Energy and Water Development: FY2009 Appropriations
Energy and Water Development:
Updated October 6, 2008
Carl E. Behrens, Coordinator,
Anthony Andrews, David M. Bearden,
Nicole T. Carter, Mark Holt, Nic Lane,
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_
Energy and Water Development:
The Energy and Water Development appropriations bill provides funding for
civil works projects of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), the Department of the
Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), the Department of Energy (DOE), and a
number of independent agencies.
Key budgetary issues involving these programs include
!the distribution of Corps appropriations across the agency’s
authorized planning, construction, and maintenance activities (Title
!support of major ecosystem restoration initiatives, such as Florida
Everglades (Title I) and California “Bay-Delta” (CALFED) (Title
!a proposal by the Bush Administration to eliminate funding for
DOE’s Weatherization program for low income homes (Title III,
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy);
!the Administration’s request for funding of DOE’s Reliable
Replacement Warhead (RRW) nuclear weapons program, which
Congress declined to fund for FY2008 (Title III, Nuclear Weapons
!funding for the proposed national nuclear waste repository at Yucca
Mountain, Nevada (Title III: Nuclear Waste Disposal); and
!the Administration’s proposed Global Nuclear Energy Partnership
to supply plutonium-based fuel to other nations (Title III: Nuclear
In considering the FY2009 budget, both the House and the Senate
Appropriations Committees voted to report out an Energy and Water Development
appropriations bill. However, neither bill reached the floor in either house. On
September 24, 2008, the House passed H.R. 2638, the Consolidated Security,
Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009, which continued
appropriations for Energy and Water Development, among other programs, at the
FY2008 level (with some exceptions) until March 6, 2009. The bill passed the Senate
September 27 and was signed by the President September 30 (P.L. 110-329).
Key Policy Staff for Energy and Water Development
Area of ExpertiseNameTelephoneE-Mail
Corps of EngineersNicole Carter7email@example.com
Bureau of ReclamationNic Lane7firstname.lastname@example.org
Solar and RenewableFred Sissine7email@example.com
Nuclear EnergyMark Holt7firstname.lastname@example.org
Science ProgramsDaniel Morgan7email@example.com
Nuclear WeaponsJonathan Medalia7firstname.lastname@example.org
Nonproliferation andCarl Behrens7email@example.com
DOE EnvironmentalDavid Bearden7firstname.lastname@example.org
Power MarketingNic Lane7email@example.com
Bonneville PowerNic Lane7firstname.lastname@example.org
Fossil Energy ResearchAnthony Andrews7email@example.com
Strategic PetroleumRobert Bamberger7firstname.lastname@example.org
Energy ConservationFred Sissine7email@example.com
Budget DataCarol Glover firstname.lastname@example.org
Division abbreviations: RSI = Resources, Science, and Industry; FDT = Foreign Affairs, Defense, and
Trade; KSG = Knowledge Services Group.
Most Recent Developments..........................................1
Title I: Army Corps of Engineers......................................3
Key Policy Issues — Corps of Engineers...........................5
Hurricane Katrina Repairs and Coastal Louisiana Restoration.......5
Project Backlog and Performance Budgeting....................5
Operation and Maintenance (O&M) Funding Approaches..........6
Title II: Department of the Interior....................................7
Central Utah Project and Bureau of Reclamation: Budget In Brief........8
Key Policy Issues — Bureau of Reclamation........................9
San Joaquin River Restoration Fund..........................10
Water for America........................................11
Title III: Department of Energy......................................11
Key Policy Issues — Department of Energy........................14
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)...............14
Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.....................18
Fossil Energy Research, Development, and Demonstration........23
Strategic Petroleum Reserve................................26
Nuclear Waste Disposal....................................29
Nuclear Weapons Stockpile Stewardship......................31
Nonproliferation and National Security Programs................41
Power Marketing Administrations............................49
Title IV: Independent Agencies......................................51
Key Policy Issues — Independent Agencies........................51
Nuclear Regulatory Commission.............................51
For Additional Reading............................................52
Table 1. Status of Energy and Water Development Appropriations, FY2009...1
Table 2. Energy and Water Development Appropriations, FY2002 to FY2009..3
Table 3. Energy and Water Development Appropriations Summary..........3
Table 4. Energy and Water Development Appropriations Title I: Army
Corps of Engineers.............................................4
Table 5. Energy and Water Development Appropriations Title II: Central
Utah Project Completion Account.................................7
Table 6. Energy and Water Development Appropriations Title II:
Bureau of Reclamation..........................................8
Table 7. Energy and Water Development Appropriations Title III:
Department of Energy.........................................12
Table 8. Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Programs..............16
Table 9. Fossil Energy Research and Development......................25
Table 10. Funding for Weapons Activities.............................31
Table 11. NNSA Future Years Nuclear Security Program.................32
Table 12. DOE Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Programs...............42
Table 13. Environmental Management Program Appropriations............45
Table 14. Office of Legacy Management Appropriations.................49
Table 15. Energy and Water Development Appropriations Title IV:
Energy and Water Development:
Most Recent Developments
The Administration’s request for funding Energy and Water Development
programs for FY2009, submitted in February 2008, totaled $31.209 billion, compared
to $30.998 billion appropriated for FY2008. The House Appropriations Committee
approved a bill June 25 that would have appropriated $33.811 billion for these
programs. The Senate’s bill, S. 3258, reported by the Appropriations Committee July
On September 24, 2008, the House passed H.R. 2638, the Consolidated
Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009, which
continued appropriations for Energy and Water Development, among other programs,
at the FY2008 level (with some exceptions) until March 6, 2009. The bill passed the
Senate September 27 and was signed by the President September 30 (P.L. 110-329).
Table 1. Status of Energy and Water Development Appropriations, FY2009
Re por t P assage Re por t P assage Re por t LawHouse Senate H ouse Senate
*Continuing resolution funding programs at FY2008 level until March 6, 2009.
The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development
marked up its bill on June 17, 2008. The full Appropriations Committee approved
the bill on June 25 and released the draft report of the subcommittee, along with the
text of two amendments adopted by the full committee. However, neither the bill nor
the report has been assigned a number yet. The figures for the House bill in this
update of the CRS report are based on the draft report and the printed amendments.
The Senate Appropriations Committee reported out S. 3258 on July 14. The Senate
figures in this update are derived from the report on that bill, S.Rept. 110-416. (See
The continuing resolution (Division A of P.L. 110-329) funds these programs
at the FY2008 rate. Special provisions mandate a 3.9% increase in pay rates for
employees (Sec. 142), and an additional $250 million for DOE’s weatherization
program (Sec. 130: see “Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy” in Title III,
below). Sec. 104 prohibits the use of funds to initiate or resume any project or
activity for which funds were not available during FY2008. This provision applies
to DOE’s Reliable Replacement Warhead program, for which no funding was
appropriated for FY2008. DOE had requested $10 million for the program for
FY2009, but both the House and the Senate bills would have eliminated the program.
(See “Nuclear Weapons Stockpile Stewardship: Directed Stockpile Work,” below.)
Sec. 129 of the continuing resolution appropriates $7.51 billion to implement
Sec. 136 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-140),
providing $25 billion in direct loans to automakers and parts suppliers to build new
plants or modify existing plants to produce higher fuel efficiency vehicles and parts.
This section requires the Department of Energy (DOE) to issue an interim final rule
on the loan program within 60 days of enactment (by November 29, 2008).
Automakers and some lawmakers have stated their desire for DOE to fully
implement the program as soon as possible, and to begin issuing loans under the
program soon after the 60-day deadline. However, in an exchange of letters with
House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman John Dingell, Secretary of
Energy Samuel Bodman stated that, “ ... [I]t would take six to 18 months or more,
after necessary funds are appropriated, before any section 136 loans could be issued
and funds dispersed.” Bodman’s letter cited statutory requirements under the
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Congressional Review Act as
specific reasons for the extended implementation period.1
Division B of P.L. 110-329, the Disaster Relief and Recovery Supplemental
Appropriations Act, 2008, appropriated $2,776.8 million for the Corps for
emergencies and for southeast Louisiana projects. (See Title I, Army Corps of
The Energy and Water Development bill includes funding for civil works
projects of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), the Department of the
Interior’s Central Utah Project (CUP) and Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), the
Department of Energy (DOE), and a number of independent agencies, including the
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Appalachian Regional Commission
Table 2 includes budget totals for energy and water development appropriations
enacted for FY2002 to FY2009.
1 Bodman, Samuel W. Letter to The Honorable John D. Dingell, dated September 24, 2008.
Table 2. Energy and Water Development Appropriations,
FY2002 to FY2009
(budget authority in billions of current dollars)
FY02 FY03 FY04 FY05 FY06 FY07 FY08 FY09c
25.2 26.1 26.7 30.2a 36.7b 29.4 30.9 30.9
Note: Figures represent current dollars, exclude permanent budget authorities, and reflect rescissions.
a. For FY2005 and later, total includes DOE programs formerly funded in the Interior and Related
Agencies appropriations bill and transferred to the Energy and Water Development
b. Includes $6.6 billion in emergency funding for the Corps of Engineers.
Table 3 lists totals for each of the bill’s four titles. It also lists the total of
several scorekeeping adjustments. These figures were not available for the House
bill or for S. 3258.
Table 3. Energy and Water Development Appropriations Summary
Title I: Corps of Engineers$5,587.1$4,741.0$5,331.0$5,300.0
Title II: CUP & BOR1,150.9786.3957.51,126.8
Title III: Department of Energy24,489.125,917.927,217.427,016.7
Title IV: Independent Agencies281.3268.0305.7323.5
E&W Subtotal 31,508.431,713.233,811.633,767.0
Adj u stme nts ( 510.1) (511.3) NA NA
Sources: Administration FY2009 budget request; House Appropriations Committee draft report; S.Rept. 110-416.
Note: Details may not add to totals due to rounding.
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 FY2008-FY2009. Accompanying these tables is a
discussion of the key issues involved in the major programs in the four titles.
Title I: Army Corps of Engineers
The President requested $4.741 billion for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
civil works activities; it was less than the budget request of $4.871 billion for
FY2008 and an 18% decrease from the $5.586 billion in FY2008 enacted
appropriations. The House Appropriations Committee recommended a FY2009
budget of $5.331 billion, an 11% increase over the President’s request and a 5%
decrease from FY2008 enacted funding. The Senate Appropriations Committee
recommended $5.300 billion, which is $559 million over the President’s request, and
$287 million before FY2008 enacted funding.
Funding for the Corps’ civil works program is often a contentious issue between
the Administration and Congress, with final appropriations typically providing more
funding than requested, regardless of which political party controls the White House
and Congress. The policy debate between Congress and the Administration on the
level of funding and the priorities for the agency’s civil works continued with the
FY2009 appropriations process. The House and Senate reports indicate support for
a higher level of investment in the water infrastructure, including its planning, than
the Administration’s budget.
Generally around 85% of the appropriations for the agency is directed to
specific projects. Often Congress will direct funding to projects not included in the
Administration’s request. Consequently, the agency’s funding is often part of the
debate over earmarks and congressionally requested items.
Table 4. Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Title I: Army Corps of Engineers
ProgramFY2008b cRequestdHouseS. 3258Conf.
Investigations and Planning$167.2$91.0$142.9$166.0
Rescission — — (1.9)e —
Construction 2,289.3 1,402.0 2,070.0 2,004.5
Mississippi River & Tributaries387.4240.0278.0365.0
Operation and Maintenance (O&M)2,243.62,475.02,300.02,220.0
Regulatory 180.0 180.0 180.0 183.0
FUSRAP a 140.0 130.0 140.0 140.0
Flood Control & Coastal Emergencies0.040.040.040.0
Office of the Asst. Secretary of the Army4.56.05.04.5
Total Title I5,587.14,741.05,331.05,300.0
Sources: FY2009 Budget Request, House Appropriations Committee draft report; S.Rept. 110-416.
Note: The sum of line items may not match the total due to rounding.
a. “Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program.”
b. The Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-252) provided funds for 2008 disasters and for improving
New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which are in addition to supplemental funds provided in
FY2005, FY2006, and FY2007. The $604.5 million in funds for 2008 emergencies, most notably Midwest
flooding in June, were distributed across several accounts: $61.7 million for Construction, $17.6 million for
Mississippi River and Tributaries, and $298.3 million for Operation and Maintenance, and $226.9 million for
Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies. The Katrina-related funds included $2,835 million for Hurricane Katrina
related construction in the New Orleans area, and $2,962 million for the Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies
account for work in coastal Louisiana.
c. The Disaster Relief and Recovery Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-329) provided $2,776.8 million
in funds for emergencies and for southeast Louisiana projects. Of the $1,538.8 million for the Construction
account, $1,500.0 million is to be used to cover the nonfederal cost share for southeast Louisiana projects and
$38.8 million for emergency repairs cased by natural disasters. The $82.4 million for the MR&T account is for
dredging and repairs of federal projects in response natural disasters. The $740.0 million for O&M is for dredging
and repair of Corps projects related to natural disasters, The $415.6 million for the FC&CE account is for
emergency operations, eligible repairs and other natural disaster response activities.
d. The FY2009 request reflects a transfer of certain activities from the Corps construction account to its O&M account.
The House Committee on Appropriations has rejected this proposal. The figures in the “House” column reflect
e. The Committee recommendation reflects a rescission of $1.9 million appropriated in P.L. 110-161.
Key Policy Issues — Corps of Engineers
Hurricane Katrina Repairs and Coastal Louisiana Restoration. The
Corps is responsible for much of the repair and fortification of the hurricane
protection system of coastal Louisiana, particularly in the greater New Orleans area.
To date, most of the Corps’ work on the region’s hurricane protection system has
been funded through $14.3 billion in emergency supplemental appropriations, not
through the annual appropriations process. In addition to the post-hurricane
emergency repairs, these funds are being used for construction of levees, floodwalls,
storm surge barriers, and pump improvements to reduce the hurricane flooding risk
to the New Orleans area to a 100-year level of protection (i.e., protection against a
storm surge of an intensity that has 1% probability of occurring) and to restore and
complete hurricane protection in surrounding areas to previously authorized levels
of protection by 2011.
Of the $14.3 billion, $7.3 billion was provided in FY2008 supplementals. The
Administration included in its FY2009 budget a request for $5.8 billion in emergency
supplemental funds to complete these construction activities and for related purposes.
The request said the $7 billion in previously appropriated funds were insufficient to
complete these activities because of increased costs, improved data on costs, and
other factors. The Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-252) provided
the requested $5.8 billion. As proposed by the Administration and enacted in P.L.
110-152, the State of Louisiana would be responsible for $1.3 billion as its
nonfederal cost-share contribution for the work. Subsequently in the Disaster Relief
and Recovery Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-329), Congress
provided $1.5 billion to cover the state’s share.
