CRS Report for Congress
Appropriations for FY1999:
Energy and Water Development
Updated October 27, 1998
Coordinated by Marc Humphries and Carl Behrens
Environment and Natural Resources Policy Division

Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress

Appropriations are one part of a complex federal budget process that includes budget
resolutions, appropriations (regular, supplemental, and continuing) bills, rescissions, and
budget reconciliation bills. The process begins with the President’s budget request and is
bounded by the rules of the House and Senate, the Congressional Budget and Impoundment
Control Act of 1974 (as amended), the Budget Enforcement Act of 1990, and current program
authorizations. In addition, the line item veto took effect for the first time in 1997.
This report is a guide to one of the 13 regular appropriations bills that Congress passes each
year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the House and Senate
Appropriations Subcommittees on Energy and Water Development Appropriations. It
summarizes the current legislative status of the bill, its scope, major issues, funding levels,
and related legislative activity. The report lists the key CRS staff relevant to the issues
covered and related CRS products.
This report is updated as soon as possible after major legislative developments, especially
following legislative action in the committees and on the floor of the House and Senate.
NOTE: A Web version of this document with
active links is available to congressional staff at

Appropriations for FY1999:
Energy and Water Development
The Energy and Water Development appropriations bill includes funding for civil
projects of the Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of
Reclamation, much of the Department of Energy (DOE), and a number of
independent agencies, including the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Nuclear
Regulatory Commission (NRC), and the appropriated programs of the Tennessee
Valley Authority (TVA). The Administration requested $21.7 billion for these
programs for FY1999 compared with $21.0 billion appropriated for FY1998 and
$19.97 billion for FY1997. The Senate, by a vote of 98-1, approved the Energy and
Water bill (S. 2138) on June 18, 1998, for a total of $21.4 billion. The House , by a
vote of 405-4 approved its version of the bill (H.R. 4060) on June 22, 1998 for $21.1
billion. The conference agreement, appropriating $21.2 billion, was reported out
September 25, 1998. The conference report (H.Rept. 105-749) was approved by the
House September 28, 1998, and approved by the Senate September 29, 1998. The
President signed the bill October 7, 1998.
Key issues involving the Energy and Water Development appropriations
programs included:
!Sharp cuts in the Corps of Engineers construction request. However, the
House and Senate prevailed in supporting $1.43 billion, nearly double the
amount of the request.
!Significant proposed increases in DOE’s research and development programs
and in the nuclear weapons program. Increases over FY1998 were approved
by Congress, but the amount agreed to was 3.1% below the Administration’s
request. The nuclear weapons budget was hiked by about $300 million over the
FY1998 amount.
!DOE’s proposed “accelerated cleanup” of former weapons sites.
Environmental cleanup programs were supported at near the level of the DOE
request. However, the requested amount for the privatization of DOE waste
management projects was cut in half by Congress.
!Increased funding for nuclear energy programs. Congress supported funding
for nuclear energy programs at $41 million over FY1998 but $42 million less
than the DOE request.
!Continued funding of TVA’s non-power programs. Funding for TVA was not
included in the Energy and Water Development bill for FY1999.
The FY1999 Omnibus Appropriations Act (P.L. 105-277) added money to
several programs funded in the Energy and Water Appropriations bill, including the
Corps of Engineers, DOE's renewable energy program and its defense activities
program, and TVA. This additional funding is not incorporated in the budget tables
that follow, but significant changes are noted in the text under Key Policy Issues.

Area of ExpertiseNameDivisionTelephone
Corps/Bureau of ReclamationBetsy CodyENR7-7229
GeneralMarc HumphriesENR7-7264
GeneralCarl BehrensENR7-8303
Nuclear EnergyMark HoltENR7-1704
R&D ProgramsDick RowbergSTM7-7040
Division abbreviations: ENR = Environment and Natural Resources; STM = Science, Technology, and Medicine.

Most Recent Developments........................................1
Status ........................................................ 1
Title I: Corps of Engineers........................................3
Key Policy Issues............................................3
Title II: Department of the Interior..................................5
Background ................................................ 6
Key Policy Issues............................................6
Title III: Department of Energy.....................................8
Key Policy Issues...........................................10
Research and Development Programs........................10
Environmental Management...............................12
Civilian Nuclear Waste Disposal............................14
National Security Programs — Russian Plutonium and Uranium....14
Title IV: Independent Agencies....................................16
Key Policy Issues...........................................16
Tennessee Valley Authority...............................16
Nuclear Regulatory Commission...........................17
For Additional Reading..........................................18
CRS Issue Briefs...........................................18
CRS Reports..............................................18
List of Tables
Table 1. Status of Energy and Water Appropriations, FY1999 .............1
Table 2. Energy and Water Development Appropriations,
FY1992 to FY1999..........................................2
Table 3. Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Title I: Corps of Engineers.....................................3
Table 4. Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Title II: Central Utah Project Completion Account...................5
Table 5. Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Title II: Bureau of Reclamation.................................5
Table 6. Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Title III: Department of Energy.................................8
Table 7. Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Title IV: Independent Agencies................................16

Appropriations for FY1999:
Energy and Water Development
Most Recent Developments
The President submitted his budget for FY1999 on February 2, 1998. In it was
$21.7 billion for energy and water development programs. The request was larger
than the FY1998 appropriation of $21.2 billion. The Senate Appropriations
Committee reported out its funding levels for energy and water programs on June
5, 1998 (S. 2138, S.Rept. 105-206). The committee approved funding of nearly
$21.4 billion for FY1999. The House Appropriations Committee reported its version
on June 16, 1998 (H.R. 4060, H.Rept. 105-581); it would fund energy and water
programs at $21.1 billion for FY1999. The figures above do not include
scorekeeping adjustments. The Senate approved S. 2138 for $21.4 billion on June
18,1998 by a vote of 98-1. A floor amendment added $70 million to the solar and
renewable energy program and offset the increase by reductions in other non-
defense energy programs. The House approved its version of the bill (H.R. 4060) by
a vote of 405-4 on June 22, 1998 for $21.1 billion. The conference agreement, for
$21.2 billion, was reported out (H.Rept. 105-749) on September 25, 1998, approved
by the House on September 28, 1998, and approved by the Senate one day later,
September 29, 1998. The President signed the bill (P.L. 105-245) October 7, 1998.
The FY1999 Omnibus Appropriations Act (P.L. 105-277) added money to
several programs funded in the Energy and Water Appropriations bill, including the
Corps of Engineers, DOE's renewable energy program and its defense activities
program, and TVA. This additional funding is not incorporated in the budget tables
that follow, but significant changes are noted in the text under Key Policy Issues.
Table 1. Status of Energy and Water Appropriations, FY1999
SubcommitteeConference Report
Markup ApprovalHouse House Senate Senate Conference
ReportPassageReportPassageReportPublic LawHouseSenateHouseSenate


6/16/98 6/22/98 6/5/98 9/25/98 P.L.

H.Rept.H.R.S.Rept.6/18/98H. Rept.9/28/98 9/29/98105-245
6/10/986/2/98105-5814060105-206S. 2138105-749

Table 2. Energy and Water Development Appropriations,
FY1992 to FY1999
(budget authority in billions of current dollars)*
FY92 FY93 FY94 FY95 FY96 FY97 FY98 FY99
21.8 22.2 22.3 20.7 19.3 19.97 21.2 21.2
These figures represent current dollars, exclude permanent budget authorities, and reflect*
This table includes FY1999 budget request figures and budget totals for
appropriations enacted for FY1992 to FY1998. The tables for Titles I, II and III
provide budget details for FY1997 - FY1999.

Title I: Corps of Engineers
Table 3. Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Title I: Corps of Engineers
(in millions of dollars)
ProgramFY1998RequestS. 21384060105-245
Investigations 156.8 150.0 165.4 162.8 161.7
Construction 1,473.4 784.0 1,248.1 1,452.6 1,429.9
Flood Control,
Mississippi River296.2280.0313.2312.0321.1
Operation and
Maintenance 1,740.0 1,603.0 1,667.6 1,640.5 1,653.3
Regulatory 106.0 117.0 106.0 110.0 106.0
Flood Control and
Coastal Emergen-
General Expenses148.0148.0148.0148.0148.0
FUSRAP 140.0 140.0 140.0 140.0 140.0
Total 4,169.6 3,222.0 3,788.3 3,966.0 3,860.0
Key Policy Issues
Funding for the Corps of Engineers civil programs is often a contentious issue
between the Administration and the Congress, with appropriations typically ending
up significantly higher than the amount requested. For FY1998, for example, the
Congress added $270 million (7%) to the $3.63 billion requested by the
The FY1999 request of $3.22 billion is more than $800 million less than the
amount appropriated last year. Most of that reduction is in the Corps’ construction
budget, which was cut almost in half compared with FY1998 appropriations. As a
result, construction funding has been a major issue in the Corps’ appropriation
legislation for FY1999. For example, both the House and Senate appropriations
Committees described the Administration’s request for a limited construction budget
as “irresponsible” (H.Rept. 105-581, H.R. 4060; and S.Rept. 105-206, S. 2138).
The House-Senate conference agreement included a total of $3.86 billion for the
Corps for FY1999, $638 million more than requested. The conference committee
recommendation was $106 million less than recommended by the House and $72

million more than recommended by the Senate. The recommended construction
budget was $1.43 billion — nearly double what was requested by the Administration.
The House originally supported a substantial decrease in funding for Columbia
River fish mitigation activities on the grounds that previous efforts have shown "no
clear evidence" of success. The Administration had requested $117 million for
FY1999. The House recommended $7.8 million, limiting expenditures to the
completion of the John Day drawdown study and the lower Snake River feasibility
study; the Senate recommended $95 million. The conference committee has
recommended $60 million for Columbia River fish mitigation. Funds are to be used
for phase I of the John Day Reservoir drawdown study, and continuation of the Snake
River feasibility study and ongoing construction.
The conference agreement also included $5 million for construction of an
emergency outlet from Devils Lake, North Dakota; however, it deletes Senate
language describing the appropriation as an emergency requirement. The Senate had
recommended up to $8 million for the project.
The FY1999 Omnibus Appropriations Act (P.L. 105-277) added funding to a
number of Corps projects, including an additional $35 million for Columbia River fish
mitigation. It also added a prohibition on the use of any funds to study or implement
a plan to drain Lake Powell or decommission the Glen Canyon Dam.

Title II: Department of the Interior
Table 4. Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Title II: Central Utah Project Completion Account
(in millions of dollars)
ProgramFY1998RequestS. 21384060105-245FY1999H. R.P.L.
Central Utah project completion28.822.528.224.225.7
Utah reclamation
mitigation/conservation account11.617.5*15.5*15.5*15.5
Program administration .
Total, Central Utah Project41.
* Includes funds available for Utah Reclamation Mitigation and Conservation Commission activities and $5 million for the
contribution authorized by §402(b)(2) of the Central Utah Project Completion Act (P.L. 102-675).
Table 5. Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Title II: Bureau of Reclamation
(in millions of dollars)
ProgramFY1998RequestS. 21384060 105-245FY1999H. R.P.L.
Water and related resources694.4640.1*672.2*596.3*617.0
California Bay-Delta (CALFED)85.0143.365.075.075.0
Loan program account10.412.412.412.48.4
General Admin. Expenses47.648.
Central Valley Project (CVP)
Restoration Fund33.149.539.533.133.1
Subtotal 870.5 893.3 837.1 762.8 780.5
Colorado River Dam Fund
(transfer of current authority to
Gross Current Authority864.9893.3837.1762.8780.5
CVP Restoration Fund Offset(25.7)41.0******
Net Current Authority, BuRec839.2852.3837.1762.8780.5
* Does not reflect appropriations derived from transfer of $25.8 million from the Working Capital Fund.
** The Office of Management and Budget and the Congressional Budget Office disagree as to whether there is an offset
for this fund.

Most of the large dams and water diversion structures in the West were built by,
or with the assistance of, the Bureau of Reclamation (Bureau). Where the Corps has
built hundreds of flood control and navigation projects, the Bureau’s mission was to
develop water supplies and to reclaim arid lands in the West, primarily for irrigation.
Today, the Bureau manages more than 600 dams in 17 western states, providing
water to approximately 10 million acres of farmland and 31 million people.
The Bureau has undergone many changes in the last 15 years, turning from
largely a dam construction agency to a self-described water resource management
agency. The agency describes the “intent” of its programs and projects as follows:
!to operate and maintain all facilities in a safe, efficient, economical, and reliable
!to sustain the health and integrity of ecosystems while addressing the water
demands of a growing west; and
!to assist states, tribal governments, and local communities in solving
contemporary and future water and related resource problems in an
environmentally, socially, and fiscally sound manner.
In practice, however, the agency is somewhat limited in how it can address new
demands and new priorities because of numerous statutes, compacts, and existing
contracts, which together govern the delivery of water to project users.
Consequently, any proposal to change Bureau water allocation or water management
policies often becomes difficult to implement and extremely controversial.
Key Policy Issues
The Administration requested an appropriation of $852 million for FY1999 (net
current budget authority), approximately $13 million more than enacted for FY1998.
The Administration has again requested $143.3 million for the California Bay-Delta
Ecosystem Restoration program (CALFED). Although funding for the CALFED
program has been requested within the Bureau’s budget, the appropriation will be
allocated among several federal agencies. It is expected that the majority of funding
will go to the Bureau and the Corps.
The FY1999 request included no new money for the Animas-La Plata project,
a controversial water supply project in southwestern Colorado. Rather, the proposed
budget would allocate $3 million in existing appropriations authority for ongoing
preconstruction work while changes to the project’s construction authorization are
under consideration.
The House-Senate conference agreement included $780.5 million in net current
authority for the Bureau for FY1999 -- $71.5 million less than requested, and $58.7

million less than enacted for FY1998. The Senate had recommended an appropriation
of $837.1 million; the House had recommended an appropriation of $762.8 million.
The conferees agreed upon $75 million for the CALFED program, which is
$68.3 million less than requested. On a related matter, the conferees direct the
Department of the Interior to provide as soon as possible an implementation plan for
the Anadromous Fish Restoration Plan required under the Central Valley Project
Improvement Act (CVPIA, P.L. 102-575, Title 34).
The conference agreement included $3 million for resource management and
development for the Animas-La Plata project, the same amount as requested.
The Senate Appropriations Committee report took issue with several other items
within the Bureau's budget, including: 1) recommending a reduction of $3.5 million
in fish and wildlife coordination, mitigation, and native species activities associated
with the Central Arizona Project; 2) directing the Department of the Interior to keep
constant budget levels for the Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center to
avoid unauthorized expansion of the program; 3) prohibiting the Bureau from using
funds for evaluations of current practices, with an aim towards finding ways to
manage competing demands for water; and 4) directing the agency to explore ways
to consolidate ecosystem restoration activities carried out under the CVPIA.
The House Appropriations Committee report included language encouraging the
Bureau to better coordinate ecosystem activities carried out through the CALFED
program and under CVPIA. The House Committee also admonished the Bureau for
its declining focus on water resources infrastructure and transformation to a "water
resources management and protection" agency; however, it also notes that the West
has largely been reclaimed and that "serious consideration is due the question of the
Bureau's ... role in this fully developed region ...".

Title III: Department of Energy
Table 6. Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Title III: Department of Energy
(in millions of dollars)
Program FY1998 FY1999 P.L.
Approp.RequestS. 2138*H.R. 4060 105-245
Energy Supply
Solar and Renew-
able 346.3 437.2 415.3 351.4 365.9
Nuclear Energy243.0325.7308.7227.8284.0
Fusion Energy
(see General Sci.
below)232.0228.2 —232.0
Other 171.2155.073.6151.1175.1
Subtotal 992.5 1,146.0 — 962.3 825.0
adjustments (85.7) (17.0) — (79.5) (98)
Subtotal 906.8 1,129.0 797.6 882.8 727.0
Uranium Enrich-
Uranium En-
richment D&D220.2277.0200.0225.0220.2
General Science
High Energy
Physics 680.0 691.0 691.0 696.5 696.5
Nuclear Physics320.9332.6332.6335.1335.1
Basic Energy
Sciences 668.2 836.1 836.1 779.1 809.1
Bio. & Env. R&D406.7392.6407.6405.9443.6
Fusion (see energy
supply R&D) — —232.0—223.3
Other255.0218.2127.7 182.9 175.3
Subtotal 2,235.7 2,470.5 2,627.3 2,399.5 2,682.9
Environ. Res. &
Waste Management,
non-defense 497.0 462.0 424.6 466.7 431.2

Program FY1998 FY1999 P.L.
Approp.RequestS. 2138*H.R. 4060 105-245
Defense Environ-
mental Restoration
and Waste Man-
agement 4,379.5 4,259.9 4,293.4 4,358.5 4,310.3
Defense Facilities
Closure Projects890.81,006.21,048.21,038.21,038.2
Privatization 200.0 516.9 241.9 286.9 228.4
National Security
(Weapons) 4,146.7 4,500.0 4,445.7 4,142.1 4,400.0
Other National Se-
curity 1,638.8 1,667.2 1,658.2 1,761.3 1,696.7
Admin.(net) 87.4 109.3 102.0 38.8 63.9
Office of Inspector
General 27.5 29.5 27.5 14.5 29.0
Power Marketing
Alaska 13.5 0 5.0 0 0
Bonneville (non-
add, capital
obligations) 253.0 258.0 258.0 258.0
Southeastern 12.2 8.5 8.5 8.5 7.5
Southwestern 25.2 26.0 26.0 24.7 26.0
Western 189.0 215.4 215.4 205.0 203.0
Colorado River
Basin (net)-16.1-16.1—
Falcon & Armistad
FERC 165.6 168.9 168.9 166.5 167.5
(revenues) (165.6) (168.9) (168.9) (166.5) (167.5)
Nuclear Waste350.0380.0375.0350.0358.0
Adjustments 1.6 0 (27.5)
Total, Title III15,943.117,070.416,474.016,203.516,423.3
*Senate bill increased solar and renewable funding by $70 million and decreased other programs by

1.6%. Not all line item figures reflect the 1.6% reduction.

Key Policy Issues
Research and Development Programs. For FY1999, DOE requested $6.78 billion for civilian
and defense R&D activities, 10.8% above the FY1998 level. For civilian R&D programs, the request
was $3.49 billion compared with $3.10 billion for FY1998, and for defense R&D (nuclear weapons)
programs, the request was $3.28 billion compared with $3.02 billion for FY1998.
The Senate approved $6.58 billion for R&D, 3% below the request but 8.7% above FY1998.
The House approved $6.51 billion for R&D, 3.6% below the request but 6.4% above FY1998. The
Conference agreed upon $6.55 billion, 3.4% below the request but 8.1% above FY1998. Of that
amount, the conferees directed that about $93.7 million should come from prior year funds. The
actions suggest strong congressional support for basic research.
Energy Resource R&D. For programs under this heading, DOE requested a 17.5% increase
for FY1999 compared to the FY1998 appropriation. DOE made this program a key element in the
Administration’s Climate Change Technology Initiative (CCTI) program. During the appropriations
process, Congress expressed concern about whether support of the Initiative implied a commitment
to the Kyoto accord.
The Senate approved $415.3 million for this program, including the $47.9 million funded under
the Basic Energy Sciences (BES) program. An amendment approved on the Senate floor added
$69.8 million to the Appropriations Committee recommendation. The appropriation was about 5%
below the request but about 20% above FY1998.
The House approved $351.6 million, including the $47.9 million funded by BES. The
Committee expressed concern about the CCTI technology choices and urged DOE to focus more on
long-term basic research rather than trying to commercialize technologies not yet ready for the
The conference approved $365.9 million including the $47.9 million funded by BES. Most of
the funds added by a Senate floor amendment were not agreed to by the conferees.
The FY1999 Omnibus Appropriations Act (P.L. 105-277) added $60 million to DOE's
renewable energy programs.
Nuclear Energy. For nuclear energy programs — including research and development, closing
of surplus facilities, uranium programs, and international nuclear reactor safety — the conference
report provides $284 million, about $40 million below the DOE request. The conferees provided $19
million for a new DOE program to support innovative nuclear energy research projects (the “nuclear
energy research initiative”), but nothing for a proposed program to improve the economic
competitiveness of existing nuclear power plants (“nuclear energy plant optimization”).
DOE’s nuclear energy request, including the nuclear power initiatives, had been approved
essentially intact by the Senate. However, the House had cut the Administration request by nearly
$100 million, including a reduction of the nuclear energy research initiative to $5 million and rejection
of the nuclear plant optimization program.
DOE justified its efforts to encourage the continued operation of commercial U.S. nuclear plants
as an important element in meeting national goals for reducing carbon dioxide emissions, an argument
strongly endorsed by the Senate panel. Because nuclear plants directly emit no carbon dioxide, the

