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Over the last 3 years, that is rather significant progress. Those designs are approved by the NRC staff and are effective at the present time for a period of 3 years in which an applicant can reference that design without further review by the staff during the licensing process.

So there are some significant savings in manpower. The time savings comes when, as the chairman pointed out, you have a complete plant approved as well as the site. That is the future that we see for standardization and timesaving, a clear saving in manpower at the present time.

Mr. ROWDEN. I might make an additional observation in this regard.

I think that industry will become convinced of the benefits of standardization when they clearly perceive those benefits in terms of advantages in the licensing process, quite apart from the other advantages. We are seeing the process first working its will on standardized designs at the present time.

There are a number of different ways in which the standardization mechanism is being pursued. Some of those, and perhaps Mr. Case can make an observation on that point, have been very successful in their application, and that success has not been lost on the industry. You might make some reference to our SNUPPS experience.

Mr. DINGELL. If you would sir.

Mr. CASE. Yes. The type I was talking about before where designs are approved for nuclear steam supply systems and balance of plant, that is called the reference system approach to standardization.

Another approach is for a group of utilities to get together and commonly decide to design a plant that is good for each one of their various sites. A group was formed called the SNUPPS group, and I don't quite remember now what the acronym stood for, some four or five utilities got together and provided us with a common application.

It was reviewed once by the staff, and that review stood for and was use for each of the hearings needed for the six different sites involved.

That is another form of standardization which has shown great promise, and at least at the preliminary design stage, the construction permit stage, has shown its advantages, recognizing as the chairman pointed out, that NRC is on the critical path only during the preconstruction phase. So that is the major part of the process that we can save time on.

Mr. DINGELL. Can you give us any idea of the amount of time that can be saved through the standardization process?

Mr. CASE. As the chairman pointed out, on the preconstruction phase the NRC is on the critical path some 2 or 3 years, depending on the difficulty of the application involved. We would expect with full standardization and early site reviews we could reduce that time tothe chairman said essentially nothing. I would add perhaps several months because during that period of time we would have to consider the technical and financial qualifications of the utility applicant. It would reduce the 3 years very significantly to no more than several months.

Mr. DINGELL. I would assume that there are a few problems with this from an environmental standpoint that could be met. There are probably no major technical problems in accomplishing this after the industry has presented you with a package.

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But I would assume that there is a possibility of anticompetitive and antitrust problems with this kind of approach. Am I correct in this?

Mr. RoWDEN. As the system has been developed thus far, I believe we have been successful in avoiding that. We have made our resources available to all of the vendors that do business in this area. I believe our standardization approach was discussed with the Department of Justice, with the Antitrust Division. The SNUPPS project I know specifically was. So if there had been any anticompetitive problems, they would have surfaced.

Now, that is not to say we couldn't encounter problems in the future, but the options that have been left open in terms of the approaches to be taken to standardization and the universe to which we have made that available has been such as to minimize the potential for having future antitrust problems.

Mr. DINGELL. I would assume that you will maintain a continuing alert on that.

Mr. RowDEN. Yes, sir, that is part of our responsibility.

Mr. DINGELL. I assume that you are indicating to me from your comments, and I gather this quite clearly, that although whole plant standardization is difficult. I suspect rare, that essentially modular standardization or standardization of parts or different processes or facilities within the plant itself is a very hopeful and ongoing process. Am I right?

Mr. CASE. Yes, Mr. Dingell, as long as the parts don't get too small. If we have too many parts we have interfaces that we have to worry about with the other parts and the process gets so complicated that it is not worthwhile. We would rather limit it to two major parts, the nuclear steam supply system and balance of plant, and indeed would prefer an entire plant as used in the duplicate plan approach.

Mr. DINGELL. I understand what you are saying and I happen to be in accord.

I want to deal with a question on which we may have a common viewpoint here. I observed in my opening statement that ERDA, which currently provides data processing support to your agency, has given notice it will no longer do so effective next September. Was that practice and notice and so forth cleared through the Office of Management and Budget?

