On July 18, 2013, NRC staff requested Commission approval to publish a proposed rule in the Federal Register that would amend 10 CFR Part 61. (See LLW Notes, July/August 2013, pp. 1, 32-38. NOTE: This link is only accessible to LLW Forum Members.)

The proposed amendments would revise 10 CFR Part 61 to require low-level radioactive waste disposal licensees and license applicants to conduct updated and new site-specific analyses and to permit the development of criteria for future low-level radioactive waste acceptance based on the results of these analyses. According to NRC staff, these amendments would ensure that low-level radioactive waste streams that are significantly different from those considered during the development of the current regulations will be disposed of safely and meet the performance objectives for land disposal of LLRW.

The proposed rule would update the existing technical analysis requirements for protection of the general population (i.e., performance assessment) to include a 10,000-year compliance period; add a new site-specific technical analysis for the protection of inadvertent intruders (i.e., intruder assessment) that would include a 10,000-year compliance period and a dose limit; add a new analysis for certain long-lived low-level radioactive waste (i.e., performance period analysis) that would include a post-10,000 year performance period; and revise the technical analyses required at closure.

NRC would also add a new requirement to develop criteria for the acceptance of low-level radioactive waste for disposal based on either the results of these technical analyses or on the existing low-level radioactive waste classification requirements. This would facilitate consideration of whether a particular disposal site is suitable for future disposal of depleted uranium (DU), blended low-level radioactive waste, or any other previously unanalyzed low-level radioactive waste stream. Additionally, the NRC is proposing amendments to facilitate implementation and better align the requirements with current health and safety standards. This rule would affect low-level radioactive waste disposal licensees and license applicants that are regulated by the NRC or the Agreement States.

For additional information regarding the P61WG report, please contact LLW Forum Executive Director Todd D. Lovinger at (754) 779-7551 or