United States could reduce its annual emissions of carbon by up to 47 million metric tons if nuclear
plants could be operated longer than currently anticipated, according to the DOE budget justification.
Opponents have criticized the nuclear energy research proposals as providing wasteful subsidies to
a failing industry. A similar nuclear research program proposed by DOE last year was rejected by
Funding for “electrometallurgical treatment” of DOE spent fuel has also drawn controversy.
The conferees provided $45 million for the technology in FY1999. In that treatment process, metal
fuel is melted and highly radioactive isotopes are electrically separated from uranium and plutonium.
DOE contends that such treatment may be the best way to render certain types of spent fuel —
particularly from the closed Experimental Breeder Reactor II in Idaho — safe for long-term storage
and disposal.
Opponents contend that such treatment is unnecessary and that the process could be used for
separating plutonium to make nuclear weapons. They note that the process uses much of the same
technology and equipment developed for the plutonium-fueled Integral Fast Reactor, or Advanced
Liquid Metal Reactor, which was canceled by Congress in 1993 partly because of concerns about
nuclear weapons proliferation.
The conferees provided $3 million from the fissile materials control and disposition program for
a joint U.S.-Russian project to develop an advanced reactor technology — the gas-turbine modular
helium reactor — to destroy weapons plutonium. Russia would have to provide matching funds or
equivalent in-kind contributions.
Science. DOE asked for an 11.1% increase for the basic research programs making up the
science category. The largest increase, $167.6 million or 25.1%, was for the Basic Energy Sciences
program. Most of that increase, $130 million, would be to begin construction of the spallation
neutron source (SNS), which is designed to provide neutrons for use in research ranging from
genetics to advanced materials. The facility is to cost $1.3 billion when completed in 2005. The High
Energy Physics program requested a $30 million increase — to $65 million — for the U.S.
contribution to the large hadron collider project at the Center for European Nuclear Research
(CERN). Overall the HEP program asked for an $11 million increase.
The Senate appropriated $2.67 billion for the DOE for the science programs including the entire
request for the SNS project for FY1999. This amount includes the Fusion Energy Sciences program
account, which the Senate moved from the Energy Supply R&D account to the Science account. It
also includes a 1.585% cut imposed by the amendment to help offset increased funding for solar and
renewable energy R&D. Finally, another amendment adopted by the Senate added $7 million to the
science total recommended by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The final appropriation was
about 6% over the FY1998 appropriation.
The House appropriated $2.42 billion, 2.8% below the request, but 5.6% above FY1998. In
making the recommendation, the Committee noted its strong support for DOE basic research
programs. The House, while supporting the SNS, cited budget constraints in approving $100 million
for FY1999 compared to the $157 million request. The House also declined to fund the request for
DOE’s portion of the Next Generation Internet initiative.
The conference agreed to $2.70 billion, 2.5% below the request but 7.1% above FY1998. The
large increase above the House-approved amount was due primarily to the transfer of the Fusion
Energy Science program from the Energy Supply R&D programs to the Science programs. The

conferees approved $130 million for the SNS, $27 million below the request but above the House
approved amount. In the fusion budget, the conferees included funds to complete R&D on the
International Thermonuclear Reactor (ITER) project, but directed DOE not to sign an extension of
the ITER agreement without written consent of Congress. The conferees also approved the House
mark for the high energy and nuclear physics programs, which would provide a small increase above
the request. The conferees did not provide any funds for DOE’s portion of the Administration’s Next
Generation Internet initiative.
National Security R&D. DOE requested an 11.5% increase for Stockpile Stewardship and
Maintenance (SSM) over FY1998. The Stockpile Stewardship program, which is charged with
developing the scientific basis for maintaining the safety, reliability, and performance of the existing
nuclear weapons stockpile in the absence of nuclear testing, requested a 17.8% increase over
FY1998, most of which would go to the accelerated strategic computing initiative (ASCI) and
continued construction of the national ignition facility (NIF). The ASCI program is designed to
develop computer facilities and codes that are capable of simulating nuclear weapon explosions
including changes in the explosion characteristics resulting from aging of the stockpile.
The Senate approved a reduction of $25 million from the request for the Stockpile Stewardship
program, all of which would be in the ASCI account. The Senate expressed concern that the ASCI
effort is growing faster than justified and that such growth may adversely affect other parts of the
The House supported a reduction of $65 million for the Stockpile Stewardship program from
the request. The House committee expressed concern about the management of the program and
existence of extraneous activities. The reduction, it stated, could be absorbed by greater efficiencies
and management improvements. The House also directed that $305 million of prior year carryover
balances be used for the FY1998 appropriation.
The conferees agreed on $2.14 billion for the Stockpile Stewardship program, half-way between
the House and Senate marks. The reduction below the request, $40 million, was directed at the ASCI
program and construction of new facilities. The conferees directed DOE to undertake an independent
cost assessment of the latter projects before expending any FY1999 funds on them.
Environmental Management. DOE’s Environmental Management Program (EM) is
responsible for cleaning up environmental contamination and disposing of radioactive waste at DOE
nuclear sites. The conferees voted to provide $5.58 billion for EM activities at defense-related sites,
and $431 million for non-defense sites, both about the same as the DOE request. The defense-related
funding includes $228 million for the “privatization” of DOE waste management projects, such as
the solidification of high-level radioactive waste at Hanford, Washington — less than half the DOE
The FY1999 EM budget request was the first to reflect the program’s new accelerated cleanup
strategy, which attempts to maximize the number of sites that can be completely cleaned up by 2006.
DOE managers contend that substantial long-term savings can be gained by focusing on completing
work at those sites, allowing the earliest possible termination of infrastructure costs. Based on that
strategy, the budget request was divided into three major segments:
!Site closure. Under the conference agreement, this account provides $1 billion for cleanup of
sites that can be completely closed by 2006, including Rocky Flats, Colorado; Fernald, Ohio;
and Grand Junction, Colorado.

!Site/project completion. The $1 billion in this account was provided for individual cleanup
projects that can be completed by 2006, but are located at DOE sites that will continue
operating after 2006.
!Post-2006 completion. Despite the accelerated cleanup plan, several large EM projects are
projected to continue well after 2006. As a result, this is the largest EM funding area, totaling
$2.74 billion. Many of the large waste management projects included in the separate
privatization funding request would also continue operating after 2006.
The accelerated cleanup plan has drawn opposition from some environmental groups because
of concerns that its focus on 2006 might result in insufficient cleanups. In the program’s FY1999
budget justification, DOE maintained that the requested funding would be sufficient to meet
environmental requirements at most sites, although it added, “At some sites, there is a small gap
between compliance requirements and available funding. EM therefore is striving for additional
efficiencies and other measures to close this gap.”
Two-thirds of the EM privatization funding request would go for Phase 1 of the Hanford Tank
Waste Remediation System, consisting of a pilot vitrification plant that would turn liquid high-level
waste into radioactive glass logs for eventual disposal. Other major privatized projects include a
project to treat “mixed” radioactive and hazardous waste at the Idaho National Engineering and
Environmental Laboratory, and waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities at Oak Ridge,
The EM privatization effort is intended to reduce costs by increasing competition for cleanup
work and shifting a portion of project risks from the federal government to contractors. Profits to
contractors would depend on their success in meeting project schedules and holding down costs;
potentially, profits could be substantially higher than under traditional DOE contracting arrangements.
In a typical non-privatized DOE project, a contractor would be hired to build and operate a
facility with government funds. DOE would approve and pay all the contractor’s costs, and then
award the contractor a profit based on performance. Under the privatization initiative, a contractor
would be expected to raise almost all funding for necessary facilities and equipment for a project. The
contractor would recover that investment and earn a profit by charging previously negotiated fees to
DOE for providing services under the contract, such as solidification of radioactive waste. The
contractor could earn higher profits by reducing costs, but the contractor could lose money if project
costs were higher than expected or the required services were not delivered.
DOE requested more than $1 billion last year for privatized projects, but Congress provided only
$200 million. The strong congressional resistance to the request stemmed largely from concerns
about providing such a large amount of up-front funding for contracts that had not yet been fully
negotiated in many cases. The contracts are to spell out such crucial details as how much risk for
project cost overruns and other problems that DOE would continue to bear.
In response to such criticism, DOE promised in the FY1999 budget justification to submit
proposed privatization contracts to Congress for review at least 30 days before they are signed.
Contract information submitted for such reviews is to include anticipated costs and fees, performance
specifications, activities to be carried out, project schedules, goods or services to be delivered, and
estimated cost savings. DOE also promised to establish its own review teams to examine requests for
proposals and contracts for privatization projects, to procure and disseminate independent cost-

