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the overall utility and flexibility of our other military forces and to influence, and even control, the concentration of force. In most campaigns, that factor will probably be the determinant. We must ensure that advantage for the future.
The Naval Reactors portion of the Department of Energy's PY 1985 budget request, of course, covers more than just the developments for the new design submarine and work on the · Advanced Fleet Reactor which I explained last year. The work encompasses our overall development effort including materials, plants, and reactors, our cradle-to-grave technical responsibilities for 170 operating reactors and operation of our land-based prototype reactor plants to test new concepts. This year's budget includes $426.4 million for operating expenses, $22.5 million for capital equipment and $48.0 million for construction work for a total of $496.9 million to continue ongoing work to advance nuclear propulsion. I have attached an expanded description.
Control of Radioactivity
I have also attached copies of two reports. One describes the performance of the program last year in controlling radioactive waste and the other describes our performance in minimizing occupational radiation exposure. A review of these will show our extreme care in dealing with radioactivity. Maintaining this record will be a central element in our continuing work and in designing the new attack submarine.
will show OU
ent in our
Although work on the new design attack submarine is vitally important to maintain our edge in the 1990's and later, we must still continue to pay attention to the less exotic but vitally important aspect of continuing the safe and reliable operation of the ships we have. This involves careful selection of personnel, vigorous training and careful monitoring of the performance of reactor operators, equipment, and reactor materials throughout the life of our nuclear powered ships.
In short, we have to continue the same kind of careful attention to detail which has been the hallmark of this program since its inception. Without the continued strong support we have enjoyed over the years from Congress, this would not be
Water cooled Breeder
I am also responsible for a civilian nuclear energy research program - the Water cooled Breeder program. The origins of this program go back to the development of the shippingport Atomic Power Station in the mid-1950's - the first central station nuclear power plant in the 0.s. The station is now shut down after 25 years of successful operation, the last five of which demonstrated successful operation of the Light Water Breeder Reactor core.
The purpose of the light water breeder effort is to develop and prove the technology for breeding in a light water reactor using a thorium/uranium-233 fuel system. Successful completion of this work will make available for commercial use a technically proven concept that could help meet the Nation's future electrical energy needs. This is the only known way using proven light water reactor technology to improve nuclear fuel use
efficiency significantly beyond the one percent presently achievable.
If our predictions on core performance are confirmed, the reactor technology will be available to take advantage of the Nation's abundant thorium reserves - a potential energy source of energy sufficient to meet our needs for hundreds of years. A point of caution though, the use of the light water breeder
concept, as with any breeder or converter reactor will require reprocessing of the nuclear fuel to recover the unused uranium, and R&D work in other areas such as remote fuel fabrication.
We are now into the last phase of the light water breeder effort - defueling and core evaluation. Defueling of the Shippingport reactor is underway and proceeding smoothly. This work should be finished by the end of this year. The Shippingport power station will then be turned over to another DOB activity for decommissioning.
The core evaluation effort is underway.
This work includes
examination of the spent light water breeder core and the physical determination of its breeding performance.
The budget request for the Water cooled Breeder program for PY 1985 is $26.3 million, a reduction of $9 million from the FY 1984 budget. I have attached an expanded discussion of my budget
The light water breeder work should be completed by the end of FY 1987. All findings and conclusions will be fully
documented and disseminated to industry.
I would be happy to try and answer any questions you may
FY 1985 DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
NAVAL REACTORS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
The purpose of the Naval Reactors Development program is to design, develop, test, evaluate, improve, and ensure the safe operation of naval nuclear propulsion reactor plants. The intent is to enhance the performance, reliability, and safety of naval reactors while simplifying plant operating and maintenance requirements. The 161 shipboard nuclear propulsion plants currently power over 40% of the Navy's combatant fleet. The continuing support and improvement of nuclear powered propulsion plants is vital to the National defense.
The major program development effort is the Advanced Fleet Reactor which will provide improved plant performance for the next generation of nuclear powered attack submarines. The Advanced Fleet Reactor will incorporate advances in reactor fuels, materials, and plant components generated from an ongoing effort to develop improved reactor cores, concepts, components, and materials. These improvements will result in the Advanced Fleet Reactor being a higher power, quieter, and more reliable reactor plant.
In parallel, development work on further propulsion plant improvements will be incorporated into prototype cores and components for testing and evaluation prior to fleet application. This work will investigate reactor concepts which offer the potential of increased power and longer life. Crucial to the success of these new concepts is a continuing effort to develop and improve reactor materials, fuels, and poisons. These materials must be capable of withstanding new requirements which result from a higher performance core.
Work is proceeding on the Submarine Test Core, which will test improved reactor fuels, materials and techniques that promise enhanced performance, and the Developmental Materials Core, which will be used to evaluate the operational response of new materials, poisons, and configurations. Each of these cores will be tested in prototype land-based reactor plants. These prototype plants provide the only proven means to determine design suitability and adequacy under actual operating plant conditions.
Work to enhance performance and ensure safe and reliable plant
operation continues even after a plant or system becomes
operational. This work includes the S8G reactor plant used in the TRIDENT ballistic missile submarine as well as other operating plants and the higher power, longer life D2W core. Other ongoing efforts to improve plant performance and further safety and reliability include: continuing tests of prototypical cores and components; improvements to and evaluation and analysis of existing nuclear propulsion plants, cores, components, systems, and materials; and development of replacement components and systems.
The FY 1985 Naval Reactors Development budget request is $496.9 million to continue the work noted above. The FY 1985 request is $3.9 million over the Fiscal Year 1984 budget. The details of the request, by major area, are: