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OCR for page 61
Appendix A Charge to the Panel The National Academy of Sciences will convene a committee of experts to conduct a 14-month study to . (1) amplify and clarify the "spent-fuel standard" introduced in the Academy's 1994 and 1995 reports on disposition of excess weapons plutonium as the criterion for judging the adequacy of resistance to theft and proliferation conferred by the characteristics of the final plutonium form produced by a disposition option; (2) use the results of part (1) to determine whether the final pluto- nium forms produced by the two primary disposition methods being implemented by the Department of Energy under the hybrid approach adequately meet the spent-fuel standard. In Task 1 the study will review efforts made in the 1994-1995 NAS reports and subsequently to quantify the spent-fuel standard, and it will suggest appropriate metrics for determining whether a given immobiliza- tion end-product or spent-fuel form adequately meets the standard. The two disposition options for which the final plutonium forms will be analyzed under these metrics are (a) "can-in-canister" immobilization of the plutonium in combination with high-level radioactive wastes, and (b) once-through irradiation of the plutonium in mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel in commercial LWR or CANDU reactors. 61

OCR for page 61
62 SPENT-FUEL STANDARD FOR DISPOSITION OF EXCESS WEAPON PLUTONIUM The study will not address the proliferation and theft resistance of the steps that lead, under these disposition options, to the final plutonium forms, and it will not address issues related to geologic disposal or interim storage of these final forms except insofar as the properties of the final forms under such disposal or storage relate to assessing compliance with the spent-fuel standard. .p 6