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Nuclear Energy & Weapons

Given the central role that physical scientists have traditionally played in the history of nuclear energy and weapons, FYI covers major developments in nuclear energy and weapons policy, particularly as they relate to ongoing science policy matters.

16 Oct 2009

With a vote of 80 to 17, the Senate voted yesterday to send the FY 2010 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill to President Obama.  This action follows approval of this final legislation by the full House on a 308 to 114 vote on October 1.

The bill increases the budget for the DOE Office of Science by 3.1 percent or $146.1 million, with program increases ranging from 0.5 to 6.8 percent. Funding for the National Nuclear Security Administration increased by 7.3 percent.

8 Oct 2009

“To achieve a global ban on nuclear testing, my administration will immediately and aggressively pursue U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.  After more than five decades of talks, it is time for the testing of nuclear weapons to finally be banned.”- President Obama; April 2009

2 Oct 2009

The House has approved and sent to the Senate the final version of the FY 2010 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill. The Senate should vote on this $33.5 billion bill next week, and the President is expected to sign it.

Total funding increases by less than 1 percent, or $200 million, over last year. The appropriation for the Department of Energy rose to $27.1 billion, an increase of $318 million.

16 Jul 2009

Later today the House is expected to easily pass its version of the FY 2010 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill. Consideration of the bill began yesterday, and under a procedure that some Republicans objected to, amendments offered to the bill were limited.

10 Jul 2009

The Senate Appropriations Committee has sent to the Senate floor S. 1436, the FY 2010 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill. Senate Committee Report 111-45 provides budget and policy recommendations for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s weapons activities.

The bill makes the following funding recommendations:

Weapons Activities - Total:

5 Jun 2009

Chairman Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and his colleagues on the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee exhibited little enthusiasm for the FY 2010 budget request for the National Nuclear Security Administration.  “It’s hard to imagine that  so little is truly in need of change over the coming year” said Dorgan in his opening remarks at the June 2 hearing.

14 May 2009

The National Nuclear Security Administration’s FY 2010 budget would increase by 8.9 percent to $9.9 billion under the request the Obama Administration has sent to Congress.  Funding for NNSA’s Weapons Activity program would remain basically flat, while the budgets for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation and Naval Reactors would see significant increases.  NNSA was established in 2000 as an independent entity within the Department of Energy to manage the country’s nuclear defense.

4 Mar 2009

The Senate is now considering  H.R. 1105, the FY 2009 Omnibus Funding Bill.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) wants to complete work on this bill by tomorrow so that it can be sent to President Barack Obama for his signature before current funding expires on Friday, March 6.  While the Senate has considered a number of amendments to the bill, including those which would have reduced its funding levels, none have been successful.

26 Jul 2010

The following is additional material from the recently released Senate Appropriations Committee report accompanying the FY 2011 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act. See FYI #79 for funding and program recommendations for the Office of Science.


The final version of Senate Appropriations Committee Report 111-228 added this sentence to the Office of Science language under High Energy Physics: