Appropriations for FY2005: Energy and Water Development
CRS Report for Congress
Appropriations for FY2005:
Energy and Water Development
Updated December 10, 2004
Coordinated by Carl Behrens
Resources, Science, and Industry Division
Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress
The annual consideration of appropriations bills (regular, continuing, and
supplemental) by Congress is part of a complex set of budget processes that also
encompasses the consideration of budget resolutions, revenue and debt-limit
legislation, other spending measures, and reconciliation bills. In addition, the
operation of programs and the spending of appropriated funds are subject to
constraints established in authorizing statutes. Congressional action on the budget
for a fiscal year usually begins following the submission of the President’s budget at
the beginning of the session. Congressional practices governing the consideration
of appropriations and other budgetary measures are rooted in the Constitution, the
standing rules of the House and Senate, and statutes, such as the Congressional
Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974.
This report is a guide to one of the 13 regular appropriations bills that Congress
considers each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the
House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Energy and Water
Development. It summarizes the status of the bill, its scope, major issues, funding
levels, and related congressional activity, and is updated as events warrant. The
report lists the key CRS staff relevant to the issues covered and related CRS
NOTE: A Web version of this document with active links is
available to congressional staff at
[http://www.crs .gov/products/appropriations/apppage.sht ml ] .
Appropriations for FY2005:
Energy and Water Development
The Energy and Water Development appropriations bill includes funding for
civil works projects of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), the Department of the
Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), most of the Department of Energy (DOE),
and a number of independent agencies. The Bush Administration requested $27.94
billion for these programs for FY2005, compared with $27.26 billion appropriated
for FY2004 (P.L. 108-137, and rescissions included in P.L. 108-199). On June 16
the House Appropriations Committee reported out its bill (H.R. 4614) with $27.99
billion, and the bill passed the House on June 25. The Senate did not report out a
separate Energy and Water Appropriations bill, and funding for these programs of
$28.49 billion was included as Division C of the omnibus Consolidated
Appropriations Act (H.R. 4818, P.L. 108-447).
Key issues involving these programs included:
!funding and progress of major water/ecosystem restoration
initiatives such as Florida Everglades and California “Bay-Delta”
!funding for the proposed national nuclear waste repository at Yucca
!funding for developing a new nuclear warhead, the Robust Nuclear
Earth Penetrator and for a “Modern Pit Facility” to build nuclear
weapons components; and
!plans to reduce the time necessary to prepare the Nevada Test Site
to resume nuclear weapons testing.
Funding for the Yucca Mountain project was a major issue that prevented
passage of a stand-alone bill, and the possibility of a year-long continuing resolution
for Energy and Water programs was widely discussed. However, appropriators
agreed in the omnibus bill to fund the project at the same level as in FY2004. Part
of the funding for Yucca Mountain came from the controversial Nuclear Earth
Penetrator and pit facility and the upgrading of the Nevada Test Site, which were cut
from the budget.
This report will be updated as events warrant.
Key Policy Staff
Area of ExpertiseNameCRS Telephone
Bureau of ReclamationBetsy CodyRSI7-7229
Corps of EngineersNicole CarterRSI7-0854
Nuclear EnergyMark HoltRSI7-1704
Solar and Renewable EnergyFred SissineRSI7-7039
Science ProgramsDaniel MorganRSI7-5849
DOE Environmental ManagementDavid BeardenRSI7-2390
Nonproliferation and TerrorismCarl BehrensRSI7-8303
Nuclear Weapons StewardshipJonathan MedaliaFDT7-7632
Power Marketing AdministrationsRob BambergerRSI7-7240
Bonneville Power AdministrationKyna PowersRSI7-6881
Report Preparation and SupportCarol Glover RSI7-7353
Division abbreviations: RSI = Resources, Science, and Industry; FDT= Foreign Affairs, Defense, and
Most Recent Developments..........................................1
Title I: Corps of Engineers..........................................4
Key Policy Issues — Corps of Engineers ...........................6
Savings and Slippage and Reprogramming......................6
Proposed “Reforms” of Corps Processes and Procedures...........7
Missouri River Management.................................8
Title II: Department of the Interior....................................9
Central Utah Project............................................9
Bureau of Reclamation Budget In Brief............................10
Key Policy Issues — Bureau of Reclamation.......................11
Title III: Department of Energy......................................13
Key Policy Issues — Department of Energy........................15
Nuclear Weapons Stockpile Stewardship......................20
Nonproliferation and National Security Programs................33
Civilian Nuclear Waste....................................39
Power Marketing Administrations............................41
Title IV: Independent Agencies......................................42
Key Policy Issues — Independent Agencies........................42
Nuclear Regulatory Commission.............................42
For Additional Reading............................................44
CRS Issue Briefs.............................................44
List of Tables
Table 1. Status of Energy and Water Development Appropriations, FY2005...1
Table 2. Energy and Water Development Appropriations, FY1998 to FY2005..2
Table 3. Energy and Water Development Appropriations Summary of Funding
Title I: Corps of Engineers.......................................4
Table 5. Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Title II: Central Utah Project Completion Account....................9
Table 6. Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Title II: Bureau of Reclamation..................................10
Table 7. Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Title III: Department of Energy..................................13
Table 8. Funding for Weapons Activities..............................21
Table 9. NNSA Future Years Nuclear Security Program..................22
Table 10. DOE Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Programs...............34
Table 11. Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Title IV: Independent Agencies..................................42
Appropriations for FY2005:
Energy and Water Development
Most Recent Developments
The Bush Administration’s FY2005 budget request, released February 2, 2004,
budgeted Energy and Water Development Programs at $27.94 billion, compared to
$27.26 billion appropriated for the same programs for FY2004. On June 16 the
House Appropriations Committee reported its bill with $27.99 billion, and the House
passed it June 25. The House and Senate both approved a conference report (H.Rept.
108-792) on H.R. 4818 on November 20, containing FY2005 appropriations for
previously unpassed bills, including Energy and Water Development. H.R. 4818
was forwarded to the President December 6 and signed December 8 (P.L. 108-447).
Table 1. Status of Energy and Water Development Appropriations, FY2005
MarkupHouseHouseSenateSenateConf.(H.R. 4818)Public Law
Re por t P assage Re por t P assage Re por t
H ouse Senat e H ouse Senat e
6/9/04 — 108-5546/25/04 — — 108-79211/20/04*11/20/04*P.L. 108-447
*Held at desk in Senate until December 6, when the House approved H.Con.Res. 528.
The Energy and Water Development bill includes funding for civil works
projects of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), the Department of the
Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), most of the Department of Energy (DOE),
and a number of independent agencies, including the Nuclear Regulatory
Commission (NRC) and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). The Bush
Administration’s request was $27.938 billion for these programs for FY2005,
compared with $27.253 billion appropriated for FY2004. The House bill (H.R.
contained funding at $27.988 billion. The omnibus Consolidated Appropriations bill
(H.R. 4818, P.L. 108-447) appropriates $28.488 billion, less an across-the-board
rescission of 0.80% (Division J, section 122, as amended by H.Con.Res 528).
Throughout this report, figures cited for funding in the omnibus bill do not reflect
this 0.80% reduction.
Table 2 includes budget totals for energy and water development appropriations
enacted for FY1998 to FY2004 and the Administration’s request for FY2005.
Table 2. Energy and Water Development Appropriations,
FY1998 to FY2005a
(budget authority in billions of current dollars)
FY98 FY99 FY00 FY01 FY02 FY03 FY04 FY05
21.2 21.2 21.2 23.9 25.2 26.1 26.7 27.9
a These figures represent current dollars, exclude permanent budget authorities, and reflect
Table 3 lists totals for each of the four titles. The table also lists several
“scorekeeping” adjustments of accounts within Titles II and III that affect the total
amount appropriated in the bill but are not included in the totals of the individual
Table 3. Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Summary of Funding by Title
Title I: Corps of Engineers4.5804.1204.8324.705
Title II: CUP & BOR0.9810.9701.0211.020
Title III: Department of Energy21.96723.14822.47823.003
Title IV: Independent Agencies0.2280.2320.1930.292
Subtotal 27.756 28.470 28.525 29.020
Central Valley (Title II)-0.031-0.046-0.046-0.046
Uranium Fund (Title III)-0.452-0.463-0.463-0.463
WAPA (Title III)-0.022-0.023-0.023-0.023
Other (Title II)-0.002 — — —
Total 27.253 27.938 27.993 28.488
Source: H.Rept. 108-792.
Note: a. Does not include the modified rescission amount of .80% in H.Con.Res. 528.
For the Corps in FY2005, the Administration requested $4.12 billion, a decrease
of $460 million from the enacted appropriation for FY2004. The Administration’s
request focused funding on construction projects that could be completed in FY2005
and eight projects considered priorities by the Administration, including the Florida
Everglades. The omnibus H.R. 4818 (P.L. 108-447) increased the funding to $4.71
billion before the rescission.
The Administration asked for $970 million for FY2005 for the Department of
the Interior programs included in the Energy and Water Development bill — the
Bureau of Reclamation and the Central Utah Project. This would be a decrease of
$11 million from the FY2004 funding level. The House bill (H.R. 4614) would have
appropriated $1.021 billion. The omnibus bill appropriated $1.020 billion, less the
The FY2005 request for DOE programs in the bill was $23.148 billion, about
$1.18 billion more than the previous year. The major activities in the DOE budget are
energy research and development, general science, environmental cleanup, and
nuclear weapons programs. (Funding of DOE’s programs for fossil fuels, energy
efficiency, and energy statistics is included in the Interior and Related Agencies
appropriations bill. The FY2005 net request for these programs was $1.7 billion.)
The House bill (H.R. 4614) would have appropriated $22.478 billion. The omnibus
bill appropriated $23.003 billion, less the rescission.
The FY2005 request for funding the independent agencies in Title IV of the bill
was $232 million, compared with $228 million in FY2004. The House bill (H.R.
4614) would have appropriated $193 million for these programs. The omnibus bill
figure is $292 million.
Tables 4 through 11 provide budget details for Title I (Corps of Engineers),
Title II (Department of the Interior), Title III (Department of Energy), and Title IV
(independent agencies) for FY2004-FY2005.
Title I: Corps of Engineers
The President’s request for FY2005 for the civil works program of the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers was $4.12 billion, a decrease of $460 million from the
enacted appropriation for FY2004.
Table 4. Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Title I: Corps of Engineers
ProgramFY2004aFY2005House P.L. 108-f
Investigations and Planning116.390.5149.0144.5
Construction 1,748.1b 1,327.5c 1,876.7 1,796.1
Flood Control, Mississippic
Rive r 322.3 265.0 325.0 324.5
Operation and Maintenance1,956.31,931.01,982.01,959.1
Regulatory 139.2 150.0 140.0 145.0
FUSRAP d 139.2 140.0 190.0 165.0
Flood Control and Coastalec
Emergencies — 49.0 — —
Office of the Asst. Secretary
or the Army0.00.02.64.0
Total 4,580.4 4,120.0 4,832.3 4,705.2
Source: Administration budget request for FY2005, H.Rept. 108-554, and H.Rept. 108-792. Budget
justifications for FY2005 from the Corps of Engineers.
a. Includes an across-the-board rescission of .59% included in the FY2004 Consolidated
Appropriations Act, P.L. 108-199, enacted on January 23, 2004.
b. This figure reflects amounts provided by the House Appropriations Committee; the Committee
showed $35.9 million added by P.L. 108-199. Other sources indicate that the supplemental
appropriation was less and that the total construction appropriation was $1731.3.
c. This amount includes the Administration’s proposed cancellation of $100 million ($94 million in
construction, $5 million in Mississippi River flood control, $1 million in flood control and
coastal emergencies) in unobligated FY2004 balances for work on 41 projects that are
“inconsistent with current policy.”
d. “Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program.”
e. The conference committee for FY2004 appropriations removed all funding for the Flood Control
and Coastal Emergencies account because the account was replenished with $60 million through
the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act for FY2004, P.L. 108-83.
f. Does not include the modified rescission amount of .80% in H.Con.Res. 528, which would produce
a total of $4,667.9 million.
The President’s FY2005 budget request was similar in many ways to the
President’s FY2004 request. Again for FY2005, the President’s request funded
construction projects that could be completed in FY2005 and projects considered by
the Administration to be priorities. The eight priority projects included the New
York and New Jersey Harbor Deepening project, restoration projects in the Florida
Everglades and the side channels of the Upper Mississippi River system, and projects
to meet environmental requirements in the Columbia River Basin and the Missouri
River basin. The President’s budget also funded three new projects that were
determined to have high economic and environmental return. Outside of these three
projects, there were no other new construction starts, because of the Administration’s
concern with the funding needed to complete projects budgeted for construction. In
keeping with the Administration’s approach to reducing the agency’s construction
backlog, the President’s budget limited funding for planning to five new projects.
The request also focused the operation and maintenance funds for the inland
waterways and harbors on projects supporting a high volume of traffic.
The Corps announced in its budget briefing on February 2, 2004, that it did not
budget for the continued renourishment of shoreline storm damage reduction
projects, indicating that it considered these costs as maintenance expenses to be
borne by the non-federal project sponsors. This represented a change from the
Corps’ past involvement with renourishment, often at a 50% federal cost share. The
budget also generally deemphasized shallow draft harbors and waterways with low
The President requested no funds for studies and “environmental infrastructure”
projects in the following non-traditional mission areas: wastewater treatment,
irrigation water supply, and municipal and industrial water supply treatment and
distribution. By not seeking funding for these activities, the Administration
reinforced its interest in focusing federal funding on navigation, flood control, storm
damage reduction, and ecosystem restoration projects.
