Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste 125th Meeting, March 22, 2001
Official Transcript of Proceedings
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
Title: Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste
Docket Number: (not applicable)
Location: Rockville, Maryland
Date: Thursday, March 22, 2001
Work Order No.: NRC-125 Pages 145-191
NEAL R. GROSS AND CO., INC.
Court Reporters and Transcribers
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(202) 234-4433. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
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125TH ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON NUCLEAR WASTE MEETING
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MARCH 22, 2001
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The ACNW Committee met at the
Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Two White Flint North,
Room T2B3, 11545 Rockville Pike, at 1:03 p.m.,
DR. JOHN GARRICK, Chairman, presiding.
DR. JOHN GARRICK, Chairman
DR. GEORGE M. HORNBERGER, Vice Chairman
MR. MILTON LEVENSON, Member
DR. RAYMOND WYMER, Member
. ACRS STAFF PRESENT:
DR. ANDREW C. CAMPBELL
DR. JOHN LARKINS
RICHARD K. MAJOR
NAIEM S. TANIOUS
AGENDA ITEM PAGE
Presentation by Naiem S. Tanious . . . . . . . . 149
Proposed Revisions to 10 CFR Part 71,
"Packaging and Transportation of Radioactive
CHAIRMAN GARRICK: All right. The meeting
will come to order. This afternoon we are going to
get a briefing on the proposed revisions to 10 CFR
Part 71, Packaging and Transportation of Radioactive
The committee member that has the lead on
matters having to do with this topic is Milt Levenson,
and so I will let you lead the discussion, Milt.
MR. LEVENSON: Well, this topic is of
interest to the community and in two directions. One
is from a standpoint of consistency in things which
are safety based, but there is a very practical reason
why compatibility is important.
Currently, we have a strange situation
where fuel can be shipped half way around the world,
and land in San Francisco, be transshipped to Idaho.
They unload the container, find out that they made a
mistake and it didn't belong there. It belonged in
And if they reload it in the same
container, they can't ship it on anymore in the U.S.,
and these are some of the odd things that we have to
deal with in the real world.
So every effort or any undertaking to make
the IAEA standards and the NRC standards as -- if not
fully compatible, as compatible as possible, I think
is of interest to the committee. And with that, we
will turn it over to our speaker.
CHAIRMAN GARRICK: Introduce yourself and
your position for the record.
MR. TANIOUS: Yes, my name is Naiem
Tanious, and I work in the Industrial Medical and
Nuclear Safety Division in NMSS. And the branch we
are in, the rule making and guidance branch, we do the
rule making for NMSS.
And we basically work with the other
divisions, assemble the technical information into our
rule package, and get it circulated and reviewed by
the NRC offices, and then give it to the Commission.
Our partners in this effort is the Spent
Fuel Project Office, and what we affectionately call
the Fab 5. SFPO gives us the technical input for the
You have had a chance to see the FRN. It
is a rather large rule with a large number of issues,
and we had very little time to assemble this rule.
Most of the work was done between September and
November of last year.
I should also say that the transportation
group, people who review transportation packages and
approve designs, licensing actions, are in SFPO, and
they are the ones who deal with that, with certificate
holders and licensees every day.
Before I begin, I would like to say a few
words about the Part 71, the NRC, and DOT. We in DOT
co-regulate the transportation of radioactive
materials in the United States, and the
responsibilities between the two agencies is divided
along the level of activity in the package.
If the package is Type A, a certain level
of activity, and below that, that's DOT's
responsibility; and when it is Type B and Fissile,
that is NRC's responsibility. And Part 71 mostly
deals with Type B and Fissile.
The other thing that I would also like to
mention here is that the rule covers a large
population of packages, from small pharmaceutical type
packages for medical applications, to the Type B
packages, to Fissile material packages, and to of
course spent fuel, and the new dual purpose cast,
which is a new package that is now being approved.
Let's go to the first slide. This is an
overview of the whole presentation which I plan to
give in the next 40 minutes or so. The scope of the
Part 71 Rule as you mentioned in your introduction is
that we try to stay compatible with the international
It has been about every 10 years that the
IAEA revises its regulations, and we revise our Part
71, and DOT, of course, revises their 49 CFR at the
same time that we do.
So it has been the practice in the past
that every time we revise Part 71 that we do it
concurrently with the DOT. This effort in this
particular division of the Part 71 is based on
directives from the Commission.
I am looking at my notes here and we had
several SRMs telling us how to go about doing this
work. We had an emergency -- there is an SRM, Section
99-200, which basically told us to roll in the
unintended economic impact of the -- well, to give you
a little background.
We had an emergency final rule a few years
ago when a license discovered that a mix of brillium
oxide with enriched uranium can cause criticality in
What made this thing peculiar that it was
approved under a Part 71 provision that it really does
not require NRC review, and so we had that emergency
rule. It was adequate and it did take care of the
But then we had after that from the public
that it was too much of a fix. There was a lot of
unintended economic impact on water moderated type
shipments. Not the ones that have the special
So the Commission in this SRM told us to
revise Part 71 and this general license provisions,
and these exemption parts, the various sections in
this fissile material exemptions. And also that we
were about to embark on revising Part 71 to make it
compatible with the IAEA.
And that we would address both in the same
rule. The next SRM was SRM M9911109A, which was
directing the staff to engage the stakeholders to our
rule making activities, meaning to discuss the
proposed rule or rule making plan in public meetings
before we proposed the rule.
There was another one, SRM M00211, which
told us to do a comparison between Part 71 and ST-1,
which is this document. That is the latest IAEA
regulations, and pick up the most significant
differences which we would be addressing in this rule.
I guess my second bullet here is that I
will give you a little bit on where we stand on the
rule, the current status of this rule. Right now it
is down to the Commission, and it has been released to
the public. I will give you a summary of the general
public comments that we had.
We had three meetings last year, and we
issued Part 71 issues paper, and that issues paper
basically summarized 17 of these issues for the public
that we wanted comments on.
We had one meeting here downstairs in
August, and we had two meetings in September in
Oakland, California, with the intent to solicit public
comments, and to get public input before we write the
And our schedule called for delivering the
proposed rule on March 1st of this year. And after
this, I will go through some of the specific issues,
and briefly describe the issue, and give you the
staff's position on the proposed NRC position.
As you stated, and as I stated earlier,
this rule is to make Part 71 compatible with TS-R-1,
or ST-1, the same name, the same document essentially;
and to bring Part 71 regulations to the international
standards where applicable.
There were a number of other changes that
the Commission and management here wanted to do, and
these were eight other changes, and that is my next
bullet. So we have a total of about 11 IAEA issues,
and we have 8 NRC initiated issues.
I should mention here that we had a
petition for rule making for the double containment
requirement in 71-63, and that was under
consideration. And it was decided before we started
writing the issues paper to roll that in as well. So
we had that as one of the NRC initiated changes.
And of course the further revision of the
general license provisions for the fissile materials
for the unintended economic impact. We used the
enhanced public participation process, which was
directed by the Commission in one of the SRMs.
We had the three public meetings as I
mentioned, and we established a website, and the three
CHAIRMAN GARRICK: What do you mean by
MR. TANIOUS: That is over and above the
regular process where you engage the public via
publishing the petition, or advance notice of a
proposed rule making and the like, and get written
This is more like holding a meeting and
getting verbal comments, and recording all of that,
and also get comments on the website.
CHAIRMAN GARRICK: Oh, I see. Is that a
standard NRC descripter?
MR. TANIOUS: I believe it is.
DR. LARSON: Yes, lately it is. It is
sort of a facilitated meeting. They started those
probably several years ago.
MR. TANIOUS: It is a facilitated meeting,
that is correct, yes.
DR. LARSON: And it costs more money, and
that's why the Commission tells the staff when to do
CHAIRMAN GARRICK: Enriched.
MR. TANIOUS: Enriched is right. Thank
you. Part of the process like I said was that we
established a website under NMSS materials, and we
announced the public meetings and invited the public,
and it was a rather involved process, where we have
the meeting recorded, and put the transcript of the
meeting on the website, and provide summaries, and
also put them on the website.
And all the comments that we received,
written comments, are also placed on the website. And
I think I already covered my last bullet on this
One of the SRM requirements, the last SRM
that we received, giving us the deadline of March 1st,
was to keep the Commission informed of our activities
via briefing the Commissioner's TA's, and we made
comments or copies to the Commissioner's TA's, and
also gave them a briefing back on December 18th.
Let's go to my next slide. The current
status of this rule, I think we kind of passed that
first bullet. We delivered the proposed rule to the
Commission, and the EDO gave it to the Commission on
March 2nd of this year.
That is FRN if you had a chance to see or
review the package. The package is a rather large
package that has the FRN, which is some 300 pages. We
also prepared the draft RA, and an draft EA, to
support the proposed positions of the NRC.
The draft RA, and I will say a few words
about the draft RA, as it is qualitative mostly, but
the conclusion on most of the 19 issues is that there
is no significant cost impact from adopting these
IAEA, or at least the ones that we adopted.
I should also mention that I have -- that
I will go through the positions in a minute, but I
think we have a table that may be in your package
which summarizes the whole rule, which tells you which
positions we have taken on any one issue or all.
As far as the EA, the same thing. The
changes will not cause a significant environmental
CHAIRMAN GARRICK: Now do the ones that
are not adopted, is that a final issue, or is that
just a timing issue, or not applicable, or what does
MR. TANIOUS: I think I could safely say
-- and I will invite SFPO to make a comment, but I
would say that issue number one, for example, I think
for the foreseeable future that is final.
CHAIRMAN GARRICK: So you are not going to
go to the international system of units?
MR. TANIOUS: Well, we would like to stay
with the dual system because that is the Commission
policy. All the comments that we had in the public
meetings are against this. It is really a foolish
It caused a lot of problems, because we
all think in the English units, and I will get into
more discussion on this later, but I don't see us
going for the CSI units in any near term. Of course,
we are complying with the Commission policy here.
But Type C, perhaps. It is possible in
the future that that might change, but we are not
adopting Type C right now. But you have that
background table, which is pretty handy for reference.
I will go back to my slide here.
My third bullet says that we had been
working with DOT on this rule since we began drafting
the rule and even before that. We have a working
group staff that is from IMNS and SFPO, and also State
One member of our working group is from
DOT, and I don't see Fred here, but he knows of this
meeting. But he attended all of our meetings and had
copies of the drafts to be prepared.
The bottom line is that we proposed the
rule to the Commission, and DOT's agreement with NRC
on these 11 compatibility issues.
MR. LEVENSON: You don't comment on
whether DOT concurred with those that were NRC
initiated changes, or was that not part of the review
program with DOT?
MR. TANIOUS: That is outside their
perview if you will. They made comments. They are of
course in the building and transportation arena, and
they are the U.S. competent authority. So they have
ideas and they give us comments, but most of this was
an NRC thing.
But the reason that I singled out the IAEA
is because they had an advanced notice of proposed
rule last year, where they listed very much the same
issues that we have in our portion of our rule.
That is the one that we spent most of the
time discussing with them. And the last bullet is
that if we get approval from the Commission to publish
this proposed rule. Right now it has been released to
the public, and we have taken as I said on all 19
issues, and we plan to hold public meetings to discuss
these proposed positions.
I would like to mention here that this is
for your info, and that we have a Commission briefing
on the 9th of April. That would be at the Commission
hearing room in the afternoon on Monday, April 9th.
And we will be making a presentation
there, and the Commission invited five members of the
public, stakeholders, to give their views on this
proposed rule. These are NEI public citizens groups.
Don't hold me to this, but I believe this
is the final list, but it has not been released to us
yet. But it will be a large shipper of spent fuel
transport, and a State program rep that will be
attending this and making a presentation.
I will give you next sort of a flavor of
the general type comments that we received from the
meeting that we had downstairs, and from the other
meetings as well.
Now, NRC should increase the number of
meetings, despite the fact that we had three meetings,
and that is my own view, and I think it is pretty
good. Still, they wanted more meetings.
And given the fact that it takes a lot of
effort to prepare for these meetings, and staff travel
time, and to transcribe the meetings, and all the
rest, you know; and to prepare the slides, and it is
a tremendous amount of work.
So that is one of the comments that we
heard. The public comment period for that issues
paper was the end of September. It was September
30th, and our last meeting was September 26th, I
believe. So the end of the public comment period was
very close to the last meeting.
And there were complaints about that, and
they wanted an extension of the public comment period
so that they would have more time to prepare comments.
And we got letters actually requesting to
extend this public comment period by six months and so
forth. We could not do that in view of the schedule
by the Commission to deliver the proposed rule by
But we did encourage everyone -- you know,
all the phone calls that we got and everything -- to
submit the comments even if it is after the deadline.
We will take the comments. We will take all comments.
And we had the comments come in as late as
the middle of November, and by that time we were
already drafting the proposed rule. One of the other
comments is that the lack of easy access to the
documents, and this is mostly meaning this document,
where it is very expensive to get a hold of. It is
about $80 a copy.
And this last summer, I think the
publisher here made the new version, and TS-R-1 is
cheaper now, and it is $18. And we tried to respond
to this comment by putting all of our documents on the
website, all the comments and transcripts of the
meetings, and all the rest.
We also tried to make it easy by putting
the publisher's name or direct link in our website to
the publisher of this document so that they can get a
hold of it.
There were other comments about the ASME
code. One of the changes here is for the adaption of
the ASME code, but they couldn't access that and we
couldn't give it to them. But we put it in the public
document group if they wanted to see it.
The other comments was mostly about the
IAEA process to develop ST-1 was not open to the
public. That is true. It is not open to the public.
These comments were mostly directed to DOT, and DOT is
the one who assembled the U.S. delegation to go to
Vienna,and they are the ones who organized all the
subcommittees and meetings and so forth.
And it did not appear feasible that the
public could go and participate in the drafting of
these IAEA rules. But the negative comment was that
you guys go to Europe, and bring back these
regulations and try to adopt it here in this country,
which may not be safe, or that we didn't have a chance
to influence this regulation.
The next comment is that DOT and NRC
should coordinate and address all public comments
since we both are doing this rule concurrently, and
yes, we are doing this.
We have the working group like I
mentioned, and they have their own set of comments on
their own website, about 60 or 65 comments, and we
have our comments. Whatever comments apply to both
agencies, we will coordinate.
One comment that we heard is the last
bullet here on this slide from two of the agreements
by the State representatives, and they play an
important role, and they do because they adopt by
agreement the NRC rules.
The next slide is that there were a lot of
concerns about the objectives of this rule, which was
to harmonization of the Part 71 with the IAEA, but the
cost of implementation of these changes, especially
when there is no obvious safety benefit from the
change, except perhaps new models or new signs, but
the old rules may be just fine.
The next bullet is the concern over the
proposed NRC changes, causing some material to come
under the NRC jurisdiction. This mostly refers to the
norm, which is naturally carrying radioactive
materials in oils and in slaggs.
And there is an issue, too, about the
exemption, and we will come to that in a minute. But
the changing of the definition of the radioactive
material from one single value to a table, and they
are fearful that the NRC is seeking to increase its
jurisdiction over them.
I think Susan Shackman was replying to
someone at that meeting saying that we do not seek to
bring you under NRC authority. Most of the comments
were from the oil and gas industries, and mining
Another comment is on the Part 71
regulation and that it should be the minimum; meaning
that the values that we have for the A-1 and A-2 or
the exemption values, that should be the minimum, and
irrespective of whatever new values the IAEA has.
The next one is that we should not make
changes that result in the reduction of transportation
CHAIRMAN GARRICK: And how did they
respond to that one?
MR. TANIOUS: We are not making any
changes that result in reduction of transportation
safety. All the changes will enhance safety, and when
we get to the next bullet, we will cover some of the
CHAIRMAN GARRICK: But isn't that a
technicality? Do the changes in any way increase the
transportation traffic, and if so, how can you really
say that there is no reduction in transportation
MR. TANIOUS: I don't know if it is going
to increase transportation traffic. I don't think so,
but I would invite SFPO to make a comment here, you
know, since they are the technical experts in this
agency. I don't think that increases the traffic, but
please make a comment.
MR. BRACH: I am Bill Brach from the Spent
Fuel Project Office, and I was just talking with my
staff. In a direct answer to your question, we are
not aware of any proposed rule content in the 71 rule
package that would result in an increase in
CHAIRMAN GARRICK: Well, I guess my point
is that the question or the comment is kind of a trap,
and I think that any time you take an action to
increase transportation that you increase the risk of
transportation accidents. And so it is the context of
the question that becomes important.
MR. BRACH: I believe on this overhead the
third and fourth bullet can maybe be read together.
In a number of the public meetings, what we have heard
from a number of the stakeholders were comments that
we shouldn't, if you will, lower the NRC Part 71 bar
or set requirements for transportation to an IAEA or
other standard that we might feel is below the NRC
But yet the NRC standard should be the
minimum, and then look beyond that in enhancements to
the rule making, coupled with -- clearly there was a
comment that we heard from the public that we
shouldn't be doing anything in changing the Part 71
rule that would reduce the effectiveness of -- reduce
the safety or reduce the effectiveness of our
transportation safety regulations. Those two comments
were often times in context provided.
CHAIRMAN GARRICK: And I guess the other
thing that I am thinking of is downstream. You don't
want to get yourself in a position where you put an
undue constraint on the transportation of nuclear
materials, because there are other materials that you
will be writing regulations in due course on probably.
MR. BRACH: We agree, and I think that
that comment was -- we tried in our development of the
proposed rule to also look at that as well, and be
sure that what we would be incorporating in Part 71
would not put an undue burden on either domestic
transportation or transportation in general.
MR. LEVENSON: You know, we talk about
transportation safety, and that is pretty broad, and
I think the kind of things that some of us have been
involved in -- John has and I have -- is that -- and,
for instance, on of the requirements on a TRUPAC-2
potentially results in 10,000 additional cross-country
Well, an assessment of whether the TRUPAC-
2 requirements could be changed slightly, you might
say that maybe you shouldn't because it slightly
reduces safety of the TRUPAC-2.
But if it results in 15,000 fewer cross-
country shipments, the total transportation safety
issue, it comes out the other way.
MR. TANIOUS: Right. Exactly. And I
think that this very point will be become more clear
as we go through the issues in the next few slides.
That is my last bullet, is that we have more comments
on specific issues, and we will tell you on that issue
what we have heard.
So some of the issues I have talked about
already, and so we may not take too much time talking
about them. But the first one, we are not adopting or
changing to the SI units on. We like the dual system
and all the comments that we heard, whether it is a
transportation accident or a medical administration,
where on the outside of the package it is SI -- if we
comply with this, or adopt it rather.
And on the inside, it is English units,
and you would have to have a quick conversion made
right on the spot by emergency people, which defeats
the intent of the whole exercise, where we are
communicating information quickly about the package on
the label, or the shipping papers.
So we are not offering that. And number
two is the implied exemption value as I mentioned
already. And the industry by the way was supportive
of the NRC here. Most everyone said to stay with the
MR. LEVENSON: Now, when you say stay with
the system, what does that mean? The table says
adopted. Do you mean that you adopted the IAEA
MR. TANIOUS: No, the table says not
MR. LEVENSON: Radionuclide exemption
value is adopted.
MR. TANIOUS: Yes, we are adopting that.
I'm sorry. We are adopting the --
MR. LEVENSON: And when it says adopted,
that means that you have adopted the IAEA?
MR. TANIOUS: Yes. Yes.
MR. LEVENSON: Okay.
MR. TANIOUS: Although we heard many
comments against it, it would be complicated to apply,
and you have to calculate the radioactivity, and you
have to sample the shipments, and you have to do the
mixture rule, and change all the paperwork.
There would be a lot of expense,
especially from the oil and gas, and industry, where
some of their shipments right now are exempt under the
But with the new table, which each would
imply would have its own activity, they feel that
there would be now as radioactive material. So
despite all these problems, the staff's judgment is to
stay compatible with the international commerce.
It is on balance to be compatible with
IAEA, despite the shortcomings of going away from a
single value, simple rule, to a state-of-the-art if
you will model that gives you one millennium per year
to every one that is close to these packages, which is
better science and better engineering, but
complicated, because of the costs to some of the
segments of the non-radioactive material
I will quickly go through the rest of
them, I guess. On number three, we are adopting the
new table of A-1 and A--2 that is in ST-1, again to
stay compatible with international commerce.
It does not appear feasible that you can
have your own table here in the United States and
there is another table in Europe, and especially DOT
is going to adopt that table as well. So we will
On number four, we will adopt the
requirement of criticality evaluation for the UF6
fissile packages be done without considering any
leakage of water. The staff had a 5 percent max on
the enrichment of these packages.
But this issue is mostly a DOT issue, but
we covered the type of packages that is in our field
of authority. The next one is number five, and we are
It is sort of a paper change, where the
current TI index is used, but this will separate the
two indices from each other; the one for radiological
safety from the criticality safety.
Right now they are both calculated, and
you take the larger one to be put on the package as a
TI. This will separate the two, and you will you have
two labels on the package. We are adopting it and it
is a good development.
The next one or position taken is that we
are not adopting the Type C package, which is a new
type package designed to withstand severe air
accidents for plutonium.
Most of these are not adopting it because
it is a brand new package, and there is not much use
for it in this country, and still the IAEA is still
studying this package, and there may be more
modifications coming on it.
The rest of the issues -- 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
-- number seven is a test done -- it used to be
required for aerated fuel shipments, and the IAEA now
is using the so-called enhanced deep emergent test,
where it covers all packages that has activity greater
than 10 to the 5-A2 value.
We are adopting that with some
modification, using our own criteria to judge the
results of the test.
And number eight is a standard clause in
all the revisions of Part 71, which is grandfathering
previously approved packages, and where the package is
still safe, even when you change the regulations.
We are adopting it and proposing a phasing
out of the 1967 package during a 3 year transition
And for number nine, there are various
definitions that have been changed, such as the CSI
and TI, and so forth. I am getting ahead of myself
The last two on the compatibility issues
are crush test for fissile material packages, and we
are adopting that, and number 11 is the fissile
material package design for air transport, and we are
Before I go into the next bullet, I will
just summarize by saying that out of 11 changes by the
IAEA, we are adopting 9, and two we are not adopting.
MR. LEVENSON: Let me ask a somewhat
generic question. These 11 are changes made to the
IAEA document; is that right?
MR. TANIOUS: Yes, the 11 are changes made
in the recent version of the IAEA transportation
standards. Of the 11, we are adopting 9.
MR. LEVENSON: Are there issues in the
previous version with which NRC had not adopted, so
that the difference between the two -- the question is
whether the difference between the two larger than
what is shown here?
You have only addressed whether you have
adopted or not adopted changes the IAEA made.
MR. TANIOUS: I apologize for this, but
the reason is to keep the table simple. There are
some modifications. I can think of one, and I would
invite SFPO to make comments on this.
For example, take number seven, the deep
emergent test. In the last version of the IAEA, there
was the adoption to judge the results of the test by
using no ruptures. That the package or the specimen
should withstand the pressure -- I think it is 290 psi
-- of the test for one hour.
And the criteria to pass the packages with
no rupture, but the staff in the SFPO felt that a
rupture is difficult to define or to defend the
adopted criteria called no collapse or leakage of
And I think that in this proposed rule
that we are still staying with that criteria. Does
this answer your question?
MR. LEVENSON: Well, no. If one and six
were changed to adopted, the NRC's position on Part 71
would not be identical to the IAEA would it? There
are still differences?
MR. TANIOUS: There would be differences,
yes, but not major differences.
MR. LEVENSON: But is there anywhere -- if
I wanted to say, well, I have a copy of the IAEA, and
in order to conform to Part 71, there are only these
few exceptions, is that spelled out anywhere, or do
you have to go and dig through both of them page by
MR. TANIOUS: Yes, you have to. For
example, on Issue 16 in your package -- if I may go to
Issue 16 -- the fissile material exemptions and
general license provisions, right now there are four
different sections that cover general license
provisions for fissile material packages.
And also there is some exemptions to
these. These are the ones that cause this nuclear
criticality safety problem. That is not in the IAEA,
for example. We have it in our regulation, but they
don't it. Yes, John?
MR. COOK: Hello. My name is John Cook,
and I am with the Spent Fuel Project Office, and I
think I would like to provide a little bit of
information regarding your question.
