[ RadSafe ] Article: DOE Bill Calls for Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing

John Jacobus crispy_bird at yahoo.com
Thu Nov 10 16:06:24 CST 2005

-----Original Message-----
From: fyi at aip.org [mailto:fyi at aip.org] 
Sent: Thursday, November 10, 2005 4:56 PM
To: Jacobus, John (NIH/OD/ORS)
Subject: FYI #161: DOE Bill Calls for Nuclear Fuel

The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Science
Policy News
Number 161: November 10, 2005

FY 2006 DOE Appropriations Bill Charts New Direction
on Nuclear Waste

One of the more notable areas of disagreement between
the House and Senate versions of the FY 2006 Energy
and Water Development Appropriations Bill was the
disposal of civilian nuclear waste.  The House
appropriations subcommittee included rather direct
language about the transfer, storage, and reprocessing
of spent nuclear waste (see
http://www.aip.org/fyi/2005/082.html) that was the
topic of two House Science subcommittee hearings (see
http://www.aip.org/fyi/2005/118.html.)  The
counterpart Senate bill did not include such language

The FY 2006 Energy and Water Development
Appropriations bill (H.R. 2419) will soon go to
President George Bush for his signature. While the
conference report (109-275) language is not legally
binding, it marks the beginning of a new approach to
nuclear waste disposal.  This language follows:

"Integrated spent fuel recycling.--Given the
uncertainties surrounding the Yucca Mountain license
application process, the conferees provide
$50,000,000, not derived from the Nuclear Waste Fund,
for the Department to develop a spent nuclear fuel
recycling plan. Under the Nuclear Energy account, [see
below] the conferees provide additional research funds
to select one or more advanced recycling technologies
and to complete conceptual design and initiate
pre-engineering design of an Engineering Scale
Demonstration of advanced recycling technology.
Coupled with this technology research and development
effort, funds are provided under the Nuclear Waste
Disposal account to prepare the overall program plan
and to initiate a competition to select one or more
sites suitable for development of integrated recycling
facilities (i.e., separation of spent fuel,
fabrication of mixed oxide fuel, vitrification of
waste products, and process storage) and initiate work
on an Environmental Impact Statement. The site
competition should not be limited to DOE sites, but
should be open to a wide range of other possible
federal and non-federal sites on a strictly voluntary
basis. The conferees remind the Department that the
Nuclear Waste Policy Act prohibits interim storage of
nuclear waste in the State of Nevada. To support the
development of detailed site proposals for this
competition, the conferees make a total of $20,000,000
available to the site offerors, with a maximum of
$5,000,000 available per site. To be eligible to
receive these funds, each applicant site must be able
to identify all state, regulatory, and environmental
permits required for permitting this facility,
including identifying any legislative or regulatory
prohibitions that might prevent siting such a
facility. The conferees direct the Secretary to submit
a detailed program plan to the House and Senate
Committees on Appropriations not later than March 31,
2006, and to initiate the site selection competition
not later than June 30, 2006. The target for site
selection is fiscal year 2007, and the target for
initiation of construction of one or more integrated
spent fuel recycling facilities is fiscal year 2010.
Any funds deemed to be in excess of the needs for the
integrated recycling program plan may only be diverted
to other activities after submittal and approval of a
formal reprogramming to Congress."

The Nuclear Energy Programs section of the conference
report has the following language:

"The conferees provide $80,000,000 for the Advanced
Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI), $10,000,000 over the
request. The additional funds are to be used to
accelerate the design activities associated with a
proposed Engineering Scale Demonstration (ESD). This
funding will allow completion of the conceptual design
in fiscal year 2006 and enable pre-engineering design
to commence in fiscal year 2007. The conferees direct
the Department to accelerate the development of a
separations technology that can address the current
inventories of commercial spent nuclear fuel and
select the preferred technology no later than the end
of fiscal year 2007. The conferees direct the
Department to submit the spent nuclear fuel recycling
technology plan to the House and Senate Committees on
Appropriations by March 1, 2006."

Richard M. Jones
Media and Government Relations Division
The American Institute of Physics
fyi at aip.org    http://www.aip.org/gov
(301) 209-3094

On Oct. 5, 1947, in the first televised White House address, President Truman asked Americans to refrain from eating meat on Tuesdays and poultry on Thursdays to help stockpile grain for starving people in Europe. 

-- John
John Jacobus, MS
Certified Health Physicist
e-mail:  crispy_bird at yahoo.com

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