tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN May 5, 2016 2:31pm-4:32pm EDT
happies and economic ties as well? a comb things happen. the trade barrier that are high will remain where they are and even get higher. we run the risk that other countries will try to take the mannedle in writing the rules. if we are not the ones in the lead, those rules will not be advantageous and they won't be to the standards when it comes to protecting labor and the environment and property and good governance. i think we are in jeopardy if we don't go forward in seeing an environment turn against interests when to the contrary
this is an extraordinary opportunity. in the region, we have close to 2/3. that has extraordinary potential beyond what we see for today. >> one follow-up point, we hear people rail against china and trading practices and manipulation so for the record, do we have a free trade agreement with china? >> we are working on bilateral agreement. >> we don't have a free trade agreement with china. >> no, but we are working on it. >> we can't blame free trade if we don't have an agreement. >> it's a very. >> complicated picture and if you look at the displacement in
manufacturing over the last four or five decades and something we are concerned about because of the impact, much of this predates any of the free trade agreements and that started in the 1970s. it is more responsible for those developments. it's vitally important that in the agreements we reach that the standards, particularly for protecting workers are the highest properties. they are not in the lead and those stand orders will not be the highest. >> i will move to mr. shab on the of ohio. >> taiwan will be swearing in a new president and the dpp will be coming back into power. taiwan is an important u.s.
ally. and i would expect in all likelihood for them to act up to try to throw its weight around. they are a classic bully and they still have 1600 missiles pointed at taiwan as he mentioned there in the process of building iowans to the great display of all their neighbors and they are militarizing the islands now. this is all occurring at a time when this administration unfortunately is reducing or trying to reduce the size of our navy which is a terrible idea. we should i think clearly make sure they are able to keep china from acting out. i think the only way china acts
is if they think taiwan is weak and the united states lacks the resolve to defend taiwan. what would you say on behalf of the administration to reassure taiwan that the united states will have its back? >> i think taiwan has given the world a vivid demonstration of what a democratic election is and transition is. that was a powerful message. >> good point. i agree. >> i met with the president who came to visit washington this past summer and we had a good meeting with her at the state department. we have encouraged the chi nose to engage with her and taiwan in a manner of mutual respect and flexibility to build on the positive developments in cross
regulations over the last decade or so. we hope they will do that. we agree that what has given taiwan the confidence to engage with mainland china is the support from the united states, including arm sales. we have wanted to make sure as have previous administrations that taiwan could not be coerced into doing things against the will of its people. we notified like $14 billion in arm sales since 2010. we continue to look very actively at that. with regard to our own posture in the region. as i said earlier, we now have approaching 60% of the navy in the region. we take very seriously that taiwan must feel confident if it is to engage in a position of strength with the mainland. the other thing that is important and i know you have been a strong advocate of this. you are able to be employed
around the world and part of that is making sure they can be represented. we have been working hard to make sure organizations where recognition is being allowed and where it is, they be able to participate of whether they are recognized. across the board, we have been working to strengthen ties and support efforts. >> thank you. let me turn to another topic. i don't think that we discussed bangladesh. they deserve more attention than they have received either in this administration or a range of things. first of all, as we know, an election was held a while back
and they boycotted the election and the political situation as i think is a bit iffy there. bangladesh has been resisting islamic radicalism. a couple of incidences where we have seen a gay activist murder and an english professor publicly murdered and it is believed these are linked to extremist islamic intolerant-type groups. >> i am glad you are turning the focus to that. we have seen a series of attacks over the last several months including the ones you refer to. they have taken credit for.
the government has claimed that these attacks were the work of the upon opposition, but what we have seen based on the evidence to date is that whether they are indigiuous are presently. this gives us concern about the potential to take root that has been an important country in terms of having a moderate country with a mot rate or yendation that can be important. as a result of that, we have been engaging with the government on this problem, but also, for example, with india. to raise the concern and to try to work together with them on countering extremism before it takes road. that's the last thing we want.
>> thank you. >> i will turn to my good friend from florida. >> thank you, chairman. thanks for being here today. thanks for your service to our country and being accessible to the community. i would like to get back to talking about china. there has been a lot of discussion this morning about trade. i would like to shift to direct investment and in particular, two years. the area of security and reciprocity. through one belt, one road and through the investment bank, they demonstrated interest and willingness in private and public capacity. but the domestic ownership requirements in china and security review that takes place, i referred to it as an opaque review in china continues
to frustrate american investors. i would like to know as they pure sue more outlets, what are the outlets? why don't you answer that first? >> two things on that. with regard to their investments on the first part of that equation. as a party of principal, investments in infrastructure with latin america and central asia are welcome and needed. what concerned us with regard to china is that those be made to high and not low standards. worker rights and good governance established the asia infrastructure bank. we are not a part of that although if the bank operates to those high standards, we find ways to work with it. the key is those standards. what i think we found with china
investing abroad is sometimes the bloom comes off the rose after a while. this is usually commodities-driven. they do invest in infrastructure and they have a lot more state money than we have. typically they import hundreds of chinese workers to build the projects as you know. this doesn't sit well with the governments and the quality may not be up to standards and that tends to turn things. they have to look at that. when it comes to our own investment and ability to invest in china, we are working across the board to get much greater access to get rid of the restrictions that inhibit our ability to do that. this is part of the treaty is focused on exactly that. >> then in particular on the issue of chinese direct investment in the united states.
the committee turned down a number of high profile acquisitions on the security grounds and other deals fell apart in anticipation with the difficulties. they only review a small number of transactions every year. two questions. one, with the investment in china, the bigger question is really significant amounts of capital that chinese are looking to invest in the united states, does the process still work? is it sufficient given what might be coming to safeguard our national economic security interest and the cyber interest and all of the things we have been discussing already here today. does this creation that has been
around since the mid 70s still work or should we look at this in a new light? >> that's an excellent question and one that deserves a lot of thought. i think the first point that you made is important. it only winds up applying to a very, very small percentage of the investments that are made or sought to be made. we are talking about a pretty narrow universe to begin with. second, as a matter of principal, we welcome investment. this is good for our companies. it's good for all sorts of industries and something that as a general proposition we want to encourage. it's vitally important that when it comes to national security we remain vigilant. that's what they are designeded to do. you are right to raise the question whether in the event of a treaty and the investment flow
goes up significantly. is that going to put further strain on the process and do we need to look at it? that is something i would like to come back to. it's a good question that i need to think through more. >> i would welcome that and happy to discuss that further. thanks very much. >> mr. poe of texas. >> thank you, madam chair. i have a couple of observations and i want to talk about china. when i visited with admiral harris at specific command, i asked this question. of these five entities, russia, china, north korea and isis and iran, those are threats to the united states. which do you think is the most troubling at this point? he responded north korea. would you agree with that
assessment or not. yes or no. >> yes. >> i want to talk about china. china has a billion more people than we do in the united states. i think some americans don't realize how populated china is. some facts about china, they are the number one recipient of poached ivory from africa. the elephants are being killed in africa and the number one recipient is china. they are thieves. they steal intellectual property and cyber attacks i believe they are responsible for those. they are bullying asia trying to make new sovereign territory in the south china sea and claim the area around it and help pakistan with intercontinental missiles and get to human rights, they are the worst in the world.
they persecute christians and they have this practice of putting people they don't like, like the falling gong in prison and changing them with trumped up political crimes and harve harvestiharves harvesting their body organs and sell them on the market place. that's probably the worst type of crime in the world in my opinion. we don't say this anymore because it's not the right thing to say, but they are a communist nation. that's who we are dealing with. we talk about pivoting to china and whether they are a threat and what we are doing about it. you talked about how we are increasing and focused militarily. i want to show you a few posters. i know you probably can't see this, but this is the philippines. in 1999 this is about the relative strength of chine in
the red. the united states in the blue. this is about equal. let's go to the year 2015. this is the chinese build up with ships, submarines and planes and the u.s. military strength in the area. i got this from pacific command. it's about the same. they expect that in 2020 if i can get the poster, it's going to look like this. china will have in all of these missiles and ships and submarines and the united states strengthened the area that will be just about the same. without going into the details of how much of everything, you agree that is what is occurring in south china?
>> we have seen a significant build up in china's military capacity over the last couple of decades and recent years. some of that i guess on one level is not surprising. china grows and is more engaged in the region. it wants to protect the expanding interests. what we have seen though are two things. we have seen an investment in the new capabilities which i think the chart shows very well. everything from cruise missiles and short missiles and high performance planes and the navy. they are investing in trying to transform in a mass ground based force into higher tech force as well. >> i don't need to include the number of soldiers and sailors and air men in these posters. let me -- >> just to get to your --
>> what is our response in. >> two things. i think first, of course their budget is opaque. >> what is our response? limited on time. what is our response? this is taking place. what is the u.s. response to this, if anything? that's all i'm asking you. >> sure. few things, first, our military budget remains roughly three times what theirs is. they are starting from a much lower base. they are trying to match something started at a much higher level and continues to invest at a significant higher level. second -- >> but this is our presence in the area. >> it will be about 60% of our navy by 2020. our technological capabilities, our experience, our capacity, remains greater by far than any nation on earth including china and, again, i would defer to my military colleagues. i don't believe that's going to be challenged anytime soon. >> so, you're saying even though
this is our presence in the area, the theater i think is the word, the term, it really doesn't alarm you because we're building up our capacity in the future. >> no. i would say that we're being very vigilant about the growth in china's military capacity. our own country remains unmatched. >> if i may have one question and go back to north korea the biggest threat supposedly in the area. north korea intercontinental ballistic missile capability, they are developing the concept not land to land, not sending something from north korea over to texas, their idea is build submarines and put intercontinental ballistic missiles on the subs and float them around the pacific and be the threat of what we are. is that a fair statement of what the north koreas are trying to do?
there that's fair. >> thank you, madam chair, thank you, mr. secretary, for your service and for being here today. i want to turn again to the issue of china. and after president obama and president xi met in washington on the 31st of march the two leaders affirmed cybercommitments that were announced in september of 2005 and agreed to ensure their full implementation. five days after that admiral rogers testified to congress that and i quote signer operations from china are still targeting and exploiting u.s. government defense, industry, academic and private computer networks. my first question are you aware of cases in which the chinese government may have supported cyberthreats from intellectual property and how is the state department in conjunction with the rest of the u.s. government addressing these challenges? >> thank you very much. i think there are two things going on here. it's no surprise that countries
try to get information about other countries. and that goes on every day and it continues to go on, of course, from china in the direction of the united states. where we've drawn a very bright line is on the question of using cyber technology to steal trade secrets for commercial advantage. and a critical component of the agreement reached between president obama and president xi actually last fall and then reaffirmed is that china will no longer do that. now, it said that. it made a commitment. it's reasserted that, reaffirmed that in the g-20 as well as directly with us. we now have to make sure that that, in fact, is the case and it's being implemented so we're watching vigilant to see. >> that's the question. >> i'm not personally aware of cases of current cases of that. but am happy to go back and confer with admiral rogers.
>> thank you. next i'd like to turn to the issue of north korea. in the wake of north korea's recent nuclear weapons test and satellite launch south korean society has begun to reengage about the debate of developing its own nuclear weapons capability although seoul relies on the u.s. nuclear umbrella. i'd like to know whether you think there's support in the korean government for developing a nuclear capability and over the long term what should the united states response be to this development? >> you're right that debate has reemerged in south korea as a result of the provocations. president pak was very clear in the statements she made that's not the path south korea should or will take at least under her administration and we've tried to make clear to our allies and partners it is not necessary to put it colloquially we have their back with the nuclear umbrella and with every other means we have to come to their
defense. we've not only reaffirmed that very solemn commitment to the defense of korea, we have strengthened our own relationship. and one of the things we've done is now engaged in formal consultations with them on deploying the thad missile defense sissem to south korea and they're developing their own missile defense system in cooperation with us. we've been building up the defenses including for our partners and allies and we've also been going very hard at the north koreans on the nuclear missile program. >> and finally, i'd like to turn to malaysia. as you know well there was significant concern about the upgrade of malaysia to the tier two watch list. i wondered if you could just speak a little bit to what progress malaysia has made particularly in the area of combatting human trafficking and human rights as well as human trafficking since that time. and whether or not we should --
what progress have we made? i think you're aware of the controversy that surrounded that change in their classification. >> as you know, congressman, we're actually working very actively right now on the new report for the past year. and so i can't speak to its conclusions because they haven't been reached. i can say generally with regard to malaysia just over the past year some of the things we've seen, we have seen very significant and, in fact, unprecedented consultations between the government and civil society and international experts to draft regulations to implement the legal amendments that were passed by their parliament at the very end of the last reporting period. and that would really empower the agencies to enforce the amendments that were reached. so, that's positive. that doesn't mean it's dispositive of anything we'll conclude but it is something we've seen over the last year. this would allow victims of trafficking to live and work outside shelters which is a
strong consideration. i know that we have remaining concerns about the conviction rate in malaysia. that's something that we're looking at and that will factor into the assessment. and we need to continue to work with them to build their own capacity to investigate, to prosecute, to convict and we're doing that through, for example, through iom, we're funding some of those activities. so i would say i can't speak to you obviously about the conclusions of the report, we haven't reached them yet, we have seen some progress but that's not dispositive of the conclusion. >> but can i just ask, with respect to the implementation one of the biggest issues has been virtually no prosecutions. >> yeah. >> have you seen any progress on that? it's one thing to enact and implement but if it's not enforced it's sort of meaningless. have you seen any progress on actual prosecution? >> i agree with you on that. the enforcement is a critical piece of this. i'm not aware of significant progress on the -- on prosecutions but i can come back to you on that. >> i appreciate it so much.
thank you and i yield back, madam chair. >> thank you. mr. blinken, let me go on record as saying i commend the administration for pursuing deployment of thad in south korea. i think it's incredibly important. one of my frustrations is that many of these sanctions that we've done haven't really moved the needle with north korea and i'm not sure any other sanctions really will. i think that the one thing that will move north korea is some flexing of the muscles, economic muscles, by china and we've got to figure out a way to get them motivated because they haven't been. they helped us a little bit at the u.n. and i appreciate that with, you know, the multilateral sanctions. but they hold a disproportionate influence with north korea than any of the rest of us or any of the other in the six-party talks and we've got to influence them to do the right thing. and get north korea under control.
last weekend china announced that it formed a consensus with brunei, cambodia and laos that the territorial disputes over some islands, rocks and shoals in the south china sea are not an issue between china and the association of southeastern asian nations asean as a whole. at the same time china replies on asean's declarations in the south china sea setting its endorsements of consultations to argue it's not subject to the binding arbitration brought under the law of the sea treaty by the philippines. can china have it both ways? is china trying to sideline asean in relation to the south china sea maritime disputes and what's the administration's response to the consensus between china, brunei, cambodia and laos and what is the position on asean's role on resolving the maritime disputes? >> thank you very much. first of all, i very much appreciate your comments on
north korea and agree very much with you that china has a unique role to play because of its unique relationship with north korea. we're seeing some positive steps forward in terms of implementation of the security council resolution but it's not yet dispositive so we're looking very carefully at that. can't agree with you more that china can't have it both ways in a number of areas. it can't be a party to the law of the sea convention and then ignore or reject the provisions of that treaty including arbitration as an appropriate mechanism and the binding nature of any arbitration decision on the parties to that decision. so, we would expect that china as a party to the law of sea convention. once the decision is issued by the tribunal we'll respect it so it can't have it both ways there. it can't assert the law of the sea and not recommend its decision. with respect to asean, i think you're exactly right, we've worked very, are very hard to
build up asean as an organization to make sure that it created a face in which countries that individually might not have the confidence to take on difficult issues like the south china sea, might feel some greater strength in numbers and collectively. the president as you know had this historic summit with the asean countries just a few months ago. we're looking to asean as it did most recently at that summit to express its support for these basic principles and we'd like to see that happen when the arbitration decision is issued as well. by the way, on the agreement that you referenced with brunei and laos, i think there's a lot less there that meets the eye. >> i hope so. and i hope that asean really does step up to the plate when it comes to dealing with these maritime disputes and resolving them. i think the more they speak with one solid voice, the better chance we have of resolving this without the conflicts that we hope we don't have.
