Quantitative Risk Assessment of the State-Licensed Radioactive Waste Disposal Area

Publication Date Sep 25, 2008 by Garrick B.J., Stetkar J.W., Dykes A.A., Potter T.E., Wampler S.L.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) manages a 15 acre low-level radioactive waste disposal area, known as the "State-Licensed Disposal Area" (SDA), located at the Western New York Nuclear Service Center (Center) in western New York State.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) currently manages 179 acres of the Center for the West Valley Demonstration Project (WVDP), including the approximately 8-acre "NRC-Licensed Disposal Area" (NDA). NYSERDA also manages the balance of the 3,300-acre Center property.

The Final Environmental Impact Statement for decommissioning of the Center is being prepared jointly by DOE and NYSERDA. In the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), NYSERDA’s preferred alternative was to manage the SDA in place for "up to 30 years" with ongoing monitoring, inspections, maintenance, and analyses. On the recommendation of an Independent Expert Review Team (IERT), NYSERDA made the decision to conduct a quantitative risk assessment (QRA) to evaluate the radiation risks to the public over a 30-year time period. This report documents the QRA, its supporting models, data, and analyses, and the SDA risk assessment results.

After considering public comments on the DEIS, NYSERDA is assessing whether the duration of in-place management can be reduced. If the time period is reduced to less than 30 years, this QRA, which addresses the impacts from a 30-year management period, will provide a conservative assessment of the integrated SDA risk from in-place management for that shorter time period.

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