savings estimates, to increase training for DOE oversight of privatized contracts, and to assure that
contractors hire sufficiently experienced personnel. Nevertheless, the conferees cut the DOE
privatization request by more than half.
Civilian Nuclear Waste Disposal. The conference report provides $358 million in FY1999 for
developing a disposal site for highly radioactive spent fuel from nuclear power plants and weapons-
related high-level waste — about the same as the FY1998 level. The Senate had voted to cut the
request by $5 million, while the House, citing “severe budget constraints” held the program to level
The FY1999 budget request was issued shortly after DOE missed a statutory deadline of January
31, 1998, to begin taking waste from nuclear plant sites. The Department currently expects to begin
receiving waste at an underground disposal facility at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, by 2010 if the site
is found suitable. Nuclear utilities and state utility regulators, upset over DOE’s failure to meet the
1998 disposal deadline, have won two federal court decisions upholding the Department’s obligation
to meet the deadline and to compensate utilities for any resulting damages.
The House and Senate passed similar bills last year (S. 104, H.R. 1270) to require DOE to build
an “interim” waste storage facility near Yucca Mountain that could begin operating within the next
few years. The Clinton Administration has threatened to veto the legislation, contending that Yucca
Mountain should not be selected for waste storage until the site has been determined to be acceptable
for permanent disposal. DOE plans to complete a “viability assessment” of the site in 1998 and, if
the site is found suitable, submit a license application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2002.
Passage of the nuclear waste legislation in the 105th Congress was blocked by the Senate’s rejection
of a cloture motion on H.R. 1270 on June 2, 1998.
DOE contends that under current law it has no authority to take waste for temporary storage,
so the FY1999 budget request did not include funding for near-term waste acceptance activities,
despite the recent court rulings on the missed disposal deadline. Instead, storage and transportation
funds were requested only for “long-lead time activities that must precede removal of spent nuclear
fuel (SNF) from reactor sites once a Federal facility becomes available.”
The conferees directed that $165 million of the nuclear waste program’s funding come from the
Nuclear Waste Fund, which holds fees assessed on nuclear power generation to pay for spent fuel
disposal. Another $189 million would be appropriated from general revenues, under “Defense
Nuclear Waste Disposal,” to cover disposal costs for high-level radioactive waste from nuclear
weapons production. The remaining $4 million would come from general revenues to pay for
research on treating high-level radioactive waste with advanced particle accelerators. Such treatment
would be intended to transmute long-lived radioactive waste into shorter-lived isotopes.
The conference agreement rejected all but $250,000 of DOE’s nearly $5 million request for
funds for the State of Nevada to monitor the Yucca Mountain Project. Congress denied all such
funding for FY1998 because of concerns that the state was using it to fight the waste program. The
conferees provided $5.5 million to be disbursed directly to local governments near Yucca Mountain
to monitor the project.
National Security Programs — Russian Plutonium and Uranium. The FY1999 Omnibus
Appropriations Act (P.L. 105-277) added $525 million for DOE’s “other defense activities” to
address the issue of uranium and plutonium from excess Russian nuclear weapons. The uranium is

to be purchased for DOE stockpiles, while the plutonium funding would help pay for facilities in
Russia to begin converting plutonium components from warheads into fuel for nuclear reactors.
The bill provides $325 million for purchasing natural uranium that is associated with ongoing
purchases of highly enriched uranium (HEU) from Russian warheads. Under the HEU agreement,
the U.S. Enrichment Corporation (USEC) buys the enriched Russian uranium and gives back an
equivalent amount of natural (unenriched) uranium, which the Russians can then sell. However, the
Russians have complained that the price for natural uranium has been depressed by USEC’s plans to
sell large amounts of natural uranium on the world market. USEC, formerly a government
corporation, received that uranium from DOE stockpiles as part of its recent privatization.
To keep the Russians from backing out of HEU agreement, the new funding would allow DOE
to purchase the natural uranium associated with Russia’s 1997 and 1998 deliveries of enriched
uranium deliveries to USEC. However, the DOE natural uranium purchases cannot be made until
Russia reaches a long-term agreement for the commercial sale of natural uranium associated with all
enriched uranium deliveries after 1998.
Regarding Russian plutonium, the bill provides $200 million to begin implementing a U.S.-
Russian accord on disposition of plutonium from surplus nuclear weapons. Presidents Clinton and
Yeltsin signed a joint statement of principles on the issue in September 1998, with the goal of
reaching a detailed bilateral agreement by the end of the year. The funding is expected to help Russia
design and construct facilities to convert plutonium weapons components into mixed-oxide fuel for
nuclear reactors, but the details of the program will not be known until the U.S.-Russian agreement
is finalized. As a result, the bill withholds the plutonium funding until DOE submits a detailed budget
justification and receives approval from the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.

Title IV: Independent Agencies
Table 7. Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Title IV: Independent Agencies
(in millions of dollars)
ProgramFY1998FY1999S. 2138H.R.P.L. Approp.Request4060105-245
Appalachian Regional
Commission 170.0 67.0 67.0 65.9 66.4
Nuclear Regulatory
Commission 472.8 486.9 466.0 462.7 465.0
(Revenues) (454.4) (152.3) (416.0) (444.7) (444.8)
Net NRC18.0334.550.018.020.2
Tennessee Valley
Authority (gross)70.076.870.0—0
Defense Nuclear
Facilities Safety Board17.017.517.516.516.5
Nuclear Waste
Technical Review
Board2. 2.6
Total 277.6 498.8 227.1 103.0 105.7
Key Policy Issues
Tennessee Valley Authority. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) was established as a
federal corporation in 1933 to bring electricity and development to a region encompassing the entirety
of Tennessee, and portions of Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and
Mississippi. The agency’s electric power operations are entirely self-supporting and receive no
However, TVA is also responsible for certain non-power functions that are intended to further
the agency’s mission to develop and conserve the region’s natural resources. These include flood
control, recreation, navigation, and an Environmental Research Center. Among these, TVA operates
more than 50 dams and reservoirs and a 170,000 acre recreational area in Kentucky and Tennessee,
Land Between the Lakes. The congressional appropriation for these programs was $106 million for
FY1997, representing 2% of the agency budget.
In January 1997, TVA Chairman Craven Crowell proposed that TVA prepare to become a
higher-profile player in a deregulated market for electricity. Crowell’s proposal was that Congress
no longer appropriate funds to TVA for non-power activities beginning in FY1999. An internal TVA
task force would recommend which functions would be transferred to other agencies and which
would be eliminated. The Administration proposed a reprogramming of FY1997 funds appropriated