H.R. 4818 (P.L. 108-447) increases the Corps’ appropriations over FY2004 and
above the President’s FY2005 request; the exact increase depends on the size of the
rescission. H.R. 4818 (P.L. 108-447) funds some environmental infrastructure
projects and funds some beach renourishment activities. Furthermore, the bill states
that the Corps shall not implement any changes to existing shoreline protection
policies that have not been specifically authorized by Congress. The bill does not
fund the new study or construction starts requested by the President. It does fund
some controversial construction projects, including the Dallas Floodway Extension
and Yazoo Basin projects. According to the conference report, Congress provided
more funds for the popular Continuing Authorities Programs than requested by the
Administration; the conference report also continued the recent trend of identifying
specific priority projects for funding under these programs.
H.R. 4818 (P.L. 108-447) contains some authorization language. Although the
bill does not contain authorization of the Upper Mississippi River-Illinois Waterway
navigation and ecosystem restoration project, it provides $13.5 million in funding to
proceed with the planning of the controversial navigation project. The bill provides
$17.5 million, which is less than the $28 million requested by the Administration, for
the Upper Mississippi River System’s Environmental Management Program, which
complements the proposed ecosystem restoration project.
Key Policy Issues — Corps of Engineers
Funding Level. Funding for the Corps’ civil works program often has been
a contentious issue between the Administration and Congress, with final
appropriations typically providing more funding than requested, regardless of which
political party controls the White House and Congress. The FY2003 and FY2004
appropriations bills added funds above the Administration’s request; they were,
respectively, $466 million (11%) and $370 million (9%) above the requested
amounts. The FY2005 budget request proposed a 10% cut from the enacted FY2004
appropriations; H.R. 4818 (P.L. 108-447) appropriates 14% more than the request.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources
and Environment held a hearing on the Corps’ FY2005 budget on February 26, 2004.
On March 10, 2004, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water
Development held its hearing. The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy
and Water held a hearing on April 20, 2004.At these hearings, some Members of
Congress raised concerns that the Administration’s request represented a reduction
in each of the major Corps accounts. At these hearings, Assistant Secretary of the
Army Woodley mentioned the Corps’ use of a performance-based approach in
developing the budget request (i.e., providing funding to the projects that it identifies
as having the highest economic and environmental returns). Some Members
expressed particular concern about the application of performance-based budgeting
and OMB’s role in delayed use of FY2004 funds for congressionally added projects.
The Administration’s FY2005 funding levels for navigation operation and
maintenance and beach renourishment policy changes have drawn criticism from
some stakeholders and support from others. House and Senate Waterways Caucuses
announced their formation at a kick-off meeting on May 21, 2004. Caucus members
spoke on the importance of the nation’s waterways to trade, tourism, and recreation;
they also asserted a need for increased funding for the civil works program.
H.R. 4818 (P.L. 108-447) maintained the FY2004 spending level for O&M.
The bill did not provide the $35 million reserve requested for emergency repairs,
which had received $15 million in FY2004. O&M funding for some navigation
channels was restored by H.R. 4818 (P.L. 108-447); notably, the bill increased O&M
funds above the President’s request for many segments of the Atlantic Intracoastal
Waterway, with FY2005 appropriations for the waterway reaching a level about 85%
of previous years’ appropriations. The bill also increased the O&M funding for the
controversial waterway of the Apalachicola, Chattahoochee, and Flint Rivers from
$0.1 million to $6 million.
Savings and Slippage and Reprogramming. Corps appropriations
include a reduction for Saving and Slippage (S&S) to account for the slip of spending
on projects due to delays caused by weather, non-federal sponsor financing, or a
decision not to proceed — or to account for savings from a project costing less than
estimated. The Administration in its budget estimate proposes an S&S rate for
various Corps accounts; Congress maintains or modifies these rates during the
appropriations process. The enacted S&S rates are normally applied across the board
to all projects in an account, except for those activities specifically set forth in act
language. S&S rates that exceed the actual saving and slippage experienced could
contribute to appropriations constraints on the progress of projects. Over the course
of the fiscal year, the Corps reprograms funds within an account from the projects
that are not proceeding as planned to those that are moving forward. There is no
statutory language permitting or prohibiting reprogramming of funds; however,
Congress provided specific guidance in the past with regard to reprogramming of the
construction account in report language. The conference report for H.R. 4818 (P.L.
108-447) (H.Rept. 108-792) lays out for the Corps general criteria for
reprogramming. The conference report shows savings and slippage rates of 20% for
the general investigations account consistent with the Administration’s request for
a 20% rate, and 10% for general construction, which was above the 8% rate used by
Proposed “Reforms” of Corps Processes and Procedures. During
the 106th Congress, the Corps came under criticism for the way it evaluates andth
undertakes projects. Although the issue received media attention in the 107
Congress, it was not directly addressed through legislation. Corps reform was
debated during consideration of Water Resource Development Act (WRDA) bills in
the 108th Congress; Corps reform reportedly has played a role in recent WRDAs’ not
being enacted. H.R. 4818 (P.L. 108-447) contains no Corps reform provisions. For
more information, see CRS Report RL30928, Army Corps of Engineers: Reform
Issues for the 107th Congress, by Nicole T. Carter, and CRS Issue Brief IB10133,
Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) and Other Army Corps of Engineers
Legislation, coordinated by Nicole T. Carter.
Everglades. A significant addition to the Corps’ mission in recent years is its
growing role in large environmental restoration programs, raising concerns that
funding for these programs could displace the funding for other water resources
activities. (See CRS Issue Brief IB10120, Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works
Program: Issues for Congress, by Nicole T. Carter and Pervaze A. Sheikh, for more
information.) The Corps plays a significant coordination role in the restoration of the
Central and Southern Florida ecosystem. The Corps is particularly involved in the
planning, construction, and operation of facilities under the Comprehensive
Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) that was authorized by Title VI of the Water
Resources Development Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-541). The annual Energy and Water
Development Appropriations bill provides funding for the Corps’ participation in
these efforts. Everglades restoration also receives a significant portion of its funding
through the Department of the Interior appropriations bills. For more information on
Everglades funding for Interior agencies, see CRS Report RL32306, Appropriations
for FY2005: Interior and Related Agencies, coordinated by Carol Hardy-Vincent and
The President’s request for FY2005 included a total of $130 million for the
Corps’ construction projects in the region. The FY2005 request for the Kissimmee
River restoration project and the Everglades and South Florida ecosystem restoration
project was $18.0 million and $27.0 million, respectively. For the Central and
Southern Florida project, the Administration requested $85.6 million; $67 million of
this is for CERP. H.R. 4818 (P.L. 108-447) would provide $121.25 million for
Everglades restoration, which is less than the $130 million requested by the
Administration, and includes $2.25 million for a Florida Keys Water Quality
Improvement project. The Kissimmee River project would receive $18 million as
requested; the Everglades and South Florida ecosystem restoration project would
receive $26 million, and the Central and Southern Florida project $75 million.
Missouri River Management. Although the Missouri River is managed by
the Corps, the Missouri River received the most congressional attention in 2004 in
the context of S. 2804, the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations bill for
FY2005. A provision to change a trigger that requires the Corps to implement
drought conservation measures on the Missouri River remained in S. 2804 after a
debate to have it removed during committee markup. The drought conservation
measures would have suspended navigational releases from Missouri River reservoirs
if storage at the reservoirs falls below a defined level. No similar language was
included in the House-passed bill. H.R. 4818 (P.L. 108-447) does not contain a
similar provision. For more information on the Missouri River provision, see CRS
Report RL32306, Appropriations for FY2005: Interior and Related Agencies,
coordinated by Carol Hardy-Vincent and Susan Boren. For more information on
Missouri River management, see CRS Issue Brief IB10120, Army Corps of Engineers
Civil Works Program: Issues for Congress, by Nicole T. Carter and Pervaze A.
In the context of Energy and Water Development Appropriations, the level of
funding for Missouri River mitigation measures was the main issue. H.R. 4818 (P.L.
108-447) provides $19 million for Missouri River fish and wildlife recovery. The
President’s FY2005 budget request was for $69 million; it would have covered
expenses associated with environmental measures to comply with the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service’s Biological Opinion to protect three endangered species. The
measures covered by the President’s request would have included shallow water
habitat for the pallid sturgeon and sandbar habitat for two shorebirds. The activities
covered by the President’s request, unlike previous mitigation, would not have been
restricted to river segments used for navigation; the FY2005 request was for activities
along the length of the Missouri River from the reservoir at Fort Peck to the
confluence of the Missouri River and Mississippi River at St. Louis.
The amount appropriated for mitigation in the Energy and Water Development
Appropriations Act of FY2004 had been $18 million. (The President’s FY2004
request had been for $22 million.) The Corps reprogrammed $23 million in FY2004
funds to provide for the environmental measures needed to implement the Missouri
River Master Manual in the 2004 navigation season.
Title II: Department of the Interior
For the Department of the Interior, the Energy and Water Development bill
provides funding for the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) and the Central Utah Project
Table 5. Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Title II: Central Utah Project Completion Account
FY2004 RequestH.R. 4614447
Central Utah Projecta
Construction 26.9 30.8 30.8 30.8
Mitigation and Conservation
Oversight & Administration188.8.131.52.7
Total, Central Utah Project38.048.048.048.0
a. Calculated from text of H.Rept. 108-554. House does not give a figure for Central Utah Project
Co nst r uc t i o n.
b. Does not include the modified rescission amount of 0.80% in H.Con.Res. 528.
Central Utah Project
For FY2005, the President requested $48.0 million for the Central Utah Project
(CUP) Completion Account, an increase of $10.0 million over the FY2004 enacted
amount. The conference agreement also includes $48 million for the CUP
Table 6. Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Title II: Bureau of Reclamation
FY2004 RequestH.R. 4614447
Water and Related Resources a852.4794.5860.3f859.5
Loan Program Account a0.2 — — —
Policy & Administration a55.258.258.258.2
CVP Restoration Fund a39.454.754.754.7
Calif. Bay-Delta (CALFED) — 15.0 — —
Working Capital Fund(4.5) — — —
Gross Current Authority942.7922.3973.2972.3
CVP Collections b(31.0)(46.0)(46.0)(46.0)
Hydropower Direct Financingc
Offset — (30.0) — —
Indian Water Rights2.1 — — —
Net Current Authority d913.8846.3927.2926.3
Total, Title II980.6970.31,021.21,020.3
Source: H.Rept. 108-554. Budget justifications for FY2005 from the Bureau of Reclamation.
a. Includes an across-the-board rescission of .59% included in the FY2004 Consolidated
Appropriations Act, P.L. 108-199, enacted on January 23, 2004.
b. In its request, the Bureau lists this as an “offset”; the House bill does not treat the CVP collections
as an offset.
c. The FY2005 request includes a proposal that funds be transferred to the Water and Related
Resources account of the Bureau of Reclamation from the Western Area Power Administration
(WAPA) account in Title III. The House bill does not include such a transfer.
d. Calculated by CRS.
e. Budget justifications for FY2005 from the Bureau of Reclamation show a request of $828.5 million
for the Water and Related Resources Account for FY2005 and a corresponding $956.3 million in
Gross Current Authority. The request was amended May 6, 2004, to account for payment of the
Sumner Peck settlement agreement out of other government funds.
f. This item was $5M smaller in the original House table.
g. Does not include the modified rescission amount of 0.80% in H.Con.Res. 528.
Bureau of Reclamation Budget In Brief
The FY2005 request for BOR totals $922.3 million in gross current budget1
authority. This amount is $20.4 million less than enacted for FY2004 in P.L. 108-
1 This amount is $34 million less than the Bureau’s initial estimate. Budget justifications
for FY2005 from the Bureau of Reclamation show a request of $828.5 million for the Water
137, including the rescission of $5.1 million included in the FY2004 Consolidated
Appropriations Act (PL. 108-199). The FY2005 request includes a $46 million
“offset” for the Central Valley Project (CVP) Restoration Fund, and a Hydropower
Direct Financing offset of $30.0 million (transferred from the Western Area Power
Administration (WAPA) account in Title III), yielding a “net” current authority of
$846.3 million for BOR. The House bill (H.R. 4614) includes $973.2 million in
gross current authority; the conference agreement includes $972.3 million. Neither
allowance includes the transfer from the WAPA account.
BOR’s single largest account, Water and Related Resources, encompasses the
agency’s traditional programs and projects, including operations and maintenance,
the Dam Safety Program, Water and Energy Management Development, and Fish and
Wildlife Management and Development, among others. The House bill, H.R. 4614,
includes $860 million for the Water and Related Resources account; the conference
agreement includes $859.5 million. The BOR requested $794.5 million for this
account for FY2005, $57.9 million less than appropriated in P.L. 108-137 for
FY2004; however, BOR budget justifications for FY2005 note a request of $828.5
million, which is approximately $24.0 million less than enacted for FY2004. The
agency initially requested $34 million for part of a three-year annual payment as part
of the Sumner Peck settlement; however, a subsequent decision was made to fund the
payment from another government account. An amendment to the request was
submitted to Congress on May 6, 2004.
Key Policy Issues — Bureau of Reclamation
Background. Most of the large dams and water diversion structures in the
West were built by, or with the assistance of, the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR).
Whereas the Army Corps of Engineers built hundreds of flood control and navigation
projects, BOR’s mission was to develop water supplies, primarily for irrigation to
reclaim arid lands in the West. Today, BOR manages hundreds of dams and
diversion projects, including more than 300 storage reservoirs in 17 western states.
These projects provide water to approximately 10 million acres of farmland and 31
million people. BOR is the largest wholesale supplier of water in the 17 western
states and the second largest hydroelectric power producer in the nation. BOR
facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife
benefits. At the same time, operations of BOR facilities are often controversial,
particularly for their effect on sensitive fish and wildlife species and conflicts among
competing water users.
CALFED. Funds have not been appropriated for the California Bay-Delta
Restoration Account (Bay-Delta, or CALFED) since FY2000, when the authorization
for appropriations expired. However, funds were provided for FY2002, FY2003, and
FY2004 for activities that support the CALFED program — but not for the CALFED
program account. The Administration requested $15 million for this account for
and Related Resources Account for FY2005 (instead of $794.5 as listed in the conference
tables) and a corresponding $956.3 million in gross current authority. The BOR budget also
includes several permanent appropriations.
