Report No. 152 – Performance Assessment of Near-Surface Facilities for Disposal of Low-Level Radioactive Waste (2005)

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Sort Title : Report No. 152

ISBN : ISBN-13: 978-0-929600-89-5, ISBN-10: 0-929600-89-4

Scientific Committee :

  • Chairmen
  • David C. Kocher (1999 - 2006)
  • Matthew W. Kozak (1992 - 1999)

  • William E. Kennedy, Jr.
  • Vern Rogers
  • Roger R. Seitz
  • Terrence Sullivan

Executive Summary

The search for solutions to the challenges posed by the need for long-term disposal and isolation of low-level radioactive waste has been long and complex. The Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act, passed in 1980 and amended in 1985, specified that the disposal of most low-level waste not generated at U.S. Department of Energy sites is the responsibility of states or State Compacts. A critical factor in the process of determining acceptable disposal practices for low-level waste at any site is a demonstration of compliance with regulatory performance objectives. NCRP was asked to evaluate current approaches to performance assessment for near-surface disposal facilities for low-level radioactive waste, and Scientific Committee 87-3 was established to prepare a report on this subject. This Report provides a review of concepts underlying performance assessments of near-surface disposal facilities for low-level radioactive waste and approaches to conducting such assessments. This review includes discussions on the nature and scope of performance assessment, accepted approaches to conducting all aspects of a performance assessment, and unresolved issues in conducting performance assessments and applying the results. The Report also discusses a number of policy issues that affect conduct of performance assessment. Examples of these issues include the time period for complying with performance objectives, application of drinking water standards, and interpretation of performance objectives for compliance purposes. It is not the objective of this Report to present recommendations for resolution of policy issues, although the importance of such issues and other social, political and economic factors is recognized.

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