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NRC revising classification of low-level radioactive waste

NRC LogoReprint of NRC notice No. 11-027

February 16, 2011



The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will hold a public meeting Feb. 24 in Rockville, Md., to discuss potential revisions to a key document used by agency staff in classifying low-level radioactive waste for disposal.

The agency is also seeking written public comment on revisions to the document, known as the Branch Technical Position on Concentration Averaging and Encapsulation (CABTP).  (Yeah, I have no idea what that means either, but I do know that there are plans afoot to bring a whole lot of low-level radioactive waste to Texas so we should probably pay attention to what is classified as low-level radioactive waste)

The public meeting will be held at the Legacy Hotel Meeting Rooms, 1775 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Md., from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Feb. 24. Public comments will be accepted through April 15.

The CABTP was initially developed in 1983 and subsequently revised in 1995. It defines a subset of concentration averaging and encapsulation practices acceptable to NRC staff in determining the concentrations of radionuclides listed in NRC’s regulations (10 CFR 61.55) on the classification of low-level waste for near-surface disposal. In 2007, the NRC staff identified revising the CABTP as a high priority for the low-level waste program. The Commission directed the staff last year to revise the CABTP’s section addressing large-scale blending of low-level waste; the current effort aims to revise the entire CABTP to make its approach more risk-informed and performance-based.

The staff has prepared a preliminary draft of the CABTP for review; it can be found in the NRC’s ADAMS database at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams/web-based.html, by searching for ML103430088. Also, the agency published several questions to be addressed at the Feb. 24 workshop in the Federal Register on Jan. 26. (http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/fedreg/notices/2011.html)

Written comments may be submitted over the federal rulemaking website at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID NRC-2011-0022. They may also be mailed to Cindy Bladey, Chief, Rules, Announcements and Directives Branch (RADB), Division of Administrative Services, Office of Administration, Mail Stop TWB-05-B01M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, or faxed to 301-492-3446.