FY2005. For FY2005, the House Committee on Appropriations recommended that
no funds be appropriated for CALFED, and no funds are included in the omnibus
bill. Consistent with past years, the committee notes it has recommended “no
funding (for CALFED) in the absence of authorizing legislation for this multi-year,
multi-billion dollar effort.” The conference agreement provides, however, a total of
$8.5 million from the within the Water and Related Resources Account for certain
activities that support the CALFED program. This amount includes $7.5 million for
activities that support California Bay-Delta Restoration, as stated in the conference
report, plus an “additional” $1.0 million for the Upper San Joaquin River Basin
Storage investigation. Other activities receiving funding from the $8.5 million
include $1.0 million for Sites Reservoir planning activities, $1.0 million for Shasta
Dam enlargement evaluation, and $1.0 million for Los Vaqueros expansion planning.
Although the CALFED program was reauthorized and signed into law October 25,
2004 (H.R. 2888, P.L. 108-361), the appropriations language was not changed. (For
more information on CALFED, see CRS Report RL31975, CALFED Bay-Delta
Program: Overview of Institutional and Water Use Issues, by Betsy A. Cody and
Security. BOR requested $43.2 million for FY2005 for continued heightened
safety and security efforts at BOR facilities. The bulk of the request is for facility
operations/security. Funding covers such activities as administration of the security
program (e.g. surveillance and law enforcement), anti-terrorism activities, and
physical emergency security upgrades. (For more information, see CRS Report
RL32189, Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector, by
Claudia Copeland and Betsy A. Cody.) Beginning in FY2005, BOR has planned to
assign a portion of site security costs to water users for repayment based on existing
project cost allocations for operations and maintenance activities; however, conferees
have noted concern over the plan and direct BOR to submit a report by May 1, 2005,
on reimbursable and non-reimbursable security costs before implementation of the
change and that there should be no implementation of the change “until the Congress
provides direct instruction to do so.”
The House Committee on Appropriations, in H.R. 4614, recommended $43.2
million for site security, and the omnibus bill contains that amount.
Title III: Department of Energy
The Energy and Water Development bill includes funding for most of DOE’s
programs. Major DOE activities in the bill include research and development on
renewable energy and nuclear power, general science, environmental cleanup, and
nuclear weapons programs. The Administration’s FY2005 request for DOE programs
in the Energy and Water Development bill was $23.148 billion, about $1.18 billion
more than the amount appropriated for FY2004. (The FY2005 request for DOE’s
programs for fossil fuels, energy efficiency, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and
energy statistics, included in the Interior and Related Agencies appropriations bill,
was $1.7 billion.) The House bill (H.R. 4614) would have appropriated $22.478
billion. The omnibus bill contains $23.003 billion, less the rescission.
Table 7. Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Title III: Department of Energy
Energy Supply R&D
Solar and Renewableb342.4374.8343.2389.1
Electricity Transmission &
Distribution 81.9 90.9 75.4 121.2
Environment, Safety, Health22.930.528.028.0
Other — 39.431.131.1
Adjustments(8.0) — (12.0)
Total, Energy Supply738.2835.3817.1946.3
Non-Defense Site Acceleration162.4151.9151.9151.9
Non-Defense Environmental Services337.5291.3291.3291.3
Uranium Decontamination and414.0500.2500.2499.0
High Energy Physics733.6737.4753.4742.4
Basic Energy Sciences1,010.61,063.51,076.51,113.5
Bio. & Env. R&D588.5501.6571.6586.6
Fusion 262.6 264.1 276.1 276.1
Advanced Scientific Computing202.3204.3234.3234.3
Other 308.4 265.3 278.6 278.6
Adj ustme nts ( 14.3) (5.6) (5.6) (10.7)
Total, Science 3,482.33,431.73,600.03,628.9
National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Weapons 6,235.5 6,568.5 6,514.4 6,226.5
Office of Administrator338.0333.7356.2356.2
Defense Environmental Management
Environ. Restoration Privatization(15.3) — — —
Defense Site Acceleration
Completion 5,617.7 5,970.8 5,930.8 6,094.4
Defense Environmental Services985.3982.5958.0938.0
Total, Defense Env. Man.6,587.76,953.36,888.87,034.4
Other Defense Activities 670.5663.6697.1692.9
Defense Nuclear Waste387.7131.0131.0231.0
Total, Defense Activities16,301.016,796.616,744.016,769.1
Departmental Admin. (net)92.2139.9121.9118.4
Office of Inspector General39.241.541.541.5
Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs)
Southeastern 4.9 5.2 5.2 5.2
Southwestern 28.4 29.4 29.4 29.4
Western 175.8 173.1 173.1 173.1
Power Marketing Fund (WAPA)(22.0)(23.0)(23.0)(23.0)
Falcon & Armistad O&M184.108.40.206.8
FERC 203.2 210.0 210.0 210.0
(revenues) (203.2) (210.0) (210.0) (210.0)
Civilian Nuclear Wasted188.9749.0 — 346.0
Total, Title III21,967.423,147.822,478.323,002.8
Source: Department of Energy budget justifications for FY2005 and H.Rept. 108-554.
a. Includes an across-the-board rescission of .59% included in the FY2004 Consolidated Appropriations Act,
P.L. 108-199, enacted on January 23, 2004.
b. Includes $26.1 million added to the Solar R&D account by the FY2004 Consolidated Appropriations Act,
P.L. 108-199, enacted on January 23, 2004.
c. Includes transfer of programs funded at $113.4 million from Energy Supply — Nuclear Energy to Other
d. DOE proposes to offset FY2005 appropriations with Nuclear Waste Fee collections, for a net appropriation
e. Does not include the modified rescission amount of 0.80% in H.Con.Res. 528.
Key Policy Issues — Department of Energy
Renewable Energy. The FY2005 budget request aimed to promote
“breakthroughs in hydrogen fuel cells,” develop advanced technologies for cellulosic
biomass as an energy source, and generally lower the cost of various renewable
energy systems, while improving equipment performance and efficiency. The request
also proposed competitive solicitations for applied research on technologies that
would help curb greenhouse gas emissions.
The request sought $374.8 million for renewables, which is $4.3 million, or 1%,
more than the FY2004 appropriation. This comparison includes the use of $13.0
million in prior year balances for FY2004. The funding request included $13.3
million more for Hydrogen (due to increases of $12.1 million for safety and $2.7
million for renewable hydrogen), $8.3 million more for Program Direction, and $3.0
million for a new National Climate Change Technology program. However, it would
terminate Program Support (a cut of $4.9 million), cut Biomass Utilization by $15.2
million (to terminate Small Modular Biopower and discontinue congressional
earmarks), and cut Concentrating Solar Power by $3.4 million. Also, the request
included $90.9 million for the Office of Electricity Transmission and Distribution
(OETD), an increase of $9.0 million, or 11%. The primary increase in OETD was
for High Temperature Superconductivity.
For FY2005, the House in H.R. 4614 approved $343.2 million for Renewable
Energy, which is $31.6 million, or 8%, less than the request. The major part of this
reduction is a decrease of $31.0 million, or 33%, for Hydrogen. Most of the decrease
for Hydrogen would eliminate support for hydrogen storage “centers of excellence,”
which the House Appropriations Committee’s report states DOE awarded “without
full and open competition.” Further, the House cut $7.0 million (zero appropriation)
for DOE’s proposed hydrogen education initiative. Also, there is a cut of $3.0
million (zero appropriation) for the National Climate Change Technology Initiative
and an increase of $2.4 million for Concentrating Solar Power.
The conference committee approved $389.1 million for Renewable Energy,
which is $14.3 million, or 4%, more than the request. The committee’s figure
includes $9.5 million more for Biomass/Biofuels, $6.2 million more for Solar
Energy, and $3.0 million more for Intergovernmental Program Support. For OETD,
the conference approved $121.2 million, which is $30.3 million, or 33%, more than
Relative to the FY2004 appropriation, the conference committee approved $31.6
million, or 9%, more for renewables. This increase includes $13.3 million more for
hydrogen, $6.8 million more for Program Direction, and $3.1 million more for Solar
Energy. Further, there is a decrease of $1.5 million for Facilities and Infrastructure.
Also, the committee approved $39.3 million, or 48%, more for OETD. This includes
increases of $21.8 million for R&D, $13.0 million for Electricity Restructuring, and
$4.5 million for Program Direction. All these amounts would be reduced by 0.80%
with approval of H.Con.Res. 528.
Nuclear Energy. For nuclear energy research and development — including
advanced reactors, fuel cycle technology, and nuclear hydrogen production — the
conference report provides $513.3 million, about $100 million above the
Administration’s request and the FY2004 appropriation. The total includes $124.3
million from Other Defense Activities and Naval Reactors for management of the
Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL), which is being
transferred to the nuclear energy program from DOE’s environmental management
The House Appropriations Committee had declared the Administration’s
request inadequate to achieve DOE’s stated goal of transforming INEEL — to be
renamed Idaho National Laboratory — into the nation’s leading center for nuclear
power research. The House approved a funding increase of $51.2 million, for a total
of $463.8 million.
“The benefits of nuclear power as a clean, reliable, and affordable source of
energy are a key to economic and environmental underpinnings of the U.S.,”
according to DOE’s budget justification. However, opponents have criticized DOE’s
nuclear research program as providing wasteful subsidies to an industry that they
believe should be phased out as unacceptably hazardous and economically
Within the nuclear energy budget, the conference report provides $50.0 million
for the Nuclear Power 2010 program, which “is focused on resolving the technical,
institutional, and regulatory barriers to the deployment of new nuclear power plants
by 2010,” according to the DOE budget justification. The Administration had sought
$10.2 million for the program, about half the FY2004 appropriation and a third of the
According to the DOE budget justification, the Nuclear Power 2010 program
“will enable an industry decision by 2005 to deploy at least one new advanced
nuclear power plant in the U.S.” The current phase of the initiative includes site
approval, reactor design certification, license applications, detailed design work, and
development of improved construction techniques. DOE will pay up to half the cost
of these activities. The program is currently helping three utilities seek NRC
approval for potential nuclear reactor sites in Illinois, Mississippi, and Virginia. In
March and April of 2004, three industry consortia filed applications seeking a total
of $650 million over the next several years to design and license new nuclear power
plants. The nuclear plant licenses under the program would test the “one step”
licensing process established by the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (P.L. 102-486).
The House Appropriations Committee had voted to cut the Nuclear Power 2010
program to $5.0 million in FY2005, contending that NRC should not issue new
reactor licenses “in the absence of a repository for spent nuclear fuel.” As discussed
in a later section, the Administration’s funding request for DOE’s waste repository
program created considerable friction with the House Appropriations panel and
contributed to the absence of a Senate markup.
The conference report includes $40.0 million for the Generation IV Nuclear
Energy Systems Initiative, which focuses on more-advanced reactors that could be
deployed in the longer term. The conference level is about the same as the amount
approved by the House and $10 million above the Administration request.
The Generation IV program is focusing on six advanced designs that could be
deployed after 2010: two gas-cooled, one water-cooled, two liquid-metal-cooled, and
one molten-salt concept. Some of these reactors would use plutonium recovered
through reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel. The Administration’s May 2001 National
Energy Policy report contends that plutonium recovery could reduce the long-term
environmental impact of nuclear waste disposal and increase domestic energy
supplies. However, opponents contend that the separation of plutonium from spent
fuel poses unacceptable environmental risks and, because of plutonium’s potential
use in nuclear bombs, undermines U.S. policy on nuclear weapons proliferation.
The development of plutonium-fueled reactors in the Generation IV program is
closely related to the nuclear energy program’s Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative
(AFCI), for which the conference report provides $68.0 million — about the same
as the FY2004 level and the amount approved by the House. The Administration had
proposed cutting the program to $46.3 million. According to the budget justification,
AFCI will “develop advanced, proliferation-resistant nuclear fuel cycle technologies”
that could reduce the long-term hazard of spent nuclear fuel and recover additional
energy. Such technologies would involve separation of plutonium, uranium, and
other long-lived radioactive materials from spent fuel for re-use in a nuclear reactor
or for transmutation in a particle accelerator. The program includes longstanding
DOE work on electrometallurgical treatment of spent fuel from the Experimental
Breeder Reactor II (EBR-II) at INEEL.
In support of President Bush’s program to develop hydrogen-fueled vehicles,
DOE is requesting $9.0 million in FY2005 for the Nuclear Hydrogen Initiative,
nearly a 50% increase from the FY2004 level. The conference report followed the
House’s lead in providing the full funding request. According to DOE’s budget
justification, the program would investigate the use of high-temperature nuclear
reactors to make hydrogen from water in a thermochemical process. According to
DOE, “preliminary estimates . . . indicate that hydrogen produced using nuclear-
driven thermochemical or high-temperature electrolysis processes would be only
slightly more expensive than gasoline” and result in far less air pollution.
An advanced reactor that would demonstrate co-production of hydrogen and
electricity — the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) — is allocated $25.0
million from DOE’s Generation IV program by the conference report. “The
conferees expect the Department to submit a budget in fiscal year 2006 that is
consistent with the goal of demonstrating hydrogen production and electricity
generation by 2015 at the Idaho National Laboratory,” according to the statement of
DOE sought no new funding specifically for the Nuclear Energy Research
Initiative (NERI), which provides grants for research on innovative nuclear energy
technologies. Instead, according to the budget justification, NERI projects will be
pursued at the discretion of individual nuclear R&D programs. NERI received an
appropriation of $11 million for FY2004. New funding also was not requested for
the Nuclear Energy Plant Optimization program (NEPO), which received $2.9
million in FY2004. The program supports cost-shared research by the nuclear power
industry on ways to improve the productivity of existing nuclear plants. Although
the House Appropriations Committee agreed to provide no new funding for NERI
and NEPO, the conference report includes $2.5 million for each program.
