Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Approves FY 2013 DOE Funding Bill

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Publication date: 
27 April 2012
Number: 
55

Earlier  today the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee  approved its FY 2013 funding bill.  Reflecting  the budget deal worked out last year between the Obama Administration and  Congress, the subcommittee’s bill totals $33.4 billion.  The comparable House bill   totals $32.1 billion, resulting from a move by House Republicans to further  reduce total spending in the next fiscal year.

Both  the House and Senate subcommittee bills must go before the full appropriations committees.  Following approval, each committee will  release a report detailing funding levels and direction for individual  programs.  The House Appropriations  Committee is scheduled to meet tomorrow.

The  Senate Appropriations Committee issued a release about the subcommittee’s  actions, of which excerpts appear below.

In  describing the bill, subcommittee chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) explained:

“This  bill makes responsible investments in critical water infrastructure projects,  clean energy technologies and nonproliferation and nuclear weapons programs. It  allows the Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation to fulfill their  public safety responsibilities around the country while safeguarding and  modernizing our nuclear weapon stockpile. The bill adds a limited provision to  begin addressing our lack of policy for long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel  and high-level radioactive waste, providing the Department of Energy with the  authority to initiate a pilot program for a consolidated storage facility.”

Office  of Science:

The  Senate release states: “The bill provides $4.909 billion, which is $35 million  above fiscal year 2012, for basic research.   The highest priorities are materials and biological research to focus on  breakthroughs in energy applications and computing to develop the  next-generation high performance systems.”

The  House bill provided $4.8 billion.     The  current budget is $4,873.6 million.     The  Administration requested $4,992.1 million.

Advanced  Research Projects Agency - Energy:

The  Senate release states: “The bill provides $312 million, which is $37 million  above fiscal year 2012, to accelerate commercialization of future energy  technologies that can reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil and tackle  carbon emissions.”

The  House bill provided $200 million.     The  current budget is $275.0 million.     The  Administration requested $350.0 million.

National  Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA):

The  Senate release states:

“The  bill provides $11.511 billion, which is $511 million above fiscal year 2012,  for national security activities.  The  bill provides funding to accelerate efforts to secure all vulnerable nuclear  materials by December 2013 and to modernize the nuclear weapons stockpile,  including: -  $7.577  billion, which is $363 million above fiscal year 2012, for Weapons Activities  to extend the life of three nuclear weapons systems, upgrade aging  infrastructure, and invest in science, technology, and engineering activities, - $2.459 billion, which is $163 million above  fiscal year 2012, for Nuclear Nonproliferation to meet the four year goal to  secure vulnerable nuclear materials and accelerate the conversion of reactors  that still use weapons-grade uranium, - $1.089 billion, which is $9 million above  fiscal year 2012, for Naval Reactors to continue research and development of a  new reactor for the Ohio-class submarine, and - up to $150 million across the agency's  accounts to fund a research, development, and demonstration project for  domestic enrichment technologies.”

The  House bill provided “a total of $11.3 billion for DOE’s nuclear security programs,  including Weapons Activities, Nuclear Nonproliferation, and Naval Reactors.”

The  current NNSA budget is $11.0 billion.     The  Administration requested $11.5 billion.