Reliability and Probabilistic Risk Assessment and Regulatory Policies and Practices - April 07, 1999
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON REACTOR SAFEGUARDS
MEETING: RELIABILITY AND PROBABILISTIC RISK ASSESSMENT
AND REGULATORY POLICIES AND PRACTICES
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
11545 Rockville Pike, Rm. T-2B3
Wednesday, April 7, 1999
The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 8:30 a.m.
GEORGE E. APOSTOLAKIS, Chairman, ACRS
THOMAS S. KRESS, Member, ACRS
MARIO V. BONACA, Member, ACRS
JOHN J. BARTON, Member, ACRS
ROBERT E. UHRIG, Member, ACRS
WILLIAM J. SHACK, Member, ACRS
DON W. MILLER, Member, ACRS
MARIO H. FONTANA, Member, ACRS
GRAHAM B. WALLIS, Member, ACRS
DANA A. POWERS, Member, ACRS
ROBERT L. SEALE, Member, ACRS
P R O C E E D I N G S
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: The meeting will now come to order. This
is a meeting of the ACRS Subcommittees on Reliability and Probabilistic
Risk Assessment and on Regulatory Policies and Practices. I am George
Apostolakis, Chairman of the RPRA Subcommittee. Dr. Kress is the
Chairman of the Subcommittee on Regulatory Policies and Practices.
The ACRS members in attendance are: John Barton, Mario
Fontana, Mario Bonaca, Don Miller, Dana Powers, Robert Seale, William
Shack, Robert Uhrig and Graham Wallis.
The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the staff's
approach for revising the Commission's Safety Goal Policy Statement.
The Subcommittees will gather information, analyze relevant issues and
facts, and formulate proposed positions and actions, as appropriate, for
deliberation by the full Committee, which is here, I believe. Michael
T. Markley is the Cognizant ACRS Staff Engineer for this meeting.
The rules for participation in today's meeting have been
announced as part of the notice of this meeting previously published in
the Federal Register on March 22nd, 1999.
A transcript of the meeting is being kept and will be made
available as stated in the Federal Register Notice. It is requested
that speakers first identify themselves and speak with sufficient
clarity and volume so that they can be readily heard.
We have received no written comments or requests for time to
make oral statements from members of the public.
We will now proceed with the meeting, and I call upon Mr.
King, Mr. Murphy to begin.
MR. KING: And Mr. Barrett.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Okay. Because somebody else is here.
MR. BARTON: And the other guy.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: And the other guy.
MR. KING: All right. For the record, my name is Tom King,
I am Director, Division of Risk Analysis and Applications, which is a
new title, a new division, effective about two weeks ago, in the Office
of Research. With me is Joe Murphy, Senior Advisor to the Office
Director, Ashok Thaddani in Research. Rich Barrett, Branch Chief for --
and I will let you say the name of your branch.
MR. BARRETT: Probabilistic Safety Assessment Branch, NRR.
MR. KING: NRR. We are also expecting today an NMSS
representative and OGC representative, since what we are going to talk
about cuts across the other offices and the Legal Department as well.
MR. MURPHY: OGC is here.
MR. KING: Okay. OGC just walked in. We had talked to the
Committee and Subcommittee last year about potential revisions to the
Reactor Safety Goal Policy and, ultimately, sent a SECY paper to the
Commission identifying 11 areas that were potential candidates for
revision based upon a number of reasons.
We had proposed to the Commission we take some additional
time to study those areas and come back and give them a recommendation.
What we are here today to talk about is going to be a change in
direction from that, not to abandon looking at those issues, but maybe
to put them in a broader context and take a step back.
Let me just sort of give you some background information
that leads up to where we are. That is the SECY paper 98-101 is the one
I am referring to. We are currently on the hook to provide the
Commission in July recommendations on those 11 issues. That is not a
revised policy statement, it is just recommendations on where the
revisions should take place or not take place, and then if the
Commission agreed, we would go forward and revise the policy statement.
Then we owe them a status report.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: We have not seen this, right? Have we
seen -- no.
MR. KING: You have not seen -- I mean you have seen the
SECY-98-101, that was last year, May of last year, but you have not seen
anything since then.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: The 11 items.
MR. KING: Well, the 11 items were --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: We received the 11 items.
MR. KING: Yes, they were in the -- in fact, I put a list,
the very last page of the handout is just the list of what those 11
items are, and we had discussed those before.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes.
MR. KING: Several things have happened since the SECY went
up last year. One, NMSS has continued down the road of trying to figure
out what is their risk-informed regulatory framework, what should that
look like for application to their activities. In fact, they just sent
a paper up, the number is SECY-99-100, it is very recent, only about a
week ago, that provides the Commission a recommended framework for
risk-informing their activities, including the possibility of developing
safety goals for a number of their activities.
It is before the Commission for notation vote, so whatever
the Commission comes back and says, they will proceed and do. But they
have to face a number of the same issues that the reactor folks faced.
In fact, when you look at our list of 11 issues, from the Reactor Safety
Goal Policy, by my judgment, six out of the 11 are generic, they apply
across the board to what the agency does. The concept of adequate
protection, for example. The risk-informed regulation, what is it? I
mean it applies to everything.
So, does it make sense to go back in and just deal with
those in the context of the Reactor Safety Goal Policy, or does it make
more sense to step back and say let's think about a policy that maybe
lays things out in a more hierarchial fashion, that takes these generic
things that apply across board to the agency, lays down what the
agency's policy is, and then, under that, you can fit in the specifics
for the reactors and the specifics for the non-reactor things. That is
basically the thinking that has been going on in the past couple of
We have also had criticisms over the past six months or so
between Congress, and the industry, and GAO and even public interest
groups, and this CSIS, Center for Strategic International Studies. They
have all sort of highlighted the fact that we don't -- we have scattered
guidance, it is inconsistent. There has been inconsistent decision
making. Things haven't been transparent and clear. We need a good
definition of safety. All of those things tend to point to the fact --
or, to me, at least, the need that maybe we ought to step back and start
from the top and lay out in one place what the agency's safety
DR. POWERS: When critics pronounce that you don't have a
definition of safety, and they do that, seemingly, on about a 10 year
cycle, some critic announces the NRC does not have a good definition of
safety, do they point to any other regulatory body within government
that has a definition of safety for their particular realm?
MR. KING: In reading the GAO report, they did not point to
any other that I saw.
DR. POWERS: Are you aware of any government agency that has
a definition of what safety is that isn't -- I mean the NRC definitely
has a definition has of safety, but I mean people don't like that
because it has a certain arbitrariness to it that they claim makes it
inappropriate for safety as a definition. And I am wondering if anybody
else has a definition of safety that would serve to tell us how one goes
about providing a definition of safety.
MR. MURPHY: I am unaware of any, Dana.
DR. POWERS: I am unaware of anybody else that has one. I
think it is a criticism that I refuse to take very seriously, because I
don't think it can be done. And I think that they make this criticism
because they know it can't be done and that it is just an easy one to
do, and it plays well in the press.
I don't think I take them seriously when they say there is
no definition of safety in an absolute sense, a mathematically rigorous
sense, where there is not some arbitrary or political element to it,
because I think that, in the end, what is safe dictates on a societal
and a political context.
What is safe in the United States may be safe in
Switzerland. What is safe in the Soviet Union may be grossly risky in
Great Britain. And there is no fundamental constant of safetyness in
this world for which I can say, by being in this situation, I have no
risk whatsoever, except unless you are dead, I suspect.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But then you don't know.
DR. POWERS: But I don't know.
DR. WALLIS: It might be very risky, depending on how you
MR. KING: I don't disagree with anything you said, and I
don't think we are talking about a numerical definition or an absolute
definition of safety. I think -- I mean it seems to me the agency has
making a lot of safety decisions for as long as they have been in
business. But I can say that some of those, you know, they haven't been
consistent at all times. I can say the guidance --
DR. POWERS: Consistent, it is not a question --
MR. KING: The guidance hasn't been laid out in terms of a
document you can pick up and say, okay, this is how they approach
safety, this is how decisions are made in terms of cost benefit or
adequate protection or whatever, you know, whatever the decision
criteria are, and I think that has caused some confusion. It has caused
confusion among the staff. I mean you ask staff members, you ask senior
managers in this agency -- What is adequate protection? What do the
safety goals represent? -- you get different answers.
DR. MILLER: Do you think your goal of defining safety is
attainable then, or defining safety such that it does provide this
overview or overlying context so everybody can make a decision?
MR. KING: I think it is certainly attainable to put down in
one place the concepts, the process, some qualitative definitions of how
safety decisions are made. I don't think it is possible to define
adequate protection or define safety very precisely, but I do think it
is possible to do better than we have done.
MR. MURPHY: I think our goal here will be to provide some
clarification. The criticism that I have heard has been along the line
of, what is the dividing line between adequate protection where we
require a change, regardless of cost, and the safety enhancement, which
requires a cost benefit analysis to justify the change? We haven't done
perhaps as good a job as we could defining where that border is. Will
we ever come up with a mathematical definition of it? I think the
answer is no. But I think we can clarify it better than we have so far.
DR. POWERS: Let me ask you this question, when people lay
these criticisms down, why don't people challenge them on this and ask
the, okay, what would a definition of safety look like? What would an
absolutely rigorous dividing line between adequate protection and safety
protection look like? Because I think it is always going to be a
fuzziness to that boundary. You can sharpen it, you can improve it, but
I am reminded that we maintain huge institutions in this country to
interpret a very terse Constitution, it has very clear language in it,
because people do have different interpretations of the same words. And
the fact that people interpret the safety goals differently within the
agency is not a surprise to me at all.
DR. FONTANA: Because this has to be done in the context of
other options that are available. It has to be a relative thing. In
other words, if you had real cheap, free energy, and it was totally
safe, then you wouldn't pick one that would cost more and be less safe,
would you? So in a broad scale of things, in a real world, it is the
options that you have got. Given that, you say now I have got this
particular technology, how safe is safe enough?
Well, the safety goals, as you state, relative to other
technologies, is probably pretty good. You know, it shouldn't -- stated
in its most broadest form, it says that a risk shouldn't be greater than
other industries and that sort of thing. You know what I am talking
So the hard part is trying to define adequate protection
when you are trying to determine, well, do I do something with respect
to adequate protection or do I go to cost benefit? Now, you have got a
problem. What is adequate protection and what isn't? And I think that
is your problem.
DR. WALLIS: Well, I think your answer is part of the
question I had for you, and I have some answers. I want to see if your
answers have anything to do with mine. The question I have is, why are
we revisiting fundamentals after almost 30 years? And the agency has
worked perfectly well. These debates have gone on for about 30 years.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: It was the ACRS that asked them to do it,
DR. WALLIS: Is that why you are doing it?
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Let's not raise that question.
DR. KRESS: Well, they thought after we asked it that it was
probably a good idea.
DR. WALLIS: Why now and what is it about the now situation
which demands that you do something now?
MR. BARRETT: I think there are some reasons for saying why
now. I think this is a time of flux within the agency. We are making
some fundamental decisions about how to apply our resources. We are
being asked to set down criteria by which we apply resources to various
activities. We are being asked to examine the impact we are having on
the industry in terms of unnecessary regulatory burden.
And I think at a time like this, when we are asking some
fundamental questions about how we prioritize our resources and how we
interface with the industry and other stakeholders. I think it is a
natural question to say well, if that is the case when do you stop?
DR. WALLIS: Well, I have a much more focused answer than
yours. I mean you are spreading the answer to everything.
MR. KING: But I think Rich has got an important point.
Yes, the agency has functioned. We functioned along the lines of a
defined set of design basis accidents in a prescriptive way to deal with
each of those, and we have used that over a number of years and now we
are finding -- I mean it's not that we just found out, but we are
starting to do something about the fact that those are a limited set of
accidents. They don't really get to some of the more risk-significant,
safety significant accident scenarios and systems and so forth.
On top of that we have got a burden on the industry that
probably shouldn't be there and given deregulation coming down the road,
and the cost pressures on utilities, I think it is unreasonable for us
to say we are not going to do anything about that, so we made a decision
to do something about that. We call it risk-informed regulation -- and
then that raises a bunch of questions -- you know, what are the criteria
we are going to use to make those kinds of decisions.
DR. WALLIS: You're right. You're getting to my answer now.
My answer, looking at all this, is that you made a commitment to
risk-informed regulation. If you are going to do that, you must answer
The first one is what are the risks. Otherwise, you are
just waffling, unless you say what they are, clearly.
The second question then is how are they measured? Unless
you have a measure of these risks, you can't do anything. Just again --
you waffle -- qualitatively make judgments.
Then the third question you have got to ask is, well, you
have got these risks and you have measured them. How do you use those
measured? Of course, you can expand this, but I think if you focus on
that, saying the focus of all this is to have a rational way of
implementing risk-informed regulation, then you have to do certain
things. Then you won't get involved in all the fringe stuff.
MR. BARRETT: Right.
DR. KRESS: Was one of your questions what are the
DR. WALLIS: Well, the uncertainties come into that. Part
of measuring risk is to measure uncertainty, obviously.
DR. KRESS: And what you do with it is relating to
DR. WALLIS: Well, I hope that what you do with it is it
gets less uncertain as we move on and know what we are doing.
DR. KRESS: I know, but what to do with it does depend on
DR. BONACA: On a pragmatic basis I would like to say that I
am interested, when I look the 11 issues -- I wasn't familiar with
those -- and I see risk during temporary plant configurations. I am
gratified to see that. As a minimum pragmatically, I think, you know,
addressing the issue of some completeness in the way that you are
translating these high level goals to practical aspects of plant
operation, that that is a very encouraging thing and I am interested to
see how you are going to link that.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Also, now the goals are supposed to be
used on a plant-specific basis, which is a big change.
MR. KING: Yes.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I mean they did exist before, but I don't
really know what role they played.
DR. KRESS: They were supposed to judge the effectiveness of
the regulatory system.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes, but --
MR. KING: if NMSS embarks on developing safety goals for
their activities they are going to have to face the question is this
generic, is this -- you know -- activity-specific?
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Coming back to the definition of safety,
do you think that their criticism really is much more -- I mean they are
asking you to do this in terms of risk? Is that really what that is?
MR. KING: No, I don't think -- we are not being asked to do
it in terms of any particular parameters.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: What is safe enough?
MR. KING: I think if we are going to embark on this, it is
up to us to decide what makes sense in terms of the components of the
definition. Is there a risk component, a defense-in-depth component,
some qualitative lines of defense or whatever you want to call it
component? We haven't figured that out yet.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I remember that when the safety goals were
being developed that everybody was saying that they would answer the
question how safe is safe enough, so in essence you are defining safety
that way, although we now know that just the numbers do not, because you
have to include other things. Not everything is in the numbers, but
maybe they don't have any -- I mean it's just a request to define again
how safe is safe enough.
Is that what they mean by definition of safety?
MR. KING: No. No, I think the focus is on -- this isn't in
your handout, but you have seen this before, the three region chart when
we are talking about if you put on a risk scale where increasing risk
goes up, you have got what we call adequate protection up here, and
there is no clear boundary as to where that is or how that is defined,
but there is some point where risk is high enough that you want to make
people do something about it.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: In one of our letters in fact, we --
MR. KING: Yes.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: -- we urge you to do something.
MR. KING: And you have got the safety goals that define how
safe is safe enough that recognize, even though the safety goals are a
number, it's really more than that.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes.
MR. KING: I mean even though a number may say you don't
need the containment building, we are still going to have a containment
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Is that really -- I mean -- a dogma?
Because I know some people who are preparing a study to come to you and
say the containment is not really needed --
MR. KING: Well, we faced that on the --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: -- for a new design.
MR. KING: Well, we had that on the MHTGR. We don't need a
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Right.
MR. KING: -- little fuel pellets are containments. We've
got a trillion of them in there.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I mean we keep saying that, you know, that
we will never accept --
MR. KING: Yes, we never accepted that argument. What we
accepted was we will think about it. You prove to us how good your fuel
is -- and they went off to prove how good the fuel was, and it wasn't as
good as they had claimed.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: We will give it increased management
attention -- even though Mr. Holahan is not here.
DR. FONTANA: Is this significant, that the chart does not
have, on the right-hand side, reduction of regulations warranted?
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: What?
MR. KING: It's got regulation over here.
DR. FONTANA: I know. It says additional regulations may be
warranted and regulations not warranted. There should be another one
that says, low enough that says, we have regulations that can be
MR. KING: That's clearly right.
DR. SEALE: -- regulations not warranted.
MR. KING: I mean if you took regulations and looked at what
they achieve in terms of safety, you would find some of them are down in
here that maybe go beyond a level of protection that is justified and I
think we are talking about a risk-informed regulation that is taking
things down here and bringing them back up here.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I would change the words on the right
column though. Either drop them completely or change them. I don't
think additional regulation may be warranted is really what you want to
say. You want to say that you will do cost benefit evaluations, right?
MR. KING: I also put this up to get back to Dana's
DR. KRESS: Yes. I have another question about this.
That's one figure with the risk, sort of generally stated there. Do you
envision there may be four or five of those, different ones -- one for a
risk of prompt fatality, a risk for injuries, a risk for latent, a risk
for societal, a risk for --
MR. KING: If you were going to put some numerical
indications on here, yes, the scale would be different depending upon --
DR. KRESS: Depending on what risk you are talking about.
MR. KING: That's true. Yes. This is just to get the
DR. KRESS: I understand.
MR. MURPHY: It's definitely a multi-dimensional function.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: It is a volume and space really.
DR. POWERS: You indicated you put this chart up to address
my question and then I guess I wonder why.
MR. KING: Well, let me ask you a question.
MR. KING: If I may.
DR. POWERS: Right now I will ask you a question.
MR. KING: All right.
DR. POWERS: Why one of the questions -- when the assertion
is made the NRC does not have a definition of safety, why isn't the
response look here?
MR. KING: That is precisely why I put this up. Where is
official agency documentation can you find this? You tell me where that
DR. POWERS: What you are saying is that, okay, you may have
failed in providing a document that you can hand to someone and say do
you want to see our definition of safety? Here it is. It does not
alter the fact that you in fact have a pretty good definition of what
MR. KING: I think I wouldn't state it quite that way.
DR. FONTANA: I'd like to caution you about that.
DR. POWERS: I think you are unduly apologetic. I think
that if I went to any other agency and said, okay, show me your
definition of safety, that they would be appalled that I would ask the
question. They would scramble around. They would probably ignore me,
as a matter of fact. But I don't think they could show you anything
MR. BARRETT: Dana, I think, first of all, I think it is a
fair question to ask. If we would go off and we studied this and we
failed to come up with something that meets all of the rigorous
standards that we, as an agency and as a technical community, like to
try to meet, then we might want to go back and say that. But I think it
is a fair question to ask a regulatory body, if we can define somehow
what is safe enough.
DR. POWERS: If the question were what's safe enough, I
think I would be much more tolerant of the question. The question is
what is safe and that, I am much less tolerant of that question. What's
safe enough is a much more tolerable question.
MR. MURPHY: I think we're asking two different questions,
Dana, and neither one of them are quite what you're saying. We're
asking what is safe enough, the lower boundary, on that chart, and then
what is absolutely required, what is adequate.
And it's this concept. Now, the best exposition of this
kind of thing that I have seen is in the document that was put out by
the health and safety executive in the UK, called the tolerability of
risk, where they have described, in somewhat murky terms, essentially a
three-region regulatory environment.
Some of the stuff that EPA has stated in terms of what risk
they would accept from carcinogens is fairly quantitative. They have
tried. I don't think they're at the level of sophistication we are, but
there has been some effort there. They're not talking a three-region
concept like this, though.
DR. WALLIS: Joe, you've used the right words again, that
safety is acceptable risk. I don't think we need to argue about what it
did. And risk, as I said before, is something you have to be clear
about. You have to be able to express it and make everybody understand.
And then acceptable becomes the key word. Acceptable has go
to be, in my view, what's acceptable to the people who are at risk. And
so you can't operate in a vacuum. You've got to operate in the
political world, you have to operate in a public world. Eventually,
whatever you do has got to be scrutable to intelligent members of the
public and say, yes, I agree, that is acceptable to me.
MR. MURPHY: I agree with you 100 percent.
MR. KING: And I think the reactor safety goal policy took a
shot at that ten years ago, 15 years ago, in a qualitative sense. It
was, I thought, worded in a way the public could understand. I think
now the agency is facing the same questions in the non-reactor world and
revisiting some of the issues in the reactor world.
DR. WALLIS: So what's the problem? I think we go back to
my previous question. We have a lot of history. We're doing things
pretty well. What really is it that needs to be fixed in terms of being
clearer about risk and acceptability?
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: For one thing, the safety goal policy
statement is not stated this way.
MR. KING: The safety goal policy statement talks about this
area right here. We don't have a similar thing that talks about this up
here. We have a legal concept and we make judgments, but we don't have
anything that defines it.
MR. BARRETT: I would go further than that. I think that
we're a long way from getting consensus within the agency that adequate
protection should be defined on a risk scale. I think that -- and maybe
I can engage OGC in this conversation at this point, on their views
But we have a fair number of regulatory documents out there
that define adequate protection in a way that's totally unrelated to
DR. WALLIS: Yes, I think this is appropriate.
MR. BARRETT: It defines adequate protection in terms of the
adequacy of the regulatory process, as opposed to being something that's
DR. WALLIS: Safe enough and adequate protection look sort
of the same, have the same flavor, to me. If you had something like
optimum protection, where safe enough is sort of the ground floor and
then you go up from that until there is no payoff to putting in any more
MR. BARRETT: Right.
MR. KING: There are people that confuse the issues that
think adequate protection is the same thing as how safe is safe enough.
DR. WALLIS: Well, optimum. If you're going to do tradeoffs
in a cost-beneficial region, you really need words like optimum.
Adequate seems to me a strange word to use.
DR. FONTANA: Wait a minute. What that top one really means
is that when you're going to flat-out shut something down. That's what
MR. KING: Shut something down or not worry about the cost
of providing that protection, because it's so important, you've got to
MR. BARRETT: Well, I'd get back to what you say, yes.
Under what circumstances is a plant authorized to operate? And that has
a lot to do with the concept of adequate protection and it's different
from -- it's different from -- we know that there are limitations to the
risk methodologies. We know that there are variations from plant to
plant in the things that dominate risk, whether they're internal or
external events, whether they're transients or LOCAs or what have you.
We know that there are -- that given those variations, we even know that
there's variations in the risk of the plants.
But we've licensed all these plants and we've said, by
licensing them, that they're providing adequate protection of public
health and safety. And if we have a statement of adequate protection, a
recent one, it's the one that was given by the Commission when they
defined safety and compliance. I believe it as 97-008. They said that
adequate protection is presumptively provided by compliance with the
So where we have been dealing as a regulatory agency, as a
political agency, is defining adequate protection in terms of the
process, the regulations, the regulatory process and compliance with it,
not a numerical definition.
I think we're a long way from gathering together a consensus
that there is a numerical. So I don't want you to conclude that because
we put a slide up here that shows this that they're somehow or other --
DR. BONACA: I would like to make a statement in this
regard, which is interesting. I'm totally supportive of something like
this and I know that I've seen pragmatic use of something similar in the
past for specific applications.
But assume that you are down to where you have the line,
additional regulation is unwarranted, which is in the safe enough
region, and you find the issue that, in and of itself, will drive you to
the border of that green margin there.
The one individual issue skews your contributor of risk.
Wouldn't this kind of commitment hold you back from doing anything about
the specific issue, even if, in and of itself, that may drive up
significantly risk in the region? How would you handle that?
MR. KING: I'm not sure. You're saying you're down in here?
DR. BONACA: Down deep in that.
MR. KING: And you find something that --
DR. BONACA: You find one individual issue that, of itself,
contributes significantly to increase risk; however, still leaves you in
that region there.
MR. KING: Right now, the guidance is you would not do
anything about that.
DR. BONACA: But wouldn't you have some provisions to look
at it from the perspective of that would skew all the -- for example,
from a PRA standpoint, maybe your contributors, your profile, the
profile for the plant, in a way that you -- I'm trying to understand how
you would deal with that.
DR. KRESS: You're saying why not extend that cost benefit
on down into that region, too.
DR. BONACA: I'm not proposing that. I'm only saying that
there is a -- you may find something that in and of itself contributes
something like 20 percent to a core damage frequency.
DR. KRESS: Even though the core damage frequency is pretty
low in the first place.
DR. BONACA: Yes, and uncertainty attached to that may say
that you should do something about it, but now you tie your hands in
setting that framework without a provision for some considerations on
the site. I'm only saying that as you define the framework, you have to
leave some provisions for accommodating unique sites that you may have.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I think that's related to what I wanted to
say. I think the words here should be chosen very carefully. We have a
letter from NEI saying that if you elevate the CDF to the fundamental
safety goal level, then plants that are above it will be declared as
unsafe and so on.
Well, we have the same issue here, because if you call the
lower regions safe enough, then there is an implication that if you're
above it, you're not safe enough.
So perhaps what you can do is describe these regions; in
other words, take your words "additional regulation not warranted" and
put that in there as a name, as a title of that region, and then cost
beneficial, again, additional regulation may be warranted/cost-benefit
analysis will be carried out, something like that, and then the top one
seems to be all right.
So in other words, you are describing these in terms of the
regulatory action and I think that would include Mario's concern,
because it's not necessarily the NRC that will do what you just said.
Maybe the owner should do that.
DR. BONACA: I'm only saying that, however, in defining
something of this type, which is very valuable, in my judgment, there
has to be some consideration for whatever you may find in the future
that may leave you in that region there. Maybe it's so significant in
and of itself that something had to be done.
Now, I agree with you, the owner should do something about
it, but there has to be some --
DR. KRESS: I think you run head-on into the backfit rule
and that's where the problem comes in doing that. They're hands are
tied in that region.
MR. BARRETT: Let me take an example, twist your example a
little bit. Suppose we believe a licensee is way down in that very,
very low risk region and we find somehow that their corrective action
program is completely broken.
So it's going to be very difficult for you to quantify the
impact on risk of a completely broken corrective action program.
In the current regulatory regime, you would say that they
are outside of compliance with the regulations. You could make a case,
if it were bad enough, that they're no longer providing adequate
So in a sense, there is a value of having this dichotomy of
between process and risk. Now, maybe you would say, well, no, I really
don't care that much. If I believe the risk is that low, I really don't
care if they have a completely broken process like a corrective action
process or what have you.
I'm not sure that we want to draw that conclusion.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But here, again, when you put risk values
on the left, couldn't you argue that it's not just the number that
counts? So if your corrective action program is not working, then
perhaps the number you have calculated is not believable anymore and you
have this unquantified contribution that really moves you up to another
region, because this is not going to be risk-based.
DR. BONACA: But then there is a need for complimenting or
supplementing this kind of concept with some stated provisions, so that
there is a true communication.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: There would be a text and if you want
communication, I think the top region should be really dark blue, the
lower light blue, and the in between --
DR. BONACA: Shaded.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: -- shaded, then you're on your way of
DR. FONTANA: Getting back to the top one, the words have to
be carefully chosen, because that's really going to be a flexible -- in
the real world, that's going to be a flexible thing, because depending
on what the alternatives are -- let's say, for example, we're in an oil
shock or something like that and the only choice you've got -- one of
the few choices you've got of getting electrical power is nuclear or
In a real world, that level of whether you're going to shut
a plant down or not is going depend on what alternatives you've got.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But it's not the job of this agency to
decide that, Mario.
MR. BARTON: That's right.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Somebody else has to decide that. As far
as these fellows are concerned, if you are there, you shut down. Unless
Congress comes back and says national security dictates that you should
move the boundary up.
DR. MILLER: Well, you would have a diagram like that for
all the ways of generating it and that becomes outside of the agency.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I think we're getting into a dream world
now that you will have something like this for coal and gas.
DR. FONTANA: No, no, in the real world. Let me make one
more point. How many nuclear plants have been ordered in the last 25
years comopared to gas-fired -- gas-fired combined cycle? That is a
societal decision made by the utility.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Right, but let's not confuse the decisions
here. The decision whether to go with gas versus nuclear is not up to
DR. FONTANA: Exactly.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: This agency operates on the assumption
that you have a nuclear plant and you make decisions to make it safe,
and it operates under the current political climate and the advice or
instructions received from higher-ups.
Now, if there is a national emergency, I don't think that
the Commission will decide these things, or maybe they will, but --
DR. FONTANA: No. All I'm saying is to not get into a legal
box, I think the words defining the top one have to allow for some
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Not here. I don't think -- no. I think
somebody else higher up has to intervene and say, well, yes, there is a
national emergency, so keep running.
So let's not confuse the decisions. The decisions are
different level decisions.
DR. WALLIS: But Mario is right, then, and this is
parenthetical, cost not a consideration is really not true. You're
saying the risk cost is so big at the present time that it's
unacceptable to be above there.
But if circumstances change, that could move.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: It could move, yes.
DR. WALLIS: So the cost not a consideration is a bit
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Cost not a consideration --
DR. WALLIS: Society has to balance the risk cost versus the
benefit cost, even up there.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: It's assumed that under present conditions
and something like that.
MR. MURPHY: Let me interject a thought. When the backfit
rule was written, we didn't have -- initially, we didn't have an upper
region. We said we had a cost beneficial space. And that was taken to
the courts and the courts told us we were wrong, that we needed a space
of adequate protection where we would take action without consideration
And perhaps Gary can elaborate on that more than I can, but
the -- that was a fundamental change in the backfit rule that came out
of the Federal courts, rather than the agency, that defined, in legal
terms, this upper region of adequate protection as something where we
would not consider cost.
Did I say that right, Gary?