The Administration also proposed as part of its FY2009 budget request
legislative language to consolidate the authorities for Corps hurricane protection
projects in the New Orleans area into a single project. Consolidation would allow
for the hurricane protection activities funding to be managed systematically, rather
than on a project-by-project basis. Although neither P.L. 110-252 nor P.L. 110-329
provides this authority, they provide for flexibility in the expenditure and
reprogramming of the funds for southeast Louisiana activities.
Project Backlog and Performance Budgeting. Prior to enactment of the
$23 billion Corps authorization bill — the Water Resources Development Act
(WRDA, P.L. 110-114) — in November 2007, estimates of the backlog’s size had
varied from $11 billion to more than $60 billion, depending on which projects were
included. The backlog raises policy questions, such as whether there is a disconnect
between the authorization and appropriations process. The Administration developed
a performance-based budgeting approach in order to identify which projects from the
pool of authorized projects to include in its budget. For example, the
Administration’s request limited the number of new activities started to only two
planning activities, and targeted projects nearing completion. The President’s request
would fund 79 construction projects, of which 12 are anticipated to be completed in
FY2009. Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees included funding
for numerous projects not included in the President’s request.
Operation and Maintenance (O&M) Funding Approaches. Unlike
previous budget requests, the FY2009, FY2008, and FY2007 requests did not specify
the amount that individual Corps projects would receive for Operation and
Maintenance (O&M). Instead, the Administration’s request would have divided the
country into regions and specified O&M funding for each region by six different
categories of activities — commercial navigation, flood and coastal storm damage
reduction, environment, hydropower, recreation, and water supply. The FY2009
request divides the nation into 54 river systems. Congress did not adopt the regional
approach in its FY2008 funding for the Corps’ O&M; instead, the conference report
specified amounts for individual projects and directed the Corps to prepare integrated
O&M budgets for four regions — the Ohio River, the Great Lakes, the Texas coast,
and the California coast. Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees’
report for the FY2009 appropriations reiterated their support for a more systematic
and regional approach for operation and maintenance budgeting. However, they
chose not to adopt the Administration’s approach due to the absence of a regional
analysis of how the amounts for each of the 54 systems were derived.
The earmark debate also has attracted attention to the Operation and
Maintenance account. Unlike for the FY2007 and FY2008 requests, the Corps
provided no estimates of how much individual projects within each of the 54 systems
would receive in FY2009, until requested by congressional committees. Attempts
by Congress to specify O&M amounts for individual projects may be considered
congressionally directed since no amounts appear in the President’s request.
Everglades. The Corps plays a significant coordination role in the restoration
of the Central and Southern Florida ecosystem. The President requested $185
million for FY2009. The agency received $131 million for FY2008 Everglades
restoration activities in the omnibus report language; the FY2008 budget request had
been $162 million. In addition to funding for Corps activities through Energy and
Water Development appropriations, federal activities in the Everglades also are
funded through Department of the Interior appropriations bills. Concerns regarding
the level of appropriations across the federal agencies and the State of Florida and
progress in the restoration effort are discussed in CRS Report RS20702, South
Florida Ecosystem Restoration and the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan,
by Pervaze A. Sheikh and Nicole T. Carter.
The activities to be funded under the South Florida Everglades Restoration line
item in the Administration’s FY2009 request include Central and Southern Florida
Project ($100 million), Kissimmee River Restoration Project ($31 million),
Everglades and South Florida Restoration Projects ($4 million), and Modified Water
(Mod Waters) Deliveries Project ($50 million). The House and Senate
Appropriations Committees recommended that these projects be funded at the
amounts requested, except for Mod Waters. Both reports provide no funding and
reference that the funding for the project is to occur as part of the Department of the
Interior budget and appropriations. FY2006 was the first year that funds for the Mod
Waters project were included in the Corps budget request and enacted appropriations;
previously, the project was funded solely through Department of the Interior
appropriations because of its significance to Everglades National Park. The FY2008
omnibus report language noted appropriators’ concerns regarding the changing
design of the Mod Waters project. The report directed the Corps to submit to the
Appropriations Committees its plan for completion of Mod Waters, and it provided
direction to Interior regarding its funding of the project. The Disaster Relief and
Recovery Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-329) directs the Corps
to carry out the Tamiami Trail component of Mod Waters pursuant to an August
22008 report (For more information, see CRS Report RS21331, Everglades
Restoration: Modified Water Deliveries Project, by Pervaze A. Sheikh.)
Title II: Department of the Interior
The Department of the Interior requested that Congress reduce funding for the
Central Utah Project (CUP) Completion Account and also for the Bureau of
Reclamation (BOR) for FY2009. The total request for Title II funding was originally
$961.3 million — $189.6 million (16%) below FY2008 funding levels. However,
the President submitted a budget amendment in June 2008 rescinding $175 million
of BOR’s budget. The revised total request for Title II is $786.3 million, 32% below
Table 5. Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Title II: Central Utah Project Completion Account
Central Utah Project Construction$40.4$39.4$39.4$39.4
Mitigation and Conservation1.01.01.01.0
Oversight & Administration188.8.131.52.6
Total, Central Utah Project43.042.042.042.0
Source: FY2009 Budget Request, House Appropriations draft report, S.Rept. 110-416.
Table 6. Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Title II: Bureau of Reclamation
Water and Related Resources$949.9$779.3$888.0$927.3
Policy & Administration58.859.454.459.4
CVP Restoration Fund (CVPRF)59.148.6a56.1b56.1b
Calif. Bay-Delta (CALFED)40.132.037.042.0
Desert Terminal Lakes Rescission — (175.0)c(120.0) —
Gross Current BOR Authority1,107.9744.3915.51,084.8
Total, Title II (CUP & BOR)1,150.9786.3957.51,126.8
Source: FY2009 Budget Request, House Appropriations draft report, S.Rept. 110-416, Executive
Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget, Estimate #5 — FY 2009 Budget
Amendments: 2010 Decennial Census, FDA, and Office of the Federal Coordinator for Gulf Coast
Rebuilding, with Offsets (various agencies), June 9, 2008.
a. This figure is BOR’s net request for the CVPRF, and reflects a legislative proposal (H.R. 4074) for
BOR to redirect $7.5 million collected from Friant Division water users to the new San Joaquin
River Restoration Fund.
b. House appropriators indicate that Congress has not enacted the $7.5 million legislative proposal
for the new San Joaquin River Restoration Fund, and directs BOR to expend the funds within
the anadromous fish screening program. Senate appropriators also note that legislation
authorizing a transfer of $7.5 million to the new San Joaquin River Restoration Fund has not
been enacted, but have included language to allow the use of the $7.5 million under existing
authorities in the event that the legislative proposal is not enacted.
c. The president proposed a $175 million rescission to BOR’s budget on June 9, 2008. See Office
of Management and Budget, FY2009 Estimate No. 5.
Central Utah Project and Bureau of Reclamation:
Budget In Brief
The Administration requested $42.0 million for the CUP Completion Account
for FY2009 (Table 5). The amended FY2009 request for BOR totals $744.3 million
in gross current budget authority (Table 6). This amount is $363.6 million less than
enacted for FY2008. The FY2009 request included “offsets” of $48.3 million for the
Central Valley Project (CVP) Restoration Fund (Congress does not list this line item
as an offset and it is not included in Table 6), as well as a $175.0 million rescission
proposed in a budget amendment submitted by the President, yielding a “net” current
authority of $696.0 million for BOR. The total amended budget request for Title II
funding — Central Utah Project and BOR — is $786.3 million.
The House Committee on Appropriations recommends $42 million, the amount
requested, for CUP funding (Table 5) for FY2009. The Committee’s
recommendation for BOR programs (Table 6) is $915.5 million, $171.2 million
more than the President’s amended FY2009 request. The Committee recommends
a $120.0 million rescission, $55.0 million lower than the President’s request.
The Senate Committee on Appropriations also recommends $42 million for
FY2009 CUP funding (Table 5). The Committee’s recommendation for the
remaining Title II programs (Table 6) is $1,084.8 million, $340.5 million more than
the President’s amended FY2009 request, and $169.3 million more than
recommended by House appropriators. The Senate does not include a rescission in
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 $779.3 million for the Water and Related Resources
Account for FY2009 (Table 6). This amount is $170.6 million (18%) less than
enacted for FY2008. The House Committee on Appropriations recommends a total
of $888.0 million for the Water and Related Resources account, $108.7 million above
the FY2009 request of $779.3. The Senate Committee on Appropriations
recommends $927.3 million for Water and Related Resources, $39.3 million more
than the House recommendation.
There are a number of programs whose funding recommendations differ
between House and Senate appropriators; however, the single largest difference
appears to be for the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin’s Garrison Diversion Unit. For this
line item the Senate recommends $64.4 million and the House recommends $18.5
million — a difference of $45.9 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 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 fish and
wildlife species and conflicts among competing water users.
CALFED. The Administration requested $32.0 million for the California Bay-
Delta Restoration Account (Bay-Delta, or CALFED) for FY2009 (Table 6). This
request is nearly identical to BOR’s FY2008 request of $31.8 million, and is
approximately $8.0 million less than the $40.1 million enacted for FY2008. The bulk
of the requested funds is targeted at four program areas: the environmental water
account, the storage program, water quality, and conveyance. The remainder of the
request is allocated for science, planning and management, and ecosystem
The House Committee on Appropriations recommends $37.0 million for
CALFED in FY2009. The increase of $5.0 million in this account matches a $5.0
million decrease recommended by the Committee for BOR’s Policy and
Administration account. The Senate Committee on Appropriations recommends
$42.0 million for CALFED funding in FY2009. This recommendation is $10.0
million more than the President’s request, and a $5.0 million increase over the House
recommendation. (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 Sheikh.)
San Joaquin River Restoration Fund. BOR is proposing an allocation of
$17.3 million to the San Joaquin River Restoration Fund in FY2009. The Fund
would be authorized by the enactment of H.R. 4074, the San Joaquin River
Restoration Settlement Act. The Fund would implement provisions of the Stipulation
of Settlement for the Natural Resources Defense Council et al. v. Rodgers lawsuit
and would be funded through the combination of a reallocation of $7.5 million in
receipts from the Friant Division water users (see Table 6, note a) and other federal
and non-federal sources. In its FY2008 budget request, BOR also planned for the
redirection of $7.5 million in receipts from the Friant Division water users; however,
authorizing legislation was not enacted and the $7.5 million planned for the Fund was
reallocated to other Central Valley Project (CVP) Restoration Fund programs.
For FY2009, House appropriators state that Congress has not enacted legislation
authorizing the $7.5 million proposal for the new San Joaquin River Restoration
Fund and direct BOR to expend the $7.5 million in anticipated transferred receipts
within its anadromous fish screening program under the CVP Restoration Fund. The
Senate Committee on Appropriations also notes that legislation authorizing
legislation for a transfer of $7.5 million to the new San Joaquin River Restoration
Fund has not been enacted. Thus, the Senate Committee includes language to allow
the use of the $7.5 million under BOR’s existing authorities in the event that the
legislative proposal is not enacted. (For more information on the San Joaquin River
Restoration Fund, see CRS Report RL34237, San Joaquin River Restoration
Settlement, by Betsy A. Cody, et al.)
Security. Under BOR’s Water and Related Resources account, the
Administration requested $29.0 million for site security for FY2009, a decrease of
$6.5 million compared with that requested for FY2007. The bulk of the request is
for facility operations/security. Funding covers activities such as administration of
the security program (e.g., surveillance and law enforcement), antiterrorism activities,
and physical emergency security upgrades. (For more information, see CRS Report
RL32189, Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector, by
The FY2009 request assumes that annual costs for guard and patrol activities
will be treated as project O&M costs, and hence reimbursable based on project cost
allocations. These costs were estimated to be $20.1 million in FY2009, of which
$12.2 million would be in up-front funding from power customers, and $7.9 million
would be appropriated funds which are reimbursed by irrigation, municipal, and
industrial users and other customers.
The House and Senate Committees on Appropriations each recommend $29.0
million for site security in FY2009, matching the amount requested by the President.
Water for America. BOR proposes funding a new program for FY2009. The
Water for America Initiative, part of BOR’s Water and Related Resources budget
account, would be a partnership between BOR and the U.S. Geological Survey
(USGS). BOR indicates that the Water for America Initiative is meant to address
increased demand, aging infrastructure, and decreased or changed water availability
— factors that BOR has identified as threats to its ability to continue to provide water
to the West. The initiative would subsume two existing BOR programs: Water 2025
and the Water Conservation Field Services program.
BOR’s funding request for its portion of the program is $31.9 million ($19
million appears under a Water for America line item, and the remaining $12.9
million is included in specific programs for endangered species and other programs).
These funds would be used to address two of the program’s three strategies: “Plan
for Our Nation’s Water Future,” and “Expand, Protect, and Conserve Our Nation’s
Water Resources.” The third strategic thrust of the initiative, to be addressed by
USGS, is “Enhance Our Nation’s Water Knowledge.”
BOR proposes to apply $8.0 million in FY2009 toward activities that fall under
the “Plan for Our Nation’s Water Future” thrust. This funding would be divided
equally between basin studies (two or three comprehensive water supply and demand
studies) and investigations (with a focus on analyzing and developing new water
supplies). The balance of BOR’s funding request for this initiative, $23.9 million,
would be devoted to the “Expand, Protect, and Conserve Our Nation’s Water
Resources” effort. Within this subset of funding is $11.0 million for challenge grants,
$4.0 million for the Water Conservation Field Services program, and $8.9 million for
endangered species recovery activities.
The House and Senate Committees on Appropriations both recommend the
amount requested, $19.0 million, for the Water for America Initiative line item in
FY2009. The total request for the Water for America Initiative was $31.9 million
and it is unclear if the $12.9 million balance of the program is funded. Within
BOR’s budget, $19.0 million appears under a Water for America line item, while the
remaining $12.9 million is included in programs for endangered species and other
activities. House and Senate appropriators have fully funded an FY2009 request of
$22.0 million for Endangered Species Recovery Implementation, which may include
the endangered species component of Water for America.
Title III: Department of Energy
The Energy and Water Development bill has funded all DOE’s programs since
FY2005. 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 programs, and now includes
programs for fossil fuels, energy efficiency, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and
energy statistics, which formerly had been included in the Interior and Related
Agencies appropriations bill.
The Administration’s FY2009 request for DOE programs was $25.9179 billion,
compared with $24.3780 billion appropriated for FY2008. The House
Appropriations Committee recommended $27.2174 billion, and the Senate
Appropriations Committee recommended $27.0417 billion.
Table 7. Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Title III: Department of Energy
P r ogram F Y 2008 Request H o use Senat e Conf .
Energy Supply & Conservation
Energy Efficiency &
Renewables $1,722.4 $1,255.4 $2,531.1 $1,982.3
& Energy Reliability138.6134.0149.3166.9
Legacy Management33.9 — — —
Total, Energy Supply
& Conservation 2,856.52,243.03,919.22,998.2
Fossil Energy R&D742.8754.0853.6876.7
Technology (Deferral)(57.0) — — —
Naval Petrol. & Oil
Re serve 186.8 344.0 172.6 205.0
Heating Oil Rsrv.184.108.40.206.8
Admini stration 95.5 110.6 120.6 110.6
Cl eanup 182.3 213.4 257.0 269.4
F und 622.2 480.3 529.3 515.3
P r ogram F Y 2008 Request H o use Senat e Conf .
