Energy and Water Development: FY2006 Appropriations
Energy and Water Development:
Updated December 16, 2005
Carl E. Behrens, Coordinator,
Robert Bamberger, David M. Bearden, Nicole T. Carter,
Betsy Cody, Mark Holt, H. Steven Hughes, Marc Humphries,
Daniel Morgan, and Fred Sissine
Resources, Science, and Industry Division
Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division
Knowledge Services Group
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 the 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 products.
NOTE: A Web version of this document with active links is
available to congressional staff at
[http://beta.crs.gov/cli/level_2.aspx?P RDS_CLI _ITEM _ID=73].
Energy and Water Development:
The Energy and Water Development appropriations bill in the past included
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.
After the budget request for FY2006 was submitted in February 2005, both the
House and the Senate Appropriations Committees reorganized their subcommittee
structure and with it the content of the various appropriations bills to be introduced.
In the case of Energy and Water Development, the only changes were the
consolidation of DOE programs that had previously been funded by the Interior and
Related Agencies bill. When these programs are included, the requested amount for
FY2006 Energy and Water Development totals $29.75 billion. For FY2005, $30.17
billion was appropriated for comparable programs.
On May 18, 2005, the House Appropriations Committee reported out H.R. 2419
(H.Rept. 109-86), with a total appropriation of $29.75 billion, including the programs
formerly funded in the Interior and Related Agencies bill. The House passed the bill
May 24. The Senate Appropriations Committee reported out its version of H.R. 2419
on June 16 (S.Rept. 109-84), and the Senate passed it June 30. The Senate bill
totaled $31.245 billion.
On November 7, 2005, the House-Senate Conference on H.R. 2419 agreed to
a bill funding Energy and Water Development programs at $30.49 billion (H.Rept.
109-275). The House approved the conference report November 9, and the Senate
November 14. President Bush signed the bill November 19 (P.L. 109-103).
Key budgetary issues involving these programs include:
— the effects of performance-based budgeting and Hurricanes Katrina
and Rita on Army Corps of Engineers priorities, and limiting the
reprogramming of funds from one Corps project to another and
restricting the use of multiyear contracts (Title I);
— support of major ecosystem restoration initiatives, such as Florida
Everglades (Title I) and California “Bay-Delta” (CALFED) (Title II);
— funding for the proposed national nuclear waste repository at Yucca
Mountain, Nevada (Title III: Nuclear Waste Disposal);
— funding for developing nuclear warheads, in light of congressional
action last year to cut funding for the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator
and for a “Modern Pit Facility” to build nuclear weapons components
(Title III: Nuclear Weapons Stockpile Stewardship); and
— plans to reduce the time necessary to prepare the Nevada Test Site to
resume nuclear weapons testing (Title III: Nuclear Weapons
This report will be updated as events warrant.
Key Policy Staff
Area of ExpertiseNameCRS Telephone
Corps of EngineersNicole CarterRSI7-0854
Bureau of ReclamationBetsy CodyRSI7-7229
Solar and Renewable EnergyFred SissineRSI7-7039
Nuclear EnergyMark HoltRSI7-1704
Science ProgramsDaniel MorganRSI7-5849
Nuclear Weapons StewardshipJonathan MedaliaFDT7-7632
Nonproliferation and TerrorismCarl BehrensRSI7-8303
DOE Environmental ManagementDavid BeardenRSI7-2390
Power Marketing AdministrationsBetsy CodyRSI7-7229
Bonneville Power AdministrationBetsy CodyRSI7-7229
Fossil Energy ResearchMarc HumphriesRSI7-7264
Naval/Strategic Petroleum ReserveRobert BambergerRSI7-7240
Energy ConservationFred SissineRSI7-7039
Budget Data and Report PreparationCarol 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...........................5
Financial Management: Reprogramming and Contracting..........5
Corps Budget and the Agency’s Backlog of Projects..............5
Title II: Department of the Interior....................................9
Central Utah Project and Bureau of Reclamation: Budget In Brief.......10
Key Policy Issues — Bureau of Reclamation.......................11
Title III: Department of Energy......................................12
Key Policy Issues — Department of Energy........................14
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy......................14
Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.....................15
Policy Directions in Congressional Reports....................16
Fossil Energy Research, Development, and Demonstration........21
Strategic Petroleum Reserve................................23
Nuclear Waste Disposal....................................26
Nuclear Weapons Stockpile Stewardship......................28
Nonproliferation and National Security Programs................34
Environmental Management and Cleanup......................36
Power Marketing Administrations............................42
Title IV: Independent Agencies.....................................44
Key Policy Issues — Independent Agencies........................44
Nuclear Regulatory Commission.............................44
For Additional Reading............................................46
CRS Issue Briefs.............................................46
Table 1. Status of Energy and Water Development Appropriations, FY2006...1
Table 2. Energy and Water Development Appropriations, FY1999 to FY2006..2
Table 3. Energy and Water Development Appropriations Summary..........3
Table 4. Energy and Water Development Appropriations 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..........................................9
Table 7. Energy and Water Development AppropriationsTitle III:
Department of Energy.........................................13
Table 8. Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Programs..............16
Table 9. Congressionally Directed Projects in EERE and OE..............17
Table 10. FutureGen Funding Profile.................................23
Table 11. Funding for Weapons Activities.............................28
Table 12. NNSA Future Years Nuclear Security Program.................29
Table 13. DOE Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Programs...............35
Table 14. Environmental Management Program Appropriations............37
Table 15. Energy and Water Development Appropriations Title IV:
Energy and Water Development:
Most Recent Developments
The Bush Administration’s FY2006 budget request was released in February
2005. After the budget was submitted, both the House and the Senate Appropriations
Committees voted to reorganize the subcommittee structure, and with it the programs
included in specific appropriations bills. Under the reorganization, the Energy and
Water Development appropriations bill acquired Department of Energy (DOE)
programs that previously had been included in the appropriations bill for Interior and
Related Agencies. Including these programs, the requested amount for FY2006
Energy and Water Development totaled $29.75 billion. For FY2005, $30.17 billion
was appropriated for comparable programs (including emergency supplemental
appropriations for the Corps of Engineers).
The House Appropriations Energy and Water Development Subcommittee
marked up its bill on May 11, 2005, and the full committee reported out H.R. 2419
on May 18 (H.Rept. 109-86). The House passed the bill May 24. H.R. 2419 would
have appropriated $29.75 billion for FY2006 for energy and water development
programs, including those formerly included in the Interior and Related Agencies
The Senate Appropriations Committee reported out its version of H.R. 2419 on
June 16 (S.Rept. 109-84). The bill totaled $31.245 billion. The Senate approved the
bill June 30 by a vote of 92-3.
On November 7, 2005, the House-Senate conference on H.R. 2419 agreed to a
bill funding these programs at $30.49 billion. The House approved the conference
report (H.Rept. 109-275) on November 9; the Senate approved it on November 14.
President Bush signed the bill on November 19 (P.L. 109-103).
Table 1. Status of Energy and Water Development Appropriations, FY2006
House House Senat e Senat e Conf .
The Energy and Water Development bill has historically included 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 DOE, and a number of
independent agencies, including the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the
Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). With the reorganization of the
appropriations subcommittees, DOE programs that had been funded in the Interior
and Related Agencies bill were transferred to the Energy and Water Development
bill. The Bush Administration’s request was $29.747 billion for all of the programs
now included in the Energy and Water bill for FY2006, compared with $30.169
billion appropriated for FY2005.
The House bill, H.R. 2419, as reported out by the House Appropriations
Committee May 18 and passed by the House May 24, would have appropriated
$29.746 billion for energy and water development programs for FY2006. The Senate
version of H.R. 2419, as reported out by the Senate Appropriations Committee June
The conference report on H.R. 2419 (H.Rept. 109-275) funded FY2006
programs at $30.488 billion. The major actions by the conference committee were
to raise funding for the Corps of Engineers by $749 million over the requested
amount, in the wake of the Katrina and Rita disasters, and to resolve a difference in
the House and Senate bills regarding reprogramming of funding and contracts for
Corps projects. (See Title I, Corps of Engineers.) The conference also reduced
funding for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste disposal project. (See Title III,
Department of Energy, Nuclear Waste Disposal.)
Table 2 includes budget totals for energy and water development appropriations
enacted for FY1999 to FY2006.
Table 2. Energy and Water Development Appropriations,
FY1999 to FY2006
(budget authority in billions of current dollars)
FY99 FY00 FY01 FY02 FY03 FY04 FY05 FY06
Note: These figures represent current dollars, exclude permanent budget authorities, and reflect
r e sc issio ns.
a. Includes DOE programs transferred from Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.
Table 3 lists totals for each of the four titles. The table also lists several
“scorekeeping” adjustments of accounts within the four titles, reflecting various
expenditures or sources of revenue besides appropriated funds. These adjustments
affect the total amount appropriated in the bill but are not included in the totals of the
individual titles. Amounts listed in this report are derived from the report of the
conference committee on H.R. 2419 (H.Rept. 109-275).
Table 3. Energy and Water Development Appropriations Summary
F Y 2006 House Senat e P.L.
TitleFY2005RequestH.R. 2419H.R. 2419109-103
Title I: Corps of Engineers5,376.94,332.04,746.05,298.05,383.0
Title II: CUP & BOR1,017.5951.11,011.51,081.11,065.0
Title III: Department of Energy24,419.224,213.324,317.925,077.324,289.9
Title IV: Independent Agencies289.3234.2207.3306.7271.1
E&W Subtotal 31,103.029,730.630,282.631,763.031,009.0
Plant Replacement reduction — — (18.6) — —
Central Valley (Title II)(46.4)(44.0)(44.0)(44.0)(44.0)
Colorado River Basins, WAPA(23.0)(23.0)(23.0)(23.0)(23.0)
Uranium Fund (Title III)(463.0)(451.0)(451.0)(451.0)(451.0)
Reclassification of PMA receipts — 433.0 — — —
NRC Revenue Adjustment (Title — 358.1 — — —
Fossil Energy Advance Approp. — (257.0) — — —
Other(401.7) — — — (3.0)
Source: H.Rept. 109-275.
Note: Details may not add to totals due to rounding.
For the Corps in FY2006, the Administration requested $4.32 billion, a decrease
of $1.044 billion from the enacted appropriation for FY2005. It asked for $951
million for FY2006 for the Department of the Interior (DOI) programs included in
the Energy and Water Development bill: the Bureau of Reclamation and the Central
Utah Project. This would have been a decrease of $66 million from the FY2005
funding level. The House bill would have funded the Corps at $4.746 billion, and the
DOI programs at $1.011 billion. The Senate bill would have appropriated $5.298
billion for the Corps and $1.081 billion for the Interior programs. The conference
bill provided $5.383 billion for the Corps and $1.065 billion for the DOI programs.
The FY2006 request for DOE programs was $24.213 billion, about $200 million
less than the previous year. The House bill would have appropriated $24.318 billion,
and the Senate bill $25.077 billion. The major activities in the DOE budget are
energy research and development, general science, environmental cleanup, and
nuclear weapons programs. Also included in the DOE total is funding of DOE’s
programs for fossil fuels, energy efficiency, and energy statistics, which had
historically been included in the Interior and Related Agencies appropriations bill.
The conference bill funded all DOE programs at $24.290 billion.
The FY2006 request for funding the independent agencies in Title IV of the bill
was $234 million, compared with $289 million appropriated for FY2005. The House
bill reduced the funding to $207 million. The Senate bill would have appropriated
$307 million. The conference bill appropriated $271 million.
Tables 4 through 15 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 FY2005-FY2006.
Title I: Corps of Engineers
The Energy and Water Development appropriations bill approved by the House,
H.R. 2419, included $4.746 billion for the Corps’ FY2006 budget, $414 million
more than requested.1 In its version of H.R. 2419, the Senate Appropriations
Committee included $552 million more than was included in the House version. The
conference report for H.R. 2419 provided $5.383 billion for the agency (see Table
4), increasing the agency’s funding by $749 million more than the amount requested
by the Administration.
Table 4. Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Title I: Corps of Engineers
F Y 2006 House Senat e P.L.
ProgramFY2005aRequestH.R. 2419H.R. 2419109-103
Investigations and Planning143.795.0100.0180.0164.0
Construction 1,781.7 1,637.0 1,900.0 2,086.7 2,372.0
Flood Control, Mississippi River327.9270.0290.0433.3400.0
Operation and Maintenance 2,298.81,979.02,000.02,100.01,989.0
Regulatory 143.8 160.0 160.0 150.0 160.0
FUSRAP b 163.7 140.0 140.0 140.0 140.0
1 The Administration in the FY2006 budget request proposed that electricity receipts from
the Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs) reimburse the Corps directly for its operation
and maintenance (O&M) activities at selected hydropower facilities (approximately $181.0
million for FY2006) by reclassifying the receipts from mandatory to offsetting collections.
The Administration’s proposal was not adopted in the final bill.
F Y 2006 House Senat e P.L.
ProgramFY2005aRequestH.R. 2419H.R. 2419109-103
Flood Control and Coastal348.070.0 — 43.0 —
Office of the Asst. Secretary 4.0 — 4.0 — 4.0
of the Army
Subtotal, Title I5,376.94,513.04,746.05,298.05,383.0
Reclassification of PMA receipts — (181.0) — —
Total Title I5,376.44,332.04,746.05,298.05,383.0
Source: H.Rept. 109-275
a. Amounts include $372.4 million, from P.L.108-324, in storm damage-related emergency funding, and $400 million
from Hurricane Katrina supplemental (P.L. 109-62)
b. “Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program.”
Key Policy Issues — Corps of Engineers
Financial Management: Reprogramming and Contracting. The
conference report included compromise language between the House and Senate
Appropriations Committees, which had expressed in their respective reports different
levels of dissatisfaction with the Corps’ financial management, particularly the
reprogramming of funds across projects and the use of multiyear continuing contracts
for projects. Language in H.R. 2419 after conference would change the Corps’
ability to reprogram, to use continuing contracts, and to allocate project funds on a
quarterly rather than an annual basis.2
Corps Budget and the Agency’s Backlog of Projects. The Corps civil
works program has been criticized by some observers as an agglomeration of projects
with no underlying design. These observers see the Corps backlog of authorized
activities as one example of this lack of focus. Estimates of the backlog’s size vary
from $11 billion to more than $50 billion depending on which projects are included.
Although some observers view the backlog as nothing more than a “to do” list for the
Corps, others are concerned that projects are facing construction delays and related
cost overruns because of the spread of available appropriations across an increasing
portfolio of projects.
2 For example, it would restrict the Corps’ ability to increase or decrease the funding for a
project to no more than $2 million or 50% of that year’s appropriation, whichever is less.
Another change in the approach to Corps appropriations is the decision not to use the
savings and slippage convention. In previous years, since not all Corps activities are
accomplished as planned, appropriations for the principal Corps accounts included a
reduction for savings and slippage to account for the slip of spending (e.g., due to delays
caused by weather, nonfederal sponsor financing, or a decision not to proceed) and the
savings from a project costing less than estimated. Application of the S&S contributed to
the quantity of the reprogramming being performed by the Corps. The approach taken in the
conference report is to stop applying S&S and reduce the need for reprogrammings, by
requiring the agency to provide quarterly, rather than annual, allocations to projects.
The conferees requested from the Corps a list of its 10 priority flood damage
reduction and navigation projects following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, based on
the agency’s professional engineering judgement. However, according to the
conference report, “the conferees have largely provided the budget request for
individual water resources projects” because of the agency’s inability to provide
Congress with the requested priority-setting information.
Many Corps policy proposals in the President’s FY2006 budget request were
aimed at reducing the construction backlog, while making progress on Corps projects
within current fiscal constraints and national priorities. The request attempted this
largely by starting no new projects and distributing funds across projects based on
performance measures. Although the House bill adopted some of the changes
proposed by the Administration, the House Appropriations Committee expressed a
view of how to structure the Corps portfolio that would go beyond the changes
proposed by the Administration. H.Rept. 109-86 stated, “the Civil Works program
needs to be managed as a program and not as a collection of individual projects” to
respond to what the committee sees as “little or no systematic approach to the
Nation’s water and coastal infrastructure underlying the selection of which projects
received funding.” The House Appropriations Committee reiterated in its report the
value of a five-year plan and strategic vision to guide budget requests.
The report by the Senate Appropriations Committee approached the Corps’
budget from a perspective distinct from that of the House and the Administration.
The Senate report referred to the benefits of the previous “big tent” budgeting
approach where all aspects of water resources were jointly developed and discussed.
The Senate report, however, was critical of the “lack of leadership” at the agency.
Performance-Based Budgeting. The FY2006 request tackled the Corps
construction backlog on a number of fronts. One way the FY2006 request tried to
address the Corps backlog of projects was to develop the budget request using a
performance-based budgeting approach for determining which projects to fund for
construction (and to a lesser extent maintenance); the performance measures were
based on their economic and environmental returns. The construction projects
selected for funding were chosen largely on their having either a high ratio of
remaining benefits to remaining costs, or, for environmental projects, a high cost-
effectiveness. The House Appropriations Committee noted in its report that it
“supports the concept of focusing limited resources on completing high-value
projects already under construction, and the Committee recommendation is based in
large part on the Administration’s performance-based approach.”
In its report, the Senate Appropriations Committee, in contrast, largely rejected
the Administration’s performance-based budgeting and suggested that the agency
seriously reexamine its budget model. The report argues that the approach used in
the FY2006 budget request “promotes discord among various water resources
interests,” “led to a skewed set of results with a few strong winners and many
losers,” and is “very unbalanced among planning, construction, and maintenance.”
The Senate report includes funds for numerous projects funded in neither the House
bill nor the Administration’s requests.
The conference report acknowledged the Administration’s efforts but
recognized the limitations of the Administration’s metrics. Accordingly, the
conference report directs the Corps to contract with the National Academy of Public
Administration to study and recommend metrics for allocating Corps construction
appropriations across projects.
Priorities and New Starts. To address the budget backlog, the
Administration’s request limited the number of new activities started to only one
construction project and three planning activities. The President’s request would
fund construction projects that could be completed in FY2006 and projects
considered by the Administration to be priorities, similar to the President’s FY2005
request. The nine national priority projects for FY2006 included the New York and
New Jersey Harbor Deepening project, restoration projects in the Florida Everglades
and the Upper Mississippi River system, and projects to meet environmental
requirements in the Columbia River Basin and the Missouri River basin. H.Rept.
however, not all of the President’s priority projects receive the full amount requested
and some appropriations were added to some ongoing construction projects. S.Rept.
109-84 rejected the “decimated” planning program, commented on the importance
of planning for the agency, and would fund a much larger set of projects than the
Administration’s request and the House-passed bill. The Senate and conference
reports did not comment on new construction starts.
Project Suspensions. Using the performance-based budgeting criteria, the
Administration identified 35 active construction projects to be studied for possible
suspension (i.e., to buy out current construction contracts, rather than to complete
them). The FY2006 request would provide an $80 million fund with which to cancel
contacts for these projects. Most of the projects proposed for suspension were
included in the FY2005 request and have local project sponsors that have made
investments and raised funds for their share of construction costs. The House chose
not to restore funding for about half of the projects on the suspension list; rather than
funding a suspension account, the committee requested more information on the cost
of suspending these projects. The Senate and conference bills restored funding for
more than two-thirds of the projects proposed for suspension.
Ecosystem Restoration. A significant addition to the Corps’ mission in
recent years is a role in large environmental restoration programs, raising concerns
that funding for these programs could displace funding for other traditional water
resources activities. Many large-scale ecosystem restorations are in the planning
phases or are awaiting congressional authorization; these will require additional
funds as they move into the more cost-intensive construction and implementation
phases. Other restoration activities are taking place in the context of addressing the
environmental and species impacts of previously constructed projects. The FY2006
request would provide $510 million for aquatic ecosystem restoration.
Coastal Louisiana. The conference report provides $10 million for coastal
Louisiana ecosystem restoration studies, which is less than the $20 million requested
by the Administration. The conference report provides $8 million for a
comprehensive coastal hurricane protection study, which had not been included in
the President’s request.
Funding for the investments needed to restore hurricane storm damage
protection to coastal Louisiana for the 2006 hurricane season is being pursued
through reallocation of $1.6 billion of the $62.3 billion in supplemental
appropriations provided by Congress for emergency hurricane response; $250 million
of the $1.6 billion would be for Gulf coastal ecosystem projects that help reduce
storm damage risk. For more information on appropriations for the Corps work
related to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, see CRS Report RS22239, Emergency
Supplemental Appropriations for Hurricane Katrina Relief, by Jennifer E. Lake and
Ralph M. Chite.
Everglades. The Corps plays a significant coordination role in the restoration
of the Central and Southern Florida ecosystem. The President’s request for FY2006
includes $137 million for the Corps’ construction projects in the region, up from
$130 million in the FY2005 request and $121.25 in the enacted FY2004
appropriations in P.L. 108-447. The FY2006 budget request supports the state of
Florida’s efforts to accelerate work on certain projects. The House Appropriations
Committee has provided $137 million for the South Florida Ecosystem Everglades
The $137 million in the House-passed bill would fund Everglades activities that
were previously budgeted separately — the Central and Southern Florida Project, the
Kissimmee River Restoration Project, and the Everglades and South Florida
Restoration Projects — and the Modified Water Deliveries Project ($35 million in
Corps appropriations for FY2006). The addition of the Modified Water Deliveries
Project followed the President’s budget proposal that the project no longer be funded
solely through Department of Interior appropriations.3 The budget request called for
the Corps to broaden its role in the project, by having the agency jointly fund it with
the Department of the Interior. The Administration’s position is that the Corps
should pay for $124 million of the remaining $191 million required to complete the
project during FY2006 through FY2009. This proposal has raised a question: Is the
Corps authorized to receive appropriations to work on the project? According to the
H.Rept. 109-86 the Corps has sufficient authority to receive and expend funds to
proceed with project construction. But according to S.Rept. 109-84, the Senate
Appropriations Committee did not fund the Modified Waters Project because it “does
not believe sufficient current authorization exists for the Corps to fund the work.”
The Senate bill also rejects the consolidation of the Everglades projects together
in one line-item; instead, it provides $77 million for the Central and Southern Florida
project, $13 million for the Kissimmee River project, and $12 million for the
Everglades and South Florida project. It also provides $3 million for a Florida Keys
Water Quality Improvement project. These projects total $105 million.
The conference report also rejects the consolidation of the Everglades projects
into one line-item; instead, it provides $77 million for the Central and Southern
Florida project, $13 million for the Kissimmee River project, and $12 million for the
3 For more information on the Modified Waters Deliveries Project, see CRS Report
RS21331, Everglades Restoration: Modified Water Deliveries Project, by Pervaze A.
Everglades and South Florida project. It also provides $2 million for a Florida Keys
Water Quality Improvement project. The bill also provides $35 million for the
Modified Water Deliveries Projects. These projects total $139 million.
In addition to funding for Corps activities through Energy and Water
Development appropriations, federal activities in the Everglades are funded through
Department of the Interior appropriations bills. For more information on Everglades
funding for Interior agencies, see CRS Report RL32893, Appropriations for FY2006:
Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, coordinated by Carol Hardy-Vincent
and Susan Boren.
Title II: Department of the Interior
For the Department of the Interior, the Energy and Water Development bill
provides funding for the Central Utah Project Completion Account and the Bureau
of Reclamation (BOR).
Table 5. Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Title II: Central Utah Project Completion Account
F Y 2006 House Senat e P.L.
ProgramFY2005RequestH.R. 2419H.R. 2419109-103
Central Utah Project Construction30.631.731.731.731.7
Mitigation and Conservation Activities15.31.01.01.01.0
Oversight & Administration126.96.36.199.71.7
Total, Central Utah Project47.634.434.434.434.4
Source: H.Rept. 109-275.
Table 6. Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Title II: Bureau of Reclamation
F Y 2006 House Senat e P.L.
ProgramFY2005RequestH.R. 2419H.R. 2419109-103
Water and Related Resourcesa852.6801.6832.0899.6883.5
Hydropower Direct Financing Offset — (30.0) — — —
Policy & Administration57.757.957.957.957.9
CVP Restoration Fund (CVPRF)54.6188.8.131.52.2
Calif. Bay-Delta (CALFED) — 35.035.037.037.0
Drought Conditions, NV (emergency)5.0 — — — —
Gross Current Authority969.9916.7977.11,046.71,030.6
F Y 2006 House Senat e P.L.
ProgramFY2005RequestH.R. 2419H.R. 2419109-103
Net Current Authority 923.6872.8933.21,002.8986.7
Total, Title II1,017.6951.11,011.51,081.11,065.0
Source: H.Rept. 109-275
a. Does not include supplemental appropriations of $5M for the Southern Nevada Water Authority authorized by P.L.
b. In its request, the Bureau lists CVPRF Collections as an “offset”; the House Appropriation Committee does not.
Central Utah Project and Bureau of Reclamation:
Budget In Brief
The Administration requested $34.4 million for the Central Utah Project (CUP)
Completion Account for FY2006, a decrease of $13.6 million (28%) from the
FY2005 request and appropriation of roughly $48.0 million. The FY2006 request for
the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) totals $946.7 million in gross current budget
authority. This amount is $23.2 million less than enacted for FY2005. The FY2006
request includes a $43.9 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 $872.8 million for BOR — $51.2 million
less than enacted for FY2005.
The House and Senate bills, and the conference bill (P.L. 109-103), provided
$34.4 million for the CUP Completion Account, the same amount requested. The
House bill provided a total of $977.14 million in gross current budget authority for
FY2006 for BOR. This amount is $7.22 million more than enacted (gross current
budget authority) for FY2005, and $60.4 million more than requested (assuming the
$43.9 million is not treated as an offset, as is done by the House). The Senate bill
provided a total of $1,046.7 million in gross current budget authority for FY2006 for
BOR; the final bill provided $1,030.6 million.
BOR’s single largest account, Water and Related Resources, encompasses the
agency’s traditional programs and projects, including construction, operations and
maintenance, the Dam Safety Program, Water and Energy Management
Development, and Fish and Wildlife Management and Development, among others.
The Administration requested $801.6 million for the Water and Related Resources
Account for FY2006. This amount is $51 million (nearly 6%) less than enacted for
FY2005. The decreases appear to be fairly evenly spread among smaller projects,
with more significant decreases for some larger projects, such as the Central Arizona
Project and the Miscellaneous Project Programs of the Central Valley Project. The
House provided $832 million for the Water and Related Resources Account; the
Senate $899.1 million. The Senate bill provides more funding for certain rural water
supply projects, the Title 16 program, and several projects in southwestern states.
