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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

FY 1996 DOE BUDGET - FISSILE MATERIALS DISPOSITION, 03/15/1995, Testimony

Basis Date:
19950714
Chairperson:
J. Myers
Committee:
House Appropriations
Docfile Number:
T95AM089
Hearing Date:
19950315
DOE Lead Office:
NN SUB
Committee:
Energy and Water Development
Hearing Subject:
FY 1996 DOE BUDGET - FISSILE MATERIALS DISPOSITION
Witness Name:
G. Rudy
Hearing Text:

 Statement of Gregory P. Rudy
 Acting Director
 Office of Fissile Material Disposition
 U.S Department of Energy
 FY 1996 Appropriations Hearing
                            INTRODUCTION
 Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, I am pleased to appear
 before you to discuss the Department of Energy's Fiscal Year 1996
 budget request for Fissile Materials Disposition.
 Today the community of nations faces an evolving nuclear danger that in
 many ways is more onerous than the nuclear danger we all lived under
 through the ears of the Cold War. During the Cold War the principal
 nuclear danger was nuclear war between the superpowers. The danger was
 clear, visible, and well characterized. The end of the Cold War has
 brought the arms and nuclear materials production race to a close
 between the superpowers and, as a result, significant quantities of
 plutonium and highly enriched uranium have become surplus to defense
 needs in both the U.S. and Russia.  Continued implementation of arms
 reduction agreements will result in further weapons dismantlements and
 increases in surplus stockpiles of weapons-usable fissile materials.
 With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the economic and social
 challenges faced by the newly forming democracies of its former states,
 there is a serious risk of nuclear proliferation from these growing
 stockpiles.  Nuclear weapons or materials could fall into the hands of
 terrorists or non-nuclear nations through theft or diversion of these
 fissile materials in the former Soviet states.  The National Academy of
 Sciences report on the management and disposition of excess weapons
 plutonium characterized this as a "clear and present danger".  This
 nuclear danger is in many ways more diffuse, harder to manage and more
 dangerous than the nuclear tensions of the Cold War era.
 In response to the growing threat of nuclear proliferation, the
 Administration has established a comprehensive nonproliferation policy
 and framework for action.  Consistent with the President's
 Nonproliferation and Export Control Policy of September 1993, the focus
 of our nonproliferation efforts is five-fold: secure nuclear materials
 in the former Soviet Union; assure safe, secure long-term storage
 storage and disposition of surplus fissile materials; establish
 transparent and irreversible nuclear reductions; strengthen the nuclear
 nonproliferation regime; and control nuclear exports.
 The Department Energy's national security programs and its national
 laboratories are contributing unique scientific and technological
 skills and facilities to support U.S. efforts within each of these
 areas. We are applying our expertise in the development and
 implementation of unproved systems for the control and disposition of
 nuclear materials, in both a domestic and international context. The
 very source of nuclear weapons and weapons-usable fissile materials
 development is also the center of the scientific and technological
 effort to help contain and minimize the threat of nuclear
 Proliferation.  We have a clear understanding of the sense of urgency
 for this mission, and we have the ability and resolve to accomplish it.
                    THE DEPARTMENT'S PROGRAM
                FOR FISSILE MATERIALS DISPOSITION
 Within the Department of Energy, the Fissile Materials Disposition
 Program directs the Department's technical and management efforts aimed
 at providing for the safe, secure, environmentally sound long-term
 storage of all weapons-usable fissile materials and the disposition of
 weapons-usable fissile materials declared surplus to our national
 defense needs.  The Program's efforts include technical, schedule,
 cost, and environmental analyses, as well as research and development
 necessary to support and then implement long-term storage and
 disposition decision.  For Fiscal Year 1996, the budget request for
 this Program is $70 million which will be discussed later in the
 testimony.  The sections which follow describe the current and planned
 activities for the Department's Fissile Materials Disposition Program.
 Last year, as a member of the Nuclear Weapons Council, the Department
 helped provide analysis and support for deliberations within the
 Council on the initial quantities of highly enriched uranium and
 plutonium in the U.S. stockpile that could be declared surplus to
 defense needs.  On March 1st, to further demonstrate commitment to the
 goals of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the President announced
 that he has ordered that 200 tons of fissile material (plutonium and
 highly enriched uranium) be permanently withdrawn from the U.S. nuclear
 stockpile.  This is in addition to the 10 tons of highly enriched
 uranium made available last year for international safeguards at the
 Oak Ridge, Y-12 facility.  The Department's Fissile Materials
 Disposition Program provides the technical and management focus to make
 and implement decisions on the long-term storage disposition of the
 directly weapons-usable fissile materials.
 The Department's Fissile Material Disposition Program also provides the
 lead technical support to the President's Interagency Working Group on
 Plutonium Disposition.  The Interagency Working Group coordinates the
 U.S. Government's evaluation of options for the disposition of surplus
 plutonium taking into account national and international security and
 policy considerations.  The Working Group is co-chaired by the White
 House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Security
 Council.  In addition to the Department of Energy the working group
 includes the Department of State, the Arms Control and Disarmament
 Agency, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Office of Joint
 Chiefs of Staff, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Defense
 Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and
 the Office of Management and Budget.  As directed by the President,
 efforts of the Interagency Working Group include conducting joint
 technical studies with Russia concerning disposition options for
 surplus plutonium.  The Department of Energy has the technical lead for
 these joint U.S./Russian studies.
                         DEFINING THE PATH FORWARD
                    FOR LONG-TERM STORAGE & DISPOSITION
 The Program's efforts are focused on completing the analyses and
 research necessary to enable informed decision on long-term storage and
 disposition of surplus fissile materials.  The Program is completing
 technical, schedule, and cost analyses and environmental analyses
 consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act.  The result of
 the environmental analyses together with information from technical and
 economic studies, national policy objectives, and public input will
 form the basis for Record(s) of Decision regarding the long-term
 storage os all weapons-usable fissile materials and the disposition of
 weapons-usable fissile materials declared surplus to national defense
 needs.
 ANALYSES UNDER THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT
 In June of last year, the Department issued a Notice of Intent (NOI)
 to prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) on the
 storage and disposition of fissile materials.  As part of this effort,
 the Department announced its intent to hold public meetings to assist
 in determining the appropriate scope of the PEIS. These scoping efforts
 included a series of public meetings which provided for substantive
 dialogue, and direct public and industry involvement in the formulation
 of the scope of the PEIS.  In total, 12 scoping meetings were held
 across the country between August and October of 1994.  These scoping
 meetings were attended by over 1,200 attendees and generated thousands.
 of comments and suggestions regarding the proposed  scope of the PEIS.
 In addition, numerous written comments were received.  Subsequent to
 the formal scoping meetings, separate public meetings focusing on
 plutonium disposition options and  highly enriched uranium disposition
 options were held.  These meetings were likewise well attended by the
 public and industry and served to advance the dialogue on fissile
 materials storage and disposition.
 STANDARDS FOR MANAGING THE RISKS OF SURPLUS FISSILE MATERIALS
 At the beginning of the scoping process, the Department noted its
 intent to use the National Academy of Sciences report, Management
 and Disposition of Excess Weapons Plutonium, as the starting point for
 evaluating the alternative for the long-term storage and disposition of
 fissile materials. In its report, the Academy recommended standards
 for managing the risks associated with surplus weapons plutonium. The
 Department obtained public comment on the appropriateness of these
 standards during its PEIS scoping efforts. The standards noted by the
 National Academy of Sciences include:
      The Stored Weapons Standard: The high standards of security and
      accounting applied to storage of nuclear weapons should be
      maintained for weapons-usable fissile materials throughout the
      process of dismantlement, storage and disposition. The Academy
      concluded  that storage should not be extended indefinitely
      because of nonproliferation risks and the negative impact that it
      would have on arms reduction objectives.
      The Spent Fuel Standard: Options for long-term disposition of
      plutonium should seek to meet a "spent-fuel standard" in which the
      plutonium is made as inaccessible for weapons use as the much
      larger and growing quantity of plutonium that exists in spent
      nuclear fuel from commercial power reactors.
 For world-wide context, slightly more than 100 metric tons of separated
 plutonium we in commercial stockpiles today. Projections show that the
 rate of use of this plutonium will catch up to the rate of separation.
 at the earliest at the year 2000, with a peak accumulation of about 150
 tons of separated plutonium remaining in commercial stockpiles.
 Annually, approximately 70 metric tons of plutonium is produced in
 world-wide commercial reactor operations.  By the year 2000, a total of
 approximately 1,390 metric tons of plutonium will have been produced in
 the spent fuel of commercial reactors.  This compares to an approximate
 total of 100 metric tons of surplus plutonium in U.S. and Russian
 weapons stockpiles.  If all the surplus plutonium were converted to
 spent fuel in reactors, it would contribute only a few percent to the
 plutonium in spent fuel.
 CRITERIA FOR DETERMINING REASONABLE LONG-TERM STORAGE & DISPOSITION
 ALTERNATIVES
 In the scoping and subsequent public meetings, the Department also
 received input on proposed screening criteria for determining the
 reasonable alternatives that should be further evaluated in the PEIS
 for long-term storage and disposition of weapons-usable fissile
 materials. The screening  criteria for long-term storage and
 disposition options are based on the policy objectives articulated in
 the President's Nonproliferation and Export Control Policy of September
 1993 and the January 1994  "Agreement between the United States and
 Russia on Nonproliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and the Means
 of Their Delivery" as well as the analytical framework established by
 the National Academy of Sciences in their study on the disposition of
 excess weapons plutonium. These criteria serve to address the growing
 nuclear danger of surplus fissile materials in Russia in a manner that
 also meets U.S. domestic and policy interests and provides visible
 evidence of irreversible disarmament. A summarized listing of the
 screening criteria follows (the order does not reflect relative
 evaluation importance):
      Resistance to Theft or Diversion by Unauthorized Parties: Each
      step in the process must be capable of providing for comprehensive
      protection and control of weapons-usable fissile materials.
      Resistance to Retrieval, Extraction and Reuse by the Host Nation
      (disposition only): The surplus material must be made highly
      resistant to potential reuse in weapons to reduce the reliance on
      institutional controls and demonstrate that arms reductions will
      not be easily reversed.
      Technical Viability: There should be a high degree of confidence
      that a facility and site infrastructure can provide storage of
      nuclear components and materials for at least 50 years; or in the
      case of disposition, there should be a high degree of confidence
      that the disposition alternative will be technically successful.
      Environmental, Safety and Health (ES&H) Compliance: High
      standards of public and worker health and safety, and
      environmental protection must be met, and significant new burdens
      should not be created.
      Cost Effectiveness: The option should be accomplished in a
      cost-effective manner.
      Timeliness: Long-term storage should be implemented in a timely
      manner, and for disposition the time that the materials remain in
      weapons-usable form should be minimized.
      Fostering Progress and Cooperation With Russia and Other
      Countries: The options must establish appropriate standards for
      the storage and/or disposition of international weapons-usable
      material inventories, support negotiations for bilateral or multi-
      lateral reductions in these materials, and allow for international
      verification.
      Public and Institutional Acceptance:  An alternative should be
      able to muster a broad and sustainable consensus.
      Additional Benefit (disposition only):  The ability to leverage
      government investments for disposition of surplus materials to
      contribute to other national or international initiatives should
      be considered.
 The formal PEIS scoping process and subsequent public meetings served
 to inform the Department on the appropriateness of the spent fuel
 standard and the screening criteria as a guide for further evaluations
 and analyses of long-term storage and disposition options.  This
 scoping process also underscored the strong public support for starting
 and completing the fissile materials disposition mission on an urgent
 basis promptly.
                      DISPOSITION OF SURPLUS
                      HIGHLY ENRICHED URANIUM
 In the course of the PEIS public scoping process and through subsequent
 meetings with the public and industry on highly enriched uranium (HEU)
 disposition, the Department concluded that it would be more appropriate
 to analyze the environmental impacts of the disposition of surplus
 highly enriched uranium separate from the environmental analysis of
 plutonium disposition options.  Surplus highly enriched uranium can be
 rendered non-weapons-usable by blending it down to low enriched
 uranium.  This is the most rapid path for neutralizing the
 proliferation threat of surplus highly enriched uranium consistent with
 the President's Nonproliferation Policy.  This would also demonstrate
 the United States nonproliferation commitment to other nations and is
 consistent with the course of action initiated by the U.S. and now
 underway in Russia to reduce their highly enriched uranium stockpiles.
 The blending of HEU does not require further study or technology
 development and many of the facilities needed to perform the required
 blending operations already exist.  Once blended down, some of this
 surplus uranium could be used in commercial reactor fuel.  Decisions on
 surplus HEU disposition do not impact or preclude other decisions which
 may be made regarding disposition of surplus plutonium.  Thus, an
 environmental analysis of this proposed course of action on HEU
 disposition can be accomplished on an expedited basis.
