On March 11, 2019, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced that the agency is proposing to Congress a budget of $921 million for fiscal year (FY) 2020. The request is $10 million higher than the FY 2019 budget, reflecting 44 fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees.
The increase in the FY 2020 request takes into account the inclusion of $38 million to support licensing activities for the proposed deep geological repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.
The budget also includes $15 million for the continued development of a regulatory infrastructure for advanced reactor technologies.
The agency’s budget has decreased by more than $130 million, including a reduction of more than 700 FTE since 2014.
Details of the budget include:
• Funding of $449.5 million for nuclear reactor safety; $165.7 million for nuclear materials and waste safety, which includes the $38 million for the proposed Yucca Mountain repository; and, $292.6 million for corporate support.
• Support for 3,062 FTE employees, including the Office of Inspector General (OIG), and a reduction of 44 FTE from the FY 2019 enacted budget. Proposed reductions in staffing are primarily due to declining workload; efficiencies in the processing of licensing actions; three plants to be decommissioned; the merger of the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation (NRR) and the Office of New Reactors; and, Wyoming’s transition to Agreement State status.
• The inclusion of $13.3 million for the OIG, an independent office that conducts audits and investigations to ensure the efficiency and integrity of NRC programs and to promote cost-effective management. The OIG’s budget also includes funding to provide auditing and investigation services for the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB).
Since the NRC recovers approximately 90 percent of its budget from licensee fees, which are sent directly to the U.S. Treasury, the resulting net appropriation request is $161 million.
The budget briefing slides and the Congressional Budget Justification will be available on the NRC website at https://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/nuregs/staff/sr1100.
For additional information, please contact Scott Burnell of the NRC at (301) 415-8200.