US secretary of energy Samuel W. Bodman has announced President Bush’s $24.3 billion budget request for the Department of Energy (DoE) for the 2008 fiscal year, a budget designed to strengthen energy security by diversifying resources and reducing reliance on foreign sources.

The FY 2008 request, which is 26% more than last year’s, is designed to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy, clean coal and nuclear. This comes through the Advanced Energy Initiative (AEI) which promotes the development of cleaner sources of electricity production and which accounts for $2.7 billion of the total DoE budget.

The proposed $875 million budget for the Office of Nuclear Energy includes $395 million for the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative and other activities to support the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) and also includes $36 million to support Generation IV reactor development.

The budget request is $242 million or 38% up on last year and includes $114 million for the Nuclear Power 2010 programme, which will reduce barriers for light water reactor designs and deployment.

The Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management requests $495 million to further plan for a permanent, geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. At $50 million below the FY 2007 request, the latest budget sets the DoE on a path to file a licence application no later than 30 June, 2008.

Meanwhile the DoE’s Office of Science budget also incorporates $428 million in funding for basic research in nuclear fusion, including Iter. A full 39% of the budget is set aside for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to promote national security through a combination that includes maintaining nuclear weapons, promoting nuclear non-proliferation and threat reduction.