Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste 133rd Meeting, March 21, 2002

                Official Transcript of Proceedings


Title:                    Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste
                               133rd Meeting

Docket Number:  (not applicable)

Location:                 Rockville, Maryland

Date:                     Thursday, March 21, 2002

Work Order No.: NRC-283                             Pages 185-321

                   NEAL R. GROSS AND CO., INC.
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                   133RD MEETING
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                  MARCH 21, 2002
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                ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND
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                       The subcommittee met at the Nuclear
           Regulatory Commission, Two White Flint North,
           Room T2B3, 11545 Rockville Pike, at 8:30 a.m.,
           George M. Hornberger, Chairman, presiding.

                 GEORGE M. HORNBERGER        Chairman
                 RAYMOND G. WYMER            Vice Chairman
                 B. JOHN GARRICK             Member
                 MILTON N. LEVENSON          Member

           STAFF PRESENT:
                 JOHN T. LARKINS, Executive Director
                 SHER BAHADUR, Associate Director
                 HOWARD J. LARSON, Special Assistant
                 LYNN DEERING
                 LATIF HAMDAN
                 CAROL A. HARRIS
                 MICHAEL LEE
                 RICHARD K. MAJOR

                         AGENDA ITEM                       PAGE
           Opening Statement by the ACNW Chairman . . . . . 188
           Yucca Mountain Review Plan, Revision 2
                Jeff Ciocco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189
                Banad Jagannath . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 205
                Tim McCartin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 211
                Pat Mackin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 258
                Jeff Pohle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 273

                                                    (8:36 a.m.)
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  The meeting will
           come to order.  This is the third day of the 133rd
           meeting of the Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste.
                       My name is George Hornberger, Chairman of
           the ACNW.  The other members of the committee present
           are:  Raymond Wymer, Vice Chairman; John Garrick; and
           Milton Levenson.
                       Today the committee will:  1) hear a
           presentation from the NRC staff on Revision 2 to the
           Yucca Mountain review plan, and 2) continue
           preparation of reports.
                       Richard K. Major is the designated federal
           official for today's initial session.  This meeting is
           being conducted in accordance with the provisions of
           the Federal Advisory Committee Act.
                       We have received no written comments or
           requests for time to make oral statements from members
           of the public regarding today's sessions.  Should
           anyone wish to address the committee, please make your
           wishes known to one of the committee staff.
                       It is requested that the speakers use one
           of the microphones, identify themselves, and speak
           with sufficient clarity and volume so that they can be
           readily heard.
                       Let me get to my Thursday page.  Today we
           are going to -- this morning we're going to have our
           long-awaited briefing on the Yucca Mountain review
           plan, and the Yucca Mountain review plan is quite
           important to the committee.  It's obviously an
           important step for the NRC in preparing to review a
           potential or possible license application.
                       And I know we've talked offline with Jeff
           Ciocco, and we know that staff has been making lots of
           progress, and we're looking forward this morning to
           getting our first official briefing.  And I understand
           that this is going to involve four or half a dozen
           people, and, Jeff, I'll let you introduce yourself,
           and you can orchestrate the dog and pony show.
                       MR. CIOCCO:  Very good.  Thank you, and
           good morning.  My name is Jeff Ciocco.  I'm the
           project manager responsible for the development of the
           Yucca Mountain review plan.  Before I get into my part
           of the presentation, just let me tell you what we're
           going to cover this morning.
                       We're going to cover -- we're going to do
           an introductory presentation.  We're going to have a
           presentation on the repository safety prior to
           permanent closure, and that's our preclosure.  And
           that is -- Banad Jagannath over there is going to
           present it.  We've got a postclosure presentation by
           Tim McCartin.
                       We have performance confirmation and a
           research and development program to resolve safety
           questions by Pat Mackin.  And then we have a brief
           presentation on the quality assurance.
                       Let me tell you some of the materials that
           we put up in the back of the room, as well as on your
           deck.  You got a briefing packet which contains all
           five presentations.  We'll go through it, and we can
           orient you.
                       I also put back there a copy of the press
           release dated March 4th of this year, which the
           Commission announced a release of public availability
           of the Yucca Mountain review plan, as well as hard
           copies of the actual plan back there.  There are
           several on the floor, and that's the same version
           which is up on the website right now.
                       I also want to say that the development of
           the Yucca Mountain review plan -- you're going to hear
           about five presenters here this morning.  However,
           this is really a team effort from the Division of
           Waste Management as well as experts from the Fuel
           Cycle Safety and Safeguards Group, who wrote the
           emergency planning, physical protection, and the
           material control and accountability.
                       And we have staff here at the NRC, as well
           as our counterparts at the center in San Antonio.  So
           this was really a team effort, and Pat Mackin is the
           co-project manager from San Antonio.  But it's really
           the staff who put the pen to the paper, and then in
           many -- at many times they also pointed at Pat and I.
                       But, really, what you're going to hear
           today is presentations from the primary authors and
           those people responsible, but there is a whole slew of
                       So let me go ahead and start the
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Are you saying it's
           really their fault?
                       MR. CIOCCO:  No.  I'm really the YMRP
           apologist, so I'll take responsibility.
                       As far as the briefing agenda this
           morning, for the introduction, I'll go through the
           status and structure of the review plan, what our
           philosophy was in its development, how the YMRP will
           change, it's going to be a living document, and the
           different types of reviews.
                       We're going to conduct an acceptance
           review, a review for general information, and the
           administrative program requirements, as well as a
           little bit about what the step-wise licensing approach
           is in Part 63 and how that is covered under the Yucca
           Mountain review plan.
                       Here is the status of the Yucca Mountain
           review plan.  We last briefed you back in March of
           2000.  At that time, I think we gave you an overall
           outline of the Yucca Mountain review plan.  It was
           currently under development.  The Yucca Mountain
           review plan draft Revision 1 was made public for
           information only back in November of last year.
                       It wasn't consistent with the final Yucca
           Mountain regulations, and that was sort of an
           unauthorized release of the Yucca Mountain review
           plan.  So the Commission decided to make it publicly
                       Right now, we're at the Revision 2.  It's
           a draft report for comment.  It's currently available
           on the NRC's public website, and there are copies
           provided in the back of the room as well.  There will
           be a NUREG released by the end of March, followed by
           a Federal Register notice and request for public
                       Now, some of the members here have
           received the actual NUREG.  It's just coming off the
           press right now, and there is about 1,300 copies being
           shipped.  If you're on the mailing list, if you're on
           any kind of list, chances are you're going to receive
           the actual NUREG and it looks like this.
                       It's identical in page numbers to what's
           in the back of the room here, and there's also
           instructions in there.  You can contact me or contact
           distribution here and get a copy of it.
                       Here's the structure of the review plan,
           and we're going to go through some of this today.  But
           it's basically set up -- Chapter 1 is the
           introduction.  Chapter 2 is an acceptance review.
           Chapter 3 is the review plan for general information.
           And Chapter 4 is the review plan for the safety
           analysis report.  And this is structured according to
           Part 63, Section 21, which is the content of the
           license application.
                       Really, the acceptance review is for
           docketing, and the review plan for general information
           in 63.21 is Section B, and it contains the elements of
           a general site description, proposed schedule for the
           construction, the physical protection plan, material
           control and accountability, and description of the
           site characterization work.
                       And the safety analysis report, which is
           63.21 in Part C, contains several sections.  One is
           the preclosure repository safety before permanent
           closure.  You'll see postclosure as the repository
           safety after permanent closure, the research and
           development program to resolve safety questions -- and
           these three will be covered today, as well as
           performance confirmation.  And then the very last
           section is the administrative and programmatic
           requirements.  And then we just have tiered down what
           the different sections are for preclosure and
                       As far as each of the sections of the
           Yucca Mountain review plan, they're really consistent
           if you're familiar with other standard reviews plans,
           whether for Part 70 for licensing of spent nuclear
           fuel, the MOX facility, they're all basically
           structured the same.  They've got the areas of review,
           which are the topical areas, and the scope of the
           review.  It's got the review methods.  Really, it's
           for the staff to use.  They're step-by-step
                       And the level of detail and complexity of
           the review methods are determined by the requirements
           and the nature of the technical issues.  You'll see a
           lot more in the review methods in postclosure and
           preclosure than you will see for the areas of general
                       It contains acceptance criteria, which
           defines what is an acceptable compliance
           demonstration.  And the acceptance criteria in the
           review plan are based on regulatory guides and the
           requirements of the rule, any codes or standards, and
           the results of staff investigations.
                       We've been doing prelicensing interaction
           for over 15 years, and a lot of the criteria are what
           were developed in the issue resolution status reports,
           the IRS ARBs.  And then there's the evaluation
           findings section, which is the examples of the -- or
           it does contain examples of the general findings
           suitable for a safety evaluation report, and then it
           contains references.  And this is standard throughout
           the review plan for all of the sections.
                       A little bit of the regulatory philosophy
           in setting up the review plan.  We received a lot of
           guidance from the Commission, as well as management.
           The licensing review philosophy for the NRC, we did
           not select the sites or designs.  The NRC reviews are
           comprehensive.  We will cover every section of
           Part 63.21 in a license application.  We will focus on
           areas most important to safety or waste isolation in
           those reviews.
                       NRC defends its licensing decisions.  It's
           up to DOE to defend its own safety case.  We have to
           look for reasonable assurance, and that's in
           preclosure area, and reasonable expectation, and
           that's postclosure, of compliance.
                       The Yucca Mountain review plan implements
           Part 63, which is the risk-informed, performance-
           based, site-specific rule.  And it incorporates more
           than 15 years of staff knowledge, and it doesn't
           contain prescriptive acceptance criteria.
                       The subsequent presenters are going to
           cover the different aspects in their particular areas,
           get into how that's risk-informed and performance-
                       We'll continue along with the regulatory
           philosophy.  The general review process, if there is
           a license application for Yucca Mountain, and
           prescribed in the review plan, will conduct an
           acceptance review for docketing.  It's a 90-day
           review.  If it's docketed, we'll conduct a detailed
           technical review, prepare a safety evaluation report,
           and then, if necessary, we will develop a request for
           additional information.
                       That could also happen in the acceptance
           review.  There could be requests for additional
           information in the acceptance review.  This is
           standard NRC licensing.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Does that change the
           90 days, if you request additional information in the
           acceptance review?
                       MR. CIOCCO:  Yes, I think it does have --
           yes, if there is additional time needed.
                       The use of the risk-informed, performance-
           based measures, this is just kind of an overview.
           We'll get into more detail in each of the areas.  But
           the review methods and the acceptance criteria are
           focused on assessing compliance with the performance
           objectives in Part 63.
                       The postclosure safety, a separate section
           for the areas that the staff has determined to be most
           important to waste isolation -- and this results from
           the key technical issues, from the issue resolution
           status reports, and the more than 15 years of
                       The acceptance criteria are flexible
           rather than prescriptive.  DOE always has the option
           of not using the Yucca Mountain review plan, but they
           must defend a safety case.  DOE must select compliance
           demonstration methods, show they are appropriate, and
           use them properly in their safety case.
                       We do a lot of cross referencing between
           the sections of the review plan, and it was also
           written to address any step of licensing -- and I've
           got a couple of slides later on that will explain the
           different step-wise licensing approaches in Part 63
           and how the Yucca Mountain review plan will
           accommodate that.
                       YMRP is a living document and will change.
           Revision 2 is a draft report for comment.  We will
           seek public comment in the ACNW review.  I expect
           after this NUREG 1804 completes its distribution we'll
           issue a Federal Register notice and then seek a 90-day
           public comment period.  And we're also going to have
           public meetings in and around Las Vegas during the
           public comment period to get their feedback.
                       NRC staff will incorporate the comments as
           appropriate, and we will provide the revised document
           back to the Commission.  This is how the document
           would change in light of the September 11th terrorist
           attacks, that the Commission has directed the staff to
           conduct a comprehensive evaluation of our physical
           protection programs.  If these efforts indicate NRC
           regulations need revision, we'll go through the
           appropriate method and that could dictate a change to
           the Yucca Mountain review plan.
                       It could also change because of the multi-
           step licensing process, and Part 63 also provides
           opportunities for us to revise the Yucca Mountain
           review plan.
                       An acceptance review -- the first step in
           the review -- it's the first screening of DOE's
           license application using the acceptance checklist,
           which is based on 63.21.  It's a checklist that goes
           through all of the general information.  There's I
           think five or six sections, as well as the 14 or 15
           sections of the safety analysis report.  And this is
           all under Chapter 2 of the Yucca Mountain review plan.
                       It determines completeness of the
           information, that the information must be sufficient
           to permit a safety review, 90 days are allowed, and
           the results of this we either accept for review and
           docketing, we accept but request additional
           information, or we reject because there's inadequate
           information to support a detailed safety evaluation
                       Now we're getting into Chapter 3 of the
           Yucca Mountain review plan.  It's the review for
           general information.  It examines the overview
           information for the site and design, and a lot of
           these aren't detailed technical reviews either.  There
           is a general description of the site.  There are
           proposed schedules for construction, receipt, and
           emplacement of waste, which isn't a technical review,
           because this information is really reviewed in detail
           back in preclosure and postclosure sections of the
           Yucca Mountain review plan.  It's just general
                       The physical protection requirements --
           and Part 63 refers up to the safeguards section of
           Part 73, material control and accountability, which is
           I think found under Part 72, which is independent
           spent fuel and high-level waste investigations, as
           well as a description of the site characterization
           work.  Once again, most of these aren't detailed
                       Now, this is Section 4.5, the very last
           section of the Yucca Mountain review plan.  It's to
           review for administrative and programmatic
           requirements.  It includes a lot of operational
           requirements.  This is where you'll find the quality
           assurance, expert elicitation, emergency planning, and
           there's a whole list here.
                       And none of these have any performance
           objectives in Part 63.  We use existing NRC programs
           and look for opportunities to modify any kind of
           prescriptive criteria.  For instance, the emergency
           planning, we use what's -- I guess it's in I think
           Part 72 as well in this section.
                       As far as a multi-step licensing approach,
           it's important to understand that the Yucca Mountain
           review plan is going to be used if there is an
           issuance of a construction authorization.  Following
           that could be a license to receive and possess.  So
           Part 63 allows for well-defined steps in licensing
           with incremental decision points that allow for
           continual learning and progressive confidence.
                       Three steps in licensing -- maybe it's
           four -- there is also license for termination.  But
           the first step under 63.31 is the construction
           authorization, which is based on the site
           characterization results -- is the reasonable
           assurance and the reasonable expectation that waste
           can be disposed at no unreasonable risk to health and
           safety of the public.
                       The second step would be the license to
           receive and possess, 63.41, which is informed after
           construction activity, and it's really based on, are
           the underground systems for initial operation
           substantially complete?
                       And then you have the amendment for a
           permanent closure in 63.51, which is updated by
           information to the license to receive and possess.  It
           has information from the performance confirmation,
           data obtained from the operational experience, and
           then 63.52, which I didn't leave here, I think is the
           license for termination.  So it's a three- or four-
           step, depending on how you look at it.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Jeff, the words
           there post-permanent closure monitoring program, so
           there is a provision for monitoring in perpetuity or
                       MR. CIOCCO:  Yes.  In 63.51, I think they
           have to describe what long-term monitoring program
           they will have, whenever there is an amendment for
           permanent closure.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  What do you mean by
           informed by construction activity, etcetera?
                       MR. CIOCCO:  That is -- for the updated
           license application, informed means they need to
           include data obtained during construction, performance
           confirmation, whenever they update their performance
           assessment at this stage.  So it's informed from
           information that was gained along the construction
           authorization.  They still need to -- they need to
           demonstrate performance compliance.
                       So this is how the Yucca Mountain review
           plan -- staff intends to use the review plan to
           conduct reviews of the potential application with
           respect to construction authorization, license to
           receive and possess.  Although there are some
           differences in the requirements for construction
           authorization and the license to receive and possess,
           they are really very similar to where we can use the
           evaluation of findings for both cases.
                       Accordingly, the evaluation of findings
           contained -- they were prepared to be suitable for
           both reviews.  It's reasonable to expect that we would
           have revisions if there was a construction
           authorization.  As we learn as we go along, we may --
           you know, we may revise the Yucca Mountain review plan
           after that.
                       And this is just kind of a side note, but
           at the time of the review, if there is a construction
           authorization, several aspects are really based on a
           commitment by DOE rather than hard evidence, such as
           the training program, material control and
           accountability, personal qualifications.  But at this
           point, they're just in construction.  They don't have
           their personnel on board yet.  They are really not
           implementing their plan yet.
                       So that was -- that's it for the
           introduction.  It was kind of just meant to be an
           overview of the content of the review plan, how it's
           going to be utilized.  Next, we'll get into the
           preclosure, and then postclosure.
                       Do you have any questions on the
           introductory material?
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Does anybody have
           any questions on the general overview?  No?
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  The page numbers for the
           committee members -- the page numbers in the bound
           copy are not the same as in the hard copy we received
           previously.  So if you have comments from pages, they
           are --
                       MR. CIOCCO:  Yes.  I'm not sure what
           version you received earlier.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  It's draft Revision 2.
                       MR. CIOCCO:  Yes.  That may be one that I
           gave you.  Yes.  I checked this morning -- well, the
           ones that are back here, the ones we printed off the
           internet, they were the same page numbers.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  I checked what was lain
           in front of me this morning, and it was --
                       MR. CIOCCO:  Okay.  Well, whatever I can
           do to facilitate your review, we will certainly do
                       Okay.  Next, I'll introduce Banad, who is
           going to do the preclosure.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Jeff, I had I guess
           one quick question.  Particularly I guess in -- it
           struck me when I looked at your list for the review
           for administrative and programmatic requirements.  A
           lot of that information you will have vetted prior to
           a license application, right?  And I think of things
           like expert elicitation.
                       MR. CIOCCO:  Right.  Yes, absolutely.  I
           didn't -- I wasn't trying to imply that all of the
           sections are a commitment.  A lot of that information
           we'll have, right, for the safety evaluation report.
                       MR. JAGANNATH:  Good morning.  I am Banad
           Jagannath.  I will briefly present the preclosure part
           of the Yucca Mountain review plan.
                       My outline basically contains organization
           of preclosure safety assessment review, and then how
           -- the risk-informed, performance-based aspect of it.
           10 CFR 63.21(c)(5) requires the performance of
           preclosure safety analysis of the repository
           operations area prior to permanent closure.
                       If you look at the big chart Jeff put out,
           the preclosure area contains one preclosure safety
           assessment plus another block for retrieval
           operations, another block for dismantlement,
           decommission, and decontamination activities.  These
           are three distinct components of the preclosure
           requirement.  Our main focus will be on the preclosure
           safety assessment.
                       Preclosure safety assessment is defined as
           a systematic examination of the site design, the
           potential hazards, consequences, initiating events,
           and the potential dose resulting from the
           consequences.  Systematic consideration of all these
           things in arriving at the decision in terms of
           performance components.
                       Part 63 is a dose-based rule, in that the
           licensee is supposed to demonstrate compliance with
           the performance objectives, permissible doses to
           workers and the public.
                       Following the logic of the definition in
           the preclosure safety assessment, this is how the
           review plan is arranged.  It's like a sequence of
           evaluations you go through, what I would define a
           conclusion.  Basically, the first piece, chapter on
           site description as it pertains to safety analysis.
           This chapter has all of the site information, starting
           from geology, hydrology, rock, seismology, all those
                       The information presented and the
           evaluation will be as appropriate for future
           evaluations.  This provides an input for the safety
                       The second section is a description of
           structure, systems, components, equipment, and
           operation of process activities.  This is the design
           information you need to be able to use the site
           information and design information for the evaluations
           in the safety assessment.
                       Again, depending on how it is used, the
           information should be enough for the staff to
           understand what's being done there and be able to come
           up with -- make further safety evaluations.  Some
           areas there will be more details.  Some areas there
           will be less details.  But it's dependent on the topic
           of the structures.
                       The next one is hazardous items,
           additional hazards, and the initiating events.  These
           are both natural and human hazards.  These are under
           external and internal.  These are all considered
           initiating events.
                       Then, comes the chapter on event
           sequences.  But considering the initiating events,
           then the operations of the facility and the facility
           descriptions, you come up with the initiating event
           that would ultimately pose a radiation exposure dose.
                       And at the end of the initiating event
           sequences, you have possibility for any event
           sequence, a frequency at which it will occur.  And
           based on the scenario at which it ends up, you will
           have in the next section a talk on the consequences.
           You evaluate the consequences, which are -- it goes to
           public and workers.
                       And this dose is the one that we use in
           demonstrating compliance with the performance
           objectives.  And then these are I guess the numerical
           radiation limits in the 10 CFR 63, and also these are
           the -- field doses are for Category 1 and Category 2
           event sequences.  That's what you'll find out.
                       This is the demonstration and compliance
           in terms of dose as it is -- part of this analysis
           will be a combination of event sequences, and the dose
           is identification of structure, systems, components.
                       The next section is the one --
           identification of structure, system, components
           important to safety, and safety controls and measures.
           This comes out of the information from the event
           sequences and the dose consequences.  A combination of
           these two will identify what are the important
           structure, systems, and components.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Excuse me.  I have a
           question about that last bullet -- by experience, and
           historically we know what important to safety tends to
           mean in the reactor world, something leading to core
           damage, etcetera.  Is there a definition here for what
           is important to safety in such a completely different
                       MR. JAGANNATH:  Here, the important to
           safety is any structure or component needed to be able
           to receive, handle, pack, and dispose of the waste.
           That's for important to safety.  And the other one is
           the important to containment, waste isolation.  There
           are two requirements of --
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Well, my question is
           slightly different in that the section in the draft
           report identifying things important to safety, some of
           them seem to be things that if they failed might lead,
           at most, to injury or death of one employee.  That
           seems to be a far different interpretation of
           important to safety than in the reactor business.
                       MR. JAGANNATH:  Here, important to safety
           is defined in terms of the dose, not in terms of risk
           as a question of that.  The dose is based on
           consideration of risk, but the rule requires us to
           comply with the dose.
                       Basically, if an event sequence leads to
           a release which is in excess of the dose, we make sure
           the design and structure -- the dose is less than the
           limit in the requirements.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  The dose to which the
           facility should be regulated, do you mean?
                       MR. JAGANNATH:  Yes.  The design has to
           comply with the performance objectives.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Yes, okay.  But my point
           is that injury to an employee inside the plant is
           significantly different than the dose to people 18
           miles away.
                       MR. JAGANNATH:  Yes.  This comes under
           Part 20 regulations.  That has different dose limits,
           different procedures.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Okay.
                       MR. JAGANNATH:  Safety does not go in
           terms of that.  We have consideration of Part 20 as
           one of the requirements.  That also will be a
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Yes.  My point was that
           there is some things identified as important to safety
           that I don't think by any stretch of the imagination
           can lead to an off-site release, and yet they are
           listed as important to safety.
                       MR. JAGANNATH:  The work done by DOE is
           based on community analysis, judgments.  They went
           through a whole list just to get started.  It's not a
           final list.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Banad, are you
           saying that you -- there are occupational exposures
           that are taken into account as well?  This would be
           the -- this would not be the 25 millirem?
                       MR. JAGANNATH:  No, no.  This is
           15 millirem.  Part 63 also requires compliance with
           Part 20, which is worker dose requirements that they
           also comply with.  We just -- you know, in
           discussions, we always focus on the public dose.  But
           Part 20 is also part of the requirements, compliance
           with that and also compliance with ALARA requirements.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Does that make sense
           to you, Milt, that they would have as their safety
           case the occupational exposure?
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Well, yes.  Tim McCartin,
           NRC.  63 does define important to safety, and it's
           with respect to meeting the dose limits for Category 1
           and Category 2 events, which are the off-site doses.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Well, then, I guess the
           question is, when you get to the detail level, is
           whether things now on the important to safety list are
           correct based on that definition.
                       MR. JAGANNATH:  Both compliance with doses
           and Part 20 are considered in arriving at the safety
                       This list of items important to safety are
           also for their use down the line in dividing them into
           in terms of categories and for quality assurance
                       Continuing, the next chapter is a design
           of these structure, system, and components, which are
           identified as important to safety.  These are --
           supposedly, these are the ones that have to be
           functional all the time.  So we want to make sure they
           are designed properly.  We see deterministic are
           prescriptive, present an evaluation for them.
                       And there is another subitem.  As part of
           the compliance with 10 CFR Part 20, there is a
           requirement for compliance with ALARA requirements.
           It is as low as reasonably available.  This doesn't
           have that much of force -- prescriptive requirements.
           But, still the design has to comply with these things.
           So we looked at the design from that perspective also.
           That's another separate chapter within the preclosure
           safety assessment.
                       The other two big sections outside of the
           preclosure safety assessment -- one, plans for
           retrieval and storage of radioactive waste.  This is
           required in the regulation.  And the other one is
           plans for permanent closure and decontamination or
           decontamination and dismantlement of surface
           facilities.  This kind of mentions the several
           sections in the Yucca Mountain review plan.
                       This one is like a block diagram.
           Basically, it shows the logic within the review plan.
           This follows the same logic as the definition of the
           preclosure safety assessment.  You'll note that
           there's a dotted line at the bottom with two blocks
           outside.  One is the retrieval plan; another is the
           permanent closure at the very end.
                       Above the dotted line are the several
           blocks which contain so-called Yucca Mountain
           preclosure certification study.  Each of these blocks
           has a corresponding section in the review plan, except
           the first block has two sections.  One is a site
           description; the second is a design.  And the last two
           blocks, which are design basis criteria and the design
           review, that is one chapter.  So there are 10 chapters
           with 10 blocks in there.
                       This follows the same logic of a site
           description/design description.  The next one is the
           potential hazards.  That leading to the next one is
           the identification of emergency consequence, and
           categorizes them as Category 1 or Category 2. Then,
           the consequence evaluation.
                       Based on the results of those things, you
           identify the structure, systems, components, important
           to safety.  There is another concurrent review of the
           ALARA as a part of that.
                       This leads to establishment of design
           criteria and the design of the structure, system, and
           components required in safety.  All of these are part
           of the preclosure safety analysis.
                       One of the end products is the so-called
           Q list, which contains the so-called safety items.
           Another subgoal out of that would be further
           development and validation of this based on the
           important to safety and risk significance.  This is
           the whole logic of the preclosure portion of the
           review plan.
                       I'll talk about how the risk-informed,
           performance-based approach is taken.  Basically, the
           purpose of the review is to evaluate compliance with
           the Part 63 dose requirements.  One is the dose
           requirements of the public and workers, ALARA
                       These also are based on risk from
           radiation exposure.  That's mainly considered risk in
           the dose consequence.
                       Part 53 has a definition of preclosure
           safety, how we do that.  It's, again, a systematic
           examination of the site design, hazards, initiating
           events, the event sequences.  In that also we consider
           the -- in going through these things, we consider the
           uncertainty in data when you go through these things.
                       And then you find the event sequences.
           The event sequences are defined on methodologies used
           in PRA, you know, all those technical methodologies.
           We use them in the event sequences.
                       Depending on the event sequences, you may
           use the dose consequences.  These dose consequences
           and the unit sequences, in terms of the category they
           are used, further in identifying structure, systems,
           components, important to safety.  And those -- they
           are touch and go for the design of the same thing,
           which are required in safety.
                       And the results of the design may be
           linked to greater quality assurance.  The results may
           be used in that part.
                       This is the whole focus.  The staff review
           will focus on how DOE performs their preclosure safety
           assessment.  And then, our review will be -- it
           depends on the relative significance within that
           safety system or safety components.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  How much knowledge did
           the team have of how DOE proposes to do their safety
           analysis in the preparation of your approach to do
           preclosure safety analysis?
                       MR. JAGANNATH:  We had one detailed
           technical exchange last year.  There were several
           interactions.  DOE, as a result of the detailed
           technical exchange where we expressed a lot of our
           concerns on their proposed methodology.  They will
           produce the so-called PCSA guidance document,
           preclosure safety assessment document.
                       It is for their internal staff use, but it
           may be something similar to our review plan for their
           staff.  We just brought it to -- like a read back.  We
           are not -- that was their document.  We plan to review
           it thoroughly.  They expect our feedback, that at the
           end we would have a thorough knowledge of what
           approach we are taking.
                       Based on the discussions going on, they
           are considering the hazards.  They want systematic
           hazards, initiating events.  They are considering
           uncertainties in the data, failures in terms of the
           combinations that they use, all the things you would
           do in a systematic way they are approaching.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  So both approaches seem
           to be --
                       MR. JAGANNATH:  Parallel?
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Yes.  And somewhat rooted
           in the process hazards analysis, integrated safety
           analysis way of looking at things, right?
                       MR. JAGANNATH:  Well, it is.  I don't want
           to put a label on one of those things, but we are
           considering all of the components of these things.  So
           structure, system, description, the hazards, the
           frequencies, uncertainty in the event sequences.  I
           really think those -- then, using all of these things
           together to identify important to safety.
                       We do not go in terms of risk at the very
           end, because it is not required, and the regulations
           kind of splits it in Category 2, so that -- it's a
           restriction on how we use the resource.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Okay.  Thank you.
                       MR. JAGANNATH:  In the review plan,
           acceptance criteria are not very prescriptive.  Since
           it is a risk-informed, performance-based approach, we
           are left in a fairly general level.  We are
           identifying what needs to be reviewed, and DOE has the
           flexibility to come up with their own design criteria
           as long as they can justify it and demonstrate that
           they are used properly.
                       The staff review will be focused on the
           safety-related items.  We have developed what we call
           a PCSA tool.  It's like a software with a lot of
           modules in it, where you store the information ahead
           of time, the description data, event sequences, and
           it's a module of software to do the event tree/fault
           tree analysis.  That part of it is another module
           which can calculate the doses.
                       Then, the interpretation of the results we
           use -- the tool does not interpret the results.  We
           interpret the results to come up with safety items.
           And, again, for the analysis we can come up with the
           quality degradation system.
                       Our review will be focused.  It's like a
           confirmatory tool.  This preclosure review is more
           than just using the PCSA tool.  There are other areas
           which are done outside of this tool.  So this is --
           that is where the -- in the context of the review,
           that's where the tools are really focused on.
                       All of these things we have plans for
           retrieval and alternate storage.  Again, there are no
           prescriptive criteria.  DOE has the flexibility.  We
           only require the plan from them.  The plan has to
           demonstrate that the retrieval operation will comply
           with the performance of the reviews, and it's
           something feasible.
                       The next one is plans for permanent
           closure, decontamination, and dismantlement.  Again,
           the acceptance criteria are fairly at an acceptable
           level.  We expect this part of the plan to be really
           general.  Towards the end, they will finalize it.  The
           design has to consider the dismantlement,
           decontamination, initially as one of the activities
           coming up.  That's why we bring it up.  And there are
           some NUREGs available.  Hopefully, they will follow
           all of those things.
