In a conference call with reporters, Energy Secretary Steven Chu outlined a $27.2 billion budget plan with a host of cuts, including the elimination of $4 billion in fossil fuel subsidies and the cancellation of 35 projects that failed to meet research milestones.
At SRS, however, the spending plan stipulates only a modest reduction for the site’s environmental cleanup programs, which include the processing of liquid waste stored in Cold War-era tanks and the vitrification of high-level radioactive waste into a permanently stable form.
The site’s proposed fiscal 2013 environmental management budget of $1.3 billion reflects about a $13.4 million reduction from the 2012 budget, officials said, adding that the small reduction would enable all major programs to continue as planned.
Also included in budget requests unveiled Monday was $569.5 million for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s mixed oxide fuel facility under construction at the site. The sum represents a $90.3 million increase from the $479.2 million in the 2012 spending plan.
Chu also pledged to support research and the development of new energy technology, with plans to spend up to $770 million on nuclear energy, including $65 million for cost-shared awards to support first-of-a-kind small modular reactors and $60 million for nuclear waste research and development.
SRS in particular has been named as a potential site for such research and development programs, in addition to a possible site where small reactors could be manufactured in the future.
The funding requests unveiled are merely a starting point and are likely to change before being completed later this year.