agement account, which would increase from $99 million to $104 million). Table 1-1 summarizes the budget history of the NE program.

THE COMMITTEE’S APPROACH TO EVALUATION

The above-mentioned developments created two issues for the committee. First, the program for which the statement of task was written changed significantly between the time of the statement of task and the start of the committee’s work. Second, the dominant new program—GNEP—lacked the technical documentation, program plans, and program management organization that would ordinarily form the basis for an evaluation of program content and budget priorities. The committee believes that it has adapted to these developments in a way that is consistent with the statement of task and the structure of today’s NE program.

In the case of GNEP/AFCI, the committee relied on the Mission Need for GNEP, the GNEP Implementation Strategy, and the GNEP Strategic Plan documents for its evaluation (see Chapter 4 for further discussion). Although these appear to be the authoritative descriptions of the GNEP program, the GNEP Implementation Strategy and the GNEP Strategic Plan documents were not made public until well after the committee started its work. The committee believes that these documents provide an adequate basis for its overall assessment of GNEP but recognizes that they fall far short of the documentation needed for a detailed review. The GNEP Technology Development Plan was released late in the report process, but because it included a disclaimer that the plans it contained did “not necessarily reflect the views and decisions of the Department of Energy,” the committee could not accept it as DOE policy.

The other elements of the program were evaluated in more conventional terms, although each required its own approach:

  • Nuclear Power 2010 is not a research program but is designed to help mitigate the risk that industry will decide to build the first new nuclear power plant. The committee has evaluated it using the elements of the statement of task as the principal criteria.

  • The scope of the Generation IV program and the Nuclear Hydrogen Initiative (NHI) program has changed as a result of GNEP. Within the Generation IV program, the committee has focused on the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) research effort because the fast spectrum reactor research that was part of this program has been considered in GNEP. While hydrogen production remains a goal of the NGNP program, a number of process heat applications are

TABLE 1-1 Office of Nuclear Energy Budget History FY 2003 to FY 2008 (thousands of dollars)

 

Comparable Appropriations

Actual Appropriations

Program

FY 2003

FY 2004

FY 2005

FY 2006

FY 2007 CR

FY 2008 Request

Nuclear energy plant optimization

4,806

2,863

2,412

0

0

0

Nuclear Energy Research Initiative

17,413

6,410

2,416

0

0

0

Nuclear Power 2010

31,579

19,360

49,605

65,340

80,291

114,000

Generation IV

16,940

26,981

38,828

53,263

35,586

36,145

Nuclear Hydrogen Initiative

2,000

6,201

8,682

24,057

19,265

22,600

Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative

57,292

65,750

66,407

78,408

167,484

395,000

Subtotal, R&D

130,030

127,565

168,350

221,068

302,626

567,745

Idaho facilities management

62,983

75,534

122,320

99,358

100,358

104,713

Total reviewed accounts

193,013

203,099

290,670

320,426

402,984

672,458

Radiological facilities management

62,928

63,431

68,563

54,049

46,775

53,021

Safeguards and security

52,560

56,654

58,103

71,285

72,946

72,946

University programs

18,034

23,055

23,810

26,730

16,547

0

Program direction

57,909

60,256

60,076

60,498

62,652

76,224

Total energy supply

271,307

291,186

393,339

430,565

482,191

801,703

Total NE budget

375,441

402,804

521,903

532,988

601,904

874,649

NOTE: CR, continuing resolution. Budget history for selected NE programs. NE is funded primarily from the Energy Supply and Conservation appropriations account, but the total NE budget for each year includes some funding from other accounts. The FY 2003 to FY 2005 columns are comparable appropriations, which means that they include funding from other accounts, but for similar activities. Revised updated budget numbers, which were not available to the committee during its study, can be obtained from Patrick Holman, DOE NE.

SOURCES: DOE (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007); the FY 2007 CR appropriations and some FY 2006 appropriations were supplied to NRC staff by DOE on March 9, 2007.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement