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Another strategically necessary, but very difficult cost reduction decision was made to terminate the Gas Centrifuge Enrichment Plant, GCEP, project. After an extensive analysis of production costs and customer demand, DOE concluded that the completion of GCEP required the outlay of significant amounts of additional capital which was un justifiable from an investment point of view. Savings from termination of the GCEP project are estimated at more than $4 billion as compared to the cost of completing the plant.
During 1985, an exhaustive, year-long assessment was made of the two technologies, Atomic Vapor Laser Isotope Separation, AVLIS, and the Advanced Gas Centrifuge , AGC, competing to become the uranium enrichment process of the future. Since the AVLIS process was shown to be superior to AGC, research and development for AGC was closed out. This decision is estimated to result in a $500 million cost avoidance.
Question: Provide a table which shows the level of demand charges paid to TVA and other power suppliers to date and for the duration of the contract period.
Answer: Consistent with the most recent operating plan, the capacity charges for power not purchased which the Department has paid or is projecting to pay in the future is shown in the following table. Fiscal Years 1987 through 1994 are in 1987 dollars and are based on the current operating plan. If projected military demands do not materialize, the TVA charges will be higher than shown in the table.
Question: When do you anticipate completion of GCEP termination?
Answer: The physical work involved in termination of the GCEP project is presently scheduled for June 1988.
Question: How much has been spent thus far on spent fuel storage development? Provide a break down including fuel rod consolidation, dry storage and interim storage with funding levels for FY 85, FY 86 and FY 87.
Answer: A breakdown of expenditures is as follows:
Question: Why are you proposing termination of the subseabed disposal sub-program?
Answer: NO funds were requested to complete the subseabed program because the Department does not believe the activity has sufficient priority in relation to other nuclear waste research and development programs.
Mr. Rusche, last year we discussed the total cost of the nuclear waste disposal program. You indicated that the total cost was in the range of $25-$34 billion and the low end of the estimate had increased by about $5 billion in the previous year.
Question: What is your best estimate today of the total cost? Has there been any change from last year? If so, why?
Answer: The current total system life cycle program costs from inception of the program (January, 1983) through decommissioning of the Second Repository range from $23-31 billion for the reference cases of the authorized system in terms of constant 1984 dollars. Sensitivity cases, which consider varying amounts of spent fuel generation and startup delays, range from $20-$38 billion. Last year, the corresponding costs were $24-$30 billion for the reference cases and $21-$35 billion for the sensitivity cases in terms of constant 1984 dollars. There are a number changes between the assumptions and cost calculations procedures used in the calendar year (CY) 1984 and (CY) 1985 analyses. Some of the more significant changes are summarized as follows: ..
The CY 1985 analysis assumes that 16,000 canisters of Defense High Level Waste (DHLW) are disposed with the spent fuel while the CY 1984 analysis did not include DHLW.
The CY 1985 analysis assumes an annual acceptance rate of 3000 MTU fuel, plus 400 MTU-equivalent of DHLW while the CY 1984 analysis assumed 3000 MTU of spent fuel only.
The CY 1985 analysis assumes improved cask technology (need only accept 5 year old fuel) while the CY 1984 analysis assumed current cask technology for the reference case (designed to accept 120 day old fuel).
The CY 1985 analysis assumes site-specific designs (based on the Two-Phase Feasibility Studies) while the CY 1984 analysis assumed the tuff design for all sites.
The CY 1985 analysis assumes site-specific designs (based on a detailed MRS/Repository Interface Task Force Study) while the CY 1984 analysis assumed the tuff design for all sites.
The CY 1985 analysis assumes two generic crystalline rock sites: a high-cost site and a low-cost site. The CY 1984 analysis assumed one generic crystalline rock site which was similar in geologic conditions to the tuff site.
Question: In FY 1986, the Congress reduced your initial request by $50 million. What is the impact, if any, of that adjustment? (Provide the Committee with a detailed allocation of the reduction among each activity).
Answer: Due to changes in the First and Second Repository program schedules and redirection of program planning for the MRS, the reduction of $50 million had a minimal impact on the program.
The following is a detailed allocation of the reduction among activities:
Amount (in millions)
Subtotal, First Repository. .....
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Question: As I pointed out in our hearings last year, the U.S. Geological Survey and the NRC were critical of the DOE site evaluation report on the Hanford waste site. Can you comment on what actions were taken, if any, by DOE to address the concerns of these other Federal agencies?
Answer: The Department has met with the NRC and the USGS on a number of occasions to address their concerns over the site evaluation report on the Hanford site and has adopted a number of their comments. Specifically, interactions with USGS are established through an interagency working group agreement that is reviewed annually. After each meeting, the USGS communicates their concerns, criticisms and recommendations to DOE in writing. These are addressed by DOE, discussed with USGS and to the extent possible incorporated into the characterization program. Meetings have been held with the USGS advisory group covering activities in hydrochemistry, hydrology, and geology. DOE has also conducted eleven technical workshops with the NRC on geochemistry, geology, and hydrology since January, 1984. Additionally, the Department is actively continuing to work with the NRC and other federal agencies during preparation of the Site Characterization Plans for the Hanford site as well as for the tuff and salt sites.