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of the increased quantities of low-level and transuranic waste produced by decontamination activities for preparing existing cells for re-use by the project.
Question: How much 18 the total estimated cost for the project, how much is this over the earlier estimates, and why has the cost increased?
Answer: As of November 1983, the West Valley Demonstration Project baseline cost estimate, through high-level waste solidification, was $381.5 million in constant 1984 dollars--$472.8 million in year of expenditure dollars. The project baseline includes the start of radioactive operation of the liquid-fed ceramic melter in September 1988, with completion of solidification by the end of 1990.
The West Valley Demonstration Project Act, Public Law 96-368, included a provision to undertake detailed engineering and cost estimates for the project. A range for the total estimated cost of the project was provided in House Report 96-1100, Part II, from the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, dated September 15, 1980, which accompanied H.R. 6865. This report provided an estimate of the total project cost between $250,000,000 and $500,000,000 in 1980 dollars. The November 1983 cost estimate is equivalent to $297,000,000 in 1980 dollars.
Three-Mile Island Cleanup
Question: With regard to the cleanup at TMI and the Federal R&D effort, what is the current estimate of costs?
Answer: The last TMI Unit 2 Recovery Program cost estimate prepared by GPUNC--GPU Nuclear Corporation--in December, 1982, indicated a total estimated cleanup cost of $975 million. As of September 1, 1983, $384 million of this amount has been spent.
The Department of Energy TMI-2 research and development program amounts to a total of $159 million, of which approximately $72 million has been expended as of October 1, 1983. Although the focus of DOE's R&D Program is generic development for the benefit of the nuclear industry as a whole, about one-half of the total DOE program funding, $ 80 million, supports R&D tasks that offset costs which otherwise would be borne by GPU.
Question: What is the current funding status of the project?
Answer: The DOE R&D program has expended about $72 million of the $159 million total program funding through the end of Fiscal Year 1983. The FY 1984 appropriation for DOE's R&D program is $37 million. GPUNC has expended $384 million of the total estimated cleanup cost of $975 million through September 1, 1983. GPUNC is continuing their efforts to obtain commitments for funding contributions from various sources in accordance with the cost sharing plan proposed by Governor Thornburgh of Pennsylvania.
Question: Is the federal role still limited to research and development?
Answer: The DOE role is limited to research and development activities, including data acquisition, reactor evaluation, and abnormal radioactive waste disposition, that are of general national benefit and that ensure the safe disposal of wastes.
Question: How much is GPU obligated to reimburse DOE at this time? In total?
Answer: GPU is not obligated to reimburse DOE for research and development tasks which DOE conducts since these are generic tasks of benefit to the entire nuclear industry.
There are a few areas, however, where DOE 1s performing services for GPU. In this regard, GPU has recently signed a contract with DOE which calls on GPU to pay DOE $7.3 million to remove, store, and dispose of the TMI-2 core. GPU has also agreed to reimburse DOE approximately $1.4 million for costs associated with shipment of EPICOR-II liners from interim storage at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory to the State of Washington for ultimate disposal.
Should DOE perform additional removal, storage, and disposal of some wastes which cannot be disposed of in commercial low level waste facilities, GPU will be required to provide reimbursement to DOE.
Question: Has there been any reimbursement?
Answer: To date, there has not yet been any reimbursement. Reimbursement will be made when the corresponding DOE services are performed.
Question: When is reimbursement expected?
Answer: Reimbursement for acquisition of the TMI-2 core will be in the mid-1986 through 1987 time period. Reimbursement for shipment of the EPICOR-II liners will be in 1984 and 1985.
Senator JOHNSTON. The subcommittee will stand in recess until 10 a.m. on March 21.
(Whereupon, at 3:35 p.m. Wednesday, March 7, the subcommittee was recessed to reconvene at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 21.)
ENERGY AND WATER DEVELOPMENT
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 1984
Washington, DC. The subcomittee met at 10:01 a.m. in room SD-192, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Mark O. Hatfield (chairman) presiding.
Present: Senator Hatfield.
. U.S. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION STATEMENT OF NUNZIO J. PALLADINO, CHAIRMAN ACCOMPANIED BY:
VICTOR GILINSKY, COMMISSIONER
Today, we will receive testimony from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regarding their fiscal year 1985 budget requests. The subcommittee has a great interest in the programs and activities of both these regulatory agencies and we look forward to your testimony this afternoon.
As our first witness, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Nunzio J. Palladino, Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and also Commissioners Asselstine and Bernthal. We are happy to welcome all of you gentlemen here this morning. If you would like to summarize, Mr. Palladino, your testimony, we will place the full statement in the record.
Mr. PALLADINO. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It is a pleasure to be back with you to discuss the NRC budget request. As you indicated, with me today are Commissioners Asselstine and Bernthal. Commissioner Roberts in unable to be with us today. We also have with us the Executive Director for Operations, Mr. William Dircks, and the Directors of the principal offices of the Commission. In order to permit more time for responding to questions, I have shortened my oral presentation. But, with your permission, I would like to have the entire testimony entered into the record.
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BUDGET OVERVIEW First, I would like to provide the subcommittee with an overview of our budget request. For fiscal year 1984, we requested $466.8 million and we were given $465.8 million in budget authority. For fiscal year 1985 we are requesting $468.2 million. My prepared testimony includes a summary table of obligations by program for fiscal years 1983, 1984, and 1985 as well as several charts showing the allocation of resources to the agency since its creation in 1975. For your convenient reference, I have also provided your staff with copies of the latest table showing the current status of nuclear powerplant units in the United States.
With respect to our budget request, both in actual dollars and in constant dollars, the research budget has declined since fiscal year 1981. We have cut our research budget as far as we can and still carry out needed work. A well-focused and effective research program must be maintained because it provides the technical basis on which to improve our licensing and inspection programs and to make regulatory decisions.
Our budget this year includes a modest increase in staff for fiscal year 1985 because we believe that there is little room left for further internal reallocations. The increase of 75 FTE for fiscal year 1985 is needed to help deal with our stepped up inspection efforts and our increased responsibilities under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act.
While we have been able to reallocate some staff from licensing efforts, this option is limited because the licensing load has not dropped as fast as one might have expected based on the utilities' startup schedules. Plants troubled with construction or startup problems make it necessary to stretch out the licensing process. The additional NRC analyses required to resolve these problems add to the licensing workload.
NRC's programs are not of a discretionary nature. They are critical to our regulatory mission. Our capacity to answer technical questions, to resolve expeditiously a myriad of engineering issues, and to assure proper completion and safe operation of nuclear plants is severely strained. Although we believe our progress in improving the regulatory program is enhancing safety, incidents continue to occur in nuclear power operation. It is essential that adequate funding and staff be provided to enable NRC to discharge fully its responsibility to ensure that the public health and safety is adequately protected.
LICENSING REFORM Mr. Chairman, I will now touch on several topics of special interest to the NRC. These are licensing reform, temporary operating licenses, emergency preparedness, TMI-2 cleanup, and the continuing need for consolidation. My comments on each will be brief.
First, licensing reform. Enactment of a licensing reform bill along the lines of that proposed last year by the NRC could contribute much needed stability to the nuclear licensing process. While licensing reform is by no means a cure-all for the problems confronting nuclear power in the United States, it would be useful to establish now, by law, a stable framework within which future nuclear industry planning can take place.
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