High Energy Physics688.3805.0805.0805.0
Sciences 1,269.9 1,568.2 1,599.7 1,415.4
Bio. & Env. R&D544.4568.5578.5568.5
Fusion 286.5 493.1 499.1 493.1
Computing 351.2 368.8 378.8 368.8
Cong. Directed Proj.123.6 — 39.758.5
Other 326.3 408.4 458.9 391.1
Adjustments(5.6) — (15.0) —
Total, Science 4,017.74,722.04,861.74,640.5
Disposal 187.3 247.4 247.4 195.4
(net) 148.4 154.8 154.8 154.8
Office of Inspector
Ge neral 46.1 51.9 51.9 51.9
National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Nuclear 1,336.0 1,247.0 1,530.0 1,909.1
Environmental 5,349.3 5,297.3 5,425.2 5,771.5
P r ogram F Y 2008 Request H o use Senat e Conf .
Power Marketing Administrations (PMA)
Southeastern 6.4 7.4 7.4 7.4
Southwestern 30.2 28.4 28.4 28.4
Western 228.9 193.3 193.3 218.3
Falcon & Armistad2.53.03.03.0
FERC 260.4 273.4 273.4 257.1
(revenues) (260.4) (273.4) (273.4) (257.1)
Total, Title III 24,378.025,917.927,217.427,041.7
Source: FY2009 Budget Request; House Appropriations Committee draft report; S.Rept. 110-416.
Key Policy Issues — Department of Energy
DOE administers a wide variety of programs with different functions and
missions. In the following pages, the most important programs are described and
major issues are identified, in approximately the order in which they appear in Table
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). The President’s
2008 State of the Union address set out goals to strengthen energy security and
confront global climate change, and stated that “... the best way to meet these goals
is for America to continue leading the way toward the development of cleaner and
more energy-efficient technology.”2 As part of that effort, the Administration
proposes to continue its support for the Advanced Energy Initiative (AEI, an element
of the American Competitiveness Initiative), which aims to reduce America’s
dependence on imported energy sources. The AEI includes hydrogen, biofuels, and
solar energy initiatives that are supported by programs in EERE.3
According to the FY2009 budget document, the Hydrogen Initiative has a long-
term aim of developing hydrogen technology, and to “enable industry to
commercialize a hydrogen infrastructure and fuel cell vehicles by 2020.” The
Biofuels Initiative seeks to make cellulosic ethanol cost competitive by 2012 using
2 The White House. State of the Union 2008. [http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/
3 U.S. Executive Office of the President, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal
Year 2007, Appendix, p. 390. Also see DOE, FY2007 Congressional Budget Request:
Budget Highlights, p. 41.
a wide array of regionally available biomass sources. The Solar America Initiative
aims to “... accelerate the market competitiveness of photovoltaic systems using
several industry-led consortia which are focused on lowering the cost of solar energy
through manufacturing and efficiency improvements.”4 Further, the proposed
FY2009 federal budget sets a goal of making solar power “cost-competitive with
conventional [sources of] electricity by 2015.”5
As Table 8 shows, DOE’s FY2009 request contains $1,255.4 million for the
EERE programs. Compared to the FY2008 appropriation, the FY2009 request would
reduce EERE funding by $467.0 million, or 27.1%. Three proposed cuts would
comprise most of this reduction. First, the request would eliminate $186.7 million
in congressionally directed assistance. Second, it would reduce Facilities6
construction spending by $57.3 million. Third, the request would cut $227.2 million
in funding to terminate the Weatherization Assistance Program, citing a higher7
benefit-cost ratio for technology programs than for the Weatherization Program. A
major study of the program’s benefits and costs in 1989 was published in 1993. In
2007, DOE launched a plan for a comprehensive review of program benefits and
costs based on data collected during program year (PY) 2006.8 At February 2008
hearings on the FY2009 DOE budget request, concerns were raised about DOE’s
proposed termination of that program.9
4 U.S. Executive Office of the President, Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal
Year 2009, Appendix, p. 393.
5 Ibid., p. 59.
6 Facilities funding for construction tends to be provided in a lump sum. No major
construction projects would be cancelled as a result of this proposed reduction.
7 DOE states that “EERE’s Energy Efficiency portfolio has historically provided
approximately a 20 to 1 benefit to cost ratio. In comparison, Weatherization has a benefit
cost ratio of 1.53 to 1.” DOE, FY 2009 Congressional Budget Request, vol. 3, p. 44.
8 The 1993 study and the 2007 plan are discussed in DOE. Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
National Evaluation of the Weatherization Assistance Program: Preliminary Evaluation
Plan for Program Year 2006. February 2007. p. 1.
9 The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a hearing on the DOE
FY2009 Budget Request on February 6, 2008. [http://energy.senate.gov/public/
index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Hearing&Hearing_ID=1673]. The House Committee on
Energy and Natural Resources held its hearing on February 7, 2007.
Table 8. Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Programs
F Y 2009 Appr. Appr. Senat e -
Local Gov./Tribal Tech. — — — — 50.050.00
Biomass & Biorefinery Systems196.3198.2225.0250.0235.0-15.00
— Photovoltaics138.4 136.7137.1 — — —
Water Power (Hydro/Ocean) 0.09.93.040.030.0-10.0
Subtotal, Renew. & Hydrogen596.5657.0612.8783.0761.5-21.5
Federal Energy Management19.519.822.030.022.0-8.0
Subtotal, Efficiency R&D361.8406.3429.0615.5556.6-58.9
Facilities & Infrastructure107.076.214.033.037.04.0
— Weatherization Grants204.6227.20.0250.0201.2-48.8
— State Energy Grants58.844.150.050.050.00.0
— Renewables Deployment18.410.98.518.011.0-7.0
Federal Assistance Subtotal281.7282.258.5318.0262.2-55.8
EISA Assistance Program — — — 500.00.0 -500.0
Cong.-Directed Assistanceb0.0186.7 0.0 134.7124.2 -10.5
Prior Year Balances — (0.7)-0.7-0.70.00.7
Office of Electricity Delivery &a134.4138.6134.0149.3166.917.7
Energy Reliability (OE)
Sources: DOE FY2007 Operating Plan; Joint Explanatory Statement on the Consolidated Appropriations Act
of 2008 (Cong. Record, Dec. 17, 2007, p. H15587 and H15940); DOE FY2009 Request; House Appropriations
Committee draft report; S.Rept. 110-416.
a. The Distributed Energy Program was moved from EERE to OE in FY2006.
b. In FY2006, there was $159.0 million in congressionally-directed funds spread over EERE accounts. For
FY2008, the House approved (H.Rept. 110-185, part 2) $104.3 million for congressionally directed
assistance to be taken from available funds. The Senate Appropriations Committee recommended $90.3
million in assistance, to be provided from a separate (new) account line.
In contrast to the Administration’s request, the House Appropriations
Committee recommends $2,531.1 million for DOE’s EERE programs in FY2009.
This would be a $808.7 million (47%) increase over the FY2008 appropriation and
a $1,275.7 million (102%) increase over the DOE request. Compared with the
request, the Committee recommendation would embrace a $381.5 million increase
for R&D programs. Further, the Committee would provide $259.2 million more for
energy assistance programs, of which $250.0 million would go to the Weatherization
Program — in sharp contrast to DOE’s proposal to eliminate it. Also, the Committee
recommends $500.0 million for new assistance programs authorized by the Energy
Independence and Security Act (EISA, P.L. 110-140).
As a major initiative, the Committee recommends $500.0 million as “initial
program investment” for several new programs authorized by EISA. The Energy
Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program (EISA, §541-548) would receive
$295.0 million in start-up funding. The Renewable Fuel Infrastructure Program
(EISA §244) would get $25.0 million to begin grant-giving operations. The
Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Program (EISA §136[b]) would
receive $30.0 million for grants to help convert factories to produce more efficient
vehicles. Also, $1 billion in loan authority would be provided for the Advanced
Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Incentive Program (EISA §136[d]).
Aside from the $500.0 million initiative, some additional EISA-related funding
would be provided under the technology programs. The most notable examples are
$25 million for the production of advanced biofuels (EISA §207) under the Biomass
and Biorefinery Program and $33 million for zero net energy commercial buildings
(EISA §422) under the Buildings Program.
The Committee recommends $134.7 million for Congressionally Directed
In addition to funding recommendations, the House Appropriations Committee
report includes three policy directives for DOE. First, DOE would be required to
report annually on the return on investment for each of the major EERE program
funding accounts. Second, DOE would be directed to make up to $20 million of
EERE funds available for “projects at the local level capable of reducing electricity
demand.” Each project would involve multiple technologies and public-private
partnerships. Priority would go to projects that have a substantial local cost-share,
help reduce water use, or curb greenhouse gas emissions. Third, DOE would be
required to implement “an aggressive program” of minority outreach at Historically
Black Colleges and Universities and at Hispanic Serving Institutions to deepen the
recruiting pool of scientific and technical persons available to support the growing
renewable energy marketplace.
The Senate Appropriations Committee recommends $1,928.3 million for
EERE,10 which is $205.9 million (12.0%) more than the FY2008 appropriation and
$672.9 million (53.6%) more than the request.
Compared with the House Appropriations Committee report, the Senate
Appropriations Committee recommends $602.8 million, or 23.8%, less for EERE
programs. The main difference ($450.0 million) is that the House Appropriations
Committee proposes an increase of $500.0 million for a new EISA Federal
Assistance Program, while the Senate Appropriations Committee proposes an
increase of $50.0 million for a new Local Government/Tribal Technology
Demonstration Program. Further, the Senate report recommends less funding than
the House report for several technology programs. Relative to the House Committee
report figures, the Senate Committee report’s proposed decreases for renewable
energy R&D include Geothermal (-$20.0 million), Bioenergy (-$15.0 million), and
Water Energy (-$10.0 million). The major decreases for energy efficiency include
Weatherization (-$48.8 million), Industrial Technologies (-$34.9) million, and
Vehicle Technologies (-$24.5 million).
The continuing resolution (Division A of P.L. 110-329) funds these programs
at the FY2008 rate. Special provisions mandate an additional $250 million for
DOE’s weatherization program.
The Senate Appropriations Committee recommends $124.2 million for
Congressionally Directed Projects.
In general, both committee reports recommend higher funding levels than the
request. In particular, each includes more than $200 million for the Weatherization
Program. Both committees disagree with the DOE request to fund the Asia Pacific
Partnership,11 and neither committee recommends funding it. Both committees call
for the Biomass program to emphasize the use of non-food sources for the
development of biofuels. The Senate Committee report further stresses R&D efforts
to focus on algae as a biofuels source.
Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability. The FY2009 request includes
$134.0 million for the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE).
The House Appropriations Committee recommends $149.3 million, which is $15.3
million more than the request. The Senate Appropriations Committee recommends
$166.9 million, which is $17.7 million more than the House Appropriations
10 The Senate Appropriations Committee report directs that $59.5 million of a proposed
$72.9 million increase for the Solar Energy Program, will be provided by a transfer from the
Basic Energy Sciences Program under the Office of Science.
11 DOE Request, p. 482-483. The Asia Pacific Partnership (APP) is a multinational
undertaking that the federal government supports through several agencies. The Department
of State is the lead agency for APP. DOE’s request for APP in FY2009 would support new
renewable power generating capacity, best manufacturing practices for targeted industries,
and best design and construction practices for buildings and efficient appliance standards.
During debate over the FY2008 request for EERE, the Administration threatened to veto the
appropriations bill, in part, due to the lack of funding for APP.
Committee recommends. For OE congressionally directed projects, the House
Committee report calls for $5.3 million, while the Senate Committee report seeks
Nuclear Energy. For nuclear energy research and development — including
advanced reactors, fuel cycle technology and facilities, nuclear hydrogen production,
and infrastructure support — the House Appropriations Committee recommended
$1.317 billion for FY2009. DOE had requested $1.419 billion, about 40% higher
than the FY2008 appropriation of $1.033 billion. The FY2009 request includes an
a 70% increase for nuclear spent fuel reprocessing R&D (the Advanced Fuel Cycle
Initiative), and a 75% boost for a mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel fabrication facility to
make fuel from surplus weapons plutonium. Those activities are funded by various
appropriations accounts through DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy.
The Senate Appropriations Committee voted to fully fund the MOX project at
the Administration’s request of $487.0 million but place it under the National
Nuclear Security Administration’s Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation. As
a result, the Senate panel’s funding total for the Office of Nuclear Energy is $803.0
million, $50.6 million below the comparable request and $120.1 million above the
comparable FY2008 level.
According to DOE’s FY2009 budget justification, the nuclear energy R&D
program is intended “to develop new nuclear energy generation technologies to meet
energy and climate goals.” However, opponents have criticized DOE’s nuclear
research program as providing wasteful subsidies to an industry that they believe
should be phased out as unacceptably hazardous and economically uncompetitive.
The increased funding sought for the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI)
would help implement the Administration’s Global Nuclear Energy Partnership
(GNEP). GNEP is intended to develop technologies for recycling uranium and
plutonium from spent nuclear fuel without creating pure plutonium that could be
readily used for nuclear weapons. According to DOE’s budget justification, such
technologies could allow greater expansion of nuclear power throughout the world12
“with reduced risk of nuclear weapons proliferation.” But nuclear opponents
dispute DOE’s contention that nuclear recycling technology can be made sufficiently
proliferation-resistant for widespread use.
The House Appropriations Committee sharply criticized GNEP as “rushed,
poorly-defined, expansive, and expensive,” and eliminated all funding for the
program. On the other hand, the House panel dramatically boosted funding for
advanced nuclear reactors, which the Administration had proposed cutting. The
Senate Appropriations Committee did not mention GNEP, but provided $50.3
million of the Administration’s proposed $122.1 million increase for AFCI.
12 Department of Energy, FY 2009 Congressional Budget Request, February 2008, Vol. 3,
Nuclear Power 2010. President Bush’s specific mention of “emissions-free
nuclear power” in his 2008 State of the Union address reiterated 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 have been 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 Nuclear Power 2010 Program, which includes the Standby Support
Program authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-58) to pay for
regulatory delays, is intended to encourage near-term orders for advanced versions
of existing commercial nuclear plants.
Two industry consortia are receiving DOE assistance over the next several years
to design and license new nuclear power plants. DOE awarded the first funding to
the consortia in 2004. DOE requested $241.6 million for Nuclear Power 2010 for
FY2009, an increase of $107.8 million from the FY2008 funding level. According
to DOE’s budget justification, the additional funding would be used to accelerate the
first-of-a-kind design activities for the two reactors being planned by the two industry
consortia, the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor and the General Electric Economic
Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR). The House Appropriations Committee
recommended holding the program’s FY2009 funding level to $157.3 million, which
the panel said was DOE’s previous planning level. The Senate Appropriations
Committee recommended the full request.
