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115th Congress      }                                        {    Report
                          HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session         }                                        {   115-554

======================================================================



 
                LOW-DOSE RADIATION RESEARCH ACT OF 2017

                                _______
                                

 February 13, 2018.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

     Mr. Smith of Texas, from the Committee on Science, Space, and 
                  Technology, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 4675]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee Science, Space, and Technology, to whom was 
referred the bill (H.R. 4675) to amend the Energy Policy Act of 
2005 to provide for a low-dose radiation basic research 
program, having considered the same, report favorably thereon 
with an amendment and recommend that the bill as amended do 
pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Committee Statement and Views....................................     3
Section-by-Section...............................................     5
Explanation of Amendments........................................     5
Committee Consideration..........................................     6
Application of Law to the Legislative Branch.....................     6
Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the 
  Committee......................................................     6
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     6
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................     6
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................     6
Federal Advisory Committee Act...................................     6
Unfunded Mandate Statement.......................................     6
Earmark Identification...........................................     7
Committee Estimate...............................................     7
Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate...     7
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill as Reported.............     8

    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Low-Dose Radiation Research Act of 
2017''.

SEC. 2. LOW-DOSE RADIATION RESEARCH PROGRAM.

  (a) In General.--Subtitle G of title IX of the Energy Policy Act of 
2005 (42 U.S.C. 16311 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 
977 the following new section:

``SEC. 977A. LOW-DOSE RADIATION RESEARCH PROGRAM.

  ``(a) In General.--The Secretary shall carry out a basic research 
program on low-dose radiation to--
          ``(1) enhance the scientific understanding of, and reduce 
        uncertainties associated with, the effects of exposure to low-
        dose radiation; and
          ``(2) inform improved risk-assessment and risk-management 
        methods with respect to such radiation.
  ``(b) Program Components.--In carrying out the program required under 
subsection (a), the Secretary shall--
          ``(1) formulate scientific goals for low-dose radiation basic 
        research in the United States;
          ``(2) identify ongoing scientific challenges for 
        understanding the long-term effects of ionizing radiation on 
        biological systems;
          ``(3) develop a long-term strategic and prioritized basic 
        research agenda to address such scientific challenges in 
        coordination with other research efforts;
          ``(4) identify and, to the extent possible, quantify, 
        potential monetary and health-related benefits to Federal 
        agencies, the general public, industry, research communities, 
        and other users of information produced by such research 
        program;
          ``(5) leverage the collective body of knowledge from existing 
        low-dose radiation research; and
          ``(6) engage with other Federal agencies, research 
        communities, and potential users of information produced under 
        this section, including institutions concerning radiation 
        research, medical physics, radiology, health physics, and 
        emergency response.
  ``(c) Coordination.--In carrying out the program, the Secretary, in 
coordination with the Physical Science Subcommittee of the National 
Science and Technology Council, shall--
          ``(1) support the directives under section 106 of the 
        American Innovation and Competitiveness Act (42 U.S.C. 6601 
        note);
          ``(2) ensure that the Office of Science of the Department of 
        Energy consults with the National Aeronautics and Space 
        Administration, the National Institutes of Health, the 
        Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Defense, the 
        Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the Department of Homeland 
        Security;
          ``(3) advise and assist the National Science and Technology 
        Council on policies and initiatives in radiation biology, 
        including enhancing scientific knowledge of the effects of low-
        dose radiation on biological systems to improve radiation risk-
        assessment and risk-management methods; and
          ``(4) identify opportunities to stimulate international 
        cooperation relating to low-dose radiation and leverage 
        research and knowledge from sources outside of the United 
        States.
  ``(d) Research Plan.--Not later than 180 days after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall transmit to the Committee on 
Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives and the 
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate a 4-year 
research plan that identifies and prioritizes basic research needs 
relating to low-dose radiation. In developing such plan, the Secretary 
shall incorporate the components described in subsection (b).
  ``(e) Definition of Low-Dose Radiation.--In this section, the term 
`low-dose radiation' means a radiation dose of less than 100 
millisieverts.
  ``(f) Rule of Construction.--Nothing in this section shall be 
construed to subject any research carried out by the Secretary for the 
program under this section to any limitations described in 977(e) of 
the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 16317(e)).
  ``(g) Funding.--For purposes of carrying out this section, the 
Secretary is authorized to make available from funds provided to the 
Biological and Environmental Research Program--
          ``(1) $20,000,000 for fiscal year 2018;
          ``(2) $20,000,000 for fiscal year 2019;
          ``(3) $30,000,000 for fiscal year 2020; and
          ``(4) $30,000,000 for fiscal year 2021.''.
  (b) Conforming Amendment.--The table of contents for subtitle G of 
title IX of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 is amended by inserting after 
the item relating to section 977 the following:

``Sec. 977A. Low-dose radiation research program.''.

                     Committee Statement and Views


                          PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    The purpose of H.R. 4675, the ``Low-Dose Radiation Research 
Act of 2017,'' is to direct the Department of Energy (DOE) to 
carry out a basic research program on low dose radiation from 
the existing federal investment in basic research and 
fundamental scientific discovery by the DOE Office of Science.
    This bill authorizes a four-year program in the Biological 
and Environmental Research Program (BER) within the DOE Office 
of Science and directs the Department to develop both short and 
long term basic research plans to address significant 
challenges in low dose radiation research. H.R. 4675 also 
requires DOE to consult with interagency partners in developing 
a research program.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    Every day, humans are exposed to low doses of ionizing 
radiation, typically created by industrial activities, 
commercial processes, medical procedures, and naturally 
occurring sources. While existing data on nuclear bomb 
survivors and workers at nuclear contamination sites can be 
used to establish the impact of high doses of radiation on 
human health, there is currently insufficient data available to 
definitively determine the health effects of low doses of 
radiation.
    In the absence of this data, a linear no-threshold (LNT) 
model is used to describe the health risks for all levels of 
radiation exposure. In this application, the LNT model 
concludes that any exposure to ionizing radiation increases the 
risk of adverse health effects, no matter how small the 
exposure, and that there is no threshold below which exposure 
is considered safe.
    This restricted understanding of low-dose radiation health 
risk impairs our ability to appropriately address potential 
radiological events and medically-based radiation exposures, 
and may result in overly stringent standards. There is wide 
consensus among the radiobiology community that more research 
is necessary for physicians and related experts to make better 
informed decisions regarding the health risks associated with 
low doses of ionizing radiation. This consensus is referenced 
in the June 2005 publication of The National Academies Press 
titled, ``Health Risks From Exposure to Low Levels of Ionizing 
Radiation: BEIR VII Phase 2,'' and in the 2012 publication of 
the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements 
titled, ``Report No. 171--Uncertainties in the Estimation of 
Radiation Risks and Probability of Disease Causation.''
    DOE is the leading federal sponsor of research in the 
physical sciences, and from 1999 to 2016, the Department 
operated a leading low-dose radiation research program within 
BER. While uncertainties remain, the previous Administration 
closed the program in FY 2016.
    This legislation follows through on the assessment of the 
Government Accountability Office (GAO) in their September 2017 
publication titled, ``Low Dose Radiation: Interagency 
Collaboration on Planning Research Could Improve Information on 
Health Effects,'' which recommends that DOE lead the 
development of a mechanism for interagency collaboration on 
research of health effects linked to exposure to low-dose 
radiation.
    Based on the recommendations provided in the GAO 
publication, as well as consistent feedback provided to this 
Committee by researchers and stakeholders in the radiation 
biology and medical communities, H.R. 4675 authorizes existing 
BER funds to re-start the low-dose radiation basic research 
program within the DOE Office of Science.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    On November 17, 2014, H.R. 5544, the Low-Dose Radiation 
Research Act of 2014, passed the House under suspension of the 
rules.
    On January 7, 2015, H.R. 35, the Low-Dose Radiation 
Research Act of 2015, passed the House under suspension of the 
rules.
    On May 13, 2015, the Energy Subcommittee held a hearing 
titled, ``Nuclear Energy Innovation and the National Labs.'' 
Witnesses were: Dr. Mark Peters, Associate Laboratory Director, 
Energy and Global Security, Argonne National Laboratory; Mr. 
Frank Batten, Jr., President, The Landmark Foundation; Mr. 
Nathan Gilliland, CEO, General Fusion; Dr. John Parmentola, 
Senior Vice President, Energy and Advanced Concepts, General 
Atomics.
    On March 22, 2016, the Committee held a hearing titled, 
``An Overview of the Budget Proposal for the Department of 
Energy for Fiscal Year 2017.'' The witness was Dr. Ernest 
Moniz, U.S. Secretary of Energy.
    On September 21, 2016, the Oversight Subcommittee and the 
Energy Subcommittee held a joint hearing titled, ``Examining 
Misconduct and Intimidation of Scientists by Senior DOE 
Officials.'' Witnesses were: Dr. Sharlene Weatherwax, Associate 
Director, Biological and Environmental Research, U.S. 
Department of Energy; Dr. Noelle Metting, Radiation Biologist, 
U.S. Department of Energy.
    On January 6, 2017, S. 3084, the American Innovation and 
Competitiveness Act, which includes authority for DOE to 
formulate scientific goals for future low-dose radiation 
research and to ensure coordination between Federal agencies 
for research in radiation biology, was signed into law (P.L. 
114-329).
    On January 24, 2017, H.R. 589, the Department of Energy 
Research and Innovation Act, which includes authority for a 
low-dose radiation research program within the DOE Office of 
Science, passed the House without amendment.
    On November 1, 2017, the Energy Subcommittee held a hearing 
titled, ``The Future of Low Dose Radiation Research.'' 
Witnesses were: Mr. John Neumann, Director of Science and 
Technology Issues, Government Accountability Office; Dr. Gayle 
Woloschak, Professor of Radiation Oncology and Radiology, 
Northwestern University; Dr. James Brink, Professor of 
Radiology, Harvard Medical School, Radiologist-in-Chief, 
Massachusetts General Hospital.
    On December 18, 2017, Dr. Roger Marshall introduced H.R. 
4675, which was referred solely to the Committee.
    On January 10, 2018, the Committee on Science, Space, and 
Technology approved and ordered reported H.R. 4675 by voice 
vote.

                            COMMITTEE VIEWS

Low-Dose Radiation Research Program

    H.R. 4675 authorizes a four-year basic research program on 
low-dose radiation within BER. This legislation directs the 
Secretary of Energy to identify ongoing scientific challenges 
in low-dose radiation research and to develop a long-term basic 
research plan that addresses these challenges. The Secretary is 
also required to provide Congress with a four-year research 
plan that identifies and prioritizes basic research needs 
relating to low-dose radiation within 180 days of enactment.
    The Committee recognizes the importance of BER's basic 
research on complex biological and environmental systems in 
support of DOE's energy mission. The Committee is concerned, 
however, about the trend within BER towards increased emphasis 
on climate modeling seemingly at the expense of physical 
science programs, including genomic and radiological sciences. 
H.R. 4675 rebalances these priorities by requiring increased 
investment in the vital area of basic research in radiobiology. 
The Committee calls for the use of the Department's unique 
capabilities to research the intersection of biological systems 
and radiological sciences to execute a comprehensive program on 
low-dose radiation research. Within BER, $20 million of the 
current budget is provided for this purpose in each of fiscal 
years 2018 and 2019, while $30 million is provided for each of 
fiscal years 2020 and 2021.

                           Section-by-Section


Section 1. Short title

    Low-dose radiation research act of 2017.

Section 2. Low-Dose Radiation Research Program

    This section authorizes a basic research program on low-
dose radiation within the DOE Office of Science over four 
years. It directs DOE to develop a long-term basic research 
plan for low-dose radiation research using existing scientific 
knowledge and by engaging the international research community 
and ensuring consultation between the DOE Office of Science and 
the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National 
Institutes of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency, the 
Department of Defense, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and 
the Department of Homeland Security. The plan must be submitted 
to Congress within 180 days, and funding for this program will 
come from the funds provided for the Biological and 
Environmental Research Program in the DOE Office of Science.

                       Explanation of Amendments

    An amendment by Rep. Bill Foster was accepted by the 
Committee. The amendment added identifying and quantifying the 
benefits of low-dose radiation research to the program's 
components.

                        Committee Consideration

    On January 10, 2018, the Committee met in open session and 
ordered reported favorably the bill, H.R. 4675, as amended, by 
voice vote, a quorum being present.

              Application of Law to the Legislative Branch

    Section 102(b)(3) of Public Law 104-1 requires a 
description of the application of this bill to the legislative 
branch where the bill relates to the terms and conditions of 
employment or access to public services and accommodations. 
This bill amends the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to provide for a 
low-dose radiation basic research program. As such this bill 
does not relate to employment or access to public services and 
accommodations.

  Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the Committee

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause 
(2)(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, the Committee's oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the descriptive portions of 
this report.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    H.R. 4675 amends the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to provide 
for a low-dose radiation basic research program.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    No provision of H.R. 4675 establishes or reauthorizes a 
program of the Federal Government known to be duplicative of 
another Federal program, a program that was included in any 
report from the Government Accountability Office to Congress 
pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139, or a program 
related to a program identified in the most recent Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance.

                  Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings

    The Committee estimates that enacting H.R. 4675 does not 
direct the completion of any specific rule makings within the 
meaning of 5 U.S.C. 551.

                     Federal Advisory Committee Act

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not establish 
or authorize the establishment of an advisory committee within 
the definition of 5 U.S.C. App., Section 5(b).

                       Unfunded Mandate Statement

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment 
Control Act (as amended by Section 101(a)(2) of the Unfunded 
Mandate Reform Act, P.L. 104-4) requires a statement as to 
whether the provisions of the reported include unfunded 
mandates. In compliance with this requirement the Committee has 
received a letter from the Congressional Budget Office included 
herein.

                         Earmark Identification

    H.R. 4675 does not include any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9 of rule XXI.

                           Committee Estimate

    Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires an estimate and a comparison by the 
Committee of the costs that would be incurred in carrying out 
H.R. 4675. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) of that rule provides 
that this requirement does not apply when the Committee has 
included in its report a timely submitted cost estimate of the 
bill prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act.

     Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and with respect 
to requirements of clause (3)(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives and section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has received 
the following cost estimate for H.R. 4675 from the Director of 
Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                  Washington, DC, January 18, 2018.
Hon. Lamar Smith,
Chairman, Committee on Science, Space, and Technology,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 4675, the Low-Dose 
Radiation Research Act of 2017.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Janani 
Shankaran.
            Sincerely,
                                                Keith Hall,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 4675--Low-Dose Radiation Research Act of 2017

    Summary: H.R. 4675 would authorize the appropriation of 
funds for the Department of Energy's (DOE's) Office of Science 
to conduct basic research on low-dose radiation. CBO estimates 
that implementing H.R. 4675 would cost $96 million over the 
2018-2022 period, assuming appropriation of the authorized 
amounts.
    Enacting the bill would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 4675 would not increase 
net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    H.R. 4675 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA).
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary effect of H.R. 4675 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of the legislation fall within budget function 250 
(general science, space, and technology).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                    ------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       2018      2019      2020      2021      2022    2018-2022
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 INCREASES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION
 
Authorization Level................................        20        20        30        30         0        100
Estimated Outlays..................................        11        17        26        29        13         96
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that the 
legislation will be enacted early in calendar year 2018. Under 
H.R. 4675, DOE's radiation research program would be similar to 
an agency program that was terminated in 2016. The bill also 
would require DOE to submit a four-year research plan to the 
Congress and to coordinate its work with other federal agencies 
studying low-dose exposures.
    H.R. 4675 would authorize appropriations totaling $100 
million over the 2018-2021 period for those activities. 
Assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts and based on 
historical spending patterns for similar activities, CBO 
estimates that implementing H.R. 4675 would cost $96 million 
over the 2018-2022 period.
    Pay-As-You-Go considerations: None.
    Increase in long-term direct spending and deficits: CBO 
estimates that enacting H.R. 4675 would not increase net direct 
spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 
10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    Mandates: H.R. 4675 contains no intergovernmental or 
private-sector mandates as defined in UMRA.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Janani Shankaran; 
Mandates: Jon Sperl.
    Estimate approved by: H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (new matter is 
printed in italic and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

