John F. Kennedy photo

Letter to the Chairman, Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, Concerning Use of By-Product Steam from the Hanford Nuclear Reactor.

July 14, 1962

[Released July 14, 1962. Dated July 13, 1962 ]

Dear Mr. Chairman:

My message of March 1 on the nation's natural resources pointed out that a major challenge in resource conservation lies in the efficient utilization of our energy resources, including heat produced as a by-product of industrial processes.

The new production reactor now being constructed by AEC at Hanford, Washington, to manufacture plutonium will produce as a by-product, very large amounts of steam. By direction of the Congress, the reactor, at an additional cost of $25,000,000 has been designed so that the by-product steam can be used to generate electricity. I was disappointed last year when the Congress, despite strong efforts by you and others, did not authorize federal construction of generating facilities at Hanford to convert this steam to electric power.

In my judgment, it is clearly in the public interest to utilize the heat output of the Hanford reactor, and to obtain maximum benefits from the public investment already committed for this facility if there is a feasible way to do so.

This past week your Committee has heard testimony that the Atomic Energy Commission and the Bonneville Power Administration have found acceptable a proposal by the Washington public power supply system to utilize the Hanford steam for the production of power. This local agency would finance, build and operate the power plant and deliver its output to local publicly and privately owned utilities which, in turn, would exchange it with Bonneville for a block of firm power on a non-profit basis.

The proposal of the supply system contemplates that no federal appropriation would be required, nor would any federal agency be involved in building or operating the power plant. The proposal provides a highly satisfactory arrangement for insuring the maximum utilization of the facility, demonstrates national leadership in resource development, and will aid in achieving national defense objectives.

I feel sure you will share my gratification that a way has been found to make productive use of this heat resource and I hope that you and the Congress will give the proposed arrangements your full endorsement and support.



[Honorable Chet Holtfield, Chairman, Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, House of Representatives, Washington 25, D.C.]

Note: The letter was released at Hyannis, Mass.

John F. Kennedy, Letter to the Chairman, Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, Concerning Use of By-Product Steam from the Hanford Nuclear Reactor. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under



Simple Search of Our Archives