SJM 8017

                       As Passed House

                        April 6, 1993


Brief Description:  Requesting the United States Department of Energy to support the Fast Flux Test Facility at Hanford.


Sponsors:  Senators Jesernig and Loveland.


Brief History:

  Reported by House Committee on:

Energy & Utilities, March 23, 1993, DP;

Passed House, April 6, 1993, 98-0.




Majority Report:  Do pass.  Signed by 9 members:  Representatives Grant, Chair; Finkbeiner, Vice Chair; Casada, Ranking Minority Member; Miller, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Johanson; Kessler; Kremen; Long; and Ludwig.


Staff:  Ken Conte (786-7113).


Background:  The Fast Flux Test Facility (FFTF) is a United States Department of Energy advanced reactor located at Hanford.  It has been on line since 1982 and has set several world records for efficient operation.  Originally, the FFTF was built as a prototype to test reactor materials, components, and plant operations as well as to reprocess spent nuclear fuel.


Some of the specific things the reactor has been used for include research into the fusion of hydrogen atoms as an energy source, and production of isotopes used in medical scanning equipment.  The FFTF could potentially be used to destroy certain nuclear weapons and to supply electricity to the regional power grid.


Former Governor Gardner commissioned a team to market the potential of the FFTF to international interests.  This team reported its analysis in March 1992, concluding that there is significant support for the continued operation of the FFTF, both in the United States and in other countries.


Summary of Bill:  The president, the secretary of the United States Department of Energy, and selected members of Congress are asked to assure that the Department of Energy gives adequate financial and political support to the FFTF and that the reactor is given a long-term mission.


Fiscal Note:  Not requested.


Testimony For:  None.


Testimony Against:  None.


Witnesses:  None.