Summary: S.1085 — 100th Congress (1987-1988)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate amended, 2nd committee reporting (11/20/1987)

(Reported to Senate from the Committee on Armed Services with amendment, S. Rept. 100-232)

Nuclear Protections and Safety Act of 1987 - Title I: Independent Nuclear Safety Board Oversight Over Department of Energy Nuclear Facilities - Defense Nuclear Safety Board Oversight Act of 1987 - Amends the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 to establish as an independent establishment in the executive branch the Defense Nuclear Safety Board to: (1) review and evaluate the implementation of health and safety standards and Department of Energy Orders at each Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear facility; (2) recommend necessary changes; (3) investigate actual or potential nuclear incidents at DOE facilities; and (4) recommend specific measures to the Secretary of Energy (the Secretary) to reduce the likelihood of such events.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) inform the President, the Secretary of Defense, and certain congressional committees if any actions the Board recommends, or any action the Secretary proposes in response to a Board recommendation, might affect the Department's ability to meet annual nuclear weapons stockpile requirements; (2) grant the Board an opportunity to review a nuclear facility design prior to construction; and (3) periodically review and monitor construction progress with respect to public health and safety considerations. Authorizes the Board to establish reporting requirements binding on the Secretary.

Requires the Board to make its recommendations to the Secretary available to the public in DOE's regional public reading rooms and in the Federal Register.

Prescribes the administrative procedure for the Secretary to: (1) respond in writing to the Board as to whether he accepts or rejects its recommendations; (2) transmit his implementation plan for Board recommendations which have been accepted; (3) reject recommendations relating to a serious threat to public health and safety; (4) reject recommendations for budgetary considerations; and (5) reject recommendations because of their impact upon the Secretary's ability to meet annual nuclear weapons stockpile requirements.

Requires the Board and the Secretary to submit to certain congressional committees, contemporaneously with the President's budget submission, an annual report of their respective activities and recommendations.

Authorizes the Board to obtain the advice and recommendations of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards, and the Director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program. Authorizes the Board to enter into an agreement with the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences or another Board-selected independent group of experts to evaluate the difference between Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulations and Department of Energy Orders governing nuclear facilities.

Terminates the Board upon the expiration of the six-year period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act.

Directs the Secretary of Energy to transfer to the Nuclear Safety Board specified funds to be derived from FY 1988 appropriations.

Title II: Application of OSHA and NIOSH to DOE Nuclear Facilities - Applies the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA), with specified exceptions, to: (1) a production or utilization facility under the control or jurisdiction of the Secretary; (2) a facility subject to the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 under the control or jurisdiction of the Secretary; and (3) a waste storage facility under the control or jurisdiction of the Secretary. Requires the Secretary of Labor to promulgate regulations to govern application of OSHA to such facilities. Specifies the content of such regulations.

Requires the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (and its Director) to perform its statutory functions at such facilities, including the conduct of hazard evaluations and ionizing radiation evaluations. Directs the Secretary and each contractor operating such facility to cooperate with either the Secretary of Labor or the Secretary of Health and Human Services in the conduct of facility inspections or investigations, including granting access and providing information.

Title III: Mixed Hazardous Waste - Mixed Hazardous Waste Amendment Act of 1987 - Amends the Solid Waste Disposal Act to redefine the term "solid waste" to exclude: (1) source, special nuclear, or byproduct materials (as defined in the Atomic Energy Act of 1954) unless such materials are a part of any mixture or combination, if the other constituent part of such mixture or combination is a solid waste; or (2) wastes at the time they are emplaced at a nuclear waste repository. States that such amendments are clarifying in nature and do not alter existing Department of Energy authority to regulate source, special nuclear, or by-product materials when in a mixture or combined with solid waste.

Title IV: Radiation Study Advisory Board Act of 1987 - Radiation Study Advisory Board Act of 1987 - Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish the Radiation Research Board to advise and assist the Secretary of Energy in conducting studies of radiation effects. Requires the Secretary of Energy to provide the Board with all requests for proposals concerning studies of radiation health effects if such studies call for an expenditure (or authorization) of funds greater than $250,000. Requires the Board to review such proposals and make written recommendations if it believes such proposals should be modified or not funded. Requires the Secretary of Energy to periodically report to the Congress regarding implementation of the Board's recommendations (including specific reasons for each decision by the Secretary not to implement a recommendation).

Requires the Board to review such studies annually and to advise the Secretary of Energy as to the scope and direction of future studies. Directs the Secretary of Energy to: (1) insure that all such studies shall be subject to peer review; and (2) promulgate guidelines regarding data dissemination of such studies to researchers who are not associated with the Department of Energy. Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to provide the Board with necessary funds, facilities, and staff.