Energy and Water Development: FY2013 Appropriations

Energy and Water Development: FY2013 Appropriations
Energy and Water Development:
FY2013 Appropriations
Carl E. Behrens
Specialist in Energy Policy
April 25, 2013
Congressional Research Service
7-5700
www.crs.gov
R42498
CRS Report for Congress
Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress
Energy and Water Development: FY2013 Appropriations
Summary
The Energy and Water Development appropriations bill provides funding for civil works projects
of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), for the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of
Reclamation (Reclamation) and the Department of Energy (DOE), and for a number of
independent agencies.
President Obama’s FY2013 budget request for Energy and Water Development was released in
February 2012.
For FY2013 the level of overall spending has been a major issue. The Budget Control Act of
2011 (BCA, P.L. 112-25) contained an overall discretionary spending cap for FY2013 of $1.047
trillion. On March 29, 2012, the House passed a budget resolution (H.Con.Res. 112) that caps
spending at a lower level, $1.028 trillion. The Senate has not passed a budget resolution, but on
April 19, 2012, the Senate Appropriations Committee allotted subcommittee funding levels that
totaled the $1.047 trillion cap in the BCA.
The difference between overall spending caps is reflected in differences in spending proposals for
Energy and Water Development programs. The Administration’s request for FY2013 was
$33.684 billion. On April 25, the House Appropriations Committee reported out H.R. 5325
(H.Rept. 112-462), with a total of $32.156 billion. The Senate Appropriations Committee
reported out S. 2465 (S.Rept. 112-164) on April 26, funding Energy and Water Development
programs at $33.432 billion. On June 6 the House passed H.R. 5325 by a vote of 255-165, with
some amendments.
On September 28, 2012, President Obama signed into law the Continuing Appropriations
Resolution, 2013 (P.L. 112-175). The act continues appropriations until March 27, 2013, for
Energy and Water Development programs at 0.612% above the FY2012-enacted levels, with
several exceptions. On March 26, 2013, the President signed H.R. 933, the FY2013 Defense and
Military Construction/VA, Full Year Continuing Resolution (P.L. 113-6). The act funds Energy
and Water Development accounts at the FY2012 enacted level for the rest of FY2013, with some
exceptions, and subject to the sequestration requirements of the Budget Control Act which went
into effect March 1, 2013.
In addition, issues specific to Energy and Water Development programs included
•
the distribution of appropriations for Corps (Title I) and Reclamation (Title II)
projects that have historically received congressional appropriations above
Administration requests;
•
alternatives to the proposed national nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain,
Nevada, which the Administration has abandoned (Title III: Nuclear Waste
Disposal); and
•
proposed FY2013 spending levels for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
(EERE) programs (Title III) that are 25% higher in the Administration’s request
than the amount appropriated for FY2012.
Congressional Research Service
Energy and Water Development: FY2013 Appropriations
Contents
Most Recent Developments ............................................................................................................. 1
Status................................................................................................................................................ 1
Overview.......................................................................................................................................... 2
The Budget Control Act and Energy and Water Development Appropriations ........................ 2
Continuing Resolution Exceptions ............................................................................................ 3
Title I: Army Corps of Engineers .................................................................................................... 4
Earmarks and the Corps of Engineers ....................................................................................... 5
Key Policy Issues—Corps of Engineers.................................................................................... 6
Project Backlog ................................................................................................................... 6
Navigation Trust Funds ....................................................................................................... 7
Ecosystem Restoration Projects .......................................................................................... 9
Continuing Authorities Program ......................................................................................... 9
Title II: Department of the Interior .................................................................................................. 9
Central Utah Project and Bureau of Reclamation...................................................................... 9
Key Policy Issues—Bureau of Reclamation............................................................................ 11
Background ....................................................................................................................... 11
Central Valley Project (CVP) Operations ......................................................................... 11
San Joaquin River Restoration Fund ................................................................................. 12
Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement ............................................................................. 13
WaterSMART Program..................................................................................................... 13
Title III: Department of Energy ..................................................................................................... 14
Key Policy Issues—Department of Energy ............................................................................. 16
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) .......................................................... 16
Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (EDER) Program ......................................... 22
Nuclear Energy.................................................................................................................. 22
Fossil Energy Research and Development ........................................................................ 27
Strategic Petroleum Reserve ............................................................................................. 28
Science .............................................................................................................................. 29
ARPA-E ............................................................................................................................ 32
Nuclear Waste Disposal .................................................................................................... 32
Loan Guarantees and Direct Loans ................................................................................... 34
Nuclear Weapons Stockpile Stewardship.......................................................................... 37
Nonproliferation and National Security Programs ............................................................ 49
Cleanup of Former Nuclear Weapons Production Facilities and Civilian Nuclear
Energy Research Facilities ............................................................................................. 51
Power Marketing Administrations .................................................................................... 61
Title IV: Independent Agencies ..................................................................................................... 62
Key Policy Issues—Independent Agencies ............................................................................. 63
Nuclear Regulatory Commission ...................................................................................... 63
Tables
Table 1. Status of Energy and Water Development Appropriations, FY2013................................. 1
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Energy and Water Development: FY2013 Appropriations
Table 2. Energy and Water Development Appropriations, FY2006 to FY2013 ............................. 3
Table 3. Energy and Water Development Appropriations Summary .............................................. 4
Table 4. Energy and Water Development Appropriations Title I: Army Corps of
Engineers ...................................................................................................................................... 6
Table 5. Energy and Water Development Appropriations Title II: Central Utah Project
Completion Account ................................................................................................................... 10
Table 6. Energy and Water Development Appropriations Title II: Bureau of Reclamation ......... 10
Table 7. Reclamation WaterSMART Program .............................................................................. 14
Table 8. Energy and Water Development Appropriations Title III: Department of Energy ......... 14
Table 9. Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Programs ...................................................... 17
Table 10. Fossil Energy Research and Development Program (FER&D) ..................................... 28
Table 11. Science ........................................................................................................................... 30
Table 12. Funding for Weapons Activities .................................................................................... 38
Table 13. DOE Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Programs ....................................................... 49
Table 14. Appropriations for the Office of Environmental Management...................................... 53
Table 15. Energy and Water Development Appropriations Title IV: Independent
Agencies ..................................................................................................................................... 63
Contacts
Author Contact Information........................................................................................................... 65
Key Policy Staff ............................................................................................................................. 65
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Energy and Water Development: FY2013 Appropriations
Most Recent Developments
President Obama’s FY2013 budget request for Energy and Water Development was released in
February 2012. The request totaled $33.7 billion, compared to the FY2012 appropriation of $32.7
billion (plus $1.7 billion for disaster relief).
On April 25, 2012, the House Appropriations Committee reported out H.R. 5325 (H.Rept. 112462), with a total of $32.2 billion. The Senate Appropriations Committee reported out S. 2465
(S.Rept. 112-164) on April 26, funding Energy and Water Development programs at $33.4
billion. The House passed H.R. 5325 with some amendments on June 6.
The Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2013 (P.L. 112-175), signed into law September 28,
continues appropriations until March 27, 2013, for Energy and Water Development programs at
0.612% above the FY2012-enacted levels, with two exceptions: DOE’s Nuclear Weapons
Activities program is funded at an annual rate of $7.577 billion, the amount requested for
FY2013, instead of the FY2012 rate of $7.214 billion, and the Nuclear Nonproliferation program
was increased by $100 million over the FY2012 level of $2.296 billion to fund domestic uranium
enrichment R&D. (See Nuclear Weapons Stockpile Stewardship and Nonproliferation and
National Security Programs, below.)
On March 6, 2013, the House passed H.R. 933, the FY2013 Defense and Military
Construction/VA, Full Year Continuing Resolution. The Senate approved an amended version of
the bill on March 20, 2013, and the House agreed to the Senate amendment to H.R. 933 the next
day. The bill was signed into law on March 26, 2013 (P.L. 113-6). The act funds Energy and
Water Development accounts at the FY2012 enacted level for the rest of FY2013, with some
exceptions, and subject to the sequestration requirements of the Budget Control Act which went
into effect March 1, 2013.
Status
Table 1 indicates the status of the FY2013 funding legislation. Cells will be filled in as the
appropriations cycle progresses.
Table 1. Status of Energy and Water Development Appropriations, FY2013
Subcommittee
Markup
House
Senate
4/18/12
4/24/12
Final Approval
House
Report
H.Rept.
112-462
Congressional Research Service
House
Passage
6/6/12
Senate
Report
S.Rept.
112-164
Senate
Passage
Conf.
Report
House
Senate
Public
Law
P.L.
113-6
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Energy and Water Development: FY2013 Appropriations
Overview
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 (Reclamation), the Department of Energy (DOE), and a number of
independent agencies, including the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Appalachian
Regional Commission (ARC).
The Budget Control Act and Energy and Water Development
Appropriations
FY2013 discretionary appropriations were considered in the context of the Budget Control Act of
2011 (BCA, P.L. 112-25), which established discretionary spending limits for FY2012-FY2021.
The BCA also tasked a Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to develop a federal deficit
reduction plan for Congress and the President to enact by January 15, 2012. Because deficit
reduction legislation was not enacted by that date, an automatic spending reduction process
established by the BCA was triggered; this process consists of a combination of sequestration and
lower discretionary spending caps, initially scheduled to begin on January 2, 2013. The “joint
committee” sequestration process for FY2013 requires the Office of Management and Budget
(OMB) to implement across-the-board spending cuts at the account and program level to achieve
equal budget reductions from both defense and nondefense funding at a percentage to be
determined, under terms specified in the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of
1985 (BBEDCA, Title II of P.L. 99-177, 2 U.S.C. 900-922), as amended by the BCA. For further
information on the Budget Control Act, see CRS Report R41965, The Budget Control Act of
2011, by Bill Heniff Jr., Elizabeth Rybicki, and Shannon M. Mahan.
The American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA, P.L. 112-240), enacted on January 2, 2013, made a
number of significant changes to the procedures in the BCA that will take place during FY2013.
First, the date for the joint committee sequester to be implemented was delayed for two months,
until March 1, 2013. Second, the dollar amount of the joint committee sequester was reduced by
$24 billion. Third, the statutory caps on discretionary spending for FY2013 (and FY2014) were
lowered. For further information on the changes to BCA procedures made by ATRA, see CRS
Report R42949, The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012: Modifications to the Budget
Enforcement Procedures in the Budget Control Act, by Bill Heniff Jr.
Pursuant to the BCA, as amended by ATRA, President Obama ordered that the joint committee
sequester be implemented on March 1, 2013.1 The accompanying OMB report indicated a dollar
amount of budget authority to be canceled to each account containing non-exempt funds.2 The
sequester will ultimately be applied at the program, project, and activity (PPA) level within each
account.3 Because the sequester was implemented at the time that a temporary continuing
1
White House, President Obama, Sequestration Order for Fiscal Year 2013 Pursuant to Section 251A of the Balanced
Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act, As Amended, March 1, 2013, available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/
sites/default/files/2013sequestration-order-rel.pdf.
2
Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget, OMB Report to the Congress on the Joint
Committee Sequestration for Fiscal Year 2013, March 1, 2013, available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/
files/omb/assets/legislative_reports/fy13ombjcsequestrationreport.pdf.
3
Ibid., pp. 11, 13.
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Energy and Water Development: FY2013 Appropriations
resolution was in force, the reductions were calculated on an annualized basis and will be
apportioned throughout the remainder of the fiscal year.4 Although full year FY2013 funding has
been enacted, the effect of these reductions on the budgetary resources that will ultimately be
available to an agency at either the account or PPA level remain unclear until further guidance is
provided by OMB as to how these reductions should be applied.
Continuing Resolution Exceptions
P.L. 113-6 continues funding for Energy and Water Development programs at the FY2012 level
(minus sequestrations) for all accounts except the following:
•
In Title I, the Corps of Engineers Construction budget is reduced by $20 million
from the FY2012 level of $1.617 billion
•
In Title II, the Central Utah Project funding is set at $21.0 million instead of the
FY2012 level of $28.7 million
•
In Title III, the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy budget is $1.814
billion, rather than the FY2012 level of $1.810 billion
•
In Title III, the Nuclear Energy budget is $759.0 million, rather than $765.4
million
•
In Title III, the Science budget is $4.8760 billion, compared to the FY2012 level
of $4.8736 billion
•
In Title III, Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy funding is $265
million, rather than the FY2012 level of $275 million
•
In Title III, the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Weapons program is
funded at $7.5573 billion, rather than the FY2012 level of $7.2141 billion
•
In Title III, the Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation program is increased by $110
million over the FY2012 level of $2.2959 billion, to fund domestic uranium
enrichment R&D.
Table 2 includes budget totals for energy and water development appropriations enacted for
FY2006 to FY2013.
Table 2. Energy and Water Development Appropriations,
FY2006 to FY2013
(budget authority in billions of current dollars)
FY2006
FY2007
FY2008
FY2009
FY2010
FY2011
FY2012
FY2013a
36.7b
29.4
30.9
40.5c
33.4
31.7
34.4d
34.0
Source: Compiled by CRS.
Note: Figures represent current dollars, exclude permanent budget authorities, and reflect rescissions.
4
Ibid, p. 5. For general information on continuing resolutions, see CRS Report R42647, Continuing Resolutions:
Overview of Components and Recent Practices, by Jessica Tollestrup.
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Energy and Water Development: FY2013 Appropriations
a.
Requested budget authority.
b.
Includes $6.6 billion in emergency funding for the Corps of Engineers.
c.
Includes $7.5 billion for Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program.
d.
Includes $1.7 billion in emergency funding for the Corps of Engineers.
Table 3 lists totals for each of the bill’s four titles.
Table 3. Energy and Water Development Appropriations Summary
($ millions)
Title
FY2012
Approp.
FY2013
Request
House
Senate
Title I: Corps of Engineers
6,726.0a
4,731.0
4,824.2
5,007.0
Title II: CUP & Reclamation
1,076.4
1,034.0
987.5
1,049.0
Title III: Department of Energy
26,748.1
27,667.7
26,048.4
27,127.6
Title IV: Independent Agencies
254.5
252.2
271.3
248.9
33,684.0
32,131.4
33,432.5
E&W Total
34,382.0a
P.L. 113-6
Source: FY2013 budget request, H.Rept. 112-462, H.R. 5325 as passed, S.Rept. 112-164.
a.
Includes $1.724 billion in supplemental funding for the Corps of Engineers under the FY2012 Disaster Relief
Appropriations Act (P.L. 112-77).
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
FY2012-FY2013. Accompanying these tables is a discussion of the key issues involved in the
major programs in the four titles.
Title I: Army Corps of Engineers5
The Energy and Water Development bill provides funding for the civil program of the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers, an agency in the Department of Defense with both military and civilian
responsibilities. Under its civil works program, the Corps plans, builds, operates, and maintains a
wide range of water resources facilities. The Corps attracts congressional attention because its
projects can have significant local and regional economic benefits and environmental effects, in
addition to their water resource development purposes.
A number of recent changes have affected Corps appropriations, including earmark moratoriums
in both houses in the 112th Congress and reductions for some projects and classes of projects
compared to previous years. Additionally, 2011 flooding events on the Mississippi and Missouri
rivers and in the northeastern United States affected a number of Corps projects and required
reprogramming of Corps funds. In addition to the regular Corps appropriation for FY2012,
Congress appropriated $1.724 billion in supplemental funding for response and recovery related
to these events. (See Table 4.)
5
This section was prepared by Charles V. Stern.
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Energy and Water Development: FY2013 Appropriations
In most years, the President’s budget request for the Army Corps of Engineers is below the
agency’s enacted appropriation.6 Enacted appropriations for FY2012 continued this trend. In
contrast to most other agencies, the Corps received an increase in total funding compared to the
President’s request. The FY2012 enacted appropriation for the Corps was $5.002 billion, or
approximately $500 million more than the President’s FY2012 request. The President’s FY2013
budget requested $4.731 billion for the Corps, a decrease of $271 million from the FY2012
enacted level. In its markup, the House Appropriations Committee recommended $4.814 billion
for the Corps, or $83 million more than the President’s request. The Senate Appropriations
Committee recommended $5.007 billion, or $276 million more than the President’s budget
request and $193 million more than the House.
Earmarks and the Corps of Engineers
Corps funding is part of the debate over congressionally directed spending, or “earmarks.” Unlike
highways and municipal water infrastructure programs, federal funds for the Corps are not
distributed to states or projects based on a formula or delivered via competitive grants. Generally
about 85% of the appropriations for Corps civil works activities are directed to specific projects.
In addition to specific projects identified for funding in the President’s budget, in past years many
Corps projects have received additional funding from Congress in the appropriations process.7 In
the 112th Congress, site-specific project line items added by Congress (i.e., earmarks) have been
among those projects subject to House and Senate earmark moratoriums. Thus, additional
congressional funding at the project level was not provided in FY2011 and FY2012 enacted
appropriations. In lieu of the traditional project-based increases, Congress in FY2012 included
additional funding for broad categories of Corps projects (e.g., “ongoing navigation work”), and
provided limited directions to the Corps for allocation of these funds.8
6
For instance, in FY2010, the Administration requested $5.1 billion and Congress appropriated $5.44 billion.
While congressional earmarks make up a relatively small percentage of most agency budgets, a significant number of
Corps projects have historically received additional funding from Congress for construction or operational
expenditures.
8
While Congress did not add funding at the project level in FY2012 appropriations, it provided additional funding and
guidance for several broad categories of projects in the FY2012 conference report, with instructions for the Corps to
make project level allocations based on these instructions in a “work plan” and report back to Congress. These FY2012
Work Plan allocations are available at http://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Budget.aspx.
7
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Energy and Water Development: FY2013 Appropriations
Table 4. Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Title I: Army Corps of Engineers
($ millions)
FY2012
Approp.
FY2012
Supplementala
FY2013
Request
117.0
-
102.0
102.0
125.0
1,617.0
-
1,471.0
1,488.3
1,700.0
Mississippi River &
Tributaries (MR&T)
252.0
802.0
234.0
224.0
253.0
Operation and
Maintenance (O&M)
2,412.0
534.0
2,398.0
2,508.4
2,404.0
Regulatory
193.0
-
205.0
190.0
199.0
General Expenses
185.0
-
182.0
172.5
182.0
FUSRAPb
109.0
-
104.0
104.0
109.0
Flood Control &
Coastal Emergencies
(FC&CE)
112.0
388.0
30.0
30.0
30.0
5.0
-
5.0
5.0
5.0
5,002.0
1,724.0
4,731.0
4,824.2
5,007.0
Program
Investigations and
Planning
Construction
Office of the Asst.
Secretary of the Army
Total Title I
House
Senate
P.L.
113-6
Source: FY2013 budget request, H.Rept. 112-462, H.R. 5325 as passed, S.Rept. 112-164.
a.
$1.724 billion was in supplemental funding was provided under the FY2012 Disaster Relief Appropriations
Act (P.L. 112-77).
b.
Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program.
Key Policy Issues—Corps of Engineers
Project Backlog
The large number of authorized Corps projects that have not received appropriations to date, or
that are authorized and have received funding but are incomplete, is often referred to as the
“backlog” of authorized projects. Estimates of the backlog range from $11 billion to more than
$80 billion, depending on which projects are included (e.g., those that meet Administration
budget criteria, those that have received funding in recent appropriations, those that have never
received appropriations). The backlog raises policy questions, such as whether there is a
disconnect between the authorization and appropriations processes, and how to prioritize among
authorized activities.9
Recent budget requests by the Administration have included few new studies and construction
starts, and enacted appropriations for FY2011 and FY2012 barred any funding for these project
types (defined as projects or studies that have not received appropriations previously). For
9
For more information, see CRS Report R41243, Army Corps of Engineers Water Resource Projects: Authorization
and Appropriations, by Nicole T. Carter and Charles V. Stern.
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FY2013, the Administration requested funding for three new construction starts and six new
studies.
Navigation Trust Funds
In addition to regular appropriations, two congressionally authorized “trust funds” are
administered by the Corps and require annual appropriations: the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund
and the Inland Waterway Trust Fund. Both trust funds received attention in the FY2012
appropriations process. While the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund has a surplus balance, the
Inland Waterway Trust Fund currently faces a shortfall and a curtailment of activities.
Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund
In 1986, Congress enacted the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) to recover operation and
maintenance (O&M) costs at U.S. coastal and Great Lakes harbors from maritime shippers. O&M
is mostly the dredging of harbor channels to their authorized depths and widths. The tax is levied
on importers and domestic shippers using coastal or Great Lakes ports.10 The tax revenues are
deposited into the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) from which Congress appropriates
funds for harbor dredging.
In 1990, Congress increased the HMT rate from four cents per $100 of cargo value to 12.5 cents
per $100 of cargo value, one of many tax increases in the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
(P.L. 101-508) designed to lower the federal deficit at that time. In recent years, HMTF annual
expenditures have remained relatively flat while HMT collections have increased due to rising
import volume (except in 2009 when collections declined along with import volume).
Consequently, a large “surplus” in the HMTF has developed. The maritime industry seeks to
enact a “spending guarantee” to spend down the surplus in the HMTF (see H.R. 104 and S. 412).
Some harbor channels are reportedly not being maintained at their authorized depth and width,
requiring ships with the deepest drafts to “light load” or wait for high tide. Harbors primarily used
by fishing vessels or recreational craft have also complained of insufficient maintenance
dredging. Since spending from the HMTF requires an appropriation from Congress, spending
more from the HMTF could reduce available funding for other Energy and Water Development
activities under congressional budget caps.
The Administration’s FY2013 budget requested $848 million from the HMTF, leaving an
estimated-end-of-year balance of more than $8 billion. The House Appropriations Committee
provided $1.0 billion in HMTF appropriations. The Senate Appropriations Committee report
commented on the Administration’s funding level but did not name a specific HMTF amount.
(For more information on harbor maintenance, see CRS Report R41042, Harbor Maintenance
Trust Fund Expenditures, by John Frittelli.)
Inland Waterway Trust Fund
Since the 1980s, expenditures for construction and major rehabilitation projects on inland
waterways have been cost-shared on a 50/50 basis between the federal government and users
10
An estimate by the Corps is that improved collection from domestic shippers could increase annual receipts by $500
million.
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through the Inland Waterway Trust Fund (IWTF).11 IWTF monies derive from a fuel tax on
commercial vessels on designated waterways, plus investment interest on the balance.12 Since
FY2007, there has been a potential shortfall in the IWTF. In the past, Congress has taken
measures to ensure temporary solvency of the IWTF, either by appropriating federal funds
beyond the aforementioned 50% federal requirement (FY2009 and FY2010), or by limiting IWTF
expenditures to the amount available under current year fuel tax revenues (FY2011 and FY2012).
The IWTF is expected to have a balance of approximately $55 million at the end of FY2012, and
without changes to the current system, needed funding for eligible work is expected to continue to
exceed available funding for the foreseeable future.
In the past multiple Administrations have proposed fees (e.g., lock user fees, congestion fees) that
would have increased IWTF revenues. These fees have been opposed by users and rejected by
Congress. In 2011, users endorsed a plan of their own that would increase the current fuel tax by
$0.06-$0.08 per gallon and alter the cost-share arrangement for some IWTF projects to increase
the portion paid for by the federal government. H.R. 5325 would authorize this proposal, which
has been opposed by the Obama Administration.
Changes to IWTF policies have historically been under the jurisdiction of the authorizing
committees, but in recent years appropriators have expressed frustration with the lack of action on
this issue. Without a new source of revenue or some other change directed by Congress, the
overall number of inland waterway projects is expected to be extremely limited. Currently one
project (Olmsted Lock and Dam on the Ohio River) accounts for almost all IWTF appropriations.
This past year, estimates for the Olmsted project increased by $872 million, bringing the total
estimate for the project to $2.9 billion.13 Based on the new estimates, the project is expected to
continue to require the majority of IWTF revenues for at least 10 more years.
In FY2013, the Administration requested limited appropriations for IWTF projects based on
current-year fuel tax revenues.14 The FY2013 Administration budget requested approximately
$94 million in inland waterway spending from the IWTF, with an equal amount to be drawn from
the General Fund of the Treasury. The Administration also assumed an additional $80 million in
new revenues from an unspecified user fee, presumably separate from the current fuel tax.
The majority of FY2013 IWTF funds were proposed for the Olmsted project. In appropriations
action, the House Committee agreed with the requested IWTF funding, but mandated that a
portion be restricted until a review of the Olmsted project’s cost overruns is completed. The
Senate Appropriations Committee also provided the funding for Olmsted, but provided that only
25% of the funding for Olmsted would have to be cost-shared with the IWTF (the rest would
come from the General Fund). In effect, this change provides an extra $72 million for IWTF
projects.
11
For more information on inland waterways, see CRS Report R41430, Inland Waterways: Recent Proposals and
Issues for Congress, by Charles V. Stern.
12
Pursuant to the Water Resources Development Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-662), the fuel tax has been fixed at $0.20 per
gallon since 1992.
13
The project was originally estimated at $775 million in 1986, plus inflation.
14
This is the same approach that was proposed and enacted in FY2011 and FY2012. Assuming annual fuel tax
revenues of approximately $95 million, spending on inland waterways construction for FY2013 would be
approximately $190 million for each year (or approximately $60 million less than the average funding provided from
FY1992-2010).
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Ecosystem Restoration Projects
The Corps portion of the Energy and Water bill typically includes funding for ecosystem
restoration projects, such as restoration of the Everglades in South Florida.15 Some in Congress
have criticized the fact that while the Corps has requested reductions for some “traditional”
activities in recent budgets, funding for activities under its environmental business line (which
includes ecosystem restoration projects) has largely remained the same. For FY2013, the
Administration requested $511 million (approximately 11% of the FY2013 request) for
ecosystem restoration projects, which are the largest component of the environmental business
line. This amount is similar to the amount appropriated for these activities in recent years.
In its markup of the President’s budget, the House Appropriations Committee decreased funding
levels for several of the Administration’s major ecosystem restoration initiatives, including
Everglades (reduced from $153 million to $145 million) and Missouri River Fish and Wildlife
Recovery (reduced from $90 million to $71 million). The Senate Appropriations Committee
agreed with the Administration’s request.
Continuing Authorities Program
Projects funded under the Corps Continuing Authorities Programs (CAPs) are typically smaller
projects that can be carried out without obtaining a project-specific study or construction
authorization or project-specific appropriations.16 CAPs are referred to by the section number in
the bill where the CAP was first authorized. The Administration’s FY2013 budget requested $24
million in funding for five of the nine CAPs, or a decrease of approximately $19 million from the
FY2012 enacted level. The Administration proposed no funding for four CAPs, including no
funding for Section 14 (emergency streambank and shoreline protection), Section 103 (shore
protection), Section 107 (navigation), and Section 208 (snagging and clearing for flood control).
The House Appropriations Committee agreed with the Administration’s overall request for CAPs,
but shifted some of the funding within individual CAPs. The Senate Appropriations Committee
provided $45 million in funding for eight of the nine CAPs.
Title II: Department of the Interior17
Central Utah Project and Bureau of Reclamation
The Energy and Water Development bill includes funding for the Central Utah Project (CUP) and
the Bureau of Reclamation, both part of the Department of the Interior. The total discretionary
FY2013 budget request for Title II funding for the Central Utah Project and Reclamation was
approximately $1.034 billion, or a decrease of $42 million from the FY2012 enacted amount. The
15
Along with the Department of the Interior, the Corps typically receives funding for the Comprehensive Everglades
Restoration Program, or CERP. For more information, see CRS Report R42007, Everglades Restoration: Federal
Funding and Implementation Progress, by Charles V. Stern.
16
A summary of projects under the Continuing Authorities Program is provided on p. 11 of CRS Report R41243, Army
Corps of Engineers Water Resource Projects: Authorization and Appropriations, by Nicole T. Carter and Charles V.
Stern.
17
This section was prepared by Charles V. Stern.
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Obama Administration requested $21 million for the Central Utah Project (CUP) Completion
Account in FY2013, or $7 million less than the amount appropriated in FY2012. Significantly,
the Administration also proposed to make Reclamation responsible for oversight and
implementation of CUP (these responsibilities are currently housed within a separate office in
DOI). Both the House and the Senate appropriations committees disagreed with this
recommendation.
The FY2013 request for the Bureau of Reclamation totaled $1.013 billion in gross current budget
authority, or $34 million less than the amount enacted in FY2012. The FY2013 request for the
Bureau of Reclamation included an “offset” of $39.9 million for the Central Valley Project (CVP)
Restoration Fund (Congress does not list this line item as an offset), yielding a “net” discretionary
authority of $973 million. As in previous years, additional funding is estimated to be available for
FY2013 via “permanent and other” funds.
Table 5. Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Title II: Central Utah Project Completion Account
($ millions)
Program
Central Utah Water
Conservancy District
Mitigation and Conservation
Commission Activities
Total, Central Utah
Project
FY2012
Approp.
FY2013
Request
House
Senate
26.7
19.8
19.8
19.8
2.0
1.2
1.2
1.2
28.7
21.0
21.0
21.0
Conf.
Source: FY2013 budget request, H.Rept. 112-462, S.Rept. 112-164.
Table 6. Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Title II: Bureau of Reclamation
($ millions)
FY2012
Approp.
FY2013
Request
House
Senate
895.0
818.6
833.6
892.1
Policy and Administration
60.0
60.0
57.0
60.0
CVP Restoration Fund (CVPRF)
53.1
39.9
39.9
39.9
Calif. Bay-Delta (CALFED)
39.7
36.0
36.0
36.0
Program
Water and Related Resources
—
12.0
—
—
Settlementa
—
46.5
—
—
Gross Current Reclamation
Authority
1,047.7
1,013.0
966.5
1,028.0
Total, Title II (CUP and
Reclamation)
1,076.4
1,034.0
987.5
1,049.0
San Joaquin Restoration
Indian Water Rights
Funda
Conf.
Source: FY2013 budget request, H.Rept. 112-462, S.Rept. 112-164.
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a.
In FY2012 and FY2013 appropriations, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees disagreed with
the Administration’s request for new accounts for San Joaquin restoration and Indian water rights
settlements and opted to retain funding levels within the Water and Related Resources account.
Reclamation’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 Obama Administration requested $818
million for the Water and Related Resources Account for FY2013, a reduction of $76 million
from the FY2012 level. However most of this decrease is due to shifting of funds for Indian water
rights settlements and San Joaquin restoration to two new accounts. Accounting for these
changes, the proposed decrease from FY2012 to the FY2013 request was approximately $34
million.
In its markup, the House Appropriations Committee recommended $834 million in funding for
Water and Related Resources, a decrease of $43.5 million from the Administration’s request after
allowing for the shifting/elimination of funding for the aforementioned two accounts proposed in
the President’s request. The Senate Appropriations Committee provided $892.1 million, which
amounts to an increase of $15 million from the President’s request after accounting for these
same changes.
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 Bureau of Reclamation. Whereas the Army Corps of Engineers built hundreds
of flood control and navigation projects, Reclamation’s mission was to develop water supplies,
primarily for irrigation to reclaim arid lands in the West. Today, Reclamation 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 a population of
31 million. Reclamation is the largest wholesale supplier of water in the 17 western states and the
second-largest hydroelectric power producer in the nation. Reclamation facilities also provide
substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Operations of Reclamation
facilities are often controversial, particularly for their effect on fish and wildlife species and
conflicts among competing water users.
As with the Corps of Engineers, the Reclamation budget is made up largely of individual project
funding lines and relatively few “programs.” Also similar to the Corps, previously these
Reclamation projects have often been subject to earmark disclosure rules. The current
moratorium affects Congress’s ability to steer money toward specific Reclamation projects, as it
has done in the past.
Central Valley Project (CVP) Operations
The CVP in California is one of Reclamation’s largest and most complex water projects, and
limited deliveries to CVP contractors are often the subject of appropriations and authorization
debates. In recent years, Reclamation has had to limit water deliveries and pumping from CVP
facilities due to drought and other factors, including environmental restrictions. In previous
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appropriations bills, this action has resulted in attempts to prevent Reclamation from
implementing Biological Opinions (BiOps), some of which restrict CVP operations because of
the project’s potential effects on certain fish species.18 Previous restrictions that would prevent
implementation of BiOps in the CVP, including amendments to appropriations bills, have not
been enacted. However, other measures to lessen the impact of these restrictions have been
enacted, and related legislation is currently under consideration.19
San Joaquin River Restoration Fund
The San Joaquin River Restoration Fund was authorized by the enactment of Title X of the
Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-11), the San Joaquin River Restoration
Settlement Act. The Fund is to be used to implement fisheries restoration and water management
provisions of a stipulated settlement agreement for the Natural Resources Defense Council et al.
v. Rodgers lawsuit.20 The Fund is supported through the combination of a reallocation of Central
Valley Project Restoration Fund receipts from the Friant Division water users and accelerated
payment of Friant water users’ capital repayment obligations, as well as other federal and nonfederal sources.
In recent years, funding for the San Joaquin River settlement has been controversial. Some have
proposed repealing the settlement outright.21 In lieu of repealing the settlement, some have
proposed de-funding the most important components of the settlement that were authorized by
Congress, including rescission of prior year mandatory appropriations for San Joaquin
restoration. To date, none of these proposals have been enacted.
Previous funding for the San Joaquin River settlement included mandatory funds that were made
available to Reclamation without further appropriation between FY2010 and FY2012. For
FY2013, Reclamation proposed an allocation of $12 million in discretionary funding within a
new account for San Joaquin River restoration activities. The House Appropriations Committee
provided no funding for these activities. The Senate Appropriations Committee agreed with the
Administration’s request.
18
The two BiOps in question have found that continued operation of the projects under a plan developed and
implemented in 2004 (known as the Operations Criteria and Plan, or OCAP) would jeopardize the existence of delta
smelt and salmon and other endangered species in California. OCAP allowed increased pumping from the delta, which
some believe has further imperiled fish species listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
Others note that factors such as invasive species, pollution, and non-federal withdrawals of water from the delta have
contributed to fishery declines. Critically low numbers of delta smelt resulted in a court-imposed limit on pumping at
certain times. These and other restrictions have led to low water deliveries for certain water districts (e.g., those with
junior water rights).
19
Most prominently, H.R. 1837 would, among other things, alter the current regime for water deliveries in the Central
Valley and repeal the San Joaquin River Restoration Act. H.R. 1837 passed the House on February 29, 2012. For more
information, see CRS Report R42375, H.R. 1837—The Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act, by Betsy
A. Cody.
20
Construction of Friant Dam in the 1940s and subsequent diversion of San Joaquin River water to off-stream
agricultural uses blocked salmon migration and dewatered stretches of the San Joaquin, resulting in elimination of
spring-run Chinook into the upper reaches of the river. One goal of the settlement is to bring back the salmon run;
another is to reduce or avoid adverse water supply impacts to Friant Division long-term contractors. For more
information on the settlement agreement and the San Joaquin River Restoration Fund, see CRS Report R40125, Title X
of H.R. 146: San Joaquin River Restoration, by Betsy A. Cody and Pervaze A. Sheikh.
21
See footnote 19.
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Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement22
The current Administration has undertaken efforts to avoid water allocation conflicts and restore
the fisheries of the Klamath Basin in southern Oregon and Northern California. Two related
agreements, the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA) and the Klamath Hydroelectric
Settlement Agreement (KHSA), aim to achieve these goals through a mix of federal actions and
non-federal dam removal. The agreements, which require authorization by Congress to move
forward, would cost the federal government $800 million over 15 years, with additional costs for
dam removal funded by nonfederal entities.
There are a number of ongoing federal activities in the Klamath, including some actions and
studies under the KBRA and KHSA that are going forward under existing authorities. However in
order to proceed with other activities, including most of the restoration actions in the KBRA and
a secretarial determination related to dam removal under the KHSA, Congress must authorize the
agreements.23 In FY2013, in addition to base funds for the Klamath Project (approximately $18.6
million), Reclamation proposed $7.1 million in new funding for selected KBRA activities that are
authorized under existing law. Both the House and the Senate appropriations committees agreed
with the Administration’s requested funding level.
WaterSMART Program
In recent years Reclamation has combined funding for several individual “bureau-wide”
programs that promote water conservation into a single program—the WaterSMART (Sustain
and Manage America’s Resources for Tomorrow) Program. The program is part of an effort by
the Department of the Interior to focus on water conservation, re-use, and planning. In the
FY2013 request the WaterSMART program included five components: WaterSMART Grants,
Basin Studies, Title XVI Projects, the Cooperative Watershed Management Program, and Water
Conservation Field Services.24 The FY2013 President’s budget request for WaterSMART
programs was $53.9 million. The House Appropriations Committee recommended $46.9 million
for the program, and the Senate Appropriations Committee agreed with the President’s request.
Funding levels for WaterSMART programs are shown in Table 7.
22
For more information, see CRS Report R42157, Klamath River Basin: Background and Issues, coordinated by
Charles V. Stern.
23
Legislation currently before Congress (H.R. 3398 and S. 1851) would authorize the agreements.
24
Prior to FY2012, the Water Conservation Field Services program and the Cooperative Watershed Management
Program had been a “bureau-wide” program. For consistency, comparisons to prior year funding in this report include
this program within WaterSMART totals.
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Table 7. Reclamation WaterSMART Program
(selected programs, $ millions)
Program Name
FY2011
FY2012
FY2013
Request
WaterSMART Grants
33.0
12.2
21.5
12.2
21.5
Basin Studies
8.3
4.9
6.0
4.9
6.0
Title XVI Projects
20.5
24.7
20.3
24.6
20.3
Cooperative Watershed
Management Program
—a
0.25
0.25
0.25
0.25
Water Conservation
Field Services
[7.8]a
5.0
5.9
5.0
5.9
Total
61.9
47.1
53.9
46.9
53.9
House
Senate
Conf.
Source: Bureau of Reclamation Congressional Justifications, FY2013, H.Rept. 112-462, S.Rept. 112-164.
a.
Prior to FY2012, the Cooperative Watershed Management Program and Water Conservation Field Services
programs were not part of WaterSMART.
Title III: Department of Energy
The Energy and Water Development bill has funded all DOE’s programs since FY2005. Major
DOE activities 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, as well as programs for fossil fuels, energy efficiency, the Strategic
Petroleum Reserve, and energy statistics.
The FY2012 appropriations act, P.L. 112-74, funded DOE programs at $26.3 billion. For
FY2013, the Obama Administration requested $27.7 billion for DOE programs. The House
Appropriations Committee recommended $26.1 billion. The Senate Appropriations Committee
recommended $27.1 billion.
Table 8. Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Title III: Department of Energy
($ millions)
Program
FY2012
Approp.
FY2013
Request
House
Senate
P.L.
113-6
ENERGY PROGRAMS
Energy Efficiency and Renewable
Energy
1,809.6
2,267.3
1,451.0
1,916.1
Electricity Delivery and Energy
Reliability
139.1
143.0
123.0
143.0
Nuclear Energy
765.4
770.4
765.4
785.4
Fossil Energy R&D
346.7
420.6
529.0
460.6
14.9
14.9
14.9
14.9
Naval Petrol. and Oil Shale Reserves
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Energy and Water Development: FY2013 Appropriations
Program
Elk Hills School Lands Fund
FY2012
Approp.
FY2013
Request
House
Senate
0.0
15.6
15.6
15.6
192.7
195.6
195.6
195.6
-500.0
-291.0
—
—
Northeast Home Heating Oil
Reserve
-89.9
4.1
4.1
4.1
Energy Information Administration
105.0
116.4
100.0
116.4
Non-Defense Environmental
Cleanup
235.3
198.5
235.0
228.5
Uranium D&D Fund
472.2
442.5
425.0
442.5
4,873.6
4,992.1
4,801.4
4,909.0
275.0
350.0
200.0
312.0
0.0
0.0
25.0
0.0
Departmental Admin. (net)
126.0
122.6
85.0
112.6
Office of Inspector General
42.0
43.5
43.5
43.5
Adv. Tech. Vehicles Manuf. Loan
6.0
9.0
6.0
9.0
Innovative Tech. Loan Guarantee
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
8,813.7
9,815.1
8,949.8
9,708.7
Weapons Activities
7,214.1
7,577.3
7,512.3
7,577.3
Nuclear Nonproliferation
2,295.9
2,458.6
2,283.0
2,458.6
Naval Reactors
1,080.0
1,088.6
1,086.6
1,088.6
410.0
411.3
382.0
386.3
11,000.0
11,535.9
11,257.0
11,510.9
5,003.0
5,472.0
4,920.0
5,064.0
823.4
735.7
813.4
735.7
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
16,826.3
17,743.6
16,990.4
17,310.6
Southeastern
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
Southwestern
11.9
11.9
11.9
11.9
Western
96.0
96.1
96.1
96.1
0.2
0.2
0.2
0.2
Strategic Petroleum Reserve
SPR Petroleum Account
Science
Energy Transformation Acceleration
Fund (ARPA-E)
Nuclear Waste Disposal
TOTAL, ENERGY PROGRAMS
P.L.
113-6
DEFENSE ACTIVITIES
National Nuclear Security
Administration (NNSA)
Office of Administrator
Total, NNSA
Defense Environmental Cleanup
Other Defense Activities
Defense Nuclear Waste Disposal
TOTAL, DEFENSE
ACTIVITIES
POWER MARKETING
ADMINISTRATION (PMAs)
Falcon & Amistad O&M
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Program
TOTAL, PMAs
Total, Title III
FY2012
Approp.
FY2013
Request
House
Senate
108.1
108.2
108.2
108.2
25,748.1
27,666.9
26,048.4
27,127.6
P.L.
113-6
Source: FY2013 budget request, H.Rept. 112-462, H.R. 5325 as passed, S.Rept. 112-164.
Key Policy Issues—Department of Energy
DOE administers a wide variety of programs with different functions and missions. In the
following pages, some of the most important programs are described and major issues are
identified, in approximately the order in which they appear in Table 8.
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)25
President Obama has declared energy efficiency and renewable energy to be in a “Sputnik
moment,” comparable to the U.S.-Soviet space race that began in the 1950s. In his State of the
Union address in February 2012 he reiterated their importance to jobs, economic growth, and
U.S. manufacturing competitiveness. But the Congress has been reluctant to go along with his
efforts to boost spending for these programs. His proposed FY2011 budget for EERE of $2.4
billion was reduced to $1.8 billion, and his FY2012 proposal of $3.2 billion was cut to $1.8
billion.
For FY2013, DOE requested $2.267 billion for the EERE programs. Compared with the FY2012
appropriation, the FY2013 request would increase EERE funding by $458 million, or 25%. The
House bill would reduce the requested amount sharply, to $1.381 billion. The Senate bill would
appropriate $1.916 billion.
DOE requested an additional $143.0 million for Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability
(EDER) programs. Table 9 gives the programmatic breakdown for EERE and EDER.
25
This section was prepared by Fred Sissine.
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Table 9. Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Programs
($ millions)
Program
FY2012
Approp.
FY2013
Request
House
Senate
Hydrogen/Fuel Cell Technologies
103.6
80.0
82.0
104.0
Biomass and Biorefinery Systems
199.3
270.0
203.0
200.0
Solar Energy
289.0
310.0
155.0
293.0
—Concentrating Solar Power
(CSP)
44.9
45.1
—-
—-
—Photovoltaic (PV) Power
75.6
66.0
—-
—-
Wind Energy
93.3
95.0
70.0
95.0
Geothermal Technology
37.9
65.0
30.0
65.0
Water Power (Hydro/Ocean)
58.8
20.0
45.0
59.0
Subtotal, Renewable and
Hydrogen
781.8
840.0
585.0
820.0
Vehicle Technologies
328.8
420.0
335.0
330.0
Building Technologies
219.2
310.0
125.0
220.0
Advanced Manufacturing
115.6
290.0
150.0
168.6
Federal Energy Management
29.9
32.0
18.0
30.0
Subtotal, Efficiency R&D
693.5
1,052.0
628.0
750.6
Facilities and Infrastructure
26.3
26.4
26.4
26.4
Program Direction
165.0
164.7
115.0
164.7
Strategic Programs
25.0
58.9
10.0
25.0
1,691.5
2,142.0
1,364.4
1,786.7
Renewables Deployment
10.0
7.0
7.0
10.0
Subtotal, Demonstration
and Deployment
10.0
7.0
7.0
10.0
Weatherization Grants
68.0
139.0
54.6
145.0
State Energy Grants
50.0
49.0
25.0
50.0
Use of Prior Year Balances
-9.9
-69.7
-69.7
-69.7
1,809.6
2,267.3
1,381.3
1,916.1
139.1
143.0
123.0
143.0
R&D Subtotal
Total EERE Appropriation
Electricity Delivery and
Energy Reliability (EDER)
Conf.