Science. The DOE Office of Science conducts basic research in six program
areas: basic energy sciences, high-energy physics, biological and environmental
research, nuclear physics, fusion energy sciences, and advanced scientific computing
research. Through these programs, DOE is the third-largest federal supporter of basic
research and the largest federal supporter of research in the physical sciences.
For FY2005, DOE requested $3.432 billion for Science. The FY20042
appropriation was $3.482 billion. On this basis, the FY2005 request was a decrease
of 1%. Some Administration statements asserted that the request reflected a 2%
increase, if the FY2004 baseline was taken to exclude funds provided for specific
congressionally directed projects. The House bill provided $3.600 billion. The3
conference agreement provided $3.629 billion. After taking into account the general
reduction of 0.80%, the conference agreement represented an increase of 3% above
the FY2004 appropriation.
The requested funding for the largest program, basic energy sciences, was
$1.064 billion, an increase of $53 million above the comparable FY2004
appropriation. Nanoscience is a growth area in basic energy sciences. Along with
other nanoscience funding, the FY2005 request included $99 million for construction
of four Nanoscale Science Research Centers. The House bill provided $1.077 billion
for basic energy sciences. Part of the $13 million increase was for additional
nanoscience research, and nanoscience center construction was fully funded at the
requested level. The conference agreement provided $1.114 billion for basic energy
sciences. After the general reduction, this was a 9% increase above FY2004.
The FY2005 request for high-energy physics was $737 million, an increase of
$4 million above the comparable FY2004 appropriation. The House bill provided
a further increase of $16 million, for a total of $753 million. The conference
agreement provided $742 million. After the general reduction, this was a 3%
increase above FY2004. The House report expressed support for DOE’s
collaboration with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on
three scientific spacecraft, and encouraged NASA to maintain the planned schedules
of these missions, which are in question following the President’s announcement in4
January 2004 of a new vision for NASA. The conference agreement encouraged
DOE to proceed with the Dark Energy Mission, but did not mention the other two
2 DOE budget justification documents refer to a “comparable” FY2004 appropriation of
$3.500 billion. The difference of $18 million reflects transferred activities that are included
in the FY2005 request for Science but were funded in other accounts in FY2004.
3 Except where noted, all conference agreement amounts in this section are as given in the
text of the conference report, i.e. before subtracting the 0.80% general reduction.
4 See CRS Report RS21720, Space Exploration: Overview of President Bush’s New
Exploration Initiative for NASA, and Key Issues for Congress, by Marcia S. Smith.
The requested funding for biological and environmental research was $502
million, a decrease of $140 million below the comparable FY2004 appropriation.
The request noted that the decrease corresponded to $140 million that was provided
in FY2004 for congressionally directed projects. The House bill provided $572
million, or $75 million more than requested, but did not include $5 million requested
for a new laboratory facility. The House report stated that such facilities should be
procured in a more open competition that includes universities and others as well as
DOE laboratories. The conference agreement provided $587 million. After the
general reduction, this was a 9% decrease from FY2004; almost all of the decrease
resulted from a reduction in funding for congressionally directed projects. The
conference agreement included $10 million for the new laboratory facility, but it
expressed disagreement with DOE’s “strategy of restricting competition for such a
facility to only the DOE national laboratories,” and it directed DOE to include an
alternate, more competitive strategy in the FY2006 budget request.
The request for nuclear physics was $401 million, an increase of $11 million
above the comparable FY2004 appropriation. The House bill provided $415 million,
a further increase of $14 million. The conference agreement provided $408 million,
a 4% increase above FY2004 after applying the general reduction.
The request for fusion energy sciences was $264 million, a $2 million increase
above the comparable FY2004 appropriation. In 2003, the United States rejoined
negotiations on construction of the International Thermonuclear Experimental
Reactor (ITER), a fusion facility whose other participants include China, the
European Union, Japan, Russia, and South Korea. The requested FY2005 budget for
fusion energy sciences included $7 million devoted directly to ITER preparations,
plus another $31 million in supporting activities. The budget impact of ITER in
future years, once construction begins, will depend on the outcome of the ongoing
negotiations; the U.S. share is generally expected to be in the range of $50 million
to $100 million per year. Appropriations conference report language in FY2004
cautioned DOE not to submit “any future budget requests for ITER that are funded
at the expense of domestic research.” The House bill provided $276 million for
fusion energy sciences, $12 million more than the request, even though site selection
for ITER has been delayed, which the House report anticipated will result in DOE
spending less than planned on ITER in FY2005. The conference agreement provided
$276 million, for a 5% increase above FY2004 after applying the general reduction.
Also noting the delay in site selection, the conference report directed DOE to reduce
its planned expenditures on ITER in FY2005.
The smallest Science program, advanced scientific computing research, was
funded at $204 million in the FY2005 request, an increase of $2 million above the
FY2004 appropriation. The House bill provided $234 million. The $30 million
increase recommended by the House was for development of hardware, software, and
applied mathematics for supercomputing, and the House report encouraged DOE to
make time on the resulting supercomputer available to external users on a
competitive basis. The conference agreement also provided $234 million. After the
general reduction, this is an increase of 15% above FY2004. The conference report
supported the House language regarding the $30 million increase, and directed that
no more than $25 million of it should be devoted to hardware.
The House report and conference report also included general discussion of
three major issues: external regulation of laboratories, competition for new facilities,
and facility operating time. The House report expressed strong support for external
regulation of the DOE Science laboratories and strong displeasure with DOE’s
“continued intransigence” in moving from self-regulation to external regulation.
Both reports advocated open competition for new research facilities and broader
participation by universities. Both made mention of the recently published 20-year
strategic plan for Office of Science facilities.5 The House report commended the
Office of Science for its efforts in developing quantifiable performance measures,
such as facility operating time, for which several individual Science programs
received additional funding. The conference report encouraged DOE to request
sufficient funds for FY2006 to operate user facilities for as much time as possible.
Nuclear Weapons Stockpile Stewardship. Congress established the
Stockpile Stewardship Program in the FY1994 National Defense Authorization Act
(P.L. 103-160) “to ensure the preservation of the core intellectual and technical
competencies of the United States in nuclear weapons.” The program is operated by
the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), a semiautonomous agency
established by Congress in the FY2000 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L.
106-65, Title XXXII) within DOE. It seeks to maintain the safety and reliability of
the U.S. nuclear stockpile.
Most stewardship activities take place at the nuclear weapons complex, which
consists of three laboratories (Los Alamos National Laboratory, NM; Lawrence
Livermore National Laboratory, CA; and Sandia National Laboratories, NM and
CA), four production sites (Kansas City Plant, MO; Pantex Plant, TX; Savannah
River Site, SC; and Y-12 Plant, TN), and the Nevada Test Site. NNSA manages and
sets policy for the complex; contractors to NNSA operate the eight sites.
Stockpile stewardship consists of all activities in NNSA’s Weapons Activities
account. Appropriations were $4,908.7 million for FY2001, $5,560.2 million for
FY2002, and $5,961.3 million for FY2003; Table 7 provides FY2004 and FY2005
data. The three main elements of stockpile stewardship, described next, are Directed
Stockpile Work (DSW), Campaigns, and Readiness in Technical Base and Facilities
(RTBF); Table 7 presents funding for these elements. NNSA also manages two
major programs outside of Weapons Activities: Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation,
discussed in a subsequent section of this report, and Naval Reactors.
5 The facilities plan is available online at [http://www.sc.doe.gov/Sub/Facilities_for_future/
Table 8. Funding for Weapons Activities
DSW 1,326.7 1,406.4 1,324.9 1,316.9
Campaigns 2,400.1 2,393.8 2,252.0 2,323.4
RT BF 1,540.6 1,474.5 1,652.5 1,670.4
Other c 966.1 1,293.7 1,285.0 915.7
Total 6,233.5 6,568.5 6,514.4 6,226.5
Source for FY2004 comparable appropriation and FY2005 request: U.S. Department of Energy.
Office of Management, Budget, and Administration/ CFO. FY 2005 Congressional Budget Request.
volume 1, National Nuclear Security Administration. DOE/ME-0032, February 2004, p. 49.
Notes: Details may not add to totals due to rounding.
There was no Senate bill.
a. Reflects distribution of a rescission from P.L. 108-199, FY2004 Consolidated Appropriations Act,
and adjustments to make FY2004 appropriation categories comparable to those of the FY2005
b. Figures do not reflect an across-the-board reduction of 0.80%.
c. Includes Secure Transportation Asset, Nuclear Weapons Incident Response, Facilities and
Infrastructure Recapitalization Program, Safeguards and Security, Safeguards and Security
Charge for Reimbursable Work (an offset), use of prior year balances, and (for omnibus bill,
FY2005) transfer from Department of Defense Appropriations.
On July 18, 2003, the House passed H.R. 2754, the FY2004 Energy and Water
Development Appropriations Bill, 377-26, without amending the Weapons Activities
section. Thus, the FY2004 amounts listed below that were recommended by the
House Appropriations Committee were accepted by the House. The Senate passed
its version of H.R. 2754, 92-0, on September 16, 2003; it adopted no amendments
to the Senate Appropriations Committee’s bill that changed Weapons Activities
funding. The conference report, H.Rept. 108-357, was ordered to be printed on
November 7, 2003. On November 18, 2003, the House agreed to the conference
report, 387-36, and the Senate agreed to it by unanimous consent. The President
signed the measure into law (P.L. 108-137) on December 1, 2003. The FY2004
Consolidated Appropriations Act imposed an across-the-board rescission of 0.59
percent; it was signed into law (P.L. 108-199) on January 23, 2004.
The FY2005 request includes data from NNSA’s Future Years Nuclear Security
Program (FYNSP), which projects the budget and components through FY2009.
Table 9. NNSA Future Years Nuclear Security Program
F Y 2005 F Y 2006 F Y 2007 F Y 2008 F Y 2009
DSW 1,406.4 1,521.2 1,648.1 1,778.4 1,812.4
Campaigns 2,393.8 2,526.7 2,516.5 2,395.2 2,401.4
RT BF 1,474.5 1,600.2 1,753.2 1,839.3 1,915.8
Other a 1,293.7 1,232.9 1,298.2 1,340.1 1,362.4
T otal 6,568.5 6,881.0 7,216.0 7,353.0 7,492.0
Source: Department of Energy, FY2005 Congressional Budget Request, vol. 1, p. 50, 63. Figures
for the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP) for the outyears have changed from this budget
document, as discussed below. They are in flux, so are not available. RNEP is funded under DSW;
this table shows DSW funding as presented in the budget document.
Notes: Details may not add to totals because of rounding.
a. Includes Secure Transportation Asset, Nuclear Weapons Incident Response, Facilities and
Infrastructure Recapitalization Program, Safeguards and Security, and Security Charge for
On June 18, 2004, the House Appropriations Committee reported its FY2005
Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill (H.R. 4614, H.Rept. 108-554).
The House approved the bill, as amended, on June 25, by a vote of 370-16. There
were no amendments to the Weapons Activities portion of the bill. In the Senate, the
Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee did not report a bill
to the full committee, so that committee did not report a bill to the Senate.
The omnibus appropriations bill subsumes nine regular appropriations bills. Of
the nine, the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill was the hardest to
resolve. Indeed, press reports raised the prospect that that bill might have been
excluded from the omnibus, with its programs funded instead through a year-long
continuing resolution that would have maintained funding at the FY2004 level. The
sticking point was over funding for Yucca Mountain, an underground repository for
civilian nuclear waste, which Senator Domenici, the Chairman of the Senate Energy
and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee, favored. (For details on
Yucca Mountain, see the “Civilian Nuclear Waste” section in this report.) At the
same time, the House had voted to drop funding for several nuclear weapons
programs that Representative Hobson, who chaired the House Energy and Water
Development Appropriations Subcommittee, had strenuously opposed. The Senate
had favored these weapons programs in the FY2004 budget cycle.
According to numerous press reports, the arrangement that broke the logjam was
that several nuclear weapons programs (discussed below) were eliminated, reduced,
or modified. At the same time, conferees freed up $800 million from various parts
of the omnibus bill. Some of this money was used to provide $577 million for Yucca
Mountain instead of the $131 million provided by the House. Further, conferees
provided $40.0 million for the chemistry and metallurgy facility replacement project
at Los Alamos National Laboratory, NM, compared to $10.0 million in the House
bill, and $91.1 million for the Microsystem and Engineering Science Applications
project at Sandia National Laboratories, NM, compared to $53.3 million in the House
bill. Conferees also added $30.9 million for constructing a Center for Integrated
Nanotechnologies, a joint venture between Los Alamos and Sandia National
Laboratories to be located at Kirtland AFB, NM.6
Directed Stockpile Work (DSW). This program involves work directly on
nuclear weapons in the stockpile, such as monitoring their condition, maintaining
them through repairs, refurbishment, life extension, and modifications; R&D in
support of specific warheads; and dismantlement. The FY2005 DSW request would
support life extension programs for four nuclear warheads: B61 (gravity bomb), W76
(for Trident I and II submarine-launched ballistic missiles), W80 (for cruise missiles),
and W87 (for Minuteman III and MX/Peacekeeper intercontinental ballistic missiles).
It would fund surveillance and maintenance for nine warhead types, and some
management and technology work not linked to a specific warhead.
The FY2004 energy and water development conference report directed DOE and
the Department of Defense to prepare a report on the stockpile plan through 2012 so
as to see how the stockpile would be adjusted to meet the requirements of the
Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty, which would reduce U.S. and Russian
strategic nuclear warheads to 1,700 to 2,200 by December 2012. (See CRS Report
RL31448, Nuclear Arms Control: The Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty, for
details on that treaty.) That classified report was delivered to Congress on June 1,
2004. In its FY2005 report on energy and water appropriations, the House
Appropriations Committee stated that the new stockpile plan “obviates the need for
any programmatic acceleration in the Life Extension Program activities for the B61,
W76, and W80.” To this end, the committee recommended reducing DSW Life
Extension Programs by $40.0 million, to $437.4 million, with the reduction taken
against the life extension program for the W80. As noted, the House did not amend
the Weapons Activities account. The omnibus bill provided $460.8 million, leaving
B61 at the requested $117.9 million, increasing W76 to $236.4 million, and reducing
W80 to $106.4 million. Following up the stockpile report, the committee directed
DOE to submit a report on requirements for the nuclear weapons complex over the
next 25 years, due April 30, 2005. The House Appropriations Committee
recommended reducing DSW Stockpile Systems by $40.0 million, to $496.1 million,
with the reduction taken against such activities for the W80 and W87 “to reduce the
significant program increase over current year levels pending the recommendations
of the weapons complex review.” The omnibus bill reduced DSW Stockpile Systems
to $511.1 million, with reductions to the W80 and W87.
Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP) and Advanced Concepts
Initiative (ACI). DSW also includes funds for a study of RNEP, for which $15.0
million was appropriated for FY2003, $15.0 million was requested and $7.5 million
appropriated for FY2004, and $27.6 million requested for FY2005. RNEP is part of
ACI, which was established to explore future weapons concepts and technologies.
Earth penetrators burrow into the ground before detonating in order to destroy
underground targets with less explosive yield than a surface-burst weapon would
6 Amol Sharma, “Energy and Water Appropriations: The Battle for Yucca Mountain,” CQ
Weekly, November 27, 2004: 2787.
require. (See CRS Report RL32130, Nuclear Weapon Initiatives: Low-Yield R&D,
Advanced Concepts, Earth Penetrators, Test Readiness, and CRS Report RL32347,
Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator Budget Request and Plan, FY2005-FY2009.)
RNEP is controversial. Supporters argue that it is needed to attack hard and
deeply buried targets (such as leadership bunkers or chemical weapons production
facilities) in countries of concern, thereby deterring or defeating such nations; critics
reply that RNEP would lower the threshold for use of nuclear weapons and prompt
other nations to develop nuclear weapons to deter U.S. attack.
Secretary Rumsfeld said in 2003 that RNEP “is a study. It is nothing more and
nothing less.”7 The study is examining feasibility and cost. Yet the FY2005 request
seems to cast serious doubt on assertions that RNEP is only a study. Beginning with
the FY2005 budget cycle, NNSA presented a detailed four-year projection along with
the current request. For RNEP, the figures are: FY2005, $27.6 million; FY2006,
$95.0 million; FY2007, $145.4 million; FY2008, $128.4 million; and FY2009, $88.4
million, for a five-year total of $484.7 million.8 Along with the increase, the plan
shows RNEP starting — assuming congressional authorization — development
engineering, in which the nuclear weapons laboratories produce a completed warhead
design, in FY2007, and production engineering, in which the design is adapted for
production and a system to manufacture the weapon is created, in FY2009.
An NNSA manager responsible for the program maintained that the budget
increase beyond FY2005 is an artifact of the budget process.9 He stated that the
money was inserted in the out years as a “placeholder” to protect the option of
proceeding with RNEP. Were this not done, it is argued that NNSA would face two
choices that it deems unsatisfactory: (1) By the time the budget for one fiscal year
is submitted, the budget for the next fiscal year is largely fixed; without the
placeholder, a decision to proceed with RNEP could not be implemented until the
second fiscal year. (2) Alternatively, without the placeholder, a decision to proceed
with RNEP could be implemented promptly only by taking the needed funds out of
other programs. Similarly, the move to development engineering and production
engineering reflects how the program might be expected to advance if it proceeds.
The official, however, indicated that no decision has been made on whether or not
to proceed with RNEP pending completion of the study.
The RNEP study was initially projected to cost $45 million — $15 million a
year for FY2003-FY2005 — but each year’s numbers have changed. For FY2003,
delay in submission of a DOD study required by the FY2003 National Defense
Authorization Act (P.L. 107-314, Sec. 3146) delayed the start of NNSA’s RNEP
7 U.S. Department of Defense. “DoD News Briefing — Secretary Rumsfeld and Gen.
Myers.” May 20, 2003. At [http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/2003/tr20030520-secdef
8 U.S. Department of Energy. Office of Management, Budget, and Administration/CFO.
FY 2005 Congressional Budget Request. Volume 1, National Nuclear Security
Administration. DOE/ME-0032, February 2004, p. 63. The RNEP budget is available under
“Directed Stockpile Work” at [http://www.mbe.doe.gov/budget/05budget/index.htm].
9 Telephone interview, February 10, 2004.
study; as a result, $6.0 million was spent of the $15.0 million appropriated. For
FY2004, Congress cut the RNEP appropriation to $7.5 million. The FY2005 request
is $27.6 million, vs. $15.0 million originally planned. Finally, FY2006, not FY2005,
will be the last year of the RNEP study; NNSA estimates the FY2006 request at $30
million. The four-year total is about $71 million. NNSA stated that a firm budget
estimate for RNEP beyond FY2006 must await completion of the cost study.
According to NNSA, the study’s cost has grown for a number of reasons. The
$45 million did not take into account participation in the study by Y-12 Plant, which
would make components of RNEP, or of Pantex Plant, which would convert existing
weapons into RNEPs; their participation adds some $2 million. DOE has imposed
additional project management requirements that add $2 million. The rest of the
increase comes from a better definition of the requirements of the study, refinement
of cost estimates, and an increase in surety (safety, security, and use control) of the
proposed weapon. On the latter point, DOE requires that any modifications of a
nuclear weapon look for ways to increase its surety.10 NNSA says it has found ways
to increase RNEP surety, and plans to do so.
The two Armed Services Committees recommended providing the full amount
requested for RNEP for FY2005, $27.6 million, and House and Senate floor
amendments to delete such funding were rejected. In contrast, the House
Appropriations Committee eliminated RNEP and ACI funds for FY2005. It saw
these two programs as a “diversion of resources ... from the most serious issues that
confront the management of the nation’s nuclear deterrent” and “remain[ed]
unconvinced” by DOE’s assurances that RNEP is only a study and ACI is only to
develop weapon design skills. It found that DOE actions “left little doubt that the
objective of the program [RNEP and ACI] was to advance the most extreme new
nuclear weapon goals irrespective of any reservations expressed by Congress.”
Accordingly, “[t]he Committee directs the NNSA to focus wholly on its primary
mission of maintaining the safety, security, and viability of the existing stockpile.”
As a part of the compromise discussed earlier, the omnibus bill eliminated funds for
RNEP and ACI.
ACI has also been controversial. Critics claimed that its purpose was to develop
a low-yield “mini-nuke” that would make nuclear weapons more usable; supporters
responded that ACI was not working on a mini-nuke and that ACI would help
develop and maintain weapons design expertise. The Administration requested $9.0
million for ACI for FY2005. The House provided no funds for it for reasons just
noted. The House Appropriations Committee stated that its priorities are maintaining
the stockpile and countering WMD proliferation, and found that DOE’s “obsession
with launching a new round of nuclear weapons development runs counter to those
priorities.” While the omnibus bill provided no funds for ACI, the conference report
stated that “the same amount is made available for the Reliable Replacement
Warhead program to improve the reliability, longevity, and certifiability of existing
weapons and their components.”
10 U.S. Department of Energy. Order DOE O 452.1B, “Nuclear Explosive and Weapon
Surety Program,” approved August 6, 2001, Section 4(f).
Campaigns. These are “multi-year, multi-functional efforts” that “provide
specialized scientific knowledge and technical support to the directed stockpile work
on the nuclear weapons stockpile.” For FY2005, there are six campaigns, each of
which has multiple components: Science; Engineering; Inertial Confinement Fusion
and High Yield; Advanced Simulation and Computing; Pit Manufacturing and
Certification, and Readiness.
The House Appropriations Committee commended NNSA for “great progress
in budgeting by weapons type” (e.g., the amount requested for extending the life of
the W80 warhead). On the other hand, it expressed its concern that NNSA’s
accounting system still did not provide the full cost of weapon refurbishments
because it did not assign the cost of campaigns to specific warhead types.
Accordingly, “[t]he Committee directs the NNSA to assign the associated life
extension costs by weapons type associated with each campaign.”
Pit Manufacturing and Certification Campaign. This is perhaps the most
controversial campaign at present. It may remain so for some years because one
component of it is a facility that may cost several billion dollars and is scheduled to
start initial operations in FY2019, and other components of the campaign involve
restoring U.S. ability to manufacture pits, a critical nuclear weapon part. Pits are the
fissile cores of nuclear warheads that trigger the thermonuclear secondary stage. DOE
has had no facility to produce pits for use in stockpiled weapons since it suspended
pit production at the Rocky Flats Plant (CO) in 1989. As a result, the United States
has been unable to make all-new nuclear warheads of existing or advanced new
designs. (See CRS Report RL31993, Nuclear Warhead ‘Pit’ Production:
Background and Issues for Congress.) For FY2005, this campaign has five
!(1) W88 Pit Manufacturing: When Rocky Flats suspended
production, it was making pits for the W88 warhead for the Trident
II missile. NNSA has established a facility at Los Alamos National
Laboratory that is producing these pits at a low rate, with a target of
!(2) W88 Pit Certification: Additional scientific work is underway to
provide confidence, without nuclear testing, that the Los Alamos pits
will work as intended. These pits cannot be certified for use in the
stockpile until they meet the standards being developed.
!(3) Pit Manufacturing Capability. This component will establish
technologies to manufacture pits other than for the W88.
!(4) Modern Pit Facility (MPF): NNSA maintains that pits will
ultimately develop defects as a result of aging and other
unanticipated problems, so that a higher capacity will be needed in
the future. Further, it is argued, since it would take many years to
complete a higher-capacity facility, work on it must begin promptly.
Accordingly, it is planning for MPF, which would be a new facility,
first operational in FY2019, with a capacity of at least 125 pits per
year. It might cost $2 billion to $4 billion. Critics maintain that the
plutonium component of a pit, which is by far the most difficult to
fabricate, is likely to deteriorate very slowly, and perhaps in a way
that would not impair weapon performance. They further state that
the need for the facility is unclear, given anticipated reductions in
nuclear weapons, and that MPF is proceeding at too rapid a pace. To
address these questions, NNSA is conducting “accelerated aging
experiments,” in which plutonium of the type used in a pit is mixed
with a greater-than-usual amount of a more radioactive plutonium
isotope to simulate more quickly the effects of aging.
!(5) Pit Campaign Support Activities at Nevada Test Site: NNSA
plans to conduct certain experiments at Nevada Test Site to support
W88 pit certification.
This campaign has attracted much congressional interest. For FY2002, the
House Appropriations Committee asserted that DOE cannot show “that it has a
viable plan to manufacture and certify pits on the schedule dictated by national
security needs,” criticized the project as “years behind schedule and hundreds of
millions of dollars over the original cost estimate,” and stated that it would judge
NNSA’s success on how well the pit project succeeds (H.Rept. 107-112). The Senate
Appropriations Committee viewed the then-current schedule, which would not certify
a pit for use in the stockpile until FY2009, as “unacceptable” (S.Rept. 107-39).
In its FY2003 report, the Senate Appropriations Committee stated that it
“remains greatly concerned about the NNSA’s refusal to request funds consistent
with its own project plan submitted less than 1 year ago.” Because this was not done,
“the Committee has been forced to reduce other items in the budget.” The final
appropriation provided more funds than requested. According to the joint explanatory
statement of the Committee of Conference, “The increase will ensure that the NNSA
maintains its commitment to produce a certifiable W88 pit by 2003 and a certified
W88 pit by 2007.”
For FY2004, the Administration requested a substantial increase to items in this
campaign. The House Appropriations Committee saw the campaign as proceeding
too quickly. It recommended reducing the request for this campaign substantially.
It praised NNSA and Los Alamos National Laboratory for “turning around” this
campaign, but urged NNSA to reduce costs. It stated that the current plan would
“aggressively pursue a multi-billion dollar Modern Pit Facility before the first
production pit has even been successfully certified for use in the stockpile” and
recommended “a less aggressive planning approach” to MPF. The Senate
Appropriations Committee recommended the amount requested for this campaign.
The Feinstein amendment (S.Amdt. 1655) discussed under DSW, which was tabled,
would have barred use of funds for MPF site selection. Conferees provided the full
amount requested for manufacturing and certifying the W88 pit, but reduced MPF
funding from $22.8 million to $10.8 million: “The conferees agree with the House
Report that until the Congress reviews the revised future Stockpile plan it is
premature to pursue further decisions regarding the Modern Pit Facility.”
The FY2005 request (with FY2004 funding in parentheses) includes $132.0
million ($125.0 million) for W88 pit manufacturing, $101.5 million ($108.6 million)
for W88 pit certification, $21.0 ($10.0 million) for pit manufacturing capability,
$29.8 million ($10.8 million) for MPF, and $52.2 million ($42.4 million) for pit
campaign support activities at Nevada Test Site.
The House Appropriations Committee raised concerns about proceeding with
MPF until the need for that facility is validated. It “will consider a modern pit
facility design only when the [accelerated] pit aging experiments are completed and
the future MPF requirements as a function of the 2012 stockpile and the expanded
TA-55 production capability are determined.” (TA-55 is the facility at Los Alamos
used for making pits.) In contrast, it favored accelerating efforts to expand capability
at TA-55 as a near-term hedge. Accordingly, the committee commended Los
Alamos’s work to restore pit manufacturing capability at TA-55, adding $10.0
million to W88 pit manufacturing to accelerate this work, and eliminated the $29.8
million requested for MPF. It provided the amount requested for W88 pit
certification and for pit campaign support activities at Nevada Test Site. It
eliminated the $21.0 million requested for pit manufacturing capability on grounds
that “work on pit manufacturing should be focused on expansion of the pit
production capability of TA-55.” The omnibus bill provided the requested amounts
for W88 pit manufacturing and pit campaign support activities at NTS. It cut W88
pit certification to $61.0 million and pit manufacturing capability to $13.5 million.