Mr. Gossick. It is my understanding it was. Mr. Chairman. Mr. Sullivan can give the details.

Mr. SULLIVAN. They know of it. It stems from the fact that OMB did not approve the computer ERDA wanted last summer. At the time ERDA had to go out and buy commercial services to satisfy their own customers.

Mr. DINGELL. You are indicating that they did this because of their own budgetary problems? Is that what you are telling me!

Mr. SULLIVAN. They could not buy the computer to satisfy their own customers.

Mr. DINGELL. The short answer is yes.
Mr. SULLIVAN. Yes.
Mr. DINGELL. They did not get enough computer money?

Mr. Sullivan. They did not get approval to buy the computer that they wanted.

Mr. Gossick. It was a matter of capacity, Mr. Chairman, in order to be able to take care of the work that we had to do.

Mr. DINGELL. They are going to up your processing cost from $1.6 million to $5.9 million. That gives me a figure of $4.3 million more you are going to have to spend. Will that increase the expenses to be imposed on your agency?

Ir. Gossick. Let me ask Mr. Barry to answer the question as to the numbers that are involved here.

Mr. BARRY. The total amount you mentioned in our budget includes a document retrieval system which has no relationship to ERDA. Our requirement for additional funds as a result of having to come off the ERDA computer is going to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $1 million.

Mr. DINGELL. A year?

Mr. BARRY. A year. I say that with a little reservation because that assumes that we will have to go to a commercial time-sharing lease situation.

We have been doing a little innovative work and I hope to go to minicomputers which will bring that cost down a bit. You can do an awful lot in management-type data automation with minicomputers at less cost than by using time sharing:

Though we might be able to bring the cost down some. It will cost us more money to go to commercial sources than it does by NRC's using ERDA's computer.

Mr. DINGELL. You also have need of somewhat the same information, do you

not? Mr. BARRY. Yes, sir. Mr. DINGELL. As does ERDA?

Mr. BARRY. Yes; of course our requirement for data automation in general is increasing as we mature and as we expand our management information requirements. So, we have an increasing requirement to use data automation at the same time we are having to move off the ERDA computer.

Mr. DINGELL. I am coming to the inference that there are certain advantages in having you and ERDA using the same facility for computer and retrieval of information and also for retention of information to enable you both to carry out your functions better. As I correct?

Mr. Gossick. Mr. Chairman, let me speak to that. The kind of computer work that we were depending upon ERDA for support was in two areas. First, scientific and technical work done on their very large machines involved long run times, primarily in support of the technical review process in Mr. Case's licensing operation. These were normally done during the night shift except for jobs of short duration. Second, we were also dependent on that computer for the administrative and personnel kinds of functions which of course were very similar to what ERDA requires. We also obtain specialized services on management information systems and quick response-type work from the National Institutes of Health on an equal basis as far as the costs are concerned. The National Institutes of Health, however, also has a problem from a capacity standpoint. So we are looking for other solutions.

Mr. DINGELL. Aren't you talking about $1.3 million for a new computer operation not now on that computer?

Mr. GOSSICK. The $4.2 million, Mr. Chairman, is for what we call our document retrieval system. As you probably gathered from what has been said here this morning, we are involved in a great deal of paper and retention of paper from the files—records, information that is necessary in the licensing process—as well as providing that information to our public document room in response to "freedom of information” requests of all kinds.

Our estimate as to our average engineer's time spent in retrieving information from the files is about 20 percent of his time. So the manual system that we have been using simply won't do as we go ahead with the increasing number of reviewing actions underway. This document retrieval system, the $4.2 million that you refer to, is to get us in business with an automated system which will allow this to be done automatically at a great saving of manpower and with efficiency as well as timeliness in getting this information out.

Mr. DINGELL. I gather that you are talking about, I am advised, at least one truckload of paper for one application which amounts to 70 tons of paper. Am I correct in this?

Mr. Gossick. The average construction permit application involves 200 copies. The total file for one application for a construction permit is about a 5-foot shelf of paper. The 200 copies, sir, are not only for our uses. They go to other agencies. There are a lot of requirements for these documents to be held on file for the availability of the parties involved in hearings and a great number of other uses.

Mr. DINGELL. Now I have a further problem. There are certain anticompetitive problems that I see from your contracting workout. The contractee gets a significant advantage in having in his hand and in his computers the information that would be available or rather that would belong to the Government and he achieves the ability to craft his policies, his applications, his approaches, to the agency to better serve the people on whose behalf he might either be providing computer services or who might have dealings with the Government.

How do you propose to handle the anticompetitive problems that flow from that?

Mr. Gossick. We are certainly most mindful of the problem that you mention and will take steps to that there will not be a conflict of interest involved in this type of contractual arrangement.

Mr. DINGELL. I am curious on this. How do you keep an honest man honest, and in what fashion do you impose limitations to prevent rascality here?

Mr. Gossick. We simply have to do this by making it a part of the criteria in selecting the possible sources that we will go to for bids. We will rule out the obvious vendors or people who have a direct interest or even a related interest that would, as you say, give them special benefits if they were involved in providing that sort of service to us.

Mr. DINGELL. Criminal misuse of computers is not unknown today and utilization of computers for competitive advantage by gathering information from the computer that might benefit the recipient of the information is not unknown. I think there is enormous potential here that I am not satisfied that mechanisms you are discussing would necessarily avoid.

I don't want you to take these comments as critical but they do express an apprehension. I am not satisfied that you have adequately ruled out the concerns that I have expressed through the mechanisms that you have discussed.

Mr. RowDEN. I don't think we can give you a categoric answer on the system that we have constructed-and, as a matter of fact our proposed guidelines to deal with organizational conflicts of interest have only been published in the Federal Register for comment. I appreciate your sensitivity. You can be assured that that sensitivity is very clearly perceived here. I would make an additional observation. Although we occasionally-I don't know what the fraction is occasionally do deal with so-called proprietary information, almost all of the information that we get is in one form or another made publicly available.

Now there could be a time advantage to someone having access to that information before someone else does. But when they talk about ours being a process that is conducted in a fish bowl that is literally true. Almost all of our informati is made available in one form or another to the public. Nevertheless the potential for a conflict in commercial interest is something that we are simply going to have to be sensitive to.

I appreciate your interest in this because it is a matter which I think is a very important one.

Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Rowden, I do apologize. There are some more questions that I would like to ask. I will be back in 5 minutes. I have to run to the floor. There is another vote pending. Could you accept my apologies? I will be back as quickly as I can and we will terminate this matter as quickly as we can.

The committee will stand in recess for 5 minutes.
[Brief recess.]
Mr. DINGELL. The committee will come to order.
Gentlemen, the Chair apologizes to you.
The Chair recognizes minority counsel, Mr. Davis.
Mr. Davis. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I have two quick questions concerning licensing and appropriate legislative changes to take care of some of the defects in your existing legislation.

The first question I have is how much duplication is there between your efforts and State efforts with respect to both siting and licensing ? Is there a great deal of duplication in this area?

Mr. RowDEN. On the review of radiological health and safety, our Commission has preemptive regulatory responsibilities. In theory, there should be no duplication in regard to that. Questions do arise from time to time. I think it is pretty clear that that part of the review process which involves radiological health and safety and common defense security and safeguard questions are performed exclusively by the NRC.

On the nonradiological and environmental side, which essentially arises in connection with the review of the site there is massive duplication. We are taking steps short of legislation to attempt to minimize that duplication, even going to the extent of holding joint hearings with States. We have inaugurated a program of holding joint hearings with the States. But what is really going to be necessary in my own view

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