Summary: S.2884 — 96th Congress (1979-1980)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Indefinitely postponed in Senate (09/26/1980)

(Measure indefinitely postponed in Senate, H. R. 7865 passed in lieu)

Nuclear Safety Research and Development Act of 1980 - Declares that the policy of the United States and the purpose of this Act is to establish a research and development 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 means of determining failure rates in components, subsystems and systems, and the methodology of assessing the effects of such failures on the generic design and operation of nuclear power plants; (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 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; and (7) the identification of aptitudes, training, and manning levels which are necessary to assure reliable operator performance.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) consult with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for the purpose of eliminating unnecessary duplication and avoiding pragmatic conflict with any reactor safety research program of the Commission; (2) coordinate, to the extent practicable, activities with other Government agencies and nongovernmental entities supporting nuclear safety, research, and development in order to minimize duplication of efforts and ensure that advance concepts resulting from his 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) aim primarily to reduce the complexity of nuclear powerplant systems and operations.

Authorizes the Secretary to enter into international agreements in the development and implementation of such program.

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 simulation of various types of reactors' performances under various abnormal conditions and postulated accident conditions.

Requires the Secretary, in cooperation with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, to study the sufficiency of effort 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 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 and development 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.