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Title: The Constitution, waste facility performance standards, and radioactive waste classification: Is equal protection possible?

The process for disposal of so-called low-level radioactive waste is deadlocked at present. Supporters of the proposed near-surface facilities assert that their designs will meet minimum legal and regulatory standards currently in effect. Among opponents there is an overarching concern that the proposed waste management facilities will not isolate radiation from the biosphere for an adequate length of time. This clash between legal acceptability and a perceived need to protect the environment and public health by requiring more than the law demand sis one of the underlying reasons why the process is deadlocked. Perhaps the most exhaustive public hearing yet conducted on low-level radioactive waste management has recently concluded in Illinois. The Illinois Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Facility Sitting Commission conducted 71 days of fact-finding hearings on the safety and suitability of a site near Martinsville, Illinois, to serve as a location for disposition of low-level radioactive waste. Ultimately, the siting commission rejected the proposed facility site for several reasons. However, almost all the reasons were related, to the prospect that, as currently conceived, the concrete barrier/shallow-land burial method will not isolate radioactive waste from the biosphere. This paper reviews the relevant legal framework of the radioactive waste classification systemmore » and will argue that it is inadequate for long-lived radionuclides. Next, the paper will present a case for altering the classification system based on high-level waste regulatory considerations.« less
Authors:
 [1]
  1. Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment, Topeka, KS (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
343747
Report Number(s):
CONF-921137--PROC.
ON: DE98050439; TRN: IM9921%%211
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 14. annual DOE low-level radioactive waste management conference, Phoenix, AZ (United States), 18-20 Nov 1992; Other Information: PBD: Mar 1993; Related Information: Is Part Of Fourteenth annual U.S. Department of Energy low-level radioactive waste management conference: Proceedings; PB: 651 p.
Research Org:
EG and G Idaho, Inc., Idaho Falls, ID (United States). National Low-Level Waste Management Program
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
29 ENERGY PLANNING AND POLICY; 05 NUCLEAR FUELS; RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL; LOW-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTES; RADIOACTIVE WASTE FACILITIES; PERFORMANCE; STANDARDS; CLASSIFICATION; LEGAL ASPECTS