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LAIRD P. LUND, MOSS

WILLIMH. NATCHER, KY.

MAL IM.TH, ISWA

JOLEEM P. ADLO, M.T.

CLAMENTE D. LONG, MD.
EIGINLY R. VOTES, ILL

DAVID R. CILT, WIB,

IEMAND R. HEYPAL, CALIF.

LANIS STORE!, OHIO

TOM EFVILL ALA

BAL CHAPPELL JR. FLA

BILL ALL WIDER, ARK

JCHN P. MURTHA PA

KIB THAXLER NICH
JSTIH D. CANLY, MASS

CHARLES WIL: ON, TO

LINDY (MNS. HALL) HOGGS, LA
ADAM JAMIN, JR., IND.
NELMAN D. DICKS, WASH
MATTHEW F. MCHUGH, N.Y.
1-O GINIL GA

WILLIAM ILHMAN, MA

JACK HIGHTOWER, TIC
MARTIN OLAV SARO, MINN
JJANG DIXON, CALIF.
VIC FAZIO, CALIF.

W. G. (LILL) HISKIR, NE

LES AUCOIN, ONEG

CAN: FL K. AKAKA, HAWAJI

WIS WATKINE, OKLA.
WILLIAM H. CHAY, III, PA

BERTAD J. DNTER, HJ.

CHAINMAN

Congress of the United States

House of Representatives
Committee on Appropriations

Washington, D.C. 20515

MOWY NINIANS
BILVIO D. COASTE, WOSE.
KIILTH M. WCIAL PA
JACK SMARTS, ALA
JOIN T. Morrs, 11.3.

J. DENNITH NON, VA.
CLANINCE E. MILITA, CHID
LAWN'NET CEAT LIN, PA,
C. W. PILL OF THE PL
JACK F. PIMP, N.T.

RALPH S. HICULA OHIO
Clain W. MUNCINTA, CALIP.
CLONGE M. OBRIEN, IL
VIRGINIA SMITH, NEAR.
TLUN MUDD, ANIZ

CARL D. PUNSELL MICH
MICKEY EDWARDS, OKLA
ROHLAT L. LIVINGSTON, LA
S. WILLIAM GAILN, N.Y.
THOMAS G. LOLIFLER, TEX
JEHAY LEWIS, CAL

CARHOLL A CAMPPILL, JR. SC.
JOHN LOWAND PONILA, ILL

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Honorable James B. Edwards

Secretary

Department of Energy

Washington, DC 20585

Dear Mr. Secretary:

We have reviewed your letter of February 6, 1981, transmitting the report on the high-level liquid nuclear waste management demonstration project at West Valley, New York, along with other data submitted by your staff. The report raises several concerns:

1.

It appears that the cooperative agreement with the State
of New York is not entirely consistent with P.L. 96-368
with respect to several matters and is ambiguous and
unclear in others.

2. The agreement appears to impose responsibilities on DOE
with attendant funding mortgages beyond those necessary
to carry out the demonstration project at minimum
Federal cost.

3.

The agreement seems to limit State funding responsibilities
below those provided in P.L. 96-368.

Because of these concerns, the Committee has recommended a deferral of a
portion of the FY 1981 funding provided for this project pending further
consideration in the FY 1982 bill. In this regard the Committee will need
a full analysis from the Department, laying out the minimum Federal program
required to carry out the major purpose of the Act, i.e., the safe removal
and disposition of the high-level waste at the site, along with an analysis

Honorable James B. Edwards

Page 2

of the future funding requirements for this purpose compared to that of the existing agreement.

We understand that the existing storage has been verified to provide at least 30 years safe storage and poses no undue risk to the public during that period of time. Under these circumstances, we would expect the Department to develop a prudent and reasonable program, with a full sharing of project costs among the State and Federal participants as provided for in P.L. 96-368. Under these circumstances, the need for DOE to take over site management responsibilities on October 1, 1981, before a detailed technical program has been resolved, seems preinature.

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We are writing to express our concern regarding the proposed
cooperative agreement entered into between the Department
and the State of New York pursuant to the West Valley
Demonstration Project Act (P. L. 96-368). We have noted that
under this proposal, the Secretary would accept as the state's
share of the project costs the state's making available the
premises and facilities of the Nuclear Fuel Services reprocessing
plant. We would like to encourage the Department to review
this aspect of the agreement prior to finalizing the conditions
under which the project will proceed.

Please provide us with information regarding whether it is
the Department's belief that the use of the facilities can
be accepted as payment by the State in light of the fact
that the State is statutorily required to make these facilities
available to the Department in any case (Section 2 (b) (4) (A)).
We note that although the Secretary is required under the
Act to consider the value of the use of the Center in determining
the total costs of the project (Section 2(b)(4) (C)), the Act
does not indicate that the value of the center should be con-
sidered to offset the State's share of the costs of the project.

Committee reports on the West Valley Demonstration Act as
well as Departmental and General Accounting Office studies
of the West Valley situation note repeatedly that the State
of New York should bear some significant responsibility for
participation in decommissioning of the facility and for
carrying out the project. In supporting this legislation,
it was our understanding that the cooperative agreement
would provide for some substantial contribution by the State,
such as states are providing under the clean-up projects
authorized by the Uranium Mill Tailings Control Act. Since
the facility is of no apparent value to the state in its
present condition, and in fact represents a substantial
burden to the State in this condition, the making available

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of the facility for clean-up activities does not seem to us to represent any sacrifice on the part of New York, nor does it represent a contribution that would otherwise not accrue to the project under the statute.

We hope that the negotiations between the State and the Department can be completed and that the project can carry on in an expeditious manner.

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MORRIS K. UDALL

Chairman

Sincerely,

MANUEL LUJAN, JR.
Rapking Minority

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I am pleased to respond to your letter concerning the cooperative
agreement between the State of New York and the Department
of Energy on the high-level radioactive waste management
demonstration project at West Valley, New York.

We

We strongly support the West Valley Demonstration Project as
being in the national interest by providing a technically
sound approach to demonstrating the solidification of high-
level waste for disposal. At the same time, we believe the
Agreement with New York State, negotiated and concluded by
the prior Administration, reflects some assumptions-which
raise problems-concerning-implementation of the Project.
recently have received a number of Congressional inquiries
questioning aspects of the Agreement as well. By the end of
June, DOE intends to have developed a plan which will respond
to these inquiries and concerns with the objective of proceeding
with this important Project in cooperation with New York and
within Congressional direction.

We intend to pursue the West Valley Demonstration Project in
an efficient manner so as to minimize expenditures. We have
developed an initial reference program based upon preconceptual
design activities and our current state of knowledge of the
condition of facilities on the site. Our Fiscal Year 1982
activities include development of a technical, cost, and
schedule baseline from conceptual design activities and our
first-hand experience with site facilities. This baseline
will define the Federal program required to carry out the
activities specified by the West Valley Demonstration Project

Act.

We would be pleased to brief you on design progress, cost estimates, and the condition of West Valley facilities as the information becomes available.

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