High-Level Waste Disposal Regulations: Time for a Change?

by Thomas A. Cotton, JK Research Associates Inc, Silver Spring, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1991


Major developments since EPA's high-level radioactive waste disposal regulations were promulgated challenge the validity of some of the assumptions underlying these regulations. These developments include evidence from the WIPP project that human intrusion may dominate the demonstration of compliance; the sharp escalation of the cost and length of site characterization; and the 1987 restrictions on the siting process that greatly increase the costs of having to find a new site. These suggest reexamination of EPA's conclusion that 40 CFR 191 would likely have only a small impact on the cost of radioactive waste disposal, and reconsideration of alternatives to aspects of the current regulations.

Subject Headings: Radioactive wastes | Waste disposal | Laws and regulations | Human and behavioral factors | Benefit cost ratios | Fuels | Construction costs

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