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Obama's budget proposal for D.O.E. puts emphasis on cleanup

By By Caleb James, Reporter
Published On: Apr 11 2013 08:46:14 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 12 2013 12:28:20 AM CDT

Caleb James reports.

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

President Barack Obama's 2014 budget proposal carves out a large chunk of money for the Department of Energy.

The D.O.E. operates the Idaho National Laboratory, and the new budget request from the White House will have an impact on eastern Idahoans.

The president's budget requests more than $28 billion for the Department of Energy.
     
Key points include support for research and development to solve United States energy challenges.

The budget proposal is in its infancy, and it is unclear how much of the money will actually go to INL and Idaho's "Cleanup Project" missions

The INL could be in a good position to continue nuclear research and development -- the $28.4 billion request for 2014's D.O.E. budget is up more than $1 billion from Obama's request for the department last year.
     
While highlights in the budget released by the D.O.E. do not specifically mention "nuclear energy research and development," they do mention nuclear waste cleanup as a priority.

D.O.E. operations spokeswoman Danielle Miller said the budget includes plans to process and ship approximately 4,500 cubic meters of waste.

The budget also allocates nearly $150 million for investment in cyber-security for energy systems -- a recent focus of development at the INL.

Another $615 million is meant to further the development of low cost solar, wind, geothermal, and water energy -- also recent pushes at a new facility on the INL's education campus.

The budget proposal is merely a suggestion by the White House at this point, and the INL continues to do more with less after the sequestration.

Department of Energy leadership in the Idaho office on Thursday said they have been asked by the main office in Washington D.C. not to comment on camera about budget issues.

But Tim Jackson with the Idaho operations office released this statement:

"INL contractor Battelle Energy Alliance earlier this month submitted a draft plan to doe for how the contractor would implement sequestration funding reductions," Jackson said in a written statement. "BEA's plan is under evaluation by DOE. The department anticipates its evaluation will take some time. DOE is exhausting all options to mitigate impacts."

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