Department of Energy
Washington, DC 20585

June 14, 1999

Mr. Tom Clements
Executive Director
Nuclear Control Institute
1000 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036

Dear Mr. Clements:

Thank you for your April 27, 1999, letter to Secretary Richardson regarding the Department of Energy's (DOE) Fast Flux Test Facility (FFTF). Your letter has been forwarded to the Office of Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology for response.

After careful consideration of the recommendations from the Nuclear Energy Research Advisory Committee and other DOE analyses, DOE has concluded that FFTF has capabilities that potentially could make it a unique and valuable part of the national nuclear technology infrastructure. As such, Secretary Richardson instructed that a program plan be developed by August 1999 that clearly defines the potential application of the facility and the roles and responsibilities of potential user communities. If a compelling program scope is identified, DOE will initiate a National Environmental Policy Act review with respect to restarting and operating FFTF. Otherwise, DOE will initiate the permanent shutdown of the facility.

DOE is proceeding deliberately and cautiously regarding the future of FFTF. Given the unique characteristics of this facility, the $2 billion investment it would require to build a research reactor of similar characteristics, and the depleted state of the Nation's nuclear technology infrastructure, we believe DOE has a responsibility to carefully evaluate the future of this one-of-a-kind facility.

We appreciate your comments and will incorporate your views into DOE's decision-making process.

If you have any additional comments or concerns, do not hesitate to contact us.



William D. Magwood, IV
Office of Nuclear Energy,
Science and Technology

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