NRC budget boosted to cover new licence applications

8 February 2006

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has released its proposed budget for fiscal year 2007, requesting $777 million – an increase of $35 million over its FY 2006 budget, largely related to the expectation of new power plant licence applications.

The agency’s Nuclear Reactor Safety programme, which includes review of new power plant licence applications, saw an increase of $22 million.

NRC chairman Nils Diaz said: “This budget continues the preparation we are making to review and decide, in a timely manner, the expected requests for new reactor licences.”

The budget also reflects a decrease of about $18 million for the Nuclear Materials and Waste Safety programme in light of the potential delay in the Department of Energy’s application for the high-level waste repository at Yucca Mountain, and other programme changes. The proposed budget also includes an increase of $21 million for the agency’s infrastructure and support activities. Specific funding levels include:

• $341.3 million for reactor licencing, including security reviews and activities.

• $222 million for reactor inspection, including security oversight.

• $205.1 million for nuclear materials and waste safety.

The proposed budget is offset by $627.7 million from fees the NRC collects from its licensees and $41 million from the Nuclear Waste Fund, resulting in a request from the general fund of $107.9 million.

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