October 31, 2000
Dr. Richard A. Meserve, Chairman
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001
Dear Chairman Meserve:
I am writing to inform you of the State of Nevada's concerns about a report recently published by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Spent Fuel Project Office (SFPO). The document, Reexamination of Spent Fuel Shipment Risk Estimates (NUREG/CR-6672), was prepared by Sandia National Laboratories and released by SFPO in conjunction with the Commission's current Waste Package Performance Study (PPS).
Sandia prepared this report without the benefit of stakeholder participation. SFPO refused requests by Nevada and other stakeholders to review the draft version of this report. During public meetings in Bethesda, MD (November 1999), Henderson, NV (December, 1999), and Las Vegas, NV (August, 2000), and in subsequent written comments, stakeholders documented procedural and technical deficiencies in the risk reexamination report and urged SFPO to withdraw it and reissue it for public review and comment.
It now appears that SFPO has decided to proceed with the Package Performance Study without revising or reissuing NUREG/CR-6672. The Spent Fuel Project Office's handling of this matter threatens to negate recent progress in establishing stakeholder confidence in the Commission's Waste Package Performance Study.
The State of Nevada urges the Commission to direct SFPO to withdraw NUREG/CR-6672 and reissue it as a draft report for public review and comment for a period of at least 90 days. Until such action is completed, Nevada believes NRC staff and license applicants should be prohibited from utilizing NUREG/CR-6672 in any transportation risk analyses required under the National Environmental Policy Act or under the Commission's regulations.
I look forward to further discussing this matter with you at you earliest convenience.
Robert R. Loux
William Brach, NRC SFPO