Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste 124th Meeting, January 16, 2001

                Official Transcript of Proceedings


Title:                    Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste
                               124th Meeting

Docket Number:  (not applicable)

Location:                 Rockville, Maryland

Date:                     Tuesday, January 16, 2001

Work Order No.: NRC-030                               Pages 1-113

                   NEAL R. GROSS AND CO., INC.
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                                 + + + + +
                            124TH ACNW MEETING
                                 + + + + +
                             JANUARY 16, 2001
                                 + + + + +
                            ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND
                                 + + + + +
                       The Advisory Committee met at Conference
           Room 2B3, Two White Flint North, B. John Garrick,

                 JOHN GARRICK
                 GEORGE HORNBERGER
                 MILTON LEVENSON
                 RAYMOND WYMER

                 John T. Larkins, Executive Director
                 Lynn G. Deering
                 Howard J. Larson
                 Andrew Campbell

           ALSO PRESENT:
                 Jeff Ciocco
                 Stephanie Bush-Goddard
                 Bret Leslie, NRC Staff
                 Lisa Gue
                 Mr. Major
                 Carl Feldman
                 Bob Nelson
                 Paul Genoa

           .                                 I-N-D-E-X
                       AGENDA ITEM                         PAGE

           Opening Remarks by Chairman Garrick                4
           ACNW Sufficiency Review Application
             Task Action Plan                                 6
           Comments on the Yucca Mountain Project
             Lisa Gue, Public Citizen Group                  42
           Entombment Option for Decommissioning Power
             Comments by Stephanie Bush-Goddard              60
             Comments by Paul Genoa                          98
             Comments by Lisa Gue                           107
           Adjournment                                      112

           .                           P-R-O-C-E-E-D-I-N-G-S
                                                   (10:22 a.m.)
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Good morning.  The
           meeting will now come to order.  This is the first day
           of the 124th meeting of the Advisory Committee on
           Nuclear Waste.
                       My name is John Garrick, Chairman of the
           ACNW.  Other members of the Committee present include
           George Hornberger, Milt Levenson and Richard -- or
           Raymond Wymer.
                       During today's meeting the Committee will
           discuss progress on ACNW's Sufficiency Review
           Application Task Action Plan, discuss with the NMSS
           staff several questions related to the Entombment
           Option for Decommissioning Power Reactors; discuss
           Planned ACNW Reports on several topics, including the
           Entombment Option, Key Technical Issue Resolution, the
           Staff's Progress on Total Performance Assessment, and
           the Annual Research Report to the Commission.
                       Howard Larson is the designated Federal
           Official for today's initial session.  The meeting is
           being conducted in accordance with the provisions of
           the Federal Advisory Committee Act.
                       We have received no written statements
           from members of the public regarding today's session.
           Should anyone wish to address the Committee, please
           make your wishes known to one of the Committee staff.
                       And as usual, it's requested that speakers
           use one of the microphones, identify themselves and
           speak clearly.  Before proceeding with the first
           Agenda item, I'd like to cover some brief items of
           current interest.
                       As we all know by now, President Elect
           Bush has nominated out-going U.S. Senator Spencer
           Abraham of Michigan to be Secretary of the Department
           of Energy, and New Jersey Governor Christy Todd
           Whitman to the Administrator -- to be an Administrator
           of the Environmental Protection Agency.
                       Utah regulators have given preliminary
           approval to Envirocare of Utah to its request to be
           allowed to dispose of more low-level waste, most Class
           A, plus more Class B and C waste.  There is a 60-day
           public comment period after which approval by both the
           Governor and the State Legislature is required.
                       On January 3rd of this year, the National
           Research Council held its first meeting of the
           Committee on Alternatives for Controlling the Release
           of Solid Materials from Nuclear Regulatory Commission-
           Related Facilities.
                       This is related to a proposed clearance
           rule.  The Committee is chaired by Richard S. McGhee.
           So with that, the -- and unless there are comments on
           any of those items, I think we will proceed directly
           into our Agenda.
                       And the first item is progress on ACNW's
           Sufficiency Review Application Task Action Plan, and
           I think the ACNW staff member that's going to lead
           this discussion is Lynn Deering.
                       MS. DEERING:  Yes, sir.  Thank you.  I'm
           on Tab 3, and this section of the notebook contains a
           write-up of a revised approach to our Sufficiency and
           KTI Resolution Review.  And this is draft six of that
                       Each notebook it gets changed a little
           bit.  It gets better and better and one of these days
           we're going to do something with it.  We're going to
           take it somewhere and --
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  You'll stop calling it
           draft and call it version VER.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  REV zero.
                       MS. DEERING:  Well, yes, we'll start all
           over.  But at one point we were going to maybe brief
           -- use that one-pager to brief Commissioner TAs.  In
           light of the fact we may be just briefing the whole
           Commission in March on that same subject, perhaps
           that's what we'll do with it.
                       And in fact, I've already developed some
           draft view graphs from it.  Yes.
                       DR. LARKINS:  I just was going to mention
           -- interject a point here -- now, even with the, what
           looks like the deferred schedule on the site
           termination, when I talked to the various Commissions
           they felt that it was still a good idea that we
           proceed with our planning and our review, because they
           felt that would give us an opportunity to get ahead of
           the curve and it would still be timely.  So I just
           wanted to interject that.
                       MS. DEERING:  Good.  Okay, because that is
           our plan to proceed ahead.  And one of the things I've
           asked NRC staff, Jeff Ciocco and Jim Furth, if they
           can add during this discussion, enlighten us a little
           bit about their schedule, given the delays, but how
           they're proceeding, so that we know if there's drivers
           for us in terms of what they're doing.
                       And so we've got that in the notebook.
           Item 3, is the template that we developed following
           the San Antonio meeting to conduct our reviews, help
           us conduct our reviews.  And the Committee members
           have filled out the templates to various degrees for
           discussion today.
                       We will use some of those draft templates
           for discussion on the individual vertical slices, to
           what we have.  You know, and I think from here also we
           want to talk about schedules, where we go from here.
                       And Ray's already proposed and George
           concurred that we use the March meeting to really
           start.  We're going to actually start our reviews and
           give status reports and official reports, and maybe
           some presentations and view graphs about where we
           stand in March.
                       So I'm just going to, before I turn it
           over to individual KTI vertical slices, just sort of
           update for the audience, if nothing else, and for
           ourselves where we stand on this.  The last month or
           the month before last in San Antonio we agreed that we
           may actually add an additional product to our overall
                       And that was, we may do some comments on
           the SRCR itself.  Although that is not the primary
           objective of what we're doing, it -- but it may be an
           outcome, and I've revised the one-pager to reflect
                       And again, the one-pager was revised to
           kind of put the focus on the fact that we're
           conducting -- and I'm just going to read excerpts from
                       So you don't need to follow along, per se.
           But we're going to conduct vertical slice reviews
           -- hold on, I've lost my spot -- vertical slice
           reviews of the staff's KTI issue resolution process,
           rather than a report itself.
                       So Ray, you made a really good point this
           morning about having attended the technical exchange.
           One of the things you said was you weren't sure you
           agreed with the resolution, at least on one of these
           sub-issues, in terms of the closed pending status and
           maybe the basis for that.
                       And I think that's exactly what we're
           trying to do with these vertical slices, is get at
           that kind of issue.  Do we agree with the
           defensibility of what the staff's doing, the
           transparency of what the staff's doing in the issue
           resolution process, the traceability?
                       Are they being overly conservative?  Are
           they being underly (sic) conservative?  Are we buying
           in with what we hear and see?  And so I think that's
           a really good example.  That just really nails what I
           think we're trying to do here.
                       And again, we're using all the SRCR.  Even
           though we did not -- it won't be issued until
           December, all the technical bases documents are out,
           the PMRs, the AMRs and I am about to ask Jeff to
           comment here on their schedules and the tools that
           they're using.
                       But we have what we need, as the staff has
           what they need, even before the SRCR is submitted, to
           get a good jump start on this whole review.
                       So Jeff, could you let us know what you
           guys are doing?
                       MR. CIOCCO:  Yes.  My name's Jeff Ciocco.
           I'm with the NRC staff.  I'm a little bit hoarse this
           morning, so excuse me.  We are proceeding by
           implementing the staff sufficiency guidance and
           beginning to initiate our preparation of sufficiency
                       As you know, there's a lot of uncertainty
           as to when the DOE will release its Site
           Recommendation Consideration Report.  We do have the
           AMRs/PMRs.  We have the preliminary pre-closure safety
           evaluation.  We don't have the TSP/ASR.
                       MR. WYMER:  We received some of those just
           last week.
                       MR. CIOCCO:  Okay.  We have received some
           of the TSP/ASR reports.  And we also have the
           uncertainty with the new Volume 3 of the SRCR, which
           is the NWTRBs cold versus hot repository design.  So
           we are beginning to initiate the review in order to
           get ahead and to -- really to, I guess to get ahead of
           the submission of the DOE's SRCR.
                       MS. DEERING:  Are you using --
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Microphone.
                       MS. DEERING:  Sorry.  Do you have what you
           feel you need in the way of your preliminary guidance
           to -- for now.  I know it's not a final document, but
           you have a structure, and in part, using -- or how do
           you conduct your review?  Put it that way.
                       MS. DEERING:  Are you at the point where
           you're just gathering -- let me back up.  Maybe that's
           not something I can ask you.  Are you -- what schedule
           are you using to try to pull your comments
                       MR. CIOCCO:  Well, the site recommendation
           schedule had us to generate sufficiency comments by
           May of 2001.
                       MS. DEERING:  Right.
                       MR. CIOCCO:  And depending on when the DOE
           submits the SRCR, we may be compressed to still submit
           comments by May 2001.  There's, you know, obviously
           uncertainty in that.  So we're kind of backing out a
           schedule from May 2001 and generating comments.
                       MS. DEERING:  Okay.
                       MR. CIOCCO:  Well, obviously, we're going
           to have to evaluate those comments when the SRCR comes
           in.  We don't know what the actual contents of the
           report are going to be, but we know what the technical
           basis documents are now that we have received, and
           those are public documents.
                       MS. DEERING:  Okay.  That's helpful.  So
           that means we might want to keep with that schedule
           also, the May 2001, keep that in mind as a target
           ourselves, because there's a lot of uncertainty.  So,
           or at least get something preliminary together.
                       I think what we might want to do, then, is
           talk a little bit about these templates and where we
           stand in the various -- on the various vertical
           slices.  And Ray, you were -- you did a really nice
           job on yours, and Andy's got this draft on the working
                       So you all might want to start, sort of
           kick it off and brief us on, you know, some of your
           insights in filling out the template and whatever you
           want to talk about.
                       DR. WYMER:  Okay.  Well, I wasn't terribly
           enthusiastic about it when it first came up, but as I
           get into it, it seemed like it was probably
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  "It" being the template.
                       DR. WYMER:  The template, yeah.
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  I just wanted to correct
           that for the record.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.  That was a capital "I"
           there on the end.
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  Because somebody might
           have misinterpreted it and thought you weren't excited
           about the chemistry issue.
                       DR. WYMER:  Oh, I doubt if this group
           would ever make that mistake.  It did force me to,
           probably sooner than I would have, to go into a real
           reading of the AMRs and looking through a lot of the
           stuff.  So I thought it was a worthwhile exercise, all
           in all.
                       I questioned one of the points that Lynn
           put into her outline, is the NFC's previous resolution
           status prior to technical exchange and source.  I
           didn't know how that contributed to going forward.  So
           I didn't do anything on that particular item.
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  Ray, I think that -- I
           don't disagree with you're not pursuing it -- but I
           think that our -- I believe that our thinking had been
           that we might get some insight as to if there was a
           change in the issue's status as to exactly what it was
           that led the staff to conclude that such a change was
           warranted, and that would give us sort of a time line
           or a course, a path to resolution and might give us
           some insights.  That's all.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes, I thought that's probably
           what the objective was, but it seemed to me that if we
           knew what the current status was and we're going
           forward from that point, that was what was important.
           But okay.
                       There's differences of opinion.  But we do
           plan, as you know, to hold this little working group's
           -- not exactly a working group, but a group of us get
           together, three consultants and Andy and myself are
           going to get together and discuss the KTIs that relate
           -- and the AMRs that relate to mainly the corrosion
           issue, but peripheral issues that related to that,
           that have to do with transport of radio nuclides.
                       And so we've put together a plan to
           proceed to an outline that we're going to follow in
           holding our meeting, which will allow us to go into
           considerable depth vertically.
                       And Andy has also superimposed on that in
           order to cover some of the issues, the other KTIs that
           are not our direct interest, the horizontal slice,
           which broadens out what we're going to discuss, too,
           things like transport phenomena.
                       If I recall the RAD transport in
           particular is an issue that we're interested in.
                       MS. DEERING:  Yes.
                       DR. WYMER:  So as we're going a little
           farther than maybe than you anticipated with respect
           to making this in-depth vertical slice, in that we're
           pulling in outside people to help us with our
           thinking, people that have a more detailed background
           in some of these specific areas.
                       And that's pretty well outlined in the
           stuff that you've handed out to the Committee, at
           least, which is generally available to anybody who has
           the temerity to be interested in all of these details.
                       I don't know what else, really, to say,
           Lynn, without getting into the stuff I specifically
           wrote on the KTIs.  Generally, I think it's a
           worthwhile exercise.
                       MS. DEERING:  Yes.  And you're comfortable
           -- it's a worthwhile exercise.  You think it's a
           doable exercise, right?
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       MS. DEERING:  We can get there from here?
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       MS. DEERING:  I mean, because some of this
           was experimental in the beginning.  Like, are we even
           on the right track; how far can we go with it.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes, I think we can.  And in
           my write-up of the vertical slice template I have a
           fairly extensive attachment that I hooked on that
           deals with the resolution of the key technical issues,
           at least on container life and source term, which is
           our principal thrust.
                       So there is an attachment that deals in
           some detail with the corrosion processes and the
           lifetime of the containers.  And it says what the
           steps are that NRC and DOE plan to take with respect
           to resolution of these key technical issues, with even
           down to the particular AMRs that are -- that ought to
           be looked into.
                       One thing that came out of this review
           last week when we went to the resolution meetings, KTI
           resolution meetings, is that a lot of the AMRs are
           going to be redone.  They're going to be extended and
           there are revisions already in hand that I did not
           have at the time I wrote this.
                       And there are other revisions that are
           planned.  So in a way, we're always running behind,
           and I don't know a way, really, to get around that
           except that some of the issues that I may have pointed
           out or come up with are already at least partially
                       This will be kind of a problem for us when
           we hold our little group meeting, too, that we will
           not have the latest AMRs in hand.  And a lot of them
           are requested at this meeting by the NRC staff, but we
           probably will not have those by the time of our
                       We certainly will not have had time to
           review them at the time of our meeting.
                       MS. DEERING:  Yes, I recall, too, a lot of
           the staff requested as part of issue resolution a
           particular analysis.  And DOE would say, yes, that'll
           be in our AMR and that will be submitted in 2002.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.  There were about three
           or four, maybe more, that were specifically said 2002
           and we said, well, that doesn't do us a lot of good.
                       MS. DEERING:  Except that I don't think to
           do our vertical slice and the conclusions we will
           make, I don't -- I think there's a way to get around
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       MS. DEERING:  We don't have to say all
           information was provided and information was adequate
           or anything like that, Ray, George.
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  Right.  But it's also
           true, I think, that the AMRs are available.  What
           you're talking about is the additional information in
           the next revision of an AMR that won't be required to
           have the issue closed.
                       So the AMR itself is available.  It's just
           that the additional information that NRC staff has
           requested won't be available.
                       DR. WYMER:  Well, that's certainly true,
           but some of that information is so important that it
           would be nice to have it, you know.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  Yes, but at this point
           isn't the most significant thing staff recognition
           that that is important and that is needed and they're
           going after it?  We don't necessarily have to see the
                       We just want to make sure that they
           haven't missed something, if they've identified it and
           are insisting on it.
                       DR. WYMER:  And if I were to make a
           general observation about this KTI resolution meeting,
           it is that most of the stuff that was requested was,
           where is your data.
                       That was the thrust, where's the
           information that backs up this statement that you
           made.  And that's 90 percent at least of what was
           asked for, was supporting data.
                       DR. WYMER:  Which is what we'd like to
                       MS. DEERING:  Yes, that's a good point.
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  And that was true in the
           RAD transport tech exchange, is a significant amount
           was either what is the data to support your position,
           or how are you going to get that data.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.  That was one of the
           things I liked about the meeting and the discussion in
           the caucus, was the emphasis on factual support for
           fairly broad and sweeping statements that were made by
                       I thought it was a good process.  I'll
           repeat that for the larger group, or I thought it was
           a good process.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.  And in connection
           with the process question it's important for us to
           remind everybody here that what we're doing here is a
           departure from our normal way of doing business, of
           reviewing an applicant's material and offering
           comments and advice, et cetera.
                       Given the large amount of material that's
           involved and tremendous amount of reading that is
           necessary to even get through it, much less evaluate
           and analyze it, the Committee and the staff has made
           the decision that the vertical slice concept of not
           only doing a vertical slice, but focusing more on what
           the NRC's doing than on necessarily what the DOE is
           doing, is a more efficient way to get to the issues.
                       And I guess the question we have to keep
           asking ourselves, is this giving us visibility into
           the process that the NRC is employing to review
           something like the SRCR, and are we learning more
           about how effective that process is?
                       And in the meantime, are we also staying
           alert to technical questions that may require us to go
           back to the source material, the DOE source material,
           to get to the -- get real satisfaction on them?  Is
           that happening, is something we have to be very alert
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  Of course, I'd point out
           that all of this stuff we're talking about looking at,
           PMRs and AMRs, is in fact to be resource material.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Right.
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  So that's exactly what
           we're doing.
                       DR. WYMER:  That's right.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.  Yes.
                       DR. WYMER:  That's all I have, Lynn.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  Yes.  I have one question
           for Ray.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Oh, a question.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  Under -- in your thing you
           wrote under DOE's current modeling approach and
                       "The DOE's current models are based on
                 the assumption that the environment on
                 the surface of the waste package is the
                 same as that on the drip shield."
                       Does that mean we're spending some
           hundreds of millions of dollars of money for drip
           shields, and taking no credit for it at all?
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  Chemistry clinic.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Water flow right up
           their --
                       DR. WYMER:  I don't know that it means
           exactly that, but it does mean that they just assume,
           as it says, that the water hasn't changed after it's
           gone off the drip shield into the package, and that's
           probably not true.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  Oh, okay.  So this is not
           -- it's not the total environment.  It's only the
           chemistry of the water.
                       DR. WYMER:  That's it.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  Okay.
                       DR. WYMER:  Because the total environment
           includes quantity of water.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  Yes, okay.  That's how I'd
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes, I'm sorry.  That wasn't
                       DR. LEVENSON:  Okay.
                       DR. WYMER:  John, you had a --
                       DR. LARKINS:  Yes.  Well, you had
           questions to answer for Commissioners where you, you
           know, these questions.  And it says:  "Is the issue
           resolution process sufficient for the sub-issues," and
           you say maybe not, because of the absence of, you
           know, maybe some things have been overlooked.  How do
           you --
                       DR. WYMER:  How do you know what you
           haven't thought about, yes.
                       DR. LARKINS:  Yes.
                       DR. WYMER:  And a very good case in point,
           of course, is the trace impurity corrosion of Alloy
           22.  That wasn't thought of until it came up.  So you
           can't know what you don't know, but these things do
           emerge with time and with additional experimental
                       And that's where it's all at.  You've just
           got to go out there and look at the system more and
           get data, and things will continue to crop up,
           especially in the coupled effects area because the
           system's so extraordinarily complicated chemically.
                       DR. LARKINS:  Yes.  I guess what you're
           saying is for the way it's -- the sub-issues are
           defined that it may be sufficient; however, because of
           uncertainties in the knowledge base there that you
           -- there may be some things which aren't included.
                       DR. WYMER:  I would bet there are things,
           you know.  It's almost a certainty that there are
           things that will crop up.  But of course, till they
           crop up we don't know what they are.
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  Now, to me there's, shall
           I say, a danger for us here and that is that this is
           typically -- we know this is true in science, okay
           -- there are always surprises.  We know that there are
                       So the scientific approach to a question
           never leads to an answer, but this is an engineering
           project, and basically, I think that we have to keep
           in mind that the whole idea is to try to engineer it
           so that it is at least robust against surprises.
                       Not that all of the issues or all of the
           scientific issues have to be explored in goriest
           detail, but rather that a safety case can be made.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  And so I also think that
           as we go through the vertical slice, what John has
           really emphasized for us, is to keep the RIPB -- keep
           the risk perspective in mind as we go through it and
           not lose sight of that.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes, and what you look for is
           not the technical details, but the gross things like,
           is Alloy 22 really going to last 11,000 years, some of
           these key issues.
                       If they're not of that magnitude then they
           do get washed out because the engineering approach,
           using George's term here, does allow you to ignore a
           bunch of stuff that is chemically interesting, it will
           happen chemically, but doesn't matter.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  If there is no impact on
           safety, then why do we pursue getting it?  Then it's
           just a matter of satisfying somebody's curiosity.  I
           think we have to assure ourselves, is that things that
           have a significant impact on safety are not
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  Not that nothing is
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes, absolutely.
                       MS. DEERING:  Right.  Right.  That's not
           necessarily easy to do.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  Oh, no.  No.  No, certainly
           not, but there's a lot of things that you can in fact
           discard.  If you say you have no idea what this is,
           but if you say, this is the maximum range it could be
           and it doesn't matter where in that range it is, it
           has nothing to do with safety.
                       MS. DEERING:  Yes, and I hope that that's
           going to be definitely a part of each of our reviews
           wherein we could make comments that if we feel the
           staff has considered the risk significance of an issue
           before they've pursued it rigorously, for example, you
           know, that's something we need to be conscientious
           about, is staff pursuing issues that don't have risk
                       And do we -- is there a way for us to even
           know that?  But one of the ways is to look at the
           staff's process and the risk insights that they're
           coming up with.  You know, it involves going pretty
           deep into this review.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  Well, almost.  The reason
           being that unfortunately to some extent the staff is
           not limited to only looking into risk issues.  They're
           also charged with assuring compliance.  So they may
           look into things that we don't think would be
           necessary, but they have no choice.  So we have to
           recognize that.
                       DR. WYMER:  Well, let me make one more
           point.  One of the areas that we need to look at most
           carefully in this vertical slice thing is assumptions.
           There are a bunch of assumptions made, just sort of
           carte blanc.  They're just made.
                       These are assumptions.  We think there are
           good reasons for these assumptions, so I think to
           critically review assumptions, because as a friend of
           mine always used to say, assumptions drive
           conclusions, and they do.  So we need to really pay
           close attention to assumptions.
                       MS. DEERING:  That's really a good point.
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  In terms of just in
           addition to what Ray said, the whole issue of defense
           in depth is a key to why we're looking beyond the
           corrosion issues related to the waste package.
                       And the idea here is that our vertical
           slice will focus on the waste package and corrosion
           issues.  But we really needed to look at the other
           components of the system that contribute to
           performance in the absence of the waste package.
                       And those are, you know, in package
           chemistry, in drift chemistry, transport to the
           accessible environment.  And those, basically, the
           three key areas outside of container life and
           container performance that need to be looked at.
                       And you know, one of the things that we
           have to be aware of is that the conceptual models
           built into everything into TSPA do necessarily leave
           things out.  So the question is, in that process has
           something very important been left out.
                       So that's part of what we're going to look
           at in the context of this meeting.
                       MS. DEERING:  That sounds really good.  Do
           you want to talk about your work?
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  I think Ray's actually
           covered most of the things.  We have three consultants
           in different areas, RAD transport, Jim Clark.  Paul
           Schuman's a corrosion expert, and we have Marty
           Steiver (phonetic) coming in, and kind of divvied it
           up in terms of individual responsibilities to look at
           different areas based upon their expertise.
                       And we're not coming here to draw
           conclusions, but to, rather, put our heads together
           and, you know, see if there are general trends that we
           see in our individual analyses that warrant, you know,
           further analysis and more focus.
                       I think that's -- I've tried to cast the
           questions that each of us will, you know, bring to the
           table in terms of the questions that were posed in the
           vertical slice template.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.  And I think one
           of the things that I'm hopeful that we'll find in the
           vertical slice exercise with the TPA and TSPA is
           whether or not we indeed have a baseline or a
           reference point to work with.
                       There's two things that I think we want to
           get out of the TSPA that make the process sound.  One
           is a kind of a realistic appraisal of what the real
           risk is of this repository.
                       The other is what will -- addresses this
           issue that we keep raising about integration and
           interaction and systems interaction and what have you.
           And that's the issue of context and perspective.
                       So if we can get some sense on the basis
           of the current design specifications, what the safety
           issue is, what the risk really is, including of course
           it's uncertainty, and get the sense of how all the
           pieces fit together that lead to that estimate of
           risk, then that will help all these other exercises
           greatly in terms of saying, well, how relevant is
           this, this or that issue, and what kind of backup
           lines of defense really appear to be important here.
                       So we'll be looking for that.  We're a
           little behind in the TSPA vertical slice exercise from
           the others.  Part of the problem is we've been anxious
           to have the full benefit of the TSPA SR and also the
           technical exchange meeting that keeps getting
           scheduled and rescheduled.
                       But I think we'll be able to have
           something in -- for the November -- or for the March
           meeting that will allow us to at least talk to it in
           terms of the scope, but I don't think we'll be as far
           along as the other three.
                       DR. LARKINS:  John, are you saying that
           when Ray and Andy finish their exercise and identify
           the areas where they see a need for more information
           or a better understanding on their part that they need
           to fold us into --
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Right.
                       DR. LARKINS:  -- looking at the TSPA --
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.
                       DR. LARKINS:  -- to see.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  There's got to be
           something we do that tells us --
                       DR. LARKINS:  How do we do that?
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  -- the importance of
           these individual pieces and parts.
                       DR. LARKINS:  Yes.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  And right now, that is
           the TPA TSPA, and we can criticize it and we should,
           but what we should be doing is saying, okay, how can
           we overcome these problems that we have with it,
           because somewhere along the line we have to ask
           ourselves, is -- has enough work been done.
                       DR. LARKINS:  Yes.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Is the analysis
           adequate?  And we certainly need to be guided on how
           far we go in this whole issue of trying to resolve
           uncertainties.  And if we find ourselves -- and I
           think Milt was alluding to this a little while ago
           -- if we find ourselves in a position where an issue
           is being addressed and another order or magnitude of
           change in the uncertainty isn't going to impact it,
           then you know, we need to -- we'd like to know that
           and we need to move on.
                       DR. LARKINS:  I think it sounds like it
           would be worthwhile having the staff involved in some
           of these, because if you're going to come back later
           on and say, you know, how have you taken these issues
           into consideration in your analysis, either with TPA
           or reviewing TSPA, they ought to get to understand how
           these insights came about doing this vertical slice
           approach.  So I didn't know whether you'd planned on
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  We do.
                       DR. LARKINS:  Okay.
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  And we haven't had a chance
           to talk to them until we kind of settled upon our
           approach.  As you point out, the integration into the
           vertical slice for TSPA is part of this plan, and
           actually, 4 and 5 of our meeting goals was to feed
           into TSPA.
                       If you will, what Ray and I are doing is
           kind of a process level model, look-see.  And what
           John and I intend to do is more of a higher level TSPA
           model looking back.  And hopefully, we'll be able to
           make those connections.
                       And then, as you point out, having staff
           involved and discussions with staff is intended.  It's
           just we haven't set anything specific up at this
                       DR. WYMER:  It seems to me that one of the
           important points with respect to this TSPA thing is
           what John already alluded to, namely, the propagation
           of uncertainties, plus the issues of what do you lose
           in the abstraction, in particular a couple processes.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  I think, you know, there's
           two pieces that I have in the way, and one is the
           propagation of the uncertainties, but we're spending
           a lot of time looking at details.
                       And if in fact in the abstraction process
           those things are wiped out, why are we spending time
           assessing whether something is done properly if it
           doesn't propagate through, not only the uncertainty,
           does it itself propagate through?
                       And it's why I think we have to -- I think
           this vertical slice thing can't just be a vertical
           slice through the KTIs.  I think we have to take one
           or two at least and follow them through the
           abstraction process into the TSPA, to see what it
           really means.
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  The focus of the issues,
           this isn't intended to be a random walk through either
           the process models, AMR, PMRs or TSPA.  We've allowed
           the modeling that's been done to date, both by the
           staff and TPAs, the TPA analyses and by DOE and their
           TSPA analyses to help guide the picking of the issue
           areas to look at.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.  This Committee
           has always been pushing for some indication of how
           much safety are we getting from what.  We've always
           wanted that.  When we talk about introducing
           engineered barriers, we've talked about being able to
           quantify the contribution of individual barriers, at
           least to the extent that it's reasonable.
                       And I think when it comes to simplifying
           a specific model we want to know what the impact of
           that is, you know.  Ray was talking about assumptions.
           Some analysts will say assumptions are the curse of
           any -- of the truth because you don't want to assume
           your way out of reality.
                       And that's why we keep pushing for, well,
           let's understand first what is our best shot at how
           this thing really does perform.  And then we can start
           whacking away at how good this part of the analysis is
           and that, and get to the issue of assumptions.
                       But I think we've already been talking
           about in the TSPA vertical slice of trying to back out
           the critical assumptions so they're more visible and
           in terms of their impact on something like a realistic
           assessment of what the risk is, what the performance
                       Then we can choose to be as conservative
           as we want, but we need a reference.  So we need that
           baseline to know, to be able to measure how
           conservatively we might be making some of these
                       How about the -- how about yours, George?
           Are you satisfied that we can achieve what we want
           with this process in the -- on the one that you're in
           charge of here?
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  Yes.  I mean, and I think
           that Lynn actually laid out the guts of it in her
           outline last time.  And as long as, at least the way
           I envision it, we're talking a slightly more narrow
           view than what Ray and Andy have just outlined for the
           chemistry, and that is to focus, really, primarily on
           the flow paths in the saturated zone.
                       There are obviously lots of other issues
           that touch upon that, but to the extent that we can,
           given our limited availability of time and resources,
           I would like to see us focus as tightly as we can on
           the issue that we described.
                       And I think if we do that there's plenty
           to look at.  It's not as if -- that just makes it
                       MS. DEERING:  Yes.  I think George and I,
           based on the piece that you wrote, George, this helps
           tighten it up even more.  And I feel like now it's
           just a matter of starting, getting started.
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  Yes, I do, too.
                       MS. DEERING:  And whether the data's been
           provided or not, I don't feel it's going to hang us
           up.  It's more the fact that it's been asked for, and
           from a risk perspective is it the right data to ask
           for, and maybe make the assumption that it will be
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  Right.
                       MS. DEERING:  And maybe we have an idea of
           whether that's -- how realistic that is or not, I
           don't know.  You know, we already know there's
           problems in getting data in terms of permitting from
           Nye County.
                       Some of that alone is problematic.  Just
           getting data, even if there's funding, is not
           necessarily easy and something you can count on
           happening.  But so I'm keeping that in mind.  I think
           we've got plenty to work with.
                       And we'll talk and I'll talk with the
           staff, and come March we'll put together something,
           you know, that shows we've actually cut into this a
           little bit, which we haven't done yet.  See, that's
           true in all of our cases.
                       I think we're sort of on the edge here.
           We've been defining what we want to do and whether
           it's even -- you know -- sort of a feasibility
           assessment:  is it even reasonable to consider can we
           go there before we get too involved?  And I think
           that's exactly where we should be right now.
                       DR. LARKINS:  Sound like, yes, this is
           going to be somewhat iterative in nature.
                       MS. DEERING:  Yes.
                       DR. LARKINS:  You're going to go through
           this one time, and then you're going to discover
           things and then you're going to need to go back and
           take another look at these things.
                       MS. DEERING:  And each one so closely
           links to another, like George's and mine, it
           definitely bumps up against the retardation issue and
           the alluvium, you know, first defining flow paths, how
           much water even goes into the alluvium.
                       And then so there's going to be, I think,
           the staff here, we've been meeting weekly, or we've
           been trying.  We've sort of tapered off from that, but
           once we get started on these, we ourselves need to,
           once we share insights with each other, where we
           stand, you know, what works, what doesn't, so we'll
           make a commitment to do that.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  On the basis of a
           preliminary look-see does anybody, any of the members
           have any concerns that are rather significant at this
           point that ought to be telegraphed in terms of either
           the modeling or the input information, that is to say,
           the data?
                       DR. LEVENSON:  I have one question, John,
           and that is, it goes back to the template from the KTI
           meeting that Rich and I attended.  We certainly got
           nothing that would let us address the last question,
           namely, what's the risk significance of the issues
           being discussed.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  There was no discussion
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  At your meeting?
                       DR. LEVENSON:  Yes.
                       MR. MAJOR:  There was a debate.  I mean,
           the Department of Energy would come out and make a
           presentation and they would claim the colloids didn't
           contribute much to the overall dose, and therefore, it
           didn't need to be considered much further than they
           already have.
                       And then you have the NRC staff on the
           other hand saying, well, you know, we're a bit
           skeptical about that; have you considered A, B, C and
                       DR. LEVENSON:  Yes, but that was on
           specific, very narrow things, not relevant, really, to
           the overall question of risk.  I mean, because whether
           you do or don't generate colloids is one little piece.
                       Then you've got questions of transport of
           colloids and trapping and you got all these other
           things so that the things were addressed bit by bit.
           The risk did not to me appear to be a basic part of
           the issues of what was important or why.
                       MS. DEERING:  Can Bret Leslie make a
           comment?  He wants to comment on that issue.
                       MR. LESLIE:  This is Bret Leslie, from the
           NRC staff.  And I agree with the assessment.  I
           attended the first one of these technical exchanges,
           and at the first one they didn't even have any
           insights into risk.
                       And we requested that they try at the
           beginning of these meetings to put a TSPA overview so
           that we could understand things, and DOE was very
           reluctant to go into this in much detail.
                       And therefore, what they agreed to provide
           at this because they felt it was the purview of TSPA,
           that they didn't want to have to repeat the TSPA
           meeting in every one of these meetings.
                       So what they're trying to do to help put
           the risk perspective for the NRC staff in place is to
           look at, for instance, colloids, which was one of the
           topics, and say, this is how we dealt with colloids
           generation, which is one of the topics we were talking
                       So I agree with that but we're somewhat
           limited by what DOE is going to provide us, you know.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  But what that would
           indicate is the templates that we're using for
           vertical slices is -- the risk issue should be deleted
           from each individual one and maybe ought to be a
           separate one, if they're treating it separately.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Well, this is all a
           matter of style and how it's done, but one argument
           could be that -- to take the position that, well, as
           a matter of fact, that's exactly what we should be
                       That is to say, what we should be doing is
           every time an issue comes up, start with the TSPA and
           ask ourselves, where does that issue appear in the one
           analysis that we have defined as integrating
           everything and bringing all the pieces and parts
                       As a matter of fact, I'm reminded of when
           we really began to make progress on the WIPP
           performance assessment was when we did just exactly
           that.  We took the position that we're not going to
           have anymore discussions of technical issues without
           it first being put to the test of the PA.
                       And so whenever we would start a
           presentation we started with the idea of, well, where
           does this issue fit in the grand scheme of things, and
           the measure for -- the grand scheme measure is the
           performance assessment until something comes along
           better, and then go from there so that people are
           using a legitimate reference in the discussion.
                       So you know, it may be that just what DOE
           is saying we should avoid here is exactly what we
           should be doing.  And maybe that's something for us to
                       MS. DEERING:  Well, is there also the
           other half of it, which is NRC's risk insights, you
           know, because that's important, too, because NRC has
           done -- has in its pocket some of its own ideas about
           what's important.
                       And I don't know to what extent that has
           been shared with us.  I mean, but I think one on one
           that that would be a reasonable thing, for us
           technical staff to talk to NRC technical staff and try
           to help out along those lines.
                       You know, it's not something that probably
           you're going to hear in a public meeting.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.  Yes.
                       DR. WYMER:  The problem is, is that lots
           of different -- there's a lot of kinds of risk, and it
           seems to me that if you don't discuss risk as you have
           in your outline for this vertical template, you're
           going to miss a lot of risk.
                       If you take a sort of a top-down view
           you're not going to unearth some of the risk that you
           will unearth by a detailed discussion within the AMRs
           and the KTIs.  So and then there are sort of overall
           risks that are not specific technical risks, but have
           to do with risks of whether something in fact will be
           accepted or not accepted in a broader sense, because
           of public outcry or because of some regulation or
           because of something else.
                       So there's different hierarchies of risk
           and I think to get at some of the technical risks you
           really got to get into the nitty-gritty.  Then you
           decide based on the overall plan of approach, the
           TSPA, the TPAs, whether or not the risks that you've
           unearthed are relevant risks, and you weed them out if
           they're not.
                       But I think you're going to miss them if
           you don't go into the details.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Okay.  We've had a
           request to -- from a public citizen group to make a
                       MS. GUE:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  I'm
           Lisa Gue with Public Citizens Critical Mass Energy and
           Environment Program.  Certainly, we're very interested
           to follow along in your vertical slice process.
                       And we share some of the concerns that
           your committee has stated, and also the Technical
           Review Board, with respect to the uncertainties of the
           most recent outlines available from the Department of
                       The specific comment I'd like to make
           jumps back to the beginning of this discussion with
           respect to the sufficiency report that NRC will issue
           referencing the SRCR document.
                       And I want to bring to the attention of
           this Committee some of the very serious concerns that
           Public Citizen, together with other -- working
           together with other public interest groups nationally,
           and also State of Nevada groups, have on the SRCR
           document and the process leading up to its release.
                       I guess there's three main concerns, or
           I'd categorize our concerns into three areas, anyway.
           First of all, this of course is not a legislative
           document.  It's not specifically outlined as part of
           the Nuclear Waste Policy Act.
                       But the DOE has chosen to use the SRCR as
           -- in order to fulfill the requirement for public
           comment on a final recommendation.  And our concern
           with respect to the opportunities for public comment
           is that the last formal opportunity that the public
           had to comment on the Yucca Mountain process was in
           response to the draft Environmental Impact Statement.
                       Yet, as members of the public we have not
           yet received any feedback as to how or if our previous
           comments have been integrated into the proposal.  And
           yet -- and so now we are seriously questioning whether
           we will in fact participate in the SRCR comment
           period, simply because we have no indications of how
           worthwhile it is for us to spend our time trying to
           understand these very technical documents, if in fact
           our comments are not taken into account.
                       I guess our second main concern is the
           timing of the report.  As you know, the SRCR was
           originally scheduled to be released at the end of
           December of last year.
                       And that was due at a time -- or according
           to that original schedule and also according to
           looking at the overview that was prepared, the SRCR
           was to be making comments on the suitability of the
           Yucca Mountain site prior to the finalization of
           several key scientific studies, and also prior to the
           finalization of key regulations, most notably, the EPA
           Radiation Protection Guidelines.
                       And we feel that this is really a very
           inappropriate display of premature confidence on the
           part of the DOE, and we would extend that to the NRC's
           sufficiency report, too, if it's released before the
           consideration of how this site would be able to meet
           these standards that have not yet been released.
                       And certainly, several specific aspects of
           your conversation could fit into this category with
           respect to, for example, the regulatory period, which
           is one aspect of those EPA regulations which now
           appear that they won't come out before the change in
           administration, and therefore, will be delayed to an
           uncertain point, hopefully in the new year.
                       And finally, I guess I want to bring to
           your attention -- hopefully -- I'm sure you're already
           aware of this, but the internal memo that was leaked,
           written by a DOE contractor, TRW, and attached to this
           overview of the SRCR document, and that surfaced last
           December, has seriously damaged, I guess, the
           credibility of the DOE's site characterization process
           in the public mind.
                       The indications, both of the overview
           itself and more specifically stated in the leaked memo
           were that, first of all, the technical suitability of
           the Yucca Mountain site was not the first priority of
           the DOE, but rather, to offer a financially and
           politically possible solution to the industry's
           nuclear waste crisis.
                       And secondly, that this document was
           available to be used by presumably industry lobbyists
           to garner support for the Yucca Mountain Project in
                       Certainly, it's inappropriate, of course,
           for a federal agency that's been specifically mandated
           to study the suitability of the Yucca Mountain site to
           have, even via its contractors, such a blatant and
           obvious display of bias.
                       And it really has, like I say, undermined
           the credibility of this process and been very
           discouraging to members of the public who have been
           participating in good faith in the various
           opportunities for public involvement in the process.
                       And now, it seems that in fact from the
           perspective of the DOE, a favorable recommendation for
           the Yucca Mountain site is in some ways a foregone
                       So into that context, and I'm sure you're
           aware that, in fact, we work together, like I say,
           very closely with citizens groups in Nevada and other
           national groups, and as well, the federal delegation
           from the -- the congressional delegation from the
           State of Nevada in looking at this problem and drawing
           attention to it.
                       And I'm sure you're aware that the SRCR
           has actually now been delayed pending the results of
           an Inspector General investigation.  But I did just
           want to bring to your attention that into this context
           there are actions of the NRC, as well, that serve to
           further undermine the public's confidence in this
                       One of those is the prelicensing
           conversations on the key technical issues, which
           sometimes seem to be phrased or framed in the sense of
           moving towards the inevitable licensing of the Yucca
           Mountain Project, in terms of when the license
           application is submitted rather than if, when clearly
           and formally the situation still is if, and other
           -- or I guess actions of other divisions of the NRC
           further feed into this sense.
                       And I'd just bring to your attention, I
           know I've raised it to you before, the draft
           Environmental Impact Statement for the private fuel
           storage proposal, which was drafted by the NRC and
           which makes explicit reference to a Yucca Mountain
           facility as the eventual destination of waste that
           would be stored at the PFS facility.
                       So I just -- I appreciate the opportunity
           to comment to you today and I want to make you aware
           of those issues, and technical issues and also
           procedural issues, I guess.  We're very aware that the
           Yucca Mountain proposal lies at the intersection of
           very challenging science and challenging public policy
                       And both of those require, I guess, a
           process which displays optimal integrity.  And neither
           the science nor the policy will be accepted by the
           public without a process that displays that level of
           integrity.  Thank you.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Before you sit down can
           I ask you a question?
                       MS. GUE:  Yes.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  You said regarding your
           first concern about the SRCR that you had received no
           feedback from DOE on previous comments.  Will you
           remind me again what specific comments those were and
           what form they took?
                       MS. GUE:  I was referring in general to
           the comments that were made, both in writing and
           through participation in formal meetings, on the draft
           Environmental Impact Statement.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.
                       MS. GUE:  So we were hoping that we would
           have -- the public would have access to the final
           Environmental Impact Statement to be able to see how
           those comments were integrated prior to the comment
           period on the final -- on the recommendation by the
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Okay.
                       MS. GUE:  But as it happens, the comment
           period on the SRCR is scheduled to close just as the
           final Environmental Impact Statement is scheduled to
           be released.  And as you pointed out, all those time
           lines are now somewhat in question, but that's the
           best information we have.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Okay.  I understand.
                       MS. GUE:  Yes.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Thank you.
                       MS. GUE:  Thank you.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Thank you.  Did you
           want to make any comments on the thermal effects,
           vertical slice, Milt?
                       DR. LEVENSON:  No.  I think most of the
           comments --
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Better pull that mike
                       DR. LEVENSON:  Okay.  Most of the comments
           arising from the meeting we attended have already been
           made.  I would like to pursue the possibility of
           having a one on one session with somebody from the NRC
           staff to have what I would call a guided tour through
           the AMRs, the PMRs, the abstractions, the modeling and
           to the total system performance assessment of one of
           some quite narrow issues, either the question of, does
           all of the water really always move away from the
           drift in both the pre-closure and post-closure time?
                       Or a guided tour and assessment of what
           really are the differences regarding water movement
           and transport if the temperature is 110 degrees
           centigrade versus 95 degrees centigrade.  Been a great
           deal of discussion and assumptions about importance of
                       I've not seen any technical information or
           discussion as to why it's important.  I mean,
           superficially, there's no inflection in the vapor
           pressure curves.  So I would really like that.
                       You know, I'd be willing to take the time
           and come and have a one on one, somebody lead me
           through why these issues are handled with a basic
           assumption.  I mean, is there support in the AMR, in
           the PMR?  Or do they turn out to not be so important
           during the abstraction?
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  And I don't know whether
           it's appropriate, but that would really help me
           evaluate the total process.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  I think it is
           appropriate and I think it would be very helpful.
                       Lynn, where are we?
                       MS. DEERING:  Well, it sounds like we're
           wrapping up this session.  With the anticipation of
           March, we will come in here having started -- getting
           a good start on these reviews.  And I'll --
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Right.
                       DR. WYMER:  With view graph presentations?
           Is that what you were suggesting?
                       MS. DEERING:  Yes.  Well, how much time do
           you think we need next month to do -- maybe set aside
           at least a couple hours?
                       DR. LEVENSON:  Half an hour for each one,
                       MS. DEERING:  March, next meeting.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  February is saturated
           without this going.
                       MS. DEERING:  Yes.  That gives us two
           months, which I think is good.  That's just what we
           need.  So we'll put at least two hours on the Agenda.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  I would like to then have
           my one on one sufficiently in advance of the next
                       MS. DEERING:  Okay.  So are you -- is your
           little team going to organize that?
                       DR. LEVENSON:  I'll organize it.
                       MS. DEERING:  Okay.
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  Sounds like it'll be the
           entire month of February.
                       MS. DEERING:  Yes.  You know, I might --
           I just wanted to add, the NWTRB meeting coming up the
           30th and 31st, I think is going to be extremely
           informative about some of DOE's -- let me just try to
           explain what I understand about it.
                       The schedule's going to be on the website
           today, and I'll peel that off and bring it back after
           lunch.  But the TRB is going to attempt to ask DOE
           very pointed and specific questions of a technical
           nature about its analysis.  And a lot of this I --
                       DR. LEVENSON:  Is that a new format?
                       MS. DEERING:  Yes.  There's no -- that's
           going to be -- and DOE, of course, knows what the
           questions for the most part, I think, are going to be.
           But DOE's essentially going to walk the Board through
           how it's treating -- I don't want to say tracing a
           particle all the way through, but that's the
           impression I'm getting.
                       Now, when I look at the Agenda we'll see,
           but you know, flow and transport in the unsaturated
           zone, waste package issues and waste package
           degradation, juvenile failure, flow in the saturated
                       You know, it's really attempting to shake
           out the uncertainties, the hard questions, and see
           what we really understand now.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  What's the date of that
                       MS. DEERING:  The 30th and 31st.  It's in
           Amargosa Valley, of January.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  January.
                       MS. DEERING:  I just wanted to put that
           out as -- I'm planning on attending that and I -- for
           George's and my vertical slice we think there's going
           to be some real valuable stuff in there.  But if
           others are interested, we'll look at the Agenda this
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Are you going?
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  No.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Okay.  Any other
           comments from Committee members, staff, George, Ray?
                       DR. WYMER:  I've said my piece.
                       MR. MAJOR:  May I share one --
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.
                       MR. MAJOR:  -- thing with the Committee
           members?  Following each of these technical exchanges
           the staff and the DOE do a summary.  And in that
           summary they capture the highlights of the meeting and
           they also capture the additional information that the
           staff is looking for and that DOE agreed to provide.
                       And I'm going to hand you a copy of the
           summary from this last meeting.  I guess the staff
           does a valiant effort and an awful lot of work goes
           into putting these things together.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.
                       MR. MAJOR:  They do it at the meeting and
           then they're signed and agreed to by the senior NRC
           person there and the senior DOE individual.  So if you
           want to get a sense as to the types of things that
           come out of these meetings, when you get this brief
           summary it'll give you some idea of what comes out of
           these.  It shows you how they're moving towards
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Okay.
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  Something had occurred to
           me and I don't know if this is -- will help it be
           possible or perhaps it may even be trivial.  It
           strikes me that in some of our discussions about the
           risk implications of different assumptions or as we
           dig into things, how big an affect things might have,
           or at least some insights.
                       I know Andy has done some work with the
           TPA code.  It's even, at least in my mind, perhaps
           feasible to either look at what the staff has done in
           the way of looking at things in terms of sensitivity
           analyses, and try to get at things that way.
                       Or possibly, you know enough about it that
           if there were special purpose runs to be done, either
           you could ask somebody to do them or potentially even
           do them yourself.  Is that totally out of the
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  It's possible; it's
           possible.  It would take me a little bit of time to
           tool up, back into that mode.  What you're referring
           to is when we had Cheryl Hawkins here --
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  Right.
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  -- as a summer intern.  And
           you know, frankly, I was relying heavily on Cheryl's
           computing capabilities to run that.  I'm familiar
           enough with it I could do it.
                       It might not be the most efficient use of
           my time, but it certainly would be worthwhile to be
           able to go back to the staff and say, have you guys
           looked at this.
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  Look at this.
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  To these particular
           combinations of things.
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  Right.
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  And so we do have --
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  Let me just --
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  -- at least some tool.  And
           in fact, we actually have a tool that was all there.
           Now, it might require a little bit of change to adapt
           to the latest version of TPA, but there was this tool
           that Cheryl put together that allows us to look at
           kind of -- what do they call it Kilmagoroff,
           (phonetic) Smirnoff type of sensitivities.
                       MS. DEERING:  Isn't that George's tool?
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  Yes, it is, by the way,
           George's original tool, but Cheryl did a lot of work
           to make it work on the TPA code.  And I mean, the
           insights, I gave you a thick document that Cheryl
           wrote up as a final report last November that kind of
           gives you how the insights from that analysis compared
           to staff insights.  And there was a good comparison.
                       DR. WYMER:  One of the problems with
           respect to the code that sort of came out of this
           meeting we attended, there's an awful lot of stuff at
           room temperature in the databases, but there's
           precious little outside of room temperature in the
           chemistry area.
                       And then also, in some of the minerals
           that form -- there really aren't data, the
           thermodynamic data that you need in order to decide
           which compounds take precedence over other compounds
           with respect to what's going to form.
                       So there are some fairly significant data
           deficiencies, it seems to me, especially with respect
           to temperature, but also with respect to just
           fundamental thermodynamic data for stability of
           mineral phases.
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  Yes.  There's, I mean, in
           general there's a lot of room temperature, you know,
           25 C type of data maybe going up to 50 C, and you have
           a little bit around three or 400 C just before you get
           to the critical point.
                       And then you don't have data until you get
           way up into real high temperature pressure regimes
           that you have --
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  -- deep within the earth.
           The way that's generally handled is that the
           thermodynamics people do these correlation type of,
           you know, thermodynamic extrapolations.
                       DR. WYMER:  You can do some of that, yes.
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  Which can bound thermo data
           to some degree, but you're right.  There's not a lot
           of data at this 100 to 300 degree range.
                       DR. WYMER:  The argument's made that
           before it's important the temperature's down again
           before it ever seems to be.  And that, of course, is
           an issue, not an answer.
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  And processes occur much
           faster at these higher temperatures.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  That's why it pops up as an
           issue.  I guess the real question for us is, are these
           kinds of extrapolations done sufficient to bound the
                       Are they sufficiently conservative to
           bound the problem so that, you know, the fact that you
           don't actually have the data but you're relying on
           some basic properties of Gibbs' Rule or whatever, to
           get that -- some estimate of the data that you need,
           is that sufficiently robust in the temperature
           pressure regime you're interested in to answer the
                       DR. WYMER:  And it's another case of
           whether sometimes you're drifting off into
           assumptions, again, too, and solving your problem by
           assumptions.  So the whole thing is complicated.
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  And I'm sure Dr. Steindler
           will raise those issues, true to form.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Any other comments,
           questions, concerns?
                       (No response)
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Okay.  Well, I think
           what we'll do is -- don't we have some lunch meetings?
                       MS. DEERING:  Yes.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.  So why don't we
           adjourn and get ready for that, and then come back
           here at 1:00 o'clock for the discussion on entombment,
                                   (Whereupon, the foregoing Meeting went
                       off the record 11:35 a.m., and went back
                       on the record at 1:05 p.m.)

           .                     A-F-T-E-R-N-O-O-N  S-E-S-S-I-O-N
                                                    (1:05 p.m.)
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  The meeting will come
           to order.  The next item on our Agenda is the
           Entombment Option Decommissioning Power Reactors.  The
           member that will lead the discussion on this is Dr.
           Wymer.  Ray, it's your subject.
                       DR. WYMER:  Hi, Stephanie.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Hello.  How are you?
                       DR. WYMER:  Fine.  We're struggling with
           this, and I'm sure you are, too.  And so we thought
           we'd just have a sort of a discussion.  Now, if you
           want to use some view graphs, I understand you might
           want to, that's fine in answering these questions.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Okay.
                       DR. WYMER:  But entombment doesn't seem
           like an unreasonable idea to us, but there seem to be
           some major stumbling blocks to it.  The greater than
           Class C issue is certainly a biggie.
                       And then the -- getting decommissioning
           done in six years after a license is terminated is
           another potential problem that ties in with Class C
           waste a little bit, maybe.
                       And whether or not we need changes in the
           Waste Policy Act, and there are many, many facets or
           hurdles to it, and whether or not you can safely seal
           up and leave in place a reactor vessel, and what are
           the implications of that.
                       And so we just wanted to kick this around.
           You have these six issues.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Questions, yes.
                       DR. WYMER:  And then I don't know whether
           you wanted to proceed using view graphs addressing
           each of the issues and talk from those.  But in
           general, we just wanted to exchange ideas and get some
           notion of what the staff's developing, revolving
           position is, insofar as you can do that.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Okay.
                       DR. WYMER:  In this kind of a meeting.
                       MR. LARSON:  I didn't give them to her in
           any priority order, Ray.  So you may have a specific
                       DR. WYMER:  Each one of them is a
           difficult problem.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Okay.  What I do is I
           have them on presentation and I also have them -- I'll
           put them up.
                       DR. WYMER:  Fine.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  And we've kind of
           answered them in bullet style.  So I guess --
                       DR. WYMER:  Okay.  And then later on as
           the conversation goes on, I guess if we have the
           Nuclear Energy Institute representative, we'd like to
           get their point of view on these issues to sort of
           broaden the base from which we're trying to address
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Yes.
                       DR. WYMER:  Okay.  So if you just want to
           start off, that's fine, and then we'll talk as we go.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Okay.  As Ray said, my
           name is Stephanie Bush-Goddard.  And the ACNW
           Committee sent us about six questions that -- okay --
           that they wanted us to answer.  And I would also like
           to ask if my colleagues in the audience that are also
           working on the entombment scenario, in particular Carl
           Feldman and Bob Nelson, if they would like to comment
           on the questions to help along.
                       DR. WYMER:  Sure.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  The first question was
           how to handle the question of GTCC waste.  And in
           doing that we're developing a rule-making plan and an
           advanced notice of proposed rule-making.  So the
           suggestions that I'm giving as the answers are not
           necessarily the Commission's view, but are discussions
           that we are developing.
                       If you look on page 2, we're developing an
           option in the rule-making plan to establish
           performance objectives and technical requirements for
           an entombment facility.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Go ahead.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Okay.  And in here
           we're addressing GTCC wastes that these requirements
           might be under a new part.  They might be similar to
           some of Part 61 requirements.  Some of them may be
           pathway analysis and performance requirements.
                       And in doing this we can address some of
           the 1,000 year limitations that the License
           Termination Rule has.  So that's one way we're
           addressing greater than Class C, maybe just developing
           a new regulation particular to an entombed facility,
           and specifically to handle GTCC waste.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  At reactor sites only.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  At this moment we're
           looking at even expanding that to maybe other
           nonreactor facilities.  Yes.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Have you resolved the
           question of threshold values and what have you?
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  No.  We're definitely
           in the preliminary stages.  We've had the package to
           go around for office concurrence only once.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  And like you said, we
           had so many difficult issues.  We've had to have a
           couple of management meetings and numerous working
           group meetings just to get over the basic things.  So
           no, we haven't --
                       DR. WYMER:  No.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  -- looked into that.
                       DR. WYMER:  I can certainly understand
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Another option is
           concentration averaging; as we know, what happened
           with the Trojan reactor case where they did
           concentration averaging over the reactor pressure
           vessel.  So that's another way to handle GTCC.
                       And in doing that now we will not
           necessarily be classified as GTCC waste, and then
           won't have those limitations on it.
                       DR. WYMER:  Now, was that reactor vessel
           filled with concrete?  Was that empty?
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  I'm not sure.  Do you
           know, Dr. Feldman?
                       DR. FELDMAN:  Yes.  It's filled with
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes, grout.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Okay.
                       DR. WYMER:  Grout.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  You've got to speak
           into a microphone.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Okay.  Yes, it was
           filled with grout.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Got the answer.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Yes.
                       DR. WYMER:  Thanks.  Okay.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  So there's two ways of
           handling it.
                       DR. WYMER:  Is it considered that those
           reactor vessels will be sealed so that effectively
           nothing can get inside, anything that attacks it would
           be from the outside?
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  There's two ways to
           look at that.  Over time you could have the
           possibility of something leaking out of the concrete
           or the steel structure.  So I think in the pathway
           analysis that you would have to do, you would have to
           consider all pathways.
                       And that's, you know, something, water or
           whatever getting in and then bringing the
           radioactivity out.
                       DR. WYMER:  Is it considered that there'll
           be other contaminated materials that might be thrown
           into the reactor vessel and then grouted in place in
           there, or?
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  At this particular time
           -- do you mean things like spent fuel?
                       DR. WYMER:  No.  No.  No.  No.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  I was just going to
                       DR. WYMER:  No, other contaminated --
                       DR. FELDMAN:  Control rods.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Oh.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes, contaminated metal and
           parts of the reactor itself.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  That are outside?
                       DR. WYMER:  That are not part of the
           containment vessel, but which are part of the reactor.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Oh, I don't know.  We
           haven't got to that detail yet.
                       DR. WYMER:  Okay.  That seemed to me in
           thinking about it that that might be a rather
           important consideration.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Okay.
                       DR. FELDMAN:  Hi.  I'm Carl Feldman.  I
           just commented the -- I'm over here.  Actually, let me
           move more -- I'm sorry.  The idea is a general idea,
           so we would put in various low level waste materials
           or whatever in the reactor vessel, and then grout the
           whole thing in.
                       DR. WYMER:  Okay.
                       DR. FELDMAN:  Or you might not even grout
           it, depending on how -- what the content is.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.  Yes, that does have
           implications with respect to how valid the volume
           averaging --
                       DR. FELDMAN:  Yes.
                       DR. WYMER:  -- concept is.
                       DR. FELDMAN:  Yes.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       DR. FELDMAN:  Again, this is preliminary.
           So depending upon how much -- whether they want to use
           greater than Class C waste or not, and what the
           options are, are still open right now.
                       DR. WYMER:  The reactor vessel would have
           sealed lid on it.
                       DR. FELDMAN:  Yes, the reactor vessel
           would be sealed and you might or might not grout it,
           depending upon what's in there and the pathway
           analysis and the whole show.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes, okay.  These are the kind
           of things we need to get so we could think
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  If you're going to
           change a rule or something wouldn't it be better just
           to create a entombment-specific rule and get away from
           the A, B, C classification completely, and
           establishing the thresholds for the entombment option.
                       DR. WYMER:  Our position when we framed
           this rule was basically using the license termination
           rule types of criteria.  It took us forever to do that
           one.  We're not saying those are good limits.
                       It's just a question of making sure you
           have adequate pathway analysis and isolation from the
           environment, so working around that.  But the idea
           there was to think about 50-82, which is the 60-year
           time limit, and the license termination rule and
           whether -- and how far you could go with those as they
           exist now, and what you would have to modify to be all
           inclusive or a broader type of entombment
           consideration.  So that was our --
                       DR. LEVENSON:  Is it envisioned that --
           I'm having a little trouble grasping what we're
           talking about.  Is the entombed article, would that be
           the pressure vessel and whatever you might put inside
           it?  Or is it much more generic?
                       Would you entomb a contaminated steam
           generator right next to a pressure vessel?  What are
           we talking about, first of all?
                       DR. FELDMAN:  No.  We're talking about the
           reactor containment building, vessel, et cetera, and
           using that as the primary entombment configuration.
           And whatever you want to cut up and put in there is a
           possibility, too.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  Okay.  So it's not -- the
           discussion to date has been just on the vessel.
                       DR. FELDMAN:  No.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  You're not limiting it to
                       DR. FELDMAN:  No.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  No.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  Okay.
                       MR. LARSON:  So you're including
           entombments greater than Class C waste --
                       DR. FELDMAN:  As a possibility.
                       MR. LARSON:  -- in the containment
                       DR. FELDMAN:  As a consideration for
           consideration -- as something to think about, yes.
                       DR. WYMER:  And learning a new regulation
           to cover that.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Yes, as a possibility.
                       DR. WYMER:  Perhaps.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  Or a modification.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Or a -- yes.
                       DR. WYMER:  A modification to the existing
           regulation.  Yes, okay.  But you're not really giving
           serious consideration to what John said; namely, we're
           writing another --
                       DR. FELDMAN:  Well, I think that's another
           option that was -- that is coming up that Stephanie is
           going to discuss.  There was one of these so-called
           option threes.  I think option one was leave it alone.
                       Option two is modify it by modifying maybe
           50-82 and the license termination rule as appropriate,
           and option three, one version of option three is to
           create a new rule.  We're still toying with that kind
           of concept.  It's not --
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.  The precedent that I see
           is you did create a new rule Yucca Mountain, and that
           was a big deal.  And I think this -- a look at
           entombment is a big deal.  And so it's a parallel.
                       DR. FELDMAN:  Well, some of it is not that
           big a deal in the sense that the license termination
           rule -- part of the reason for this while
           entombmentation consideration comes about because the
           license termination rule allows for restricted release
           with conditions.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       DR. FELDMAN:  And while that's limiting
           for the general entombment considerations for the
           reactors, nevertheless, it leads to that kind of
           investigation.  And so it's almost more -- it's a more
           natural kind of process to look at it that way.
                       At least that's why we look at it
           initially that way.
                       DR. WYMER:  So if you went to a restricted
           release mode, for example, just discussing that for a
           minute --
                       DR. FELDMAN:  Yes.
                       DR. WYMER:  -- then you would -- the
           utility would have to come up with some sort of a
           long-term financial --
                       DR. FELDMAN:  Yes.
                       DR. WYMER:  -- program that would
           guarantee --
                       DR. FELDMAN:  Yes, but it's the same now,
           too.  It's the same restrictive release for non-
           entombment.  For whatever set-up they have, there has
           to be adequate financial resources to maintain it.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       DR. FELDMAN:  It would be maintained
           presumably by the state or some group.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes, now, that's a little
                       DR. FELDMAN:  It's different, yes, I know.
           I know.
                       DR. WYMER:  So there is quite a
                       DR. FELDMAN:  But this is sort of a
           generalization of that and one way to look at it.
                       DR. WYMER:  Okay.  So there's no
           consideration that is being given to whether or not
           the utility would have to be responsible or whether
           some governmental body would have to be responsible?
                       DR. FELDMAN:  Yes.  That has to be
           included as part of the -- whatever look at this thing
           is going to --
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes, okay.
                       DR. FELDMAN:  The other thing is, the
           license termination rule is limiting, too, in that the
           100 millirem and 500 millirem, while that's something
           we would want to stay within, when you have -- if
           you're thinking about a very hot type of situation --
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       DR. FELDMAN:  -- then there's the
           potential for exceeding that, and so you have to worry
           about that, too.
                       DR. WYMER:  Right.
                       DR. FELDMAN:  So.
                       DR. WYMER:  Okay.  Yes.  That's very
           helpful.  This discussion is helpful.
                       Okay.  Stephanie.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Okay.  The next
           question is how to address the issue of engineered
           barriers.  Once again, there are a couple of things
           that we're looking at.  First, let's kind of look at
           the demonstration decommissioning criteria -- excuse
           me -- for the West Valley Demonstration Project, and
           define engineered barriers as they did, saying that if
           a barrier does not require an institution or a human
           factor to maintain its effectiveness, then it's an
           engineered barrier.
                       But we're also thinking about maybe
           amending the regulations to clarify what an engineered
           barrier is.  So that's --
                       DR. WYMER:  Okay.  You're --
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  And once again, that's
           preliminary, too, you know.
                       DR. WYMER:  You're walking on soggy
           ground, there.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  This is a soggy
                       DR. LEVENSON:  We can do it on dry ground.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  That's true.  And then
           I said other, like I said, once you put out the AMPR
           we're going to get comments from commenters, maybe
           some licensee or some other entity might give us a
           definition of how we should define engineered
                       DR. WYMER:  Okay.  You might come back to
           that, but let's go ahead.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Okay.
                       DR. WYMER:  I've now had -- now, I've got
           to digest that.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Is that the definition,
           a unique definition?  Is that new for engineered
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  It means a -- the West
           Valley definition?
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.  Yes.  Is that
           what we mean when we say engineered barrier?
                       MR. NELSON.  Yes.  This is Bob Nelson,
           Chief of the Facilities Decommissioning Section,
           Decommissioning Branch, Division of Waste Management.
                       The interpretation that's expressed in the
           -- that -- excuse me -- that Stephanie summarized here
           is based on a review of past practice, how the Agency
           has treated engineered barriers in other cases, and
           also, based on the analysis of the language in the
           statements of consideration in the rule itself.
                       The OGC created a rather lengthy paper
           addressing this, but the basic conclusion was that
           based on that review and past practice that if an
           engineered barrier did not require human intervention
           to maintain its effectiveness, then it should not be
           considered an institutional control.
                       DR. WYMER:  Okay.  What would be an
           engineered barrier, for example?  Would it be a --
                       MR. NELSON:  I can address that, first of
           all generally, and then more specifically.  Normally,
           an engineered barrier is a -- some constructed device
           or feature that typically is incorporated into a
           design, a waste design, to either limit infiltration
           of water or slow or retard groundwater flow or
           resurface water flow.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes, that --
                       MR. NELSON:  Around the grout.  That's
           generally what an engineered barrier's considered to
                       DR. WYMER:  I would like an example or
                       MR. NELSON:  A cap.
                       DR. WYMER:  A cap to do what?
                       MR. NELSON:  A cap, a slurry wall, a
                       DR. WYMER:  Okay.
                       MR. NELSON:  A grout curtain.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       MR. NELSON:  All of those things would
           normally be considered engineered barriers.  The
           problem with assuming calling those, then,
           institutional controls is that the license termination
           rule requires you to do an analysis when institutional
           controls fails.
                       And that means a time zero assumption that
           all your engineered barriers vanish, which is an
           unreasonable, in minds of a lot of folks, an
           unreasonable assumption.  You should be able to take
           credit for the barrier for as long as you can justify
           taking credit for it.
                       Assuming that a cover vanishes
           instantaneously or a concrete wall evaporates is a
           little conservative.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       MR. NELSON:  So the definition -- I'd call
           it an interpretation rather than a definition that OGC
           has proposed is that to the extent that you have to
           rely on human intervention to maintain effectiveness,
           that you can no longer count on its effectiveness.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  So it's defined in
           terms of the transport or movement of water?
                       MR. NELSON:  Well, that's generally how an
           engineered barrier is --
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  As opposed to
                       MR. NELSON:  Well, I used the -- clearly
           a cover wall, so affect direct radiation exposure, as
           will the other, as I mentioned.  But the principal use
           of an engineered barrier has been, at least in our
           practice, has been focused on migration rather than
           controlling direct exposure, although clearly, things
           like a cover will have a direct impact on direct
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Okay.  That helps a
           lot.  Thanks.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes, thank you.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Okay.
                       DR. WYMER:  That's a pretty
           straightforward answer, no.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Well, we're saying
           maybe not.  The approach can definitely develop within
           the existing acts, but the regulations might need to
           be changed as we were talking about, amending 50-82,
           maybe --
                       DR. WYMER:  I might take the word "might"
           out of there.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Okay.
                       DR. WYMER:  Say regulations need to be
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Okay.
                       DR. WYMER:  There's no might about it, is
           there?  Won't they have to be?
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Well, like, for
           instance, if you look at an option one where you don't
           -- there's no rule-making, you can do an entombment
           approach within the existing regulations, within the
           60-year limit, but that might be limited.  So --
                       DR. WYMER:  With what they created, the
           Class C waste won't fit in there.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  No, exactly.  You'd
           definitely have to take out the pertinent class.
                       DR. WYMER:  So that they need to be
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Okay.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  For GTCC.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  For -- okay, yes.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes, for GTCC.
                       DR. WYMER:  But that's in there, see.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Okay.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  Now, even if it -- but
           since it's a generic it might not be GTCC.
                       DR. WYMER:  Have to go to a microphone
                       DR. LEVENSON:  If we're talking about a
           generic case then, since it isn't primarily focused on
           the pressure vessel, you might have cases where you
           want to entomb everything but the pressure vessel --
                       DR. WYMER:  Right.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  -- at a sight, and it might
           not be GTCC.
                       DR. WYMER:  So that --
                       DR. LEVENSON:  So I think this is correct.
                       DR. WYMER:  Okay.  So you'd have to
           partition the new regulation.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  Oh, it clearly would be
           different if there is or is not GTCC.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  But these are all within
           the generic envelope they're looking at.
                       MR. NELSON:  Bob Nelson again, the
           Division of Waste Management.  The point of the first
           bullet is that the entombment can be done today under
           the existing laws and regulations.  It's only source
           term constraining.
                       DR. WYMER:  Right.
                       MR. NELSON:  If you reduce the source term
           enough you can entomb under the LTR, under the license
           termination rule.  To some, 50-82 limits the amount of
           time you can allow -- you can have time to help you
           out on that, to 60 years.
                       But if you remove, then, the higher
           activity components from the containment, you could
           entomb the rest under the LTR.  So it's just source
           term constraint.
                       DR. WYMER:  I guess I'm having a sort of
           a semantic difficulty here.
                       DR. FELDMAN:  May I make a qualification
           of 50-82?  Carl Feldman, research.  50-82 is for case
           specific approval.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       DR. FELDMAN:  So provided it's some kind
           of a health and safety situation.  So it could go way
           beyond the 60 years, if it were health and safety.
                       DR. WYMER:  I'm having a little problem
           with the words.  I guess to me entombment meant
           something different than what it means to you.  In one
           case you've just got a little old waste disposal
           facility on site.
                       In the other case, you got a reactor
           vessel that has some activity in it and you're
           entombing it.  Those are two different things in my
           mind.  Now, maybe they're not in yours.
                       DR. FELDMAN:  The GIS that we did back in
           I guess '88, entombment dealt with putting something
           in some kind of a barrier and going to a termination
           of license through decay.
                       DR. WYMER:  No.
                       DR. FELDMAN:  That's the -- I'm sorry --
           that's the original concept.  Now, you know, what they
           want to call it now, I don't know.  But --
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       DR. FELDMAN:  -- the idea is to terminate
           -- everything we structured in the decommissioning
           rule and GIS was to terminate that license.
                       DR. WYMER:  I had a narrower view of it.
           My view was that what this entombment thing was all
           about was to enable you to -- the utility to save
           money by leaving the reactor vessel in place then --
                       DR. FELDMAN:  Yes, sure.  Sure.
                       DR. WYMER:  -- entomb it, and that's a
           much narrower point of view than what I'm hearing
           expressed now, and I think it needs to be sorted out
           a little bit better.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Well, that's -- we are
           in the rule-making plan stage now, and I think what
           we're doing is trying to put all the options on the
                       DR. WYMER:  Okay.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Whereas, I think in the
           past it was considered strictly as a decommissioning-
           type activity.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  But now, we are also
           looking at the possibility of maybe it being more-so
           a disposal-type activity as opposed to
                       DR. WYMER:  Right.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  But these are only
           options that are on the table.
                       DR. WYMER:  Sure.  And that's all we -- I
           realize that's all we're discussing.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Yes.
                       DR. WYMER:  But I wanted to make it clear
           that there was some confusion in my mind, and I
           suspect that there is -- my mind is not the only one
           that's --
                       DR. FELDMAN:  I think it's a broadening of
           the Commission paper that requested entombment of
           power reactors.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       DR. FELDMAN:  But that just basically
           talked about power reactors and decommissioning.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes, and that's the context in
           which I was thinking about it.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Yes.
                       DR. WYMER:  And I guess I would prefer to
           continue thinking about it that way.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  Well, that's why I had
           asked the question I asked.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.  Okay.  Well, okay.  You
           see what my problem is.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Okay.  We talked about
           the 50-82 limits, and I assume that you meant the 60-
           year decommissioning time limit or time limit for
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes, that's one of the big
           points in there.  Yes.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Okay.  Like I said, the
           LTR, as both Carl and Bob said, might limit some
           facilities.  If we keep the 60-year time limit, we
           might not be able to keep the LTR.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  But also, a question
           is, if credit can be given to engineered barriers for
           dose reduction, we might be able to meet the 60-year
           limit or shorten it.  So the question is to what
           extent can dose reduction credit be given.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.  I guess I was thinking
           in terms of lengthening it.  So you're talking in the
           opposite direction.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Well, no, I'm talking
           in both -- I'm talking in all directions --
                       DR. WYMER:  Okay.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  -- actually.
                       DR. WYMER:  Okay.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  If you can give little
           dose reduction credit you would have to lengthen the
           60-year time frame.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  So I think that's the
           question that we're also struggling with.
                       DR. WYMER:  And if you allow the barriers
           to evaporate, then you also -- we're going to have to
           lengthen the time.
                       DR. FELDMAN:  When we did the license
           termination rule we had no entombment concept at all.
           We weren't even -- we weren't looking at that at all.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.  I realize that, yes.
           This is an extension.
                       DR. FELDMAN:  Sure, yes.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Yes.
                       DR. WYMER:  Okay.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Is waste concentration
           averaging applicable and acceptable?  Talked about the
           Trojan Reactor case and there, permission was given by
           an agreement state.  We don't have an answer on this
           one yet.
                       But in looking at it, DOE was given the
           responsibility for developing a national disposal
           strategy and we were given the responsibility for
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  So waste -- you know,
           that's kind of a gray area, you know.  I think they're
           waiting on us for some lead in this, and we're looking
           to see what they want to do.  So I don't have a
           definite answer for this, either.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.  One of the reasons I
           asked the question about, is the containment vessel
           going to be sealed, is if it is and you can make some
           case for it staying sealed for awhile, then you can't
           really do concentration averaging because -- volume
           averaging, because you can't use the internal volume
           if no water gets in there.
                       And if the radioactivity doesn't disperse
           itself inside that volume then there's no logic to
           using volume averaging, just because it would all be
           external and there's no volume there on the outside of
           the container.
                       So there's a logical, technical problem
           there, as well.  And it's, just exactly what do you
           mean by volume averaging?  That's also relevant to the
           question of how much trash do you throw inside the
                       DR. FELDMAN:  Yes.
                       DR. WYMER:  If you throw a lot in there
           and it has a lot of radioactivity --
                       DR. FELDMAN:  Right.
                       DR. WYMER:  -- relative to what's induced
           in the --
                       DR. FELDMAN:  Right.
                       DR. WYMER:  -- in the containment vessel,
           then volume averaging makes sense.  But if you throw
           the waste in, trash in there and it's low level, then
           it doesn't add anything to the radioactivity and
           volume averaging doesn't make much sense against it.
           All these things are a problem.
                       DR. FELDMAN:  Well, the case in point is
           Trojan, where they took the vessel out intact, filled
           it up with some concrete or fill or whatever, then
           buried it in Hanford.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       DR. FELDMAN:  It has a volume-averaged
           type of currie concentration so that they could meet
           the low-level waste criteria.
                       DR. WYMER:  But that does assume that
           you're going to get dispersion of that --
                       DR. FELDMAN:  Yes.
                       DR. WYMER:  -- of the radioactivity within
           that grout.
                       DR. FELDMAN:  Ultimate -- yeah, yes, it
                       DR. LEVENSON:  Ultimately.
                       DR. WYMER:  Ultimately.
                       DR. FELDMAN:  Ultimately.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes, ultimately.  Okay.  Well,
           these are problems.
                       DR. FELDMAN:  Yes.
                       DR. WYMER:  Okay.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Then the last question
           was, should the facility be monitored during the
           entombment period, and how?  As we talked about, we
           haven't really developed the definition of an
           entombment period.
                       You know, for example, is it a
           decommissioning, or is it a disposal or just whatever.
           So it's hard to answer that question.  However, if you
           adopt the LTR criteria, then once the license is
           terminated, of course, and you meet the requirements,
           the entombment facility is no longer monitored.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.  Yes.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  However, the other
           option that we're suggesting is that you develop these
           performance objectives and technical requirements, and
           in that period of time you would have to do some
           monitoring until you terminate the license.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Under whatever
                       DR. WYMER:  So it's your sort of general
           approach that if you expand on this regulation or
           write a new one, that it'll be broad enough and go in
           enough different directions that now matter what the
           utility decide to do, you got them surrounded.
                       If they decide to go to a restricted
           license termination, then there's some -- some
           provision has to be set up for institutional
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Yes.
                       DR. WYMER:  If you change the regulation
           with respect to greater than Class C so that you can
           have greater than Class C on the site, then that's
           another deal that has to do with engineered barriers
           and has to do with modeling to demonstrate
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Yes.
                       DR. WYMER:  So you're going to cover it;
           every way it might go, you've got it covered.  Is that
           -- that's your general approach?
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Yes, to put all the
           options out.
                       DR. WYMER:  And entombment is going to be
           kept as a broad term, rather than one that applies
           fairly specifically to reactors, containment vessels.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Well, not necessarily
           so.  If we get comments back, you know, it depends on
           I guess how the comments go, and you know, how the
           Commission wants to proceed on what we send up and
           what we suggest.
                       So it could be only limited -- it could be
           the decommissioning only of power reactors.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Where you have to meet
           the license termination rule, and maybe extending the
           60-year time frame.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  So it just depends.
                       DR. WYMER:  It would be cleaner to
           separate it out cleanly for reactors, since that's a
           whole separate -- in my judgment -- a whole separate
           class of thing quite apart from low-level waste
           disposal sites.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Yes.
                       MR. LARSON:  But then you got intermediate
           things like a hot cell, which you could look at that
           as a containment in the sort.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Yes.
                       MR. LARSON:  But you're saying you don't
           know whether you'd consider that or not, as opposed to
           Ray's end thing of a low-level waste disposal
           facility.  So you know, the Committee was going to
           comment the last time, but they expected that they
           would get AMPR, the plan within a couple of weeks.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Yes.
                       MR. LARSON:  And the Committee'd probably
           be interested in what the current schedule is or when
           they expect to see something because, you know, they
           haven't seen the logic as to anyone of these
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Well, exactly.  I can
           say that we did get an extension today.
                       DR. WYMER:  We understood that.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  And this is an
           extension to extend the Commission date of sending the
           rule-making plan and AMPR up to SECE (phonetic), I
           believe it's June 1st.
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  That was a blessing,
           wasn't it?
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Oh, definitely a
           blessing.  So we're still at the drawing table.
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  Yes.  Well, we can't
           really prepare a letter until we see a lot more
           definition, until you people -- until you clarify all
           of these issues and what exactly -- how you're going
           to deal with it.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Now, we are sending
           paper off for office concurrence, and I think you all
           are on that distribution, and that's going to be
           within two weeks, definitely within two weeks.
                       DR. WYMER:  Well, that'll -- okay --
           that'll be something, yes.  Well, that's all very
           helpful, Stephanie.  We appreciate your bringing us up
           to date, and it clarifies a lot of -- well, it doesn't
           clarify a whole lot, but it explains a lot to me.
           It's no more clear to me than it is to you.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Exactly, yes.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  It sounds like this is
           kind of a variation on the theme of in situ disposal.
           Is there a general category of disposal that if you
           would look at it rather than in the context of
           entombment that would give you greater flexibility on
                       Have you considered a general approach to
           in situ disposal?
                       MR. NELSON:  I think -- excuse me.  Bob
           Nelson again.  The staff's trying to flesh out the
           options that it's presenting us have raised a lot of
           these types of questions.  And after we got past
           option one, which is just let the license termination
           rule handle it and don't make any changes, we got into
           all of these things.
                       Is it just -- should it just be focused on
           reactors or are we -- are there things here that would
           have -- that are more generic and would apply to in
           situ type disposals?
                       The question of how to treat engineered
           barrier really kind of launched this discussion
           because we were moving forward to the Commission with
           a position on engineered barrier versus institutional
           controls on West Valley.
                       And we saw that a position on that needed
           to be taken that was consistent with what we were
           doing at West Valley, or we had to have a clear reason
           why there should be some other approach taken for
                       So that discussion kind of drove us into,
           well, aren't there other generic issues here that we
           need to consider.  So the long answer to your
           question, but yes, it did open the generic question.
                       So we were looking at, one, don't do
           anything.  That was pretty clear.  The other option
           was, okay, well, let's make some possible -- option
           two was -- some changes, like for example, extending
           the time limit in 50-82, maybe clarifying the
           definition of engineered barriers and some other
                       In other words, making some modifications,
           minor modifications to a set of regulations.  And then
           the third option was, well, let's just develop
           something new for this thing.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.
                       MR. NELSON:  Whatever this thing is.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Well, if we --
                       MR. NELSON:  And that's really been the
           focus of the staff's development --
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.  The idea here is
           that if we're really trying to move in the direction
           of a RIPB, risk informed performance base practice of
           regulation it would seem that you could define a
           category of conditions that would apply to all in-
           place disposal situations and be done with it.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  That's definitely an
                       DR. WYMER:  A comment --
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  But remember that we're
           not trying to define the way the staff's going to go.
           What we're trying to do is frame options that we can
           put out in an AMPR to get a discussion going and get
           some feedback, along with some focused questions on
           those options.
                       So we're not narrowing down what we want
           to do.  We want to make the options broad enough that
           it covers a reasonable span of potential paths forward
           on this topic.
                       MR. NELSON:  That's exactly what I'm