Sources: FY2013 budget request, H.Rept. 112-462, S.Rept. 112-164.
New Subprogram Account Structure
For each major EERE technology program (e.g., Solar Technologies, Vehicle Technologies),
DOE proposed changing the subprogram account structure from descriptions of technology-
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specific activities (e.g., Photovoltaic R&D, Battery Technology) to a uniform sub-program
structure that has four areas: Innovations, Emerging Technologies, Systems Integration, and
Market Barriers. The four areas are sequential, following the technology development
progression—research, development, demonstration, and deployment (RDD&D).
Each of the four new subprogram areas is identified with the concept of “technology readiness
level (TRL),” a new element of its vocabulary for describing EERE technology programs. TRL is
defined by a numerical scale that covers the RDD&D progression. The scale ranges from TRL1,
for basic research, to TRL10, for commercial market penetration.
Thus, the Innovations subprogram encompasses activities traditionally defined as applied
research, covering TRL levels 2 through 3. The Emerging Technologies subprogram captures
activities traditionally defined as development, covering TRL levels 3 through 6. The Systems
Integration subprogram embraces demonstration activities, associated with TRL levels 6 through
8. The Market Barriers subprogram is comprised of deployment-related activities, covering TRL
levels 8 through 10.
Both the House and Senate reports rejected DOE’s proposal for a new subprogram account
structure, citing its inadequacy for budgeting purposes. For the FY2014 request, the Senate report
directed DOE to provide more detail at the program, project, and activity level.
Hydrogen/Fuel Cell Program
For the Hydrogen/Fuel Cell Program, DOE requested $80 million, $24 million below FY2012. In
general, activities would be reduced, but not eliminated. The House bill would go along with the
cut, appropriating $82 million. The Senate bill would appropriate $104 million, the FY2012 level.
Biomass and Biorefinery Program Initiatives
This program aims to foster a domestic bioenergy industry that produces renewable biofuels,
bioproducts, and biopower. The goals are to curb oil dependence, reduce greenhouse gas
emissions, and stimulate economic and job development—especially in the farms and forests of
rural areas. While biofuels and bioproducts may soon be price-competitive, swings in oil prices
pose an ongoing challenge to achieve cost-competitiveness. The program strategy addresses a
feedstock collection barrier by focusing on converting raw biomass to solid pellets or to “green
crude” oil that is easy to transport at large scale. The program aims to help cellulosic biofuels
(renewable gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel) reach a wholesale finished-fuel cost under $3 per gallon
by 2017.
DOE requested $270 million for FY2013 for biomass and biorefinery programs, compared to
$199 million appropriated for FY2012. Most of the increased funding would be used to complete
pilot- and demonstration-scale biorefinery demonstration projects. The increase would support
the construction and operation phases for biofuels, such as cellulosic ethanol and renewable
diesel. Also, funds would support an innovative pilot program and deployment of a mobile
feedstock process demonstration.
DOE also sought authority from Congress to transfer $100 million from the EERE appropriation
to the Defense Production Act Fund. This money would be used in joint activities by DOE, the
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Department of Defense, and the Department of Agriculture to develop pilot-scale demonstrations
for production of renewable diesel and jet fuel to be used by the Navy.
The House and Senate bills, as reported by the Appropriations Committees, would not fund the
increased activity. The House bill would appropriate $203 million, the Senate bill $200 million.
The House Appropriations Committee did not agree to the proposed transfer to the Defense
Production Act Fund; the Senate Appropriations Committee approved it.
Solar Energy
For the Solar Program, DOE requested $310 million, a net increase of $21 million over FY2012.
Much of the increase would go to research on new data analysis capabilities to help cut time and
permitting process costs for solar installations. The Senate Appropriations Committee
recommended $293 million, and supported the increase for data analysis. The House bill would
cut the Solar Program to $155 million. The House Appropriations report specified a minimum of
$65 million for Innovations in Manufacturing, and $20 million for Photovoltaic Cell
Development and Supply Chain activities.
Wind Energy
For the Wind Program, DOE requested $95 million, essentially no change over FY2012. The
Senate Appropriations Committee recommended the full amount of the request, while the House
report recommended $70 million. Both reports stressed support for offshore wind technology
development.
Geothermal Technologies
For the Geothermal Program, DOE requested $65 million, an increase of $27.1 million over
FY2012. Much of the increase would go to an Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) Field Sites
program. The Senate bill would fund the Geothermal Program at the requested level. The House
bill would appropriate $30 million. The House Committee report specified no funding for the
EGS program. Both the House and the Senate Appropriations Committees urged DOE to pursue
the potential of low-temperature geothermal sources.
Water Power
For the Water Power Program, DOE requested $20 million, a cut of $38.8 million below FY2012.
Water power technologies employ marine and hydrokinetic (wave, tidal, current, and ocean
thermal) resources, and conventional hydropower resources, to generate electricity. The budget
request would have allocated $15 million to water power technologies and $5 million to
conventional hydropower.
The Senate Appropriations Committee recommended $59 million for water power, in the same
proportion of 75% for water power technologies and 25% for conventional hydropower. The
House Appropriations Committee recommended $25 million for technologies and $20 million for
conventional hydropower.
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Vehicle Technologies
In 2011 the President announced a goal to put 1 million electric vehicles (EVs) on the road by
2015, although since then the administration has backed off from this goal. To help promote EV
development and deployment, DOE requested an increase of $91 million for the Vehicle
Technologies Program over the $329 million appropriated for FY2012. Most of the increase
would support the Electric Vehicle (EV) Grand Challenge, with the goal of assuring U.S.
leadership in the global market for next generation electric vehicle technology. The EV Challenge
focuses on advanced battery technology, power electronics, and advanced charging technology.
Neither the House nor the Senate Appropriations Committees agreed to the increase. The House
bill would appropriate $335 million; the Senate bill $330 million.
Building Technologies
This program develops energy efficiency measures to curb building-related energy costs, with a
goal of reducing energy use 50% by 2030. The program strategy is designed with three linked
paths: improve building components (envelope/windows, HVAC, lighting, and sensors/controls),
strengthen market pull (through cooperation with private industry), and raise energy efficiency
for new equipment (via standards) and new buildings (via model codes).
DOE requested $310 million for FY2013, an increase of $90.8 million over FY2012. The funding
increase would be spread over most building activities, with a special focus on accelerating
currently scheduled rulemakings for equipment standards and on initiating standards for about six
additional (new) products.
Both reports rejected DOE’s proposed overall increase—yet both support another year of funding
for the Building Innovation Hub. The Senate Appropriations Committee recommended $220
million, which is the same as FY2012. The House report recommended $125 million. Also, it
directed DOE to (1) conduct a study of the benefits of an R&D program to improve the
manufacturing of consumer electronics and (2) ensure that any proposed standards for
manufactured housing account for both up-front costs and lifecycle operating costs.
Advanced Manufacturing
DOE proposes to restructure the Industrial Technologies Program into an Advanced
Manufacturing Office (AMO). This reflects an effort to accelerate the program’s evolution in
response to national interests—especially concerns about jobs, critical materials, and international
competitiveness. The general goal for AMO programs is to reduce the energy use of
manufactured goods across targeted product life-cycles by 50% over 10 years. The manufacturing
focus is a major theme of the EERE request, which follows from the President’s Advanced
Manufacturing Partnership initiative. Under EERE, the focus centers on the AMO and is also
evidenced by manufacturing elements under several other technology programs.
To meet the above-noted goal, DOE requested $290 million, a net increase of $174.4 million.
Nearly 80% of the increase would go Next Generation Manufacturing Processes, with the
remainder split between Next Generation Materials and Industrial Technical Assistance. These
proposed increases directly parallel the “Next Generation” manufacturing initiatives proposed in
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Energy and Water Development: FY2013 Appropriations
the FY2012 request. The FY2013 proposals appear to involve less funding, more focus, and more
specifics than those in the FY2012 request.26
The increase for Manufacturing Processes is intended to develop new ways to reduce and/or
integrate the number of steps in industrial processes (e.g. to reduce energy losses from industrial
motors, steam, and process heating activities) and to discover alternate processes (e.g., biomanufacturing to support the production of oil substitutes). Public-private partnerships would be
expanded through manufacturing demonstration facilities (MDFs),27 research/industry
manufacturing awards,28 and manufacturing challenges.29 DOE expects that many projects funded
through the Administration’s Innovative Manufacturing Initiative (IMI) will advance into this
phase, as technologies are scaled up and demonstrated for industrial applications.30 Through these
various activities, small- and medium-sized firms would gain access to specialized technology
that would otherwise be cost-prohibitive. Also, the funding for Next Generation Materials aims to
allow for energy savings in energy intensive processes, create new design opportunities for
renewable energy generation in austere environments, and help bypass the need for critical
materials while reducing cost.
The House Appropriations Committee recommended $150 million, which is $34 million more
than FY2012. The Senate report recommended $168.6 million, which is $52.6 million more than
FY2012. Both reports agreed to extend funding for the Critical Materials Hub for another year.
Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP)
FEMP provides expertise, training, and other services to help federal agencies achieve
congressionally mandated energy efficiency and renewable energy goals. DOE requested $32
million, which would be $2 million more than FY2012. The Senate Appropriations Committee
recommended $30 million and the House Appropriations Committee recommended $18 million.
Program Direction
This program funds federal employees, contract support, and operational costs. DOE requested
$164.7 million, essentially level funding with FY2012. The Senate Appropriations Committee
recommended the full amount of the request. The House report recommended $115 million.
26
The FY2013 funding increase sought for Advanced Manufacturing Office initiatives ($174.4 million) is about $38
million (18%) less than the increase that was requested for FY2012. For more details on the FY2012 request, see CRS
Report R41908, Energy and Water Development: FY2012 Appropriations, coordinated by Carl E. Behrens, pages 2223.
27
MDFs promote development, integration, evaluation, and exploitation of advanced materials and energy-efficient,
flexible manufacturing technologies to hasten dissemination of technology developments across the supply chain of
manufacturers. The MDF provides physical and virtual tools—from design to evaluation and testing/verification—for
rapidly prototyping new technologies and optimizing critical manufacturing processes.
28
Laboratory and industry manufacturing awards provide incentives for collaboration between industry and researchers
outside of the private sector, including National Laboratories.
29
Manufacturing Challenges establish open competitions to address non-conventional solutions to pervasive large-scale
problems.
30
IMI public-private partnerships target core technical problems facing an industry or group of industries, that, if
solved, hold the potential to produce large improvements in energy productivity, environmental performance, product
yield, and economic benefits.
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Strategic Programs
For Strategic Programs (formerly Program Support), DOE seeks $58.9 million, an increase of
nearly $34 million over FY2012. Most of the increase would go for joint work with DOE’s Office
of Science on clean energy research and innovation. Also, the International subprogram would
get a $3.5 million increase, from which $2 million would support exports to foreign markets. The
Senate Appropriations Committee recommended $25 million, the FY2012 level, and the House
Appropriations Committee recommended $10 million.
Weatherization Grant Program
This program addresses regulatory, financial, and planning barriers faced by state and local
governments. The goal is to foster technologies, practices, and policies that support state and
local governments in providing home energy services to low-income families that help them
reduce energy costs and save money. DOE requested $139 million for FY2013, compared to $68
million appropriated for FY2012. Nearly all of the addition would increase the number of lowincome households weatherized.31 The Senate Appropriations Committee recommended $145
million. The House Appropriations report cited the availability of $810 million in unspent prior
year funds in its recommendation for $54.6 million.
State Energy Grant Program
This program supports many state energy offices, both administration and activities. DOE
requested $49 million, nearly level funding with FY2012. The Senate Appropriations Committee
recommended $50 million, and the House report recommended $25 million.
Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (EDER) Program32
DOE requested $143 million, a net increase of $3.9 million, for EDER, which included $20.0
million for a new Electricity Systems Hub. The Hub would address the growing need for grid
accommodation of renewables, the impact of electric vehicles and distributed generation, and the
advent of smart grid equipment. Hub funding would be mostly offset by cuts to other programs.
The Senate Appropriations Committee recommended the full amount of the request, including
funding for the Hub. The House report recommended $123 million, specifying no funds for the
Hub.
Nuclear Energy33
The Obama Administration’s FY2013 funding request for nuclear energy research and
development totaled $770.4 million. Including advanced reactors, fuel cycle technology,
infrastructure support, and safeguards and security, the total nuclear energy request was $88.3
31
Also, in FY2013, collection and analysis of data from ARRA projects would enable updated estimates of program
energy savings, cost savings, leveraged funds, and other impacts. For more details about the program see CRS Report
R42147, DOE Weatherization Program: A Review of Funding, Performance, and Cost-Effectiveness Studies, by Fred
Sissine.
32
This section was prepared by Fred Sissine.
33
This section was prepared by Mark Holt.
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Energy and Water Development: FY2013 Appropriations
million (10%) below the enacted FY2012 funding level. Funding for safeguards and security at
DOE’s Idaho facilities in FY2012 was provided under a separate appropriations account, Other
Defense Activities, but it was included under the Nuclear Energy account in the FY2013 request.
The largest proposed reductions for FY2013 were Reactor Concepts (36%), Radiological Facility
Management (27%) and Nuclear Energy Enabling Technologies (13%).
Excluding funding for Idaho safeguards and security, the House Appropriations Committee
recommended an increase of $89.9 million for the nuclear energy account, for a total of $765.4
million. The committee recommended that $93.4 million for Idaho safeguards and security be
provided under the Other Defense Activities Account. The Senate Appropriations recommended a
$20.1 million increase for nuclear energy, including Idaho safeguards and security and $17.7
million in prior-year balances.
Using reorganized budget categories established for FY2011, the Administration’s FY2013
nuclear R&D budget request is consistent with DOE’s Nuclear Energy Research and
Development Roadmap issued in April 2010.34 The Roadmap lays out the following four main
goals for the program:
•
Develop technologies and other solutions that can improve the reliability, sustain
the safety, and extend the life of current reactors;
•
Develop improvements in the affordability of new reactors to enable nuclear
energy to help meet the Administration’s energy security and climate change
goals;
•
Develop sustainable nuclear fuel cycles; and
•
Understand and minimize the risks of nuclear proliferation and terrorism.
Reactor Concepts
The Reactor Concepts program area includes the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP)
demonstration project and research on other advanced reactors (often referred to as Generation IV
reactors). This area also includes funding for developing advanced small modular reactors
(discussed in the next section) and to enhance the “sustainability” of existing commercial light
water reactors. The total FY2013 funding request for this program was $73.7 million, a reduction
of $41.2 million from FY2012. The House Appropriations Committee recommended an increase
of $11.1 million from the FY2012 level, while the Senate panel’s recommendation was the same
as the request.
Most of the Administration’s proposed reduction in Reactor Concepts would be for NGNP, a
high-temperature gas-cooled reactor demonstration project authorized by the Energy Policy Act
of 2005 (EPACT05, P.L. 109-58). The reactor is intended to produce high-temperature heat that
could be used to generate electricity, help separate hydrogen from water, or be used in other
industrial processes. DOE is requesting $21.2 million for the NGNP project for FY2013, down
from $40 million provided in FY2012. Under EPACT05, the Secretary of Energy was to decide
by the end of FY2011 whether to proceed toward construction of a demonstration plant. Secretary
of Energy Steven Chu informed Congress on October 17, 2011, that DOE would not proceed with
34
Department of Energy, Nuclear Energy Research and Development Roadmap, Report to Congress, Washington, DC,
April 2010, http://nuclear.gov/pdfFiles/NuclearEnergy_Roadmap_Final.pdf.
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a demonstration plant design “at this time” but would continue research on the technology.35
Potential obstacles facing NGNP include low prices for natural gas, the major competing fuel,
and private-sector unwillingness to share the project’s costs as required by EPACT05.36
According to the DOE budget justification, the NGNP program in FY2013 will focus on fuels for
very high temperature reactors, the graphite used in high-temperature reactor cores, and licensing
issues. The House Appropriations Committee recommended $50 million for NGNP, to allow
DOE to continue developing a licensing framework and continue working with industry on the
program. The Senate panel restricted NGNP activities to ongoing fuel-related research.
Funding for the Advanced Reactor Concepts subprogram would also be reduced sharply by the
Administration request, from $21.9 million in FY2012 to $12.4 million in FY2013. Reactor
concepts being developed by this subprogram are generally classified as “Generation IV”
reactors, as opposed to the existing fleet of commercial light water reactors, which are generally
classified as generations II and III. Such advanced reactors “could dramatically improve nuclear
power performance including sustainability, economics, and safety and proliferation resistance,”
according to the FY2013 justification. Nuclear technology development under this program
includes “fast reactors,” using high-energy neutrons, and reactors that would use a variety of heattransfer fluids, such as liquid sodium and supercritical carbon dioxide. International research
collaboration in this area would continue under the Generation IV International Forum (GIF). The
House Appropriations Committee recommended an increase $1.1 million over FY2012, while the
Senate panel approved the Administration’s proposed reduction.
DOE’s FY2013 request for the Light Water Reactor Sustainability subprogram was $21.7 million,
$3.3 million below the FY2012 appropriation. The program conducts research on extending the
life of existing commercial light water reactors beyond 60 years, the maximum operating period
currently licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The program, which is to be costshared with the nuclear industry, is to study the aging of reactor materials and analyze safety
margins of aging plants. Other research under this program is to focus on improving the
efficiency of existing plants, through such measures as increasing plant capacity and upgrading
instrumentation and control systems. Research on longer-life LWR fuel is aimed at eliminating
radioactive leakage from nuclear fuel and increasing its accident tolerance, along with other
“post-Fukushima lessons learned research needs,” according to the budget justification. The
House Appropriations Committee rejected the Administration’s proposed reduction, while the
Senate panel approved it.
Small Modular Light Water Reactors
Rising cost estimates for large conventional nuclear reactors—widely projected to be $6 billion or
more—have contributed to growing interest in proposals for small modular reactors (SMRs).
Ranging from about 40 to 350 megawatts of electrical capacity, such reactors would be only a
fraction of the size of current commercial reactors. Several modular reactors would be installed
together to make up a power block with a single control room, under most concepts. Current
SMR proposals would use a variety of technologies, including high-temperature gas technology
in the NGNP program and the light water (LWR) technology used by today’s commercial
reactors.
35
Idaho National Laboratory, NGNP Project 2011 Status and Path Forward, INL/EXT-11-23907, December 2011.
Yanmei Xie, “Cheap Natural Gas, Cost-Share Disagreement Jeopardize NGNP,” Nucleonics Week, April 28, 2011,
p. 1.
36
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Energy and Water Development: FY2013 Appropriations
DOE requested $65 million for FY2013 to provide technical support for licensing small modular
LWRs, $2 million below the FY2012 funding level. This program focuses on LWR designs
because they are believed most likely to be deployed in the near term, according to DOE.
Conferees on the FY2012 appropriations bill anticipated a five-year program totaling $452
million. The program is similar to DOE’s support for larger commercial reactor designs under the
Nuclear Power 2010 Program, which ended in FY2010. DOE will provide support for design
certification, standards, and licensing. As with the Nuclear Power 2010 Program, at least half the
costs of the LWR SMR program are to be covered by industry partners, according to DOE. The
program will support two teams of reactor vendors and specific utilities or consortia who are
interested in building the reactors at specific sites, according to the DOE justification. DOE
announced a funding solicitation for the program on March 22, 2012.37 The House Appropriations
Committee recommended $114 million for the SMR licensing program, $47 million above
FY2012. The committee report called the increase necessary to keep the program on track to
receive $452 million over five years. The Senate panel provided the same funding as in the
budget request.
An additional $18.5 million for FY2013 was requested by DOE under the Reactor Concepts
program (described in the section above) for SMR advanced concepts R&D—$10.2 million
below the FY2012 funding level. Unlike the SMR licensing support program, which focuses on
conventional LWR technology, the SMR advanced concepts program would conduct research on
technologies that might be deployed in the longer term, according to the budget justification. The
House Appropriations Committee rejected the Administration’s proposed reduction, while the
Senate panel approved the budget request.
Small modular reactors would go against the overall trend in nuclear power technology toward
ever-larger reactors intended to spread construction costs over a greater output of electricity.
Proponents of small reactors contend that they would be economically viable despite their far
lower electrical output because modules could be assembled in factories and shipped to plant
sites, and because their smaller size would allow for simpler safety systems. In addition, although
modular plants might have similar or higher costs per kilowatt-hour than conventional large
reactors, their ability to be constructed in smaller increments could reduce electric utilities’
financial commitment and risk.
Fuel Cycle Research and Development
The Fuel Cycle Research and Development Program conducts “long-term, science-based”
research on a wide variety of technologies for improving the management of spent nuclear fuel,
according to the DOE budget justification. The total FY2013 funding request for this program is
$175.4 million, $10.8 million below the FY2012 appropriation. The House Appropriations
Committee recommended $138.7 million for Fuel Cycle R&D, $36.7 million below the request.
The Senate panel recommended $193.1 million, $17.7 million above the request.
The range of fuel cycle technologies being studied by the program includes direct disposal of
spent fuel (the “once through” cycle) and partial and full recycling, according to the budget
justification. The Fuel Cycle R&D Program “will research and develop a suite of technology
37
Department of Energy, “Obama Administration Announces $450 Million to Design and Commercialize U.S. Small
Modular Nuclear Reactors,” press release, March 22, 2012, http://www.ne.doe.gov/newsroom/2012PRs/
nePR032212_print.html.
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Energy and Water Development: FY2013 Appropriations
options that will enable future decision-makers to make informed decisions about how best to
manage nuclear waste and used fuel from reactors,” the budget justification says.
Much of the planned research on spent fuel management options will address the near-term
recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future, which issued its
final report on January 26, 2012.38 The commission was chartered to develop alternatives to the
planned Yucca Mountain, NV, spent fuel repository, which President Obama wants to terminate.
The largest subprogram under Fuel Cycle Research and Development is Used Nuclear Fuel
Disposition, with a request of $59.7 million, the same as the FY2012 funding level. Activities in
that area include work toward the development and licensing of standardized spent fuel
containers, studies of potential spent fuel disposal partnerships, and the accelerated
characterization of potential geologic media for waste disposal.
The House report contended that much of the proposed research in the Used Fuel Disposition
Program relates to waste program changes recommended by the Blue Ribbon Commission that
have not been enacted by Congress. As a result, the panel reduced funding for Used Fuel
Disposition to $38 million, $15 million of which would be for storage and transportation work
related to the Yucca Mountain repository. The Senate panel’s $17.7 million increase from the
budget request consists of prior-year funds that would be used for a spent fuel storage pilot
project (see the “Nuclear Waste Disposal” section for more details).
Other major research areas in the Fuel Cycle R&D Program include the development of advanced
fuels for existing commercial reactors and advanced reactors, improvements in nuclear waste
characteristics, and technology to increase nuclear fuel resources, such as uranium extraction
from seawater.
Nuclear Energy Enabling Technologies
The Nuclear Energy Enabling Technologies (NEET) program “is designed to conduct research
and development (R&D) in crosscutting technologies that directly support and enable the
development of new and advanced reactor designs and fuel cycle technologies,” according to the
FY2013 DOE budget justification. The DOE funding request for the program was $65.3 million,
$9.4 million below the FY2012 level. The House Appropriations Committee recommended $75
million, nearly the same as in FY2012, while the Senate panel recommended the same funding as
the request.
DOE’s proposed funding cut would come entirely under the category of Crosscutting Technology
Development, for which $26.2 million was requested, $9.7 million below FY2012. According to
the budget justification, the cuts result from elimination of research on manufacturing methods
and nonproliferation risk assessments. Continuing crosscutting research activities are to include
development of innovative materials, advanced automation and information technologies,
advanced sensors, and improved fuel performance. The Energy Innovation Hub for Modeling and
Simulation, created in FY2010, had a request of $24.6 million, slightly above the FY2012
appropriation. The Modeling and Simulation Hub is creating a computer model of an operating
38
Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future, “Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future
Issues Final Report to Secretary of Energy,” press release, January 26, 2012, http://brc.gov/index.php?q=
announcement/brc-releases-their-final-report.
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Energy and Water Development: FY2013 Appropriations
reactor to allow a better understanding of nuclear technology, with the benefits of such modeling
extending to other energy technologies in the future, according to the budget justification.
DOE requested $14.6 million for the National Scientific User Facility, the same as the FY2012
appropriation, to support partnerships by universities and other research organizations to conduct
experiments “at facilities not normally accessible to these organizations,” according to the
justification. Up to five such partnerships are currently anticipated, and the FY2013 funding will
allow up to three new long-term and five “rapid turnaround” projects to be awarded.
Fossil Energy Research and Development39
The Obama Administration proposed a new budget structure for the FY2012 Fossil Energy
Research and Development (FER&D) program that emphasized coal with a focus on carbon
capture and storage (CCS) technologies. The new structure was adopted in the final
appropriations bill. The CCS program is intended to demonstrate advanced clean coal
technologies on a commercial-project scale, and build and operate near-zero atmospheric
emissions power plants that capture and store carbon dioxide (CO2). A Carbon Capture subprogram focuses on separating CO2 in both pre-combustion and post-combustion systems. The
Carbon Storage sub-program focuses on long-term geologic storage of CO2, including small- and
large-scale CO2 injection tests. An Advanced Energy Systems sub-program focuses on improving
the efficiency of coal-based power systems to capture CO2. The Advanced Energy Systems subprogram focuses on improving the efficiency of coal-based power systems, enabling affordable
CO2 capture, increasing plant availability, and maintaining the highest environmental standards.
The Cross-Cutting Research activity serves as a bridge between basic and applied research by
fostering the development and deployment of innovative systems.
For FY2013 the budget structure remains unchanged, and the Administration requested $420.6
million and the use of $7.9 million in prior-year balances, bringing spending on Fossil Energy
R&D to $428.5 million. The Administration had proposed eliminating spending on Natural Gas
Technology, Unconventional Technologies, and Cooperative R&D for FY2011, but Congress
insisted on continued spending on natural gas both in FY2011 and FY2012. For FY2013 the
Administration requested $17 million for Natural Gas Technologies.
The House Committee recommended $554 million for Fossil Energy Research and Development,
$207.3 million above FY2012 and $133.4 million above the budget request. After accounting for
rescissions of $187.3 million in FY2012, the recommendation is $20 million above FY2012. The
committee recommendation of $384.3 million for Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) and
Power Systems includes $68.9 million for Carbon Capture, $115.3 million for Carbon Storage
($16 million for enhanced oil recovery technologies), $110 million for Advanced Energy Systems
($25 million for solid oxide fuel systems research, development, and demonstration), $10 million
for coal-biomass to liquids activities, $5 million for High Performance Materials, $55 million for
Cross-Cutting Research, and $35 million for NETL Coal Research and Development. The
committee also recommended $17 million for Natural Gas Technologies ($10 million for shale
gas extraction, and $2 million for Risk Based Data Management Systems), and $115.7 million for
Program Direction. With gasoline prices once again at record levels, the committee report says, it
is more important than ever to use all means possible to increase the domestic oil supply, and
recommended $25 million for a new program in Unconventional Fossil Energy Technologies.
39
This section was prepared by Anthony Andrews.
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Energy and Water Development: FY2013 Appropriations
The Senate Committee recommended $460.6 million for Fossil Energy Research and
Development, $40 million more than the budget request. The committee recommendation of
$301.6 million for Carbon Capture and Sequestration includes $60.4 million for Carbon Capture,
$95.5 million for Carbon Storage, $80.9 million for Advanced Energy Systems, $29.7 million for
Cross-Cutting Research, and $35.0 million for NETL Coal Research and Development. The
committee also recommended $22 million for Natural Gas Technologies, $5 million for a new
Unconventional Fossil Energy program, and $120 million for Program Direction.
Table 10. Fossil Energy Research and Development Program (FER&D)
($ millions)
FY2011
Approp.
Fuels and Power Systems
FY2012
Approp.
FY2013
Request
House
Senate
400.2
0.0
0.0
Carbon Capture
0.0
68.9
60.4
68.9
60.4
Carbon Storage
0.0
115.5
95.5
115.3
95.5
Advanced Energy Systems
0.0
100.0
55.2
110.0
80.9
Cross Cutting Research
0.0
49.2
29.8
55.0
29.7
National Energy Tech. Lab
Coal R&D
0.0
35.0
35.0
35.0
35.0
CCS Subtotal
0.0
368.6
275.9
384.3
301.6
25.0
5.0
Conf.
CCS Demonstration
Unconventional FE
Natural Gas Technologies
2.0
15.0
17.0
17.0
22.0
151.7
120.0
115.8
115.8
120.0
Plant and Capital
Equipment
20.0
16.8
13.3
13.3
13.3
F E Environmental
Restoration
10.0
7.9
5.9
5.9
5.9
0.7
0.7
0.7
0.7
0.7
584.5
534.0
428.6
562.0
468.5
0.0
0.0
-7.9
-7.9
-7.9
-140.0
-187.0
0
0
0
444.5
347.0
420.6
554.0
460.6
Program Direction
Special Recruitment
Program
Subtotal
Prior-year balances
Rescission
Total
Source: FY2013 Budget Request, H.Rept. 112-462, and S.Rept. 112-164.
Strategic Petroleum Reserve40
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
40
This section was prepared by Anthony Andrews.
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Energy and Water Development: FY2013 Appropriations
Louisiana and Texas. 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. By
early 2010, the SPR’s maximum capacity reached 727 million barrels.41
The federal government has not purchased oil for the SPR since 1994. Beginning in 2000,
additions to the SPR were made with royalty-in-kind (RIK) oil acquired by the Department of
Energy in lieu of cash royalties paid on production from federal offshore leases. In September
2009 the Secretary of the Interior announced a transitional phasing out of the RIK Program.42
In its FY2012 request, the Obama Administration had proposed a sale of $500 million in
petroleum from the SPR, to be completed not later than March 1, 2012, for deposit in the General
Fund of the Treasury. In summer 2011, the President ordered an SPR sale in coordination with an
International Energy Administration sale under treaty obligation. The U.S. sale of 30.6 million
barrels, for a total of about $3.3 billion, reduced the SPR inventory to 695.9 million barrels.
For FY2013, the administration requested $195.6 million to operate the SPR, an increase from
the $192.7 million enacted in for FY2012. The Administration also proposed rescinding $291
million in balances from the SPR account resulting from the emergency sale of SPR oil
conducted in 2011.
The House and Senate Committees recommended $195.6 million for operation of the SPR, and
opposed the Administrations proposed rescission of $291 million from the SPR Account.
Science43
The DOE Office of Science conducts basic research in six program areas: basic energy sciences,
high-energy physics, biological and environmental research, nuclear physics, advanced scientific
computing research, and fusion energy sciences. Through these programs, DOE is the thirdlargest federal funder of basic research and the largest federal funder of research in the physical
sciences.44 For FY2013, DOE requested $4.992 billion for the Office of Science, an increase of
2.4% from the FY2012 appropriation of $4.874 billion. The House committee recommended
$4.801 billion. The Senate committee recommended $4.909 billion. (See Table 11.)
41
For details on the SPR see CRS Report R41687, The Strategic Petroleum Reserve and Refined Product Reserves:
Authorization and Drawdown Policy, by Anthony Andrews and Robert Pirog.
42
Bureau of Ocean Management, Regulation and Enforcement. http://www.mrm.boemre.gov/AssetManagement/
default.htm.
43
This section was prepared by Daniel Morgan.
44
Based on preliminary FY2010 data from Tables 29 and 22 of National Science Foundation, Division of Science
Resources Statistics, Federal Funds for Research and Development: Fiscal Years 2008-10, NSF 12-308 (April 2012).
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Table 11. Science
($ millions)
Program
Basic Energy Sciences
FY2012
Approp.
FY2013
Request
House
Senate
$1,688.1
$1,799.6
$1,657.1
$1,712.1
High Energy Physics
790.9
776.5
776.5
781.5
Biological and Environmental Research
609.6
625.3
542.0
625.3
Nuclear Physics
547.4
526.9
547.9
539.9
Advanced Scientific Computing Research
440.9
455.6
442.0
455.6
Fusion Energy Sciences
401.0
398.3
474.6
398.3
Science Program Direction
185.0
202.6
185.0
190.0
Science Laboratories Infrastructure
111.8
117.8
112.3
117.8
Safeguards and Security
80.6
84.0
82.0
83.0
Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists
18.5
14.5
14.5
14.5
Use/Rescission of Prior-Year Balances
—
(9.1)
(32.6)
(9.1)
4,992.1
4,801.4
4,909.0
Total
4,873.6
Conf.
Source: FY2013 budget request, draft House committee report, S.Rept. 112-164.
The Administration’s stated goal is to double the funding of the Office of Science.45 This
continues a plan initiated by the Bush Administration in January 2006. The original target under
both Administrations was to achieve the doubling goal in the decade from FY2006 to FY2016.
The Administration’s current policy no longer specifies a completion date. The FY2013 request is
37% more than the FY2006 baseline. The House and Senate committee recommendations are
respectively 32% and 35% more than the baseline.
The request for the largest Office of Science program, basic energy sciences, is $1.800 billion.
This would be an increase of $111 million from FY2012 and accounts for nearly the entire
increase requested for the Science account. The increase would fund science in support of clean
energy, such as combustion research to improve simulation of advanced engines; research on
materials and chemistry by design; and jointly funded R&D with the Office of Energy Efficiency
and Renewable Energy. The request would also support increased utilization of existing scientific
user facilities and the start of construction of the Linac Coherent Light Source-II, a new highenergy x-ray source. The House committee recommended $1.657 billion, including $33 million
less than the request for facility operations, $20 million less than the request for energy frontier
research centers, $76 million less than the request for other research activities, and $14 million
less than the request for construction projects. The Senate committee recommended $1.712
billion, including $88 million less than the request for research activities but the full requested
amount for construction. Both committee reports directed DOE not to engage the energy frontier
research centers in joint work with the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; they
stated that DOE had not adequately justified this proposal.
45
For more information, see CRS Report R41951, An Analysis of Efforts to Double Federal Funding for Physical
Sciences and Engineering Research, by John F. Sargent Jr.
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For high-energy physics, the request is $777 million, a decrease of $14 million from FY2012.
Nonaccelerator physics projects would increase $12 million, in part to support engineering and
design work on the Large-Scale Synoptic Telescope, a joint activity with the National Science
Foundation. This increase would be more than offset, however, by reductions elsewhere in the
program. Facilities funding at Fermilab would decrease $13 million because of a planned
shutdown to perform accelerator upgrades. Accelerator development would decrease $23 million
because of the completion of R&D on the International Linear Collider. Construction of the Long
Baseline Neutrino Experiment (LBNE) would not be funded. The House committee
recommended $16 million for LBNE, offset by a reduction of $16 million in other activities. The
Senate committee also recommended $16 million for LBNE, partially offset by a reduction of $11
million for other activities.
The request for biological and environmental research is $625 million, an increase of $16 million
from FY2012. Most of the increase ($12 million) would be for terrestrial ecosystem science.
Funding for radiobiology would decrease $5 million. The House committee recommended $542
million and expressed support for the program’s activities in biological systems science without
mentioning its activities in climate and environmental sciences. The Senate committee
recommended the requested amount.
For nuclear physics, the request is $527 million, down $20 million from FY2012. Funding for
continued construction of an upgrade at the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility
(CEBAF) would decrease $9 million. Utilization of existing nuclear physics user facilities would
decrease: the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) from 58% to 33%, and the Argonne
Tandem Linac Accelerator System (ATLAS) from 95% to 80%. The House committee
recommended $21 million more than the request to support facility operations and maintenance.
The Senate committee recommended $13 million more than the request for the same purpose.
The request for advanced scientific computing research is $456 million, an increase of $15
million. Research funding would increase by $28 million, while facilities funding would decrease
by $13 million. The House committee recommended $442 million and expressed concern that
DOE had not yet provided a long-term plan for exascale computing that was mandated by prior
appropriations reports. The Senate committee recommended the requested amount.
The request for fusion energy sciences is $398 million, a decrease of $3 million. The proposed
U.S. contribution to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), a fusion
research facility currently under construction in France, is $150 million, an increase of $45
million. As a consequence, funding for domestic fusion activities would decrease by $48 million.
Among the affected domestic activities, the Alcator C-Mod fusion reactor would be permanently
shut down. Policymakers and fusion researchers have long been concerned about the impact of
ITER’s funding needs on the availability of resources for the domestic fusion program. The
House committee recommended $475 million, including $28 million more than the request for
ITER and $48 million more than the request for the domestic program. The Senate committee
recommended the requested amount.
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ARPA-E46
The Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E) was authorized by the America
COMPETES Act (P.L. 110-69) to support transformational energy technology research projects.
It received its first funding in FY2009, mostly through the American Recovery and Reinvestment
Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-5), and announced its first round of contract awards in October 2009. DOE
budget documents describe ARPA-E’s mission as overcoming long-term, high-risk technological
barriers to the development of energy technologies. The request for ARPA-E in FY2013 is $350
million, an increase of $75 million from FY2012. The House committee recommended $200
million. The Senate committee recommended $312 million, which it noted is the amount
authorized by the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-358).
Nuclear Waste Disposal47
The Administration’s FY2013 budget includes no funding for DOE’s Office of Civilian
Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM), which was established by the Nuclear Waste Policy
Act of 1982 (NWPA, 42 U.S.C. 10101 et seq.) to dispose of highly radioactive waste from
nuclear power plants and defense facilities. OCRWM had been developing a permanent nuclear
waste repository at Yucca Mountain, NV, as specified by an NWPA amendment in 1987.
Funding for OCWRM ended after FY2010, so the office has been closed and activities at the
Yucca Mountain site halted.
The Obama Administration “has determined that developing the Yucca Mountain repository is
not a workable option and the Nation needs a different solution for nuclear waste disposal,”
according to the DOE FY2011 budget justification. To develop alternative waste management
strategies, the Administration established the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear
Future, which issued its final report to the Secretary of Energy on January 26, 2012.48 The Blue
Ribbon Commission recommended that future efforts to develop nuclear waste facilities follow a
“consent based” approach.
The House Appropriations Committee sharply criticized the Administration’s nuclear waste
policy and provided $25 million for FY2013 to resume work on the Yucca Mountain repository.
The Senate Committee included language (§312) authorizing a pilot program to demonstrate one
or more consolidated interim storage facilities for spent nuclear fuel and high level waste. Any
proposed storage site would require the consent of the affected state governor, local government
of jurisdiction, affected Indian tribes, and Congress. The Senate panel directed DOE to use $2
million of its program direction funding for the pilot program, along with $17.7 million in
unobligated prior-year appropriations from the Nuclear Waste Fund.
DOE had filed a license application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for the
proposed Yucca Mountain repository in June 2008 but filed a motion to withdraw the application
on March 3, 2010. An NRC licensing panel rejected DOE’s withdrawal motion June 29, 2010, on
the grounds that NWPA requires full consideration of the license application by NRC. The full
NRC Commission deadlocked on the issue September 9, 2011, leaving the licensing panel’s
46
This section was prepared by Daniel Morgan.
This section was prepared by Mark Holt.
48
Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future, Report to the Secretary of Energy, January 2012,
http://brc.gov/sites/default/files/documents/brc_finalreport_jan2012.pdf.
47
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decision in place and prohibiting DOE from withdrawing the Yucca Mountain application.
However, the commission ordered at the same time that the licensing process be halted because of
“budgetary limitations.”49 No funding was provided in FY2012 or requested for FY2013 to
continue Yucca Mountain licensing activities, although the issue is currently the subject of a
federal appeals court case.50
The final report of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future recommended
options for temporary storage, treatment, and permanent disposal of highly radioactive nuclear
waste, along with an evaluation of nuclear waste research and development programs and the
need for legislation. It did not recommend specific sites for new nuclear waste facilities or
evaluate the suitability of Yucca Mountain.
The commission’s proposed “consent-based” approach called for the roles of local, state, and
tribal governments to be negotiated for each potential site. The development of consolidated
waste storage and disposal facilities should begin as soon as possible, the commission urged. A
new waste management organization should be established to develop the repository, along with
associated transportation and storage systems, according to the commission. The new
organization should have “assured access” to the Nuclear Waste Fund, which holds fees collected
from nuclear power plant operators to pay for waste disposal. Under NWPA, DOE could not
spend those funds without congressional appropriations.
DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy (NE) has taken over the remaining functions of OCRWM and
will “lead all future waste management activities,” according to the FY2011 budget justification.
Substantial funding has been requested for NE to conduct research on nuclear waste disposal
technologies and to respond to the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission (see
“Nuclear Energy” section above for more details).
The House Appropriations Committee noted that many of the Blue Ribbon Commission’s
recommendations would require changes in law to implement and cautioned the Administration
against efforts to “unilaterally develop or implement policy” on nuclear waste management. The
Senate panel directed DOE to implement the waste storage pilot program in its bill “consistent
with the recommendations in the Blue Ribbon Commission’s final report.”
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 would eventually exceed $20 billion if DOE were
to begin removing waste from reactor sites by 2020, the previous target for opening Yucca
Mountain.51 (For more information, see CRS Report R42513, U.S. Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage,
by James D. Werner; CRS Report RL33461, Civilian Nuclear Waste Disposal, by Mark Holt; and
CRS Report R40996, Contract Liability Arising from the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) of
1982, by Todd Garvey.)
49
Nuclear Regulatory Commission, “In the Matter of U.S. Department of Energy (High-Level Waste Repository),”
CLI-11-07, September 9, 2011, http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/commission/orders/2011/201107cli.pdf.
50
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, USCA Case #11-1271, Yucca Mountain Reply
Brief of Petitioners Mandamus Action, February 13, 2012, http://www.naruc.org/policy.cfm?c=filings.
51
Ibid., p. 80.
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Loan Guarantees and Direct Loans52
DOE’s Loan Programs Office provides loan guarantees for projects that deploy specified energy
technologies, as authorized by Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT05, P.L. 10958), and direct loans for advanced vehicle manufacturing technologies. No funding for additional
loans and loan guarantees was requested for FY2013. However, $38 million for loan guarantee
administrative expenses would be offset by fees, and $9 million was requested for administrative
expenses for the vehicle manufacturing loan program, an increase of $3 million over FY2012.
The House and Senate Appropriations Committees approved the $38 million request for the loan
guarantee program. The House panel cut the vehicle manufacturing request to $6 million, while
the Senate panel approved the full request.
Two major loan guarantee programs are currently conducted by the DOE Loan Programs Office:
•
Section 1703 innovative clean energy technology loan guarantees. Loan
guarantees are provided for “new or significantly improved technologies,” as
compared to existing commercial technologies, that “avoid, reduce, or sequester”
air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions. Eligible technology categories
include renewable energy, advanced fossil energy, advanced nuclear energy,
energy efficiency, and pollution control.
•
Section 1705 renewable energy, electric transmission, and advanced biofuels
loan guarantees. Established by Section 406 of the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act (ARRA, P.L. P.L. 111-5), the Section 1705 program was
designed as a temporary economic stimulus measure available through the end of
FY2011. Unlike the Section 1703 program, which is limited to innovative
technologies, loan guarantees are available to already-commercialized renewable
energy and electric transmission technologies.
Title XVII allows DOE to provide loan guarantees for up to 80% of construction costs for eligible
energy projects. Under such loan guarantee agreements, the federal government would repay all
covered loans if the borrower defaulted. This would reduce the risk to lenders and allow them to
provide financing at below-market interest rates. DOE currently has two conditional loan
guarantee commitments pending under Section 1703, totaling $10.33 billion for nuclear power
and nuclear fuel projects. Under Section 1705, final loan guarantees have been issued for 26
projects, totaling $16 billion.53
DOE issued final rules for the program October 4, 2007.54 DOE’s proposed loan guarantee rules,
published May 16, 2007, had faced sharp criticism for limiting the guarantees to 90% of a
project’s debt. The affected industries contended that EPACT05 allows all of a project’s debt to
be covered, as long as debt does not exceed 80% of total construction costs. In its explanation of
the proposed rules, DOE expressed concern that guaranteeing 100% of a project’s debt could
reduce lenders’ incentive to perform adequate due diligence and therefore increase default risks.
52
This section was prepared by Mark Holt. For more details on loan guarantees, see CRS Report R42152, Loan
Guarantees for Clean Energy Technologies: Goals, Concerns, and Policy Options, by Phillip Brown.
53
U.S. Department of Energy Loan Programs Office, “The Financing Force Behind America’s Clean Energy
Economy,” https://lpo.energy.gov/?page_id=45. For a critique of the loan guarantee process, see U.S. Government
Accountability Office, DOE Loan Guarantees: Further Actions Are Needed to Improve Tracking and Review of
Applications, GAO-12-157, March 2012, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-157.
54
Published October 23, 2007 (72 Federal Register 60116).
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In the final rule, however, DOE agreed to guarantee up to 100% of debt, but only for loans issued
by the Federal Financing Bank.
DOE’s first loan guarantee under Section 1705 was issued in September 2009 to Solyndra Inc., a
manufacturer of photovoltaic equipment. Solyndra’s bankruptcy announcement on August 31,
2011, prompted strong congressional criticism of the Administration’s management of the loan
guarantee program.55 Solyndra’s DOE loan guarantee totaled $535 million, and the company’s
bankruptcy placed most or all of that amount at risk. (For details, see CRS Report R42058,
Market Dynamics That May Have Contributed to Solyndra’s Bankruptcy, by Phillip Brown.)
Subsidy Costs
Title XVII requires the estimated future government costs resulting from defaults on guaranteed
loans to be covered up-front by appropriations or by payments from project sponsors (borrowers).
These “subsidy costs” are calculated as the present value of the average possible future net costs
to the government for each loan guarantee, on a case-by-case basis. If those calculations are
accurate, the subsidy cost payments for all the guaranteed projects together should cover the
future costs of the program. However, the Congressional Budget Office has predicted that the upfront subsidy cost payments will prove too low by at least 1% and is scoring bills accordingly.56
As a result, appropriations bills that provide loan guarantee authorizations include an adjustment
totaling 1% of the loan guarantee ceiling.
Subsidy costs for Section 1703 loan guarantees must usually be paid by project sponsors, because
no appropriations for that program were provided before FY2011 (as described below). However,
ARRA appropriated $6 billion to cover the subsidy costs of Section 1705 loan guarantees, so
subsidy cost payments are not required from project sponsors under that program. The total loan
guarantee amounts that could be provided under ARRA depend on the level of subsidy costs that
would be charged. For example, if the subsidy costs averaged 10% of the total guaranteed loans,
then $6 billion in subsidy cost appropriations would support $60 billion in loan guarantees.
However, $2 billion of Section 1705 subsidy cost appropriation was subsequently transferred to
the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save (“cash for clunkers”) automobile trade-in program
by P.L. 111-47, and another $1.5 billion was rescinded to help pay for the Education Jobs and
Medicaid Assistance Act (P.L. 111-226), leaving $2.5 billion. Of the $2.5 billion available for
subsidy costs, $1.9 billion had been obligated by the end of FY2011.57
Authorized Loan Guarantee Amounts
Under the Federal Credit Reform Act (FCRA), federal loan guarantees cannot be provided
without an authorized level in an appropriations act or an appropriation for the subsidy costs.
Pursuant to FCRA, the FY2007 continuing resolution (P.L. 110-5) established an initial cap of $4
55
Opening Statement of the Honorable Cliff Stearns, Chairman, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
“Solyndra and the DOE Loan Guarantee Program,” September 14, 2011,
http://republicans.energycommerce.house.gov/Media/file/Hearings/Oversight/091411/Stearns.pdf.
56
Congressional Budget Office, S. 1321, Energy Savings Act of 2007, CBO Cost Estimate, Washington, DC, June 11,
2007, pp. 7-9, http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/82xx/doc8206/s1321.pdf; and CBO, Fair-Value Accounting for Federal
Credit Programs, Issue Brief, March 2012, http://www.cbo.gov/publication/43027.
57
DOE Weekly Financial and Activity Report, September 30, 2011, http://www.recovery.gov/transparency/agency/
reporting/agency_reporting2.aspx?agency_code=89&dt=09/30/2011.
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billion on loan guarantees under the Section 1703 program, without allocating that amount among
the various eligible technologies. The explanatory statement for the FY2008 omnibus funding act
(P.L. 110-161) increased the Section 1703 loan guarantee ceiling to $38.5 billion through
FY2009, including $18.5 billion specifically for nuclear power plants and $2 billion for uranium
enrichment plants.58
The FY2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act (P.L. 111-8) increased DOE’s total loan guarantee
authority under Section 1703 to $47 billion, in addition to the $4 billion authorized in FY2007,
half of which DOE has designated for uranium enrichment. Of the $47 billion, $18.5 billion
continued to be reserved for nuclear power, $18.5 billion was for energy efficiency and
renewables, $6 billion was for coal, $2 billion was for carbon capture and sequestration, and $2
billion was for uranium enrichment. The time limits on the Section 1703 loan guarantee authority
were eliminated. The FY2011 Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations
Act (P.L. 112-10) reduced the previous loan guarantee authority for Section 1703 non-nuclear
technologies to $8.3 billion but added new authority for a total of $9.5 billion. Including the $2
billion in FY2007 authority that has not been designated for uranium enrichment, the Section
1703 non-nuclear loan guarantee ceiling stands at about $11.5 billion. Nuclear loan guarantees
remain at $18.5 billion, and uranium enrichment totals $4 billion.
Unobligated appropriations for subsidy cost payments under the Section 1705 loan guarantee
program were no longer available after FY2011, as noted above. However, the FY2011
Continuing Appropriations Act provided $170 million, with no expiration, to pay subsidy costs
for renewable energy and efficiency projects under the Section 1703 program. The act also
provided authority for up to $1.183 billion in loan guarantees for those renewable energy and
efficiency projects, in addition to the $32.8 billion in Section 1703 authority remaining from
earlier appropriations acts for all technologies. The additional loan guarantee authority and
subsidy cost appropriation provided by the FY2011 Continuing Appropriations Act is available to
projects that applied under the expiring Section 1705 before February 24, 2011.
Following is a summary of the various elements of the current DOE loan guarantee program, as
modified by the FY2011 Continuing Appropriations Act (CR):
58
•
$8.3 billion ceiling in CR on non-nuclear technologies under Section 1703 ($317
million conditionally committed), reduced from ceilings set in FY2009.
•
$2 billion for unspecified projects from FY2007 under Section 1703, not affected
by CR.
•
$18.5 billion ceiling for nuclear power plants ($8.3 billion conditionally
committed).
•
$4 billion allocated for loan guarantees for uranium enrichment plants ($2 billion
conditionally committed).
•
$1.183 billion ceiling for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects under
Section 1703, in addition to other ceiling amounts, which can include pending
applications under Section 1705.
•
An appropriation of $170 million for subsidy costs for renewable energy and
energy efficiency loan guarantees under Section 1703. If the subsidy costs
Congressional Record, December 17, 2007, p. H15585.
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averaged 10% of the loan guarantees, this funding could support loan guarantees
totaling $1.7 billion.
•
$2.5 billion for Section 1705 subsidy costs appropriated by ARRA. As noted
above, about $1.9 billion of this funding was used to pay the subsidy costs for
$16 billion in loan guarantees with final commitments under Section 1705, for
which the deadline was September 30, 2011.59
Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Loans
DOE also administers the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan
Program established by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-140).60 The
FY2009 Continuing Resolution appropriated $7.5 billion to allow DOE to issue up to $25 billion
in direct loans. The program was designed to provide loans to eligible automobile manufacturers
and parts suppliers for making investments in their plant capacity to produce vehicles with
improved fuel economy. Along with the EPACT loan guarantee programs, the ATVM Loan
Program is administered by the DOE Loan Programs Office. DOE reports that five ATVM loans
have been issued, totaling $8.4 billion.61
Nuclear Weapons Stockpile Stewardship62
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 FY2010 National Defense
Authorization Act, (P.L. 111-84, §3111), amended this language to state that the program is to
ensure “(1) the preservation of the core intellectual and technical competencies of the United
States in nuclear weapons, including weapons design, system integration, manufacturing,
security, use control, reliability assessment, and certification; and (2) that the nuclear weapons
stockpile is safe, secure, and reliable without the use of underground nuclear weapons testing.”
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).
Stockpile stewardship consists of all activities in NNSA’s Weapons Activities account, as
described below. Table 12 presents Weapons Activities funding. NNSA manages two programs
outside of that account: Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, discussed later in this report, and
Naval Reactors.
Most stewardship activities take place at the nuclear weapons complex (the “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 National Security
59
DOE Loan Programs Office, Our Projects, https://lpo.energy.gov/?page_id=45.
For more details, see CRS Report R42064, The Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan
Program: Status and Issues, by Brent D. Yacobucci and Bill Canis.
61
U.S. Department of Energy Loan Programs Office, “The Financing Force Behind America’s Clean Energy
Economy,” https://lpo.energy.gov/?page_id=45.
62
This section was prepared by Jonathan Medalia.
60
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Complex, TN); and the Nevada National Security Site (formerly Nevada Test Site). NNSA
manages and sets policy for the complex; contractors to NNSA operate the eight sites.
Table 12. Funding for Weapons Activities
($ millions)
FY2011
Current
FY2012
Request
FY2012
Enacted
DSW
1,905.1
1,963.6
1,873.7
2,088.3
2,069.1
2,078.3
Campaigns
1,691.6
1,796.7
1,696.9
1,690.8
1,735.7
1,710.8
RTBF
1,842.5
2,326.1
2,004.8
2,239.8
2,239.8
2,239.8
Othera
1,426.6
1,543.3
1,638.8
1,558.5
1,467.7
1,548.5
Total
6,865.8
7,629.7
7,214.1
7,577.3
7,512.3
7,577.3
Program
FY2013
Requested
H. Approp.
Comm.
S. Approp.
Comm.
Source: FY2013 Budget Request, H.Rept. 112-462, S.Rept. 112-164,
Notes: Details may not add to totals due to rounding. DSW, Directed Stockpile Work; RTBF, Readiness in
Technical Base and Facilities.
a.
FY2011, FY2012, and FY2013 include Secure Transportation Asset, Nuclear Counterterrorism Incident
Response, Site Stewardship, and Defense Nuclear Security; FY2011 and FY2012 include Facilities and
Infrastructure Recapitalization Program and Cyber Security; FY2011 includes Science, Technology and
Engineering Capability, a rescission, and use of prior year balances; FY2012 and FY2013 include National
Security Applications and Legacy Contractor Pensions; and FY2013 includes NNSA CIO Activities.
Nuclear Weapons Complex Reconfiguration
Although the “Complex” currently consists of eight sites, it was much larger during the Cold War
in terms of number of sites and personnel. Despite the post-Cold War reductions, many in
Congress have for years wanted the Complex to change further, in various ways: fewer personnel,
greater efficiency, smaller footprint at each site, increased security, and the like. After numerous
exchanges between DOE and the appropriating and authorizing committees, such issues still
remain.
According to a White House document of May 2010, the President provided Congress with a
classified report required by the FY2010 National Defense Authorization Act, Section 1251, “on
the comprehensive plan to: (1) maintain delivery platforms [that is, bombers, missiles, and
submarines that deliver nuclear weapons]; (2) sustain a safe, secure, and reliable U.S. nuclear
weapons stockpile; and (3) modernize the nuclear weapons complex.”63 According to that
document, “the Administration intends to invest $80 billion in the next decade to sustain and
modernize the nuclear weapons complex.” The Administration submitted a revised Section 1251
report in November 2010, projecting weapons stockpile and infrastructure costs for FY2011FY2020 at between $85.4 billion and $86.2 billion. Its estimate for FY2013 was $7.9 billion.
For FY2013, the Administration requested $7,577.3 million for Weapons Activities. This would
be a reduction compared to the amount set forth in the November 2010 1251 report. The budget
made some cuts, deferrals, and stretch-outs in key programs, as discussed below, and declared it
63
U.S. White House. “The New START Treaty—Maintaining a Strong Nuclear Deterrent,” fact sheet, May 13, 2010,
http://www.america.gov/st/texttrans-english/2010/May/20100514114003xjsnommis0.6300318.html.
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would present out-year figures “at a later date.” These changes have generated controversy in
Congress. Senator Jon Kyl reportedly said that the Administration “made an absolute
commitment to me that the 2012 budget, 2013 budget, budgets thereafter, would contain the
funding in the 1251 report and that commitment has now not been kept. It isn’t because of a lack
of support in the United States Congress. So rather than redouble their efforts to make up the
difference, they basically threw in the towel. Perhaps they wanted to do that all along.”64
Representative Michael Turner, chairman of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee of House Armed
Services Committee, said, “It is now clear [the President] will submit a budget next week that
would be a significant reversal from the stated commitment, per his own section 1251 plan, to
request at least $7.9 billion for the NNSA for FY13.… The ratification of the New START treaty
was a package deal, and President Obama is now changing the terms of the Senate’s ratification
of the treaty.”65 Representative Turner introduced H.R. 4178, Maintaining the President’s
Commitment to Our Nuclear Deterrent and National Security Act of 2012. On the other hand,
Representative Edward Markey introduced H.R. 3974, Smarter Approach to Nuclear
Expenditures (SANE) Act of 2012, calling for further cuts in DOE and DOD nuclear weapons
programs.
Despite such positions, the House Appropriations Committee recommended $7,512.3 million, or
$65.0 million less than the request. The $65.0 million was the amount rescinded, so excluding the
rescission, the committee recommended the amount requested. The Senate Appropriations
Committee likewise recommended the amount requested. The Continuing Appropriations
Resolution, 2013 (P.L. 112-175), funding Energy and Water Development programs until March
27, 2013, funds Weapons Activities at a rate equivalent to an annual $7,577.3 million, the amount
requested by the Administration for FY2013.
The changes to the FY2013 Weapons Activities budget, as compared to the projection in the 1251
report, raise several policy questions:
•
If the 1251 report deemed key projects essential, why is it now acceptable to
reduce or delay them?
•
Given fiscal constraints and the Budget Control Act of 2011 (P.L. 112-25), was
the lower funding requested for FY2013, as compared to the figure for FY2013
in the 1251 report plan, unavoidable?
•
How can NNSA plan ahead given the changes from the 1251 plan made in the
FY2012 appropriation and the FY2013 request?
•
Might credibility problems resulting from cuts compared to the budget
projections set forth in the 1251 plan affect Senate consideration of future arms
control agreements?
The Senate Appropriations Committee, in its report on FY2013 energy and water development
appropriations, expressed concern over NNSA’s “inadequate project management.” It noted that
“all of NNSA’s major construction projects exceed the initial cost estimates,” including cost
64
“Kyl Slams Decision to ‘Throw in the Towel’ on Modernization Budget,” Weapons Complex Monitor Morning
Briefing, February 17, 2012.
65
“Turner to Introduce the Maintaining the President’s Commitment to our Nuclear Deterrent and National Security
Act of 2012,” press release, February 8, 2012, http://turner.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=
278917.
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growth for the Uranium Processing Facility (discussed below) by a factor of 10, and “most of
NNSA’s major construction projects are behind schedule,” including a slippage of 14 years for
the MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility. It pointed to “NNSA’s inability to adequately assess
alternatives.” The committee directed five reports: (1) NNSA reports to GAO every six months
on implementing certain management recommendations; (2) a GAO study on NNSA project
management; (3) a report by NNSA to the committee, to be submitted every six months, on
changes to cost, schedule, and scope of projects estimated to cost at least $750 million; (4) a
JASON defense advisory group study on NNSA’s stockpile surveillance program; and (5) a
report by NNSA on a comprehensive plutonium strategy.
Directed Stockpile Work (DSW)
This program involves work directly on nuclear weapons in the stockpile, such as monitoring
their condition; maintaining them through repairs, refurbishment, life extension, and
modifications; conducting R&D in support of specific warheads; and dismantlement. Specific
items under DSW include the following:
•
Life Extension Programs (LEPs). These programs aim to extend the life of
existing warheads through design, certification, manufacture, and replacement of
components. An LEP for the B61 mods 7 and 11 bombs was completed in
FY2009. (A “mod” is a modification or version of a bomb or warhead type.) An
LEP for the W76 warhead for the Trident II submarine-launched ballistic missile
is ongoing; its FY2010 actual appropriation was $231.9 million and the FY2011
enacted figure was $248.2 million. The FY2012 request was $257.0 million for
the W76 LEP and $223.6 million for the B61 LEP. The latter represents a shift
“from a feasibility study to a full LEP”; no funds were requested in FY2010 or
FY2011 for the B61 LEP. This LEP is intended to extend the service life of B61
mods 3, 4, and 7 nuclear bombs—combining them into a new mod, B61 mod
12—for another 30 years, with the first production unit to be completed in
FY2017. The House Appropriations Committee recommended $278.6 million for
the B61 for FY2012 in order to begin the LEP. It allowed NNSA to spend up to
half that amount until it meets certain reporting requirements, such as “a costbenefit analysis of any warhead enhancements.” For the W76 LEP, the
committee recommended $255.0 million. The Senate Appropriations Committee
recommended $180.0 million for the B61 LEP and $257.0 million for the W76
LEP. The committee called the B61 LEP “the most ambitious and extensive
refurbishment of a weapon system to date.” Further, “NNSA plans to incorporate
untried technologies and design features to improve the safety and security of the
nuclear stockpile. The committee supports enhanced surety of weapon systems
… but it should not come at the expense of long-term weapon reliability.” The
committee directed the submission of two reports and a certification on this LEP.
The final appropriation was $257.0 million for the W76 LEP and $223.6 million
for the B61 LEP. Of the latter amount, the conference agreement withheld $134.1
million until NNSA provided the appropriations committees with results of a
design definition and cost study.
While the November 2010 1251 report stated that the W76 “LEP will be fully
funded for the life of the program at $255 million annually,” the FY2013 request
was $174.9 million. Donald Cook, Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs,
NNSA, reportedly said that the revised plan would meet the Navy’s operational
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needs for W76s by the end of 2018 but would delay completion of production for
extra W76s as a hedge force until 2021. This approach, he said, would free up
funds for the B61 LEP.66 The House Appropriations Committee noted its deep
concern about NNSA’s “ability to deliver on its production requirements.” It
recommended adding $45.1 million above the request for the W76 LEP to raise
the production rate beyond what NNSA had planned in the FY2013 request. The
Senate Appropriations Committee expressed its concern about a “significant
funding decrease” given that the W76 is “the largest share of our nuclear
deterrent on the most survivable leg of the Triad.” It noted that shifting funds to
the B61 “is not fully justified” because the B61 LEP is behind schedule, it “will
not be able to efficiently spend the requested amount,” and there are carryover
balances. Accordingly, it increased funds for the W76 LEP by $30 million and
reduced funds for the B61 LEP by the same amount.
Regarding the B61 bomb, the 1251 report stated that NNSA “will accelerate”
work “that is necessary to retain the schedule for the completion of the first
production unit in FY 2017.” However, the FY2013 request planned for the first
production unit in FY2019. According to one report, “NNSA was able to delay
the project by two years due to new assumptions about the need to replace
limited life components in the bomb.”67 (These components have a service life
shorter than that of the rest of the weapon, so must be replaced from time to
time.) The FY2013 request for the B61 LEP was $369.0 million, an increase of
more than 50%, compared to FY2012. The House Appropriations Committee
recommended the amount requested. Noting its concern over funds spent on a
higher-cost option for the B61 LEP even though a lower-cost option was
subsequently chosen, the committee directed NNSA “to report the total amount
of funding it has spent to date for development and experimental activity
associated with the full option for the B61 life extension program.” In addition to
recommending a reduction in B61 LEP funds by $30 million, as noted, the
Senate Appropriations Committee stressed that a validated cost, schedule, and
scope baseline for this LEP is essential for evaluating life cycle costs, assessing
the impact of this LEP on other programs, and determining if the proposed
schedule meets military requirements, among other things. Accordingly, it
“directs that no funding be used for B61 life extension program activities until
NNSA submits to the Committee a validated cost, schedule, and scope baseline.”
•
Stockpile Systems. This program involves routine maintenance, replacement of
limited-life components, surveillance, assessment, and the like for all weapon
types in the stockpile. For FY2012, the request was $497.6 million and the final
appropriation provided the same amount. Of these funds, it directed NNSA to use
$175.0 million for surveillance and $99.5 million for W78 Stockpile Systems.
The FY2013 request was $590.4 million, a 20% increase over FY2012. The
House Appropriations Committee recommended $454.2 million for Stockpile
Systems. The request included $76.6 million under W78 Stockpile Systems for
studying the feasibility of a common W78/W88 warhead, and $59.7 million for a
W88 program (“Alt 370”) that included consideration of commonalities between
66
“NNSA’s Cook Clarifies Plans for the W76,” Weapons Complex Monitor Morning Briefing, February 17, 2012.
