“The provisions of this bill will expand reactor development, continue fuel cycle research, and push the development of the Center for Advanced Energy Studies” – Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson
Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson, a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development and an appointee to House and Senate negotiations on a final Fiscal Year 2010 appropriations bill, today announced the inclusion of substantial increases in funding for the Idaho National Laboratory and the Idaho Cleanup Project as part of legislation funding the Department of Energy. The legislation was approved today by House and Senate conferees on a voice vote.
The legislation includes an increase of $33 million over current funding levels for new facilities and other infrastructure improvements at INL bringing total infrastructure funding to $173 million. Just two years ago, the budget requested just $104 million for Idaho infrastructure funding. The additional funding is available for a variety of uses including new buildings, renovation of existing buildings, equipment purchases, and the Advanced Test Reactor’s operation as a National Scientific User Facility. Simpson has made additional funding for new infrastructure at INL a top priority over the past three fiscal years.
“Thanks to the hard work and dedication of those who work at INL, substantial new resources are headed Idaho’s way to improve facilities and expand the capabilities of some of the lab's premier resources,” said Simpson. “This funding is the second installment of a multi-year commitment by the DOE and Congress to revitalize the INL’s infrastructure to support the revival of nuclear energy in the United States.”
Among its many provisions, the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill also includes:
Level funding from Fiscal Year 2009 for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant of $169 million. The NGNP is designed to produce both electricity and heat for industrial applications. INL is the Department of Energy’s lead laboratory on research and development of the NGNP.
$10 million for INL’s Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program. The Program focuses on maintenance and life extension of our nation’s current fleet of nuclear reactors.
$464.168 million for cleanup activities at INL, which is a $59 million increase over President Obama’s FY2010 requested amount.
A $20 million increase for the treatment of Sodium Bonded Fuel at INL. The treatment will include fuel originally used in the Experimental Breeder Reactor II and fuel transferred from Hanford, WA.
$1 million for equipment purchases at the Center for Advanced Energy Studies at INL.
“The provisions of this bill will expand reactor development, continue fuel cycle research, and push the development of the Center for Advanced Energy Studies,” said Simpson. “The new funding in this bill can only be seen as a complete endorsement by Congress of the leadership role INL is playing in our nation’s nuclear renaissance.”