Summary: S.1811 — 95th Congress (1977-1978)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Conference report filed in Senate (10/07/1977)

(Conference report filed in Senate, Sept. 95-482)

Department of Energy Authorization Act - Civilian Applications - =Title I: Energy Research, Development, and and Demonstration, and Related Activities= - Authorizes the appropriation of $6,161,445,000 to the Department of Energy for energy research, development, demonstration, and related activities for fiscal year 1978. Details authorizations for operating expenses for programs for fossil energy development, solar energy development, geothermal energy development, conservation research and development, environment and safety research and development, nuclear research and development, and other related programs.

Lists authorizations for additional plant and capital equipment expenditures. Rescinds authorizations for prior projects relating to preliminary planning of molten salt breeder reactors. Amends prior authorization Acts to increase the amounts authorized for specific projects.

Directs the Secretary of Energy to prepare and transmit a plan to the Congress within a year on the options for management, ownership, and ultimate disposition of the radioactive waste disposal operations at the Western New York Nuclear Service Center.

Prohibits the use of any funds from in any way cancelling or terminating the Clinch River Breeder Reactor Project, or to plan such termination or cancellation.

Authorizes a study of the Barnwell Nuclear Fuel Plan in South Carolina.

=Title II: General Provisions= - Amends the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 to impose limitations and conditions upon annual expenditures for energy research and development activities. Prohibits the vesting of title to facilities or property in entities other than the United States without prior Congressional review. Places dollar and percentage limits in cost overruns allowable on specific projects without prior Congressional review. Imposes additional limitations on cost overruns allowable without additional Congressional authorization.

Requires the Department within six months to report on the impact of the Administration's nonproliferation policy on cooperation between the U.S. and other nations in the development of nuclear technologies.

Requires the Department to provide reasonable opportunities for small competitors to participate in its programs, and to report to Congress at least once every six months on its progress in awarding small business contracts.

Extends the authority of the Administrator of the Energy Research and Development Administration to make assistance payments to the County of Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Los Alamos School District. Permits ERDA to use the guidelines and contract provisions of the Atomic Energy Community Act of 1955, as amended, during the ten year extension.

Directs the Secretary to develop and transmit to the Congress a comprehensive environment and safety program which evaluates all environmental, health, and safety consequences associated with each energy technology program. Requires the detailed description of ongoing or completed environmental and safety research, development and demonstration efforts and of procedures adopted to mitigate undesirable impacts.

Authorizes the Administrator to make loan guarantees for alternative fuel demonstration facilities. Sets forth guidelines and procedures concerning applications for loan guarantees and the awarding of loan guarantees. Directs the Administrator to submit annual reports to the Congress setting forth his recommendations on the best opportunities to implement a program of Federal financial assistance with the objective of demonstrating production and conservation of energy, and reports concerning actions taken or not taken by the Administrator during the previous year, regarding this objective. Requires further action by the Congress prior to issuing any guarantee or commitment to guarantee or cooperative agreement.

Authorizes $19,000,000 for Federal procurement and technology development of solar photovoltaic equipment.

Limits the application of all provisions contained in this title to authorizations and appropriations made to the Department for programs and functions which include: (1) military applications of nuclear energy; (2) research and development in support of the armed forces; and (3) the common defense and security.

Transfers 5,955 acres of land in the State of Idaho presently under the jurisdiction of the Department to the Secretary of the Interior. Directs the Secretary of the Interior to make such lands available for sale to farmers for whom reclamation of land damaged by the the Teton flood of June 5, 1976, would be economically unfeasible.

Authorizes to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary for the purposes of administration of this Act.

=Title III: Automotive Propulsion Research and Development= - Automotive Propulsion Research and Development Act - Establishes within the Department a research and development program to insure the development, within five years or sooner, of advanced automobile propulsion systems. Sets forth the duties of the Secretary in conducting such programs, including: (1) establishing and conducting new projects and accelerating existing projects in furtherance of the goals; (2) giving priority attention to the development of advanced propulsion systems, with appropriate attention to those which are flexible in the type of fuel used; and (3) insuring that the program supplements but neither supplants nor duplicates private industry programs.

Requires that the Secretary coordinate his activities with the Secretary of Transportation, and utilize, to the maximum extent practicable, the expertise of the Department of Transportation in conducting programs under such Act. Provides for the participation of other Federal agencies which have appropriate capabilities. Directs the Administrator to collect, analyze, and disseminate to developers information, data, and materials that may be relevant to the development of advanced automobile technology.

Requires that the Secretary submit to Congress an annual report of activities under such program, and sets forth the contents of such report.

Directs the Secretary to conduct a survey of developers, lending institutions, and others, and to make a study in order to determine whether, and under what conditions, research, development, and demonstration, and commercializations of advanced automobile technology may be aided by loan guarantees. Requires the Administrator to report the results of such survey to the Congress.

Amends the National Aeronautics and Space Act to provide authority for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to undertake development of advanced automotive propulsion systems.

=Title IV: Establishment of Financial Support Programs for Municipal Waste Reprocessing Demonstration Facilities= - Amends the Federal Nonnuclear Energy Research and Development Act of 1974 to establish a financial support program for reprocessing municipal waste into fuel and energy intensive products. Authorizes ERDA to make grants, contracts, price supports, and cooperative agreements to foster municipal waste reprocessing demonstration facilities. Directs the Administrator to consult with the Environmental Protection Agency, and defines the responsibilities of each agency. Requires that the Administrator submit annual reports to the Congress, and sets forth the contents of such reports.

=Title V: Basis for Government Charge for Uranium Enrichment Services= - Amends the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 to allow ERDA to obtain fair value for uranium enriching services sold to domestic and foreign customers. Sets forth guidelines for establishing prices for services.

=Title VI: Amendments to the Geothermal Energy Research, Development and Demonstration Act= - Amends the Geothermal Energy Research, Development, and Demonstration Act of 1974 to permit ERDA to administer the Geothermal Loan Program on the same basis as the loan guaranty programs of other Federal agencies. Authorizes the Administrator to borrow funds from the Treasury whenever ERDA lacks sufficient funds to meet its guaranty obligations.

Authorizes the Administrator to assist States, political subdivisions, and Indian tribes to plan and prepare for any potential economic, environmental and social impacts which may result from projects guaranteed under the Geothermal Loan Guaranty Program. Authorizes such assistance to be in the form of loan guarantees, direct loans, or grants.

=Title VII: Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Research, Development and Demonstration Program= - Provides for an ongoing research and development program in the area of electric vehicle demonstration. Establishes the Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Development Fund for the purpose of carrying out a loan guarantee and assistance program.