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    for every other comparable technical undertaking, and it is important to assure that unique, unattainable requirements to the contrary are not placed on waste disposal.

  • Safety assessment experts must communicate their belief that their calculated results, although imperfect, provide sufficiently reliable input for decision makers. Numerical results of analyses extending out to geological times, if presented without sufficient discussion of their significance, lead understandably to accusations of over-optimism, hubris, or even irrationality. To the extent that there is uncertainty in conceptual models, this must be made clear. As long as one can be accurate in assuring that the levels of release are low, precise estimates are not needed; even with some orders of magnitude of residual uncertainty, the calculated release may be clearly within defined safety goals or limits.

  • All parties involved in the decision-making process should have a consistent and accurate perception of what safety and security analysis can and cannot do, so that they do not make sub-optimal or irresponsible decisions based on incorrect or biased perceptions.


The committee recognizes that the recommendations summarized in this chapter will be difficult to implement and will require political and societal commitment to provide resources if progress is to be made. Evidence that led the committee to these recommendations, along with further discussion and suggestions for their implementation, is presented in Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8 through Chapter 9 of this report.

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