Nuclear Waste Disposal Rules Reconsidered

     WASHINGTON (CN) – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced that it is considering amending its rules for the proper disposal of low-level radioactive waste.
     The NRC seeks to update its analyses of facilities that dispose of low-level radioactive waste and allow for the development of criteria for waste acceptance.
     “These amendments will ensure that waste streams that are significantly different in terms of radiological characteristics (e.g., half-life) from those considered in the technical basis for the current regulations can be disposed of safely and meet the performance objectives for land disposal of low-level radioactive waste,” the NRC wrote.
     “These amendments will also increase the use of site-specific information to ensure that public health and safety would continue to be protected.”
     Among others, the proposed changes would include a 10,000 year compliance period for site-specific analysis of disposal facilities, as well as a long-term analysis for certain wastes that last longer than others.
     The NRC would also develop criteria for the acceptance of waste for disposal based on the results of its analysis or the existing requirements for waste classification.
     Last May, the NRC published preliminary rule language in this matter for public comment.
     After further analysis, the NRC revised the document, and invited stakeholders to comment on the preliminary rule language. The NRC invited the public to submit comments before Jan. 7, but noted that stakeholders will have another opportunity to comment when the proposed rule is published with the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act.
     To learn more, click the document icon for this regulation and others.

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