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Technical Evaluation of the U.S. Department of Energy Deep Borehole Disposal Research and Development Program (January 2016)

The U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board (Board) held the International Technical Workshop on Deep Borehole Disposal of Radioactive Waste in Washington, D.C., on October 20 and 21, 2015, to review the technical and scientific validity of U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) activities related to assessing the feasibility of using deep boreholes to dispose of some radioactive waste. The Board prepared this report based on its review of DOE reports and presentations at the workshop, as well as on the presentations by and discussions among experts from the U.S. and other countries. In the report, the Board makes technical and scientific findings, conclusions, and recommendations on two topics: (1) technical and scientific issues that may affect the feasibility of the deep borehole disposal option for select radioactive waste forms and (2) whether results that will be obtained from the DOE Deep Borehole Field Test will provide the necessary technical data and scientific understanding for determining the feasibility of disposing of select radioactive waste forms in deep boreholes.