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tv   Washington This Week  CSPAN  December 15, 2013 5:00am-7:01am EST

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>> and our procedures executive team begins to respond to the emergency. i would note that the nrc does not make the decision on evacuation. that is done by the governor of the state in which the accident as occurring. out, that wasted a clear message from three mile island that the chair should be the decision-maker during an time withlast fukushima there were some issues
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that remain regarding when the commissioners were notified and the chairman had assumed emergency powers. i don't think the chairman should have to worry about notifying the other commissioners when she is notified that there is an accident and action needs to be taken. at some point later. ori think omission olakislate case -- apost is correct. but i do think it is important that the chairman at an appropriate time during the crisis notify the chairman's colleagues that emergency powers been declared. when this was used previously there is of operative time when there is no clarity as to whether the
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emergency was cleared or not third that created confusion within the agency. >> thank you. >> i agree with you mr. mike agwood. >> to any of you think the chair should have to put at a press release or update the website to fulfill a public notice requirement before exercising emergency authority and a situation when time indeed is of the essence echo >> i don't believe a press release should be a priority item. mrs. should not have to do that. 31 to 30 establishes a role for commissioners and urgency. -- in an emergency.
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that could be interpreted differently by different commissioners and clouds the authority of the chair. emergency,clear would your time to better spent acting on emergency or engaging in discussions whether a particular response might affect policy in the future? >> having personally practiced emergency drills with my nrc colleagues and staff, it is clear that time is of the and situations change rapidly. it is important to be able to be as responsive as quickly as possible. i will certainly keep my colleagues informed to the best of my ability and actions in any situation. thank you. as i said earlier, for being
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with us today. i'm majestic question relating to combat a made in my opening statement and that is about the number of licensing actions decreasing by 40% and yet nuclear safety budget has increased by 40%. numbers and those the quite critical of the agency. your responsibility has gone down, your budget is going up in the country has a debt approaching $18 trillion. i would just ask each of you individually if you wouldn't mind commenting briefly. his criticism like this valid or is there a valid reason for budgets to grow up that much? chairman mcfarland. budgets a chart of the
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of the nrc in actual dollars and in constant dollars from 2003 2 fiscal year 2013. i think you can see that basically if you look at the constant dollars, which is a correct impression over time, that the budget now in 2013 is since 2007.s been we had, that was before to the mountain. we are where's confidence and fukushima. i would argue we are doing much more with less. for thistotal budget year? >> in constant dollars the total million versus 2007 680 million. >> your position is in constant dollars your roughly the same or
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less and the workload is higher. you know the applications and licensing actions are going down, the workload is higher. why is that? was hard because since 2007 we have had the yucca mountain application, we have had waste confidence decisions and fukushima accident which has added on to workload quite significantly. audio gear. that assessment, i'm assuming. -- all of you agree with that assessment, i'm assuming. >> responding more generally to the criticism, i would say that as noted by members of the committee, this is clearly not
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the world and 2013 that nrc had the trajectory we were planning for. it is appropriate for this commission and for the agency to be looking at the application of resources. do that onattempt to a pretty constant basis. time. running out of i do want to ask another question. in your opening statement, mr. mcfarland, he referred to a new reactor. on youryou, briefly view of the potential of modular reactors and whether or not they can play an important role or not. we will start with you. >> i think they are an interesting innovation and we will see. we're waiting for the application and i'm very interested in seeing how this technology progresses. >> our colleagues have the tough
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job of looking at the various merits of this technology. we have programs to fund some of the tech budget development but 32 beexpect safety receiving some designs kurds we work hard to prepare the agency to do those reviews. >> like many people i am waiting to see because in the past the small reactors have never been really technical. until these products on the market will be difficult to know for sure so i am waiting and seeing. >> i think as an agency we are ready to receive the applications. we have gone as far as we can absent actual license and we expect to get
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one latter part of 2014. >> mr. mcfarlane, shouldn't an action in response directly to crisis. yuccaitem on your agenda should responding to a crisis the first item, safety be the ? uc item on your agenda i think this is an area of discussion. the blue ribbon commission look at this issue and said consensus was an important piece of siding
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, that setting decisions were just technical but there are also societal. i think if you look at the expense of other countries that have been more successful recently like sweden and finland and france, that local consensus is important. have lowucca mountain public acceptance? >> is not for the nrc to judge that. in november, the u.s. court of appeals ruled that the department of energy can no the 700 $50ct million in annual waste disposal fees for nuclear operators. houses ruling going to affect the nrc's ability to develop nuclear waste storage sites? >> at the moment is not going to affect us at all. ask, butt sure who to how long would it take to get a
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license reviewed for a new ? clear power plant ech >> for design certification? it takes some months to a few years. it should. it depends in large part the quality of the application. if there are problems with the application, then we have a number of iterations with the applicant. >> i want to hear horror stories about how long. due to somelikely problems in the application. time comestake up sometimes longer, but it takes several years. design, therenew
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will be several decisions that would have to be resolved area and i really don't know how long that will take. >> there's no such thing as the average case and the things, but on average, i would expect a -- building the plant takes considerably longer. it really depends on the situation. if a plan has artie been certified and is under construction, that would be much further along than if someone came with the new design. so dependent application. >> i appreciate your comment about the commissions challenged in balancing the potential for events versusy day-to-day events that require
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constant attention. how the commission go about ? king those decisions that g >> we're working on that now. the cumulative effects of regulation sounds like something out of fox news. could you clarify what you meant by that, please? >> we have, especially after regulations. there were complaints by the industry that we are issuing regulations without considering other regulations that they have to comply with. commissionon of the is focused on that particular regulation and the industry
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wants the commission to think of other cumulative effects. ?hat is it that they have to do do they have the resources and time? every single regulation or request by the nrc of equal importance? cumulative issue of effects on regulation. the commission has responded. i didn't know my colleague was a fan of fox news. en. i wasou chairma pleasantly surprised to know that nrc could review a design application in a few months. you have three that have been under review for five-having years are you might try to go back in with those for christmas . it should only take a month or two. i'm going to this question a
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different way. and second mountain is back review, and since all the commissions indicate that you don't have the resources to complete the review process, does anybody want to estimate how long -- how much additional funding you might need ms. solanki, if you'd like to switch her guests on that. the researcher question, i'm just interested. to assess and develop the order issued last month and restarted the we didng process, receive some input. it no one to say they have the full fidelity of a budget estimate, but we attempted to have submitted to us both by the adjudicatory board and the staff, some estimates for these activities. i would not characterize to you that we have a complete health current estimate to getting all
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the way to a license. we do know that starting adjudication would be a resource intensive activity. crexendo trying to be cute, here. on a general ballpark estimate. i were talking about a few million, several hundred million, billion, some sort of order or magnitude. alone,nrc's activities again this depends on how the department of energy is resourced to support activities because they are also a participant. it is for difficult for me to .stimate the total dollar therefore, activities were somended and it -- in years they were close to $100 million just for our review activities for single year. that began to taper down a bit close to 50 million per year. based on where it had been in previous years when the review is underway, i think your ofimate of some of --
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hundreds of millions is probably the area, but it is difficult to estimate. >> madam chairwoman, has the commission or the administration took a position on mr. terry's reform bill? >> as a whole? no it is not. my personal opinion is that is not necessary. it is designed as makework. >> any other decisions question >> i think in july of last year, was chairman fallen here, with .he previous chairman
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some of the motivations and challenges we had disappeared. there may be greater clarity on some aspects. there are some that i personally shimkus would benefit from greater clarity and stature. >> my last question. the last time the commissioners here, the pointed out to the chairman that you hadn't given a report on the foolish in finally did you issue a report last week. that is good news. theret so good news is are still lots of things that the report did not address. i am just going to go through a -- what staffof lifted to me was not addressed
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in the report. he didn't address the fact that the u.s. has an in attendant regulator itself. japan does not. the u.s. has an institute of nuclear power operators to establish the best management practices. this of yourires japan does not. requires complex training scenarios site- specific, japan does not. >> the u.s. requires lower-level procedures for boiling water reactors, japan does not. >>ure cars site-specific , we canings your stones give your commission cruise for requiring that. the fact that this was quiet and
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consume we use it. best.id souter concluded there is no evidence that a fukushima type accident would have been necessarily avoided in the u.s.. i go back to something commissioner auslander of mentioned earlier, maybe in his opening statement about the importance of operating experience. operatingdustry, experience is essential. from the accident we learned that we had not taken into consideration a number of
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important issues. we had not prior to that accident considered that more than one reactor could meltdown at the same time, for instance. they were a number of other issues that we did not consider. i just want to point out that this is not something you need to the united states, to the nrc, that we discovered this. all of the significant nuclear regulators around the world came to the same conclusions and we are all implementing very similar changes as a result. otherould ask all the commissioners to answer the record. >> all members will be allowed to follow up this year and with written questions. the chair now recognizes our colleagues from the virgin christensen, for five minutes.
