The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has requested $1,032.2 million in its Fiscal Year 2016 budget proposal to Congress, down $27.3 million from prior year’s submission. Requested staffing is down as well for the agency that regulates nuclear power plants and users of nuclear materials to protect public health and safety, promote the common defense and security and protect the environment.
“This budget reflects today’s realities and ushers in a new era in enhancing accountability within the NRC for the prudent use of resources,” said NRC Chairman Stephen G. Burns.
Since the NRC recovers approximately 90 percent of its budget from licensee fees, which are sent directly to the Treasury, the resulting net appropriation request is $122.2 million, down $2 million from last year’s submission.
The continuing resolution adopted by Congress Dec. 16, 2014, cut the NRC request by $44.2 million to account for fee-based unobligated carryover and authorized the agency to reallocate its unobligated carryover to supplement its FY 2015 appropriations.
The budget reflects a decrease of 140.8 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees from the FY 2015 budget. The FY 2016 budget funds 3,741 FTEs, including the Office of the Inspector General. The decrease is due to reduction in New Reactors and Fuel Facilities staffing due to decreasing workload, and efficiencies realized in the merger of two program offices.
The FY 2016 budget breakout includes $793.4 million for nuclear reactor safety and $226.7million for nuclear materials and waste. The budget also includes resources to continue lessons-learned activities related to the Fukushima nuclear accident, including seismic and flooding reevaluations.
The budget request for the Inspector General is $12.1 million. That office independently and objectively conducts audits and investigations to ensure the efficiency and integrity of NRC programs, and promote cost-effective management.
The OIG’s budget also includes funding to provide Inspector General services for the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board.