                       ENERGY POLICY ACT OF 2005


SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

  (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Energy 
Policy Act of 2005''.
  (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is 
as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
     * * * * * * *

                   TITLE IX--RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

     * * * * * * *

                           Subtitle G--Science

Sec. 971. Science.
     * * * * * * *
Sec. 977A. Low-dose radiation research program.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE IX--RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Subtitle G--Science

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 977A. LOW-DOSE RADIATION RESEARCH PROGRAM.

  (a) In General.--The Secretary shall carry out a basic 
research program on low-dose radiation to--
          (1) enhance the scientific understanding of, and 
        reduce uncertainties associated with, the effects of 
        exposure to low-dose radiation; and
          (2) inform improved risk-assessment and risk-
        management methods with respect to such radiation.
  (b) Program Components.--In carrying out the program required 
under subsection (a), the Secretary shall--
          (1) formulate scientific goals for low-dose radiation 
        basic research in the United States;
          (2) identify ongoing scientific challenges for 
        understanding the long-term effects of ionizing 
        radiation on biological systems;
          (3) develop a long-term strategic and prioritized 
        basic research agenda to address such scientific 
        challenges in coordination with other research efforts;
          (4) identify and, to the extent possible, quantify, 
        potential monetary and health-related benefits to 
        Federal agencies, the general public, industry, 
        research communities, and other users of information 
        produced by such research program;
          (5) leverage the collective body of knowledge from 
        existing low-dose radiation research; and
          (6) engage with other Federal agencies, research 
        communities, and potential users of information 
        produced under this section, including institutions 
        concerning radiation research, medical physics, 
        radiology, health physics, and emergency response.
  (c) Coordination.--In carrying out the program, the 
Secretary, in coordination with the Physical Science 
Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council, 
shall--
          (1) support the directives under section 106 of the 
        American Innovation and Competitiveness Act (42 U.S.C. 
        6601 note);
          (2) ensure that the Office of Science of the 
        Department of Energy consults with the National 
        Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National 
        Institutes of Health, the Environmental Protection 
        Agency, the Department of Defense, the Nuclear 
        Regulatory Commission, and the Department of Homeland 
        Security;
          (3) advise and assist the National Science and 
        Technology Council on policies and initiatives in 
        radiation biology, including enhancing scientific 
        knowledge of the effects of low-dose radiation on 
        biological systems to improve radiation risk-assessment 
        and risk-management methods; and
          (4) identify opportunities to stimulate international 
        cooperation relating to low-dose radiation and leverage 
        research and knowledge from sources outside of the 
        United States.
  (d) Research Plan.--Not later than 180 days after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall transmit to the 
Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of 
Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural 
Resources of the Senate a 4-year research plan that identifies 
and prioritizes basic research needs relating to low-dose 
radiation. In developing such plan, the Secretary shall 
incorporate the components described in subsection (b).
  (e) Definition of Low-Dose Radiation.--In this section, the 
term ``low-dose radiation'' means a radiation dose of less than 
100 millisieverts.
  (f) Rule of Construction.--Nothing in this section shall be 
construed to subject any research carried out by the Secretary 
for the program under this section to any limitations described 
in 977(e) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 
16317(e)).
  (g) Funding.--For purposes of carrying out this section, the 
Secretary is authorized to make available from funds provided 
to the Biological and Environmental Research Program--
          (1) $20,000,000 for fiscal year 2018;
          (2) $20,000,000 for fiscal year 2019;
          (3) $30,000,000 for fiscal year 2020; and
          (4) $30,000,000 for fiscal year 2021.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *