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QUESTIONS SUBMITTED BY CHAIRMAN HATFIELD
Light Water Reactors
Question: As I recall, Congress provided $4.75 million in FY 86 which was available to be matched on a 50% cost-shared basis with industry. What is the request in FY 87 for this program? (It appears to be $18 million).
Answer: The request for FY 1987 for the Advanced Light Water Reactor program is $18 million. Approximately $15 million of this budget request is required to continue the cost-shared tasks started in the last part of FY 1986.
Question: Do you propose a cost-shared program in FY 87? What level of cost-sharing?
Answer: Yes. Approximately $15 million of the FY 1987 support will be at least 50 percent cost-shared with industry. The remainder of the FY 1987 $18 million support is associated with supporting work performed in our laboratories.
We are transmitting to the Committee today a report on the Advanced Light Water Reactor Program which clarifies the relationship of the Department's program with industry-sponsored efforts and reflects a mutual interest to conduct a complementary program. The report outlines how we plan to secure a reasonable level of cost sharing on efforts that have commercial applications 5-10 years in the future. These planned programs satisfy recommendations by the Energy Research Advisory Board and are conducted within the cooperative umbrella agreement with the Electric Power Research Institute.
Question: What is the total cost of this multi-year program? What is the duration?
Answer: Cost-shared technology tasks totaling approximately $45 million over 3 years have been selected by the Department and will be initiated in late FY 1986. The total ALWR program is estimated to involve DOE funding of approximately $18 million per year for 5 years.
Question: How many reactor designs will be reviewed? When will you limit the number of designs or select one design?
Answer: The reactor designs are being developed by industry; DOE is providing supporting technology to help assure safety and licensability of the designs. At present, industry is pursuing three large ALWR's and three mid-sized ALWR'S.
Question: How does this program complement the EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute - utilities research arm) program?
Answer: The EPRI Advanced Light Water Reactor program involves the cooperative effort of utilities, suppliers, architect-engineers and the Federal Government with innovative features to improve passive safety and operability. DOE and EPRI have executed a specific agreement on the Advanced Light Water Reactor program that
provides for an allocation of work by EPRI and by DOE. A senior level DOE-EPRI management oversight group meets periodically to assure that the combined resources of both groups are used to maximum advantage. DOE's contribution to this cooperative program is to perform technology tasks on innovative features that offer opportunities for improving safety and reliability while preserving the competitive economics of nuclear power.
Question: What is the total cost and duration of the EPRI program on advanced LWR's?
Answer: The cooperative EPRI/Industry/Government program on advanced light water reactors builds on the extensive programs already underway by the major reactor vendors. The utility industry (through EPRI) focuses on developing a set of model requirements for next generation LWR's and on development of conceptual designs for small reactors. Direct utility funding for this effort is estimated to be about $20 million over the next 5 years. Vendor cost sharing is substantial, not including the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on engineering and testing of components for the advanced light water reactors.
Question: Your budget material mentions that this federal effort will help development requirements for future LWR's that "U.S. vendors have been developing for sale both here and abroad." Who are these vendors? Will there be any financial contribution or costsharing from these vendors? What level?
Answer: Reactor vendors such as General Electric and Westinghouse are developing ALWR's for sale both here and abroad. The vendors have developed ALWR designs at a cost of about $500 million. Direct EPRI and vendor cost sharing in connection with the DOE supported R&D effort will be at least $45 million over the next 3 years.
Question: The Department proposes an LWR Safety and Licensing program in FY 1987 to be funded at the $11 million level. What level of funding was proposed for this effort in FY 1986?
Answer: In FY 1986, the funding level for the Safety and Licensing activity was $13 million.
Question: What is the duration and total multi-year cost of this effort?
Answer: The R&D tasks under this light water reactor safety and licensing activity will require funding at roughly $11 million per year over the next 5 years.
Question: It appears that there are 3 major components to the program: severe accident technology, risk-based licensing, and a cooperative effort on productivity. Please provide the Committee with a breakdown for each ma jor activity with funding levels for FY 85, 86, and 87.
Answer: The activities in this element are interrelated, and generally emphasize R&D to permit advances in safety technology for light water reactors. The topical areas of application of R&D
results are severe accident technology, regulatory reform support including risk-based licensing and improved productivity.
*Funds in FY 1986 were covered under generic non-LWR activities.
Question: What is the level of cost-sharing or cooperation on the program to extend productivity? List the studies to be sponsored by the DOE with funding levels for FY 87.
Answer: The level of cost-sharing or cooperation by industry on the DOE program to extend productivity is approximately $10-15 million, depending on final sponsor budgets for FY 1987.
The major FY 1987 studies to be sponsored by DOE (with DOE's contribution at $3.5 M) are:
Techniques to improve predictions of equipment performance Development of approved ASME code cases used to establish equipment operability Procedures and technologies to be used to requality components and structures for longer life Thermal annealing with embrittled reactor vessel or cast austenitic-ferritic stainless steels (to extend life of key components) Reference radiation damage data on low energy neutrons (to determine that long term damage effects are acceptable)
Question: How much will be available under you 87 budget for intervention in large construction projects or other interaction with regulators at the state and federal level?
Answer: That portion of the regulatory reform tasks related to a broad spectrum of federal, state, and other institutional activities is $2 million. No money is set aside for intervention in large construction projects.
Advanced Reactor R&D
Question: For the record, please provide the Committee with a breakdown of this program including the categories of HTGR, LMR, Breeder technology, fuel cycle technology, and RERTR funding levels for FY 85, 86 and 87.
Answer: The Advanced Reactor R&D program funding for FY 1987 as reflected in the FY 1986 structure includes the categories of HTGR, LMR, Breeder technology, Fuel Cycle technology, and RER TR. However, it should be noted that LMR contains $51.2M of facilities funding for
FY 1987, $26.9M for FY 1986, and $35.8M for FY 1985. information follows:)
NUCLEAR ENERGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
(Dollars in thousands)
* Ad justed for Gramm-Rudman-Hollings, general reductions, etc.
FY 1986 - Facilities $26.9M
Question: Your budget material indicates that FY 1987 will be a transition period "during which military needs will be identified, certain technological activities will be phased out, and the R&D emphasis will be shifted ...." What activities will be phased out?
Answer: A number of design activities will be slowed down and therefore postponed until future years, including the preparation of detailed design description documentation, the conduct of detailed cost analyses, and the completion of trade-off studies on certain components. The Large Scale Prototype Breeder (LSPB) design work will be put on "hold." In the technology area, a number of supporting R&D tasks and features tests that would improve the
knowledge base for concept evaluation decisions for both LMR and HTGR designs will not be conducted in FY 1987. In particular, for the LMR, tasks such as under-sodium viewing, code development to enable assessment of system reliability, long-life fuel design support, sodium fire experiments, high temperature materials development and pipe seismic response testing will be curtailed.
In the HTGR program, all technology activities, except fuel development, will be curtailed or deferred. Structural metallic materials development programs for both the steam cycle and advanced modular HTGR concepts will be phased out. The graphite development work will be reduced to a level necessary to support the DOE/JAERI cooperation. The sustained fuel development activities will be limited to those required to conduct the international cooperative program with Japan and the Federal Republic of Germany.
Question: In which specific areas do you anticipate greater international cooperation and cost sharing?
Answer: We anticipate greater international cooperation and cost sharing in elements of the Advanced Light Water Reactor, High Temperature Gas Reactor, and Liquid Metal Reactor Programs. In the Advanced Light Water Reactor program, there is international cooperation in plant concept development as well as extended core life, safety, plant life and advanced instrumentation and control. Much of the cooperation in the LWR area is conducted under private sector funding and arrangemer.ts.
Activity in both the High Temperature Gas and Liquid Metal Reactor programs include cooperation in concept development, research and development, and plant operations and improvement.
Those activities specifically funded under the Department's Advanced Reactor Development program include U.S. participation in foreign international plant designs---HTGR in Europe and LMR in Japan. Additionally, there are cost shared programs in fuel fabrication, irradiation and recycle; irradiations of core structural materials, core physics testing, seismic testing, operator training, plant dose reduction, analytical code development in safety and fuel performance, and in-service inspection devices. Because these programs are mutually advantageous, we expect them to continue and to expand at a pace determined by the common needs of the individual nations' programs.
High Temperature Gas Reactor (HTGR)
Question: What activities are reduced or curtailed in FY 1987 as compared to FY 1986?
Answer: Conceptual design activities will be continued, but at a lower level. Activities will focus on further defining passive safety characteristics, including the natural circulation reactor cavity cooling system and defining the conceptual design of the advanced circulator with magnetic bearings. Design activities and evaluations in other areas of the plant will be limited and focused to provide the basis for a preliminary cost estimate. Technology development activities will be focused on fuel performance testing to support the international cooperative programs with the Federal