EPA Sets High-Level Radioactive Wastes Standards

April 1983
Risk Management (00355593);Apr83, Vol. 30 Issue 4, p122
Trade Publication
This article reports that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking public comment on standards for management and disposal of high-level radioactive wastes as of April 1983. These standards, developed under the Atomic Energy Act, are a key steep in the national program to develop a permanent disposal method for high-level radioactive wastes created by the fissioning of nuclear fuel in nuclear reactors. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)will be responsible for implementing the final version of the standards, while the Department of Energy will select and evaluate potential sites for disposal of these wastes, and build and operate the disposal systems in accordance with the licensing requirements set forth by the NRC. The proposed EPA standards contain two major sets of requirements. The first set establishes numerical containment requirements that would strictly limit releases of waste to the environment for 10,000 years after disposal. The second set of requirements provides qualitative criteria needed to develop appropriate measures to ensure that the containment requirements will be met. These assurance requirements are intended to compensate for the uncertainties inherent in predicting a disposal system performance for a period of 10,000 years.


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