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Technical Options for the Advanced Liquid Metal Reactor

Description: This paper discusses the history and status of the ALMR research program. It presents applications of this technology to the plutonium disposition problem and the possible advantages and disadvantages of its future development and deployment. It also discusses related issues such as waste management and concerns about proliferation of plutonium material.
Date: May 1994
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.

Trading Around the Clock: Global Securities Markets and Information Technology

Description: This background paper assesses the effects of information technology on securities markets and the current status of global securities trading. It compares securities markets and clearing and settlement mechanisms in Japan, the United Kingdom, and the rest of Europe with those in the United States. Finally it identities emerging questions about international markets and national regulatory regimes.
Date: July 1990
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.

Adjusting to a New Security Environment: The Defense Technology and Industrial Base Challenge

Description: This background paper, OTA sought information and advice from a broad spectrum of knowledgeable individuals and organizations whose contributions are gratefully acknowledged. As with all OTA studies, the content of this background paper is the sole responsibility of the Office of Technology Assessment and does not necessarily represent the views of our advisers and reviewers.
Date: February 1991
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.

Seeking Solutions: High Performance Computing for Science

Description: This background paper focuses on the Federal role in supporting a national high-performance computing initiative. High-performance ‘‘supercomputers’ * are fast becoming tools of international competition and they play an important role in such areas as scientific research, weather forecasting, and popular entertainment. They may prove to be the key to maintaining America’s preeminence in science and engineering. The automotive, aerospace, electronic, and pharmaceutical industries are becoming more reliant on the use of high-performance computers in the analysis, engineering, design, and manufacture of high-technology products.
Date: March 1991
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.

American Military Power: Future Needs, Future Choices

Description: This background paper outlines some of the issues of importance for making choices about the future nature and role of U.S. armed forces, and suggests how these choices will affect defense base requirements. The final report of the assessment, to be delivered in the spring of 1992, will address specific policy options arising from the strategic choices and tactical decisions discussed here.
Date: October 1991
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.

Bioremediation for Marine Oil Spills

Description: This OTA background paper evaluates the current state of knowledge and assesses the potential of bioremediation for responding to marine oil spills. Our basic message is a dual one: we caution that there are still many uncertainties about the use of bioremediation as a practical oil spill response technology; nevertheless, it could be appropriate in certain circumstances, and further research and development of bioremediation technologies could lead to enhancing the Nation’s capability to fight marine oil spills.
Date: May 1991
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.

The FBI Fingerprint Identification Automation Program: Issues and Options

Description: This report focuses on key assumptions that will affect the sizing and procurement of the new FBI system, and on other related steps that appear necessary to ensure complete and up-to-date record systems. These include full implementation of a Federal/State/local partnership for maintaining and exchanging fingerprint and criminal history records; enactment of an interstate compact or Federal legislation setting out uniform rules for the exchange of such records; standards and funding for improving criminal history record completeness and disposition reporting; and privacy and security protections for electronic fingerprint and record information.
Date: November 1991
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.

Alaskan Water for California?: The Subsea Pipeline Option

Description: This background paper focuses on one technological option for increasing the supply of fresh water to the Southwest-that of building a freshwater subsea pipeline to transport water from Alaska to California. Originally a suggestion by Governor Walter Hickel of Alaska, the proposal has recently attracted attention in southern California.
Date: January 1990
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.

Federal and Private Roles in the Development and Provision of Alglucerase Therapy for Gaucher Disease

Description: This background paper describes the development of alglucerase, illustrates the role that both the Federal Government and private sector can have in making new therapies available for orphan diseases, and lays out some of the tradeoffs that can exist between developing new medical technologies and controlling health care costs.
Date: October 1992
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.

Technologies Underlying Weapons of Mass Destruction

Description: This paper reviews the technical requirements for countries to develop and build nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, along with the systems most capable of delivering these weapons to distant or defended targets: ballistic missiles, combat aircraft, and cruise missiles.
Date: December 1993
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.

Energy Use and the U.S. Economy

Description: The background paper extends the analysis of energy use into new areas by explicitly looking at how energy use has changed with the expansion of the service sector, the explosion of international trade, and greater complexity of the U.S. economy as the structure of businesses changed in response to new technologies and competitive challenges. The increasing sophistication of the U.S. economy means that the role of energy is less likely to be directly identified and is instead more likely to be an indirect factor that was added many steps before in the complex network that connects producer to consumer. This report explicitly separates direct from indirect energy use.
Date: June 1990
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.

Electronic delivery of public assistance benefits: technology options and policy issues

Description: This background paper discusses the technological options available for use in an electronic system to deliver public assistance benefits, the privacy and security implications of such a system, and the programmatic effects of changing to an electronic delivery system. It was requested by the Subcommittee on the Handicapped of the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources.
Date: April 1988
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.

Statistical Needs for a Changing U.S. Economy

Description: The background paper does not attempt to provide a comprehensive critique of national statistics and does not introduce new research designed to solve the technical problems. It is, instead, designed to show how defects in the existing statistical system can limit our understanding of key economic issues and to demonstrate the ways that better management and coordination of America’s statistical agencies can lead to concrete improvements.
Date: September 1989
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.

Biological Effects of Power Frequency Electric and Magnetic Fields

Description: This background report responds to a request by the Subcommittee on Water and Power Resources of the House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. The subcommittee asked that OTA review the health effects of high-voltage transmission lines. To provide background information for its assessment on electric power wheeling, OTA contracted with the Carnegie-Mellon University.
Date: May 1989
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.

Issues in Medical Waste Management

Description: The paper examines the adequacy of current medical waste disposal practices and the potential for human health impacts to occur as a result of such practices. It also addresses the need for additional research and databases, and discusses probable trends in future costs and capacity as new regulations are adopted around the country. Finally, the paper considers the possible need for further Federal involvement in regulating the handling, treatment, storage, and disposal of medical wastes.
Date: October 1988
Creator: United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment.