Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste Audit Review of Chemistry Issues for the Yucca Mountain Site Considerations Report

                Official Transcript of Proceedings


Title:                    Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste
                               Audit Review of Chemistry Issues for the
                               Yucca Mountain Site Recommendation
                               Considerations Report

Docket Number:  (not applicable)

Location:                 Rockville, Maryland

Date:                     Wednesday, February 21, 2001

Work Order No.: NRC-078                               Pages 1-252

                   NEAL R. GROSS AND CO., INC.
                 Court Reporters and Transcribers
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                                 + + + + +
                           CONSIDERATIONS REPORT
                                 + + + + +
                             FEBRUARY 21, 2001
                                 + + + + +
                            ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND
                                 + + + + +
                       The ACNW Audit Review Committee met at the
           Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Two White Flint North,
           Room T2B1, 11545 Rockville Pike, at 8:30 a.m., Dr.
           Raymond G. Wymer, Chairman, presiding.
                       DR. RAYMOND G. WYMER, Chairman
                       DR. JAMES CLARKE, Member
                       DR. PAUL SHEWMON, Member
                       DR. MARTIN STEINDLER, Member

           .           ACRS STAFF PRESENT:
                 DR. ANDREW C. CAMPBELL
                 DR. TAE AHN
                 DR. JOHN BRADBURY
                 DR. RICHARD CODELL
                 DR. BILL DAM
                 DR. CARL DIBELLA, NWTRB
                 DR. BRET LESLIE
                 DR. TIM MCCARTIN

           .                                A-G-E-N-D-A
                       AGENDA ITEM                         PAGE
           Opening Remarks by Chairman Wymer. . . . . . . . . 4
           Overview of Waste Package Chemistry Issues
                 in TSPA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
           Alloy 22 Corrosion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33
           Chemical Environment on Waste Package. . . . . . .52
           Ti-alloy Corrosion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .72
           Discussion of Issue Resolution and
                 Key Concerns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
           Overview of Near-Field Chemistry Issues and. . . 120
           TSPA-SR Source-Term Model
           In-package Chemistry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155
           In-Drift Chemical Environment. . . . . . . . . . 166
           Discussion of Issue Resolution and
                 Key Concerns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167
           Radionuclide Transport in Near and Far-Field
                 Environment. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180
           Discussion of Issue Resolution and
                 Key Concerns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 210
           Discussion of Defense-in-Depth and Multiple
                 Barriers Issues. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 236
           General Discussion and Comments. . . . . . . . . 251
           .                           P-R-O-C-E-E-D-I-N-G-S
                                                    (8:30 a.m.)
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Let's start.  I want to
           kick the meeting off by reading some prepared comments
           that I have, and that will be the last formal thing
           that we will do, I think, and we will get into the
                       So I will go ahead and read this stuff and
           it will take about the amount of time that I have
           allotted for it.  And part of it is background
           material that I think everybody knows, but it is sort
           of for the record.
                       The Yucca Mountain repository site
           characterization activities are specified in NC
           geological repository regulations.  NRC repository
           licensing requirements are contained in the proposed
           Part 63 of the Code of Federal  Register.
                       And the process that the NRC carries out
           is as follows.  The NRC strategic planning assumptions
           call for early identification and resolution of issues
           related to potential licensing of the repository.
           Considerable pre-licensing work is carried out by DOE
           and NRC both separately and jointly, to identify,
           clarify, and resolve issues associated with site
           characterization and performance.
                       To facilitate this process, NRC has
           identified what are called Key Technical Issues, and
           publishes Issue Resolution Status Reports on the Key
           Technical Issues based on an issue resolution process.
                       The process is carried out through -- and
           I call them formal pre-licensing consultations with
           DOE.  These consultations are required by law and are
           carried out in open meetings.
                       During the consultations, DOE orally
           presents information on technical issues to NRC staff
           and contractor personnel.  The information presented
           is supported by DOE technical documents, though not
           necessarily at the time of the presentations.
                       Questions on the presentations are
           permitted by the public, as well as by NRC
           representatives.  At the conclusion of the
           presentations, NRC staff and contractor personnel
           caucus to discuss the DOE presentations.
                       The purpose of the caucus is to determine
           what, if any, additional information NRC believes is
           required from the DOE for NRC to provisionally close
           the issue.
                       The deliberations of the caucus are
           presented by NRC staff to DOE at the time of the
           meeting, and DOE responds at that time, either
           agreeing to provide additional information, or taking
           exception to NRC's requests.  This exchange between
           NRC staff and DOE is iterative over time.  That is,
           they do it many times on the same topic.
                       The DOE Yucca Mountain repository Yucca
           Mountain repository safety strategy relies on
           engineered and natural barriers, and natural
           attenuation -- for example, radioactive decay -- to
           contain and isolate the radioactive wastes from the
                       DOE has identified four waste system
           attributes as being most important for predicting
           engineered and natural barrier performance.  The first
           is limited water contacting the waste package.  The
           second is long waste package lifetime.
                       The third is slow rate of release of
           radionuclides from the waste forms, and the fourth is
           concentration of reduction of radionuclides during
           transport through engineered and natural barriers.
                       In this working group, we will address all
           four of these attributes to the extent that they are
           chemical in nature.  The first attribute, limited
           water contacting the waste package, is related
           chemically to corrosion of the titanium trip shield
           which covers the waste packages.
                       It is also related to climate, to the
           design of the repository and to fuel emplacement,
           which affect repository temperature and temperature
           profiles for hundreds of years, and to a certain
           extent the paths followed by water in the repository.
                       The second attribute, long waste package
           lifetime, is related chemically to corrosion of Alloy
           22, the outer waste container material.  In DOE's
           present repository safety conceptualization,this is
           the single most important factor in determining
           repository safety.
                       This attribute is also related to
           container fabrication, to damage that could be caused
           by material falling from the walls of the drifts
           containing the waste packages, or to mishandling of
           the packages.
                       Drifts could be damaged by earthquakes or
           by volcanism, as well as by less extreme events, such
           as thermal cycles or water damage.
                       The third attribute, slow rate of release
           of radionuclides from the waste forms, is chemical in
           nature through the solubility of the waste forms in
           the water contacting them, to colloid formation, to
           secondary phase formation, to temperature, to redox
           reactions, and to the rate of water contact with the
           waste forms, which in turn are all related to
           corrosion of the drip shield, corrosion of the waste
           packages, and corrosion of the cladding, in the case
           of spent fuel.
                       The fourth attribute, concentration
           reduction of radionuclides during transport through
           engineered and natural barriers, is related to the
           chemical species of the radionuclides released from
           the waste form and to the chemical nature of the media
           through which they move.
                       In this working group, we will concern
           ourselves only with those media within the drifts;
           that is, with corrosion products, with organic
           material, if any, with the rock beneath the waste
           packages, with the inverts and with the waste
           packages' supports.
                       If in the future backfill is considered
           for the drifts, then these media will also be
           important in radionuclide transport.
                       The purpose of this meeting is to discuss
           selected chemical issues in the near-field, and to
           reach a consensus among members of the working group
           that will lead to a written evaluation of the NRC
           staff process and activities in formally resolving
           selected parts of the Key Technical Issues related  to
           the chemistry in the repository near-field.
                       In addition, the adequacy of the
           abstractions of the models used to address  the
           technical issues into the Total System Performance
           Analysis will be addressed, as will the extent to
           which the working group believes the NRC requirement
           of Defense-in-Depth will be met by DOE.
                       If deemed appropriate, the working group
           will also comment on the degree to which conservative
           assumptions challenge the credibility  of the analyses
           of coupled, thermal, hydrological, and chemical
           phenomena in the near-field.
                       A final point to be addressed is how well
           NRC  has been able to prepare itself for
           contingencies; that is, to prepare for the unexpected,
           or to changes or changes in emphasis in the DOE
           licensing strategy.
                       These goals will be reached in part by
           exploring the issues identified in the four attributes
           discussed above, by critically examining the
           information requested and obtained from the DOE, and
           developed by the NRC staff and the Center for Nuclear
           Waste Regulatory Analysis, and by providing written
           comments based on what we learn.
                       Now, those are sort of my formal comments.
           Let me add to that fact that what we are doing is what
           we in the Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste call a
           vertical slice.
                       We are looking at specific key technical
           issues.  There are too many technical issues for us as
           a committee to address all of them.  So in order to
           assess the process that the staff goes through in
           evaluating DOE's proposal, we are taking four.
                       Each of the four members is taking a
           vertical slice of a key technical issue, and our key
           technical issue relates to chemistry in the near-
                       And by a vertical slice, we mean that we
           are looking broadly at how things are done in the
           process, and in detail, and in this particular case
           the chemistry that has been studied, and the chemical
           processes that are explored.
                       So we are looking at the chemistry issues
           in the near-field in depth so far as we can, and in
           this particular case, the chemistry issues with this
           group of consultants with staffer, Andy Campbell.
                       So that is what we mean by a vertical
           slice.  So we will not look as a committee, as an ACNW
           committee at all of the KTIs, but only a selected few,
           and from these, we will try and gain some feeling for
           how well the process works, and we will comment on
                       The members here of this group are Dr.
           Paul Shewmon, Dr. Martin Steindler, and Dr. James
           Clarke; and Dr. Andrew Campbell is the staff member
           who is every bit as important and involved in this as
           -- and maybe or probably more so as the rest of us.
           So, with that --
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  And more importantly, I am
           the designated Federal Official for this meeting,
           since we are conducting this as an open meeting.  So
           now that that is over with --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Let me say that we could
           have held this as a closed meeting since there is only
           one member of the ACNW present.  We decided not to
           hold it as a closed meeting in keeping with the NRC's
           policy of openness, and permitting the public and
           interim people to come and see what we are doing, and
           hear how we do it, and how we go about it.
                       So we think we are in complete compliance
           with all of the Federal Advisory Committee -- what is
           it, FACA?
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Federal Advisory Committee
           Act, FACA.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And I think we are in
           agreement with all of the FACA requirements.  However,
           I want to retain the flavor of a small group of people
           discussing openly their opinions.
                       I hope that nobody in the committee here
           is reluctant to someplace along the line take an
           extreme position with the expectation that the other
           members of the group will beat him back to a more
           rational position, because I think that is probably
           the way you get at the issues best in this sort of an
                       So what some of us might say -- although
           we are not going to be crazy, but what some of us
           might say will not necessarily be what appears in the
           final report, but is merely a device, a mechanism, to
           more fully explore the issues.
                       I will permit comments and questions from
           the audience.  However, in the interest of getting on
           with it and the time being so limited with all the
           topics that we have to cover, I would ask that those
           be held until the end of the day.
                       We will allow time this afternoon for
           comments and questions.  However, we would like to
           feel that we can draw on the expertise of those
           present in the room and at the center when questions
           come up that we don't have the answers, and we have
           not been able to dig out the answers to, and we think
           that somebody else might know the answer, because we
           have not been emersed in this for the last 7 or 8
           years like some of the people have, and we are not
           necessarily as familiar with the details as we would
           like to be.
                       So with that, let me ask Andy if he has
           any comments that he wants to make from the staff's
           point of view.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Just some housekeeping
           items.  In terms of the meeting, I have not received
           -- and I don't think Ray has received -- any requests
           by anybody to speak.  But if somebody does desire to
           speak, contact me or let Ray know.
                       But let me know and then we will arrange
           for some sort of time for you to be able to speak.
           But what we prefer to do is to do that at the end of
           the day if anybody wants to make any points.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Right.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  But certainly we will be
           willing to accommodate somebody's schedule, for
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Yes.  If somebody has to
           leave early, and it is something that they really feel
           should be said, and that they feel strongly about, or
           that it is a factual matter that we have gotten wrong,
           and they want to put into the record, fine.  We will
           certainly allow for that.  We are not going to be
           rigid, but we are going to be firm.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Okay.  What I have done
           -- and I guess I am next on the agenda here -- is the
           intent -- of course, the one thing I am missing is a
                       As I put together some view graphs that
           are basically -- and in fact they are just excerpts
           out of TSPA or some of the AMRs and PMRs that I
           thought illustrated some of the key issues that we are
           going to talk about, in terms of waste packages, and
           I am sure that Paul is going to have additional things
           to say or comments.
                       But this would be a way of getting
           started, and so I am going to hand these handouts out,
           but I am going to attempt to do this via Powerpoint,
           and we will see how successful or not it is if we do
           it that way.
                       So what I am going to do is that I am just
           going to go ahead and go over this.  The main point of
           this slide is just to make sure that we all know what
           the layout of the proposed layout of the drifts are,
           in terms of the types of packages, and the kind of
           loading that they are doing.
                       The first package you see there is a PWR
           package that contains -- I think the PWRs contain 44
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Lots.  No, that is the
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  It is a lot.  It is a lot.
           But there is a difference between the PWR and BWR
           bundles, and it is not 44.  The next package are the
           co-disposal packages, which consist of stainless steel
           flasks that contain high level waste flasks, along
           with defense nuclear waste or spent fuel.
                       These packages are line loaded.  I believe
           Naval reactor fuel also goes into the repository,
           where they put the shipping cask inside the Alloy 22
           stainless steel disposal cast.
                       And then the whole business is covered
           over with a titanium drip shield.  They are going to
           line load these things so that hey are end to end
           basically, with a very short distance between waste
                       DR. STEINDLER:  What are they resting on?
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  They rest on a pallet like
           device which consists of Alloy 22, which is at the
           contact with the waste package, I believe, and
           stainless steel.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Is it stainless or
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  It may be carbon steel, but
           it is a steel cradle if you will.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Yes, it's carbon.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  But my understanding is
           that there is going to be at the contacts an Alloy 22
                       DR. DIBELLA:  It says stainless steel here
           in the picture.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  That's what I thought.
                       DR. DIBELLA:  And underneath there is
           stainless steel beams.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, let's go ahead.
                       DR. CRAGNOLINO:  The stainless steel tube
           supports it underneath?
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Yes.  Underneath that is
           the invert, which I will show a picture of in just a
           minute, but it is basically -- originally the liners
           of the drift -- the drift support was going to be a
           concrete liner, and that was in the VA design.
                       They redesigned the repository after the
           viability assessment, and basically what you are
           looking at are steel drift supports and rock bolts,
           and that sort of thing.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And grouting.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  And the kinds of things
           that you see in there right now.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  The rock bolts is grouted
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  And they are grouted in,
           right.  The invert itself originally in the VA design
           was a concrete pad, and in this design it basically is
           a steel framework that is filled with crushed top rock
           from the Yucca Mountain environment.
                       And the design after VA originally
           envisioned putting backfill over the dip shields, but
           DOE backed off from that after doing some further
           calculations and deciding that the insulating effect
           of that backfill would cause the cladding temperatures
           to exceed 350 degrees centigrade, which they have set
           as an upper limit to preclude creek rupture of the
           cladding inside the containers, and inside the
           disposal containers.
                       This is a cross-sectional view of how they
           envision this will look through time.  You have some
           rubble, and eventually of course the drift supports
           aren't going to prevent everything from caving in, and
           so there will be some rockfall around and on top of
           the drip shields.
                       The potential for water dripping in comes
           from -- well, the current models look or focus
           primarily on the crown drip as a focal point for
           dripping water.
                       Some of the processes that would occur is
           in the dripping water you may have colloids, and there
           may be chemical properties of this water that are
           different from the natural water, either the pour
           waters or the percolating water from the surface,
           because of interactions with the steel and the
           support, or in the rockbolts and the cement, and the
           grout and the rockbolts.
                       That is a possible source of chemistry
           changing.  The gas content in the drip, they evaluate
           not only the water content, but also the oxygen, the
           CO2, and the nitrogen.
                       And the CO2 content, and the oxygen
           content, and the water content, are all related to one
           another as a function of temperature.  The drip shield
           is titanium as I pointed out.  The emplacement pallet
           as we discussed is Alloy 22 and stainless steel.
                       The invert here underneath the package is
           crushed tough.  So it is local rock.  And that's
           pretty much it.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  We expect water to be in
           liquid form, but not right away.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  That's right.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  That's right.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  That looks like a picture
           that is what, 5,000 years old?
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Or much longer frankly, in
           terms of water dripping on the waste package itself.
           I have a slide that I pulled out earlier on that.
                       This just shows the details, some of the
           details of the design.  A key point here is that DOE
           has focused on the welding.  They have a double-welded
           lid, a double-lid closure, and the package itself is
           annealed prior to or during the manufacturing process.
                       So the goal of that is to relieve the
           residual stresses created when they put the whole
           thing together.  But because they are welding the lid
           on, there will be stresses associated with these lid
                       And they have added this double-lid
           because of an attempt to have a defense-in-depth type
           of approach.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Annealed in air, or in
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  I don't know how they are
           going to anneal it, and maybe --
                       DR. SHEWMON:  There are some advantages to
           letting it oxidize.  I just wondered.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  They are talking about
           laser pining as one.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  That is for the weld for
           stress relief.  I was thinking about the vessel
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Oh, the whole vessel?  I
           don't know the details of how they are going to
           relieve that.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  A different question while
           I have got you interrupted.  One place for galvanic
           problems is between the titanium and the steel.  I
           don't see anything about how they are going to
           separate that.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Well, it looks like it is
           resting on a steel beam, but I don't have the design.
                       DR. DIBELLA:  There is a C-22 shoe on the
           bottom of the titanium drip shield.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Could you identify
                       DR. DIBELLA:  Carl DiBella, and I am with
           the NWTRB.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  So there is a C-22 shoe
           here, and then this has C-22 here.  The point is that
           in the DOE models, this is the locus of stress
           corrosion cracking in their model, is at the lid,
           although what they do is that they treat it a little
           differently, in terms of allowing water to come into
           the package even through a stress growth cracking.
                       This basically shows the key flow paths
           in this scenario.  Go ahead, Martin.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Let me go back to
           chemistry.  The sense of the double-weld is only a
           delay find rather than an attempt to change chemistry;
           is that right?  Is that the way that you see it?
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  I think so.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  All I am really asking is
           the difference between a single cover and a double
           cover is only in the time that it takes to penetrate
           the whole thing.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I think that's right.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Rather than a shift in
           chemistries.  So they don't have an interior plate
           with a different material?
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  No, I think it is just to
           make sure that it stays closed.
                       DR. CRAGNOLINO:  Could I make a
           clarification?  Dr. Gustavo Cragnolino from the
           Center.  They use to cover in order to have some sort
           of remedial action after the water, and the internal
           cover after being wet is going to be submitted to a
           process of shut pining, doing a reduced compression of
           stresses, and removing the potential for cracking the
                       And while the second cover is going to be
           underneath that shield, and I think that is what they
           tried to make a distinction in terms of the
           construction.  And answering to the question of the
           initial weld, the weight package, the outer container
           of Alloy 22, and --
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Do you think the corrosion
           resistance would be better if they did it in air?
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Let's not engage the
           audience in a discussion.
                       DR. CRAGNOLINO:  It is only for
           information purposes.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  That's fine, and I
           appreciate that, and don't hesitate to do that, but I
           don't want to get into a discussion.
                       DR. CRAGNOLINO:  Okay.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Okay.  The key locations,
           in terms of the modeling, are the drips, gas and
           seepage drips, and so that essentially becomes what
           they call location one coming into the drip.
                       Another key location is the top of the
           drip shield, where drips are falling on to the drip
           shield.  Initially for the first few hundred to few
           thousand years, this is hot.  It is above boiling for
           the few hundred years.
                       So any water that would come back into the
           repository and drip on here would evaporate.  And in
           fact I will show later that the temperature of this
           system is above ambient for many tens of thousands of
                       And for a long time it is tens of degrees
           above ambient.  So there is always going to be a
           thermal radiant from the fuel rods out.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  You are going to have to
           kind of hurry, Andy, because you are running out of
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Okay.  And the next
           location is the top of the waste package, and then
           location four is the waste forms themselves, and that
           includes the cladding.  Location five is flow through
           the invert into the unsaturated zone underneath.
                       So those are the basic key modeling points
           that they are going to follow, and that we are going
           to be talking about in terms of water chemistry.
                       This is their concept for general
           corrosion of the waste package, and general corrosion
           that causes failure in catches in the drip shield.
           There is humid air general corrosion after the
           humidity gets above a certain point.
                       I think that is around -- anything above
           50 percent.  Once you get failure of the drip shield,
           you can get drips directly falling on the waste
           package, and it is generally thought that those drips
           would occur at the top of the waste package, or at
           least the most damaging ones.
                       And that's where they tend to model the
           formation of these general corrosion patches, and then
           you have stress corrosion cracking at the welds around
           the lid.
                       Again, this is all from TSPA, and this is
           their calculated temperature for various infiltration
           rates.  You can see initially at closure the
           temperature goes up to about -- this is at the surface
           noise package, to a little less than 180 degrees
                       And then decays away with time, and so
           that by 10,000 years, you are looking at temperatures,
           depending upon your infiltration rate, in the
           neighborhood of 50 degrees centigrade; and by about a
           hundred-thousand years, you have essentially decayed
           to ambient.
                       So even for long after the main thermal
           pulse is gone, you still have temperatures that are 10
           or 20 degrees above the ambient temperature.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  What are the units on the
           various lines?  Millimeters per year bin?
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Well, those are different
           -- and I don't have it here, but those are different.
           They divide the repository up into different bin
           infiltration, and each one has its own flux rate,
           depending upon the rock properties above it.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  So is that millimeters of
           rock or millimeters of water?
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  No, this is millimeters of
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Okay.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  So they are modeling a
           range of percolation rates.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  I understand.  You have
           answered the question.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  This is the cladding
           temperature and that is 350 there.  So they are trying
           to keep the cladding temperature below 350 degrees.
                       This is what happens to relative humidity
           in the repository during the thermal pulse.  It goes
           way down, and then comes back up.  So even at a
           thousand years, you are above 80 percent relative
                       So clearly fairly early on, even while the
           packages are still warm, they are accumulating a film
           of water of them, but the humidity does not reach a
           hundred percent until close to a hundred-thousand
                       And this shows the percolation flux.
           During the thermal pulse, you are heating the rock up,
           and the idea of the current design is that the areas
           -- the distance between drips is about 80 or 85
           meters, or something like that.
                       And the boiling front only reaches a few
           meters into the drip wall.  But you are still going to
           be moving a fair bit of water around by heating up
           that amount of rock, because the rock is about 10
           percent by volume of water.
                       So there is a potential for a percolation
           flux during the thermal pulse, and one potential
           scenario is a reflux scenario, where some warm water
           can come back down through a fracture and come in on
           top of the drip shield, and possibly even get on to
           the way it is packaged.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Can you go back to that
           relative humidity flux, or is that going to screw
           things up?
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Which flux?
                       DR. STEINDLER:  The relative humidity.
           That's the one.  I guess I am raising the point that
           reaching the relative humidity of a hundred percent at
           a hundred-thousand years, or whenever, is not
           particularly germane to the onset of chemistry.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  No.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Because you have got a
           significant film, and relative humidity is quite a bit
           below that.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Essentially about 50
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, 50 may be a little
           low, but certainly a thousand to 5,000 years, you have
           got a significant amount of mineral movement in that
           thin film that goes on, and there is lots of
           experimental evidence that glass, if it were opened,
           begins to react pretty thoroughly at those
                       And so we are talking a potential for
           glass reactions, if we are through it, at times that
           are less than the compliance time.  That was my only
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Yes, and which is germane
           to chemistry.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Yes, I thought so.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  When they got started on
           this a long time ago, they wanted to design it as a
           matter of policy for very hot fuel, but they haven't
           been putting it in, and they won't be putting it in
           until it is going to be a lot cooler.
                       Did they take that into account at all, or
           is this 300 degrees C limit gotten with very hot fuel?
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  What they are going to do
           is blend.  They are going to try and fix --
                       DR. SHEWMON:  So do you think that is a
           reasonably realistic number?
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Yes.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Okay.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  And that' based upon --
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Well, with the other limit,
           it looked pretty cold.  You might change in other
           directions, which would be more damaging, but go
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  What they plan to do is
           create a particular mix, in terms of putting waste
           packages -- because they are putting them end-to-end,
           they are going to determine the heat output for each
                       And then they are going to try and blend
           it in such a way --
                       DR. SHEWMON:  You have answered the
           question.  Thank you.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  -- to get a constant or
           relatively even distribution.  Oh, let me back up.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  You are out of time,
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Okay.  Well, let me make a
           couple of points here.  What you see here, these
           increases, these are the increases in percolation flux
           due to the climate change model that they built into
           the system.
                       And basically what they are doing is that
           they are modeling an increase around 600 years, in
           terms of percolation flux, and then another one at
           about 2,000 years.
                       So they are modeling into this -- and this
           is pretty much based upon the Molenkavich cycles,
           which are the perturbations in the orbit of the earth,
           which are generally thought to control on a large
           scale going from glacial to inter-glacial periods.
                       That in about 2,000 years they are
           modeling an increase to a more glacial type of
           climate, and that will cause an increase in
           percolation flux.  And you notice that that is really
           going to be the driver, in terms of the water.
                       This is a short duration event relatively
           speaking, and unless they have got this completely
           wrong, it is not that different than after about 2,000
           years, the high end of the percolation flux.
                       Now, of course, you can have the lower end
           of it, and that is much lower in terms of percolation.
           That's unreadable, but that is just a chemistry of
           basic major ion chemistry, and some minorized species
           for these various periods that they are modeling.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  I think that table we
           ultimately need to recover again, because I think
           there is an important issue, and that is the little
           line that says additional constituents from complex
           thermal hydraulic chemical model.  It is not used in
           the normal calculations.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  That was a point that I
           was going to make later.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  That is the one that
           contains the fluoride.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I will make a comment on
           that now.  As far as I know, the Department of Energy
           is using the simple -- or what they call the
           simplified model because it seems to agree better
           with the experimental information that they have.
                       Whereas, the complex model doesn't, and to
           me that is a poor reason to use it.  What they should
           do is understand why the complex model doesn't agree
           better than the simple model.
                       And obviously there is something bad or
           something wrong with the complex mode.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Or the experiments are not
           done right.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  There is always that,
                       DR. STEINDLER:  A simulated J-13 doesn't
           do much for me.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  That's true.  Okay.
           Andy, finish up.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  This is just their
           conception model, and the way they model corrosion is
           they develop these for both the drip shield and the
           waste package, 300 square centimeter patches, at least
           for general corrosion.
                       So the concept is that you end up with
           patches that can allow evaporative water into the
           system, and again the same thing for the waste
                       Again, this is the general corrosion
           model, and that is one of a number of figures of
           general corrosion rates that are in the TSPA model.
           This is a CDF Alloy 22, with various variabilities.
                       And you are looking at corrosion rates
           that are between 10 to the minus 5, and 10 to the
           minus 4 millimeters per year on that scale, and that
           is for general corrosion.
                       And this is unreadable to everybody, but
           you have a copy on the last page, and these are just
           percent of packages breached.  It is for the drip
           shield and the number of patch breaches per failed
           drip shield, and percent of waste packages, patch
           breaches, per failed waste package, and which is some
           measure of how many of these packages are failed.  I
           don't have anything else --
                       DR. STEINDLER:  But that is not a
           chemistry issue is it?
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  No, this is a TSPA.  This
           is an output from TSPA.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  But what I am saying is
           that package failure per se does not attack
           immediately the question of what chemistry is inside
           the waste form.  It is still on the outside.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  That's right.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Some people could say the
           corrosion of the metal is a chemical question.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I would say that.  Okay.
           I think we are up to Paul here aren't we?
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Okay.  Well, a little
           philosophical comment at the start there; that if you
           pile enough conservative assumptions end-to-end, you
           can get an unreasonable answer.
                       Let me start with a story, a story about
           a King of India 1,600 years ago.  He was a dutiful
           son, and he wanted to honor his father.  They had a
           lot of good metallurgists around.  So he put them all
           to work making a monument for his father.
                       And this turned out to be a 20 meter long,
           6 ton, bar of wrought iron.  And they erected it
           outside of what is now Delhi, and has been there
           standing in the weather, monsoons every year, and a
           certain number of holy cows going by doing what holy
           cows do, a lot of dust.
                       And the column apparently hasn't rusted,
           and it has a patina on the outside of what a
           metallurgist might call coherent oxide, and it hasn't
           corroded like anything the rate that the models used
           in these documents that we are looking at would assume
           corrosion has occurred.
                       And so after 1,600 years the corrosion is
           quite slow.  If we go back to under repository
           conditions, which were above water, and not too humid,
           a corrosion rate of Alloy 22 should be much slower
           than that of the Delhi column.
                       Yet the corrosion rate should be
           unmeasurably and unbearably slow, and yet the
           conservative DOE assumptions are that it goes at a
           rate which is appreciably faster than that of the
           wrought iron, at a rate characteristic of corrosion
           dissolution, driven by an applied voltage in deaerated
           salt water, strongly acidified.
                       I think that this is a mistake and that
           the engineering column is a good engineering analog,
           to use a phrase which is the DOE's, and that I will
           come back to later.
                       Now, to do something to find something to
           measure, the research people must find ways to compare
           alloys in time in which they can get results for their
           quarterly reports, and so they do this by devising
           tests under aggressive conditions which give
           dissolution, or cracking, or failure.
                       This stress corrosion test require a
           stress tending to pull the crack open.  That is, there
           is an active stress in it, and in an aggressive
                       And the aggressive environment they used
           in this sharply cracked, highly stressed, sample is to
           make it quite acid, dew point 7, and they put it in a
           boiling magnesium chloride and water mixture, about
           120 degrees C, and they can crack 316 in this, but
           they can't crack the 3-C-22.  So they know that the C-
           22 is more resistant.
                       However, neither the stainless nor the C-
           22 shows cracking in hot acidified sodium chloride or
           lithium chloride solutions.  And you know from our
           last meeting that if you raise the pressure, lower the
           Ph, add lead ions, and try like heck, you can indeed
           get stress corrosion cracking in the stainless C-22
                       I personally have difficulty seeing the
           relation of this, if any, to the performance of the
           waste containers in air in Yucca Mountain, but let's
           go on.
                       Crevice corrosion.  Crevices often
           generate a more corrosive environment than flat
           surfaces.  Differential aeration under water will give
           an anode or dissolution in a lower oxygen region of
           the alloy leading to localized attack.
                       Chloride ion accentuates this in the
           nickel-chrome-iron-moly alloys of concern here.
           The simulation test used  here is to put two teflon
           washers in a deaerated chloride solution, heat the
           solution, apply a voltage until dissolution or
           corrosion occurs in the crevice.
                       The voltage is then reduced until
           passivation occurs. The minimum chloride concentration
           and voltage required for crevice corrosion to be
           initiated at a given temperature, like 95 degrees C,
           is higher for Alloy 22 than 316.
                       That is, it is more corrosion, or it is
           more resistant to crevice corrosion.  Alloy 22
           exhibits passive behavior over a wide range of
           voltages, chloride ion concentration, and Ph in
           deaerated water.
                       There is no evidence of localized
           corrosion was detected.  These are in experiments done
           by Cragnolino.  If the average corrosion current was
           measured with a steady applied voltage, and
           circulation to carry away the ions, the authors say
           the corrosion rate corresponds to a lifetime of 60 to
           80,000 years.
                       That is to remove the two millimeters
           thick wall of Alloy 22, and that is where these
           corrosion rates are obtained that we see, and led to
           the last perc that Andy showed.  But that is in a cell
           with a voltage, and with extreme conditions, always
           under water, and always with a voltage applied.
                       This is not a best estimate, but a minimum
           estimate.  The rate is increased by the reduced
           oxygen, the flowing salt water to remove ions, and the
           applied voltage.
                       Thus, a more realistic life, which
           actually will allow dry-out periodically, and didn't
           have all these things on it, would probably lead to a
           life that was appreciably longer.
                       Conclusions.  I believe the DOE and NRC
           staffs have no sound scientific basis for their
           predictions of the rates of the corrosion of the waste
           package in the Yucca Mountain repository, and as a
           result have grossly overestimated the corrosion rates
           of the waste package.
                       The DOE claims, quote -- and this was in
           a letter that Andy sent us recently -- there is no
           information or analogs that exist on the performance
           of engineered materials for the necessary time frames
           of performance for the waste package.
                       I disagree and would suggest that
           conditions of the metallic iron nickel meteorites
           buried for a hundred-thousand to a hundred-million
           years in dry soil, or in Kansas or Iowa, which is not
           so dry.
                       And exhibit negligible corrosion provides
           a very good analog and strongly indicates that the
           rates of corrosions the DOE and the NRC staff have
           assumed for the waste package are too high by many
           orders of magnitude.  Let's say a thousand for a round
                       The waste package should remain tight for
           at least a million years in Yucca Mountain, and this
           is without a drip shield.  Now, the use of such a
           meteorite analog would be more accurate, yet
           conservative, since these iron nickel alloys would
           corrode much faster than Alloy 22 in the aggressive
           test DOE is using for guidance now.
                       Many of the Iron Nickel fragments are from
           inches to feet in size, and have been recovered from
           sites all over the world, and I have listed some
                       Some of these are wet and some are dry.
           I can see no use of such information in the reports
           put out by either of the groups we are reviewing.  So
           I think what they have done by taking these cell
           measurements is put themselves into a world where they
           feel that they have to dissolve it somehow, and then
           they take that as the minimum rate for what they think
           they will find in nature.  End of report.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Okay.  Let's talk about
           that.  You think that is still true in the case of
           trace catalytic materials?
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Well, there is lots of
           traces in wherever these things are buried.  I mean,
           I don't know what meteor crater in Arizona is like,
           but the way the rainfall is, is probably the same or
           about as Yucca Mountain.
                       I wouldn't be surprised if what it is
           sitting in is about the same as Yucca Mountain, though
           I don't know the chemistry.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  So we would really have
           to know those things in order to make more than a
           qualitative comment about it?
                       DR. SHEWMON:  You would, but there have
           been meteorites dug up that have been there for -- my
           Britannica, which was my reference on this  -- a
           hundred-thousand years to a hundred-million years.
                       And some of these are in dry places, like
           Northern Australia or Southern United States, but some
           of them are pretty wet places.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, they say -- DOE
           says that they take these very conservative positions
           and they assume these corrosion rates, which are much
           higher than they should be, and they still come out
                       So do you think that there is perhaps a
           loss of credibility or believability in some sense
           because they are taking such an extremely conservative
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Yes.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And is this a negative or
           positive thing?
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Well, I don't know.  I think
           it is just wrong.  It is whatever you want to use is
           a more polite way of saying that it is conservative.
                       But that was the point of my opening
           statement, which is that by striving always for
           conservative answers, in a chain-of-events, one can
           pile these on top of each other and find very
           unreasonable and unrealistic estimates.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And that is one of the
           comments that -- for example, the advisory board has
           said that they haven't really come to grips with
           quantitatively evaluating the conservatism that they
           have in there in their system.
                       They have not really added it all together
           in a way that is understandable and credible.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  In the reactor business, you
           try to get them to say best estimates, and nobody says
           best estimates here.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And that is sort of a
           philosophical point of view as you said at the
           beginning, and something that has bothered me is that
           they keep coming out with the conclusion -- and
           probably right -- that the Alloy 22 will last a long,
           long time, and that corrosion will not be a big
           problem within 10,000 or maybe a hundred-thousand
                       But by taking these very conservative
           positions, they sacrifice something in believability,
           and I have not been able to decide whether I like that
           or not.  I would like them to do a very realistic
           evaluation, and the best evaluation that they can, as
           it would be more believable.
                       And if they came up with a hundred-
           thousand years for the lifetime, then fine.  That's
           sort of a million years.  Great.  But to come out with
           11,000 years, which is only a thousand years over the
           10,000 year limit, is somehow -- it sort of rubs me
           the wrong way.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  And I don't know what the
           committee is going to do with this, or what they can
           do with it, since DOE is the one that is supposed to
           design it, and NRC comments, and you comment to NRC.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  But therein exactly lies
           the problem.  I don't recall reading -- and I don't
           claim to have read everything that NRC has written,
           but I don't recall NRC coming up with or the staff
           coming up with the same kind of general comments,
           saying to DOE that you guys have lost your mind.
                       You are way over-conservative on the
           lifetime of the metallic barriers.  Now, maybe that is
           not their function.  The other end of this thing is --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And I suspect it's not.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  -- that if the
           conservatism is adequate to meet whatever reasonable
           assurance ground rules that are used, then you don't
                       But I have another question, and that is
           whether is it feasible on the basis of experience to
           devise a catalytic corrosion process that would be
           accelerated greatly over what you have just indicated,
           and would those catalytic components have any chance
           of being in the drip water, which is moderately ill-
           defined as far as I can tell?
                       DR. SHEWMON:  I think the catalytic
           components, we wouldn't use those words, but chloride
           would serve the function of accelerating the process.
           I guess you could call it a catalyst.  It doesn't
           change its nature.
                       Fluoride is even worse.  You will get to
           that perhaps in the titanium part, where it comes up
                       DR. STEINDLER:  But let's focus in on
           Alloy 22.  Well, besides the chloride, which we can
           argue about, depending on the concentration --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Lead is the other one.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  That's exactly the point.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Lead is the other one that
           comes up, but where they -- and I don't know what
           experiments with people like Gustavo are going to do
           with lead in place of the normal things.
                       But what they had for accelerator tests
           were such gosh awful pressures and temperatures, and
           so on, that --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  The question that you ask
           there, Paul, I think is what is the trade-off for
           extreme conditions for a short term test, and much
           milder conditions for a lot longer period of time, and
           that's what you have to try to get at.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  It depends on how smart
           you are about the mechanism.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Yes, and it does come
           down to mechanisms in my book always, and that is
           something that the Nuclear Waste Technical Advisory
           Board point they came up and that I agreed with, was
           that as best you can, you should determine what the
           mechanisms are because its only when you understand
           the mechanisms that you can extrapolate with
           confidence for the future.
                       And having said that, I will also say that
           I know that mechanisms in things like corrosions are
           extremely difficult to determine, the true fundamental
                       DR. STEINDLER:  But the point that I am
           trying to make is -- and not very well, I guess --
           that while it may seem on the surface that one can
           throw rocks at DOE and hence the NRC staff for not
           objecting to this extreme conservatism, I wonder
           whether the uncertainty in relation to things like
           led, for example, isn't sufficiently large so that the
           conservatism used by DOE, and apparently accepted by
           NRC, is okay in terms of reasonable assurance.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  But if you do that, what
           they have done is sort of put their head in a sack and
           -- or put a hand in the sack and pulled out a number,
           and said, gee, it is conservative, and so that must be
                       Maybe there is things that we don't know
           that I guess I sort of gave up the boogie man thesis
           some time back, and don't like to see it used here.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, corrosion is not my
           strong suit, and so I can't argue with you too
           successfully.  I guess all I am trying to do is to
           defend, if that is a necessary term, defend the NRC
           staff from the charge that you guys have let the
           ultraconservatism of DOE slide past without objecting
           to it.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  It seems to me that the
           meteorite thing --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I don't know that they
           should object.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  The meteorite thing has been
           in a variety of environments.  I asked Andy about it,
           and he said, well, people have found smaller particles
           of this stuff in luvial mixtures and they are very
           corrosion resistant.
                       Now, relatively to what, I guess, but at
           least they are still there, and they haven't gone
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, the trouble with
           those things is that you don't know what their
           conditions are that they have been subjected to over
                       DR. SHEWMON:  But they dig these things up
           out of the ground, and in a wide variety of places.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Has there ever been -- and
           are you aware of studies of corrosion rates of iron
           nickel meteorite fragments.  I mean, that seems to me
           what you are saying here, is that that is a natural
           analog study that probably ought to be done.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  No.  But people have tramped
           around in the iron nickel alloy systems for a
           generation or two, and I am sure if there are more
           corrosion resistant than Alloy C-22 or even 316,
           stainless steel, we would have learned it.
                       It is not a novel system, and so it is
           more corrosion resistance than carbon steel, and
           probably more than wrought iron, but certainly not in
           chrome bearing high nickel alloys.  That I am sure of.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, DOE is in the
           unfortunate position of having to back up as best they
           can technically anything they say.  You can sort of
           make these -- and pardon the expression -- handwaving
           arguments about, gee, this stuff is really corrosion
                       And it has been there a long, long time,
           and it is similar material.  But that doesn't cut it
           as far as providing something in a document that they
           can support scientifically and credibly to the
           scientific community.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  They had booked for
           engineering analogs that have been in business for
           this long, and I think the meteorites are a superb
           one.  It is conservative, and it would corrode faster,
           and it has been there for a hundred-million years in
           some cases.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  But what they don't know
           though is what it would do under the controlled
           conditions that they try to run these experiments at
           relating to what they expect the repository conditions
           to be.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Well, what they run the
           experiments at is not what they would find in a
           repository.  It is not in an electrohooded cell and
           circulating in acidic chloride solutions, and that is
           what bothers me.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, my impression of
           that was that they were trying to find the potential
           at which corrosion would start, and then were stating,
           okay, those potentials are never reached in the
           repository.  So that is sort of how the argument went
           as I understood it.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Well, let me play devil's
           advocate a little bit here.  The pillar of Delhi,
           which I don't know, but if it is in the area of India
           that I am thinking of, is probably subject to a
           monsoonal type environment.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  That's right.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Relative humidity may be
           significantly lower than most of the time frame for
           the repository in that environment.  So it goes
           through these wetting and drying cycles, but during
           the wetting cycle, you are looking at a short duration
           event and then it dries out very rapidly.
                       So it is going to develop some sort of
           patina on it that becomes a barrier to further
           corrosion.  We also don't know whether it was treated
           with anything that would help that.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Wait until you find out
           that somebody goes along and paints the fool thing
           every three years.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  It has a fair amount of
           silicate inclusions that get hammered out in these
           things, which are thought to give wrought iron better
           than modern steel.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  You have some factual
                       DR. CRAGNOLINO:  Yes, I would like to
           provide some updated information on the New Delhi
           pillar.  The New Delhi pillar was saved to sustain the
           condition -- and this is an important consideration,
           to know what that is, because essentially for as you
           said hundreds of years, and thousands of years, it was
           exposed to a relatively dry type of environment in New
                       Very low relative humidity, and I mean
           that it was perfect condition with oxidation in the
           air.  However, there are now two peculiar concerns,
           the stability of the corrosion problem on the New
           Delhi pillar.
                       And with the process of oxidation in
           India, and in particular in the areas surrounding New
           Delhi, the air has become polluted, polluted with
           industrial products.
                       This is one problem.  And this can be
           discussed in more detail, because the Indian people
           are very concerned over this, with the air impurities
           and people are concerned about it.
                       The other problem that was called to the
           attention of -- and unfortunately he is not here to
           verify this in more detail, but the Indian people were
           going through a time and took advantage of the
           situation that the British came there.
                       And the British were concerned with this
           problem with -- and decided to build a concrete
           support, and in order to do the work better, they
           built a concrete support there.
                       Now, the particular problem is with the
           interface, and --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Interfaces are always a
                       DR. CRAGNOLINO:  Yes.  And this is a
           problem that they have, and there are people in India
           who are trying to grow away from this, and produce --
           and through the internet -- and I am making this story
           very long, but this is a fact -- got involved and he
           is providing technical support to these people.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, I think we can
           conclude from all of this that the use of these
           analogs is probably only appropriate if they are
           tested under the relative conditions.
                       DR. CRAGNOLINO:  In environment type
           conditions, and where they have very well defined
           conditions, and this is the moral that I get.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  And do you take as these
           conditions underground someplace, or in the
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Now, don't get me wrong,
           Paul.  I think that these natural analogs are very
           suggestive of what will really happen.  I don't think
           there is anything wrong with the general philosophy of
           what you are saying, except that I don't think that
           DOE can use them, and NRC can't use them either,
           unless they are more sharply scientifically defined.
                       Not that they may not be valid, but they
           will not be accepted I think is the point.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, I confess to a
           significant amount of confusion.  Where are we?
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  We are to my section of
           the agenda.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  I know.  We are seven
           minutes past that time.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, I am going to catch
           us up, because I think that my discussion on the in-
           drift chemical environment, which I have prepared
           handouts for the group here that I will read through,
           are only designed to provide a factual -- a DOE
           factual basis.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  No, what I was driving at
           was in the context of what you eventually want to put
           into a conclusion from this little exercise, do we all
           believe that in a sense chastising, mild or otherwise,
           both the Department of Energy, which is not I think
           your function, but certainly the staff, for allowing
           this extreme conservatism in corrosion rates to stand
           unchallenged is the question.
                       We don't have to decide it today, but I
           think that is the focus of the question.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  My view -- and we will
           discuss this and come up with a consensus, but my view
           is that extreme conservatism diminishes the
           believability of the analysis.
                       It doesn't necessarily impact whether or
           not the repository is going to hold the waste, because
           there are a lot of factors involved there, and it
           doesn't even necessarily negate the conclusions about
           the corrosion of the material.
                       But it diminishes your confidence in DOE's
           analysis, I think, and insofar as the NRC goes along
           with that, it diminishes my confidence in that.  It is
           sort of similar to the arguments about whether or not
           the errors are acceptable in the analysis.
                       And whether or not the experiments are
           rungs that will get better results so that you can get
           some of the conservatism out of it.  Now thee is a
           push right now to get better and better results so
           that there is less and less error in those results.
                       And while this may not affect the validity
           of the use of the repository, it does reduce the
           scientific credibility.  It is philosophical as much
           as anything else, and I think we ought to at least
           comment on that, that there is a point there.
                       What it means is that they are not doing
           as tight a job as they should do, or as good of a job
           as they should do.  We will wrangle about that.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  We will argue about that
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Let me add a couple of
           things here as a seaway into your thing, into your
           segment, Ray, is that the NRC staff has to evaluate
           what DOE presents to them.
                       So inevitably, and because their goal is
           to be a regulator, they have got to focus on -- okay.
           DOE has given us this series of concepts, models,
           data, and so on, and we have to evaluate that in the
           context of what we know.
                       We can't go back to DOE and say, hey, you
           guys are nuts in terms of this conservatism that you
           built into the model.  It is not NRC's position really
           to tell DOE to go back and redesign this, and get more
                       So they have to pretty much take it as it
           is given, and evaluate it in that context.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  But you are saying that
           the evaluation can only be on one side.  In other
           words, is the value too low is the only question they
           can ask.  You can't ask the question is the value too
           high, which is what the issue is.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  They can if it gets into an
           issue of -- or in my opinion at least, and this is my
           opinion, if it gets into the area of challenging the
           whole concept of defense-in-depth, and that because of
           the conservatisms built in that you really don't have
           a handle on how other systems will --
                       DR. STEINDLER:  You are moving me out of
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Okay.  Well, that is the
           question really, is can the NRC staff say that this is
           just too high.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, I think it is an
           observation that we would make rather than a damning
           comment that we would make.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, let's not overlook
           the fact that there is uncertainty.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Right.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  We have not, I think, said
           to the staff or to anybody else that this evaluation
           or the acceptance of the DOE position is wrong.
           Perhaps what I would call for is an enhanced
           commentary about the uncertainty on the corrosion.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  That might be a very
           appropriate thing.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  I am still looking for
           some good answers to catalysis.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  It might be a very
           appropriate way to answer that.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  And the uncertainly in
           their data has got to somehow temper the staff's
           approach to whatever DOE hands them.  So I can argue
           on both sides actually.
                       I can argue that if the staff is given
           this extremely low corrosion rate to look at, and
           let's assume they hire somebody like Paul, who looks
           at the thing and advises them that this is an absurdly
           low high corrosion rate in relation to what the real
           world appears to be.
                       They have to add the uncertainties in the
           whole thing and say, look, we need reasonable
           assurance.  So our window is a lot larger.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Right.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Of course, along those
           lines, the key issue is going to be the environment
           inside and on top of the drip shield and the
           container, and the chemistry of this water coming in.
           And has DOE characterized the chemistry of this water
           and the chemistry on the surfaces of the drip shield
           and the waste package in a way that truly bounds the
           conditions that it will see.
                       I mean, you have cited the Delhi pillar,
           but as Gustavo has pointed out, conditions change, and
           the environment changes, and now instead of having
           this long lifetime, we are now probably looking at a
           relatively short lifetime if those conditions
                       So one of the areas of uncertainty is how
           well, or how good a job have they done in terms of
           characterizing this environment right there, and that
           to me is the key to corrosion.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  They always approximate it
           by an electrolytic cell, where they have got flowing
           solutions, and water all the time, and that just isn't
           the situation here.
                       The humidity may be 80 percent, but that
           is not flowing salt solution with an applied voltage.
           So go ahead.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, pursuing just a
           little bit more my philosophical uneasiness.  I feel
           the same uneasiness about the use of bounding
           conditions which are probably perfectly valid, and
           they do bound the conditions probably that could
           possibly exist.
                       But if you use those instead of
           information that you could use to reduce the
           uncertainty, and so that that whole approach is not
           satisfying.  It may be adequate, but it is not
           satisfying scientifically.
                       But it doesn't mean that the conditions
           aren't bounded, because I think that they probably
                       DR. STEINDLER:  We are going to get into
           an argument about this.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, are you really?
           Okay.  Let me -- I won't have a whole lot to say here
           because Andy in his opening comments, where he made a
           nice discussion of what the situation is, pretty well
           covered what I was going to say about the in-drift
           chemical environment.
                       I will go down through a list of the TSPA
           model and what the extractions and processes relate to
           as they are relevant here.  Down in the middle of the
           page there, the model ingrates these things more or
                       The water and cement reactions, gas and
           water, evaporation and condensation of water,
           precipitation and dissolution of salts, microbial
           action, which I think is a red herring, corrosion and
           degradation of EBS components.
                       Water in the invert, and water in the
           colloids, and these are things that the TSP model
           integrates.  And the modeling period is divided into
           three regimes which are meant to simplify the model,
           and make it possible to do the calculations in a
           finite time.
                       And also trying to catch the periods
           during which major changes occur.  And the first
           period that is looked at is 50 to a thousand years;
           and the second one is a thousand to 2,000 years; and
           the final one is 2,000 years to a hundred-thousand
           years, or more.
                       So they do try to capture in an overall
           way the time periods for which they examine what
           pertinent processes there are that are taking place,
           and what the temperature and humidity, and so on,
           conditions are that are relevant in those time
                       Now, one of the major criticisms that I
           have about the invert chemical environment is that
           they use simulated J-13 water, and I don't for the
           life of me know why they didn't go out to the well and
           full a couple of 55-gallon drums with water and use
           that instead of simulated material that does not
           necessarily have everything in it that was in the
           J-13 water.
                       And this gets to Marty's catalysis issue,
           these trace elements that are not necessarily included
           as simulated water.  I think the simple fact of the
           matter is that we don't know what actual J-13 water
           would do, although there is a strong -- I have a
           strong feeling that it would not be a whole lot
           different from the simulated J-13.
                       But in fact I don't think we really know,
           and it seems to me that if you can experiment with the
           real stuff that you ought to.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  You are defending the
           wrong groups here.  In defense of the folks who do
           experiments, I would say in the last five years that
           they have used crushed tough calibrated J-13 water.
                       Now, you can argue that in the two --
           well, what they do is that they basically take J-13,
           and let it sit on crushed tough for two weeks, and
           filter it off.
                       And in the two weeks that they use to
           calibrate this stuff, you can argue that you may not
           be getting a full compliment at concentration.  On the
           other hand, also recall, please, that J-13 is a
           simulation of what they expect in the repository, and
           whether that is a good simulation is another story.
                       And actual pore water, to get a pore
           water, is a real chore.  I mean, the notion of a 55-
           gallon drum of pore water is a little bit difficult.
           Thirst water you may able to get away with, but pore
           water is tough to come by.
                       I am not nearly as unhappy about the use
           of simulated J-13 for a lot of experiments.  It's when
           the concentration of the traces that they are looking
           at, which unfortunately happen to make some difference
           in the downstream answer of what this whole thing is
           about, is significantly lower than the normal trace
           composition of things that they have ignored.  That's
           when I begin to at least wonder about it.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  One of the things that --
           and I thought I had sent them on to you, Ray, is one
           of the things that they have done with this simulated
           water is that they have these wonder ICP mass
           lectromers and other things that can do enormous
           amounts of data collection on every element that you
           can lay your hands on.
                       And apparently there are databases perhaps
           unpublished by DOE of the trace constituent in the
           waters that they used in the experiments.  So even if
           you don't exactly have the water -- and it is a guess
           anyhow that it is from a J-13 well.
                       I mean, that is a guess that that would be
           something akin to or close to the actual water that
           would be essentially dripping on to the drip shield
           and waste package.
                       You have at least measurements of trace
           species in these waters that could be used to at least
           understand the impact at those concentration levels.
                       The real issue in my mind is have they
           characterized this environment well enough in their
           thought processes to have a good analog to what is
           going to be actually accumulating on the surface of
           the drip shield to the waste package.
                       And in my mind it is an evaporative
           environment for very long periods of time, and that
           you will tend to have fairly concentrated solutions on
           those surfaces.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, I have a comment
           about that that I picked out of a report, a most
           recent report that I could get my hands on.  It says
           that water evaporating into drips can lead to
           temporary accumulation of up to a few kilograms of
           soluble salt per meter of drip.
                       Now, that sounds like a lot to me,
           depending on the proximity of the repository, and to
           the repository center, and the infiltration rate.
           Edge locations had less salt accumulation because of
           less heat available.
                       And it goes on to say that salts would be
           deposited in the backfill, which they don't have
           anymore, but the report said this, and in the invert,
           and that seems to me to be a lot of soluble salt per
                       DR. STEINDLER:  But if you will look at
           the question of where is the soluble salt when in fact
           a cladding of the fuel is breached, which is when the
           rubber hits the rope.
                       My sense of following this down to the
           time interval is that the large accumulation of
           evaporates is gone.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  They expect it to go down
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Right, and it is gone, and
           it has accumulated at least outside the waste form
           when the waste form begins to corrode.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I think that's right.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  That simplifies the
           corrosion picture a little bit, because you don't have
           to begin to guess at what the concentration of sodium
           nitrate is, for example.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  But it is suggestive that
           there might be some of these trace elements quite well
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, the problem comes
           under your domain, because it is going to pile up
           somewhere else.  It may pile up somewhere else, and
           since I am looking at the in-waste form chemical
           dissolution issues, I don't have to deal with that I
           don't think in any significant fashion.  But
           downstream in the unsaturated zone I may have to.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, here is another
           comment that was made, and that is the redissolution
           of precipitates is difficult to model accurately
           because thermal chemical models lack data support for
           extreme concentration of temperature conditions
           because of the distribution of the flow in the EBS
           depends on change in backfill properties, which we can
           take out, and the nature of the seepage from the host
           rock, which we can't take out.
                       So they are really saying in this
           particular report that they really can't model very
           well or accurately they say because they lack data.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  This is the kinetics, you
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  This is for the buildup
           of concentration of the salts.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  So it is kinetic issue and
           not a thermonomic equilibrium issue?
                       DR. SHEWMON:  It is easier to precipitate
           than it is to put it in solutions; is that what you
           are saying?
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, the redissolution
           of precipitates is difficult to model accurately,
           because thermo-chemical models lack data support for
           extreme concentrations.  It just means that they get
           a precipitate, and then they put stuff on it that
           would change the nature of the precipitate, and they
           don't have the thermo-chemical data to see what those
           changes would be, what the nature would be after those
                       DR. STEINDLER:  And these are precipitates
           and not evaporates?
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  These are precipitates
           and presumably it would be on the drip shield, or if
           that fails on the equation, the package; as well as in
           the invert and underneath the package.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  If it dripped on to the
           shield and then the water went off as a vapor, is that
           an evaporate or a precipitate?  It seems to me it
           could be both.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  It is an evaporate.
           Precipitates are formed when you get uranium, and --
           well, when it is dissolved out of the fuel that now
           reacts with a whole bunch of other material, and you
           uranium and minerals.
                       That is a precipitation process and that
           becomes important because occasionally you precipitate
           things that you really don't want downstream.
           Plutonium, for example.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, I do have a table
           here where they have made 19 separate analyses of J-13
           well water and then averaged them all to give you the
           -- and the analyses are pretty well --
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Are these stimulants or the
           real thing?
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  This is J-13 well water,
           and they analyzed for aluminum, boron, calcium,
           chlorine, fluorine, iron, bicarbonate potassium,
           lithium, magnesium, manganese, sodium, nitrate ion,
           phosphate ion, silicon sulfate and strontium.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  And no fluoride.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Yes, I mentioned
           fluoride.  Fluoride is 4.4 milligrams per liter.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  That is an average, right?
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  That is an average of 19
           separate analyses, which range anywhere from 2 to 2.7,
           depending on the analysis, but not bad.  So that is
           about all I really wanted to say about that, because
           you have already seen quite a bit about it, and what
           Andy has done.
                       They have not really done the trace
           element of the analyses, and I do have some
           information about the lead content.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  What is your view on the
           role of the cement that is holding the rock bolts in?
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  That holds the rock bolts
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Yes.  Do you think it is
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I think it could be,
           depending on the location.  One of the things that is
           important here that is not dealt with very well in the
           models because of the difficulty dealing with it is
           the microstructure of the thing.
                       Suppose you have a couple of rock bolts
           grouted in directly above the waste package, and water
           drips out of those and reacts with the cement that is
           holding the rock bolts in?
                       They don't really catch that very well in
           the model.  They catch it with respect to whether or
           not it ultimately winds up beneath the waste package
           and might lead to the plugging of fractures.
                       But they don't deal at all with the
           chemical environment that it might produce on the drip
           shield or on the waste package in these very awkward
           conditions, and the fact that it has a petition of the
           cement mixed with.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  So the design by the
           Department of Energy should be that there are no rock
           bolts directly over the waste package?
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Just let the rocks fall.
           The heck with it.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  No, just let the steel
           handle it, and just put the rock bolts on the side.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Yeah.  So that is sort of
           a minor point, but --
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Let's redesign the
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Yes, but which is not our
           role here.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, I guess what I am
           trying to find out is whether or not you think that is
           a long enough issue so that it could begin to
           influence the corrosion rate of the fuel and glass,
           and all the other junk that is important?
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, I always come up
           against the fact that 10,000 years is a long time, and
           I certainly don't have any feeling for what these
           chemical effects that are not observable in the short
           term might be in 10,000 years.
                       My seat of the pants feeling is that I
           hope that it doesn't amount to much.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  That isn't quite my point.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  What is your point?
                       DR. STEINDLER:  My point is that if the
           corrosion of that grout, or whatever it is that they
           use, is done and over with, and all the rock bolts
           have fallen out in a sense, before the next bunch of
           water arrives at my waste form, I can argue that in
           terms of corrosion rate of the waste form, it doesn't
           make any difference.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Yes.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Is that sustainable as far
           as you are concerned?
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  It is arguable, but I
           don't know if it is sustainable.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Anything is arguable.  I
           have been there.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Again, that is an
           argument that lacks factual --
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  One of the things that I
           came across, and I can't recall exactly where it was,
           and maybe it was in the IRSR, but maybe it was in one
           of the DOE documents, was that they are going to look
           at evaporative processes and the effects on chemistry,
           and they are looking at those.
                       The scenarios right now don't necessarily
           take into account evaporative processes when they are
           calculating the solubles or the mobilization from the
           waste form.
                       And in fact they have a pretty wet
           environment that occurs, but that is your topic of
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, the environment on
           the waste package is a separate discussion.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  But I think what we have
           identified here is an issue that the chemistry on the
           waste package is still highly uncertain, and probably
           needs to be defined better in terms of the scenarios,
           or waste package and drip shield corrosion, and then
           ultimately --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Because of uncertainties
           in the chemistry of the water that hits the waste
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Because of that, and
           because of the uncertainties in the scenarios in which
           you have water on the drip shield and waste package,
           and whether it be a film of water most of the time,
           with occasional drips, and how those two different
           scenarios can play out with time.
                       And you have basically -- and let's ignore
           that the load humidity, high temperature regime that
           is relatively short in duration for the time being,
           although you need to look at that in terms of a couple
           of processes --thermo-hydraulic, chemical, and a
           couple of other processes.
                       But for the longer term, the main concerns
           are what are the long term chemistry for this moisture
           film on these two barriers, and then what is the
           impact of water dripping on to those barriers.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Do you get the impression
           that the NRC staff is ignoring that issue?
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  No, not at all.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  So they are as unhappy or
           as concerned about that as we might be or that we seem
           to be?
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  It is one of their issue
           areas, yes.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I think there are
           practically no issues that we could think about or
           talk about that haven't been considered and discussed.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, that's my view, and
           I just wondered what they are coming up with.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  There isn't anything that
           hasn't already been thought about and discussed at
           some length by the staff.  I think that is certainly
           true.  And I have some other comments along that line,
           but I will save those until a little bit later.
                       But I think the issues have been
           thoroughly thought of, and whether or not the
           experimental information is adequate to do the issues
           that have been obtained is a question, and that is a
           matter of sources more than anything else.
                       Well, let's push on here, and there are
           other things that will come up as we go along.  Let's
           talk about taking a break.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  That sounds like a good
                       DR. CRAGNOLINO:  May I provide some
           information about natural analogs for --
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Make it short.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Let's defer it if you
           don't mind.  I want to hear it.  Anything you want to
           say is relevant.  Keep it in mind and we will get to
           it.  Let's take a break and come back at a quarter
                       (Whereupon, a recess was taken at 10:03
           a.m. and the meeting was resumed at 10:17 a.m.)
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  All right.  Let's start.
           I guess you are up again, Paul, on Titanium alloy
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Okay.  I was surprised to
           find out that this thing is a 15 millimeter drip
           shield, which is a respectable piece of titanium.  It
           is Grade 7, which has 2/10s percent palladium added to
           it to help avoid hydrogen going into solutions in the
                       The alloys proposed for Yucca Mountain
           -- well, okay, because this catalyzes the hydrogen and
           reduces the hydrogen pickup, and Gustavo says it helps
           or works, and so I will take his word for it.
                       Titanium is quite corrosion resistant in
           air, water, and sea water.  They build ships out of it
           and have not had any trouble with it.  Passivation
           under water occurs in hours to days, and titanium is
           active, and so contact with iron will give an
           electrolysis of water.
                       And it would seem to me that in air that
           titanium would last forever, but there is no
           engineering analogs, and so they make conservative
                       With an applied voltage, as you might get
           from the galvanic corrosion with iron, you can
           -- the titanium can be made to dissolve in chloride
           solutions and dissolve faster in fluoride, plus
           fluoride solutions.
                       There is little tendency to crevice or
           localize corrosion, and so they are interested in
           general corrosion.  There is reasonable talk about
           hydrogen embrittlement, and the outline that I got
           from Andy suggested that I talk about this
                       So let me talk about hydrogen induced
           cracking.  I find in the NRC notes that this can occur
           only if you have all three of the following.  You have
           to have some potential which will tend to make the
           water break up in the contact with titanium, and
           galvanic voltage is enough for this.
                       You must be above 80 degrees C, or else
           the hydrogen won't diffuse into the titanium, and you
           have to be at either acidic or basic, less than 3 or
           greater than 12 Ph.
                       Hydrogen induced cracking occurs in
           engineering applications like aircraft.  I don't think
           it will happen here, but let me tell you why.  Where
           it occurs is in high strength alloys with sharp
           notches and high stresses.
                       They then get tearing and the tearing can
           be accelerated by a generation of some titanium oxide
           and hydrogen that is free to go into the metal.
                       And so you end up with an accelerated
           crack growth under applied stresses.  But the stresses
           and the notches are minimal in the drip shield.  The
           roof collapse could cause this, but many of these
           stresses would be compressive.
                       Thus, it is difficult to see how hydrogen
           induced cracking could be a concern.  Let me emphasize
           -- well, okay.  I find this hard to give credence to
           because the phenomenon never gives spontaneous
           cracking or indeed fragmentation of the drip shield.
                       What it means is that it is not as hard to
           drive a crack through it when you have applied stress
           and you are tearing something apart.  I don't see how
           there can be the substantial stresses and strains in
           this geometry that are required, and so it seems to me
           that hydrogen-induced cracking is really something
           that would be absent.
                       But then I have got it summarized here.
           Cracks in Titanium are absent, crack opening stresses
           are absent; water, required for hydrogen charging, is
           rare and transient.
                       But the AMR says they know all this, but
           assume that it fragments anyway just to be
           conservative.  So how can you argue with conservatism.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And that gets back to
           this same philosophical question that we have been
           raising periodically here, which is to what extent
           does that give you a feeling of disquiet.
                       It is contrary to the scientific method,
           but it probably is a safe and conservative way to go,
           which really doesn't challenge the viability of the
                       DR. SHEWMON:  And they also go back to the
           general corrosion, which again they get out of a
           galvanic cell with circulating fluids, and aggressive
           media, and that then is taken as a bound on what could
           be the general corrosion rate.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  My reading on everything
           that you have been saying so far, Paul, is that you
           think that they are very conservative, and that
           actually there will be no significant corrosion
           problems in a 10,000 year time period.  Is that a fair
           assessment of your position?
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Yes.  At least 10,000.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  You don't think there is
           an electrolytic problem at the foot of this thing?
                       DR. SHEWMON:  There is certainly the
           potential for galvanic cell there, but even if you
           broke it up there, the shield still functions.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Now, suppose you had a
           couple of rock bolts that were cemented and grouted
           in, and the grout slowly over time -- and we have got
           a lot of time here -- dissolved and ran off the drip
           shield like the picture shows there, and combined at
           the foot of the drip shield, where it rests on the
           Alloy 22.
                       And how you have got these cement
           ingredients there.  Does that not change the picture
           considerably, and does that not make it desirable to
           have some sort of an experimental analysis of that
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Well, if we are talking
           about hydrogen embrittlement, the question and the
           criteria that I have got at the top would be does it
           change the Ph to be low or high.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, is hydrogen
           embrittlement the only thing we should concern
           ourselves with?
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Well, that is the voltage
           driven problem that you have down at the bottom, yeah.
           Up at the top, you have got general corrosion and it
           is not under water.  And I don't see how it could stay
           under water.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, it wouldn't be
           emersed, but it would presumably have a film of water.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Yes, and is that an
           effective electrolytic media that will carry away ions
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Yes.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Okay.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Especially in high
           amenities where you have got more than a couple of
           monolayers, and we have made minerals on glass that
           way very fast.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Well, then maybe you could
           get some general corrosion up there.  I don't know
           what the applied voltage would come from, but the
           transport media is there.
                       This thing is not allowed to dry out.  We
           have got enough source of water in the surrounding
           soil so that it is not dry like the surface.  It is
           always wet or saturated.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  In the absence of air
           circulation through the repository, the natural
           condition is to approach a hundred percent, or to go
           to a hundred percent humidity.
                       And once they close it up -- as long as it
           is open and they are circulating air through the
           system, they are drying it out and they are keeping it
           dry.  And that is more analogous to these analogs,
           where you have a dry environment that occasionally
           gets some moisture on it, but by in large is dry.
                       Or, for example, archeological artifacts
           that are in caves in Nevada that are dated at almost
           10,000 years, because of those dry environments, they
           tend to be preserved.
                       But once you close the repository up,
           there is enough water and moisture in the rock, and
           percolation flux, that the air trapped in there will
           go to about a hundred percent humidity, except during
           this thermal pulse, when you are driving that moisture
                       DR. SHEWMON:  But you still need something
           to drive this, and it is corrosion resistance, and
           more corrosion resistant than meteorites.
                       Now, if you have got a voltage applied,
           yes, but if you haven't, then you get back to whether
           that is realistic, and do you corrode through that
           fast.  And I guess it could be, but I have trouble
           believing it.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  What happens if the --
           you probably can't answer this, but let's talk about
           it.  But what happens if, let's say, the basis did
           corrode away to the point where the drip shield sat on
           top of the Alloy 22?  What about that interface?  Are
           there any galvanic problems there?
                       DR. SHEWMON:  I suppose if you have got
           monolayers of water there, but then you have to get to
           these other criteria, and by that time is the
           temperature above 80 C?  Is there something that would
           make the Ph high or low?
                       I am not sure that hydrogen charging would
           be your problem.  There maybe some galvanic corrosion
           and dissolution, and the titanium has to get carried
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  And by high, you mean above
           10 or 11?
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Well, 12 is what it says in
           the NRC report I got.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  So, 12, and cement pore
           water type of pHs to get into that range.  I mean, one
           of the scenarios that really doesn't show is that with
           time the supports are going to corrode and lose their
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Which supports?
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  The drip supports, and so
           you could have not only rock fall, but you could have
           over longer periods of time --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  A collapse of the
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Yes, a collapse of the
           support on top of, or a rock fall falling out and
           flying on top of the drip shield.  Eventually you are
           going to have bangs and dents, and material on top.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  That might influence the
           general corrosion.  I don't think it will give
           hydrogen cracking, because even if you have the
           hydrogen there, if you have not got a stress and
           strain to drive it, you won't break it up.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Is hydrogen a pretty key
           issue with respect to the titanium?
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Not with general corrosion.
           It is with the hydrogen induced cracking.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Sure, but we are talking
           more broadly than that.  That is one of the issues.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Well, I am trying to
           differentiate the two, and say that the hydrogen
           cracking, which they assume will occur, I don't see
           how it can.  The general corrosion could well be
           driven by the galvanic or accelerator.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Because of the environment
           there, where would the hydrogen come from?
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Water.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  But you have an oxidizing
                       DR. SHEWMON:  The titanium is active
           enough to take the oxygen from the water.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  So the titanium itself is
           going to act as the catalyst to generate it?
                       DR. SHEWMON:  It is going to act as a
           getter, but if it is going to get past the surface of
           the titanium, it has to be hot or warm.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And alkyl generally chews
           away at these oxide protected coasts doesn't it?
                       DR. SHEWMON:  It can, yes.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  At the risk of
           randomizing our discussion here, let me ask Andy if he
           will show that view graph about the temperatures of a
           function of time again.
                       Well, okay.  We did in previous meetings
           talk about this temperature regime, where corrosion
           can take place in a regime, and if it gets hotter than
           that, it dries out.  And if it gets colder than that,
           then it is kinetically too slow to make any
                       So there is a regime of temperature and it
           looks to me like for the first -- well, sort of like
           for the first 80 or so years you are in that regime.
           And then you get into it again after a couple of
           hundred years, and you stay in it for a few hundred
                       DR. SHEWMON:  What causes the spike, and
           where are we measuring this temperature?
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  The circulating arrow.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  If the spike comes from
           closing up the drips, or closing up the repository,
           when you cut off the ventilation and close it up, then
           you will get that spike in temperature.
                       In fact, the temperatures prior to that
           are probably not very realistic the way that they
           calculated them.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  There are hundreds of
           years, and maybe thousands of years, where the
           temperature is in the corrosive temperature range, if
           that regime is a true regime, and people seem to think
           that it is.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Above 80 degrees, is that
           what you are saying?
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Yes.  My recollection is
           that that was something that was brought up in our EBS
           working group 2-1/2 years ago, and that that was, I
           believe, crevice corrosion that they were concerned
                       DR. SHEWMON:  In titanium?
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  No, no, no.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  That's why I said I am
           randomizing the discussion, Paul.  But I neglected to
           bring it up when you were talking about that.  So I
           think in fact that there is a temperature regime is
           important, and the fact that you are in it for pretty
           long periods of time potentially here is important.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  I may have a view graph of
           the --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  It's not as though you
           are out of the regime for most of the time.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  The temperature on the drip
                       DR. STEINDLER:  On the C-22 or the drip
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  On the drip shield.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, the C-22 though is
           what we really care about.  That is where the
           temperature regime was discussed as being relevant.
           So we are not nailing it down too tightly here, but
           the drip shield is not going to be a whole lot
           different from the Alloy 22.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  The peak in temperature
           there, the solid line, is the alloy or the waste
           package, and the dotted line just below it is the drip
           wall temperature.  So the drip shield is probably not
           going to be that different than the waste package
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  That is very similar to
           the graph that you just showed and it tracks it pretty
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Yes.  This is just one
           slice of that, one of the bins.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  The first 80 or 90 year,
           you are in that regime, and then you get into it again
           after about a thousand years.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Now, 5 meters above the
           crown of the drip, these are the temperatures, and so
           you get a very strong radiant from the drip wall to a
           few meters in.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, the only point I
           wanted to make in bringing this up was we are in the
           corrosion regime for it for quite a while.  That was
           the only point, and so we can proceed to talk about
           titanium again.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Paul, what are the key
           issues in your mind in terms of more general corrosion
           effects on titanium and the uncertainties of that.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  No.  I think they are
           probably more credible than the C-22, because it is an
           active material, and you have got water, and it is in
           the discussions of how protective the oxide layer is
           over these long periods of time.  And there is no
           analog, and I don't know, but it may indeed be true.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Were you able to
           determine from what you read whether or not it is the
           position of DOE that the titanium drip shield will
           last 10,000 years or longer?
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  It's longer.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Yes.  He gave something
           there, and it started up in the 20,000 year period as
           I recall.  I don't know whether that --
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  The last line.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  And that is all general
           corrosion; is that right?
                       DR. STEINDLER:  What do you mean by less?
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Maintain some --
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, all I need is a
           small hole for liquid to get into my waste package and
           begin that process.  I don't have to collapse the
           whole shield.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Well, I don't think that
           once you get past the titanium shield that you are
           going to go through the C-22 as fast as you do the
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Okay.  Well, at least the
           point is that is where you start counting, in terms of
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Now, what would lead to
           a hole, something like a rock bolt dropping and
           denting it?
                       DR. STEINDLER:  No, no, no.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And wouldn't that be an
           enhanced corrosion area to lead to a hole?
                       DR. STEINDLER:  No.  You get uniform
           corrosion smoothly?
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I don't know.  That's the
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Done with statistics.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Done with statistics?
           Okay.  Well, that takes care of me.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  I don't know what they do to
           get their randoms.  It is too large a spectrum and
           conditions, I guess.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  I am trying to see how old
           my fuel is before somebody finally says, okay, you
           have got water dripping on your oxide.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  In the last graph on the
           view graphs that I handed out, those are the kinds of
           time frames for the top one, and that is from TSPA.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  And I didn't understand it
           there either.  Fraction corrosion failure.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Well, I wrote that just to
           try and summarize what these slides are showing, but
           these are the various percentiles for failure on a
           drip shield.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, I can argue that we
           ought to be looking at 10 or 20 percent breaches since
           it is statistical.  And at 10 or 20 percent, I now
           find that I am dripping on my waste package.
                       And pretty soon the waste package is going
           to have 10 or 20 percent penetration, and again
           statistical since you guys in the corrosion business
           seem to be entirely statistical.
                       I am still trying to find out -- and in
           effect I don't care about the time particularly,
           because we are well past the compliance time, but I am
           interested in the temperature.
                       If the only thing I have to deal with --
           and I am focusing in on the waste package, but if the
           only thing I have to deal with is reasonable
           solutions, ground water, et cetera, dropping on 25
           degrees centigrade and irradiated at 1O2, that is one
                       If I have to worry about the thing being
           150 degrees initially, I get a somewhat different
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And you have to be
           concerned --
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Especially in the gap
           release and the release of material in the grain
                       DR. SHEWMON:  You can go out to 10,000
           years here,and you are down to 40 degrees centigrade.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  So you think I am safe
           that length of time?
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Well, I don't know about
           that, but I think you are quite below temperature by
           the time that the liquid comes in contact with it.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, what kind of
           activation energies for the corrosion process are we
           talking about?  How steep is the curve for the
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Well, anything that is
           active at these temperatures has to be some process
           which has a low activation energy, because everything
           with a high activation energy doesn't work anymore.
                       So what the source of hydration steps they
           come in contact with, or are going on here, I don't
           know.  But I think the activation energy isn't a
           useful way to get at it, because there has to be
           different processes with a spectrum, and the high
           activation energies won't go, period.  You're out.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  It depends on where it
                       DR. SHEWMON:  I am very familiar with that
           sort of thing.  We could ask, but I don't think they
           would find it too useful.  They do find hotter
           solutions go faster.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, if you do have
           different mechanisms at different temperatures, then
           of course all bets are off.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Well, you do have different
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Do I get dissolved
           titanium dripping on my outer end waste package?
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Yes.  Conservation of matter
           is our policy.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Not if you look at the
           models carefully.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Oh, okay.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Which is another issue
           for another day.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  What sort of
           concentrations would you expect?  Well, are we looking
           at the solubility of Ti02, too?  Is that the limit?
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Well, is there titanium
           hydroxide?  And whatever it is, we are carrying it
           away in this demolecular lader, and it builds up
           someplace.  And 15 millimeters is a lot of titanium.
           That is one of my complaints with the electrolytic
           cell business.
                       It always gets the products away, and
           washes it away so that you never get into the buildup
           of this barrier that happens in the real world.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  One of the complexities
           of this whole thing that makes it so hard to grapple
           with, and I am sure the staff and everybody else has
           had the same problem, is this time dependent factor.
                       If things happen early, and if something
           really goes badly wrong, which is not expected, but if
           it does, the first few hundred to a thousand years or
           so, then you don't necessarily have an oxidizing
           environment, because you have a hell of a lot of iron
           in this repository.
                       And until it is oxidized, you have a
           reducing environment, and titanium, of course, as it
           dissolves first, it is Titanium-3, which is a powerful
           reducing agent.  It is a strong reducing agent.
                       And then you have, of course, you have
           ferris ions.  So if something does happen early before
           all the oxygen depleting materials are used up, then
           it is a reducing environment.
                       And that is not what has been considered
           in any of these considerations.  Now, it is unlikely
           that anything will happen in these early stages while
           there still is iron around in a reducing environment.
           But if it were to happen, then this is a totally new
           ball game.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  I don't think it is unlikely
           at all.  I think it is highly likely.  Unless you
           expect the world to corrode nice and uniform across
           this whole thing, and the cladding and all the rest of
           the stuff immediately disappears as the water attacks
           the actual waste form, which sounds to me to be even
           more of a ridiculous conservative approach, I think
           you have a real chance of at least a portion of the
           corrosive attack on the fuel in the glass to be in a
           non-oxidizing environment.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Yes, there is a
                       DR. SHEWMON:  And I will raise that issue
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  But certainly not uniform
           corrosion is an issue here.  We are all familiar with
           the fact -- and to be simplistic -- that when we drive
           our cars through the salt in the winter that the whole
           car doesn't corrode.  It corrodes around the running
           board and under the fenders, and of the joints.
                       So non-uniform corrosion is well known,
           but that is under conditions where you have non-
           uniform conditions of the surface, and the metal, and
           we have some of that here.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, you do have some of
           that, that's right.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Let me bring up something
           different, and I guess it has to do with the
           permeability of the earth over this mine, which some
           of you may know more about than I do.
                       But I remember going out to Arizona a long
           time ago in a different incarnation almost, and
           somebody was studying air coming out of vents in the
           ground, and they didn't know where it went in, but
           they knew it slowly came out here.
                       And I guess the thing that I carried away
           from that is that the air, or the earth above this is
           permeable.  There are passage ways through it.  Radon
           does come up in our basement out of the ground or
                       And is that over these times fast enough
           to counteract this reducing environment that you talk
           about, or is there anything done on that?
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, the oxidizing
           environment is assumed entirely to be due to oxygen in
           the air and in the water that comes into the drip.  It
           is not really considered to be necessarily anyplace
                       DR. SHEWMON:  But we are talking about
           after this is closed up.  The air can still come into
           the drip then?
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Yes, debris.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  They have done a fair
           number of air permeability studies.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Okay.  Good.  So we are
           talking about a reducing of air environment here.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  No, we are not, and the
           temperature changes by themselves are by the pumping
           action, and let alone the fact that the thing is
           permeable, and the water brings oxygen in with it, or
           some, and no nearly as much as the air.
                       And in addition, once you get into the
           transport mode, then you are not necessarily in an
           oxidizing condition anymore -- and I will digress from
           our topic for a minute here.
                       But as you go through the invert and
           through the material beneath the waste package, and
           down into the earth, you can there maintain a reducing
           environment I think quite a ways.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  No, I don't think so.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I do.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  You are going to get
           breathing of permeable rock, independent of whether it
           is above or below the drip.  It is still unsaturated
           or in the unsaturated zone.
                       DR. CLARKE:  Probably 300 meters to that.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  The general consensus is
           that this is a thoroughly oxidized environment because
           of this permeability.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  But there is a
           recognition that there can be local reducing regions.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  I would say the greatest
           chance of that is inside your waste package, where you
           have particularly small pin holes, cracks, and
           initially small patches, and a large mass of material
           that could act as a reducing agent inside the waste
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, I will make some
           comments about what happens if you are fishing UO2,
           and you dump out two oxygens into the system per
           uranium, and now let's do a little arithmetic.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And if you make fishing
           products which have an oxygen demand.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, that's what I am
           saying.  If you then add up all the oxygen demands
           according to just their free energy formation.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  It is reducing.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  That's right.  Half the
           oxygen immediately goes to a whole raft of fairly high
           yield fishing products, whose oxidizer is more stable
           than UO2.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  That's right.  And that
           is in fact true.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  And then you can work your
           way down.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And that is in fact true.
           You don't have enough oxygen to meet the demand of the
           fishing products.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  And you also have a five
           component metallic alloy, which I think they call
           Epsilon Phase, but I am not sure that is quite right.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  What do you mean?  You don't
           like the use of Epsilon for that, or Epsilon means
           something else to you?
                       DR. STEINDLER:  I thought that Epsilon
           meant something else, but it depends on whose Epsilon
           it is or whatever.  So, yes, I think there is a
           reducing system.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  So I think the bottom line
           here is that within the drip itself there is always
           going to be a tendency, even with reducing agents
           available, and materials available inside the drip,
           there is always going to be a strong drive towards an
           oxidizing environment.
                       The waste package, until it is essentially
           open to the air or the drip, it is going to be --
           there could be a significant amount of reducing
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And we are concerned
           about the local conditions, and that's where the
           chemical corrosion is taking place.  It is locally.
           Well, what happens globally is not such much the
           point.  It is what happens specifically locally.
                       And if you have a global oxide
           environment, but a local reducing environment, then
           you are going to have a different corrosion regime.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  What about the effect of
           fluorides on titanium?  Is there enough fluoride in
           the water to -- and especially in concentrated water
           to be an issue here?
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Didn't I say that fluorides
           are worse here someplace?
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  They are almost always
                       DR. SHEWMON:  I don't know what kind of a
           scenario -- what do you have to do to get very
           concentrated fluoride solutions?
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Well, the water itself has
           fluorides in it.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Yes, the 10 to the minus 5
           levels, and 10 to the minus 6.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Let's minimize the side
           discussions and hear from Gustavo.
                       DR. CRAGNOLINO:  Yes, completing what was
           already mentioned, and the issue that you want to
           address on spent fuel, but not for waste package, and
           neither for the drip shield.  This was our analysis
           and we don't pay attention to the issue --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And for a very good
           reason, because if the waste package has already
           failed, why pay any attention to it.
                       DR. CRAGNOLINO:  This is the issue.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  So that's right.  Okay.
           Well, this might be a good -- any other observations
           or sage remarks here?
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Sage remarks?
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  That's kind of a spice
           that you put on things.  Maybe this is a good time to
           hear from you, Gustavo.
                       DR. CRAGNOLINO:  Well, this is only a
           brief remark regarding the comment that Paul Shewmon
           made about the possibility of having a good natural
           analog for Alloy 22.
                       And the issue that we confronted on one
           side was the fact that the stability, the long term
           stability is not based by any means on long term
                       It is based on direct finds, because a
           passive film is not an established structure that
           remains there.  It is a completely dynamic type of
           structure, and it is strictly related or correlated
           with the behavior of the environment.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  The problem that I have
           with -- well, I will defer that.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  I would like to ask one
           question.  These meteorites have been taken out of
           places like Iowa and Kansas, too.  You would say that
           that is wet, and it has been wet for millions and
           millions of years, and you are saying that it hasn't
           got oxygen, and that's why it has survived?
                       DR. CRAGNOLINO:  (Off mike.)
                       DR. SHEWMON:  But why do the meteorites
           stay there then?
                       DR. CRAGNOLINO:  Well, I think that is
           because as Mr. Wymer stated, because of a particular
           condition in the climate, in the weather, and not only
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Well, over a hundred-million
           years, you get a fair number of cycles.
                       DR. CRAGNOLINO:  Right.  But I think we
           can discuss this with more information.
                       DR. AHN:  I would like to add Gustavo has
           stated, and more housekeeping information for you.  In
           the waste form performance studies, actually they
           analyzed Penna Blanca (phonetic) uranium deposits and
           compared with the laboratory testing over spent
           nuclear fuel.
                       And in the lab testing, they identified a
           sequence of passive fuel information the beginning,
           and they eventually ended up with their own acidity.
                       They observed the exact sequence in the
           Penna Blanca type over a million years.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  What site was this?
                       DR. AHN:  Penna Blanca.  That gives us
           very good insight and perhaps we need to reduce the
           uncertainty of what the establishment is saying, and
           on the other hand, we also look at patterns and
           verification or validation.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  What happened?  Was this a
           meteorite site or what happened at Penna Blanca?
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  It is a uranium body that
           has been studied as a natural analog for Yucca
                       DR. AHN:  Perhaps we could get better
           insight from the analysis -- regarding the stability
           of -- in C-22, another view that we considered.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  One of the things that I
           have a question, or a problem, or misgivings about is
           the relationship of polarization studies, which do
           tell you a lot about under what conditions and whether
           or not something is going to corrode on the one hand,
           and what they mean with respect to the actual
           understanding of the mechanism of corrosion on the
           other hand.
                       We seem to have somehow substituted
           polarization studies for mechanism studies, or we have
           used polarization studies instead of going after and
           understanding the mechanisms.  Am I off-base on that?
                       DR. SHEWMON:  No, that's right, and that
           has no build-up of ions, and none of that sort of
           stuff that traditionally stops or slows our actions
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Elaborate on that a
           little bit.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Well, if you put out a very
           high voltage to it, you can get what they get
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Right.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Which means that it slows
           down.  But with these very slow tests that they do,
           they do vary the oxidize potential, and that they have
           moving solutions carry the ions away.  And I guess
           there is not a preferential solution and we could get
           into that.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, let me just make a
           comment.  You are looking at either gas solid or
           liquid solid reactions.  The solid tends to be an
           unstable alloy of some sort.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  It certainly is.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  And whose composition is
           fairly well defined, but whose chemical activities of
           the components are not chemically or very well
                       So to ask can we get at the mechanism of
           this heterogeneous reaction in an unstable system, et
           cetera, et cetera, my comment is that I bet you can,
           but not if you want to put a repository together in 10
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I agree with that.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  So that, and that general
           system is also true in waste form corrosion.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I know how hard it is to
           get true mechanisms.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  I am trying to get you
           away from science, Ray.  We have got a mountain to
           fill up.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, I am not opposed to
           polarization studies.  I think that they do give you
           a lot of insight into the stability of a system,
           provided that they are done under the right
           conditions, and with the right temperatures, and --
                       DR. STEINDLER:  I don't mean to cast
           dispersions on the need for studies of that kind, but
           mechanism studies are very difficult to do.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And I would point out
           that the NWTRB also says that you need to know
           something more about mechanisms.  Now, it doesn't mean
           that you have to fully understand the mechanisms, but
           a little more insight would certainly be helpful.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Let me add something here
           about soil processes, Paul, that may have an impact on
           the longevity or not of a meteorite fragment.  And one
           of the things that occurs in soils is that you get a
           tendency towards a reducing environment, particularly
           if the soils tend to be saturated, and you have a fair
           amount of organic matter there.
                       As you go down into the soil profile, you
           can get a fairly oxygen depleted environment.  In
           fact, you can get reducing conditions that can lead to
           even like methane forming.
                       So the longevity of these things in a
           wetter soil environment can very well be affected by
           the removal of oxygen by natural processes, by
           bacterial processes in the soils.
                       And there is a fair bit of difference
           between that environment and Yucca Mountain, where you
           have a large void space, with interconnected fractures
           that are permeatable, and you get barometric pumping,
           and you can get oxygen flowing into and through that
                       And albeit at a slower rate than you would
           in open air, but you still have a fair bit of
           permeability there that you may very well have a
           saturated environment, where these things in Kansas
           and Nebraska are found.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  So we get back to meteor
           crater, which is probably as porous as Yucca Mountain,
           and that is only a hundred-thousand years old, and so
           that fits in with your model.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Well, it is a dryer soil
           environment, and maybe Gustavo -- it looks like he has
           a point that he wants to make on this.
                       DR. CRAGNOLINO:  I think I would make a
           point the following way.  Let's assume that this type
           of meteorite is in the right environment, but you
           don't know if there are meteorites in other types of
           environment.  I am going to make the point that to
           sustain in some way this point of view that there are
           artifacts that have been under relatively reducing
           conditions, probably oxidizing at one point in time,
           but later on reduced, that were able to absorb
           selectively in the oxidizing side layer chloride.
                       This is the type of oxide hydroxide for --
           and they have like a -- and if you keep this in a dry
           place, this artifact looks splendid, and covered by
           some sort of -- and as soon as you get certain layers
           of humidity, they almost explode because they are full
           of fluoride, and the oxide cannot preserve it.

                       We cannot negate the possibility that
           artifacts, like the type that you mentioned, like
           meteorites, will not be able to sustain conditions in
           certain types of environment while in another one, and
           this is what corrosion is all about.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  And they will be born with
           very dense oxide on the surface, because they came in
           under very high temperature conditions, and I don't
           know whether that has anything to do with the
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Of course, the only ones
           we have found are the ones that are in living
           conditions where they can survive.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  That's true.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Apparently both the staff,
           as well as DOE, use a statistical approach for the
           corrosion of the surface.  How good is that?
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And by that, explain what
           you mean by statistical.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, they divide the surf
           ace into patches, and the patches don't all corrode at
           once, and that is the drip shield, and I can go down
           another layer, and there are patches in the waste
           package, and they don't all corrode at once.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And then of course you
           say that when there are enough patches that are big
           enough that they can release enough stuff that it
           matters, then you have got a problem.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, that's what I am
           driving at, exactly.  Does that make sense?
                       DR. SHEWMON:  It makes more sense for the
           drip shield than it does for the package to me,
           because the drip shield is going to have different
           things dropping on it, and you will have a very
           heterogeneous surface.
                       And whether it has to do with the odd
           steel bowl, or rocks, or whether there is some paste
           that came out of the cement that dripped down on it,
           as long as you have got this integral shield over the
           top, it seems to me that it is a lot harder to see if
           the -- the metal is quite homogeneous.
                       Gustavo says they don't see crevice or
           localized pitting corrosion problems.  So with regard
           to the build-in, the inherent inhomagey (phonetic)
           beyond the metal would be rather low.
           But up on this roof there is all manner of stuff.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  All right.  So the
           statistics on the top are fine, and I am trying to
           chase this down to see whether or not the model that
           I sense -- and, boy, if you ask me to explain it in
           detail, I am in trouble.
                       But the model that DOE and the staff seem
           to be accepting is that you will get penetration of
           the drip shield in places.  You will get penetration
           of the outer barrier, and the stainless steel
           underneath it in places.
                       And you will begin to attack the circular
           cladding in places, and now things really get unglued
           as far as I can tell.  As soon as you get down below
           that, all of a sudden the whole system is infinitely
           quickly mixed.  And evolution out of that now is --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Not only that, but the
           stuff that hits the new material has in it the
           ingredients of everything it corroded in getting down
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Yes, but I am just trying
           to get up above that, and you made the comment about
                       DR. SHEWMON:  I don't where they get their
           randomizing factor, and what they take it for.  But I
           guess I just --
                       DR. STEINDLER:  You think it is a sensible
                       DR. SHEWMON:  On the top it is, but
           underneath it, it is hard to see.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, again, to digress
           rather wildly, if you wanted to challenge anything,
           you would challenge the 10,000 year period, because
           this stuff doesn't really start to happen for a
           hundred-thousand years.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, that's challenging
           in the wrong direction.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I know that.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  If you were an intervenor,
           that's not where you would --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I realize that I said
                       DR. STEINDLER:  But my question to what
           your earlier comments were as to what you think our
           function is, is to address the question of does that
           make sense, and it sounds that up to a point it makes
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Up to a point.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  It gets a little iffy I
           think further into the fuel you go.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I think we can make a lot
           of observations.  I think we have to be extremely
           careful about the conclusions that we draw with
           respect to what it means in repositories.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  I don't draw any
           conclusions.  That's your role.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, that's all of our
           roles, and the conclusions will not be nearly as
           radical as our observations I would think.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  I think Tae Ahn may have a
           clarifying point.
                       DR. AHN:  Yes.  I would like to provide
           you with additional information.  In our evaluation of
           the early program, we have chosen a risk informed
           approach, which means that in environmental conditions
           that are concerned, for instance, we have randomly
           chosen the barometer conditions.
                       We don't accept a hundred percent of a
           highly acidic containing environment.  In other words,
           there is a distribution of the chemistry, and so I
           would like you to consider that factor.
                       Also, in terms of regarding the
           statistical analysis, again we have distributions, and
           it is a risk informed approach, and it is not just the
           single permissive value of years.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  So this means that the Ph
           and fluoride concentrations are different for these
           little squares when the rate of corrosion in this
           square is calculated?  It doesn't have to be physical
           in the sense that I was thinking of.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, the whole concept
           of risk informed is that it gets back to the business
           of conservatism and credibility, and believability.
                       How risk informed are you if you really
           don't understand the processes that make up the risk.
           Just how informed are you, and in a sense you are risk
           informed.  But not as risk informed as you would like
           to be.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  No, I understand.  That's
           not a problem.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  We do have 15 minutes
           left, and so let's break from what I said earlier, and
           field any questions from the group.
                       AUDIENCE:  Just a point of clarification.
           There seems to be some concern about when the drip
           shield fails and what it means.  As far as the
           corrosion of the waste package is concerned, we are
           assuming the same environment on the waste package
           with or without the drip shield.
                       The basis for that is that there is going
           to be a lot dust and stuff like that on the panel
           environment before the drip shield is raised, and they
           may contain hygroscopic material.
                       And so when the humidity goes up, you are
           likely to find as much acrose film on it that produces
           humidity or whatever.  So we are assuming the same
           environment, and so the corrosion starts as soon as
           the humidity threshold gets in.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, that assumption
           cannot be strictly true, of course, but it may be true
           as to an approximation and that's okay.  It can't be
           true because in fact the composition of the water has
           been changed by the process of corroding the drip
                       AUDIENCE:  That's true, but what I am
           saying is that it doesn't have to -- the water doesn't
           have to come through the drip shield, because there is
           an open environment between the drip shield and the
           waste package.
                       So when the humidity gets up to 50 percent
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Only the water is
                       AUDIENCE:  Right.  But then there is --
                       DR. SHEWMON:  It came in by the gas phase
           and not the --
                       AUDIENCE:  Right.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Most of the dust in our
           observations collects on the tops of things and not
           under them.
                       AUDIENCE:  Well, the drip shield doesn't
           replace until the water closure, and the waste package
           has been sitting there for quite some time, and that
           is an assumption in our model anyway.  So I just
           wanted to clarify that.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  So you are saying  there
           may be 300 years worth of dust?
                       AUDIENCE:  Yes, exactly.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  That's a good point.
                       AUDIENCE:  So all I was getting at was
           that for the waste package to start corroding, it
           doesn't have to wait for the drip shield to corrode.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  My original feeling about
           airborne dust was that it didn't amount to much, but
           the more I thought about it, the more I thought that,
           gee, it does.
                       AUDIENCE:  Well, there is going to be
           ventilation going on, and I don't think the
           ventilation have got filters in it.
                       DR. CRAGNOLINO:  You may consider in the
           future electronic components.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Right.  That's why they
           have cleaners.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  And that raises the
           question that I would have for Paul.  Vapor phase
           corrosion is one thing and liquid corrosion is
           another.  Would you equate the two, which is what I
           think they seem to be doing, in terms of rates?
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Well, no, if vapor stays
           vapor, that you have got this magical monolayer or
           whatever that has all the properties of a flowing
           electrolyte, or even a stationary electrolyte.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  I see.  Okay.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  You still have the problem
           of waste buildup that isn't treated very well with
           these cell approximations, but you still can bring
           water in.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  If the mechanism were like
           glass, then you would be in trouble, because you can't
           pile up enough silicate in glass to slow the reaction
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  One of the things that
           certainly I have noticed over the years in various
           tours through Yucca Mountain is that you pass by these
           placards and other things that when they are first put
           through the DSF were nice and clean, and over time
           those things have been heavily coated with dust.
                       And that is a process that is going to
           occur when they are drilling these drips and --
                       DR. SHEWMON:  What we need is a monsoon
           every so often that will wash it all off.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Wash it all out, right.
           But over the operation period of the repository, you
           definitely are going to have a significant build up of
           stuff on the surfaces.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Yes, I certainly after
           reflection arrived at that position, too.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  But, folks, that is a
           different kind of material than something that has
           been formed by evaporation of a soluble salt.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Absolutely.  It is a
           solitious material for the most part.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  So you kind of have to ask
           the question what is this dust really going to
           contribute on my magic two monolayer thick film on the
           waste package or whatever.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And to what extent will
           it be washed off before anything happens.  These are
           all subtleties that have not been dealt with and are
           almost impossible to deal with, and probably are not
           important, although we don't know.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  I suppose --
                       DR. SHEWMON:  It is not the J-13 water
           that comes in.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  It is not J-13 water for
                       DR. SHEWMON:  It is pure water.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  And the layer of water on
           this surface is not going to be J-13 water either.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  That's right.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  It is going to be some sort
           of evaporative water.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  It will be in equilibrium
           with the atmosphere, and so it will have carbonate in
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  That is about the one
           thing that it can have, yes.  The Phs spike up pretty
           good temporarily, but they do not, however, ever spike
           down in any of the models that we have seen.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  That's interesting.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And that is an
           interesting thing.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Most of these cell
           approximations are in acids.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, the one thing about
           nitrous acid, of course, is that it is much more
           active as a dissolving re-agent.  It is more active
           than nitrate acid, and it doesn't have the driving
           force, but it has the kinetics that are in general
                       DR. SHEWMON:  A minute ago we were saying
           that the CO2 in the air would tend to drive the Ph up,
           and then we have the nitric acid --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And the cement.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  And then how did we get it
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Radiolocist of nitrogen
           in the air and actual oxygen, or peroxide radicals to
           form nitric acid.  Wasn't that your statement?
                       DR. SHEWMON:  That is the only thing that
           could spike it, yes.
                       DR. AHN:  On the surface of the waste
           package, we can include all tests on severe
           environment.  However, as I mentioned here, in the
           risk assessment, those in the distribution, the actual
           impact on the performance could be a small fraction
           rather than failure, and we need to review the basis
           for doing that, and --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  About the only
           fundamental objections that I can make as to what has
           been done is that it doesn't satisfy me
           scientifically.  But I think the bounding conditions
           and the other assumptions that are made are
           reasonable, and they cover --
                       DR. AHN:  And that is the kinds of things
           that we are reviewing.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And it just doesn't
           satisfy me that you really don't understand the
           mineral, but still it is probably adequate for NRC's
           purposes.  It is a strange position to be put in for
           a scientific area.
                       DR. LESLIE:  Since Andy opened it up, this
           is Bret Leslie from the NRC staff, and I guess I made
           some notes as Ray started off the meeting this morning
           on what this working group is trying to get at, which
           is to come up with some further consensus on whether
           the NRC process to resolve the issues is appropriate.
                       And I guess one of the things that comes
           to my mind is that this has been a great scientific
           discussion, but where has the evaluation of the
           agreements that the NRC staff done?
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  That will come, I hope,
           tomorrow morning.
                       DR. LESLIE:  Okay.  Because it looks like
           there are several different discussions as you go
           along and I am not hearing anything that is saying how
           is this resolution process good or bad, and I am just
           wondering when that is going to happen.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  But you may have heard
           some comments about the staff didn't seem to raise a
           particular point, and that in itself I think is
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And that is what we are
           digging at now.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  If the staff accepts DOE
           without any particular comment as you heard in the
           conservatism issue, then that represents a question
           that needs to be raised; why did they do that and
           should they have done that is an issue that the
           committee ultimately -- the ACNW ultimately will have
           to decide, either to put in a message to the
           Commissioners or not.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I wanted to detail
           chemical discussions in order to get everybody sort of
           in the same ball park, and then we are going to back
           off and say what does it mean, and is the process
           getting NRC to where it needs to be to make the site
           suitability, or contribute to that recommendation, and
           to the license application.
                       But first I really wanted to dig into all
           these chemistry issues and just see if we brought up
           a snake to use an old southern expression.
                       It is very unlikely that we are going to
           get any pythons, but we might get a few small snakes.
           That's the way that the process is working here, Bret.
                       Tomorrow we need to actually address how
           is the process working, and is it working, and how
           independent of DOE's positions is the process, and how
           much, if at all, are you being swept along by the DOE
           tide, and there is a massive effort under way, and a
           lot of money being spent, and are we being submerged,
           or are we keeping our heads above water here.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  I assume tomorrow morning
           you are going to start at six o'clock?
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  No earlier than that.
           Absolutely.  I think we ought to break for lunch.  We
           are due back at one o'clock.
                       (Whereupon, a luncheon recess was taken at
           11:30 a.m.)

           .                     A-F-T-E-R-N-O-O-N  S-E-S-S-I-O-N
                                                    (1:00 p.m.)
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  All right.  The first
           topic here after lunch is the overview of the Near-
           Field Chemistry issues and TSPA-SR Source-Term Model,
           by Andy Campbell.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Okay.  And I am going to
           basically do what I did earlier this morning, is we
           will come back to this view graph from the DOE and the
           FDA, which shows the key areas of concern, in terms of
           the drip.
                       Basically what I asked Marty to do was to
           look at the chemistry inside the waste package, and
           then I believe we were also going to talk a little bit
           about how that mobilization, potential mobilization of
           radionuclide extend and exit through the invert.
                       So that is basically the portion of the
           system that we are looking at now at this point.  In
           terms of the flow diagram that we are looking at, the
           in-waste package chemistry and corrosion, and
           cladding, the degradation of the spent fuel, and the
           transport of -- the potential transport of
           radionuclides basically through the invert.
                       DOE, you will see, doesn't really have a
           release model, per se.  What they basically assume is
           whatever water gets into the waste package, an equal
           amount of water gets out of the waste package.
                       So they don't have a particular mechanism
           or model for the contaminated water escaping from the
           waste package.  I am going to have to move this up and
                       One of the degradation mechanisms that
           they are looking at is the corrosion of the cladding,
           and the interaction of just that fuel with water, the
           way the deal with that is not entirely obvious here.
                       But the fact that the waste package ports
           are filled with glue, the assumption is made that the
           entire waste package void space is filled with water,
           and that is about 4-1/2 cubic meters of water.
                       It is an operating assumption that they
           use in order to do the calculations.  So even if --
           and the input of water into the top of the waste
           package is somewhere based upon their infiltration
           models between about 1-1/2 liters per year to up to
           150 liters per year.
                       And that is based upon different
           percolation rates, and how much water is diverted and
           so on.  The assumption is that if water is dripping on
           top of the waste package that it goes into the waste
                       I can't find an easy explanation, and in
           the NRC's TPA model there is some diversion factor
           that I talked about earlier for water to essentially
           roll off the side of the waste package, as opposed to
           going in, but it doesn't appear to be a DOE model.
                       So they have anywhere between 1-1/2 and
           150 liters, and in TSPA that is abstracted into three
           in-fluxes of water; 1-1/2, 15, and 150 liters per
                       And so then the water that comes out of
           the waste package is an equivalent volume to the
           incoming water.  But, of course, that is now water
           that is equilibrated with spent fuel, and the
           materials inside the waste package, and that is all
           done with this EQ36 reaction path code.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, I think that it is
           important that their code, I believe, assumes
           instantaneous mixing of that 4-1/2 cubic meters with
           whatever --
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  This is a classic stirred
           bath model.  There is no nooks and crannies where you
           get different chemistry than you do in the entire
           bath.  It is basically 4,500 liters of water that
           starts out life with a composition similar to J-13.
                       And a bunch of materials that are going to
           be inside the waste package, including certain
           fractions of spent fuel available for interaction with
           that water.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Which is certainly a bad
           assumption, because in order to have gotten through
           the steel container, and in order to have gotten
           inside rather I should say, it will have to have
           dissolved some stuff to get in there, and that will --
           the ingredients or whatever that is dissolved will be
           present in the water.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  But it only dissolves on
           the top.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  How much difference this
           will make you don't know, and I think that is the
           point, that you don't know.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, I guess the thing
           that concerned was that you have this large amount of
           inventory, static inventory, which is diluted by in
           the lowest case 1-1/2 liters in a year, and that has
           undergone a small amount of reaction, relatively small
           reaction, with the spent fuel, which is instantly
           diluted by this 4-1/2 cubic meters.
                       And out of that soup now comes at some
           time in the future, secondary mineral formation,
           colloids and so forth, and so on, and it can make a
           hell of a difference if that 4-1/2 cubic meters
           weren't there.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Does it run out the bottom,
           or does it have to diffuse out the top?
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Their model does not
           account for it.  It just magically goes from inside
           the waste package to the top of the material -- at the
           bottom, or underneath the waste package, and it is
           just --
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Well, you know, both of
           these assumptions are wrong, but how many orders of
           magnitude would it change things?  Did they do
           anything to try and do that?
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  At this point, they are
           committed to looking at evaporative processes, but it
           is not clear at all to me that they are going to look
           at evaporative processes that minimize the amount of
           water in the waste package.
                       They are just assuming that if we drill
           holes in the top of it that we are going to drill
           holes in the bottom of it, and that whatever gets in,
           gets out.
                       Now, I will give you an idea.  The NRC
           also has a bath model, but it is a spill-over model,
           and the location of the whole in the side that spills
           out is a sample perimeter.  So it randomly samples
           between the bottom and the top of the waste package.
                       So a certain fraction of waste packages on
           average are about half-filled, just because of the way
           that they do the sampling.  And then it assumes that
           there is a hole in the side, or up here, or down here,
           that allows water out.
                       And then only the fuel, if I understand it
           correctly, in the NRC model, only the fuel that would
           be emersed in water could react with that water, or
           some fraction of it.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  For example, this gives the
           zercoroy (phonetic) zero life around the fuel?
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  No, in both the -- I
           believe in the DOE model and in the NRC model, there
           is some credit given to the zercoroy for cladding.
           The way that is implemented in TSPA -- and I think in
           TPA -- is that a fraction of the cladding of the fuel
           is available to interact with the water, but not all
           of it.  Is that correct?
                       DR. AHN:  Yes. Credit was given to
           cladding by DOE and not by NRC.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Okay.  So in the TPA code
           there is no cladding added.
                       DR. CODELL:  It is in there.
                       DR. AHN:  Yes, it is in there.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  That's what I thought.
                       DR. AHN:  But not in this case.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  The NRC has a series of
           alternative models that they have explored in their
           own code which evaluate things like if you take credit
           for cladding, and how will that affect your results.
