There were significant areas of disagreement in the approaches taken
to nuclear weapons programs in the initial House and Senate versions
of the FY 2006 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill. These
differences have been resolved, resulting in the compromise language
found in the conference report accompanying H.R. 2419. Selections of
this language follow; the entire report (109-275) may be read at http://thomas.loc.gov/
Note that specified funding may be reduced (probably in the range of
two to three percent) to pay for hurricane reconstruction costs.
ROBUST NUCLEAR EARTH PENETRATOR ("BUNKER BUSTER"):
"The conference agreement provides no funds for the Robust
Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP) feasibility study." (See below
under "Reliable Replacement Warhead.")
NATIONAL IGNITION FACILITY:
"Construction--Project 96-D-111.--The conferees provide $141,913,000
for construction of the National Ignition Facility (NIF), the same as
the budget request."
TEST SITE READINESS:
"The conferees direct the Department to maintain the current
24-month test readiness posture."
MODERN PIT FACILITY:
"The conference agreement provides no funding for the modern
pit facility." (See context below.)
"For the pit manufacturing and certification campaign, the
conference agreement provides $241,074,000. The conference agreement
provides $120,926,000 for W88 pit manufacturing and $61,895,000 for
W88 pit certification, the same as the budget request. The conference
agreement provides $23,071,000 for Pit Manufacturing Capability and
$35,182,000 for Pit campaign support at the Nevada Test Site. The conference
agreement provides no funding for the modern pit facility. The conferees
direct the Administrator of the NNSA to undertake a review of the pit
program to focus on improving the manufacturing capability at TA-55.
The conferees also direct the Department to develop a report as to how
the NNSA intends to address the radiological mission and security needs
of category III/IV material currently housed at TA-18 at Los Alamos.
This report shall be provided to the Committees on Appropriations by
February 1, 2006."
RELIABLE REPLACEMENT WARHEAD:
"The conferees have provided $25,000,000 for the RRW program.
The conferees expect that the laboratories and plants will also utilize
the existing resources in the Directed Stockpile, Campaigns, and Readiness
in Technical Base and Facilities accounts where applicable to further
the RRW design options to support a Nuclear Weapons Council determination
in November 2006. The conferees reiterate the direction provided in
fiscal year 2005 that any weapon design work done under the RRW program
must stay within the military requirements of the existing deployed
stockpile and any new weapon design must stay within the design parameters
validated by past nuclear tests. The conferees expect the NNSA to build
on the success of science-based stockpile stewardship to improve manufacturing
practices, lower costs and increase performance margins, to support
the Administration's decision to significantly reduce the size of the
U.S. nuclear stockpile.
"The conference agreement provides $688,567,000 for DSW Stockpile
services. From within the funds provided in DSW Stockpile services,
the conferees direct the NNSA to provide $40,000,000 to fund the Nevada
Test Site, $5,000,000 above the request, to maintain the Subcritical
Experiment Program, including the Phoenix Explosive Pulse Power program.
From within available funds, the conferees provide $6,000,000 to Los
Alamos National Laboratory to conduct hydrodynamic testing in support
of the Stockpile Stewardship program and $3,000,000 above the request
to fund independent assessments of the safety of the stockpile and secure
information exchange within the weapons complex.
"The conference agreement provides no funds for the Robust
Nuclear Earth Penetrator (RNEP) feasibility study.
"The conferees support a degree of flexibility in executing
this budget by providing limited reprogramming authority within Directed
Stockpile Work [DSW]. The control levels for the Directed Stockpile
Work are: (1) Life Extension Programs; (2) Stockpile Systems; (3) Reliable
Replacement Warhead; (4) Warhead Dismantlement; and (5) Stockpile Services."
INERTIAL CONFINEMENT FUSION AND HIGH YIELD:
"The conference agreement includes $549,073,000 for the inertial
confinement fusion ignition and high yield program. The conferees support
the House language regarding project management control systems for
managing the ICF program. The conferees direct the NNSA Administrator
to issue a report by March 1, 2006 that identifies the scientific and
stockpile stewardship value of the National Ignition Facility if the
project fails to achieve the ignition demonstration by 2011, or at any
time in the future." (Note that the report has language regarding
specific projects, see first paragraph above on how to access this report.)
"The conferees provide $15,000,000 from within available funds
for the establishment of the National Nanotechnology Enterprise Development
Center (NNEDC), to be managed by the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies.
The NNEDC will assist in the technology maturation of nanotechnologies
developed at each of the National Nanoscience Initiative Facilities
and to assist in their transition to the marketplace, while emphasizing
opportunities for industrial partnerships with the Center for Integrated
Nanotechnologies. Proposals to the NNEDC will be considered by a board
of experts qualified to evaluate proposals based on both their scientific
merit and their commercial potential, including a representative from
each of the National Nanoscience Initiative Facilities, and a similar
number of representatives from economic development and commercial sectors
to be selected by the Department of Energy's Office of Science."
NUCLEAR WEAPONS COMPLEX WIDE REVIEW: There is no new language;
the Senate report language stands (http://www.aip.org/fyi/2005/099.html.)