As part of the rule making package, there
is a comparison -- and this is Attachment 5 to the
Commission paper, which provides a comparison between
TS-R-1 and Part 71. This identifies all of the
differences that exist between the two sets of
What the rule making we have for us now is
trying to do is just look at the differences that IAEA
made going from their 1985 edition of their
regulations to the 1996 edition of their regulations.
And it is those changes that we are trying
to address in this rule making. There were
preexisting differences between NRC regulations and
IAEA regulations, but those were all individually
justified and addressed in the previous NRC attempts
to become compatible with the previous editions of
So we do have some preexisting differences
and those would be identified in this comparison in
Attachment 5 to the proposed rule package.
The changes that we see in going from the
'85 edition to the '96 edition, those are the 11 that
Naiem has referred to, and those are the ones that are
-- that nine of which we are proposing adopting, and
two of which we are proposing not to adopt.
MR. LEVENSON: So this exercise is not
aimed at trying to reconcile past differences?
MR. COOK: That's correct.
MR. LEVENSON: It is only aimed at --
well, I am sure that it is aimed at just the changes
the IAEA made. The IAEA made 11 and you have
MR. COOK: Right.
MR. LEVENSON: But you have added nine
MR. COOK: Right. The other additional
issues were either initiated by the staff or by the
Commission staff's requirements memo.
MR. LEVENSON: I guess the bottom line
question is does this still mean that a foreign
container can be shipped all the way across the United
States as long as you don't open it; but if you open
it, you can't ship it on any further? Are we still
going to have that problem?
MR. COOK: Well, that does depend on the
circumstances, but that situation could occur still.
MR. TANIOUS: I think we are coming
actually close to the end of my assigned time, but I
will try to cover the rest of them in about five
MR. LEVENSON: Go ahead.
MR. TANIOUS: Number 12 is a special
package approval. These refer to these large object
packages, such as a decommissioned reactor, and NRC
had experience with this, with the Trojan reactor, and
this particular change is to -- that instead of going
through the route of asking for exemptions from the
Commission because the package itself is so unusual
that it doesn't satisfy all the requirements of Part
71 -- you know, various tests, like drop tests and
puncture tests, and all the tests required for Type B
packages, this package sometimes does not satisfy a
couple of them, but still is safe, we you would ask
for an exemption from the Commission.
Well, this is a way to streamline this,
and not to the Commission for these changes. There
were a lot of comments about this, and mostly feared
that NRC is trying to not go through the rigorous
The next one is an expansion of the QA
requirement to Part 71. The Commission approved a
rule for 50-59 for reactors, and for -- no, that's not
the one. They approved one for the Part 72 to
increase the NRC authority over the certificate
holders, and to allow NRC to issue notice of
That was approved last year, I think, and
the Commission wanted us to consider doing the same
thing in Part 71. That is what that change is, number
Number 14 was the adoption of the ASME
code, and it was an idea amongst the staff here to use
the experience of some problem with the fabrication of
spent fuel casts.
It was felt that if you have an authorized
nuclear inspector on site using this code to develop
one of the committee's of the ASME that would improve
quality control and quality assurance problems.
But the staff, when we got to write the
proposed rule, decided that we had enough sufficient
improvement in the situation, and there wasn't enough
problems right now. Plus, the code itself is not
The Committee that was writing this code
is still studying it, and is still working on it. It
is not final. So we are not adopting this right now.
Number 15 is adoption of change authority
to allow minimal changes. I mentioned earlier by
mistake that it was 50-59 on reactors, and 72-48 in
Part 72, to allow the licensee to make small changes
in the design or the procedure, such as that they
don't have to come to the NRC for every change they
make, because it is a cumbersome, costly process.
And the Commission wanted us to do the
same for Part 71, and it is a good change. The only
thing I would say here is that the SFPO decided -- and
rightfully so perhaps -- to go for one type of package
only, the dual purpose package, the one that does
interim storage and transportation.
The next slide is the emergency final
rule, and we SFPO had a study done by Oakridge, and
Oakridge came back with recommendations, about 16 ot
17 recommendations, saying that the original emergency
final rule was correct, and fixing the problem for
these special packages, but here are some fixes for
the general license sections.
And we are adopting those, or most of
them, and that would take care of this unintended
economic impact that we call by the emergency final
Number 17 is the petition that we had for
the double containment of plutonium, and this proposed
rule as a proposed position for the NRC to do away
with the double containment requirement.
You mentioned TRUPAC, and that is one of
the comments saying that we had all these TRUPAC
designs based on this double containment requirement,
which was okay back in the '70s, but not today.
Plus, the rationale and discussion on this
is quite extensive. The bottom line is the type of
protection you get from a Type B package is quite
So the position on this 17 is a partially
granted petition, meaning we approve the double
containment, and drop that from our regulations, but
keep 71-63A, which si the requirement for a package to
be in solid form if it is over 20 curies.
And Number 18 is an issue about surface
contamination limits, and NRC is not taking any
position on this right now because it still is an
issue under discussion, and under study by the IAEA.
The SFPO or John Cook, I think, is a
member of this group, and this issue had been brought
to us by the Commission, and mentioned in the last SRM
by Commissioner McGaffin, but the position today is
that we hold off for right now and until the position
is cleared by the IAEA.
The last one was added after we had the
public meetings, and it is sort of a reduction in
burden because the events reporting requirements of
30 days is now extended to 60 days.
I have only one more slide. I already
mentioned that we will have that Commission briefing
on the 9th of April, where the Commission will hear us
and will hear the representative from the stakeholders
on this proposed rule.
We plan to have three public meetings or
at least that is what we have planned right now.
These will be probably one here and two others
somewhere else in the country.
We plan to have 90 days public comment
period, because of the size of this rule we need more
time, and usually 75 days is the normal time. We will
continue coordination with DOT so that we both publish
the rules around the same time.
And it is forecasted now that we will have
this rule published sometime next year, and it will be
estimated one year after the end of the public comment
period. That is the end of my presentation. Thank
you very much.
MR. LEVENSON: Okay. Thank you.
MR. TANIOUS: Thank you.
MR. LEVENSON: Ray, do you have any
DR. WYMER: No, that was very thorough and
I can't think of anything to ask.
MR. LEVENSON: George.
VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER: Can you tell me
how you apply the notions of risk-informed
performance-based regulation into your decision making
process in this whole thing? Can you give me some
indication of how risk measures may --
MR. TANIOUS: I think that SFPO would be
better qualified to answer this question. I can
certainly respond to you, but I don't want to since
they are the experts on this.
MR. COOK: Well, I think basically the
International Atomic Energy Agency regulations have
been developed over a long period of time, and they
are basically empirically based.
It would be probably not correct to say
that these were risk-informed regulations since they
have been around for many, many years based on
practical experience with making shipments.
That is especially with regard to the
package testing provisions for the accident resistant
packaging as an example. However, more recently, as
improvements are made in what we know about the
radiological hazards of nuclides, and those are
considered when changes are made.
For example, in the proposal of the
revision of A-1 and A-2 values, those are based on the
recent work of the ICRP, the ICRP-60 data, including
the latest work on radionuclide modeling, to find out
what is the most accurate valid to use for the oddity
limits between what type of packaging is required to
be accident resistant, and which type of shipments
don't require accident resistants.
And the same is true with the radionuclide
exemption values. Those values have been changed from
what was previously the 70 becquerel that you heard
about earlier. That was a historical value that
worked very well.
It has been used for a long time, but IAEA
decided to move from that single value to a more dose
based value. And again their more recent evaluations
of the dose that does occur as a result of making
shipments at those specific activity limits indicate
that the agency is trying to apply when it can in risk
informed concepts and ideas.
VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER: Just one quick
follow-up. In particular I wonder if you could tell
me how this Number 17, the double-containment of
plutonium, was that granted in part, or at least in
part on the basis of a risk-informed approach.
MR. COOK: Yes, I would say that it is.
The double-containment issue, the one that you are
referring to, is one that is a staff initiation. It
is not particularly related to the IAEA activities.
But we did take a look at this petition
that we got and which said that plutonium should be
treated on the same basis as all the other
radionuclides, and then they all have their A-1 values
identified, and that there is no additional
justification that would warrant a double-containment
And on that basis that is why we are
proposing to agree with that part of the petition in
the proposed rule.
VICE CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER: Thank you.
MR. LEVENSON: I have a follow-up to
George's question. Is 13 an expansion of the quality
assurance requirements? Is that rooted in some risk
analysis? Were there some defects found , or where
did that come from?
MR. COOK: Well, that is not particularly
a risk related initiative. That is to provide the
same sort of quality assurance treatment in the
transportation space that is provided in the package
What this does is apply more directly
NRC's quality assurance program to certificate holders
and to package vendors. Those entities are not
currently directly regulated.
This change would pull them under Part 71
explicitly, and that would provide us the opportunity
were we to conduct an inspection at those types of
facilities to issue a notice of violation.
Whereas, currently, with them not being
specifically identified in Part 71, all we can do is
issue a notice of non-conformance. So that is not so
much a risk issue as one of being able to enhance
NRC's enforcement actions.
MR. LEVENSON: But shouldn't an
enforcement action exist because it reduces or
eliminates a risk? If there is no risk connotation,
how do you justify an enhanced enforcement?
MR. BRACH: I am Bill Brach. Let me
address that. The issue that you are raising is
really more of an administrative change. As John had
mentioned, historically NRC, in taking inspection
follow-up and enforcement action with what we refer to
as a vendor, we have issued notices of non-conformance
across the agency, whether it be in Part 50 activities
for reactors, or Parts 30, 40, or 70 for non-reactor
activities and licensees there.
The standard norm for NRC correspondence
following inspections is to issue a notice of
violation for an inspection finding. The exception
has been in the past where we were inspecting vendors
under previously Part 72 and Part 71, and as I believe
that Naiem had mentioned, the Commission approved
recently a change to Part 72, to where an inspection
and follow-up activity for a vendor under Part 72,
those findings are characterized as violations and
that is the means for NRC communicating to the vendor
for changes in Part 71 and the NRC's classification of
the inspection finding would be characterized as a
notice of violation.
The change in and of itself is not
changing the enforcement sanctions available to the
NRC with regard to orders or civil penalties. That
stays the same as previously existing.
This is really a change to the
nomenclature in our efforts to address and
characterize the inspection findings.
MR. LEVENSON: Are you saying it really
isn't a change in the quality assurance requirements?
I mean, that is the words --
MR. BRACH: It is expanding the scope of
the requirements under QA to facilitate the
implementation on NRC's part that I mentioned.
MR. LEVENSON: And is this a graded
expansion? In other words, a little bottle that holds
a radioisotope for medical purposes, does it now have
the same QA requirements as a spent fuel coffin?
MR. TANIOUS: No, no, it is only spent
fuel, I believe. This change is only for spent fuel,
MR. BRACH: There are no changes to the QA
requirements and to the changes as John was saying to
the scope of whom they are applied, and how an NRC
inspection follow-up activity corresponds with that
MR. LEVENSON: Okay. That is a whole
different issue. What about this comment on the side
here that this Item 13 only applies to spent fuel? Is
MR. BRACH: The proposed change under Item
13 is applicable to all certificate holders under Part
71. and not limited to only spent fuel certificate
MR. TANIOUS: Right. Right. I'm sorry.
Thanks for the correction.
MR. LEVENSON: John.
CHAIRMAN GARRICK: Are there guidance
documents for the rule?
CHAIRMAN GARRICK: The transcript will
note a long pause.
MR. BRACH: We understood and heard the
question, but we want to make sure before we respond
that we give you the correct answer.
MR. BRACH: After a long pause on our
part, I apologize. There is no guidance provided in
the rule package. It was mentioned that one change
that is being proposed under Item 15, the change
authority, where we are proposing a new type of
categorization, a DP designation for certain casts.
There may be a need for regulatory
guidance to be developed to go along with that change.
CHAIRMAN GARRICK: The thought here is
that the guidance might be an opportunity to begin to
introduce the risk informing process, and I just
wondered if this was at all under consideration.
MR. BRACH: With regard to your earlier
question or the other panel members' questions about
the consideration of the risk informing, the answer is
And to the extent that guidance is
developed, that clearly provides both us, as well as
the stakeholders in commenting on that guidance
opportunity, to see if there are additional avenues
for risk informing or risk consideration in our
CHAIRMAN GARRICK: Well, I like what you
are doing, of trying to establish some sort of
connection with the international standards. Is this
going on with respect to other regulations, this same
kind of practice, or is this an unusual situation?
MR. BRACH: In the transportation arena,
it is a little unique, in that the transportation
activities, there is some legislation actually that
directs and mandates the Department of Transportation
from an international commerce standpoint to strife to
have U.S. regulations consistent with international
regulations to support international commerce.
So in that regard, our efforts and DOT's
efforts with regard to the IA standard in
transportation are unique in that regard. I was
looking at the staff, and there is one other area that
I can think of just off the top of my head with regard
to, for example, Part 20 and radiation protection
standards, where I know there is much coordination and
effort with our staff, and IAEA, and NCRP and ICRP,
with regard to radiation protection standards.
But I think in the area of Part 71 and the
Department of Transportation's very directed efforts
to have our standards mirror and be compatible, and
consistent with international standards, it may be
unique in that regard in looking at other NRC 10 CFR
CHAIRMAN GARRICK: Thank you.
MR. LEVENSON: Any questions from the
(No audible response.)
MR. LEVENSON: Any from the audience, any
comments or questions? Please identify yourself for
MS. GUE: Thank you for this opportunity.
I am Lisa Gue, with the Public Citizens Critical Mass
Energy and Environment Program.
And I just wanted to jump back to the
brief conversation that you had early on in the
presentation with respect to public comment and
concern about using international standards, I guess,
as a way of -- well, the concern that international
standards could be used to degradate domestic
And in addition to the conversation that
you had -- and I know that Public Citizen has
participated in various forums, and so I won't get
into the detail of this, but just to say generally
that another aspect of our concern is the increasing
trends that we see in a number of different regulatory
agencies, including the NRC, to punt decision making
authority to unaccountable and non-transparent
And so I guess we urge you to not put
forward simply harmonization with international
standards simply as an end in and of itself, because
we certainly find that unacceptable as a policy
standpoint, and frequently see its effect as being to
degradate the domestic standards. Thank you.
MR. LEVENSON: Thank you. Anyone else?
If not, I turn it back over to you.
CHAIRMAN GARRICK: All right. We are a
little ahead of schedule, which is great and unique,
and I don't know about the rest of you, but I need a
(Whereupon, the meeting was recessed at
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