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Appendix C List of Recommendations from An End State Methodology for Identifying Technology Needs for Environmental Management, with an Example from the Hanford Site Tanks COMMITTEE ON TECHNOLOGIES FOR CLEANUP OF HIGH-LEVEL WASTE IN TANKS IN THE DOE WEAPONS COMPLEX B. JOHN GARRICK, Chair, PLG Inc. (retired), Newport Beach, California VICKI M. BIER, University of Wisconsin, Madison ALLEN G. CROFF, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee MARSHALL E. DRUMMOND*, Eastern Washington University, Cheney JOHN H. ROECKER, Consultant, Colbert, Washington CLAUDE G. SOMBRET, Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique (retired), Villeneuve Les Avignon, France MARTIN J. STEINDLER, Argonne National Laboratory (retired), Downers Grove, Illinois RAYMOND G. WYMER, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (retired), Tennessee * Resigned from committee May 15, 1998 RECOMMENDATIONS An end state based approach to establishing an appropriate technology development program in support of DOE's environmental management program should be adopted. In particular, this approach should encompass reference end states for each waste stream, plus plausible alternative end states for each waste stream to accommodate uncertainty and potential future programmatic changes. Sufficient technology development resources should be invested in scenarios involving alternative end states to provide reasonable assurance that a solution will be available in case unforeseen but all too frequent technical surprises or externally imposed changes make it impossible to implement the preferred 55
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56 TECHNOLOGIES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT baseline approach. DOE should consider alternative end states unless the remediation process is short term and a proven cost-effective technology exists. Detailed documentation of the steps taken in implementing the end state based approach should be developed for use by the custodians of the waste, those engaged in technology development, and oversight groups. Circumstances where alternative end states are not considered should be well documented as part of the evidence base justifying the decision made. In addition, executive level documentation appropriate for decision makers, such as DOE senior management and the Congress, should be developed. If initial conditions or end states cannot be specified adequately, a plan leading to the timely resolution of the open items should be prepared and executed. In the interim, enabling assumptions regarding the initial conditions and desired end states of the waste should be developed and clearly stated, preferably by problem owners, but by technology providers if necessary. End states and related technology requirements will frequently have to be identified in the face of major uncertainties about costs, benefits, public acceptability, and other relevant factors. Cost-risk studies should be more widely used in remediation decision making that forms the basis for technology development in an end state based approach. In particular, such studies should be used both to determine what must be done to protect human health and the environment at reasonable costs and to identify activities that yield only minimal risk reduction and hence should be considered as candidates for possible elimination. The end state based approach should be applied on a broad scale to comprehensively identify technology development needs. The need for such an assessment based on alternative end states is highlighted by the extensive uncertainty surrounding the entire tank closure program. The DOE-EM Tank Waste Remediation Technology Development Program should make an end state based approach a functional part of the process for defining its work. Alternative scenarios including defined end states should be formulated and evaluated, and technology development unique to these scenarios should be pursued on a basis that is prioritized with the help of performance assessment results and additional knowledge from relevant scientific research.
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APPENDIX C 57 OST should adopt broadly the end state based method of identifying technology requirements to reduce sensitivity to future uncertainties such as changes in regulations, budgets, policies, and program participants. Technology development activities with long lead times should be designed to transcend the effects of these inevitable changes. An end state based framework for making decisions about technology needs should be used to provide much needed visibility of the relationship of the various activities (including risk studies) to the final objectives. Given DOE's lack of experience in privatization of such major functions as research, development, and cleanup operations, the committee recommends parallel pursuit of technology development for an alternative to the current privatization strategy for the Hanford Tank Waste Remediation System. It is not considered prudent to rely totally on privatization to develop the required technologies for systems with the history and complexity of high-level radioactive waste in tanks. The uncertainties are great, and the chances for failure are too high not to pursue alternatives.