Todd Jacobson, “Administration Requests $7.58B for NNSA’s Weapons Program,” Nuclear Weapons & Materials
Monitor, February 14, 2012, p. 2.
67
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the two warheads. The House Appropriations Committee recommended fully
funding these latter two amounts under a new category, Stockpile Assessment
and Design, in order to help distinguish these costs from routine stockpile work.
The Senate Appropriations Committee recommended funding Stockpile Systems
as requested, with the requested amounts for the W78 LEP study and the W88
Alt 370 program, and at least $181.0 million for surveillance.
•
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. Because of the large number of warheads being
retired, there is a need to dismantle some warheads and to further break down
some components to “prevent storage problems across the [nuclear weapons]
enterprise.” WDD involves interim storage of warheads to be dismantled;
dismantlement; and disposition (i.e., storing or eliminating warhead components
and materials). The FY2012 request was $56.8 million and the appropriation
provided that amount. The FY2103 request was $51.3 million. The House and
Senate Appropriations Committees recommended fully funding this request; the
latter committee commended NNSA for completing two dismantlements (W62
and B53) a year ahead of schedule.
Stockpile Services. This category includes Production Support; R&D Support; R&D
Certification and Safety; Management, Technology, and Production; and Plutonium
Infrastructure Sustainment. NNSA states, “Stockpile Services provides the foundation for
the production capability and capacity within the nuclear security enterprise. All enduring
systems, LEPs, and dismantlements rely on Stockpile Services to provide the base
development, production and logistics capability needed to meet program requirements.
In addition, Stockpile Services funds research, development and production activities that
support two or more weapons-types, and work that is not identified or allocated to a
specific weapon-type.” The FY2012 request was $928.6 million and the final
appropriation provided $854.5 million, of which $64.0 million was to be used for
surveillance. The FY2013 request was $902.7 million. The House Appropriations
Committee recommended $838.5 million, including an increase of $25.0 million for
Production Support “for investments needed to modernize manufacturing processes” and
a reduction of $46.6 million to R&D Certification and Safety to deny funds for certain
new development activities and limit future requests for this activity to annual
assessments of the stockpile and investigating warhead problems. The Senate
Appropriations Committee recommended $892.7 million, expressed its concern about
significant recent increases for Production Support on grounds that it “is relatively
insensitive to major shifts in activities,” and “directs NNSA to provide additional
information in future budget justifications to explain these increasing costs.”
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
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
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facilities, such as the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The
FY2013 request included five campaigns:
•
Science Campaign. According to NNSA, this campaign “develops our nation’s
scientific capabilities and experimental infrastructure used to assess the safety,
security, reliability, and performance of the nuclear explosives package (NEP)
[the explosive component of a nuclear weapon] without reliance on further
underground testing.” The FY2012 request was $405.9 million and the final
appropriation provided $334.0 million. The FY2013 request was $350.1 million.
Much of the increase was for increasing the rate at which a certain experiment is
conducted, and developing “expanded predictive science capabilities needed for
national security assessments motivated by intelligence community requirements
for foreign nuclear weapon assessments.” The House Appropriations Committee
recommended $27.0 million above the request as a result of realigning funding
from Directed Stockpile Work for certain experimental activities. The Senate
Appropriations Committee recommended the requested amount.
•
Engineering Campaign. This campaign “provides the modern tools and
capabilities needed to ensure the safety, security, reliability and performance of
the United States nuclear weapons stockpile … [It] funds activities that assess
and improve fielded nuclear and non-nuclear engineering components without
further underground testing.” For FY2012, the request was $143.1 million, and
the appropriation provided that amount. The FY2013 request was $150.6 million;
the subprogram with the largest dollar increase, of $4.9 million, was Enhanced
Surety, the goal of which is to “modernize and enhance surety options” for LEPs
and other changes to weapons. (“Surety” includes such characteristics as safety,
security, and use control.) Enhanced Surveillance was reduced by $2.6 million.
The House Appropriations Committee recommended $8.0 million above the
request as a result of realigning funding for some surety technologies from
Directed Stockpile Work. The Senate Appropriations Committee recommended
the requested amount.
•
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 weaponsrelated research and to attract scientific talent to the Stockpile Stewardship
Program. NNSA states, “Virtually all of the energy from a nuclear weapon is
generated while in the high energy density (HED) state. High-energy density
physics (HEDP) experiments conducted at ICF facilities are required to validate
the advanced theoretical models used to assess and certify the stockpile without
nuclear testing. The National Ignition Facility (NIF) extends HEDP experiments
to include access to thermonuclear burn conditions in the laboratory, a unique
and unprecedented scientific achievement.” The centerpiece of this campaign is
NIF, the world’s largest laser. While NIF was controversial in Congress for many
years and had significant cost growth and technical problems, controversy waned
as the program progressed. The facility was dedicated in May 2009.68 Between
February 20, 2011, and March 20, 2011, NIF personnel conducted 34 “successful
68
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, “Dedication of World’s Largest Laser Marks the Dawn of a New Era,”
press release, May 29, 2009, https://publicaffairs.llnl.gov/news/news_releases/2009/NR-09-05-05.html.
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target shots … in support of HEDSS [High Energy Density Stockpile
Stewardship].”69 In 2011, personnel conducted a total of 283 NIF shots of all
types.70 For FY2012, the appropriation was $476.3 million. The FY2013 request
was $460.0 million. The House Appropriations Committee noted the possibility
that NIF will not achieve ignition in FY2012 and stated, “the considerable costs
[for NIF] will not have been warranted if the only role the National Ignition
Facility (NIF) serves is that of an expensive platform for routine high energy
density physics experiments.” Further, the committee noted that in past years
NNSA had permitted Livermore to use a lower overhead rate for operating NIF.
“This practice misrepresented the full costs of these activities and shifted those
costs onto other programs at the laboratory.” The committee recommended
adding funds “to mitigate any unintended adverse impacts in fiscal year 2013.”
The Senate Appropriations Committee recommended the requested amount. It
directed NNSA to use up to $140 million of Livermore’s “internal additional
direct purchasing power … to increase the level of the laboratory’s Readiness in
Technical Base and Facilities funds dedicated to supporting NIF,” and
recommended that NNSA move NIF’s operating budget line to RTBF “consistent
with the facility’s transition to regular operations.” The committee expressed its
concern over the prospects of NIF achieving ignition by the end of FY2012 and
directed NNSA to establish an advisory committee on this and related topics.
•
Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASC) Campaign. This campaign develops
computation-based models of nuclear weapons that integrate data from other
campaigns, past test data, laboratory experiments, and elsewhere to create what
NNSA calls “the computational surrogate for nuclear testing to determine
weapon behavior.” In addition, “ASC plays an important role in supporting
nonproliferation, emergency response, nuclear forensics and attribution
activities.” Some analysts doubt that simulation can be relied upon to provide the
confidence needed to certify the safety, security, and reliability of warheads, and
advocate a return to testing. The campaign includes funds for hardware and
operations as well as for software. For FY2012, the request was $628.9 million
and the final appropriation was $620.0 million. The FY2013 request was $600.0
million. The reduction was caused by completion of an academic alliance
program and delay of its follow-on program to FY2014, lower funding for
exascale computing (a new and controversial initiative intended to boost
computing capability by a factor of a thousand), and completion of procurement
of a supercomputer. The House Appropriations Committee recommended
providing the funds requested. The Senate Appropriations Committee
recommended $620.0 million, and within these funds recommended using $69.0
million for the exascale initiative.
•
Readiness Campaign. This campaign “operates the capability for producing
tritium to maintain the national inventory needed for the nuclear weapons
stockpile and selects and matures production technologies that are required for
manufacturing components to meet … requirements.” The FY2012 request was
69
“A Banner Month for NIF High Energy Density (HED) Experiments,” Project Status—2011, March, Lawrence
Livermore National Laboratory, https://lasers.llnl.gov/newsroom/project_status/2011/march.php.
70
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, “Project Status—2011, December,” https://lasers.llnl.gov/newsroom/
project_status/2011/december.php.
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$142.5 million, and the final appropriation was $128.6 million. The FY2013
request was $130.1 million. The House Appropriations Committee recommended
$120.0 million; the Senate Appropriations Committee recommended the amount
requested.
Readiness in Technical Base and Facilities (RTBF)
This program funds infrastructure and operations at Complex sites. For FY2012, the final
appropriation was $2,009.2 million. The FY2013 request was $2,239.8 million. The House and
Senate Appropriations Committees recommended providing the funds requested.
RTBF has several subprograms. The largest is Operations of Facilities (FY2012 appropriated,
$1,285.6 million; FY2013 requested, $1,419.4 million; House Appropriations Committee,
$1,369.4 million; Senate Appropriations Committee, $1,419.4 million). NNSA states that the
increase “includes new sustainment initiatives, full operations of new and existing facilities, and
addresses infrastructure deficiencies across the complex.” Second largest is Construction
(FY2012 appropriated, $511.1 million, FY2013 requested, $450.1 million; House Appropriations
Committee, $480.8 million; Senate Appropriations Committee, $450.1 million). Two
subprograms that consolidate previous budget categories are new for FY2013: Science,
Technology, and Engineering Support ($166.9 million requested), and Nuclear Operations
Capability Support ($203.3 million requested; House and Senate Appropriations Committees, the
requested amount). The first is self-descriptive; the second “combine[s] activities that are focused
on support of day-to-day nuclear operations (but are not program-specific) into a single
subprogram.” The House Appropriations Committee recommended no funding for Science,
Technology, and Engineering Support, instead funding these activities within Program Readiness,
Operations of Facilities, and Maintenance and Repair of Facilities. The committee recommended
funding the NNSA’s Capabilities-Based Facilities and Infrastructure program under Maintenance
and Repair of Facilities “in order to provide more clarity into the purpose of this funding.” The
Senate Appropriations Committee recommended the requested amount and directed NNSA to
“identify funds for maintenance and operations by site as separate line items” under RTBF in
order to “increase transparency in NNSA’s efforts to sustain existing physical infrastructure.”
Perhaps the most controversial activity in the Weapons Activities account is the Chemistry and
Metallurgy Research Facility Replacement (CMRR) at Los Alamos National Laboratory. It would
replace the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research (CMR) building, which was built in 1952.
Among other things, CMR houses research into plutonium and supports pit production at Los
Alamos. Since 2005, cost estimates for CMRR have doubled or tripled, and some critics have
argued that it is not necessary. For FY2012, NNSA requested $300 million for CMRR but the
conference report directed that “no construction activities are funded for the CMRR-Nuclear
Facility during fiscal year 2012.”
NNSA requested no funds for FY2013 for CMRR. According to the request justification,
NNSA has determined, in consultation with the national laboratories, that existing
infrastructure in the nuclear complex has the inherent capacity to provide adequate support
for plutonium chemistry, plutonium physics, and special nuclear materials. NNSA proposes
deferring CMRR Nuclear Facility construction for at least five years. Studies are ongoing to
determine long-term requirements. Instead of the CMRR Nuclear Facility, NNSA will
maximize use of existing facilities and relocate some nuclear materials. Estimated cost
avoidance from FY 2013 to FY 2017 totals approximately $1.8 billion.
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At the same time, another project, the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF), which will replace old
facilities at the Y-12 National Security Complex, showed an increase from $160.2 million
enacted for FY2012 to $340.0 million requested for FY2013; the increase was to accelerate UPF
design and construction. UPF, if approved, would conduct operations involving enriched uranium
for nuclear weapons and naval reactors. It would also conduct downblending of enriched uranium
(i.e., reducing the fraction of fissile uranium-235 and increasing the fraction of non-fissile
uranium-238) to make it unusable for weapons in support of nuclear nonproliferation. The House
and Senate Appropriations Committees recommended the amount requested.
The House Appropriations Committee recommended no funds for CMRR-NF. Instead, it
proposed rescinding $65.0 million in prior-year balances from this project and using these funds
to offset costs of improving the plutonium infrastructure at Los Alamos, including $30.0 million
“to accelerate the completion of safety-related infrastructure improvements needed at the existing
Los Alamos Plutonium Facility-4 (PF-4) under the TA-55 Reinvestment Project” and $35.0
million “to begin characterization and cleanout of the PF-4 vault under Material Recycle
Recovery.” In addition, under Maintenance and Repair of Facilities, the committee’s
recommendation included $5.0 million to begin replacement of certain piping at the Device
Assembly Facility (DAF) “which is needed to provide additional storage options for plutonium
due to the delay of the CMRR-NF.” (The DAF is a large structure at the Nevada National
Security Site, formerly Nevada Test Site, that has capabilities similar to those of Pantex for
handling, processing, and storing plutonium components of nuclear weapons.) The Senate
Appropriations Committee also recommended no funds for CMRR-NF. It recommended that
$35.0 million, as requested, within Nuclear Operations Capability Support be used to accelerate
cleanout of the PF-4 vault. It expressed concern that “NNSA has failed to put forth an alternative
plutonium strategy,” instead focusing on stockpile requirements for plutonium and not fully
considering other missions involving plutonium, such as nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear
counterterrorism.
Other Programs
Weapons Activities includes several smaller programs in addition to DSW, Campaigns, and
RTBF. Among them:
•
Secure Transportation Asset provides for safe and secure transport of nuclear
weapons, components, and materials. It includes special vehicles for this purpose,
communications and other supporting infrastructure, and threat response. For
FY2012, the appropriation provided $243.3 million. The FY2013 request was
$219.4 million; much of the decrease was due to deferring production of special
vehicles for this program, completion of upgrades to the program’s aviation fleet,
and anticipated savings from these upgrades. The House and Senate
Appropriations Committees recommended the amount requested.
•
Nuclear Counterterrorism Incident Response “responds to and mitigates nuclear
and radiological incidents worldwide and has a lead role in defending the Nation
from the threat of nuclear terrorism.” For FY2012, the appropriation was $222.1
million. The FY2013 request was $247.6 million. Much of the increase was to
augment support for teams that would respond to a radiological or nuclear
emergency, to accelerate “experimental activities in support of non-stockpile
nuclear weapons assessments,” and to develop tools and methods to render
“nuclear threat devices” safe. The House Appropriations Committee
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recommended $225.4 million. It stated that many activities of the newly
established Office of Counterterrorism and Counterproliferation are closely
linked to technologies being developed by Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation
(DNN) and should, in the future, be integrated with the request for DNN. The
Senate Appropriations Committee recommended the amount requested, but
expressed its concern “that NNSA does not have a clear strategy in place that
links the unique capabilities of the labs and supporting NNSA infrastructure to
clear mission goals and funding requirements to support the Department of
Defense and the intelligence community.”
•
Facilities and Infrastructure Recapitalization Program (FIRP) “continues its
mission to restore, rebuild and revitalize the physical infrastructure of the nuclear
security enterprise.” It focuses on “elimination of legacy deferred maintenance.”
For FY2012, the appropriation was $96.4 million. No funds were requested for
FIRP for FY2013 due to completion of the program. Some of the type of work it
did will be continued by the Capability-Based Facilities and Infrastructure
program, which NNSA describes as “an enterprise-wide, program-informed
investment approach to ensure infrastructure is in place to execute program
workload.” The House Appropriations Committee recommended no funds for
FIRP but stated that “Maintenance and Repair of Facilities [within RTBF] also
includes additional funding requested for major multi-year operating expense
recapitalization projects.” The Senate Appropriations Committee also
recommended no funds for FIRP but stated under Nuclear Operations Capability
Support that it “believes it is important that NNSA continue to reduce deferred
maintenance on aging infrastructure and reduce the size of its footprint.”
•
Site Stewardship seeks to “ensure environmental compliance and energy and
operational efficiency throughout the nuclear security enterprise.” It was a new
program for FY2010, consolidating several earlier programs. For FY2012, the
appropriation was $78.7 million. The FY2013 request was $90.0 million. The
main increases were in the Energy Modernization and Investment Program and
Corporate Project Management. The main decrease, in Nuclear Materials
Integration, reflected completion of removal of certain nuclear materials from
Livermore, slowing the removal of certain radioactive waste from Livermore,
and deferring disposition of nuclear materials at several sites. The House
Appropriations Committee recommended $79.6 million and provided no funds
for the Energy Modernization and Investment Program. The Senate
Appropriations Committee recommended $88.2 million and “encourages NNSA
to report on cost savings and cost avoidances related to its energy modernization
and investment program.”
•
Safeguards and Security consists of two elements: (1) Defense Nuclear Security
provides operations, maintenance, and construction funds for protective forces,
physical security systems, personnel security, and the like. It “provides protection
from a full spectrum of threats, especially terrorism, for NNSA personnel,
facilities, nuclear weapons, and information.” For FY2012, the appropriated
amount was $698.0 million. The FY2013 request was $643.3 million. The
decrease was largely due to removal of certain nuclear materials from Livermore,
which permits a reduction in protective forces, and the projected completion of
the Nuclear Materials Safeguards and Security Upgrades Project in FY2013. The
main increases were in physical security systems and program management. The
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House Appropriations Committee recommended $663.3 million. “While efforts
to reduce costs are encouraged, the NNSA has not performed a new multi-site
security assessment that would justify the five percent reduction in protective
forces proposed in the budget request and it is not clear how those proposed
reductions would impact the security posture of NNSA facilities.” The Senate
Appropriations Committee recommended the requested amount. “The Committee
is encouraged by NNSA’s efforts to find cost efficiencies while still meeting
security requirements.” (2) Cyber Security “provides the requisite guidance
needed to ensure that sufficient information management security safeguards are
implemented throughout the NNSA enterprise.” For FY2012, the appropriation
was $126.6 million. No funds were requested for this program for FY2013, as
discussed next.
•
NNSA CIO [Chief Information Officer] Activities is a new program for FY2013;
the request was $155.0 million. It will consolidate cyber security and information
technology programs. Of the requested amount, $111.0 million was for cyber
security, $14.0 million was for enterprise secure computing, and $30.0 million
was for federal unclassified information technology. The latter will provide
“commodity computing infrastructure” that will support a “shift from a
traditional, costly desktop support model to a cloud-provisioned virtualized
desktop-based solution.” This shift is intended to facilitate collaboration, save
money, aid recruiting, and improve security. The House Appropriations
Committee recommended renaming NNSA CIO Activities as Information
Technology and Security, and recommended adding $5.0 million above the
request “in order to restore funding for Technology Application Development to
the fiscal year 2012 level.” The Senate Appropriations Committee recommended
the requested funds.
•
Legacy contractor pensions: Certain employees at Los Alamos and Lawrence
Livermore National Laboratories had defined-benefit pension plans through the
University of California (UC), which had been the contractor for these
laboratories. However, the current contracts for the laboratories are between
DOE and a consortium of contractors, one of which is UC. The current contracts
(one for each laboratory) gave employees hired while UC was the sole contractor
a choice between the equivalent of the UC pension plan and another plan. Many
employees chose the former, which cost more than the current plan. Payment to
UC’s retirement plan to compensate for the added cost is a legacy cost of the UCLos Alamos and UC-Livermore contracts. The final appropriation for FY2012
was $168.2 million; the conference report stated, “NNSA requested these funds
within Readiness in Technical Base and Facilities and a separate line is provided
to improve transparency.” The FY2013 request for this item within Weapons
Activities was $185.0 million; NNSA stated that “the amount of the annual
payment is determined by actuarial valuation.” Another $62.0 million was
requested for FY2013 for this item within Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation. The
House and Senate Appropriations Committees recommended providing funding
for this purpose in both programs in the amounts requested.
National Security Applications: NNSA says this program “makes strategic investments in
the national security science, technology and engineering capabilities and infrastructure
base that are necessary to address current and future global security issues.” The FY2012
appropriation was $10.0 million. The FY2013 request was $18.2 million. Part of the
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increase will be used for R&D on standoff detection of highly enriched uranium (HEU)
and HEU-based nuclear weapons. HEU is particularly difficult to detect, yet it is the type
of fission fuel that could be used to make the simplest type of nuclear weapon. The House
Appropriations Committee recommended providing no funds for this program on grounds
that the requested funding is for “nonproliferation-related activities.” The Senate
Appropriations Committee recommended $10.0 million.
Nonproliferation and National Security Programs71
DOE’s nonproliferation and national security programs provide technical capabilities to support
U.S. efforts to prevent, detect, and counter the spread of nuclear weapons worldwide. These
nonproliferation and national security programs are included in the National Nuclear Security
Administration (NNSA).
Table 13. DOE Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Programs
($ millions)
FY2012
Approp.
FY2013
Request
House
Senate
$354.2
$548.2
$528.2
$418.2
Nonproliferation and International
Security
153.6
150.1
134.5
150.1
International Materials Protection and
Control (IMPC)
569.9
311.0
311.0
368.0
Fissile Materials Disposition
685.4
921.3
764.7
921.3
Global Threat Reduction Initiative
498.0
466.0
482.7
539.0
55.0
62.0
62.0
62.0
-21.0
—
—
—
2,295.9
2,458.6
2,276.0
2,458.6
Program
Nonproliferation and Verification R&D
Legacy Contractor Pensions
Rescissions
Total
Conf.
Source: FY2013 budget request, H.Rept. 112-462, S.Rept. 112-164.
Note: Numbers may not add due to rounding.
Funding for these programs in FY2012 was $2,295.9 million. The request for FY2013 was
$2,458.6 million. The House Appropriations Committee recommended $2,276.0 million; the
Senate Appropriations Committee recommended $2,458.6 million.
The Nonproliferation and Verification R&D program was funded at $354.2 million for FY2012.
The request for FY2013 was $548.2 million. The proposed increase includes a one-year $150
million initiative to fund domestic uranium enrichment RD&D. The House bill would appropriate
$528.2 million, including $100 million for the uranium enrichment initiative. The Senate
Appropriations Committee recommended $418.2 million, with no funding in the R&D program
for uranium enrichment. The Senate report stated: “Rather, the Committee recommends transfer
authority to the Secretary of Energy of up to $150,000,000 from NNSA to fund this project.” The
Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2013 (P.L. 112-175), funding Energy and Water
71
This section was prepared by Carl E. Behrens.
