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Radiation Protection

Criteria for the Certification and Recertification of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant's Compliance with the 40 CFR Part 191 Disposal Regulations (40 CFR Part 194)

Rule Summary

EPA is responsible for certifying that the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) will remain in compliance with public radiation dose and ground water protection standards. The regulations at 40 CFR Part 194 specify criteria for the certification or recertification of WIPP.

Subpart A contains definitions of terms, references, and reporting requirements for DOE. It also describes EPA's authority to modify, suspend, or revoke certification or recertification.

Subpart B describes the procedure for submission of any compliance application and specifies the content of applications.

Subpart C sets requirements for demonstrating compliance with EPA's disposal standards found at Subparts B and C of 40 CFR Part 191.
  • General requirements pertain to quality assurance, the use of computer models to simulate the WIPP's performance and other areas.
  • Containment requirements limit releases of radionuclides to specified levels for 10,000 years after the facility accepts its final waste for disposal.
  • Assurance requirements involve additional measures intended to provide confidence in the long-term containment of radioactive waste.
  • Implementation requirement for the disposal standards specify what must be done to protect individuals and ground water from exposure to radioactive contamination.
  • Subpart D describes the process for public participation that EPA will follow for certification and recertification decisions.

View the original Criteria for the Certification and Recertification of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant’s Compliance With the 40 CFR Part 191 Disposal Regulations in the Federal Register (PDF)(22 pp, 236.42 K, February 9, 1996 About PDF).

View the 1998 revision of the Criteria for the Certification and Recertification of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant’s Compliance With the 40 CFR Part 191 Disposal Regulations: Certification Decision in the Federal Register (May 18, 1998).

View the 2004 revision of the Criteria for the Certification and Recertification of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant’s Compliance With the 40 CFR Part 191 Disposal Regulations; Alternative Provisions in the Federal Register (July 16, 2004).

View the final rule related to the Panel Closure Redesign portions of 40 CFR Part 194 in the Federal Register (October 8, 2014).

Additional Resources

View the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) webpage for additional information and resources.