 The Department held a public meeting on November 10, 1994, to obtain
 comments on the approach of preparing a separate environmental analysis
 for disposition of surplus highly enriched uranium.  While many views
 were expressed in this meeting, there was substantial support for
 proceeding with a separate environmental analysis of highly enriched
 uranium disposition. We believe that an Environmental Impact Statement
 (EIS) can be completed on a significantly shorter schedule than the
 Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement.  This EIS will evaluate
 three alternatives for surplus highly enriched uranium disposition: (1)
 continued storage as highly enriched uranium; (2) blend-down to low
 enriched uranium for use in commerce reactors; and blend-down and
 disposal as waste.  Accordingly, the Department will soon issue a
 formal notice of this process to prepare an Environmental Impact
 Statement on the Disposition of Surplus Highly Enriched Uranium.  The
 draft EIS will be published this summer with a final EIS and subsequent
 Record of Decision following by early 1996.
 TRANSFER OF SURPLUS HIGHLY ENRICHED URANIUM TO THE UNITED STATES
 ENRICHMENT CORPORATION
 This EIS and subsequent Record of Decision will also address the
 proposed transfer to the United of States Enrichment Corporation (USEC
 of approximately 50 metric tons of highly enriched uranium and other
 uranium materials which have been declared surplus to national defense
 needs and can be blended together to yield commercially usable low
 enriched uranium.  When the United States Enrichment Corporation is
 privatized through sale, receipts from the sale will accrue to the U.S.
 Treasury.  This will include an estimated $400 million from sale of the
 surplus highly enriched uranium and other uranium. We will continue to
 work with USEC and U.S. industry to develop cost effective and
 innovative methods to disposition the surplus highly enriched uranium
 in a safe, secure, environmentally sound manner.  Successful efforts in
 this regard will directly advance our nonproliferation objectives,
 reduce stockpiles and associated safeguards and storage requirements,
 and provide financial returns to the U.S. Treasury.
              LONG-TERM STORAGE OF ALL FISSILE MATERIALS
                 AND DISPOSITION OF SURPLUS PLUTONIUM
 The Department used the input received during the public scoping
 meetings, technical analyses by the National Laboratories and
 industry, and review within the Department and the Interagency Working
 Group on Plutonium Disposition to assess five options for long term
 storage of weapons-usable fissile materials and 37 options for the
 disposition of surplus plutonium.  As a result, the Department has
 identified a range of reasonable long-term storage and surplus
 plutonium disposition options for further evaluation in the PEIS.
 A discussion of the range of options and the schedule for the PEIS
 follows:
 LONG-TERM STORAGE
 Until final disposition cab be implemented, surplus fissile materials
 must be stored in a safe, secure and environmentally sound manner which
 also protects worker and public health.  The PEIS will evaluate
 environmental impact of alternatives for long-term storage of all
 plutonium, highly enriched uranium required for national defense
 purposes, and other weapons-usable fissile materials.  This primarily
 includes materials to be retained for the strategic stockpile, reserved
 for naval nuclear propulsion, or retained for other programmatic needs,
 as well as surplus quantities of plutonium.  Alternatives being
 assessed for long-term storage include: (1) continued storage in
 existing facilities (no action alternative assessed under NEPA); (2)
 upgrade of certain interim storage facilities; and (3) consolidation at
 DOE site(s).
 Under the upgrade alternative, certain existing interim storage
 facilities would be brought into compliance with DOE standards for
 nuclear material storage.  Five candidate sites are being considered
 for this upgrade alternative: Idaho National Engineering Laboratory,
 Oak Ridge, Pantex, Hanford, and Savannah River.  This alternative would
 include the potential for some limited consolidation of weapons-usable
 fissile materials at these sites to reduce the total number of sites
 and overall costs associated with this storage.  Under this
 alternative, the Rocky Flats site would no longer be considered for
 long-term storage of weapons-usable plutonium as it is presently being
 phased-out of all nuclear work.
 Under the consolidation alternative, one or more new storage
 facility(s) would be constructed to store current and future DOE
 weapons-usable fissile material inventories.  Six candidate sites for
 a new consolidated long-term storage facility are being considered.
 Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, Nevada Test Site, Oak Ridge,
 Pantex, Hanford, and Savannah River.
 The PEIS analyses will provide the environmental information to support
 a Record of Decision (ROD) on whether to upgrade existing storage
 facilities or to build new, consolidated storage facilities for the
 long-term storage of weapons-usable fissile materials. The PEIS will
 also support a decision on the location of any new, consolidated
 storage facilities.  The subsequent decisions will also take into
 account technical nonproliferation budgetary and economic
 considerations as outlined in the President's Nonproliferation and
 Export Control Policy. The Department's implementation of long-term
 storage decisions will promptly follow its Record of Decision.
                     SURPLUS PLUTONIUM DISPOSITION
 Technically viable and available alternatives which can achieve the
 spent fuel standard are appropriate for further evaluation as surplus
 plutonium disposition options under the environmental Impact Statement.
