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Senator MCCLURE. They are not speaking for the chamber of commerce in Hanford.

Senator HOLLINGS. If we had a fourth one, we could put it in Idaho. (Laughter.]

I can't find the word "Idaho" in the National Academy of Sciences report, the Glennan report, or the Schoettler report, but I do find Savannah River, and I do appreciate that very much. Thank you a lot.

Senator McCLURE. I would also stipulate, if the C Reactor had been built in Idaho Falls, it probably would have developed the same fault.

TIME SCHEDULES FOR HWR AND HTGR TECHNOLOGIES

Senator JOHNSTON. Mr. Schoettler, could you tell me, I may be missing something here. As I read the report, and as I hear you testify, the heavy water and HTGR technologies are about the same in time schedule; is that right?

Mr. SCHOETTLER. Yes. I don't think that we collected time schedules closely enough, Mr. Chairman, to really discriminate between the two of them in terms of overall time. I think that we did make the finding that the HWR, since it has the target technology and has been in use for 34 years, maybe a total of 130 reactor years, that that was an advantage that the HWR had if the judgment was made that we needed tritium production capacity just as soon as possible. I think the finding that we had was that the HWR and perhaps the WNP-1 were the two tracks that would yield tritium production in the quickest timeframe.

Senator JOHNSTON. Say that again, please?

Mr. SCHOETTLER. I think we made the finding that the HWR and/or the WNP-1, the light water reactor at Hanford, the uncompleted-light water reactor, that one or the other of those perhaps had the most assurance of going into tritium production somewhat more quickly than the other technologies, but within the timeframe, say, of 10 years, with sufficient R&D, any of the technologies could provide goal quantities of tritium production.

STATUS OF HTGR TECHNOLOGY Senator JOHNSTON. There may or may not be a time advantage for heavy water over the HTGR, but in any event you would feel confident of the HTGR meeting your 10-year time requirement; is that fair?

Mr. SCHOETTLER. I am not sure. I think that the reason that the statement was put into the ERAB report about HWR is that it is an existing technology that has had 34 years of operating experience, maybe 130 cumulative years, and the target technology exists.

It was the opinion of the engineers, the nuclear engineers on the panel and on the Advisory Board, that if you had a technology that was in existence, that had been in production, it was easier to, perhaps, upgrade that technology to an advanced HWR to reach goal quantities of tritium than it was to take a new technology, essentially on paper, although it had a great deal of research, and build a new reactor, and finish the qualification testing, perhaps, necessary for the HTGR target technology.

Senator JOHNSTON. It says here. with respect to HWR, that HWR lags the other technologies in experience with current safety and environmental review processes, and investigations of severe accident phenomenon, there is some risk of significant delays.

Mr. SCHOETTLER. That is correct.

Senator JOHNSTON. That is a risk with HWR over HTGR. HTGR does not have that disadvantage.

Mr. SCHOETTLER. That is correct; the Advisory Board looked at that. There were two main areas that we looked at in terms of what those risks are for these technologies: one area was the reactor technology and the target technology, and the other area was the safety and environmental review process.

In that particular area, it was the judgment of ERAB that the HTGR, and the review process for the reactor itself, was ahead of where the HWR is right now. The balance of that, in a sense, was that the certification of the total safety review process for the HTGR could not be completed until the tritium target technology has been developed and has reached production levels. That is not the case with the heavy water reactor at Savannah River. The target technology is already developed.

So there were two aspects for the NPR that we looked at, and the conclusion was that, perhaps, the faster track-and we didn't put a quantified time on it-would be the HWR or the WNP-1.

Senator JOHNSTON. Would this be fair to say, that the probability is that HWR would be somewhat faster than HTGR, although both would be within the 10-year timeframe as a probability; there is a possibility that HWR would be significantly delayed by safety and environmental problems, a risk which is not inherent in HTGR; is that fair?

Mr. SCHOETTLER. Yes, sir; the possibility exists for delay for safety reasons.

Senator JOHNSTON. Significant delay?

Mr. SCHOETTLER. That would be speculation on my part. I do not know, I am not familiar

Senator JOHNSTON. We are talking about possibilities. Obviously, we have to speculate on all of this.

Is it fair to say that? I don't want to put words in your mouth, I just want to understand.

Mr. SCHOETTLER. Yes.

READINESS OF COMPETING TECHNOLOGIES

Senator JOHNSTON. Would you agree with that, Mr. Ahearne?
Mr. AHEARNE. Would you rephrase exactly what I am agreeing to?

Senator JOHNSTON. With respect to time, there is a probability that the HWR would be ready somewhat ahead of the HTGR, although both would probably be ready within a 10-year timeframe; that there is a possibility, however, that HWR would have significant time delays because of environmental and safety problems well beyond the 10-year period, a risk which would not be inherent in the HTGR.

Mr. AHEARNE. I will separate that into several pieces because I can only comment on one piece of it.

My committee we have not looked at the detailed designs of the four types, so I can't speculate on the length of time, your 10-year question. The one element that I can comment on is that certainly the HTGR, the light water reactor, and the liquid metal reactor have in various forms gone through NRC reviews, and codes have been written and safety analyses done for them. As the National Academy pointed out, the HWR has not gone through that kind of review and safety analyses. Consequently, the probability of a safety review delay strictly on the reactor is greater for the heavy water.

The converse is that effects of a tritium target fuel have not been analyzed for any of the other three types. The input of that on the behavior of the codes, new code calculations, is some area of delay, Senator.

Senator JOHNSTON. With respect to time, is there a significant difference between HWR and HTGR?

Mr. AHEARNE. Yes; just in layman's terms. Senator, I just can't answer. The construction time, the design time, I have not looked at that. All I can say is that it is certainly going to take an additional time than for the others to validate codes and go through code development and analysis development for the heavy water reactor.

Mr. SCHOETTLER. If I could just add. There was an observation by the Advisory Board that the building of the system for the first time in HTGR for NPR perhaps will lead to design and technology problems which could also have the possibility of delaying its safety review process. I think that was a factor that the Advisory Board looked at and contrasted the maturity of that technology from an experience factor as compared to the HWR.

Senator JOHNSTON. I am just reading from your strengths and weaknesses table of the report. Both can be done relatively safely although safety would probably favor the HTGR. Am I correct on that?

Mr. AHEARNE. Safety itself would have to be a result of having gone through all the reviews. As the Board pointed out, none of these systems have gone through the detailed reviews which would lead you to conclude where safety would come out. The big advantage of three of the designs is that the codes have already been, to a large extent, developed and verified.

COST COMPARISONS Senator JOHNSTON. Tell me about the costs because cost seems to be a problem here. Could you compare the costs?

Mr. SCHOETTLER. Mr. Chairman, the cost figures, due to the amount of time we had to do this study, were taken from the proponents, and the project definition has really not been completed by DOE. On the types of individual reactors that were proposed, the cost figures vary very widely. In the Energy Research Advisory Board's analyses in consideration there is such wide variations that there was no comparison.

Senator JOHNSTON. It says here with respect to HWR, that HWR lags the other technologies in experience with current safety and environmental review processes, and investigations of severe accident phenomenon, there is some risk of significant delays.

Mr. SCHOETTLER. That is correct.

Senator JOHNSTON. That is a risk with HWR over HTGR. HTGR does not have that disadvantage.

Mr. SCHOETTLER. That is correct; the Advisory Board looked at that. There were two main areas that we looked at in terms of what those risks are for these technologies: one area was the reactor technology and the target technology, and the other area was the safety and environmental review process.

In that particular area, it was the judgment of ERAB that the HTGR, and the review process for the reactor itself, was ahead of where the HWR is right now. The balance of that, in a sense, was that the certification of the total safety review process for the HTGR could not be completed until the tritium target technology has been developed and has reached production levels. That is not the case with the heavy water reactor at Savannah River. The target technology is already developed.

So there were two aspects for the NPR that we looked at, and the conclusion was that, perhaps, the faster track-and we didn't put a quantified time on it-would be the HWR or the WNP-1.

Senator JOHNSTON. Would this be fair to say, that the probability is that HWR would be somewhat faster than HTGR, although both would be within the 10-year timeframe as a probability; there is a possibility that HWR would be significantly delayed by safety and environmental problems, a risk which is not inherent in HTGR; is that fair?

Mr. SCHOETTLER. Yes, sir; the possibility exists for delay for safety reasons.

Senator JOHNSTON. Significant delay?

Mr. SCHOETTLER. That would be speculation on my part. I do not know, I am not familiar

Senator JOHNSTON. We are talking about possibilities. Obviously, we have to speculate on all of this.

Is it fair to say that? I don't want to put words in your mouth, I just want to understand.

Mr. SCHOETTLER. Yes.

READINESS OF COMPETING TECHNOLOGIES

Senator JOHNSTON. Would you agree with that, Mr. Ahearne?
Mr. AHEARNE. Would you rephrase exactly what I am agreeing to?

Senator JOHNSTON. With respect to time, there is a probability that the HWR would be ready somewhat ahead of the HTGR, although both would probably be ready within a 10-year timeframe; that there is a possibility, however, that HWR would have significant time delays because of environmental and safety problems well beyond the 10-year period, a risk which would not be inherent in the HTGR.

Mr. AHEARNE. I will separate that into several pieces because I can only comment on one piece of it.

My committee-we have not looked at the detailed designs of the four types, so I can't speculate on the length of time, your 10-year question. The one element that I can comment on is that certainly the HTGR, the light water reactor, and the liquid metal reactor have in various forms gone through NRC reviews, and codes have been written and safety analyses done for them. As the National Academy pointed out, the HWR has not gone through that kind of review and safety analyses. Consequently, the probability of a safety review delay strictly on the reactor is greater for the heavy water.

The converse is that effects of a tritium target fuel have not been analyzed for any of the other three types. The input of that on the behavior of the codes. new code calculations, is some area of delay, Senator.

Senator JOHNSTON. With respect to time, is there a significant difference between HWR and HTGR?

Mr. AHEARNE. Yes; just in layman's terms. Senator, I just can't answer. The construction time, the design time, I have not looked at that. All I can say is that it is certainly going to take an additional time than for the others to validate codes and go through code development and analysis development for the heavy water reactor.

Mr. SCHOETTLER. If I could just add. There was an observation by the Advisory Board that the building of the system for the first time in HTGR for NPR perhaps will lead to design and technology problems which could also have the possibility of delaying its safety review process. I think that was a factor that the Advisory Board looked at and contrasted the maturity of that technology from an experience factor as compared to the HWR.

Senator JOHNSTON. I am just reading from your strengths and weaknesses table of the report. Both can be done relatively safely although safety would probably favor the HTGR. Am I correct on that?

Mr. AHEARNE. Safety itself would have to be a result of having gone through all the reviews. As the Board pointed out, none of these systems have gone through the detailed reviews which would lead you to conclude where safety would come out. The big advantage of three of the designs is that the codes have already been, to a large extent, developed and verified.

COST COMPARISONS Senator JOHNSTON. Tell me about the costs because cost seems to be a problem here. Could you compare the costs?

Mr. SCHOETTLER. Mr. Chairman, the cost figures, due to the amount of time we had to do this study, were taken from the proponents, and the project definition has really not been completed by DOE. On the types of individual reactors that were proposed, the cost figures vary very widely. In the Energy Research Advisory Board's analyses in consideration there is such wide variations that there was no comparison.

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