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STATEMENT OF BEN C. RUSCHE
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee:
I an pleased to appear before you today to present the Fy 1987 budget for the U.s. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management. I will highlight the major activities planned for FY 1987 under the Nuclear waste Fund program, as well as under the civilian Radioactive Waste Research and Development program and provide a current status of implementation of and plans under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA). Since the NWPA requires the annual submission of a triennial budget under the Nuclear Waste Fund, in my discussion of the FY 1987 Nuclear waste Fund program, I will include estimates for FY 1988 and FY 1989.
The NWPA created the Nuclear Waste Fund which is financed by
fees collected from owners and generators of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The FY 1987 budget request for the Nuclear waste Fund is $769.3 million, compared to $499.0 million for FY 1986. The Nuclear waste Fund budget estimate for FY 1988 is $863.0 million and for FY 1989 is $799.2 million.
Research and development (R&D) activities not financed under the Nuclear Waste Fund are funded under the Energy Supply R&D appropriation in a program entitled civilian Radioactive waste R&D. The FY 1987 budget request for civilian Radioactive waste R&D is $6.5 million, compared to $16.0 million in FY 1986.
The FY 1986 budget request for budget authority funded by the Nuclear waste Fund is summarized in Table 1. The FY 1987 Departmental budget request for civilian Radioactive Waste R&D is summarized in Table 2. Under the Nuclear Waste Fund, the increased FY 1987 request will provide for extensive site characterization activities to begin exploratory shaft design and construction and to conduct intensive engineering tests and
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de proezas proposed to be funded from the Nuclear waste
hard pois !::st priority on the first geologic repository and the associates transportation, integration and management systems. second priority is given to MRS because of its potential for zaproving the overa:1 systen, followed by a third priority to the second repository siting activity. Neither the MRS nor the second repository is authorized for construction by the NWPA, but it is ciear that the mes offers the earliest and best means for assuring that the cb;ectives of the NKPA are carried out.
Based on projected gross nuclear electricity generation
FY 1987 CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET
($ in Thousands)
a) Reflects a general reduction of $30,000; APD Reduction,
and a reduction of $631,000 in compliance with the
An increase in Transportation and Systems Integration in Fy 1987 is also requested. The FY 1987 request of $33.4 million compared to the FY 1986 appropriation of $21.3 million from the Nurcler waste Fund represents an effort to be initiated during FY 1986 for the private sector to design, fabricate and test prototype casks for doe to consider in developing transportation casks for shipping spent fuel from reactors directly to a repository or from reactor to an MRS.
The FY 1987 budget request under the Civilian Radioactive Waste R&D program of $6.5 million represents a decrease from the FY 1986 budget of $16.0 million. Essentially, this results from the fact that no funds are being requested for research and development concerning alternatives for permanent disposal of spent fuel and high-level waste. During FY 1986 and previous years, the principal alternative disposal concept funded has been
subseabed disposal. Activities related to research and development in alternative disposal concepts called for in Section 222 of the NWPA are not proposed for funding after FY
NUCLEAR WASTE FUND PROGRAM
With the overview of the FY 1987 budget request in mind, I would like now to give a brief status of the program.
The NWPA calls for DOE to site, design, construct, operate
and close the Nation's first geologic repository for spent
fuel and high-level waste; to site and design a second repository; to submit a proposal to Congress on the need for and feasibility of Monitored Retrievable Storage facilities; to develop a transportation system and carry out certain other activities in support of the development of a disposal system. It established a method of disposal, a schedule, technical processes and a funding mechanism -- the Nuclear Waste Fund -- to ensure successful implementation of the NWPA.
Interwoven throughout these activities is the requirement for an extensive syster of interactions providing checks and balances to ensure Federal accountability to the States, affected Indian Tribes, the public, the electric utilities, their ratepayers and the Congress. To ensure the accountability of the Federal Government -- specifically, DOE -- to the other parties and concerned citizens, we have on many occasions expanded the interactive process beyond that called for in the NWPA. We have been undertaking steps to ensure that the affected States and Indian Tribes can provide early input to DOE's decisionmaking processes. For example, we have invited affected States and Indian Tribes to participate in the office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management internal coordinating groups on socioeconomic and environmental issues.
In spite of these actions, DoE is often criticized by many of the affected parties for not providing the opportunity for "effectiven participation. In passing the NWPA, Congress found