Subpart E--Technical Criteria

Source: 48 FR 28222, June 21, 1983, unless otherwise noted.

§ 60.101 Purpose and nature of findings.

(a)(1) Subpart B of this part prescribes the standards for issuance of a license to receive and possess source, special nuclear, or byproduct material at a geologic repository operations area. In particular, § 60.41(c) requires a finding that the issuance of a license will not constitute an unreasonable risk to the health and safety of the public. The purpose of this subpart is to set out performance objectives and site and design criteria which, if satisfied, will support such a finding of no unreasonable risk.

(2) While these performance objectives and criteria are generally stated in unqualified terms, it is not expected that complete assurance that they will be met can be presented. A reasonable assurance, on the basis of the record before the Commission, that the objectives and criteria will be met is the general standard that is required. For § 60.112, and other portions of this subpart that impose objectives and criteria for repository performance over long times into the future, there will inevitably be greater uncertainties. Proof of the future performance of engineered barrier systems and the geologic setting over time periods of many hundreds or many thousands of years is not to be had in the ordinary sense of the word. For such long-term objectives and criteria, what is required is reasonable assurance, making allowance for the time period, hazards, and uncertainties involved, that the outcome will be in conformance with those objectives and criteria. Demonstration of compliance with such objectives and criteria will involve the use of data from accelerated tests and predictive models that are supported by such measures as field and laboratory tests, monitoring data and natural analog studies.

(b) Subpart B of this part also lists findings that must be made in support of an authorization to construct a geologic repository operations area. In particular, § 60.31(a) requires a finding that there is reasonable assurance that the types and amounts of radioactive materials described in the application can be received, possessed, and disposed of in a geologic repository operations area of the design proposed without unreasonable risk to the health and safety of the public. As stated in that paragraph, in arriving at this determination, the Commission will consider whether the site and design comply with the criteria contained in this subpart. Once again, while the criteria may be written in unqualified terms, the demonstration of compliance may take uncertainties and gaps in knowledge into account, provided that the Commission can make the specified finding of reasonable assurance as specified in paragraph (a) of this section.

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