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STATEMENT OF WILLIAM R. GRAHAM, SCIENCE ADVISOR TO THE

PRESIDENT; AND DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
POLICY, EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
Senator JOHNSTON. May we proceed next to Dr. William Graham.

I would like for all witnesses to stay at the table, if you would, and thenwe can have questioning of the entire group as one panel.

Mr. GRAHAM. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I am testifying here today as the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. I appreciate the invitation to testify before you and also appreciate Energy Secretary Herrington's invitation to consult with him as he prepares to address the subject of the new production reactor.

Secretary Herrington is, as you know, a valued member of the President's Cabinet, and it is a pleasure to work with him and his associates, including Under Secretary Salgado to my right and Acting Assistant Secretary Wade who was here a moment ago. Of course, the Department of Energy is also consulting with Secretary Carlucci and Director Duncan who are here with us today.

The key issue facing the United States in this area is the reliable, long-term availability of the tritium supply used primarily in nuclear weapons. Of course, this supply must be produced in a safe and environmentally sound manner. As you have heard, the Energy Research Advisory Board has recently completed its review of the four tech

nologies for an NPR and a number of options for employing those technologies.

The ERAB report noted that all of the technologies were capable of producing tritium and noted that different technologies had different advantages and different weaknesses.

The ERAB report also noted the critical importance of the safety and environmental evaluation and review process. I anticipate that the review process for an NPR, when it is fully established by the Secretary of Energy, will be as rigorous as the process for commercial power reactors. Therefore, the time required for a new production reactor or reactors to reach operational status will depend at least as much on the time required for safety and environmental evaluation and review as it will on the specific development and construction schedule.

My final comment concerns reactor costs and schedule. The current costs and schedule estimates for the various options are very preliminary. It is my view that these current estimates of discounted NPR lifecycle costs and schedules are all within the same range of uncertainty.

This completes my testimony, Mr. Chairman, and I will be pleased to entertain your questions.

Senator JOHNSTON. Thank you very much, Mr. Graham. [The statement follows:

STATEMENT OF WILLIAM R. GRAHAM

Thank you for this opportunity to testify on the subject of a new nuclear materials production reactor (NPR). I appreciate your invitation, and also appreciate Secretary Herrington's invitation to consult with him as he prepares to address the subject of the NPR. Secretary Herrington is a valuable member of the President's Cabinet, and it is a pleasure to work with him and his associates, including Under Secretary Salgado and Acting Assistant Secretary Wade, who are here today. Of course, the Department of Energy is also consulting with Secretary Carlucci and Undersecretary Duncan, who is also with us today.

The key issue facing the United States today in this area is the reliable long-term availability of the tritium supply used primarily in nuclear weapons. Of course, this supply must be produced in a safe and environmentally sound manner. As you have heard, the Energy Research Advisory Board (ERAB) has recently completed its review of four technologies for an NPR. and a number of options for employing those technologies.

The ERAB report noted that all of the technologies were capable of producing tritium, and also noted that different technologies had different advantages and different weaknesses.

The ERAB report also noted the critical importance of the safety and environmental evaluation and review process. I anticipate that the review process for an NPR, when it is fully established, will be as rigorous as the process for commercial power reactors. Therefore, the time required for a new production reactor, or reactors, to reach operational status will depend at least as much on the time required for safety and environmental evaluation and review, as it will on the specific development and construction schedule.

My final comment concerns reactor cost and schedule. The current cost and schedule estimates for the various options are very preliminary. It is my view that all of these current estimates of discounted NPR life-cycle costs and schedules are within the same range of uncertainty.

This completes my testimony. I would be happy to entertain any questions.

STATEMENT OF ROBERT C. DUNCAN, DIRECTOR, DEFENSE RESEARCH

AND ENGINEERING; AND CHAIRMAN, NUCLEAR WEAPONS COUNCIL Senator JOHNSTON. Dr. Duncan.

Dr. DUNCAN. Good morning. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee.

