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8. APPENDIX A HISTORY OF COMMITTEE ON DISPOSAL OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE ON LAND Following discussions between representatives of the Atomic Energy Commission and the National Academy of Sciences - National Research Council, contract number AT(30-1)- 1788 was signed on February 28, 1955. The scope of the agreement was stated as follows: 1. The Contractor shall furnish personnel, facilities, and equipment, and do all things necessary for the purpose of conducting a program of research pertinent to the methods of disposing of radio- active waste materials in geologic structures. The work shall con- sist of the following: a. Setting up a Steering Committee of leading scientists who will prepare and arrange for conferences on disposal methods; b. Conducting the conferences; c. Reporting to the Commission on the proceedings and comments of these conferences; d. Evaluating all suggestions and research to date on disposal methods that involve land surface or under- ground sites, including the surface and underground water on the continents but excluding the oceans. e. Recommending programs of research that should be carried out. The Steering Committee appointed in March 1955 consisted of Harry H. Hess, Chairman, John N. Adkins, John C. Frye, M. King Hubbert, Chester R. Longwell, Richard J. Russell, and Charles V. Theis. In the fall of 1955, Dr. Longwell resigned because of the dif- ficulties in attending committee meetings from his location in California, and William E. Benson and William B. Heroy were ap- pointed.
7. before location of any plant producing large quantities of waste, remembering that there are large sectors of the country where dis- posal is not possible. 7. Continuing disposal of certain /large volume/ locv level waste in the vadose water zone, above the water table, is of limited application and probably involves unacceptable long term risks. GENERAL. RECOMMENDATIONS ON COROLLARY PROBLEMS 1. The movement of gross quantities of fluids through porous media is reasonably well understood by hydrologists and geologists, but whether this is accomplished by forward movement of the whole fluid mass at low velocity or whether the transfer is accomplished by rapid flow in "ribbons", is not known. In deep disposal of waste in porous media it will in many cases be essential to know which of these conditions exists. This will be a difficult problem to solve. 2. The education of a considerable number of geologists and hydrologists in the characteristics of radioactive wastes and its disposal problems is going to be necessary.