my last point is that i'm very optimistic about our economic opportunities in the region and i'm a strong supporter of tpp, but i would also like to see us further enhance our trade ties with india. and as such, i have introduced legislation in concert with senator cornyn pushing for india's entrance into apac. what do you see as the obstacles to that getting done? >> first, we welcome india's interest in joining apac and we also welcome and i said this directly to my indian counterparts talking to them about how they see membership in apac fitting into their own thinking about their economy, about trade and the evolution that they would make so i suspect we will have those conversations going forward. i also very much agree with the larger proposition that you cite about the importance of india and in particular the importance
of trying to deepen and expand our own trade relationship with india and its own relations in the area. i think a few things just in terms of obstacles. first of all, the other members, of course, would have to agree. it's a consensus-based organization. the other thing i'll tell you and i think, you know, this is a consideration as well. we want to make sure that as countries join organizations like apac, that they are going to work to productively, cooperatively to uphold its rules and standards. and to be productive partners in that genterprise so that's one f the things we'll be talking to the indians about. but the bottom line we welcome their interest and will be talking to them about it. thank you. >> mr. daniel donovan from new york. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and
secretary, thank you for your attendance and your testimony today. in february of this year, the u.n. came out with a report about vietnam making prohibited purchases of weapons from north korea. as the president and this administration is about to enter into a trade agreement, should they're avoiding and actually unlawfully purchasing weapons from north korea be a consideration as we enter into an agreement with vietnam? >> we would be concerned about any country violating its obligation under the u.n. security council resolutions in terms of purchasing or making available to north korea weapons. and if that's the case with vietnam, that's going to be a concern. we'll be very vigilant about making sure countries are not doing that. >> and you also indicated about supplying north korea with weapons, that same u.n. council has indicated to us that cuba is
providing north korea with illegal weapons. as the administration tries to renew relations with cuba, should that be a consideration as we go forward? >> yes, as you know there was an incident in which a ship that was transporting weapons that apparently originated in cuba and seemed to be heading for north korea was actually stopped by the panamanians and weapons were found on board. the weapons were confiscated. the ship was finally returned to the north korean ownership. there was i think a $700,000 fine that was paid. some of i think the captain was detained. we've come down very hard at the united nations on this shipment including putting a spotlight on it, putting a spotlight on cuba's apparent role in helping to facilitate this trade in weapons. this is a real concern, and we've been very vigilant about making -- making clear that that's unacceptable. >> and finally, mr. secretary, yesterday i met with steelworker from my district and they're very concerned about china
manipulating the steel market in the world. we've had i think zero growth in steel production in our country over the last 25 years. i think europe's steel production is down about 12%. and there's a fear that china manipulating by selling steel below marketplace in order to box everyone out. everyone else out. is the state department looking in to that, and what is the position of the administration? >> congressman, i can say generally two things. first my colleagues in the treasury, commerce, ustr, are across the board very vigilant about trade enforcement with regard -- generally and with regards to china specifically. i think we have as i think you know overall filed i think 20 wto enforcement complaints since 2009, the most of any country. and by the way, we've won all of the cases that have been decided. with regard to china specifically, and this is not in
steel but this is more generally, just this past month they signed an agreement ending export subsidies as a result of a challenge we made to this the subsidies at the wto. a year ago we won a challenge to compliance on high-tech steel, duties that we had challenged them on. and that had contributed to $250 million annual loss to our exporters, that ended as a result of the enforcement actions that we took. in 2014, there was a finding against china on duties and quotas on rare earths and tungsten, and finally we issued this was, again, as a result of an action that we took. and also in 2014 there was a finding of breach regarding unjustified duties on cars and suvs, $5.1 billion worth of cars and suvs sold, there, too, we got a decision. i can't cite the specific case
that you reference but i can promise you i'm sure my colleagues are looking at this very carefully. and based on the record to date if there'sing? that's actionable, we'll take action. >> appreciate that, mr. secretary. because i know the american steelworker would appreciate as well if you and the administration can look in to that. mr. chairman, i yield back the rest of my time. >> thank you very much, mr. donovan. we are at adjournment here. i do want to express our appreciation with the deputy secretary's time this morning. and thanks for meeting with us after your recent trip back from asia. as we've discussed, the united states as a pacific power has tremendous interests in asia. we have allies in asia, so we look forward to york iworking wu on issues like the north korean sanctions that i suggested. we need full implementation on that and on the transition in burma, on the new government in
republican presidential candidate donald trump continues on the campaign trail today. even though he's now the only republican running for the nomination. the new york businessman is going to be in west virginia which holds its primary on tuesday. he'll address supporters at a rally in charleston. c-span will have live coverage at 7:00 eastern. madam secretary, we proudly give 72 of our delegate votes to the next president of the united states.
♪ tonight on "american history tv prime time" a look at the church committee set up after watergate to investigate possible illegal intelligence gathering by the cia, nsa and fbi that led to the creation of today's intelligence committees in the house and senate. it begins at 8:00 eastern with "real america" and 1975 testimony by then cia director william colby. this weekend the c-span city's tour hosted by our
charter and time warner cable partners takes you to san bernardino, california, to explore the history and literary culture of this city located east of los angeles. on december 2nd of 2015, 14 people were killed and 22 were seriously injured in a terrorist attack at the inland regional center in san bernardino. we'll talk to congressman pete aggielar about the attack and recovery efforts by the committee. his district includes the inland regional center. >> when we talk about terrorism, when we talk about the fight against terror, it isn't something that's in the abstract anymore. it's something that across this country, you know, means something. because this isn't a big city here in san bernardino that was attacked. this could happen anywhere. >> we'll talk about establishing a permanent memorial to the victims of the attack. >> it provides a sense of remembrance. it highlights their lives and
what they contributed to our local community and certainly it always will be a near and dear place for us to kind of provide a place of consolation, serenity. so, we're thinking a serenity garden, a prayer chapel of some sort in and around this area. >> on "book tv" we'll learn about the family of wyatt earp, his book "thhe erp clan" talks about its ties to san bernardino. >> the father of wyatt earp who is the most well known of the earps, his name is nicholas earp. he basically left his family temporarily. they were living in monmouth, illinois. he heard about the gold rush up in northern california. before he came back -- went back to the midwest, he ventured down to southern california and he passed through the san bernardino valley.
and he vowed that one day he would come back to san bernardino. >> and on americ"american histo we'll visit the san bernardino history and railroad museum and talk about the importance of the railroad to san bernardino with allen bone, san bernardino historical society vice president. located in the 1918 santa fe depot, the museum contains many objects related to the city's railroad history. >> construction was completed in 1918 that replaced a wooden structure that was approximately 100 yard east of here that burned in 1960. why the depot was built a lot larger than it needed because they decided to house the division headquarters at this location at that time. >> watch the t. span cities tour saturday at noon eastern on "book tv" and sunday afternoon at 2:00 on "american history tv." the c-span cities tour with your cable affiliates visiting cities
across the country. a former nuclear regulatory commissioner was among the witnesses at a hearing at the house energy and house subcommittee on two bills to revamp the nuclear power industry. witnesses talked about the expected need for growth in the coming years and the industry's desire to operate under a more expeditious regulatory regime. this is just over an hour. >> i'd like to call the hearing to order this morning and recognize myself for five minutes. the mike's not working. anyway, good morning, and welcome to our hearing to discuss legislative proposals to advance the use of nuclear energy. i want to thank all of our
witnesses in advance and i'll be introducing each of you before your five-minute opening statement. but we want to thank marvin furtell for the great job he did at the nuclear energy institute and i think it's his plan to go on and look at other challenges at the end of this year, so we're delighted he's here. he served as the vice president and chief executive officer since 2009 and has a long and distinguished career advocating for the nuclear industry. nuclear energy is an integral part of our energy policy. the current fleet of roughly 100 operating nuclear power plants safely and reliably generates about 20% of our nation's electricity. however, many of these power plants are approaching the end of their current license and unnecessary regulatory costs are adding to challenging economic conditions. this outlook provides a timely opportunity to examine proposals
to improve the regulatory framework for nuclear power plants and options to develop a regulatory framework for advanced nuclear technologies. new new clear operate in a cost competitive environment with greater safety margins than existing reactors while generating less waste and reducing proliferation concerns. however, regulatory uncertainty is repeatedly cited as a top barrier to developing these technologies. the department of energy which supports nuclear research and development activities should collaborate where plapplicable with the nrc to address this uncertainty. today we'll hear from stakeholders about how to more effectively manage the regulatory process including options to increase the efficiency and certainty of the nrc's existing licensing process.
representative kinsinger's discussion draft highlights that cumbersome red tame in our regulatory process forces ratepayers to pay more for safe, clean nuclear power and i want to thank him for his legislation and we look forward to your comments about that. also certainly appreciate congressman latta's leadership in addressing regulatory barriers hindering the development of advanced nuclear technologies. his legislation the advanced nuclear technology development act, will assure that d.o.e.'s technical expertise, research and facilities are utilized when appropriate to assist the nrc. and at this time i'd like to yield a minute or so to mr. latta and then i'll lead to mr. k kinsinger for their comments on their legislation. >> thank you very much, mr. clai chairman and thanks for yielding and thanks for the panel for being here today.
thanks for holding this hearing on nuclear power which is highlighting the bill we introduced last week hr-4979 the advanced nuclear technology development act of 2016. i'd like to ask unanimous consent, mr. chairman, to enter several letters of support into the record. these letters are from the american nuclear society and clear path. >> without objection. >> thank you very much. the future of nuclear industry needs to start now with congress assuring that the nuclear regulatory commission is able to provide the certainty that the private sector needs to invest in innovative technologies. it's currently 20% of our national energy portfolio and must remain a vital part of our energy mix. as the united states looks to future more energy will be needed. investment in new technology is already happening with approximately 50 companies working to develop the next generation of nuclear. that's why we've introduced
hr-4979. it's time for congress to assure that nrc provides a network so innovators and investors can apply for licensing technologies. this bill not only requires the nrc establish a regulatory framework for issuing licenses for advanced nuclear technology but it also requires to submit a schedule for implementation of the framework by 2019. safety in nuclear is the number one goal. and the regulatory framework assures the nrc has the opportunity -- framework that enables them to safely regulate the future of the nuclear industry. the bill requires that the department of energy and nrc collaborate in advancing new nuclear technology the national labs and d.o.e. provide tufnts for testing on new nuclear technology on public lands. and the public/private partnerships from the d.o.e. and the private sector countries. there's a role for the nr in
this space because it allows for demonstration of technologies that nrc has not been licensing over the past 40 years. mr. chairman, i really appreciate you holding the hearing. thank you very much. >> mr. kinsinger, i want to give you mr. upton's time. >> thank you. >> if mr. latta wants to talk some more, he can talk more. at this time i'll recognize mr. rush for his five-minute opening statement. >> i want to thank you, mr. chairman, for holding this important hearing today on hr-4979, the advanced nuclear technology development act of 2016. and the nuclear utilization of keynote energy policies act. mr. chairman, as we move towards a reduced carbon sustainable energy economy, there's no doubt that nuclear energy will need to
play an instrumental role in order to reach those objectives. while today's fleet of nuclear reactors utilize light water reactor technology, more attention is now being paid to the use of non-lwr reactor designs that have been demonstrated by the department of energy, but are currently not licensed for commercial use in the united states. in fact, mr. chairman, emerging innovative designs of advanced nonlight water reactors and light water small modular reactors have the potential to produce nuclear power more efficiently and with less waste than current technologies. and we are to truly develop and scale up these technological
advances, it is important that policymakers and nuclear regulatory commission provide regulatory certainty for the nuclear industry in order to encourage investment in these next generation nuclear designs. so, i applaud my colleagues, mr. latta and mr. mcerney, for this legislation. it provides legislation to ensure the two agencies have sufficient technical expertise in order to support and regulate advanced reactor technology. the bill also requires the nrc to formally plan that would help foster civilian research and development of advanced nuclear
energy technologies and enhance the licenses -- licensing and commercial development of such technologies. mr. chairman, i fully support the intent of this legislation. i look forward to hearing feedback from our panel of experts about the necessity for this type of legislation and the implications once it is enacted. in regard to the nuclear utilization of keynote energies policy act, i also look forward to engaging the witnesses on this legislation. mr. chairman, finally, if nuclear energy is going to continue to play a constructive role in a reduced carbon energy portfolio, we must ensure that we have policies in place that appropriately reflect the contributions of the industry
and the current reality that it faces. so, i commend my colleagues from illinois, mr. kinsinger, for introducing a bill draft that at the very least initiates a conversation towards reaching this goal. of course, mr. chairman, today's bill is simply a discussion draft and we will need to hear from the nrc commissioners themselves before moving it through the legislative process, but i look forward to today's hearing. and i look forward to testimony from today's experts on both the need for the changes outlined in the bill as well as the practical implications if these changes were indeed enacted. i want to thank you, mr. chairman, i yield back the balance of my time. >> the gentleman yields back and at this time i'll recognize mr. kinsinger for five minutes and if some others want some of your time, you might consider
yielding back. >> this will be short, mr. chairman. i want to thank you for holding the hearing and each of the witnesses for being here today. it's an important topic. as we've heard nuclear power generates 20% in the united states and in illinois it's over 50% including 60% of your nation's carbon-free electricity. the plants are high performing consistently having the highest capacity factors by far in the electricity industry and setting the gold standard for commercial nuclear safety worldwide. we have to recognize, however, that while our nuclear fleet is strong today the demand for clean, reliable and affordable energy's only increasing. we have an obligation to safely maintain our existing fleet of 99 units to ensure the nrc continues to regulate efficiently and effectively so investment in plants can continue. the regulatory inefficiency and uncertainty we often see today does nothing to hem our existing fleet, does nothing to foster investment in new plants or most importantly to ensure safety and
protect public health. i want to thank the nrc for providing me technical feedback on this draft which we're currently reviewing and look forward to continuing to work with them throughout the process. furthermore, i appreciate the interest of my colleagues on this issue including establishing fair and equitable nrc fees and streamlining the licensing process and strengthening the framework for decommissioning plants. again, i welcome this opportunity to discuss how we can maintain our nation's position as the global leader in civilian nuclear power and nrc's position as to the gold standard of safety. i think all in this room recognize that if we cede the position it will have implications for our economy and national security. with that, mr. chairman, i'm happy to yield to anybody that
seeks additional time. >> yield back. i recognize the gentleman from california and thank him variabfor co co-sponsoring this bill. >> as we do so we'll need to turn more and more to nuclear power. hr-4979 the bill that my colleague and i introduced allows the nrc to develop the needed technical expertise for emerging technologies. this legislation provides a pathway for the nrc and the d.o.e. to continue collaborating and establishes a regulatory framework for consideration of licensing advanced reactors. this will help ensure that as newer, safer technologies are developed that the nrc has the framework in place to review new applications. mr. chairman, with unanimous consent i'd like to submit three
letters one from the berkeley's nuclear engineering department, one from third way and one from clean air task force into the record. >> without objection. >> and i'll yield the balance of my time to my colleague. from pennsylvania. >> and i thank my colleague. i want to thank the chairman and the ranking member for holding this important hearing today. to me nuclear is a critical component of our energy future. we need to work here at this committee to ensure that it remains feasible and safe for our constituents back home by investing in this incredible energy source and its technology and making sure its value as carbon-free reliable base load power is properly appreciated. i believe that advanced nuclear is a key component of maintaining nuclear power in the future and will be an integral part of our energy portfolio here in the united states. my colleagues congressman latta's bill takes important steps in that direction.
i also want to applaud mr. kinsinger for his discussion draft. i think we share many similar concerns regarding the nuclear industry and i'm optimistic that we'll be able to find some common ground on solutions. though i couldn't help but notice the acronym for your bill is nuke-pa which i find somewhat distressing but i'm certainly encouraged by bringing attention to these issues the nuclear industry is facing and i do hope we can work together on solutions and by coming up with a different acronym than the one you've chosen. thank you, i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. that concludes the opening st e statements. and i'm going to recognize the witnesses individually before they speak. first of all we have mr. marvin furtell. thanks for being with us. we look forward to your testimony. you're recognized for five
minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and ranking member rush and members of the subcommittee "on behalf of the commercial nuclear energy industry i want to thank the committee for considering the advanced nuclear technology development act hr-4979 and the discussion draft of the nuclear utilization of keynote energy policies act. i'm pleased to represent the broad nuclear industry including the owners and operators of nuclear power plants and the supplier community today. nuclear energy is the largest and most efficient source of carbon-free electricity in the united states. our 99 reactors produce nearly 20% of our nation's electricity and approximately 63% of our carbon-free electricity. nuclear energy facilities demonstrate unmatched reliability by operating with an average capacity factor of 92% higher than all other electricity sources. and importantly they're essential to the country's economy and the cmunities in which they operate.
