FY 2012 Appropriation for Department of Energy – National Nuclear Security Administration

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Publication date: 
20 December 2011

Congress  and the President have agreed on a final FY 2012 appropriations bill.  H.R. 2055 combines nine funding bills, and is  accompanied by House Report 112-331.  This 1,385 page report contains the bill  language and a second section with the appropriators’ recommendations.  The following is a selection of the report’s  recommendations for the National Nuclear Security Administration, starting on  page 856, with specific funding levels starting on page 871.  FY 2011 figures are taken from the Senate Appropriations  Committee report.

National  Nuclear Security Administration

The  FY 2011 appropriation was $10,522.5 million     The  FY 2012 administration request was $11,712.6 million     The  FY 2012 appropriation is $11,000.0 million, an increase of $477.5 million or  4.5 percent

The  report states:

Warhead  Life Extensions.--The NNSA is directed to fully  adhere to the new reporting requirements for early life extension activities  contained in the House report beginning with submission of the fiscal year 2013  budget request, and to the reporting requirement for the B61 Life Extension  Program in the Senate report within 3 months of enactment. In lieu of the JASON  B61 study directed in the Senate report, if the NNSA's selected option for the  B61 Life Extension Program includes any nuclear scope, the JASON group of  scientific advisors shall submit an assessment by September 1, 2012, to the  House and Senate Committees on Appropriations on the extent to which the  nuclear scope is needed to enhance the safety, security, and maintainability of  a refurbished B61 and whether changes to the weapon will affect its long-term  safety, security, reliability, and military characteristics.

Maintenance  and Operations.--The conferees support the guidance  in the House and Senate reports to establish standardized direct reporting for  facility and infrastructure maintenance costs at each site and to identify  separate maintenance funding by site in the fiscal year 2014 budget request for  Readiness in Technical Base and Facilities.

Human  Capital.--In order to meet human capital  requirements for the NNSA sites and to support the NNSA's strategic efforts to  strengthen its science, technology, management and engineering base, the NNSA  should provide incentives for its management and operations contractors,  including those at the production sites, to work with universities and other  institutions of higher education to develop programs that support graduate  research assistantships, implement educational programs that meet NNSA  technical needs, and implement workforce development initiatives.”

Within this budget are the following  programs:

Weapons Activities:

The FY 2011 appropriation was  $6,896.4 million    
The FY 2012 administration request  was $7,589.4 million    
The FY 2012 appropriation is  $7,234.0 million, an increase of $337.6 million or 4.9 percent

The report states:

Directed  Stockpile Work.--The conference agreement provides  $1,879,527,000 for Directed Stockpile Work. The NNSA is directed to use  $175,000,000 within Stockpile Systems and $64,000,000 within Stockpile Services  for surveillance activities. If the NNSA accomplishes the planned scope of  surveillance activities more efficiently than estimated, up to 10 percent of  the $175,000,000 and $64,000,000 may be reallocated to other activities. The  NNSA is directed to provide full funding within amounts provided for  Management, Technology, and Production to implement JASON Surety Study  recommendations to counter current and future threats to the stockpile. The  NNSA is further directed to adhere to the guidance in the Senate report to  provide a report on maintaining a pit manufacturing capability to meet  stockpile needs to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations within 3  months of enactment of this Act.

“The conference agreement provides  $223,562,000 for the B61 Life Extension Program, as requested. Of these funds,  $134,137,000 shall not be made available for the B61 Life Extension Program  until the NNSA submits to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations the  outcome of the Phase 6.2/2A design definition and cost study. The conferees  remain concerned about the NNSA's ability to execute its planned scope for the  B61 under an affordable life extension program that will meet the requirement  to refurbish the first unit by 2017.

“The conference agreement provides  $99,518,000 for W78 Stockpile Systems as proposed by the House, which includes  $37,087,000 for a life extension study of the W78 because of delays in  commencing the Phase 6.1 study. The conference agreement provides $75,728,000  for W88 Stockpile Systems, which includes $30,000,000 to commence a conceptual  study for a minor refurbishment of the W88. The NNSA is directed to maintain  separate accounting for the W78 and W88 studies and to identify those costs  separately within the budget request for Stockpile Systems.        “Campaigns.--The conference agreement provides $1,701,982,000 for the  science, technology and engineering campaigns. The conferees provide  $476,274,000 for the Inertial Confinement Fusion and High Yield Campaign, which  includes $62,500,000 for Omega at the University of Rochester, $48,000,000 for  the Z facility at Sandia National Laboratory, and $5,000,000 for the Naval  Research Laboratory, as requested.

Readiness  in Technical Base and Facilities.--The  conference agreement provides $2,009,155,000 for Readiness in Technical Base  and Facilities. No funding is provided for Institutional Site Support.  Historically, the NNSA has used this funding line to mask underfunding in the  request for individual site facility operations. More recently, it has pushed  the costs of contractor pensions into this activity. Since the conference  agreement fully funds operations and maintenance at each site and separately  budgets for legacy pensions, this activity is no longer required.  Infrastructure activities that are not site specific, such as headquarters  contractor support and assessments, may be funded under Program Readiness.

TRU  Waste Facility.--The conferees provide $9,881,000  for Phase A of the TRU Waste Facility project, which consists of site  infrastructure preparatory work. No Phase B activities are permitted until a  project baseline is completed and provided to the House and Senate Committees  on Appropriations.

Chemistry  and Metallurgy Research Replacement (CMRR) Project.--The conference agreement provides $200,000,000. No  construction activities are funded for the CMRR-Nuclear Facility during fiscal  year 2012.

Legacy  Contractor Pensions.--The conference agreement provides  $168,232,000 for Legacy Contractor Pensions to meet the ongoing costs of the  University of California contractor defined benefit pension plans. The NNSA  requested these funds within Readiness in Technical Base and Facilities and a  separate line is provided to improve transparency.

National  Security Applications.--The  conference agreement provides $10,000,000, for Advanced Analysis, Tools, and  Technologies activities to continue improved support to the intelligence  community and to maintain the nuclear technical capabilities for nuclear  weapons assessments.”

Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation:

The FY 2011 appropriation was  $2,273.7 million    
The FY 2012 administration request  was $2,519.5 million    
The FY 2012 appropriation is  $2,324.3 million, an increase of $50.6 million or 2.2 percent

The report states:

Nonproliferation  and Verification Research and Development.--The conference agreement  provides $356,150,000 for Nonproliferation and Verification Research and  Development. Within this amount, the conferees provide $132,800,000 for Nuclear  Detonation Detection, which includes an additional $5,700,000 above the request  for underground, underwater, and atmospheric detonation detection. The request  included $55,823,000 for legacy contractor pensions that are provided  separately, as well as an additional $15,625,000 above program needs to meet  anticipated growth in contractor defined benefit pension plan costs that are no  longer needed.

Nonproliferation  and International Security.--The conference agreement provides $155,305,000  for Nonproliferation and International Security. Within this amount, the  conferees provide $14,972,000 for the Global Initiative for Proliferation  Prevention.

Fissile  Materials Disposition.--The conference agreement provides $685,386,000 for  Fissile Materials Disposition. The conferees provide no construction funding  for the Pit Disassembly and Conversion (PDCF) project because the NNSA has not  completed a study of alternatives or a conceptual design report with a cost and  schedule estimate that is required under Department of Energy guidance. Instead  of the Senate requirement for an update of the costs for the PDCF and the MOX  Fuel Fabrication Facility, the conferees direct the NNSA to provide a report on  the status of plans to provide adequate plutonium feedstock to operate the MOX  facility to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations within 3 months  of enactment of this Act. The conferees direct the use of $20,500,000 in  prior-year uncommitted balances within U.S. Plutonium Disposition to prepare  plutonium feedstock at H-Canyon in fiscal year 2012 and to identify funding for  both H-Canyon and ARIES within the fiscal year 2013 budget request.

Global  Threat Reduction Initiative.--The conference agreement provides  $500,000,000 for the Global Threat Reduction Initiative. The conference  agreement does not include House direction which restricts funding for Domestic  Radiological Material Removal.

Legacy  Contractor Pensions.--The conference agreement provides $55,823,000 for  Legacy Contractor Pensions to meet the ongoing costs of the legacy University  of California defined benefit pension plans. The NNSA requested these funds  within Nonproliferation and Verification Research and Development and a  separate line is provided to improve transparency.

Rescission.--The  conference agreement rescinds $21,000,000 in prior-year balances and directs  their application to meet fiscal year 2012 needs as described above.”

The report also contains funding  levels and language for the Naval  Reactors program and Office of the  Administrator.

The report states the following:

Differences in Report Language (page  797):

“The  language and allocations set forth in House Report 112–118   and Senate Report 112–75  should be complied  with unless specifically addressed to the contrary in the conference report and  statement of managers. Report language included by the House which is not  contradicted by the report of the Senate or the conference, and Senate report  language which is not contradicted by the report of the House or the conference  is approved by the committee of conference. 

“The  statement of managers, while repeating some report language for emphasis, does  not intend to negate the language referred to above unless expressly provided  herein. In cases where both the House report and Senate report address a  particular issue not specifically addressed in the conference report or joint  statement of managers, the conferees have determined that the House report and  Senate report are not inconsistent and are to be interpreted accordingly. In  cases in which the House or Senate have directed the submission of a report,  such report is to be submitted to both the House and Senate Committees on  Appropriations.”