staff to help it become more effective in carrying out the program’s mission. One of the most important functions of these advisory groups would be to foster continuous learning and improvement.
The recommendation to expand the scope and membership of the TEC Working Group builds on and complements existing public participation and communication activities within DOE’s transportation program for Yucca Mountain. The TEC Working Group is now comprised of state, tribal, local, and industry representatives, and it provides a conduit for communication and advice on topics such as emergency response, inspection and enforcement, training, and public information. The committee recommends that the membership of TEC be expanded to include social risk experts and representative stakeholders from affected communities to provide information on social risks of DOE’s transportation operations and their management.
The committee also recommends the establishment of a separate transportation risk advisory group that would advise DOE on characterizing, communicating, and mitigating the social, security, and health and safety risks to communities near transportation routes. The suggestion that the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board could be broadened to serve this function is intended to take advantage of an established capability within the federal government. This group is independent of DOE and its membership is drawn from the scientific and technical communities. The procedures for nominating and appointing members to this board (i.e., presidential appointments based on nominations by the National Academy of Sciences) are designed to ensure that it is balanced and credible to carry out its mission.
Finally, although this recommendation is focused primarily on DOE, it also applies to any large-quantity shipping program, including the program to ship commercial spent fuel to centralized interim storage (e.g., Private Fuel Storage, LLC, in Utah).