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OCR for page 213
Ward Valley: An Examination of Seven Issues in Earth Sciences and Ecology APPENDEX A THE COMMITTEE'S CHARGE COMMITTEE TO REVIEW SPECIFIC SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL SAFETY ISSUES RELATED TO THE WARD VALLEY, CALIFORNIA, LOW-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE SITE The committee will undertake an examination of the relevant data, reports, license application material, and other documents that address the following specific issues related to the Ward Valley, California, site: Potential infiltration of the repository trenches by shallow subsurface water flow, including the possible presence of tritium in the deeper soils, and interpretation of C-14 ages. Potential transfer of contaminants through the unsaturated zone to the ground water. Potential for a hydrologic connection between the site and the Colorado River. The absence of plans to monitor ground water or the unsaturated zone down-gradient from the site. The potential for failure of proposed engineered flood-control devices. Potential damaging effects on the desert tortoise habitat. Potential interference with revegetation and reestablishment of the native vegetation. The NRC/BRWM will arrange for the empanelment of a multidisciplinary scientific and technical review committee of about 18 experts from the fields of geology, geophysics, hydrology, geochemistry, civil engineering, and desert ecology. The committee will interview and interact with the scientists involved in the site study, state agency scientific staff, and others with expertise in desert hydrology, ecology, and geologic processes in two 3-day meetings. Two other 3-day meetings will be held after the relevant documents have been reviewed: the first for the committee to deliberate, discuss their findings, develop their conclusions, and prepare a report outline; the second, to complete the writing and integration of the report. The objectives of the study are (1) to assess the adequacy of the site studies relative to the above enumerated issues and the validity of the conclusions concerning site performance that are the subject of debate, and (2) to determine if the enumerated concerns are valid, significant, and unresolved and, if so, to assess the potential impacts on site performance. The committee will comment only on the scientific and technical issues. It will not evaluate the site nor be a party to any approval process.
OCR for page 214
Ward Valley: An Examination of Seven Issues in Earth Sciences and Ecology The results of the study will be a report which will be reviewed and distributed in accordance with NAS/NRC procedures. DOI will receive 100 copies of the report; additional copies will be provided to BRWM committee members, state legislators, congressional representatives, public interest groups, environmental organizations and other parties in accordance with NRC policy. The report will be made available to all states and to the public without restriction.
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