           And maybe you might address that at some point.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Now, cladding credited by
           DOE is a relatively recent change, right?
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Yes, that's my
                       DR. STEINDLER:  And that is the picture
           that I have.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  But the way that they
           present it is that they have some fraction of t
                       he fuel is available to interact with
           water, and that is how they implement the cladding
           credit.  They do calculations on the side to determine
           how much cladding has failed, and how much has not
                       DR. STEINDLER:  And that fraction is a
           function of time?
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Yes.  And so not all the
           fuel within the rods are available to interact with
           the water.  But what is available is assumed to reach
           equilibrium with the entire 4-1/2 cubic meters of
           water inside the waste package.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Or it reached a steady
           state at any rate, and presumably the water is
           continually changing with time as well.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  The volume of input water
           relative to the volume of the stirred bath --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Is very small.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  -- is relatively small.  So
           the impacts on the chemistry of the input water is
           relatively small.  So from a purely calculational
           view, you can see why this became an attractive model
           to work with.
                       The concern that I have -- and this is my
           own concern -- is that the water that gets into this
           system and that can interact with this fuel, is not J-
           13 water.
                       It is some water that has undergone -- it
           may have started out life somewhere in the ball park
           of J-13, but it has gone through an evaporative
           process, because even until you are several tens of
           thousands of years down the road, the fuel is the
           hottest thing in the repository.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, it has got a lot of
           iron in it, too.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  So there is an evaporative
           process that is not accounted for, and so the
           chemistry of this water is going to be more
           concentrated than something like J-13, which is a
           fairly --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  The chances are of
           reducing the water as well, since it will have gotten
           in there by corroding the steel container.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Well, presumably whatever
           caused the corrosion to the container has left a hole
           in it, and you can get water into that hole from the
           outside system.
                       But again you have got this large volume,
           4-1/2 cubic meters of essentially buffer volume of
           water in the system.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  But the turnover in the
           lowest flux case is 3,000 years.  Your pictures came
           out better than mine.  I couldn't even read the print.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  What is your point,
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, at a liter-and-a-
           half per year influx rate, with a 4,500 liter
           inventory, your turnover is something in the
           neighborhood of 3,000 years.  It gets to be 300,000
           years for the highest flux.
                       It isn't very clear to me what that
           assumption does for them.  You know, that you have got
           something other than essentially an empty container.
           But it does confuse the chemistry.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  It certainly confuses the
           chemistry.  I think it does allow them to calculate
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well -- okay.  How much
           faith have you got in that EQ36 code?
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, you know, garbage
           in and garbage out.  Good data in and good data out.
           It is the same old story.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  I will say that all of the
           thermodynamic modeling codes have limitations.  In
           terms of applications, EQ36 is probably as good as
           any.  There maybe some that are better, and some that
           are worse, but the key issue is the database that you
           work with.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  That's exactly right.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  The mechanism and the
           processes incorporated into those codes are all not
           that different from one equal thermo code to another.
                       How you make up for limited data, the
           biggest problem that I see with all these codes is
           that they tend not to deal with co-precipitates.  They
           tend not to deal with salt solutions and things like
           that, which are the real world.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  They tend not to put
           everything in the water that is in the water.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  This is just showing  what
           I have already talked about briefly, in terms of what
           the TSPA code is calculating, and there is a pCO2, the
           partial pressure of carbon dioxide, and partial
           pressure of oxygen, and Eh, the redox state of the
           system, the ionics strength.  And then the key species
           are fluoride, chloride, and carbonate.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  They just have two time
           regimes; one less than a thousand years and one
           greater than a thousand years?
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Basically, because remember
           that the key temperatures spike when you get a
           significant temperature increases and are in that less
           than a thousand year period.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I was thinking that in
           this other thing we had a while ago that they had
           three temperature regimes.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Three time regimes.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I'm sorry, yes, time
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Time regimes for the waste
           packages.  This is the in-package.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  What does that say that?
           Does that say at temperature, or what does that say?
           I can read the thousand years, but --
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  At failure.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  At failure?  Okay.  That
           is blurred to me.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  But that fluoride is only
           true for glass.  I don't think they do much
           calculations for it, for fluoride and UO2.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Well, remember that they
           are also looking at high level glass degradation in
           the co-disposal containers.
                       DR. CRAGNOLINO:  The fluoride is not
           incorporated in order to deal with the solution of the
           radiated uranium dioxide.  It is used as a surrogate
           for cladding.  They have a model for the dissolution
           of cladding, on the basis of cladding, and this is the
           reason that it is there.
                       But it is not incorporated in the
           barometric equation for the dissolution of the
           radiated fuel.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, I sure missed that.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  So did I.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  And based upon the model,
           these are the calculated in-package Phs, and I am
           going to have to magnify again to see them.  For the
           commercial spent nuclear fuel -- and by the way, if
           anybody is missing and needs extra copies, I can get
           more made in case we need them.
                       Again, the interesting thing about this,
           and that I found interesting, is the uncertainty based
           upon the TSPA calculation, the Ph is larger in the
           beginning than after the longer time frames.
                       That was just an observation.  But these
           are the -- well, somewhere between 4 and 7 of the
           first thousand years.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Is there a message there?
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  And between about 6 and a
           little above 7 --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  What sends it down to
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Particular combinations of
           corrosion, water flux, and other conditions.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  From the chromium?
                       DR. CRAGNOLINO:  Yes, and what is in the
           in-package calculations would between -- but all the
           things that is inside the waste package, materials
           that are together, are run and they come out with
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, the reason that
           raises my interest is because you are getting down now
           to Ph ranges where you can with iron reduce plutonium,
           and to reduce the plutonium is a very significant
           thing, and it is a danger as far as transport is
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Ray, the time here is a
           thousand years.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I see that.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  And you do have higher
           temperatures in this regime.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And something has to fail
           in a thousand years for any of this to have any
           meaning, of course.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  But the waste packages
           ostensibly are -- oh, I'm sorry.  I am incorrect, Ray.
           This is time sense waste package failure.  This is
           1,000 years plus, and this was the initial amount of
           water coming into the package and reacting with the
           iron and stuff, and dropping the Ph down.
                       Then as more and more water and the
           reaction regresses with time, the sense of failure,
           you get a steady stay of environment if you will.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  But then you get into
           some questions like how much or what is the oxygen
           partial pressure over that period of time, and is
           there enough iron in there to have for the first
           thousand years to have consumed all the oxygen coming
           in, and that would make a difference, too, of course
           to the whole chemistry of everything.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  I think that is an
           assumption on their part that the water is in
           equilibrium with the atmosphere and the drip.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Which may be a bad
                       DR. SHEWMON:  And the drip is in
           equilibrium with the atmosphere and the air above?
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Yes, that is an
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, that one is not too
           bad.  I mean, there have been enough experiments done
           in similar kinds of formations that showed the thing
           breaths fairly --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Except that this has
           enough iron in it that it would consume oxygen for
           maybe a thousand years and still be some more left.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, that's what we mean
           by consuming oxygen.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  This is for the co-disposal
           packages, where you have high level waste glass.  And
           again this is time sense failure of the waste package.
           So this is sometime after 11,000 years, in terms of
           repository time.
                       But the long term Ph that the system goes
           to is around 9, between 8-1/2 and 9.  So you do have
           the higher Ph in the co-disposal package.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  The packages of high
           level waste from the very few processing plants and
           spent fuel are co-mingled.  So that what you
           ultimately get in the aggregate is an average of these
           Phs based on the weight of the amounts and the
           relative corrosion rates.
                       And 10 percent of the waste approximately
           is glass logs, and the other 90 percent is spent fuel.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Well, the co-disposal
           packages are interspersed with commercial spent fuel
           packages.  The majority of packages are commercial
           spent fuel packages.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Sure, 90 percent of them.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  But this is the in-package
           Ph.  This is the package with the Ph inside a co-
           disposal package.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  There is no mingling of
           anything, no real mechanism for that.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  No, not in their model, and
           when you think about it, probably not in the real
           world, except in the invert itself.  But we will get
           into that.
                       The way that they model the invert is
           basically diffusion through --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Straight down.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Yes, straight down
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, I would think there
           would be a little lateral fusion.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  This is the commercial
           spent fuel degradation model showing the degradation
           rate that they use as a function of Ph in temperature.
           So at the higher Ph is the degradation rate, and it is
           lower than the lower Phs; and of course the
           degradation rate is higher at higher temperatures.
                       The cladding degradation model looks at
           the unzipping function, and the cladding creep, local
           corrosion, and actual physical failure of the cladding
           due to some seismic event or series of  seismic events
           over time that cause material to fall on to or into an
           open waste package.
                       The calculation includes the seepage into
           and the temperature of the system.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Your prior one was the
           degradation of the spent fuel form itself.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Are you going to go
           through all these view graphs, Andy?  You are going to
           have to hurry if you are.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Okay.  Let me hurry up.
           Then the fraction of perforated cladding is shown on
           the following slide.  So as a base, they are assuming
           a certain fraction of the cladding is perforated.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Now, is time zero from the
           failure of the waste package?  So is this a hundred-
           thousand years after the 20,000 years?
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Paul, I don't know the
           answer to that, and whether this is real repository
           time, or post-waste package failure time for this
           cladding perforation.
                       DR. AHN:  After this cladding from the
           reactor, there is an estimate of the initial phase,
           and it runs from one percent to 10 to the minus 2, and
           10 to the minus 3 percent.
                       Current DOE -- well, a couple of months
           ago, we used 8 percent failure initially for a waste
           package failure due to the -- during the interim
           storage period because of high temperatures.
                       Then they sophisticated a model a couple
           of weeks ago, and they were talking about 1.5 percent
           initial failure now.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  This blue line on this is
           8 percent by the way.  And .1 would be 10 percent.  So
           this would be a thousand, 10,000 and a hundred-
           thousand years after closure.
                       The next picture is just the variability
           of the cladding unzipping rate.  So they are looking
           at a range of unzipping rates.  The next figure is
           just --
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Does that one make any
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  That's always a good
                       DR. STEINDLER:  It seems to me that the
           unzipping rate should be a function of temperature.
           You are basically forming a high volume, and the only
           way you can get unzipping is really if you form a high
           volume --
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  If you start corroding the
           fuel, right.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  But that rate is a strong
           function of temperature.  By the time you get to a
           hundred-thousand or 10,000 years out, that temperature
           is down fairly far.  I wonder if that reaction still
                       Because there are two kinds of reactions
           that take place.  This isn't a simple oxidation to
           U308, for example, which was a cladding standard
           approach that the --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  It expands, and therefore
           it breaks it up.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, I don't think that
           is what you have got here.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Well, that matrix
           temperature is taken into account in this, and  that's
           why I put it back to that, and that is one of the
                       DR. AHN:  There is another reaction, and
           that is hydroxide formation, even at the lower
           temperatures, can increase the volume, and I think
           that is what they are probably talking about.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  You think that is what
           they are doing here?
                       DR. AHN:  Yes.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Okay.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  This I just showed because
           I was amazed at the huge range of glass degradation
           rates that come out of this small uncertainty here,
           and it doesn't decrease with time.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Now, is that a dissolution
           rate, or what is this per year unit on a glass
           degradation rate?  Is it fraction dissolved per year?
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, the initial process
           is dissolution, but from there you quickly get the
           secondary minimum.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Right.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  But I think this is just
           the dissolution process that starts the formation of
           the other products.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  So you have about four
           orders of magnitude.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And that is what it looks
           like on there, is one per year, and what is that
                       DR. AHN:  It is a fraction per year.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  That is an F, huh?
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Fraction per year.
                       DR. CRAGNOLINO:  It is one over a year.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And you are going to get
           various silicates precipitated there.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Yes, and they incorporate
           that in the model.  I mean, their model does include
           all of that.  The solubility model, and the main
           radionucleides that they look at are in terms of an
           actual solubility calculations are neptunium, uranium,
           and americium, as a function of Ph, PCO2, and again
           temperature in the in-package chemistry go into this.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Does colloid formation go
           into it?
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Colloid formation comes
           after this, but yes.  Let's see.  What I am trying to
           do is just give you an overview of these, and how they
           are handling various aspects of --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, they seem to
           discuss colloid in terms of what we normally call
           pseudo-colloids, and I haven't really seen colloids,
           per se, addressed.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  The main issue is as you
           say the pseudo-colloids.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Who says?
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Plutonium to degradation
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Why is that assumed?  We
           all know that plutonium forms nice colloids.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  There is a very large
           amount of glass --
                       DR. CODELL:  I recall in one of the AMRs
           that the quantity of plutonium colloids is much
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Then that would be the
           explanation, the relative amounts, yeah.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  There is just a huge amount
           of colloids produced through degradation processes
           relative to view the natural system, or the true
           colloidal phases.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, do people know what
           true plutonium colloids do with respect to forming
           pseudo-colloids?  To me that seems kind of like a key
           question, because I think the first thing to form
           would be the true plutonium colloid.  So that's the
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Well, a lot of this is from
           the glass degradation process, a lot of it.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  What does it give to the
           other colloids?
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, there is a lot of
           solutious material in there.
                       DR. CLARKE:  But how does it reversibly
           attach to another colloid starting out life as a
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, there is a lot of
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Now, this is one of the
           interesting aspects of the model, is this diffusion
           through cracks.  If you -- and I haven't done it
           because you just end up with an infinite number of
                       But if you look at the DOE and TSPA
           results, there is a clear change around 40,000 years,
           and really before that period of time, between when
           the waste packages begin failing due to essentially
           stress corrosion cracking, to about 40,000 years, you
           have what they call a diffusion dominated system,
           where you have essentially small amounts of moisture
           diffusing into the waste package.
                       Then again the assumption is that that
           picks up radionucilides and diffuses out.  What I
           haven't been -- and I am still trying to track down,
           is whether or not they are assuming that this waste
           package with this diffusion dominated period is also
           filled with 4-1/2 cubic meters of water.  And I don't
           know if anybody has an answer to that.
                       DR. CODELL:  Well, we had a technical
           exchange with DOE a month or so ago, I guess, where we
           batted several of these things back and forth, and we
           did some analyses on diffusion.
                       And we argued that DOE's model was way too
           conservative, and apparently they don't have or did
           not have it filled with water.  The waste package
           isn't filled with water, but there is water film
                       And that essentially on the inside of the
           lid where you can get diffusion, the concentration of
           whatever is diffusing is at the solubility limit.  And
           then it can diffuse through these stress corrosion
           cracks to the outside, whereupon it is carried away by
           liquid water.
                       Now, for this to happen -- and if you
           don't mind my going on -- the waste package must be
           tilted down so that the end cap is exposed up.  That
           is, one of the supports must fail, and this seems like
           a low probability situation to me.
                       But it has to fail, because there is a
           lift around the welds which would prevent liquid water
           from the ceiling of the drip, to drip underneath that.
           And that is one of the mechanisms.  You must have
           fresh water to carry this stuff away.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Of course, the support
           time will be gone.
                       DR. CODELL:  Yes, but it seems like at the
           very least half of them would fail, and then another
           half would fail.  But it seemed like a low probability
                       And then the other thing that really
           bothered me about it was that they allowed the
           diffusion to occur anywhere along the weld, wherever
           the crack might occur.
                       Whereas, it seemed like the only place you
           could really get diffusion would be at the bottom,
           because the path for diffusion from the fuel would be
           very tortious and very long, except maybe at the
           bottom where you might have some crud or sediment
           buildup, and you have a more direct category.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, diffusion is one
           thing and capillarities is another.
                       DR. CODELL:  Well, this is diffusion.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, presumably you are
           getting some water moving all around through cracks
           and through edges by capillary action.
                       DR. CODELL:  Well, they are talking only
           about diffusion.  There are other phenomena here and
           that might be, but that isn't in their model.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  It isn't part of their
           model, and the other thing --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  It doesn't mean that it
           doesn't happen.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  No, and it may be that that
           process would dominate diffusion, but it is not in the
           current model.  The interesting thing about the way
           they set up this diffusion model is the boundary
           condition is always zero concentration.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  At the external surface you
                       DR. CODELL:  Yes.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Right.  So there is always
           a driving force, a maximum driving force, because in
           the real world you might have a diffusion radiant like
           that, but eventually that would level itself out
           because of the fact that diffusion would take place.
           And the other interesting aspect is --
                       DR. STEINDLER:  It is a conservative
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  It is a very conservative
           assumption.  They don't take credit for degradation of
           that radiant.  It is always the steepest that it can
                       And for all intents and purposes, since
           they are assuming that this film has some solubility
           limits and concentrations are similar to what you get
           in the big bath, as opposed to just the humid moist
           environment inside the waste package.
                       The model also assumes through the invert
           a boundary condition of zero concentration.  So there
           is always a driving force, that once the material gets
           into the invert that it is always going to be
           diffusing towards the unsaturated side.
                       Now, the other model that they use --
           well, I have completely used other Marty's time here.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Now you are 10 minutes
           into Marty.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Great.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  And the other model is the
           Advective model, where they use patches on top of the
           waste package.  There are a certain number of general
           corrosion patches that are formed on top of the waste
           package that allows water in.
                       And as we already saw, the water fills up
           the waste package, and they assume that water comes
           out somehow or other, and an equal amount comes in and
           comes out.
                       For those conditions, you have -- well,
           this is kind of a cartoon of that, but advective flow
           through the invert.  But this really doesn't become a
           dominant process until after 40,000 years, when there
           is a sufficient general corrosion rate occurring to
           allow enough open area on top of the waste package to
           allow a significant amount of water in.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  But that is assuming a
           11,000 year failure.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Yes.  Right.  But as they
           grow those patches, they grow with time.  In fact, an
           interesting outcome of their -- and it came up in the
           context of the TSPASR presentation a few weeks ago
           back in January, is that they do something called
           neutralization analyses to try and get a handle on the
           importance of different engineered systems.
                       And to do that they assume that a certain
           number of patches occur on all the waste packages very
           early on, but they don't grow with
           grow with time.  So the degradation model, which
           assumes that those patches only grow with time, in
           fact in some long time frame, overtakes the
           neutralization analysis, in terms of dose, because the
           patches are still growing with time.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  And this is all premised on
           a change in the ice glacial cycle, so that there is
           always water flowing through this place.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  The general consensus -- if
           I understand it correctly, the general consensus among
           people who study climate is --
                       DR. SHEWMON:  The answer is yes; just yes
           or no.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  -- is that in the next
           2,000 years we are going to go into a glacial climate
           that is going to be around for many tens of thousands
           of years, 150,000 years or more.
                       So we are in an unusually dry period for
           Yucca Mountain.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Aren't you glad you are
           going to be dead, Andy?
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Okay.  Uranium solubility.
           These are just outputs of the TSPA model.  This is
           time and package failure, and this is for commercial
           spent nuclear fuel.  Again, this is being driven by
           that change in Ph that we saw for the spent fuel.
                       And this is for co-disposal.  So this is
           the glass fuel.  So the uranium solubility in the
           higher Phs is high.  The colloid model assumes that
           you are generating colloids from the degradation of
           the waste forms, and that radionuclides are both
           irreversibly and reversibly attached to particles or
           a certain fraction of the colloid particles, say
           plutonium, for example, is always attached to it.
                       And with a certain fraction of the colloid
           particles that plutonium can really exchange with the
           aqueous environment.  And then presumably if it is in
           the aqueous phase, it can then also attach itself to
           a mineral surface.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  If it is ionic, which it
           won't be.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Right.  But in general
           then, the irreversibly attached or irreversible
           colloids move on average much more quickly than the
           reversible colloids, because you have some additional
           delaying mechanisms.
                       This just simply shows how they divvy up
           the -- how they do the colloids calculation.  They do
           take in to account some measure of colloid stability.
           They have the colloids from high level waste glass,
           and from iron oxy, hydrochloride hydroxide, corrosion
           products, and from the natural ground waters.
                       And I think this again is hard to read,
           but what I wanted to show here was the role of
           colloids, and even on the hard copy it is difficult to
                       But anyhow it shows the plutonium as the
           fraction of plutonium for total release and then the
           reversible colloids.  So at that point the whole idea
           here was to kind of give you a flavor for how the
           model is set up and some of the key areas of the
           model.  And with that, Marty, I will turn it over to
                       DR. STEINDLER:  I don't have anything left
           to say.  That's fine.  I did not look at the corrosion
           of the cladding, or the stainless steel can in which
           they poured glass, figuring that is a corrosion
           problem that I don't know anything about.
                       So we are going to ignore for the moment
           corrosion issues.  I first tried to look at the source
           term, and that is what I have got for uranium.
                       You have got a radiated UO2, and we have
           a fair chunk of boron sulcate glass, and a literally
           dog's breakfast's worth of DOE spent fuel, largely
           metallic, but not entirely, and it contains things
           like carbide and non-uranium containing material.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Are we in class or are we in
           carbides, or both?
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Both.  Glass is strictly
           the defense high level waste --
                       DR. SHEWMON:  I understand.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  -- generated by carbide
           fuels, thorium fuels, et cetera, et cetera.  There is
           a lot more obviously than commercial spent fuel than
           anything else, which is essentially UO2.
                       Water with unknown composition gets
           through the cladding or the outside container, and
           begins to react.
                       The first issue is in terms of release, is
           how much in the way of fission products and what kind
           have located in the cladding gap, and that is the gap
           between the spent fuel pellets and the cladding.
                       I wouldn't say that you can get any number
           that you want for that, but you can get quite a range,
           and I think that is not very well defined.  For the
           most part, some iodine and -- a fair amount of iodine
           and some technetium is brought out by that process.
                       Let me make a couple of other points.  As
           I mentioned, if you fish in UO2, you liberate two
           oxygens, and half of those, one of those oxygens, is
           taken up by fission products whose oxides are
           essentially more stable than UO2.
                       And that generally takes place even in hot
           water reactor fuel, and certainly takes place in fast
           fuel that has a much higher internal temperature.
                       The other half of that oxygen gets
           distributed between other fission products and
           decreasing free energy, or more likely becomes
           interstitial UO2, and it becomes interstitial oxygen
           dissolved in UO2.
                       The point that I am making is that the
           system tends towards being a reduced system, and in
           addition there is this epsom phase that we talked
           about before -- five component alloy, which is
           metallic, and contains some, but not necessarily all,
           of that terrible isotope called technetium.
                       I have not seen too much discussion on
           that particular issue in any of the documents that I
           have read.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Can I comment at this
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, I was just going to
           make the other concluding issue, and that is in the
           long run, in terms of the entire inventory of
           available fission products, that may not make a great
           deal of difference.
                       And I haven't looked at it from that
           standpoint, but it could be the fact that nobody seems
           to care is because it doesn't make any difference to
           the downstream dose, which is really what people are
           focused on.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I have talked to some
           people in France who do the reprocessing work, and
           they point out that there is always metallic
           technetium left in the dissolver when they dissolve
           that water in reactor fuel, and sometimes you can get
           as much as a third of all of the technetium that is
           present as undissolved material.  And which is a
           difficulty in concentrated nitric acid with a
                       DR. STEINDLER:  And with a catalyst is the
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  It is a very refractory
           material.  So that is an ameliorating factor I think
           that hasn't even been considered, and it might reduce
           the technetium downstream.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, it gets us into the
           same discussion we had this morning, namely the
           assumptions that DOE is making are conservative, and
           as a consequence there isn't much point, I guess, to
           arguing about issues which would reduce the technetium
           content downstream or the rate.  But it is a chemistry
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  It is a chemistry issue.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Is the iodine that is
           present after 10 or 20,000 years radioactive yet?
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Yes.  There is iodine-129
           which has a 15 million year half-life, which is the
           key -- well, the only iodine that --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  It is the only one of any
                       DR. SHEWMON:  And the technetium is 99.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Yes, and it has a 200,000
           year, give or take, half-life.  I realize that iodine
           has been well observed in the clad gap, but there is
           enough iodine to be tied up, and there is enough
           silver to be tieing up essentially all the iodine if
           they had a chance to get together.
                       And ultimately everything absolves, and so
           the question downstream into the unsaturated zone and
           beyond is what are the odds that iodide will react
           with silver that is migrating downstream.  I have not
           seen much discussion on that one.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  It all dissolves because it
           is infinite dilution finally.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Essentially.  The thing
           that puzzles me is that we have been told repeatedly
           that the EH of that system is positive by a
           significant amount.
                       Yet, iodide is the only specie that
           anybody discusses, and that doesn't make a heck of a
           lot of sense.  I don't understand why that has been
           maintained, again except for the fact that iodide
           moves downstream faster than anything else probably.
                       But as you pointed out early, Ray, it
           doesn't sound like good science, and you wonder what
           else is wrong.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Certainly the
           observations have been that iodine whistles on through
           the --
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Yes.  But there is also a
           pile of iodate minerals that exist that are reasonably
           water stable, and so the opportunity for maintaining
           a decent stability with low solubility of an iodine
           oxygen compound strikes me as existing.
                       And I don't know whether that is an issue
           either, except that it doesn't seem to hang science
           together again.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  One of the problems with
           iodine is that it does not form many highly insoluble
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Not too many.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Copper iodide is one of
           the winners, and having said that, you have run the
           course, unless you get into these more complex
           minerals that have iodine tied up with them, which
           formations doesn't seem entirely likely.  So iodine is
           always a problem.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, there are a couple
           of iodates that are fairly insoluble.  Whether or not
           -- and iodates with fission product positive ions, and
           so whether or not they exist --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And I agree with you on
           the anomaly of assuming iodide in --
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, let's be fairly
           clear that the thing that dissolves out of this whole
           mess that people are interested in, or at least
           transports, is technetium, iodine, neptunium, and
           plutonium, as the first-line important nucleides.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And one of the principal
           liberating factors is the formation of the
           tricarbonate, and you get it out of the way to release
           these things.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Yes.  And there is some
           Carbon-14, and much further down, you begin to
           generate and transport downstream things like radium.
                       Okay.  We have discussed ad nauseam the
           whole question of what kind of water do we have.  We
           won't have J-13 water.  The models don't, I think,  do
           a good enough job that I can see -- whatever that
           means -- in addressing trace elements, and their
           behavior with very low concentrations of the things
           that we are interested in.
                       So the solution process that we are
           talking about here forms materials of concentrations
           that are really far down in the mud.  Solubility
           limited concentrations are really quite small.
           Somewhere I have got a list of them, but it is
           probably for this discussion not particularly
           important what the actual magnitudes are.
                       It is that the abstraction that DOE  has
           gotten into, and which apparently works well enough
           for them and the staff so that he staff has not
           objected too strongly, is that rates are fundamentally
           Ph driven, aside from temperature, if oxygen and CO2
           are controlled, when they are controlled by
           atmospheric concentrations.
                       That's not totally true for glass, where
           silica is an important influence in the rate.  But
           essentially these are Ph driven dissolutions.  They
           seem to work reasonably well.
