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Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, I am Lake H. Barrett, Acting Director of the Department of Energy's Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management. I appreciate the opportunity to present our Fiscal Year 2000 budget request to you and discuss our plans for continuing to move forward with the scientific and technical program activities at the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada.
The FY 2000 budget request of $409 million is devoted to supporting principally those activities that may lead to a decision to recommend the site currently being characterized at Yucca Mountain, Nevada for development of a repository for the Nation's spent nuclear fuel and highlevel radioactive waste. Background
The Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program and, in particular, the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project being implemented is the cornerstone of the national policy for the management of spent nuclear fuel produced by nuclear power reactors for the generation of electricity and the clean-up of the high-level radioactive waste currently stored at sites that were key facilities of the nuclear weapons complex. The Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program also directly supports the requirement to dispose of the Department of Energy's spent nuclear fuel including naval nuclear spent fuel. The disposition of surplus plutonium and other nuclear weapons materials in a permanent geologic repository is a key factor in maintaining the United States' international leadership position regarding nuclear nonproliferation.
Since the enactment of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act in 1982, we have made significant progress. We have designed and are implementing a program that is leading the developed countries in planning for geologic disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high level waste. Despite the progress made, the implementation of this program continues to be one of the most daunting public policy challenges before us. The Department, is however, getting closer to being able to make a decision regarding the recommendation of the site to the President for development as a repository, if it proves to be suitable.
Viability Assessment
Since I last appeared before you, the Department completed, and submitted to the President, the Congress, and the public, the Viability Assessment of a Repository at Yucca Mountain and its companion documents. The Viability Assessment is comprised of four major elements: 1) a preliminary design concept for a repository and waste package; 2) a total system performance assessment that describes the probable behavior of a repository in the Yucca Mountain geologic setting; 3) a plan and cost estimate for the remaining work required to complete and submit a License Application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and 4) an estimate of the costs to construct and operate a repository.
The Viability Assessment is the compilation of over fifteen years of scientific and engineering work at the Yucca Mountain site. It provided Congress, the President, and the public with information on the progress of the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. The Viability Assessment serves as an important management tool for the Program to guide the completion of site characterization by identifying critical issues that need to be addressed before a decision can be made by the Secretary on whether to recommend the Yucca Mountain site for a repository.
The key conclusion of the Viability Assessment is that there are no "show stoppers" with respect to the Yucca Mountain site and that work should proceed to support a decision in 2001 on whether to recommend the site. The President's FY 2000 budget request supports that conclusion and I seek your support as well. It is important to note that we still have work to do. The budget request, building off of the scope of work identified in the Viability Assessment, spells out, in some detail, what we plan to do in FY 2000 to support the decision process in the coming years.
The Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program, in accordance with the guidance provided by the FY 1997 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, applied the majority of our funding and two years of focused, concentrated effort to the development of the Viability Assessment. The Viability Assessment having been issued only three months ago, now provides both the short-term and long-term planning basis for the Program. It lays out the scope of work and the cost profile for the remaining work that must be accomplished to not only reach the decision point regarding the recommendation of the site to the President, if the site is found to be suitable, but also the work that must be accomplished and costs associated with it to construct a repository subsequent to receiving a License from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. It is being used by the Program as a point of departure for developing and implementing the planning baseline against which Congress and outside observers may measure our progress in the future.
We have also made the Viability Assessment widely available by putting it and its companion documents - The Analysis of the Total System Life Cycle Cost of the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program, December 1998 (Total System Life Cycle Cost Report) and the statutorily required Nuclear Waste Fund Fee Adequacy: An Assessment, December 1998 (Fee Adequacy Report), and all the supporting technical studies - on our Internet home page.
Before I discuss the FY 2000 budget request and some of the accomplishments in FY 1998 and FY 1999, I would like to touch briefly on the ongoing litigation with State agencies and utilities regarding the Department's delay in accepting commercial spent fuel.
As you know, the Department is in litigation over our inability to meet our contractual obligation to accept spent fuel from the nuclear utility companies by January 31, 1998. The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found that the Department has an obligation to commence spent fuel disposal by January 31, 1998. The Court denied the utilities' and States' request for a move-fuel order, finding that the Standard Disposal Contract provides a potentially adequate remedy. The Court stated that the Department may not rely on the "unavoidable delays" clause to excuse its delay in performance and suggested the "avoidable delays" clause of the Standard Contract as the potentially adequate remedy. This clause provides for an equitable adjustment of schedules and contract charges to reflect any estimated additional costs incurred by the contract holder. Pursuant to the ruling of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the Department will process claims presented to it under the standard disposal contract. Although we have held settlement discussions with several utilities, only one utility has proposed a bilateral modification and request for equitable adjustment of the contract, and no formal claims have been filed.

To date, ten utilities have filed claims for monetary damages in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. In the first three cases decided by the Court, the Department was found to have breached its contracts with three utilities, each with only one shutdown reactor, and the Department is now engaged in discovery to determine the amount of damages the Government must pay these utilities. Other cases, most involving utilities with operating reactors paying ongoing fees to the Department, are currently pending.
Quality Assurance
Our Quality Assurance Program, working as it should, has detected certain deficiencies in the execution of the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization effort, which has resulted in a redirection of work to respond to these deficiencies. Corrective Action Plans approved by our Office of Quality Assurance are being implemented. Process improvements have been identified, procedures have been revised, training is underway, and managers have increased their selfassessments. Although these efforts are causing us to refocus and redefine some of our currently planned work, we anticipate that we can accommodate this effort with minimal impact on cost and schedule. We expect some of the analyses, however, may have to be based on less data than previously planned but we are confident that the analyses will support the Site Recommendation Report and License Application.
Payments to the State and Affected Units of Local Government
We believe that the support envisioned by Section 116(c) of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended, to the State and units of local government affected by site characterization activities is important in enabling local governments and the citizens most directly impacted by the Yucca Mountain Project to remain informed and to participate in a meaningful way in the day to day program actions that affect them. Financial support is particularly important for the rural counties' programs where financial resources are severely limited and I would urge that you support the funding requested.
Summary of FY 2000 Request
With respect to FY 2000, we are requesting $370 million in new budget authority and the release of $39 million from funds appropriated in FY 1996 in the Defense Nuclear Waste Disposal Appropriation (currently in a Congressional Reserve) for total funding of $409 million. This request level fully supports the funding profile for the scientific and engineering activities planned for the Yucca Mountain Project as described in the Viability Assessment.
We have proposed allocating $332 million to continue the scientific and engineering work at the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Office; $6 million for the activities directed by the Office of Waste Acceptance, Storage and Transportation; $10 million for the Program's Nuclear Quality Assurance program; and $61 million to carry out the Program's Management and Integration functions.
Before I review with you how we are proposing to use the funds provided for in the FY 2000 budget request, I would like to briefly highlight, in summary fashion, some of the FY 1998 and projected FY 1999 accomplishments.
FY 1998 - FY 1999 Accomplishments
Yucca Mountain
At the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Office, we are continuing the transition from a project whose principal focus was on the collection of scientific data to a project that is increasingly focused on activities that support the remaining key near-term requirements described in the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended. Those key activities will provide the remaining technical documentation (collectively these materials are referred to as the "Site Recommendation Report"), to support whether the Secretary should recommend to the President the site currently being characterized at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, if the site is found to be suitable, as a repository for the Nation's spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste.
In FY 1999, the Program applied $282 million to the site characterization effort at Yucca Mountain. That was almost 80 percent of the Program's total appropriation.The Project is focusing their activities on scientific and engineering investigations related to the remaining key uncertainties about the Yucca Mountain site. Those uncertainties were discussed in the Viability Assessment. They include the presence and movement of water through the repository block; the effects of water movement on the waste package; and the effects of heat from the decay of radioactive materials inside the waste packages on the site's geologic and hydrologic behavior.
The focus at Yucca Mountain during FY 1998 was on completing the Viability Assessment, completing excavation of, and starting testing in, the Exploratory Studies Facility Cross Drift that extends to the west side of the repository block, and on starting one major thermal test and completing two others.
Development of the Viability Assessment represented many "firsts" for us. It was the first time we have articulated our integrated understanding about the whole Yucca Mountain Site since the 1986 Environmental Assessment supporting the decision to carry out site characterization. It was the first time an integrated technical review of one of our major technical reports included members of the Department of Energy complex who currently have responsibility for waste forms planned for geologic disposal. It was the first time we have used the Internet as an important part of our process for distributing major technical reports to the public. Lessons we have learned from these activities are being implemented as we start developing the Site Recommendation Report and the License Application. In addition to the Viability Assessment, we produced key supporting documents such as the Total System Performance AssessmentViability Assessment Analysis Technical Basis Document and the Yucca Mountain Site Description.
