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FY 2012 Appropriation for Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration

Richard M. Jones
Number 150 - December 20, 2011  |  Search FYI  |   FYI Archives  |   Subscribe to FYI

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

National Nuclear Security Administration

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

The report states:

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

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

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

Within this budget are the following programs:

Weapons Activities:

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

The report states:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation:

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

The report states:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The report states the following:

Differences in Report Language (page 797):

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

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

Richard M. Jones
Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics
rjones@aip.org
301-209-3095