The nuclear license applications under the Nuclear Power 2010 program are
intended to test the “one-step” licensing process established by the Energy Policy Act
of 1992 (P.L. 102-486). Under the process, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
(NRC) may grant a combined construction permit and operating license (COL) that
allows a completed plant to begin operation if all construction criteria have been met.
Even if the licenses are granted by NRC, the industry consortia funded by DOE have
not committed to building new reactors. Two consortia are receiving Nuclear Power
!A consortium led by Dominion Resources that is preparing a COL
for the GE ESBWR. The proposed reactor would be located at
Dominion’s existing North Anna plant in Virginia, where the
company received an NRC early-site permit with DOE assistance.
Dominion Energy submitted a COL application for a new unit at
North Anna on November 27, 2007.
!A consortium called NuStart Energy Development, which includes
Exelon and several other major nuclear utilities. NuStart announced
on September 22, 2005, that it would seek a COL for two
Westinghouse AP1000 reactors at the site of TVA’s uncompleted
Bellefonte nuclear plant in Alabama and for an ESBWR at the
Grand Gulf plant in Mississippi. The Nuclear Power 2010 Program
is providing funding for review and approval of the Bellefonte COL,
which was submitted to NRC on October 30, 2007.
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 $70.0 million was requested for FY2009. The request is $44.9
million below the FY2008 funding level of $114.9 million, which was nearly triple
the Administration’s FY2008 budget request of $36.1 million. The House
Appropriations Committee recommended an increase to $200.0 million, while the
Senate panel recommended the requested level.
Most of the FY2009 request — $59.5 million — is for Next Generation Nuclear
Plant (NGNP) research and development, which received an FY2008 appropriation
of $114.1 million. Under DOE’s current plans, NGNP will use Very High
Temperature Reactor (VHTR) technology, which features helium as a coolant and
coated-particle fuel that can withstand temperatures up to 1,600 degrees celsius.
Phase I research on the NGNP is to continue until 2011, when a decision will be
made on moving to the Phase II design and construction stage, according to the
FY2009 DOE budget justification. The House Appropriations Committee provided
$196.0 million “to accelerate work” on NGNP — all but $4.0 million of the
Committee’s total funding level for the Generation IV program.
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 authorizes $1.25 billion through FY2015 for
NGNP development and construction (Title VI, Subtitle C). The authorization
requires that NGNP be based on research conducted by the Generation IV program
and be capable of producing electricity, hydrogen, or both.
Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative. According to the DOE budget
justification, AFCI is intended to 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 reuse in a nuclear reactor
or for transmutation in a particle accelerator. Much of the program’s research will
focus on a separations technology called UREX+, in which uranium and other
elements are chemically removed from dissolved spent fuel, leaving a mixture of
plutonium and other highly radioactive elements.
The FY2009 AFCI funding request is $301.5 million, nearly 70% above the
FY2008 appropriation of $179.4 million but below the FY2008 request of $395.0
million. AFCI, the primary technology component of the GNEP program, includes
R&D on reprocessing technology and fast reactors that could use reprocessed
The House Appropriations Committee recommended cutting AFCI to $90.0
million in FY2009, eliminating all funding for GNEP. The remaining funds would
be used for research on advanced fuel cycle technology, but none could be used for
design or construction of new facilities. The Committee urged DOE to continue
coordinating its fuel cycle research with other countries that already have spent fuel
recycling capability, but not with “countries aspiring to have nuclear capabilities.”
The Senate Appropriations Committee recommended $229.7 million for AFCI,
focusing on advanced fuel separation and fuel fabrication.
FY2009 funding of $10.4 million was requested for conceptual design work on
an Advanced Fuel Cycle Facility (AFCF) to provide an engineering-scale
demonstration of AFCI technologies, according to the budget justification. The
FY2008 Consolidated Appropriations act rejected funding for development of AFCF,
as did the House Appropriations Committee for FY2009.
Removing uranium from spent fuel would eliminate most of the volume of spent
nuclear fuel that would otherwise require disposal in a deep geologic repository,
which DOE is developing at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The UREX+ process also
could reduce the heat generated by nuclear waste — the major limit on the
repository’s capacity — by removing cesium and strontium for separate storage and
decay over several hundred years. Plutonium and other long-lived elements would
be fissioned in accelerators or fast reactors to reduce the long-term hazard of nuclear
waste. Even if technically feasible, however, the economic viability of such waste
processing has yet to be determined, and it still faces significant opposition on
nuclear nonproliferation grounds. Nevertheless, proponents believe the process is
proliferation-resistant, because further purification would be required to make the
plutonium useable for weapons and because the high radioactivity of the plutonium
mixtures would make the material difficult to divert or work with.
Under the Administration’s GNEP initiative, plutonium partially separated from
the highly radioactive spent fuel from nuclear reactors would be recycled into new
fuel to expand the future supply of nuclear fuel and potentially reduce the amount of
radioactive waste to be disposed of in a permanent repository. Under the initial
concept for GNEP, the United States and other advanced nuclear nations would lease
new fuel to other nations that agreed to forgo uranium enrichment, spent fuel
recycling (also called reprocessing), and other fuel cycle facilities that could be used
to produce nuclear weapons materials. The leased fuel would then be returned to
supplier nations for reprocessing. Solidified high-level reprocessing waste would be
sent back to the nation that had used the leased fuel, along with supplies of fresh
nuclear fuel. The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty guarantees the right of all
participants to develop fuel cycle facilities, and a GNEP Statement of Principles
signed by the United States and 15 other countries on September 16, 2007, preserves
that right, while encouraging the establishment of a “viable alternative to acquisition
of sensitive fuel cycle technologies.”13
Although GNEP is largely conceptual at this point, DOE issued a Spent Nuclear
Fuel Recycling Program Plan in May 2006 that provided a general schedule for a
GNEP Technology Demonstration Program (TDP),14 which would develop the
necessary technologies to achieve GNEP’s goals. According to the Program Plan,
the first phase of the TDP, running through FY2006, consisted of “program definition
and development” and acceleration of AFCI. Phase 2, running through FY2008, was
to focus on the design of technology demonstration facilities, which then were to
begin operating during Phase 3, from FY2008 to FY2020. The National Academy
of Sciences in October 2007 strongly criticized DOE’s “aggressive” deployment
13 See GNEP website at [http://www.gnep.energy.gov]
14 DOE, Spent Nuclear Fuel Recycling Plan, Report to Congress, May 2006.
schedule for GNEP and recommended that the program instead focus on research and
As part of GNEP, AFCI is conducting R&D on an Advanced Burner Reactor
(ABR) that could destroy recycled plutonium and other long-lived radioactive
elements. DOE requested $18.0 million for the ABR program for FY2009, up from
$11.7 million in FY2008. The program is expected to focus on developing a sodium-
cooled fast reactor (SFR). The House Appropriations Committee recommended no
FY2009 funding for the ABR. (For more information about GNEP and reprocessing,
see CRS Report RL34579, Advanced Nuclear Power and Fuel Cycle Technologies:
Outlook and Policy Options, by Mark Holt.)
Nuclear Hydrogen Initiative. In support of President Bush’s program to
develop hydrogen-fueled vehicles, DOE requested $16.6 million for FY2009 for the
Nuclear Hydrogen Initiative, about 67% above the FY2008 funding level but below
the FY2007 appropriation. The House Appropriations Committee provided the full
FY2009 request, while the Senate panel recommended $10.0 million — slightly
above the FY2008 level. According to DOE’s FY2009 budget justification, the
program will continue laboratory-scale experiments to allow selection by 2011 of a
hydrogen-production technology for pilot-scale demonstration by 2013.
Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility. DOE requested $487.0 million for
the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility at the Savannah River Site in South
Carolina — a 75% increase from the FY2008 funding level. The multi-billion-dollar
facility is intended to convert surplus weapons plutonium into oxide form and then
blend it with uranium oxide to produce fuel for nuclear power plants. The FY2008
Consolidated Appropriations act shifted funding for the project to the DOE nuclear
energy program from the Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation account. For FY2009,
DOE proposes to shift the program’s funding to the Other Defense Activities
account. The House Appropriations Committee provided the full request, but
recommended that the funding remain under the nuclear energy account. The Senate
Appropriations Committee also recommended the full request but transferred the
project back to the nuclear nonproliferation program. (For more details, see “Nuclear
Weapons Stockpile Stewardship: Directed Stockpile Work,” below.)
Integrated University Program. The Senate Appropriations Committee
recommended the establishment of an Integrated University Program to support
university research in the nuclear field and to provide grants to help maintain
university nuclear science and engineering programs. Under the Committee
recommendation, $15.0 million each would be appropriated to the Office of Nuclear
Energy, the Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, and the Nuclear Regulatory
Commission, for a total of $45.0 million.
Fossil Energy Research, Development, and Demonstration. The
Bush Administration has requested $765.3 million for the Fossil Energy Research
and Development budget in FY2009, to be offset by use of $11.3 million in prior year
15 National Academy of Sciences, Review of DOE’s Nuclear Energy Research and
Development Program, prepublication draft, October 2007.
balances (resulting in a request for appropriation of $754 million). The administration
also requests $149 million deferred as unobligated balances to FY2009, and $166
million in uncommitted balances be transferred from Clean Coal Technology to
Fossil Energy R&D (FutureGen). The total request represents a 33% increase over
the FY2008 request of $566.8 million (see Table 9). Under the FY2009 request,
programs in Natural Gas Technology, Petroleum-Oil Technology, and Cooperative
R&D would be left unfunded. DOE had proposed terminating programs in Natural
Gas Technology and Petroleum-Oil Technology in FY2008. OMB rated both
programs as ineffective based on its Program Assessment Rating Tool. Nor had
DOE requested funding for Plant and Capital Equipment or the Cooperative Research
and Development program (believing that research center sponsored work can
compete for Fossil Energy funding through the competitive solicitation process, DOE
had not requested funding in FY2007 or FY2008). Congress reinstated the funding
of these programs in FY2008.
The House Appropriations Committee recommended $853.6 million for Fossil
Energy Research and Development Programs, a 13.8% increase over the request, of
which $149 million would be derived by transfer from prior year unobligated Clean
Coal Technology balances (deferred earlier by the Consolidated Appropriations Act
of 2008 (P.L. 110-161) ), and $11.3 million in prior year balances from completed
or cancelled construction balances. Major funding categories include the newly
created Carbon Capture Demonstration Initiative ($241 million), which consolidates
the former Clean Coal Power Initiative and the FutureGen project; Carbon
Sequestration ($220 million); Fuels and Power Systems ($220.6 million); Petroleum-
Oil Technologies ($3 million); Natural Gas Technologies ($25 million); Liquefied
Natural Gas Report; Program Direction ($126.3 million); Other ($15.4 million); and
Congressionally Directed Projects ($13.7 million).
The Senate Committee on Appropriations in its report accompanying S. 3258,
recommends increasing the President’s budget request by $122.7 billion to accelerate
Carbon Sequestration development for a total of $876.7 billion. The Committee
recommends spending $232.3 million on the Clean Coal Power Initiative; no funding
of the FutureGen account; $412.1 million on Fuels and Power Systems; $20 million
on Natural Gas Technologies; $5 million on Oil Technologies; $152.8 million on
Program Direction; $9.7 million on Other Programs, and $32.7 million on
Congressionally directed programs.
The former FutureGen project was intended to demonstrate clean coal-based
Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) power generation through capture
and sequestration of CO2 emissions. In early 2008, after cost estimates for the project
escalated to $1.8 billion, DOE announced that it would restructure the program to
focus exclusively on commercial application of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)
technologies for IGCC or other advanced clean coal-based power generation
technology.16 Under the “Restructured FutureGen” program DOE proposes a cost-
shared collaboration with industry and anticipates making a number of awards
ranging from $100 million-$600 million (DOE share). The House Appropriations
Committee directs DOE to merge FutureGen and the Clean Coal Power Initiative into
16 Announced June 24, 2008, in Funding Opportunity Number DE-PS26-08NT00496.
a single solicitation for a Carbon Capture Demonstration Initiative and establishes
it as new appropriations control level.
Under the Title VII Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-
Table 9. Fossil Energy Research and Development
FY2008 FY2008 FY2009 FY2009 FY2009
Request Appro p. Request House Sena t e
Clean Coal Technology
Deferred Unobligated Balance149.0149.0
Transfer to Fossil Energy R&D-149.0-149.0
Fossil Energy R&D Program
Clean Coal Power Initiative73.070.085.00.0232.3
FutureGen 108.0 75.0 156.0 0 .0 0.0
Fuels and Power Systems
- Innovations for Existing Plants36.440.040.050.0
- Advanced IGCC54.069.060.063.0
- Advanced Turbines24.028.024.030.0
- Carbon Sequestration120.0149.1 —149.1
- Fuel Cell56.060.060.060.0
- Advanced Research37.526.626.630.0
Subtotal 245.6 352.9 382.7 220.6 412.1
Carbon Sequestration (new)220.0
Carbon Capture Demo. Int. (new)241.0 —
Natural Gas Technologies — 20.0 0.0 25.020.0
- Stripper Well Consortium1.51.03.8
- Risk based Data Management1.22.01.2
Subtotal — 5.00.0 3.05.0
Plant and Capital Equipment — 13.05.05.017.7
Fossil Energy Environ. Restoration220.127.116.11.7 9.7
Special Recruitment Program0.60.60.60.6 0.6
Cooperative R&D5.0 — — 5.0
Subtotal 10.2 28.2 15.3 15.3 33.0
Cong. Directed Projects — 48.0 — 13.732.7
Prior Year balance-11.3-11.3-11.3
*Does not reflect a 0.91% across-the-board rescission in accordance with P.L.110-161 Consolidated
Appropriations Act, 2008.
Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR),
authorized by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (P.L. 94-163) in 1975,
consists of caverns formed out of naturally occurring salt domes in Louisiana and
Texas in which nearly 700 million barrels of crude oil are stored. Its current capacity
is 727 million barrels, and it is authorized at 1 billion barrels. The purpose of the SPR
is to provide an emergency source of crude oil that 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.
The NHOR houses 2 million barrels of home heating oil in above-ground facilities
in Connecticut, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.
Appropriations for the purchase of oil for the SPR ceased in the mid-1990s.
Beginning in FY1999, any fill of the SPR was with deliveries of royalty-in-kind
(RIK) oil to the SPR, in lieu of cash royalties on offshore production paid to the
federal government. Through FY2007, royalty-in-kind deliveries to the SPR totaled
roughly 140 million barrels and forgone receipts to the Department of the Interior
were estimated at $4.6 billion. DOE estimated that deliveries of RIK oil during
FY2008 would be roughly 19.1 million barrels and $1.170 billion in forgone
revenues. However, on May 13, 2008, the House and Senate passed H.R. 6022,
suspending RIK fill. President Bush signed the legislation into law (P.L. 110-232) on
May 19. A few days earlier, on May 16, DOE announced it would not accept bids for
an additional 13 million barrels of RIK oil that had been intended for delivery during
the second half of 2008.
