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United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Gove.

The Export reorganization act, 1975 : hearings before the Committee on Government Operations, United States Senate, Ninety-fourth Congress, first session, April 24, 30, and May 1, 1975 online

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Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. Senate. Committee on GoveThe Export reorganization act, 1975 : hearings before the Committee on Government Operations, United States Senate, Ninety-fourth Congress, first session, April 24, 30, and May 1, 1975 → online text (page 33 of 47)
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(including an indication of what steps are not being taken
and why they are not being taken) ; and (5) the cost, including
financial and social cos t , of implementing these steps . In
particular, the Programmatic Statement should focus upon the
following major problems: 14/

(1) The Ma; or Accident Problem ™ For each
stage of the fuel cycle discussed above, the Programmatic
Statement should assess the problem of a major accident
that could release substantial quantities of radioactive
material into the envi ronment . It should indicate pre-
cisely the kinds of accidents that could conceivably
occur, the events that could lead to their occurrence,
the range of possible effects of such accidents (including
loss of life and property damage) , and the steps that are
being taken to prevent or minimize the possibility of
such an accident. A thorough discussion of the present
status of reactor safety research and the adequacy of



IV In addition to the specific risks set out below,
to the extent possible, in this section, the Commission
should also treat direct land use impacts of fission power
development.



392



emergency core cool i r-i systems , including the spectrum
of rr-i <■■■::■ 1 •■ opinion r<_"jarding the safety of current
light water reactors, should be given in this section .15/
Particular attention, moreover, should be given to the
geograihic scope of the consequences of major accidents,
including the dispersion of radionuclides in the oceans
and atrrcsphere, at current or projected sites of United
States ranufactured fission power stations abroad.

(2) The Plutonium Diversion and Safeguards Problem
— The draft Programmatic Statement should discuss the
general dimensions of the plutonium diversion problem;
indicate what people or groups (both national and sub-
national) would want to divert plutonium for unauthori zed
purposes and for what reasons; describe how a plutonium
"black market" might operate; discuss how di versions might
be attempted or acconpl ished; identify the stages of the
nuclear power fuel cycle at wh ich such diversion is pos -
sib le or most likely, indicating the quantities of fissionable
material subject to diversion at each such stage ; describe
the weapons that can be made with plutonium; describe the



1 V It would also be appropriate in this section to
set out ob]cct ions on safety grounds which various foreign
countries have expressed with regard to United States manu-
factured liaht water reactors. Particular re fere nee should
be made to the conclusions of the Select Commi ttee on
Science and Technology of the House of Commons of Great
Britain, issued in January 1974. See "The Choice of a
Reactor System", The Select Committee on Science and Tech-
nology, Energy Resources Sub -Commi ttee, Session 19 73/1974.
The debates in the Swedish Parliament on May 15, 1973, and
Sweden 's decision not to expand further its fission power
program deserve mention as well.



393



25



effects of the unauthorized existence and the use of such
weapons in relevant contexts; and state specifically the
maximum level of plutonium diversion and unauthorized
use t he Conroiss ion considers to be acceptable* as wel 1 as
the level it and other responsible spokesmen consider to
be most likely. Potential new members of the "nuclear wea-
pons club" should be identified, and the likelihood of their
diversion of plutoniun from U.S. supplied reactors, given
current safeguards programs, perceived national security
needs, and societal constraints, assessed. The Programmatic
Statement should also discuss what measures are and will be
taken by the Commission, by the IAEA, and by other national
and international authorities to minimize the risk of illegal
diversion, assessing specifically the current safeguards
programs under the Treaty on the Non-Proli feration of Nuclear
Weapons, and what steps would be taken in case of
(i) illegal diversion, (n) threatened use of a plutonium
weapon, and (iii) actual use of a plutonium weapon.
This discussion should provide an estimate of the f inan-
cial cost of national and international safeguards pro-
arams considered adequate by the Commission or other res-
ponsible spokesmen, indicate who would bear these costs,
and corpare these costs to the costs to society should
safeguards programs fail. Because the recent proposals
to enter into Agreements for Cooperation with Israel and
Egypt have raised in their most dramatic form the safe-
guards problems associated with the export of fission



394



26



technology and fuels, special attention must be given in
the Procrannatic Statement to particularized safeguards
problems in areas subject to political instability, chronic
warf.m, <-r ti-rrmi.t rtWivity (and, indeod, in any area
where countries do not now possess nuclear weapons) , i.e . ,
the Middle East, Latin America, and efforts which have been
or can be made to minimize risks in such areas.

( 3 ) The Long Term Containment Problem - - The
Programatic Statement should analyze and discuss the prob-
lems presented by the long-lived character of radioactive
fission products and plutonium and the importance of pre-
venting these materials from entering the biosphere.
The current status and adequacy of waste storage programs,
both in the United States and abroad, should be assessed.
Particular attention should be given to high level nuclear
waste management pr act ices and proposals outs ide the United
States which have recent ly been described as "a modern day
Tower of Babel. "jj/ It is important to recognize both the
nature and magnitude of the problem by describing the
physi cal and chemical pronerties of the radioactive was te
products which are created through the fission process ,
their toxicity and half lives, and the kind of containment
which is needed to prevent them from entering the bio-
sphere. Projections should be made as to the amount



l_jj/ See Dreschhnff, Saunders, and Zeller, "International
High Level Nuclear Was te Management" , Science and Public
Affairs , January 1974, at 28; see also OECD/IAEA, Management
o f r■'.^^.^^'::■'.^'.: , '. i v<~. was to = f r< n Fuel Reprocessing (19721 ; Rose
and Tenaglia, "Techni cal and Social Aspects of Nuclear Waste
Disposal in Western Europe", Ambio , Vol. 2, No. 6, 233 (1973).



395



27



(wi'.ismvvl in miies i -i.iM.mi;, au.l cubic toot) of hl<ih level
radioactive wastes which will be accumulated by each of
the years 1974-1980, 1990, 2000, 2010, and 2020, in this
country and elsewhere, specifically noting the source of
such wastes ( i.e . , how much of the waste stored in the United
States will be attributable to fuels used in foreign
reactors) , and evaluating the risks associated with the escape
of even a tiny fraction of the amount of accumulated radio-
activity in each of such years. The Commission, lastly,
should describe its current policies and practices with respect
to the reprocessing and waste storage of fuels used in U.S.
supplied fission power generating systems, and should deal,
in particular, with the incremental impact of any increased
waste storage burden which might be imposed upon the United
States by agreements to reprocess foreign fuels in this
co un t ry . 1 7 /

(4) The Cumulative Release Problem — In the dis-
cussion of cumulative risks, the Commission should examine
long term somatic and genetic risks due to the release into
the envi ronment by any means (accident, sabotage , nuclear
warfare, or routine operational re leases) of the more
hazardous radioactive isotopes of very long hal f lives ,



17/ If, as noted above, see footnote 1 , supra , little
or no reprocessing capaci ty will exist in the United States
for a number of years and if European capacity is also limited,
the impact of this turn of events must also be fully assessed*
i.e., will it result in substantial storage of "spent" fuel
elements at reactor sites over a long period of time and how
mi nh t this increase diversion risVs.



396



28



,..,,, ;!,.,., ,,. i i'i, i '..lu,. 1/'), kry|.' .<i. - 1!'., • • ■.! in. I '•'.
This should include ui sou.:. ions of the significant isotop'.-ii,
possible nodes of release, quantities involved, transport
nechanisrs, resuspension factors, and the uncertainties
with rcs&ect to each of these. The discussion should be
related to the ro J i o 1 or i c a 1 and biological properties
of such radionuclides. Special attention should be
given to the clonal iapact of long-lived, environmentally
nobile radionuclides. The Commission should identify
the levels which it deems acceptable for the accumulated
buildup of such radioactivity in the biosphere and
identify possible mechanisms by which such levels could
be exceeded, together with an assessment of the likeli-
hood of such an eventuality.

(5) The Waste Heat Discharge Problem — In addi-
tion to the radiological problems associated with nuclear
power development, the Commission must deal with non-radio-
logical l-.pacts, especially waste heat discharges. The Com-
mission, as well as discussing the immediate effects of
waste heat discharges or plant shutdowns on bodies of water
adjacent to particular power plants, should deal with the
problen of increased waste heat in the environment, on a
global basis, resulting from the long term growth of the
fission power generating industry. As suggested by Alvin
Weinberg, in his paper, "How Can Man Live With Fission?" I s/,



i^/ unpublished paper, circulated for discussion at a
Conference at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for
Scholars, Washington, D.C., June 18, 1973.



