Q: Is the IFR still operating?
A: No. The IFR was canceled in the end of September of 1994, two years ago.
Q: Who made that decision?
A: The decision was made in the early weeks of the Clinton administration. It was tempered somewhat in the Department of Energy in that first year. Congress then acted to keep the program alive in that first year. And then in the second year of the Clinton administration, the decision to really reinforce the earlier decisions was made final, and the Administration put a very considerable effort into assuring successfully that the IFR would be canceled.
Q: And what was the basis for the decision to cancel the IFR? What grounds, what argument was presented?
A: The arguments fundamentally were that there was no longer any need for advanced nuclear power or research on nuclear power. In President Clinton's State of the Union address that first year, one of the statements was that unneeded programs would be canceled, and for example, programs on advanced nuclear power would be canceled. So that the fundamental argument was that there was no longer any need for any further research.
Q: Where does the IFR stand today?
A: Well, the IFR today is not an active program. The development of the IFR was carried on from 1984, then, to 1994. The work on the new fuel form and on the processes and on safety and so on, is all documented thoroughly in the literature, in the technical literature, so that the knowledge that was gained in those years is certainly there for others to study if they wish to do so. There is related work on the process, on the chemical processes, now being done at Argonne to help with some of the DOE nuclear waste. But it's not aimed at the IFR.