                       Glass dissolutions have a strange set of
           kinetics as you know.  But for the purpose of a
           repository type material, glass is a fairly modest
           contributor to the total isotope pushed downstream.
                       Some people don't seem to get too badly
           bent out of shape about the fair uncertainties in the
           case of glass.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, the saving grace,
           of course, with the glass is that the plutonium has
           been taken out.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Yes, but you do have a lot
           of neptunium in places, and also a lot of technetium.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  That's right.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  You have got a lot of
           technetium everywhere, except for cement in the river.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, there is very
           little burnt up stuff, and so a lot of these things
           are not there.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  It's not a particular
           issue.  Okay.  What else is there of real importance?
           Oh.  The fission products that move downstream that we
           are not interested in are believed to arrive in
           solution by simply congruent dissolution of UO2.
                       I think that is probably not a bad
           assumption.  Besides, it doesn't make any difference,
           because we are not watching them.  I mean, they are
           not contributors to the dose.  They are elemental
           contributors, but they are not contributors to the
                       Colloids are a different story, and Andy
           has kind of outlined what the colloid situation is.
           There are two kinds of colloids; those in which there
           is a reversible absorption, and colloids which are
           nominally called irreversible, but it is not
           absorption.  It is co-precipitation.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Those are pseudo.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, whether they are
           colloids or pseudo colloids reminds me of how many
           angels can dance on the head of a pin.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, if you are going to
           talk about reversible and irreversible, then it has
           got to be pseudo colloids.
                       DR. CLARKE:  Reversible or irreversible?
                       DR. STEINDLER:  There are two kinds of
           reversible colloids.
                       DR. CLARKE:  I think that's right.  There
           is a different term in different documents for the
           same thing.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Yes.  Glass is really the
           only source of minerals to which you get co-
           precipitation, which becomes irreversible.  The others
           are all obtained from fuel.
                       There is a bucket of secondary products,
           and I simply want to reiterate my puzzlement that in
           the DOE models, commercial spent nuclear fuel
           dissolves to form copper minerals.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Do what?
                       DR. STEINDLER:  To form copper minerals.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  That's a novel trick.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, I thought that was
           kind of an interesting trick, and so I read it again,
           and it is there.  What I haven't found where the
           source is.
                       And if you are old enough, you recognize
           that plutonium at one time was hidden under the code
           word copper.  But you have to be even older than Ray
           in order to --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Nobody is older than me.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Hardly a man is now alive
           that remembers that famous day and year.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  You're right.  And then
           they had to distinguish between copper and honest to
           god copper when they wanted to talk about real copper.
                       And in the case of fuel, they do form lots
           of silicates.  The oxides and hydrous oxides,
           depending on what Ph range you are in, of plutonium,
           and an oxy carbonate for plutonium, or Neptunium-5, is
           an important actor in this thing.
                       In the case of solid products, and in the
           case of things like glass, obviously include borates,
           because you have got boron sulfate glass, and nothing
           is particularly surprising.
                       So as this soup dissolves, I hand to Jim,
           moving into the unsaturated cell, a pretty dilute
           aqueous solution, which is basically a carbonate base.
           It has got a Ph, depending on where and when you are
           looking at it.
                       And it varies -- what did we say -- from
           4 to 8 about.  It has colloids in it that are
           important to the folks downstream.  It will have
           technetium, claimed to be entirely as Technetium-7,
           rapidly moving with the waterfront.
                       And the same thing with iodine.  A large
           fraction of the neptunium is Neptunium-5, which in the
           absence of a large amount of carbonate, will also move
           the waterfront.  And that is basically what I hand
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And all these things are
           modified by whatever secondary phases are formed on
           the surface of the fuel that will attenuate, absorb,
           or otherwise diminish what comes out the bottom.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, I don't think there
           is much claim for excessive absorption on those
           mineral phases.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  There is not much
           claimed, but the question is how much is there.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  That remains to be seen.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I am not sure it matters,
           of course, because if they assume it all comes out,
           and it still looks okay, then what is the problem.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, what is the role of
           the colloids?  The role of the colloids is that they
           move a lot faster than stuff that is absorbed and
           desorbed, especially with reasonably high distribution
                       So the concentration of colloids, and the
           concentration of actinides on those colloids get to be
           a big issue, largely lousy data, and that is my
           judgment, and not DOE's obviously.
                       I think the staff -- and to go back to the
           issues at hand, but I think the staff is aware that
           the data aren't very good.  I have not delved hard
           enough into how loudly the staff is complaining that
           the data are not very good.
                       But it could make a significant difference
           to the downstream answer.  The redux conditions I have
           already commented on.  I am puzzled by what is
           elected, but I can understand if you want to be
           conservative, the election of a continuously oxidizing
           system can be justified reasonably well.
                       Whether you would find the technetium
           oxide or technetium sulfide that you could form would
           remain stable long enough to make any difference in
           the technetium downstream.  I don't think there is
           enough answers on the ability to form technetium and
           its rate of oxidation in a system that is as dilute as
           the --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  The sulfate is very
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Right.  We know that, but
           I have not seen any data on oxidation rates.  There is
           some discussion in a bunch of these documents on the
           importance of the surface alpha radiation in modifying
           both the Ph, as well as the ionic content, which was
           a comment back there.
                       It isn't the gamma radiation, which at
           times is down to the point where it is fairly weak.
           It is strictly the alpha flux at the surface.  The
           folks at the lab have looked at that, and I have not
           read their paper, and so I don't know whether that
           data is any good. I have to assume that it at least
           passed the referees.
                       I am a little bit disturbed frankly on a
           personal basis that trace elements in the water are
           not being considered adequately, and that may be
           unfair.  I will have to look some more.  But fluoride,
           it seems to me, complexes tremendously with plutonium.

                       Every good analytical chemist understands
           that.  I don't see that recognition in the documents
           that I have looked at.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And in an sufficient
           amount, it also precipitates it.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Yes, in those
           concentrations.  But, I mean, at low concentrations
           you can get the Plutonium-4 monofluoride in solution
           that becomes inert fairly quickly.  So if somebody
           assumes this stuff absorbed, maybe that is the wrong
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Inert means it won't absorb?
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Right.  I have looked at
           very few of the specific things that we were -- that
           I guess that I was supposed to have looked at, mainly
           what is the staff process and issue resolution.
                       But my contention is that the staff still
           thinks they are looking at science, and that they are
           asking questions which you would ask if you were a
           referee of a journal article; show me more evidence of
           a particular point.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  That's what I always say,
           is where is the data.  Show me the data.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Fine.  But what I don't
           see is -- and it seems to be rather broad, and the
           amount of information requested is substantial.
                       What I don't see is a follow-on sentence
           at the bottom of that saying the reason that we need
           this answer is because it makes a difference here,
           here, and here, and that influences your downstream
           dose.  I don't see that connection too readily.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Let me add a little
           footnote to your fluoride discussion.  There is in
           fact, but it amounts to a lot of getters for fluoride,
           in the rare earth.  So it isn't always plutonium.  It
           may be only a tiny fraction of it does, because
           obviously the insolubility of it varies in fluorides.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Right.  Although I think
           the oxides are more stable than the fluorides in that
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Depending on the
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Yes, depending on the
           solution or in this system.  That in a very truncated
           fashion is my view of the world, a very narrow slice
           of a narrow slice.  What have I left out, Andy?  I'm
           sure that I have left out lots.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  You mean that I am supposed
           to play --
                       DR. STEINDLER:  No, but aren't you part of
           my issue resolution problem?
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, I don't see a whole
           lot of sense in me going on at any great length about
           the in-drift chemical environment which we have been
           discussing directly and indirectly since this morning
           -- and we all know that --
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, let me just make one
           comment.  Do I sense -- if I address the question,
           does it look like the staff is holding DOE's feet to
           the fire adequately so that at least in the narrow
           area of chemistry of the fuel dissolution process, the
           in-waste form chemistry, that the answers are likely
           to be correct and good enough for what is to be done,
           but they won't pass a journal article referee?
                       I think that my tentative answer is, yes,
           I think the staff has got a fair handle on what the
           system looks like, and what it ought to look like, and
           what DOE is doing in order to describe it.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, we now really are
           talking about the discussion of issue resolution key
           concerns here, which --
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Have I jumped in the wrong
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  No, it is the right place.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  But I think that's right.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  And that is my very rough
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  That's where I would call
           it, too.  I think it is a statement that we have
           discussed informally earlier, that the issue
           resolution process as it is structured doesn't really
           have much opportunity for input other than what DOE
           brings us as their answers to the issue resolution,
           and then the response that the NRC has, and who says
           I need more information, more data, and where in the
           world did you ever get that conclusion from.
                       But it is very encouraging to me that the
           NRC staff has gone outside that box, and said, for
           example, have you guys considered secondary phase --
           and this is NRC and the center -- and have you
           considered secondary phase formation, and don't you
           think it is important.
                       And DOE says, no, we haven't, and it is
           not important, and then they start considering it.
           That goes outside the box a little bit, and that is
           really not within the formal issue resolution
           structure, because it wasn't an issue.  It didn't come
                       DR. CLARKE:  It would help me, Ray, if I
           understood better what the objective of the issue
           resolution process is.  If the objective is to resolve
           issues that are on the table, that's one thing.
                       If the objective is more than that, then
           that is something else.  So, you know, from what I
           have seen, I think the issues that are on the table,
           however they got on the table -- and I am new to this
           process, do get resolved, or aren't in the process of
           getting resolved.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  They do, yes.
                       DR. CLARKE:  There is a good back and
           forth, and there is a spirited scientific exchange at
           these meetings, and I think all of that is very
                       If the process is supposed to do more than
           that, and if it is supposed to from time to time
           revisit other issues, or if it is supposed to identify
           new things, then that's something else.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, I would guess that
           it has changed over time with respect to what it did.
           I think initially there were -- that there was
           probably a flood gate of issues, and the flood gate
           was opened up, and out flowed the issues.
                       And DOE sat there and said, oh, my god,
           and it focused down after a while to where there was
           agreement by back and forth discussions between DOE
           and the NRC.  And this is my perception, and if
           anybody in the room wants to say it is wrong, please
           do so.
                       DR. AHN:  I would like to comment on the
           issues of the original process with a couple of
           examples.  One is regarding the secondary minerals.
           We discussed this subject with DOE substantially.
                       However, I don't think we need to be
           prescriptive to DOE.  DOE has the flexibility to use
           their own methods to apply for a license.  Therefore,
           as long as there current thought is conservative, or
           in other words, they don't give credit to secondary
           minerals, and not underestimate the performance
           objectives of the proposed 63, therefore, we do not
           ask in more descriptive ways for this particular
                       Regarding the radionuclide effect, even
           though it will decay away after continual failure
           substantially, still there is the possibility on the
           surface of cladding from the residual gamma ray, and
           that may end up with a nitrogen cessation and lowering
           Ph and so on.
                       In the patch exchange, we raised those
           issues and DOE agreed to analyze that.  Andy brought
           up today the Division 3 IRSR, and that IRSR included
           a background of all DOE's AMRs and PMRs, and the
           dissolution processes, and I included it, because that
           division was prepared after the issue of the
           dissolution exchange.
                       There are numerous subject concerns which
           we judge in the agreement for DOE to conduct what we
           asked them to do.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I didn't raise the point
           of secondary phase formation so much because I believe
           that DOE must have secondary phases, but to point out
           that in the NRC there is the ability and desire to
           think out of the box a little bit.
                       That they aren't constrained by this
           fairly -- what turned out to be a fairly formal issue
           resolution process at this point, and I am sure that
           has evolved to that over time with a lot of back and
           forths and agreements.
                       But now it is quite a formalized process,
           with very sharply defined key technical issues and
           subissues.  But to me it was encouraging that
           something that was not actually an issue that was
           written down that somebody recognized was introduced,
           and it suggests to me that the staff and the centers
           are thinking creatively about this thing, and they are
           willing to throw something else in the hopper if they
           see it and think it is significant, and not to be
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Ultimately, if my limited
           experience is any indication, both the staff, the NRC
           staff, and DOE, will stand in front of a Safety and
           Licensing Board Panel and defend themselves against
           the intervenors.
                       It is at that point where you find out
           -- and I assume we will learn that before that point,
           but it is at that point that you find out whether or
           not both the staff and the NRC, and the DOE, have left
           anything out.
                       Because nothing could be more embarrassing
           it seems to me than to come to a licensing hearing,
           and prepared with 10,000 pages of documents apiece,
           and have somebody from the intervenors stand up and
           say, guys, you missed an important issue, and here it
           is, and you are in trouble.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And because of that sort
           of thing, it seems to me that it would be -- that it
           is worthwhile for the NRC and the Center to
           periodically stand back.  I know that they are all
           running like crazy just trying to keep up with things,
           and they are overworked and understaffed as usual.
                       But every once in a while some time should
           be taken to stand back and say, okay, we are emersed
           in this process, but now that we have explored all
           these issues, and we have exposed our mind to
           continuing an accumulation of facts, are there any new
           things, and to just take a minute, and sit back, and
           reflect on whether or not they really have covered the
           things that they should cover.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, the Commissioners
           are certainly going to ask that of the advisory
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Yes, and that is our
                       DR. STEINDLER:  And they have a right to
           get a decent answer out of the advisory committee.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  But we are not in as good
           a position to do it as the staff is, because we are
           not steeped in the lore of the business.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  I know, because you are
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Yes, but the NRC is
           supposed to be independent.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  No, I am talking about the
           advice that you give to the Commissioners.  The
           Commissioners are going to say, you know, has the
           staff done -- and they probably care a little bit
           less, I assume, about DOE, but has the staff done a
           comprehensive job in looking at all of the necessary
           aspects of it so that they don't get blindsided when
           the intervenors stand up.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And it seems to be this
           issue that we discussed earlier, and I will come back
           to it again as being important, that from the point of
           view of credibility, taking or wrapping too much up in
           bounding assumptions, or wrapping too much up in
           conservatism, leaves a point of attack open for
                       They say that the science is not credible.
           Now, maybe this doesn't make any difference, but it is
           an argument that can be made.  This is not a
           scientific method, and it doesn't take a whole lot to
           poison people's minds, and to turn their minds, even
           though it is down a blind alley, and they want to run
           down the blind alley.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  I will have you know that
           the Atomic Safety Licensing Board Panels are not
           easily poisoned.  I've been there.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Ray, Tae Ahn has a point.
                       DR. AHN:  Please don't misunderstand the
           prescriptive or what I mention to you.  The fact is
           that in our TPSA code, we used secondary minerals in
           the distribution model, and we presented a background,
           and our base case model of spent fuel dissolution
           included secondary minerals.  However, DOE did not.
                       We did not discuss that issue because DOE
           chose a more conservative approach.  And I would like
           to inform you of that.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And I think that is very
           encouraging personally that the NRC staff has included
           things in their code that are not in the original
           code, because that demonstrates independence.
                       And one of the real questions we have been
           asked is just how independent are these codes.  Are
           they really taking different looks at the same thing,
           or are they taking the same look at the same thing.
           And the more dependence that you can demonstrate, the
           more comfortable I can be.
                       DR. AHN:  And also there is another ACNW
           comment a year ago, and because DOE chose a very
           conservative spent fuel dissolution model, they ended
           up with giving credit to cladding.  That introduced
           another system uncertainties.
                       On the other hand, we chose the realistic
           spent fuel dissolution model, and we took the
           protection of secondary minerals, and we do not need
           to credit cladding without introducing other
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  If you can get a good
           result both ways as support.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Well, let me chime in here
           about a problem that has been nagging me for a while,
           and in which I know at least one or two people on the
           staff are bothered by it.
                       And it is in the context of DOE's
           neutralization analyses, and when they "neutralize"
           the waste package, which I briefly mentioned before,
           they get fairly high doses.
                       And when the NRC in their model does
           something equivalent to that, they get doses that are
           more than on an order of magnitude lower.  And at this
           point in time, I do not see why in one case do you get
           doses up in the range of a rem when you "neutralize
           the waste package," even though it is understood that
           that is kind of an artificial process by DOE.
                       And when something similar in NRC's TPA
           code is done, and not even accounting for secondary
           phases, but just in terms of the release models and
           everything, and they neutralize the waste package, and
           they get doses in the range of 30 mill-rem, somewhere
           in that ball park.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  That doesn't give you a
           warm and fuzzy feeling does it?
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  But the question is why.
           What is different about the approach that DOE is doing
           with its model and what NRC is doing.  And it is not
           clear to me -- and I think part of the answer might be
           this way they handle diffusion, setting boundary
           values that are always zero.
                       But that may not be the answer, and I
           think that --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  That was the mechanics of
           the neutralization?  The way they do their sensitive
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  It may be, but the question
           is has DOE and NRC going through a licensing process
           from the pre-licensing process, at some point this
           will come up as an issue, with what are the
           differences between the models and why should there be
           this kind of large difference?
                       Is it some simple conservatism built into
           the DOE model that isn't built into the NRC model, or
           is there something more fundamental going on.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Do you want to address
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  In order to establish the
           credibility of that, there needs to be a better
           understanding of why those differences occur, because
           you get to the question of which is right.
                       DR. CODELL:  Richard Codell.  Well, a lot
           of individualization analyses would probably answer
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Well, I know that this has
           bothered Tim for a while.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And Tim doesn't know the
           answer either?
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  I don't know if he does or
           doesn't, but I don't know the answer.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, if it bothers him,
           he probably doesn't.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  It certainly is an area of
           concern, where you get these huge differences between
           the models which ostensibly represent the same basic
           system in slightly different ways, or maybe more than
           slightly different ways.
                       And when you do something similar with one
           model, and with the other model you get dramatically
           different results -- well, if there is an answer, I
           would like to hear it.  Up to date, I have not heard
           a real good explanation for that.
                       And at first we were, frankly, a little
           shocked when we saw these utilization analyses come
           out.  You know, why is that, and DOE has changed its
           model, and the design has evolved.
                       But fundamentally you are getting the same
           sort of dose versus time --
                       DR. SHEWMON:  DOE gets the high value or
           the low value?
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  The high, the high value.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Now, John Kessler, and
           the contractors from EPRI have just very recently
           issued their total system performance assessment, and
           they pretty much agree with the DOE results and have
           come out with the conclusion.
                       I don't know about this particular issue,
           but they came out with the conclusion that everything
           looks okay, but they are buying into the DOE's
           arguments that the waste repository is fine, but that
           is a total independent analysis.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  You are talking about
           the --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Yes, it just came out.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  But anyhow, with that
           scenario, and my scientific curiosity was tweaked a
           little bit by what aspects of how they are modeling,
           or differences between these two approaches to
           modeling in the system are driving those kinds of
                       Because at an early time frame, you are
           looking basically at the difference between something
           in the ball park of compliance and something that is
           really out of compliance.
                       And it is only because the waste packages
           last that there are other things going on, but because
           the waste packages last for long time frames, past
           10,000 years, that this really isn't an issue.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, Jim, why don't you
           launch into your presentation.
                       DR. CLARKE:  Could we take a break, as I
           have to set up my projector.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  That sounds good to me.
                       (Whereupon, the meeting was recessed at
           2:27 p.m., and was again resumed at 2:40 p.m.)
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Okay.  My name is Jim
           Clark.  I am new to Yucca Mountain and new to this
           process.  I recently joined the faculty at Vanderbilt
           University after 25 years in the private sector.
                       And my objective today is to provide an
           overview  of the radionuclide transport, and I will
           call it issues and understandings as I know it.  My
           understanding is increasing daily, and I am still at
           the connect-the-dots stage, and some of the dots
           appearing to be moving.
                       And so if I mis-speak, you know, please
           jump in.  I know that John is here, and Bill, and
           anyone, please jump in and correct me.  But basically
           I would like to just quickly overview the transport
                       And my focus will really be on the
           transport processes, and not so much the actual
           modeling.  But more of the processes and the issues.
           And then look at the key technical issue for
           radionuclide transport, the sub-issues, and the status
           of that situation.
                       And if we start out with -- and this is
           going to be hard to see, as this is from a paper in
           published literature.  And is sort of a view from
           20,000 feet of Yucca Mountain, and from the transport
           side, we have the repository right in here, and we
           have about 300 meters below the surface, and we have
           an unsaturated zone again about 300 meters.
                       And then we have a compliance point about
           20 kilometers down gradient in alluvium, and here
           under the repository, and we have volcanic units,
           which are welded and non-welded just to give a very
           simple explanation, in the unsaturated zone.
                       We have a transition point between
           volcanic units and alluvium, the location of which is
           still uncertain, but there is work being done by Nye
           County that is attempting to reduce the uncertainty
           associated with that.
                       So, the repository, unsaturated zone,
           saturated zone, and alluvium, and a volcanic saturated
           zone, and alluvium.  Andy spoke about the
           classifications that are being used for colloidal
           material, and we have had some discussion about that.
                       As I understand it, the irreversibly bound
           colloids are called true colloids, and the
           radionuclide is permanently over the time scale of
           interest, which is often long, are attached to and are
           really incorporated into the colloid.
                       So that the definition, Ray, I think
           really reflects the state of the radionuclide.
           radionuclide, and not so much the colloid; and a
           reversible bound colloid would be also what is called
           a pseudo colloid.  Here the radionuclide can partition
           between the colloid, whether it is natural or waste
                       So part of the time it is present on the
           colloid, and part of the time it could be in a mobile
           aqueous phase, or it could be transported as a
           dissolved constituent.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And I would argue that
           there is another colloid, which is a real colloid, as
           opposed to a true colloid.
                       DR. CLARKE:  I am not going to argue with
           you.  The transport assumptions maybe we should review
           quickly.  If you are an irreversibly bound colloid,
           you are transported as a dissolved solute with respect
           to advection and dispersion in the zones of water that
           are moving.
                       However, there are a couple of rules.  You
           are not permitted to diffuse into the rock matrix in
           zones where flow is fractured, controlled, and matrix
           diffusion is being considered.
                       And you can be attenuated through
           filtration processes which are being modeled through
           a retardation approach.
                       If you are a reversibly bound colloid,
           then you are transported as an IDC when you are bound,
           and as a dissolved solute when you are not.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Do you think as a colloid
           moves from an area of EH and PH ionic strength
           stability to one, where the principal is unstable, and
           then back, that that process will regenerate a
                       DR. CLARKE:  I can't answer that.  I am
           not sure how to answer that.  I think stability issues
           are being considered from the standpoint of the amount
           of colloids.
                       And I think for the remainder of this
           presentation I am just going to be showing a few
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Let me ask you a
           question, Jim.  In anything that you have run across
           did you see any discussion of what happens if during
           the transport of a colloid, however defined, is
           chemically altered by a reduction and what this does
           to the process, and whether that has even been taken
           into consideration?
                       For example, I read something that said
           humic substances in J-13 well water could affect the
           oxidation by reducing --
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Isn't that an assumption
           on the part of DOE, that there are no colloids in the
           incoming J-13 type water?
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Oh, this would be in the
           humic acid materials that are present after --
                       DR. STEINDLER:  I know, but they have
           defined them out of the system is what I am saying.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, yes, out of the
           incoming system, but out of the emulgent system where
           you get into transport processes.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  But there are no source of
           organics that they are willing to admit to.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  But it could affect
           oxidation, but there is no further discussion that I
           have seen.
                       DR. CLARKE:  My understanding at this
           point, Ray, is that if you look at the reversibly
           bound colloids, they are being handled through a
           partitioning approach, Kd, and Kd has been developed
           for americium, and that is the one that is being used
           for those colloids that would be expected to be
           reversibly bound.
                       Now, as far as the chemistry beyond that,
           I really haven't come across anything, but that
           doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, I looked at the big
           write-up on colloids, and they mention the possibility
           of there being organic acids down in the stuff beneath
           the drip.
                       But they don't say, okay, suppose we
           reduce the patched species, and we will chemically
           reduce it.  What then?  Certainly the whole picture
           changes, and with colloids that is potentially
                       DR. CLARKE:  They are maybe being looked
           at as a process, and to the extent that is being
           incorporated into the model --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  But you haven't seen it?
                       DR. CLARKE:  No, but that doesn't mean it
           isn't good.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, that's true.  There
           is so much literature on it.
                       DR. CLARKE:  And again one of my concerns
           is that there does appear to be a fair degree of
           fragmentation among the issues, and some of the issues
           are obviously interrelated and is some critical
                       The process -- it does appear that the
           objectives of the process do appear to be driving the
           reports and the format of the reports, so that you can
           in looking at an issue find those things that correct
           that issue.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Okay.
                       DR. CLARKE:  And there are process model
           points that are more comprehensive, and there are
           analytical model reports that are more focused.  But
           I haven't seen anything that goes to both points.
                       In any event, just to very simplistically
           talk about the subsurface of the model, the
           unsaturated zone below the repository consists of
           welded tops and non-welded tops, and the welded tops
           would be treated as fractured systems, with the flow
           through the fractures.
                       And the possibility of a matrix diffusion
           into the rocks and matrix.  The non-welded tops as I
           understand it are being treated more as a forest
           matrix, where there is flow through the rock matrix
           itself, with a distinction between areas which are
           zeolitic and which you would expect to have very high
           sorption and capacities in vitric areas.  And that is
           just a very simplistic review.
                       I am going to skip over to the saturated
           zone, and again this is in the book.  As I understand
           it, the saturated zone is being treated as below
           fracture control, or correction, flow and control, or
           at least everything that I have seen has indicated
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Is the saturated zone below
           the water table?
                       DR. CLARKE:  The saturated zone in the
           volcanic units, yes.  The saturated zone in the
           volcanic units is being treated as fracture flow
           control, and the saturated zone alluvium has been
           treated as such, and so we have flow in the fractures,
           and various things that can happen.
                       We have vection in the fracture defusing
           into the so-called immobile water in the rock matrix,
           and it would be an attenuation process for
           radionuclides, and we can have sorption on the
                       In principle, we can have sorption on the
           surfaces of the fractures, and we could have
           sorptions in the rock matrix.  And I think depending
           on which model you are looking at, sorption in the
           shield is included or not on that kind of a scale.
                       And when you are in the alluvium, then
           this is being handled with an effective porosity, and
           these fracture flow models are really dual-porosity
           models, and that is the current approach.
                       And you have flow through with the whole
           matrix, with the potential sorption on the surface.
           You also have advection as well.
                       So that the major attenuation processes,
           at least two of the major attenuation processes would
           be matrix diffusion and sorption.  And, for example,
           a fracture flow control domain, and if you had no
           matrix diffusion, you would have a flow moving in the
           fracture with some advection and dispersion.

                       If you have matrix diffusion, then you
           have attenuation of the radionuclides, and diffuse
           into the matrix, and the flow direction being this
           direction, and with the sorption and matrix diffusion,
           then you have a flow direction like this.  And you can
           get significant attenuation through these processes.
                       It is hard to see the flow paths, but I
           think it is considered to be pretty much coming out of
           the  repository and going to the southeast, and then
           coming back and going to the southwest, and that is
           about the predominant flow path based on not only
           hydraulic data, but in chemistry data as well.
                       I will say that in one of the meetings
           that I attended there was some concern about that, and
           there is some concern on the part of some that
           anything coming out of the repository could go deeper
           and into the saturated zone.
                       The other side of that story is that as
           you go into the saturated zone with depths, the
           vertical gradients are up.  So that would support a
           plu coming out of repository and kind of riding the
           top of the water table.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  And the gradient for what is
                       DR. CLARKE:  The vertical gradient.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  For what?
                       DR. CLARKE:  For what at different depths.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  A change of something for
           what, for something?
                       DR. CLARKE:  A change in elevation.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Is it a gravity motivated
           process; is that what you are saying?
                       DR. CLARKE:  No, I am saying that the
           force, if you will, would be upward.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Something is forcing the
           water upward through this medium, or are you talking
           about the transport or diffusion of an ion?
                       DR. CLARKE:  I am talking about the
           pressure levels of the water.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  It's either that I don't
           understand that, or it is so obvious that it is
           trivial.  Go ahead.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I have a little trouble
           with it, too.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  It is a gravity induced
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Okay.  That's what I
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Well, it is a pressure
           grade, because of the gravitational field; and if you
           go down in water, the pressure always gets higher.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  This is higher than that.
           There is a connection between the upper and lower
           rock, such that you are maintaining a higher pressure
           for the lower output.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  So one tends to permeate
           upward then?
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  Yes.
                       DR. CLARKE:  If you put welds at different
           depths and measure water levels, you will find that as
           you go down the water levels go up.
                       DR. CLARKE:  Okay.  There is a flow model
           which drives the transport model, and what is called
           the particle tracking model.  And again just an
           observation, and I am not sure what we can do about it
           in the short term, but there is a fair amount of data
           existing and data being generated through this work
           that would enable the calibration of the flow model.
                       The radionuclides are not in the system,
           and so we can't in the traditional sense calibrate a
           transport model.  We can, however, look at the
           different pieces and the different processes, and use
           laboratory and field tests to get the best definition
           of those processes, and that is the approach being
                       So the particle tracking method includes
           radionuclide transport processes of advection and
           dispersion, matrix diffusion in fractured volcanic
           units, and sorption.
                       Simulated flow paths occur in the upper
           few hundred meters of the saturated zone.  And the
           they cross the 20 kilometer fence approximately 5
           kilometers went of the town of Amargosa Valley, which
           I think is a little bit south of Highway 95.
                       Now, again, the point at which the
           volcanic units transition into the alluvium is still
           an area of certainty, and that is important because of
           the attenuation that you would see in these systems.
                       And I thought that this might be
           interesting.  Again, these overheads are taken out of
           various reports.  The total system performance
           assessment-viability assessment, TSPA viability
           assessment, this is the information that was taken.
                       The matrix diffusion was modeled through
           what is called an effective porosity, where you have
           a fracture porosity, and a rock porosity, and you work
           within that range.  But you treat the system with what
           is called a single continuum.
                       Dispersion was handled through a dilution
           factor, and the flow paths were one dimensional
           streamtubes; and if you go over to the current model,
           matrix diffusion is now being handled in what is
           called a dual porosity approach, an analytical
           solution, and dispersion being handled a different way
           as well.
                       And the flow paths from the 3-D process
           model --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  What kind of difference
           do these differences make?
                       DR. CLARKE:  Well, the affected porosity
           model is compromised at best, and it would be
           difficult to handle a mixture of compounds with this,
           and factors for each radionuclide.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I guess I was asking for
           the difference in results of the models.  I mean, does
           it change the numbers that come out?
                       DR. CLARKE:  I really can't answer that.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  The answer is yes, it
                       DR. CLARKE:  And again I would expect it
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  A lot, a little,
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  You mean between the two
           different types of models?
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Yes.
                       DR. CLARKE:  I think his correction of
           specific prior assessment; is that right?
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, you prepared the
           two, and I wanted to know if it made much difference
           which one you used, and what the answer was that you
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  It probably depends on the
           retardation coefficient that is being used.  I mean,
           when something is really retarded, you change the
           retardation values.
                       I mean, there would still be some
           difference for the same retardation values, but if
           they also used a different model and different
           retardation values, you would probably be swamped by
           the retardation changes in the retardation.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I can understand that.
           So perhaps the matrix diffusion might change the ratio
           of the materials that had different Kds.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  I am not sure what you
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, I wondered if a
           semi-analytical solution changed the ratio of those
           materials that had a high Kd, and those that had a low
           Kd from the affected porosity model.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  Right.  Yeah.  Well, if we
           ran both models with the same Kd, there would be some
           difference between the two results.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Maybe because of the
           change in the way they handle the ratio.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  Well, is the representation
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I think I am beating a
           gnat to death.
                       DR. CLARKE:  I think it is fair to say
           that this is a much better representation of the
           system, with dual porosity.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  There are a lot of
           questions about effective porosity models.
                       DR. CLARKE:  As I understand it, the
           models are different, and DOE is running its model,
           and you folks are running your model, and there are
           differences.  But you are both taking a dual porosity
           approach to a matrix diffusion.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  Right.
                       DR. CLARKE:  You are taking a kinetic
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  And we don't take much
           credit for it.  I mean, it is all driven more by the
           assumptions of what is the fractured spacing, and what
           is the retardation in the matrix.
                       I mean, those are the things that tend to
           -- and I guess I am not aware of how much we have
           looked at the difference in any perimeters between the
           two of us.  We will get to that, but the assumptions
           used in the model vary.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Correct me if I am wrong,
           Tim, but if you use an effective porosity model, and
           essentially you have some distribution of porosity,
           and you say, well, my effective porosity is blah,
                       Now, if you use some sort of dual
           continuum model, where the fractures say transit most
           of the radionuclides, and a particular sweep of those
           fractures is really good at transmitting
           radionuclides.  And an effective porosity model
           wouldn't indicate that at all.
                       It would just say, you know,
           radionuclides are being transmitted at some effective
           retardation path, and you wouldn't be able to ferret
           out a particular set of features that might transmit
           it much more quickly.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And presumably if you did
           your effective porosity calculations properly, you
           would get the same answer.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  Well, if you got your
           effective porosity based on flux, and most of the
           fluxes are fractures, you might be skewed to that end.
           I would have to work it out, but --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I think I have a better
           grasp of it now.
                       DR. CLARKE:  I'm sure that you can see
           this, Ray, but the effective porosity assumes that you
           have got porous medium at that porosity.  And this is
           a much better representation.  These models have
           evolved over the years as well, and has diffusion in
           the matrix and sorption.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Okay.
                       DR. CLARKE:  Okay.  At this point.  Let me
           just stop and share a couple of observations.  Again,
           just based on where I am in this, all of these
           attenuation processes really delay the transport.
           They really are not irreversible.  They delay the
                       And from what I have seen, I think the
           work that has been done to demonstrate whether or not
           these processes are ones that would be expected to
           occur in this system has accomplished that.  I think
           there has been a great deal of good work on both
                       The unsaturated flow meeting in
           Albuquerque focused to a good extent on matrix
           diffusion issues, and I think the data would support
           the efficacy of that process and the system, and
           similarly for sorption clearly.
                       If there are going to be issues and
           controversies down the line -- and again I think I am
           just stating the obvious here.  It is probably more
           not through these processes, and in fact attenuated
           radionuclides, and should we be looking at them.
                       And it is going to be more of a capacity
           issue, and what is the ability of the system to
           effectively attenuate the radionuclides, and to what
           extent can they do that.
                       The data are necessarily based on
           laboratory and field studies, and the laboratory
           studies do use site specific materials from what I
           have seen.  I wouldn't say that they are overly
           conservatively designed.  From what I have seen, they
           look pretty good.
                       And the field tracer studies again used
           surrogates to get information, but again I think the
           results demonstrate the process.  The question is
           going to be scaling up, and how much of the system can
           we attribute to this.
                       That strikes me that that is going to be
           a function of how well this system is characterized,
           which is never enough usually.  And so there are going
           to be some judgments about how much of this do we take
           credit for and in which region.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I presume, Jim, that
           there is a whole tremendous -- say you take a tube
           down under the repository, and there is a lot of
           sorptive capacity just within a tube straight down.
                       You are never going to challenge the
           capacity of the medium to take up all the stuff that
           it sees.  That's true, isn't it?
                       DR. CLARKE:  Well, that would be right, I
           guess, at this stage.  It really is a function of what
           goes into the system.  I think that's why this
           interface is so critical.
                       And how much is going to be released and
           when is it going to be released, and what is the
           capacity of the system to attenuate it.  If you look
           at the work that has been done, from what I can tell,
           it's not as if they don't need these natural barriers.
           That does not appear to be the case from what I have
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  What doesn't appear to be
           the case?  Are you for or against it?
                       DR. CLARKE:  Oh, no, no.  They do need to
           take credit for these, and so the issue becomes how
           much.  I mean, to me, again.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Why do you assume that there
           is enough active relevant surface?
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I didn't assume it, and
           that's my question.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Oh, that's your question.
           I thought that was a statement.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I sort of tended to
           believe that since you have 300 meters of stuff down
           through there that there is enough capacity.  But I
           don't know.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Well, it depends on what is
           there.  I mean, if it were all lined with tungsten,
           nothing would happen.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And presumably in the
           area where it is going through fractures
           predominantly, that washes out, and then it is only
           what is left that you have as a medium that has the
           sorptive capacity.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  One of the ongoing projects
           that DOE has is this -- what they call their busted
           view test, where they are using analogs, and trying to
           get a handle on the sorptive capacities and diffusive
           capacities of a formation underneath a repository
           called Calico Hills, which is a fairly -- well,
           portions of it are a fairly friable ash unit, where
           flow and transport occur through a porous medium, as
           opposed to fractures.
                       But not all of the area of the repository
           is over areas of the Calico Hills will occur.  There
           are some fraction of the repositories over an area
           where it is a harder material, and it is more vetric,
           and it has more glass in it.
                       And there would tend to be more flow
           through essentially a fracture network.  But a lot of
           the units are still fractured rock, and you are
           looking at flow through fractures.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  So the sorptive layer is
           really a fraction only of the total depth of this
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Yes.  And they build this
           into their model, and I think NRC does as well through
           having several sub-areas, or a half-a-dozen sub-areas
           of the repository, some of which to through a Calico
           Hills vitric, and some of it goes through the Calico
           Hills that can be more sorptive.
                       One of the issues is the temperature
           effects of the repository on the zeolytes, which are
           the reactive phase in that area, and the ability of
           those zeolytes to absorb the radionuclides.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And it strikes me that
           there is a lot of competition for those sites, because
           you have an awful lot of steel, and you have an awful
           lot of uranium relative to the things that you really
           want to absorb, and I don't know how much these
           competitions have been looked into, or whether the
           capacity of the reactive tube is challenged.
                       DR. CLARKE:  I haven't seen much on
           competitive sorption.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  Yes.  It is really a dilute
           amount, but for our modeling, generally when you look
           at the unsaturated zone versus the saturated zone from
           a matrix diffusion standpoint, the velocities in the
           fractures in the saturated zone are relatively slow
           compared to the unsaturated zone just based on the
                       So you have got 300 meters at most of
           saturated or unsaturated zone fractures, versus 15
           kilometers of fractures potentially, and maybe more,
           of fractures in the saturated zone, where velocities
           are slower.
                       And so for our model, as Andy knows, we
           have the ability to assimilate matrix diffusion in the
           unsaturated zone.  We don't do it.  Computationally,
           it is very taxing, and based on the travel times, it
           isn't going to have that big of an effect.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  There are just much
           saturates before you get to the bottom that who cares.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  But part of the benefit is
           totally tied to how much retardation there is.  And
           the biggest thing in the unsaturated zone that I know
           when we were looking at could we support matrix
           diffusion in the unsaturated zone was that there were
           two things that we were aware of.
                       One was Chlorine 36, and the fact that
           Chlorine 36 got down there, and matrix diffusion was
           really a strong effect, maybe you shouldn't have seen
           that.  And then Bill Murphy at the Center did a lot of
           work looking at fracture water versus matrix water,
           and he saw that there were just two completely
           distinct systems.
                       That they are just completely different
           chemistries, and once again if matrix diffusion was a
           strong influence, you shouldn't see this huge
           disparity between the fracture of water and the matrix
                       And I don't know if John -- well, I know
           that goes back 4 or 5 years, and I don't know if
           anything more has been learned from that.  But with
           that information for the user at least, there was,
           well, how much do you really want to take credit for
           it when you have got 15 kilometers of fractures and
           matrix diffusion in the sat zone, with lower
           velocities, which makes it an even stronger effect.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Well, plutonium hit the fan
           so to speak a while back because if it migrated
           further out of a test site than others.  They talked
           about it being colloidal, and the colloidal then flows
           only in the fractures, and it doesn't get caught up in
           the matrix, and it doesn't absorb, is that correct?
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  Well, it doesn't have to
           flow just in the fractures.  There should be some
           screening both in the matrix and --
                       MR. BRADBURY:  Actually, Jim said that
           there are filtration processes that DOE takes credit
                       DR. CLARKE:  Which is being handed through
           retardation.  As I see it, there are four systems in
           the unsaturated zone.  There is the fractured system,
           the welded tuff, and then there is the more porous
                       And I would agree that in the fractured
           system that you have got higher velocities, and you
           have the chlorine-36 data and you have all kinds of
           reasons not to get real excited about matrix
                       You do have the porous rock, however, and
           you would expect some attenuation there.  When you get
           into the saturates, you have a long stretch, and we
           don't know how long yet.
                       But you have got a long stretch of
           fracture flow control systems, where you have much
           slower velocities, and you have got much higher matrix
           diffusion potential and dispersion potential.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  You are getting too general
           for me.  I asked you specifically about the plutonium
           and the colloids, and why it was that it being a
           colloid all of a sudden explained the results.
                       DR. CLARKE:  I'm sorry, Paul.  I thought
           we had already answered your question, but the
           approach does permit removal or attenuation of
           colloids through a filtration process.  Colloids are
           getting hung up as they are transported through the
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Okay.  And that is in the
           saturated or the unsaturated?
                       DR. CLARKE:  That would be in both of
                       DR. SHEWMON:  And is the filtration
           different from the matrix diffusion that you are
           talking about?
                       DR. CLARKE:  Yes.  And the filtration
           process really applies just to the colloids.  The
           matrix diffusion applies to dissolved material
           soluids, something moving through the system that now
           has a concentration grading between where it is in the
           fracture and in the much lower concentration in the
                       DR. SHEWMON:  But it is diffusing along
           very fine crevices; is that right?
                       DR. CLARKE:  Yes.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  It is mechanical diffusion.
                       DR. CLARKE:  Yes.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Paul, I think the question
           that you are asking -- and correct me if I am wrong --
           is why do colloids carry stuff faster than on average,
           and --
                       DR. SHEWMON:  And the answer that I am
           getting is that they stay to the fractures pretty
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Because they tend to have
           a negative charge and the surfaces of the minerals
           tend to be negatively charged.  So that through
           something called anionic exclusion, anionic species
           tend to be excluded from these very tiny pore spaces.
                       So they tend to stay in these larger pore
           spaces where the flow rates are faster.  The amount of
           plutonium --
                       DR. STEINDLER:  They don't stick to the
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Right, they don't stick to
           the walls, and so you have a distribution of a flow
           rate, and it tends to move the stuff attached to
           colloids to the upper end of the distribution.
                       DR. CLARKE:  Right.  And if there aren't
           any velocity radiants, then the velocity is higher.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  One of the things to keep
           in mind about the migration of plutonium at a Nevada
           test site was that the specific area was a place
           called the Benum Test, and in one of the wells, they
           were able to identify plutonium by its isotopic
           signature as having come from that test.
                       It was about 1-1/2 kilometers from the
           test site.  This is in the saturated zone, and it is
           well within the saturated zone.  Actually, in a
           portion of the Calico Hills saturated zone, the
           amounts of what they call colloidal material were
           pretty small.
                       And we are dealing with large
           concentrations that are very low concentrations, and
           it wasn't just plutonium.  There were a number of
           radionuclide, and what they did was that they filtered
           the water and these particles were filtered out at
           some sized fraction, which fell within the range of
           what is called colloidal.
                       But it not only included plutonium, but
           also cesium and some other stuff.  And it was presumed
           that these were essentially natural colloids that
           these radionuclides had become attached to.
                       It has not been seen in a lot of the test
           sites, and so it has never been clear why that
           particular shot -- it was a big one.  It was over a
           megaton -- produced this effect.  But it is there and
           they did see radionuclides in this well that they
           didn't anticipate.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  And at one time I thought
           there was still some debate as to whether this
           occurred very shortly after the shock, and the
           transport.  You know, this is not a long term
           transport problem, but this occurred very quickly
           after the shock.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Yes.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  But I know that there was
           some discussion early on, but I haven't followed it
           for a while.  But no one -- well, they found it, and
           it might have been there 40 years ago, but it was
           still there.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  They just hadn't looked  in
           that well?
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  Yes.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  The group that does this at
           Los Alamos has been monitoring wells all over the test
           site for some period of time, and looking for
           migration in that.
                       And I will add that the issue of transport
           as a colloid is still open because of the way people
           measure or attempt to measure colloids.  You can
           generate artifacts with that if you don't do a really
           good job.
                       There is some work that has been done
           actually by a group that I know about, because they
           are actually oceanographers that are doing it, both at
           Savannah River and Hanford, in which species that were
           thought to be colloidal transported plutonium, was in
           fact a transport of dissolved plutonium that was in a
           more oxidized state.
                       So there are artifacts that can be
           generated through the filtration processes that one
           has to be very careful about.  Sometimes what appears
           to e colloidal transport isn't.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Thank you.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Enough already.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Those are some of the
           uncertainties --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Jim, what else have you
           got there?
                       DR. CLARKE:  Maybe I can just transition
           into the issues and sub-issues.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I would add that I do
           think that the whole question of colloids is one that
           is going to be brought up, and it is going to be a
           point in which the intervenors and citizens are going
           to grab a hold of and say what about this, and so I
           think it is an important issue.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  But you don't mean to imply
           that it isn't being dealt with?
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  No, I do not mean to
           imply that it is not being dealt with.  I mean just to
           stress the importance of it.
                       DR. CLARKE:  Okay.  The radionuclide
           transport key technical issues, and there are four
           sub-issues.  I have done nothing on sub-issue number
           four.  So we will not be talking about that today.
                       But as far as the first three sub-issues,
           the system has essentially been organized under porous
           rock, and this would be floating through the rock
           matrix, and the alluvial, which again would be treated
           as a porous medium, and radionuclide through fractured
                       Again, Tim, maybe you can help me with
           this, but as I understand it, porous rock is being
           addressed in the unsaturated zone, and the saturated
           zone is primarily being looked at, if not exclusively,
           as fractured in the volcanic units.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  In volcanic.
                       DR. CLARKE:  In volcanic, and of course
           the alluvial after that should be treated as a porous
           medium.  So that is the way that these issues are
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Do you see any gaps in
                       DR. CLARKE:  No.  I think that covers the
           system.  You could organize it differently, but I
           think that is everything.  All of these issues are
           what is called closed pending.
                       I believe we went into the meeting at
           Berkley with the first three open.  Were they all
           open, Tim?
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  Yes.
                       DR. CLARKE:  But in any event, they are
           all closed pending on it.  I thought I would just show
           a few.  It is going to be hard to see these, but I
           think --
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Everybody has a hard copy,
                       DR. CLARKE:  Okay.  Really, the only
           reason I wanted to show these was just to give you a
           feel for the kinds of things that come up in this
           issue resolution.  And it strikes me that they can be
           pretty much be organized into requests for additional
           documentation, requests for more justification.
                       And in some cases the data simply haven't
           been developed yet, which is the case with the
           alluvial, where there is an ongoing investigation to
           not only determine transitions, but also to look at
           the characteristics and other features of it as well.
                       So these tend to be the requests that come
           out of that.  For example, radionuclide transport
           through porous rock, the first one, is provide the
           basis for the proportion of fracture flow through the
           Calico Hills non-welded vitric.
                       Provide analog radionuclide data from
           tracer tests for Calico Hills at Busted Butte, which
           Andy spoke to before.  So in many cases the data are
           there.  They just need to be provided.
                       Provide the screening criteria for the
           radionuclides selected for PA.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  This just pertains to
           colloids apparently, number three.
                       DR. CLARKE:  I thought it was more general
           than that.  Are these not two separate questions; one
           is the list of the radionuclides that will be the
           model, and the other is --
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  Those radionuclides that
           can be associated with colloids.  So what DOE -- if I
           can remember correctly, what DOE agreed to do was in
           their inventory of fraction AMR they are going to
           apply the basis for screening out particular
                       And then the AMR on waste form colloid-
           associated concentration limits, they are going to
           provide their argument for why they are only focusing
           on a few key radionuclides, in terms of colloid
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Yes, that's what I read
           it to say.
                       DR. CLARKE:  And as you can see, there are
           a number of issues on the alluvial, given the status
           of that program, and to provide further justification
           for the range of effective porosity in alluvium.
                       The other thing that I should say is that
           the way these model predictions are done, at least on
           the DOE model, is that the perimeters that drive the
           flow of transport or transfer, and let's talk about
           that, are handled either by what is called bounding.
                       In other words, there may be some
           perimeters that have constant values for the region in
           which the calculation is being performed, and then
           there are a number of perimeters that are handled
                       So the distribution is set up for these
           perimeters, and this is not an uncommon way to do
           these predictions, and then the distribution of sample
           in the process.
                       It strikes me that most of the perimeters
           are handled statistically and certainly all of the
           ones that we considered sensitive to those
                       Provide a detailed testing plan for
           alluvial testing at the alluvial testing complex, and
           again these are the kinds of questions that are being
           asked and the agreements that are being made.
           And I think this kind of speaks for itself.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  You certainly don't need to
           go through each and every one of these agreements.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I think one of the
           significant things that comes out is that there are an
           awful lot of requests for trivial data and for
           documentation, which I think is sort of typical of the
           approach that is used in these issue resolution
           meetings.  NRC is always saying show us the data, and
           show us the documentation.
                       DR. CLARKE:  It strikes me that while
           other things do come up and get discussed from time to
           time, at least these meetings are very focused and
           very focused on the issues.  I am not saying that is
           either good or bad, but that is the nature of the
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, one thing that
           bothers me a little bit about this aspect of the
           process was that very often DOE will say, okay, there
           is an AMR available that discusses that, or we will
           give you one at the next meeting.
                       And that sort of leaves it hanging.  You
           aren't really dead sure that that AMR they referred to
           has really got the stuff in there, and that kind of
           bothers me.  You have to sort of take it on faith.
                       DR. CLARKE:  Well, as I mentioned before,
           the issue of the documents being generated at least to
           resolve these issues, and they are very focused on
           doing that, just resolving these issues.
                       So information is brought in from whatever
           sector it needs to be brought in from to address the
           particular issue.  One of my concerns, and really it
           may be unfounded, but one of my concerns is that the
           issues are fragmented.
                       There are a number of issues and a number
           of sub-issues, and there are some critical interfaces.
           At some point in the process, if it is not already
           being done, I think there would be a great deal of
           merit to pulling together more comprehensive -- and
           what I would call technical basis documents.
                       And which would not only deal with flow in
           the saturated zone, or radiated flow transfer, but
           would deal with source terms, and other things that
           need to be dealt with across an interface.
           I don't see that now.  It may be out there, but I
           haven't seen it yet.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  We talked about that a
           little bit, and that up to a point, that is handled in
           the building materials.  But things get so abstracted
           at that level that you aren't exactly sure that things
           really have been handled across the interface
                       DR. CLARKE:  Also, I think it would be
           helpful if it is not already being done, but the
           people working on the radionuclide transport key
           technical issues, to be up to speed on what is going
           to go into the sub-surfaces as a result of near-field
           processes, container lifetime --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Yes.
                       DR. CLARKE:  And it may be that you have
           to get to the TSPA level to get the total treatment,
           but I can't tell.  But I think there is a lot of
           synergy there, and a lot of good reasons to work
           across that interest.
                       DR. CRAGNOLINO:  I want to make a point.
           This is precisely the idea what is going to be called
           a degraded high -- and that means that all of the
           integrated parts of the evaluation of a repository are
           going to be linked together in different ways.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  But that's quite a ways
           in the future is it not?
                       DR. CRAGNOLINO:  No. It is going to be
           issued in September.  We are preparing the outline,
           and trying to focus a way to integrate it in different
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  One of the points that
           the NRC has hit on time and again is with respect to
           the total system performance assessment, because we
           don't understand it.  It is so big and so grandiose
           that we can't wrap our minds around it.
                       We have not been emersed in the details
           and so we don't have the background to bring to it,
           and which you people are steeped in, and therefore,
           what we have been saying time again and time again is
           to simplify, simplify, and it is hard to simplify
           something that is inherently complex.
                       But I guess I would say the same thing
           about an integrated resolution document; that it has
           to be understandable not only to the real experts in
           the field, but to people who have to get a warm fuzzy
           feeling when they read it.
                       And when they read it, feel that things
           are all right here, and that I understand it and it
           looks pretty good.  It is a real challenge to do
           something that way and still cover the technical
                       But if you don't do it, some of us are
           just going to keep hammering on it, whatever that
           amounts to.
                       DR. CLARKE:  I guess the other thing that
           I would suggest if it is not already out there or
           being worked on, and in response to the concern that
           Andy raised earlier, would be a blow-by-blow
           comparison of the assumptions in each of these
           different models, and the expectations as to how those
           assumptions would affect the final outcome.
                       MR. BRADBURY:  Let me give you an example.
           This figure that you put up before on the use of
           hydrochemistry and the flow path.  It is fascinating,
           because what it does is the lines, the flow lines,
           essentially connect lines of equal concentration of
           conservative constituents -- chloride, sulfate -- and
           those are the ones that I consider conservative, and
           there are other ones maybe, but maybe not.
                       And so they are saying that the
           concentrations of these constituents remain constant
           along these flow lines.  That assumption then says,
           well, forget about dissolution along the flow path.
                       It is a very big assumption; that they
           must therefore for consistency sake carry that through
           and include that assumption also in their performance
           assessment, or they don't use hydrochemistry in this
           way to delineate the flow path.
                       It is a very powerful assumption, and I am
           not sure whether they have actually thought that far.
           Well, let me put it this way.  That definite changes
           -- and that was surprising to me when it was pointed
           out this way.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, I picked that up
           from the --
                       DR. CLARKE:  Well, I ran the risk of using
           it as an example of something else, and looking for a
           good graphic that showed the flow paths as they are
           currently understand.  I know that is a controversial
                       DR. STEINDLER:  But that is a conservative
                       DR. CLARKE:  Right.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  I mean, that is very
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  No, highly, highly
                       DR. STEINDLER:  The question is whether or
           not the staff should hammer at DOE, the NRC staff
           should hammer at DOE to justify what I think all
           parties would agree is a very conservative assumption.