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>> the cherryville overhauls the responsibility for the chairman of the nuclear regulatory commission. it rewrites procedures. chairwoman mcfarlane, do think it is necessary or productive of congress rewriting the details of nrc's internal commission before,es? >> as i said the internal commission procedures are quite adequate and that we need to be careful in any kind of changes are made to the emergency powers peace because we don't want any unintended consequences. or don't want to go back to a pre-three-mile island situation and structure at the nrc. >> i know that the commission spent three years debating in more than one year voting on its last division. many of the addition -- many of the issues were worked out of it
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commissions them selves in 2011. i don't understand why we would want to reopen disputes that have really already been resolved and the commission. the bill was set in inflexible deadline as to voting an atomic safety and licensing. lady mcfarlane, do think you make sense to have strict voting deadlines without the possibility of extension? >> the nrc is an adjudicatory .ody some of the cases they receive are quite complex. technically and legally sometimes, they take a while to resolve areas i know of no other court or adjudicatory body that has statutory time limits that operates under those time limits.
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>> right now, the nrc chair develop a budget for approval. under the bill, our staff would resent the budget, not the chairman. chairwoman, do think it makes sense to strip the nrc chairman of irresponsibility to present an annual budget to the commission? >> i think it is important for a collegial body to function properly that someone has to have a leadership role and somebody has to present a budget. i think it is important for oversight committees to have somebody to hold accountable, so. i would imagine -- >> hard woulde that budget include a staff. >> it does and you can ask my -- it was done in a collegial and collaborative manner. 2011, the october
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speaker sent a letter to staff about dementia. terry's bill actually requires commissioners to send letters to the president they believe the chair person has not complied with nrc internal procedures. mcfarlane, doady think this mandate make sense echoes a going to encourage continued collegiality among the chairman and commissioners? >> want to comment on what happened before me, but i will say and maintain that now the commission operating collegially and collaboratively, i encourage you to check with my commission colleagues on that issue. minute for all a four of you to answer that. >> i agree that the commission is currently very collegial body. .> and agreed >> i agree as well, but let me
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take a second to say that after having gone through the last two years, i am extremely appreciative of what congressman terry has tried to do with this legislation. it is appropriate for congress to take a look at the legislative background of the agency, given recent events. i agree with commissioner auslander of that there are some reorganization plan that probably require some clarification. i think you have pointed out some things that could lead to unintended consequences in terms of our own system. i think it is something that is worth looking at and i do think there is room for clarification. with commissionermagw ood's comments. needs tohe chairwoman have appropriate authorities to make executive decisions.
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that is the spirit of congressman terry's efforts in several cases here. >> thank you, mr. chairman. the commission itself as a and wherewithal to make those clarifications. thank you, mr. chairman, i yield back. mr. chairman, thank you very much. i'm very pleased to hear that the commission is a collegial toy because indeed we are, come up as you all know. >> chairwoman mcfarlane, i understand you spoke last week to a congress -- a conference in japan where you indicated that forave no ultimate plan spent fuel his position. i don't know if this statement reaches the depths of his cell ,ate, but if there is no plan
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what was the basis of the d c --cuit issuing a writ of man compelling the agency to resume its review of yucca mountain to >> i think i was referring in general to the fact that globally there is no high-level way to -- high-level waste repository anywhere in the country. i was speaking broadly when i was making the statements at this workshop. >> i understand. but if there is no plan, what is the basis for our electricity ratepayers to pay $750 million to the federal government every >> i think the court has overturned that for the moment. ,assume -- i don't assume
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actually. i assure you there is a plan. maybe there are people in this town that want to pretend there is no plan, but there is and it is enshrined in a law called the nuclear waste policy act. house members voted to fund that plan this summer. what i think we need to see from nrc is your plant is that you will fully and faithfully comply with the law. i would expect an agency that is to complete inaction. in this case a license review. to have a plan for doing so, failing to plan, is planning to fail. preparing this integrated plan that would accomplish all actions necessary in support of the final decision , including detailed schedule urce efforts?
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>> the staff is in the process of carrying out the order that we issued on november 18. i understand our staff is going to be providing the commission with a plan to move forward, to carry out the court's decision later this month. we will look forward to receiving that. ask the same question of all the commission starting from the right. would you support preparation of such a plan and if you're not, why not? the development of these types of estimates within the agency to inform, as you noted in her order, future -- >> i understand you were recused. certainly. >> mr. heywood. >> to be perfectly honest, i think we have been so focused on him commending the court's direction we have not taken the next step to really think
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seriously about where we go from here. i think you have raised a valid .uestion i was talking about this with another commissioner in a very brief way. i think it is something we will have to take back and give a lot of thought to. >> i personally do support having a plan to see what it would take to move forward. >> i quote, complete the safety evaluation report using the approach that was underway when work on the ser was suspended. workis, the staff should in the completion of all remaining bodies you currently, but issue each upon completion. that follow the previous schedule that was in place when the reviewers terminated?
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mattern chairwoman? >> the previous schedule when it was terminated? >> when it was terminated. will you follow these schedule. ? >> they were giving that actress winner next month. >> can you tell the committee when we can expect to see volume three? >> we don't have that detail right now and i don't want to say more because right now this issue is subject of tending motion before the commission and action,ubject of legal so we can't go into great detail on this issue. >> mr. chairman, and like to take a few minutes. i know the congressman losses
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mom. i haven't had a chance to talk to about it, but i appreciate your friendship and what we do in the committee. having been on both the subcommittees for number of years, i pursued the panel, both the chair and the members because over the last two years does not been a membership between the chair and its members. and or the secretaries turn to go with his bill because it is trying to solve a problem a lot of us perceive in hearings over the last three years. i have some concerns about the imperial chairman issue. maybe we can look at that. i just appreciate the partnership and working relationship that the chair you have instituted in the agreement that we have. .o it is an unusual way we have an agency to do that.
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over the last three years, we -- we have not expanded or nuclear power base, although we hope to do that. frankly, i guess we went to go with some questions about what we have done as compared to fukushima. you discuss the nrc reactor oversight process and the five columns of an action matrix in your testimony. com1 consists of the best safety and security performance. columns two and three requires oversight. oversightagree that means safety or security issues that require the commission's attention? >> certainly. are 78state that there reactors in column one and 14 reactors in column two and seven in column three. would you agree that the majority of our nation's nuclear
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reactors are meeting the highest safety and security standards? >> the majority of our reactors operating safely, yes. >> there are currently 56 situations. you know how many right to safety? >> usually they do really to safety. they may not all be around nuclear reactors, they may be around nuclear materials. >> if the majority of our nuclear fleet is on a meeting the high standard, what analysis leads to these rules? >> operational experience. >> in 1998 we reached 10 rational obligations. cbo estimates that taxpayer
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liability related to the breach of contract could reach approximately $12.3 billion. the taxpayers spent $15 billion give or take on the development of yucca mountain. our nation would exceed yucca's capacity before it even opens. cli 1308, with 30 billion in tax funding and liability and wasted exceeds capacity, why would the commission not request funding for a licensing process? >> as i said earlier, we're moving forward with the court's order. any further budgeting decisions will be commission decisions.
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>> administration determined the deck amount is not the answer. if the answer is not echoed mountain, how did we meet these obligations by the court. ? >> that is a policy decision i will you all right reckon with. if we do have some issues with senate we can handle it in the house. >> the nrc would require approximately 6-8 months and millions of dollars. the commission stated that to complete this it would require $8.3 million. it was reported that the cost be up to 13 meters.
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-- >> as a 70 order, the staff estimate has changed as a result of the preceding being suspended for a number of years. seeing anymore on this topic is not appropriate because of the motion before the commission. if we drive by guidance from the house side, hopefully the senate would recognize there's a decision we have to respond to. i know other countries see their nuclear waste facilities as -- it would be nice if we let in that effort, even though some of our other countries are a little further ahead of us. >> the chair now recognizes mr. terry from nebraska. i think u.s. to weigh in on this a little bit. >> first i would like to say the
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does is --at the nrc the public sf confidence in you. i think we can universally agree that there was a breach in confidence because of trust. creatingappreciate you a collegial atmosphere, reestablishing. because if you are working together, i don't think you can truly be an effective body. i appreciate you restoring some level of camaraderie and not a culture of distrust. on the other hand, it has been 33 years since congress has really looked into the rules and procedures and frankly because of the breach is that occur i think itur arrival is legislative this to not well, now wet --
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know there are some holes in those procedures. i think probably the heart of of the wordmisuse emergency. the heart of this bill is really about emergencies. i want just a couple of questions here. do you believe that there should be a declaration of an emergency? >> first of all, congressman, thank you. i want to compliment you on the work that you put into this bill and the thinking that you put into this bill. of course one should declare an emergency.
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>> that is not in your rules and procedures, so that his something i think is the most important part of this is just to say that the chair does have to physically say there is an emergency and not keep that from your fellow commissioners. enjoyed says, and the some the questions by my colleagues because he made it two declaredu have emergency and then right away, commissioners. the bill actually says 24 hours. is that not enough -- is that too much time or too little time for sittinge other at that desk that you have declared an emergency? >> i think it would depend on the particular situation. i don't know that we could imagine situations. then, definey,
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what an emergency is. it is just simply a safety threat. >> or a security threat. are responsible for security at nuclear facilities. i am a little nervous about the language in the bill which requires nrc to wait for another federal agency to declare a security threat and a reactor before the nrc can act the nrc is responsible for security of those reactors. we practice with our licensees. >> well, then, i disagree with that interpretation. if you like to work further on that, that is fine. >> are you against emergency provision? >> in this bill? yes i am. >> he said it will have unintended consequences. can you tell me what the unintended consequences could be? would you let me finish please. having to notify the four people
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on your right and left that you have declared an emergency? >> i said earlier and previously before this body and i pledge again, to let my colleagues know in the event of an emergency and certainly let you all know. i thinku pledged it, the next commissioners should have the same responsibilities, but until we change the rules, i don't know what the next person that takes over your role will be as responsible as you. that is why, your prior chairman has shown that we have a big hole in the procedures. the next one and maybe as rogue or as mr. kean called it the imperial. that is why we have to change the rules. i don't think a 24 hour notice to your colleagues and to this committee if there is a safety is that extraordinary.
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i think it is pretty reasonable. the other part of that is you do have the power to declare under this the emergency. it is only if it is more than 30 days where we want the commissioners to actually be involved. all youhen, for 30 days have to do is if it is within 24 hours, just say it is emergency and they're satisfied. is hard for me to turn to my assistant and say make sure you e-mail or commissioners. that took five seconds for me to say, but that is extraordinary for you? i am having a hard time with that. i yield back. as you know, i represent diablo canyon nuclear plant. it is a major contributor to our
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local economy. obviously plays an important role in our state's energy portfolio. that also sits on two earthquake faults. always a topiously priority. every par plant belts according to a safety shutdown earthquake which is the maximum ground shaking that these elements are designed to withstand certain safely shut down. as a condition of the operating license, the nrc and required its safety systems to be -- to make sure it can meet the sse level. the nrc did not require the same industry-standard calculations that have to be used to evaluate the status for an earthquake along the fault. there's a lot of new information.
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i believe that is commonly understood. since then, we have discovered a shoreline faults in the same region which is even close to the reactor and is not fully understood. makes a lot of my considering -- a lot of my constituents very nervous. not requiredtill safety testing using the same industry-standard methodology that originally required an operating license. there is some inconsistency here. to go mile, the nrc's former reason resident inspector, required a non-concurrence report the nrc saying that they were not in compliance with the license. ofirman mcfarlane, enlighten the text of snowden's opinion, what is intercede to ensure that
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the reactor is in compliance with its safety requirements? >> the diablo canyon land is in compliance. >> is written this report. i would like to ask you to answer a letter that. there are actually three design basis for earthquake and the double design basis you mentioned and also the hot screen earthquake. when it was described in 1980s the plant was reevaluated to see fit. handle that. and it can. the shoreline fatwas and now -- was evaluated and it was bounded by the design basis earthquakes. the plant is considered within compliance. let me say that we have asked
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all power plants in the country sites.aluate their d.l. glucan is in the process of reevaluating their seismic hazards and their reevaluation is due in to the commission in march of 2015. evaluation ofew diablo canyon that they're doing themselves, be required to prove -- to approve that it can withstand stronger earthquakes using the same industry-standard methodology required in the operating license of the shutdown earthquake? >> we're using the most up-to- date methodologies to do the site evaluation. >> do feel that fully incorporate the techniques? i could takecord them into a more detailed answer. but yes, i do believe it can. >> i wanted to make sure that you could provide me with a copy
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of dr. michael paxton frink opinion. i able to do that? i will have to check on that, but i will take your larger question for the record here and give you more detail answers. your response is rather troubling, particularly in the light of recent changes in nrc's transparency policies. i am curious to know whether thatnew policy or the fact only the ranking member chairman are allowed to ask information. how does that affect your decision? >> i want to be clear here. we haven't significantly change to policy, but we are going be as responsive and transparent as we ever were. severally -- certainly, when you have questions about a reactor in your district, you're going to respond as completely as possible.
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>> on to make one more comment. i am pleased to hear that in response to or in light of recent changes in the nrc transparency policy, you're still willing to get a response to us. i am very troubled by these new policies that really preclude transparency from members of the committee with oversight to be able to asked rectally for information, both as a member of the committee and as one with a nuclear plant in my district, i find the policy itself to be unacceptable. with no offense to my good friends the chairman and ranking member, but i should be able to freely address your committee. >> but your concern. -- i appreciate your concern.
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>> welcome to the commissioners. house is afrom my south texas project. as you all know, there are two reactors there. celebrates its 21st anniversary this august. the project is not hurricane alley. years, they have provided safe, reliable power for southeast texas. our local coast. i want to try some of the questions from chairman whitfield. these are smaller reactors that could someday make new nuclear
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power available in more places. my first question is for you chairman mcfarlane. the certification of new reactors, designs by the nrc, is -- that isbed as good. as this process goes, it is sometimes to deliberate. as chairman bart said, takes an average seven years. d lee has a role in this, but safety is critical. what has caused dose delays and what can you to keep small reactor size reasonably entirely? the design certification process is a two-way street. before, we do need high-quality applications. delayed in then
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process are questions we have about the application because we didn't get a high quality product to begin with. casey to avert that in the of small modular reactors, we have been working with the potential applicants, telling them what they need to provide to us and making sure that they clearly understand that. >> i would note that some of this certification is more innovative than others. i think that where the design is less than something we ever proved, it is likely we will have a series of lessons we will asked to assure ourselves of safety.
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>> during the reviews, technical they require a response from the applicant and then an evaluation by the nrc staff. westinghouse,with with general electric's plant and these ethical issues, unfortunately are of a nature that they are not resolved within a week or two weeks or months. that is a cause for delay. i don't know what issues will but we will the smr have to see. not aeven years is reasonable time.
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is a guy who spent his navy career chasing submarines, it is fellow welcome a graduate of university of texas law school. i know you're looking forward this weekend to the football game between your all i'm a strong supporter of nuclear power and we're coming from a state that needs more baseline power. we need more nuclear power plants. i mentioned south texas. stops and starts, not because all of you, but things happened back home in texas. but i'm excited because we built two new plants there in georgia and south carolina. what have you learned with these new plants? because this happened a long
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long time since we authorized new reactors. what have you learned going forward so i can help south texas? >> i will go back to my navy experience. 33 years ago i was on my second submarine. i had responsibilities for super vising the testing of the propullings plant. and this was the 25th submarine being built at the time. and the same design, every week there were still new issues that came up about constructibility. where does this go? how do you do this particular welding technique? for a very mature program for submarine construction at the time we were continuing to learn lessons routinely. so we should not be surprised we go through that process that we learn new
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lessons because there will be some new issues that come up. >> i will close by saying go navy, beat army. . >> the gentleman is out of order. the chairman now recognizes mr. dingell for five minutes. >> mr. chair i thank you for your courtesy, commend you for your hearing. i welcome the members of the commission. i thank you for your recent response to the letter sent by myself and a number of colleagues asking the commission to complete work on the safety evaluation report for yucka mountain. i'm encouraged by the recent order to finish the scr and look forward to its completion. now, as i just mentioned, on nove 18 the nrc ordered the staff to complete work on the safety evaluation report. and that such work would take approximately 12 months. this time frame made a few
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assumptions. i would like to ask you some questions about those assumptions. on page 11, footnote 3 of the commission's order. first, will the commission of the scr be given a high priority? yes or no? >> it will be given a high priority. >> how long do you anticipate it will take to gather the necessary key technical reviewers? >> as i was able to say earlier, we're expecting a plan from the staff on moving forward on this later this month. but saying any more on this issue is not appropriate because we have some pending motions before the commission on our order. could you submit some quick response to the committee on that particular point. now, is your staff developing a plan on how to move towards completion of the scr? >> yes, we are. >> when will such plan be
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complete? >> the plan to move forward will be completed later this month. >> it is my understanding that nine counties have appealed the scr order. does the nrc have sufficient funds to complete both the scr and to respond to the appeal? >> certainly all litigation matters on yucca mountain come from the nuclear waste fund. in terms of specific amounts of money, because of this motion before us i can't go into any more detail. >> well, i have my great doubts that you will be able to do so. as soon as you can tell us that you don't or you do or you need additional money for this, it would be appreciated if you could communicate that to us because we want you to have the resources you need to have the job you need to do. approximately how much is it
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going to cost the nrc to fully respond to the appeal? >> i don't know. >> if you get some loose time when you get back to the commission would you see what you can't us on that for the record. now, in responses to questions on the record, from chairman shim cuss, from july 24, 2012 hearing, commissioners who attended that hearing expressed general support for the internal commission procedures implemented in 2011. it's my understanding that these procedures are advised every 2 years and the commission is currently in the process of further resizing. is that correct? >> that's correct. >> i'm going to try to -- you're -- >> the name is slvak.
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grandfather game from sloveackia. i've americanized it. >> i like the slovic. in any event, welcome. it's always good to see a university of michigan graduate. in your response you stated that the commission was gaining from the l experience procedures. do you believe that the internal procedures and the review process allow the commission to carry out its duty in a collegial and collaborative way? yes or no? >> yes. and we are. >> now, would the other commissioners please give us a yes or no answer on that, too. >> yes. >> dwre. >> yes. >> yes. >> now, do the commissioners believe that the current icp
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are working? would you each answer yes or no. >> yes. but we do have the procedures under a bineyl review process so we're always look wrg they might be improved. >> yes and no. >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. but i agree with the commissioner's comment that they are under review again. >> now, for all the commissioners, you believe that every commissioner's concerns and input have been considered during the current icp process? in other words, have each of you had your conversations and concern considered in part of the process? >> yes. my colleagues evaluated my modifications and approved or disapproved them. >> yes. >> yes. we considered each other. >> yes. we all worked together on it. >> yes. >> now, if a commissioner had suggested a change to the icp, do you each believe that such a
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suggestion would be considered in good faith? yes or no? >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> i hope that in no way did you feel distressed at those questions but i want to see to it that the commission gets the fullest support of this committee. and in doing its responsibilities that having a harmonious process. because god knows you're having enough trouble doing your job down there because of interference from all sorts. thank you. >> the gentleman's time expired. the chair recognizes mr. kensinger for five minutes. >> mr. chairman thank you and thank you all for being here today. earlier this year a letter was sent raising concerns about the staff proposal to mandate filters systems. as it happens, the proposal not only failed a cost benefit analysis in which there were serious concerns in regards to an understated cost east mat but the advisory committee on
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reactors safe guards. your advisory body also disagreed with the proposal's approach. in the response letter that was received they stated that it has followed its process for ensuring that a sufficient basis exists for imposing regulatory requirements. chairman, would you agree that the current nrc practice states that a sufficient basis for imposing regulatory requirements means that the change has been shown to be necessary for adequate protection or as required by the rules? >> yes. that's correct. >> would any other commissioners like to comment on that? the issue here is that the nrcc staff tried to override the quantitative analysis related to filtered events in order to escape a challenge by recommending the commission votes issue an order. chairman, isn't that process normally reserved for matters that are necessary for adequate protection of public health and safety?
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>> i don't believe the staff tried to override the back fit rule or the cost benefits analysis. i think they did their thorough cost benefit analysis according to the information they had. >> is that the opinion of all the commissioners? >> i don't know. >> i want to comment congressman. thank you for the question. i think our staff did an outstanding job of presenting a ry dg issue to the commission. i think there are certain matters that require judgment. they teed it up to the commission. they made a decision and we're moving forward. i applaud our staff. >> i'm not going to take all my time. i would like to close by offering my support for congressman terry's nrc legislation. my friend and i are working on language to limit for only urgent and significant safety needs. a solid line must be issued to ensure discipline in the agency's processes so that the regulation ks provide some actual stability to the issues. with that, i will yield back. >> the gentleman yields back
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his time. the chair will now recognize ms. castor from florida for five minutes. >> good morning, chairman mcfarlnd and commission members. a decommissioning plan was recently submitted for the crystal river nuclear power plant in florida. it's distressing situation all the way around because the utility attempted to repair the plant, they exacerbated problems resulting in cracks in the containment walls. the repair costs soared and so the utility chose to shut it down. it's gotten a lot of attention in florida and especially among rate payers because they are on the rook because of the law in florida that said rate payers pay in advance for constructing the plant and now they're going to be on the hook for those costs and then costs of some of the costs of shutting it down without generating one kilo
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wath hour of electricity. so this is an important lesson for states around the country to have safe guards if you're going to proceed to have an advanced recovery feed. so the utility has chosen safe storage as the decommissioning option which will they estimate, will cost $1.2 billion and this will proceed now over 60 years to 2074. could you please review at this point in time now that you've received the decommissioning plan what the responsibilities are of the nrc in review of that plan and public comment? >> sure. the nrc maintains an oversight role throughout the entire decommissioning of the facility. we continue to inspect the facility, especially during active decommissioning. as after we receive the plan
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from the licensee, we will hold a public meeting and discuss how the licensee decides to move forward and accept public comment on this. also strongly encourage our licensees to form community advisory boards for decommissioning process and i did meet with the licensees yesterday and personally encouraged them to do this. >> now, there are other plants around the country that are currently in safe storage. i believe three mile island is. name a few others. >> indian point one. zion was in safeguard they're now actively decommissioning. >> so in your experience with these plants that are decommissioned and in safe storage, what is the likelihood that the 1.2 billion cost estimate at this time will
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remain stat tick and what's the likelihood that the cost for decommissioning and attention to the plant over time will increase? >> you know, i'm not that familiar with the costs over a long periods of time so let me take that for the record. >> do any other commissioners have a comment on that? ok. on another topic. the terry little proposes to legitimate how travel by all commissioners is approved. some might argue that it falls into the category of micromanaging. but if the majority intends to legitimate in this area we need to have a better understanding of the commissioners' travel. according to information, some have been traveling abroad quite a bit. some is to be expected in the wake of the fukishima disaster. commissioner spent several days in travel to europe, asia and south america. that's two months of international travel.
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it seems like quite a lot. more than 100 days of traveling abroad on official business over the last two years. this year days internationally. this seems to be bordering on the excessive and i think we're going to need an accounting here especially when the primary responsibilities of course are in the united states. now, i think it's reasonable you've got to understand what's happening in the field internationally. but since we're expecting to mark up legislation that addresses this travel, i would like each of the commissioners to provide for the record an accounting of their international travel and an explanation of why it's worth the hundreds of thousands of taxpayers dollars that it costs. thank you. i yield back the rest of my time. >> the chair now recognizes the gentleman from virginia for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate you all being here. as i have said before one of my
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first experiences was while there was a fight going on so i do appreciate what all of you have done to create an atmosphere of collegiality. so i do appreciate that. in regard to mr. terry's bill, i happened to agree with him it doesn't seem it's too onerous perhaps language can be worked out if you will work with him on language to make it straight. but when i was a kid there was a tv show lost in space and the robe ot would say danger will robinson. >> i remember it well. >> and it seems to me there ought to be some ap or way to et a message out danger. >> the reports, have you had an opportunity to read those? last time you had just gotten started. >> yes, i have.
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>> i think that's the impetus behind the terry bill. in both reports it points out conflicts over what information could be given to other members of the commission by the chairman and that led to a lot of the angst that was going on prior to your arrival. so i think that while i support the bill, i'm sure that mr. terry will work with you in regard to working out some of the glitches that are there that he's trying to do what's right, you're trying to do what's right. i'm sure you can get that worked out. according to nrc practice, new requirements must be shown to be necessary for adequate protection of public health and safety or be justified by cost benefit analysis' a required by the back-fit rule. i would like to ask the clerk to put up the chart -- there you go. when i look at this chart in the context of cost benefit analysis, i wonder how the use
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of more accurate cost east mats might have impacted the analysis done in support of new requirements. do you have any comment on that? >> i'm not sure where your numbers come from. i would be happy to examine them more in more detail and get back to you on that. >> if you could do that for the record, i would appreciate it very much. do you have any plans for undertaking any review of previous cost benefit analysis to determine -- and i recognize you don't know where these numbers came from. but do you have any plans to determine if there's more accurate cost east malingts that might be done, assuming these numbers to be accurate, do you have any plans to do that? >> in general, i think our staff does a good job with their cost benefit analyses and they rely on the best available information. >> if i could supplement the chairman's answer by noting that the commission has heard
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evidence of great disparities in the cost estimates. and so we did as a commission direct the nrc staff to work to find case studies as have instead of arguing about estimates before the fact to take a case where we had estimated a cost and the industry's already implemented it look at what were those actual costs of that particular item. there are some sensitivities on the industry side to sharing some of this business information but we asked for volunteers to perform what we were calling caze studies and looking at some of our regulations. so that way we could look at their actual costs to implement versus forecasts in the hope of improving the accuracy of cost estimating. >> on a separate topic there have been as you previously talked about four nuclear plants permanently shut down in the past year one more will shut down next year and reports persist that there may be others. as a result of the decommission process, this has garnered a lot of public interest but i'm particularly concerned about
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the moneys coming in. you talk about the constant money and obviously there's some other money. but decommissioning plants don't pay as much in nrc fees as operating plants. that's correct. is it not? >> that's correct. >> then the question is as these plants are closing down and your fund are decreasing, how is the nrc going to handle the decreases in funds? >> operating plants are required to establish a decommissioning fund. which they set aside for decommissioning. and we evaluate the amount of money that they have in that fund and their plans for that fund every two years. >> over time after they've decommissioned, if you have fewer plants there's going to be less money coming in. have you started making plans ?o deal with that >> let me get back to you with more detail. >> thank you for your testimony
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here today to all of you. i yield back. >> the chair recognizes the ranking member of the full committee mr. waxman for five minutes. >> thank you very much mr. chairman. in my opening statement i expressed serious concerns about nrc's new policy for responding to congressional requests for nonpublic documents. i would like to read the previous policy. "the commission's general practice is to provide sensitive documents requested by members of its congressional oversight committees. it will also provide sensitive documents to other members of congress when the documents address matters pertaining to his or her state or district. ." i thought that was a reasonable policy that enabled the members of this committee and members with reactors in their districts to obtain the documents necessary for them to conduct oversight. the new policy is very different. nrc will only provide nonpublic documents to the chairman and
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ranking member of a committee and it will provide documents only after pursuing alternatives that do not involve producing requested documents. do you acknowledge this committee's constitutional responsibility to provide oversight of the executive branch? >> of course. >> and do you conceive that in the absence of a claim of executive privilege nmp rc has no legal basis to with hold requested nonpublic documents from can be? >> not from its oversight committees and the chairman. >> the new policy also provides each commissioner the opportunity to review documents before they are turned over to congress and to object to producing specific documents. chairman mcfarlnd, this policy creates a potential for significant delay in responding to oversight requests. how much time are commissioners given to review documents before they are produced in congress? >> we i think we certainly want
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to maintain cog zans of what documents are going in which direction. and the decision to produce documents or how we will be responsive, shall i say, is the commission decision. and of course we will operate with the most expediency possible in being responsive to our oversight committee. >> i have serious questions about allowing individual commissioners to object to producing specific documents to congress. the nrc's policy does not explain what a legitimate basis for such an objection might be. and in the absence of a claim of executive privilege there's no legal basis for wits holding the documents. chairman, do you think individual commissioners should have the right to prevent documents from being provided to congress even when there is no legal basis for withholding these documents? >> i think -- and certainly not. and this again i just want to be clear, this is moving
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forward with any kind of document production is a commission decision. >> when congress requests documents we should get those documents. there's some particularly sensitive documents we need to have discussions about how to protect certain information while meeting congress' oversight needs. but i fear this new policy is much too restrictive. would you commit to thinking through the concerns that we're raising today with your colleagues and to consider making changes to the policy to address these concerns? >> absolutely i'll consider your krns. thr i would like to ask the same questions of the other members of the commission. would you commit to thinking through these concerns raised today and consider making changes to address them? >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> i thank you. that's very helpful and i'll look forward to further communications with you. thank you, mr. president. >> the chair now recognizes the vice chairman of the energy and air quality subcommittee for
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five minutes. >> thank you. i appreciate your having this hearing. i appreciate all of you being back with us today. i know back in february when we had our last hearing on the post facebook sheema requirements i had asked a few questions. maybe you have that information. if we can first pull up the slide on cumulative effect that is we had talked about at the last hearing. that is why i had raised just to show the time line of regulatory reactions for the average owner of four plants. i will point out how these are a lot of new requirements in addition to what is already needed for somebody to operate a plant at the highest level of security. so as you look at the slide, if you look down in the -- i think go to the next slide because we've got another slide with even more requirements and if
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you will notice in the bottom there's a little box in the bottom right corner that said that this slide still doesn't even reflect the tier 2 and 3 fukishima items that will be coming. and that's one of the things i had asked about. how many of those there are. we were hearing around 40. there wasn't a number that you all could give me then. can you give me a number now how many we're talking about in addition to all this? >> tier 3 requirements. >> those are still under discussion at the commission. we are not yet considering some of the tier 3 requirements. we'll see if they will become requirements. >> you have a number yet that you can give us a ballpark? >> no. >> when will that come out and when is the plan for that? >> the number of items that we will be considering? >> yes. >> i can give you that number for the record. >> because i asked for that in february and you said you will give me that for the record. when then -- >> i apologize.
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we will give it to you as soon as we can. >> before next february hopefully? >> before next february. >> that's good. we're making progress here. when we were talking about the accumulate lative effects, this is an issue that the nrc staff agrees can potentially distract licensees or entity staff from excuting other primary duties that ensure safety or security. and so again i would emphasize as you are coming up with whatever that number is going to be, 30, 40, 50 new requirements when you look at that chart and those are thing that is are already being done and i think we've seen our facilities have a very high level of security, we sure don't want to be putting things in place that would actually take away from their ability to keep that high level security when they're already doing a lot of things that are important and effective. i do want to go now to the next slide because cost benefit analysis is something that's
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real important, too, when you're putting these items together that you're putting together with each of these you would attach, i would imagine some cost benefit analysis to show what the cost is because at the end of the day it's rate payers, it's hard-working tax payers that will pay for whatever proposals would come forward and it's always been a requirement that you attach that. if you look here, this shows a history of the nrc's estimates when you come up with specific rules and you can go through, there's a number of rules there that we've seen would initially was your cost estimate at nrc -- and then ultimately what the true cost was. an eesmalt is nice until you find out how it happens in the real world. just to use these, low end was 347% off on that cost estimate. n the high end, you were 1,4 49% off on your estimate. and each time the estimate was low-balled it wasn't like
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sometimes you're high, sometimes you're low. in all cases i don't know if you were low-balling the numbers, but at the end of the day, when you look at the real world impact it's very dramatic how far off you all have been. and maybe if i can ask everybody on the panel here, what are you doing to fix this? this is -- when you talk about accountability, if you're off that much in the same way again it's not -- everything is kind of factors out if you're doing it maybe you've got good modeling sometimes you're high. but every time you're low-balling the numbers in a dramatic way you're off and taxpayers, families that are struggling are paying these costs. and if you come up with a rule and say it's only going to cost this and it costs 1,plus percent more we need to know that. so if you can address this problem. >> the commission is aware of
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some of these disparities and has directed the nrc staff to solicit for industry volunteers who would be willing to provide their business information regarding actual costs after the fact. >> in addition to their requirements, you will have them fix this for you? >> we could not compel the provision by the industry. we asked the industry to be interested in volunteering. we have these disparities. we have gotten an energetic response. they would like some of the details and cost estimates to work toward the objective of improving the estimating ability. we look at what we are offering and what is the cost. >> the commissioner has directed theow to reevaluate methodology that they are using for cost benefit. when we receive
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the paper, this will be very important. we will ask questions about why this is happening and see whether this will actually have found the reasons for this disparity. >> i agree with my colleague. >> i agree with what my colleagues have said. i would add that we have launched these efforts to indicate that many of us were concerned. with thencerned situation. it is important to get this as close as possible. i would like us to do much better. >> i would just add to the comments that our process -- we encourage industry to provide their own estimates. in many of these cases, i want to point out that i have had
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discussions with in our staff. sides, both sides did not fully understand the recurrence of the systems. motion detector and other security aspects. it is a two way street. we will not pretend to be experts. we need the industries help. both sides need to work together. >> we need to get that better. thank you. we look forward to getting that information. >> the gentleman yield back the time. we recognize the gentleman from new york for five minutes. >> thank you for being here. take you for the job that you're doing. it is very important and we appreciate it. we have discussed in the past --
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i want to revisit it again. most safety serious issues facing the new york metropolitan region. i want to encourage due diligence from the nrc. we have an operational history that has been plagued by serious questions unplanned shutdowns. all members of congress -- i am 1 -- represent the county that has called for its closure. it is not something that we take lately. particularly concerning other changes. i know that on this committee, you share my concerns about the inadequacy of the response structure.