Further, it reduced MPF to $7.0 million: “The conferees agree that funding for
Modern Pit Facility cannot be used to select a construction site in fiscal year 2005.”
Other Campaigns. The House Appropriations Committee acted on numerous
other campaigns, as presented in its report on FY2005 energy and water
appropriations. Provisions in the omnibus bill are noted here as well.
!The Primary Assessment Technologies Campaign, a Science
Campaign, seeks to develop the ability to certify the safety and
performance of aged or rebuilt primaries without nuclear testing.11
Part of the campaign is to enhance test readiness, or to reduce the
time needed to conduct a nuclear test following a presidential order
to test. The request was $81.5 million; the House reduced that figure
to $66.5 million, as discussed in more detail under “Nuclear Testing
and Test Readiness,” below. The omnibus bill provided $74.0
million. The conference report stated, “Within Primary Assessment
Technologies, NNSA is directed to fund the Nevada Test Site [NTS]
to maintain the critical personnel skills and institutional viability in
direct support of the subcritical experiment program.”
!The House reduced the Nuclear Survivability Campaign, an
Engineering Campaign, by $15.0 million, leaving $9.5 million. The
House Appropriations Committee questioned its “high level of
funding,” given that its purpose is “to assess the ability of weapons
11 Department of Energy, 2005 Congressional Budget Request. Volume 1, p. 86. The
“primary” — the first stage in a thermonuclear warhead — typically involves the implosion
of plutonium to create a nuclear explosion that is then harnessed to drive the “secondary”
stage, which releases most of the weapon’s energy through fission and fusion.
in the stockpile to continue to function as designed during a massive
nuclear exchange. In the post-Cold War world ... this activity is a
waste of scarce resources.” The omnibus conference report also
provided $9.5 million.
!The National Ignition Facility (NIF) is part of the Inertial
Confinement Fusion and High Yield Campaign. NIF is to be the
world’s largest laser. It is under construction at Lawrence Livermore
National Laboratory. The House provided the amount requested for
NIF construction, $130.0 million. The House Appropriations
Committee expressed concern that NNSA’s commitment to NIF
seemed uncertain because NNSA had delayed the date for ignition
from 2010 to 2014. Accordingly, the committee directed that no
funds be spent on NIF to add capabilities not in the project’s
baseline until ignition is attempted in 2010. The omnibus
conference report also provided $130.0 million for NIF construction.
!The House reduced funding for the Advanced Simulation and
Computing Campaign from $741.3 million to $666.3 million. The
House Appropriations Committee stated that it wanted to work with
NNSA to develop program products and milestones so that progress
would be “transparent.” The House defeated an amendment by
Representative Sanders that would have transferred $30.0 million
from this campaign to renewable energy R&D. The omnibus bill
provided $703.8 million, halfway between the request and the House
Readiness in Technical Base and Facilities (RTBF). This program
provides infrastructure and operations at the nuclear weapons complex sites. It has
six subprograms. By far the largest is Operations of Facilities ($1,021.7 million
adjusted appropriation for FY2004, $1,017.6 million requested for FY2005). Others
include Program Readiness, which supports activities occurring at multiple sites or
in multiple programs ($115.8 million adjusted appropriation for FY2004, $106.2
million requested for FY2005), and Material Recycle and Recovery, which recovers
plutonium, enriched uranium, and tritium from weapons production and disassembly
($75.7 million adjusted appropriation for FY2004, $87.0 requested for FY2005).
Construction is a separate category within RTBF; the adjusted appropriation for
FY2004 was $258.9 million, and the FY2005 request is $206.3 million.
For FY2004, the House Appropriations Committee recommended a reduction
of $102.4 million from the request. Details include $997.8 million for Operations
of Facilities, with an increase of $20.0 million for Pantex Plant (TX) and $5.0 million
for Y-12 Plant (TN); $106.2 million for Program Readiness, reflecting the
elimination of funds for Enhanced Test Readiness (discussed below); $76.2 million,
as requested, for Material Recycle and Recovery; and $178.9 million for
construction, with almost all the reduction resulting from eliminating funds requested
for three projects ($20.0 million, exterior communications infrastructure
modernization, Sandia National Laboratories; $50.0 million, national security
sciences building, and $20.5 million, chemistry and metallurgy facility replacement
project, both at Los Alamos National Laboratory).
The Senate Appropriations Committee recommended adding $118.1 million to
RTBF for FY2004. Of the increase, $117.0 million went to Operations of Facilities,
including $25.0 million for the National Center for Combating Terrorism, $10.0
million for Pantex Plant, $10.0 million for Y-12 Plant, $20.0 million for Kansas City
Plant (MO), $15.0 million for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, $20.0
million for Los Alamos National Laboratory, and $8.0 million for Sandia National
Conferees provided $1,664.2 million for RTBF for FY2004, an increase of
$50.8 million over the request. The main items of difference between the conference
bill and the request were Operations of Facilities (a $30.0 million increase), Special
Projects (an increase of $8.7 million), and Chemistry and Metallurgy Facility
Replacement Project, Los Alamos National Laboratory (a $10.5 million decrease).
The increase in funding for Operations of Facilities was distributed as follows: $5.0
million apiece to Pantex Plant, Y-12 Plant, Kansas City Plant, and Nevada Test Site,
and $10.0 million to Los Alamos.
For FY2005, the House provided $1,652.5 million for RTBF, an increase of
$178.0 million. Of the RTBF components, the House increased Operations of
Facilities by $134.0 million, with all but $4.0 million of that going to maintenance
of production facilities at Pantex Plant, Kansas City Plant, and Y-12 Plant. It
reduced Program Readiness by $5.0 million, to $101.2 million; provided the
requested amount, $87.0 million, for Material Recycle and Recovery; and increased
Construction from $206.3 million to $260.3 million. The omnibus bill provided
$1,670.4 for RTBF. Most components were funded at the requested level; the two
largest increases were for Operation of Facilities ($1,017.6 million requested,
$1,121.6 million provided) and Highly Enriched Uranium Facility at Y-12 Plant
($64.0 million requested, $114.0 million provided).
Other Programs. Weapons Activities includes four smaller programs in
addition to DSW, Campaigns, and RTBF.
!Secure Transportation Asset provides for the transport of nuclear
weapons, components, and materials safely and securely. It includes
special vehicles used for this purpose, communications and other
supporting infrastructure, and threat response. The FY2004 adjusted
appropriation was $113.5 million. The FY2005 request is $201.3
million; the House and the omnibus bill provided that amount.
!Nuclear Weapons Incident Response provides for use of DOE assets
to manage and respond to a nuclear or radiological emergency within
DOE, in the United States, or abroad. Formerly a part of RTBF, it
is a separate item in the FY2005 budget. The FY2004 adjusted
appropriation was $89.2 million. The FY2005 request is $99.2
million; the House and the omnibus bill provided that amount.
!Facilities and Infrastructure Recapitalization Program provides for
deferred maintenance and infrastructure improvements for the
nuclear weapons complex. In contrast, RTBF “ensure[s] that
facilities necessary for immediate programmatic workload activities
are maintained sufficiently,” according to NNSA. The FY2004
adjusted appropriation was $238.8 million. The FY2005 request is
$316.2 million; the House and the omnibus bill provided $273.5
!Safeguards and Security provides operations and maintenance funds
for physical and cyber security, and related construction, to protect
NNSA personnel and assets from terrorist and other threats. The
FY2004 adjusted appropriation was $553.5 million. The FY2005
request is $707.0 million; the House provided $741.0 million and the
omnibus bill provided $757.7 million.
Nuclear Testing and Test Readiness. A key issue is whether the United
States can continue to maintain its weapons through the Stockpile Stewardship
Program without nuclear testing. While that program has sought to do so, statements
in early 2002 implied a reduced commitment to that approach. Secretary of Defense
Donald Rumsfeld reportedly said that nations with nuclear weapons have “a
responsibility to see that they are safe and reliable. To the extent that can be done
without testing, clearly that is the preference. And that is why the President has
concluded that, thus far, that is the case.”12 J. D. Crouch, Assistant Secretary of
Defense for International Security Policy, stated that there is “no change in the
Administration’s policy at this point on nuclear testing. We continue to oppose
CTBT [Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty] ratification. We also continue to adhere to
a testing moratorium.”13
Of particular interest is readiness to conduct a nuclear test. Since FY1996, U.S.
policy has been that NNSA (or DOE prior to NNSA’s establishment) should be ready
to conduct a nuclear test within 24 to 36 months from the time the order is given.
Several studies identified work needed to reduce this time to 18 months. These
studies were funded by “Enhanced Test Readiness.” The FY2004 budget document
stated, “The DOD and the NNSA agreed to transition to an 18-month test readiness
posture while continuing to review the optimum posture. The actions necessary for
moving toward an 18-month posture are expected to begin upon completion of the
final FY 2003 appropriation.” The Senate Armed Services Committee’s bill for
FY2004 national defense authorizations, S. 1050, section 3132, required an 18-month
posture unless the Secretary of Energy determined that a different posture was
preferable. NNSA, however, prepared a study in April 2003 that concluded that an
18-month posture was preferable.14 Meanwhile, through FY2003, funds in the
“Nevada Site Readiness” account maintained the 24- to 36-month posture with
ongoing work at the Nevada Test Site. Because no policy decision had been reached
on reducing the time needed to test, the Enhanced Test Readiness and Nevada Site
12 Walter Pincus, “Nuclear Arms Plan: Saving, Not Scrapping,” Washington Post, January
13 U.S. Department of Defense. News Transcript. Special Briefing on the Nuclear Posture
Review, presented by J. D. Crouch, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security
Policy, January 9, 2002.
14 U.S. Department of Energy. National Nuclear Security Administration. Report to
Congress: Nuclear Test Readiness. April 2003, 15 p.
Readiness accounts had to be kept separated. With the move to an 18-month test
readiness posture, the enhanced posture was expected to become the current posture,
which would have made this separation unnecessary. Accordingly, the two accounts
were expected to be merged into “Test Readiness” beginning in FY2004, depending
on congressional language, though the FY2004 NNSA budget request level did not
reflect that merger.
The FY2003 appropriation for enhanced test readiness was $15.0 million.
Conferees on the Consolidated Appropriations Resolution for FY2003 directed DOE
to notify the Appropriations Committees before obligating any of these funds in
FY2003 (H.Rept. 108-10). The FY2004 request for Test Readiness was $24.9
million, and for Nevada Site Readiness was $39.6 million.
In its FY2004 report, the House Appropriations Committee sharply criticized
the plan for enhanced test readiness and recommended eliminating FY2004 funds for
it. The committee expressed its concern over an “open-ended commitment” to
enhanced test readiness “without any budget analysis or program plan to evaluate the
efficiency or effectiveness of this funding increase,” argued that the proposal “does
not address the fundamental difficulties in maintaining test readiness during a testing
moratorium,” and noted that it took 18-24 months to conduct a fully-instrumented
test during the era of routine testing so that a proposal to maintain indefinitely an 18-
month posture during the testing moratorium “reflects a disturbing ‘cost is no object’
perspective.” Finally, even though NNSA and DOD decided to move to an 18-month
test readiness posture, “The Committee does not recognize the NNSA declaring a
revised test readiness posture as a new requirement nor is it convinced that the
decision can be successfully implemented based on the planning information
provided to date” (H.Rept. 108-212). The Senate Appropriations Committee made
no reference to nuclear test readiness, and provided the amount requested for
Program Readiness, the component of RTBF containing test readiness funds. The
Feinstein amendment (S.Amdt. 1655) discussed under DSW, which was tabled,
would have barred use of funds provided by H.R. 2754 for modifying the test
readiness posture to a posture of less than 24 months. Conferees provided $24.9
million for test readiness, as requested, on grounds that test readiness had atrophied.
“However, the conferees expect the NNSA to focus on restoring a rigorous test
readiness program that is capable of meeting the current 24-month requirement
before requesting significant additional funds to pursue a more aggressive goal of an
Test Readiness had been in RTBF through FY2004, but was transferred to the
Science Campaign in the FY2005 budget. (With the transfer, the name “Test
Readiness” was dropped; the NNSA request refers to the program as “efforts related
to maintaining the readiness of the Nevada Test Site to conduct underground nuclear
tests, if directed.”) Funds for test readiness are contained in the Primary Assessment
Technologies campaign. The FY2005 request for that campaign is $81.5 million, a
figure that the House reduced by $15.0 million. The House Appropriations
Committee report stated this reduction was made
to limit the enhanced test readiness initiative to the goal of achieving a 24-month
test readiness posture. The Committee continues to oppose the 18-month test
readiness posture and refers the Department [of Energy] to the unambiguous
Congressional language provided in the fiscal year 2004 Conference Report
requiring the Department to achieve and maintain a 24-month test readiness
The omnibus bill provided $74.0 million for this campaign, halfway between the
House figure and the request.
Nonproliferation and National Security Programs. DOE’s
nonproliferation and national security programs provide technical capabilities to
support U.S. efforts to prevent, detect, and counter the spread of nuclear weapons
worldwide. These nonproliferation and national security programs are included in
the National Nuclear Security Administration.
Funding for these programs in FY2004 was $1.3198 billion. For FY2005, the
Administration requested $1.3486 billion. The House bill, H.R. 4614, included the
requested amount, but distributed the funding differently among the various
programs. The omnibus bill, H.R. 4818 (P.L. 108-447), appropriated $1.4354
In particular, the Nonproliferation and Verification R&D program, which
received $232 million for FY2004, would have been funded at $220 million in the
Administration’s FY2005 request, and $241.5 million in the House bill. The
omnibus bill appropriated $225.7 million. Nonproliferation and International
Security programs would have received $124 million in the request and the House
bill, compared with $110.1 million in FY2004. These programs include international
safeguards, export controls, and treaties and agreements. The omnibus bill funded
them at $154 million.
