President Bush has signed the omnibus appropriations bill for fiscal year 2003 that includes $21 billion for the Department of Energy (DOE) and $460 million for the agency’s nuclear waste management program. DOE’s $20.9 billion appropriation is $920 million above fiscal 2002. It provides $460 million for the nuclear waste management program, which is developing the Yucca Mountain repository in Nevada.
The bill granted $2.5 million to Nevada to conduct scientific oversight and participate in licensing activities at Yucca Mountain. An additional $7 million was provided to local governments for similar repository-related oversight.
Funding for the program will be provided by the Nuclear Waste Fund, which will contribute $145 million, and by the DOE defense waste account, which will supply the remaining $315 million.
With Congress having approved the suitability of the Yucca Mountain site last year, DOE’s goal is to submit a quality licensing application for the repository to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in late 2004.