[ RadSafe ] Posting: Senate Report Language on Nuclear Energy

John Jacobus crispy_bird at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 10 16:41:21 CDT 2006

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-----Original Message-----
From: fyi at aip.org [mailto:fyi at aip.org] 
Sent: Monday, July 10, 2006 4:44 PM
Subject: FYI #90: Senate Report Language on Nuclear

The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Science
Policy News
Number 90: July 10, 2006

Senate Bill Boosts Administration Request for Nuclear
Energy Programs

There are significant differences in the approach that
House and Senate appropriators took  to the
Administration's FY 2007 request for DOE's nuclear
energy programs.  House appropriators, who complained
in their committee report that aspects of the
Administration's request were not well defined, cut
the request of $632.7 million by 21% to $499.8
million.  Senate appropriators took a different
approach, providing 12.4% more than what was
requested, recommending funding of $711.3 million. 
The current budget is $535.7 million.

House committee report language can be read at
http://www.aip.org/fyi/2006/070.html  Selections from
Senate Committee Report 107-274 for H.R. 5427, the FY
2007 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill,
regarding the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership and
nuclear fuel reprocessing follow.  The entire report
will soon be available at http://thomas.loc.gov/ under
"Other Legislative Activity - Committee Reports."


"Global Nuclear Energy Partnership.-The Committee
recognizes and appreciates the considerable investment
this administration has made in this area and supports
efforts to close the nuclear fuel cycle. It is
imperative that the Federal Government support
long-term research to discover ways to reduce the
amount of nuclear waste and recycle the vast amount of
untapped energy that remains in the current
once-through nuclear fuel cycle. Faced with the
reality of long-term storage needs and the fact that
our Nation is unlikely to permit and license more than
one permanent repository, our best alternative is to
vastly reduce the amount of waste, the heat content,
and the radiotoxicity of the spent fuel before
permanent disposal. The President has proposed the
Global Nuclear Energy Partnership as a multi-pronged
technical approach to close the nuclear fuel cycle and
encourage the recycling of uranium and destruction of
long-lived actinides through advanced reactor
technology. The budget supports the development of
recycling technologies that have the opportunity to
enhance the proliferation resistance of existing
recycling or separation technologies. By utilizing the
proposed UREX approach, scientists will not separate
pure plutonium. The Committee expects the Department
to continue to fully integrate proliferation resistant
controls within the recycling technology. The
Committee has provided additional funding within the
National Nuclear Security Administration, Office of
Nuclear Nonproliferation to support long-term research
and deployment of improved nuclear safeguards to
enhance proliferation resistance and to allow for the
safe expansion of nuclear power. The Committee
encourages the Department to involve private industry
in the GNEP program through competitive grants.

"University Reactor Fuel Assistance and Support.-From
within available funds provided to the NERI [Nuclear
Energy Research Initiative] program, the Committee
recommends $10,000,000 to support fuels research for
the Next Generation Nuclear Reactor. The Committee is
disappointed the Department has eliminated funding for
this program without warning. Universities depend on
technical support from the Department, and the nuclear
industry relies on the Universities to provide
academic training to the next generation of nuclear
scientists, reactor operators, and experts trained in
health physics. The Committee is pleased with the
success this program has had thus far and recognizes
that a more modest level of funding is appropriate.
The Committee supports this activity again this year
and directs the Department to provide $27,000,000 to
support the University Reactor Infrastructure and
Education Initiative that was eliminated in the fiscal
year 2007 budget request and strongly encourages the
administration to budget for these activities in
fiscal year 2008."


There is extensive report language in this section
regarding Nuclear Power 2010, the Nuclear Hydrogen
Initiative, and the Generation IV nuclear energy
systems initiative. Language on the Advanced Fuel
Cycle Initiative follows:

"Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative.-The Committee
recommends $279,000,000, an increase of $36,000,000
above the budget request. The initiative should
continue its focus on the technological underpinnings
of the closed fuel cycle through a robust research and
development program that includes the national
laboratories, the university community, industries,
and the international research community. The
initiative should also continue to develop designs for
the facilities necessary for demonstrating the
technologies and the associated environmental

"In working with the Department, the Committee has
recommended significant changes to the budget
priorities for GNEP to encourage increased research
and development on fuels, separation, and
transmutation research. The Committee encourages the
Department to coordinate the fuels research within the
Office of Nuclear Energy, including research of the
Next Generation Nuclear Plant. Within the Advanced
Fuel Cycle Initiative, the Committee provides
$53,800,000 for separations technology, $60,000,000
for advanced fuels development, $25,000,000 for
transmutation engineering, $35,000,000 for systems
analysis. Within the initiative, the Committee
provides $40,000,000 for design of an engineering
scale demonstration of a spent fuel separations
facility, which will provide feedstock of transuranic
materials for remanufacture into reactor fuel and
dispose of waste products; $10,000,000 for design of
this advanced fuel cycle facility and the operational
support for the separations facility and burner
reactor facility; and $15,000,000 for design of an
advanced burner reactor to be powered by transuranic
fuel. In addition, the Committee recommends
$10,000,000 to support the modernization of Wing 9 of
the CMR facility, which contains hot cells capable of
accommodating fuel fabrication for the GNEP program.
The Committee recommends $5,000,000 for the material
test station at Los Alamos to support materials and
fuel experiments using fast neutron spectrum systems.
Without the use of the Fast Flux Test Facility, the
United States has lost its domestic fast neutron
source needed to conduct actinide transmutation. The
Committee provides $2,000,000 for the UNLV Research
Foundation to extend fuel cycle studies to high
temperature gas reactors. Additionally, the Department
is directed to enter into a 5 year cooperative
agreement with the UNLV Research Foundation for these
activities. Finally, the Committee provides $4,000,000
for the Center for Materials Reliability at the
University of Nevada Reno.

