Department of Energy: Views on Proposed Civil Penalties, Security Oversight, and External Safety Regulation, Statement of Gary L. Jones, Associate Director, Energy, Resources, and Science Issues, Resources, Community, and Economic Development Division, Testimony before the Subcommittee on Energy and Power, Committee on Commerce, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 58KB]

"Since its creation in 1977, DOE has conducted technically complex and hazardous activities at its facilities across the country. These activities include developing, producing, maintaining, storing, and dismantling nuclear weapons; managing nuclear fuel storage and disposal sites; operating nuclear reactors; performing research and development to enhance energy efficiency and to develop innovative nuclear, renewable, and other energy sources; and cleaning up environmental contamination from its past weapons production. Besides being potentially dangerous, some of these activities are highly classified and require sophisticated security measures. However, in conducting these activities, DOE has a long history of safety, managerial and security problems. DOE is essentially exempt from regulation by NRC for nuclear safety and by OSHA for worker protection. These exemptions originated from concerns about national security that characterized DOE's historical role in nuclear weapons production. The facilities that this legislation would subject to external regulation are substantial. DOE maintains 3,500 nuclear facilities at 34 sites in 13 states, covering, in all, more than 85 million square feet of building space."

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