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Report to the U.S. Congress and the Secretary of Energy: 1996 Findings and Recommendations (March 1997)

This report summarizes Board activities during 1996. Chapter 1 provides an overview of the Department of Energy’s high-level nuclear waste management program from the Board’s perspective, including the viability assessment, program status, and progress in exploration and testing. The chapter ends with conclusions and recommendations. Chapter 2 examines the three technical issues-hydrology, radionuclide transport, and performance assessment-and provides conclusions and recommendations. Chapter 3 deals with design , including the concept for underground operations, repository layout and design alternatives, construction planning, thermal loading, and engineered barriers. The Board also makes conclusions and recommendations. Chapter 4 provides an overview of recent Board activities, including the international exchange of information, the Board’s visit to the River Mountains tunnel, and a presentation to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Appendices include information on Board members, the organization of the Board’s panels, meetings held in 1996 and scheduled for 1997, the DOE’s responses to previous Board recommendations, a list of Board publications, references for the report, and a glossary of technical terms.