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

. (page 34 of 47)
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 34 of 47)
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options , the Cornssion must consider various combinations
of fission and non-fission alternatives and the impact of
each such corobination. For example, Uni ted States programs
and pol i c; - % =; might pi aco greater emphasis on the develop-
ment and export of fission free technologies than is cur-
rently placed, yet continue to promote and/or license, to
a lesser decree, current light water reactors, or they
might focus on energy sources other than fission, and
promote the use of reactors other than current model
light water reactors, such as high temperature gas cooled
reactors . Each of these alternatives , moreover, should
be discussed in light of the impact of development of a
plutomun recycling economy and the various electrical
energy growth assumpti ons out 1 ined above .
(b) Regulator-.- Or t ions

A central focus of the Programmatic Statement must be
on developing alternat l ve regulations , poll cies , and practi ces ,
should the Program be continued, for preventing potential
adverse envi ronnental impacts , wherever they occur , associated
with the Program as a whole and individual actions implementing
it . A r of institutional and substantive policy changes
a re possible. At a minimum, alternatives considered should
l nclude (1 ) establishing and requiring compliance with



comprehensive internet ion a 1 or regional standards governing
the nuclear power fuel cycle; (2 ) requiring compliance by
foreign countries with standards applied to the nuclear power
fuel cycle in the United States; and (3) establishing United
States and/or additional international guidelines to assist
foreign countries in regulating the nuclear power f ue 1 cycle.
From an institutional standpoint, alternative frameworks
evaluated might include, inter alia , restructuring the IAEA
to provide for a more effective safeguards system 3i/ ;
creating an international nuclear protection and transporta-
tion service _32/: establishing a new international agency
with overall standard setting authority for each segment of
the nuclear power fuel cycle; revising the rules and regula-
tions of the Conmission (or other responsible federal
agencies) in order to ensure greater access to information

31 / Proposals made by T.iylor, Willrich, and others in
recent raa jor studies of safeguards issues should be d is cussed
in this context. See Mason Willrich and Theodore Taylor,
N i-; \ir J h. ejft' Kiss? -ind ^ / uVauat Js (1974); Mason Willrich,
e a . , Int em otional Set :" c qua | d ^ and Nuclear Industry (19 73) j
sec also testimony ot I'hepdore Taylor on June 25, 1974 before
the Subcommittees on International Organizations and on the
Near East and South Asia of the House Committee on Foreign
At lairs.

32/ Cf., Rosenbaum, et al . , Special Safeguards Study ,
AEC Nous Release No. T-20 1 {April 29, 1974), calling for such
a service in the United States. The same study makes a num-
ber of other reeonmeiU.-it ions for an improved safeguards
piooram, and their lmolerviiLation internationally should be
considered by the Commission.



with r< -.; . rt to f or i i gn reactor probli-ns ; or st renytheni ng
Congress ional author i ty over trans fers of fission technology 33/ .
With regard to specific substantive propos als, aimed at
reducing envi ronmental , hea 1th , safety , and safeguards risks,
t he Conr.iss ion mi ght cons ider , inter alia , requiring all
countries desiring to obtain fission technology and fuels
from the United States to become parties to the Treaty on
the Non-rrol 1 f erati on of Nuclear Weapons 34/, or to agree not
to reprocess spent nuclear fuel or utilize recycled plutoniun
in their countries, or to agree to physical security arrange-
ments subject to United States or international inspection
and control. 3 5/ Similarly, specific requirements with res-
pect to the safety of reactor operation , such as meeting

33/ See, e.g ., the debates this summer on S. 3698 and
H.R. 1Tj82, 120 Cong . Rec. S. 11416-S . 11519 {June 25, 1974);
120 Cor.;: . Pec . S. 12112-12128 (July 10, 1974); 120 Cong .
Rec . ii . 7432-H. 7450 (July 31, 1974); a bill has also been intro-
duced int n thn Sonata by 1 tic Senate Committee on Bnnk i ng ,
Housing, a:;d Urban Affairs to provide for Congressional review
of all I./i * .' .ink loam in excess of $50 mi 11 ion .

3 4/ See Testimony of Herbert Scoville on June 25, 1974,
before":^ Pubconmit tees on International Organizations and
Moverer.ts and on the Near East and South Asia of the House
Committee en Foreign Affairs.

35/ >'ason Willrich and Theodore Taylor, Nuclear Theft :
Risks ;.:.i : .. ifciu.ini: , 159-162, 167-173 (1974). When phy'riila!
security requi rements or other concrete regulatory alterna-
tives tin di HtMVS.'inrl, i-rccise proposals should be made r>o 1 i.-il
the uVei :. jt-lii'iuK".*! J..i- Lcluiu lilm viaLle opLiuiib upon which hu
can take ir-ediate act ion.


certain emergency core cool ing system or population density
criteria, and with respect to other segments of the fuel
cycle, i.e., effluent criteria for reprocessing facilities,
should be explicitly examined. Finally, the alternative of
not exporting fission reactors and nuclear fuels to particular
countries or regions, either because of political instability
or lack of adequate regulatory standards and competence, or
perhaps merely because such countries do not now have nuclear
weapons, must be considered, and possible guidelines for
implementing such a decision delineated.

To the extent that varying combinations of inter-
national and national regulation can be conceived for
various stages of the fuel cycle, these, too should be
explained. For example, one conceivable alternative
might be for the United States to require reprocessing
of spent exported fuel and storage of radioactive wastes
separated therefrom within the United States, with re-
processing and waste storayu subject to the United States'
own standards. However, international regulations
miaht apply to the transport of spent fuel from the reactor
to the United States. 36/ Similarly, an international body

36/ In general, such transportation, reprocessing, and
waste - storage options are a matter of major concern to
Congress and the public. As Senator Hartke stated during
the debate on S. 3698 on July 10, 1974:

" [T)here are major unresolved questions with regard
to transportation hazards involved in the sale or

[footnote continued on next page]


might be responsible for the storage and disposal of high
level, nuclear waste , but the other aspects of the fuel
cycle [right be left open to national regulation. Thus,
a series of rode Is of national and international regula-
tion can and should be developed in order to give the
[footnote continued from previous page J

grant of nuclear pov:er plants to foreign countries.
Sore of these include the following:

a. Kill irradiated fuel be reprocessed in the
country having the nuclear power plant or in the United
States' If the latter, because of national security rea-
sons, who shall establish safety requirements for trans-
portation and who shall insure that such requirements
are ret?

b. Will radioactive wastes be stored in the United
States or abroad and if the latter under whose control?

c. What arc the respective roles of the AEC , Depart-
rer.t of State, and Department of Transportation in op-
posing the safety of the movement of radioactive material
to and from foreign countries?

d . Can these aaencies provide unequivocal assurances
to the Congress and to the public that the movement of
toxic radioactive raterial to and from foreign countries
can be undertaken wi th absolute assurance that no leakage
will occur?

Until tli- i' U"!i arc thoioughly reviewed by LJio

tv :.-::-• :. , I would ur-jc the administration to hold
of ; on sinning any international agrecnents for the
sal*, or giant of nuclear power plants." 120 Con-j .
IU_c. S. 12127-S. 121 ?fi ( July in , 1971) .

In light of current and projected reprocessing and waste
storage demands and capabilities worldwide, the relative
merits of reprocessing ar.d waste storage in the United States,
as cr::cscd to reprocessing and waste storage in Western Europe
or els*, where , should thus be given particular attention, in
the Prograrunatic Statement, focusing not only on technical
capabilities, but uron the risks of diversion and accident,
especi .il ly those associated with transportation of nuclear


deci sionmakcr a sense of the wide range of options avail-
able to provide for adequate regulation of the nuclear
power fuel cycle on an international scale.

In the context of regulatory options, the possibility
of only assisting or authorizing the export of certain
reactor technologies should also be considered. For ex-
ample, perhaps only reactors other than current production
model light water reactors, which may not need to utilize
enriched uranium as fuel and/or which may otherwise minimize
adverse environmental effects, should be exported. Perhaps
within the range of current light water reactor models
only sone design models, with demonstrably greater safety
characteristics, should be exported. Or perhaps current pro-
duction model light water reactors should continue to be
exported, but a decision should be made, because of greater
plutonium diversion risks, not to authorize the export of
liquid metal fast breeder reactors when commercially

Lastly, in connection with all regulatory alternatives,
the Commission must consider whether to postpone the Pro-
gram until desirable regulatory mechanisms can be put in
place, that is, until environmentally and politically sound
international standards governing the construction and operation of
'-'x;-'»rtod fission pow«r plant-, and the use, transportation,
and management of exported nuclear fuels and associated
radioact ive was tes are developed, or until environmentally


safer fchr.ology is available, i.e . , fully tested emergency
core cool ing systems or a viable solution for long term
managenent of high level radioactive wastes.
< b ) Pronnt Options
Because the United States is among the world's leading
suppliers of fission power generating systems and because it
has supplied or will in the foreseeable future supply the
vast majority of enriched nuclear fuel for use in current
model li cht water reactors now in operation , under cons t ruc-
tion, or planned 37/, United States promotional policies -
including most importantly the mere availability of export
author 1 zations - have a substantial impact on the growth
of fission power generating capacity worldwide. Short of
terminating the Prog ran (also, in some sense, a promotional
alternative) , see page ^(>, supra , there are a number of
promotional alternatives which can be considered. For
example, it r.ujht b<- di-cidvd that, because of the substantial
secondary impacts of enrichment facilities in the United
States and our own needs to conserve energy and produce
nuclear fuel for domestic uses, the United States should

37/ See the Commission ' s Answers to Interrogatories,
datcd~f- hr i.i ry IS, l r t74, in Sierra Cl in et al v. UnH'rd r i -'
Atone L-. ■' !',-•'■■ Co::msbiOn, et al .~ lu.Li.C, Civil Action No.
1B67-73) . "



decline to provide enrichment services , even though it
could continue to export reactors. 38/ Needless to say, this
is a complex option, which has a number of risks and benefits
which must be care fully wei ghed. If the United States
declined to provide enrichrent services, what sources of
enriched nuclear fuels would be available? How might
a decision not to export enriched nuclear fuels interrelate
with a decision to promote reactors other than current model
light water reactors, such as heavy water reactors utilizing
natural uranium? 39/ And arc the environmental risks
and benefits of all those alternatives? 40 /

Additionally, it is especially important to evaluate
promotional alternatives from the standpoint of the central
United States financing institution, Eximbank. For example.

33/ It seems problematical whether, because of cost
const ramts, national security considerations , and prolif era-
tion risks, export of enrichrent technology is a viable option.

39 / See Note 7, supra .

40.' Requiring or prohibiting reprocessing of spent
exivrceJ fuel within the United States might also be con-
sidered under the rubric of promotional alternatives. For
ex.v-.-le, would a guarantee of reprocessing in the United
States encourage foreign countries to obtain United States
fission power generating systems and enriched nuclear
fuels? Would a decision to prohibit reprocessing such
spent fuels in the United States discourage the development
ot t ission power? And what would the impact of these
alternatives be?



hoi.' iri<:'.it 1 decision by Exinbank not to provide financing
for the export of fission power generating systems and nuclear
fuels, coupled with a continued willingness of the ion
to co:.sider and issue export licenses, affect the world's
fission pover market? Likewise, if Eximbank continued to
finance tin- export of fission power generating systems and
nuclear fuels, but declined to make any commitment to provide
financir.c; for life the plant fuel replacements, what impact
would that have en prospective purchasers and, ultimately,
on fission power development worldwide? 41/

41/ From a r^qulatory standpoint, alternatives are
also available to For example, it is conceivable
that fort-iun purchase rs of Un>ted States fission power
general;:..; systems and nuclear fuel might be required to
meet certain envi ronr cntal , health, or safety standards as
a precondition to obtaining financing.


IV. Analysis of Cost and Benefits
The Guidelines of the Council on Environmental
Quality call for inclusion in impact statements of "an
indication of what other interests and considerations of
federal policy are thought to offset the adverse environ-
mental effects of the proposed action ■ 42 / They

further require that "agencies that prepare cost benefit
analyses of proposed actions should attach such analyses,
or summaries thereof, to the environmental impact statement,
and should clearly indicate the extent to which environmental
costs have not been reflected in such analyses." 43/ The
Commission, there fore, should prepare, preferably in the
form of separate appendices to accompany the Programmatic
Statement, a dj s cuss ; on of other essential, non-environmental
considerations of national policy relevant to the decision of
the Commission and other responsible agencies under NEPA regard-
in); the future of th • Program. In accordance with the Guide-
lines of the Council on Hnvi ronmenta 1 Quality, "the statement
should also indicate t!»c ox te<> t to which these stated coun-
tervailing benefits could be realized by following reasonable
alternatives to the proposed action ... that would avoid
some or all of the adverse environmental effects." 44/

Ml Council on Environmental Quality, NEPA Guidelines.
4CC.F.R* 51500.8(a)(8).

43/ M-

44/ M- Tne Commission's Guidelines contain a similar
provisrun. 10 C.F.R. §11.55(9).


In :j.uticular, the Commission must evaluate whether
foruiyn policy, balance of payments, or other non-onvircn-
mental cons ide rat ions can be met by encouraging and
promoting programs to develop fission free energy economies.

With regard to the preparation of a specific cost-
benufit analysis on the proposed action, we would question,
in the first instance, whether a cost- benefit analysis cm
answer "the most important policy questions associated
with the desirability of developing a large scale, fission-
bascd economy. " 4 5/ As NRDC stated in its comments on the
LMFDR program, "Cost- bene fit analysis alone simply cannot
decide for us whether it is just or fair for the present
to impose upon the future the risks of catastrophic accident
and the burdens of essentially perpetual care for highly
poisonous materials." 46/ The difficulties, moreover, of
preparing such an analysis even for a long-term program m
this country, such as the LMFBR program, are exceedingly
great, and these difficulties are magnified enormously il
one attempts the quanitili cation of risks and benefits of
a worldwide program involving many countries with radically
different social systems, each country weighing the costs
and benefits of nuclear industry to its citizens in sharply
contrasting manners. Moreover, merely to look at costs and
benefits to the United States alone would be mislead in q in

45/ Allen Kneese, "The Faustian Bargain," Resources, No.
44, September 1973.

46/ NRDC Comments on WASH 1535, Socio-Political Impac ts, at Ij


making a judgment with respect to the overall advantages
or disadvantages of proceeding with or modifying the Program.
Under such circumstances, the Commission must recognize that
a strict quantitative cost-benefit analysis may be only of
limited usefulness.

To the extent that such an analysis is undertaken, how-
ever—and it is required to be undertaken "to the fullest
extent practicable" by the Commission's NEPA Guidelines,
10 C.F.R. $11.55 (9) - we would make two comments. First, the
factual underpinnings for any quantitative comparisons cf the
costs and benefits of the Program with the costs and benefits
of tho options discussed at pages 34 to 46, supra , must clearly
bo set forth. Second, every effort, in accordance with the
Commission's Guidelines, must be made to deal in qualitative
terms with unquantif iable factors, giving full play to the
socio-political impacts and the impacts of accidents and un-
scheduled events noted above which may well be far more
important in assessing the future of the Program than the
economic and technical feasibility of fission power develop-
ment worldwide. Only in this way can a truly informed,
independent judgment be made with respect to the future of
the Program.

V. Conclusion

The suggestions made in this letter are not meant to be
comprehensive or inclusive in terms of what the Programmatic


Statement must contain. 47/ However, they are intended
to set out, in as great detail as is possible at this
time, a number of critical points which the environmental
groups believe must be dealt with thoroughly and forth-
rightly in the Programmatic Statement if it is to servo as
an adequate vehicle for the decisionmakers. The Program
has in the past been carried out without the little effort
having been made to consider the domestic and international
environmental impacts of our export policies or to assure
that exported equipment and fuels were used in such a way
as to minimize environmental, health, safety, and
diversion risks. The focus of the Programmatic Statement
must be to redress this balance and fully analyze the risks
and impacts of this Program and alternatives to it so that it
can be in tc Hi gently debated in both national and international
forums .

This analysis must lead, consistent with the Conission's
NEPA Guidelines (10 C.F.R. 511-55(9)), to a set of proposed
findings, recommendations, and policy determination;} re f ;nrdinq
tin.- lutun- ol Lli«- I'i'jgrjm. At j minimum, audi f i fidnrj:.,
recommendations, and policy determinations should include:

12/ The Commission must, of course, consider such topics
as the adverse effects of the Program which cannot b'- avoided
should it continue to be implemented (Section 102(2) (C) Mi) of
NiTiVO , the relationship between local short-term uses of the
environment and the maintenance and enhancement of long-term
productivity (Section 102 (2) (C) <iv) of NEPA) and any irrever-
sible and irretrievable commitments of resources involved in
implementation of the Program (Section 102(2) (C) (v) of NCPA) .


(a) to the extent that the Program would

be continued, recommended criteria and standards (as well
as procedures for developing them) and data-gathering
requirements and mechanisms designed to prevent potential
adverse environmental impacts, wherever they occur,
associated with the Program as a whole and individual actions
implementing it ; and

(b) rccomncncled initiatives and programs
(including procedures for their development) designed to
maximize international efforts of cooperation for developing
energy policies which will serve to anticipate and prevent
potential adverse environmental impacts associated with
providing for growing wor Idwide energy demands.

In closing, we would like to suggest to the Commission
that at least two further procedural steps be fol lowed
during the preparation of the Programmatic Statement in
order that the fullest possible public consideration thereof
can be obtained. First, we would suggest that as soon as a
comprehensive outline of the Programmatic Statement is
prepared, this outline itself be circulated for public
comment so that appropriate changes can be made, responsive
to public input , prior to release of the draft Statement.
Second, we urge the Commission to make every possible effort
to circulate the draft Statement not just to federal, state,
and local agencies in this country, but also to international
organizations, such as the IAEA, and to affected foreign


countries. In this connection, we would also urge that
the Conni ssion endeavor to have appropriate agencies in
foreign countries inform the citizens of such countries
of the avai labi lity of such Statement and encourage their
comment , wherever possible .

We appreciate this opportunity to submit our views
to the Coram ssion . If the staff of the Commission has
any questions with respect to the comments conta ined herein
or would like any further elaboration of such comments,
we would be most happy to meet with it any time and provide
what additional assistance we can.

Very truly yours ,

Eldon V.C. Gree

Richard A. Prank
Counsel for the Sierra Club,
Environmental Defense Fund,
National Parks and Conserv u ion
Association, Natural Resources
Defense Council , and Friends of
the Earth








1751 N STREET NW WASHINGTON DC 20036 202 872-0670

Roger S Foster

Richard A Frank

Paul R Friedman

Paul Gewirtz

Eldon V C Greenberg

MaroaD Greenberger

Robert M Halt man

Benjamin W Hememan.Jr

Leonard C Meeker

Joseph N Onek

Marilyn G Rose

Lois J Schrfler

Edward P Scott

Herbert Semmel

Anwrwvs m Law

9 May

Senator Abraham Ribicoff
Senate Committee on Government

Washington, D.C. 20510


^< 5 MAY 1 3 197'j


The Export Reorganization Act of 1975, S.1439

Dear Senator Ribicoff:

I am writing in response to your letter of May 5,
1975. In that letter, you ask what provision is made
in export licenses for matters such as plutonium re-
processing and waste disposal and whether any advance
consideration is given to these problems before an export
license is approved. Current published regulations are
silent on these specific issues, and my underdstanding
of the extent to which they are dealt with under current
procedures is necessarily limited by lack of first hand
knowledge. However, based primarily upon the description
of the export process provided by the Energy Research and
Development Administration in its "Proposed Findings Sup-
porting Determination Related to International Nuclear
Power Export Activities Pending Preparation of a Section
102 (2) (C) NEPA Environmental Statement", issued April 7,
1975 (the "Proposed Findings"), the following facts can
be set out:

(1) Agreements for cooperation, which are now negotiated
without the participation of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission,
may, in some instances, contain provisions relating to the
reprocessing of spent fuel elements and the management and dis-
posal of radioactive wastes. For example, by virtue of a 1974
amendment to our bilateral agreement for cooperation with
Austria, the United States must agree to the acceptability of
facilities selected for reprocessing radiated fuel elements
containing fuel material received from the United States, after
having determined that relevant safeguards provisions may be
effectively applied. Proposed Findings, p. 22. That same
agreement provides that the United States may require storage
of special nuclear material in U. S. -designated facilities.
Proposed Findings, pp. 24-25. These provisions are related to

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 34 of 47)