« PrécédentContinuer »
Studies under contract or in process to obtain a contractor for FY 1986 are provided below. No studies are under contract for FY 1987.
List of Approved Studies
As of 03/01/86
Development of a Pacific Basin energy strategy
U.S. energy policy options for developing countries
Transcription services for IEA oil industry meetings
(Required by 10 CFR 209)
Coal import/export data services
Utilization of natural gas resources in developing countries
Support services for DOE obligations in the IAEA
System development for recruitment of U.S.
personnel for IAEA critical positions
Support to IAEA electric system training
program in China
Development of management information and approval
systems for foreign travel and foreign visits and assignments
Development of management information system for
international R&D agreements and commitments
Support services for coordination of international
nuclear waste management activities (with NE, RW, and DP)
Alternate international energy R&D collaboration
strategies and the associated benefits and costs to DOE
Analysis of international electricity trade and
the energy security implications
Evaluation of priorities and benefits of U.S.
technical assistance programs for the IAEA
Question: Provide a complete list of all now proposed study areas and the amount allocated in FY 87 for each.
Answer: The following list identifies new proposed study areas and the amounts proposed for FY 87.
New Study Areas
The development of foreign country technology
profiles on key programs, individuals,
Analysis of policy factors in R&D Cooperation
that will permit adequate input of past experience in the development of new cooperative arrangements.
The establishment of a DOE centralized document
system to provide improved access to critical information to respond to the needs of the Secretary, OMB and the Congress.
Analysis of impact of Energy Technology on Energy
Security to support IA participation in the formulation of an R&D Policy for IEA.
Analyses of strategies for enhanced private sector
involvement in International cooperation and the trade impacts of international energy R&D cooperation.
Implications of investments by the oil producing
countries in downstream oil refinery and petrochemical facilities on oil trading patterns, particularly in Europe.
The investment climate for hydrocarbon exploration
in LDC's and the impact on the extent of R&D activity.
Changes in the structure of the world oil market
and their impact on oil security.
Identify remedies to factors that restrict
penetration of coal (and level of U.S. coal exports) in OECD coal markets and perform cost/ benefit analysis of measures to reduce/eliminate restrictions.
QUESTIONS SUBMITTED BY SENATOR MCCLURE
Question: The 1987 Department of Energy budget submittal cites the use of ten-megawatt electric reactors as one specific area in which the nuclear technology has military and civilian applications. During the 1986 budget cycle, DOE did not request funding for this project, the Secure Military Power Project, even though it was needed to match Department of Defense funds agreed to in a memorandum of understanding between the two agencies. This committee provided the funding which required some reprogramming within the department. I am disturbed at the apparent lack of commitment the DOE has shown for this project. What is the status of the SMPP? Has this reprogramming taken place?
Answer: DOE believes that it has demonstrated a significant commitment to the SMP project. For example, the only Government funds spent on the project to date are $2 million in DOE funds reprogrammed in FY 1984 after consultation with the Air Force. These funds permitted conceptual design studies to be conducted.
The FY 1986 Conference Report provided that "...additional funds may be available for Secure Military Plant contingent upon commitment of the Air Force to offset full research and development cost should a decision be made to precure SMPP units."
The Air Force decision to proceed with plant design was made in November 1985 and Air Force funds were made available to DOE on February 21, 1986. As a result, DOE is presently considering a reprogramming for FY 1986. Upon receipt of the Air Force funds, a Request for Proposals (RFP) was reactivated by the Department's Idaho Operations Office (who will manage the procurement) and submitted to DOE Headquarters and the Air Force for review and comment. The comments generated by these reviews are being accommodated. We expect to issue this RFP by the end of March 1986.
Question: The Department's 1987 budget submittal discusses the "significant shift in nuclear energy research and development program emphasis and priorities towards supporting national security requirements, including the Strategic Defense Initiative." This shift reduces advanced reactor R&D funding by $79 million, and increases the space and defense power systems to $72 million.
Has a separate office been established within the department to direct this increased effort or does the department intend to establish such an office?
With the growing number of military space application projects currently planned by the department, is an effort being made to center project management offices at specific national laboratories, such as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is doing in its newly developed "technical integration centers"?