MR. MIZUNO: I think that's pretty accurate. I think that
the agency's position going into the litigation, and I've seen the legal
memos that were written prior to the litigation, it was OGC's position
-- it was OGC's position and remember that there were two different
legal offices, EOD and OGC. It was OGC's legal position at the time
that, I guess, the position that I've heard being discussed here that
says that it's a societal decision, cost must necessarily be part of the
determination as to what is necessary for adequate protection, that cost
cannot be divorced from that concept, which I personally think is a
That was the position that was taken by OGC in the
litigation and was expounded in the course of developing the backfit
rule and the court basically rejected that and said, no, they understood
the concept as saying adequate protection represents a concept where
cost is irrelevant to the decision, that there is some safety threshold
in some fashion that the agency must determine whereby the protection
must be provided, otherwise the cost to society or the -- the
consequences to society are unacceptable, such that the agency should
not allow the regulated activity to proceed.
DR. POWERS: I think the court's thinking on this was that
the societal cost associated with that upper region, the decision to
bear that societal cost had already been taken by the Congress and it
wasn't in the purview of the agency to adjust cost there. That decision
had already been made.
When they undertook the idea that there would be peaceful
uses of atomic energy, that was not a decision that Congress took
lightly, to allow commercial enterprises to have control of nuclear
material, was not an easy decision, and they made the decision and said,
yes, we'll do this and if an entity wanted to avail itself of that
opportunity, it bore a cost that the Congress declared that the society
was willing to bear, and they didn't give that to the NRC as a
So Graham is right. There indeed is a cost-benefit tradeoff made up
there, it's just not made by this agency. It's made by the
MR. MIZUNO: I would agree. By the way, for the reporter,
my name is Gary Mizuno, from the Office of General Counsel. Sorry.
DR. KRESS: I'd like to return to the dimensionality of this
concept, the framework. If you revisit the safety goal statement, of
course, one of your first tasks is going to be to determine how many
dimensions it does have and what those consist of.
I'd like to suggest one dimension to this thing that doesn't
seem to get brought up very often and let's put it in terms of -- let's
say one of these dimensions on risk is, say, the individual risk of
prompt fatalities or LERF as a surrogate for it.
The implication is that it has a lower bound, safe enough
region, and it has a specific value. I think another dimension to this
ought to be the uncertainty in the determination of that, as actually
another dimension in determining what level it is.
Now, I don't know how you deal with that uncertainty in
terms of defining the acceptable value, but it has to be one of the
dimensions some way, and I wanted to throw that in as -- you need to be
thinking that as part of the concept.
MR. KING: I agree.
DR. BONACA: That's exactly why I was concerned about the
individual issue, because the two things together, if you tie them
together, this is going to tie your hands to the point where you might
find that individual issues and the uncertainties associated with the
overall risk profile for the plant may give you a lot of trouble in not
making a change at that time and so you want to have a way of
verbalizing that so that there is no surprise for the licensee at that
time and you have a scrutable process.
You want to -- that was one of the fundamental reasons.
MR. KING: I agree with you. I view that as sort of an
implementation issue and, you know, the reactor safety legal policy
tried to deal with that by saying let's use mean values and then some
general words on defense-in-depth and so forth.
DR. KRESS: And that's one of the areas I think the
statement fell short.
MR. KING: And that's one of the areas we talked about
enhancing if we go back into the reactor safety goal policy, but I agree
DR. BONACA: I just had one brief question, because I want
to let you go ahead. But is there any attempt at some point to link
this to the cornerstones?
MR. KING: To the cornerstones?
DR. BONACA: I mean, here we are going from the very high
level down to the implementation, I'm sure you'll have some words about
that, but I would be interested in understanding how the issue of --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Actually, the cornerstone guys should
connect with this, not these fellows. This is the high level policy,
and they are doing it. They are doing it. I mean, they're not doing it
in this form of the three regions, because they don't have it.
DR. BONACA: Let me give you an example. I heard about
corrective action program broken here. I also heard from the
presentation in the other case that cultural issues will not be
monitored about the cornerstones. That's fine. I'm only trying to see
how this thing is going to come together. It is mosaic and clearly you
cannot only have the implementation people doing it. The linkage has to
be both ways and I just was curious to know if you are thinking about
MR. MURPHY: Let me say that the CSAS report, which is still
in draft form, in its present form, is making the recommendation that we
try to tie adequate protection into the cornerstones. I don't think we
have reacted to that suggestion yet, but, of course, the report isn't
final yet, so I don't know if it will be in their final report, but it's
in been in the last couple drafts.
I think that will be one of the recommendations coming out
of that study.
MR. KING: And that is an option for defining adequate
protection. I mean, today, we acknowledge that you've got to define it,
but we don't have any proposal to put in front of you, but that's
clearly an option.
MR. BARRETT: In a sense, the cornerstones, the definition
of the cornerstones is a very high level definition. It just basically
takes what's important to risk and says these are areas that are
important to risk. I think where you get down to answering that
question is in the development of the significance determination
process, which is a process that's being developed as part of the new
It's a process whereby the NRC will take an individual
inspection finding and put it through various hoops to see if it rises
to the level of a finding that will be brought to the assessment
And it's very difficult to go from this level of goal to
some -- to a determination like that. But what we've tried to do in
developing the significance determination process is to say that at some
level, we're shooting for something that might be a ten-to-the-minus-six
issue. Well, what types of things might be commensurate with that
level, not necessarily can we calculate a ten-to-the-minus six.
So there is an attempt to make a link, but the link is not
very rigorous at this point.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: It seems to me, since we are speaking of
cornerstones, that the safety goal policy statement should not limit
itself to the risk configuration, to the risk method, the ultimate
consequences, in other words.
There ought to be there somewhere -- let me give you an
example. Let's say that you have a plant that, in terms of the risk
matrix, does fall into the safe enough region, what is called today safe
Yet, that plant has a high frequency of initiating events.
They have extra mitigating systems, so the total risk is low. According
to the cornerstone idea, that's not acceptable. So there is this
additional consideration that is introduced by the inspection and
enforcement people that say, well, we would like to see it be safe
enough, but also some sort of a uniform distribution or some sort of a
MR. BARRETT: Defense-in-depth.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes, defense-in-depth.
MR. KING: A balance.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Right. So I really think we should not
introduce concepts like that in other documents. The high level
documents should have provisions for those things. So what you call
safe enough or what you call cost beneficial and so on is not determined
only by risk or the couple of subsidiary goals, there ought to be a
statement someplace that in addition to this, we want to see ABC.
I think the cornerstone document already gives you a good
start with that, because then the overall policy will be in one document
and it will be implemented then in other documents.
MR. KING: In a few slides, you will see that. These issues
will come up in a few slides.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: So you're already doing that. Good
DR. KRESS: And when you do that, the natural question
always comes up how much of ABC are we going to have, and that has to be
tied to uncertainties. I hate to keep bringing that up, but it has to
be dependent on the uncertainties in your determination in some way.
DR. MILLER: So, Tom, you're saying that if you have zero
DR. KRESS: Yes. You must be real. We're never going to
DR. MILLER: I understand that. But if we approach that, we
then change the balance significantly over --
DR. KRESS: You very well could, yes, and it would be cost
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes. Remember the example I gave where
you don't have any epistemic uncertainty. Core damage -- in a new
design, core damage will occur if you throw six dice and they all show
six. There is no epistemic uncertainty. It's purely aliatory.
The only comment Mr. Holahan made is make it seven dice and
I agree. Then I will not need a containment.
DR. MILLER: So if containment is going to be defined on it,
we have to have seven dice.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: That's what he said. If the core damage
frequency is equal to seven dice showing six at the same time, and we
will make sure they're independent. One die is tossed in Washington,
the other in Los Angeles, by different people.
DR. KRESS: So now we're never going to have pure aliatory.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: No, I know, but in principal, though, we
are dealing with the epistemic uncertainty here.
DR. KRESS: That's right.
DR. BONACA: But that's exactly the point I was making. You
have a good point. The whole regulation, it seems to me, is based on a
lot of apportionment to different -- and balancing those and that's why
we're asking this question, because ultimately this is not allowing for
that to happen. So you will have to reconcile the two of them.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: And the other thing is when you speak
about defense-in-depth and all that, do we really want to tie this too
much to the current generation of LWRs?
DR. KRESS: I think you are better off rethinking things
like that, but you are saddled with that baggage and it has to --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: As long as we have some sort of provision
that would allow you to do something else.
DR. MILLER: It should be generic enough that it can apply
to any reactor.
DR. KRESS: Yes. It ought to be generic and apply to any
reactor. That's right.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But a lot of the numbers that we've been
using the last several years really are LWR-specific.
DR. KRESS: LWRs, absolutely.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Right, like conditional containment
DR. KRESS: The concept ought to be applicable to any
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Okay.
DR. KRESS: And we'll be saddled with all that baggage.
DR. MILLER: This concept is --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: The concept, yes.
DR. MILLER: This concept is applicable --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: To anything.
DR. SEALE: We're not prepared to ask the question -- or to
respond to the question of whether or not we need the containment at
this time, but we should have the ability to ask it when it gets
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Exactly, because it should not take a
revision of the high level safety goal policy statement to rethink that
DR. SEALE: Exactly.
DR. KRESS: This would apply to a reactor with no
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes, but this is not the whole concept.
DR. KRESS: And that's why I said uncertainty has to be a
dimension on that thing.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I think shades of blue are good. We've
spent about 25 minutes on this viewgraph.
MR. KING: I have two more things to say about this
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Go ahead.
MR. KING: One is the new plant oversight process, which you
have been briefed on, has performance indicators and there are various
levels of action depending on what that performance indicator is telling
you in terms of the performance of certain systems in the plant.
Basically, they have an approach that works its way down.
They have the green, white, yellow, so forth. When you get down to red,
which is shut the plant down, they had to face the question does this
define adequate protection or not. What they've said is, no, that's not
adequate protection, that's some level above adequate protection, but
we're going to make sure we take action to shut the plant down before we
get into this adequate protection region. So this whole concept is
embodied on that process, as well.
The other thing I wanted to say, getting back to the court
case and so forth, the items that are up here are out of existing
documentation. The safe enough region, defining the safety goals, this
is in the backfit rule, the court cases.
We're not proposing to reopen -- re-challenge the court
case. What we're proposing to do is given this system and these terms
that have evolved over time, put together a more top-down description of
what they mean and how they're to be used and how this all fits
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But the words safe enough are not imposed
on you. You're not changing any court rulings by changing those words.
I understand the adequate protection, but safe enough may be -- some
people may be sensitive to that. But if you're above it, you're not
MR. KING: I have no objection to revisiting the words, but
the words chosen for this viewgraph came from that.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I understand.
MR. KING: Okay. Why are we here? Well, basically, we're
here to get your feedback on his this a worthwhile thing to do. Like I
said, we've had some internal discussions over the past month or two
about doing this. What you're hearing is a summary of where we stand in
our thinking about this. It's very preliminary in terms of what this
high level --
DR. WALLIS: I'd like to go back to my point. Instead of
worrying about whether it's worth doing, why don't you consider what you
have to do in order to get to a risk-informed world? You have to do
that. There is no debate. If you're going to get there, there are
certain things you must do. Focus on that instead of all this fluff
about whether or not you need to think about safety again and so on.
Then you can figure out what way you should put your effort.
MR. KING: I think one of the things this would do would be
facilitate getting us into the risk-informed world, the reactor side and
the non-reactor side, by trying to clarify what the criteria and the
goals are and how they're to be used so that you can start to put
together the details of implementing that in the field.
I guess we'd like your feedback. Whether you want to do
that in a letter or not, I'll leave that up to you. I guess my own
personal preference is, yes, I'd like to see a letter, if you're willing
to write one.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: So what is the new concept that you are
bringing forth today? That you want to have a safety policy statement
that unifies all the activities of the agency, that's the new thing?
That's why you are asking for an extra year?
MR. KING: Yes. Yes. It puts together things that apply
across the board to the agency at some high level and then deal with the
reactor-specific things and the non-reactor-specific things. They could
be in the same policy or they could be separate policy. That remains to
be determined. But they would then be put within this larger framework
and these top level things would provide guidance as to what needs to be
considered when you get down to reactors and non-reactors.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: So the previous slide that we spent so
much time on is not the reason for this, because you could have done
that anyway, for the reactor safety goals. That's not why you're asking
MR. KING: One of the things -- we had -- when you go back
and look at our SECY-98-101, one of the things we were talking about
doing, if we were just going to go into the reactor safety goals, was
talk about this as it applies to reactors.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Right.
MR. KING: But in thinking about it, this applies to more
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Sure.
MR. KING: So let's step back and talk about this and talk
about other things that apply across the board in these higher level
documents. That's one of the things that triggered us to do this.
DR. SEALE: You mentioned earlier that this was a
multi-dimensional problem when you take on that broader definition.
Have you decided what all those dimensions are? I mean, specifically,
you've said the non-reactor thing.
MR. KING: Yes.
DR. SEALE: All right. What's in the list of non-reactor
MR. KING: NMSS, I guess. It's NMSS stuff. There's a whole
-- you go and look at SECY-99-whatever it was, I brought it with me
DR. POWERS: When you speak of NMSS, you cover a fair
MR. KING: Yes.
DR. POWERS: You cover everything from licensing Yucca
Mountain to some sources used for medical processes, with some fairly
large industrial radiation capabilities.
MR. KING: Yes.
DR. POWERS: It seems to me that you tread into some fairly
difficult terms if you take the entirety of NMSS and are you willing to
do that? I know one tar baby I wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole, if
I could avoid it.
MR. KING: We got the author of SECY-99-100 sitting at the
table here and I'll let him talk to that, but I think, as I read the
NMSS paper, it acknowledges that there are some things that really
aren't amenable to risk-type applications. There are others that are.
The standards are clearly going to be -- they are different now and
maybe there's good reasons they should be different, because the
population at risk is different.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But one of the biggest differences, in my
opinion, between high level waste repository regulation and reactors is
the time scales. So you have unified principals. That would be
difficult, wouldn't it? Because in reactors we're used to speaking in
terms of frequencies per year and there is an understanding there that
you have a 100 or so reactors with a lifetime of 40 or 60 years and so
In the other case, you're talking about thousands of years.
So I think it's going to be challenging to come up with a --
MR. KING: Maybe you're suggesting a high level goal for
future generation type risk.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes.
MR. KING: Maybe that's needed, I don't know. Let me let
Seth talk about that.
MR. COPELAND: Without --
MR. MARKLEY: Please identify yourself.
MR. COPELAND: Seth Copeland. I'm in the Division of Waste
Management in NMSS. As Tom mentioned, I'm the contact on a paper that
NMSS just put out on a framework for risk-informed regulation in NMSS.
It might be well to just take a couple of minutes to walk through what
the background is that led to that paper.
Quite simply, when the Commission was doing its strategic
planning, as I'm sure you're all well aware of, one of the
direction-setting issues that was identified was risk-informed
In the SRM that came back to the staff on that, we were told
to start looking at NMSS for opportunities to become more risk-informed
We did a paper that went up last summer, SECY-98-138, that
was kind of a preliminary look at our programs and some possibilities.
SECY-99-100 gets into a lot more of the concrete planning about where
we're intending to go.
That said, what is a significant part of that paper is a
recognition that in NMSS, we do not have any kind of policy that
corresponds to the existing policy statement on safety goals for
operation of the power reactors.
If you think about that, that's a pretty significant gap
when you start talking in terms of risk-informed regulation. It means
that we don't have identified risk metrics, we don't have goals. What
we have instead are some assessment techniques and we've still got to
work out where we're going with them.
So we're going to have to do some effort to develop these
metrics and goals and I think that the point of the effort that Tom is
talking about is that as an agency, we're going to end up with some sort
of goals, metrics and so forth for dealing with the NMSS activities,
similarly something for reactors, and I think questions would naturally
start to arise about what do the two have to do with each other. It's
one agency. How do you deal with risk as an agency?
So this is a way that I think we can integrate the thinking
and hopefully come out with a solid approach across the agency.
MR. KING: Yes. Why do we protect people to one level when
it's one activity and to another level when it's another activity?
Maybe that's okay, but have we really taken a look and seen -- made the
case that it's okay. So it's that kind of top-down thinking that we're
DR. SEALE: Does what you're planning to do impose a kind of
backfit on the relationships that the Commission has with the agreement
MR. KING: Well, I think it's clear the agreement states
have to be brought in as a key stakeholder in this whole thing and talk
about this and they're going to be very interested in what the
implications are for them, and I personally haven't thought much other
than recognizing that that needs to be done. I haven't really thought
much about that.
DR. SEALE: Almost certainly, you're expending their
resources, if you expect them to comply. So now you're in a
relationship that's not all that different than the relationship that
you have with the power reactor owners, and these guys have got 50
Senators -- I mean 100, I'm sorry, 100 Senators and so on.
A year may be a pretty ambitious schedule.
MR. KING: Yes. The year, I've been told many times to take
the one year off this viewgraph, and you're probably right. This is an
effort that's going to take more than a year and I will adjust that.
DR. POWERS: If it gets protracted, trying to do the
comprehensive thing that you envision here, can you divide it down into
things that don't take a year? In other words, is it an all or nothing
or is it a step at a time?
MR. KING: I certainly don't think it's an all or nothing.
DR. POWERS: To quote Mr. Murphy, do we need to do the
unified field theory or can we start with nutonium mechanics and then
progress to the Maxwell equation?
MR. KING: Which is what we're doing now. No, I think
things like getting a better definition of defense-in-depth could be
done as a piece without having that held up by everything else. There's
probably some other pieces you could do.
DR. POWERS: Despite the difficulties of the
defense-in-depth that they're having at Yucca Mountain.
MR. MURPHY: I think the difficulties that arise in
different parts of the agency, one of the problems we have is that
occasionally we are fragmented and I'm unaware, for instance, of the
problems that NMSS is facing in a variety of their regulatory actions.
If nothing else, this will bring us aware of the problems.
The fundamental of nature risk is different in many of the activities
that NMSS licenses, and their risk comes from normal operation rather
than reactors, in many cases.
There are different concepts like this that we need to be
aware of as we develop further. So can we do it piecemeal? Yes. But I
think what this will do for us is in doing it piecemeal, we'll still be
aware, in a more integral way, of what's going on. So that there will
be less pitfalls for us to fall into than if we did it totally isolated
DR. POWERS: I'm asking within a context, not with send Rich
off and have him do defense-in-depth, but for heaven's sake, don't talk
to Joe, because he has weird views.
MR. KING: Yes, whatever. If you're doing a piece, it's got
to be a piece across the agency.
DR. POWERS: I'm wondering if it isn't better to think about
laying out the proposal in terms of pieces within an overall context,
and I would be willing to lay that piece out and say I will do
defense-in-depth, but it will only be applicable to reactors because I
know that there are special issues that arise in waste disposal that
have yet to be resolved and, at some point, I'm going to have to unify
the two definitions, but I don't have to have an end-all definition on
MR. KING: I would hope things like higher level
considerations you'd need to do without just looking at reactors; for
example, the paper, I think several of you authored a paper about the
role of defense-in-depth and is it a principle by itself or is it some
way to deal with uncertainties when you're doing -- looking at risk, for
I mean, those kinds of things, the agency ought to be able
to say, yes, defense-in-depth is a principle, if that's what they
decide, and it's more than just a way to account for uncertainties and
that would apply to Yucca Mountain, it would apply to reactors, and
everybody else, or it may be the other way around, whatever it is.
But I would hope at that level, this higher level guidance
could deal with that without having a specific definition of
defense-in-depth that applies to reactors, if such a definition is
needed, if you can't come up with something broader than that.
Maybe I'm confusing the issue here.
DR. WALLIS: I have a question about this develop a
proposal. When does the work get done? I mean, a proposal usually lays
out work to be done in the future, going to some plant. Is that another
five years of work or something? I had hopes that something would come
out of this in less than a year, which would be useful. It looks as if
all that's going to come out in a year is a proposal to do the work.
MR. KING: What I'm proposing -- we had sent you a draft
SECY paper with an attachment. It sounds like you didn't get it.
DR. KRESS: We got it.
MR. KING: You did get it, okay. But what I'm envisioning
is that later this month, we go to the Commission with this paper that
recommends we embark on developing this high level document and then in
a year or whatever the right time is, we come back with a draft of that
that they can review.
DR. WALLIS: So it's not a proposal. It's a high level
draft, a high level document you're getting in a year.
MR. KING: Yes. It's something that they could then take
and issue for public comment.
DR. WALLIS: A deliverable after a year.
MR. KING: A deliverable, yes, and I have been told a year
DR. WALLIS: You have not yet got the plan which says what
you have to do to get there.
MR. KING: We've thought about the number of stakeholders
involved and the number of workshops we're probably going to have to
have and a year might be not too realistic, and we need to think about
that some more.
DR. WALLIS: I'd be tempted to give two or three people the
job of doing the job in a month and see what they come up with, as a
rough run to find out what it would take if you tried to really do the
job and not just talk about it. By the time you have stakeholders and
go through all these motions, then your thought processes get atrophied.
The ability to be creative and intellectually stimulated disappears.
I think if you had some bright people figure out what would
need to be done.
DR. MILLER: Lock them in a room.
DR. WALLIS: Lock them in a room and say you come back with
a really good plan on this. You might succeed.
MR. KING: Seth, did you want to say something about
MR. COPELAND: Well, yes. I guess it's apropos to the
suggestion that was just made, and that is that the agreement states are
a principal stakeholder, at least with certain of the NMSS activities,
and as Dr. Seale was pointing out, they have a very substantial role and
we would be in the position of allocating their resources, which, in
some cases, are very limited, both in terms of the people, the money
resources, but also they have not been involved in risk assessments and
risk methods to any significant degree in the past.
So there is a staffing problem that would be created for
them. As was mentioned a couple minutes ago, a large part of our risk
is in normal operation, normal exposure to workers, not accidents to the
So there are issues that are extremely important that
involve stakeholders and I think we would be somewhat concerned about
going too far without stakeholder involvement for that reason.
DR. SEALE: I can point out, I attended a meeting here about
two months ago where the Commission had some people who talked to some
state representatives on the potassium iodide issue and there were four
state agencies represented there and every one of those state agencies
was under the same kind of pressure that everybody else is under to
reduce the intrusiveness of their activities on the people they
They are cutting back on the number of people who look at
machines, to find out whether or not there is stray radiation,
deterioration in the focus of X-ray machines and things like that.
That's resources and so you could stir up a real hornet's
next when you get into that.
DR. MILLER: But how is that all relevant to high level
safety? I think it's irrelevant.
DR. SEALE: The point is in implementing a high level safety
situation, you are likely to make decisions that allocate resources for
these people and they are going to be very adverse to accepting that.
DR. MILLER: It's outside the scope of the agency, though.
DR. WALLIS: The reason for doing this must be because it
has positive benefits and if there are benefits from sorting out the
safety goals and measures of risk and so on, then the sooner they're
sorted out, the better. But if there is some positive benefit, we seem
to be getting into all the reasons why it's difficult to do.
So maybe you could focus on what's the payoff of doing it,
then you have more reason to finish the job.
DR. MILLER: I think it goes back to your point earlier, Graham. If we
start worrying about all the stakeholders and all the states and all
that stuff, you'll never go anyplace. If you don't sit in a room and
say here is what we should do and not worry about resources and states
and so forth, if you start worrying about that, this issue is down the
drain, I think.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But the issue of -- the question really --
then reason why you want to bring the stakeholders in is not so much to
see whether they have the resources to do it, but to see whether they
have any other concerns that perhaps are not covered by the current
In other words, you want to come up with a policy statement
that will address everybody's concerns. I think that's really the issue
here, not the resources.
MR. KING: But, I mean, clearly, people are going to be
interested in terms of what's this mean for, what am I going to have to
do different if we do this. If what you do different is smarter
regulation, more efficient regulation, I would think they're going to be
in favor of it.
DR. MILLER: But earlier, Mario Fontana raised the point of,
well, we have to look at this in the context of other energy sources and
so forth and we said we don't want to do that. I think the same thing
is the issue here. If we look at all the other outside contexts, then
we have to define a scope.
MR. KING: All I'm saying is when people look at this,
whether it's the states, the industry, the public, they're going to say
what's this going to do to me, what am I going to have to do different,
and they're going to look at it that way.
The industry is going to say is it going to cost me money or
is it going to save me money. States, probably the same thing. Public
interest groups might say, well, is it going to improve safety or not
DR. WALLIS: You have to bring them into it.
MR. KING: You have to bring them into it.
DR. WALLIS: You have to justify why you're doing it, is
there something in it for you guys.
MR. KING: We can't avoid those discussions and I'm not
proposing we avoid those discussions.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: So are we discussing today the objectives,
content and structure of such a safety policy?
MR. KING: The next few viewgraphs are sort of some ideas as
to a structure, a content of this high level stuff.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Okay. Go on.
MR. KING: Okay. Page three, I think we've already talked
about most of this, which is why do this at all, and some of the points
we've already talked about in terms of clarity and consistency and
facilitating risk-informed regulation, consolidating guidance, how would
this be used when we're all done.
I think it would be used certainly to help NMSS in putting
together their safety goal.
DR. WALLIS: It would help if you could provide some measure
of this. It may sound good, but maybe you could say we're losing the
agency, as an industry, a billion a year because of inconsistency and
lack of clarity and we've got to sort that out. Some measure of what
the problem is, what the payoff is from solving it.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But the measure cannot be only in terms of
dollars, right? It's also a matter of public confidence.
DR. WALLIS: But I'm not so clear that the agency goals are
not consistent and clear. You've got to have some measure of what's the
payoff from improvements and when people see that clearly, then they'll
get behind you.
If it's not expressed clearly, then you have to keep on
always facing the question why are you doing this.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I think the second bullet really does not
apply to the safety policy statement. It applies to the regulations,
because the current regulatory structure really did not emanate from the
So I think that's a good point. The safety goals themselves
are clear. The policy statement, if you read it, you understand what it
says. It says the regulations, that they suffer from lack of clarity
and so on.
Now, what's happening now is that we are moving into
risk-informed systems, so the regulations themselves will have to become
risk-informed, which means they will have to rely on the policy
statement more and more and to achieve clarity and consistency, you want
to start at the top.
That's really what's happening. So the clarity and
consistency are not things that are missing from the existing safety
goal policy statement. I don't even know what consistency means at that
DR. MILLER: You're saying that we can't have risk-informed
existing safety policy?
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: We cannot, no. We need more. We need
MR. KING: Let me give you an example. You've got the
safety goal policy, you've got the regulations, you've got the agency
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes.
MR. KING: It's not clear to me how they're consistent.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Exactly, because they were done under
different states of knowledge.
MR. KING: So maybe the agency's strategic plan would change
if we come up with some good philosophy policy high level document.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Now, the public confidence, I think, will
be also increased if you go back to what we were saying earlier about
the cornerstones and so on. That's the whole idea of defense-in-depth.
Just the safety goals in terms of risk probably would not increase
public confidence, because, again, you can have several initiating
events someplace, but in terms of risk, did not lead to anything, the
public confidence is shaken.
So if you have public confidence in mind, then the safety
goal policy statement will take a certain -- will have a certain flavor.
You will have to address the issue of cornerstones and defense-in-depth,
in other words.
MR. KING: Yes, I agree. I agree. And it's more than
regulations, too. It's the plant oversight process, it's the
enforcement program, all those things.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: So I really think that these bullets,
second and third, really refer to risk-informed regulatory system, not
to the safety policy, the top safety policy. So the argument there
should be that in order to achieve these at the lower levels, you have
to make sure that you have a solid foundation at the top. That's what
you are doing in this task.
MR. KING: Yes.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But you are not really promoting
regulatory stability. You are -- you are promoting in the sense that
you're making sure that your top goals will be appropriate for the
development of a stable risk-informed regulatory system.
MR. KING: But to the extent these top goals shape things
like inspection, enforcement, regulatory analysis, guidelines, they are
going to promote --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: That's right, that's right.
DR. WALLIS: Let me say that I suggest that the bottom to
all this, the only one that really matters, the other ones come along
with it. I'm a bit puzzled here because the Chairman sat in this room
about a year ago and said the train has already left the station as far
as risk-informed regulation goes and you're telling me, I think, that it
doesn't have a track to run on yet.
So where is it going?
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: To Phoenix.
MR. KING: I'm not telling you it doesn't have a track to
run on. I'm telling you that maybe we need a bigger headlight.
DR. WALLIS: You're sending out the surveyors and the train
has supposedly left the station.
DR. MILLER: Maybe it's on the wrong track.
DR. WALLIS: What would be wrong if you simply said we want
to do number four, this is what we're going to have to do in order to do
it, to get it done. I think a lot of these other things would come
along with it.
MR. KING: I don't disagree with that. That might be a
better way to state it.
DR. WALLIS: And you'd have it much more focused on what to
do and -- on what to do first.
MR. KING: I like that.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: On the other hand, the danger there is
that you may be criticized that you're tailoring the top level safety
policy statement of the Commission to accommodate the implementation and
I think you can have a good argument that, no, that is really a
statement of principals.
If you have difficulties implementing it, well, tough.
DR. MILLER: In terms of it being risk-informed as an
DR. KRESS: We would say this is needed whether you're going
to risk-inform the regulations or not.
DR. WALLIS: But the real incentive for doing it is number
four and the rest of it you should be doing anyway, no matter what.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: No, because people, for example, some
people are unhappy that the policy statement does not say anything about
land contamination. This has nothing to do with risk-informed
DR. WALLIS: It must be, because --
MR. KING: It could be.
DR. WALLIS: If land contamination is a risk, then it's got
to inform the regulation.
MR. KING: If that's a goal and there is some possibility.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes. So you have to state the goal.
DR. MILLER: The goal has to be part of what is the risk.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But it's not the implementation that
you're facilitating. Implementation is --
DR. WALLIS: You can't run the train unless you know where
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Why? It wouldn't be the first time?
MR. KING: And that's one of the issues, when we get to
slide five, we're going to talk about that.
All right. Beginning with slide four and through the end is
to talk about some thoughts on what the scope and content of this thing
could look like. Again, these are preliminary thoughts, there is a lot
of work yet to be done.
Starting off with scope, this high level part, to me, would
-- you try and cover the things that apply to all regulated activities.
That would include the public and the worker. It would include normal
operation and off-normal operation accidents. You raised one, George,
maybe the time span of activities should be somehow factored into that.
I think that's something important to think about.