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couldd like it if you address some of those concerns. under current law, the chairman of the nrc hold the authorities necessary to save lives and manage disaster. in my opinion would have the nrc governing crisis by committee. we know how poorly that worked. so, i am told -- correct me if i am wrong. we could declare an emergency, but you would have to notify commissioners and the committees and the general public. the facility could be on its way to meltdown. i would like to hear from you. how do you perceive this legislation impacting your ability to manage a potential especially in a major metropolitan area like new york. >> i think that the commission
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procedures are adequate. i think that the commission is operating well. there operating collegially. i do not see any need to alter or change the existing procedures. especially with regard to emergency powers. >> thank you. would anyone else like to comment? if not, i will move on. i would also like to ask, in your testimony, you mentioned the nrc has been undergoing regulatory actions to determine the expedited transfers. i have been particularly interested in that for years. i understand that the commission expects a proposal by early 2014. we are all aware of the risk. it can be reduced by moving some of the cast.
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can you elaborate on how the nrc is prioritizing? what hurdles might remain for the implementation of this safer storage system? >> we are now on the process of considering whether to require expedited transfer of nuclear fuel from the pools of reactors to dry cask storage. we will have a commission meeting on this in early january. we have a few papers from the staff that address this issue. it is an area of active consideration. >> thank you for that. i have been concerned about this for a while. i am very happy they were moving forward. let me ask you my last question. the bill chips away at the authority of the nrc chairman. declarerman can
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emergency only in response to his safety or security. materialsng nuclear directly related by the commission. chairman, you think it makes sense to events involving us- based facilities and other scenarios? citizens?n u.s. i am told that canada's power -- i am also told that thieves stole cobalt in mexico. that could have had implications for the united states. >> i think that the chair needs flexibility to respond to an emergency. wherever it is. in particular, in terms of foreign countries, canada has nuclear power plants that are
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near the border. that may pose an emergency for the u.s. i would also like to point out that we have military personnel in a number of countries that may be near nuclear facilities. if there is an emergency with one of those facilities, the u.s. government would want the aguila torry commission to have a full understanding of the emergency can -- occurring. we need to have flexibility to respond to situations in which u.s. systems are at risk. >> thank you very much. >> time has expired. we have multiple branches of the service. i am turning to colonel johnson from ohio. >> thank you mr. chairman. it was only the air force. that is ok. all services are ok. i want to thank the panel for being here with us. i got a few comments. i will ask to each of you. we have heard a lot about
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budgets and cost. when it comes to matters that are truly necessary for protection of public health and safety, cost should not necessarily be the driving factor. concerned that the nrc and the industry are in a pattern of increasing cost. we're chasing ever increasing cost. if i could ask the clerk to put up nrc is, versus licensing action, this slide shows how the nrc's budget has grown over the last decade. i want to show you another slide. spending on selected cost categories. that shows how the industry costs have grown since told -- 2005. the red line shows of percentage increase of regulatory capital
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expenditures compared to the industry suspended teachers in 2005. that shows the regulatory expenditures were about 230% of what they were in 2005. the spending has neville -- leveled off. costguessing that as the of fukushima requirements are incurred, the line will trend upward again. i understand that one utility has estimated the cost to be $400 million. that is .4 billion dollars. that is a lot of money. we incur cost in new regulatory requirements. 56 rulemakings listed on the regulations.gov site. the industry incurs costs and implements requirements. they were incur more costs. this seems to be a self reinforcing cycle of regulatory
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burden. not only do i question whether this is sustainable over the long term, i'm concerned whether the safety gains are commensurate with the cost. the regulations include reliability, which states that once established, regulation should be perceived to be reliable and not justifiably in a state of transition. they should be promptly, fairly, and decisively administered. they will lend stability to the nuclear operational and planning processes. nuclear energy is a vital contribution to our systems. already decided that it is a factor in their decision to close a plant immaturely. for plant is economic five ability is threatened, this increasing burden is a factor that cannot be ignored.
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decommissioning should not be the only option that could provide regulatory stability. i think the situation calls for long leadership from the commissioners. now, for the question. i would like to have each of you answer. nrc should think the do to stabilize the situation and restore some stability to the regulatory environment? >> i think that the commission's approach to fukushima actions does reflect and take into account a number of concerns that you have just expressed. withxample, when presented a long list of areas for regulatory action, the commission itself took and prioritized those actions and to those that would provide greatest safety benefit. the estimate of how much that redline would go up on your -- it is completed some of the cost loaded into the
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early years. we have acted first on those things that have the greatest benefit. for the remainder of the actions, we need to strike the right balance between the probability of some of these extreme events and the need to take regulatory action on them. >> i must say that i was a little disturbed by the slides that were shown today. back and try to understand better what the reasons are. i agree with the commissioners comments. also, in my opening statements, i mentioned a few things that the agency is doing to deal with the defense of regulations. i believe that the commission is aware of these problems and perhaps we need to do more. i do not know yet what we need to do. >> i will let you go last, commissioner. >> thank you.
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i echo them. , as we goso add that through the effort of looking at each one of these regulations, we do look at them in the context of what is necessary. they of coarse way that differently. >> slides indicate that does not work. >> there are many things that have been proposed that have not been approved. we have been aggressive about that. in my view, running a nuclear power plant is not for the faint of heart. you have to be able to meet regulatory requirements. the requirements we put forth are appropriate. they say that -- this was there is aearlier -- very important conversation taking place in the agency. it is talking about prioritization and regulations.