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Development programs until March 27, 2013, funds nonproliferation programs at 0.612% above
the FY2012-enacted levels, but adds $100 million to that amount for the uranium enrichment
initiative.
Nonproliferation and International Security programs include international safeguards, export
controls, and treaties and agreements. The FY2013 request for these programs was $150.1
million, compared with $153.6 million appropriated for FY2012. The House Appropriations
Committee recommended $134.5 million; the Senate Committee recommended the requested
amount.
International Materials Protection and Control (IMP&C), which is concerned with reducing the
threat posed by unsecured Russian weapons and weapons-usable material, was funded at $569.9
million in FY2012; the FY2013 request was $311.0 million. The decrease, according to DOE’s
budget justification document, reflects completion of several major programs, including the
installation of detection equipment in 45 sites in the Megaports initiative. The House bill would
appropriate the requested amount. The Senate Appropriations Committee, however, noted that
DOE’s proposed budget would reduce so-called Second Line of Defense Activities, mostly
border and port detection programs, by $171 million, while the programs were under a strategic
review. The committee objected to the curtailment and recommended $368.0 million for IMP&C.
The goal of the Fissile Materials Disposition (FMD) program is disposal of U.S. surplus weapons
plutonium by converting it into fuel for commercial power reactors, and a similar program in
Russia. Funding for the U.S. program was controversial for several years, because of lack of
progress on the program to dispose of Russian plutonium. However, for FY2010 the Obama
Administration requested and got a total of $701.9 million for Fissile Materials Disposition,
noting that “DOE and its Russian counterpart agency, Rosatom, agreed on a financially and
technically credible program to dispose of Russian surplus weapon-grade plutonium in November
2007.” The program would rely on Russian fast reactors “operating under certain nonproliferation
restrictions,” according to the budget document.
The U.S. side of the program includes construction of three projects at Savannah River, SC: a
facility to fabricate “mixed-oxide” (MOX) reactor fuel; a pit disassembly and conversion facility
(PDCF), and a waste solidification facility. However, controversy developed over whether the pit
disassembly project is necessary. The FY2012 request for the Fissile Materials Disposition
program was $892.2 million, including $172 million for the PDCF but the final bill appropriated
$685.4 million for the program, and included no funding for the PDCF project, because, the
conference report stated, “NNSA has not completed a study of alternatives or a conceptual design
report with a cost and schedule estimate.”
The FY2013 request for FMD programs was $921.3 million. The major cause of the increase was
the planned cold start-up of the MOX facility. No funding was asked for the PDCF; NNSA said it
would use existing facilities for pit disassembly. The waste solidification facility was completed
and no further funding was requested.
The House Appropriations Committee recommended $764.7 million for FMD programs. It fully
funded ongoing construction of the MOX facility but “delays funding for the MOX facility early
startup options until the actual costs and schedules for completing and operating the MOX facility
are better known.” The Senate bill would fund FMD programs at the requested amount.
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The Global Threat Reduction Initiative is aimed at converting research reactors around the world
from using highly enriched uranium, removing and disposing of excess nuclear materials, and
protecting nuclear materials from theft or sabotage. The FY2012 appropriation for this program
was $498.0 million. The FY2013 request was $466.0 million. The House Appropriations
Committee recommended $482.7 million. The Senate Committee recommended $539.0 million.
Cleanup of Former Nuclear Weapons Production Facilities and Civilian
Nuclear Energy Research Facilities72
The development and production of nuclear weapons for national defense purposes for over half a
century since the beginning of the Manhattan Project resulted in a legacy of wastes and
contamination that continues to present substantial challenges today. In 1989, DOE established
what is now the Office of Environmental Management to consolidate its responsibilities for the
cleanup of former nuclear weapons production facilities that had been administered under
multiple offices.73 These cleanup efforts are broad in scope and include the disposal of large
quantities of radioactive and other hazardous wastes generated over decades; management and
disposal of surplus nuclear materials; remediation of extensive contamination in soil and
groundwater; decontamination and decommissioning of excess buildings and facilities; and
safeguarding, securing, and maintaining facilities while cleanup is underway. The Office of
Environmental Management also is responsible for the cleanup of DOE facilities that were
involved in civilian nuclear energy research, which generated wastes and contamination. These
research facilities add a non-defense component to the office’s mission, albeit smaller in terms of
the scope of their cleanup and associated funding.74
Efforts to clean up the environmental legacy of nuclear weapons production and nuclear energy
research represent the single largest environmental liability of the United States, exceeding the
cleanup liability of Department of Defense facilities. The need for annual appropriations of
several billion dollars for ongoing cleanup efforts at nuclear weapons production and nuclear
energy research facilities has generated continuing interest within Congress about the long-term
financial liability of the United States to address potential risks at these sites. How to ensure the
protection of public safety, human health, and the environment in the most expedient and costeffective manner has been a perennial issue in the appropriations debate.
DOE has identified in excess of 100 facilities in over 30 states that historically were involved in
the production of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy research for civilian purposes.75 The
geographic scope of these facilities is substantial, collectively encompassing a land area of
approximately 2 million acres. Cleanup remedies are in place and operational at the majority of
these facilities. The responsibility for their long-term stewardship has been transferred to the
Office of Legacy Management and other offices within DOE for the operation and maintenance
of cleanup remedies and monitoring.76 See the “Office of Legacy Management” section of this
72
This section was prepared by David Bearden.
In 1989, DOE created the Office of Environmental Restoration and Waste Management, which later was renamed the
Office of Environmental Management.
74
For additional information on the history, mission, and scope of the Office of Environmental Management, see
DOE’s website: http://www.em.doe.gov/Pages/EMHome.aspx.
75
For an interactive map and listing of each facility, see DOE’s Office of Environmental Management website:
http://www.em.doe.gov/Pages/siteslocations.aspx.
76
The Office of Legacy Management administers the long-stewardship of DOE facilities that do not have a continuing
(continued...)
73
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report. Some of the smaller sites for which DOE initially was responsible were transferred to the
Army Corps of Engineers in 1997 under the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program
(FUSRAP). The cleanup of these sites is funded within the civil works budget of the Corps.77
(See Table 4.) Once the Corps completes the cleanup of a FUSRAP site, it is transferred back to
DOE for long-term stewardship under the Office of Legacy Management.
Much work remains to be done at the facilities that are still administered by the Office of
Environmental Management. DOE expects cleanup to continue for several years or even decades
at some of these facilities, necessitating billions of dollars to fulfill the cleanup liability of the
United States. As of the beginning of FY2012, the Office of Environmental Management
administered 17 facilities in 11 states at which cleanup was not yet complete.78 Although cleanup
is scheduled to be complete at some of these facilities over the next several years, cleanup is
expected to continue at some of the larger and more complex facilities for decades. The Hanford
site in the state of Washington has the lengthiest estimated time frame, with cleanup scheduled to
continue possibly as late as 2062 based on more conservative assumptions.79 DOE estimates that
the costs to complete the cleanup of these 17 facilities could range between $174 billion and $209
billion, exceeding the past costs already incurred across the entire inventory of facilities.80
DOE periodically revises its estimates as project baselines and assumptions change. The
estimates have varied widely over time by many billions of dollars. DOE typically estimates a
range of costs, rather than a single dollar amount, to reflect uncertainties in the cleanup process.
For example, final decisions have yet to be made at some facilities to determine the actions that
will be necessary to remediate contamination. Methods to dispose of vast quantities of wastes,
and the scheduling of these actions, also could affect cleanup costs and time frames. The costs of
long-term stewardship also are excluded from the above estimates. Long-term stewardship entails
an even greater degree of uncertainty considering the lengthy time frames of maintenance and
monitoring once cleanup remedies are in place and operational, especially at sites where the
cleanup method entails the permanent containment of radioactive wastes.
(...continued)
mission once cleanup remedies are in place. Facilities that have a continuing mission are transferred to the DOE offices
that administer those missions, which are responsible for their long-term stewardship.
77
Enacted October 13, 1997, the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act for FY1998 (P.L. 105-62)
directed DOE to transfer the cleanup of 21 FUSRAP sites to the Army Corps of Engineers. DOE has remained
responsible for determining the eligibility of additional sites, and Congress has designated certain sites in legislation.
DOE is responsible for the long-term stewardship of FUSRAP sites once the Corps completes the cleanup.
78
For a listing of these 11 facilities, see Department of Energy, Office of Chief Financial Officer, FY2013
Congressional Budget Request, February 2012, Volume 5, Environmental Management, p. 82. One of these 11
facilities, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico, is not a cleanup site, but is a permanent, geologic repository
for “transuranic” wastes that are removed from other DOE facilities for disposal.
79
Ibid.
80
Ibid., p. 9. Including the $100 billion in past costs incurred from FY1997 through FY2011, DOE estimated total
“life-cycle” costs ranging from $274 billion to $309 billion. DOE consistently has used FY1997 as the baseline, or
starting point, for the time frame of these life-cycle estimates. DOE also has reported $35 billion in past costs incurred
since the establishment of the Office of Environmental Management in 1989 through FY1996, for a total of $135
billion in past costs incurred through FY2010. Comprehensive information on past costs incurred for managing wastes
and contamination prior to the establishment of the Office of Environmental Management is not readily available.
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Office of Environmental Management
Three appropriations accounts fund the Office of Environmental Management: Defense
Environmental Cleanup, Non-Defense Environmental Cleanup, and the Uranium Enrichment
Decontamination and Decommissioning (D&D) Fund. The Defense Environmental Cleanup
account constitutes the vast majority of the funding for the Office of Environmental Management
and is devoted to the cleanup of former nuclear weapons production facilities. The Non-Defense
Environmental Cleanup account funds the cleanup of wastes and contamination resulting from
civilian nuclear energy research, and the Uranium Enrichment D&D Fund account finances the
cleanup of facilities that enriched uranium for national defense and civilian purposes.
For FY2013, the Senate Appropriations Committee recommended $5.74 billion for these three
accounts combined. The House Appropriations Committee recommended $5.54 billion, nearly
$200 million less overall, distributed among multiple facilities. The President requested $5.65
billion, and Congress enacted $5.71 billion for FY2012. Neither the House nor Senate
Appropriations Committee included the $463 million that the President requested within the
Defense Environmental Cleanup account to resume the federal payment to the Uranium
Enrichment D&D Fund. Congress ceased this payment in FY2012. This payment historically has
been treated as an offset to the total funding for the Office of Environmental Management
because the payment actually does not become available to DOE until Congress subsequently
appropriates it out of the Uranium Enrichment D&D Fund. The President has proposed to resume
this federal payment, contingent upon the enactment of legislation to reauthorize appropriations
for the payment and the collection of assessments against nuclear utilities that also once
contributed revenues to the Uranium Enrichment D&D Fund until the authority expired in 2007.
See the “Uranium Enrichment Facilities” section of this report for further discussion.
Table 14 presents a breakout of the amounts reported by the House and Senate Appropriations
Committees for FY2013, compared to the President’s FY2013 request and the FY2012 enacted
appropriations, among each of the three appropriations accounts that fund DOE’s Office of
Environmental Management (and line-items within those accounts for specific facilities and
supporting program activities). As noted in the table, the FY2012 enacted amounts reflect DOE’s
allocation of a $21.2 million contractor pay freeze rescission distributed among each of the three
accounts, as directed in P.L. 112-74. The table also presents the net total program funding level
for the Office of Environmental Management for the three accounts combined, accounting for
offsets including the use of prior year balances and the federal payment to the Uranium
Enrichment D&D Fund that the President proposed for FY2013. A discussion of perennial issues
in the debate over the adequacy of funding for the Office of Environmental Management follows.
Table 14. Appropriations for the Office of Environmental Management
($ millions)
Account/Site or Program Activity
FY2012
Approp.a
FY2013
Request
House
Senate
5.4
2.0
2.0
2.0
2,138.3
2,135.4
2,116.3
2,147.5
953.3
963.3
953.3
975.4
1,185.0
1,172.1
1,163.0
1,172.1
Conf.
Defense Environmental Cleanup
Closure Sites
Hanford
Richland Operations
Office of River Protection
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FY2012
Approp.a
FY2013
Request
House
Senate
Idaho National Laboratory
386.9
399.6
399.6
399.6
NNSA Sites
282.4
334.3
312.4
334.3
Oak Ridge Reservation
199.5
181.5
179.5
213.5
1,193.8
1,181.5
1,148.6
1,181.5
Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
215.1
198.0
203.0
208.9
Program Direction
321.6
323.5
315.6
323.5
20.4
18.3
18.3
18.3
252.0
237.0
237.0
237.0
11.0
20.0
10.0
20.0
0.0
463.0
0.0
0.0
-3.4
-12.1
-12.1
-12.1
0.0
-10.0
0.0
-10.0
-20.1
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
-10.0
0.0
5,003.0
5,472.0b
4,920.1
5,064.0
2.7
2.7
2.7
2.7
100.6
90.1
90.1
90.1
Small Sites
67.4
57.8
57.8
87.8
West Valley Demonstration Project
65.0
47.9
47.9
47.9
Contractor Pay Freeze Rescission
-0.4
0.0
0.0
0.0
235.3
198.5
198.5
228.5
472.2
425.0
425.5
425.0
200.9
207.8
203.9
207.8
81.8
90.1
92.7
90.1
190.3
127.0
128.8
127.0
0.0
17.5
0.0
17.5
-0.8
0.0
0.0
0.0
472.2
442.5
425.5
442.5
0.0
-463.0
0.0
0.0
5,710.5
5,650.0
5,544.1
5,735.0
Account/Site or Program Activity
Savannah River Site
Program Support
Safeguards and Security
Technology Development
Federal Payment to Uranium Enrichment D&D Fund
Use of Prior Year Uncosted Balances
Use of Prior Year Unobligated Balances
Contractor Pay Freeze Rescission
Rescission
Defense Environmental Cleanup Subtotal
Conf.
Non-Defense Environmental Cleanup
Fast Flux Test Reactor
Gaseous Diffusion Plants
Non-Defense Environmental Cleanup Subtotal
Uranium Enrichment D&D Fund
Gaseous Diffusion Plants
Oak Ridge
Paducah
Portsmouth
Pension, Community, and Regulatory
Supportc
Contractor Pay Freeze Rescission
Uranium Enrichment D&D Fund Subtotal
Offset for Federal Payment to Uranium Enrichment D&D Fundd
Office of Environmental Management Total
Source: Prepared by the Congressional Research Service using information from the House Appropriations
Committee report on H.R. 5325 (H.Rept. 112-462), the Senate Appropriations Committee report on S. 2465 (S.Rept.
112-164), and the Department of Energy, Office of Chief Financial Officer, FY2013 Congressional Budget Request,
February 2012, Volume 5, Environmental Management. Numbers may not add due to rounding.
a.
Section 309, Title III, Division B of the Consolidated Appropriations Act for FY2012 (P.L. 112-74) rescinded
a total of $73.3 million from the appropriations provided in that law for DOE due to a contractor pay
freeze rescission, and directed DOE to allocate the rescission among its accounts. DOE subsequently
distributed $21.2 million of the rescission among the three accounts (and line-items within those accounts)
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that fund the Office of Environmental Management. Both the House and Senate reports reflected the
FY2012 contractor pay freeze rescission as a separate line-item within each of the three accounts, whereas
DOE had presented this rescission distributed among individual line-items in its budget justification,
resulting in differing presentations among the line-items within each account.
b.
In its report on H.R. 5325, the House Appropriations Committee did not reflect the President’s FY2013
budget request of $463 million within the total request that it presented for the Defense Environmental
Cleanup account. These funds would be used to resume the federal payment to the Uranium Enrichment
Decontamination and Decommissioning Fund. The Administration requested the $463 million, subject to
reauthorizing legislation. In its report on S. 2465, the Senate Appropriations Committee did not
recommend any funding for this item, but did present the $463 million within the total that the President
requested for the Defense Environmental Cleanup account. This variance in accounting may result in
differing comparisons of the President’s request and the amounts reported by the House and Senate
Appropriations Committees.
c.
Pension, Community, and Regulatory Support is broken out separately within the Uranium Enrichment
D&D Fund in the President’s FY2013 request, but was not separated in the FY2012 enacted appropriations.
d.
The President’s FY2013 proposal to resume the federal payment to the Uranium Enrichment D&D Fund is
contingent upon the enactment of reauthorizing legislation. Historically, the federal payment has been
executed as a transfer from the Defense Environmental Cleanup account to the Uranium Enrichment D&D
Fund. This transfer has been treated as an offset to the total program funding for the Office of
Environmental Management, because the funding is not actually available to DOE for obligation until
Congress subsequently appropriates it out of the Uranium Enrichment D&D Fund.
Cleanup Milestones
The adequacy of funding for the Office of Environmental Management to ensure compliance with
cleanup “milestones” has been a recurring issue in the appropriations debate.81 DOE’s attainment
of these milestones often is used as a measure to gauge overall cleanup progress at individual
facilities. Cleanup milestones establish time frames for the completion of specific actions or steps
within the cleanup process. Compliance with these milestones is intended to satisfy applicable
statutory and regulatory requirements. Each milestone is identified in formal compliance
agreements negotiated among DOE, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the states
in which the facilities are located.82 EPA and the states are responsible for overseeing DOE’s
performance of the cleanup of each facility under these agreements and enforcing the milestones.
Although the cleanup milestones are legally binding, the ability to meet 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, the availability of funds is not the sole factor that may determine whether DOE is
capable of attaining a cleanup deadline. Furthermore, not all of the Office of Environmental
Management’s annual budget is available for attaining cleanup milestones, as funding also is
needed for safeguarding, securing, and maintaining facilities while cleanup is underway.
According to DOE, the President’s FY2013 request for the Office of Environmental Management
would support the completion of all enforceable cleanup milestones with deadlines that fall
81
Most federal environmental laws specify the applicability of the requirements of those laws to federal facilities.
However, the Anti-Deficiency Act generally prohibits federal agencies from obligating or expending funds in excess of
appropriations, unless authorized by law. The prohibition under this act may limit an agency’s ability to comply with an
environmental requirement if appropriations are insufficient. However, the act allows exceptions for emergencies
involving the safety of human life or the protection of property.
82
Compliance agreements for individual facilities are available on DOE’s Office of Environmental Management
website: http://www.em.doe.gov/Pages/compagreements.aspx.
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within the fiscal year.83 Although the House Appropriations Committee recommended less than
the President requested for certain facilities, the committee observed in its report on H.R. 5325
that many schedules in existing compliance agreements were not realistic in terms of the
availability of funding and technical and management challenges. The committee expressed its
support for DOE to update its estimates of the completion of cleanup to provide an “accurate
accounting to all stakeholders” for a basis to negotiate a “clear, affordable, and attainable path
forward” at “sites where the current schedule for cleanup will not be met.”84
As discussed above, terms of the compliance agreements are binding and enforceable, and
revisions must be negotiated among the parties to avoid potential violations if milestones or
schedules cannot be met. DOE has negotiated revisions to many of its compliance agreements on
multiple occasions in past years, as the challenges have become better understood over time.
Disposal of High-Level Radioactive Tank Wastes
Cleanup progress especially has been a concern at DOE’s largest nuclear weapons production
facilities where high-level radioactive wastes are stored in hundreds of tanks. Under existing law,
these wastes eventually are to be permanently disposed of in a geologic repository. However, the
need to first remove the wastes from the tanks and treat them in a manner that would be suitable
for permanent disposal has presented many technical difficulties. The availability of a geologic
repository to dispose of the tank wastes once they are removed and treated could present
challenges that may delay permanent disposal and thereby lengthen cleanup time frames and
affect costs. The availability of such a repository also could present challenges for the permanent
disposal of DOE’s inventory of high-level wastes that are in the form of spent nuclear fuel. See
the “Nuclear Waste Disposal” section of this report for a discussion of a geologic repository.
DOE facilities where high-level tank wastes are stored and managed include the Hanford site in
Washington, the Savannah River site in South Carolina, and the Idaho National Laboratory. DOE
reports that there are approximately 88 million gallons of high-level wastes stored in tanks at
these three locations combined.85 Of this inventory, 54 million gallons are stored in 177 tanks at
Hanford, 33 million gallons in 49 tanks at the Savannah River site, and nearly 1 million gallons in
4 tanks at the Idaho National Laboratory.86 DOE reports that funding for the construction of
facilities at each location that would process and treat these wastes for permanent disposal
represents “one of the primary risk and cost drivers” for the Office of Environmental
Management.87 The most recent estimate to complete the construction of these high-level waste
treatment facilities alone is $14.2 billion.88 Once they are operational, additional funding and time
83
Department of Energy, Office of Chief Financial Officer, FY2013 Congressional Budget Request, February 2012,
Volume 5, Environmental Management, p. 10.
84
See H.Rept. 112-462, p. 129-130.
85
Ibid.
86
Department of Energy, Office of Environmental Management, Report to Congress: Status of Environmental
Management Initiatives to Accelerate the Reduction of Environmental Risks and Challenges Posed by the Legacy of the
Cold War, January 2009, p. 23-24, available on DOE’s Office of Environmental Management website:
http://www.em.doe.gov/pdfs/NDAA%20Report-(01-15-09)a.pdf.
87
Department of Energy, Office of Chief Financial Officer, FY2013 Congressional Budget Request, February 2012,
Volume 5, Environmental Management, p. 10.
88
Ibid.
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would be needed to remove the wastes from the tanks and to process the wastes into a more
stabilized form for permanent disposal.
Because of these substantial challenges, long-term funding needs for the cleanup of Hanford, the
Savannah River site, and the Idaho National Laboratory are expected to continue for decades.
DOE estimates that cleanup may not be complete at Hanford until as late as 2062, at the
Savannah River site until 2040, and at the Idaho National Laboratory until 2044.89 These lengthy
time frames in part are due to the time estimated for the treatment and disposal of the substantial
volumes of high-level wastes stored at these facilities. However, these estimated dates do not
reflect the additional time necessary for the long-term stewardship of these sites, once the initial
cleanup is completed under the Office of Environmental Management, likely resulting in even
lengthier horizons for total federal responsibilities at these sites.
Uranium Enrichment Facilities
The source and availability of funding for the cleanup of three DOE uranium enrichment facilities
has been a recurring issue in the appropriations debate. These facilities enriched uranium both for
national defense purposes and the generation of electricity by commercial nuclear utilities. These
facilities are located in Paducah, KY; Piketon, OH (Portsmouth plant); and Oak Ridge, TN. Title
XI of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (P.L. 102-486) established the Uranium Enrichment D&D
Fund to pay for the cleanup of these facilities, and to reimburse uranium and thorium licensees
for their costs of cleaning up sites that supported the enrichment facilities.90
The House Appropriations Committee recommended $425.5 million in appropriations for
FY2013 from the available balance in the Uranium Enrichment D&D Fund. The Senate
Appropriations Committee recommended $442.5 million, the same amount that the President
requested. Each of these amounts is less than the appropriations of $472.2 million enacted for
FY2012. The overall decrease among each proposal is attributed to a reduction in funding for the
Portsmouth facility, whereas funding for the Oak Ridge and Paducah facilities would increase.
See Table 14 for a breakout of funds for each facility. (The Paducah and Portsmouth facilities
also receive funds within the Non-Defense Environmental Cleanup account.) Neither the House
nor Senate Appropriations Committee, nor the President’s request, included any dedicated
funding within the Uranium Enrichment D&D Fund for reimbursement payments to uranium and
thorium licensees in FY2013. However, the House Appropriations Committee highlighted the
importance of the cleanup of the uranium and thorium sites to affected communities, the
outstanding claim balances and total liabilities, and the need for progress in remediation.91
To finance the Uranium Enrichment D&D Fund, Congress originally authorized the collection of
special assessments from nuclear utilities based on the portion of enrichment services each utility
purchased from the federal government.92 Congress also authorized payments by the federal
government to the Uranium Enrichment D&D Fund out of the General Fund of the U.S. Treasury,
subject to annual appropriations.93 The original requirement for both the federal government, and
89
Ibid., p. 82.
42 U.S.C. §2297g.
91
See H.Rept. 112-462, p. 101-102.
92
42 U.S.C. §2297g-1(c).
93
42 U.S.C. §2297g-1(d).
90
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the nuclear utilities that purchased enrichment services, to contribute to the Uranium Enrichment
D&D Fund was based on the premise that both the United States and the nuclear utilities
benefitted from the production of enriched uranium and therefore should share the liability for the
cleanup of facilities involved in these activities.
The authority to collect the utility assessments, and the authorization of appropriations for the
federal payment, expired on October 24, 2007. Since that time, Congress had continued federal
payments to the Uranium Enrichment D&D Fund through the annual appropriations process,
without enacting separate reauthorizing legislation. The federal payment had been made through
a transfer from the Defense Environmental Cleanup account to the Uranium Enrichment D&D
Fund. The federal payment is not available to DOE for obligation until it is appropriated out of
the Uranium Enrichment D&D Fund. Congress ceased the federal payment in FY2012, with no
funds provided for it in P.L. 112-74. The last federal payment of $33.6 million in FY2011 was
intended to fulfill the remaining balance of the required federal contribution to the fund, as
originally authorized in the Energy Policy Act of 1992.94
Whether to reauthorize the utility assessments and the federal payment has been an issue, as
repeated DOE estimates continue to suggest that the remaining balance of the Uranium
Enrichment Decontamination and Decommissioning Fund does not appear sufficient to pay for
the completion of the cleanup of the three federal uranium enrichment facilities over the longterm. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) estimates that $3.85 billion will remain
available in the Uranium Enrichment D&D Fund for appropriation by Congress, as of the
beginning of FY2013.95 In December 2010, DOE had estimated an $11.8 billion shortfall over the
long term to meet all remaining cleanup needs, and projected that the fund would be exhausted by
FY2020 without additional deposits.96
Similar to prior years, the President’s FY2013 request includes a proposal to reauthorize
appropriations to resume the federal payment and to reauthorize the collection of the nuclear
utility assessments. The President’s proposal is intended to increase resources in the Uranium
Enrichment D&D Fund that would be available for appropriation by Congress.97 The President’s
FY2013 request states the Administration’s position that reauthorization is necessary “due to
higher-than-expected cleanup costs.”98 OMB estimates that reauthorization of the nuclear utility
assessments would generate $200 million in revenues in FY2013, and the President’s FY2013
request included $463 million within the Defense Environmental Cleanup account to resume the
federal payment, subject to reauthorizing legislation.99 Neither the House nor the Senate
Appropriations Committee proposed appropriations to resume the federal payment in FY2013.
94
42 U.S.C. §2297g-1.
Office of Management and Budget, Budget of the U.S. Government for Fiscal Year 2013, February 2012, Appendix,
p. 448, available on OMB’s website, http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2013/assets/
doe.pdfhttp://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2012/assets/doe.pdf.
96
Department of Energy, Uranium Enrichment Decontamination and Decommissioning Report to Congress, December
2010, available on DOE’s website: http://www.em.doe.gov/pdfs/UEDD%20Report%20December%202010.pdf. This
report is the most recent DOE update on the status of the fund. The Energy Policy Act of 1992 requires DOE to prepare
this report on a triennial basis (i.e., once every three years).
97
Office of Management and Budget, Budget of the U.S. Government for Fiscal Year 2013, February 2012, Analytical
Perspectives, p. 214 and p. 238, available on OMB’s website: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/
Analytical_Perspectives.
98
Ibid.
99
Office of Management and Budget, Budget of the U.S. Government for Fiscal Year 2013, February 2012, Appendix,
(continued...)
95
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In this debate, the nuclear utilities have asserted that they have fulfilled their share of the cleanup
liability, as originally authorized in the Energy Policy Act of 1992. However, the amounts
envisioned in the statute were based upon estimates of funding needs at that time. As waste
disposal and remediation challenges have become more defined in the intervening years, DOE
estimates that greater funding is needed to complete the cleanup of the uranium enrichment
facilities than initially thought. Whether the remaining cleanup liability should be shared by the
nuclear utilities and the federal government continues to be an issue. If the available balance of
the Uranium Enrichment D&D Fund is expended, the Energy Policy Act of 1992 still requires
DOE to pay the costs of cleanup, subject to annual appropriations.100 If the Uranium Enrichment
D&D Fund is not reauthorized and becomes fully expended, the remaining cleanup costs could be
borne at the expense of the federal taxpayer alone.
To augment the existing balance of the fund and extend its availability for appropriations, DOE
has transferred portions of excess federal uranium inventories in exchange for cleanup services
performed by private parties. The President’s FY2013 request includes a plan to transfer up to
1,750 metric tons of excess uranium within that fiscal year.101 The value of this material in terms
of offsetting the need for appropriations would depend on the actual amounts that are transferred
and the market value at the time of transfer. Although DOE has relied upon these transfers to
accomplish certain aspects of cleanup efforts in recent years, the department’s authority for the
contracting mechanisms that are used to execute the transfers, and the potential impact on
uranium markets, have received heightened attention within Congress.
The House Appropriations Committee addressed some of the above issues in its report on H.R.
5325, expressing its concern about the costs of reinstating the nuclear utility assessments on
industry and ultimately on electricity consumers at a time of rising energy prices. The committee
also questioned the reliability of DOE’s estimates of long-term funding needs to complete the
cleanup of the three federal uranium enrichment facilities as the basis for the President’s proposal
to reinstate the nuclear utility assessments and to resume the federal payment. Regarding the
transfer of excess federal uranium inventories, the committee voiced its concern that this
mechanism has focused on enhancing cleanup at the Portsmouth facility and has not included the
Paducah facility so far. The committee also questioned the lack of congressional oversight in the
use of these transfers in exchange for cleanup services, observed the uncertainty these exchanges
raise in terms of Congress determining the annual funding level that is needed to augment them,
and directed DOE to “clearly outline all potential impacts” on the domestic uranium mining
industry in the update of its excess federal uranium inventory management plan.102
In the first session of the 112th Congress, related legislation (H.R. 2054 and S. 1135) was
introduced to authorize the re-enrichment of excess federal inventories of depleted uranium for
sale. As introduced, both bills would authorize a pilot program to re-enrich depleted uranium
owned by the federal government, and would direct proceeds from the sale of the re-enriched
uranium into the Uranium Enrichment D&D Fund. The quantity that could be sold would be
limited to minimize the impact on domestic markets. These proceeds would be authorized as
(...continued)
p. 448, available on OMB’s website, http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2013/assets/doe.pdf.
100
42 U.S.C. §2297g-2(c).
101
Department of Energy, Office of Chief Financial Officer, FY2013 Congressional Budget Request, February 2012,
Volume 5, Environmental Management, p. 11.
102
See H.Rept. 112-462, p. 101.
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mandatory funds that would be available directly to DOE for cleanup purposes, without being
subject to discretionary appropriations. A substitute amendment to H.R. 2054, approved in a
House Subcommittee markup in the First Session on July 27, 2011, would make the proceeds
deposited into the Uranium Enrichment D&D Fund subject to discretionary appropriations prior
to being made available to DOE for obligation to perform cleanup activities.103
Office of Legacy Management
Once cleanup remedies are in place under the Office of Environmental Management, DOE’s
Office of Legacy Management administers the long-term stewardship of the facilities that do not
have a continuing mission. The Office of Legacy Management also is responsible for the longterm stewardship of sites that had been transferred from DOE to the Army Corps of Engineers
under the FUSRAP program in 1997. Once the Corps completes the cleanup of a site under this
program, it is responsible for the initial two years of operation and maintenance, after which time
the site is transferred back to DOE’s Office of Legacy Management for long-term stewardship.
The Office of Legacy Management also manages the payment of pensions and retirement benefits
of former contractor personnel who worked at DOE facilities that do not have a continuing
mission,104 among other supporting activities.105 The federal role in the management of these
former contractor pensions and benefits stems from the long-term nature of the projects and the
associated length of employment for the personnel who performed the work for DOE. These
pensions and benefits are earned and accrued by contractor employees while in active
employment at DOE facilities and are payable after their employment ends.106
The Office of Legacy Management is funded within DOE’s Other Defense Activities account.107
The House Appropriations Committee recommended $173.9 million within this account for
DOE’s Office of Legacy Management in FY2013. The Senate Appropriations Committee
recommended the President’s FY2013 full request of $177.9 million. Each of these proposed
amounts is an increase above the $169.6 million in appropriations enacted for FY2012.
Accounting for an additional $12 million in prior year unobligated balances, DOE reports that the
total budget authority for the office in FY2012 was $181.6 million.108 In its report on H.R. 5325,
the House Appropriations Committee noted that additional prior year unobligated balances should
103
The Subcommittee on Energy and Power of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce approved a substitute
amendment to H.R. 2054 on July 27, 2011. The text of the substitute amendment is available on the Majority’s website,
http://republicans.energycommerce.house.gov/Media/file/Markups/Energy/072711/AINS.pdf.
104
Similar to long-term stewardship responsibilities, the payment of pensions and post-retirement benefits of workers at
facilities with a continuing DOE mission is assigned to the program office within DOE that is responsible for
administering that mission, rather than the Office of Legacy Management.
105
For more information on the history, mission, and scope of the Office of Legacy Management, see DOE’s website,
http://www.lm.doe.gov.
106
For more information on DOE’s management of former contractor pensions and benefits, see the Office of Legacy
Management Post-Closure Benefits Program website: http://www.lm.doe.gov/default.aspx?id=172.
107
Congress began to fund the Office of Legacy Management entirely within the Other Defense Activities Account in
FY2009. The majority of the facilities administered by this office were involved in the U.S. nuclear weapons program,
but some of the facilities were contaminated by civilian nuclear energy research activities. Prior to FY2009, Congress
appropriated funding for the relatively small number of non-defense facilities administered by the Office of Legacy
Management within a stand-alone account.
108
Department of Energy, Office of Chief Financial Officer, FY2013 Congressional Budget Request, February 2012,
Volume 2, Other Defense Activities, p. 41.
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be available to meet funding need in FY2013, to offset the decrease of $4 million in new
appropriations it recommended below the President’s request.109
Funding needs for the Office of Legacy Management are likely to increase beyond current levels
over time, as more facilities are cleaned up and transferred from the Office of Environmental
Management and the FUSRAP program of the Corps for long-term stewardship. Over the next 10
years, DOE projects that the total number of facilities administered by the Office of Legacy
Management will rise from 91 in FY2011 to 129 in FY2020.110 In FY2012 alone, the Office of
Legacy Management assumed two new responsibilities: long-term stewardship of the Mound site
in Miamisburg, OH, once the cleanup was complete under the Office of Environmental
Management, and the management of records and former contractor pensions and benefits for the
terminated Yucca Mountain project.
Estimating the long-term funding needs for the Office of Legacy Management is inherently
challenging because of the lengthy time horizons that are involved. For example, actions may be
necessary for many decades to operate and maintain cleanup remedies and monitor contaminant
levels to ensure the effectiveness of the remedies over time. At sites where the cleanup entails the
permanent containment of radioactive wastes, long-term stewardship may continue indefinitely
because of the time needed for radioactivity to decay to acceptable levels. Enforcement of land
use restrictions or other institutional controls also may be necessary in perpetuity at facilities that
are not cleaned up for unrestricted use, in order to prevent potentially harmful exposure. These
and other factors make it difficult to reliably estimate the financial liability of the United States
for long-term stewardship of sites contaminated from the historic production of nuclear weapons
and civilian nuclear energy research in the 20th century.111
Power Marketing Administrations112
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 Richard J. Campbell.)
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
109
See H.Rept. 112-462, p. 133.
Department of Energy, Office of Legacy Management, 2011-2020 Strategic Plan, DOE/LM-0512, January 2011, p.
5, available on DOE’s Office of Legacy Management website: http://www.lm.doe.gov.
111
DOE annually estimates the financial liabilities of long-term stewardship as a portion of other environmental
liabilities of the Department, but does not report a separate estimate just for long-term stewardship alone. Furthermore,
DOE estimates these liabilities only for the first 75 years and acknowledges that costs are likely to be incurred beyond
this time frame that “cannot reasonably be estimated.” See Department of Energy, Fiscal Year 2011 Agency Financial
Report, November 2011, “Environmental Cleanup and Disposal Liabilities,” p. 60-63, available on DOE’s website:
http://www.cfo.doe.gov/cf12/2011parAFR.pdf.
112
This section was prepared by Charles V. Stern.
110
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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 Obama Administration’s FY2013 request for the PMAs was $85 million. This is the same
level as the FY2012 appropriation. The FY2013 budget request continues a change enacted in
FY2010 that reclassified receipts from the PMAs from mandatory to discretionary. This change
offsets many of the expenses of WAPA, SWPA, and SEPA that were previously paid for with
discretionary appropriations. As a result of the change, two PMAs require discretionary funding
in addition to their receipts: SWPA requests $11.8 million and WAPA requests $96.1 million.
Receipts for SEPA are expected to offset all operating costs in FY2011. In addition, $220,000 is
requested for Falcon and Amistad operations and maintenance, and collections of $23 million
from Colorado River basins score as an additional offset toward the net discretionary
appropriation. Both the House and the Senate Appropriations Committees recommended funding
PMAs at the requested amount, but did not include the $23 million collections from Colorado
River basins in the total.
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 with the Treasury,
which was increased in FY2003 from $3.75 billion to $4.45 billion (a $700 million increase).
ARRA further increased the amount of borrowing that BPA conducts under the Transmission
System Act by $3.25 billion to the current authority for $7.7 billion in bonds outstanding to the
Treasury.
ARRA also provided WAPA borrowing authority for the purpose of planning, financing or
building new or upgraded electric power transmission lines to facilitate the delivery of renewable
energy resources constructed by or expected to be constructed after the date of enactment. The
authority to borrow from the United States Treasury had not previously been available to WAPA.
It is now available on a permanent, indefinite basis, with the amount of borrowing outstanding
not to exceed $3.25 billion.113
Title IV: Independent Agencies
Independent agencies that receive funding from the Energy and Water Development bill include
the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), and
the Denali Commission.
113
A bill in the 112th Congress, H.R. 2915, proposes to repeal this borrowing authority.
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Table 15. Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Title IV: Independent Agencies
($ millions)
Program
FY2012
Approp.
Appalachian Regional Commission
FY2013
Request
House
Senate
$68.3
64.9
75.3
64.9
1,038.1
1053.2
1,059.8
1,0541
-909.5
-924.7
-921.7
-924.8
128.6
128.5
138.1
129.3
Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board
29.1
29.4
29.4
27.4
Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board
3.4
3.4
3.4
3.4
Denali Commission
10.7
10.2
10.7
10.2
Delta Regional Authority
11.7
11.3
11.7
11.3
Northern Border Regional Commission
1.5
1.4
1.4
1.4
Southern Crescent Regional Commission
0.3
0.0
0.3
0.0
Fed. Coord. Alaska Gas Projects
1.0
3.1
1.0
1.0
254.5
252.2
271.3
248.9
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
(Revenues)
Net NRC (including Inspector General)
Total
Conf.
Source: FY2013 budget request, H.Rept. 112-462, H.R. 5325 as passed, S.Rept. 112-164.
Note: Figures may not add due to rounding.
Key Policy Issues—Independent Agencies
Nuclear Regulatory Commission114
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) requested $1.053 billion for FY2013 (including $11
million for the inspector general’s office), $15 million above FY2012 funding level. Major
activities conducted by NRC include safety regulation and licensing of commercial nuclear
reactors and oversight of nuclear materials users.115 The House and Senate Appropriations
Committees recommended relatively small changes from the budget request (see Table 15).
The NRC budget request includes $264.8 million for new reactor activities, nearly the same as the
FY2012 level. Until 2007, no new commercial reactor construction applications had been
submitted to NRC since the 1970s. However, volatile fossil fuel prices, the possibility of controls
on carbon emissions, and incentives provided by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 prompted electric
utilities and other generating companies to apply for licenses for 30 new reactors, although
several license applicants have suspended work on their projects. NRC issued combined
construction and operating licenses for four new reactors at two sites in Georgia and South
Carolina in early 2012.
114
This section was prepared by Mark Holt.
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, FY 2013 Congressional Budget Justification, NUREG-1100, Vol. 28,
February 2012, http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/nuregs/staff/sr1100/v28/fy2013-cbj.pdf.
115
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NRC’s proposed FY2013 budget includes no funds for licensing DOE’s previously planned
Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. Because the Obama Administration wants to cancel
the Yucca Mountain project and filed a motion to withdraw the license application on March 3,
2010, the NRC’s FY2011 appropriation was used to close out its licensing activities. The House
Appropriations Committee directed NRC to resume consideration of the Yucca Mountain
application with prior-year funds. The panel also cut $3.4 million for NRC’s Waste Confidence
Rulemaking on the safety of on-site waste storage for up to 300 years, an effort that the
committee said was designed “to provide cover for the Administration’s Yucca Mountain policy.”
In response to controversy over actions by NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko to halt the Yucca
Mountain licensing process, the enacted FY2012 funding bill included a provision (§401) that
prohibits the NRC chairman from terminating “any program, project, or activity” without a
majority vote by the NRC Commission. A majority commission vote would also be required to
reprogram funds that were specifically included in the bill. That language is continued in the
House Appropriations Committee’s FY2013 bill.
For regulation of operating reactors, NRC’s FY2013 budget request includes $545.1 million,
$10.4 million above the FY2012 level. Those activities include reactor safety inspections, license
renewals and modifications, collection and analysis of reactor performance data, and oversight of
security exercises. The Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan increased congressional and public
concern about the safety of U.S. nuclear power plants. NRC established a task force 10 days after
the accident to review NRC’s regulatory system, and NRC issued the first regulatory orders
resulting from that review on March 12, 2012.116
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 FY2013 request would result in a net appropriation of
$128.5 million, nearly the same as ($100,000 below) the FY2012 enacted level.
116
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, “Actions in Response to the Japan Nuclear Accident,” http://www.nrc.gov/
japan/japan-info.html.
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Author Contact Information
Carl E. Behrens
Specialist in Energy Policy
[email protected], 7-8303
Fred Sissine
Specialist in Energy Policy
[email protected], 7-7039
Jonathan Medalia
Specialist in Nuclear Weapons Policy
[email protected], 7-7632
Carol Glover
Information Research Specialist
[email protected], 7-7353
Anthony Andrews
Specialist in Energy Policy
[email protected], 7-6843
Charles V. Stern
Specialist in Natural Resources Policy
[email protected], 7-7786
Daniel Morgan
Specialist in Science and Technology Policy
[email protected], 7-5849
Mark Holt
Specialist in Energy Policy
[email protected], 7-1704
David M. Bearden
Specialist in Environmental Policy
[email protected], 7-2390
Key Policy Staff
Area of Expertise
Name
General
Carl Behrens
Carol Glover
7-8303
7-7353
[email protected]
[email protected]
Corps of Engineers
Charles V. Stern
Nicole Carter
7-7786
7-0854
[email protected]
[email protected]
Bureau of Reclamation
Charles V. Stern
Betsy Cody
7-7786
7-7229
[email protected]
[email protected]
Solar and Renewable Energy
Fred Sissine
7-7039
[email protected]gov
Nuclear Energy
Mark Holt
7-1704
[email protected]
Science Programs
Daniel Morgan
7-5849
[email protected]
Nuclear Weapons Stewardship
Jonathan Medalia
7-7632
[email protected]
Nonproliferation
Carl Behrens
7-8303
[email protected]
DOE Environmental Management
David Bearden
7-2390
[email protected]
Power Marketing Administrations
Charles V. Stern
7-7786
[email protected]
Bonneville Power Administration
Charles V. Stern
7-7786
[email protected]
Fossil Energy Research
Anthony Andrews
7-6843
[email protected]
Strategic Petroleum Reserve
Anthony Andrews
7-6843
[email protected]
Energy Conservation
Fred Sissine
7-7039
[email protected]
Budget Data
Carol Glover
7-7353
[email protected]
Congressional Research Service
Phone
E-mail
65
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