History and Framework of Commercial Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management in the United States: ACNW White Paper (NUREG-1853)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: August 2006
Date Published:
January 2007

Prepared by:
M.T. Ryan, M.P. Lee, and H.J. Larson

Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

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The Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste (ACNW or the Committee) examined issues associated with management and the disposal of commercial low-level radioactive waste (LLW). As a first step in that examination, the Committee developed this background document, or White Paper, that includes a review of the literature. This LLW White Paper is organized into three parts. Part I provides a historic perspective of past programs for the management and disposal of commercial LLW. Part II describes the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's commercial LLW regulatory framework found at Title 10, Part 61, "Licensing Requirements for Land Disposal of Radioactive Waste," of the Code of Federal Regulations. Part III summarizes past ACNW advice in this area, as well as advice provided previously by the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safety before the establishment of the ACNW in 1988. This LLW White Paper also includes six appendices which, among other things, describe the Department of Energy's approach to the management of Government-owned LLW and the regulatory evolution of the "LLW" definition. The White Paper also identifies several emerging staff initiatives, as well as other ongoing initiatives by outside organizations and agencies that could have a bearing on the management of commercial LLW.

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