In December 1997, we started excavation of the 16.5-foot diameter cross drift in the Exploratory Studies Facility to better understand the geologic and hydrologic conditions of the west side of the repository block. By the close of FY 1998, we completed excavation of over 2578 meters. The remaining 103 meters were completed in October 1998. Geologic mapping of the cross drift has been completed. Model predictions of the stratigraphy of the cross drift were verified to be within a few meters in elevation of the actual stratigraphic contacts. The eastern splay of the Solitario Canyon fault was mapped, and showed the actual offset to 220 to 230 meters matched the predicted offset of 230 meters.
Long duration tests are providing critical input for validating models we use to predict performance of a repository. We designed three different thermal tests to evaluate how the high temperatures in a repository (from heat generated by radioactive decay of the emplaced waste) can affect the natural barriers (i.e., the rock surrounding the emplacement drifts) and the engineered barriers (i.e. the waste package and the emplacement drift openings). Our thermal testing program is well underway.
- The single heater test, which began in August 1996, was completed in FY 1998. The final results from this test are generally consistent with model predictions of temperature, rockdisplacement, and moisture movement. Data were obtained on heat transfer, thermal conductivity, thermal expansion, thermal chemistry, air permeability, and hydrology of the heated rock. The test also allowed us to refine the design and instrumentation of the drift scale heater test.
- The large-block heater test, which began in February 1997 in a fourteen foot high section of an outcrop at Fran Ridge, an area adjacent to Yucca Mountain in a portion of the potential repository host rock exposed at the surface, was completed in FY 1998. The use of an isolated block allowed us to measure the moisture movement caused by heat in a controlled environment. Core samples obtained from the block are now being analyzed to look for changes in rock fractures due to heating. - The drift scale heater test is a long-term test to obtain data on the mechanical and thermohydrologic properties of a repository host rock. The test, which began in FY 1998, nearly 1000 feet below the surface of Yucca Mountain inside the Exploratory Studies Facility, is in the heat-up cycle. On December 3, 1997, a series of electric heaters were turned on, initiating the flow of heat into a section of the mountain. Designed to simulate the heat from actual waste packages, the drift scale test is the largest of the three heater tests at Yucca Mountain, and for that matter, is the largest underground thermal test ever conducted in the world. During FY 1998, we increased the temperature in the test drift from ambient 86 degrees Fahrenheit to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. The goal is to maintain the drift wall rock temperature at 392 degrees Fahrenheit for two years before the cool down cycle begins.

The total duration of this test will be eight years: four to heat-up and four to cool down.
Testing in an underground facility at Busted Butte near Yucca Mountain began in FY1998 and is still ongoing. Test results in the Calico Hills rock unit will provide an analog to expected conditions in the same type of rock that lies below the potential repository horizon. Tests are being conducted to validate laboratory data and conceptual numerical transport models. These tests are intended to reduce uncertainties in assessments of the potential transport of key radionuclides from the repository area, through the unsaturated zone, and into the water table underlying Yucca Mountain. Tests also will address the importance of colloid-facilitated transport of radionuclides, especially plutonium. Observations at Busted Butte are important to understanding transport in the unsaturated zone, beneath the emplacement drifts, because additional sorption of radionuclides is expected even in a scenario dominated by fracture flow. Future work will quantify the fracture-matrix coupling that will be incorporated into the updated site-scale models to support the total system performance assessment for the Site Recommendation Report and the License Application.
Under the agreement with Nye County, eight wells have been completed along Highway 95 south of Yucca Mountain. We have collected cutting samples and are reviewing the geologic logs. We are in the process of analyzing water samples from these wells. This data will be used in updating the geologic framework model.Thus far, our repository performance assessments have shown that the rate and amount of seepage of water into the emplacement drifts is very important to repository performance. Since the effects of tunnel ventilation may well mask the detection of any seepage, in 1998 we isolated individual niches in the Exploratory Studies Facility from ventilation to see whether any seepage can be detected. To date, no seepage has been observed in these test niches.
One alcove in the Exploratory Studies Facility has been isolated from ventilation effects to monitor humidity and seepage during the higher rainfall caused by El Nifo. This alcove is within the vicinity of the potential repository block area near to and within the Ghost Dance fault exposure. To date, no seepage has been observed.
The focus at Yucca Mountain during FY 1999 will be on issuing the Draft Environmental Impact Statement; completing the last phase of the peer review of the Total System Performance Assessment that supported the Viability Assessment; and updating repository and waste package designs to support updating the Total System Performance Assessment for the Site Recommendation Report. Those activities are also the Program's Government Performance and Results Act commitments.
In FY 1999, to date, we have made the following progress:
- In support of the Environmental Impact Statement, we began the Department-wide review of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. We are on schedule for meeting the July 1999 date for publishing the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and starting the public hearings.
- Completed a topical report on the methods we plan to use to model and evaluate the potential for a nuclear criticality event (sustained chain reaction). The report was transmitted to the NRC in January 1999.
- Completed License Application Design Selection workshops aimed at assuring validity and transparency of the process for selecting repository designs and options that will be modeled for the Site Recommendation Report and License Application.
- Completed management plans to guide writing both the Site Recommendation Report and the License Application and began developing the first drafts of both these documents.
- Completed phase one of the Busted Butte radionuclide transport test. The preliminary results provided significant information on flow partitioning between fracture and matrix of the rocks beneath the potential repository.
- Continued National Environmental Policy Act consultation and coordination activities with numerous federal, state, and local agencies and Native American tribal organizations. Status briefings on the Environmental Impact Statement's development, as well as coordination ofany Environmental Impact Statement data needs, were conducted with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Air Force, State of Nevada and affected counties, and Native American tribes.
Waste Acceptance, Storage, and Transportation
The Department's acceptance of commercial spent nuclear fuel remains a critical objective of the Program and, in the Office of Waste Acceptance, Storage, and Transportation (OWAST) area, that is where we focused our efforts. However, in recognition of the hardships associated with the Department's delay in waste acceptance, we have offered to make equitable adjustments with the contract holders to address those, issues.
In FY 1998, we developed a generic, non-site specific topical safety analysis report for a centralized interim storage facility. The report was submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and contained the required analyses and evaluations necessary to show that the operation of such a facility would meet the Commission's requirements for the protection of the environment, public safety, and health. We have continued interactions with the Commission and expect their approval this year.
In FY 1999, the Program utilized just under $2 million to conduct activities that are the responsibility of the Office of Waste Acceptance, Storage, and Transportation. Several of the sub-elements of the OWAST function were de-emphasized in FY 1998 and FY 1999 to apply resources to the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization activity rather than on transportation activities.
We continued to refine a competitive procurement strategy for acquiring waste acceptance and transportation services utilizing private industry. We issued a revised draft Request for Proposals (RFP) in December 1997, that embodies a market-driven approach relying on the maximum use of private industry capabilities, expertise and experience to acquire contractor services to accept and transport commercial spent nuclear fuel to a Federal facility. In September 1998, the draft RFP was revised to address public/industry comments, and a Notice of Availability was published in the Federal Register. Work on the RFP was subsequently deferred until a repository siting decision process is completed. When that process is completed, activities related to the acquisition of waste acceptance and transportation services will be reinitiated.
Program Management and Integration
In FY 1999, we continued to ensure that the integration requirements between the various components of the waste management system were adequately addressed and alternative system designs and proposals were evaluated with careful attention paid to their effects on system operations and costs. We completed a Total System Life Cycle Cost Report and a statutorily required Fee Adequacy Report. Those two documents accompanied the Viability Assessment at the time of its issuance.The Program also concluded and is implementing Memoranda of Agreement's with the Office of Environmental Management and the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program that specify each Office's technical, programmatic, and financial responsibilities with respect to spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste.
In an effort to utilize our resources more efficiently, we streamlined our operations. The program reduced headquarters staff in 1998 through a significant reduction-in-force. With reductions-inforce and staff reassignments, the Program reduced Headquarters staffing by 39 percent. Since fiscal year 1992, the Program has significantly shifted the balance of staffing from headquarters to Nevada, with a reduction at headquarters of 50 percent and an increase in Nevada of 40 percent.
In FY 1999, responding to the Congressional direction regarding the use of its support service contractors, the Program reduced, by over 10 percent, funding for "... management and administrative support service contractors at the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Office and Headquarters." No reductions were made in other support service contracts that provide support for Nuclear Regulatory Commission-required quality assurance verification and support for preparation and publication of the required Environmental Impact Statement.

The attachment to my statement provides a more detailed treatment regarding the objectives of work and progress made in FY 1998 and FY 1999.
Application of the FY 2000 Budget Request Overview
The President's FY 2000 Budget Request for the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management is consistent with the policy direction provided by Congress in the last several Energy and Water Development Appropriations Acts. The Program's Budget Request focuses principally on the activities being conducted by the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. The Budget Request will fund activities necessary to complete the final years of the site characterization program, including:
- Completion of the Final Environmental Impact Statement in 2000; and
- The decision, by the Secretary, whether to recommend the site to the President in 2001 for development of a repository, if the site is found to be suitable.
Should the President and Congress accept the site recommendation, the work to be completed in FY 2000 is critical to the development and submission of a License Application for repository construction to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2002.Yucca Mountain
In FY 2000, the funds that will be allocated to the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project will be used to move us beyond the Viability Assessment, specifically to:
- Continue the necessary scientific and engineering work to complete the characterization of the Yucca Mountain site;
- Address the remaining uncertainties about the site's ability to contain and isolate nuclear waste, including completion of some of the design analyses for the engineered barrier that will serve, in part, as the basis for the Site Recommendation Report and License Application (such as structural, shielding, thermal, criticality, cost, and design basis event aspects); - Further refine our repository and waste package designs to assist in the assessment of a repository safety strategy and total system performance, including updated reports on waste package materials and waste form characteristics;
- Continue to strengthen our understanding of the expected performance of the proposed repository's natural and engineered barriers;
- Evaluate total system performance using updated models to support development of the Site Recommendation Report and License Application;
- Complete the public hearings on the draft Environmental Impact Statement and develop a Comment Response Document that will be included in the final Environmental Impact Statement;
- Prepare, and issue, the final Environmental Impact Statement for a Geologic Repository for the Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High- level Radioactive Waste at Yucca Mountain; Nye, County Nevada. Incorporate public comments, as appropriate, on the draft Environmental Impact Statement; and
- Continue efforts to support the preparation of a high quality, complete, and defensible Site Recommendation Report and, if the site recommendation is approved, a License Application.
The plan for FY 2000 and beyond reflects the transition of the project activities from scientific investigations to data synthesis, model validation, repository and waste package design, and safety analysis. Those activities are essential inputs to: 1) the decision by the Secretary whether to recommend the site to the President, if the site is found to be suitable; and 2) the submission of a License Application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, if the site is approved for repository development. Near-term priorities will be on enhanced characterization efforts to develop the remaining information required to support the Site Recommendation Report and the License Application. Specific activities for FY 2000 will focus on:
Core Science: Core Science includes collection of site characterization and performance confirmation data from the surface and subsurface, and testing in the laboratory; environmental data collection, monitoring, and requirements compliance; site and materials performance testing; scientific test planning and design; formulation of scientific hypotheses; modeling and hypothesis testing; development of scientific information for technical data bases; and completion of models and synthesis reports that serve as the basis for scientific descriptions and analyses used in the documentation supporting remaining major program milestones, including the Site Recommendation Report and License Application.
Our planned activities in the Core Science area are focused on data synthesis and documentation, model updating and validation and continuing performance confirmation efforts to advance our overall knowledge for the Site Recommendation Report and the License Application. Specific activities will focus on testing in the Exploratory Studies Facility, including the Cross-Drift and the drift scale test; confirmatory field-scale tests; modeling; environmental, safety and health compliance; and environmental monitoring and mitigation activities.
Within the Exploratory Studies Facility, we will continue the long- term drift-scale thermal test that began in December 1997. This test will allow us to explore how the rock and fluids in a repository system will behave in the long-term presence of heat generated by radioactive decay of the emplaced waste. Testing in the Cross-Drift will continue to collect data on hydrologic properties of the repository horizon (i.e., fracture-matrix interaction, and fracture flow properties, particularly of the lower lythopysal unit where approximately 65 percent of the emplacement drifts are expected to be located).
We will refine the geologic process models that underlie the total system performance assessment models that will support both the Site Recommendation Report and License Application. Conceptual and numerical models of flow and transport, the near-field environment, and repository thermohydrology used in the Viability Assessment will be updated to reflect scientific data that have been collected since mid-1998. Saturated zone and unsaturated zone models for flow and radionuclide transport will be validated for use in the Site Recommendation Report and License Application. Confirmatory data collection and long-duration testing will continue.
Confirmatory field-scale tests will continue to support refinement of near-field environment models. These models involve coupled thermal, chemical, mechanical, and hydrologic processes and describe how water could enter emplacement drifts, interact with waste packages, and transport radionuclides through the engineered barrier system. These tests support the evaluation of near-field process models that will directly support the total system performance assessment for the Site Recommendation Report by reducing and quantifying uncertainty in calculations of radionuclide releases from the engineered barrier system. These tests will also confirm predictions of coupled process behavior in the repository near-field associated with repository heating.We will continue to monitor transient seismicity and meteorological events and moisture movement in the Exploratory Studies Facility and we will conduct hydrographic monitoring in boreholes. Meteorological data for use in radiological dose assessments and biosphere modeling will be collected and airborne transport characteristics monitoring at Yucca Mountain will continue.
