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that "State and public participation in the planning and development of repositories is essential in order to promote public confidence in the safety of disposal of such waste and spent fuel...." My reading of that finding is that not only does the Federal Government have to be accountable to the affected and interested parties in the Nation, but so do the other participants. An important part of the FY 1987 budget request is to fund participation by States and Indian Tribes..
I do not believe it is the intent of Congress to fund participation to thwart progress in developing a disposal system
that will provide reasonable assurance that the public and the
environment will be adequately protected from the hazards posed by high-level waste and spent fuel. Effective participation is, I believe, participation for the purpose of ensuring that the resulting decisions will adequately protect the public health, safety and environment.
To date, DOE has identified nine potentially acceptable sites for the first repository, prepared draft Environmental Assessments which propose five of those sites as suitable for site characterization and propose three of the five sites for recommendation to the President for site characterization.
A lengthy review process was undertaken in which DOE reviewed approximately 23,000 comments received on the draft
Environmental Assessments. Based on comments, we selected one of
three ranking methodologies which have been identified in the
draft EA's to be used as an aid in the decision process to formally recommend sites for characterization. At the suggestion of several commentors, last fall, we requested the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Board on Radioactive Waste Management to conduct an independent review of the appropriateness of the
ranking methodology -- referred to as the utility estimation method.
The NAS Board responded that the methodology, it properly applied, is appropriate, but further recommended that the application of the methodology be reviewed. Therefore, over the last several months, while doE has been completing final Environmental Assessments to accompany the formal nomination of sites for characterization and applying the ranking methodology in the recommendation decision process, the NAS Board and DOE have met several times on this subject. We expect to have a final review session in late March.
We consider the review by the NAS Board to be quite valuable in ensuring us, as well as the public, that the decisions being made in the siting process are indeed scientifically and technically sound. Based on our discussions with the NAS Board, we currently expect to issue final Environmental Assessments and formally nominate and recommend sites for characterization this Spring, around the end of April. The formal nomination and
recommendation will be based on siting guidelines (10 CFR 960),
utilizing available geotechnical, environmental and other
relevant information contained in the Environmental Assessments,
and will be accompanied by Environmental Assessments and the comments provided by the NAS Board.
The FY 1987 budget request for first repository activities is $541.8 million compared to the FY 1986 appropriation of $386.0 million. This increase is primarily due to the site characterization activities which are planned to commence in FY 1987. The extensive site evaluation involved in site characterization includes construction of deep, exploratory shafts at the three sites approved for site characterization and in situ testing. DOE is planning two shafts at each site. Shaft construction at the three sites will take approximately two years with in situ tests scheduled to start in FY 1989.
The FY 1988 budget estimate for first repository activities is $632.4 million and the FY 1989 budget estimate is $571.5
Major program milestones associated with the first
o Issue final environmental assessments April 1986
three candidate sites to President for
As previously mentioned, the NWPA directs DoE to conduct site investigations for a second repository, although construction of the second repository is contingent upon future Congressional authorization. The process for selecting the second repository site is similar to the process for the first
repository with decision points approximately seven to ten years later than those for the first repository.
For the second repository, DOE may consider sites identified as potentially acceptable but not nominated for the first repository, sites found potentially acceptable from rock formations not previously studied in the first repository selection process and sites characterized but not chosen for the first repository site.
Rock formations not previously studied in the first repository selection process have been crystalline rock. Following national surveys, DOE identified 235 crystalline rockbodies in 17 states in three regions -- the North Central, the Northeast and the Southeast parts of the country.
In the "regional phase" of investigation, DOE collected and assessed publicly available geologic and environmental data, reviewed these data with the States and prepared Regional Environmental and Geologic characterization Reports for each of the three Regions. In addition, through workshops and other interactions with the crystalline States, DOE prepared a Regionto-Area Screening Methodology to be used for narrowing down the 235 rockbodies to a small number of areas preferred for further study.
on January 16, 1986, following application of the screening Methodology to the data contained in the Regional characterization Reports, we issued for public comment a Draft Area Recommendation Report (ARR). The Draft ARR proposes from among the 235 rockbodies in 17 States, 12 potentially acceptable sites in 7 states. The 7 States, listed in alphabetical order, are: Georgia, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Virginia and Wisconsin. The Draft ARR also identifies 8 other areas in the same 7 States as suitable for possible further consideration.
During the public comment period on the Draft ARR, DOE will hold more than 70 public briefings and public hearings in all 17
States. After review of the oral and written comments received on the Draft ARR, DOE will issue a final ARR, formally identify potentially acceptable sites in crystalline rock and begin the "area phase" activities for those areas determined potentially acceptable sites for the second repository. Area phase activities include on-site investigations to collect and assess geologic, environmental, socioeconomic and transportation data.
The FY 1987 budget request for second repository activities is $78.7 million compared to the FY 1986 budget appropriation of $35.5 million. The increase is principally to fund preparation for on-site area-phase work which is scheduled to begin in Fy 1988 and take approximately three-to-five years. The FY 1988 estimate for second repository activities is $74.2 million and the FY 1989 estimate is $71.5 million.
The.major milestones leading to the site recommendation for the second repository are as follows:
o Issue final Region-to-Area Screening
o Issue draft Area Recommendation Report
and initiate crystalline rock area phase
field investigations o Nominate and recommend sites to President for
o Recommend second repository site to Congress
Monitored Retrievable Storage
The NWPA (Section 141) directs DOE to complete a study of the need for and feasibility of an MRS, and to submit to the