           getting at.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       MR. NELSON:  Because otherwise you get
           into a situation, well, we've done this for reactors
           and now we're going to do this for hot cells.  Then
           we're going to do this for waste storage facilities.
           We're going to do this for fuel fabrication
           facilities.  We're going to do this for reprocessing
           and so on and so forth.
                       DR. WYMER:  It's a fine balancing act
           between being so general that you can't work with it
           and being so specific that you've got a hundred cases.
                       DR. FELDMAN:  Could I just comment?  The
           approach for the reactor was that it was sort of a
           natural thing, and if you were going to go -- I'm
           sorry -- if you were going to go for an entombment and
           you wanted some sort of easier path to follow, then
           reactors are the types of things, especially power
           reactors, because they're not -- they're nice
           -- they're sort of tidy.
                       You have all sorts of barriers built into
           them.  You have decay processes that are fairly robust
           in some situations and you have, then, as part of the
           metallurgical structure you don't readily -- wouldn't
           expect them to readily leach out, depending upon how
           you treated them and so on.
                       And so that was why this was a fairly
           reasonable way to go initially, and if you broaden it
           too much, as you say, then you run into a lot of
                       DR. LEVENSON:  I have a question, John.
           We talk about power reactors, but you really aren't.
           You're talking about PWRs.
                       DR. FELDMAN:  No.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  BWRs aren't -- don't have
           containment buildings.  I mean, they're --
                       DR. FELDMAN:  Well, yes.  Yes.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  -- significantly different
                       DR. FELDMAN:  Yes.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  -- problems.  The pressure
           vessels are --
                       DR. FELDMAN:  Sure.
                       DR. LEVENSON:  -- a factor of two or three
           thinner.  The problems would be quite different.
                       DR. FELDMAN:  But they're are -- you're
           right, but there are engineering compensations even
           for those, depending upon --
                       DR. LEVENSON:  But they're different.
                       DR. FELDMAN:  They're different, yes,
           they're different.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.
                       DR. WYMER:  Okay.  Well, it really has
           been helpful, Stephanie.  It gives a good feeling of
           where we are at the present time, and we appreciate
           your coming in and sharing these problems with us, and
           your struggles toward solving them.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  I think Andy has
           another --
                       DR. WYMER:  Are there other questions?
                       MR. CAMPBELL:  Yes.  Actually, the more
           you talk about the entombment option, the more it
           sounds like a Part 61 site when you think in terms of
           the total number of curries and so on.
                       How are you going to resolve all the
           various limits in Part 61 with respect -- I mean, in
           essence, if you go down this road you're not sending
           anything to a Part 61 site which would normally have
           gone to a low-level waste site.
                       You're disposing of it on site, but within
           Part 61 -- I mean, Trojan's a special case because it
           went to an already existing Part 61 site, and
           therefore, met the siting requirements and so on and
           so forth that you normally associate with a Part 61
           low-level waste site.
                       Now, you're talking about reactor sites,
           which more often than not were chosen because they're
           near water.  They're not necessarily stable for all
           kinds of long time frames.  You're talking about
           greater than Class C waste, which is under Part 61 not
           considered -- generally not considered suitable for
           near surface disposal.
                       You've got a lot of issues with Part 61
           and how are you going to deal with that?
                       DR. WYMER:  Well, I'd sort of like to
           solve this discussion if we can and give Paul Genoa
           here a chance to give us the NOI perspective on this
           thing, if you will, Paul.
                       MR. GENOA:  Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman.
           I appreciate this opportunity again.  I'm Paul Genoa
           with the Nuclear Energy Institute, and have been
           looking at the issue of options for operation and
           decommissioning of power reactors primarily.
                       And many of the questions you've asked
           today have been asked by our members, as well.
           Fundamentally, our thinking is that at the early
           stages that clearly we believe that there are options
           for decommissioning facilities other than digging them
           up and moving them to another part of the country, and
           it can be done safely, we believe.
                       The license termination rule, being a
           performance-based rule, really begs the question,
           well, how can you interpret that.  Is there a way to
           meet the license termination criteria by simply
           isolating the material at a facility on site in a way
           that it doesn't exceed the performance-based rule?
                       We think the answer's yes.  Unfortunately,
           it gets very quickly complicated.  Initially, our
           proposal at the NRC's workshop in entombment -- and we
           would very much like to see the name change.  We think
           that the name is confusing.
                       We think something like enhanced SAFE
           store or enhanced isolation or any number of other
           words might be better.  But fundamentally, we thought
           that there are a range of options all the way from
           operating the plant routinely, as you always have,
           sending all the waste to a low-level waste facility,
           coming to decommissioning, doing chemical cleaning,
           perhaps to scour out all the active you can reasonably
           scour from the facility, perhaps even removing the
           greater -- the Class C components from the core,
           putting them into storage like fuel oil with the fuel,
           and ultimately just leaving the facility itself on
           site, which would be a very lower activity.
                       That would be on one end of the extreme,
           and the other, as you've mentioned, is the possibility
           of actually entombing the reactor itself.  Now, the
           question of engineered barriers, I think that
           shouldn't be confused with institutional controls.
                       Clearly, if you're going to leave residual
           activity and you're going to have a restricted release
           scenario as envisioned by the LTP, there will be
           ongoing institutional controls that will -- must be in
                       And it has to be outside the operator's
           hands, and the operator will be responsible for
           funding of all sorts of active maintenance over time,
           and for funding those institutional controls.  But
           they're going to have to be doable controls, probably
           a state or federal government control.
                       But you know, that can be explored clearly
           outside of the operator's control.  Certainly, it
           would be easier to do institutional controls for 130
           years than 1,000 years.
                       And so, you know, often we believe that
           we'd like the option, but it would be nice to walk
           before we run, and perhaps to show that the entombment
           can be managed for any type of a facility with a
           constrained source term within it.
                       But then if you want to also look at some
           special conditions that would allow greater than Class
           C to be entombed within the structure, that would
           certainly make sense, but it would raise the bar
                       We just hope that the debate doesn't get
           like, like in clearance, where we only talk about
           metals.  In reality, it's a much broader rule.  The
           same thing with entombment.  There are a variety of
           scenarios that could be envisioned.
                       We think on the issue of engineered
           barriers you're really thinking, what are the
           assumptions that I can put legitimately into a dose
           modeling scenario that would give me an accurate dose.
                       And as we've seen in performance
           assessments space for Part 61, there's been views
           that, well, you know, engineered barriers we can maybe
           credit for about 500 years.
                       But beyond that you're -- you know
           -- perhaps we could count on the chemical properties
           of concrete or a large cementatious mass would, you
           know, inhibit certain isotopes from migrating.  Maybe
           we could buy that more than 500 years.
                       But clearly, as we see in the entombment
           option for everything other than greater than Class C,
           you only need about 130 years.  Certainly, there are
           engineered barriers that we could count on.
                       And what we would ask is the Commission,
           is it deliberate to really reflect on what we've
           learned our high level waste program.  Certainly,
           engineered barriers are going to be used at Yucca
           Mountain or some other predecessor of that facility.
                       And we would hope that you would recognize
           that those are out there and available.  But
           institutional controls, they're currently being used
           by the EPA and Super Fund, and we're going to have to
           look at those for DOE facilities and other facilities
           across the country.
                       We think that's not insurmountable.  We
           don't believe that you need to change the Nuclear
           Waste Policy Act or the Low-Level Waste Policy Act,
           necessarily.  Again, entombment could be an option
           that doesn't even deal with the greater than Class C
                       However, there certainly are advantages.
           When I was here last I offered to you that it makes us
           question the value of cutting up the reactor
           internals.  Connecticut Yankee is now cleaning up from
           that process.
                       They will expend about 160 MAN REM, maybe
           170 in that job.  Now, the difference is really not
           because they cut it up.  It's because how they cut it
                       Absent waste acceptance criteria, they
           made -- from DOE -- they made a decision that the
           safest thing is to cut up into real small pieces
           that'll fit into what they call fast cans or fuel-size
                       That extra cutting is what caused the
           extra dose.  Main Yankee's going to use another
           approach, but they're doing it at risk because they
           don't have clear guidance from DOEO, what it would
           take to accept this material.
                       Now, they're cutting up into bigger chunks
           and it's not as dose intensive.  So you know, there
           are different ways to do this.  Solving entombment is
           one solution, but encouraging DOE to come up with a
           waste acceptance criteria would certainly be another.
                       And I guess finally, what we're looking
           for is options, and we would hope you'd continue to
           expand the thinking on this concept and perhaps change
           the title of this concept to allow for what we believe
           certainly are realistic opportunities to safely
           isolate materials at facilities.
                       And my final comment would just be that we
           are looking at this not just as a way to save a buck.
           I mean, that certainly is an element of everything.
           There's always economic considerations.  But you
           really need to take it in holistically.
                       This is an opportunity perhaps to maintain
           some benefits at a community that has hosted a
           facility during its operational life.  You know, why
           take 4- or $500 million and dig that facility up and
           take the facility and the dollars to some other place
           in the country, when perhaps it can be safely isolated
           on site and funds can stay in the local community for
           oversight, monitoring, you know, jobs for security and
           so forth.
                       So the concept we view is that this would
           be tried as an option not by everybody, but by a
           facility that is industrial in nature, that will
           continue to be an industrial facility for sometime in
           the future, that looking over an entombed reactor on
           site would not be a large burden if it was done
                       That would reduce cost, would create jobs,
           oversight for the community and for the state
           government and the regulator and so forth.  So those
           are some of my thoughts.
                       DR. WYMER:  Well, thank you very much.
           Let me ask you a technical question you probably won't
           be able to answer.  Is it likely even that a reactor
           containment vessel with the induced radioactivity in
           it would be less than --
                       DR. LEVENSON:  You mean a pressure vessel?
                       DR. WYMER:  Pressure vessel.  I'm sorry,
           pressure vessel -- would be less than Class C waste at
           the end of 60 years?  Don't you think that that vessel
           would be greater than Class C for longer periods of
           time than that?
                       MR. GENOA:  Yes, unless you cut the
           internals out of it.  Those internals are by
           definition, if you separate them, those are greater
           than Class C.
                       DR. WYMER:  But the --
                       MR. GENOA:  The reactor core barrels.
                       DR. WYMER:  -- but the vessel itself is --
                       MR. GENOA:  The reactor vessel is not
                       DR. WYMER:  Not necessarily.
                       MR. GENOA:  Yes.  And just for a point of
           clarification, the grout at the Trojan facility was
           not for concentration averaging.  The grout was there
           to fix the internal contamination, so in a
           transportation accident it wouldn't be released.  That
           was part of the scenario.  So --
                       DR. WYMER:  But the volume averaging,
           nonetheless, took into account the internal volume.
                       MR. GENOA:  It didn't take -- I don't
           believe it used the volume of the dead air space.  It
           took the activity and the activity of the radiated
           metal within the eight to ten-inch reactor vessel.
                       DR. WYMER:  Oh.
                       MR. GENOA:  And averaged all the activity
           within that mass and decided that that was less than
           Class C.
                       DR. WYMER:  Didn't take into account the
           enclosed volume?
                       MR. GENOA:  No.  It actually is a mass.
           It wasn't a volume concentration.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes.
                       MR. GENOA:  But we can verify that.
                       DR. WYMER:  Wasn't volume averaging; it
           was mass averaging?
                       MR. GENOA:  Yes.
                       DR. WYMER:  Okay.  Well, thanks.  Thanks.
           Any comments or questions of Paul while he's sitting
                       MR. GENOA:  I guess I answered them all.
           Thank you very much.
                       DR. WYMER:  Yes, well, thank you.  And any
           other questions of Stephanie while we've got her here,
           or any comments?
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Well, we do have a
                       DR. WYMER:  Have we got one from back
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes, the Public Citizen
                       MS. GUE:  Thanks again, Mr. Chairman.
           Lisa Gue from Public Citizen.  At this preliminary
           stage as you're considering this issue, I just wanted
           to remind you of Public Citizen's continuing objection
           to the concept of entombment as a viable option for
                       Our membership across the country,
           including at nuclear power sites or the communities
           around them is certainly clearly opposed to this
           concept of creating no -- which would potentially
           create 104 nuclear sacrifice zones or low-level waste
           dumps across the country.
                       And certainly, in this more broad concept
           that's here being described as an option, this does
           not seem like a reasonable or responsible policy for
           managing low-level waste.  It becomes even more
           objectionable when the stated objective is to make it
           more cost-effective for nuclear utilities to
                       We certainly don't feel that that's --
           that that is in the public interest for the motivation
           for regulation.  Our conviction is that nuclear
           utilities have accepted the burden and the cost of
           decommissioning when they've decided to invest in
           nuclear power, and that it shouldn't -- it's not
           acceptable for that burden to now be transferred onto
           the public, in violation of the spirit of the license
           termination requirements.
                       DR. WYMER:  Thank you.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes, thank you.
                       DR. WYMER:  Well, if there's no other
           comments or questions, we're right on schedule.
                       Thank you very much, Stephanie.  We'll
           look forward to seeing you again.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Yes.
                       DR. WYMER:  Thanks, Paul.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.  Ray, I guess what
           we're concluding from this is that it's premature to
           write a letter?
                       DR. WYMER:  Oh, yes, it is.
                       DR. HORNBERGER:  Is the staff looking for
           comments on their paper that's supposed to be coming
           out in the next few weeks?
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  I don't know.
                       DR. WYMER:  Well, I think it's premature.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  It's -- have they gone?
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  What was the question?
           I'm sorry.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Well, we're at -- the
           Committee has to decide whether we wish to write a
           letter or a report on entombment, and based on what
           I'm hearing here it sounds as though maybe it's
           premature to do that.
                       But unless staff wants to have the
           opinions of the Committee about the issue in general
           or in some other form --
                       DR. LARKINS:  Sounds like after you see
           the paper and the various options, you might -- that
           might be the more appropriate time or reasonable time
           to weigh in on this.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Yes.  Yes.
                       DR. WYMER:  Certainly not before then.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  I think that's a good
                       DR. LARKINS:  No.  It says, clearly, the
           objectives still seem to be --
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Well, unless we have
           some ideas that -- about the whole issue or that we
           have some concerns about the general direction that it
           was taking, I would agree, yes.
                       MR. LARSON:  Stephanie, you said it was a
           concurrence paper that --
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Yes.
                       MR. LARSON:  I mean, so it's going to be
           publicly released or it's going to be pre-decisional,
           or what's it going to be?
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  No, it's definitely
           pre-decisional.  When I said office concurrence, it's
           the NRC Offices.
                       MR. LARSON:  Okay.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  NRR research, that type
           of thing, and having their directors sign off on it.
                       DR. LARKINS:  I think we'll get it for
           information, probably.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Yes, exactly.
                       DR. LARKINS:  Yes.  So you can take a look
           at it then and decide if it's something that the
           Committee wants to weigh in, or it could wait till you
           get comments.  During the public comment period there
           are a number of different times when the Committee can
           provide comments.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Yes.  Now, we're not
           sending it out for public comment until it's gone up
           the --
                       DR. LARKINS:  No, I understand.  I
           understand the process.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  Okay.
                       MR. LARSON:  In light of the broad scope
           of options that you seem to be looking at, what is it
           going to be, a 90-, 180-day public comment period or?
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  I think right now we're
           looking for a 90-day comment period.  But you know,
           that can always be extended.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Any other comments,
           questions?  Staff?  All right.  Well, thank you again.
                       MS. BUSH-GODDARD:  You're welcome.
                       DR. WYMER:  Thank you very much.
                       CHAIRMAN GARRICK:  Okay.  I think this
           brings us to the conclusion of our presentation part
           of our Agenda and that we're now in a position to move
           into a discussion and the preparation of reports.
                       And I'd like to suggest a very short break
           so that the court reporter can remove his equipment
           and sign off, and then we'll start our reports.  So
           we'll have a short break now.
                       (Whereupon, this portion of the 124th
           meeting of the Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste was
           concluded at approximately 2:01 p.m.)


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