International Materials Protection, Control and Accounting (MPC&A), which
is concerned with reducing the threat posed by unsecured Russian weapons and
weapons-usable material, would have received $238 million under the President’s
request, compared to $258.5 million appropriated for FY2004. The House bill would
have increased that amount to $415.3 million. The final omnibus bill appropriated
$322 million. Included in the MPC&A program is the “Megaports initiative,” which
is intended to install radiation detection equipment at the top 20 major overseas
seaports to interdict nuclear material before it arrives in the United States. The
FY2005 request for Megaports activities was $15 million; the House bill boosted
funding to $45 million. The omnibus bill appropriated the requested $15 million.
Two programs in the former Soviet Union, Initiatives for Proliferation
Prevention (IPP) and the Nuclear Cities Initiatives (NCI), have been combined into
a single program called “Russian Transition Initiative,” aimed at finding non-
weapons employment for roughly 35,000 under-employed nuclear scientists from the
former Soviet weapons complex. The FY2005 request for the program was $41
million, compared to $40 million in FY2004, and that amount was included in the
final omnibus bill.
Table 10. DOE Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Programs
ProgramFY2004FY2005RequestHouseH.R. 4614P.L. 108-447*
Nonproliferation & Verification232.0220.0241.5225.8
Nonproliferation & International110.1124.0124.0154.0
International Materials Protection,258.5238.0415.3322.0
Control and Accounting (MPC&A)
Russian Transition Initiative39.841.041.041.0
Elimination of Weapons-Grade65.050.115.140.1
HEU Transparency Implementation17.921.021.021.0
Fissile Materials Disposition652.8649.0483.3624.0
Offsite Source Recovery Project — 220.127.116.11
Adjustments(56.3) — — —
Total, Defense Nuclear1,319.81,348.61,348.61,435.4
Nonprol i f erat i on
*Figures do not include an across-the-board cut of 0.80%.
Requested funding for the Fissile Materials Disposition program for FY2005
was $649 million, compared with $653 million in FY2004. The program’s goal is
disposal of U.S. surplus weapons plutonium by converting it into fuel for commercial
power reactors, including construction of a facility to convert the plutonium to
reactor fuel at Savannah River, SC, and a similar program in Russia. The House bill
cut that amount to $483 million. The final omnibus bill appropriated $624 million.
(For details on these programs, see CRS Issue Brief IB10091, Nuclear
Nonproliferation Issues, by Carl E. Behrens.)
Environmental Management. The conference agreement on H.R. 4818
(P.L. 108-447) would provide a total of $7.51 billion in FY2005 for DOE’s
Environmental Management Program, subject to an across-the-board rescission of
.80%. Prior to this rescission, the appropriation in the conference agreement is $80
million more than the Administration’s request of $7.43 billion, and is $440 million
more than the FY2004 appropriation of $7.07 billion.
The Environmental Management Program is the largest single function within
DOE in terms of funding, representing approximately one third of the department’s
total budget. The primary purpose of the program is to manage radioactive and
hazardous wastes, and to remediate contamination from such wastes, at former
nuclear weapons sites across the country. The program also addresses waste
management and remediation at sites where civilian nuclear energy research was
conducted by the federal government. As such, DOE’s Environmental Management
Program is the largest waste management and environmental cleanup program
throughout the federal government. In comparison, annual funding for the cleanup
of non-radioactive contamination at Department of Defense sites has been less than
$2 billion in recent years, and annual funding for the Environmental Protection
Agency’s cleanup of the nation’s most hazardous private sector sites under the
Superfund program has been around $1.25 billion in recent years.
DOE’s Environmental Management Program has a lengthy history with many
longstanding issues. Much attention has focused on the amount of time and money
needed to clean up environmental contamination resulting from the production of
nuclear weapons during the Cold War. Since the beginning of the U.S. atomic
energy program in the 1940’s, DOE and its predecessors have been responsible for
administering the production of nuclear weapons and managing radioactive and other
hazardous wastes. In later years, DOE expanded its efforts to include the
environmental restoration of radioactive sites and those with other hazardous
contamination in buildings, soil, and water to ensure their safety for future uses. In
1989, the first Bush Administration established the Environmental Management
Program within DOE to consolidate the agency’s efforts in cleaning up
contamination from defense nuclear waste and civilian nuclear energy research.
DOE is responsible for complying with numerous federal environmental laws and
regulations in administering the current program, and is subject to fines and penalties
for violations of these requirements. Consequently, DOE has signed numerous
legally binding compliance agreements with the Environmental Protection Agency
and the states to perform cleanup activities and dispose of wastes according to
DOE reports that there are 114 geographic sites in 31 states and one U.S.
territory where the production of nuclear weapons, and civilian nuclear energy
research and development activities, resulted in radioactive and other hazardous
contamination. Together, these sites occupy approximately 2 million acres, which
is equivalent to the land area of Rhode Island and Delaware combined. DOE reports
that all response actions were complete at 76 sites as of the end of FY2003, at a cost
of approximately $70 billion. DOE expects cleanup to be complete at 3 additional
sites by the end of FY2005. However, most of the sites that have been cleaned up
thus far are relatively small and are among the least hazardous. The sites where
cleanup remains underway contain some of the most severely contaminated areas.
DOE estimates that cleanup at the remaining sites will not be complete until 2035,
at a cost of $142 billion. DOE had previously estimated that cleanup would not be
complete until a later date of 2070, at a higher cost of $192 billion.
DOE has substantially revised its earlier estimates of cleanup time frames and
costs, as part of its cleanup reform initiative. DOE launched this initiative in FY2003
and has signed letters of intent with the Environmental Protection Agency and the
states to accelerate cleanup at its major sites. DOE also has prepared Performance
Management Plans for many of its sites, which outline how cleanup would be
accelerated and costs reduced. According to DOE, these goals would be
accomplished by assessing the risk of exposure to determine which cleanup remedies
are selected. Risk is currently one of many factors that DOE uses to select cleanup
remedies. Altering the current process to use risk as the primary factor could result
in decisions to contain waste on site as a means of preventing exposure, rather than
removing it. Whereas containment can often be accomplished more quickly and at
less cost, the possibility of future exposure remains if the method of containment fails
Although there has been widespread concern about the amount of time and
money needed to clean up nuclear waste sites, questions have been raised as to how
DOE would use a risk-based approach to accomplish its goals of faster and less
costly cleanups without weakening environmental protection. Some have drawn
attention to the possibility that more contamination may be left on site, rather than
removed. Because of the substantial amount of time required for certain types of
radioactivity to decay, arguments have been raised that contamination left in place
may migrate in unexpected ways over the long-term, and result in pathways of
exposure that could not have been predicted when the remedy was originally selected.
Others counter that completely removing radioactive contamination from all sites to
permit unrestricted future land use, and eliminate all future pathways of exposure,
would not be economically feasible, and in some cases would be beyond the
capabilities of current cleanup technologies.
DOE’s cleanup reform initiative would continue in FY2005, with funding
provided under five accounts. These accounts include two for Site Acceleration
Completion, one for Defense and one for Non-defense, which fund efforts to
complete cleanup and close contaminated facilities at a faster pace than previously
scheduled. There also are two Environmental Services accounts, one for Defense and
one for Non-defense as well, which fund activities that indirectly support the mission
of accelerated cleanup and closure, such as policy development and coordination, and
the integration of mission activities across the complex of sites. A fifth account for
the Uranium Enrichment Decontamination and Decommissioning Fund supports the
cleanup of uranium enrichment plants and uranium and thorium processing sites,
which previously had been included in an account entitled Uranium Facilities
Maintenance and Remediation.
Defense sites have traditionally received the vast majority of funding under the
Environmental Management Program. Of the $7.51 billion appropriation for the
program in omnibus H.R. 4818 (P.L. 108-447), $6.10 billion would be allocated to
the Defense Site Acceleration Completion Account, and $938 million would be
allocated to the Defense Environmental Services Account. The Non-defense Site
Acceleration Completion Account would receive $152 million, and the Non-defense
Environmental Services Account would receive $291 million. The Uranium
Enrichment Decontamination and Decommissioning Fund would receive $499
million. Although the total appropriation for these five accounts would be $7.98
billion, this amount is offset by $463 million in federal contribution to the Uranium
fund, which yields a total amount of $7.51 billion for the Environmental
Management Program in FY2005, subject to an across-the-board rescission of .80%
as noted above.
The most controversial issue regarding funding for the Environmental
Management Program in FY2005 was DOE’s “High-level Waste Proposal,” for
which the President’s budget proposed to set aside $350 million out of the Defense
Site Acceleration Completion Account. Under this proposal, DOE would speed the
closure of tanks storing high-level radioactive and other chemical wastes at the
Hanford site in Washington state, the Savannah River site in South Carolina, and the
Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL). The volume
of these wastes is substantial. For example, DOE reports that at the Hanford site there
are over 50 million gallons of high-level radioactive and chemical wastes stored
beneath the surface in 177 tanks. The tank wastes at Hanford, and the other two sites,
that are classified as “high-level” radioactive wastes must be removed and safely
stored in a centralized geologic repository, as required by the Nuclear Waste Policy
Act (NWPA). For more information, see CRS Report RL32163, Radioactive Waste
Streams: An Overview of Waste Classification for Disposal, by Anthony Andrews.
DOE has proposed to speed the closure of the tanks at these three sites by
classifying some of the waste as “incidental to reprocessing,” and to dispose of it as
low-level waste by mixing and immobilizing it with a cement “grout” inside the tank.
DOE issued this proposal under an internal agency “order” (Order 435.1).15 Some
Members of Congress, states, environmental organizations, and communities
opposed DOE’s proposal, arguing that none of the tank wastes should be allowed to
remain in place because of the possibility that the grout might not mix thoroughly
with the waste to contain it safely and prevent leaks. However, others asserted that
methods to remove all of the tank residues would generate a new hazardous waste
stream that would need to be managed properly to prevent exposure. There also
could be significant risks of exposure to workers who would remove the residues.
Thus far, DOE has grouted high-level radioactive wastes in two tanks at the
Savannah River site. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) legally
challenged DOE’s authority to dispose of these wastes in this manner. In 2003, the
U.S. District Court for Idaho ruled that DOE does not have the authority to classify
the tank wastes at the Savannah River site, or any other site, as anything other than
high-level radioactive waste.16 Consequently, these wastes would have to be
removed and disposed of in a centralized geologic repository as required by the
DOE appealed the 2003 ruling, and on November 5, 2004, the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed the above district court opinion, ruling that the
challenge to Order 435.1 was not “ripe” for review.17 The court found that the
district court decision predated DOE application of Order 435.1 to a particular
situation, and, thus, there was no present conflict with the NWPA.18 The court
determined that while it was possible that DOE might violate the NWPA at some
point, it might just as likely comply with all applicable law.19 Thus, under the terms
of the circuit court opinion, DOE may engage in activities pursuant to Order 435.1,
and NRDC or others then would be free to bring suit if they believe those activities
violate the law.
15 Department of Energy. DOE Order 435.1: Radioactive Waste Management.
16 NRDC v. Abraham, 271 F. Supp. 2d. 1260 (D. Id. 2003).
17 Natural Resources Defense Council v. Abraham, No. 03-35711, 2004 WL 2480949 (Nov.
18 Natural Resources Defense Council, slip op. at 3.
19 Id. at 4.
Prior to the appeals court ruling, the Secretary of Energy asked Congress to
enact legislation that would provide DOE with statutory authority to classify some
of the tank wastes as incidental to reprocessing at Hanford, Savannah River, and the
INEEL, thereby exempting them from disposal requirements for high-level
radioactive waste in the NWPA. Whether the wastes could be left in the tanks and
grouted in place would ultimately depend on the concurrence of state regulatory
agencies who issue the permits for tank closures.
Congress included authority in the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense
Authorization Act for FY2005 (P.L. 108-375) for DOE to grout some of the tank
wastes at Savannah River and the INEEL. However, the authority was not extended
to Hanford, where most of the leaking tanks are located. As noted above, DOE still
may pursue the grouting of tanks at Hanford under Order 435.1, but could be subject
to legal challenge at that site. (For further discussion, see CRS Report RS21988,
Radioactive Tank Wastes: Disposal Authority in the Ronald W. Reagan National
Defense Authorization Act for FY2005, coordinated by David Bearden.)
From the appropriation for the Defense Site Acceleration Completion Account,
H.R. 4818 (P.L. 108-447) would provide $292 million of the $350 million that the
Administration requested for its High-level Waste Proposal. Of the $292 million,
$163 million would be allocated to the Savannah River site in South Carolina for
projects to prepare for the grouting of tank wastes, and $97 million would be
allocated to the INEEL in Idaho for such projects. The remaining appropriation of
$32 million would be allocated to Hanford in Washington state. However, it appears
questionable whether this appropriation for Hanford would be sufficient legal
authority to permit the grouting of tank wastes at that site, as the waste disposal
authority in P.L. 108-375 does not include Washington state.
There are differing court rulings regarding whether an appropriation of funding
by Congress for a specific activity alone provides sufficient authority for an agency
to carry out that activity, absent authority provided in other statutes or in apparent
contradiction of pre-existing authority. In short, Congress can effectively validate
otherwise unauthorized or unlawful action in an appropriations act by clearly
indicating that it intends to alter or repeal pre-existing law, in addition to funding an
activity. Whether an appropriation for a specific activity constitutes an authorization
may be subject to some argument and possible legal challenge, unless Congress
explicitly addresses the authority in question.20 The conference report language
allocating an appropriation of $32 million for “waste incidental to reprocessing”
activities at the Hanford site in FY2005 does not expressly mention the grouting of
tank wastes, raising the question of the authority for the use of this disposal method
at that site.
In addition to the issue of how to dispose of radioactive tank wastes, there also
has been ongoing concern in Congress about the feasibility of DOE’s overall plans
to accelerate cleanup and lower costs at the 114 sites across the country that make up
the former defense nuclear weapons complex. Prior to the conference agreement on
20 See, e.g., TVA v. Hill, 437 U.S. 153 (1978); Robertson v. Seattle Audubon Society, 503
U.S. 429 (1992); AFL-CIO v. Campbell, 659 F.2d 157, 160 (D.C.Cir. Dec 18, 1980).
