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RECOMMENDATIONS The Board's conclusions are explicit or implicit throughout this document, as are many of the actions it would recommend to the various players. These recommendations are summarized below. 1. Congress should reconsider the rigid, inflexible schedule embodied in NWPA and the 1987 amendments. It may be appropriate to delay the licensing application, or even the scheduled opening of the repository, until more of the uncertainties can be resolved. The Secretary of Energy's recent announcement of a more realistic schedule, with the repository opening in 2010 rather than 2003, is a welcome step. 2. The Environmental Protection Agency, during its revision of the remanded 40 CFR Part 191, should reconsider the detailed performance standards to be met by the repository, to determine how they affect the level of health risks that will be considered acceptable. In addition, EPA should reexamine the use of quantitative probabilistic release criteria in the standard and examine what will constitute a reasonable level of assurance (i.e., by what combination of methods and strategies can DOE demonstrate that those standards will be met?~. All other countries use only a dose requirement. In setting regulatory standards and licensing requirements, the EPA should consider using only dose requirements. 3. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, likewise, should recon- sider the detailed licensing requirements for the repository. For example: . What level of statistical or modeling evidence is really necessary, obtainable, or even feasible? To what extent is it necessary to prescribe engineering design, rather than allowing alternatives that accomplish the same goal? What can be done to accommodate design changes necessitated by surprises during construction? What new strategies (e.g., engineered features like copper contain- ers) might be allowed or encouraged as events dictate? 4. The Department of Energy, for its part, should continue and also expand its current efforts to become a more responsive player in these regulatory issues. The following activities should be included: publicly negotiated prelicensing agreements with the USNRC on how to deal with the high levels of uncertainty arising from numerical predictions of repository performance; . 35

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36 publicly negotiated prelicensing agreements with the USNRC on improved strategies for performance assessment; active negotiations with EPA and the USNRC on the real goals and precise definitions of their standards and requirements; an extramural grant program, in cooperation with the National Sci- ence Foundation, for the development of improved modeling methodology, in combination with training programs and public education efforts; expanded use of expert scientists from outside the program to review and critique detailed aspects and to provide additional professional judgment; greatly expanded risk communication efforts, aimed at reaching appropriate and achievable goals acceptable to the U.S. public; meaningful dialogue with state and local governments, Indian tribes, environmental public interest groups, and other interested organizations. 5. The Department of Energy should make greater use of conservative engineering design instead of using unproven engineering design based on scientific principles. 6. The Department of Energy should participate more actively in in- ternational studies and forums, such as those sponsored by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Nuclear Energy Agency, and the Commission of European Communities, and should subject its plans and procedures to international scientific review, as Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom have already done. 7. Although geologic disposal has been the national policy for many years, and the Board believes it to be feasible, contingency planning for other sites and options (for example Subseabed Disposal of spent fuel and high-level radioactive waste) should be pursued. The nation, the Congress, the federal government, utilities, and the nuclear industry should recognize the importance of contingency planning in the event that some issue should make it impossible to license a geologic repository.