One Step at a Time by Committee on Principles and Operational Strategies for

By Committee on Principles and Operational Strategies for Staged Repository Systems, National Research Council

In comparison to different huge engineering initiatives, geologic repositories for high-level waste current specific demanding situations simply because: they're first-of-a-kind, complicated, and long term initiatives that needs to actively deal with damaging fabrics for plenty of a long time; they're anticipated to carry those harmful fabrics passively secure for plenty of millennia after repository closure; and they're largely seemed to pose severe hazards. As is the case for different advanced tasks, repository courses should still continue in phases. "One Step at a Time" makes a speciality of a administration procedure referred to as "adaptive staging" as a promising capacity to increase geologic repositories for high-level radioactive waste reminiscent of the proposed repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Adaptive staging is a learn-as-you-go procedure that permits undertaking managers to regularly reevaluate and regulate this system in keeping with new wisdom and stakeholder enter. suggestion is given on how you can enforce staging through the building, operation, closure, and post-closure levels of a repository application.

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The time frame for each phase varies considerably: from a few years to decades for selecting the geologic disposal option and the site; through several decades of operations, and up to centuries for the closure; and many thousands of years for the post-closure phase. Not all national repository programs include all these phases. The phases cited above are described in Chapter 3. 1 Challenges in the development of geologic repositories Compared to other large engineering projects,8 geologic repositories for highlevel waste are peculiar undertakings because (1) they are first-of-a-kind, complex, and long-term projects that must actively manage hazardous materials during the operational phase; (2) they are expected, using natural and engineered barriers, to hold these hazardous materials passively safe for many millennia after repository closure; and (3) they are widely perceived to pose serious risks.

This attribute requires the implementer to make project decisions openly with public participation (Criterion 10). Transparency makes it possible to elicit public input at each Decision Point (Criterion 11) and has the equally important potential benefit of building public trust. Linear Staging, on the other hand, makes most decisions in advance when their rationale and impact may be unclear to the public, stakeholders, and the implementer. Seemingly innocuous early decisions may commit a Linearly Staged project to a path that later proves inappropriate or even unsafe, undermining public trust and forcing institutional change.

Two primary roles of the safety case are: (1) to guide the work of the implementer while adapting the program at each stage, and (2) to provide the implementer with a vehicle for making the safety arguments understandable by a wide audience. Reassessing the safety case at given stages of repository development provides opportunities to: • prevent a scenario in which an accumulation of apparently harmless small decisions leads the program onto an unsafe path; • ensure that the robustness of the system concept allows proposed adaptations to be carried out without unacceptable impacts upon safety; • check the adequacy of the safety strategy to deal with unresolved, safetyrelated issues, which are a source for public concerns ; • incorporate new knowledge on the features and processes that determine repository safety performance; • satisfy the demands for social review, which can potentially increase confidence; and • take into account any significant change in system requirements, such as the introduction of new waste types to the inventory of waste to be disposed of in the repository.

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