I was directed to go to Japan to inform them of the Clinton Administrations' decision to terminate all fast reactor technology activities including international agreements. I was selected for this assignment because of my good relations with Japan even though my management was well aware that I opposed the decision.
The Clinton Administration was convinced by the anti's that fast reactors supported proliferation even through Argonne National Laboratory had demonstrated a nonaqueous recycle process which did not require separation of any weapons usable material. As a result of the decision, DOE cancelled $100 million in previously approved agreements that Japan had offered for metal fuel technology.
Recently, Russia has indicted a strong interest in the GE-PRISM and China, South Korea, Japan have made known to DOE that they desire to obtain U.S. metal fuel technology. I am sure India is also very interested as part of their sodium fast reactor program. Based on my past dealings, I believe we could obtain at least $500 million from the interested parties to proceed with a cooperative PRISM demo plant and the transfer of metal fuel technology. This technology transfer would also include a demonstration of using LWR waste to fuel a sodium cooled fast reactor.
Hopefully the unresolved waste issue and international interest will cause DOE to move forward on the developed IFR concept. This concept is the only economic, technical and environmentally sound approach to deal with LWR waste and proliferation concerns.