                       This concludes my brief presentation of
           what's in the preclosure plan.  Mostly this is risk-
           informed performance, because we do not have any
           prescriptive requirements.  They consider all of the
           aspects of risk in terms of hazards, initiating
           events, frequencies coming out of that.  It's totally
           performance-based, because the demonstrating comes
           from the dose.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Thank you, Banad.
                       MR. JAGANNATH:  Do you have any questions?
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Questions?  Milt?
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Yes.  I have one, which
           is really not directly related to your presentation
           but curiosity.  I know there are restrictions on what
           you can put in Yucca Mountain to some extent.  The
           last bullet -- you're going to have a mountain full of
           very, very high-level, etcetera.  Would it be possible
           at the end to dismantle that equipment, move it into
           the shafts before you seal it, rather than undertaking
           shipping stuff to new sites and new sets of
           regulations, and new everything.
                       MR. JAGANNATH:  You don't know what will
           happen until years from now.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  No.  I'm wondering if
           legally there was a restriction against that.
                       MR. JAGANNATH:  No.  At this point, there
           is no restriction.  The regulations are fairly
           straightforward.  Our guidance is for whatever they
           use for the -- in the powerplant decommissioning
           guidance at this point.
                       The only requirement is that the design --
           they should have it in mind that we -- the designer
           keeping that in mind.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Yes.  The point is that
           if you design it to be dismantled and shipped a long
           distance, the design might be quite different than if
           you had the ability to just move massive pieces of it
           into the drift and leave them there.  So it does
           impact the design.
                       MR. JAGANNATH:  I expect DOE plans to put
           it in the repository, but we'll know that when they
           submit the application.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  You'd prefer not to
           see it shipped --
                       -- right?  Tim?
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Tim McCartin, NRC staff.
           I'd just like to correct what I said when I talked
           about the important to safety.  For Category 2 events,
           it is off-site doses.  Category 1 does include both
           worker and off-site doses, so we would look -- during
           normal operations, worker safety doses would be a
           factor in determining important to safety.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Is that the same
           criteria used on reactor plants?
                       MR. JAGANNATH:  Part 3 of the reactor.
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Apparently, no.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  The question was the
           phrase "important to safety," I think, not protecting
                       MR. JAGANNATH:  Protecting workers is --
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  No.  Protecting
           worker health and safety is a whole separate category.
           It may or may not be more restrictive.  But importance
           to safety has a very specific connotation, and it just
           seems to me we're using a completely different
           definition here than the reactor field, and I'm
           wondering why.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Well, it is defined in
           63, and that was the definition we proposed.  So we --
           I don't believe we got any comments on that particular
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Other questions for
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Well, I have some
           questions about the details of the procedure, but I
           think they are better dealt with offline, because they
           are -- they would be technical.  So I think I'll
                       MR. JAGANNATH:  I'll be glad to meet with
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Do you mean they
           have to do with probabilistic risk assessment?
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  No, because they don't do
           that.  It's a little -- it does have to do with how
           they structure their scenarios and some of the
           different modeling.  And I would prefer to talk to
           some individuals about that than take the time of the
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Can you give me an
           example of a Category 1 event and how that would be
           handled?  Just to lend some concreteness here.
                       MR. JAGANNATH:  Category 1 is in the fuel
           handling building.  Many times there are accompanying
           waste packages assemblies, dropping them in the dryer
           and the dry handling part of it.  Category 1 is
           frequency less than 10-2.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Okay.
                       MR. JAGANNATH:  In the same -- Category 2
           is -- has some events in the pool where the bare
           assemblies bump against each of the underwater -- they
           are -- some of them are Category 2.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Okay.  So these
           kinds of events would be similar to events that would
           be encountered in other fuel handling facilities.
                       MR. JAGANNATH:  Yes.  But maybe it's more
           moving, but in the same -- same kind of thing.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  So I guess my point
           is that we -- there is not a lot that is "first of a
           kind" here.  We have a lot of information and
           experience in dealing with these things.
                       MR. JAGANNATH:  Correct.  That was the
           basis for which our long-time -- it was put on the
           back burner in terms of resources and effort, because
           the agency has experience.  This is something done at
           the powerplants and other facilities, moving fuel and
           handling fuel and other things.
                       There is some work done on this also.  We
           intend to use all of those things.  There is enough
           knowledge available.  We have to use it appropriately
           as it applies to this case.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Questions from
                       Okay.  Thank you, Banad.
                       MR. JAGANNATH:  Thank you.
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Before I start, actually,
           if you have the complete set of the -- I actually have
           a separate set for my presentation.  The one in -- the
           complete set is an earlier version.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  You have a separate
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Yes.  Mine is Rev. 2.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Do you get away with
           changing your slides when you do presentations to the
                       MR. McCARTIN:  No.
                       At least not at the last minute.
                       Okay.  I'm going to try to walk through
           the postclosure safety assessment portion of the
           review plan today.  And the presentation is decidedly
           short for all of the topics and the model abstraction,
           etcetera.  I will -- that leaves more time for the
           committee to ask questions, and feel free to -- I'm
           sure you have no inhibitions about asking questions.
                       There are two main areas for the
           presentation.  One, I'll talk about the organization
           of the safety assessment review, and then talk a
           little bit of how the risk information performance-
           based aspect of our review comes in.
                       First, in terms of the organization,
           obviously, the review plan is based on the compliance
           with the performance objectives.  Then, the order is
           very important, and it was done for a very particular
           way.  You'll see that second bullet is actually the
           first thing looked at -- system description and
           demonstration of multiple barriers.
                       Clearly, in terms of the analysis DOE has
           to do, this is probably the last section you write.
           We want to read it first, and that was done for a very
           particular reason.  It basically is telling the big
           picture, the story of why the repository is working.
           Before we go into the other sections of the review,
           we'd like to get basically an overview of why the
           repository is working, and that's why that section is
                       We would expect the Department of Energy
           will be writing that section last, but we'll go
           through the multiple barriers.  That information, that
           overview, is used to focus all the rest of the
                       Next, would be the scenario analysis,
           event probabilities.  What have you considered?  What
           have you included in the analyses?  What have you not
           included in the analyses?  Part of that right now is
           the identification of the events with probabilities
           greater than 10-8 per year.  As you know, we have a
           proposed amendment to 63 out there for unlikely
           events.  That will come in.  This section of the
           review plan would be revised depending on what that
           final rule amendment comes out as.
                       Next, we go into model abstraction.  These
           model abstractions were derived from the key technical
           issues.  There are integrated subissues, we think, a
           little more related to -- a little better related to
           how we would do the review in terms of the different
           processes, aspects of the repository.
                       We think it gives us, as stated there, a
           comprehensive review of system behavior.  We have
           everything on that list we think are the things we
           possibly need to look at in detail.  Will we look at
           all those 14 subissues in the same detail?  No.  We
           want the list to be comprehensive.  We will tailor our
           review, obviously, based on the multiple barrier
           aspect, what seems to be the most important to DOE
           making their safety case.
                       And we have cross-walked at times the KTIs
           and the subissues.  We believe they are all captured
           there.  You won't see that in the review plan.  But
           the next slide I -- for completeness, I have the list
           of the 14 subissues.  I don't know if there's any
           reason for going through all of them.  I believe the
           committee has seen those before.
                       But we think the important point -- in
           this list, we believe we've captured all of the topic
           areas.  And as I said, the importance for the review
           plan is we want to be ready to review every one of
           those topic areas.  The detail and depth we go into
           the review will depend on the risk importance of each
           of the subissues.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  And these are your
           integrated subissues, is that right?
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Yes.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  The list?
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Yes.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Okay.
                       MR. McCARTIN:  And ultimately, at the end
           of the review plan for this section, you have
           demonstration with the standards.  And there is three.
           One is the individual protection standard, the
           standards for human intrusion and the groundwater
           protection standards.  That's pretty much the
           organization of the review plan.
                       Getting into more of the -- how is this
           structured in terms of the risk information?
           Obviously, at the top, we have the demonstration with
           the compliance, the numbers if you will.  Related to
           that, there are three sub-tiers, and it all goes down
           to more detailed information.  We have the multiple
           barriers, the model abstraction scenarios.
                       You can see that ultimately you get down
           to each one of the model abstractions sort of fits
           into a box, be it model abstraction, some more than
           one box.  Obviously, they all fit into multiple
           barriers in some way.  But all of this information --
           the detailed model abstraction reviews all fall into
                       And I guess if there is one thing I'm
           hoping to make clear in this presentation, something
           that if there is one thing that I felt has been
           misinterpreted the most with respect to Part 63, is
           that demonstrating compliance with the performance
           objectives allows you not to understand fully the
                       And the entire approach that we laid out
           for postclosure I think give us the understanding of
           the site.  That is first and foremost.  Ultimately, we
           will look at the compliance with the numbers, but I
           know at different groups we've heard implied that the
           performance assessment is demonstration of compliance.
           The NEA peer review somewhat talked to, well, you're
           really -- if you're demonstrating compliance, you
           really don't need to understand the site.
                       I personally don't understand how you can
           make that assessment in looking at the rule and what
           is required.  And I hope to go through some of the
           information that we're looking for.  Ultimately, it's
           the understanding of the site.
                       The last thing you do is the calculation
           of the number.  But the reason you believe and put
           trust in that demonstration is all of the information
           and understanding and --
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Tim, let me ask you
           a quick question --
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Sure.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  -- on that point.
           Do you think that if you make conservative assumptions
           at every turn in the road that you'd get to understand
           the site?
                       MR. McCARTIN:  That's a difficult
           question.  However, I think you -- in your
           understanding, you need to allow for the fact that
           there could be some information that is difficult to
           attain, and you are left to take what you -- you might
           believe is a conservative approach.
                       You do have to have some information to
           defend that as conservative.  If you're given that
           information, I still maintain that you do have a
           sense, an understanding of the site.  And, in general,
           I look at the Commission's decision as one that is
           public health and safety protective.  And that's their
           decision to make.
                       In terms of if there are some conservative
           approaches, and truly we would not disagree that they
           are conservative, and you're still demonstrating that
           you can meet 15 millirem, I believe that's okay.
                       However, having said that, I will say that
           the part that -- I share the committee's opinion with
           the TSPA-SR.  The word "conservatism" was used far too
           often, and what -- I interpreted "conservatism" in
           many documents is that we believe if we collected more
           information this parameter, this model, would become
           less conservative.
                       But you don't have that information.
           There is no guarantee that if you collect that
           information you may find out that that parameter
           actually that you thought was conservative is the
           correct value.  And there is a lot of what I would
           consider putting in gut feelings into whether this is
           conservative.  I would say I don't believe that's very
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Isn't the issue, though,
           Tim, that often what the public is asking for is no
           uncertainty about the site.  And, of course, that's
           completely unachievable.  What's really important is
           how you represent the site.
                       You don't need to know everything about
           the site to accurately represent what you do know
           about the site.  And the way you do that is, of
           course, acknowledge and admit to the uncertainties.
           If you do that systematically and deliberately, you
           can represent what is known by the site in a rather
           convincing way.
                       But in order to do that you have to admit
           to these uncertainties.  And I think that's where the
           confusion comes.  I think this whole issue of
           precision is one of the most difficult to deal with,
           because in most engineering facilities it has not had
           to be dealt with in the same way that we're talking
           about here.
                       Even though the uncertainties existed,
           they were not -- there was not as much of an attempt
           to manifest them.  And now we're pushing that here we
           have to manifest them, and so we need to make darn
           sure that there is an understanding of the difference
           between representing what is known about the site and
           conveying that the characterization of the site has
           been done such that there's no uncertainties about its
           features, and that's not the direction that we can go.
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Yes.  I agree completely.
           I think I've heard you say before, and maybe even
           yesterday, to the Commission, we'd like to see the
           analysts take their best shot.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Yes.
                       MR. McCARTIN:  And I think that's what
           we're asking for in Part 63.  We're pretty -- deal
           with the uncertainties.  Give us your best shot.  And
           I don't know if I like talking to conservatism,
           because I'm not sure I know what that means.  But if
           you can talk to the evidence --
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Right.
                       MR. McCARTIN:  -- and here is the evidence
           we have, and then let someone decide whether you've
           treated that evidence in an appropriate way or a
           conservative way.  But that -- the word "conservatism"
           I think is troublesome.  I prefer what the committee
           has said -- make it evidence-based, give us the
           evidence, and what you've done.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  I think, as you know,
           Tim, I don't like the word "conservatism" at all.  One
           of the things I've always recognized is that the non-
           uniform use of it, even if everything you do is
           "conservative," if they are non-uniform you can
           introduce risks.
                       I've recently been involved in a dose
           reconstruction project where there were 100 and some
           isotopes.  And, obviously, detail work couldn't be
           done on all, so there was a screening analysis to
           reduce it to a dozen that would be looking at in
                       Because of non-uniform conservatism, in
           fact, a number of the more important isotopes were
           rejected as being not important.  And so the non-
           uniform use of conservatism can introduce risks, and
           I think it's that that we're really concerned with.
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Sure.  And I would agree.
           And it may be one of those things -- I know we're
           internally thinking harder of describing our approach
           and what we're -- how we're dealing with uncertainty,
           which I think is the key.  And I think we may have all
           in the PA area for Yucca Mountain taken a -- the easy
           way out and used the word "conservatism" far more
           liberally and in varied ways, and it has done a
                       And I believe when we've developed our
           code and parameters, I think the DOE -- I would like
           to think they're doing that.  I have a lot of
           indication they are.  But what you're looking to do is
           have a uniform level of support for what you're doing.
                       Because these problems are drastically --
           the areas that were involved, if you'll look at all of
           these different integrated subissues, they have
           drastically different uncertainties.  And you've got
           different ways to treat it, but what we're looking for
           is a uniform level of support for the approach.
                       And then I have what I would maintain is
           some confidence in the final result.  But, once again,
           I'm hoping that as I go further that it's the
           understanding that's at this level that feeds into
           this and gives you this number, and gives you some
           confidence.  And it's all -- our regulation, I think,
           is directed towards getting that understanding.
                       One picture is worth a thousand words.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  That picture has a
           thousand words.
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Yes.  Well, that's true.
                       Once again, in looking at our review, and
           this first bullet with compliance with the performance
           objectives, it's really what I've been saying.  I
           think the emphasis is on understanding the system.
           That's the way Part 63 was written.  If you read the
           technical criteria, what we're asking in terms of
           support for assumptions and models, etcetera.
                       I know the committee has talked about --
           and also the TRB asked -- the TRB has talked about the
           community access to talk about multiple lines of
           evidence.  I believe in the regulation we talk to
           things like laboratory field experiments, natural
           analogues.  I'll show later where that sort of fits
           in, we think, in terms of providing additional
                       Once again, here is where -- and I talked
           to the TRB last month and brought up that the -- we,
           at the NRC, have never defined performance assessment
           in a narrow way.  And so when we think of multiple
           lines of evidence, that's part of the TA.  All of the
           information that supports the credibility and the
           belief in the modeling is part of PA.
                       I know that when the TRB talks about it,
           they speak of multiple lines of evidence separate from
           the PA.  I think we're both after the same thing.  I
           don't think there's a problem, but I believe we -- I
           think some of that may have developed to this -- the
           PA and demonstrating compliance doesn't get you the
           whole way.  You need other information to make your
           safety case, if you will.
                       We sort of cloak all of this under the
           same you're demonstrating compliance.  All of that
           information support is included.
                       As I talked about, the risk information is
           used to focus the review.  Multiple barrier analysis
           -- and you saw little -- we had some discussion
           yesterday about barrier analysis.  The rule requires
           two things -- well, three things.  Identify the
           barriers, describe the capability of the barriers, and
           provide the technical basis for that capability.
                       We believe providing that technical basis
           is really the same -- will be the same as the
           technical basis that's provided in the model
           abstraction aspect.  So it's not really a separate
           kind of thing, and we mention that in the rule.
                       But it's important that we are looking at
           barrier capability.  And I think the Commission -- we
           thought about what to do for barriers for the -- from
           the proposed rule all the way to the final, and it was
           debated internally.  We had many discussions.  We've
           thought about it a lot.  I believe the Commission
           ended up where they should be -- at barrier
                       Barrier capability is implying I have an
           understanding of what these barriers are doing.  The
           reason I like that is that if you go to other things,
           such as just looking at the dose number in some cases,
           you can be misled.
                       And for the simple reason -- let's say
           there's some radionuclides because of retardation
           never get out of the actual system.  It's always zero.
           If you're just looking at the dose, you're totally
           opaque to the fact that the natural system is holding
           up those nuclides essentially forever, on the order of
           hundreds of thousands of years.
                       Just looking at the dose, you see iodine
           technetium.  Well, the reason you see iodine
           technetium is they are very mobile.  They're mobile
           just about everywhere in the world.  There's a reason
           we see that.  We didn't not bury this waste to retard
           iodine technetium.  And so just looking at the dose
           can sometimes be misleading.
                       If you start describing the capability --
           and I have some slides later that will get into that,
           tell me what this barrier is doing and you can see
           that the barrier -- I know in terms of the simplified
           analyses you might just look at iodine technetium and
           neptunium.  But in barrier capability, I think it
           would be very important.
                       There's a reason you don't have to include
           all of those other radionuclides.  It's a natural
           system.  And I think that description of that
           capability for the natural system to retard and hold
           up those nuclides is very important to the decision
           the Commission has to make.  And I think in looking at
           the barriers you need that kind of information.
                       Obviously, the multiple barrier analysis
           will help -- as I said, that information helps focus
           the remaining -- all of the other reviews, be it model
           abstraction scenarios, etcetera.  That's very
                       In terms of the scenario analysis, we have
           both the nominal and disruptive events.  There really
           aren't that many disruptive events.  But, certainly,
           in the nominal scenario, there is a plethora of
           processes to be considered.  And there is a lot of
           evaluation there to look at what's included in the
           analyses and what is not.
                       And, ultimately, we think we'll be looking
           at unlikely and very unlikely events.  And, as you
           know, the unlikely events would be screened from the
           human intrusion and groundwater protection analyses.
                       Model abstraction.  Right now, we've done
           a lot of performance assessments -- the DOE has, NEI
           has.  We've made use of all of that.  I think there is
           prior information, prior knowledge that's used to help
           in developing this part of the review plan.  There is
           no question that the model abstractions will have
           varying risk significance.  Part of that depends on
           what the DOE's safety case is.
                       When the application comes in, we think we
           have all of the right pieces here.  We'll be able to
           tailor that analysis once the application is in.  In
           terms of the abstraction, there is five aspects to
           each model abstraction that we look at, and here is
           where the understanding of the site comes in.
                       First, an adequate system description of
           model integration.  Well, what does that mean?  Well,
           we're looking for DOE to describe how they've -- for
           this subissue, how they've integrated into the whole
           analysis.  We want to understand what they've done,
           how it relates to other aspects of the model, what
           feeds in, what feeds out, but getting an idea of what
           is being done in that system, that issue.
                       Next, we would look at, is there data in
           model justification for what they've done?  Then, of
           course, getting to uncertainty, adequate
           characterization for the parameter uncertainty, and,
           as Dick Codell and Sitakanta pointed out yesterday,
           there are certain things we want to look at in terms
           of the risk dilution, etcetera.  How are you
           specifying this range, etcetera?  And there is things
           to be careful with in terms of arbitrarily expanding
           a particular range.
                       Model uncertainty -- as you know, the rule
           requires DOE to look at alternative models that are
           consistent with the information.
                       And, finally, adequate support for the
           model abstraction output.  I think here, but
           potentially also in this area, but here primarily,
           this could be where you have the multiple lines of
                       For example, you might have for the waste
           package a corrosion rate of X.  Waste packages are
           lasting for X thousands of years.  There could be --
           as DOE has indicated, there are some particular
           minerals in nature that you can look at to get a sense
           of, does this make any sense at all?  And so I think
           you have multiple lines of evidence.
                       I think you can do that at all the
           subissues, be it transport in the unsaturated zone,
           infiltration.  There are many things that I -- but I
           think here is where they tell us, "Here is the result.
           Here is what our model is doing.  And here is some
           analogue information.  Here is some potentially
           experimental information, field experiments,
           laboratory experiments, that support the ultimate
           value that's coming out of your model."
                       Demonstration of compliance.  Having done
           the model abstractions, and I think that's where --
           given you have that understanding, you think the
           models are appropriately integrated, there's
           justification, you have a sense of how uncertainty was
           dealt with, what your support is.  I think you can
           easily go, then, to the demonstration of compliance.
           What is the final dose number?
                       And, as you know, their requirement is
           reasonable expectation.  We want to make sure,
           certainly, that probability estimates for the
           scenarios and the consequences -- there is certainly
           a mathematical correctness there that we want to make
           sure that -- you know, that the numbers have been
           added up correctly.
                       Certainly, looking at parameter
           uncertainty and the model uncertainty, how that's
           manifested in the final dose number, we've looked at
           it at the subissue level.  When you look at given --
           you understand how uncertainty is manifested in the
           subissues, do you see a dose result consistent with
           your understanding of that uncertainty?
                       And as Dr. Garrick pointed out, we are
           using -- essentially, we would use all three.  The
           performance assessment tool would be the basis for all
           three performance objectives.  Clearly, the
           groundwater protection is an intermediate result to
           the dose.  You have to get a concentration.
                       Obviously, for some nuclides it's
           15 picocuries per liter.  Other it's four millirem to
           the organ or the whole body.  And so you have to do
           some manipulation with that information, but
           ultimately you're taking the concentration and you can
           feed it off into the all pathway dose assessment or
           into a post processor to demonstrate whether you've
           met the groundwater protection requirement.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Tim, a quick
           technical question.
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Yes.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  For the groundwater
           protection, is that the concentration with everything
           dissolved in 3,000-acre feet?
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Yes.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Okay.
                       MR. McCARTIN:  And, finally, I just want
           to get back to, well, what kinds of analyses might the
           staff do to support these reviews?  First and
           foremost, I think we want our own quantitative
           understanding of each barrier's capability.  And by
           that, as I mentioned before, we're looking at the
           capability of a barrier.
                       Certainly, the waste package is an easy
           capability to describe.  While it's operating, there
           are no cracks, no holes.  There is no release, so it's
           zero.  When there's a -- however, we also have a
           limited amount of water contacting the waste.  We
           think that's important.
                       Slow release rates from the waste form.
           These things don't release that quickly.  Iodine
           technetium -- one of the reasons you see that is they
           have a gap fraction that is available for an
           instantaneous release.  It's a fairly high percentage.
           I'll say two to four percent.  That's a lot of release
           and over a very short time period.  One of the reasons
           -- once again, iodine technetium show up, mobile, has
           a gap fraction, high solubility.
                       Delay of specific radionuclides due to
           retardation, and I guess this is very important.
           Iodine technetium -- a very, very small percentage of
           the inventory is lightly retarded.  But the fact that
           nothing else -- you're seeing virtually none of the
           other radionuclides, they're retarded here.
                       I think we need to do some of the
           calculations to get a sense of what's being retarded,
           because the fact that we should not be -- well, we
           want to be focused on two things.  Things that give
           high doses, but attributes of the system that result
           in zero doses, are also important.  Just like people
           are concerned with the waste package, it's no releases
           for a long period of time.
                       The saturated and unsaturated zones have
           the capability to provide no releases for times
           sometimes much longer than the waste package for a
           large host of radionuclides.  We want to make sure
           those zeroes are appropriately zeroes.
                       Certainly, we'll do sensitivity analyses.
           Dick and Sitakanta I thought did a good job of giving
           different areas we're looking at.  I think the
           strength of the PA program is you never want to be
           satisfied with where you're at.  I think you want to
           constantly look to new techniques to see if you have
           a better way of analyzing the problem, and I think we
           continue to look at different approaches.
                       Dick mentioned the neural networks.  There
           is things that maybe there is other areas that provide
           analysis ways/methods to look at the problem that may
           be helpful, and I think we want to explore that.
                       We certainly want to be -- and we are
           working diligently at understanding differences
           between our sensitivity analysis and the DOE's.
           Ultimately, we are interested only in DOE's, and
           that's our focus.
                       And, as you know -- and we've commented
           about this before -- for example, the diffusional
           release that DOE has, it dominates the early release
           for their waste package, or some of the things --
           there are differences in the unsaturated and the
           saturated zones for matrix diffusion between our
           different models.
                       The beauty of that is we all came to our
           models with a certain understanding, working through
           the DOE's model, and our model I think is strengthened
           by understanding strengths and limitations of both
           approaches.  But, certainly, we'll do the sensitivity
           analyses, but you want to be mindful of -- because
           there are some important differences.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Tim, in fact, as we
           know, the sensitivity analyses are model-specific.  So
           you lay your testing as the sensitivity of TPA when
           you do sensitivity analyses on TPA.  And, certainly,
           it may give you some insights as to what you want to
           look at at the DOE case.  But are you -- do you have
           plans to actually do sensitivity analyses on the TSPA
           itself?  Or just try to interpret DOE's presentations?
                       MR. McCARTIN:  No, we're not going to try
           to -- well, we certainly try to interpret their
           presentations and ask questions, etcetera.  But we do
           have the Goldsim model in-house, and we're --
           currently, Dave Esh is working on an effort to bore
           into that, down to the last parameter, and understand
           how their model is working, what the assumptions are,
           what the parameters are, and where -- I think in the
           next year we're going to move to be doing far more
           work with DOE's model than with ours.
                       We have a limited capability for running
           their model.  They have a different approach than we
           do.  If needed, I think the Department would probably
           be willing to do some particular simulations for us.
           But right now, we won't run their model, but we do
           have their results.  And I think -- I think it will be
           a very interesting exercise, and I think it will help
           us get even more ready for reviewing their model when
           ultimately --
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  I guess I'm just
           trying to figure out at the end of the day if, in
           fact, the license application comes in and you have
           sensitivity analyses, how does this play into your
           review of --
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Well, it's risk
           information.  It's in a broad area of, where do we
           want to focus the review?  We clearly -- there are --
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  But your intention
           isn't to give DOE guidance on how the sensitivity
           should be done.
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Oh, no.  Absolutely not.
           No, no, no.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  I think part of what
           George is getting to is the chicken and egg problem
           you have of, on the one hand, early in the analysis
           identifying what's important, and on the other hand,
           later in the analysis, allocating the resources in
           accordance with that.
                       And sometimes you don't always discover
           what's important until late in the analysis.  And so
           that has to be done with great care.
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Yes, I would agree
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Yes.  And the other thing
           relating to the review plan is that the review plan is
           very specific with respect to the abstractions that
           you're going to consider.  And I know that the whole
           abstraction process has been a major issue and concern
           of the staff.
                       I hope that the review plan has the
           flexibility to adjust to additional abstractions that
           are listed here or a restructuring of the abstractions
           that are listed here, because --
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Yes.  I think we have a lot
           of flexibility.  Now, the bins are broad enough that
           there is a lot of information in a particular area, be
           it the, you know, corrosion of the waste package.  I
           mean, you know, you'll have a bin for corrosion of the
           waste package.  Within that, DOE has to talk to what
           kind of water chemistries, etcetera, that are
           impacting it.
                       And I think that's where the flexibility
           is in that we haven't pointed to any particular water
           chemistry they have to consider.  But you're right
           that, have you missed something?  You really want to
           look carefully at the FEPS analysis.  What have you
           included?  What have you not included?  And why?
                       And there is a lot of work there to make
           sure you -- gee, now you don't think this is possible,
           but it could have a very big effect.  And it's not a
           simple problem, but I think the model abstractions are
           broad enough that I don't know if we would need any
           further model abstractions.
                       But there is nothing to preclude us from
           taking some out, adding some in, but I think within
           the model abstraction there is a lot of -- I mean, on
           the plus side, I think from the NRC's standpoint, we
           gave DOE the flexibility.  You need to describe what
           you've done and defend it.  That gives complete
           responsibility to the Department.
                       We're not going to tell you what has to be
           in there, but we're going to review it and --
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Yes.  And the issue is
           the completeness.
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Yes.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Have we appropriately
           mapped from the process models and the analysis models
           that are very detailed to the TPA.
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Yes, absolutely.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  And the completeness of
           that process is a very important part of what you're
           trying to do.
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Yes.  Yes.  And that's one
           area where I think -- and the proof will be when and
           if it actually happens, so there's no guarantee that
           a license application is filed.  But if it's filed,
           that's why I like the barrier description up front.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Yes.
                       MR. McCARTIN:  They provide, here is why
           it works.  And I think at a broad level, that's where
           you're looking at, does this make sense?  Can I think
           of things that could be there that would defeat that
           barrier?  Here's it's capability, etcetera.  And then,
           with that information, you go into the model
           abstractions with a sense of where in the Department's
           safety case it appears that the capability is the
                       I'd like to think that, having been
           looking at high-level waste disposal and performance
           assessment for around 20 years, that at least for the
           model abstractions the big ticket items we have.  But,
           you know, there is always new information potentially
           coming in.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  The only point of the
           comment is that we don't want to let the review plan
           bound our thinking about what we consider.
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Absolutely.  And that is a
           very good point, a good word of caution to the staff.
           And I think it's incumbent on us to look at what's
           said in the review plan and make sure that that
           thought is in there somewhere.
                       And maybe it needs to be explicitly stated
           somewhere up front, but you're right, and it's -- the
           review plan is to give an order so that -- of the
           review so that we make sure we cover all of the things
           we do.  We need to cover and adjust the review
           accordingly, but you're absolutely right.  Along those
           lines, we would expect to do focuses analyses.
                       I think one of the things we've strived in
           our TPA code -- and, as you heard yesterday, 5.0 will
           be -- we're in the thinking process for that -- we
           tend to try to make a code that's flexible to
           analyzing a variety of different concepts.  We have
           many different alternative models for ways that the
           waste package -- we have two waste package failure
           models, two different -- or three or four different
           models for release, except we have different ways to
           look at the problem.
                       I think we'll be able to -- if we have a
           question about an aspect of the behavior, we'll be
           able to do some focused analyses with the PA looking
           at a very specific issue.  Also, we would expect
           process level models, that for some things you're just
           going to have to do a much more detailed model and
           see, do we agree that that process can be eliminated?
                       Seepage, non-isothermal flow, etcetera,
           are things where you may have to do more process-level
           models. And I think we have that capability and that
           support where we go back to the Department to ask --
           we need more information about this.  Ultimately, in
           our review, that's what we're looking -- what do we
           need more information on?  We need to support our
           basis for that.
                       Groundwater protection standards -- we'll
           certainly -- as I mentioned before, it's really an
           intermediate result to the PA.  We don't think that
           this adds any additional burden to the calculation.
           We will do it.  Or the Department will have to
           demonstrate that.  Unlikely events will not be
           considered, and, as I mentioned, the rulemaking to
           make that a more quantitative value rather than the
           qualitative nature of it is underway.
                       For human intrusion, a key part of the
           standard that we adopted is that DOE needs to
           determine when this will occur.  We certainly have to
           review the DOE analysis of when the occurrence will --
           of the intrusion would occur.
                       And, finally, I thought this would go
           quicker, but I got some good questions.  I don't know
           how much time I was given.  I probably went over, but
           I've been accused of that before.
                       Pat felt -- he's after me.  He says he may
           not get on when I got up, so --
                       In summary, fundamentally, Part 63, the
           requirements, the review, is looking at the
           understanding of the system behavior.  That is key and
           foremost.  We would expect to be looking at the
           technical basis for that understanding -- would be
           commensurate with the risk importance.  And we
           certainly will do a variety of focused analyses to
           assist our review.
                       I'd be happy to answer any questions.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Thanks, Tim.  Let's
           see, I have a couple of questions.  Let me kick off
           with -- to a certain extent I guess we've covered
           this, and perhaps we may reach an agreement that we'll
           never use the conservatism word again.
                       But are you confident that you will have
           given or will be able to give DOE appropriate guidance
           on what you mean by evidence-based?  Do you think that
           that's clear in your acceptance criteria that what
           you're after is enough evidence to support the case
           that they make?
                       MR. McCARTIN:  That's a good question.  I
           mean, the quick answer is, yes, I'd like to think that
           the acceptance criteria are clear enough.  Having said
           that, though, I think the uncertainties are so
           different between the different subissues that there
           is really no simple answer.
                       That I think ultimately right now it's
           coming about by virtue of the agreements that we
           reached that I think gave the Department an idea of
           what -- where we thought support was needed further,
           where support was appropriate.  I think we're going to
           have -- continue that dialogue, that prelicensing
           dialogue, on the agreements that I think is critical.
                       It's one of those things, the review plan
           can only go so far.  And I think we've given it a
           framework, but I guess I'm not confident that the
           review plan could go all the way that would be needed.
           I think it's really sitdown conversations with the
                       MR. CIOCCO:  Jeff Ciocco with the NRC
           staff.  We did add some language up front in the --
           it's on page 4.2-2 and 4.2-3 on conservatism.  It
           doesn't necessarily reflect back in the acceptance
           criteria yet.  As Tim said, this was kind of a high-
           level -- we want to give staff some guidance, and this
           was really in response to your letter on the TSPA-SR.
                       We went back and felt that we needed to
           address the issue.  And you can read -- there's a
           couple of paragraphs in there, and it was kind of the
           basis, kind of a general framework for dealing with
           conservatism.  But it's not -- as Tim said, it's hard
           to capture back in the specific acceptance criteria.
           And we're probably not there yet in that area, but I
           think we have major feedback in that area as far as
           what we have.
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Yes.  I mean, that's --
           yes, that discussion is more along the lines of you
           need to be careful when you go down the conservative
           path, as compared to how much evidence do you need to
           support --
                       MR. CIOCCO:  Right.
                       MR. McCARTIN:  -- something.  And it's
           more along some of the concerns the committee has had
           in terms of, well, you justify this approach.  It's
           conservative.  I don't have to do any more.
                       But is it truly conservative?  It's
           conservative for maybe you're getting more water into
           the drifts.  But depending on what modeling approach
           you want to look at, gee, more water could make the
           salt concentration on the waste package more dilute.
           And so it extends the lifetime of the waste package.
                       So the fact that it's -- you're saying
           it's conservative for water, yes, but as I know the
           committee has pointed out, it may not be conservative
           in terms of what the final dose estimate is.  And
           there is --
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  That's a good
           example for my second question, which was, are you
           confident that even though you have these what are
           called integrated subissues that you really are going
           to integrate and not be stuck in stovepipes for your
                       Your example of water changing salt
           concentration might be --
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Sure.  Yes.  I believe so,
           but it is a challenge.  There is absolutely no
           question about that.  The reason I have confidence is
           over the past month or so we've had a number of what
           some people called brutal meetings.  Brett Leslie and
           Chris Grossman were doing the risk ranking of the
           agreements, etcetera.  I know they've defined it as
                       Now, they had to coordinate all of them,
           and maybe that's why.  I found -- I attended all but
           one of the 14 meetings, whatever they were.  They were
           fascinating, and they were tremendous discussions
           between -- with the staff, both here and at the
           center.  And getting to just that issue, there were,
           I'll say -- people were encouraged and everyone took
           up the gauntlet appropriately.
                       If you have any stake in this issue, you
           need to be at this meeting.  And there was a lot of
           discussion between -- while we divvy the work up
           between different KTIs, or different subissues,
           however you want to -- there will always be some of
                       The cross-discussion is absolutely
           critical, and that -- those discussions, which will
           continue, I think are fostering a very high degree of
           integration. And I think the agreements -- although I
           know the agreements have taken some criticism, if
           there is one very, very positive thing with the
           agreements, I think it's people have really focused
           on, how does this relate to my -- and, actually, it's
           been a tremendous integrating tool.
                       And I think those meetings are going to
           continue, but I -- I think in that sense, yes, we will
           be able to integrate.
                       Pat, do you have --
                       MR. MACKIN:  This is Pat Mackin from the
           center.  Just one clarifying point.  Each of these
           subissues is explored by a team, which is, by design,
           multidisciplinary.  So that anyone, as Tim would say,
           that has a stake in any issue, whatever their
           discipline is, is involved in that team.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Thank you.  Milt?
                       VICE CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I have one fairly
           detailed question, Tim.  Under model abstraction, you
           say each model abstraction uses the same five generic
           acceptance criteria.  One of those is adequate
           characterization and propagation of data uncertainty,
           and I guess I would add to that the lack of data
                       Are you reasonably comfortable that you
           can, in fact, propagate the uncertainty -- the
           uncertainty reflected in the dose?  And it seems to me
           that's extraordinarily difficult to do, and the same
           thing can be said about the abstraction or the
           propagation of model uncertainty.  Those seem to me to
           be very difficult things to do, considering what you
           haven't had to work with.
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Right.  Well, certainly, in
           terms of -- we have techniques for the parameter
           uncertainty, and you can vary parameters and see what
           it -- how it changes dose.  In terms of looking at
           model uncertainty, you can try different conceptual
           models and see what the ultimate effect on dose is.
                       But at the heart of your concern is -- at
           least in my opinion, is that, have you captured all of
           the uncertainty?  Have you -- there is certainly
           knowledge -- you're only putting in what you know.
           There are certain aspects of it that, gee, what I'm
           not certain about I may not even have in the model,
                       VICE CHAIRMAN WYMER:  How do you propagate
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Well, I don't think you
           can, but I think you have to look at -- I will fall
           back on you have other aspects to look at to help you
           make your decision, and I look at the barriers
           ultimately.  That's part of why multiple barriers are
           there is a recognition that this is a hard problem to
           quantify the uncertainty for.  And we'll have this
           multiple barrier system, because we -- we have that
                       And I look at when you look at the
           capabilities of those barriers, you'll have a sense of
           what they're providing.  And, once again, each of
           those will have some uncertainty, but it's at a lower
           level than the dose.  I think you use that kind of
           information to help you make the decision.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I suppose I was
           reading that a lot more narrowly than you intended it,
           the criteria.
                       MR. McCARTIN:  What, the --
                       VICE CHAIRMAN WYMER:  The adequate
           characterization and propagation of data uncertainty
           seems fairly specific.
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Sure.  Well, it's looking
           at the -- primarily, the parameter uncertainty.  Have
           you specified the ranges for these parameters
           appropriately?  Is it properly reflected?  And do we
           see that all the way through the -- at the end, the
           dose variation is consistent with the uncertainty in
           these parameters, etcetera?
                       VICE CHAIRMAN WYMER:  My view is that it
           expands explosively.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  No, no.
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Hopefully not explosively.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  John?
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  I only have one question,
           and I only want a two-minute answer.  Can you remind
           me, Tim -- and I should know this -- where the 10-8
           per year threshold came from?
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Well, that was in Part 60,
           and we adopted that from Part 60.  And I will go back
           -- I can't give you the rationale off the top of my
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Is there a connection --
           is there a threshold in damage level associated with
           the number?
                       MR. McCARTIN:  I'd have to go back to 60
           and resurrect the basis.  I can't --
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Because if there is, you
           know, Milt's comment is very relevant here in this
           whole business of what constitutes adequate safety or
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Well, I think there was --
           remember, 10-8 was one in 10,000 over 10,000 years.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Right.
                       MR. McCARTIN:  And so I know qualitatively
           there was some sense of what kinds of things might
           happen over 10,000 years.  And so it was a 10-4
           probability with some --
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Yes, I know that.  But it
           has to be related to some level of consequence.
           Otherwise, you're into a morass of analysis that --
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  You wouldn't use the
           same number for somebody breaking an arm versus
           killing a hundred people.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Well, I wanted a two-
           minute answer, and we've already gone three.
                       But we can solve that problem.
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Yes.  I'll get back to you
           on that one if there is some more illuminating words
           in the -- back from the --
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Yes.  Because it's a very
           casual statement, and yet behind the statement is a
           potential analyst nightmare.
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Sure.  Now, the other
           thing, 63 does give the caveat that something that
           isn't going to have a significant effect on the timing
           or magnitude of the dose does not have to be included.
           So we're not saying go down to 10-8 for everything.
           It's just things would have to have some type of
           material effect.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Unless there is some
           burning question from somebody, and it has to be a
           short burning question -- Latif?
                       MR. HAMDAN:  Tim, a very short question.
           One site attribute that DOE has cited many times, and
           you cited this morning, is the limited amount of water
           protecting the waste.  And yet on Tuesday DOE told us
           that the amount of seepage is not important to the
           process.  It's the humidity and the chemistry of
           seepage, and I believe that the TPA report essentially
           is coming to raise another conclusion.
                       So how -- are we going to rethink this
           attribute, or reword it, or --
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Well, I --
                       MR. HAMDAN:  -- in view of the findings?
                       MR. McCARTIN:  -- I think it's still true.
           The humidity -- the corrosion rate is sensitive to the
           humidity, not to the seepage.  And in that context, I
           totally agree.  However, intuitively, I have yet to be
           convinced that the amount of water contacting the
           waste doesn't have a material effect on how much waste
           is transported away.
                       And it does matter.  It's certainly -- for
           something like neptunium where there is, you know, a
           lot of it, and it's somewhat solubility limited, the
           more water that contacts, the more neptunium will move
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Okay.  What I'd like
           to do, Pat and Jeff, if it's okay, is take a 15-minute
           break.  Okay.
                                   (Whereupon, the proceedings in the
                       foregoing matter went off the record at
                       10:20 a.m. and went back on the record at
                       10:37 a.m.)
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Let's reconvene the
           meeting.  We're continuing with our presentation on
           the Yucca Mountain review plan, and Pat Mackin is our
           next speaker.
                       MR. MACKIN:  Good morning.  Can you hear
           me okay?  Is my mike working?  All right.
                       Jeff Pohle and I are going to talk about
           a couple of subjects that are addressed in the Yucca
           Mountain review plan, because they're addressed in the
           regulations, that sometimes have confused people as to
           how they relate.
                       I'm going to discuss safety questions, and
           Jeff is going to discuss the performance confirmation
                       The issue of safety questions is one
           that's common to a lot of NRC regulations, and it
           deals with the potential that at the time of a given
           licensing step there are safety questions remaining.
           These are different from performance confirmation
           issues.  These are areas where research and
           development might be required to verify the adequacy
           of design, for example.  So, in other words, something
           that people are not sure of yet.
                       Since this is an area that is somewhat
           vague at this point, our acceptance criteria are also
           designed to enable us to flexibly assess a number of
           different situations.  And these bullets here
           represent the acceptance criteria that are outlined in
           the Yucca Mountain review plan for safety questions.
                       The first one is pretty straightforward.
           It's if there are any at the time of construction
           authorization, have they been adequately described and
           identified?  Has a technical basis been provided?  Is
           it clear what the question is, and that it relates to
           safety or to waste isolation?
                       The second one, then, is, how has DOE
           proposed to address any such questions?  Or what is
           the technical basis for their plan to resolve the
           question?  And, again, it's kind of a little bit
           difficult to talk about in the abstract.  There are no
           currently identified safety questions.  That won't be
           determined until such time as our licensing decision
           and licensing review is to be made.
                       The next acceptance criterion fits in
           pretty well with the nature of a safety question,
           which is, what's the schedule for resolving it?  If
           the Commission agrees that a safety question can
           remain at a particular state in licensing, that would
           have to be resolved by some specific time, so you
           could support the receipt and emplacement of waste.
                       So it's not an open-ended thing.  It's
           something that has to be closed out at some point.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Pat, are we talking about
           safety here in the same way we were talking about
           safety earlier?
                       MR. MACKIN:  Yes.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Okay.
                       MR. MACKIN:  These questions would be
           related -- the important to safety or to waste
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Okay.
                       MR. MACKIN:  As defined in Part 63.
                       The next one would be, if the Commission
           would agree to go ahead with some safety questions to
           be addressed, are there alternatives in the
           construction or the operation of the design that would
           have to be considered to allow for that question?
                       And, finally, and the most important, I
           believe, of the acceptance criteria is, if there are
           any such questions, the staff will need to make a
           recommendation, based on their overall integrated
           effect on the construction of the repository, whether
           it's appropriate to go forward with the construction
           authorization or not.
                       And since that decision was based on --
           would be based on the number and nature of any such
           questions, we have not attempted to lay out any
           specific criteria for how that judgment would be made.
           And, again, by its nature, this particular aspect of
           the review plan is focused on items that are important
           to safety or to waste isolation.  The acceptance
           criteria you can see are fairly generic.
                       I've been asked to give an example of what
           such a safety question might be, and I'll do so only
           with a bunch of caveats.  And one is --
                       -- there are no such formally defined
           safety questions.  That's a premature thing.  And,
           therefore, what I'm going to suggest is just a what
           if.  It's not something that's going to happen
                       But one might be, for example, that at the
           time of construction authorization there are questions
           about the stability of the underground facility when
           it's constructed that cannot be resolved without
           further digging and making of tunnels and analyzing
           and mapping and measuring and things like that.
                       The Commission could consider, based on a
           DOE plan, for further underground excavation,
           monitoring, measuring, experimentation, that it would
           be okay to go ahead with construction while this
           further investigation continues into the development
           of the underground facility.
                       It's clearly important to safety.  It's
           something at which the Commission might say, given the
           circumstances at the time, it's okay to proceed, given
           that you've given us a schedule and a plan.  Of
           course, but there may be a license condition that they
           would not be allowed to go beyond some certain point.
                       Or, certainly, receiving and placement of
           waste couldn't take place until this question were
           resolved.  But that is an example of the kind of thing
           where there is -- it's different from a performance
           confirmation item, where something has been used to
           make the safety case, and now the Department of Energy
           is confirming that the repository is performing in
           that manner.  This is something where there is a
           question that isn't answered related to safety.
                       Does that help at all with what the nature
           of these things might be if there were to be any at
           that time?
                       And, again, this is the last bullet on my
           presentation is these are different things from what
           performance confirmation is intended to do.
                       Pending any questions, that's all I was
           going to say about safety questions, and Jeff Pohle is
           up next.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  John?
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Yes.  So these are safety
           questions that were not otherwise considered.
                       MR. MACKIN:  I don't know if "not
           otherwise considered" is the full scope of it.  It
           might also be things that were considered and
           addressed, but at the time of the license application
           were not fully answered.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Oh, I see.  But I was
           thinking of -- I thought I heard you say that may have
           come up and that they'd turn out to be outside the
           performance assessment, or what have you.  So this is
           more of a degree of resolution.
                       MR. MACKIN:  Right.  In this case, in
           fact, this issue of underground stability would have
           to be addressed both in the preclosure safety
           assessment and, I assume, for the postclosure
           performance assessment.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Yes.  And I guess if --
           what it really does is allow some flexibility to deal
           with these problems, given that there's a long
           preoperational period or pre --
                       MR. MACKIN:  Well, I think it becomes a
           really -- I don't want to speak for the staff here, of
           course, but I think it becomes a really tough
           judgment.  This is not meant to be a place you can
           dump things, a bunch of stuff that you just haven't
           had time to finish.  There's a lot more thought than
           that that goes into it.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Yes, that's what I'm
           trying to understand.
                       MR. MACKIN:  And I think a decision to
           allow a construction authorization with a safety
           question remaining would be a difficult one and a
           well-documented one, both by the staff and the --
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  But it's not out of the
                       MR. MACKIN:  It's not out of the question.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Right.
                       MR. MACKIN:  And my understanding and my
           experience is other NRC regulations or other programs
           also deal with these what they call unresolved safety
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  So it's not unique, then,
           to 10 CFR Part 63.
                       MR. MACKIN:  Right.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Okay.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  More questions?
           Milt?  Raymond?
                       Pat, this probably -- this question
           probably doesn't fit under this particular topic,
           although I'm not sure where it does fit.
                       You're probably familiar with the BRWM
           1990 booklet "Rethinking High-Level and Disposable
           High-Level Waste."  And in there an approach is
           described -- well, one of the issues is that with all
           of the experience we have with mining, one thing we
           know is that there will be surprises.
                       How do surprises in the construction phase
           get dealt with by the NRC?
                       MR. MACKIN:  There is --
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  It's not here,
                       MR. MACKIN:  No.  There are requirements
           in 10 CFR Part 63.  And, in fact, as I understand,
           there will be license conditions, if the construction
           authorization is granted, for the DOE to report
           periodically on the progress of construction and to
           report any -- discovery of any items that would be
           important to safety that were unexpected.
                       So my understanding of that is that that
           would be a continuing focus of not only the NRC
           inspection program but interaction with DOE then as a
           licensee during construction.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Yes, okay.  So, I
           mean, what triggered that in my mind was the example
           you gave with all of the caveats strikes me as
           something that could happen without DOE anticipating
           it ahead of time and identifying it.
                       MR. MACKIN:  In this case, though, to take
           that example, stability of the underground facility is
           an item of focus both by DOE and the staff.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  No, I realize that.
           But, again, for your example to make sense, it would
           be something that might be anticipated that would be
           different with the rock in the proposed repository
           area versus the experience otherwise, and --
                       MR. MACKIN:  The part of the regulation
           that deals with that I believe uses the term
           "unexpected conditions."  Is that correct, Tim?
                       MR. MACKIN:  Yes.  Yes, 63.32 talks about
           conditions for construction.  It gets into just the
           things Pat is talking about.  I mean, there is a
           vehicle for DOE to update things, requirements of when
           they have to report things to us, and schedules,
           depending on what occurs.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Okay.  Thank you.
                       MR. MACKIN:  Thank you.
                       MR. POHLE:  Can everybody hear me okay?
           Microphone working?  All right.  Is that any better?
                       Performance confirmation.  There are only
           three slides on this topic, and these slides would be
           suitable for giving an overview of how Part 63 is set
           up, because it's pretty much identical with the
           organization of the section in the review plan that
           deals with performance confirmation.
                       The first slide is essentially some
           background, straight out of the rule, the test
           experiments and analysis used to evaluate adequacy of
           information.  And this particular requirement is
           unique to the high-level waste program.  It's kind of
           a first of a kind.
                       And, basically, it was done in recognition
           of the uncertainties that exist in these long time
           periods that we're dealing with with the geologic
           repository.  And, fundamentally, that the performance
           confirmation is intended to focus on natural and
           engineered -- here I call it systems and components --
           you could interchange the word "barriers" in here --
           that are important to performance.
                       This is like -- the program is essentially
           a confidence builder, somewhat similar like we have a
           requirement for multiple barriers.  In addition to
           that, even though much work has been done in
           characterizing the site and designing the repository,
           certain testing and monitoring will be required all
           through the other steps of the licensing process all
           the way until permanent closure.
                       But the focus -- our intended focus would
           be on the barriers, and then that is all laid out in
           the acceptance criteria.
                       Now, the Subpart F of Part 63, which is
           the performance confirmation program, is -- and the
           review plan -- is laid out basically in the four bins.
           There are four main requirements.  One is the general
           requirements, then dealing with geotechnical and
           design parameters, design testing, and on the next
           slide deals with the waste package.  And most of these
           ticks under here are basically items in the
                       Now, these four items represent the areas
           of review, so the review plan will be set up for each
           area of review.  There will be review methods and
           acceptance criteria, and ultimately leading to the
           final determination.
                       Now, at this point, when one starts to
           review the performance confirmation program, Tim
           earlier today in the section of the postclosure
           performance called system description and multiple
           barriers.  Tim basically said, "While this is
           something we would want to read first to get the broad
           overview of the safety case, presumably DOE would
           write it last."
                       Well, now, when we're at this point, this
           is something we would read last and it would probably
           really be written last on DOE's part, because it
           should fall down from the safety case, the performance
           assessment, leaving you to develop what components of
           the barriers would be included in the performance
           confirmation program for continued monitoring and
           testing during construction and operation.
                       A couple of points to highlight.  A couple
           of sentences here right out of the rule, conditions
           are within limits assumed in the license application.
           Natural and engineered barriers are functioning as
           intended and expected.
                       We would expect the rule of common sense
           to apply.  In the past, some concerns about these
           particular sentences in the rule were brought to my
           attention.  Well, what does that mean?  And let me
           give an example.
                       Let's say in performance assessment for --
           this is purely hypothetical.  There is really no need
           -- we have evidence.  We know that, let's say,
           groundwater would flow fast to the unsaturated zone.
           Let's say hundreds of years.  So in a performance
           assessment, it may not be necessary to include that
           time.  We could assume an instantaneous release to the
           water table.
                       Well, in reading Part 63, it would not be
           our expectation that DOE would have to go out and
           demonstrate that the travel time is zero.  Is that
           what was used in the PA?  No.  Common sense says you
           may go back and continue to evaluate whether the
           evidence, i.e. short travel times, that you use to
           make that assumption in your performance assessment is
           adequate.  Okay?  That's kind of how it would work.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Before you move that
           slide, will you say a few things about the tick that
           talks about "includes in situ monitoring and in situ
           experiments in laboratory and field testing"?
                       MR. POHLE:  Right.  That's a requirement
           in the regulation that doesn't prescribe exactly what,
           but merely that the program shall be composed of --
           shall include in situ monitoring, in situ experiments,
           that's in place in laboratory field testing in
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  There's a lot of emphasis
           on the barriers.  But that's -- well, that's why I
           picked on that one, but that doesn't exclude a
           monitoring program that is heavily oriented towards
           phenomenological issues.  That's what the laboratory
           and field testing --
                       MR. POHLE:  Yes.  There would be no intent
           here to be exclusionary.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Pardon?
                       MR. POHLE:  We would have no intent here
           to --
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Okay.  What I was getting
           at is, in WIP, for example, it's very important to
           measure certain things.  It's a different natural
           setting to be sure, and the time constants are very
           much different.  But you want to know about thing like
           humidity and creep rate and closure conditions and
           slumping off the rooms, and what have you.
                       And, of course, the barriers there are
           much simpler, and it's not the issue that it is here.
           But the emphasis there is more on process measures and
           process confirmation than it is on hardware, for
           example.  And I just wanted to be sure that I
           understood that the processes are also a part of this.
                       MR. POHLE:  Right.  Some months ago there
           was -- DOE had a workshop on performance confirmation,
           and I think the question arose, as an example, what
           about climatology?  Not that one would need to have a
           specific program, but this type of thing should -- the
           experts in the project should just be up on the
           literature should something arise that would need to
           be factored in to an update of a performance
                       And we -- you know, the regulation would
           not preclude that.  So there are lots of processes
           that could come into play.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  I guess I've got a
           little problem with the example you gave.  They use
           zero time.  You say they don't have to prove it's zero
           time, but you would expect them to periodically assess
           the data on which the zero time is based.  And I don't
           understand why you have such a requirement.
                       MR. POHLE:  No, there is a -- there is
           two.  And in the acceptance criteria in a review plan
           there are two items that are always next to each
           other.  One is that those things you want to include
           in a performance confirmation are important to
           performance.  And, two, if there are things that are
           important to performance that you are not going to
           include in the program, you need to give us the
           rationale why.
                       Maybe it's the existing information gives
           -- there's a consensus that it's of sufficient
           certainty nothing more needs to be done would be
           potentially basis for not continuing work on it.
           Okay?  So that, in a sense, I try to deal with that
           hypothetically when I work the review plan.  Some
           things may be important but not be included in the
                       Someone could make that case to us or that
           argument to us.  How would I deal with that argument?
           And what would my basis be for saying that's
           acceptable or not?
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Do you mean you would
           expect that people would have to defend the assumption
           that there is zero retention or delay?
                       MR. POHLE:  No.  That they merely
           understood how the unsaturated zone would function.
           And that would be the basis for deciding how to deal
           with that in the performance assessment.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  I'm not --
                       MR. POHLE:  But it may not be necessary to
           do that if the knowledge was sufficient.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  If it's something I'm
           not going to take credit for, you want me to
           essentially prove that it's okay to ignore what might
           be conservative?
                       MR. POHLE:  Well, that wasn't the intent
           of that example.  It was merely to show that --
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Well, that's the example
           you picked.
                       MR. POHLE:  Well --
                       -- but it was in the context of our
           functioning as intended and expected, not as an
           example of what's important to performance.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I suppose it's
           implicit in this that if the actual conditions are not
           open to limits assumed with the license application,
           you shut the thing down.  Otherwise, you wouldn't --
           there's no sense doing the performance confirmation.
                       MR. POHLE:  That's always the potential.
           Retrievability is always an option, right until the
           time of permanent closure.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  I hope you appreciate
           that my question was stimulated by Commissioner
           McGaffigan's questions.
                       MR. POHLE:  In a sense, retrievability
           would be a performance requirement in a broad sense
           that would be considered in performance confirmation.
           Like the previous example, you start construction on
           the ground and you -- something comes up, you either
           have to change the design so that the waste is
           retrievable, or, if that's not possible, it's
           irretrievable, you've reached that point where the
           rule requires retrievability, you'd have to deal with
                       Now, included under the general
           requirements, the program is going to have to deal
           with a bunch of administrative procedures, and now
           you're getting into reporting requirements which will
           have to relate to other parts of Part 63.  You learn
           something that's beyond some acceptable limit that
           could require DOE to go into some design control
           process and make a decision.
                       Does a design change need to be made?  And
           if it rises to some certain level or -- that would
           initiate reporting requirements to the NRC to get
           involved and possibly amendments to the license or
           construction authorization.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN WYMER:  On the next-to-the-
           last thing on your slide, the backfill question in
                       MR. POHLE:  That's if backfill is used.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN WYMER:  If it's used.
                       MR. POHLE:  That's in the rule.  In other
           words, if backfill is used, it's actually in the rule.
                       And the last bin is the last requirement
           in Subpart F that deals with monitoring and testing of
           waste packages, and these are requirements in the rule
           -- representative environment, laboratories are
           focused on internals, and it continues up until the
           time from permanent closure.
                       And so all of the review methods and
           acceptance criteria would be related back to the
           specific requirements in Subpart F.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Is there a reporting
           requirement to the NRC on these performance
           confirmation studies?
                       MR. POHLE:  My expectation would be that
           the procedures laid out or referenced in the
           performance confirmation plan would reference the
           other parts of Part 63 that specify what the reporting
           requirements are for all --
                       VICE CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Okay.
                       MR. POHLE:  -- things that arise.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Okay.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Would you think that
           this monitoring and testing equipment might be
           categorized as important to safety?
                       MR. POHLE:  Could you explain that
           further?  The monitoring and testing equipment?
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Well, you're going to do
           monitoring and testing.  That's going to require
           equipment.  Would you consider that equipment
           important to safety?
                       The context of the question -- the next
           question is going to be that the review plan requires
           that stuff that's important to safety -- this is the
           exact wording -- requires it to perform for the entire
           life of the facility without any remedial action.
           They don't have to maintain it, repair it, or do
                       MR. POHLE:  Well, I suppose there would be
           two aspects of that, both the preclosure and the
           postclosure.  I don't think the postclosure would be
           germane in terms of functioning, because the program
           would terminate at permanent closure.
                       As to preclosure, perhaps, but I -- the
           one -- the only related requirement in the rule would
           be that the repository should be designed to maintain
           the retrievability option.  And that's in the post --
           preclosure requirements section.
                       Now, that being, in a sense, a design
           requirement would seem to me logical that any design
           requirement would have to be run through the safety
           questions, or whatever safety analysis, what is done.
           Now, where one goes from there, I don't know.
                       MR. MACKIN:  Excuse me.  Could I ask a
           question?  When you say -- where are you quoting from
           saying that equipment must operate for the lifetime?
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Well, in the version
           that I have, that's on page 4.1 -- Section 4.1,
           page 57.  In the bound version the pages are slightly
           different, so it might be 56 or 58.
                       MR. MACKIN:  Because the administrative
           and programmatic requirements that are addressed in
           the review plan specifically address the maintenance
           programs, testing programs, monitoring programs, for
           equipment important to safety.  I'll have to read
           that, but there is certainly no intent that systems
           important to safety don't require maintenance.
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Jeff, I guess if I could
           add one thing, in terms of important to safety, it's
           important to meeting those requirements.  The way I
           would read the rule, it doesn't say "and also to
           confirm."  So I think it isn't necessarily -- the
           performance confirmation program doesn't necessarily
           become important to safety.  I mean, we can look at it
           closer, but it -- just because you're doing confirming
           of, say, the waste package, that confirmation I don't
           think just becomes important to safety by definition.
           At least --
                       MR. POHLE:  I would say a context, though,
           of -- it's an active program.  People are doing things
           that if that comes into play -- you know, worker
           safety, in that environment --
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Oh, worker safety.  sure.
                       MR. POHLE:  -- that will have to be dealt
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Yes.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Other questions for
           Jeff?  Jeff, I guess on this slide you have it as well
           performance -- well, no, okay.  It was on a previous
           slide.  Oh, no, there, the very last one.  Monitoring
           and testing will continue up until the time of
           permanent closure.  Presumably, this doesn't preclude
           monitoring postclosure.
                       MR. POHLE:  No.  But I would not put that
           in the performance confirmation chapter.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  No, no.  That's
           right.  It wouldn't be in the performance
           confirmation.  Right, I agree.
                       But I guess the questions that we saw
           earlier this morning I think -- I asked Jeff a
           question that looks like there is a requirement for
           postclosure monitoring, and it would seem to me -- it
           strikes me that somehow there must be at least a
           recognition that the two might not be disjunct.
                       MR. POHLE:  Well, I mean, fundamentally,
           I don't think the postclosure part has been
           necessarily thought through beyond permanent markers.
           Did that come out of NWPA?  Post-dating or original
           Part 60?
                       MR. McCARTIN:  I might it might have.
           But, I mean, we certainly have a requirement that DOE
           has to have a plan for post-permanent closure
           monitoring.  That plan could be here's -- we're going
           to continue these types of things we have been doing
           under performance confirmation.
                       But Jeff is correct.  We wouldn't do it
           under performance confirmation.  It's a different
           program.  We have left that right now very flexible
           for just the reason that post-permanent closure
           monitoring is probably a minimum of 100 years from
           now, and it would be somewhat folly to try to put
           anything other than a very general requirement that
           DOE needs to plan for this.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  But it still could be
           considered performance confirmation or performance
           monitoring.  After all, a performance assessment is --
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Well, in philosophy,
           philosophical terms, yes, you could.  But because the
           rule has a very particular purpose for performance
           confirmation which goes to closure and stops --
                       MR. POHLE:  The amendment for permanent
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Yes.
                       MR. POHLE:  The last update of the license
           application and performance assessment.
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Yes.
                       MR. POHLE:  And I guess I could have
           mentioned earlier under the plethora of administrative
           parts that will have to be dealt with, the changes of
           the performance confirmation program in progress, or
           procedures will have to be developed and incorporated
           into the plan and reviewed dealing with that, tests
           terminate, new tests could start, the thing would be
           a living type of a program, I'm sure.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  But I think performance
           monitoring, if we want to call it, rather than
           performance confirmation for postclosure, we certainly
           don't want to restrict our thought processes to
                       MR. POHLE:  No.  I know we have a zero
           restriction.  I mean, there's --
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Right.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  One of the things
           that occurs to me, and the reason that I don't see how
           this can be totally disjunct, is that if you were to
           treat it that way, then performance confirmation --
           everything ends, you know, at the end of a -- at
                       But by the same token, you have this
           requirement for a plan.  Now, if the plan, then, comes
           forward to have instruments, in situ monitoring, and
           nobody has done the testing that would give some
           confidence that the instruments could perform in a
           radiation field, what would the plan mean?
                       MR. POHLE:  I agree.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  I mean, I'm not
           suggesting that that would --
                       MR. POHLE:  It would be difficult enough
           just up until the time of permanent closure.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Absolutely.
                       MR. POHLE:  Much less at some unspecified
           time period beyond that.  I mean --
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  I mean, on the other
           hand, if the postclosure monitoring is markers and
           biennial sampling of wells in Nye County -- other
                       MR. McCARTIN:  I guess in that sense, I
           mean, there is a recognition that your ability to
           retrieve is going to go away.  I mean, that's the
           concept of closing it, and so the post-permanent
           closure monitoring is more -- I don't -- it's
           confirming a part of the repository, but it could be
           very simple that, are there releases occurring?
           Period.  That --
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  But the releases
           where, Tim?
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Well, yes, it might be the
           saturated zone.
                       MR. POHLE:  Well, there's no more decision
           points even in the regulation beyond permanent
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  According to our former
           member, who was a mining engineer, he says the option
           to retrieve never goes away.
                       MR. POHLE:  Well said.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Other questions or
           comments?  No?
                       Okay.  Thank you, Jeff.
                       We take it that you're a Larry Campbell
           stand-in, Pat?
                       MR. MACKIN:  Right.  I have been asked to
           present this information for Larry Campbell, and I am
           not qualified to do so.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Your presentation
           has been quality assured?
                       MR. MACKIN:  Yes.
                       When we started preparing the Yucca
           Mountain review plan section dealing with quality
           assurance, we had somewhat of a dilemma because the
           question was, how do you make it risk-informed,
           performance-based?  And so what we did was -- what
           Larry Campbell did was to say, "We have to be ready to
           both evaluate a non-graded QA program and a graded QA
                       So the Yucca Mountain review plan needs to
           be flexible enough to deal with whatever DOE sends to
           us in any license application.
                       And then, as I say on the viewgraph, in a
           non-graded program everything would be afforded the
           same quality controls.  In a graded QA program, you
           could vary the level of quality controls, varied based
           upon the significance of a structure, system, or
           component to safety or to waste isolation.  And that
           is one way in which risk significance comes into the
           QA portion of the Yucca Mountain review plan.
                       One of the things that the Yucca Mountain
           review plan requires is that you read through what
           will be an interface between the quality assurance
           staff and the other technical reviewers for the
           purpose of making sure that the assessments of the
           degree of importance to safety are appropriate and
           that the appropriate level of controls are applied.
                       In going back to Banad's presentation
           earlier this morning, there is what we believe is a
           risk-informed process that identifies structure,
           systems, and components important to safety.  And that
           would be the basis for what goes on the Q list, what
           items fall under the QA program.
                       And if DOE applies such a graded QA
           system, one of the things the staff would review is
           the criteria they use to determine how they graded the
           application of the QA requirements.
                       The last two viewgraphs just show the
           areas that the QA program envelopes.  In 10 CFR
           Part 60, in Appendix B -- 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix B,
           QA program, was called into play.  In Part 63, we have
           actually reproduced the language necessary for the
           entire QA program, and it is basically a 10 CFR
           Part 50 Appendix B QA program, with a couple of minor
           changes that are shown as the last four items on the
           last viewgraph.
                       Those are areas where quality programs
           ought to be employed, which are somewhat unique to a
           high-level waste repository.  So criteria have been
           added for those four areas.
                       Other than that, the approach is similar
           to 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix B, and it acknowledges
           that the staff will evaluate any graded program that
           DOE elects to execute and the criteria they use for
           that program.
                       Subject to your questions, that's all we
           had to say on QA.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Thanks very much,
                       Questions for Pat?
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Yes.  I'm surprised that
           -- maybe I'm not.  I am familiar with 10 CFR 50,
           Appendix A, Appendix B.  I'm surprised that a quality
           program that was designed for systems that were
           99 percent hardware and mostly active systems would
           have as much correlation with the kind of problems
           we're dealing with at Yucca Mountain to be able to
           adopt it pretty much in its whole form.  And I guess
           it's because the QA procedures are at a pretty high
           level and very process-oriented.
                       MR. MACKIN:  Well, I think also there are
           aspects such as fabrication of the disposal
           containers, the construction of the surface facility,
           the equipment that will be used to emplace waste, all
           of those things are subject to standard QA controls.
                       Plus, things like documenting the
           geotechnical parameters, mapping the geology of the
           underground facility.  How do you control that
           documentation?  Are your instruments calibrated?  All
           those kinds of things.  Actually, there is a great
           deal of similarity.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Well, in the preclosure
           phase, and then in the emplacement phase, but with
           most of the safety analysis effort being in the
           postclosure phase, that connection is a little more
                       MR. MACKIN:  I really don't want to get in
           too much trouble with Larry.  But I think the way he
           sees that is -- in writing this is that the engineered
           barriers and the documentation and the justification
           of the natural barriers that are important to waste
           isolation all needs to be done under a quality
                       Similarly, the development and use of
           computer codes, tracing them, validating them, all --
           as it applies to postclosure safety, all needs to be
           under the umbrella of quality programs.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Let me ask Tim a
           question.  Does the quality assurance program have any
           impact, or is it accounted for in any way in your
           waste package defects model?  I mean, because that's
           a very important contributor to the near-term
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Well, in an indirect way,
           I would say yes.  But if you're talking about the TPA
           code --
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Right.
                       MR. McCARTIN:  -- what was done there was
           they looked at, as best they could, some similar
           manufacturing types of efforts, which certainly employ
           some type of QA program to get a rate.
                       We have never touted ours as, "This is the
           way DOE needs to go."  We have, I don't think, any
           problems with reviewing what DOE is doing in terms of
           QA for the waste package in deriving a defective that
           could be different than what we're using.
                       We did it in a very quick qualitative
           sense for our code.  But, you know, the burden isn't
           really on ours, and so we haven't gone back to relook
           at that.  We certainly have seen what DOE has done,
           and I think it is -- you know, there could be a much
           higher level of quality assurance applied to the waste
           package than was in our sort of generic look.
                       And so it would be appropriate, but we
           would -- you know, we aren't -- we have not tried to
           cast our, you know, I think it's a tenth of one
           percent to one percent, or a tenth of a percent to a
           hundredth of a percent as the number.  But it was
           something that --
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Yes.  It just seems that
           this is something we should be able to get a pretty
           good handle on.  And this whole juvenile failure
           issue, that's not --
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Yes, absolutely.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  -- that's not a long-term
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Right, right.  And I would
           suspect that DOE will carry that forward in terms of
           their QA and what number they can support in the
           license application.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  I've got a slightly
           different question, based on the statement you just
           made.  And that is, how do you apply QA and validate
           codes for volcanism, seismology, climatology,
           etcetera, going out 10,000 years?  Is that a paper
           exercise, expending a lot of effort?
                       How do you do that?
                       MR. MACKIN:  In fact, there are -- the NRC
           has published guidance on the qualification of
           software, and --
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  But there's a difference
           between software that you can experimentally check.
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Yes.  If I could, you are
           correct.  I mean, part of it is that verification, and
           some of the simple tests I know you've pointed to,
           does the code -- is there a mass balance?  And you're
           certainly wanting to see some quality assurance for
           the code is doing what I intended it to do.
                       Now, that's the verification.  There is a
           validation aspect to it.  You also have to do -- you
           need to do something as you've seen with our
           regulations to justify that, indeed, this appears to
           be a reasonable representation.  And there are limits.
                       There is -- and I don't think there's
           anywhere in our regulation we're asking the Department
           to do the impossible.  But there needs to be some
           evidence, some support, for why you have adopted this
           approach.  And you need do that, and it's -- once
           again, it's a sliding scale.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  This might be a good
           place to apply graded --
                       MR. PATRICK:  Dr. Hornberger?
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Yes, Wes.
                       MR. PATRICK:  Wes Patrick here in San
           Antonio.  If I could add just one thing to Tim and
           Pat's comments.  This is an area where we feel very
           strongly DOE can use natural analogues of both
           existing systems and ancient systems and, to a degree,
           Mr. Levenson, do some validation.
                       We've tried some of that ourselves to see
           what the limits are, to make sure that we're not
           requesting something that isn't possible to do.  Two
           very good areas are with regard to structural geology.
           We have looked at analogue fields to get an idea of
           whether there is a way to get support for how much
           intrusive volcanism is -- or, I'm sorry, intrusive
           igneous activity is associated with extrusive
                       I've also looked at analogue sites in
           terms of how the ash is distributed from volcanoes
           that are in the same relative energy of eruption.
                       In a third area, similar kinds of things
           have been done with regard to natural analogues for
           the dissolution of waste forms.  And I'd like to note
           in that regard that the Department of Energy is
           currently looking at reoccupying the research site
           that NRC used at Pena Blanca, Mexico, to try to get
           some additional information in that regard.
                       It's not perfect, Mr. Levenson, but I
           think it really is -- gives -- I would think helps
           give a stronger foundation for those models.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  You unfortunately used
           a word which triggered a response, and that is you
           said it's -- you're not asking for the impossible.
           And since I'm sensitive to questions from
           Commissioners, and we just had our experience
           yesterday, I'd have to say that our objective is not
           to ask for everything that's possible.  Our objective
           is to only ask for what's essential.
                       MR. PATRICK:  I don't disagree with that.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Other questions?
           Raymond?  Staff?
                       Thanks very much, Pat.
                       Jeff is going to tell us some -- a few
           concluding comments, but also tell us a bit about
                       MR. CIOCCO:  Right.  We just concluded our
           formal presentation.  We've covered about --
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  You're going to have
           to use a microphone, Jeff.
                       MR. CIOCCO:  Oh, I'm sorry.  I thought
           this was on.  Is it on?  Okay.  I can put it on my
           chin.  Thank you.
                       Okay.  I did want to clarify one question
           or one response I gave as far as the acceptance review
           that Dr. Hornberger asked.  And I went back to
           Section 21, and it's clearly the intent and the
           expectation that within the 90 days we will provide
           the results to the Department of Energy of an
           acceptance review, including any requests for
           additional information.  It will not be on the
           critical path, and I think I misspoke earlier on that
                       As far as the schedule, we certainly want
           to leverage your knowledge and expertise as much as we
           can in your review and commenting on the Yucca
           Mountain review plan.  And I kind of briefly earlier
           covered what our schedule is, and just let me say it
           again.  We're currently printing up the NUREG,
           NUREG 1804.  They will probably finish distribution
           this week, get all of their mailing -- the big mailing
           campaign done.
                       The NUREG will be published, up on the
           website.  There's a nice site on the new external web
           now for NUREGs -- NUREGs for comment.  Once it's up on
           the web, which will probably be later this week or
           early next week, we'll issue a Federal Register notice
           for a 90-day notice of availability and request for
           public comments.
                       And I expect that to be dated around
           April 1st.  So we'll start a 90-day -- minimum 90-day
           public comment period.  So, and that's a 90 working
           day.  So April, May, and June.  And we expect some
           time probably in the middle of the public comment
           period to go out and conduct public meetings in and
           around Las Vegas, possibly the week of May 20th.
           We're not exactly sure.
                       So that will leave the close of the public
           comment period probably about the end of June.  It
           will take some time, depending on how many public
           comments we get, to do our response to comments, do an
           addendum to the NUREG, and that whole -- we will then
           begin a finalized Revision 2, and then we need to send
           that back up to the Commission.  So some time this
           fall or early winter we expect to do that.
                       So I'm just -- I'm trying to give you some
           of the -- you know, an idea of what kind of timeframe
           that the ACNW may be looking at as far as interactions
           with staff to answer any of your questions and to get
           as much feedback as we can before you write your
                       I know Dr. Garrick has an interest in
           talking about the preclosure safety assessment ISA.
           He wants to, you know, talk about this with some of
           the staff, getting into some of the technical issues.
           And in any areas that you would like to do that, we
           certainly can do that now.  We have a public document.
                       So that's really all that I wanted to
           conclude with.  If you have any questions for any of
           us here, general questions or specific to the review
           plan, feel free to ask.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  I have one to start
           with anyway.  I just want to make sure that I'm
           totally clear on this.  I gather from all of the
           presentations that your position is that your -- all
           of your acceptance criteria are flexible.  That is,
           they are not prescriptive.  Is that your position?
                       MR. CIOCCO:  Well, they could be.  That
           was the intent.  And we were given, you know,
           direction from the Commission to make acceptance
           criteria performance-based.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Right.
                       MR. CIOCCO:  Give the potential licensee
           performance criteria, and they have the flexibility in
           meeting that criteria.  And so that certainly was the
                       Now, there are some programs that are very
           specific in the general information and physical
           protection requirements in Part 73.  There is not a
           whole lot of flexibility.  If you read the rule in
           Part 73, there are certain setback distances.  You
           know, there's a lot of very specific areas.  But in
           preclosure and postclosure, that was certainly the
           intent, yes.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Okay.  Other
           questions?  John?
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Jeff, just so that I
           don't deal with it elsewhere, if it's irrelevant or a
           nonsensical issue, but one of the things that I kind
           of looked for in this report was maybe some aids or
           graphics that would add clarity to how this process
           works.  Is that something that's coming later in
           guidance documents, or what have you?  Or is it even
           something that was considered?
                       Again, I'm thinking of I think from the
           standpoint of understanding how this process works,
           after you read about 200 pages and it kind of repeats
           itself with -- just with respect to different types of
           issues, you sort of see a rhythm and a structure that
           probably could be communicated very effectively in a
           well-designed activity network or some such thing.
                       Did you consider using any graphics in
                       MR. CIOCCO:  Yes, we did.  Are you
           speaking on the postclosure --
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Yes.  I'm speaking
           primarily of the postclosure.
                       MR. CIOCCO:  Yes.  I think we tried to do
           as much narratively as we could up front in kind of
           laying out the review process.  And I know I've talked
           some with our public outreach people recently, and
           we're, you know, thinking about ways of communicating
           the performance assessment process with some visual
           graphics, how the review process would work at the
           public meetings, and there's certainly a possibility
           to put those in here.
                       There was no restrictions on what we
           could --
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Okay.  That was really
           my --
                       MR. CIOCCO:  -- as far as I'm aware.  I
           mean, we have the flexibility.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  But there's no
           fundamental reason for why they were not included.
                       MR. CIOCCO:  No.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Yes.
                       MR. CIOCCO:  No.  No, it's certainly -- I
           mean, if it's an aid to the reviewer, it -- if it's
           helpful to the reviewer and to the public to
           understand our process, then it's a good idea to put
           in there.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Thank you.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  I think perhaps
           particularly the public is our thinking.  But as John
           said, a picture with a thousand words isn't
           necessarily the direction we want to go.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  I've got a little bit of
           a general question.  It's fairly clear, I think, that
           some of this was put together using reactor experience
           and background, because, for instance, in the section
           on important to safety there are 10 references.  Seven
           of them are basically things coming from reactors.
                       How extensive or what kind of a review was
           done to make sure that since this is a completely
           different facility, completely different time
           constants, completely different risks, that things
           that are relevant to reactors and not to this facility
           were not transferred over.
                       And I'll give you one example that I think
           maybe got through your network if you had one.  One of
           the requirements is that you minimize the mass of
           shielding materials subject to neutron activation.
           That's a very good one in the reactor.  I don't know
           what its significance is in this system.
                       MR. CIOCCO:  That's a good point.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Lots of requirements
           were imposed that really aren't relevant to this
                       MR. JAGANNATH:  Banad Jagannath, staff.
           In the preclosure part, the fact that we had no time
           to develop any of our own guidance, they are borrowed
           heavily from what is existing, with a clear caveat
           that had to be applied as appropriate for the cases
           here.  It was not a requirement that they are
           applicable in full force.
                       The concept, whatever we can use within
           the context and applicability of this situation, would
           be used.  And there is a lot of engineering judgment
           both the staff and the licensee has to use in that.
           That's where the flexibility is.  It's just the
           guidance for the staff to -- will do if the material
           is there.
                       MR. MACKIN:  Pat Mackin from the center.
           I'd also add there that we did make a strong effort to
           tailor the use of guidance that was for existing
           programs.  And there was no intent, I assure you, to
           add things that weren't relevant.  So if you find
           those things, we're really interested in knowing about
           them, because they aren't there on purpose.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Well, it seems to me the
           answer of saying that there is flexibility to not
           follow them, kind of raises -- brings into question
           why you did this whole exercise.  This is supposed to
           be the guidance.  And if it's -- if there are things
           that -- flexibility depending on details of design is
           one thing.  But flexibility on areas as far afield as
           neutron activation and shielding implies that there
           couldn't have been a very tight screen if you screened
           out irrelevant things.
                       MR. McCARTIN:  You raise a good point.
           And as Pat indicated, there is nothing in there that
           we put in intentionally knowing that it was
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Oh, that wasn't my
                       MR. McCARTIN:  But we -- part of the
           public review and our further review will look for
           things that if they shouldn't be in there we want to
           get them out, as well as the converse.  There might be
           some things we missed that need to get in there, but
           you've identified one.  I'd like to think there aren't
           a whole lot of those, but we'll find out.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Tim, you know that I got
           this a couple of days ago.  You know, I didn't read
           the whole thing.
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Right.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  But scanning it at
           random, I can find a few.  I have to assume there are
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Sure.  Sure.
                       MR. JAGANNATH:  This is Banad Jagannath
           again.  In developing the guidance, we have used the
           approach of using all of the available reg guides,
           guidances, and with a clear understanding it had to be
           used as appropriate and as applicable for the case at
                       Some of them are not exactly made for this
           one.  This is requiring the staff to go look for where
           it is available and use it appropriately.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  I think that's all right,
           and you should do that, because we've also been
           critical of the agency from time to time for the lack
           of consistency in some of the rules and regulations
           with respect to the different types of facilities.
                       But I think one of the things we're
           hopeful that was done was that the experts on this
           particular facility sort of sat back and thought about
           what makes sense for a license review process.  And
           then sought out what you have in place that might be
           relevant to that.  That's what we're saying, rather
           than letting what's been done in the back -- in the
           background be the driver -- the only driver.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  So what I hear is
           that you would like to get rid of this kind of thing?
                       MR. McCARTIN:  Absolutely.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Okay.  Jeff, I have
           a question on your planned public meetings.  You
           mentioned Las Vegas.  Do you plan -- is your plan to
           do something similar to what you did for Part 63?
           That is, a series of meetings?  Or is this just one
           meeting in Las Vegas.  How are you going to use the
           experience you gained?  And you gained a lot on
           Part 63 in doing this.
                       MR. CIOCCO:  Yes.  I think, well, we're
           kind of strategizing right now.  But the intention --
           and we have a public outreach group who is going to
           help me plan this, I sure hope.
                       But the intention is is to do several
           meetings around the Las Vegas area, perhaps
           sequentially, you know, in one trip out there.  But
           there's not -- that wouldn't preclude us from doing
           other meetings and certainly use whatever lessons
           learned from the Part 63 experience.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Do you have any
           plans to do a poster for a booth at the Geological
           Society of America meeting, or anything of that sort?
                       MR. CIOCCO:  Yes.  They don't seem to let
           me out of the office much anymore.  But, yes.
           Certainly, you know, public outreach for the review
           plan is there are certainly many avenues that we could
           explore in addition to the public closed meetings.
           And public outreach is talking about poster boards and
           fact sheets and whatever would help somebody
           understand how the staff plans to review a license
           application if one comes in.  And we certainly
           entertain those ideas.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Good.  I'm glad to
           hear that, because the ACNW was very impressed with
           what was done for Part 63 in the public meetings and
           in the public outreach activities.  So I'm glad to
           hear that you have some of these same folks helping
                       MR. CIOCCO:  Yes, we sure do.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Other questions or
                       Thanks very much, Jeff.
                       MR. CIOCCO:  Okay.  You're welcome.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Maybe we could take
           at least a couple minutes for the committee to do at
           least a very initial preliminary assessment of how we
           want to proceed with our review of the Yucca Mountain
           review plan, while this is all very fresh in our
                       It seems to me -- well, first of all, let
           me just ask a question.  Should we make an effort to
           focus primarily on postclosure?  Any thoughts?  Just
           a simple yes?
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Well, I think it should
           probably be the emphasis, simply because that is the
           thrust of the safety case.  But I don't think we
           should neglect anything.  I think the one thing that
           we really want to talk about and revisit is try to get
           before us -- and it's in the report pretty well --
           what was the real underlying and overarching drivers
           for the review plan, and have our consideration of the
           issues emanate from the -- something that's very
           fundamental and basic.  At least that strikes me as --
           I'd prefer a top-down approach is what I'm saying.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  I think I would agree
           that we need to look at both parts but use the QA
           terminology.  Maybe we have a graded approach to --
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Yes.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  For one thing, the
           preclosure incidents that could happen in the facility
           and above ground, etcetera, have such an infinitely
           small source term compared to the total inventory in
           the ground that the potential risk is significant.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  So I think we'll
           note that.  We are certainly not going to ignore
           anything, but the main focus would continue to be on
                       The second question I have is, do we want
           to in some way -- again, not focused to exclusion --
           but concentrate, for example, on the vertical slice
           areas that -- or different vertical slices.  Because
           it strikes me -- Milt had sent me an e-mail, I think,
           when we first got the Yucca Mountain review plan that,
           to a certain extent, we're faced with some of the
           similar problems.
                       Are we going to read it cover to cover and
           try to comment in detail on everything?  Or would we
           gain some benefit by tracing from the -- I think one
           of the original ideas that Lynn and I had many months
           ago was that we would try to trace the evolution from
           IRSRs to integrated subissues to the Yucca Mountain
           review plan to basically inform our review in terms of
           how things -- staff ideas and criteria have evolved.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Yes, that's part of the
           reason for my question about graphics.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Yes, right.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Is that I think the more
           we can put the picture together in some sort of
           graphical form and see how all of these components fit
           one with the other, I think the better we will be in
           terms of being able to assess the effectiveness of the
           plan.  So we may end up doing some of that ourselves.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Yes.  I think it just
           isn't practical.  I don't know about the rest of you
           guys, but I don't have enough time to read this kind
           of stuff.  So we need some kind of sampling and non-
           Andersenian audit system.
                       But I'm not sure that the vertical slices
           we used before make sense, and it may be that we start
           with some of the -- either the points Tim listed or we
           select other things that we think make a logical basis
           for following through.  And, in fact, this has reached
           a level of importance that maybe our sources are --
           there are four of us that we don't have to pick our
           vertical slices from the same source.  Maybe a couple
           of points from Tim, and a couple from IRSR, but I
           think we need to evolve our audit plan.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  And I think one other
           thought process that should guide what we're doing
           here is that in the exercises that the staff has been
           through through the technical exchange process, they
           have already identified some very important issues,
           such as, for example, model abstraction.
                       And I think we need to partly be guided by
           what has been identified as the issues that were
           surfaced during a sufficiency review exercise, and see
           if we can be satisfied that this review plan is
           thorough enough in regard to those kinds of issues to
           get the job done.
                       So there's a number of things I think that
           can sharpen our focus.  You've mentioned the one --
           namely, more emphasis on the postclosure.  But I think
           the issues that have already been addressed and
           surfaced as primary could be another.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN WYMER:  Yes, that was the
           point I was going to make.  I'm glad you made it,
           John.  I think that we have the burden of guiding
           this.  We ought to look at the 14 issues that are
           being integrated and try to consider this review plan
           within the context of postclosure and integration.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  That's right.  I think
           one of the biggest mysteries in this whole process is
           the abstraction process.  And I think if we could
           satisfy ourselves that that was going to be
           appropriately considered and dissected, and motivated
           by this plan, that would be a very important finding
           for us to make.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN WYMER:  That's a mechanism
           by which we can actually accomplish something.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Right.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Okay.  Now, perhaps
           I've -- maybe I'm just confused, but I thought that I
           just heard two contradictory things.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  You did.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Milt suggested that
           we can't do it all, and if we do all 14 subissues
           then, in essence, that's what we're going to do.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Well, I don't think we
           should do all 14 subissues.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Okay.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  I'm thinking that --
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  I think that we're
           really focusing on the process here.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Okay.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  And whether it's for
           issue number 10 or issue number 11, we can be guided
           on that by the analyses that have been done to date.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Right.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  And I think that
           might be the strategy for assignments more than a
           vertical slice.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I think the
           important thing is the way the integration is handled
           rather than the issues themselves.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Okay.  So the
           integration is the question, which is a question that
           we have had, so I think that's correct.  We do have to
           make sure that we don't do whatever slice we do and
           totally ignore integration.
                       MS. DEERING:  Along that same line, if
           you've followed the theme from yesterday's Commission
           briefing, it was the two things you mentioned --
           integration as a continuing concern.  And it only
           takes one example.  You don't have to look at 14 ISIs
           to worry about integration; you could look at one and
           get there.
                       But also, risk insights, how those are
           actually being applied in this process.  If those were
           -- just those two themes along could be a thread that
           you've been following and --
                       VICE CHAIRMAN WYMER:  I think we have to
           look at all of them.  But I think to pick up on what
           Milt said earlier, use the graded approach.  Some are
           more significant than others.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  In fact, Lynn, we might
           apply what you have said, combined with the concern
           about these 14 items.  We might review one of these 14
           items for how it's all integrated and put together,
           etcetera.  Pick another one and follow it through to
           see how risk insights have been applied or impacted,
                       So that's what I meant by saying the four
           of us might have four slightly different types of
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  John?
                       MR. LARKINS:  I think there was another
           issue that came out of yesterday's Commission meeting,
           where Commissioner McGaffigan raised the question of
           not only assuring this is risk-informed but also not
           requesting too much information and having a
           reasonable expectation standard now.  What does that
           mean in terms of acceptance criteria as opposed to
           reasonable assurance?  So that may be something that
           you want to consider in doing this also.
                       MEMBER GARRICK:  Good suggestion.  I think
           that is important.
                       MR. LARKINS:  It wasn't clear to me, from
           just scanning through the document, how things have
           changed in terms of acceptance criteria in going from
           one standard to the other.  But I think it's something
           we could talk to the staff offline about.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  I think that's good.
                       Let's see, before we break, I just wanted
           to ask Jeff if he had any particular -- Jeff or Pat,
           would you like to point us in any particular
           direction?  Is there anything we've articulated you
           would like to --
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Or a direction you'd
           like to point us away from.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Oh, yes.
                       Go ahead and tell us that.  We won't
           listen, but --
                       MR. MACKIN:  I thought two things that
           might be useful are at the beginning of each major
           section there is a description of the approach we've
           taken to try to make it risk-informed and performance-
                       And as Tim mentioned in his briefing,
           since the 14 model abstraction sections all use the
           same five basic acceptance criteria, it kind of fit in
           with what all of you were saying, is that you don't
           have to look at all of them to see how, in general,
           they've been constructed.
                       MR. CIOCCO:  Yes.  I think he's right.
           That's certainly -- you certainly need to look at the
           upfront information and how the whole -- for instance,
           if you -- I mean, if you're interested in postclosure,
           there was an attempt at front end -- some of that
           resulted from our prior discussions with some of the
           members on how the whole process is going to work,
           just to keep that in mind.  But no other further
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  What I suggest,
           then, is that perhaps Richard and I could put our
           heads together or through e-mail come up with some
           kind of draft plan as to how we're going to proceed
           and circulate that and get comments and try to iterate
           on this.  I think we have some good ideas now.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  You might, again,
           combine -- take the idea of checking the criteria and
           pick one of the things in the 14 listed, and follow
           that through.  So a different one than the other.
                       VICE CHAIRMAN WYMER:  That's one other
           thought here.  It's not as overarching as all of the
           things we've been discussing, but let's pay some
           attention to the definition of safety standards and
           what would get to this question.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  I have a question, which
           I forgot to ask.  In the review plan where you have
           lists of all of the codes and standards and everything
           that you expect to see followed, in the world of DOE,
           what is conspicuous by its absence is all of the DOE
           orders and standards, etcetera, which in some cases
           conflict with the commercial codes and standards that
           you have applied.  Is there any significance to this?
                       MR. MACKIN:  In think in general, in the
           review plan where we listed codes and standards, they
           were listed as examples and not as requirements, and
           to show the types of documents that we thought
           appropriate.  There was no -- Banad, there was no
           attempt to screen out DOE orders or anything there.
                       MEMBER LEVENSON:  Well, not, but I -- but
           the question is, since you did list them, is the
           implication that the commercial standards would be
           considered adequate by NRC?
                       MR. MACKIN:  Yes.  I think the general
           philosophy is that DOE selects the codes and standards
           they are going to use, justifies that they're
           appropriate, and Part 63 presents no ruling in or
           ruling out of any of those.  And then demonstrates
           that they use them properly.
                       MR. CIOCCO:  That's correct.  And I think
           if you look in the preclosure section the codes and
           standards really come under the review methods where
           staff is going to review what the DOE has submitted.
           I don't think under the acceptance criteria you'll
           find the codes and standards.  It's certainly up to
           DOE to use whatever they feel is applicable, whether
           it's a DOE order, an NRC NUREG guidance document.  DOE
           certainly has that flexibility.
                       CHAIRMAN HORNBERGER:  Any other comments?
           Questions?  Clarifications?  Apologies?
                       Okay.  We are now going to -- we are then
           going to break.  We'll break until 1:00.  We'll
           reconvene at 1:00.
                                   (Whereupon, at 11:55 a.m., the
                       proceedings in the foregoing matter went
                       off the record for a lunch break.)


Page Last Reviewed/Updated Monday, October 02, 2017