(a) Medical isotope development projects

(1) In general

The Secretary shall carry out a technology-neutral program–

(A) to evaluate and support projects for the production in the United States, without the use of highly enriched uranium, of significant quantities of molybdenum-99 for medical uses;

(B) to be carried out in cooperation with non-Federal entities; and

(C) the costs of which shall be shared in accordance with section 16352 of this title.

(2) Criteria

Projects shall be evaluated against the following primary criteria:

(A) The length of time necessary for the proposed project to begin production of molybdenum-99 for medical uses within the United States.

(B) The capability of the proposed project to produce a significant percentage of United States demand for molybdenum-99 for medical uses.

(C) The capability of the proposed project to produce molybdenum-99 in a cost-effective manner.

(D) The cost of the proposed project.

(3) Exemption

An existing reactor in the United States fueled with highly enriched uranium shall not be disqualified from the program if the Secretary determines that–

(A) there is no alternative nuclear reactor fuel, enriched in the isotope U-235 to less than 20 percent, that can be used in that reactor;

(B) the reactor operator has provided assurances that, whenever an alternative nuclear reactor fuel, enriched in the isotope U-235 to less than 20 percent, can be used in that reactor, it will use that alternative in lieu of highly enriched uranium; and

(C) the reactor operator has provided a current report on the status of its efforts to convert the reactor to an alternative nuclear reactor fuel enriched in the isotope U-235 to less than 20 percent, and an anticipated schedule for completion of conversion.

(4) Public participation and review

The Secretary shall–

(A) develop a program plan and annually update the program plan through public workshops; and

(B) use the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee to conduct annual reviews of the progress made in achieving the program goals and make recommendations to improve program effectiveness.

(b) Development assistance

The Secretary shall carry out a program to provide assistance for–

(1) the development of fuels, targets, and processes for domestic molybdenum-99 production that do not use highly enriched uranium; and

(2) commercial operations using the fuels, targets, and processes described in paragraph (1).

(c) Uranium lease and take-back

(1) In general

The Secretary shall establish a program to make low enriched uranium available, through lease contracts, for irradiation for the production of molybdenum-99 for medical uses.

(2) Title

The lease contracts shall provide for the producers of the molybdenum-99 to take title to and be responsible for the molybdenum-99 created by the irradiation, processing, or purification of uranium leased under this section.

(3) Duties

(A) Secretary

The lease contracts shall require the Secretary–

(i) to retain responsibility for the final disposition of spent nuclear fuel created by the irradiation, processing, or purification of uranium leased under this section for the production of medical isotopes; and

(ii) to take title to and be responsible for the final disposition of radioactive waste created by the irradiation, processing, or purification of uranium leased under this section for which the Secretary determines the producer does not have access to a disposal path.

(B) Producer

The producer of the spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste shall accurately characterize, appropriately package, and transport the spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste prior to acceptance by the Department.

(4) Compensation

(A) In general

Subject to subparagraph (B), the lease contracts shall provide for compensation in cash amounts equivalent to prevailing market rates for the sale of comparable uranium products and for compensation in cash amounts equivalent to the net present value of the cost to the Federal Government for–

(i) the final disposition of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste for which the Department is responsible under paragraph (3); and

(ii) other costs associated with carrying out the uranium lease and take-back program authorized by this subsection.

(B) Discount rate

The discount rate used to determine the net present value of costs described in subparagraph (A)(ii) shall be not greater than the average interest rate on marketable Treasury securities.

(5) Authorized use of funds

Subject to the availability of appropriations, the Secretary may obligate and expend funds received under leases entered into under this subsection, which shall remain available until expended, for the purpose of carrying out the activities authorized by this subtitle, including activities related to the final disposition of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste for which the Department is responsible under paragraph (3).

(6) Exchange of uranium for services

The Secretary shall not barter or otherwise sell or transfer uranium in any form in exchange for–

(A) services related to the final disposition of the spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste for which the Department is responsible under paragraph (3); or

(B) any other services associated with carrying out the uranium lease and take-back program authorized by this subsection.

(d) Coordination of environmental reviews

Terms Used In 42 USC 2065

  • Commission: means the Atomic Energy Commission. See 42 USC 2014
  • Interest rate: The amount paid by a borrower to a lender in exchange for the use of the lender's money for a certain period of time. Interest is paid on loans or on debt instruments, such as notes or bonds, either at regular intervals or as part of a lump sum payment when the issue matures. Source: OCC
  • Lease: A contract transferring the use of property or occupancy of land, space, structures, or equipment in consideration of a payment (e.g., rent). Source: OCC
  • operator: means any individual who manipulates the controls of a utilization or production facility. See 42 USC 2014
  • produce: when used in relation to special nuclear material, means (1) to manufacture, make, produce, or refine special nuclear material. See 42 USC 2014
  • United States: when used in a geographical sense includes all territories and possessions of the United States, the Canal Zone and Puerto Rico. See 42 USC 2014

The Department and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission shall ensure to the maximum extent practicable that environmental reviews for the production of the medical isotopes shall complement and not duplicate each review.

(e) Operational date

The Secretary shall establish a program as described in subsection (c)(3) not later than 3 years after January 2, 2013.

(f) Radioactive waste

Notwithstanding section 10101 of this title, radioactive material resulting from the production of medical isotopes that has been permanently removed from a reactor or subcritical assembly and for which there is no further use shall be considered low-level radioactive waste if the material is acceptable under Federal requirements for disposal as low-level radioactive waste.