The FY 2000 budget includes $10 million for a cooperative agreement between the Department and the University and Community College System of Nevada (UCCSN). The agreement started in FY 1999 and will continue into FY 2002. The principal purpose of the cooperative agreement is to develop and continue providing the public and the Yucca Mountain project with an independently derived body of scientific and engineering data concerning the study of Yucca Mountain as a potential high level waste repository in support of the Site Recommendation Report and License Application. Under this agreement, UCCSN will perform scientific or engineering research, and develop and foster collaborative working relationships between government and academic researchers.
In FY 2000, work will focus primarily on research and evaluation in the areas of seismology and hydrology and improvement of data retrieval systems to support Program goals.

Geodetic measurements and studies with respect to the strain rate of the earth's crust in the Yucca Mountain region will be conducted to help determine the probability of the occurrence and magnitude of seismic events. The UCCSN will conduct studies related to fluid inclusions with respect to potential rising of hydrothermal fluids at Yucca Mountain. Under this task, UCCSN will collect and analyze data and share the results with federal and State of Nevada scientists. Continuing work on improving data retrieval systems will explore and enhance record indexing techniques to provide a better method of tracking and retrieving data in the records management system in support of the licensing support system. In addition many smaller tasks will be conducted by UCCSN such as saturated zone data analysis, long term performance confirmation monitoring, microbiologically influenced corrosion research and hydrogen embrittlement testing.
Nye County is drilling a network of boreholes to be used to monitor the movement of. groundwater south of the proposed repository, off the Nevada Test Site. The county's researchers are establishing the conditions that exist before repository construction and will use the network as an Early Warning Monitoring System. We are coordinating with Nye County to obtain water measurements and water and rock samples from their drilling program. Cooperative planning has produced a program of scientific activities that complement the Nye County objectives. We will conduct chemistry and isotopic analysis of the water; and paleohydrologic, Eh/redox potential, rare earth and trace element analysis; and geophysical log interpretations.
Environmental monitoring and compliance activities will continue. These activities include monitoring air quality and meteorology, water resources studies, archeological and radiological studies, and monitoring of ecosystem and socioeconomic indicators. We will maintain and acquire requisite permits so that uninterrupted site activities may continue, and we will conduct surveillances, audits and assessments of site activities to ensure regulatory compliance. Many ofthese activities are regulated by statutes and regulations such as the Endangered Species Act, Comprehensive Environmental response, Compensation, and Liability Act, and the Clean Water Act.
Design and Engineering: The Design and Engineering includes three major areas - Waste Package Development, Repository Design, and Systems Engineering. Waste Package Development includes two very distinct areas of engineering activity - waste package design and waste forms and waste package materials testing. Repository design also includes two distinct areas - subsurface facilities design and surface facilities design. Systems Engineering integrates all aspects of design and ensures that the Monitored Geologic Repository can be constructed as designed, and will perform safely and efficiently.
The FY 2000 performance measure, associated with the Government Performance and Results Act, involves deciding on the reference design that will be presented in the Site Recommendation Report and License Application. The License Application Design Selection evaluation now underway, will result in technical recommendations for repository/waste package designs and options. The design will, most likely, result in additional features that will require detailed design analyses prior to the design selection in FY 2000.
The reference design for the Site Recommendation Report and License Application will be documented. Design documentation will include safety and accident analyses and will describe the design in sufficient detail to show that a repository can be operated safely during waste emplacement at Yucca Mountain and after all waste packages have been emplaced (i.e., preclosure period).
Important areas of ongoing design emphasis include: waste package materials; waste form testing and analyses; waste handling system and emplacement operations; (i.e., repository concept of operations); a demonstration of design compliance with codes, standards, and regulatory requirements (i.e., design verification); assurance that the technical work being performed within the individual engineering specialties is integrated (i.e., interface control); and detailed engineering for these elements of a repository system that show no similarities to systems licensed previously in commercial nuclear power plants.
Nuclear waste forms that will be placed in a repository include spent nuclear fuel from commercial nuclear power plants, spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste from the Department of Energy, Naval nuclear spent fuel, and immobilized plutonium. A repository will be designed to accommodate the varied size, weight, radioactivity, and heat characteristics of these materials in the repository. Development of repository acceptance criteria (e.g., disposal interface specifications) for noncommercial spent fuel will continue.
