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End of FY10 Report – Used Fuel Disposition Technical Bases and Lessons Learned Legal and Regulatory Framework for High-Level Waste Disposition in the United States « Nuclear Energy Safety « Nuclear Energy « Energy Security « Downloads

Date postedJanuary 24, 2013
Downloaded243 times
CategoriesNuclear Energy Safety, Advanced Nuclear Energy, Defense Waste Management, Nuclear Energy, Technical Paper, ECIS


This report examines the current policy, legal, and regulatory framework pertaining to used nuclear fuel
and high level waste management in the United States. The goal is to identify potential changes that if
made could add flexibility and possibly improve the chances of successfully implementing technical
aspects of a nuclear waste policy. Experience suggests that the regulatory framework should be
established prior to initiating future repository development. Concerning specifics of the regulatory
framework, reasonable expectation as the standard of proof was successfully implemented and could be
retained in the future; yet, the current classification system for radioactive waste, including hazardous
constituents, warrants reexamination. Whether or not consideration of multiple sites are considered
simultaneously in the future, inclusion of mechanisms such as deliberate use of performance assessment
to manage site characterization would be wise. Because of experience gained here and abroad, diversity
of geologic media is not particularly necessary as a criterion in site selection guidelines for multiple sites.
Stepwise development of the repository program that includes flexibility also warrants serious
consideration. Furthermore, integration of the waste management system from storage, transportation,
and disposition, should be examined and would be facilitated by integration of the legal and regulatory
framework. Finally, in order to enhance acceptability of future repository development, the national
policy should be cognizant of those policy and technical attributes that enhance initial acceptance, and
those policy and technical attributes that maintain and broaden credibility.

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