On June 6th, Ed Blandford, Bob Budnitz, and Rod Ewing will host a workshop on “Standards and Regulations for Deep Geological Disposal of Radioactive Waste” at Stanford University. The workshop will begin with a discussion by a panel of two white papers, prepared by Robert Budnitz and Rod Ewing, which have been submitted to the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future.
The workshop is planned as a small gathering of people who work in the field of radioactive waste management. The goal is to assemble a diverse group with a range of academic backgrounds, such as environmental sciences, geochemistry, performance assessment modeling and high-consequence system simulation. The purpose of this workshop is to discuss and formulate an approach to developing a standard and regulations for geologic disposal of spent fuel and high-level waste. This issue is especially relevant as the Blue Ribbon Commission (BRC) on America’s Nuclear Future conducts its comprehensive review of policies for managing the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle.
Specifically, the workshop will focus on three central questions related to the long-term behavior of a geologic repository:
- What are the key elements of the standard (e.g., measures of radionuclide release or exposure; compliance period; point of compliance)?
- What are the appropriate methods for analyzing repository performance?
- How can compliance with a standard be demonstrated?
The panelists will open the discussion with a critique of the two white papers recently submitted to the BRC. These papers present very different approaches, which we want to reconcile by discussion. During subsequent sessions, we will discuss each of the three critical questions. Ideally, we want to arrive at a consensus that can guide future efforts in developing an appropriate standard and supporting regulatory framework.