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The Department's questions also ignore a major aspect of the demonstration project--the decommissioning of a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant. Suggestions that the Department build a new structure for the solidification will leave two structures to be decommissioned and, therefore, only compound existing problems.

Burial Areas

The State-licensed burial area is not part of the Project, although the Department and the Authority have agreed that the Department will provide site security services at that facility at the Authority's sole cost and expense.

With respect to the NRC-licensed burial area, the Cooperative Agreement provides that the Department shall only have such decommissioning obligations as it may have under the Act and only to the extent Congress appropriates funds for that

purpose.

Accordingly, with respect to the waste burial areas,

the State-licensed facility is expressly excluded from the Project, and responsibility for the NRC-licensed facility is expressly limited in accordance with the provisions of the Act. Neither party has accepted responsibility for

site-stabilization at the existing NRC-licensed burial area in connection with decommissioning activities, an issue not covered by the Act. We frankly cannot understand why the Department now claims to believe that either the Agreement or the Act may require it to exhume the buried wastes at the

Center--wastes which, you might be interested in knowing,

include ruptured fuel elements owned by the federal government. We believe Congress deliberately deferred consideration of what permanent measures might be necessary or appropriate with respect to wastes already in the ground.

Management of Solidified Waste

The Agreement also speaks explicitly to responsibility for costs for managing the solidified high-level wastes at the federal repository to which the wastes are ultimately to go. Under the Agreement, the Authority will pay to the Department some $20 million at time of transport of the waste at the end of the Project. The Department will utilize these funds, and any other funds appropriated to it by Congress for that purpose, to manage these wastes after

solidification.

During the discussions, all were aware that these solidified wastes could very well be used by the federal government in the first federal repository for research and development purposes. Additionally, the parameters of the

Detailed

federal program for the permanent disposal of commercially-
generated waste were--and still are--unknown.
agreements on obligations under an as yet non-existent

federal program seemed imprudent at best.

In light of these uncertainties, all of the details regarding management of the solidified wastes could neither

be enumerated nor resolved.

The State, however, has expressly

acknowledged that title to the solidified wastes would not

pass to the federal government under the Agreement.

Project Management

Finally, as I mentioned earlier, the Agreement provides only that the Department will consult with the Authority concerning management of the Project. New York has reluctantly surrendered all management control to the Department, even though we own the Center and will ultimately have some residual responsibility for the land and buildings there. Nowhere in the Agreement is the Department's exclusive management control of the Project even questioned.

3.01 of the Agreement flatly states:

the Department shall have the sole responsibility for carrying out the Project, including, without limitation, the planning, design, management, implementation, and completion thereof

Section

The Authority's agreement to Department actions is required only in the circumstances where the Authority will bear 100% of the costs associated with that action. In any event, the Agreement provides:

the Agreement of the Authority shall not be required with respect to the decontamination and decommissioning of Project Facilities at the Center pursuant to [NRC] requirements

The Department has so far been unwilling to develop

the detailed plans for consultation required by Section 8.03

of the Agreement.

We stand ready to begin discussions to

develop those plans as soon as the Department is ready.

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As I have said, it is our very strong view in New York that the Cooperative Agreement is consistent with the Act. Until recently, this was the DOE view as well. I strongly urge that Congress proceed promptly to assure that this important radioactive waste management demonstration project is implemented as expeditiously as possible and that DOE live up to its commitments. remain a symbol of our nation's failure to cope with the hazards created by the nuclear fuel cycle, and uncertainty about the future of the Project should not needlessly intensify public concern about the future of the Center and the nuclear wastes stored there.

The Center should no longer

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