H.R. 4818 (P.L. 108-447), the House Appropriations Committee noted in its report
on H.R. 4614 (H.Rept. 108-554) that recent delays in cleanup schedules and cost
overruns of certain projects raise questions regarding DOE’s ability to accelerate
cleanup. The committee also raised concerns regarding DOE’s delay in submitting
a report to Congress on statutory changes that may be necessary to allow accelerated
cleanup to proceed, and the need for agreements with the states on all elements of the
Performance Management Plans for each site. These plans outline how accelerated
cleanup would be accomplished.
In addition to funding for the Environmental Management Program, the
conference agreement on H.R. 4818 (P.L. 108-447) would appropriate $78 million
for DOE’s Office of Legacy Management. The Administration had requested $66
million, the same as the FY2004 appropriation. Of the amount in H.R. 4818 (P.L.
108-447), $47 million would be allocated to defense sites, and the remaining $31
million to non-defense sites. Congress provided the funding for DOE to establish
this office in the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act for FY2004
(P.L. 108-137). The primary function of the office is to assess long-term stewardship
needs once cleanup is complete, to ensure that DOE’s cleanup actions continue to be
effective in the future. These planning assumptions are currently based on a time
frame of 150 years. DOE previously administered these responsibilities under
multiple elements of its Environmental Management program.
Civilian Nuclear Waste. Considerable controversy erupted over the Bush
Administration’s FY2005 budget request for the DOE civilian nuclear waste disposal
program. Although the program’s proposed budget totaled $880 million — a 50%
boost over FY2004 — the Administration also proposed that $749 million be offset
by revenue from the existing nuclear waste fee, so that the net appropriation would
be only $131 million.
The House Appropriations Committee, noting that Congress had not enacted the
Administration’s waste-fee offset proposal, voted to provide only the $131 million
net appropriation request rather than cut other programs to make up the difference.
The controversy contributed to a decision by the Senate Appropriations Committee’s
Energy and Water Development Subcommittee against holding a markup on the
FY2005 funding bill. At one point, it appeared that the Energy and Water bill would
be left out of the omnibus spending bill, but a compromise was ultimately reached
to give the DOE waste program $577.0 million, the same as the FY2004 funding
The Administration’s proposed spending increase was intended primarily to pay
for designing a national nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, and
for developing a national waste transportation program. DOE contends that funding
for the waste program, run by the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management
(OCRWM), must average $1.3 billion per year between FY2005 and FY2010 to meet
the current 2010 target date for shipping nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain. That
target date was largely dependent on DOE’s plans to submit a repository license
application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission by the end of 2004 — which DOE
recently announced would be delayed until 2005.
In addition to the $880 million request for the civilian waste disposal program,
the Administration had planned in FY2005 to transfer responsibility for DOE-owned
spent fuel to a new Office of DOE Spent Fuel Management, which would report to
the OCRWM Director. The $22.5 million request for the new office brought the total
FY2005 request for OCRWM to $907.5 million. However, the conference report did
not include the proposed transfer.
The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA, P.L. 97-425), as amended,
names Yucca Mountain as the sole candidate site for a national geologic repository.
Congress passed an approval resolution in July 2000 (H.J.Res. 87, P.L. 107-200) that
authorized the Yucca Mountain project to proceed to the licensing phase.
FY2005 funding in the conference report for the Office of Civilian Radioactive
Waste Management comes from two appropriations accounts. First, $346.0 million
is appropriated from the Nuclear Waste Fund, which consists of fees paid by nuclear
utilities. Second, $231.0 million would be appropriated from general revenues under
the Defense Nuclear Waste Disposal account, which pays for disposing of high-level
waste from the nuclear weapons program in the planned civilian repository.
The House Appropriations Committee excoriated the Administration for
requesting a net appropriation of only $131 million and for assuming that Congress
would enact the waste-fee offset proposal in time. “At best, the Office of
Management and Budget (OMB) made an unwise budget calculation to assume this
offset,” said the committee report. “At worst, OMB took a foolish political gamble
by assuming that reclassification legislation would be enacted this year.”
The House panel warned in its report that the funding cutback would have “far-
reaching” consequences for the nuclear waste program, but that there was no funding
available under the budget request to shift from other programs. The Committee
report noted DOE’s prediction that the funding reduction could force layoffs of 70%
of the program’s work force, place submittal of the repository license application “at
risk,” and cause “an indefinite delay in opening the repository.”
On the same day the House Appropriations Committee approved the energy and
water bill, the Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality of the House Energy and
Commerce Committee approved a bill (H.R. 3891) to enact the Administration’s
nuclear waste fee reclassification proposal. However, the use of waste fees to offset
appropriations for the repository program would be limited to the next five years. No
Senate action has been taken on the proposal.
The 2010 target for opening a permanent repository is 12 years later than the
Nuclear Waste Policy Act deadline of January 31, 1998, for DOE to begin taking
waste from nuclear plant sites. Nuclear utilities and state utility regulators, upset
over DOE’s failure to meet the 1998 disposal deadline, have won two federal court
decisions upholding the department’s obligation to meet the deadline and to
compensate utilities for any resulting damages. Utilities have also won several cases
in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. The nation’s largest nuclear utility, Exelon
Corporation, reached a breach-of-contract settlement with the federal government in
August 2004 that may total $600 million if DOE does not begin taking spent fuel
Further delays in the Yucca Mountain program could result from a July 2004
court decision that overturned a key aspect of the Environmental Protection Agency’s
(EPA’s) regulations for the repository. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that EPA’s 10,000-year
compliance period was too short, but it rejected several other challenges to the
standards. (For more information, see CRS Issue Brief IB92059, Civilian Nuclear
Waste Disposal, by Mark Holt.)
Power Marketing Administrations. DOE’s four Power Marketing
Administrations (PMAs) developed during the 1930s out of the construction of dams
and multi-purpose water projects that are operated by the Bureau of Reclamation and
the Army Corps of Engineers. The original intention behind many of these projects
was conservation and management of water resources, including irrigation, flood
control, recreation, and other objectives. However, many of these facilities generated
electricity for project needs. The PMAs were established to market the excess
power; they are the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), Southeastern Power
Administration (SEPA), Southwestern Power Administration (SWPA), and Western
Area Power Administration (WAPA).
The power is sold at wholesale to electric utilities and federal agencies “at the
lowest possible rates ... consistent with sound business practice,” and priority on
PMA power is extended to “preference customers,” which include municipal utilities,
co-ops and other “public” bodies. The PMAs do not own the generating facilities,
but they generally do own transmission facilities, except for Southeastern. The
PMAs are responsible for covering their expenses and repaying debt and the federal
investment in the generating facilities.
The 104th Congress debated sale of the PMAs and did, in 1995, authorize
divestiture of one PMA (the Alaska Power Administration Act, P.L. 104-58). There
has been no press to dispose of the remaining PMAs, and none seems likely given the
broader uncertainties governing electric utility restructuring.
Congress enacted a funding level of $213.0 million in FY2004, less $22 million
in Colorado River Basin revenues. The FY2005 request is $210.5, less $23 million
in Colorado River revenues, reflecting a reduction of $3.8 million for WAPA, and
slight increases for the three other PMAs. The House bill included the same level of
funding, as does the omnibus bill (less the 0.80% rescission).
BPA receives no annual appropriation, but funds some of its activities from
permanent borrowing authority, which was increased in FY2003 from $3.75 billion
to $4.45 billion (a $700 million increase). BPA is not requesting additional
borrowing authority in FY2005. BPA intends to use $487 million of its borrowing
authority in FY2004, down from $528 in FY2004, to be used for generation and
transmission services, conservation, energy efficiency, fish and wildlife, and capital
Title IV: Independent Agencies
Independent agencies that receive funding from the Energy and Water
Development bill include the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the
Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), and the Denali Commission.
Table 11. Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Title IV: Independent Agencies
Commi ssion 65.6 66.0 38.5 66.0
Nuclear Regulatory Commission625.6670.3670.3670.3
Defense Nuclear Facilities
Nuclear Waste Technical
TVA Inspector General — 9.0 — —
Denali Commission54.72.5 — 67.0
Delta Regional Authority5.02.12.16.0
Total 227.9 232.3 193.2 291.7
Source: President’s budget request for FY2005, H.Rept. 108-554 and H.Rept. 108-792.
a. Does not include the modified rescission amount of .80% in H.Con.Res. 528.
Key Policy Issues — Independent Agencies
Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission
(NRC) requested a total budget of $670.3 million for FY2005, including $7.5 million
for the NRC inspector general’s office. The request is about 7% above the FY2004
funding level. Major activities conducted by NRC include safety regulation and
licensing of commercial nuclear reactors, licensing of nuclear waste facilities, and
oversight of nuclear materials users. The omnibus conference report provides the full
request, as did the House-passed energy and water bill.
NRC proposed to spend $39.7 million — an 18% increase — on licensing
activities for possible new commercial reactors, which are being encouraged by
DOE’s Nuclear Power 2010 program. According to the NRC budget justification,
the funding will be used for early site permits (sites approved for future reactors),
reactor pre-licensing and licensing reviews, and certification of new reactor designs.
The House Appropriations Committee had approved bill language prohibiting
NRC from issuing a license during FY2005 for construction or operation of a new
commercial nuclear power plant. The committee report contended: “For the Nuclear
Regulatory Commission to license any new reactors without a certain disposal path
for the spent nuclear fuel would be unjustifiable and irresponsible.” However, the
conference report and the House-passed bill do not include the licensing restriction.
In the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the United
States, NRC has focused additional attention on the security of nuclear power plants
and other users of radioactive material. NRC’s FY2005 budget request included
$56.8 million for activities related to homeland security, a 10% increase over
FY2004. In FY2005, NRC intends to continue conducting force-on-force security
exercises and require nuclear plants to revise their security plans to reflect increased
baseline threats. (For more information on protecting licensed nuclear facilities, see
CRS Report RS21131, Nuclear Power Plants: Vulnerability to Terrorist Attack, by
Carl E. Behrens.)
To begin reviewing an anticipated DOE license application for a national
nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, the NRC budget for high-level
waste regulation would more than double from FY2004. The $69.1 million request
also includes safety testing of full-scale casks for transporting nuclear waste by rail
and by truck.
For the decade before FY2001, NRC’s budget was offset 100% by fees on
nuclear power plants and payments by other licensed activities, such as the DOE
nuclear waste program. The nuclear power industry had long contended that the fee
structure required nuclear reactor owners to pay for a number of NRC programs, such
as foreign nuclear safety efforts, from which they did not directly benefit. To account
for that concern, the FY2001 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act
(P.L. 106-377) included an NRC proposal to phase down the agency’s fee recovery
to 90% during the subsequent five years — two percentage points per year.
Therefore, 90% of the FY2005 NRC budget is to be offset by fees on licensees.
Because $69.1 million is to be appropriated from the Nuclear Waste Fund to pay for
waste repository licensing, the 90% fee requirement applies to $601.2 million of the
budget, leaving a net appropriation of $60.1 million. With the Nuclear Waste Fund
appropriation, NRC’s total net appropriation in the conference report is $129.2
For Additional Reading
CRS Issue Briefs
CRS Issue Brief IB10041. Renewable Energy: Tax Credit, Budget, and Electricity
Production Issues, by Fred Sissine.
CRS Issue Brief IB92059. Civilian Nuclear Waste Disposal, by Mark Holt.
CRS Issue Brief IB10091. Nuclear Nonproliferation Issues, by Carl Behrens.
CRS Issue Brief IB10120. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works Program: Issues
for Congress, by Nicole T. Carter and Pervaze A. Sheikh.
CRS Issue Brief IB88090. Nuclear Energy Policy, by Mark Holt and Carl Behrens.
CRS Report RS20702. South Florida Ecosystem Restoration and the Comprehensive
Everglades Restoration Plan, by Nicole T. Carter and Pervaze A. Sheikh.
CRS Report RL30928. Army Corps of Engineers: Reform Issues for the 107th
Congress, by Nicole T. Carter.
CRS Report RS20569. Water Resource Issues in the 107th Congress, by Betsy A.
Cody and H. Steven Hughes.
CRS Report RS20866. The Civil Works Program of the Army Corps of Engineers:
A Primer, by Nicole T. Carter and Betsy A. Cody.
CRS Report RL31116. Water Infrastructure Funding: Review and Analysis of
Current Issues, by Claudia Copeland and Mary Tiemann.
CRS Report RL30478. Federally Supported Water Supply and Wastewater
Treatment Programs, by the Resources, Science and Industry Division.
CRS Report RL32189. Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water
Infrastructure Sector, by Claudia Copeland and Betsy A. Cody.
CRS Report RL31098. Klamath River Basin Issues: An Overview of Water Use
Conflicts, coordinated by Betsy A. Cody.
CRS Report RL30928. Army Corps of Engineers: Reform Issues for the 107th
Congress, by Nicole T. Carter.
CRS Report RL32131, Phosphorus Mitigation in the Everglades, by Pervaze A.
Sheikh and Barbara Johnson.
CRS Report RL31975, CALFED Bay-Delta Program: Overview of Institutional and
Water Use Issues, by Betsy A. Cody and Pervaze Sheikh.
CRS Report RL32130, Nuclear Weapon Initiatives: Low-Yield R&D, Advanced
Concepts, Earth Penetrators, Test Readiness, by Jonathan Medalia.
CRS Report RL32347, Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator Budget Request and Plan,
FY2005-FY2009, by Jonathan Medalia.
CRS Report RL31993, Nuclear Warhead ‘Pit’ Production: Background and Issues
for Congress, by Jonathan Medalia.
CRS Report RL32163, Radioactive Waste Streams: An Overview of Waste
Classification for Disposal, by Anthony Andrews.
CRS Report RS21131, Nuclear Power Plants: Vulnerability to Terrorist Attack, by
Carl E. Behrens.