Environment versus people is another one that needs to be
thought about. That shows up on the next slide, but maybe it should be
on four, as well. Then at least one of the thoughts, a thought that I
had was in the same high level document, you would start to fit in the
reactor-specific and the non-reactor specific pieces, QHOs, CDF, LERF,
whatever it turns out to be could fold in there, as well. So you have
it all in one place and it all starts from the top and works its way
DR. MILLER: Aren't those partly implementation, not policy
issues? Policy should be a very high level. It should be accommodating
MR. KING: But the QHOs are policy. If you have a high
level document that says you want to make -- that the risk to the public
is just a small fraction of the other risks they're normally exposed to,
that's a high level statement. And for the reactors, you've got the
QHOs that try and put a number on that.
For NMSS stuff, what does that mean, what is the public?
It's different than it is for reactors. Maybe you start to have some
QHOs for that.
DR. MILLER: Let's go to the next overhead. Your next
overhead, I've got lots of comments on.
MR. KING: All right. Let's go to this one.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: now, worker protection, that's not in the
MR. KING: It is not in the current reactor safety goals.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yet, the agency does protect workers.
MR. KING: The agency does have an ALARA policy. Why
shouldn't that be a high level goal?
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Sure.
MR. KING: It only shows up in an appendix to Part 50.
DR. KRESS: I think anything that you have as a regulatory
objective in your regulations ought to stem from your high level policy
statement. So that certainly is a reasonable thing to have addressed
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: By the way, speaking of that, I'm reading
attachment one of what you sent us. It says the objective. The
documenting in a hierarchical fashion -- to document in a hierarchical
fashion those high level policies and practices that shape regulatory
requirements and decision-making and ensure compliance with the Atomic
Is it implied here that you will document also the
objectives of the agency's activities? I mean, if you state policies,
that implies objectives, or should the objectives be spelled out
separately and say to document in a hierarchical fashion that those high
level objectives, policies, and practices that shape regulatory
MR. KING: Yes, I agree. You're right. The word objectives
should be in there.
DR. WALLIS: Can I ask about timing? This is a major
undertaking which could shape the future of the agency. It seems to be
you're making a proposal at the time the current Chair is -- does the
timing make sense? You may find you get reorganized in three months.
MR. KING: I just got reorganized two weeks ago.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: So that's just about right.
DR. MILLER: Graham, policy-makers come and go and --
DR. WALLIS: But this is going to happen and there is going
to have to be a new Chair that says I'm going to make this happen.
MR. KING: Clearly, the Commission, I mean, even if the
current Chair or the new Chair says I like it and the other --
DR. WALLIS: So one strategy is to write the objectives for
that boss and hand it to him or her.
DR. MILLER: But the Chairman is not the boss.
MR. KING: What triggered this was starting with the
Congressional hearings back in July and everything that has happened
since then in terms of criticisms of the agency regarding lack of
clarity, consistency, goals, objectives, whatever you want to call it.
That's what triggered this. That's why it's timed the way it is today.
We've reached the point where we said maybe it's worth doing something.
DR. WALLIS: You're looking for -- this is -- what is the
timing of this going forward to some key decision-making in terms of the
MR. KING: The end of this month. Do they like this idea or
don't they like this idea, they want us to pursue it or not pursue it.
If they say yes, then we're talking about over the next year or whatever
drafting a proposed policy.
Okay. Slide five I call possible elements of this high
level policy. The straw man that we sent you starts out with some
qualitative goals for public and worker protection. The first two,
dealing with individual members of the public and societal risks are
basically the same ones that are in the reactor safety goal policy.
I looked at those and they looked pretty good to me as
across-the-board type of high level goals.
DR. MILLER: On bullet two, what happens if there is a
significant change in other societal risks? Let's say -- I'll go back
to what Mario Fontana said. What if we have an oil embargo and nuclear
is suddenly the only way to generate electricity?
MR. KING: Or a cure for cancer.
DR. MILLER: It could go either way.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Then the Congress will have to take
action, Don, not the agency.
MR. KING: Right.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: The Congress will have to direct the
agency to do something. The agency by itself --
DR. MILLER: So we say .1 percent or better societal risk.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Right.
DR. MILLER: And those risks, say, they go up by a factor of
100, we said .1 percent of other societal risk.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: The other risks, they mean from similar
activities, not from not having oil.
DR. MILLER: I'll just use an example. Not being a
significant addition to other societal risks.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Sure, and the joke at the time was
citizens quit smoking, the other risks go down, so we have to retrofit.
DR. MILLER: Well, the other risks have gone down since '86.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Sure, sure.
MR. KING: The numerical values we're using now, we can
relate the QHOs to some risk to the individual and that's based upon
societal risks, fatal cancers from whatever -- Joe probably knows the
dates, but it's probably at least 15-year-old information.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: The 70s, I believe.
DR. MILLER: So right now we're tagged to risk of an
individual in 1975.
MR. MURPHY: We really are. The numerical values we used
were ones that we developed right after WASH-1400.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Sure.
DR. MILLER: So are we going to change that?
MR. MURPHY: When the safety goal policy came out, we
started with the calculation in the '70s and came out in the '80s.
Clearly, I am unaware of anybody that went back that says this is based
on an assumption that roughly 25 percent of fatalities in the United
States came from cancer.
I think that number is still pretty much right, but I don't
know anybody that's gone back and looked at the statistical data to
DR. KRESS: The prompt fatality risk was about
five-times-ten-to-the-minus-seven when the goal was first put out. Now
it's about three to two-times-ten-to-the-minus-seven. So people have
just checked to see how much it changed over the years.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But it seems to me that one thing --
MR. MURPHY: But, again, it was the accidental death rate.
DR. KRESS: That's where it's coming from.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Isn't the one-tenth of one percent there
to really allow for such small variations? It's not meant to be taken
literally that the thing goes down from five-ten-to-the-minus-three to
four-ten-to-the-minus-three and now we take the 1000th of that. It
seems to me that the 1000 range there gives you enough stability.
DR. MILLER: So we don't have to change that.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I don't believe so.
MR. KING: And when we developed the LERF, backed out the
LERF value that's in Reg Guide 1.174, we made some pretty conservative
bounding type assessments on that.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But one thing, though. When you say that
the societal risk to life and health should be comparable to or less
than the risk from other similar activities, is there an assumption
there that all electricity-producing activities impose risks on the
order of 1000th of all other risks or is this unique to nuclear?
DR. SEALE: No.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: No what?
DR. SEALE: I don't think there has been any specific
comparison to the risks associated with other ways of producing
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: So why are we saying then that it would be
comparable? Clearly it's much lower.
MR. MURPHY: This is a statement from the existing safety
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I know, but the actual number is not
comparable. In fact, I saw a paper recently from Germany where clearly
the risks from all other electricity-producing activities individually
were greater than the nuclear risk.
MR. MURPHY: I think what it means to say is that it should
be either comparable or less. In other words, it should not be greater.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I don't see that. I think that would be
MR. MURPHY: The comparable to or less than is the phrase.
DR. MILLER: And since we don't know what they are, we just
make the statement and go on.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I don't understand why it should be less.
MR. MURPHY: What I read as comparable to or less than as
meaning is it shall not be greater than.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes, but then we turn around and say it
should be 1000th, which is much, much less. It must be risk aversion.
MR. BARRETT: It is risk aversion.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: It is risk aversion that's buried there.
MR. BARRETT: You have two criteria. It's the second
criterion that drives you down.
MR. KING: It's the end of that sentence that drives you to
the one-tenth of one percent.
MR. BARRETT: It's the part that it's not a significant
addition to other societal risks.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I know this is from the current statement,
but it's really puts too many things together.
MR. MURPHY: The other societal risks, that's why when we
quantify for other societal risks, we took, for instance, the accidental
death rate, not the death rate associated with electrical power
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But are you going to revisit the decision
of one-tenth of one percent?
MR. KING: I was not envisioning revisiting the one-tenth of
one percent for reactors.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But it should be on the table. We may not
have any feeling one way or another now whether to increase it or
decrease it, but it should be on the table.
MR. KING: For reactors, I was not envisioning revisiting
that. For NMSS stuff, I don't know whether one-tenth of one percent is
the right number or not.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But then you have imposed on yourself the
condition of consistency or some sort of consistency. So maybe the
one-tenth of one percent for reactors would lead to something that would
be unacceptable or impractical. So it seems to me it should be on the
table. I mean, if you start again --
MR. MURPHY: You may need to bring in a risk averse type
DR. WALLIS: You have to bring that in.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I think risk aversion is a driver behind
DR. WALLIS: Because a coal plant does not have the
potential to contaminate the whole state of Pennsylvania.
DR. BONACA: The coal plant is a continuing accident, as we
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: It's a continuing accident?
DR. BONACA: However, it is an acceptable accident, I guess,
because you don't know where the wind blows and you don't see it, it
doesn't scare you, whatever. So to me, it's totally aversion that has
been driving this issue.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: It is something we'll have to discuss in
DR. BONACA: And you can write on the paper that the plant
is spitting out all this stuff and the people are statistically dying of
cancer, statistically, that's the whole issue.
DR. SEALE: There are things that you don't have any control
over that affect that number. The most significant thing that has
happened in the last 50 years is the Mine Safety Act of 1968.
I mean, it used to be approximately one a day was killed in
coal mining every year in this country.
DR. MILLER: Now, what is it today?
DR. SEALE: It's a lot less than one a day.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: And actually for communication purposes, I
would rephrase that, individual members of the public bear insignificant
additional risk to life and safety.
MR. KING: Why would you rephrase it?
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I think it has a different impact than
saying no significant.
DR. MILLER: Say that again.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Insignificant instead of no significant.
DR. KRESS: Sounds the same to me.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I think the impact of the world
insignificant is --
MR. MURPHY: There is a subtle difference.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: There is a subtle difference, thank you.
DR. WALLIS: No sounds better.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Insignificant.
DR. WALLIS: Insignificant, and then you can quibble about
DR. MILLER: No is absolute and can't be defined.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: It is a positive statement that it is
DR. WALLIS: We can spend forever on this. If you don't
watch you, you're going to get into the morass here of --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: They've been through it before.
DR. MILLER: It's called opening a can of worms.
MR. KING: Yes, this is clearly a can of worms.
DR. MILLER: A big can, a lot of worms.
MR. KING: The third item would be a new item dealing with
the occupational risk and bringing the ALARA concept up as to a high
level agency goal across the board. Exactly what the wording would be,
I haven't -- I don't have a proposal for you at this point, but that
would be the topic.
DR. WALLIS: Let me go back to my original thing. If you
were simply to say we're going to implement risk-informed regulation,
what do we have to do, do you have to do all this or can you use
whatever is presently on the books for these goals?
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Can you do what?
DR. WALLIS: Can you implement risk-informed regulation with
the present statements of goals for public and worker protection?
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: No.
DR. WALLIS: So they identify the features which need
changing and work on them.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: We have a good example.
DR. WALLIS: Open the can of worms.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: The group that's developing the new
regulation on inspection enforcement had to introduce an additional
element there. The cornerstones. These do not flow from the top level
DR. MILLER: Absolutely.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: So that's what you are trying to -- and
that's, in fact, what Tom was referring to, I think, when he mentioned
clarity and so on. I mean, you can't introduce new objectives every
time you do a new regulation that do not flow from the top statement.
DR. MILLER: Okay. Let's go back to your statement. If it
doesn't flow, what has to be changed to make it flow?
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Well, that's what that is saying.
DR. BONACA: To me, this is like a development -- this is
like a strategic plan, right? And then it boils down in tactics and
special assignments. So you can have scrutability. It may be complex,
but I think it can be done. I think you're attempting to do it. That's
what you do.
You're trying to set up a strategic plan that says this is
our objective, we define it, we just build it, and then later on it will
have to be tied to implementation steps, such as cornerstones, so we can
all understand why you think that the cornerstone is important or is not
DR. MILLER: We could define a policy where the cornerstones
aren't part of it anymore or are we assuming the cornerstones are there
and we're going to define a policy to fit the cornerstones? Which way
are we going to go here?
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: The cornerstones would fit in here.
MR. KING: The cornerstones would fit under here somewhere.
DR. MILLER: We've already said the cornerstones are part of
it no matter what.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: You're putting it in a way, Don, that doesn't sound
good, no matter what, and I think what you and Graham are telling them
is you're making suggestions how to go about to do this. You're telling
them, you know, think about what you would need to add to the existing
statement to come up with something that would allow you to implement
the risk-informed system.
They may very well do this, but they are not presenting it
as such. They're saying we have to revise the statement.
DR. MILLER: So we're going to revise the statement and
we're going to forget about cornerstones and so forth.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: No, we're not going to forget about it.
MR. KING: We're not forgetting about cornerstones.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: You're putting it as if we either forgot
about them or consider them as a boundary condition.
DR. MILLER: We're not going to do either one.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Well, there may be something in between,
but the truth of the matter is that there are objectives out there that
certain stakeholders have that they want to be satisfied and just by
talking about risk in terms of the traditional metrics, you are not
You know, Bob Christy has come here and said it's none of
your business regulating anything as long as the ultimate risk metric is
below the goals. He has said it many times.
So here is a stakeholder who believes that you can regulate
only in terms of early and latent fatalities and the answer from the
agency, in my opinion, has been a resounding no, we're not going to do
Now, why? We have to say here in the safety policy
statement some objective that will not allow us to do this.
DR. BONACA: Actually, this may suggest, in the process,
some of the cornerstones.
DR. KRESS: I agree. I just didn't want them to go in to
say the cornerstones are a fixed product and we're not going to change
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: No, no. I don't think they implied that.
DR. BONACA: I agree with you. In fact, I think it's
backwards going to the cornerstones first.
DR. KRESS: I totally agree.
DR. BONACA: I think we should have gone this way, but
DR. KRESS: We can maybe change the cornerstones --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Because these guys are higher level. Now,
before we move on --
DR. WALLIS: The cornerstones, actually, the work on
cornerstones was completed. There was a finite objective that people
reached in a reasonable time and we were very pleased with it. And I
think part of what we're saying here is if you take on all this can of
worms, when are you going to ever finish.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Well, they promised a year.
MR. BARTON: No, they promised to write a proposal in a
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: No, no, no. Tom said that --
DR. WALLIS: But then you've got to implement it and all
kinds of stuff down the road. This has to have effects on the
regulation and so on and it's a long, long road.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: In other words, what you're saying, Graham, is that
they should take a minimalist approach.
DR. WALLIS: I've said it ten times today. If you say we're
going to do risk-informed regulation, what do we have to do as a minimum
to get it done, let's do it, then you don't get involved --
MR. KING: We embarked in putting Reg Guide 1.174 together,
we tried to work within the existing guidance, the reactor safety goals,
reg analysis guidelines and so forth, and we ran into some problems.
There were holes in the guidance, there were inconsistencies in the
For example, one of the holes is what about temporary
increases in risk, should there be some limit on that, we don't want
things to go up in spikes, should that be something that this high level
policy deals with and if so, what is it that you want to -- what is the
goal or the objective.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Also, these now will be plant-specific,
right? The original statement was not --
DR. MILLER: You can't have a policy that's plant-specific.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: The numbers you put there should be such
that they could be used on a plant-specific basis.
DR. MILLER: But you don't want a policy.
MR. KING: When you get down to implementing it for
reactors, for example, the current practice is to use it on a
plant-specific basis, the policy ought to be written to do that.
It ought to document that that's what we're doing and how
we're doing it. That's not documented anywhere now.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I think if you say that I really want to
have a risk-informed regulatory system that covers all the activities of
the agency, then you are satisfying Dr. Wallis' concerns.
MR. KING: We could continue to work on individual pieces
that are causing is problems, like temporary risk spikes and trying to
deal with that. This is an alternative that, yeah, it does open some
cans of worms, I agree, and, again, the feedback we'd like from the
committee is, is it worth doing this.
DR. BONACA: I think, in fact, this could even drive later
on your budgeting process, I mean literally. Once you have a strategic
plan, know what you have to do, how you apportion it, how you
communicate it, how you tie it down to your cornerstones and activities,
it can even give you budget ideas, where you should put your money.
I mean, it is a process of organizing intellectually what
you are to do given that you have these goals and I think it's -- I
mean, I --
DR. WALLIS: For example, you could say there is a certain
payoff to reducing the uncertainty about cause of some accident and
actually express that in terms of the reason for doing the research.
There is a real payoff in the way you treat risk because of a result of
these uncertainties and, therefore, you have to do some research and
here is the payoff, this is what you expect in terms of change of some
boundary on some risk metric, some regulation, as a result of reducing
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: So I guess the motivation then for doing
this has not been stated clearly enough and what we're trying to
achieve, what the product will be.
DR. WALLIS: What's the payoff.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes, the payoff. Okay. I propose we
break now before we move on to the issues. We'll reconvene at 20
minutes to 11:00.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: We're back in session. We are discussing
MR. KING: Yes. These are issues associated with what these
qualitative goals for public and worker protection should be.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes. I'd like for Dr. Kress to be here
because you have a statement in the attachment two of what you sent us
that land contamination will likely be covered by societal goals.
MR. KING: Maybe I should mention that. We have the 11
issues from second paper last year. It's not like we haven't done
anything on those. We've been thinking about those and ultimately have
to come back to the Commission with some proposal on those specific
I can let -- Joe has been taking the lead on the land
contamination and the relation to societal goals and I can let him talk
about that, if you want to get into that.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Go ahead.
DR. FONTANA: Could I ask a clarification? On the land
contamination, the NRC concern is only with health, is that true?
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: With what?
DR. FONTANA: Health. The reason I keep bringing up that we
ought to do land contamination, I'm thinking in terms of what societal
costs are also in terms of dollars, and if you do the total cost in
terms of dollars and you take the cost of taking that land out of
circulation, that's an answer.
MR. KING: Let me answer it this way. Currently, the QHOs
are based upon what we call life and health, which are early and latent
fatalities. Not cancer incidents, not dollar cost for treatment or
contamination or anything else. It's fatalities only.
DR. FONTANA: Then I understand your argument when like Tom
says that it's subsumed in the QHOs. With respect to health it is, but
with respect to total dollars out of pocket it isn't.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: No. It's subsumed in the sense that I
think that the accident sequences that lead to severe land contamination
are the same as the ones that lead to latent effects on society, right?
DR. KRESS: absolutely, and you could put dollars to any one
of those risks. It's not easy, but you could put dollars to them.
DR. FONTANA: But with land contamination, that wouldn't be
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: He says that there is maybe a different --
DR. KRESS: I don't think that exercise has been done.
DR. WALLIS: There are also safety aspects.
DR. KRESS: It probably would not be enough, but --
DR. WALLIS: If you contaminate the state of Tennessee, you
lose Tennessee, but you also have the effect of all those people from
Tennessee who have to go somewhere else. Even that could be --
MR. BARTON: Guantonomo Bay or Turkey. It would probably be
an improvement for Tom.
DR. KRESS: Are you considering that a benefit?
DR. SEALE: Contamination.
MR. MURPHY: Years ago, we looked at some of this, as you
recall. There was a study in the early '80s, I believe, that was -- I
believe it went by the name of the Sandia siting study that looked at
taking things like WASH-1400 source terms and putting them at sites and
exercising the MACC code and see what the costs were and what the level
of contamination was and based on the MAX calculation, which had some
problems in its economic models, but it gave you some information.
If you recall, a couple months ago, I talked to the
committee and tried to point out that there is a balance to be made and
it's made outside this agency essentially; that is, a tradeoff between a
person rem and dose in land contamination.
Right now, that is set by the protective action guidelines,
which are set primarily by EPA as to when you would interdict land and
when you bring back in.
But the assumptions you make on that, if you don't want any
person rem, then you lose a lot of area that gets interdicted and if
you're willing to take a substantial amount of person rem, there is very
little area that gets interdicted and that decision as to how land is
interdicted is essentially beyond the jurisdiction of NRC.
We used, for our planning purposes, the protective action
guidelines that EPA and, I guess, FEMA is a part of, but -- so in the
calculations that we have done in our risk analyses, we've used those
kind of numbers.
Quite frankly, while a code like MACCS can be used to
generate dollar values of the type you're talking about, it doesn't do
it very well. Mainly because we have not spent the money to update the
economic models in that from what was done at the time WASH-1400 was
So where WASH-1400 -- where the model that's presently in
MACCS may think it's decontaminating a peanut field, it may instead be a
shopping center and all the differences associated with that in terms of
how you do the economic modeling. To really go back and do that, you'd
have to totally redo the economic modeling in that code.
Up until now, we haven't seen a pressing need for that and I
think it's been on the back burner, in our minds, for years, but it's
never risen to the point of a high priority in the world we face now in
looking for resources and efficient use of them.
But I think, in fact, the reason for saying it's covered by
the societal, there really is a tradeoff between person rem and square
mile of interdicted.
DR. KRESS: But I think in a new policy statement, you have
to ask yourself why are we concerned with regulating reactors, what are
we concerned about. We're concerned about people's health and killing
people or we're concerned about interdicting land. That is one of the
concerns and then you have to do something to say, well, if we do put
down quantitative measures of things, we have to say, in this policy
statement, we have taken care of our concern about land interdiction,
for example, because of something.
I think you have to think about it, you have to put it down
as one of your top level problems and decide how to deal with it. You
may very well not end up with a metric --
MR. MURPHY: And we're going through that thought process.
MR. KING: And that's what this bullet, the last item here
is directed to.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: By the way, is that Sandia report
MR. MURPHY: Yes, it's old. You may have to get it on
microfiche anymore. My copy has long gone in the trash, but it's --
MR. KING: I've got one upstairs, if you want to look at it.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Maybe you can make a copy. Thank you.
MR. MURPHY: One of the things that I've been kicking around
in the back of my head and I want to say I haven't discussed this with
anybody else on the staff level and gotten their concurrence on it, is
that we could use something like the existing protective action
guidelines that we have from EPA that I believe say you would let
somebody return to the land if they would get -- if I remember right,
it's four rem in five years or something like that.
Using that kind of criterion, you could go in and -- using
the guidance from other agencies that would control that decision, look
at what the risk is for an individual having the land contamination and
essentially setting a goal that was something like one in a million for
having your property interdicted for somebody within a reasonable close
distance to the plant.
That seems like a feasible kind of calculation to make.
DR. FONTANA: But I think you need to clearly state up front
what it is that you're doing, because if you're talking in terms of
health effects and those sort of things, what you just said is correct.
If you're talking in terms of economics of land being put
out of circulation, it's a little bit different. In other words, if
you're in a nation where agricultural land is absolutely essential, you
just can't afford to get much of it put out of circulation, then you're
going to have a different value that's not directly related to the man
rem value of --
MR. MURPHY: Yes. Colleagues in Switzerland have told me
this is an exceedingly important thing in their way of thinking because
of the nature of where the plants are and the prevailing winds in
Switzerland, an accident could take out much of the farmland of the
country. It is something they worry about.
We may not need to worry about it as much, but that gets
into the discussion we had early in the meeting that says the nature of
the safety goal, it's a top-down thing coming from the public, and that
may change as you go from location to location and country to country.
MR. KING: Just a piece of information. When we modified
Part 100 a couple year ago, we did look at the land contamination issue
because Part 100 defines a low population zone. It says you don't want
to have the plant close to a population center more than 25,000 people,
and we wanted to see was that distance reasonable in terms of if the
large city was just on the other side of that boundary, what's the
likelihood of contaminating and have to abandon the large city, and it
turned out it was less than one in a million per reactor year.
And if you read the statement of considerations on the rule,
we went forward and told the Commission that and everybody seemed to
have a nice -- you know, be receptive to, yeah, that's low enough and
we're happy with that. So we kept the low population words in.
Again, that's kind of consideration that maybe we ought to
think about at the high level for reactors. Do we want to bring that up
from a statement of considerations to --
DR. KRESS: I think you do because that's one of the
societal risks as opposed to an individual risk and it's addressed in
your regulations and if it's in the regulations, it ought to be a
derivable from your top level statement.
So somewhere in there you need to have some consideration.
MR. KING: But, again, it was based upon the NUREG-1150
plants and, again, if you're talking about future plants, does that make
a difference; if you're talking about MOX cores, does that make a
difference. I don't know.
That whole analysis is based upon the five NUREG-1150 plants
and the releases and the likelihoods of those releases.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Now, what do you mean by should cancer
incidents and chemicals be considered?
MR. KING: Right now, the QHOs are based upon fatalities,
early and latent fatalities.
DR. KRESS: Nobody wants to get the cancer, whether they die
or not, right?
MR. KING: Right.
DR. KRESS: That's what it's saying.
MR. KING: Getting cancer is a cost to society. It's a cost
to the individual and it's a cost to society. Should the risk
coefficient for cancer incidents be used, not the risk coefficient for
DR. KRESS: I think that's a very reasonable thing.
MR. KING: It's too bad Dana isn't here, because he brought
the issue up at ACNW, when he sat it on the linear non-threshold
hypothesis meeting from a couple of weeks ago.
DR. KRESS: It's what I call the risk of injury.
MR. KING: That came up on the KI issue. One of the public
comments on KI was forget about fatalities; yeah, a lot of thyroid
cancer doesn't normally lead to fatalities, but it sure causes a person
a lot of harm and grief and expense and why shouldn't that be factored
in, and it was factored in.
DR. KRESS: And it is in your regulations. You have things
like the 25 rem in 10 CFR 100. To some extent, it is brought about by
that sort of thinking.
MR. KING: That was to get below no observable health
DR. KRESS: So when you make your top level policy, I think
you need to think about those things, because it is one of your
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: And chemicals.
MR. KING: And chemicals. Actually, Joe brought that up,
things like enrichment facilities, where the hazard isn't from the
uranium, it's from the fluorine that the uranium is mixed with.
Shouldn't, at least maybe in some special cases, we talk about that.
Maybe not across the board.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Is societal risk going to be calculated
now so that it will not end up being again individual risk? My
understanding now is that we do talk about societal risk in the current
policy statement, but the way it's calculated really it comes down to
MR. KING: Yes. And I think the qualitative goal is pretty
good in the current policy statement, but you're right, it's not
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Quantitative statement in the future, you
can make sure it's a true societal risk.
MR. KING: That's one of --
MR. MURPHY: That's one of the things we're looking at.
MR. KING: That's one of the 11 issues from last year's
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Okay.
MR. KING: We don't have answer today, but that we're
MR. MURPHY: Some of the people who do that calculation tell
me because of the averaging that goes on and the way they do the
individual risk, that you will get a consistent set of numbers. A true
societal risk calculation will always give you the same relationship
back and forth, so that it's effectively a duplicate.
But if that's true, it's not obvious, because I've been
looking at the calculations for a while and it's not obvious to me yet.
I think we probably do need such a thing, but we want to think about it
a little bit more.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Because then you will have frequency
consequence curves in terms of number of people affected.
MR. MURPHY: Yes, particularly, if you're looking at what I
said earlier in terms of looking at this is a way of handling land
contamination, because of the relationship between that and the PHEs and
the land interdiction, then you really do need the societal risk to make
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: How about protection of the environment
now? What exactly does that mean?
MR. KING: That's the land contamination issue, but it could
be broader. It could be ground water, it could be lakes, rivers. I
don't know, but it's a catch-all to cover the land contamination.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: So you're going to have to find the
MR. KING: Clearly, I need to find the appropriate metrics.
Is it just health effects, is it the dollar cost.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: And, again, the question of whether you
are protecting the environment by having goals on life and health and
injuries that come up.
MR. KING: Exactly.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Okay. Shall we go on?
DR. KRESS: It may very well be that when you -- if you
start out looking at a whole list of these kind of objectives, one or
more of them may control your final thing. You're just not sure which
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Right. Okay.
MR. KING: Okay. That was sort of the concept for some high
level goals on protection. Then the next piece in the structure was
what I call the approach to meet the goals, which really is the three
regions, the viewgraph we spent an hour on, defining what that is,
trying to define adequate protection in some fashion, if that makes
sense, the issue of the cost-benefit region, should that be mandatory or
should the agency -- even if they find something in that cost-benefit
region that would pass the backfit test and from a safety perspective
could be implemented, should the agency be required to implement that
new requirement or could they just say, no, I'm not going to do it.
Right now, there are three places, three backfit rules.
There is one for reactors, there is one for independent storage of high
level waste, and there is one for gaseous diffusion, and they're
basically -- two of them are identical. One of them is a little
different, but the basic thrust is the same.
I think they're all interpreted -- may Gary can expand on
this. They're all interpreted as the staff has the discretion whether
to apply that or not. Even if they find some safety problem that could
pass the test, they don't have to do anything about it.
DR. WALLIS: What you really mean on this viewgraph, the top
really is a region of inadequate protection. I get confused by the
MR. KING: Yes.
DR. WALLIS: But what you really mean is if you're above
there, the protection is inadequate.
MR. KING: Yes.
DR. WALLIS: And it's very misleading to say this region is
adequate protection or inadequate protection.
MR. KING: The backfit rules are clear. If you find
something out in here --
DR. WALLIS: Adequate is below there.
MR. KING: Yes. If you find something --
DR. WALLIS: You have to be careful.
MR. KING: If you find something up in here, you've got to
DR. WALLIS: It's inadequate.
MR. KING: The agency has to do something about it. If you
find something in here, the current rules do not require --
DR. WALLIS: The British, of course, have a better figure
DR. KRESS: I noticed he prefaced that by "of course."
DR. WALLIS: In that the measures are in terms of the actual
-- the thing on the axis, which is risk, is unacceptable risk and
there's broadly acceptable risk.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But I want to point out that there is a
letter, accompanied by a report, written by the ACRS in 1980, where a
three-region approach was proposed and subsequently rejected by
higher-ups. It was proposed when they were debating -- the agency was
debating the original safety goal policy statement and we have cited it
in one of our letters.
So that, of course, was a great document, in my opinion.
MR. KING: The other thing I want to mention is, as I said,
there are three places there is a backfit rule and there's a bunch of
places there is no backfit rule.
The regulations that deal with fuel fabrication facilities
don't have a backfit rule. This kind of high level guidance could at
least pose the question to the Commission, you know, do you want to put
some uniformity in this and how do you want to interpret this.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: The thing that bothers me a little bit,
and I sense bothers other members, judging from the question they're
asking, I mean, this slide and the one before, this project appears to
be too ambitious, though.
I mean, you are really changing a lot of things here,
qualitative goals, quantitative, combination, land contamination,
protection of the environment, workers, everything.
Do you really think you can do that in a year? I mean, that
really is a major issue, I think, and maybe that's why Graham and Don
were insisting earlier that you look at what you really need to do to
make sure that the risk-informed system can be put in place rather than
revisiting the whole thing.
I think that's a real issue here.
MR. KING: Here I'm not sure is the right time. Do we want
to do this at all is a fair question.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Or do it in piecemeal fashion.
MR. KING: But I'm not sure this is --
DR. WALLIS: Do we want to is the wrong question. It should
be why and what's the payoff.
DR. BONACA: I think this is really important that you do
this, in my mind, but the next question is who is going to do this.
MR. KING: Joe.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: That was an easy answer.
DR. MILLER: I'm still not certain what we're trying to do,
let alone why we're trying to do it. I worry about policy that's trying
to accommodate everything in the world, and the policy should not be
doing that. The policy should be high level and broad enough that it
But once you -- if you start looking at all the bits and
pieces, you're going to be in a morass of worms and you'll never get a
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I can see you coming up with a reasonable
document that will have high level principles and qualitative
statements. The moment you start getting into quantitative statements
regarding NMSS activities, reactors and other things, one year doesn't
sound like a reasonable amount of time.
MR. MURPHY: I think our plan was that for the one year, to
compliment those type of qualitative statements. Recognize that when
you get into the more quantitative and the lower level, they may well
differ from a different NMSS -- between NMSS activities and what the
reactor people are doing.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: So should we have --
MR. MURPHY: What we should know is why they differ. There
is no problem with them differing, and that wouldn't necessarily be part
of this whole scheme. The scheme is to lay out that upper structure.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: So when we write our letter, can we say
that you stated that this will be only qualitative, high level document
and that it will not really go down to -- because from the slides, you
don't get that impression. It says quantitative combination, all sorts
I mean, I can see a document being produced in a year that
states principles and tries to cover all the activities of the agency,
but if you tried to get into more detail than that, I just don't know
that -- and this is not the only thing you guys are doing. You're doing
other things, as well.
DR. BONACA: And maybe you shouldn't commit to it. What I
mean is that, you're right, because it's almost an exploratory effort.
On the other hand, the reason why I think it's so important is that
there is a lot of disjointedness right now between these high level
goals that you have in some locations, how they relate to activities of
the staff, areas that you essentially oversee, and it's disjointed.
What you're trying to do is put some logic there and my main
concern would be that you don't over-commit right now about what kind of
deliverable you're going to have.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: That's exactly the point.
DR. FONTANA: But it depends what it is we're talking about.
If it's a case of Joe and some people getting together and coming up
with something that can be put out for review, I think you can do it in
a year. If you're talking about getting all the reviews and agreements
and all that kind of stuff, it's hopeless. You're not going do that.
So I'm wondering what it is you're talking about you want to do here.
MR. KING: What I'm talking about is developing a draft of
this document in a year that will have some input, some workshops with
stakeholders, some internal review, but not something the Commission is
going to sign off on as a final document.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: So it seems to me the quantitative part
then cannot be part of this. I mean, you really have a lot of issues to
MR. KING: I think the scope, to me, would be the high level
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Which is the principles.
MR. KING: Just principles.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Qualitative principles.
MR. KING: And maybe some of the reactor piece because --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Because you already have something.
MR. KING: We already have something there and we've already
identified the issues that we think are important to look at in the
reactor side. The NMSS piece, in my view, would not be part of this.
That would come in later.
DR. MILLER: If you look at your experience with Reg Guide
1.174, what finally got things started was we set up a set of high level
principles, like George says. Then we went from there and started
talking all the details and then that iterated on the principles. They
changed a little bit, but the principles remained the same. I think
that's where you want to go.
Of course, 1.174 has far less scope than this, but the
concept, the approach we took there was right.
DR. SHACK: But certainly the decision to whether you should
define adequate protection quantitatively or qualitatively is as high a
level of discussion as I think you can get. Whether you can debate
whether the number that you end up with, but I think it would be -- you
know, I think that certainly would seem to me an element that ought to
be discussed as a principle.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Let me understand that. They can talk
about the three-region approach as being appropriate without specifying
at which level for reactors and at which level for NMSS you enter the
inadequate protection. That's what I'm saying.
DR. KRESS: But the high level document ought to, George,
have embedded in it a way that you can arrive at those different things.
MR. KING: The policy should say you will do it.
DR. SHACK: Or at least the decision that you're going to
put numbers on them --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But I see that as being different. Yes.
I agree with that, but I don't understand Tom's comment. I mean, are
they going to prescribe how you're going to do it? That's tough.
DR. KRESS: Yes. Yes. That's what I meant. Let's take
that three-region thing. You've got one for reactors. Well, you've got
a whole set of them for reactors and then say you've got a set of them
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Right.
DR. KRESS: And you have to say at some point we're going to
define what these levels are.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes.
DR. KRESS: And I think the high level document has to
specify how you're going to do that. What are the principles you're
going to use to go from this concept to the actual numbers? What are
the principals you're going to use to derive the numbers? That's what I
think you have to have in this document.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes, in terms of what kind of
considerations would go into it. But I don't think they can tell you --
by how, I thought you meant to tell people how you would actually do it,
do first this, then do that. And if you say no, you have to talk to
stakeholders, you have to consider the possibility of this and that.
DR. KRESS: The technical how.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes, the technical how. That's all that I
DR. KRESS: The technical how is what I meant.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: The technical how.
DR. KRESS: How you would actually translate the concept
into real numbers.
MR. MURPHY: Let me try something a little different. I
think what we need to do is articulate not the detailed technical how,
but what considerations go into developing that.
DR. KRESS: That's right.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: That one is fine.
DR. KRESS: That's what I meant.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Because you can do that even now. We know
pretty much what has to go into it.
DR. KRESS: I didn't mean you tell them you go use MACCS and
calculate this, that and all this. The principles.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: For example, an obvious thing is that, as
we said earlier, for some of the NMSS activities, the time scales are so
different, that this clearly has to play a role in defining the regional
inadequate protection. But how that's going to be done, you know, you
can't figure it out in a year. There are so many things you have to do.
DR. WALLIS: Well, maybe you can. What's missing for me is
how bad are things today. Maybe things are very good today and all you
have to do is perturb what's already on the books slightly, in which
case you don't have a very big job to do.
MR. KING: I think a lot of this effort is going to be
pulling together bits and pieces that show up at all different levels in
the agency and putting them in the right context, in the right
DR. WALLIS: Sometimes we seem to be talking --
DR. KRESS: That's not part of the policy.
DR. WALLIS: -- starting from scratch. You're not starting
from scratch. You're starting from something which has worked over many
MR. KING: I think some of this stuff, even though we may be
doing it today, has never been looked at as policy, and maybe it ought
to be looked at as policy.
DR. MILLER: The first high level principle is I assume
you're going to have a three-level approach. That, to me, is the very
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: That is very high, yes.
DR. MILLER: That's the highest level principle you're going
MR. KING: Things like the backfit rules, should they be
mandatory. If we find a safety significant item, I mean, that's
practice today that it isn't done that way. To me, that's policy.
MR. BARRETT: It ought to be raised up.
MR. KING: The Commission ought to make that decision, not
DR. MILLER: It's not policy, yet you have a three-level
MR. KING: The three-level approach is policy.
MR. MURPHY: That would definitely be policy.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Right now it's not stated as policy.
DR. MILLER: No. In fact, to some extent, it would be
interpreted as being contrary to policy.
MR. MURPHY: The three-level approach is -- the best
document you can find describing it is a June 15, '90 SRM on the safety
level application. It's not a policy statement, but at least the
Commission has spoken towards it. In a lot of other areas, the
Commission hasn't really spoken.
DR. MILLER: It seems like the Commission has to speak to it
more explicitly than through an SRM.
MR. MURPHY: We think so, too.
DR. BONACA: The other thing I wanted to point out, you may
transition to risk-informed Part 50, wouldn't this be an important
element to start at this level? I see it as a critical step that you
have to do, just put together these thoughts that you have, whatever
commitments or whatever ideas, and maybe we'll find -- because otherwise
you're not going to make a move on Part 50.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But these guys will not get into the
details of how you would define the envelope of design basis accidents
in the future.
MR. KING: The first thing on Part 50 is trying to risk
inform the scope. What is that definition going to be?
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Is it going to come from this?
MR. KING: We're going to have to ask ourselves the same
questions; what's the cutoff, is it going to be some graded kind of
thing or is it going to be one size fits all, what's the relation of
that to adequate protection. All those questions have to raised.
Are you going to use the risk metrics that are in 1.174 or
Yew, what's the definition, risk metrics, defense-in-depth,
other qualitative things. I don't know.
MR. BARRETT: All those decisions will have to be made in
parallel with this effort, because we're going to get guidance from the
Commission to start that, I think, soon.
DR. BONACA: So at this point, it should be an important
point to give momentum to this effort, because there is a will to move
to a risk-informed Part 50 and if you really believe that it's
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I think what's important now is to define
the deliverable in a year, because this can easily get out of hand and
maybe you will come back next year and say we need another year.
DR. FONTANA: But I don't think you ought to be overly timid
on that, either. I think if there are some big ticket things that have
to be tied together and, say, correlated with each other, I think they
ought to try to do that.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But the point is that we have to have a
DR. FONTANA: Yes. I hear some statements saying, well,
bite off as little as possible because that's all you can do in a year,
and I'd go the other way and look at the big picture and try to --
DR. BONACA: But I think in many ways, Mario, it's
exploratory. It says that you really don't know. I mean, unless Joe
has a better feeling, you really don't know how far you can go or how
far you -- so the best thing to do is not to define or commit to a
deliverable that says we're going to deliver the world and then never
get there. That's the only thing that --
DR. FONTANA: No, that's not what I'm saying. What I'm
saying is that there are elements of the whole regulatory structure, as
we were saying before, that just don't connect with each other, and I
think this is a vehicle, I think, to rationalize some of them and bring
some of them up under these goals, so that one can go from these goals
to whatever regulatory structure they end up with.
I don't think it's going to take a year for Joe to come up
with something that can be thrown out for the dogs to tear to shreds,
which you're going to tear up anyway. It's going to take a lot longer
than that to come to a final conclusion on anything, like the old safety
goal, how long did it take to get that thing through.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Six years.
DR. FONTANA: It was more than that, wasn't it?
MR. MURPHY: I think it was more than that.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: It depends on when you start counting. I
mean, if you start counting the first time people said we need something
that says how safe is safe enough, no. You have to start counting when
some serious effort was undertaken.
DR. FONTANA: And what I'm talking about --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I thought it was six to seven years,
wasn't it? '79 to '86, something like that.
MR. MURPHY: It came out in '86, yes.
DR. FONTANA: So what I'm talking about is what it takes to
get to the beginning of that process.
DR. MILLER: I thought TMI was '79.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Let me change the question. Why a year?
Why don't we say the qualitative part is very important, we'll do that
first, maybe in six months or nine months? Why does it have to be a
DR. BONACA: Why don't we ask Joe what he thinks he can do?
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: That's why I'm asking. I'm asking.
Because you have already done some thinking. It's not that you're
starting today, right?
MR. KING: We've done some thinking. We've had a bunch of
issues that we think need to be discussed and some decision -- it seems
to me -- you know, Dr. Wallis said why don't you get a few people in the
room and hammer something out. You could do that. We could hammer
something out in a month. But then that's not something I'd want to
take to the Commission. That is something I'd want to start sitting
down with this committee, ACNW, NEI and the industry, the states, and
start talking about.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I think, Tom, in terms of people's
perceptions, perhaps it would be better to have a more specific time
table rather than say give us a year, and maybe do things like that and
say, look, in two months, we're going to go back to the advisory
committees with a draft plan and then in six months we'll do this, and
that I think will give much more credibility to the request.
MR. KING: I agree. We need to lay it out.
DR. KRESS: Because a year sounds awfully arbitrary.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: It sounds arbitrary and then, you know, I
really don't want to sound rude, but in a year, you may come back and
say, gee, there are so many issues, we need another year. I think if we
have a more specific time table, then people will -- it will make the
whole request more believable.
DR. KRESS: And I think the other decision is should this be
the full overarching thing or should it be some part of it.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Exactly.
DR. KRESS: And there seems to be a difference in opinion
among people around the table.
DR. SEALE: I can define this task in a slightly different
way that makes you scratch your head about the year. The traditional
approach was we did deterministic analysis, we did bounding calculations
and basically we had the concept of adequate protection with the idea
that there was a cost-benefit analysis that sort of underlaid the whole
Then the lawyers came across and said that adequate
protection was, in fact, a kind of boundary line, a crisp boundary line
of some sort that we had to work with.
Then somebody came up with the idea of the safety goals and
people began to think in terms of risk analysis. Very quickly we found
that adequate protection, as it was defined, was an inadequate concept.
We needed more detail in what it meant. The three levels emerged and we
got into the process of doing 174.
Now we're in a situation where we punched through in that
area and we see other things that are beginning to be impacted,
particularly this assessment and evaluation process for the plants and
all of that; how do we -- and is it a plant-specific or a fleet-specific
goal and so on.
The goal we're looking for now is what we really want to do
is to take the idea of the safety goals and adequate protection and any
other of these fringe -- now fringe, but now identified important things
that help us do these other safety-related risk-informed evaluations and
put them into a unified policy statement. And the narrow version of
that is to do it for Part 50.
Can you do that in a year? The broader version is to do it
for all regulation. I don't know whether you can do Part 50 in a year,
so I'm not sure you can do all of the regulations in a year.
MR. KING: I think if we limited ourselves to the reactor
safety goal policy, what we had told the Commission was we would come
back in July and tell them where it needs to be upgraded and if they
agree, we go off and revise it, send it back for their consideration.
DR. SEALE: What you're saying is what you'd like to do is
to do that plus get a commitment, in principal anyway, to expand that
kind of approach to encompass all of the activities of the Commission
that are appropriate to risk-informed decision-making processes.
MR. KING: What I'm saying is let's not rush into the
reactor piece without stepping back and looking at the over-arching -- a
number of these things are over-arching type things.
DR. SEALE: That's the other half of it.
MR. KING: Let's work on this over-arching piece. In
parallel, we can think continue to think about the reactor piece and
then the NMSS piece we know is coming down the road, but that's -- we
don't look at that right now. But recognizing that in this over-arching
piece, we have to factor in the impact on them and their considerations.
But let's focus on this over-arching piece because it's
going to help NMSS in their individual aspects. And a number of these
things that we had to face in the reactor arena are over-arching things.
DR. SEALE: And you don't want to build up some temporary
things that you have to tear back down if you --
MR. KING: We're going to deal with over-arching things.
Let's not deal with them in the reactor arena. Let's deal with them in
the right arena.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: So let's see now. How would this work? I
mean, you seem to be agreeable that maybe a more specific time table
would be appropriate.
MR. KING: Yes.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: When are you going up to the Commission?
MR. KING: Right now, we're scheduled to have a paper at the
end of April.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: So we don't have time to see that table if
you plan to prepare that by that time.
MR. KING: We're supposed to come back and talk to you
tomorrow at the full committee.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Okay. Well, if you guys think --
MR. KING: We can think a little bit overnight about it.
It's not a difficult thing.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: What can be done in nine months or six
months? Not one month. I mean, we can have subcommittee meetings in
between. I'm not talking about that. But in terms of a deliverable to
the Commission. I mean, we can meet in a month, if you like, and talk
about some preliminary ideas, but that's among ourselves. But in terms
of a finished product, I think that would go a long way towards
convincing the Commission that we are serious about this, we really want
to do it, and we're fully aware of what it takes to do it.
MR. KING: Let us think about the schedule.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Okay. Great. That would be great.
MR. KING: And we can talk tomorrow about it.
DR. KRESS: And part of that is that we have to come up with
some decision on whether it should be the over-arching concept or some
part of it and another important question you're asking of us is should
we retain active protection as a presumptive meeting of the regulations
or should it actually have a quantitative --
MR. KING: I'm not asking that now.
DR. KRESS: You're not asking us for those now?
MR. KING: Not right now. When we get into this, we're
going to have to deal with those issues and at some point down the road,
we're going to have to take a stand on this stuff. But all we're asking
for now is that we're stepping back and trying to deal with these bigger
issues in this over-arching fashion.
DR. KRESS: I see.
MR. KING: Versus proceeding down the path of reactor safety
DR. FONTANA: That's what I think you ought to be doing.
MR. KING: That's all we're asking for now.
DR. KRESS: We can deal with these other issues later.
MR. KING: All of these questions and issues are things,
when we get back into it, we'll be revisiting and trying to come to some
consensus on where do we go with these things.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: So what do you want to do? Do you want to
continue with your slides or have a discussion?
MR. KING: We've got two more slides. Let me just --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But they're along the lines of the
discussion so far, except for the slide eight, although different itself
I think needs some discussion and in your attachment one you say that
regulatory requirements should provide a balance between prevention and
mitigation. You had reactors in mind there.
MR. KING: No. I had everything in mind.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Everything.
MR. KING: Now, whether --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Now, ACNW, I think, has looked into the
issue of different for the repository and they were kind of negative, as
MR. BARTON: Yes.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: And I don't even know what mitigation
MR. COPLAN: But not negative on the concept itself, but in
the way it gets expressed in the regulation.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But what is mitigation in the case of the
high level waste repository?
DR. KRESS: Barriers.
MR. KING: Engineered barriers. I mean, the stuff goes in
in canisters and I don't know what else is in there, but it's not like
they just dig a hole and throw it in.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But that's prevention. Why isn't that
prevention? Mitigation, in my mind, is you have core damage and you do
something that would mitigate the consequences.
MR. KING: To me, prevention is you're providing a
repository that has adequate cooling and heat capacity and so forth.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: And the barriers.
MR. KING: So that the cladding doesn't fail.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Right.
MR. KING: Now the cladding starts to fail, what are the
mitigating barriers that keep all this stuff in there anyway.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But the biggest mitigating barrier is the
medium, the host medium. It would take forever for the stuff to be --
MR. KING: But do we want to pick a medium? I mean, you're
picking a -- the geology is such that it does that.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes.
MR. KING: So to me, it's not -- they're not disconnect
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Well, again, if you define as accident
release to the biosphere, that's a mitigating measure.
DR. POWERS: I think you run into difficulties within the
design teams working in repositories on the concepts of mitigation and
prevention. But I think they just need to accommodate their language.
I mean, when they sell it to you or they bring an application to you,
they're going to have to accommodate that language. I don't think it
changes any of the design.
DR. FONTANA: I think it varies with time. Isn't that thing
going to be ventilated for the first hundred years?
MR. KING: I don't know. Seth probably knows.
MR. COPLAN: Probably, yes.
DR. FONTANA: So that's going to change with time.
MR. KING: The prevention versus mitigation, what -- should
the Commission talk about what the balance should be in there. I mean,
should we put most of our emphasis on prevention?
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Again, the problem, as I see it, is it
depends on the system you're talking about. There is so much condition
to thinking in terms of light water reactor technology, that even for
reactors, if you have an evolutionary design, you may want to rethink
the whole thing.
DR. KRESS: You have to have some principle in mind that
tells you how to make that decision. You could very well envision a
policy statement that says for light water reactors, we're going to have
this much prevention and this much mitigation. I mean, that's not
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: No, it's not.
DR. KRESS: But it would be better to have a principle.
MR. KING: When it gets down to the reactor piece.
DR. WALLIS: That's too much detail. It should be
performance-based and you can get the performance with various
combinations of prevention and mitigation. It's not up to you to
specify those combinations.
MR. KING: Maybe the only principle is you want both and let
there be flexibility for how much.
DR. WALLIS: In order to achieve certain performance. The
only thing that matters is the performance.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Or maybe just the drop of the second
bullet. It seems to me that the third one subsumes the second.
DR. BONACA: Yes, there is already definition there, yes.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Okay. So you don't put this additional
constraint and have then problems with what is mitigation in certain
systems. Like it's not clear to me what it is in high level waste.
DR. BONACA: It's just a question of the frame of reference.
Traditionally, prevention was meant to prevent core damage. Later on,
prevention in severe accident --
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes, but that was really a statement of
defense-in-depth, wasn't it?
DR. BONACA: What I'm saying is depending on what your frame
of reference is.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: So if you had the third bullet, I think
you are subsuming the second.
MR. KING: I'm not convinced, but we can talk about this as
part of getting into this in more detail.
DR. FONTANA: It doesn't mean you have to come up with the
answers. I mean, identifying what the differences of opinions are and
different possibilities is, I think, useful.
MR. KING: You can have defense-in-depth and it's all
oriented toward prevention.
DR. BONACA: Again, with reference to the point I was making
before, this helping to transition to risk inform Part 50, here is the
first time you're trying to harmonize goals which are really PRA-based
to deterministically based commitments, and I want to see how you're
going to do that. That's going to be pretty tricky.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Well, in the attachment here, there is a
statement that really is a truism. Under C, on page two, implementation
of regulatory approach, you found that?
MR. KING: Yes.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Regulatory requirements shall address
uncertainties by application of sound engineering principles, such as
defense-in-depth, safety margins and the use of probable cause of
standards. Isn't that a truism? How else can you address
DR. WALLIS: It's not clear to me that defense-in-depth
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Of course it does.
DR. WALLIS: There is no proof that's the only way to do it.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: No. Defense-in-depth traditionally means
redundancy, diversity, and all that. If you want very low
probabilities, that's the only way to do it. Safety margins. But I
don't see how else you can achieve very low frequencies.
DR. KRESS: Achieve low frequencies at an acceptable
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes.
DR. KRESS: You don't complete the statement.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Thank you very much.
DR. POWERS: It seems to me that when we speak of
defense-in-depth and in connection with uncertainties, we need to
recognize that there are several types of uncertainties that we're
thinking about when we speak of defense-in-depth; that there are
uncertainties that arise if I do a calculation and I just don't know the
numbers that I put into the calculation very well, and those are
relatively easily quantified, especially when we talk about complex
There is this uncertainty that our calculational tool that
we have chosen may well not capture those things that can and do happen
to a system.
And I think that historically, the idea of going to a
defense-in-depth was a lack of confidence in the calculational tools as
a vehicle for capturing all the events that could happen to a facility.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I don't disagree with that, but still the
principle is the same. I mean, I have not quantified that probability.
I know I may be wrong, but --
DR. POWERS: The difficulty, I think, George, is that when
we just say the word uncertainties without putting that codicil onto it,
that often people think in terms of the quantifiable uncertainties.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: So maybe we can use those words to make it
DR. POWERS: I could go on and say that my personal view is
that the quantifiable uncertainties are the right ones to be concerned
with when I look at tradeoffs between redundancy and diversity in single
systems. But when I look at the integral facility, be it a reactor or a
repository, it's this uncertainty dealing with things I don't know that
are appropriate to consider.
But I probably shouldn't do that when I look at more
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: But it comes down to the same thing,
that's my point. In the first case, if I implement redundancy and
diversity, now I have a means of seeing the tradeoffs, calculating the
The other case, where I may be wrong and I have suspicions
that I may be wrong, I don't have that. So the tools are the same.
MR. KING: To me, the real question when you get into this
is the first bullet under issues here, we're talking defense-in-depth.
Do you want to have a basic principle on defense-in-depth? Let's say, I
want some level of it regardless of what the uncertainties are.
DR. SEALE: I think it's what Dana and I just said, and it's
not a principle -- it's not even a principle.
MR. KING: It's just a means to address uncertainties.
DR. WALLIS: It's a philosophy, but it's unmeasurable.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: No. It's a way of handling uncertainty.
Now, the next thing you discuss is what is this uncertainty. Some of it
is quantified, some of it is not quantified.
DR. WALLIS: Then you have to show me that with this system,
with these defense-in-depth philosophies, you get less uncertainty or
something, some measure, than with this other system.
DR. KRESS: Or you get an acceptable uncertainty.
DR. WALLIS: There is nothing magical about the word
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Well, you don't know whether it's
DR. WALLIS: It ensures it's a better design.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: No. So it's not a principle. I can agree
that it's embedded in the regulations and so on, but I don't think it's
a principle. It's a way of handling uncertainty, especially when it is
It is not given a special name as defense-in-depth when the
uncertainties are quantified because it's a standard tool an engineer
has to reduce those uncertainties. But when the uncertainty is not
quantified, it was given a name and it was elevated so that -- to some
level, so that people would be aware of it and say, hey,
The reason was that the uncertainty was not quantified and
the presumption was that by doing certain things, you are reducing that
uncertainty, which you still cannot quantify.
MR. KING: I thought the recent paper that you and Jack and
some others authored said that it was not practical to have
defense-in-depth just as a way to deal with uncertainties. There ought
to be some higher level component of it as a principle.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: And that's the result of the fact that the
paper has four authors.
DR. WALLIS: Your high level policy statement is a statement
of ends, objectives, not of how they're achieved.
MR. KING: Well, this I put under a section called
DR. WALLIS: This is much more detailed than you need to get
into in dealing with the highest level of policy.
MR. KING: Maybe it is. Clearly, if defense-in-depth is not
a high level policy, then you're right, it wouldn't show up.
DR. WALLIS: Or it may drive you to defense-in-depth.
MR. KING: Right.
DR. SHACK: But there are some of us who believe it is at
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: It's a high level requirement. Don't call
it principle. It's a high level requirement, high level something.
DR. SHACK: Just so it's there, George.
DR. SEALE: It's so high that you did it before you called
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: It's a principle until we declare that it
MR. KING: Okay. Last slide, what I call other issues.
Things like how are you going to use the goals and objectives; why put
this together unless we've got some purpose as to where it's going to be
used, and that would deal with things like is it plant-specific,
generic, its relationship to the regulatory analysis guidelines or
guidance for the regulatory analysis guidelines.
You get down to the next level, the quantitative objectives,
I think it's clear that reactors versus non-reactors, they're not going
to be the same. The population at risk is going to be different.
You've got the issue now, for example, of the reactor safety goals have
a ten-mile zone for considering -- in the calculation, considering
whether you meet them or not.
The reg analysis guidelines have a 50-mile. Reconcile
things like that. Then what are we going to do in terms of trying to
assess how these things are achieved? I mean, clearly, the reg analysis
guidelines is something you use to see whether you apply new
requirements or don't apply new requirements.
But remember when the safety goals were first issued, the
Commission came back to us and asked that we do a study on do the
regulations -- are they adequate to ensure the safety goals are met, and
we embarked on that at one time and ultimately decided, well, we'll do
that as part of looking at the IPEs, which we tried to make sort of a
guesstimate as to how the IPEs racked up against the safety goals.
DR. WALLIS: What do you mean by measures of achievement?
Is this the payoff?
MR. KING: No. This is do you want to go in and try to
assess on a plant-by-plant or a population of plants, do they meet --
DR. WALLIS: Level of detail.
MR. KING: Yes. This would not be the high level, but it's
DR. WALLIS: I think you need to have a measure of
achievement. When you have this new safety goal or policy or propose it
to replace the old, you have to have a measure of how it's better.
MR. KING: Okay. I think in presenting this to the
Commission, we have to lay out the response to that question, what is
this going to do.
DR. WALLIS: When this happens, look what we've done. Look
at what you've gained, society has gained something from our activities.
These are our measures of achievement. I'm not sure you have any idea
yet, except in a very qualitative sense.
MR. KING: Yes, very qualitative, public confidence, that
kind of thing.
Okay. That's it.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Okay. Well, it seems to me that we
should spend a couple of minutes on what you guys are going to do
tomorrow. Tomorrow is the presentation to the full committee. But it's
nice that we have this extra time, because I really believe that
requesting -- producing something in less than a year that is realistic
will be received by the Commission more favorably.
So if you want to do some thinking about it, you're not
signing a contract or anything, but you've done already a lot of
thinking about these things. Again, we can promise a deliverable, say,
in nine months, but the interactions with this committee can be more
frequent than that. If you want to lock up a couple of people in a room
for a month, that's fine. Then they can come out and come straight to
Are there any other comments that the members want to make
at this point?
DR. WALLIS: I'd like to say that generally, the idea
appeals to me, although I have pointed out some limitations. I'd go
back to don't try and do everything, but figure out what's most
important and which will have the most effect.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: So that should be part of your thinking
this afternoon, I guess.
DR. WALLIS: I think that's what you ought to tell us
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes. Let's not repeat the presentation.
How much time do we have tomorrow, Mike, for this activity?
MR. MARKLEY: About an hour and a half.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: I don't think we need a hour and a half.
MR. MARKLEY: It's 12:45 to 2:15 p.m.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: 12:45 to 2:15? Anyway, I think tomorrow
you should jump into the new stuff, because the whole committee is here,
unless there is a legal reason --
DR. KRESS: Yes. There is no reason to repeat all this
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes, we don't have to repeat this.
DR. SEALE: But you would like to have a letter from us then
maybe to carry with you when you go see the Commissioners toward the end
of the month.
MR. KING: Yes.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes. And it seems to me that the contents
of that letter depend crucially on what they tell us tomorrow.
DR. SEALE: Sure.
MR. KING: To me, we'd like to have that letter, one, is
this a good idea to do this and if so, does the scope and depth look
DR. SEALE: So we'll have plenty of stuff to talk about in
an hour and a half.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Yes, but let's not start with this again.
DR. SEALE: Oh, no. No.
MR. KING: Sure.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Okay. So thank you very much, gentlemen.
We'll see you tomorrow then.
MR. KING: Okay.
DR. APOSTOLAKIS: Now, I would remind to the members that
there is a party at 12:00 in the subcommittee room in honor of Roxanne.
We're supposed to go downstairs and get lunch and come back. Then, of
course, the full ACRS will convene at 1:00. Thank you.
[Whereupon, at 11:42 a.m., the meeting was concluded.]
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, July 12, 2016