2002 Denver Annual Meeting (October 27-30, 2002)

Paper No. 6
Presentation Time: 9:40 AM


FARRELL, David A.1, SIMS, Darrell1, MACKIN, Patrick1, FEDORS, Randall1, NECSOIU, Marius1, GLENN, Chad2, SNYDER, Amy3 and ILLMAN, Carla4, (1)Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses, Southwest Rsch Institute, 6220 Culebra Rd, San Antonio, TX 78238, (2)U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852, (3)U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, TX 20852, (4)2004 Rochester Ct, Iowa City, IA 52245, dfarrell@swri.edu

Data collection, processing, and interpretation are important aspects in the development of environmental impact statements (EISs), and in regulatory decision-making. From a cost-benefit perspective, there exists an optimal amount of data that is required for these tasks. While little data can lead to inapproriate actions and poor decisions, excessive data collection can lead to increased project cost with minimal benefit. Geographic information systems (GISs) provide a tool for categorizing and organizing spatio-temporal data at sites. Visualization of this data within a well organized GIS provides an important approach to assessing data sufficiency through visual examinations of the spatial and temporal distributions of the data at the scales of the processes active at the site; the hazards present at the site; and vulnerable regions, ecologies, and communities that may be affected by the site. Through spatio-temporal data processing, visualization, and comparison within a GIS framework, important data gaps and uncertainties may be identified. This work presents a GIS/three-dimensional visualization and modeling system that is consistent with U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Council for Environmental Equality regulations for preparing EISs that are consistent with the guidance outlined in the National Environmental Policy Act. The GIS/three-dimensional visualization and modeling system incorporates a wide range of spatio-temporal data; supports data visualization, processing and integration; is applicable to regulatory decision-makering; and is portable. This system has been used in NRC evaluations of data sufficiency and accuracy.