"The Committee instructs the Department not to support
any further research with Russia or Russian entities
until the Russian Federation and U.S. Government are
able to come to an agreement on the disposal of 34
tons of Russian weapons-grade plutonium. 

"Advanced Fuel Cycle Facility.-The Committee supports
the deployment of an engineering-design scale
recycling facility to demonstrate the feasibility and
technical capacity of a demonstration-scale advanced
recycling facility. The Committee has provided
direction in section 311 in the report to the
Department to clarify the amount of spent nuclear fuel
that can be used for the demonstration and requires
that the material be removed from the site within 1
year, upon completion of the demonstration.

"Program Direction.-The Committee recommends
$67,608,000 in Program Direction, which includes
$7,000,000 for the Federal and contractor staff to
plan, implement, and manage the Advanced Fuel Cycle
Initiative research, development, and demonstration

Note that another section of this report contains
language regarding spent fuel storage, selections of
which follow:


"The Committee has included language to provide the
Secretary with expanded authority to consolidate
commercial spent nuclear fuel at a separate facility
within a State or at a regional site. Section 313 of
the bill section requires the Secretary of Energy to
appoint a Director of Consolidation and Preparation.
Within 180 days of enactment, the CAP Director is
required to issue a report making recommendations to
the Secretary regarding the siting of a facility for
the consolidation and preparation of spent nuclear
fuel ('CAP facility') in each State containing a
civilian nuclear power reactor. Within 90 days of the
issuance of the report, the Secretary, in consultation
with the Governor of each State containing a civilian
nuclear power reactor shall designate a site for a CAP
facility within that State. Recognizing that Governors
can recommend sites, the Committee also believes that
it is desirable for the Secretary, in selecting a
site, to first consider sites recommended by the

"The Secretary may determine that it is in the
National interest to designate a regional CAP
facility. No regional CAP facility may be designated
in a State in which a State-wide CAP facility has
previously been designated. The Committee believes it
is desirable that States address their own waste needs
and the Committee directs the Secretary to provide
sufficient time for a State site to be designated and
licensed before making a decision to designate a
regional facility. A regional facility cannot be
located in a State with a designated and licensed
State site. Any site owned by the Federal Government,
and any site that can be purchased from a willing
seller may be designated as a CAP facility site.
Nevada, as the State that has been designated as the
site of the permanent repository is ineligible, along
with any State in which a commercial,
away-from-reactor, dry cask storage facility is
authorized. Lands within national parks, wildlife
refuges, or wilderness areas are also ineligible.

"The Secretary shall submit a license application to
the NRC no later than 30 days after the designation of
a CAP facility site. The license for a CAP facility
shall be for a term of 25 years, and shall be
non-renewable. The Secretary must submit an
environmental report with the license application to
the NRC. The NRC is required to issue an environmental
impact statement in accordance with the National
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 prior to issuing a
license. Judicial review of the EIS will be
consolidated with the review of the NRC's licensing
decision. The NRC is required to grant or deny a
license application for a CAP facility within 32

"In addition, at the request of the owner of a
shut-down reactor, the Secretary of Energy (the
'Secretary') is required to assume title to, and
responsibility for, spent nuclear fuel at the site of 
the shut-down reactor.

"The provisions of this section, along with the
Secretary's obligation to develop a permanent
repository under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982,
provide sufficient and independent grounds for further
findings by the NRC that spent nuclear fuel will be
disposed of safely for purposes of licensing civilian
nuclear power reactors.

"Finally, this section provides that the Secretary
shall make expenditures from the Nuclear Waste Fund
for the siting, construction and operation of CAP
facilities. Funding for this activity is provided
within the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste

There is additional language in another section of the
Senate report regarding nuclear waste disposal.

A final note: FYI #88 reviewed the Senate's funding
recommendations in the FY 2007 Energy and Water
Development bill for the DOE Office of Science.  A
reader asked for clarification regarding earmarked

The House-passed bill provides an increase of 14.1%
over the current budget for the core program.  House
appropriators then included an extra $30 million for
earmarked projects, for a total recommended budget of
$4,131.7 million.

Senate appropriators took a similar approach,
providing an increase of 16.6% for the core program,
and then added another $48.6 million for earmarks, for
a total recommended budget of $4,241.1 million.

Richard M. Jones
Media and Government Relations Division
The American Institute of Physics
fyi at aip.org    http://www.aip.org/gov
(301) 209-3095

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

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