defig despite the economic and national security benefits that nuclear energy provides, the current regulatory requirements and licensing processes challenge the industry's ability to build new technologically advanced reactors. the prospect of developing advanced reactors has become both attractive and necessary in the u.s. and abroad. in this country approximately 126,000 megawatts of generation will be required over the next 15 years. u.s. energy information administration forecasts the need for 287,000 megawatts of new electric capacity by 2040. in addition to the electric capacity that will be needed to replace the retired power plants. many other countries are looking to a rapid expansion of nuclear energy to address their growing electricity and environmental needs. advanced nuclear reactor designs offer for many technological designs for the u.s. and also well suited to developing
economies. however, without strong federal leadership and direction the u.s. industry runs the risk of falling behind its international competitors. hr-49 fin hr-4979 affirms leadership. the industry supports provisions in the bill for the nrc to think differently about licensing reactors. the bill calls for an efficient risk informed technology neutral framework for advanced reactor licensing and phased review process that could facilitate private financing for advanced reactors. developers will be able to demonstrate progress to investors and other participants in the first of the kind projects and obtain necessary capital investments as they achieve milestone. as we look to the details of how innovative advanced reactor technologies can meet these
requirements it's important for the nrc's regulatory framework to acknowledge there will be a variety of effective ways to meet their safety requirements. hr-4979 also recognizes that as a government function to develop the regulatory infrastructure, to license advanced reactor technologies and therefore authorizes federal funding to support the activity. congress should reform the nrc fee recovery structure to make fees more equitable and transparent. despite efforts to reduce the budget and right size the industry, fees continue to be excessive and limitation of the 90% fee rule create fundamental structural problems. the nrc budget is approximately 1billion per year despite significant declines in its workload. in particular according to ernst and young study performed for the nrc it spends 37% of its budget on mission support act costs more than 10% higher than
some peer agencies. because the nrc must collect 90% of its budget from licensees and the budget has not corresponding declined remaining licensees are responsible for paying higher annual fees. with shutdowns and decommissionings in the coming years the current fee structure guarantees there will be higher annual fees. the keynote energy policy acts adopts a straightforward approach to making fees more equitable. it would continue to require the licensee to pay for all agency activities attributable to a licensee or class of licensees but disallow collection of fees associated with the agency's corporate support while there are federal budget questions that arise with this approach, it would require the nrc to justify corporate support cost to congress in order to receive appropriations and in turn prompt the nrc to control its
budget and reduce or eliminate wasteful spending. the draft bill recognizes the value of recognizing international investments in nuclear plants, ignore the multiple protections to our nation's security and the reality of today's global nuclear energy markets. the draft bill also eliminates the uncontested mandatory nrc hearing on construction permits and combined license applications. this would not limit public participation. since the public does not participate in a mandatory hearing and multiple other formal opportunities are available for public participation. the draft bill would require that the nrc improve the regulatory framework for decommissioning nuclear power reactors. it's in the best interest of all parties the nrc, licensees and other stakeholders to have a more efficient regulatory framework. the existing framework does not appropriately account for the significant reduction in risk that result when a power reactor
ceases operations, defuels and decommissionings. in closing on behalf of our members i wish to thank the congressmen for introducing the important advanced reactoring legislation. we support passage of this bill. we also appreciate congressman kinsinger's work to reform the fees and the regulatory process. we look forward to working with members of the committee and their staff to advance these reforms, again, thank you for the opportunity to testify today. >> and our next witness is mr. jeffrey merihill who is partner of the pillsbury law firm and chairman of the advanced reactors task force the nuclear infrastructure council. welcome and you're recognized for five minutes. >> thank you very much. [ inaudible ] >> would you move your
microphone a little closer. >> sorry. i got it. mr. chairman, again, thank you very much. thank you, ranking member rush. as a former member of the -- and former commissioner of the nuclear regulatory commission i frequently testify before this committee and, again, it is an honor to be here this morning. i'm appearing as the task force although as mentioned i'm a partner in the pillsbury law firm. my testimony will discuss the provisions in hr-4979 on advanced reactors as well as a proposed changes to the nrc procedures that are subject of the discussion draft offered by congressman kinsinger. we salute the subcommittee support for advanced reactors as well as the nrc budget reform provisions that provide funding for the nrc to develop a modernized nuclear licensing framework for advanced nuclear technologies. nic issued a framework for advanced reactor licensing
modernization white paper on february 22nd, 2015, which embraces many elements in the legislation. the nrc with support of congress worked to right size the agency consistent with the level of licensing inspect activities. at that time the agency had approximately 3,400 employees and within the next few years we were able to reduce that down to about 2,800 principally through attrition but without any sacrifice to protecting people and the environment. today the agency faces the same challenges to reduce its staff and become more efficient and timely in its licensing activities. while they have made great strides, we believe further efficiencies can be maintained and improve the timeliness of licensing. during the past decade the u.s. has maintained its technology
leadership by building new passive generation three reactors in georgia and south carolina as well as small modular light water nuclear reactors headed toward deployment. nic has seen significant growth in support for generation four advanced reactors that will provide expanded options for economical, carbon-free electricity and industrial heat generation. if the united states is to be successful in maintaining its lead in developing and deploying these reactors in the 2020s and 2030s congress must consider significant policy changes. we believe the language in section six of hr-4979 will allow the agency to create a modern risk-inform technology neutral framework which will enable the development of appropriate advanced reactor regulations without passing these costs on to the developers or the utilities. while section 6-a-6 calls for
the nrc options to allow the phased review processes we believe the language should be strengthened to require the nrc to establish specific stages in the commercial advanced nuclear reactor licensing process including a prelicensing vendor design review model's after the safety commission vender design process that was recommended by the white paper. such a process would allow advanced reactor developers and investors to have a clearer picture of where they stand in the nrc process and meeting nrc safety requirements and allow them to have further investments in their technologies. we would need to establish risk informed performance criteria. while licensing process reforms are needed for nonlight water reactor -- for nonlight water reactors, developers proceed with advanced reactor designs and the nrc must move forward to
finalize advanced generic design criteria and emergency plan requirements among others. we strongly support section two of the discussion draft which places fair and equitable provisions on the agency's fee-based programs. by eliminating the fee based to nonfee based ratio, the draft provides the appropriate balance between the fees borne by individual companies and those overhead activities covered by the federal government. nic believes the discussion draft would be strengthened by providing the early stage engagement between advanced reactor developer and nrc should be conducted at no or limited cost with an appropriate cost share perhaps 50/50 for later stages of the licensing process. while this could be funded through general revenues or a grant program, either way it should avoid the d.o.e. picking advanced reactor winners or losers. we believe the private sector is
better placed and the licensing fees should not have a chilling effect on the entrepreneurial efforts. finally i strongly support the elimination of the foreign ownership requirements of section three and the mandatory hearing requirements contained in section four and am pleased to discuss my views with the subcommittee. i would ask additional letters of support be included in the hearing record and thank you very much for allowing me to testify. >> the next witness is mr. todd allen the senior fellow with the clean energy program for the third way. dr. allen, thanks for being with us, and you're recognized for five minutes and please get the microphone up close. thank you. >> absolutely. good morning, chairman, ranking member rush, other distinguished members of the subcommittee. on behalf of third way i greatly appreciate the opportunity to provide testimony on the portion of nuclear energy innovation. my first job after college i
lived on a floating nuclear reactor as an officer in the u.s. nuclear submarine fleet. i spent ten years teaching at the university of wisconsin nuclear engineering. i've seen first hand a young generation that provides in nuclear technology. i've worked in the national laboratory system as the deputy for science and technology at the idaho national technology working to open up the laboratory facilities to industry users across the country. now i'm at a think tank where i think. third way supports the further development of an innovation culture that creates and brings to market advanced nuclear technologies. currently nuclear energy is provided as a single product offering. but the national energy system is changing rapidly. opening up the possibility of nuclear energy supporting a wider range of functions. if new ideas can get from conception to commercialization. a 2015 third way report identified nearly 50 companies
backed by more than $1.3 billion in private capital developing plans for new nuclear plants in the u.s. and canada. these companies are creating a growing number of product options of varying sizes and capabilities intending to build upon the continued success of our current light water reactor fleet which provides over 60% of the carbon-free electricity in the united states. private/public partnerships will be key to the story. similar to the way hydraulic fracking and the internet were developing and how spacex is teaming with nasa. how can federal investment nurture the culture of innovation? i'll use an example an engineering student named carla. what's her path to success in transitioning a good idea on paper to a marketable product at a thriving company and where can partnerships be useful? first step, carla would benefit from early interactions with
technical experts and financiers and business developers. we believe she could be helped with early innovation. innovation centers would also benefit the department of energy by providing the agency with valuable information on private sector investment trends that could then inform how d. e. directs research dollars to solve problems that support multiple companies. step two, securing investments. at the innovation center carla has opportunities to troubleshoot and mature her concept. she's also introduced to financial firms which ultimately helps her secure a small investment to fund her company. carla could leverage her private investment to receive d.o.e. cost share allowing her to move quickly and signal to investors her design is especially promising. the department of energy already engages in cost share programs like the one currently is you porlt i supporting x-energy and further use is encouraged.
the third step, specialized testing. here's where the federal programs become uniquely valuable through access to national test beds. some development requires access to specialized capabilities test reactors, facilities to test radioactive materials or high performance commuting. fortunately a number of laboratories have the type of facilities and expertise that carla needs. the department of energy created the gateway for accelerated innovation in nuclear g.a.i.n. program to facilitate the interactions. step four, beginning her regulatory process. as she develops her technology, carla would like to get signals from the licensing, and it would help her develop her designs. she needs a regulator that allows her to respond to emerging light water technologies. ideally the pace of review would
support new products for an energy system changing rapidly all while maintaining the exemplary safety record. step five, demonstration reactor. as a typical with many new and capital intensive technologies carla may need to develop a demonstration reactor before moving on to a full-scale commercial reactor. to address this the department of energy should allow innova innovators to build their demonstrations at one of their laboratories that have experience running nuclear facilities. allowing carla to build her reactor at idaho or oak ridge can test her design and make any final changes. final step, nrc licensing of her demonstration reactor. because carla is hoping her design will eventually be commercialized which would require her to go through the nrc licensing process it would benefit her if the nrc were involved in the licensing and construction of her demonstration reactor. when it works she's ready to
work with the investors and nrc to get design and funding approval for commercialization. where can congress help? early innovation. support the public/private centers that create a new generation of nuclear entrepreneurs. it can be done through report language in the appropriation process. test beds. support the g.a.i.n. program and ensure a modern infrastructure with world-leading staff that serves as the nation's test bed. ensure that federally r&d programs maximize value. and finally regulation, ensure that the nuclear regulatory commission is staffed and structured and funded to support a pace of regulatory review that would support new products for an energy system changing rapidly. this is the nrc and d.o.e. to look broadly at the functions and report back at how it can support this new innovation community.
there have been some specific idea suggested. we hope that you have additional useful ideas. we appreciate the intent of the discussion draft from mr. kinsinger to move nuclear thank you for letting me testify. >> next witness, mr. jeffrey fetus. thanks for being with us. you're recognized for five minutes. >> thank you. >> pull it up close. pull it closer to you. >> is it working? terrific. thank you, chairman whitfield and ranking member rush, and distinguished members of the committee. i'll highlight a few points here. first, with respect to hr 4979 which requires d.o.e. and nrc to work together to work to develop plan with public input for advanced reactor licensing systems, such a charge has merit in that it asks two of the relevant federal agencies to work together. but some cautions are in order. 270 days is far too short a time
to gather and analyze the regulatory information and provide for public comment with respect to such a complicated set of economic, security, environmental challenges, as those faced by the licensing of advanced reactors. further, both epa and the president's council on environmental quality should be part of any such enterprise. epa for its standard setting authority. even though many advanced reactor concepts have been around for decades, none of the current spate demonstrated security, environmental and safety improvements necessary to make them viable in the near term and more pertinent to the reality of a carbon-constrained future, none of them have democrat traited being able to compete in the licensing process effectively designed by industry and streamlined by nrc multiple times over the last two decades has little to do with that.
thus, our concern is real, the practical nuclear engineering and economic hurdles inherent to the technologies may serve as distraction to the scale of up of solutions to the threat of climate change from wind, solar, energy efficiencies. second, we found the discussion draft substantially more -- i'll highlight a few of the seconds. section 2, on substantial costs to the taxpayers rather than collecting them as done historically via licensing fee. section 3 requires a study on the feasibility and implications of repealing foreign ownership restrictions. while it's wise to study a matter and collect information before legislating we urge requirement for wide public input on a matter this complicated especially on security terms. section had does away with a mandatory hearing provision, which would do much harm to public confidence that all
issues have been considered by the nrc. the matter to hearing plays a crucial role in supplementing the contested hearing process in which few issues, sometimes no issues, survive the gauntlet of nrc's arduous procedural requirement for admission of issues to a hearing. the mandatory hearing process has a proven track record of highlighting weaknesses in the nrc's staff review. for example, in the case of the clinton esp, the board found the staff's review, i quote, did not supply adequate technical information or flow of logic to permit a judgment as to whether the staff had a reasonable basis for its conclusions. 64 nrc at 460. section 5 is equally trouble system some as it is a codify indication of agency drift to informal less rigorous hearing process that has already been under way for a long time. rather than ensuring the hearing process continues to become yet more expedient process and more of a restricted venue for states and public, congress should be directing nrc to submit
substantially redesigned hearing process that will provide regulatory certainty but will also simplify the hearing requirements to allow substantive technical issues of safety or environmental concern come to the fore rather than entertain joint industry staff efforts to or curtail or have dismissed literally every contention ever filed before at the safety board. section 6 is also problematic in that it weakens the opportunity for hearings on inspections, tests, analyses and test criteria prior to information. it further bars the use of incomplete information as a basis for granting a hearing. bravely, the perception of the hearings caused delays in licensing has no basis in fact. the industry's long structured the hearing process and nrc staff requests for additional information is at the heart of the timing. that's simply evidence of the regulator doing its job. even more to the point, docketing the application before complete, when it contains
substantial areas that are promised to be addressed later or leaves out significant details creates false impression that the time between when the application is docketed and when the final decision is rendered is attributable to the hearing process and public participation. this delay should not be used to justify further restrictions. section 7 would do grave harm to nepa and likely bar meaningful nepa review by staff. the current nepa pros as practiced is already problematic. i detail that in my testimony. finally, with respect to section 8 we recommend striking text in section b, factors from the draft legislation, as this language can prejudice and distort the final decommissioning rule making that's just commenced at the commission. thank you again for this opportunity. i'm happy to take any questions. >> thank you. thank all of you for your testimony. at this time, we'll recognize members for questions. mr. lada, recognized for five minutes.
>> thanks, mr. chairman. thanks for holding today's hearing. gentlemen, thanks for your testimony today. it's very much appreciated. mr. merrifield, start with first question to you, my legislation requires that development of phased licensing process provides insurance to licensing applicants. what are primary advantages of structuring the licensing process and how would you recommend nrc develop such a process? >> i think right now one of the disadvantages of the current system is sort of all or nothing. you have to put in your license application and wait a very long is period of time to determine whether the nrc will find that to be acceptable. for the advanced reactor community. having a stepwise process envisioned by the bill would allow early interaction with nrc and early indication of whether
that design may be licensable. if indeed the nrc finds that's the case, that developer can identify additional areas of funding to continue to process that application and that design. if for some reason, we hope it not the case, nrc were to find that would be something difficult or not able to be licensed, then that applicant could make a logical business decision whether they want to continue to move forward or not, and we believe that's a real benefit to innovation. >> your testimony also suggests the model used by the canadian nuclear regulators should be pursued. what do you think makes their structure more unique and constructive? >> it has very specific steps to it. it does have preapplication vendor design review. it's got some specific deliverables that are expected by the canadian regulator, spelled out, a specific timing for when the
review should occur and they have limitations in what the costs will be for the applicants. it makes a very clear program for everyone involved to understand what is expected in the first step and allows technology both to be evaluated as well as move forward. >> thank you. doctor, following up on that, do you have any additional thoughts regarding benefit of the phased licensing process? >> one small thing. i agree with the commissioner it's an important, early signal of someone trying to take early idea to commercialization to get the feedback from the regulator. the other thing, by getting those, parallel to this, we've got the department of energy doing research programs in similar technical areas. the more we can get early signals we can use to feedback and guide how we spend federal dollars on research in way that helps companies is also very useful. >> mr. fertel a question of you
and your testimony, you talk about the country's going to lose in the next 15 years 126 giga watts of generation and we need 287 giga watts by 2040, i represent a district with 60,000 manufacturing jobs, we have to have a base load capacity out there, maybe give me an overview of what -- how many power plans talking about, talking about 126 gigawatts, what we need when you look at 287? >> yeah. i think -- i think congressman, in general, you could think about them whether gas plants, which is what we're building now, they're probably on the order of 400 to 500 federal government megawatts. if we need 100,000, we'll be building 2500 megawart -- i'm sorry, 1,000 -- yeah, we woog building it under those to get to 240 plus -- it's about 500, almost 500,000 megawatts. so you'd be building 1,000 plants at 500 megawatts each. >> thank you.
mr. merrifield, advanced nuclear technology development act requires nrc to develop a risked informed regulatory framework. given your experience as a commissioner, could you please provide your interpretation of what a risk informed framework means and what the primary inputs are in such a framework? >> a risk informed performance-based approach uses combination of risk analysis and performance history to identify what are the most significant areas to focus your inspection and your regulatory activities. it recognizes that in any system, whether nuclear power plant, petrochemical refinery or inner planetary space vehicle, every system is not equally important to safety. using risk informed performance based approach allows you to prioritize one of the most critical components and focus your regulatory process towards those. >> thank you. mr. chairman, i see my time's about ready to expire. i yield back.
>> recognize the gentleman from illinois, mr. rush, for five minutes. [ inaudible ] -- subcommittee examined the agency's request of almost $20 million less this year than what was enacted last year's budget. these cuts were said to be in line with the agency's project aim initiative designed to streamline operations and better reflect the commission's decreased workload. however, in your statement, you said that those reductions are not sufficient and then that industry continues to see regulatory inefficiencies.
can you discuss why the new fee structure as outlined in the discussion draft is necessary? however, the changes outlined in the bill impact safety standards and protocols at these nuclear facilities? and if there's any other witnesses who would like to address any of questions i've asked, please chime in. >> thank you for the question, congressman. first, we never want to see nrc's effectiveness as a regulator or credibility undermined. we think they are the best regulator in the world. and it's very important for us from a commercial industry standpoint for them to be very effective and credible in what they do. they have project aim going we think project aim is a very significant and sincere effort on their part to look at re-baselining what they're doing. their scope of what they have as responsibilities has dramatically decreased.
they staffed up for 20-plus new plants. they were operating as though they had 107 existing reactors. we're moving forward with four new reactors, currently 99. a number of those are shutting down soon. material licensees significantly decreased in how many they are regulating. so, they have and recognize this a significant opportunity to re-baseline what they're trying to do with the basically scope of safety that they have to look at. they also, as commissioner mentioned, before are looking at getting much more safety focused. they were looking at on the order of greater than 60 new rulemakings, which the commission is now saying they're not going to do all of them, for an industry performing exceptionally well and an industry they've been regulating for 50-plus years. we see a significant opportunity
for them to continue do what they're doing and we think, as they do what the industry is doing, deal with turnover due to retirements you deal with a lot of this through attrition. basically, you have an opportunity to hire critical resources but not replace all resources. that's what we're doing on our side really religiously right now, unfortunately, because of challenges that our plants face. on the corporate overhead, and the approach in the bill that congressman kinzinger proposed what we see is tremendous benefit of having congress provide accountability and oversight to the corporate overhead. their corporate overhead, based upon the commission with ernst and young is higher than peer agencies they looked at. i don't think they're evil for
doing that but there's not a lot of accountability for them to do less because we pay for it. it's not appropriated money. there's not a lot of oversight put to it and little transparency from our side to seeing what we're paying for and why. so we see significant opportunity but to your point we do not want to hurt the credibility or effectiveness but think they can continue going down their path. we may push harder because we know they won't go as fast, but we think that helps them go in the right direction. >> congressman, to that point, i was proud to serve as commissioner of the nrc. i agree with the characterization. it contains extraordinary group of hard, dedicated individuals. having said that, as i related in my testimony, we wren through
a similar process when i was a commissioner to the process that they're undergoing today. there was a decreasing workload and a need to appropriately align the size of the workforce and task and make it more risk informed. we were able to do that. i think it resulted from a couple of things. one a significant amount of oversight from congress. we had to provide monthly reports to congress on the progress of the licensing activities that we had under way. and that drove the commission in its budget process, in what it presented to congress to conduct a line by line review of how it was spending money, what the priorities were, make sure it was doing the most important stuff in recognizing that some things simply didn't need to be done. i think the commission certainly needs to have that level of engagement. i trust they should right now. the one thing i would mention on corporate overhead support, we didn't have this term as a commissioner. i think there's been a lot of growth in things like i.t. and other things which may drive some of this. there is one program, i think, this committee needs to be aware
is important that is an overhead and that's international programs. countries around the world that look to the nrc to help them craft their regulatory programs. it very important as congress looks to oversee programs that that one in particular is not hurt. those are important investments and should come from general revenues but it's assistance that that agency provides around the world is critical. >> the industry would support commissioner merrifields recommends on them helping internationally for a safety standpoint. >> recognize the gentleman from west virginia for five minutes, mr. mckinley. >> i'll try to keep this short. i'll limit to one or two questions. mr. fertel, with you, with nei, we understand with the new nuclear technologies that will come as a result of legislation like this, we know there are developments that will probably reduce the amount of weight product that comes from the spent fuel rods. but nevertheless the whole process of making nuclear energy is going to develop a waste product, maybe left than we're currently doing but nevertheless a waste product. does nei have a position, do you support the yucca mountain as a
permanent site for the disposal of nuclear fuel as required by law? >> contingentman, we have always supported going forward, finishing licensing on yucca mountain for its license, and to move forward with yucca mountain. we also support in parallel the necessity of -- because we don't think you can get to yucca and do everything fast enough. there's over $30 billions in it. we support in parallel the necessity of having centralized interim storage. we don't think you can get to
yucca and do everything fast enough for the plants that are shutting down. there's over $30 billion in. don't have access. >> 99, i guess, reactors, we have functioning. i'm curious about what's being done currently to safeguard those spent fuel rods in those water baths. we know the potential with all of the fear of terrorism and other activity for national security, is there something being done on this nuclear waste management that can give us a greater comfort than the way we're doing now, instead if we're not using yucca mountain yet, how safe should we feel? >> i'm sure commissioner -- >> i'll add to this. >> i will. the nrc heavily regulates what woo do with used nuclear fuel, both in the used fuel pool, and dry-cast storage on-site. we have stringent security plans to make sure that not just used fuel is protected but active fuel and other things that our plants and based upon the fukushima lessons learned, there's enhancements to what we do with used fuel at our sites because of what we learned because of what went on in japan. i think, to some degree, the problem with used fuel is that it's managed well on sites which doesn't create the crisis to cause our country to try and implement the nuclear waste
policy act or any other law related to it. so the good news, we manage it very well and it's regulated well. the bad news, it doesn't move it quickly to where you want it to go. >> congressman, on the issue of security, i was a commissioner during 9/11, in front of the committee talking about things that needed to be accomplished to protect the u.s. fleet of nuclear units. i can say, without reservation, and i have been on nuclear sites within the last week, looking at security issues and i can assure you, these are the safest industrial facilities in the united states, the level of security that we have at the nuclear power plans in the united states is well beyond what is even needed to protect that fuel from the adversaries we face today. >> thank you. chairman i yield back balance of my time. >> we have two votes of the floor. we've got 10 or 11 minutes left.
if you all would be in agreement, we'll recognize you for three minutes and we'll get as far as we can, and if somebody wants to come back, we can talk about that. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. fertel, do you believe we need to include fusion specifically in the hr 4979 framework? >> question about fusion? >> yes. >> to be honest i hadn't thought about that but my reaction is, i think it's a whole different regulatory regime that we'd have to look at for fusion and the availability of fusion is still far enough off that i wouldn't rush it in and distract the nrc from paying attention to be able to put a regulatory process in place for the other technologies that are deployable sooner than that. i wouldn't eliminate it as something you should look at for the longer term. >> mr. allen, the third way
report that identified 50 companies developing plans for new sneak lard plants in the u.s. and canada, how soon are some technologies going to be available? is the nrc ready for that? >> i think they're on a big spectrum, depending how much technology development has been done in the past. i said quickest, assuming we do types of things we need in regulatory space, 10, 15 years, some much further out than that. and i think that nrc has a strong regulatory function but as we've talked about could do some things to be better receptive to companies and to build staff depth in areas that they're not used to regulating. >> do you think there's a risk of agency? >> bucking heads with each other with respect to the nuclear technology? >> i think there was a lot of discussions of the d.o.e. and
nrc on early advanced reactor-like programs. that did not get as far as we hoped it would have gotten. i think with the focus that this committee and your counterparts in the senate have on advanced reactor technologies, legislation that you have before you will give the framework and the encouragement for the nrc to move forward. they are an agency, when focused on a mission, do a great job of accomplishing. i sometimes to refer to boy scouts of federal agencies. they need focus, encouragement of the committee but i think they can accomplish the mission to appropriately and safely license and regulate advanced reactors in a timely and effective way. >> mou would be sufficient? >> i believe so, yes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the nrc has previously informed congress that it believes amending the atomic energy act to eliminate mandatory uncontested hearing on combined license and early site permit
applications could enhance the efficiency of nrc operations. section 4 in my draft allows the commission if a hearing isn't requested by affected person to issue a permit or operating license or amendment to such permits and licenses with holding a hearing. mr. fertel, in your view, how would this provision improve regulatory efficiency at nrc? i think what it would do is allow both licensee and the nrc staff to move forward on issues while a hearing is being done, which is, to be honest, similar to situation for the operating plants. it would not delay the start-up of a facility critical to electricity, but certainly would not be making any revenue while it's sitting here. if there was a true safety issue it shouldn't start up they're not going to allow it to do that. it doesn't allow you to do something that's going to provide unsafe condition. >> what regulatory and economic burdens associated with the mandatory hearing requirement?
how much can one tested mandatory hearing delay the process? >> there's not great data. we have looked at that based upon the vogel experience and some of the other projects, and it's hard to decipher exactly because there was the design going through at same time. our estimate it could have been 80-to 120-day delay as a result. to be honest, with not significant value added by that because of all of the other reviews. >> if i can jump in for a second on that one. i think there are two issues associated with mandatory hearings. one is an issue of extra time it takes. the other portion is the amount of staff activity that ultimately has to be borne by the applicant and the distraction it gives to actually getting to the ultimate decision. the staff in preparing for those hearings wants to make sure that everything they send up to the
commission is in a certain way, that eats up a huge amount of time. as a commissioner, i recognized that there was extraordinary opportunities for the public to comment on the process that even led to the ultimate licensing and mandatory hearing was antiquated legacy of the 1950s that was not needed. >> more to ask, but duty calls and i yield back. >> recognize the gentleman from texas, mr. green, for three minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm a supporter of nuclear power. to have a carbon-free environment, that's where we need to go. i believe increased cooperation between d.o.e. and nrc would create efficiencies and approving new reactors combined with the president's gain initiative, i think we can revitalize our nuclear sector and secure additional base load power. i do have some concerns about the nuclear utilization of keynote energy -- keystone on my mind -- energy policies act.
you made reference to 2016 white paper released by your organization that discussed framework for licensing modernization. the white paper listed five recommendations. proactive oversight of nrc's design and licensing process, providing sufficient resources and i'm guessing that means money, encouraging nrc to meet 36-month deadline for review and directing nrc to identify roadblocks to expedite approvals and submitting annual updates. does the legislation for the subcommittee today adequately address these recommendations? >> in the meeting i think it does. we focused on a couple of things we would ask for improvement in the two bills that you're looking at today. one is to be specific in requiring a preapplication
vendor design review process. the other one was to providing greater opportunity for engagement between the developers of advanced reactor technologies and the nrc at no cost early stages in the process to enhance level of understanding on the part of the agency and developer. >> during your service as commissioner, do you recall how many license reviews the nrc completed? >> how many licensing reviews? >> yeah. >> i'd have to go back and do research. >> if you know, i'd appreciate it. with respect to reviews you have a sense of how many hearings did the commission grant upon request under section 189 of the atomic energy act? >> i would have to go back and review that one. >> if you can't get that for us. also, under section 189, former adjudicatory procedures required commission to do or have discretionary authority. are they required to have those procedures? or can they -- or is it discretionary with the commission? >> i didn't hear that.
>> second 189, the formal adjudication procedures required of the commission or do they have discretionary authority? >> congressman -- >> i can answer that. >> i would like to have the opportunity to review those procedures and provide an appropriate response to the committee. >> i'll be glad to submit the questions. if you could get back to us. again, if we can move the process along in coordination between agencies is never bad. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. we appreciate you all being with us. i'm going to ask a couple of questions. we have three minutes before we have to vote. >> no rush. new scale power stated their plans to submit its design certification application to nrc
by the end of 2016 for so-called small modular reactor. mr. merrifield, what is your outlook for nrc's readiness to accept a high quality application and review it in a timely manner? >> congressman, i think nrc has been preparing, as far as i can, i believe the n. nrc has been preparing itself to receive that. i think they will do their level best to accept it and review it in due course. >> do you agree with that, mr. fertel? >> i think the way jeff merrifield answered is probably accurate. i think the division director there is competent, young woman who i think is making sure that they're as prepared as they can be. we expect they'll do as good a job as they can. >> i agree with that. mr. fertel references a director of the office of new reactors. she's a very talented, young woman.
i think she'll do an exceptional job for that team. >> we hear discussion about small nuclear modular reactors and great hope for them. so are sodium cool, some are lead cool, light water. how many of these so-called small modular reactors are operating today around the world? anybody have any idea? >> i don't think that, from a commercial standpoint, there's hardly any. but all of the submarines are using small modular reactors and aircraft carriers. there's experience with them. now, they're different but there's a lot of experience. in our country now, mr. chairman, electricity growth, thanks to really good efficiency and things like that, also probably being hurt by our economy a bit. but our electricity growth is very small. small modular reactors are becoming more important domestically. we always thought they were important internationally. domestically they're becoming
very important, particularly as you replace older, smaller coal plants and eventually even gas plants. >> one thing that is important to remember about advanced reactor technologies we talk about traditional utility uses for generating electricity. what's important to remember is these technologies also provide high sources of heat. new users of the technologies may not be traditional utilities. it may be for other industrial processes to utilize the heat and power. >> anybody else have any comment? okay. >> i would agree they're looking at a large number of different commercial products than giga watts. >> are we talking about below 300 megawatts or so? >> yeah some of them conceptualized could be as small as 3 to 10 megawatts some in the range of 80 to 100. others are sort of on the verge of 300.
there's a range of potential reactors. >> chairman, there's one caution. many of the -- the only ones we've seen that have had any indication of any economic viability have been coupled together and the 700 megawatt range to allow for some economy of scale to be able to compete in a market. none of these are built around the world. numbers's zero. the question is whether or not they'll have any chance in a competitive marketplace in 10, 12, 15 years, no one has a crystal ball here. >> no one has a crystal ball. but at the end, the market is going to resolve that. that's what we're asking for predictable regulatory regime that reactors can be licensed through. if they can't come up with the economics, the market will bear reactors will not go forward. >> thank you all very much. we look forward to working with you as we consider these two pieces of legislation and other issues as well. we'll keep the record open for ten days. once again, thank you.
tonight on american history tv primetime, a look at the church committee set up after watergate to investigation possible illegal intelligence gatheren. that led to the creation of today's intelligence committees in the house and senate. it begins at 8:00 eastern with real america and 1975 testimony by then cia director william colby. on american history tv on c spans 3 -- >> we are here to review the major findings of our full investigation of fbi domestic intelligence, including the comen tell program and other programs aimed at domestic targets. fbi surveillance of law abiding citizens and groups, political abuses of fbi intel gens, and several specific cases of unjustified intelligence operations. >> the 197 church committee
hearings convened to investigate the intelligence. and stat -- tom charles huston on a play he presented to collect information about anti-war and radical groups using burglary, electronic surveillance and opening of mail. >> the bureau had undertaken the black bag jobs for a number of years up until 1966, that has been successful and valuable, again particularly in matters involving espionage, and that they felt this again was something that, given the revolutionary climate, they thought they needed to have the authority to do. just before 7:00 p.m. eastern -- >> and one person came and she said she was from slovakia, for four years in the concentration camp.
she spoke hungarian also, and they asked her, what is happening? where are our parents? and she said, you see that smock? smoke there is your parents. >> holocaust survivor anna gross recalls her family's experiences. at auschwitz, and forced hard labor. this was part of the united states holocaust memorial museum first person series. then at 8:00. an arcest named alexander birkman broke into the office nearby pittsburgh, shot him twice and repeatedly stabbed him. birkman, however, is one of the great failures in assassinations history. not only did he fail to kill frick, heunder mined the
strikers, because in many wall stre street. the university of move on the labor and social unrest at the turn of the 20th severalry. sunday morn at 10:00, the 1968 presidential campaign, a former democratic goismor of alabama, george wallace. for the complete weekend schedule, go to cspan.org. i helped both countries with their constitutions, being a facilitator of agreement on key issues among iraqis or afghans. your influence is considerable. the heads of state or government are very anxious to meet with you, when you ask for a meeting. sunday night on q&a, former ambassador to, zalmay khalilzad,
my journey there through a turbulent world. >> we saw extremists such as zarqawi exploited, though they have then corrected it towards the end of the period i was there by the surge, by reaching out to the sunnis, but building up iraqi forces, by establishing a unity government, killing zarqawi to bring about security, violence was way down, but unfortunately when we left and the vacuum was filled by arrival regional powers pulling iraq apart, violence escalated and we have isis now. sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c pan's q&a. amand that bennett made hers first public appearance since being sworn in. and the challenges of u.s.
international broadcasting. this is 45 minutes. >> there can always be two ways of doing things. welcome to newcomers and welcome also to those watching online and watching on c-span television. my name is adam powell. i am the president of the public diplomacy council and i am the director of washington programs for the usc center on communication leadership and policy. -- there's a green light on.
>> >> as communication leadership by usc. we are hosted by the american farm services association. our guest today is amanda bennett, the new director of voice of america. she has a long and distinguished journalistic career. she's won two pulitzer prizes, one at "the oregonian" in portland and second at the "wall street journal." two weeksal what she said when she was sworn in is we do have to change. we must change. we need to change in a big way. so change is coming, change is here. amanda bennett. [ applause ] >> let's just test the technology before i start. is this now working?