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this is something that, if it is successful, would enable us to look at regulations in a more holistic manner. that is really the path of the future. >> i know we're considerably over time. i would like each panel member to have a chance to answer. >> thank you. i agree with my colleagues. i would add two other thoughts. we have disapproved staff recommended answers regulations. >> what we are talking about is the fact that are in the cost and gains. >> i understand. we are looking at the fukushima decision-making. perhaps we need to do a better job of explaining these. we do all of our written notation books. we explain in great detail every
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commissioner and what decision the we have reached and why. if you look at one decision, the external filter decision from earlier in 2013, where the commissioner spent a great deal of time looking at pros and cons. we came to a decision that did not require installation of external filters. it gave the industry more latitude. i think that there are examples there that need to be committed better. >> i agree that there are probably things that you have done very well. with all due respect, you're describing things that you have done that are putting us -- would, if you can -- >> i agree with my colleagues. i do think that we are cognizant of the cost benefit analysis. i want to remind you that the
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atomic energy act requires us to not consider cost. determines that a given regulatory action is required for the adequate protection of nuclear facilities -- that was the case with a number of orders given post fukushima. >> thank you for your indulgence. >> the time has expired. the chair now recognizes my colleague and friend, my congressional classmate, the lady from colorado. >> good to see you. i am happy to see all five commissioners here today. just as everyone else said. i just have a few questions. -- you were onr the commission in 2010, is that correct? i just want to get a little recent history clear. since you were there, i want to start with you.
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in that year, in 2010, they filed a motion. it withdrew the license application. is that correct? >> yes, i believe so. i have to go from memory. >> the licensing board denied the motion. the commission sustained the licensing board's denial of the application, is that correct? >> yes. >> after the denial of the motion, the nrc did not continue to review the application because of the budgetary limitations. is that correct? >> the sequence of events may be different after the commission sustained the licensing board. it may have been that there was some time that the staff worked to have an orderly closeout of activities. they may not have it -- happened exactly. >> what were the budgetary
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limitations that were involved ceasing reviewing applications? >> i was not chairman then. >> you do not know? >> i can try to get the answer for you. that point, the courts have ordered the nrc to continue their review. you are now complying with those orders, correct? about $11e got million. this goes to the earlier question. my staff tells me that you have about $11 million remaining. and your staff are estimating that it will cost that much to finish the report. is that correct? >> to finish the safety evaluation report. wouldust want to say, i
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encourage the nrc to heed to those timelines. finish the safety evaluation before. it looks like we have the money and it is ongoing. i think it is important to have that. onei just wanted to ask more question. following up on what was talked about earlier. the bill that we are talking about today -- a number of folks have discussed that the chairman of the commission of the spell would not be able to exercise emergency authority without being able to consult congressional committees and other commissioners and the public. like my colleagues, i am worried about how this would work. one ring that nobody has asked to you is maybe this would be a good thing for you to talk about. lessons from any
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fukushima about what kind of quick response you need to have in a crisis -- what have we learned from fukushima? >> we have learned many lessons. in this particular context, i think it is important for there to be a person who is in leadership who can make decisions very quickly. i think that is one of the lessons taken from fukushima. wasn japan, what happened that there were a lot of layers of bureaucracy that they had to go through. that delay decision-making. >> yes. these were lessons that the united states learned after or during the three mile island accident. those lessons were cost if i'd -- codified into law. the regulatory agency was restructured. >> thank you very much. >> the gentlelady yields back
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for time. we recognize the gentleman from mississippi. five minutes. >> thank each of you for being here. a muchncouraging to see greater level of cooperation among the commissioners perhaps than in previous years. that does bring some comfort. if i may start with you, madam chair. we had discussions previously and i had to ask you if you had read and reviewed the nrc inspector general's conclusions from the june 6, 2011 report. you had not. i am curious if you have had a chance to cents. >> yes. >> i know that there were revised procedures. are there any other revisions report?at june 26 >> as a result? now. taken any actions to
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address the conclusions that we need to be aware of? >> now. >> are there any that we should be aware of? >> no. >> did you agree with those conclusions? >> i do not take a view on those. i was not here during that. . i do not take of you. >> i know that you are not here. we would like to make sure that they do not repeat themselves. i appreciate that you have read this. on august 1, we had a status report on the power upgrades. of course, the power upgrades determine the process for a nuclear power plant. to date, the nrc has approved 74 power up rate request.
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roughly the equivalent of seven new plants create this is a well-established process. staff report, they indicate that a number of upgrade projects have been canceled and freed up staff work. the staff also notes how they continue to have challenges in meeting their performance goals, you in the goals for time limits that were increased. under 14 applications review, three were filed in 2004. another in 2008. even though the performance goals was less than 12 months. none of the applications currently under review have been meeting the performance goals. i will summarize, if i may. it is a well-established program with the decreasing workload. the staff is falling far short of meeting time limit in spite
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of them being increased 50%. that sounds like a program in need of management and accountability. i will give you an opportunity to respond to the moment. the commission response -- what was that? it is no longer necessary to provide the commission a staff report on power up rate. specific issues arise. and always focus on what their bosses focus on. concern,ness is of no it appears that it may not be for the nrc. the commission has a lack of leadership that will only further undermine the schedule discipline. efficiencyion's principle states that the american taxpayer, the rate paying consumer, are entitled to the best possible management of regulatory activities.
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decisions should be made without undue delay. i would like to hear from each of you about how you think the commission would be best able to restore some stability and predictability to this program. if i could ask you that, madam chair. >> to the upgrade program? thank you for the question. systemconcerned with the working as effectively as possible always. in terms of power upgrades as well. have been working under specific circumstances the past year. in particular, this past year, we have suffered like many agencies with seek restoration. tos has affected our ability be effective in a number of areas. upgrades may be one of them. we have taken on additional work and confidence has redirected staff resources for fukushima and being responsive to that. that has been redirected as well.
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then, we have the peace of the industry responsiveness and, again, i go back to the statement from earlier. ,hen we received applications we need high-quality applications that do not generate a number of answers. we need efficient responses as well. >> i see that my time has expired. thank you. >> the gentleman yield back his time. we want to thank you all. a few short comments. i was invited to and attended the economic symposium put on in nevada. in reno a couple of weeks ago. i throw that out as an interesting comment. a lot of the comments today were from my colleagues. they were based upon the industry fearing the knife edge with pressures and the cumulative affect regulation. i think that is the balance that
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you may have heard from my colleagues. the commission form of government is -- the chairman is rich possible for agendas and staff. you are all one of my equals on casting votes. whether at the municipal level or -- we applaud the camaraderie. moving forward, what we have been able to do -- i do have one or two announcements. -- it isas the nato vinny esposito's last day. god speed and thank you for your help. i also want to thank you all. it was a long hearing. but it was a good one and i think we all learned a lot. i want to remind our members that they have 10 business days to submit additional questions for the record. and, as probably as you can, a response. the hearing is now adjourned. in a few moments, "washington
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journal" is live. at 10:00, kentucky congressman talks about the recent budget deal in congress and what it means for the appropriations process. after that, health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius testifies on the status of the healthcare.gov website. and other issues related to the health care law. coming up next on "washington journal." freedberg discusses the budget deal in congress. he will also talk about legislation for 2014 defense programs. a volpe on ,john dell politics and public service.
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then, a discussion on the future of guantanamo bay. they will talk about provisions within the national defense authorization act that pertain to guantánamo. "washington journal" is next. ♪ good morning. it is sunday, december 15. welcome to "washington journal." we will spend the first 45 minutes hearing from you and going through the papers. we will ask you a bit about politics with just over two weeks left in the year before the end of the year. we know there will be a lot of programs, particularly political programs, looking at politics in 2013. we want to ask you the question about who had the worst year in politics. it is east on a column in the outlook ct

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