radiological-risk activity with manageable safety, health, and environmental consequences when conducted with strict adherence to existing regulations. However, there are a number of social and institutional challenges to the successful3 initial implementation of large-quantity shipping programs that will require expeditious resolution as described in this report. Moreover, the challenges of sustained implementation should not be underestimated.
The wording of this finding is carefully and narrowly constructed and is focused on the technical aspects of transportation programs and the conduct of transportation operations. It is predicated on the assumption that these technical tasks are being carried out with a high degree of care and in strict adherence to regulations. The finding is also based on an assessment of past and present transportation programs and would apply to future programs only to the extent that they continue to exercise appropriate care and adhere to applicable regulations.
PRINCIPAL FINDING ON TRANSPORTATION SECURITY: Malevolent acts against spent fuel and high-level waste shipments are a major technical and societal concern, especially following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. The committee judges that some of its recommendations for improving transportation safety might also enhance transportation security. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is undertaking a series of security studies, but the committee was unable to perform an in-depth technical examination of transportation security because of information constraints.
RECOMMENDATION: An independent examination of the security of spent fuel and high-level waste transportation should be carried out prior to the commencement of large-quantity shipments to a federal repository or to interim storage. This examination should provide an integrated evaluation of the threat environment, the response of packages to credible malevolent acts, and operational security requirements for protecting spent fuel and high-level waste while in transport. This examination should be carried out by a technically knowledgeable group that is independent of the government and free from institutional and financial conflicts of interest. This group should be given full access to the necessary classified documents and Safeguards Information to carry out this task. The findings and recommen-