A Performance Assessment Methodology for Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Facilities: Recommendations of NRC's Performance Assessment Working Group (NUREG-1573)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: October 2000
Date Published: October 2000

Division of Waste Management
Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

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The relationships between the overall 10 CFR Part 61 data and design requirements, and detailed low-level radioactive waste (LLW) performance assessment needs, are not directly apparent from the existing U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) guidance documents. To address this concern, NRC's Performance Assessment Working Group (PAWG) has prepared this technical report as a means of providing information and recommendations on performance assessment methodology as it relates to the objective concerned with the radiological protection of the general public – 10 CFR 61.41. Specifically, this information includes the PAWG's views on: (a) an acceptable approach for systematically integrating site characterization, facility design, and performance modeling into a single performance assessment process; (b) five principal regulatory issues regarding interpreting and implementing Part 61 performance objectives and technical requirements integral to an LLW performance assessment; and (c) implementation of NRC's performance assessment methodology. Moreover, the PAWG does not expect separate intruder scenario dose analyses would be included in an LLW performance assessment because 10 CFR 61.13(b) requires that analyses of the protection of individuals from inadvertent intrusion must include a demonstration that there is reasonable assurance the waste classification and segregation requirements will be met and that adequate barriers to inadvertent intrusion will be provided.

Finally, this technical report attempts to share with the Agreement States and LLW disposal facility developers some of the PAWG's experience and insights, as they relate to the use of LLW performance assessments. In this regard, these groups may also find this technical report useful, as they proceed with the implementation of their respective programs.

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