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The review team held its initial meeting on January 27, 1986, in Washington, D.C. Briefings on the AVLIS and MLIS processes were held February 17-19, 1986, at LLNL and February 26-28, 1986, at LANL, respectively. A final meeting of the review team was held on March 17-19, 1986, at the Department of Energy's Germantown, Maryland, offices. The review team issued it's report on March 28, 1986.
Question: Please describe the process being used for this review and describe how it conforms with the requirements of the conference report.
Answer: In response to the requirements of the conference report, the Department assembled a team of experts to perform the Special Isotope Separation, SIS, process readiness review under the purview of Dr. Alvin Trivelpiece, Director of the Office of Energy Research. The review was directed by Mr. William J. Howard, former Executive Vice President of Sandia National Laboratories. Other team members were selected from the Department of Energy, DOE consultants, and the national laboratories and have expertise in fields related to production plant operations and engineering design, as well as the basic science relating to the SIS processes.
As stipulated in the conference report, the review was focused on examining the readiness of the competing processes for plant deployment and identifying the process if any, that is most likely to achieve technical success and have the lowest operating and capital costs. Briefings were held on each of the two processes and allowed for structured peer review involving proponent and opponent presentations by each process development laboratory. A summary meeting was held to allow representatives for each process to address any outstanding questions or concerns expressed at the previous review meetings and to make their summary presentations to the review team. The review team report was submitted to DOE on March 28, 1986.
Question: Please describe the status of the Special Isotope Separation (SIS) proce88.
Answer: For the AVLIS process under development at LLNL, operation of the first set of plant prototype lasers has been initiated in the Laser Demonstration Facility. Construction is continuing on the Engineering Demonstration System, which is a prototypic Installation of plutonium separators to be tested in FY 1987 and FY 1988. Work is also continuing on the balance-of-plant pyrochemical processes. These laser systems, separators, and plutonium processes are plant-scale demonstrations and their successful operation will provide the data needed should it be decided to proceed with plant construction and operation.
For the MLIS process under development at LANL, plutonium operations were started this year in the SIS-III facility. Initial isotope separation experiments are scheduled for the third quarter of FY 1986. The SIS-III facility contains a continuous gas flow loop in which the important parameters of the MLIS process can be demonstrated.
Question: What is the funding for this program in FY 1985, FY 1986, and FY 1987?
Answer: Funding levels for the two plutonium Special Isotope Separation, SIS, processes for FY 1985, FY 1986, and FY 1987 follows:
Plutonium Special Isotope Separation Funding
(Dollars in Millions)
Atomic Vapor Laser Isotope Separation $ 69.0
20.5 Special Isotope Separation Plant Proj. 0.0
$ 89.5 $ 97.2 $ 93.8
*Funding for Molecular Laser Isotope Separation is contained in the appropriations for process development and is not included under the SIS program.
Process Facility Modifications
Question: Please describe the progress on the Process Facility Modification at Richland, Washington. Please describe the need for this facility.
Answer: The proposed Process Facility Modifications facility design is currently 30 percent complete. A draft environmental impact statement, analyzing the potential environmental effects that may result from the construction and operation of the facility, has been completed and is expected to be released for public review and comment in May 1986. Facility construction is scheduled to begin in early CY 1987.
Question: Please justify the requirement to increase the funding for Uranium Enrichment. Please indicate how much of this funding is for working inventory of the Uranium Enrichment enterprise.
Answer: Additional separative work is required to provide enriched material for the N Reactor at Richland and for the Naval Reactors program.
A total of $190 million, or an increase of $29.6 million, is needed to support Naval fuel fabrication at both Nuclear Fuel Services at Erwin, Tennessee and at the Savannah River Plant Fuel Materials Facility. NFS has a contract to fabricate fuel at full production for about 2 more years. The Naval facility at Savannah River will reach full production in FY 1987. Savannah River needs to be operated at capacity to qualify the facility and to build fuel Inventories which are needed as a protection measure against problems like the protracted strike at NFS.
The N Reactor requirements are dependent on the amount of fuel recycled from Richland to the Feed Material Production Center, FMPC, at Fernald. A total of $14.5 million, or an increase of $5.3 million above FY 1986 is required to meet N Reactor requirements.
No funds are included in the budget for uranium working inventories.
Report on Special Nuclear Materials
Question: Please describe the results of the recent review of the Materials Production program required by Armed Services authorization legislation.
Answer: The Report to the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and House of Representatives detailed military requirements and sources of special nuclear materials through FY 1991. During FY 1986-FY 1991, DELETED warheads and bombs are projected to be produced by the Department of Energy and delivered to the Department of Defense based on Gramm-Rudman-Hollings budgetary constraints.
The Department of Energy can marginally meet these requirements if no major operational problems occur and adequate funding is available.
Please describe the status of the Plasma Separation
Answer: The original mission for the Plasma Separation Process, PSP, was the separation of U-236 from the highly enriched uranium driver fuel used in the Savannah River Plant reactors. Based on cost, need, benefit, and fiscal constraints, this mission was indefinitely deferred. Subsequent to this, a potential use for PSP was identified, by the contractor, of separating nickel isotopes for nuclear isotope power supplies. A preliminary analysis of this mission by DOE fo
need or he nickel. Based on the interest that the Congress has shown in the nickel mission and in PSP in general, DOE is reevaluating the nickel mission and the PSP program.
Environmental Project Funding
Question: Please provide a table showing the total funding for environmental projects included in the Nuclear Materials Production budget by location for FY 1985, FY 1986, and FY 1987.
Answer: Funding for environmental projects included in the Nuclear Materials Production budget is as follows:
Question: Within reactor operations, provide the FY 1985, FY 1986, and FY 1987 budgets for Oak Ridge, Richland, and Savannah River. Please provide a breakdown of the activities at each location and justify the change from FY 1986 to FY 1987 in terms of quantifiable product.
Answer: A breakdown of reactor operations funding and program deliverables follows: