Members of a senate panel called DoE’s $5.9 billion budget request for the cleanup of nuclear defence sites next fiscal year “inadequate.” Senator Michael Crapo (R-Idaho) attached an ammendment to the Senate budget resolution, adding $1 billion to the request. Members of the Appropriation Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development supported the additions.

The FY ’02 budget request for the cleanup programme falls $345.1 million, or 5.7%, below what the programme received this fiscal year. The DoE acting assistant secretary Huntoon, who heads the cleanup programme, carefully skirted questions on whether DoE would be able to meet legally binding cleanup milestones in the compliance agreements it signed with states with DoE facilities. The reduced funding could be “a challenge at some of our sites,” she said.