The standard approach in nuclear criticality safety analysis is to rely quite heavily—and in some cases exclusively—on passive controls, such as assuming all worst-case conditions are by default attained. This means assumptions are made such as no poison, optimum moderation, and pure fissile actinide content at the maximum mass with optimum full reflection. What is clearly attainable is something less than any of these extremal conditions, but how can one rely on a limit based on assuming less than the worst case without some controls ensuring those assumptions are not challenged? This technical note discusses various options for approaching a defendable realistic technical basis for safety analysis by associating probabilities with conservative assumptions.