Answer: In July 1985, the Department's Nuclear Energy activities were reorganized. As part of this reorganization, an Office of Defense Energy Projects and Special Applications was formally established under the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Reactor Systems, Development, and Technology. This office is composed of two divisions--the Division of Defense Energy Projects, whose prime focus is on space and terrestrial reactor systems for defense, and the Division of Special Applications, with a similar focus on isotopic systems. This office has served to provide the required focus to the Department's defense nuclear energy activities as well as to centralize technical and management expertise on various joint projects where multi-agency interaction is essential.
The Department is indeed moving to center project management activities at its field offices and laboratories. For example, a project office has been established for the SP-100 program which jointly involves NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and DOE's Los Alamos National Laboratory. A project office has also been established at the Idaho Operations Office to manage the Multimegawatt Terrestrial Powerplant (MTP) and efforts are underway to establish a field Project Integration Office for the multimegawatt space power program.
Question: It is envisioned a number of existing resources developed as part of the nuclear energy program at DOE will be used to support the SDI program. What steps is the department taking to define SDI requirements to guide application of DOE resources?
Answer: The basic approach used by the Department to define Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) and Air Force requirements is to work closely with the ultimate mission users of both land-based and space-based power sources.
For example, within the SP-100 program, efforts are focused on a 300 KWe electric propulsion orbital transfer reference mission. This reference mission was established by the SDI Office and defines the requirement for the reactor design and hardware to be built and tested.
For the multimegawatt program, SDI has defined three modes of power use--continuous, alert and burst--with specific durations and levels of power for each. Power producing concepts have been defined with the potential to meet these requirements. These requirements, in turn, identify the technology development programs required to support the various concepts. Typical technical areas are: Fuels, Materials, Heat Rejection and Transport, Thermal Hydraulics, Instrumentation and Control, Energy Conversion and Storage, and Safety. These development programs specify the DOE resources needed to meet the SDI needs.
In a related activity to guide application of DOE resources, the Department is currently correlating user needs and surveying available test facilities to ensure that the SDI program testing needs are being met in a cost effective manner and without duplication of effort.
Question: The shift from civilian to military nuclear R&D could have vitally important international ramifications that will directly affect our nation. Internationally, the use of nuclear energy is growing and further growth is inevitable. The U.S has so clearly shaped and led the world in the responsible use of nuclear energy, what will be the long term international impact of the U.S. opting out of civilian development and applying its resources to military requirements?
Answer: The United States is not opting out of civilian nuclear development. The Department has long provided R&D support to both defense and civilian areas and will continue to do so in the proposed programs. It is our intention to integrate and coordinate those efforts to the maximum extent so as to minimize the overall Federal cost. The priority of military programs has not changed; programs have expanded and moved ahead as planned while the overall funding stringencies have tightened. The U.s. still possesses the most broadly based and advanced liquid metal reactor technology, and continues to have an advanced nuclear research and development budget comparable to other countries in the free world.
Question: Will international research agreements continue under this new policy if other countries would have to agree essentially to be part of U.S. military research?
Answer: Research and development advanced civilian reactor concepts will be continued and will serve as the basis for international research agreements with other nations. While advanced civilian designs will be evaluated for applicability to certain defense missions, the application of civilian concepts to defense will remain separate and distinct from the civilian effort in international efforts and will not involve foreign participation. Hence, our approach should not present problems for continued foreign cooperation.
Question: Can the United States continue to encourage and support joint cooperation research between our country and other nations such as Japan, France, and Germany?
Answer: Yes. The proposed FY 1987 civilian program continues joint cooperative programs on research between our country and other nations. Although the majority of our current international effort is with the Japanese, we will continue efforts for greater involvement with Germany and France. Public domain information on our advanced Liquid Metal Reactor and High Temperature Gas Reactor concepts has been received with great interest in Japan and France and may well become the basis for the United States establishing future collaborative agreements.
Question: A number of countries are forging ahead in nuclear R&D, and these have challenged our lead in the nuclear energy market. Will not this shift further erode our Nation's marketing capability?
Answer: In FY 1987, our efforts within the civilian program regarding defense will be limited to determining the suitability of advanced civilian designs for defense applications. The Department's primary effort will remain focused on advanced civilian reactor concept development and supporting R&D with emphasis on competitive economics, passive safety, and improved licensability. To date, progress has been encouraging; costs appear to be competitive with LWR's and coal plants, innovative passive safety features have been designed and will be tested, NRC Interactions have been positive, and plant availability estimates are high. Public domain information available on these advanced designs is creating a great deal of interest in Japan and France. We believe that these designs will provide the basis for the United States retaining its leadership role to the nuclear field.