Let me express my appreciation also for being invited to appear as a witness in support of this very important national security project that we are talking about. I intend to provide very brief remarks on several aspects related to the Department of Defense's position on the NPR capacity.

I endorse the Department of Energy's process for developing their acquisition strategy for the new production reactor capacity. We respect the Department of Energy's prerogative to formulate such recommendations and, ultimately, to reach a decision on this critical project. The Department of Energy has provided us with briefings and appropriate reports on those aspects of the NPR related to technologies and sites.

These reports, as they are completed, were made available to the Nuclear Weapons Council, which I chair, and to other offices within the DOD. We have participated in the process in part by providing Nuclear Weapons Council comments and recommendations on those aspects related to the nuclear weapons stockpile and other Defenserelated matters as the Secretary of Energy moves toward his decision on the NPR.

The DOD has established a requirement that this country must have a safe and assured source of tritium for the foreseeable future. For the past 40 years, nuclear weapons have been a primary element in this nation's strategy of deterrence. Although the capability of conventional weapons continues to be improved, nuclear weapons for the foreseeable future remain essential to our national well-being.

The Defense Department continues to work with the Department of Energy to identify and maintain the stockpile quantities consistent with our planned national strategies and needs. The continuing effectiveness of the nation's nuclear stockpile is dependent on the Department of Energy's capability to produce tritium. The short half-life of this critical element dictates the need for a continuous and reliable supply.

We are aware that the DOE has under review an array of alternative combinations of reactor technologies and sites. Were it DOD's judg. ment that they are required to construct more than one reactor to ensure reliability in tritium production, the Defense Department is prepared to seriously consider that strategy.

Throughout this process, DOD has endorsed the principle that the costs of tritium production capability should be minimized consistent with safety and reliability of supply. The importance of moving expeditiously toward establishing a new production capability must

not be overlooked.

Because of the many uncertainties and complexities involved, this nation has postponed those vital steps now being taken by DOE to replace our aging and reduced-capacity production reactors. We need to

complete thorough but timely planning, programming, and budgeting activities for the new production reactor as a matter of high national priority.

In closing, let me state that DOD is fully supportive of this important DOE endeavor and is appreciative of the continuing support and bipartisan cooperative leadership of the Congress in moving to restore an assured supply of the materials crucial to the national security of this nation.

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STATEMENT OF ROBERT C. DUNCAN

MR. CHAIRMAN, MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE, LET ME EXPRESS MY

APPRECIATION FOR BEING ASKED TO APPEAR AS A WITNESS IN SUPPORT

OF THIS MOST IMPORTANT NATIONAL SECURITY PROJECT. I INTEND TO

PROVIDE BRIEF REMARKS ON SEVERAL ASPECTS RELATED TO THE

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (DOD) POSITION ON NEW PRODUCTION REACTOR

(NPR) CAPACITY.

I ENDORSE THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY'S PROCESS FOR

DEVELOPING AN ACQUISITION STRATEGY FOR THE NEW PRODUCTION

REACTOR CAPACITY. I RESPECT THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY'S (DOE)

PREROGATIVE TO FORMULATE SUCH RECOMMENDATIONS AND, ULTIMATELY,

TO REACH A DECISION ON THIS CRITICAL PROJECT. I APPRECIATE THE

OPPORTUNITY THE PROCESS PROVIDES FOR INTERAGENCY REVIEW. THE

DOE HAS PROVIDED US WITH BRIEFINGS AND APPROPRIATE REPORTS ON

THOSE ASPECTS OF THE NPR RELATED TO TECHNOLOGIES AND SITES.

THESE REPORTS, AS THEY ARE COMPLETED, WERE MADE AVAILABLE TO

THE NUCLEAR WEAPONS COUNCIL AND TO OFFICES WITHIN THE DOD. WE

HAVE PARTICIPATED IN THE PROCESS IN PART BY PROVIDING NUCLEAR

WEAPON COUNCIL COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ON THOSE ASPECTS

RELATED TO THE NUCLEAR WEAPONS STOCKPILE AND OTHER DEFENSE

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