devices
     stored within a population of 1.3 million people.
               I don't see the state getting up in arms about it.
     I don't see somebody saying how did you transport them here,
     how do you transport them out?
               Realistically, Yucca Mountain, consolidation of
     spent fuel rods, yeah, there's a good many Nevadans that say
     they're all for our country, and that is our state motto.
     We're all for our country.  We know we utilize nuclear
               Yes, the NRC, the EPA, DOE -- you're a bunch of
     Feds.  That's how some folks look at you.  We do look to the
     technical review boards.  We do look at the National Academy
     of Sciences.
               You guys have got your work cut out for you,
     because a lot of us good old boys come out of the woodwork
     and we try to read some of these reports.  We can't.  We can
     come down here and ask you questions.
               We want you to know we believe in you.  We believe
     in what you're doing.
               We also know that the emergency response, the
     health and safety of the residents of Nevada is paramount to
               Now, you may not think much of the community up
     the road here that's got about 8,000 people in the size of
     the State of Virginia, but that nuclear waste is going to
     come right through their community where 80 percent of the
     people live.
               You might not be concerned about the ranchers up
     north that say we want transition of Federal lands.  Do you
     realize that Nevada -- the only state that has more Federal
     lands than Nevada is Alaska?  Don't say Texas.  They were a
     country for about six, eight years.
               Eighty-six percent of Nevada is Federal land.
     What's wrong with transition of Federal rights to the State
     of Nevada?  What's wrong with water rights?  What's wrong
     with a Superfund, a stewardship trust fund?  Never been
     offered to us.
               Grants can be taken out by the state or the
     counties to improve their infrastructure, their school
     systems, their roads, etcetera.  What's wrong with the fact
     that maybe a railroad system through the center of the state
     is not the best answer, because after the nuclear waste is
     hauled, we can open up the centralized part of Nevada for
     economic development and issues.  What's wrong with that?
               I know I'm carrying on, because I get started on
     this, and away I go.
               There's nothing wrong with that.
               Emergency response initiatives, transportation
     initiatives -- this is what the folks out in the woods want
     to talk about.  This what your rural community wants to talk
               I'm not paid to stand up here.  Some folks are
     paid to stand up here.  Hell, Nevada is so damn important
     they hire unemployed Russian scientists to make a statement
     so it sounds good.  I can't go along with that either.  I
     think there's people in this country that could take care of
               But I want you to know there are folks that's
     leaning your way, that we want to get it done, we want to do
     it right, because we will be your worst enemy if it's wrong.
               So, get out back in the rural counties, educate
     us, give us a little credit for being about half smart, and
     let's get it done.
               We got the mountain, we got the management, and we
     got the men to do it right.  Let's get on with the project
     for the United States of America.
               DR. GARRICK:  Thank you.
               Any comments?
               MR. BASCONI:  Comments, questions.
               MR. LEVENSON:  Let me just comment that I want to
     thank you for your faith in the integrity of the committee,
     as evidenced by the fact that you left your wallet on the
     table here.
               MR. BASCONI:  Well, that's perception.
               MR. BASCONI:  That was glasses and a black book.
               DR. GARRICK:  I think that's the end of the list,
     unless there's somebody else who would like to add to the
     commentary of the afternoon, which has been very interesting
     and will be valuable, as it has been in the past, valuable
     source material for our deliberations and report
     preparation.  This is the highlight, as I said, of our trip
               [No response.]
               DR. GARRICK:  All right, then.
               I think what I'd like to do is call a recess, and
     when we come back, we're not going to be on record.  We have
     completed all of our briefings and presentations.  The
     balance of the day is going to be in committee work having
     to do with studying -- considering our priorities and
     examining our action plan and the progress we've made and so
     on and so forth.
               So, I think we'll take a 15-minute break, so that
     the recorder can do what she has to do.
               [Whereupon, at 4:15 p.m., the meeting was

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