           And that usually gets the guy right up out of the
                       MR. BRADBURY:  Actually, I think it is
           conservative, but what if these aren't the flow paths
           then?  What if there is dilution, and Steve Hanaver
           raised this issue before.  Normally, they assume that
           there is this evolution of the composition of water as
           it moves through the rock.
                       And so this is going against normal -- the
           scientific community's normal assumptions, and so you
           might have to think different.  Well, if you have
           different flow paths, how does that impact
                       DR. CLARKE:  It is conservative from a
           dose standpoint, but if they give you the wrong
                       MR. BRADBURY:  Well, are the paths
           perpendicular to these?  I don't know if they are or
                       DR. SHEWMON:  It doesn't make a
                       MR. BRADBURY:  I don't know the answer to
                       DR. SHEWMON:  I assume that the staff's
           focus is what goes on at the 20 kilometer where some
           guy is pumping water out of that well as fast as he
                       If that is not the focus of the staff,
           then I must say that I have missed the point, and I
           wonder what the regulations are.  If that is the focus
           of the staff, then anything that reduces -- and any
           challenge to an assumption that would reduce that dose
           can be argued to be irrelevant.
                       And therefore you can approach -- if it is
           an issue resolution, you can approach it in another
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Yes, right.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  I don't know whether DOE
           argues that, and I don't know whether the legal folks
           would allow that, but I would guess that is  not a
           trivial consequence.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  I think the answer to your
           question is that if DOE has made a case that this is
           a conservative assumption, and you believe that the
           information that they presented supports that, you're
           right.  The issue is closed.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  There is no reason for us
           to challenge it.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  In technetium, they are
           using a retardation of zero, and we don't care.  I
           would argue that they are done.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And from a very practical
           point of view, that is exactly correct.  It does not
           satisfy scientifically, but it is okay.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  For us to make a decision
           based on that approach, we are confident that we can
           make a decision that will protect public health and
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Exactly.
                       DR. CRAGNOLINO:  May I raise a point?  In
           order to complete the response to that question, Dr.
           Steindler, we have adopted that criteria by inserting
           that DOE is conservative.  There is no solid technical
           basis for the assumption that conservatism --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  That is the point.
                       DR. CRAGNOLINO:  And that is in the debate
           currently for cladding, because DOE uses the criteria
           for cladding that they consider is conservative, at
           least the criteria of the solution of cladding by
           fluoride, but assuming that they are claiming more,
           and claiming that localized corrosion of cladding is
           not possible in their package.
                       They assume let's use fluoride as a
           surrogate, but the claim that that is conservative
           because it is an assumption of localized corrosion due
           to fluoride.  But it is essentially controlled by the
           ability of fluoride, and that is contradictory.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, really what you are
           doing is that you are challenging the conservative
           nature of the assumption.  Fine.  If you have some
           mechanism of doing that, that makes sense, and you
           have provided one particular case, say fine.
                       But if you don't have any reason to
           challenge that assumption, and whether or not the
           stuff actually runs down that flow path, or disperses
           and reduces its concentration, are the only two
           options that you have so far identified.
                       If somebody comes in out of the blue and
           says, hey, guys, that's dead wrong.  There is an
           underground river that this stuff drops into and
           whistles down to the guy's well, now you have got an
           assumption, or a statement, or evidence that makes
           this non-conservative.  A different ball game.  That's
           all I guess I am saying.
                       DR. AHN:  However, DOE agreed to analyze
           the established --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  The reason they agreed to
           it was because he followed it.
                       DR. AHN:  That is one way of doing it.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And what you wonder about
           is what hasn't somebody thought of.  We have Gustavo
           in this area, but how about some of these other areas?
                       DR. CRAGNOLINO:  I think this is a general
           problem that we have to confront.
                       DR. AHN:  We have a list that has been
           identified containing the --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, for example, the
           kind of figure that exemplifies the point of what
           happens with that is the effect of lead on Alloy 22,
           and granted that things are way out of reason, the
           conditions under which they ran these experiments, but
           it was something that wasn't thought of.  It was lying
           out there.
                       DR. AHN:  The current DOE position is to
           reopen whenever we identify new things.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I realize that, but it
           bothers me because we are drawing on a limited pool,
           with specific areas, and what are you going to do.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  One quick thing, because
           this gets to one of the things that you were saying
           about the transparency traceability, which is clearly
           a big issue for us also.  The challenge to write this
           in a simple form is hard.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  It is a big challenge.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  And I don't know how much
           of the TSPA-SR you have read.  I mean, it is a fairly
           thick document.  And having read some of it, I think
           that DOE has done a very good job of trying to pull
           out and distill from all the AMRs that they reference
           what are the key ideas.
                       And in addition, in terms of what have
           they missed, I think they have given other evidence of
           why I should believe this approach, and why this
           approach is correct.  They have cited other evidence
           from analogs and other information throughout there.
           And I have not read it cover-to-cover.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I have not read it
           either, Jim.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  Some areas may be better
           than others, but I guess for the committee it is
           useful to read that.  But having said that, I would
           say that I have been doing nuclear waste for 20 years.
           It takes me a long time even to read 10 pages of it.
                       I have to really think about is being
           said.  It is a slow process.  That is a big damn
           document, and even for someone who is -- well, I have
           done nuclear waste as I said for a long time, and it
           is a difficult thing to read through.
                       And I don't know in terms of -- well, I
           think they have put a tremendous amount of effort in
           information there.  But anyone who thinks they can
           read it quickly, I don't know if anyone would be able
           to do that.
                       And therein lies the challenge.  I don't
           know if you can distill it more than that.  I just
           don't know.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Yes, that is the
                       DR. CLARKE:  So this has the elements in
           the document that I was describing.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  It will be interesting to
           get different people's reactions, and I would say it
           will take 2 to 4 months before some has read it from
           cover to cover.  Now here are my comments.
                       But tangentially I am impressed and
           relatively happy about what they have attempted to do.
           I am sure that there are areas where we have
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, it sure looks
           formidable.  I will tell you that.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  But there is a lot of good
           information that they have distilled.
                       DR. CLARKE:  It looks a lot smaller.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Gustavo, did you have
           something else?
                       DR. CRAGNOLINO:  Well, it was with respect
           to the comment that you made about the connection
           regarding led.  And there was some discussion going on
           this morning regarding oxidation energy --
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Going back to what the
           people from Nevada brought in, or Catholic University,
           you are saying that is a high activation energy
           process, and so below a hundred degrees C, or below 80
           degrees C, it would go an awful lot slower?
                       DR. CRAGNOLINO:  We don't want to take
           this for granted at the present time without further
           examination, but this is the way that you bound.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Ray, let me change the
           subject completely if I can, but a general discussion.
           I have something that maybe you wrote.  I don't know.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  What is it?
                       DR. SHEWMON:  It is the chemical
           environment on the waste package.  Anyway, it's here.
           And it says that relative humidity, and when relative
           humidity exceeds the critical concentration, 80
           percent, we consider that corrosion is going to occur
           on the waste package.
                       The last thing on the page says the
           composition of the water contacting the waste package
           will not change significantly because of chemical
           interaction with it.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  That is a DOE statement.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Fine.  But that is what
           offends me, is that the gas that the water all comes
           in through the vapor, and that keeps corroding, and
           the corroding nature producing ions, and there is no
           place for these to go.
                       But they can't change the composition of
           the liquid, which is silly.  It has to saturate all
           the way.  So it is conservative, but wrong.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  But it is silly, yes.  Is
           that what I put in dark print there?
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Yes.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I bolded that.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  I hadn't come across it, and
           maybe that is the way that the cookie crumbles in this
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, I don't think this
           world is scientifically any different than the world
           that you live in.  But something has occurred to me,
           and I don't know whether it is real or not.
                       But there is a continual update of these
           documents, and there is a continual rewriting, and
           they dig out more information, to a large extent
           pushed by NRC for more supporting data and more
                       And they do this piece-wise, and I am not
           sure how well or how often everything has gone back to
           square one, and all these things are put together.
                       Now, this is an integrated thing, which
           itself will be a transitory document, because there
           will be a lot of stuff coming in after you write this
                       So, I am not sure whether after the pieces
           of the puzzle are joined together like this from one
           part of what happened to another part, and then they
           get dislodged maybe by some new information.
                       DR. CRAGNOLINO:  Well, let me make a point
           since we are having a dialogue.  An example was made
           about corrosion, and the critical factor controlling
           the life of a waste package containing Alloy 22
           doesn't have any date.
                       Therefore, they put together a bunch of
           experts like people that are in this room, and they
           offer their distribution of corrosion rate.  So they
           have a group of people who have spread the rate of
                       Now, we have to recognize that even though
           there are critical comments about the way that the
           corrosion rates are measured, at least they are
           reported and supported by current information.
                       It is our responsibility to be very
           objective in analyzing this, and this is what allows
           us to come to this agreement, because the issues are
           much better defined now.  And we can focus on very
           certain narrow issues, but are they issues that allow
           the program to move forward.
                       If we resolve these issues, we are in a
           different stage, and we can say, well, this has a
           certain impact, and we can move forward.  But I think
           that this is the type of situation that we have to
           recognize and we have to be astute and apt in
           identifying what are the problems, and not believing
           that we are much more clever than the other side of
           the fence.
                       DR. DAM:  I am Bill Dam from the NRC
           Staff, and I wanted to respond to a few things that I
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Have you got a list there
           about three pages long?
                       DR. DAM:  Not too long, but in terms of
           requesting more documentation, and also your statement
           about colloids are a very important issue, I just
           wanted to highlight to the committee working group
           that in the information Jim handed out on page 7,
           there is an agreement that we came up with at DOE, and
           in number seven we said that they should provide
           sensitivity studies to test the importance of colloid
           transport parameters and models to performance for
           unsaturated and saturated zones.
                       Basically what happened at the Busted
           Butte test was that they weren't able to get their
           microspheres, which are the articles that they were
           using, they weren't able to move, and so now they
           don't have any data for looking at colloids in the
           natural unsaturated system.
                       So one of the things that we requested was
           that they look into doing a test such as that Alcove
           8/Niche 3, where they could inject microspheres, or
           other colloidal material.  We gave them the option of
           maybe considering that.
                       We can't be prescriptive, but we just gave
           them ideas on how to proceed, and then you can see
           that we requested that information by this month.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Physically can you make
           polystyrene particles that are submicron?
                       DR. DAM:  Yes, they are using them in
           different sizes.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  They are typically used
           to measure deficiency of filters.
                       DR. DAM:  So the point that I was trying
           to make is that when we request more documentation,
           often times we are trying to request information that
           they maybe weren't planning to provide, or information
           that will get them to do an additional analysis that
           will be given to us in a future report.
                       And in this case it is going to be a
           letter report to us right away to tell us if they are
           going to be able to evaluate this technique.
           Secondly, they still have not given us a very good
           adequate justification for using the microspheres as
           analogs for colloids, and you will see our agreement
           number eight.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I am not crazy about the
           idea either to tell you the truth.
                       DR. DAM:  And it is interesting, because
           that agreement, which deals with C-wells, which is in
           the fractured saturated zone, also applies to their
           current testing of alluvial tracer s, which is in the
           alluvial material where they are using microspheres.
                       So there is a lot there in those
           agreements that I just wanted to make the committee
           aware of, and going back to the statement that
           colloids are a very important issue, and it will be
           brought up by intervenors and other people, we are
           doing some things about that.
                       We have had discussions, and we had a
           conference with the American Geophysical Union last
           spring, where we discussed tracers and brought in
           quite a few presenters to give talks about their work
           on that.
                       And there is another session being
           considered and proposed for the fall of 2001
           specifically on colloids, and we are also getting in
           speakers to come in to the office and talk to us about
           bringing us up to speed from other sites, such as in
                       So we are trying hard to get up to speed,
           both on the science and understanding the mechanisms,
           and understand DOE's modeling approach.  It is
           interesting that we heard at the meeting that colloids
           are the greatest uncertainty in TSPA.  So it is
           something that we are taking quite seriously.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  I think you should.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Yes.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Are they the greatest
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  It is more of a
           perception thing than it is a scientific thing.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  So if the uncertainty is
           never resolved, then it won't make all that much
           difference; is that what you are telling him?
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Except to the
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Except to the intervenors.
           Well, but I mean --
                       DR. DAM:  Well, I think that is important
           to -- for instance, the Benum test that I mentioned,
           we need to pin down the mechanisms for the transport,
           and was it induced by the blast.
                       And the purpose of having these kinds of
           meetings, technical meetings, is to separate the
           perceptions from the science, and try to give what the
           hard facts are.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  But DOE has analyzed
           colloids, and it doesn't seem to be a significant
           contributor relative to other things, like technetium,
           and --
                       DR. STEINDLER:  And so I guess my question
           continues to be if that is true, and I have no reason
           to believe it is not, why spend resources trying to
           fuss about colloids?  It will take one great deal of
           effort to take that Nevada test site information and
           try either experimentally or by having another look at
           existing data to try and unravel how that plutonium
           traveled 1.3 kilometers in 30 years.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And that is a valid
                       DR. STEINDLER:  My question really is why
           is the staff pushing for that?
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  Well, here is a case -- I
           mean, I don't know -- well, I will go with my memory,
           and that DOE is the one who brought this up  more than
           we have.  They brought up colloids as a problem that
           they were looking at.
                       We actually don't have it in our PA model.
           They brought it up and they put it in, and then they
           are giving this information as to how to represent it.
           Well, if you are going to bring it up, then --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And you have to deal with
           it, yes.
                       DR. DAM:  And then there is TSPA, and it
           does make a difference on it, in terms of dust.
           Plutonium, colloids, do have an impact on dust.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Some, small.
                       DR. DAM:  It all is very small.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And it is perceptible.
           Why don't we turn our attention now just for the last
           little time here on defense-in-depth and multiple
           barriers issue.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  It's your turn to be on the
           hot sat, Tim.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  One of the sort of basic
           questions that comes to my mind -- and I don't expect
           anybody in this room to answer it, but how many
           barriers constitute defense-in-depth?  What is
           expected?  Are two enough?
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  Absolutely.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, there is the
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Okay.  Anything else you
           want to know?
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  I think basically that one
           is engineered and one is --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  One is natural
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  Yes, and I think the rule
           is very explicit in terms of multiple barriers.
           Defense-in-depth is really a broad philosophy for the
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  It is a bigger issue.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  And we would argue that
           Part 63 encompasses defense-in-depth.  But in terms of
           multiple barriers, they are required to demonstrate
           that they have one engineered and one natural today.
                       Obviously drafted rules at the Commission
           could change that, but if you looked at the proposed
           rule, the intent was one natural and one engineering.
           If they do more, fine.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Provided that both or
           those independently provide protection.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  Well, I am not sure what
           you mean by independently provides protection.  They
           are not intended to be redundant.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  There is not much depth
           if either one taken alone doesn't meet the standard.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  We have never said that it
           is redundancy.  There is nothing in the proposed rule
           that says you need to meet our regulation with only
           natural or only engineered.
                       The only statement made is that they both
           have to -- and I will caveat it and put in this word,
           is to have capability to either impede the movement of
           water, or radionuclides.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Then that is an
           inadequate rule isn't it?
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  Well, it depends on your
           perspective.  I will go back and check, but I don't
           believe we got any questions to the effect or comments
           to the question that the barriers should be redundant.
           I could be wrong on that.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Gee, somebody missed the
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  We did not offer that, and
           we tried to be fairly explicit that it was not
           intended to be redundant barriers.  Now, you may
           disagree with that, and that's okay.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, what do you think?
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  I don't think redundancy is
           required.  I support what the proposed rule requires.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  So if one is scratched
           and the other one doesn't meet the standard, it is
           still okay?
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  Well, if one barrier was
           removed, and --
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Or so diminished that it
           doesn't do any good.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  Well, they have to both act
           as barriers, okay?  I mean, they have to have a
           natural and engineered barrier, and they both have to
           have the ability to act as that.
                       Because I will maintain that one of the
           things that -- well, if you had a 10,000 year waste
           package and a 10,000 year compliance period, that does
           not mean that you are relying a hundred percent on the
           waste package.
                       Yes, you are getting a zero dose, and you
           are getting a zero dose because nothing got out of the
           waste package.  But the natural system still has come
           capability that didn't disappear because the waste
           package didn't fail.  And it has to provide something.
                       DR. DAM:  No one barrier can have undue
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  But if failure of a barrier
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And you only have two.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  -- in what I will call
           "unacceptable doses," you would have a problem.  But
           unacceptable doses is not 25 in my mind.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  It is a hundred or 500,
           depending.  That's the rule.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  No, the rule does not
           define what is an acceptable dose, and I think that is
           left at the discretion of the commission.  Some people
           would say a rem is not an unacceptable dose.
                       But there is no specific number or time to
           local barriers.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Is the drip shield
           redundancy, or layers of defense on a waste package
           that is already good for 10,000 years?
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  It sure looks like
           redundancy in terms of water.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  I am just trying to get the
           idea whether redundancy is two identical pumps, when
           one will do it, and they don't have to be identical to
           be redundant?
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  Well, we have not claimed
           that the repository has to be redundant, and in fact
           the preamble to the proposed rule did a pretty good
           job of -- there might have been a time when the
           commission set up sub-system requirements in the old
           rule, the waste package lifetime, and throw in travel
           time, and release.
                       And there was a hope that these were
           independent barriers, and I think that in 1980, yes,
           that was a feeling.  As time went on and you started
           analyzing the system, the repository system more, I
           think people realized that these really aren't
           independent barriers.
                       They aren't redundant, and there is --
           well, unlike, say like a reactor, where you could put
           in two pumps, and this one fails and this one will
           kick in, we have got a waste package that is dependent
           on the natural system.
                       The environment that it is in is certainly
           related to its corrosion, and the same thing with the
           drip shield.  Now, the drip shield waste package, I
           guess you can sort of look at it and say there is a
           measure of redundancy between the two.
                       But the multiple barrier requirements  is
           not a requirement for redundancy.
                       DR. SHEWMON:  Okay.  You have answered the
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Isn't EPA's position that
           you can't exceed 50 MR per year at the site boundary
           and not pore for water?
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  That is their proposal.  It
           is not final yet.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  If that is true, then it
           is not up to the NRC to say, okay, it can be anything
           we decide it is.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  Well, no.  In terms of
           compliance, and in terms of multiple barrier
           requirements, let's say that DOE did an analysis,
           where they -- right now under the proposed rule, you
           need to identify the barriers, and you need to
           describe their capability, and give the basis for
           their capability.  That is the multiple barrier
                       Now, let's say that DOE does an analysis
           to give information to the commission as to how
           barriers perform and will neutralize the waste package
           and calculate the dose.  Let's say it is 150
           milligrams when they do that.
                       Right now there is no quantitative
           requirement to say that it has to meet whatever the
           dose limit is, whether it be 15 or 25.  Here is what
           happens when all the waste packages fail at T-zero.
           Is that good enough?
                       Right now I think it is a subjective
           decision for the Commission to look at, and that's
           what I meant.  There is not necessarily a quantitative
           requirement in the proposed rule as to what -- well,
           there are no numerical goals for what constitutes a
                       We did get criticism on that and primarily
           Bob Buettner, who said how does DOE know they are
           done.  You need to give them something so that they
           know that is a barrier.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I think I agree with Bob.
                       MR. BRADBURY:  Tim, my understanding is
           that the amount of the contribution of a barrier
           doesn't mean that you have to get it done at 25 or 15,
           but you have to show that he dose was reduced by a
                       So you are saying it is up to DOE for it
           to define whatever is defined as natural or barriers,
           and show me the relative contribution of that
           individual barrier, and then the TSPA, so me the
           overall contribution of the combined engineered and
           natural barriers keeping the dose below the dose
           limit, which is 15 or 25.
                       So, for instance, you can see the natural
           barrier alone knocks out all the short radionuclides.
           So 99 percent go just on natural barriers.  So it is
           up to the engineered barriers to be designed to take
           care of that one percent.
                       In doing so, it has to be so robust that
           it also independently takes care of the other 99
           percent.  But the contribution is still there from the
           natural barrier, number one, of knocking out the 99
                       And even with the remaining one percent
           delay and all this other amplifying the benign
           environment to design again for the engineered
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, there seemed to be
           opportunities for quite a few barriers, chemical
           barriers, to back up all these other barriers.  And
           there is a great depth of barriers possible.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  And DOE is required, I will
           maintain in the rules, to where they have to identify
           the barriers.  In their performance assessment
           calculation, they have to identify the barriers that
           are contributing or have the potential to contribute
           to a decreasing dose.
                       They can't, for example, say, well, we
           will just count on the drip shield and our engineered,
           and the alluvium as our natural.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Those are two.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  Those are two, but even
           though our waste package is lasting for 120,000 years,
           we are not going to count that.  Well, the fact that
           the waste package lasts for 120,000 years is a
           significant barrier, and they have to identify that.
                       So anything in their PA calculation that
           has the potential to have a significant influence on
           performance is barrier and they have to identify it.
           Now, we don't require them and say, gee, we think you
           are going to get a lot of retardation in the invert,
           and include that.
                       But they don't have to, but if it is in
           their Ph calculations, they have to identify those
           things like that.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  So if they decided just
           not to put in the drip shield, then they would fail?
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  Sure.  It is what they are
           taking credit for in their PA calculation.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Well, I can see why they
           don't want to get into these chemical factors much
                       DR. STEINDLER:  I do have to ask the
           question reduce those from what?  When somebody says
           reduce, you have got to show that it reduces the dose
           from what?
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  From what it would be
           without it.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  From what it would be
           without it, but if you are in a geologic disposal
           area, it is difficult to eliminate the geology.  I
           mean, otherwise you are in the business of saying,
           well, my waste package is sitting on top of the
           ground.  Things get pretty silly is what I guess I'm
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  Well, we don't require that
           type of calculation in the proposed rule, and it is
           what is the capability and what is the basis.  So I
           would maintain for the geology that you could go to
           the alluvium and look at Kds.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Then let me ask the
           question differently, and I couldn't remember what he
           answer is if there was an answer to it.  Do you
           require independence?
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  No.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  You do not require
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  No.  In fact, we said the
           barriers are not truly independent.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  They don't have to be
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  Well, we don't think they
           are.  They can't be, because, for example, the waste
           package is totally dependent on the environment that
           the natural system creates for it.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  But that is a very broad
           description.  The waste package is pretty independent
           from the Calico Hills, unless you believe that water
           is going to rise.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  Yes.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  So if you call the Calico
           Hills one of a series of defense-in-depth barriers,
           those are independent.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  Yes, but --
                       DR. STEINDLER:  The Commission has
           required in the area of functional criticality in the
           case of at least facilities in the field cycle, three
           independent separate events.
                       So the whole notion of nested safety is a
           long term notion in the Commission's general
           philosophy, unless they have changed them in the last
           few years, and I haven't paid attention.
                       I would be startled if independence in
           that sense is not a requirement.  Otherwise, it
           doesn't make a whole lot of sense frankly to require
           a whole series of defense-in-depth, a set of nested
                       If I can knock them out with one event,
           what have I got?  I mean, the intervenors will cut you
           to ribbons and should I think.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  Well, we did not try to
           prescribe any type of independence, redundancy, or
           anything to the multiple barriers other than looking
           at engineered and natural, and just describe for us
           the barriers that you have in your calculation.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  I can remember when Mel
           Napp gave us a lecture about a committee, and gave us
           a lecture about the role of barriers.  Basically, his
           argument was you have got to have them, because who
           knows, there may be something that goes wrong with one
           that you haven't thought of.
                       And so our comeback was that we're smart,
           and so is the staff, and they have thought of
           everything.  He didn't buy that.  So in that sense
           independence is a requirement if you haven't thought
           of it.  But that is an observation and I am not trying
           to argue the issue one way or the other.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  I think the closest that we
           have come to it is in the subpart on technical
           criteria, and we talk of that you are looking at
           multiple barriers to provide a measure of resilience
           to the repository.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Yes.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  But there is no explicit
           statement that they have to be independent.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Do you use the term of
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  No.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Good, because there is a
           big argument about whether that makes any sense at
           all.  It is a thousand year ground water travel time
           turned out to be kind of laughable when you are
           talking about what travels.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  Yes.  Then we had a 300 to
           a thousand year waste package lifetime, and if you
           look at it now --
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, there was a lot of
           faith involved that geology in fact would do something
           for you.  And geology doesn't do quite as much for you
           as you thought.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  And defense-in-depth
           incorporates non-scientific things, too, if you really
           explore what it means, you know.  It could be part of
           your organizational structure and the way that you
           have got things set up.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Well, that wasn't allowed
           I don't think.  Defense-in-depth generally involved
           technology, or technological criteria more than
           anything else.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  Well, I think since the
           white paper came out on defense-in-depth from the
           Commissioner, I think we have tried to look at Part 63
           and how there are the elements of defense-in-depth,
           and I think part of it, for example, from a mitigation
           standpoint, there is a requirement that they have to
           do post-closure monitoring.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  Yes.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  And part of that is a
           mitigation measure, and that you are going to put up
           a system for perpetual care and monitoring of the site
           by DOE and can we rely on it?  No.  But there are
           certain things like that that have an element of the
           broader context.
                       DR. STEINDLER:  It is my personal view
           that the post-closure monitoring order on 300 to a
           thousand year life package, and a thousand year ground
           water travel time, in terms of ethicacy, and of giving
           me warm and fuzzy feelings.
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Again, it is a question
           of did you anticipate everything.
                       DR. MCCARTIN:  Of course, we can embrace
                       CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I think we are getting to
           the end of the string here.  Tomorrow morning we will
           begin again at 8:30, and tomorrow morning will be
           largely a bull session.  We are just going to kick
           things around, and probably try to decide on what the
           format of the content of a letter might be, and what
           kinds of things we should include.
                       We will not discuss specifically what we
           are going to include, but exactly how we should
           structure the letter, and what things we should cover.
                       DR. CAMPBELL:  We do have some discussion,
           a couple of facts.  I don't intend to really go into
           TSPA, because as some of you have seen, this is a lot.
                       And in fact what I have kind of pulled out
           and talked about today are really things that I have
           been pulling out of TSPA and maybe going into AMR.  I
           think we need to talk about a couple of effects.
                       One of the things that came up earlier was
           how all of this discussion relates to the issue
           resolution process and I sent them to you guys, but
           you probably didn't drag them with you, and that is
           the summary highlights of the three main tech
           exchanges that impact what we are talking about.
                       One is the container life and source term,
           and I am going to leave these with you guys just to
           help you, Evolution of the Near-Field Environment, and
           Rad Transport.
                       What these do is to at least give you --
           you know, take a look at them and see if there is --
           well, given your particular concerns or issues that,
           one, has it been addressed by the staff, or two,
           hasn't it been.  We are adjourned.
                       (Whereupon, the meeting was adjourned at
           4:39 p.m., to reconvene at 8:30 a.m., on Thursday,
           February 22, 2001.)


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