SOME LESSONS FROM THE FIRST LICENSED GEOLOGIC REPOSITORY FOR RADIOACTIVE WASTE IN AMERICA
WIPP science, engineering, and practical operating experience demonstrate that geologic isolation is as feasible and effective in America as it has been elsewhere since the 1960s. But that experience also raises questions about the intellectual and scientific foundation of modern radiation protection standards. Those reflect mainly the technological limits of available instrumentation rather than an assessment of the natural range of radiation exposure in time and space and its effects (or the lack thereof) on humans and the environment.
A significant factor determining the natural range of exposure to ionizing radiation is the character of our geological environment. Particularly suited to address evolutionary change through time and space, geology and its related disciplines can help establish a framework for rational regulatory reform.