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Pages 77-81

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From page 77...
... The total radioactivity per unit volume of TRU waste planned for WIPP is roughly on the order of one-thousand~ of die activity for an equal volume of spent fuel waste, but many of the same long-lived radioactive isotopes are present, and so geologic isolation is necessary. In the committee's opinion, location of He WIPP repository within He 600-m-thick Salado Formation, some 400 m below the overlying, permeable watersaturated sediments is an exceptionally robust way in which to delay ingress of water to the repository or, equivalently, egress of radionuclides from the repository to the accessible biosphere.
From page 78...
... cases have been examined, the DOE PA team has placed appropriate emphasis on the more complex and critical disturbed case. The latest "complete" performance assessment available to the committee was published In 1992.
From page 79...
... At this stage with the results of the 1996 PA not yet available, and important experimental studies still in progress the committee does not know how the results wall affect predicted releases and compliance. It does annear to the committee that engineered design features to reduce the adverse consequences of an intrusion are available, but not all of these features may be cost effective or needed if low acne solubilities and/or sufficiently long travel times and radionuclide retardation can be demonstrated by the PA.
From page 80...
... and gas fields, comparable to those now being exploited, w'll be explored for and developed at the WIPP site by borehole extraction methods, using the drilling density of the past century over the 10,000-year regulatory time frame. (Note: the mining of potash, using techniques in current use near WIPP, would not involve borehole extraction.)
From page 81...
... Chapter 7: Perspectives Significant uncertainties are implicit in extrapolating Tom one or two decades of data, at most, to tens or hundreds of thousands of years-but a well coordinated integrated program, using PA effectively, should be able to produce sufficiently credible answers to 81 establish, with "reasonable expectation" and within a finite time and budget, whether or not a proposed repository site and design are appropriate for effective long-term isolation of radioactive waste.

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