Licensing/Suitability/Performance Assessment: The primary focus in FY 2000 is to compile the technical documentation that will comprise the Site Recommendation Report. A draft Site Recommendation Report will be developed and will be available at the hearings planned for early FY 2001 to notify the public that the Secretary of Energy is considering whether to recommend the site to the President. The final Site Recommendation Report, together with the final Environmental Impact Statement, and other information required by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended, including the views of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the State &Nevada, will be considered by the Secretary of Energy in deciding, in early FY 2002, whether to recommend the site to the President.
Development of the License Application for repository construction, which would be submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission by the Secretary of Energy, will continue. Before the License Application would be submitted, we would continue to work with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to resolve procedural and technical issues. Interactions with the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, and other external organizations will continue.
The focus of performance assessment activities will be to update the total system performance assessment models used in the Viability Assessment, and use them to support development of the Site Recommendation Report and License Application. The total system performance assessment models will be refined based on site characterization information, design information, and feedback from external organizations (e.g., Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Performance Assessment Peer Review Panel) acquired during FY 1998 and 1999.
All technical data used for a repository and waste package design, total system performance assessment, and models for site processes and conditions must be traceable and electronically retrievable in accordance with 10 CFR Part 2, Subpart J. The latest web-based technologies will continue to be utilized to ensure that program data and records are quickly and easily retrievable at the time that the Secretary of Energy may decide to recommend the site to the President.
NEPA : The primary focus will be on National Environmental Policy Act compliance. Activities include completing the public hearings on the draft Environmental Impact Statement, which will be held nationally, completing the final Environmental Impact Statement, including the Comment Response Document, and issuing it in August 2000.
Operations/Construction: To support collection of scientific data, we will construct one large test area (alcove) and one smaller test area (niche) in the Cross- Drift tunnel. We will continue to provide support services necessary for continued testing in the Exploratory Studies Facility, the Cross- Drift, and the Busted Butte Test Facility. These services include providing test set-up, training, and test facility modification; maintaining and upgrading the ventilation, electric, and other utility systems; aligning the underground rail system; providing site and underground security; and providingother services designed to protect worker health and safety and protect the environment. We also will support surface based testing by providing any necessary drilling/coring and well work-over. We will continue to maintain underground and surface test facilities, vehicles, and equipment consistent with programmatic and asset management requirements.
External Oversight and Payments Equal to Taxes (PETT): We will continue to support external oversight activities and payments equal to taxes. External oversight activities consist of financial and technical assistance to the State of Nevada and affected units of local government (i.e., Churchill, Clark, Esmeralda, Eureka, Lander, Lincoln, Mineral, Nye, and White Pine Counties in Nevada and Inyo County in California). PaymentsEqual-to-Taxes are made to the State of Nevada and Nye, Clark, and Inyo Counties. PaymentsEqual-to-Taxes will increase in FY 2000 due to the increased value of facilities at the Yucca Mountain site.
Yucca Mountain Project Management: We will continue to enhance our critical project management and project control activities, including planning, budgeting, and scheduling.

This will include activities to ensure that staff are qualified to perform their approved activities, and trained to perform them safely, and that performing organizations are provided with the facilities, equipment, information systems, and support services needed to perform their approved activities.
Project management also includes conducting public information and outreach programs to ensure open and informative interactions with the public, technical review organizations, and other program managers. We will maintain records and ensure technical information is broadly disseminated to these groups.
International Conference: In September 1998, Secretary Richardson announced at the International Atomic Energy Agency's General Conference that, in 1999, DOE would host a conference on global efforts to dispose of nuclear materials in geological repositories. The "DOE International Conference on Geologic Repositories" will be held October 31-November 3, 1999. The purpose is to share results of our experience and progress and welcome the input of others. Tours of the Yucca Mountain site and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico will be on October 31 and November 3, with the conference taking place on November 1 and 2, 1999.
Waste Acceptance, Storage, and Transportation
In FY 2000, the budget request for the Waste Acceptance, Storage, and Transportation program area is $6 million. The request will support the following set of functions:
- Interactions with standard contract holders to discuss how best to accommodate the delay in the acceptance of spent fuel from commercial utilities;Activities related to generic and non-site specific long- lead time activities that must precede the removal of spent nuclear fuel from reactor sites once a federal facility becomes available;
- Interactions with potentially affected parties to plan for the provision of technical and financial assistance, as required by Section 180 (c) of the NWPA, as amended, to States and Indian Tribes for emergency response training for public safety officials through whose jurisdiction shipments of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste will be transported; and
- Preparation of acquisition documents and technical specifications to facilitate issuance of an RFP for acquisition of waste acceptance and transportation services from private industry.
Program Management and Integration
The $71 million that we request will support Nuclear Quality Assurance, Regulatory Compliance, Program Control, and Management activities.
- $17 million for Regulatory Compliance related activities that include Nuclear Quality Assurance/Quality Control, the Yucca Mountain Environmental Impact Statement, andindependent technical validation and verification;
- $18 million for Program Control that includes planning, program management and control functions, Total System Life Cycle Cost Report and Fee Adequacy Report preparation, systems engineering and integration; and
- $36 million for Management functions that include federal salaries, information technology applications, audits, records management, and public information.
As noted, the budget request of $71 million supports the fundamental base program, which support crosscutting programmatic activities such as strategic and contingency planning; program monitoring and control; quality assurance; technical oversight, systems integration; regulatory compliance and integration; human resources and administration; information resource management; and federal salaries.
Nuclear Quality Assurance: Our Nuclear Quality Assurance activities ensure the adequate and appropriate implementation of federally-mandated Nuclear Quality Assurance requirements related to radiological health and safety and waste isolation. In FY 2000, we will conduct audits and surveillances on activities performed by the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project and the Waste Acceptance, Storage, and Transportation Program; provide support for the disposition of the Department's nuclear materials (including naval nuclear spent fuel); and continue to document our compliance with quality assurance requirements. These activities will support the development and eventual licensing of nuclear waste storage and disposal facilities.
Regulatory Compliance: The Program's Regulatory Compliance activities focus on ensuring that the activities leading to the implementation of the waste management system are consistent with the regulatory guidance and provisions of the Program's governing authorities. In FY 2000, we will continue to interact on a proactive basis with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board to address key technical issues. We will continue to transition our focus from the issue of how individual features of the site perform in isolation, toward the goal of achieving a common understanding of the issues important to overall repository performance and the adequacy of proposed methodologies and approaches to resolution of important technical issues.
These activities are critical to the success of the overall program as they directly affect the Commission's licensing process. We intend to continue our dialogue with the Commission on these issues. Following the issuance of the Viability Assessment, we will continue to engage in more frequent interactions to address key technical issues.
Program Control/Systems Engineering: The overall objective of our systems integration effort is to ensure that the various components of the federal waste management system (such as transportation services and procurement activities, and repository and waste package design activities) are integrated into a single system that is safe, efficient, reliable, and cost-effective. In FY 2000 we will ensure that those integration requirements between the various components of the waste management system will be adequately addressed and, if necessary, alternative system designs and proposals will be evaluated with careful attention paid to their effects on system operations and costs. We have just completed a Total System Life Cycle Cost Report and Fee Adequacy Report and we will work within the Department to address a wide range of issues associated with the acceptance of Department-owned spent nuclear fuel, high-level radioactive waste, and Naval nuclear spent fuel.
Program Management: The program is continuing to implement the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Strategic System Management Policy. The policy clarifies accountability, responsibility, and authority. It codifies management policies and requirements. Further, it provides for a performance- based approach that promotes accountability across federal and contractor organizations. The implementation will focus management attention on the identification and consolidation of overlapping, duplicative, and redundant management system requirements, processes, and practices necessary to manage the program.
We will continue to use our information management technology to improve the productivity of the Program's human resources, drive process improvements, and reduce overall program costs. We are also responding to increased demand from Program stakeholders and the public for easy and timely access to a wide range of information about the Program. As an example, we made available, through our Internet Home Page, the Viability Assessment, its companion documents, and all relevant technical studies/analyses supporting the Viability Assessment. Interest in these documents has been high. We have received comments or requests for additional information related to the Viability Assessment via e-mail from as far away as Australia, Germany, and thePhilippines. Internet access will also be provided to program documents supporting the Site Recommendation and License Application. We expect even greater demands for information systems, support, and services as we move to licensing.
Concluding Remarks
As I noted in my opening remarks, we have made substantial progress in the last year and we are appropriately positioned to continue. The Viability Assessment, as you know, found that there were no "show stoppers" with respect to the site at Yucca Mountain. It laid out the path forward for the Program. It identified the necessary remaining scientific and technical work we have to complete and it laid out the funding profile we require.
We are almost at the end of site characterization. Funding at our request level will give us the resources required to address the last remaining questions about the suitability of Yucca Mountain on the schedule we have laid out. If the site if found suitable, the Secretary will be in a position then to make a decision about recommending the site to the President for development as the Nation's repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste.
I urge your favorable consideration of our appropriation request.
Thank you. I would be pleased to answer any questions you may have.

LOAD-DATE: March 17, 1999

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