Simpson Sustains INL Funding in Energy Bill
House Appropriations Committee advances Energy and Water and Agriculture spending bills
Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson today announced that the Fiscal Year 2018 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill protects funding for the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy, and cleanup activities in Idaho. Simpson is Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, which passed the bill through the full House Appropriations Committee today, and had the lead role in deciding funding for all Department of Energy programs.
“The FY18 Energy and Water bill provides comprehensive investment for the groundbreaking research and development conducted at the Idaho National Laboratory,” said Chairman Simpson. “Whether it be through its work in advanced reactor and fuel development, battery and bioenergy programs, or protecting the electric grid from cyber-attacks; the INL is enhancing our national security and increasing American competitiveness. I am pleased that this bill fulfills the needs of the lab to continue this critical work, and that it sends a strong message of support for its world class workforce.”
The FY 2018 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill sets funding for the DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy at $969 million. Nuclear energy research and development programs that receive funding within the overall $969 billion allocation include:
· The Idaho Facilities Management account, which covers infrastructure maintenance and improvement at INL, is funded at $238 million – a $6.3 million increase over last year.
· INL’s Safeguards and Security Program is funded at $133 million – an increase of $3.7 million over fiscal year 2017.
· The Nuclear Energy Enabling Technologies program is funded at $126.7 million – an increase of $11.6 million above fiscal year 2017.
· The Light Water Reactor Sustainability program, which is managed by INL and promotes the continued safe operation of America’s existing nuclear reactors, is funded at $40 million, the same as last year.
· The Reactor Concepts Research, Development, and Demonstration account is funded at $219.3 million – an increase of $87.3 million above last year. Within the overall $219 million level for this account, $30 million is allocated to fuel qualification for the High Temperature Gas Reactor, and $60 million is for a solicitation to support technical, first-of-its-kind engineering and design and regulatory development of next generation light water and non-light water reactor technologies, including small modular reactors.
· Within the Fuel Cycle Research and Development program, the Advanced Fuels program is funded at $71 million; and Used Nuclear Fuel Disposition research and development is funded at $45 million.
· Within the Office of Naval Reactors, the bill includes $82.5 million for the operation of the Advanced Test Reactor.
· Within the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, the bill includes $9 million for the development of an Electric Grid Test Bed program to enhance existing full-scale electric grid testing capabilities like those at Idaho National Laboratory.