The conference bill provided $833.5 million.
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. The Administration requested $35 million for the California Bay-
Delta Restoration Account (Bay-Delta, or CALFED) for FY2006. According to
BOR, the requested funds will be used for implementation of Stage 1 activities,
including the Environmental Water Account, water use efficiency, conveyance,
ecosystem restoration, storage studies, and program administration. The House
approved $35 million for the CALFED Account and included a breakdown of project
funding within the accompanying House Report (H.Rept. 109-86). The Senate bill
included $37 million for the CALFED Account; however, the Senate Appropriations
Committee Report (S.Rept. 109-84) did not include a breakdown of CALFED project
funding. The final bill also included $37 million for CALFED. (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 Pervaze
Security. The Administration requested $50 million for site security for
FY2006. This amount is roughly $18 million more than enacted for FY2005. 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 and continuing for FY2006, 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. The House Appropriations
Committee for FY2006 acknowledged the long-held practice of assigning annual
O&M costs to project beneficiaries and estimated the collection of $10 million in site
security reimbursement payments. It provided $40 million for site security, which
together with the $10 million in expected collections equals the Administration’s
budget request. The Senate Appropriations Committee provided $50 million for site
security, but directed BOR to provide a report to the committee by May 2007
detailing planned reimbursable and nonreimbursable costs. The committee further
directed the Commissioner not to begin the reimbursement process until Congress
directs him to do so.
The conference bill adopted the House position, including $10 million in
security reimbursements, but the conferees directed BOR to report on planned
reimbursements within 60 days after enactment.
Other Issues. The final bill also included language (Section 205) authorizing
BOR to enter into grants, cooperative agreements, etc., for improvements that will
conserve water, increase water use efficiency, or enhance water management through
measurement or automation at existing projects. The language essentially authorizes
the Bureau’s Water 2025 program, a grant-making program for water conservation
and innovative water management activities. The General Provisions also include
sections directing $95 million to be spent for water flow and restoration efforts
related to the Walker River Basin in Nevada (Section 208), and a study authorization
for updating benefit, cost, and design information related to Auburn Dam in
California (Section 209).
Title III: Department of Energy
Until this year, the Energy and Water Development bill has included funding for
most, but not all, of DOE’s programs; some other DOE programs were funded in the
Interior and Related Agencies bill. Major DOE activities historically funded by the
Energy and Water bill include research and development on renewable energy and
nuclear power, general science, environmental cleanup, and nuclear weapons
The subcommittee reorganization of the appropriations committees transferred
DOE’s programs for fossil fuels, energy efficiency, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve,
and energy statistics, formerly included in the Interior and Related Agencies
appropriations bill, to the Energy and Water Development bill. Including the
transferred programs, the total request for Title III for FY2006 was $24.213 billion,
compared to $24.419 billion appropriated for FY2005 (excluding the adjustments
noted in Table 3). The House Appropriations Committee recommended $24.318
billion, and the House approved that amount in passing H.R. 2419. The Senate
version of H.R. 2419 would have appropriated $25.077 billion. The conference bill,
P.L. 109-103, appropriated $24.290 billion.
In reporting out H.R. 2419, the House Appropriations Committee listed the
transferred programs in Title III so as to integrate them with the existing programs.
In particular, the energy efficiency programs transferred from the Interior bill were
combined with the renewable energy programs in the Energy and Water bill into a
single account, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Supply R&D. The Senate
and the conference followed the same order. In Table 7 below, the Title III programs
are listed in the order presented in the House report.
Table 7. Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Title III: Department of Energy
ProgramFY2005FY2006RequestHouseH.R. 2419SenateH.R. 2419P. L.109-103
Energy Supply & Conservation
Energy Efficiency &1,248.91,200.41,235.81,253.81,185.7
Re ne wa b l e s
Electricity Transmission &120.295.699.9178.1163.5
Distr i b utio n
Environment, Safety, Health27.830.026.030.028.0
Other(6.4) — — 33.533.5
Adjustments30.933.523.5 — —
Total, Energy Supply &1,806.91,749.51,762.91,945.31,831.0
Fossil Energy R&D571.9748.5502.5641.7598.0
Clean Coal Technology(257.0) — — — (20.0)
Naval Petrol. & Oil Shale17.818.518.521.521.5
Elk Hills School Lands72.084.084.084.084.0
Strategic Petroleum Reserve169.7166.0166.0166.0166.0
Northeast Home Heating Oil4.9 — — — —
and Decommissioning Fund
High Energy Physics736.4713.9735.9716.9723.9
Basic Energy Sciences1,104.61,146.01,173.11,241.01,146.0
Bio. & Env. R&D581.9455.7525.7503.7585.7
Fusion 273.9 290.6 296.2 290.6 290.6
Advanced Scientific Computing232.5207.1246.1207.1237.1
Other 276.4 284.4 286.3 329.3 284.3
Ad j ustments (10.7) (5.6) (5.6) (5.6) (5.6)
Total, Science 3,599.93,462.73,666.13,702.73,632.7
ProgramFY2005FY2006RequestHouseH.R. 2419SenateH.R. 2419P. L.109-103
Nuclear Waste Disposal343.2300.0310.0300.0150.0
Departmental Admin. (net)117.5157.0130.9158.0129.8
Office of Inspector General41.243.043.043.042.0
National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Office of Administrator353.4343.9366.9343.9341.9
Other Defense Activities 687.1636.0702.5665.0642.0
Defense Nuclear Waste229.2351.5351.5277.0350.0
Total, Defense Activities16,704.016,399.716,370.716,735.216,380.8
Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs) a
Southeastern5.2 — 184.108.40.206
So uthwestern 29.1 3 .2 30.2 30.2 30.2
Western 171.7 54.0 227.0 240.8 234.0
Falcon & Armistad O&M2.8 — 220.127.116.11
FERC 210.0 220.4 220.4220.4220.4
(revenues) (210.0) (220.4) (220.4) (220.4) (220.4)
Total, Title III 24,419.224,213.324,317.925,077.324,289.9
Source: H.Rept. 109-275.
a. The FY2006 request proposes that PMAs use their electricity receipts to pay for PMA program direction and
O&M activities, rather than having their receipts placed into the Treasury and appropriations made for
these activities. The House and Senate did not follow this procedure.
Key Policy Issues — Department of Energy
DOE is the home of a wide variety of programs with different functions and
missions. In the following pages, the programs are described, and major issues
identified, in approximately the order in which they appear in the budget tables as
listed in Table 7.
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The FY2006 budget request
noted that the “Administration’s energy efficiency and renewable energy programs
have the potential to produce substantial benefits for the nation — both now and in
the future — in terms of economic growth, increased energy security and a cleaner
environment.” In particular, the request aimed to “accelerate” the development of
hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles. The Hydrogen program aims to facilitate
industry commercialization of infrastructure for those vehicles by 2015. Goals for
other energy end-use and production technologies generally seek to improve energy
efficiency and performance while reducing costs.
The Administration’s FY2006 request sought $1,200.4 million for DOE’s
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) programs, which was $48.5
million, or 4%, less than the FY2005 appropriation. The main increases were for
Fuel Cells ($8.7 million), Hydrogen ($5.1 million), and Facilities ($4.9 million). The
main cuts were for Industrial programs (-$18.3 million), Biomass (-$16.0 million),
Advanced Combustion Vehicles (-$8.6 million), Buildings (-$7.5 million), Small
Hydro (-$4.4 million), Clean Cities (-$4.1 million), International Renewables (-$3.4
million), State Energy Program (-$3.2 million), and Tribal Energy (-$1.5 million).
Further, at least $75.9 million in congressional earmarks were to be reprogrammed
or eliminated, including Hydrogen (-$37.6 million), Biomass (-$35.3), and
Intergovernmental (-$3.0 million). See Table 8 below.
For FY2006, the House approved $1,236.8 million for EERE programs. This is
$36.4 million, or 3%, more than the FY2006 request. Subsequently, the Senate bill
included $1,253.8 million, which is $17.0 million more than the House. This
included increases of $32 million for Vehicle Technologies, $6 million for Biomass,
and $5 million for Weatherization. Also, it included decreases of $15 million for
Program Direction, $10 million for Wind, $2.4 million for Industrial Technologies,
and $1 million for International Renewables. Compared with the FY2005
appropriation, the Senate approved $4.9 million, or 0.4%, more for EERE programs.
This included $7.5 million, or 0.8%, less for R&D and $12.5 million more for grants.
Both the House and Senate reports showed about $57 million in congressionally
directed projects (CDPs, or “earmarks”) for EERE projects.
For FY2006, the conference committee approved $1,185.7 million for EERE
programs. This is $63.2 million (or 5%) less than the FY2005 appropriation. R&D
is reduced by $70.3 million, of which the transfer of Distributed Energy Resources
to the new Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) accounts for
$60.6 million. Other changes in R&D include increases of $17.0 million for
Vehicles, $14.9 million for Facilities, and $2.8 million for Buildings; and decreases
of $17.9 million for Industrial Programs, $13.5 million for Hydrogen, and $4.5
million for Small Hydro. Also, Weatherization grants increase by $15.3 million,
whereas State Energy Grants fall by $8.2 million and Gateway Deployment drops by
Many EERE programs contain a sizable amount of funding for congressionally
directed projects. The total amount of EERE earmarks nearly doubles from $85.9
million in FY2005 to $165.6 million in FY2006 (see Table 9).
Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability. The request included $95.6
million for the former Office of Electricity Transmission and Distribution; the House
approved $99.8 million, which was $4.2 million more than the request. Meanwhile,
the new Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) was formed by
merging the former OETD and the Office of Energy Assurance. For OE, the Senate
bill would have appropriated $178.1 million, including $60.6 million for the
Distributed Energy Program, which is transferred from EERE to OE.
Table 8. Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Programs
($ in millions)
ProgramFY2005aFY2006House Senate P.L.
RequestH.R. 2419H.R. 2419109-103
Fuel Cell Technologies74.983.683.683.676.1
Biomass & Biorefinery Systems89.172.286.292.291.6
Distrib. Energy Resources*60.656.656.6 — —
Federal Energy Management18.104.22.168.219.2
Facilities & Infrastructure11.416.316.316.326.3
Intergovernmental 326.5 310.1 321.1 325.1 320.1
— Weatherization Grants224.7225.4235.4240.4240.0
Use of Prior Year Balances(5.3) — — — —
Total Appropriation, EE &RE1,248.91,200.41,236.81,253.81,185.7
Office of Electricity Delivery &120.295.699.8178.1163.5
Energy Reliability (OE)*
Source: H.Rept. 109-275.
*The Senate Committee recommendation moves the Distributed Energy Program from EERE to OE.
Policy Directions in Congressional Reports. The FY2006 House
Appropriations Committee’s report noted that DOE “delayed in meeting legal
deadlines for issuing approximately twenty new and updated” appliance efficiency
standards. Thus the Committee “strongly urges the Secretary to expedite the process,
and requests that the Secretary report to the Committee by December 1, 2005, on
plans to accelerate standards rulemakings, including:
!A timeline for work on issuing the three highest priority standards,
with an explanation for the additional delays announced in
!A plan for addressing the backlog of standards rulemakings that
have missed legal or internal deadlines, including a list of the
affected products and deadlines, timelines for action on each
product, and funding requirements to complete each rulemaking; and
!A description of how the Department will meet the time-frame goals
of the ‘Process Improvement’ rule,4 or of how the process should be
changed so that the Department can meet the goals.”
Additionally, the FY2006 Senate Appropriations Committee’s report gave four
administrative directions. First, the committee noted its support for the National
Academy of Science’s recommendations for hydrogen programs and “requests that
the Department integrate their recommendations into the program.” Second, the
committee “recommends that the Department not expend any funds to support
offshore wind energy research until the Federal rules and permitting requirements are
implemented through legislation.” Third, the committee directed that the Energy
Secretary “consider transferring” certain demand-side management activities from
the Building Technologies program to the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy
Reliability (OE). At minimum, the committee calls for a report to show that
activities under the two programs do not duplicate each other. Fourth, the committee
“directs that the six Regional Offices be consolidated into two locations, the Golden
Field Office and the National Energy Technology Laboratory,” by June 1, 2006.
The Conference Committee’s report language contains three key policy
directives. First, the report contains a list (pp. 143-145, summarized in Table 9
below) of congressionally directed projects and specifies that if these project totals
exceed 20% of a subaccount, DOE is given discretion to “fund these projects within
other Energy Supply and Conservation subaccounts”(p. 138). The rapid growth in
earmarks has raised concerns about staffing at national laboratories, impacts on
certain programs, and the possible need to scale back Government Performance and
Results Act (GPRA) performance targets for some R&D programs. Second, the
report says that full funding is provided for DOE’s six regional offices, but
acknowledging that the Administration does not plan to request funding for these
offices in FY2007, it “directs that the regional offices be consolidated into the Project
Management Center at the Golden (Colorado) Field Office and the National Energy
Technology Laboratory (West Virginia) not later than September 30, 2006.” Third,
the report calls for a “report on appliance efficiency standards as directed in the
Table 9. Congressionally Directed Projects in EERE and OE
($ in millions)
ProgramFY2004FY2005P.L. toPercent of
109-103 F Y 2005 Tot a l
Biomass & Biorefinery41.235.348.813.553%
4 This rule appears in 61 FR 36974. In it, DOE sets a self-imposed goal to complete
rulemakings within three years, including 18 months from Advanced Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking to issuance of a final rule.
ProgramFY2004FY2005P.L. toPercent of
109-103 F Y 2005 Tot a l
Vehicle Technologies — — 29.029.016%
Building Technologies — — 5.45.48%
Distributed Energy1.01.0 — — —
Intergovernmental 5.9 4.2 4.8 0.6 1%
EE & RE Total80.285.9165.679.714%
Office of Electricity
Delivery & Energy28.622.214.171.1243%
Source: DOE Budget Request FY2006; H.Rept. 109-275.
(For more information, see CRS Issue Brief IB10020, Energy Efficiency:
Budget, Oil Conservation, and Electricity Conservation Issues; and CRS Issue Brief
IB10041, Renewable Energy: Tax Credit, Budget, and Electricity Production Issues,
both by Fred Sissine.) See also the DOE website at [http://www.eere.energy.gov/].
Nuclear Energy. For nuclear energy research and development — including
advanced reactors, fuel cycle technology, nuclear hydrogen production, and
infrastructure support — P. L. 109-103 provides $557.6 million, $57.6 million above
the FY2005 appropriation. Of that funding, $137.4 million would come from the
Other Defense Activities and Naval Reactors appropriations accounts, reducing the
nuclear energy program’s net appropriation in the Energy Supply and Conservation
account to $420.2 million.
The Administration had requested $513.8 million for FY2006, of which $123.9
million was from Other Defense Activities. The House raised the Administration’s
total request slightly to $515.1 million, $5.2 million above the FY2005 appropriation.
An additional reimbursement of $13.5 million from the Naval Reactors account
would have left a net appropriation of $377.7 million under Energy Supply and
Conservation. Much of the defense and naval reactors reimbursement covers
defense-related management and security at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL),
which has been transferred to the nuclear energy program from DOE’s environmental
management program. The nuclear energy program is run by DOE’s Office of
Nuclear Energy, Science, and Technology.
The House shifted an $18.7 million uranium disposal program from the nuclear
energy office to the National Nuclear Security Administration, a move agreed to by
the conferees. An amendment adopted at the House Appropriations Committee
markup transferred $10 million from the “Nuclear Power 2010” program (discussed
below) to the “weatherization” assistance program.
The Senate bill included a $60 million boost from the Administration request,
to a total of $573.8 million. The panel approved the proposed $123.9 million under
Other Defense Activities, leaving $449.9 million for Nuclear Energy under Energy
Supply and Conservation.
The final appropriation of $557.6 million includes $10 million in the Advanced
Fuel Cycle Initiative to accelerate design work on an engineering-scale demonstration
of spent nuclear fuel reprocessing technology.
“The benefits of nuclear power as an emissions free, reliable, and affordable
source of energy are an essential element in the Nation’s energy and environmental
future,” 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
Nuclear Power 2010. President Bush’s specific mention of “safe, clean
nuclear energy” in his 2005 State of the Union Address indicated the
Administration’s interest in encouraging construction of new commercial reactors —
for which there have been no U.S. orders since 1978. DOE’s efforts to restart the
nuclear construction pipeline are focused on the Nuclear Power 2010 Program, which
will pay up to half of the nuclear industry’s costs of seeking regulatory approval for
new reactor sites, applying for new reactor licenses, and preparing detailed plant
designs. The program is intended to provide assistance for advanced versions of
existing commercial nuclear plants that could be ordered within the next few years.
The Nuclear Power 2010 Program is helping three utilities seek NRC approval
for potential nuclear reactor sites in Illinois, Mississippi, and Virginia. In addition,
three industry consortia in 2004 applied for a total of $650 million over the next
several years to design and license new nuclear power plants and conduct a feasibility
study. DOE awarded an initial $13 million to the consortia in 2004. The FY2006
budget request included $56.0 million for the program, a 12.9% boost over FY2005.
After the $10 million transfer adopted during Committee markup, the House
approved $46.0 million for Nuclear Power 2010. The Senate bill includes a $20
million increase from the budget request, to $76.0 million. The conference
agreement provides $66.0 million.
The nuclear license applications under the Nuclear Power 2010 program would
test the “one step” licensing process established by the Energy Policy Act of 1992
(P.L. 102-486). Even if the licenses are granted by the Nuclear Regulatory
Commission (NRC), the industry consortia funded by DOE have not committed to
building new reactors. Loan guarantees and tax credits to encourage construction of
new reactors are included in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-58).
Generation IV. Advanced commercial reactor technologies that are not yet
close to deployment are the focus of DOE’s Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems
Initiative, for which $45.0 million was requested for FY2006, about 12.5% above
FY2005. The House approved the same amount, and the Senate bill included a $15.0
million increase from the request, to $60 million. The conference agreement
provides $55 million, of which $40 million is for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant
The Generation IV program is focusing on six advanced designs that could be
commercially available around 2020-2030: 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.
Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative. 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 Administration
requested $70.0 million — 3.8% above the FY2005 level. According to the budget
justification, AFCI will develop and demonstrate nuclear fuel cycles 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 INL.
The House added $5.5 million to the AFCI budget request “to accelerate the
development and selection of a separations technology no later than the end of
FY2007 that can address the current inventories of commercial spent nuclear fuel,
and prepare an integrated spent nuclear fuel recycling plan,” according to the
Appropriations Committee report.
The Senate voted to add $15 million to the budget request, with $10 million for
design of an Engineering Scale Demonstration of Uranium Extraction Technology
(UREX) being developed by DOE’s Savannah River Technology Center.
The conference agreement provides $80 million for AFCI, including $10 million
for the engineering-scale demonstration project. DOE is directed to submit a “spent
nuclear fuel recycling technology plan” to the appropriations committees by next
March 1 and select a preferred reprocessing technology by the end of FY2007.
Nuclear Hydrogen Initiative. In support of President Bush’s program to
develop hydrogen-fueled vehicles, DOE requested $20.0 million in FY2006 for the
Nuclear Hydrogen Initiative, an increase of 124% from the FY2005 level. The House
approved the same amount, and the Senate Appropriations Committee recommended
$30.0 million. The conferees approved $25.0 million. According to DOE’s FY2005
budget justification, “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) — was allocated $25.0
million from DOE’s Generation IV program by the FY2005 omnibus appropriations
conference report. The Senate bill directed that $40 million of the FY2006
Generation IV allocation be used for the NGNP program. In particular, the Senate
Appropriations Committee urged that DOE complete a design competition for the
NGNP by the end of FY2006 so that the reactor could begin operating at INL by
2017. As noted above, the conferees agreed with the Senate’s $40 million allotment
for NGNP from the Generation IV program.
Other Reactor Research. DOE again requested no new funding specifically
for the Nuclear Energy Research Initiative (NERI), which provides grants for
research on innovative nuclear energy technologies. According to the DOE budget
justification, NERI projects will instead be pursued at the discretion of individual
nuclear R&D programs. NERI received an appropriation of $2.5 million for FY2005.
New funding also was not requested for the Nuclear Energy Plant Optimization
program (NEPO), which received $2.5 million in FY2005. NEPO supports cost-
shared research by the nuclear power industry on ways to improve the productivity
of existing nuclear plants. The House agreed to eliminate the funding for both
programs. The Senate bill also provided no separate funding for NERI and NEPO,
but it allocated specific funding for NERI projects within other nuclear energy
programs. The programs are not specifically mentioned in the conference report.
Fossil Energy Research, Development, and Demonstration. The
Bush Administration’s FY2006 budget request of $491.5 million for fossil energy
research and development was 14.1% less than the amount enacted for FY2005
($571.9 million) and 25.4% less than the enacted amount for FY2004 ($659 million).
Major funding categories and amounts included Coal and Other Power Systems
($351.0 million), Natural Gas Technologies ($10.0 million), Oil Technology ($10.0
million), and Program Direction and Management Support ($98.0 million). The
conference agreement supported funding Fossil Energy programs at $598 million,
Funding was higher in all major funding categories: Coal and Other Power systems,
$380 million; Natural Gas Technologies, $33 million; Oil Technology, $32 million;
and Program Direction and Management Support, $107 million. The use of prior-
year balances ($20 million) in the House and Senate reports was rescinded by the
DOE proposed to terminate both the Natural Gas and Oil Technology programs
based on a Program Assessment Rating Tool review which rated both programs
ineffective. Congressional support of Natural Gas and Oil Technology programs has
been significantly higher than the Bush Administration’s request in previous years.
The House would direct the Administration to report to the House and Senate
appropriation committees on a strategic plan that will better articulate its investment
strategy and the successes of the natural gas and petroleum technology programs. The
conference agreement does not support the termination of either program.
The Administration requested $68 million for its Clean Coal Power Initiative
(CCPI), which included $18 million for FutureGen, a project to demonstrate co-
production of electricity and hydrogen from coal with no emissions. According to
DOE’s budget justification, CCPI is a “cost-shared program between the government
and industry to rapidly demonstrate emerging technologies in coal-based power
generation and to accelerate their commercialization.” Nearly $400 million has been
appropriated since FY2002. CCPI is along the lines of the Clean Coal Technology
Program (CCTP), which began in the late 1980s. It has completed most of its projects
and has been subject to rescissions and deferrals since the mid-1990s. CCTP
eventually is to be phased out.
The conference supported funding CCPI and FutureGen at the levels requested
by the Administration. However, while both agree that there is an unused previously
appropriated balance of $257 million from the Clean Coal Technology Program, the
Administration requested to rescind the money and incorporate the funds into the
fossil fuel account for FutureGen activities as an advanced appropriation to be used
in FY2007 and beyond. Instead, the conference agreement supports deferring the
$257 million, while acknowledging that the funds will be used for the FutureGen
program in fiscal years 2007 and beyond (see FutureGen funding schedule in Table
10 below). The conference report also acknowledges that the Administration’s
request for CCPI was “woefully short” of its stated $200 million annual commitment.
The Senate version would have supported $100 million for CCPI Programs in
The Administration’s goal was to increase Coal R&D, other than CCPI and
FutureGen, by 5.9% to $218 million, whereas nearly all other fossil fuel programs
were slated to be cut. Within the Coal R&D, the Administration requested $56.4
million for gasification research in FY2006. The conference funded Coal R&D (other
than CCPI and Future Gen) at $250 million and supported the Administration’s
request for gasification research. This level of increase indicates a greater
commitment by the Administration and Congress to the integrated gasification
combined cycle (IGCC) technology aimed at commercialization. There is sustained
investment in IGCC because of its potential benefits from reduced NOx, SOx,
mercury, and fine particulate matter emissions. Moreover, lower CO2 emissions
through greater plant efficiencies and/or potential sequestration could be substantial.
Funding for DOE’s Carbon Sequestration program will increase significantly, from
$45.4 million in FY2005 to $67 million in FY2006 — nearly the same level as the
Administration’s request. The House would have funded the Carbon Sequestration
program at $50 million, whereas the Senate bill supported the Carbon Sequestration
Program at $74 million.
The Senate bill included spending for Plant and Equipment ($23 million,
primarily for infrastructure improvements at the National Energy Technology Lab)
and Congressionally Directed Projects ($25.1 million), neither included in the
House-passed bill or the Administration request. The conference agreement
supported $20 million for Plant and Equipment.
In its report on the FY2005 funding bill, the House Appropriations Committee
expressed disappointment with the emphasis of the Administration’s request on
funding new, long-term energy research efforts, such as FutureGen, at the expense
of ongoing energy programs that could yield energy savings and emissions reductions
over the next decade. The Committee recommended restoring many of the proposed
reductions for research to improve fossil energy technologies, contending that it
would be “fiscally irresponsible” to discontinue research in which major investments
have been made before that research is concluded.
Table 10. FutureGen Funding Profile
FYDOE DirectOther CashFlowsTotal
2011-2018 159 224 383
Source: U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, FutureGen, Integrated Hydrogen,
Electric Power Production and Carbon Sequestration Research Initiative, March 2004.
Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR),
authorized by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (P.L. 94-163) in late 1975,
consists of caverns formed out of naturally occurring salt domes in Louisiana and5
Texas in which roughly 685 million barrels of crude oil are stored. The purpose of
the SPR is to provide an emergency source of crude oil which may be tapped in the
event of a presidential finding that an interruption in oil supply, or an interruption
threatening adverse economic effects, warrants a drawdown from the reserve. A
Northeast Heating Oil Reserve (NHOR) was established during the Clinton
Administration. NHOR houses 2 million barrels of home heating oil in above-ground
facilities in Connecticut, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.
In mid-November 2001, President Bush ordered that the SPR be filled to
capacity (then 700 million barrels) using royalty-in-kind (RIK) oil. This is oil turned
over to the federal government as payment for production from federal leases.
Acquiring oil for the SPR by RIK avoids the necessity for Congress to make outlays
to finance direct purchase of oil; however, it also means a loss of revenues to the
Treasury in so far as the royalties are paid in wet barrels rather than in cash.
Deliveries of RIK oil began in the spring of 2002 and ended in August 2005 when
the SPR reached 700 million barrels.6 Some policymakers objected to RIK fill,
arguing that this oil should have instead be released to tight markets. The
Administration argued that the volumes involved, varying between 65,000-200,000
barrels per day of deliveries to the SPR, were too small to have any discernible effect
on crude and product prices.
The current program costs for the SPR are almost exclusively dedicated to
maintaining SPR facilities and keeping the SPR in readiness should it be needed.
5 In the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, modest amounts of SPR crude were loaned or
sold. The borrowed oil will be fully restored by May 2006, and the oil sold was 11 million
barrels. At the conclusion of these transactions, the SPR should be restored to roughly 690
6 The capacity of the SPR is measured at 727 million barrels; however, the President’s Order
was issued when the capacity was 700 million barrels and it specified fill to that level.
Congress agreed to a funding level of $174.6 million for the program in FY2005,
including $4.9 million for the NHOR. The Administration request for FY2006 for the
SPR was $166.0 million, a reduction of nearly $4 million from the FY2005
appropriation. No new money was requested for the NHOR in FY2006, owing to the
use of prior-year balances of $5.3 million. Both the House and Senate bills funded
the SPR at the requested level, and this level was adopted by the conferees in their
For more information, see CRS Report RL33341, The Strategic Petroleum
Reserve: History, Perspectives, and Issues, by Robert Bamberger.
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 funder of basic
research and the largest federal funder of research in the physical sciences.7 For
FY2006, DOE requested $3.463 billion for Science, a decrease of 4% from the
FY2005 appropriation of $3.600 billion. The House provided $3.666 billion; the
Senate, $3.703 billion; and the final bill, $3.633 billion. The final figure is $170
million more than the request and an increase of 1% from FY2005.
The requested funding for the largest program, basic energy sciences, was
$1.146 billion, a 4% increase above FY2005. Construction of the Spallation Neutron
Source is expected to be completed in the third quarter of FY2006, so the request for
this facility included less funding for construction but for the first time included the
cost of operations. Operations will also begin at four of the five new Nanoscale
Science Research Centers. (The fifth is still under construction and is expected to
begin operations in FY2008.) Some have expressed concern that operations funding
for these facilities will result in reduced grant funding for other research in the basic
energy sciences program. The House provided an increase of $27 million more than
the request, and the Senate provided an increase of $95 million, but the final bill
provided the requested amount.
The request for fusion energy sciences was $291 million, a 6% increase. 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 FY2006 budget for fusion energy sciences included $50 million
related to ITER and estimated that the total U.S. share of the project will be $1.1
billion through FY2013.
When the FY2006 budget was released, the international partners remained split
on where ITER should be located, a decision that was originally expected in
November 2003. Agreement on a site in France was officially announced on June
28, 2005, which was after the House passed H.R. 2419 and after the Senate
committee reported it, but three days before the bill was passed by the Senate.
7 Based on 2004 data from Tables C-29 and C-22 of National Science Foundation, Division
of Science Resources Statistics, Federal Funds for Research and Development: Fiscal Years
The House provided an increase of $6 million over the request, and directed that
this $6 million plus $29 million of the funding requested for ITER should be devoted
to U.S.-based fusion research. As in previous years, the House report directed DOE
to fund ITER out of additional resources, not through reductions in the domestic
program, and expressed its preparedness to eliminate future U.S. funding for ITER
if this is not done. A floor amendment by Representative Boehlert, chairman of the
House Science Committee, added a provision (Sec. 504) that would have delayed an
international agreement on U.S. funding for ITER until March 1, 2006. The Senate
bill included the requested amount for fusion energy sciences, but reduced ITER
funding by $28 million to pay for increased facility operating time (see below). The
conference agreement provided the requested amount, included language similar to
that of the House report regarding funding ITER out of additional resources, and
called for a study of the program by the Government Accountability Office, but it did
not include the language of the Boehlert amendment. During House debate on the
conference report, Representative Boehlert stated, “I will do everything in my power
to kill the ITER project if there is not an agreement by March that the domestic
fusion program has to be scaled back to pay for ITER.”
All four of the other Office of Science programs were reduced in the FY2006
request. The request for high-energy physics was $714 million, down 3%; biological
and environmental research was $456 million, down 22%; nuclear physics was $371
million, down 8%; advanced scientific computing research was $207 million, down
11%. Most of the decrease for biological and environmental research corresponded
to the completion of congressionally directed one-time projects.
The House restored high-energy physics to its FY2005 level of $736 million;
increased biological and environmental research by $70 million, including $35
million for “congressionally directed university and hospital earmarks”; restored
nuclear physics to $408 million, slightly above the FY2005 level; and increased
advanced scientific computing research by $39 million to support development of a
leadership-class supercomputer. The Senate bill increased high-energy physics and
nuclear physics by $3 million and $49 million respectively to increase facility
operating time (see below); increased biological and environmental research by $48
million, mostly to accelerate the Genomes to Life program (a total of $51 million for
48 congressionally directed projects would come from within available funds); and
provided the requested amount for advanced scientific computing research. The
conference agreement provided $724 million for high-energy physics; $586 million
for biological and environmental research, including $130 million for 161
congressionally directed projects (which superseded the ones in the House and Senate
reports); $371 million for nuclear physics; and $237 million for advanced scientific
The FY2005 appropriations conference report (H.Rept. 108-792) encouraged
DOE “to request sufficient funds for the Office of Science in FY2006 to operate user
facilities for as much time as possible.” For the facilities funded by four of the six
Science programs, the FY2006 budget request included “a reduction in operating
hours due to funding limitations.” The major facilities of the basic energy sciences
program will be capable of operating for users for a total of 32,200 hours in FY2006,
but the budget request stated that only a total of 28,800 hours are scheduled. The
Tevatron complex at Fermilab, funded by the high-energy physics program, will be
capable of operating for 4,800 hours, but is scheduled for only 4,560. The four
facilities of the nuclear physics program will be capable of operating for a total of
22,765 hours, but are scheduled for only a total of 14,695. The three fusion energy
sciences facilities will be capable of operating for a total of 3,000 hours, but are
scheduled for only 680. In each of these cases, the difference between optimal hours
and scheduled hours was less in FY2005 than was requested in the FY2006 budget.
The House increases for basic energy sciences, fusion energy sciences, and
nuclear physics included $20 million, $14 million, and $32 million respectively for
maintaining facility operating time at FY2005 levels. The Senate bill provided a total
of $100 million to restore operating time to optimal levels: $20 million in basic
energy sciences, $28 million in fusion energy sciences, $49 million in nuclear
physics, and $3 million in high-energy physics. The conference agreement did not
mention the operating time issue.
Nuclear Waste Disposal. DOE’s Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste
Management (OCRWM) is responsible for developing a nuclear waste repository at
Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for disposal of nuclear reactor spent fuel and defense-
related high-level radioactive waste. OCRWM’s funding comes from two
appropriations accounts: the Nuclear Waste Disposal account, for which DOE
requested $300 million, and Defense Nuclear Waste Disposal, with a request of
$351.4 million. Appropriations under the Nuclear Waste Disposal account come
from the Nuclear Waste Fund, which holds disposal fees paid by nuclear utilities.
OCRWM’s total budget request of $651.4 million was about 14% above the
FY2005 level but only about half the amount that the FY2005 budget justification
said would have been needed to open the Yucca Mountain repository by DOE’s
previous goal of 2010. Upon releasing the budget request, program officials
announced that the repository’s opening would be delayed at least two years and that
a Yucca Mountain license application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
would be delayed as well.
Because of those delays, the House raised the waste program’s funding by $10
million, to $661.4 million, so that OCRWM could begin moving spent fuel from
nuclear reactor sites to “centralized interim storage at one or more DOE sites within
FY2006,” according to the House Appropriations Committee report. Possible sites
named by the committee include Hanford, WA; Idaho National Laboratory; and
Savannah River, SC.
Members from states named as potential nuclear waste storage sites raised
concerns about the report language during the floor debate. Representative Hobson,
chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, assured
Representative Otter that the report language would not affect a DOE agreement with
the State of Idaho prohibiting commercial spent fuel storage at Idaho National
Laboratory. The Chairman also entered into a colloquy with Representative Spratt
to clarify that the report language would not modify provisions in the Nuclear Waste
Policy Act that limit DOE interim storage facilities.
The Senate bill provided $300 million under Nuclear Waste Disposal and $277
million under Defense Nuclear Waste Disposal, for a total of $577 million — nearly
the same as the previous two fiscal years. The Senate panel’s report did not include
any language on interim storage of spent fuel, and several Senators reportedly
criticized the House report language during committee markup.8
The conference agreement provides $500 million for nuclear waste disposal —
$150 million from the Nuclear Waste Fund and $350 million from the Defense
Nuclear Waste Disposal Account. Of the defense waste funding, $50 million is
provided for DOE to develop a spent nuclear fuel recycling plan, in conjunction with
the technology development plan required under the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative.
The detailed program plan is to be submitted by March 31, 2006, and a “site selection
competition” for an integrated reprocessing facility is to begin by June 30, 2006. A
reprocessing site is to be selected in FY2007 and construction to begin in FY2010.
“The site competition should not be limited to DOE sites, but should be open to a
wide range of other possible federal and nonfederal sites on a strictly voluntary
basis,” according to the conference report. Applicants for a reprocessing facility can
receive up to $5 million per site, up to a total of $20 million, to prepare detailed
For FY2005, the Administration’s budget request for the nuclear waste program
had assumed that Congress would enact legislation to offset most of the program’s
spending with revenue from the waste fees paid by nuclear power plants. As a result,
the FY2005 net appropriation request was only $131 million, significantly less than
the previous year’s appropriation. However, Congress did not approve the funding
offset proposal, and congressional appropriators then had to work to find additional
appropriations for the nuclear waste program to prevent a large budget cut. For
FY2006, the Administration again proposed that nuclear waste funding be offset by
fees, but the budget request did not assume the proposal would be enacted and
therefore included full funding through appropriations.
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.
If the repository opened in 2012 (which currently appears unlikely), DOE would
begin taking waste from plant sites nearly 15 years later than the Nuclear Waste
Policy Act deadline of January 31, 1998. 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
8 Hiruo, Elaine. “Senate FY-06 Bill Report Takes Technical View of Waste Management.”
NuclearFuel. June 20, 2005. p. 1.
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
More controversy erupted in March 2005 with the release of e-mail messages
from Yucca Mountain scientists that indicated that some of their data and
documentation may have been fabricated. The House Appropriations Committee
report cited all those problems as reasons for establishing a DOE interim storage
program. (For more information, see CRS Report RL33461, Civilian Nuclear Waste
Disposal, by Mark Holt.)
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
within DOE that Congress established in the FY2000 National Defense
Authorization Act (P.L. 106-65, Title XXXII). It seeks to maintain the safety and
reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile.
Stockpile stewardship consists of all activities in NNSA’s Weapons Activities
account. The three main elements of stockpile stewardship, described next, are
Directed Stockpile Work (DSW), Campaigns, and Readiness in Technical Base and
Facilities (RTBF). Table 11 presents funding for these elements. NNSA manages
two programs outside of Weapons Activities: Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation,
discussed later in this report, and Naval Reactors.
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.
Table 11. Funding for Weapons Activities
F Y 2006 House Senat e
ProgramFY2005RequestH.R. 2419H.R. 2419P.L. 109-103
DSW 1,346.1 1,421.0 1,283.7 1,458.8 1,386.2
Campaigns 2,304.8 2,080.4 1,911.7 2,098.0 2,144.6
RT BF 1,657.1 1,631.4 1,610.9 1,696.3 1,647.9
Other a 1,028.6 1,497.3 1,374.9 1,301.2 1,255.3
Total 6,331.6 6,630.1 6,181.1 6,554.4 6,433.9
Sources: H.Rept. 109-86, S.Rept. 109-84, H.Rept. 109-275.
Note: Details may not add to totals due to rounding.
a. Includes Secure Transportation Asset, Nuclear Weapons Incident Response, Facilities and
Infrastructure Recapitalization Program, Environmental Projects and Operations, Safeguards
and Security, and several adjustments.
The FY2006 request includes data from NNSA’s Future Years Nuclear Security
Program (FYNSP), which projects the budget and components through FY2010 (see
Table 12. NNSA Future Years Nuclear Security Program
F Y 2006 F Y 2007 F Y 2008 F Y 2009 F Y 2010
DSW 1,421.0 1,459.3 1,487.5 1,516.2 1,545.4
Campaigns 2,080.4 2,034.7 2,043.9 2,027.7 2,027.7
RT BF 1,631.4 1,745.5 1,817.1 1,915.8 2,000.1
Other a 1,497.3 1,540.8 1,573.0 1,617.6 1,688.4
T otal 6,630.1 6,780.4 6,921.4 7,077.2 7,261.6
Source: U.S. Department of Energy. Office of Management, Budget, and Evaluation/CFO.
Department of Energy FY 2006 Congressional Budget Request. Volume 1, National Nuclear Security
Administration. DOE/ME-0046, February 2005, p. 54.
Note: Details may not add to totals because of rounding.
a. Includes Secure Transportation Asset, Nuclear Weapons Incident Response, Facilities and
Infrastructure Recapitalization Program, Environmental Projects and Operations, Safeguards
and Security, and several adjustments.
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 FY2006 DSW request would
support life extension programs for three nuclear warheads: B61 (gravity bomb),
W76 (for Trident I and II submarine-launched ballistic missiles), and W80 (for cruise
missiles). It would fund surveillance and maintenance for nine warhead types, some
work on retired warheads, and some management and technology work not linked to
a specific warhead.
The FY2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act reduced DSW to $1,346.1
million, from $1,406.4 million requested. Probably the most noticed provisions were
elimination of the $27.6 million request for the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator
(RNEP), and transfer of the $9.0 million request for the Advanced Concepts Initiative
(ACI) to a new program, Reliable Replacement Warhead. Congress debated RNEP
and ACI in the FY2004 and FY2005 budget cycles; in addition, the Senate debated
RNEP in the FY2006 budget cycle.
RNEP is a study of the cost and feasibility of modifying existing nuclear bombs
to enable them to penetrate into the ground before detonating, thereby magnifying
their effect on a buried target. (See CRS Report RL32130, Nuclear Weapon
Initiatives: Low-Yield R&D, Advanced Concepts, Earth Penetrators, Test Readiness,
by Jonathan Medalia, and CRS Report RL32347, “Bunker Busters”: Robust Nuclear
Earth Penetrator Issues, FY2005 and FY2006, by Jonathan Medalia.) RNEP’s
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.
Congressional concern about RNEP arose in part because the FY2005 NNSA
request projected $484.7 million for the program for FY2005-FY2009. While RNEP
was a study, this figure was provided in response to a congressional requirement that
five-year costs be included in the budget request. The figure represented a projection
based on experience with other programs, DOE indicated. It was not possible to
provide a more precise number until the cost and feasibility study was completed.
Further, the figure projected the cost based as if the program were to progress beyond
a study into development, although moving the program beyond the study stage
would have required an Administration decision and congressional approval.
For FY2006, NNSA requests $4.0 million for the RNEP study, projects another
$14.0 million for FY2007, and then projects no further funds. (The Department of
Defense (DOD) budget includes an additional $4.5 million for RNEP for FY2006,
mainly for linking RNEP to the B-2 bomber. The Energy and Water bill does not
deal with DOD programs, so it does not address DOD’s RNEP request.) NNSA
funds would be used to complete the study. H.R. 2419 as passed by the House
deletes all NNSA funds for RNEP. The bill as reported by the Senate Appropriations
Committee recommends $4.0 million. On June 30, the Senate rejected an
amendment by Senator Feinstein to delete all RNEP funds from the Energy and
Water bill, 43-53, and subsequently passed the bill, 92-3. In late October, while the
energy and water conference was underway, NNSA dropped its request for RNEP
funding. In response, the conference report provides no funds for that program.
ACI was controversial in the FY2005 budget cycle. Critics claimed that its
purpose was to develop a low-yield “mini-nuke” that would make nuclear weapons
more usable; supporters responded that NNSA 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 omnibus bill
provided no funds for ACI; instead, the conference report stated that “the same
amount is made available for the Reliable Replacement Warhead [RRW] program
to improve the reliability, longevity, and certifiability of existing weapons and their
components.” The Administration requested no funds for ACI for FY2006.
NNSA requested $9.4 million for RRW for FY2006. It stated that the program
“is to demonstrate the feasibility of developing reliable replacement components that
are producible and certifiable for the existing stockpile” and to initially provide
replacement pits (first-stage cores) “that can be certified without Underground
Tests.” It projected these amounts: FY2007, $14.8 million; FY2008, $14.4 million;
FY2009, $29.6 million; and FY2010, $29.0 million. The out-year figures simply
transfer the funds planned for ACI to RRW; the short time, less than two months,
between enactment of the FY2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act and the
submission of the FY2006 budget request did not allow preparation of a detailed
five-year budget for RRW. H.R. 2419 as passed by the House included $25.0 million
for RRW; the bill as passed by the Senate included $25.4 million. The conference
bill provides $25.0 million. (See CRS Report RL32929, Nuclear Weapons: The
Reliable Replacement Warhead Program, by Jonathan Medalia.)
Although RRW is a small program in relation to the total NNSA budget, the
House Appropriations Committee, in its report, views it as enabling many large
changes: transitioning the nuclear weapons complex “from a large, expensive Cold
War relic into a smaller, more efficient modern complex;” allowing “long-term
savings by phasing out the multiple redundant Cold War warhead designs that require
maintaining multiple obsolete production technologies;” “obviat[ing] any reason to
move to a provocative 18-month test readiness posture” by increasing warhead
reliability and reducing the need to test; permitting a reduction in Advanced
Simulation and Computing funds by redirecting them to current warhead
maintenance programs pending initiation of RRW; and supporting other changes and
budget decisions as well. The Senate Appropriations Committee’s report (S.Rept.
109-84) states that the recommended funding increase for RRW is “to accelerate the
planning, development and design for a comprehensive RRW strategy that improves
the reliability, longevity and certifiability of existing weapons and their components.”
The conference report emphasizes that RRW design work “must stay within the
military requirements of the existing deployed stockpile” and any design “must stay
within the design parameters validated by past nuclear tests.” Other goals that the
conference report sets for RRW are improving manufacturing practices, reducing
cost, and increasing performance margins to support a reduction in stockpile size.
In other actions on DSW, H.R. 2419 as passed by the House includes a
Sustainable Stockpile Initiative that would include an RRW implementation plan,
nuclear weapons complex reconfiguration, consolidation of fissile material that might
be used in weapons, and accelerated warhead dismantlement. The bill raises funding
for dismantlement by $75.0 million, to $110.3 million. The bill as passed by the
Senate provides $15.0 million for dismantlement. The conference bill provides $60.0
million for dismantlement under DSW.
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 FY2006, 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 FY2005 omnibus bill contained $2,304.8 million for Campaigns, vs.
$2,393.8 million requested. Conferees expressed concern over a slip in the target
date, from 2010 to 2014, for achieving ignition with the National Ignition Facility
(NIF; see below), and directed several studies on this topic. Conferees also focused
on the Pit Manufacturing and Certification Campaign, which is working to produce
“pits” (the fissile core of the primary stage of nuclear weapons) and to certify them
for use in the stockpile. Congress provided $130.9 million, vs. $132.0 million
requested, for W88 pit manufacturing. Congress reduced funds for the Modern Pit
Facility (MPF), a proposed manufacturing facility to become operational around
2021, from $29.8 million requested to $6.9 million, and barred use of funds to select
a construction site for MPF in FY2005.
For FY2006, NNSA requested $2,080.4 million for Campaigns, vs. $2,304.8
million appropriated for FY2005. Many items within Campaigns have significance
for policy decisions. As one example, the Science Campaign’s goals include
improving the ability to assess warhead performance without nuclear testing,
improving readiness to conduct tests should the need arise, and maintaining the
scientific infrastructure of the nuclear weapons laboratories. H.R. 2419 as passed by
the House reduces funds for Campaigns; the bill as passed by the Senate provides a
slight net increase. The conference bill contains $2,144.6 million.
H.R. 2419 as passed by the House eliminates MPF funds until “capacity
requirements tied to the long-term stockpile size are determined” and “until the long-
term strategy for the physical infrastructure of the weapons complex has incorporated
the Reliable Replacement Warhead strategy.” The bill as passed by the Senate
provides the amount requested for MPF, $7.7 million. The conference bill provides
no funds for MPF. Conferees directed NNSA to focus on improving manufacturing
capability at a facility (TA-55) at Los Alamos National Laboratory, currently used to
produce pits on a small scale.
The test readiness posture — the time between a presidential order to resume
testing and the conduct of the test — has been controversial. In FY2004, the defense
authorization conference report called for a posture of at most 18 months, while the
energy and water conference report called for 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
18-month readiness posture.” The FY2005 omnibus conference report did not
address the topic, and for FY2006 NNSA requested $25.0 million for Test Readiness,
part of the Science Campaign, “to continue improving the state of readiness to reach
an 18-month test-readiness posture in FY2006.” H.R. 2419 as passed by the House
reduces Test Readiness from $25.0 million to $15.0 million. The committee
continues to oppose the 18-month readiness posture and added RRW to its rationale
for that position. The bill as passed by the Senate provides $25.0 million for test
readiness. The conference bill provides $20.0 million for test readiness, a reduction
of $5.0 million; at the same time, it increases by $5.0 million the funds for subcritical
experiments (experiments using high explosives and fissile material configured so
as not to support a nuclear chain reaction), which are held only at Nevada Test Site.
The Engineering Campaign includes the Enhanced Surveillance Program (ESP),
for which NNSA requests $96.2 million for FY2006. This program seeks to develop
“predictive capabilities for early identification and assessment of stockpile aging
concerns ... to give NNSA a firm basis for determining when systems must be
refurbished.” It is of interest to Congress because it is conducting experiments to
determine the service life of pits based on plutonium aging characteristics; the result
will bear on a decision to build MPF. H.R. 2419 as passed by the House reduces ESP
to $76.0 million. The bill as passed by the Senate provides $111.2 million for ESP.
“Funding increases will enable the development and implementation of these new
[surveillance] techniques, and improving their readiness for RRW and the sustainable
stockpile.” The conference bill provides $100.2 million for ESP.
According to NNSA, the Inertial Confinement Fusion and High Yield Campaign
“is to develop laboratory capabilities to create and measure extreme conditions ...
approaching those in a nuclear explosion, and conduct weapons-related research in
these environments.” A key part of this campaign is the National Ignition Facility
(NIF), a partly completed facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory that
is already the world’s most powerful laser. For FY2006, NNSA requests $141.9
million for NIF construction, and H.R. 2419 as passed by the House contains that
sum. The Senate Appropriations Committee notes that the planned five-year budget
projection for Weapons Activities in the FY2006 request is reduced by $3.0 billion
compared to the FY2005 request, and directs that no funds be expended on NIF
construction “in order to focus on supporting a comprehensive stewardship program.”
The conference bill provides the requested amount for NIF construction.
Readiness in Technical Base and Facilities (RTBF). This program
provides infrastructure and operations at the nuclear weapons complex sites. The
FY2005 omnibus bill provided $1,657.1 million for RTBF, vs. $1,474.5 million
requested. RTBF has six subprograms. By far the largest is Operations of Facilities
($1,112.6 million appropriated for FY2005, $1,160.8 million requested for FY2006).
Others include Program Readiness, which supports activities occurring at multiple
sites or in multiple programs ($105.4 million appropriated for FY2005, $105.7
million requested for FY2006), and Material Recycle and Recovery, which recovers
plutonium, enriched uranium, and tritium from weapons production and disassembly
($86.3 million appropriated for FY2005, $72.7 million requested for FY2006).
Construction is a separate category within RTBF; the FY2005 appropriation was
$275.1 million, and the FY2006 request is $243.0 million.
H.R. 2419 as passed by the House reduces RTBF to $1,610.9 million from an
FY2006 request of $1,631.4 million. It increases Operations of Facilities by $44.0
million, adding funds to maintain the Y-12 and Pantex Plants. The bill funds most
other RTBF elements at the level requested. A key exception was eliminating $55.0
million requested for a Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Facility Replacement
(CMRR) at Los Alamos to delay construction until DOE “determines the long-term
plan for developing the responsive infrastructure required to maintain the nation’s
existing nuclear stockpile and support replacement production anticipated for the
RRW initiative.” The bill as passed by the Senate provides $1,696.3 million for
RTBF. The largest change is an increase of $39.7 million in Operations of Facilities.
The Senate bill provides $65.0 million for CMRR. The conference bill provides
$1,647.9 million for RTBF, including $55.0 million for CMRR.
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 FY2005
appropriation was $199.7 million, and the FY2006 request is $212.1
million. H.R. 2419 as passed by the House and by the Senate
provides the amount requested, as does the conference bill.
!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. The FY2005 appropriation
was $98.4 million, and the FY2006 request is $118.8 million. H.R.
2419 as passed by the House and by the Senate provides the amount
requested, as does the conference bill.
!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 FY2005
appropriation was $313.7 million, and the FY2006 request is $283.5
million. H.R. 2419 as passed by the House provides $250.5 million.
The bill as passed by the Senate provides $261.8 million. The
conference bill provides $150.9 million, with no explanation of the
!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.
Safeguards and Security is a major concern for NNSA. Ambassador
Linton Brooks, Administrator of NNSA, stated to the Senate Armed
Services Committee on April 4, 2005, “We must now consider the
distinct possibility of well-armed and competent terrorist suicide
teams seeking to gain access to a warhead in order to detonate it in
place. This has driven our site security posture from one of
‘containment and recovery’ of stolen warheads to one of ‘denial of
any access’ to warheads. This change has dramatically increased
security costs for ‘gates, guns, guards’ at our nuclear weapons sites.”
The FY2005 appropriation was $751.6 million. The FY2006 request
was $740.5 million. H.R. 2419 as passed by the House provided
$825.5 million, the bill as passed by the Senate provided the
requested amount, and the conference bill provides $805.5 million.
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 (NNSA).
Funding for these programs in FY2005 was $1.422 billion. For FY2006, the
Administration requested $1.637 billion. H.R. 2419 as passed by the House
contained $1.501 billion. The Senate version of H.R. 2419 would have appropriated
$1.729 billion. P.L. 109-103 appropriated $1.631 billion.
In May 2004, DOE consolidated a number of programs — those aimed at
repatriating fresh and spent fuel containing highly enriched uranium (HEU) from
research reactors around the world supplied by the United States and Russia, and
converting reactors that use HEU fuel to operate on low-enriched uranium — into a
single Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI) within the Defense Nuclear
Nonproliferation Program. Most of the funding for GTRI was redirected from
Nonproliferation programs, but some came from Defense Environmental
Management programs. DOE said that the target for completion of the program was
2010, and that it would be funded at about $450 million. Funding for GTRI in
FY2005 was calculated by DOE at $93.8 million. The request for FY2006 was $98.0
million. H.R. 2419 as passed by the House would have funded the program at $112.0
million; the Senate bill, $109.0 million. P.L. 109-103 appropriated $98.0 million.
Table 13. DOE Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Programs
ProgramFY2005FY2006RequestHouseH.R. 2419 SenateH.R. 2419P.L.109- 103
Nonproliferation & Verification R&D224.0272.2335.2310.2322.0
Nonproliferation & Internationalb 91.380.275.890.075.0
International Materials Protection,b294.7343.4428.4343.4427.0
Control and Accounting (MPC&A)
Russian Transition Initiativesa40.737.930.350.940.0
Elimination of Weapons-Grade44.0132.0197.0152.0176.2
HEU Transparency Implementation20.820.520.520.519.5
Fissile Materials Disposition613.1653.1301.7653.1473.5
Global Threat Reduction Initiativeb93.898.0112.0109.098.0
Total 1,422.1 1,637.2 1,501.0 1,729.1 1,631.2
Source: H.Rept. 109-275.
a. DOE proposed changing the program name to Global Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention. The House
Appropriations Committee did not agree to the change, but the Senate Appropriations Committee did. P.L. 109-
103 kept the previous name.
b. GTRI funding redirected from other programs, primarily Nonproliferation and International Security and MPC&A.
The Nonproliferation and Verification R&D program, which received $224
million for FY2005, would have been funded at $272.2 million in the
Administration’s FY2006 request. The House-passed H.R. 2419 raised the level to
$335.2 million. The Senate bill included $310.2 million. The final bill appropriated
$327.0 million. Nonproliferation and International Security programs would have
received $80.2 million in the request, compared with $91.3 million in FY2005. The
House bill included $75.8 million, the Senate bill $90.0 million. The final bill
appropriated $75.0 million. These programs include international safeguards, export
controls, and treaties and agreements. A major part of funding for the new GTRI
came from the Nonproliferation and International Security programs.
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 $343.4 million under the President’s
request, compared to $294.7 million appropriated for FY2005. H.R. 2419 as passed
by the House included $428.4 million. The Senate bill would have appropriated
$343.4 million. P. L. 109-103 funds MPC&A at $422.0 million.
Two programs in the former Soviet Union, Initiatives for Proliferation
Prevention (IPP) and the Nuclear Cities Initiatives (NCI), were combined for FY2005
into a single program called “Russian Transition Initiative,” aimed at finding
nonweapons employment for roughly 35,000 underemployed nuclear scientists from
the former Soviet weapons complex. The FY2005 appropriation for the program was
$40.7 million. For FY2006, $37.9 million was requested; DOE renamed the program
“Global Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention,” to reflect expansion of the work to
include retraining and redirection of scientists and technicians from other than the
former Soviet Union. The House Appropriations Committee did not agree with the
name change and reduced funding to $30.3 million. The Senate Appropriations
Committee went along with the name change, raised funding to $50.9 million, and
urged DOE to continue the program in Russia and expand it beyond the former
Soviet Union. The conference bill appropriated $40.0 million and retained the
Requested funding for the Fissile Materials Disposition program for FY2006
was $653.1 million, compared with $613.1 million in appropriated for FY2005. 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 Appropriations Committee cut funding for the Savannah River facility
sharply, citing delays in agreement with Russia over the program. Total funding for
fissile materials disposition in H.R. 2419 as passed by the House would have been
$301.7 million. The Senate version of the bill would have funded the program at the
requested $653.1 million level. P.L. 109-103 appropriated $473.5 million.
Environmental Management and Cleanup. 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 the federal government conducted civilian nuclear energy research. As such,
DOE’s Environmental Management program is the largest waste management and
environmental cleanup program throughout the federal government, with an annual
budget of around $7 billion in recent years. In comparison, annual funding for the
cleanup of 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.
As signed into law, the conference agreement on H.R. 2419 provides a total of
$6.66 billion in FY2006 for DOE’s Environmental Management program. The
FY2006 appropriation is $627 million less than the $7.28 billion enacted for FY2005.
Although funding is reduced relative to FY2005, the conference amount is $151
million more than the Administration’s request of $6.51 billion. Defense sites have
traditionally received most of the funding within the Environmental Management
program. Of the amount provided for FY2006, $6.19 billion is allocated to a new
Defense Environmental Cleanup account, $353 million to a new Non-Defense
Environmental Cleanup account, and $562 million to the existing Uranium
Enrichment Decontamination and Decommissioning (D&D) Fund. Although the
total appropriation for these three accounts is $7.11 billion, this amount is offset by
$451 million from the federal contribution to the Uranium Enrichment D&D Fund
provided within the Defense Environmental Cleanup account, yielding a total
FY2006 program appropriation of $6.66 billion. See the table below for
appropriations by account.
As proposed by the House and the Senate, the conference agreement merges
certain accounts that fund the Environmental Management program to form the new
defense and nondefense accounts noted above. The accounts for Defense Site
Acceleration Completion and Defense Environmental Services are merged into one
Defense Environmental Cleanup account to provide a single source of funding for
cleanup at former nuclear weapons sites. Most of the $627 million reduction relative
to FY2005 is within this new account, discussed below. The accounts for Non-
Defense Site Acceleration Completion and Non-Defense Environmental Services are
merged into one Non-Defense Environmental Cleanup account to provide a single
source of funding for the cleanup of civilian nuclear energy research sites. As in past
years, the conference agreement continues a separate account for the Uranium
Enrichment D&D Fund, which supports the cleanup of uranium enrichment plants
and uranium and thorium processing sites. The Administration had requested
funding for FY2006 under the existing account structure, and did not propose any
accounting changes similar to that in the conference agreement.
Most of the $627 million reduction below the FY2005 appropriation is within
the Defense Environmental Cleanup account. As noted in the table below, overall
funding for cleanup at four major sites is reduced, including the Savannah River site
in South Carolina, the Idaho National Laboratory, and the Hanford site in the State
of Washington. The decline in funding for sites scheduled for closure in 2006 is
mostly due to the completion of “physical” cleanup at Rocky Flats.9 The conference
report indicates that a portion of the reduction at the Savannah River site is because
of “unresolved seismic issues” that have delayed construction of a salt waste
processing facility to treat high-level radioactive waste removed from underground
storage tanks. The conference report also reduces prior year balances for this project
by $20 million because of these construction delays.
Table 14. Environmental Management Program Appropriations
Defense Environmental Cleanup
2006 Closure Sites$1,105.8$1,008.6$1,028.6
Savannah River Site$1,311.4$1,229.1$1,170.6
Waste Isolation Pilot Plant$225.4$212.6$230.6
9 Kaiser-Hill Company, the contractor for the accelerated cleanup of Rocky Flats, announced
in October 2005 that “physical” cleanup of the site was complete. Completion of the
cleanup is subject to determination by DOE that the contractor has completed all of the work
specified under the contract. The adequacy of the cleanup to protect human health and the
environment is subject to certification by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Long-term maintenance of remedial actions and monitoring of Rocky Flats likely will
continue for many years subsequent to the completion of the physical cleanup work,
necessitating some continued funding in the future.
Idaho National Laboratory$540.6$531.7$538.2
Oak Ridge Reservation$279.9$186.6$240.8
Office of River Protection
Waste Treatment Plant (WTP)$684.5$625.9$526.0
Tank Farm Activities$364.7$302.4$329.5
Total Office of River Protection$1,049.2$928.3$855.5
Other Site Cleanup$921.8$749.7$780.7
Federal Payment to Uranium D&D Fund a$459.3$451.0$451.0
NNSA and Nevada off-site b$322.1$145.1$302.5
Safeguards and Security$262.9$287.2$287.2
Use of Prior Year Balances$-32.5$0.0$0.0
Total Defense Environmental Cleanup$6,808.3$6,015.1$6,192.4
Non-Defense Environmental Cleanup$439.6$349.9$353.2
Uranium D&D Fund $495.0$591.5$562.2
Uranium D&D Fund Offset c$-459.3$-451.0$-451.0
Total Environmental Management$7,283.6$6,505.5$6,656.8
a. D&D = Decontamination and Decommissioning.
b. The reduction in the Administration’s request for this activity was due to the proposed transfer of
seven sites from DOE’s Environmental Management program to NNSA. The conferees rejected
the Administration’s proposal and reinstated the funding for these sites within DOE’s
Environmental Management program. However, the conferees did approve the Administration’s
proposal to fund the disposal of newly generated waste at two sites within the NNSA’s accounts.
c. Traditionally, the annual federal payment to the Uranium D&D Fund within the Defense
Environmental Cleanup account is treated as an offset with respect to the total Environmental
Management program funding level.
The conference report attributes a portion of the decrease at the Hanford site to
delays in construction of the Waste Treatment Plant (WTP). The purpose of this
facility is to “vitrify” high-level radioactive waste removed from underground storage
tanks. Vitrification involves the solidification of this waste and encasing it in glass
logs for permanent storage in a geologic repository, such as Yucca Mountain.
Although FY2006 funding for the WTP is less than appropriated for FY2005, as
noted in the table above, the conference report indicates that $98 million remains
available from FY2005 that could be used in FY2006. In reference to construction
delays, the conferees commented that DOE “needs better control and oversight of the
scope, cost and schedule of this project,” and directed DOE to report to the
Appropriations Committees by December 1, 2005, on the “actions taken to rectify the
management failures of this project” and to report quarterly on the status of this
project beginning in 2006.
Regarding Hanford, the conferees also noted their concern about DOE’s efforts
to prevent contaminants from migrating through groundwater into the Columbia
River, which is a source for drinking water and agricultural irrigation across the
Pacific Northwest. DOE reports that more than 270 billion gallons of groundwater
covering an underground area of over 80 square miles at Hanford is contaminated at
levels that exceed federal drinking water standards. Members of Congress, states,
and communities have expressed ongoing concern regarding the risk to human health
and the environment posed by the migration of this contamination into the river. The
conferees noted that current technology used in “several remedies is not performing
satisfactorily, and there is lack of new technologies to address contamination issues.”
In response to this concern, the conference agreement provides $10 million for
assessing the migration of groundwater contamination into the Columbia River and
for introducing new technologies to protect water quality.
The conferees did not approve DOE’s proposed transfer of seven sites within
the Environmental Management program to the National Nuclear Security
Administration (NNSA).10 Instead, the conferees increased funding above the request
to continue support for these responsibilities within the existing programmatic
structure. However, as the Administration proposed, the conference agreement does
not provide funding within the Environmental Management program for the
continued disposal of waste at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California
and at the Y-12 site in Tennessee, which is newly generated as a result of activities
conducted by the NNSA. Rather, funding for the disposal of newly generated waste
at these two sites is provided in the NNSA’s accounts.
Cleanup Status. In addition to debate over annual appropriations, there have
been many longstanding issues associated with DOE’s Environmental Management
program. Much attention has focused on the resources and time needed to clean up
environmental contamination, and to manage and dispose of radioactive and other
hazardous wastes. To date, there are 114 geographic sites within the Environmental
Management program (including the seven sites that DOE proposed for transfer to
the NNSA), which were contaminated from nuclear weapons production or civilian
nuclear energy research. According to DOE, all response actions were complete at
76 of these sites as of the end of FY2003. Congress had appropriated approximately
$70 billion through FY2003 for cleanup and site closure since the Environmental
Management program was established in FY1989. DOE expects cleanup to be
complete at three additional sites by the end of FY2005, and at seven additional sites
by the end of CY2006, yielding a total of 86 of the 114 sites with cleanup complete.
Efforts to Accelerate Cleanup. Although cleanup is projected to be
complete at many of the remaining sites within a decade, cleanup at the most
contaminated sites is not expected to be complete until 2035. DOE’s most recent
estimate of future costs to complete its planned waste disposal and cleanup activities
10 These sites include (1) Nevada Test Site, (2) Sandia National Laboratory, (3) Separation
Process Research Unit, (4) Kansas City Plant, (5) Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Livermore Site, (6) Lawrence Livermore Laboratory Site 300, and (7) Pantex. In addition,
operation of the low-level waste disposal site at the Nevada Test Site and newly generated
waste management at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Y-12 site were also
proposed for transfer from the Environmental Management program to the National Nuclear
Security Administration within DOE.
is $95 billion from FY2004 through final site closure in 2035. This is a substantially
lower estimate than in past years, as a result of cost and time savings DOE expects
from its cleanup reform initiative. DOE launched this initiative in FY2003 and
signed letters of intent with the Environmental Protection Agency and the states to
accelerate cleanup at its major sites. DOE also prepared Performance Management
Plans for many of its sites, which outlined how cleanup would be accelerated and
In developing its plans to accelerate cleanup, DOE established baselines for the
completion of its planned waste disposal and remedial actions, reflecting defined
scope, costs, and schedules. According to DOE, its goals of faster and less costly
cleanup are being accomplished through awarding competitive contracts,
renegotiating existing contracts with performance-based incentives, working with
regulators on more efficient technical and regulatory approaches, deploying
innovative technologies, and coordinating with stakeholders and regulators to better
define “end states” (i.e., the intended condition or use of each site once cleanup is
complete). However, the reductions in costs and time frames resulting from DOE’s
planned acceleration of cleanup are merely estimates. Actual costs and time frames
could differ depending on numerous factors, such as the regulatory approval of
actions that DOE wishes to take in the future and the adequacy of these actions to
protect human health and the environment over the long term.
Questions have been raised as to how DOE would accomplish its goals of faster
and less costly cleanup without weakening environmental protection. Some have
contended 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.
The conferees noted their continued interest in DOE’s cleanup acceleration
efforts, specifically whether DOE is meeting its cleanup goals at sites scheduled for
completion by 2006, 2012, and 2035, respectively. The conferees requested that DOE
submit a “milestone” report twice a year to the House and Senate Appropriations
Committees by March 1 and September 1 of each year. Milestones typically are
individual cleanup actions to be completed by a specific date, which DOE, EPA, and
the states have agreed would fulfill applicable regulatory requirements. As described
by the conferees, this new report would track accelerated cleanup milestones at
individual sites, indicate whether milestones are being met, and include estimates of
annual funding needs and total “life-cycle” costs to complete cleanup. The House
Appropriations Committee had requested a similar milestone report in its report on
H.R. 2419. The Senate Appropriations Committee did not request such a report but
commented that DOE has “succeeded in making significant progress” in accelerating
cleanup and encouraged DOE “to continue [to] keep the remaining sites on track.”
In addition to language in committee reports on the FY2006 appropriations bills,
Members also expressed concern about cleanup progress at a hearing held by the
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on November 15, 2005. Although
Members complimented DOE for its efforts to accelerate cleanup at certain sites,
such as Rocky Flats, they also commented that improvements could be made in
increasing the pace of cleanup and lowering costs at other sites, such as Hanford.
Disposal of Tank Wastes. One of the more controversial issues regarding
DOE’s cleanup acceleration initiative has been how to dispose of radioactive and
chemical wastes stored in underground tanks at the Hanford site, the Savannah River
site, and the Idaho National Laboratory. For FY2005, DOE requested $350 million
for a “High-Level Waste Proposal” account to prepare for the classification and
treatment of some of the tank wastes as “incidental to reprocessing” and to eventually
dispose of it as low-level waste or transuranic waste. Of the $350 million request,
$249 million would have been for “operating expenses” mostly associated with
removal of the liquid tank waste. The remaining $101 million would have been for
the construction of three facilities to treat the liquid waste that would be removed
from the storage tanks and to process it to separate out the high-level waste for
The most contentious element of DOE’s proposal was to leave some of the
waste in the tanks, and to dispose of it as low-level waste by mixing and
immobilizing it with a cement-like “grout” to seal it in place. 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.
Among the chief concerns was the possibility that the grout might not mix thoroughly
with the residual waste to contain it safely and prevent leaks. However, others
asserted that there would be limited environmental and public health risk benefit to
be gained by removing all of the waste from the tanks. There also were concerns that
removal of all of the waste would be technically difficult, pose a significant health
and safety risk to the workers, and be very costly.
After considerable debate, the 108th Congress included authority in the Ronald
W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for FY2005 (P.L. 108-375) for DOE
to classify some of the tank wastes at the Savannah River site and the Idaho National
Laboratory as other than high-level waste, and to dispose of some of the tank waste
by grouting it in place if certain conditions are met. However, the authority was not
extended to Washington State, where most of the tank waste is located at the Hanford
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.)
Congress did not create a separate account for DOE’s High-Level Waste
Proposal in FY2005. However, with the above authority, Congress appropriated
$292 million out of the former Defense Site Acceleration Completion account for
activities needed to reclassify and treat tank wastes at the Savannah River site and the
Idaho National Laboratory in preparation of grouting the residual wastes in place.
Congress did not allocate any of this funding for tank waste reclassification at
Hanford, as the above authority was not extended to Washington State. Instead,
other funds were allocated for ongoing tank waste activities at Hanford.
The Administration’s FY2006 request did not include a line-item for a High-
Level Waste Proposal account, as it did for FY2005. Although DOE planned to close
one tank at the Idaho National Laboratory in FY2006 with the new waste
reclassification authority, the Administration’s request did not specify the amount of
funding for the closure of this tank. It also did not specify the amount of waste in the
tank that may be reclassified and grouted in place. The conference agreement did not
specify the amount of funding for the closure of this tank either.
The FY2006 request did specify nearly $84 million for the construction of three
waste treatment facilities at the Idaho National Laboratory and the Savannah River
site, which were included in DOE’s original request for the High-Level Waste
Proposal account in FY2005. These facilities would be necessary for DOE to process
the waste removed from the tanks prior to grouting any residual waste that may
remain upon closure. The conference agreement provides $45 million for these three
construction projects, including
!$9.2 million for project engineering and design for the Sodium
Bearing Waste Treatment Facility at the Idaho National Laboratory,
the same as the Administration requested;
!$35.3 million for project engineering and design for the Salt Waste
Processing Facility at the Savannah River site, $31 million more
than the Administration’s request of $4.3 million; and
!$500,000 for construction of the Salt Waste Processing Facility at
the Savannah River Site, $69.5 million less than the
Administration’s request of $70 million. As noted earlier, the
significant reduction in funding is due to construction delays as a
result of “unresolved seismic issues.”
Office of Legacy Management. Related to the Environmental Management
program, the conference agreement provides almost $79 million for DOE’s Office
of Legacy Management, about the same as requested, and slightly more than the
enacted FY2005 amount of $77 million. Of the FY2006 appropriation, $45 million
is allocated to former defense sites and related activities, and nearly $34 million is
allocated to nondefense 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 functions of the Office of Legacy Management are to
monitor and maintain remedial actions over the long-term once cleanup is complete,
to ensure protection of human health and the environment, and to manage the
pensions and benefits of former contractor personnel who performed the cleanup.
DOE previously administered these responsibilities under multiple elements of its
Environmental Management program.
Power Marketing Administrations. DOE’s four Power Marketing
Administrations (PMAs) — Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), Southeastern
Power Administration (SEPA), Southwestern Power Administration (SWPA), and
Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) — were established in response to the
construction of dams and multi-purpose water projects operated by the Bureau of
Reclamation and the Army Corps of Engineers. In many cases, conservation and
management of water resources — including irrigation, flood control, recreation or
other objectives — were the primary purpose of federal projects. However, these
facilities often generated electricity to meet project needs; PMAs were established
to market the excess power.
Priority for PMA power is extended to “preference customers,” which include
municipal utilities, co-ops and other “public” bodies. The PMAs sell power to these
entities “at the lowest possible rates” consistent with what they describe as “sound
business practice.” The PMAs are responsible for covering their expenses and for
repaying debt and the federal investment in the generating facilities. Their rates are
the focus of considerable discussion, and the FY2006 Administration request
included a recommendation that Congress raise PMA rates to “market rates.” The
House rejected this proposal in its Energy and Water appropriations bill. It is not
mentioned in the conference report, and no related legislation has been introduced in
the 109th Congress. (For more information see CRS Report RL32798, Power
Marketing Administrations: Proposals for Market-Based Rates, by Kyna Powers.)
The FY2006 Administration request for the PMAs ($57.1 million) was sharply
down from FY2005 levels ($208.8 million) — a reduction of 72.6%. This reflects
a reduction of $117.8 million for WAPA and $26.0 million for Southwestern. Net
appropriations for Southeastern, budgeted at roughly $5.2 million in FY2005, would
be eliminated altogether. However, the Administration’s request offset these
reductions by allowing SEPA, SWPA, and WAPA to credit a portion of their
revenues to their appropriation accounts as offsetting collections for program and
operating expenses. The House and Senate both rejected this proposal and instead
provide appropriations for these activities.
The House-passed bill included $265.5 million for PMAs — a $56.7 million
increase from FY2005 appropriations. This appropriation includes $5.6 million for
SEPA, $30.2 for SWPA, and $227.0 million for WAPA. The Senate bill included
$279.2 million for PMAs — $11.1 million more than the House. This appropriation
includes $5.6 million for SEPA, $30.2 million for SWPA, and $240.8 million for
WAPA. P.L. 109-103 appropriated $5.6 million for SEPA, $30.2 million for SWPA,
$234.0 million for WAPA, and $2.7 million for Falcon and Amisted, for a total PMA
appropriation of $272.5 million. (For more information see CRS Report RS22080,
Power Marketing Administrations; Offsetting Collections in the President’s FY2006
Budget Proposal, by Kyna Powers.)
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 did not request additional borrowing
authority in FY2006, and none was provided by the House, Senate, and conference
report. BPA intends to use $487 million of its borrowing authority in FY2006, up
from $432 million in FY2005, for generation and transmission services,
conservation, energy efficiency, fish and wildlife, and capital equipment programs.
As recommended by the Senate, the conference report prohibits further BPA
funding for the Fish Passage Center, which collects and analyzes data on fish
movements in the Columbia and Snake rivers and requires that its functions be
transferred to other existing entities.
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 15. Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Title IV: Independent Agencies
F Y 2006 House Senat e P.L.
ProgramFY2005RequestH.R. 2419H.R. 2419109- 103
Appalachian Regional Commission65.565.538.565.565.5
Nuclear Regulatory Commission664.9 701.7 714.3742.7742.7
Net NRC128.1 134.6 134.6136.6118.0
Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety20.122.022.022.022.0
Nuclear Waste Technical Review126.96.36.199.63.6
Delta Regional Authority6.06.06.012.012.0
Total 289.3 234.3 207.3 306.7 271.1
Source: H.Rept. 109-86; S.Rept. 109-84; H.Rept. 109-275.
Key Policy Issues — Independent Agencies
Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission
(NRC) requested a total budget of $701.7 million for FY2006, including $8.3 million
for the NRC inspector general’s office. The enacted bill provides a total of $742.7
million, about 11.7% above the FY2005 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 House approved a $21 million increase over the NRC budget request, to
$722.7 million, for additional regulation of the security of spent fuel at nuclear
reactor sites. The House Appropriations Committee report cited spent fuel security
risks found by a 2004 study by the National Academy of Sciences and expressed
dissatisfaction with NRC’s response so far. The additional funding was intended “for
the NRC to perform the necessary technical analyses and award the contracts to
respond to the NAS safety and security recommendations.”
The Senate Appropriations Committee agreed with the House’s $21 million
increase for spent fuel pool security and provided an additional $20 million for
licensing of new nuclear power plants, for a total of $742.7 million. The Committee
called for NRC to get ready to process three to five applications for new commercial
reactors during the next two years. The conferees agreed with the proposed $41
million in additional spending.
For all homeland security activities, NRC’s FY2006 budget request included
$61.0 million, a 2% increase over FY2005. NRC oversees force-on-force security
exercises at nuclear plants and is requiring revised 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 and Mark Holt.)
To begin reviewing an anticipated DOE license application for a national
nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, NRC requested $69.1 million
— a slight increase over FY2005 but more than double the FY2004 level. The
budget request also included safety testing of full-scale casks for transporting nuclear
waste by rail and by truck. Because funding was cut for the DOE repository program,
the conferees reduced NRC’s repository licensing request to $46.1 million.
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 permanently extended a requirement that 90%
of NRC’s budget be offset by fees on licensees. Not subject to the offset is the $46.1
million from the Nuclear Waste Fund to pay for waste repository licensing and
another $2 million for DOE defense waste oversight. That amount plus 10% of the
remaining $695 million leaves a net appropriation of $118.0 million.
Denali Commission. The main difference between the FY2006 request for
Title IV programs and the amount appropriated for FY2005 is a sharp reduction in
funding for the Denali Commission, a regional economic development agency
established in 1998. The Administration’s proposed reduction is typical. FY2004
funding for the commission was $54.7 million; for FY2005 the Administrationth
requested $2.5 million, and the House bill, H.R. 4614 (108 Congress) did not fund
it at all, but the omnibus appropriations act, P.L. 108-447, appropriated $66.5
million. For FY2006, the House-passed H.R. 2419 included the requested $2.6
million. The Senate bill would have appropriated $67 million. P.L. 109-103
appropriated $50 million.
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 IB10020. Energy Efficiency: Budget, Oil Conservation, and
Electricity Conservation Issues, by Fred Sissine.
CRS Issue Brief IB88090. Nuclear Energy Policy, by Mark Holt and Carl Behrens.
CRS Report RL33461. Civilian Nuclear Waste Disposal, by Mark Holt.
CRS Report RS20702. South Florida Ecosystem Restoration and the Comprehensive
Everglades Restoration Plan, by Nicole T. Carter and Pervaze A. Sheikh.
CRS Report RS20569. Water Resource Issues in the 109th 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 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 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.
CRS Report RS21442. Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Vehicle R&D: FreedomCAR and the
President’s Hydrogen Fuel Initiative, by Brent D. Yacobucci.
CRS Report RL32543. Energy Saving Performance Contracts, by Anthony Andrews.
CRS Report RS22080. Power Marketing Administrations: Offsetting Collections in
the President’s FY2006 Budget Proposal, by Kyna Powers.