Summary: H.R.7865 — 96th Congress (1979-1980)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Senate agreed to House amendment with amendment (12/12/1980)

(Senate agreed to House amendment with an amendment)

Nuclear Safety Research, Development, and Demonstration Act of 1980 - Declares that the policy of the United States and the purposes of this Act are to establish a research, development, and demonstration program for developing practical improvements in the safety of nuclear powerplants during the next five years.

Directs the Secretary of Energy to establish such a program.

Sets forth as the minimum goals of such program: (1) refining the assessment of risk factors associated with the generic design and operation of nuclear powerplants to determine the degree and consequences of propagation of failures of systems, subsystems, and components; (2) the development of potentially cost-beneficial changes in the generic design and operation of nuclear powerplants; (3) the development of potentially cost-beneficial generic methods and designs that improve the performance of nuclear powerplant operators under routine, abnormal, and accident conditions; (4) the identification of the effectiveness of total or partial generic plant system automation; (5) the determination of the consequences of abnormal operational and postulated accident conditions; (6) the examination and analysis of certain nuclear powerplant fuels, components, and subsystems; (7) the identification of aptitudes, training, and manning levels which are necessary to assure reliable operator performance; and (8) the conduct of studies and analyses to establish a data base and the development of a methodology suitable to permit a comparison throughout each fuel cycle of the relative risks associated with all aspects of using, or not using, each potentially significant electrical energy force.

Directs the Secretary in carrying out the generic safety research, development, and demonstration program established by this Act to: (1) coordinate with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for the purpose of eliminating unnecessary duplication and avoiding programmatic conflict with any reactor safety research program of the Commission; (2) coordinate, to the extent practicable, activities with other Government agencies and nongovernmental entities in order to minimize duplication of efforts and ensure that concepts resulting from his or her activities are available for application in a timely manner; (3) utilize, to the extent feasible, underutilized federally owned research reactors and facilities along with the associated personnel to maintain existing capabilities and to ensure that the research is generic in nature; and (4) recommend reductions in the complexity of nuclear powerplant systems and operations.

Directs the Secretary to initiate a study of the need for and feasibility of establishing a reactor engineering simulator facility at a national laboratory.

Directs the Secretary to study and report to Congress on the feasibility of creating a reactor engineering simulator facility at a national laboratory to foster research in generic design improvements and simplifications through performance simulations of various types of reactors under various abnormal conditions and postulated accident conditions.

Requires the Secretary, in cooperating with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, to study the sufficiency of efforts in the United States to provide specially trained professionals to operate the control rooms of nuclear powerplants and other facilities in the back-end of the nuclear fuel cycle. Directs the Secretary, in conducting such study, to assess the desirability and feasibility of creating a Federal Corps of such professionals within the executive branch, and of establishing an academy to train such Corps professionals. Sets the deadline of one year after the date of enactment of this Act for completion of such study, and requires submission of a report along with the Secretary's recommendations to Congress.

Directs the Secretary to fully disseminate safety-related information resulting from any project or other activity conducted under this Act.

Directs the Secretary, in consultation with the heads of other Federal agencies and appropriate public and private organizations, to prepare a comprehensive program management plan for the conduct of research, development, and demonstration activities under this Act. Directs that such plan be transmitted to the appropriate congressional committees annually, along with a statement setting forth specified changes in such plan and other pertinent information.