Appendix A

Letters from the Department of Energy to the Committee on Electrometallurgical Techniques for DOE Spent Fuel Treatment

As the Committee on Electrometallurgical Techniques for DOE Spent Fuel Treatment entered its third phase, the nature of its task changed significantly from that governing previous reports of this committee. As a result of a significant reduction in the scope of ANL's electrometallurgical demonstration project, the committee was asked by DOE to review the viability of electrometallurgical treatment technology in light of other possible treatment technologies only within the context of spent EBR-II sodium-bonded fuel. Included in this appendix are copies of letters from DOE to the committee describing these new tasks for the third phase of this study.



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ELECTROMETALLURGICAL TECHNIQUES FOR DOE SPENT FUEL TREATMENT: SPRING 1998 STATUS REPORT ON ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORY'S R&D ACTIVITY Appendix A Letters from the Department of Energy to the Committee on Electrometallurgical Techniques for DOE Spent Fuel Treatment As the Committee on Electrometallurgical Techniques for DOE Spent Fuel Treatment entered its third phase, the nature of its task changed significantly from that governing previous reports of this committee. As a result of a significant reduction in the scope of ANL's electrometallurgical demonstration project, the committee was asked by DOE to review the viability of electrometallurgical treatment technology in light of other possible treatment technologies only within the context of spent EBR-II sodium-bonded fuel. Included in this appendix are copies of letters from DOE to the committee describing these new tasks for the third phase of this study.

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ELECTROMETALLURGICAL TECHNIQUES FOR DOE SPENT FUEL TREATMENT: SPRING 1998 STATUS REPORT ON ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORY'S R&D ACTIVITY Department of Energy Washington, DC 20585 October 31, 1997 Dr. Douglas J. Raber National Academy of Sciences National Research Council 2101 Constitution Avenue, N. W. Washington, D.C. 20418 Dear Dr. Reber: The Department is very pleased with the assessments on the Argonne National Laboratory electrometallurgical research and development activity carried out by the National Research Council, Committee on Electrometallurgical Techniquesfor DOE Spent Fuel Treatment. The Committee's reports have been of considerable value to the Department in evaluating the technical progress of the electrometallurgical research program. The Committee's work thus far has covered three important areas: evaluating the viability of electrometallurgical technology for the treatment of DOE spent nuclear fuel and considering whether the technology warrants further research and development; conducting an ongoing evaluation of Argonne National Laboratory's R&D activity on electrometallurgical techniques for DOE spent fuel treatment, including their specific application to EBR-II spent fuel; and evaluating the scientific and technological issues associated with extending this research and development program to handle plutonium, should the DOE decide that an electrometallurgical treatment option for the disposition of excess weapons plutonium is worth pursuing. As the Committee is aware, a variety of factors have combined to extend the schedule for the EBR-II spent fuel demonstration, which is now expected to be completed in June 1999. As a result, we request that your Committee continue its ongoing evaluation for the duration of this project. The Department requests that the Committee plan to issue a final report with final recommendations and observations subsequent to the completion of the demonstration project.

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ELECTROMETALLURGICAL TECHNIQUES FOR DOE SPENT FUEL TREATMENT: SPRING 1998 STATUS REPORT ON ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORY'S R&D ACTIVITY In addition, there may be other technologies available that might be relevant for treating some of the Department's spent nuclear fuel. In response to these developments, we request that the Committee, as part of its ongoing evaluation, review the viability of electrometallurgical treatment technology in light of technical progress in other possible treatment technologies. It is the Department's expectation that the Committee will assess the applicability of alternative technologies in considering the viability of electrometallurgical technology. Further, we request the Committee's evaluation of criteria developed by Argonne National Laboratory and the Department to determine the success of the demonstration project. We request that the Committee's consideration of alternative treatment technologies and of the success criteria be provided to the Department in the next of its reports to be completed by April 1998. Finally, we would like to recognize the excellent support provided to this activity by Dr. Tamae Wong over the last year. Dr. Wong' s efforts have been appreciated by the Department and we will miss her as she moves on to her next assignment with the Council. We appreciate the Council's support in continuing the evaluation of the electrometallurgical treatment research program. Please call me on (202) 586-6630 should you have any questions. Sincerely, William D. Magwood, IV Associate Director for Planning and Analysis Office of Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology

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ELECTROMETALLURGICAL TECHNIQUES FOR DOE SPENT FUEL TREATMENT: SPRING 1998 STATUS REPORT ON ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORY'S R&D ACTIVITY Department of Energy Germantown, MD 20874-1290 February 12, 1998 Dr. Douglas J. Raber National Academy of Sciences National Research Council 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418 Dear Dr. Raber: We are pleased that the National Research Council, “Committee on Electrometallurgical Techniques for DOE Spent Fuel Treatment, ” is continuing its assessments of Argonne National Laboratory's electrometallurgical research and development activities, pursuant to our letter of October 31, 1997. We appreciate the opportunity to coordinate with your staff in planning the committee's future activities. To confirm these recent agreements between our staffs, we request that the committee include an assessment of the applicability of a “no-treatment” option in its review of alternatives to the electrometallurgical technology for the disposition of Experimental Breeder Reactor-II (EBR-II) spent nuclear fuel. Such an option could involve use of a canister and overpack or some other technology to allow emplacement of the EBR-II spent fuel in a geologic repository without treatment of the fuel. We will identify experts to present this disposition option to the committee at the March 16-17, 1998, sessions to address alternative technologies. We look forward to the committee's consideration of alternative treatment technologies to be provided to the Department in the next committee report. Please call me at (301) 903-2915 should you have any questions. Sincerely, Robert G. Lange, Associate Director for Facilities Office of Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology

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ELECTROMETALLURGICAL TECHNIQUES FOR DOE SPENT FUEL TREATMENT: SPRING 1998 STATUS REPORT ON ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORY'S R&D ACTIVITY Department of Energy Washington, DC 20585 August 19, 1998 Dr. Douglas J. Raber National Academy of Sciences National Research Council 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418 Dear Dr. Raber: As you requested, we are pleased to clarify the intent of the current task under which the Committee on Electrometallurgical Techniques for DOE Spent Fuel Treatment is reviewing alternatives to electrometallurgical treatment. In a letter to you from Mr. William Magwood dated October 31, 1997, we asked the committee to “review the viability of electrometallurgical treatment technology in light of technical progress in other possible treatment technologies.” We intended that this review be undertaken specifically within the context of Experimental Breeder Reactor (EBR)-II sodium-bonded spent fuel since we are responsible for its dispositioning and are pursuing activities to support a Department of Energy decision on its treatment. This intent was also reflected in my letter to you dated February 12, 1998, which asked that the committee “include an assessment of the applicability of a ‘no-treatment' option in its review of alternatives to the electrometallurgical technology for the disposition of EBR-II spent nuclear fuel.” We appreciate the council's support in continuing the evaluation of electrometallurgical research and hope this information is beneficial to your efforts to expeditiously publish the results of this review. Please call me at (301) 903-2915 should you have any questions. Sincerely, Robert G. Lange, Associate Director for Nuclear Facilities Management Office of Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology