Requested NRC budget tops $1 billion
The White House’s recently released budget request for fiscal year 2024 would provide $1.006 billion in gross budget authority for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission—an increase of $63.2 million, or about 6.7 percent, from the enacted FY 2023 level. According to the agency, the boost is largely for increased salaries and benefits “consistent with the Office of Management and Budget guidance.”
The request proposes the use of $27.1 million in carryover to offset the Nuclear Reactor Safety budget, resulting in a gross budget authority of $979.2 million. Since the NRC expects to recover $823.2 million from licensee fees, the resulting net appropriations request is $156 million, a jump of $19 million from FY 2023.
- $530.8 million for nuclear reactor safety, including $425.8 million for operating reactors and $105 million for new reactors.
- $152.9 million for nuclear materials and waste safety.
- $34.2 million for the continued development of a regulatory infrastructure and staff capabilities for licensing of advanced reactor and fuel cycle technologies.
- $23.8 million for international activities.
- $2 million for minority serving institution grants.
- $18.6 million for the Office of Inspector General, including funding to provide inspector general services for the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board.
- Support for 2,948.9 full-time-equivalent employees, including the Office of the Inspector General, an increase of 89.3 FTE from the agency’s FY 2023 enacted budget.
Noteworthy: At the NRC’s annual Regulatory Information Conference last week, commissioner Annie Caputo called on the agency to “improve its financial management and stewardship of its resources.”
Caputo continued: “So far, the agency’s transformation efforts have seemed to achieve the opposite of what was expected. We are spending more to do less work. In short, our workload has shrunk. We are collecting significantly more revenue than we need, and our budget is growing. This is not what I consider good stewardship.”