 Since such options have a path forward for ultimate disposal along with
 spent fuel from commercial nuclear power plants and defense high level
 waste, options that achieve the spent fuel standard are adequate and
 would not require additional steps or processes to increase the level
 of proliferation resistance.  Options which go beyond the spent fuel
 standard, such as deep burn reactors and accelerators would require
 increased costs and time, in order substantial additional research and
 development with attendant to provide assurance of technical viability
 and ultimate disposal.
 Accordingly, from the 37 disposition options initially identified, 11
 have been selected for further evaluation in the PEIS.  All of these
 plutonium disposition alternatives would have paths forward for
 ultimate disposal, either in a high-level waste repository or in a deep
 borehole.  Five involve reactor options; for involve immobilization,
 and two involve direct geologic disposal.  In addition, under the
 Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Tritium Supply and
 Recycling, the Department is currently evaluating additional reactor
 technologies for the new tritium production supply as well as for the
 multi-purpose mission of producing tritium and disposing of plutonium.
 A draft of the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Tritium
 Supply and Recycling was issued by the Department at the end of
 February.  The combination of environmental analysis in the tritium
 PEIS along with technical, nonproliferation, budgetary and economic
 analyses will form the basis for a decision on a multi-purpose reactor
 as early as the end of this year.  The decision on a multi-purpose
 reactor will therefore be made by the Department in the context of its
 Record of Decision on a new tritium supply source.
 Subsequently, the environmental information from the PEIS on long-term
 storage and disposition of plutonium as well as technical,
 nonproliferation, budgetary and economic analyses will factor into a
 Record of Decision on surplus plutonium disposition at the end of
 1996.  The Secretary of Energy, with interagency coordination, will
 issue the Record of Decision.  A decision to commence implementation
 will be made in a broad domestic and international context, involve
 other executive branch agencies, and will ultimately reside with the
 President.  The Department's technical efforts and analyses and its
 Record of Decision will provide the essential foundation to effort the
 President the credible basis and flexibility to initiate implementation
 of disposition efforts either multilaterally or bilaterally through
 negotiations, or unilaterally as an example to other nations.  The
 implementation of the decision will be carried out in a manner that
 ensures that the surplus plutonium is subject to the highest standards
 of safety, security, and international accountability.
 PEIS SCHEDULE
 Within the next several weeks, the Department will issue the
 Implementation Plan (IP) for the PEIS for long-term storage of weapons-
 usable fissile materials and disposition of surplus plutonium.  The
 implementation plan will identify those options which will continue to
 be evaluated in the PEIS.  A draft of the PEIS will be made available
 for public comment by the end of this year.  Subsequent to the release
 of the draft PEIS, public meetings will be held and a final PEIS and
 subsequent record of Decision will follow near the end of FY 1996.
 I would now like to discuss other key Program efforts that are
 contributing to this Nation's nonproliferation objectives and helping
 to reduce the nuclear danger, followed by specific measures that we
 will use to evaluate program performance during FY 1996.
                      OTHER KEY PROGRAM EFFORTS
 PROJECT SAPPHIRE
 Last November, then-secret Project Sapphire concluded with the arrival
 of approximately 600 kilograms of highly enriched uranium from the Ulba
 Metallurgical Plant in Kazakhstan for safe storage at the Department's
 Oak Ridge facility in Tennessee pending blend-down to low enriched
 uranium.  The basis for this bold action was established by the
 President in his September 1993, Policy on Nonproliferation and Export
 Control.  Part of this policy calls for U.S. action to pursue the
 purchase of HEU from the Former Soviet Union and other countries and
 its conversion to peaceful use as reactor fuel.
 Left over from the Soviet era, this cache of weapons-grade uranium in
 Kazakhstan has been vulnerable to acquisition by parties who could use
 it to build nuclear weapons.  A 27 member team of Department experts,
 with approximately 120 tons of equipment, flew to Kazakhstan in early
 October to repackage the material for safe transport and secure storage
 in the United States.  The uranium was transported to the Y-12 facility
 at Oak Ridge for interim storage until it is ready for conversion to
 peaceful use as reactor fuel.  This effort is a testimony to the
 skills, courage and dedication of all the people involved.
 The Department's Office of Fissile Materials Disposition is
 coordinating efforts with the United States Enrichment Corporation to
 seek commercial bids to blend this material down to low enriched
 uranium for use in commercial nuclear power plant fuel.  A request for
 proposals was issued on February 7 of this year and a bidders
 conference was held at Oak Ridge on February 16.  Bids for the
 blend-down closed on March 10 and the winning bid will be selected
 later this month.  Prior to proceeding with disposition actions, and
 Environmental Assessment will be completed to confirm that there are no
 significant environmental impacts.
 PROGRESS IN JOINT TECHNICAL STUDIES WITH RUSSIA ON THE DISPOSITION OF
 SURPLUS PLUTONIUM
 In their January 1994, Summit in Moscow, Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin
 agreed to task their experts to study jointly options for the long-term
 disposition of plutonium, taking into account the issues of
 nonproliferation, environmental protection, safety, and technical and
 economic factors.  Under the leadership of the Interagency Working
 Group on Plutonium Disposition, an initial meeting was held in Moscow
 on May 1994 to establish the framework for this effort. The Department
 of Energy, supported by its National Laboratories, have assumed the
 lead technical  role in supporting this joint effort.
 At the end of January of this year specialists from the U.S. and
 Russia met at the Los Alamos National Laboratory for a three day
 exchange of technical presentations on scientific research that has
 been conducted on possible plutonium disposition alternatives and on
 promising prospective investigations.  During this meeting the U.S. and
 Russian sides reviewed the standards and decision criteria for
 plutonium disposition.  Both sides agreed to conduct joint work to
 develop consistent comparisons of various alternatives for the
 disposition of plutonium, taking into account the factors noted in the
 Summit statement of the two Presidents. The sides agreed that their
 joint activities include a series of technical visits to occur in the
 course of the technical group's work.  A visit to the TA-55 plutonium
 handling facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory occurred on January
 25 as the first of these planned exchanges.  This initial exchange
 provided the opportunity to share with Russian technical counterparts,
 advanced practices and procedures for plutonium handling. The meeting
 and facility visit also served to help strengthen the growing spirit of
 trust between our nations. The joint technical studies will continue
 into FY 1996 and help maintain productive dialogue with Russia on
 plutonium disposition alternatives.
                   MEASURING PERFORMANCE IN FY 1996
 The focus of our fissile materials disposition efforts in FY 1996
 remains centered on advancing U.S. nonproliferation objectives. In
 FY 1996, we will measure our performance by the thoroughness and timely
 completion of the technical, cost and schedule analyses and the
 Program's NEPA analyses on long-term storage and disposition of fissile
 materials. The Department will complete the EIS on disposition of
 surplus highly enriched uranium and the PEIS on long-term storage and
 disposition of other weapons-usable fissile materials and issue records
 of decision.  We will initiate the technical and design work necessary
 to implement decisions on both long-term storage and disposition.
 Additional performance measures include the establishment of a working
 dialogue and completion of joint technical studies with Russia on
 fissile materials disposition options.
 We will also gauge our performance by the quantities of surplus highly
 enriched uranium that will be in the process of conversion to peaceful
 use as reactor fuel and we will work with USEC and  U.S. industry
 regarding alternative to blend down the highly enriched uranium
 proposed to be transferred to the Corporation in FY 1996.  In this
 regard, our efforts in FY 1996 can also provide measurable returns to
 the taxpayer on the funds being invested in this program. When the
 United States Enrichment Corporation is through sale, the U.S. Treasury
 will receive the receipts of the proposed sale which would include an
 estimated $400 millon from the surplus highly enriched uranium and
 other uranium which the Department proposes to transfer to USEC. In the
 end, our efforts to dispose of the surplus materials and provide for
 its efficient and environmentally sound long-term storage will result
 in savings from reduced safeguards and security costs and improved
 environment, safety and health performance.
 We appreciate your past and continuing support of these important
 efforts. The balance of my statement covers the Fissile Materials
 Disposition Program's budget request in more detail.
                     FISCAL YEAR 1996 BUDGET REQUEST
 The Fiscal Year 1996 budget request for the Fissile Materials
 Disposition Program (MD) totals $70.0 million in new spending authority
 as reflected in the following table.
                     FISSILE MATERIALS DISPOSITION
                     FY 1996 CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET
                        (DOLLARS IN MILLIONS)
                                                        FY 1996
                PROGRAM ACTIVITY                        REQUEST
                LONG-TERM STORAGE OPTIONS                10.9
                DISPOSITION OPTIONS                      21.7
                TECHNICAL INTEGRATION, SUPPORT
                & ASSOCIATED TECHNOLOGIES                19.7
                NEPA COMPLIANCE                           9.0
                PROGRAM MANAGEMENT                        6.7
                PANTEX SAFETY STUDIES                     2.0
                TOTAL                                   $70.0
 LONG-TERM STORAGE OPTIONS
 Work on the evaluation of long-term storage options for weapons-usable
 fissile materials includes the preparation and evaluation of facility
 designs for long-term storage of plutonium, highly-enriched uranium and
 U 233 in order to meet the stored weapons standard for these materials
 and to fully comply with environment, safety and health standards. The
 stored weapons standard would maintain the high standards of security
 and accounting applied to the storage of nuclear weapons for
 weapons-usable fissile materials throughout the process of
 dismantlement, storage and disposition.
 Alternatives being assessed for long-term storage include:  (1) no
 action (a baseline condition assessed under NEPA); (2) upgrade
 of certain interim storage facilities; and (3) consolidation at DOE
 site(s). The results of the environmental analysis in the Programmatic
 Environmental Impact Statement combined with information from technical
 and economic studies and national policy objectives will form the basis
 for a Record of Decision in 1996 regarding which long term storage and
 disposition options the Department will employ.
 The FY 1996 funding request for long-term storage options is $10.9
 million of operating expenses to begin the conceptual design activities
 for upgraded and new plutonium and uranium storage options selected in
 the Record of Decision.  Included within this amount is $0.6 minion to
 continue to analyze and study the long-term storage of other fissile
 materials.
 DISPOSITION OPTIONS
 The alternatives for the disposition of surplus plutonium and certain
 other surplus weapons-usable fissile materials are focussed on meeting
 the meeting the spent fuel standard.  The spent fuel standard involves
 making the surplus fissile material as difficult to retrieve and use as
 the residual plutonium in spent nuclear fuel from commercial power
 reactors.  Surplus weapons-usable highly enriched uranium (HEU) can be
 made non-weapons usable by blending it down with natural or other
 assays of uranium into low enriched uranium. If this material were to
 be used as a reactor fuel, it could also result in economic benefits
 and could help offset the costs associated with implementing this
 alternative.  The FY 1996 efforts will result in completion of the
 technical cost, and schedule analyses of candidate disposition options.
 The overall funding request for disposition activities in FY 1996 is
 $21.7 million.  Of this amount, $21.2 million is for operating expenses
 and $0.5 million is for capital equipment to support disposition
 research and development. The increased funds are required to complete
 the technical, economic, engineering, cost and schedule, and
 environmental studies and documents to support the Programmatic
 Environmental impact Statement and Record of Decision and to continue
 research and development of immobilization technologies. Other
 activities being funded in FY 1996 include completing the development
 of reference nuclear fuel fabrication processes for nuclear reactor
 options and beginning research and development and engineering and
 design activities for disposition technologies selected in the ROD.
 Included within this amount is $5.5 million to fund continuation of
 technical and industrial support to enable the blending of highly
 enriched uranium and its conversion to peaceful use as reactor fuel and
 $0.8 million to continue detailed systems planning for other surplus
 fissile materials disposition options.
  
 TECHNICAL INTEGRATION, SUPPORT & ASSOCIATED TECHNOLOGIES
 This work encompasses technical project coordination and oversight,
 technical analyses, modeling, systems engineering, support of the
 public outreach activities, agency/interagency coordination, and
 project control.  A major portion of this work includes studies,
 analyses, research and development of technologies common to and
 supportive of all storage and disposition options, including plutonium
 stabilization, and pit disassembly and plutonium conversion. This
 effort also supports the decision criteria and analysis process and the
 systems analysis necessary to accomplish the evaluation of options and
 subsequent Record of Decision.
 In FY 1996, $19.7 million in operating expenses is being requested for
 Technical Integration, Support & Integrated Technologies activities.
 Within this amount, $2.9 million is requested to complete all necessary
 systems analysis, decision analysis, records and documentation to
 support the Record of Decision scheduled for late summer of 1996; to
 continue tracking research and analyses to ensure that technical goals
 and milestones are being completed without redundancy, and to provide
 implementation support for post-ROD activities.  In addition, $5.0
 million is requested within this amount to continue the coordination,
 integration and oversight of technical implementation activities being
 performed by participating DOE laboratories, sites and contractors.
 This also includes selected conceptual design efforts and $11.8 million
 to complete studies, research, development, and testing on pit
 disassembly and plutonium conversion as well as engineering evaluation
 for crosscutting technical areas such as safeguards and security,
 transportation & containers, automation $ robotics, and pit
 disassembly and plutonium conversion.
 NEPA COMPLIANCE
 We will complete an EIS on the disposition of surplus highly enriched
 uranium and a PEIS on long-term storage and disposition of other
 weapons-usable fissile materials and issue records of decision.  The
 purpose of this NEPA evaluation is to support a Record of Decision on
 whether to upgrade existing storage facilities or to build new
 consolidated storage facilities for the long-term storage of weapons-
 usable fissile materials.  The evaluation will also support a decision
 on the location of any new, consolidated storage facilities.
 Implementation of these long-term storage decisions will promptly
 follow the Record of Decision.
 This NEPA evaluation will also support a Record of Decision on
 the technologies which will be used for the disposition of surplus
 weapons-usable fissile materials.  A decision to commence
 implementation of surplus plutonium disposition will be made in a broad
 domestic and international context, involve other executive branch
 agencies, and will ultimately reside with the President.  The
 Department's technical efforts and analyses and its Record of Decision
 will provide the essential foundation to afford the President the
 credible basis to enter into negotiations on bilateral or multilateral
 reductions in surplus weapons-usable fissile material inventories, or
 to implement disposition options unilaterally as an example to other
 nations.
 The analyses and subsequent decisions will be based on the President's
 Nonproliferation and Export Control Policy of September 1993 and the
 January 1994 agreement between the United States and Russia on
 Nonproliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and the Means of Their
 Delivery. The analyses will take into account technical
 nonproliferation, environmental, budgetary and economic considerations.
 The Records of Decision will be implemented in a manner that ensures
 that these fissile materials are subject to the highest standards of
 safety, security and international accountability.
 The FY 1996 request of $9.0 million in operating expenses for NEPA
 Compliance will enable the Program to complete and issue the draft and
 final PEIS and issue the Record of Decision for storage and disposition
 of weapons-usable fissile materials; prepare and issue the
 environmental impact statement for the disposition of highly enriched
 uranium and prepare other NEPA analyses as appropriate.
 PROGRAM MANAGEMENT
 Program Management & Integration provides funds for the following
 activity groupings: 1) Program Direction (Federal salaries, benefits,
 and travel), 2) External Relations (public outreach and education
 activities), 3) Program Control & Administration (Program cost &
 schedule control, budget activities, and administrative support), 4)
 interface with the United States Enrichment Corporation (USEC) and
 industry for disposition of highly enriched uranium, and 5) Lead for
 Departmental support to the Interagency Working Group (IWG) and
 technical task lead for the joint plutonium disposition study with
 Russian technical experts.
 Prior to Congressional action in FY 1995 to create a line-item
 organization to address fissile materials disposition, line
 organizations budgeted for FTE's i.e., salaries and benefits, in their
 respective budget request.  Beginning in FY 1996, the budget request
 contains a total of $6.7 million in operating expenses for Program
 Management activities to support 30 program FTE's, continue public
 participation and outreach efforts to be able to disseminate program
 information and to carry on technical/administrative and analytical
 support services at the FY 1995 level.
 PANTEX SAFETY STUDIES
 The Plutonium Resource Center (PRC) in Amarillo, Texas will provide
 scientific and technical information on issues relating to the storage,
 disposition and potential utilization, and transportation of high
 explosives and other non-nuclear hazardous materials generated from
 weapons assembly and disassembly operations.
 In FY 1996, a total of $10 million in operating expenses is being
 requested for the Plutonium Resource Center.  Of this amount, $2.0
 million will be used for safety studies described above and the balance
 of funds ($8.0 million) is integrated throughout the budget for
 activities related to fissile materials storage and disposition.
                             CONCLUSION
 Nonproliferation and reducing the global nuclear danger are among the
 Administrations highest priorities. The nuclear danger today is in
 many ways. more onerous and harder to manage than the nuclear danger
 that existed  during the Cold War. Growing stockpiles of weapons-usable
 fissile materials and the economic and social challenges faced by the
 evolving democracies of the  former States of the Soviet Union have
 greatly increased the risk of proliferation.  The manner and
 effectiveness with which we deal with these concerns is clearly one of
 the key challenges of  our time and the outcome will likely be the
 basis on which history judges our contributions to world peace and
 security.
 The unique scientific and technical skills of the Department and its
 national laboratories are being brought to bear to deliver measurable
 results and a foundation for lasting progress in the safe, secure and
 environmentally sound long-term storage and disposition of weapons-
 usable fissile materials.  The efforts of the Department's Fissile
 Materials Disposition Program and other nonproliferation programs will
 directly contribute to advancing U.S. and international
 nonproliferation interest and to improving the cost-effectiveness of
 the Department's management of stockpiles of surplus fissile materials.
      



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