The Administration request for FY2009 for the SPR was $346.9 million. As in
its FY2008 request, the Administration was seeking funding to expand the capacity
of the SPR to 1 billion barrels by (1) adding 115 million barrels of capacity at three
existing sites; and (2) establishing a new site, in Richton, Mississippi, where 160
million barrels of capacity would be created. The request included $169.7 million for
Included as well in the request was $13.5 million to initiate the National
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) environmental review process for expansion of
the SPR to 1.5 billion barrels, a level not yet authorized by Congress but strongly
supported by the Administration. Congress approved nearly $25 million in the
FY2008 budget for land acquisition at the Richton site but otherwise expressed
opposition to funding expansion. Congress approved funding of $186.8 million for
FY2008; the Administration had requested $331.6 million.
In its report on the FY2008 appropriations bill, the House Committee on
Appropriations noted an estimate that it would cost $10 billion to create additional
capacity and $105 billion to fill it, and that expansion would not be completed until
2027. The Committee indicated that the benefits of doubling the size of the Reserve
were not “commensurate with this enormous cost.” For FY2009, the Committee did
not alter its position. The Committee recommended funding for FY2009 at $172.6
million, including the use of $2.9 million of prior year balances. The
recommendation is $171.4 million less than the Administration request.
The Senate Committee on Appropriations recommended $205 million for
FY2009, including $31.5 million “to initiate new site expansion activities and
support beyond land acquisition.” This would include further work at the Richton site
to prepare for the creation of storage capacity.
The Administration requested $9.8 million for the NHOR in FY2009, a
reduction of $2.5 million from the FY2008 enactment, principally due to a reduction
in the need for funds for repurchasing heating oil that was sold during FY2007 to
finance new storage contracts. Both House and Senate committees agreed to the
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.17 For
FY2009, DOE has requested $4.722 billion for Science, an increase of 18% from the
FY2008 amount of $4.018 billion. This unusually large increase reflects the
American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI), which President Bush announced in
January 2006. Over 10 years, the ACI would double the combined R&D funding of
the DOE Office of Science and two other agencies. The House committee
recommended $4.862 billion for Science. The Senate committee recommended
The requested funding for the largest Office of Science program, basic energy
sciences, is $1.568 billion, up 23% from FY2008. Increases include $153 million for18
a new program of Energy Frontier Research Centers, $66 million to initiate
construction of the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) at Brookhaven
National Laboratory, and $73 million to expand facility operating time. The House
and Senate appropriations reports for FY2006 both called for an increase for facility
operating time. Increases were proposed in the FY2007 and FY2008 budget requests
and funded in the House and Senate appropriations bills for those years, but were not
ultimately included in either the FY2007 or the FY2008 appropriation. (The request
also includes increases to expand facility operating time in some of the other Office
of Science research programs.) The House committee recommended $1.600 billion,
including increases of $17 million for a facility at the Stanford Linear Accelerator
Center and $14.5 million for the NSLS-II. The Senate committee recommended
$1.415 billion, including a transfer of $59 million of basic solar research to the
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy account and an unspecified reduction of
17 Based on preliminary FY2006 data from Tables 29 and 22 of National Science
Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics, Federal Funds for Research and
Development: Fiscal Years 2004-06, NSF 07-323 (June 2007).
18 These are intended to address energy challenges identified by the Basic Energy Sciences
Advisory Committee in its December 2007 report Directing Matter and Energy: Five
Challenges for Science and the Imagination, online at [http://www.sc.doe.gov/bes/reports/
For high-energy physics, the request is $805 million, up 17% from FY2008.
Included are increases for three programs whose funding Congress sharply reduced
in the final FY2008 appropriation: $37 million (up from $6 million) for construction
of the NO<A detector at Fermilab, $25 million (up from $5 million) for
superconducting radiofrequency R&D, and $35 million (up from $15 million) for
R&D related to the proposed International Linear Collider. The request includes $10
million for the DOE/NASA Joint Dark Energy Mission (JDEM). Responding to
appropriations report language in FY2008, NASA has included its portion of JDEM
in its FY2009 request. The House and Senate committees both recommended the
requested amount for high-energy physics.
The request for biological and environmental research is $569 million, up 4%.
The bulk of the requested increase is for climate change modeling. The House
committee recommended $579 million, including increases of $5 million each for
biological research and climate change research. The Senate committee
recommended $599 million, including increases of $20 million for climate change
research and $10 million for nuclear medicine.
For nuclear physics, the request is $510 million, up 18% from FY2008.
Included are $20 million for isotope production and applications (transferred from
the Office of Nuclear Energy) and $15 million to begin construction of an upgrade
at the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF). Most other nuclear
physics activities would also receive increases. The House committee recommended
$517 million, including an increase of $7 million to accelerate the CEBAF upgrade.
The Senate committee recommended the requested amount.
The request for fusion energy sciences is $493 million, up 72%. Almost the
entire increase ($204 million) is for the U.S. share of the International Thermonuclear
Experimental Reactor (ITER), a fusion facility now under construction in France.
For FY2008, although the House and Senate bills both provided the requested
amount for ITER, the final appropriation eliminated all except $10 million for related
R&D. According to press reports, ITER officials expect the lack of U.S. funds in
FY2008 to have no immediate impact on the project’s planned 2008 start, but “what
the other ITER partners now want from the United States is clarity” about its plans.19
The ITER partners are China, the European Union, India, Japan, Russia, South
Korea, and the United States. Under an agreement signed in 2006, the U.S. share of
ITER’s construction cost is 9.1%. That share is now expected to be between $1.45
billion and $2.2 billion, with a completion date between FY2014 and FY2017. A
preliminary estimate of $1.122 billion through FY2014 was revised upwards in
December 2007. The House committee recommended $499 million; the $6 million
increase above the request would be to “help revitalize the domestic fusion energy
sciences program.” The Senate committee recommended the requested amount.
The request for the smallest of the Office of Science research programs,
advanced scientific computing research, is $369 million, up 5% from FY2008. The
majority of the requested increase would fund establishment of a new Applied
19 Dennis Normile, “U.S. Wavers Again on ITER”, ScienceNOW Daily News, December 21,
Mathematics-Computer Science Institute. The House committee recommended $379
million, an increase of $10 million. The Senate committee recommended the
The request for laboratory infrastructure is $110 million, up 65% from FY2008.
An Infrastructure Modernization Initiative, to be funded in FY2009 by transfers from
the research programs, accounts for $33 million of the requested increase. The
House committee recommended $146 million, including increases for excess
facilities disposition, laboratory facility modernization, and building construction.
The Senate committee recommended the requested amount.
The House committee recommended $15 million to establish the Advanced
Research Projects Agency — Energy (ARPA-E) as authorized (at a significantly
higher funding level) by the America COMPETES Act (P.L. 110-69). The Senate
committee did not mention ARPA-E.
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. The FY2009 OCRWM request was $494.7
million; the House Appropriations Committee approved the full amount, and the
Senate Appropriations Committee recommended $388.4 million.
The FY2009 request is 28% above the FY2008 appropriation of $386.4 million,
but the FY2008 level is about $50 million below the FY2007 level and more than
$100 million below the Administration’s FY2008 request. The FY2008 funding
reductions required OCRWM to reduce its workforce by about 900, according to the
program’s director, and DOE no longer expects to meet its previous goal of opening20
the repository by 2017. Despite the reduced funding and staff, OCRWM achieved
a major milestone by submitting a license application for the proposed repository to
the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on June 3, 2008, and now hopes to open the
repository by 2020.
Funding for the nuclear waste program is provided under two appropriations
accounts. The Administration requested $247.4 million from the Nuclear Waste
Fund, which holds fees paid by nuclear utilities. An additional $247.4 million was
requested in the Defense Nuclear Waste Disposal account, which pays for disposal
of high-level waste from the nuclear weapons program in the planned Yucca
Mountain repository. The House Appropriations Committee recommended the full
amount for both accounts, while the Senate panel recommended $195.4 million from
the Waste Disposal account and $193.0 million from the defense account.
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 2002 (H.J.Res. 87, P.L. 107-200) that
authorized the Yucca Mountain project to proceed to the licensing phase.
20 Statement of Edward F. Sproat III, OCRWM Director, to the Energy and Water
Development Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, April 10, 2008.
NWPA required DOE to begin taking waste from nuclear plant sites by January
31, 1998. Nuclear utilities, upset over DOE’s failure to meet that 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. DOE estimates that liability
payments will total $11 billion if Yucca Mountain begins receiving waste by 2020.21
(For more information, see CRS Report RL33461, Civilian Nuclear Waste Disposal,
by Mark Holt.)
Loan Guarantees. Congress established the DOE Innovative Technology
Loan Guarantee Program in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The act authorized loan
guarantees for energy projects using “new or significantly improved technologies”
to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The FY2008 consolidated appropriations act allowed DOE to guarantee
repayment of up to $38.5 billion in loans for energy projects during FY2008 and
FY2009. Of that amount, $18.5 billion is for nuclear power plants, $6 billion is for
coal projects that incorporate carbon capture and sequestration, $2 billion is for
advanced coal gasification, $10 billion is for renewable energy and energy efficiency
projects, and $2 billion for uranium enrichment and other “front end” nuclear fuel
cycle facilities. DOE must submit an implementation plan to the House and Senate
Appropriations Committees at least 45 days before issuing the loan guarantees.
DOE’s FY2009 budget request proposed to extend the previously approved
$38.5 billion in loan guarantee authority. Under the request, $20 billion would be
available through FY2010 for technologies other than nuclear power plants, while the
remaining $18.5 billion for nuclear power plants would be available through
FY2011. In addition to the $38.5 billion in loan guarantee authority that must be
used by FY2010 and FY2011, the FY2007 DOE appropriation (included in P.L. 110-
5) provided $4 billion in loan guarantee authority with no expiration date or specified
technology. To administer the loan guarantee program, DOE requested an
appropriation of $19.9 million for FY2009, an amount that is to be entirely offset by
fees imposed on project sponsors.
The House Appropriations Committee increased DOE’s loan guarantee
authority to $47 billion, all to be available through FY2011, in addition to the
previously authorized $4 billion. Of the $47 billion, $18.5 billion is for nuclear
power, $18.5 is for energy efficiency and renewables, $6 billion is for coal, $2 billion
is for carbon capture and sequestration, and $2 billion is for uranium enrichment.
The House panel provided the full $19.9 million administrative funding request, to
be offset by fees. The Senate Appropriations Committee did not increase the $38.5
billion in loan guarantees authorized in the FY2008 funding act, but recommended
that the time limits be removed entirely.
Because of Congressional Budget Office scoring requirements, the House panel
provided $465 million in budget authority (including $25 million in advance
21 Statement of Edward F. Sproat III, Director of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste
Management, Before the House Budget Committee, October 4, 2007.
appropriations from FY2008) to cover possible future government costs resulting
from the loan guarantees. The Senate Appropriations Committee included $355
million for that purpose.
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: three main programs — Directed Stockpile Work, Campaigns, and
Readiness in Technical Base and Facilities — as well as several smaller ones. All
are described below. Table 10 presents their funding. 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 10. Funding for Weapons Activities
P r ogram F Y 2008Approp. F Y 2009Request Approps. Approps. Conf .
DSW 1,401.3 1,675.7 1,398.7 1,644.2
Campaigns 1,873.7 1,631.7 1,658.3 1,678.8
RT BF 1,637.4 1,720.5 1,511.0 1,703.7
Other a 1,385.0 1,589.9 1,468.6 1,497.8
Total 6,297.5 6,618.1 6,036.6 6,524.6
Sources: DOE FY2009 Congressional Budget Request, vol. 1 (NNSA), p. 71; House Appropriations
Committee, Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill, 2009, unnumbered committee print,
June 2008, pp. 159-163; and Senate Appropriations Committee, Energy and Water Development
Appropriations Bill, 2009, S.Rept. 110-416, July 14, 2008, pp. 145-149.
Notes: Details may not add to totals due to rounding. DSW, Directed Stockpile Work; RTBF,
Readiness in Technical Base and Facilities.
a. Includes Secure Transportation Asset, Nuclear Weapons Incident Response, Facilities and
Infrastructure Recapitalization Program, Environmental Projects and Operations,
Transformation Disposition, Defense Nuclear Security, Cyber Security, Congressionally
Directed Projects, and several adjustments.
The FY2009 request document includes data from NNSA’s Future Years
Nuclear Security Program (FYNSP), which projects the budget and components
through FY2013 (see Table 11).
Table 11. NNSA Future Years Nuclear Security Program
F Y 2010 F Y 2011 F Y 2012 F Y 2013
DSW $1,762.1 1,790.0 1,760.2 1,776.4
Campaigns 1,588.4 1,494.9 1,495.7 1,516.5
RT BF 1,904.4 2,153.6 2,275.9 2,372.9
Other a 1,731.0 1,759.4 1,755.1 1,794.4
Total 6,985.7 7,197.8 7,286.9 7,460.3
Source: DOE FY2009 Congressional Budget Request, vol. 1 (NNSA), pp. 72.
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.
Nuclear Weapons Complex Reconfiguration. Although the nuclear
weapons complex (the “Complex”) currently consists of the eight sites noted above,
it was much larger during the Cold War in terms of number of sites, budgets, and
personnel. Despite the post-Cold War reduction, many in Congress have for years
wanted the Complex to change further, in various ways: fewer personnel, lower cost,
greater efficiency, smaller footprint at each site, increased security, and the like. (For
congressional action on FY2005-FY2008 appropriations, see CRS Report RL34009,
Energy and Water Development: FY2008 Appropriations.) In response, in January
2007 NNSA submitted a report to Congress on its plan for transforming the
Complex, “Complex 2030.”
The House Appropriations Committee, in its FY2008 report, expressed
displeasure with this plan and demanded “a comprehensive nuclear defense and
nonproliferation strategy,” a detailed description translating that strategy into a
“specific nuclear stockpile,” and “a comprehensive, long-term expenditure plan, from
FY2008 through FY2030...” before considering further funding for Complex 2030
and a nuclear weapon program, the Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW, discussed
below). It stated that “NNSA continues to pursue a policy of rebuilding and
modernizing the entire complex in situ without any thought given to a sensible
strategy for long-term efficiency and consolidation.” Similarly, the Senate
Appropriations Committee expressed concern with NNSA’s plans for the Complex.
It saw an inadequate linkage between warheads, the Complex, and strategy, and
“rejects the Department’s premature deployment of the NNSA Complex 2030
consolidation effort.” The joint explanatory statement accompanying the consolidated
appropriations bill said, “The Congress agrees to the direction contained in the House
and Senate reports requiring the Administration ... to develop and submit to thest
Congress a comprehensive nuclear weapons strategy for the 21 century.”
On December 18, 2007, NNSA announced its plan, Complex Transformation,
a name change from Complex 2030. It would retain existing sites, reduce the
weapons program footprint by as much as one-third, close or transfer from weapons
activities about 600 structures, reduce the number of weapons workers by 20-30%,
dismantle weapons more rapidly, and build several major new facilities, such as a
Uranium Processing Facility at Y-12 Plant, a Weapons Surveillance Facility at
Pantex Plant, and a Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Nuclear
Facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory.22 This plan is more fully described in
a Draft Complex Transformation Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Impact
Statement released in January 2008.23
The House Appropriations Committee reiterated its FY2008 views in its
Before the Committee will consider funding for most new programs,
substantial changes to the existing nuclear weapons complex, or funding for the
RRW, the Committee insists that the following sequence be completed:st
(1) replacement of Cold War strategies with a 21 Century nuclear
deterrent strategy sharply focused on today’s and tomorrow’s threats,
and capable of serving the national security needs of future
Administrations and future Congresses without need for nuclear
(2) determination of the size and nature of the nuclear stockpile
sufficient to serve that strategy;
(3) determination of the size and nature of the nuclear weapons24
complex needed to support that future stockpile.
In keeping with this approach, the committee recommended eliminating funds
for RRW and for several programs described below.
In its FY2009 report, the Senate Appropriations Committee recommended
eliminating funds for RRW and made various changes to individual programs. It did
not provide general comments on Complex transformation.
Directed Stockpile Work (DSW). This program involves work directly on
nuclear weapons in the stockpile, such as monitoring their condition; maintaining
22 U.S. Department of Energy. National Nuclear Security Administration. “NNSA Releases
Draft Plan to Transform Nuclear Weapons Complex.” Press release, December 18, 2007,
National Nuclear Security Administration, “Nuclear Weapons Complex Transformation,”
with links to plans for each site, at [http://www.nnsa.doe.gov/complextransformation.htm];
and Walter Pincus, “Administration Plans to Shrink U.S. Nuclear Arms Program,”
Washington Post, December 19, 2007, p. 1.
23 For the full text of the supplemental programmatic environmental impact statement
(SPEIS) and supporting documents, see U.S. Department of Energy. National Nuclear
Security Administration. “Complex Transformation SPEIS,” at [http://www.complex
transformationspeis.com/proj ect.html ].
24 U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Appropriations. Energy and Water Development
Appropriations Bill, 2009, unnumbered committee print, June 2008, pp. 123-124.
them through repairs, refurbishment, life extension, and modifications; R&D in
support of specific warheads; and dismantlement. Specific items under DSW include
!Life Extension Programs (LEPs). These programs aim to extend the
life of existing warheads by 20 to 30 years through design,
certification, manufacture, and replacement of components. Two
LEPs are underway. One for the B61 mods 7 and 11 bombs will
complete actions needed to close out the program in FY2009; its
FY2008 budget is $61.9 million, and the FY2009 request is $2.2
million. The other LEP is for the W76 warhead for the Trident II
submarine-launched ballistic missile. Its FY2008 budget is $172.2
million, while its FY2009 request is $209.2 million. Work in
FY2008 involves preparation for manufacture with a goal of making
the first production unit. NNSA plans to ramp to full production in
!Stockpile Systems. This program involves routine maintenance,
replacement of limited-life components, ongoing assessment, and
the like for all weapon types in the stockpile. The FY2008 budget
is $340.1 million; the FY2009 request is $338.7 million. Of the
eight warhead types listed, the two largest programs under stockpile
systems are for the B61 and W76.
!Weapons Dismantlement and Disposition (WDD). The President
and Congress have agreed on the desirability of reducing the
stockpile to the lowest level consistent with national security, and
numbers of warheads have fallen sharply since the end of the Cold
War. According to NNSA, “Reducing the total number of U.S.
nuclear weapons sends a clear message to the world that critical
modernization programs do not signal a return to the arms race of
the Cold War.” WDD involves interim storage of warheads to be
dismantled, dismantlement, and disposition, i.e., storing or
eliminating warhead components and materials. The FY2008
budget is $134.7 million; the FY2009 request is $183.7 million.
Within WDD, the major activity is the Pit Disassembly and
Conversion Facility (PDCF). The “pit” is the fissile component
(usually plutonium) of a nuclear warhead that initiates a
thermonuclear explosion. As warheads are dismantled, pits may be
stored, but for permanent disposition PDCF would convert the
plutonium in pits to plutonium oxide for use in a Mixed Oxide Fuel
Fabrication Facility (MFFF), where it would become fuel for
commercial light-water nuclear reactors. The project also includes
a Waste Solidification Building (WSB) to convert liquid wastes
from PDCF and MFFF into solids for disposal off-site. (In FY2008,
MFFF was transferred from NNSA to DOE’s Office of Nuclear
Energy. The FY2009 budget request would transfer the project to
Other Defense Activities.) In FY2009, NNSA plans to begin
construction of WSB and to continue design and technology
development for PDCF.
!Stockpile Services. This category includes Production Support;
R&D Support; R&D Certification and Safety; Management,
Technology, and Production; Pit Manufacturing; and Pit
Manufacturing Capability. Under Pit Manufacturing, NNSA plans
to manufacture stockpile-quality pits for the W88 warhead at Los
Alamos National Laboratory. NNSA established a capacity of 10
pits per year in FY2007, a figure it plans to increase to 50 to 80 pits
per year. Closely related is Pit Manufacturing Capability, which
develops processes to manufacture pits other than for the W88. The
budget for Stockpile Services was $692.4 million for FY2008;
$931.9 million is requested for FY2009.
!Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW). This program seeks to
develop a warhead initially to replace W76 warheads. The design
would trade characteristics important during the Cold War, notably
high warhead yield per unit of warhead weight, for features deemed
more important now, such as ease of manufacture, enhanced use
denial, reduced cost, and ease of certification without nuclear
testing. Supporters assert RRW can meet these goals; critics raise
technical concerns, argue that it could spur nuclear proliferation, and
hold that the Life Extension Program can maintain existing
warheads. Congress eliminated FY2008 funds for developing this
warhead. For FY2009, NNSA requests $10.0 million to address
certain questions on certifying RRW and to document work
completed through FY2007. (See CRS Report RL32929, The
Reliable Replacement Warhead Program: Background and Current
Developments, and CRS Report RL33748, Nuclear Warheads: The
Reliable Replacement Warhead Program and the Life Extension
Program, by Jonathan Medalia.)
In its report on FY2009 energy-water appropriations, the House Appropriations
Committee recommended providing the requested funds for Life Extension Programs
and Stockpile Systems. It recommended increasing Weapons Dismantlement and
Disposition funds by $6.0 million, mainly to examine a capability with which an
existing facility at Nevada Test Site could dismantle “small numbers of troublesome
individual warheads” without interfering with large-scale dismantlement at Pantex.
It recommended reducing Stockpile Services by $273.1 million to the level that the
House passed for FY2008. It recommended eliminating RRW funds:
The Committee supports trading off Cold War high yield [in nuclear warheads]
for improved reliability, in order to move to a smaller stockpile requiring a
smaller and cheaper weapons complex with no need for nuclear testing.
That said, the Committee remains to be convinced that a new warhead
design will lead to these benefits. The Committee will not spend the taxpayers’
money for a new generation of warheads promoted as leading to nuclear
reductions absent a specified glide path to a specified, much smaller force of
In its FY2009 report, the Senate Appropriations Committee recommended full
funding for Life Extension Programs and Stockpile Systems, eliminating funds for
RRW, increasing funds for Weapons Dismantlement by $22.0 million, and reducing
funds for Stockpile Services by $43.6 million.
The Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations
Act for FY2009, P.L. 110-329, provides no NNSA funds for RRW. Section 104
states, “No appropriation or funds made available or authority granted pursuant to
section 101 shall be used to initiate or resume any project or activity for which
appropriations, funds, or other authority were not available during fiscal year 2008.”
Section 101 appropriates
[s]uch amounts as may be necessary, at a rate for operations as provided in the
applicable appropriations Acts for fiscal year 2008 and under the authority and
conditions provided in such Acts, for continuing projects or activities (including
the costs of direct loans and loan guarantees) that are not otherwise specifically
provided for in this joint resolution, that were conducted in fiscal year 2008, and
for which appropriations, funds, or other authority were made available in the
following appropriations Acts: divisions A, B, C, D, F, G, H, J, and K of the
Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008 (Public Law 110-161).
In turn, Division C of P.L. 110-161, which provided appropriations for energy and
water development, provided no NNSA funds for RRW.
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.” Many items within Campaigns have significance
for policy decisions. For example, the Science Campaign’s goals include improving
the ability to assess warhead performance without nuclear testing, improving
readiness to conduct nuclear tests should the need arise, and maintaining the
scientific infrastructure of the nuclear weapons laboratories. Campaigns also fund
some large experimental facilities, such as the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence
Livermore National Laboratory, the Dual-Axis Radiographic Hydrotest Facility at
Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the Microsystems and Engineering Sciences
Applications Complex at Sandia National Laboratories. The FY2009 request includes
!Science Campaign. This campaign pursues the science underlying
nuclear weapons performance and aging in an effort to better
maintain confidence in the U.S. nuclear stockpile. Further, NNSA
calls it “the principal mechanism for supporting the science required
to maintain the technical vitality of the national nuclear weapons
laboratories.” Through it, NNSA seeks “a predictive capability for
the entire nuclear explosive package by 2020.” Congress established
a component of this campaign, Advanced Certification, to improve
the ability to certify warheads without testing despite changes to
nuclear components. Another component of the Science Campaign
is Test Readiness, the ability to conduct nuclear testing should that
be deemed necessary. In FY2007, NNSA had achieved the ability
to conduct a test within 24 months of an order to do so; because of
budgetary pressures, that schedule increased to 24 to 36 months.
The FY2008 budget for the Science Campaign is $287.6 million.
For FY2009, the request is $323.1 million and the House
Appropriations Committee recommended $307.7 million. The
committee “commends NNSA for its outstanding Stockpile
Stewardship program, which has performed better than expected and
has created a technically superior alternative to nuclear testing.”
Further, “the Committee finds no evidence that nuclear testing
would add a useful increment to the immense and expanding body
of weapons knowledge arising from Stockpile Stewardship.” It
called nuclear testing “a non-executable mission.” For these and
other reasons, it recommended eliminating the $10.4 million
requested for nuclear test readiness. The Senate Appropriations
Committee recommended $331.1 million for this campaign, with an
increase of $8.0 million to support subcritical and other experiments.
The committee expressed its support for the Advanced Certification
program “to increase the confidence in changes to warhead design
to increase the safety and reliability margins of the stockpile without
underground testing”; these were goals of the RRW program. The
committee recommended reducing nuclear test readiness to $5.4
!Engineering Campaign. This campaign develops capabilities to
assess and improve nonnuclear components of nuclear warheads. It
provides technologies to improve surety, which includes such
nuclear weapon characteristics as safety, security, and use control;
develops means to assess weapons design, manufacturing, and
certification; provides the means to qualify components to meet
requirements for high-radiation environments, such as from missile
defenses; and develops capabilities to detect and assess stockpile
aging at an early stage. The FY2008 budget for this campaign is
$169.5 million. For FY2009, the request is $142.7 million and the
committee recommended $164.0 million. Within this campaign, the
request for advanced surety is $35.6 million; the committee provided
$70.0 million and barred use of the funds for RRW. The Senate
Appropriations Committee recommended an increase of $20.0
million. It stated that this campaign “offers the best opportunity to
explore, develop and deploy state-of-the-art use control and surety
devices to our stockpile.” These were also goals of the RRW
program. The committee expressed its support for weapons
surveillance sensors and encouraged NNSA to examine “broad
applications beyond on-weapons controls” for these sensors.
!Inertial Confinement Fusion Ignition and High Yield Campaign.
This campaign is developing the tools to create extremely high
temperatures and pressures in the laboratory — approaching those
of a nuclear explosion — to support weapons-related research and
to attract scientific talent to the Stockpile Stewardship Program. The
centerpiece of this campaign is the National Ignition Facility (NIF),
the world’s largest laser. While NIF was controversial in Congress
for many years and had significant cost growth and technical
problems, completion is expected in 2009,25 so the controversy over
NIF has waned. The FY2008 budget for this campaign is $470.2
million. The FY2009 request is $421.2 million, which included no
funds for NIF construction. The House Appropriations Committee
recommended $508.1 million, with the increase distributed among
several subprograms. The Senate Appropriations Committee
recommended $453.2 million, an increase of $32.0 million, of which
$30.0 million is mainly for operation of NIF and another facility.
!Advanced Simulation and Computing Campaign. This campaign
develops computation-based models of nuclear weapons, which
integrate data from other campaigns, past test data, laboratory
experiments, and elsewhere to create what NNSA calls “the
computational surrogate for nuclear testing,” thereby enabling
“comprehensive understanding of the entire weapons lifecycle from
design to safe processes for dismantlement.” It includes funds for
hardware and operations as well as for software. Its FY2008 budget
is $574.5 million. The FY2009 request is $561.7 million. The
House Appropriations Committee recommended $495.5 million.
The Senate Appropriations Committee recommended $573.7
million, but stated that it “is frustrated by the lack of information
regarding the computing strategy for the NNSA laboratories in this
budget,” and accordingly requested NNSA to prepare a report on its
shared computing strategy. The committee also expressed its
concern “about the declining NNSA investment in computing
platforms needed to sustain the computing capability at each of the
three national security labs.”
!Readiness Campaign. This campaign develops technologies and
techniques to improve the safety and efficiency of manufacturing
and reduce its costs. Subprograms focus on production of high
explosives, nonnuclear components, and weapons components with
special materials. Another subprogram, Tritium Readiness,
“reestablishes and operates the Departmental capability for
producing tritium.” (Tritium, an isotope of hydrogen, is used to
increase the explosive force of the first stage of a nuclear weapon.)
The FY2008 budget for this campaign is $158.1 million. The
FY2009 request is $183.0 million. The House Appropriations
Committee recommended that amount. The Senate Appropriations
Committee recommended a reduction of $25.0 million, of which
$11.0 million was from tritium readiness activities “due to
unobligated balances in this account.”
Readiness in Technical Base and Facilities (RTBF). This program
funds infrastructure and operations at nuclear weapons complex sites. The FY2008
budget is $1,637.4 million. For FY2009, the request is $1,720.5 million and the
25 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, “The National Ignition Facility: Ushering in
a New Age for Science,” at [https://lasers.llnl.gov/programs/nif/].
House Appropriations Committee recommended $1,511.0 million. RTBF has six
subprograms. By far the largest is Operations of Facilities (FY2008 budget, $1,154.5
million; FY2009 request, $1,212.9 million. Others include Program Readiness,
which supports activities occurring at multiple sites or in multiple programs (FY2008
budget, $70.1 million; FY2009 request, $73.8 million); Material Recycle and
Recovery, which recovers plutonium, enriched uranium, and tritium from weapons
production and disassembly (FY2008 budget, $71.6 million; FY2009 request, $72.5
million); and Construction (FY2008 budget, $285.0 million; FY2009 request, $308.5
The most costly and controversial item in Construction is the Chemistry and
Metallurgy Research Building Replacement (CMRR) Project at Los Alamos National
Laboratory (FY2008 budget, $74.1 million; FY2009 request, $100.2 million).
CMRR would replace a building about 50 years old that, among other things, houses
research into plutonium and supports pit production at Los Alamos. In considering
the FY2008 budget, the House Appropriations Committee stated, “Proceeding with
the CMRR project as currently designed will strongly prejudice any nuclear complex
transformation plan. The CMRR facility has no coherent mission to justify it unless
the decision is made to begin an aggressive new nuclear warhead design and pit
production mission at Los Alamos National Laboratory.” In contrast, the Senate
Appropriations Committee stated, “The current authorization basis for the existing
CMR [facility] lasts only through 2010, as it does not provide adequate worker safety
or containment precautions. However, deep spending cuts ... will likely result in
delays that will require the laboratory to continue operations in the existing CMR
facility.” In its FY2009 report, the House Appropriations Committee stated,
regarding CMRR and the Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility, “In the
absence of critical decisions on the nature and size of the stockpile, which in turn
generate requirements for the nature and capacity of the nuclear weapons complex,
it is impossible to determine the capacity required of either of these facilities. It
would be imprudent to design and construct on the basis of a guess at their required
capacity.” Accordingly, the committee recommended no funds for either project. It
also recommended no funds for two other projects, stating, “Each is a new start in the
absence of a strategy defining the requirements for the facility.”
The Senate Appropriations Committee recommended $1,703.7 million for
RTBF, a reduction of $21.8 million. It recommended $16.4 million (in two accounts)
for the TA-55 Reinvestment Project. It recommended reducing funds for the
Uranium Processing Facility at the Y-12 Plant by $57.6 million, to $38.6 million, on
grounds of inadequate justification. It recommended $125.0 million, an increase of
$24.8 million, for CMRR “to make up for [previous] funding shortfalls.”
Other Programs. Weapons Activities includes several smaller programs in
addition to DSW, Campaigns, and RTBF. Among them:
!Nuclear Weapons Incident Response: provides for use of DOE assets
to manage and respond to a nuclear or radiological emergency within
the United States or abroad. The FY2008 budget is $158.7 million.
The FY2009 request is $221.9 million and the House and Senate
Appropriations Committees recommended the same amount.
!Facilities and Infrastructure Recapitalization Program (FIRP):
“applies new direct appropriations to address an integrated,
prioritized series of repair and infrastructure projects focusing on
elimination of legacy deferred maintenance that significantly
increases the operational efficiency and effectiveness of the NNSA
nuclear weapons complex,” according to NNSA. Its FY2008 budget
is $180.0 million. The FY2009 request is $169.5 million and the
House Appropriations Committee recommended the same amount.
The Senate Appropriations Committee recommended a reduction of
$6.0 million. A subprogram, Facility Disposition, requests no funds
for FY2009, vs. an FY2008 budget of $25.0 million, because it will
reach its FY2009 goal in FY2008.
!Environmental Projects and Operations: seeks to reduce
environmental and health risks at NNSA facilities and surrounding
areas by operating and maintaining certain environmental cleanup
systems and by conducting long-term environmental monitoring. Its
FY2008 budget is $8.6 million. For FY2009, the request is $40.6
million. The House Appropriations Committee recommended the
same amount. The Senate Appropriations Committee recommended
a reduction of $12.3 million.
!Transformation Disposition: eliminates excess NNSA facilities
through demolition, transfer, or sale in order to reduce the area
(gross square feet) these facilities occupy, thereby reducing costs.
It has no funds for FY2008. For FY2009, the request is $77.4
million and the House Appropriations Committee recommended that
amount. The committee provided this amount “notwithstanding that
it is a new start in the absence of the required overall strategy,
because it is a strategy-independent commendable step toward
reducing the cost of operating the complex.” The Senate
Appropriations Committee recommended eliminating the entire
request. It “agrees with the goals of the new program,” but noted its
frustration with DOE and the Office of Management and Budget
(OMB) for funding this program while reducing by hundreds of
millions of dollars decommissioning and demolition (D&D) of
radiologically contaminated buildings under the control of DOE’s
Office of Environmental Management. “On balance, the Committee
does not see the logic in DOE and OMB’s priorities between these
two programs D&D activities.”
!Safeguards and Security consists of three elements. (1) 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 FY2008 budget is $211.5
million. For FY2009, the request is $221.1 million and the House
and Senate Appropriations Committees recommended the same
amount. (2) Defense Nuclear Security provides operations,
maintenance, and construction funds for protective forces, physical
security systems, personnel security, and the like. The FY2008
budget is $765.2 million (after deducting $34.0 million for security
work for others). For FY2009, the request is $737.3 million, the
House Appropriations Committee recommended $760.8 million, and
the Senate Appropriations Committee recommended the requested
amount. (3) Cyber Security. For FY2008, the budget is $100.3
million. The FY2009 request is $122.5 million, and the House and
Senate Appropriations Committees recommended that amount.
!The Senate Appropriations Committee recommended $3.5 million
for congressionally directed projects.
The cost of Safeguards and Security is a major concern for Congress and NNSA.
In the wake of 9/11, the relevant threats and the Design Basis Threat changed.
Ambassador Linton Brooks, then Administrator of NNSA, stated in 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.”26 In
response, many changes have been proposed to reduce security costs, such as
reducing the area to be guarded by reducing the footprint of several sites and by
consolidating uranium and plutonium at fewer sites.
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).
26 Statement of Ambassador Linton F. Brooks, Administrator, National Nuclear Security
Administration, before the Senate Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Strategic
Forces, April 4, 2005.
Table 12. DOE Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Programs
Nonproliferation and Verification$387.2$275.1$276.0$350.1
Nonproliferation and Internationala150.0140.5165.3175.5
International Materials Protection,624.5429.7509.4429.7
Control and Accounting (MPC&A)
Elimination of Weapons-Grade179.9141.3141.3141.3
Fissile Materials Dispositionb66.241.841.841.8
Global Threat Reduction Initiative193.2219.6406.6284.6
Cong. Dir. Projects 56.9 — 1.0 —
Rescissions and use of prior yearc(322.0) (0.1) (11.4)(0.1)
Total 1,336.0 1,247.0 1,530.0 1,422.0
Sources: House Appropriations Committee draft report; S.Rept. 110-416.
Note: Numbers may not add due to rounding.
a. Includes funding for two formerly separate programs: Russian Transition Initiatives and HEU Transparency
I mp lementatio n.
b. Funding for MOX plant was transferred to Nuclear Energy, and Pit Disassembly plant to NNSA. S. 3258 would
return the MOX plant project to the Nonproliferation budget, adding $487.1 million to Fissile Material Disposition
and the total Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation program.
c. From the Russian Fissile Materials Disposition program, MOX construction, and FY1999 emergency supplemental.
Funding for these programs in FY2008 was $1.336 billion, compared to the
FY2007 level of $1.683 billion. The reduction reflected moving two major
construction projects, the Mixed-Oxide (MOX) plant and the Pit Disassembly plant,
from the Fissile Materials Disposition program to other parts of DOE. (See below.)
For FY2009, the Administration agreed to move those projects out of the
Nonproliferation program, and requested $1.247 billion. The House bill
recommended $1.530 billion. The Senate bill would appropriate $1.422 billion, and
would also return the Mixed Oxide plant project from Nuclear Power programs to
Defense Nonproliferation, adding $487 million for a total of $1.909 billion.
The Nonproliferation and Verification R&D program was funded at $387.2
million for FY2008. The request for FY2009 was $275.1 million. The House bill
recommended $276.0 million. S. 3258 would appropriate $350.1 million.
Nonproliferation and International Security programs include international
safeguards, export controls, and treaties and agreements. The FY2009 request for
these programs was $140.5 million, compared to $150.0 million appropriated for
FY2008. The House Appropriations Committee recommended $165.3 million. The
Committee “explicitly denied” funding under this program for Global Nuclear
Energy Partnership (GNEP) activities. (See Nuclear Power section, above.) The
Senate bill would appropriate $175.5 million, but the Senate report does not mention
International Materials Protection, Control and Accounting (MPC&A), which
is concerned with reducing the threat posed by unsecured Russian weapons and
weapons-usable material, was funded at $624.5 million in FY2008; the FY2009
request is $429.7 million. The House bill recommends $509.4 million; the Senate
bill recommends the requested amount, $429.7 million.
The goal of the Fissile Materials Disposition program 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 “mixed-oxide”
(MOX) reactor fuel at Savannah River, South Carolina, and a similar program in
Russia. However, funding for the U.S. side of the program has been controversial
for several years, because of lack of progress on the program to dispose of Russian
plutonium. For FY2008 the Administration requested $609.5 million for Fissile
Materials Disposition, including $393.8 million for construction. The House
Appropriations Committee, noting that Russia had decided in 2006 not to pursue
plutonium disposition in light water MOX reactors but to build fast breeder reactors
instead, declared the bilateral agreement a failure and asserted that the $1.7 billion
previously appropriated for facilities to be used in the U.S. side of the plutonium
disposal agreement was “without any nuclear nonproliferation benefit accrued to the
The committee recommended transferring the MOX plant and another project,
the Pit Disassembly and Conversion Facility (PDCF), both at Savannah River, SC,
to the nuclear energy program and NNSA’s weapons program respectively. The
FY2008 omnibus funding act adopted the House position, transferring the MOX
plant and PDCF to other programs. The net appropriation for the NNSA’s Fissile
Materials Disposition program was reduced to $66.2 million. For FY2009, the
Administration requested $41.8 million. The House and Senate bill recommended
the same amount, but the Senate bill would return the MOX plant to the
Environmental Management. The adequacy of funding to address health
and environmental risks resulting from the past production of nuclear weapons is a
longstanding issue. In 1989, DOE established what is now the Office of
Environmental Management to consolidate its efforts to administer the cleanup of
former nuclear weapons sites. These efforts include the disposal of radioactive and
other hazardous wastes, management and disposal of surplus nuclear materials, the
remediation of soil and groundwater contaminated from such wastes, and the
decontamination and decommissioning of excess buildings and facilities. Through
this program, DOE also administers the disposal of wastes and remediation of
contamination at sites where the federal government conducted civilian nuclear
energy research. Altogether, there were 114 “geographic”27 sites in 30 states where
these activities resulted in the generation of wastes and contamination.
The Environmental Management Program represents a sizeable portion of
DOE’s budget, constituting approximately one-fifth of the President’s FY2009
budget request for the Department.
FY2009 Appropriations. The Senate Appropriations Committee
recommended $6.09 billion in FY2009 for DOE’s Environmental Management
Program. The House Appropriations Committee recommended a lower amount of
$5.75 billion. Both committee recommendations are more than the President’s
request of $5.53 billion, and the $5.69 billion that Congress enacted for FY2008
(after rescissions). In its draft report, the House Appropriations Committee
commented on the overall effectiveness of the program, noting its concern that
significant health and environmental risks persist at many sites despite the substantial
expenditure of resources over time to address them. Both committees also expressed
similar concerns that the President’s proposed decreases for some sites may delay
compliance with cleanup “milestones” (i.e., deadlines). Cleanup milestones can be
critical in gauging efforts to address potential risks at individual sites, as these
milestones establish time frames for the completion of specific actions or steps
within the cleanup process.
Cleanup milestones are identified in written agreements among DOE, the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and state regulatory agencies. Various
federal cleanup statutes authorize EPA and the states to oversee cleanup actions at
federal facilities, including DOE facilities, to ensure that such actions are protective
of human health and the environment. Although cleanup milestones are legally
binding, the ability to meet specified deadlines depends upon the availability of
funding to carry out necessary actions, the technical feasibility of those actions, and
in some cases, the resolution of other regulatory issues upon which a milestone may
be based. Consequently, it should be noted that funding alone does not necessarily
determine the ability of DOE to comply with cleanup milestones.
Of the sites still in need of cleanup, the Hanford facility, in the State of
Washington, is the largest and most complex site administered under the
Environmental Management Program. This site alone receives about one-third of the
funding for the entire program. The adequacy of funding to clean up Hanford has
been particularly controversial for many reasons, including potential risks from
radioactive contamination migrating through groundwater into the Columbia River
and the delayed construction of the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant. This
facility is a key element in DOE’s plans to treat the substantial volume of high-level
radioactive waste to be removed from the underground tanks at Hanford, and to
27 DOE makes a distinction between its “geographic” sites, which represent entire facilities
and the lands they occupy, and the thousands of discrete contaminated sites located on each
facility that have been, or need to be, cleaned up. One of these geographic sites, the Waste
Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico, was constructed as a repository to dispose of
transuranic radioactive waste from other sites. Although this facility is not a cleanup site,
its operation is essential to the cleanup of transuranic waste at many sites where such waste
is removed and prepared for permanent disposal off-site.
solidify that waste for permanent disposal in a geologic repository. This task is one
of the more costly cleanup challenges across the complex of sites.
Various engineering and design issues have delayed construction of the Waste
Treatment and Immobilization Plant at Hanford. The President requested $690.0
million for the construction of this facility, an increase above the FY2008 enacted
appropriation of $683.7 million. The request also includes $288.4 million for the
management of the wastes still stored in the underground tanks, slightly more than
the appropriation of $285.8 million enacted for FY2008. These activities are carried
out by the Office of River Protection at Hanford, which addresses potential risks to
the Columbia River from the high-level tank wastes. The House Appropriations
Committee recommended approval of the full request for the Office of River
Protection, whereas the Senate Appropriations Committee recommended an increase
for the management of the wastes still contained in the underground tanks.
Table 13 presents the enacted appropriations for the Environmental
Management Program for FY2008 (after rescissions), compared to the President’s
FY2009 budget request, and the recommendations of the House and Senate
Appropriations Committees. These respective amounts are indicated for the three
statutory accounts that fund the Environmental Management Program. A breakout
is provided for selected sites and program activities in which there has been broad
Table 13. Environmental Management Program Appropriations
Environmental F Y 2008 F Y 2009
Defense Environmental Cleanup
Accelerated Closure Sites$42.1$45.9$45.9$59.4
Hanford $1,856.0 $1,830.2 $1,854.2 $2,052.0
Office of River
Protection $969.5 $978.4 $978.4 $1,031.4
Plant $683.7 $690.0 $690.0 $690.0
Activities $285.8 $288.4 $288.4 $341.4
Savannah River Site$1,131.2$1,206.4$1,180.0$1,265.0
Idaho National Laboratory$508.4$432.1$472.1$465.1
Oak Ridge Reservation$190.5$237.7$262.7$255.0
Waste Isolation Pilot Plant$234.6$211.5$231.9$231.7
Safeguards and Security$259.3$251.3$251.3$260.3
Environmental F Y 2008 F Y 2009
Federal Contribution to
Uranium Enrichment D&Da
Proj ects $17.2 $0.0 $7.7 $9.0
Use of Prior Year Defense$0.0$-1.1$-1.1$0.0
Proj ects $0.0 $0.0 $2.0 $3.0
Use of Prior Year Non-
Defense $0.0 $-0.7 $-0.7 $0.0
D&D Fund $622.2$480.3$529.3$515.3
Uranium Enrichment D&Da
Fund Offset $-458.8$-463.0$-463.0$-463.0
Source: Prepared by the Congressional Research Service using information from the Department of
Energy, Office of Chief Financial Officer, FY2009 Congressional Budget Request, Volume 5,
February 2008; the House Appropriations Committee draft FY2009 Energy and Water Development
appropriations bill, accompanying report, and amendments as posted by CQ.com; and the Senate
Appropriations Committee FY2009 Energy and Water Development appropriations bill (S. 3258) and
accompanying report (S.Rept. 110-416). FY2008 enacted amounts reflect applicable rescissions, as
reported by the House Appropriations Committee in the above noted draft report.
a. D&D = Decontamination and Decommissioning. Federal payment to the Uranium Enrichment
D&D Fund is typically treated as an offset to the total for the Environmental Management
Estimated Future Funding Needs. The need for annual appropriations of
several billion dollars to clean up the federal government’s nuclear waste sites has
motivated ongoing concern within Congress about the long-term financial liability
of the United States to meet these needs. Accordingly, there has been much debate
about how to ensure public health and safety, and the protection of the environment,
in the most expedient and cost-effective manner. DOE reports that it had cleaned up
Although DOE has disposed of substantial quantities of waste and remediated many
areas of contamination at the remaining sites, much work remains to be done to
DOE expects to complete cleanup at many sites within the next several years.
However, the Department anticipates cleanup to continue for decades at the larger
and more complex sites, such as Hanford, Savannah River, and the Idaho National
Laboratory, where high-level radioactive waste is in need of treatment and disposal,
and soil and groundwater contamination are generally more severe. Based on its
more recent assumptions, DOE expects the cleanup and disposal of wastes to be
complete at Savannah River sometime between 2038 and 2040, at the Idaho National
Laboratory between 2035 and 2044, and at Hanford between 2050 and 2062.29
DOE’s most recent annual financial statement, for FY2007, estimated that
$188.7 billion would be needed to complete cleanup and dispose of wastes at all sites
currently administered by the Environmental Management Program.30 This estimate
is $29.5 billion more than the estimate of $159.2 billion in DOE’s FY2006 financial
statement.31 The higher cost estimate in the FY2007 financial statement is attributed
to various factors, such as shifts in individual project baselines and greater
uncertainties in DOE’s assumptions. It also should be noted that the cost estimate
of $188.7 billion is in FY2007 dollars. The Department noted that “future inflation
could cause actual costs to be substantially higher” over time.32
In addition to inflation, other factors could cause actual costs to exceed the more
recent $188.7 billion estimate. For example, actual costs could be higher than
expected, depending on whether federal and state regulators require more stringent
and more costly cleanup actions than DOE plans to take. Costs also could rise if
initial cleanup actions prove inadequate to protect human health and the environment
over the long term. Future performance of cleanup actions is especially critical for
nuclear waste sites because hazardous levels of radioactivity can persist for thousands
of years, depending on the particular radionuclide. Predicting the effectiveness of
methods to contain radioactive wastes over such long periods of time is challenging,
if not impracticable, in some cases. Consequently, additional funding could be
needed at sites where cleanup was thought to be complete, if the initial cleanup
proves inadequate over time.
28 DOE, Office of Chief Financial Officer, FY2009 Congressional Budget Request, Volume
5, February 2008, p. 38. DOE referenced 108 geographic sites, as it excluded six sites slated
for transfer to the Office of Legacy Management for long-term stewardship. The total of
114 geographic sites noted above includes these six sites to provide a comparison of
completed sites to the total number of sites that originally were contaminated.
29 Ibid., p. 48.
30 DOE, U.S. Department of Energy Agency Financial Report Fiscal Year 2007, DOE/CF-
31 DOE, Performance and Accountability Report Fiscal Year 2006, DOE/CF-0012, p. 173.
32 DOE, U.S. Department of Energy Agency Financial Report Fiscal Year 2007, DOE/CF-
DOE’s $188.7 billion estimate also does not include the costs of long-term,
“post-closure” care of sites once wastes are disposed of, and cleanup remedies are in
place, to ensure the protection of human health and the environment into the future.
DOE’s FY2007 financial statement estimated that $29.4 billion would be needed for
long-term care of sites after work under its Environmental Management Program is
completed.33 This estimate is $11.2 billion more than the estimate of $18.2 billion
in the Department’s FY2006 financial statement.34
It should be noted that a substantial portion of the increase in the more recent
estimate is attributed to a difference in accounting of the estimated costs for the
disposal of certain materials, including surplus plutonium. The FY2006 financial
statement listed the cost of this responsibility separately, whereas the FY2007
financial statement included it in the estimate for “legacy environmental liabilities”
along with long-term site care. Adjusting for this difference in accounting, the
estimate of $29.4 billion for legacy environmental liabilities in the FY2007 financial
statement is $1.3 billion more than the comparable, prior year estimate of $28.1
billion, when the estimated costs of the disposal of surplus plutonium and other
materials are included.
DOE explained that its more recent estimate of $29.4 billion for post-closure
site care and other long-term stewardship activities would be incurred over 75 years
through FY2082.35 DOE also assumed that some additional funds would be needed
to continue the long-term care of sites beyond this time frame, but stated that such
future costs over a lengthy planning horizon “cannot reasonably be estimated.”36 The
President’s FY2009 budget request for the long-term care of sites administered under
DOE’s Office of Legacy Management is discussed below.
Office of Legacy Management. Once a site is cleaned up and there is no
continuing DOE mission, responsibility for long-term care of the site is transferred to
DOE’s Office of Legacy Management. This office also manages the payment of
pensions and post-retirement benefits of former contractor personnel who worked at
these sites.37 As indicated in Table 14, the President requested a total of $186.0
million for the Office of Legacy Management in FY2009, approximately $2.8 million
less than the FY2008 appropriation. Both the House and Senate Appropriations
Committees recommended the President’s full request for FY2009.
The President proposed to consolidate the funding for this office within DOE’s
“Other Defense Activities” account, whereas Congress has been appropriating the
34 DOE, Performance and Accountability Report Fiscal Year 2006, DOE/CF-0012, p. 173.
35 DOE, U.S. Department of Energy Agency Financial Report Fiscal Year 2007, DOE/CF-
37 At sites with a continuing mission, long-term site care and the payment of pensions and
post-retirement benefits is assigned to the program office within DOE that is responsible for
administering that mission or is the “landlord” of the site, rather than the Office of Legacy
funding separately for defense and non-defense sites. Both the House and the Senate
Appropriations Committees agreed with the change. In its request, DOE stated that
less than 20% of the funding would be devoted to non-defense sites in FY2009.
Although the President’s total request for the Office of Legacy Management is a
relatively small decrease below the FY2008 enacted appropriation, the funding needs
for the office are likely to grow significantly in future years, as more sites are
transferred from the Environmental Management Program for long-term care once
cleanup remedies are in place and wastes are disposed of permanently.
Table 14. Office of Legacy Management Appropriations
Type F Y 2008 F Y 2009
Defense $155.0 $186.0 $186.0 $186.0
Non-defense* $33.9 $0.0 $0.0 $0.0
Total $188.8 $186.0 $186.0 $186.0
Source: Prepared by the Congressional Research Service using information from the Department of
Energy, Office of Chief Financial Officer, FY2009 Congressional Budget Request, Volume 5, February
2008; the House Appropriations Committee draft FY2009 Energy and Water Development
appropriations bill, accompanying report, and amendments as posted by CQ.com; and the Senate
Appropriations Committee FY2009 Energy and Water Development appropriations bill (S. 3258) and
accompanying report (S.Rept. 110-416). FY2008 enacted amounts reflect applicable rescissions, as
reported by the House Appropriations Committee in the above noted draft report.
* In FY2009, all sites administered under the Office of Legacy Management would be funded under
the “Other Defense Activities” account. The majority of these sites were defense-related facilities
involved in the U.S. nuclear weapons 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 to sell the power
generated by the dams 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. (For more information, see CRS Report RS22564, Power
Marketing Administrations: Background and Current Issues, by Nic Lane.)
Priority for PMA power is extended to “preference customers,” which include
municipal utilities, cooperatives, 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.
The Administration’s FY2009 request for the PMAs was $232.1 million. This
is an overall reduction of $8.3 million (3.5%) compared with the FY2008 request. The
individual requests for each PMA are: SEPA, $7.4 million; SWPA, $28.4 million; and
WAPA, $193.3 million. In addition, $3.0 million was requested for Falcon and
Armisted operations and maintenance.
In FY2008 WAPA, SEPA, and SWPA proposed to assign “Agency Rates” to
new obligations. The Agency Rate is the rate at which federal corporations and BPA
borrow. This proposal was not enacted in FY2008 and was not included in the
BPA is a self-funded agency under authority granted by P.L. 93-454 (16 U.S.C.
§838), the Federal Columbia River Transmission System Act of 1974, and receives
no appropriations. However, it 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 expects to use a net $269 million of borrowing authority in
FY2008 ($510 million gross capital requirement minus $241 million in bond
repayment) and estimates that it will use a net of $301 million ($560 million need
offset by $259 million bond repayment) in FY2009. Any third-party funding
agreements for capital projects may further restrict the agency’s use of borrowing
BPA has included no administrative proposals in the FY2009 budget request. In
FY2008, BPA proposed to use secondary net revenues beyond $500 million to make
advance amortization payments to the Treasury on BPA’s bond obligations. The
Appropriations Committees opposed that proposal and indicated that they hoped the
Administration would not pursue a similar proposal in FY2009.38
The House Committee on Appropriations recommends funds at the requested
level for FY2009 for each of the PMAs. Additionally, the Committee recommends
no new borrowing authority for BPA in FY2009. The Senate Committee on
Appropriations also recommends meeting the funding request for SEPA and SWPA,
and concurs with the House regarding any additional BPA borrowing authority.
However, the Committee recommends $218.3 million for WAPA, an increase of $25
million over the President’s request and the House recommendation.
The Senate Committee on Appropriations expressed concern that the President’s
request for WAPA relies too heavily on alternative financing methods — such as
direct customer financing — for its Construction, Rehabilitation, Operations and
Maintenance budget, which the Committee indicates may reduce WAPA transmission
system reliability. The Committee also noted that drought and increased power prices
may contribute to an increase in WAPA’s funding requirements for Purchase Power
38 Joint Explanatory Statement to Accompany Consolidated Appropriations Amendment, p.
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
P r ogram F Y 2008 Request H o use Senat e Conf .
Commi ssion $73.0 $65.0 $65.0 $85.0
Nuclear Regulatory Commission926.11,017.01,069.81,032.3
Net NRC (including Insp. Gen.)147.0161.5199.2163.1
Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety
Board 21.9 25.5 25.5 25.5
Nuclear Waste Technical Review
Board 3.6 3.8 3.8 3.8
Fed. Coordinator, Alaska Gas
Proj ects 2.3 4.4 4.4 4.4
Delta Regional Authority11.76.06.020.0
Total 281.3 268.0 305.7 323.5
Source: FY2009 Budget Request; House Appropriations Committee draft report.
Key Policy Issues — Independent Agencies
Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission
(NRC) requested $1.017 billion for FY2009 (including $9.0 million for the inspector
general’s office), an increase of $90.9 million from the FY2008 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 Appropriations Committee boosted NRC’s total funding
to $1.070 billion, while the Senate panel recommended $1.032 billion.
The NRC budget request included $237.5 million for new reactor activities,
largely to handle anticipated new nuclear power plant license applications. No
commercial reactor license applications had been submitted to NRC since the 1970s,
but higher fossil fuel prices and incentives provided by the Energy Policy Act of 2005
(P.L. 109-58) prompted electric utilities to announce plans for more than 30 reactor
license applications over the next few years, with the first new application submitted
September 20, 2007. NRC predicts that 14 reactor license applications will be
submitted through FY2008 and seven more during FY2009.
NRC’s proposed FY2009 budget also included $37.3 million for licensing DOE’s
planned Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, with the expectation that DOE
would submit a repository license application in FY2008; the application was
submitted June 3, 2008. The House panel boosted funding for NRC’s review of the
Yucca Mountain application to $73.3 million, and added $15.0 million for
scholarships and $1.8 million for the NRC inspector general. The Senate
Appropriations Committee added $15 million to the NRC request for a new Integrated
University Program to be coordinated with DOE.
For reactor oversight and incident response, NRC’s FY2009 budget request
included $279.0 million. Those activities include reactor safety inspections, collection
and analysis of reactor performance data, and oversight of security exercises. (For
more information on protecting licensed nuclear facilities, see CRS Report RL34331,
Nuclear Power Plant Security and Vulnerabilities, by Mark Holt and Anthony
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 are
expenditures from the Nuclear Waste Fund to pay for waste repository licensing,
spending on general homeland security, and DOE defense waste oversight. The
offsets in the FY2009 request would result in a net appropriation of $161.5 million.
The House Appropriations Committee recommended a net appropriation of $199.2
million, and the Senate panel would provide a net level of $163.1 million.
For Additional Reading
CRS Report RL31975. CALFED Bay-Delta Program: Overview of Institutional and
Water Use Issues, by Pervaze Sheikh and Betsy A. Cody.
CRS Report RL33504. Water Resources Development Act (WRDA): Corps of
Engineers Project Authorization Issues, by Nicole T. Carter, H. Steven Hughes,
Pervaze A. Sheikh and Jeffrey A. Zinn.
CRS Report RL32064. Army Corps of Engineers Water Resources Projects:
Authorization and Appropriations, by Nicole T. Carter 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 RS21331. Everglades Restoration: Modified Water Deliveries Project,
by Pervaze A. Sheikh.
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 RS21442. Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Vehicle R&D: FreedomCAR and the
President’s Hydrogen Fuel Initiative, by Brent D. Yacobucci.
CRS Report RL33558. Nuclear Energy Policy, by Mark Holt.
CRS Report RL34331. Nuclear Power Plant Security and Vulnerabilities, by Mark
Holt and Anthony Andrews.
CRS Report RL33461. Civilian Nuclear Waste Disposal, by Mark Holt.
CRS Report RL32163. Radioactive Waste Streams: Waste Classification for
Disposal, by Anthony Andrews.
CRS Report RL34579. Advanced Nuclear Power and Fuel Cycle Technologies:
Outlook and Policy Options, by Mark Holt.