NWTRB to hold public meeting on the disposal of spent fuel in clay

August 18, 2022, 9:30AMRadwaste Solutions

The Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board (NWTRB) announced it will hold a public meeting on September 13–14 to review information on Department of Energy research and development activities related to the geologic disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste in clay-bearing host rocks and R&D on clay-based engineered barriers. The hybrid (in-person/virtual) meeting will begin on both days at 12:00 p.m. EDT and is scheduled to adjourn at approximately 5:00 p.m. EDT.

The NWTRB is an independent federal agency that provides ongoing, objective evaluation of the technical and scientific validity of activities undertaken by the DOE related to implementing the Nuclear Waste Police Act.

The agenda: Speakers from the DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy as well as the national laboratories conducting the work on behalf of the DOE, will present on a range of studies, including modeling the long-term integrity of the host rock, design of the engineered barrier system (EBS), high-temperature experiments involving the EBS, coupled processes in the EBS, and integration of computer models of the EBS and host rock into the Geologic Disposal Safety Assessment Framework.

Speakers from Spain and Switzerland will present information on efforts to understand coupled processes in clay-based barriers and clay-bearing host rocks and efforts to develop a safety case for disposal in a clay-bearing host rock.

A detailed meeting agenda, along with details for joining and viewing the meeting, will be available on the NWTRB website approximately one week before the meeting.

The details: The in-person meeting will be held at the Holiday Inn National Airport/Crystal City in Arlington, Va. The meeting will be open to the public and there will be an opportunity for public comment at the end of each day. Those attending in person who wish to provide comments are encouraged to sign the public comment register, which will be located at the check-in table near the entrance to the meeting room. Commenters will be taken in the order in which they signed in.

Public comments can also be submitted in writing during the meeting via the online meeting viewing platform, using the “Comment for the Record” form. Comments submitted online during each day of the meeting will be read into the record by NWTRB staff during the public comment period just prior to adjournment. Depending on the number of speakers and online comments, a time limit on individual remarks may be set. However, written comments of any length may be submitted to the board staff by mail or email.

All comments received in writing will be included in the meeting record, which will be posted on the NWTRB website after the meeting. An archived recording of the meeting will be available on the NWTRB website following the meeting, and a transcript of the meeting will be available on the website by November 14.

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