to the Corps of Engineers to jointly study with TVA how the agency’s assets and functions should
be reassigned to the Corps and other appropriate agencies.
Chairman Crowell’s proposal not only stirred up considerable controversy, it also exposed the
existence of TVA itself to challenge. While representatives from the Tennessee Valley region are
averse to any risk to non-power programs, the Chairman’s proposal to shed non-power programs,
TVA opponents have argued, would be an abrogation of TVA’s mission. If the mission is no longer
appropriate, the argument extends, neither is the agency.
The unintended consequence of Chairman Crowell’s proposal was that the conferees on the
FY1998 Energy and Water Appropriations recommended an appropriation of $70 million for
FY1998, but stipulated that TVA would thereafter absorb the entire cost of these programs through
“internally generated revenues and savings.” Despite the language in the conference report, and
pending further consideration of the future of TVA and its non-power programs, the Administration
requested $77 million for TVA non-power programs for FY1999.
The Senate funded TVA at $70 million while the House bill provided no funding. The conferees
adhered to the House position and, in addition, provided no funding for Land Between the Lakes.
Additionally, the conferees required that if, in the absence of an appropriation, TVA deemed a rate
increase necessary to fund these programs, a report would have to be submitted to Congress assessing
whether transferring stewardship of facilities along the Tennessee River to the Army Corps of
Engineers would alleviate or eliminate the need for a rate increase. The conferees further required
that this report be submitted 6 months before the rate increase would go into effect.
The FY1999 Omnibus Appropriation Act (P.L. 105-277) restored $50 million to TVA non-
power programs. In addition, the Act includes a debt-refinancing plan that would enable TVA to
prepay its obligations to the Federal financing Bank without penalty, estimated to save the agency
$100 million in interest payments during each of the next 10 years.
The consequences of this turnaround for TVA when the 106 Congress considers electricityth
deregulation legislation are difficult to predict. TVA's critics may continue to urge that TVA be
extensively reorganized as part of any deregulation package. On the other hand, supporters suggest
that if TVA takes full advantage of the opportunity to reduce its debt and operates more efficiently,
the agency may come under less intense pressure in the next Congress.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The conference agreement gives the Nuclear Regulatory
Commission (NRC) $470 million for FY 1999, about $20 million below the budget request. Major
activities conducted by NRC include regulation of commercial nuclear reactors, licensing of nuclear
waste facilities, and oversight of nuclear materials users. The funding also includes about $5 million
for the NRC inspector general’s office.
The Senate voted to appropriate $466 million to NRC — $2 million below the FY1998 level.
The Senate Energy and Water Development Subcommittee would have reduced the funding by $90
million, a cutback that would have eliminated 700 of NRC’s approximately 3,000 employees over the
next two years. Although the full Committee reversed that cut, its report strongly criticized NRC for
allegedly failing to overhaul its regulatory system in line with improvements in nuclear industry safety.
The Committee contended, among other problems, that NRC’s regional offices were inconsistent with
one another, that NRC was inappropriately interfering with nuclear plant management, and that
numerous NRC review processes were outdated and unnecessary.

Slightly lower funding, $463 million, was supported by the House, whose report contained
similar criticisms to those of the Senate panel. The House declared itself “strongly supportive” of the
Administration’s plans for NRC to eventually take over safety regulation of major DOE nuclear
facilities, which currently are regulated by DOE itself. The conferees gave NRC $3.2 million for
regulatory reviews of DOE facilities. Both House and Senate also provided $4.8 million for the NRC
inspector general’s office.
To ensure that NRC’s budget would continue to be mostly offset by fees on nuclear power
plants and other licensed entities, the conferees included a one-year extension of the agency’s current
fee-collection authority. As in the past, DOE would reimburse NRC for oversight of DOE’s high-
level nuclear waste disposal program.
For Additional Reading
CRS Issue Briefs
CRS Issue Brief 92059. Civilian Nuclear Waste Disposal.
CRS Issue Brief 97031. Renewable Energy: Key to Sustainable Energy Supply?
CRS Issue Brief 91039. The DOE Fusion Energy Science Program.
CRS Reports
CRS Report 97-54. Department of Energy Programs: History, Status, Options.
CRS Report 97-464. The National Ignition Facility and Stockpile Stewardship.
CRS Report 96-212. Civilian Nuclear Spent Fuel Temporary Storage Options.
CRS Report 98-256. The Department of Energy FY1999 Research and Development Budget.