November 24, 1999
Central Docket Section (6102)
Attn: Docket A-95-12
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
401 M Street, SW
Washington, DC 20460-0001
Subject: American Nuclear Society Comments on Proposed 40 CFR Part 197, Environmental Radiation Protection Standards for Yucca Mountain, Nevada: (64 FR 46975)
The American Nuclear Society (ANS) is pleased to submit a report of a special task group organized to review and comment on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposed environmental radiation protection standards for Yucca Mountain. This task group is made up of a diverse group of scientists and engineers who are familiar with various technical and regulatory aspects of radioactive waste disposal. ANS is a not-for-profit organization comprised of 11,000 members with 52 U.S. and nine non-U.S. local sections, 23 plant branches, 42 student sections and approximately 100 organization members.
The attached report focuses primarily on the technical aspects of the proposed standard and the rationale provided by EPA on various aspects of the proposed standard. We also provide comment on several policy issues that derive from the legislative mandate given by Congress to the EPA regarding the proposed standard. Lastly, we have provided brief answers to the questions posed by EPA in their notice for public comment leaving the basis of the answers in the technical and policy aspects sections of our report.
The ANS report makes many key recommendations regarding this proposed standard. We have taken the best of the proposed EPA standard, the NRC standard and the recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences bases report. Our selection of the appropriate aspects from each is that which we believe has the strongest scientific and practical bases.
Some key recommendations are:
We refer the readers of this summary letter to the report for more detailed explanations. A general comment needs to be made regarding the level of detail in the standard. It appears that the standard is unnecessarily prescriptive. Many of the items proposed by EPA should be left to NRC to decide in its implementation of a public health standard based on dose. We encourage making the standard simple enough for the public to understand and leave the details to NRC to assure its implementation in the design, construction and operation of the repository.
The ANS hopes these comments have been helpful. As can be seen, we have been selective in our support of various proposals made. We believe that they represent the right balance between what is science based and what science can predict over these long time frames.
The ANS recommends that EPA modify its proposal to reflect the comments listed in the attached report. We would be happy to expand on these necessarily brief comments and answer questions that you may have. For more information please feel free to contact Mr. Doug Wasitis in our Washington office at (202) 312-7420.
Andrew C. Kadak
Reformatted July 12, 2012, 4:13pm CDT.