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.