397



29



some attempt should be made to identify the ultimate climatic
limits on the production of electrical energy, the influence
of manmade heat both locally and regionally, and areas of
needed research into basic climatic mechanisms and the influence
of climatic change on man's activities.^/

(6) Disruption of Aquatic Ecosystems — ■ Both
thermal pollution and the processes of "ontrainment" and
" impingement" (in once through cooling sys terns ) can have
major impacts on affected aquatic ecosystems . 20/ Because
the Programmatic Statement is covering an international
program, it provides a unique opportunity for the Commission
to examine extended geographic effects which may be associa-
ted with the disruption of particular aquatic ecosystems.



19 / See, e.g., Alvin Weinberg, "The Moral Imperatives
of Nuclear Energy' 1 , Nuclear News , December 1971, at 33;
Amorv Lovins , World Er.er,;; 5 t rategies : Facts , Issues , and
Options (1973).

: / Thermal pollution - the increase of water temp-
erature due to waste heat discharqes from power plants —
can affect such functions as migration, spawning, feeding
efficiency , swimming speed, embryological development , and
basic metabolic rates of aquatic li fe . "Entrainment " -
the drawing of small aquatic li fe , including fishes , plank-
ton , and larval stages of shellfish into power plants along
with the cooling water withdrawn from public waters for
open cycle, or once through cooling of steam condensers -
and "impingement " — the impaling of such life on intake
screens - can result in death rates of sensitive forms of
aquatic biota aoproaching 100%. See John Clark and Willard
Brownell, Electric Power Plants in the Coastal Zone :
Environmental Issues (1973).



398



30



For cx.m lei power plant operation may obstruct the repro-
ductive cycle of anadronou? fish species by (1) killing
the young by entrainnont , impingement , or polluted dis-
chauju; (.') killing (.lit: i r food organisms or disrupting
the food chain; (3) disrupting and deqrading the ecosys ten
in which t he young live and thus weakening thei r life
support pjystrm; an- 1 ( 4 ) ). lock ing the mi gr atory t rav.- 1 wayn
of inconno spawners and outgoing young fish with thermal
plumes and chemical discharges . The net result of the
obstruction of the reproductive cycle of anadromous species
can be a reduced production in spawning rivers and estu-
aries and a consequent depletion of fisheries hundreds or
even thousands of miles distant. Similar effects can be
observed with respect to catadromous and regional migratory
species. To. the extent possible, the Commission should
there fore study fish migration patterns in major ocean
fisheries, relate such patterns to power plant ope rat ions
in the coastal zones or in estuaries and rivers in which
such fish breed or through which such fish pass in their
juvenile stages, and attempt to develop conceptual models
which r-ay be used to prevent or minimize adverse environ-
mental impacts resulting from power plant siting in coastal
zones .

(7) Indirect Impacts — Indirect, secondary en-
vironmental consequences of the Program must be analyzed.
In particular, the impact of increased public utility



399



31



demand for fuels and the release of harmful effluents into
the air and water as a result of the generation of electrical
energy necessary to run enrichment facilities must be
assessed. This assessment, as far as the United States is
concerned, should be carried out in light of the possible
demand for and creation of new enrichment facilities^/,
the current and long-tern "energy crisis" and the call for
energy conservation in this country. In other words, the Com-
mission must ask the question: Does it make sense for the
United States to utilize great amounts of domestic energy to
produce nuclear fuel for export, rather than encouraging the
export of non-nuclear energy supply systems?

(8) Long Term Social Implications — The Com-
mission must treat the socio-political implications of the
growth of a worldwide fission power industry. As noted
above, the ethical implications of the "Faustian bargain*
are perhaps the most fundamental which society must face
in choosing to develop fission power as a source of
electrical energy. Dr. Weinberg, in his article in
Science stresses the need, "... of creating a continuing
tradition of meticulous attention to detail." He further
states:



-1/ The current overextension of enrichment capacity
and lack of reprocessing facilities, as they might affect
future demand, should be factored into this analysis. See
note T, supra . If plutoniur. recycling does not take place,
presumably at least two results are possible: (1) increased
pressure to create new enrichment facilities; (2) decreased
pressure for such facilities as demand shifts to reactors
other than light water reactors or to non-nuclear energy
sources .



400



"In n sense we have established a military pricst-
hocJ which ^ -arcs against inadvertent use of nuclear
weapons, which raintains what a priori seems to be a
precarious balance between readiness to go to war
and vigilance against human errors that would pre-
ciri tatc war. Moreover, this is not something that
will mm away, at least not soon. The discovery
of th': bonth has imposed an additional demand on
our social institutions. It has called forth
this uiilitary priesthood upon which, In a way, we
all di-pcnd 1 or f -.ur survival.

M It st"-ms to mr ... that peaceful nuclear energy
probably will make demands of the same sort on our
society, and possibly of even longer duration. "22/

The Progranmat ic Statement must discuss these demands and
must indicate the extent to which the fundamental princi-
ples of the international system must be changed to meet
them. Certainly the Programmatic Statement must treat
in detail the full socio-political implications of an
effect ivc safeguards program, as well as the secondary
impacts of the safeguards program, including (1) the
threat to personal liberty and individual privacy that
would occur (i) as a result of the development and imple-
mentation of such a program, in general, and (ii) as a
result of responses to nuclear theft or sabotage and
attempts to recover illicitly obtained materials, in
particular, and (2) the threat to domestic and international
political order and governmental processes that would
result from successful diversion of fissionable material.
Increased risks of destruction of fission power facilities,



22/ Alvin Weinberg, "Social Institutions and Nuclear
Energy 1 *. Science , July 7, 1972, at 27, 33-34.



401



33



with consequent dispersal of radioactivity into the bio-
sphere, by means of conventional warfare, sabotage , cr
terrorism must be fully discussed, and the psychological
and political imp 1 i cations of the creation of these risks
assessed. Similarly, the kind of social stability needed
to achieve long term cont ainment of high level radioactive
wastes should be dealt with. Ultimately, the question must
sirply be asked whether the risk of the spread and poten-
tial use of nuclear weapons and the burden of continuous
monitoring and sophisticated management of a dangerous
material "continuously and indefinitely" 2 3/ can be borne,
given the current state of national and international insti-
tute ions .

III. Alternatives to the Prooosed Action (Section
102 {2) (O Uii) of NEPA l

The discus; ion of alternatives must treat any reason-
able alternatives to and within the Program and examine
the en vi ronmental impact of each such alternative. The
discussion of alternatives, moreover, should identify
and treat separately alternatives available to all federal
agencies involved in the Program, including the Commission,
Exirtbank, and the Department of State, alternatives avail-
able to foreign countries, including regional intergovern-
mental organizations, such as Euratom, and alternatives
available to international organizations, such as the IAEA.



2 V Allen Kneese , "The Faus tian Bargain" , Resources ,
No. 4T7 September 1973 (emphasis in original).



402



Because a : urar.' objective of the Program is, presumably,
to help -.: read the use of nuclear fission as a means of
generating present and future needs for electrical energy,
a central focus of the alternatives section should be on
the various ways in which these energy needs can be met in
order to provide a basis for comparing the risks and benefits
of alternative strategies for meeting world energy needs
{and the energy needs of particular countries and regions)
with the risks and benefits of providing for such needs
through the Program as presently constituted. This task
demands a careful and comprehens ive presentation of options,
or packaucs of options to the decisionmakers. At least
three sets of options (all of which are interrelated) car.
be clearly lde-nti f ic<J: (a) energy policy options,
(b) regulatory upti'.i... ,hu! fc) promrition.il options.
(a) Lnuniy Ix-licy uption a
The fundamental set of options which the Commission
must evaluate relate to energy policy and planning. The
Commission must examine wor Id energy needs, on a country by
country and regional basis, and the various energy policy
alternatives for meeting these needs, both in light of
specific national concerns and general international con-
siderations, and then proceed to assess the relative risks
and benefits of the different approaches. In essence, the
Commission must look at resource development and energy
utilization strategies, seeking to determine what strategies



403



35



are in the best long term interests of the nations involved
an J the world community.

We would emphasize that it is necessary in this regard
for the Commission to take a hard look at the economic
viability of fission power over the next fifty years in both
developed and developing countries interested in obtaining
U.S. assistance and to come up with appropriate models for
evaluating the needs of such countries. In any speci fie
instance, should the Program be continued, the Commission
could then weigh energy needs, within the framework of explicit
and varying assumptions regarding projected electrical
energy consumption , against alternative energy production
possibilities, looking at the economic, social, political,
and environmental costs of all these alternatives. The
point is that a discriminating approach must be taken to
the transfer of technology, based upon realistic assess-
ments of conditions (including energy needs , energy
resources, and technical capacities) in a wide range of
countries .

In terms of energy policy, the Commission must con-
sider ( 1 ) developing policies and programs to assist the
export of non-nuclear energy supply systems and technology,
and/or (2) developing policies and programs to assist the
export of systems and technology for encouraging efficient
and discouraging wasteful energy usage. Clearly, the funda-
mental alternative here is the prospect of adopting a



36



proem- u:,cd at prcroting a worldwide fission free elec-
trical .!•.:;/ economy and terminating the Program as it
now exists. This would involve a decision to decline to
authorise, finance, assist, license, or otherwise facilitate
the export of fission power generating systems and nuclear
fuels.i 1 ' Elements of an alternative program might include:

(1) an expanded program to develop in this
country and to export more environmentally responsible,
efficient technologies for converting fossil fuels to
electricity, including the development of coal stack gas
cleanup, and coal gasification and liquif ication; - /

(2) a greatly expanded program to develop and
export solar energy for heating, cooling, and electricity: '/



24/ This "no action" alternative, of course, must U
considered under NEPA. sec council on Environmental Quality
NEPA Guid elines. 40 C.F.R. § 1500.6(a)(4), and, might simply
involve termination of the Program without creation of an
alternative program to support the export of other energy
technologies. i n a sense, then, termination can be perceived
as a partly regulatory option, i.e., a way to shut off fir , ion
power development. In connection with this alternative, it
is also essential for the Commission to analyze the extent to
which current and prospective foreign competitors in the r,: - |. ir
market utilize United States licensed or United States supplied
technology, and, if they do, the ways in which the United
States eould exercise effective control over the further diffu-
sion of such technology, i.e. , by prohibiting foreign subsi-
diaries or licensees of United States manufacturers from trans-
ferring technology and fuel to other nations.

25/ See, e.g. , Hammond, A.L., et al., Energy and the
Future (13 7 3).

26/ Sec, e.g. , Tamplin, A.R., Our Solar Energy Options:
Physical and Biological , Lawrence livermore Laboratory
Livernore. Calif.. UCRL-51315, January 2, 1973; NSF/NASA
Solar Energy Panel, An A.v.e.-,-,me nt of i iol.ir Energy .,-, A National
Energy Hev.uurce. National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C.."
Dccemberl >J 72.



405



37



(3) an expanded effort to develop and export
the technology for exploiting geothermal resources ; 27/

(4) a major program aimed at developing and
exporting the capability to generate electricity through
wind and tidal power; 28/

(5) an increased effort to develop a commercial,
exportable fusion reactor; 29/ and

(6) a major program aimed at providing information
to foreign countries with respect to the possibilities

of conservation and a lirlted growth in demand for electricity. 30/
With respect to the discussion of each of these fission-
free energy policy options, a substantial effort must be
made to set out all the costs (economic, social, and environ-
mental) of deve loping and export ing such alternatives,
together with projections of the time involved to allow



27/ See, e.g . , Rex, Robert W. , "Geotherroal Energy —
The Neglected Energy Option", The Energy- Crisis , Science.
an . Puf i i c Affairs , The bulletin of the Atonic Scientists ,
Julv""T97Tr at 121-125; Anderson, J. Kilbert, "Geothermal Heat
and a Vaoor Turbine Geothercial Power Plant", 117 Cong . Rec..
S. 21476 (Decer-ber 11, 1971).

28/ See, e.g . , Anderson, J.H., "The Sea Plant - A Source
of Power, Water, and Food Without Pollution", 117 Cong . Rec.
S. 16888-S. 16890 (October 27, 1971).

29/ See, e.g . , R.F. Post, "Fusion Power, the Uncertain
Certainty", in The Energy Crisis , Scie nce and Pub l i r Affairs.
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists , July 1972, at 114-120.

30/ See, e.g . , Executive Office of the President, Office
of Cmerucncy Preparedness, T he Potential for Energy Conserva -
tion - A Staff Study (October 1972).



406



38



such a It i : :..",ti ves to replace » singly or in combination ,
f iss ion enerw .

Finally, in addi tion to a set of totally fission free



Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. Senate. Committee on GoveThe Export reorganization act, 1975 : hearings before the Committee on Government Operations, United States Senate, Ninety-fourth Congress, first session, April 24, 30, and May 1, 1975 → online text (page 33 of 47)