Thursday, January 18, 2007

GAO Report: NRC Needs Increased Funding to Handle Heavier Workload

From the AP:

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's ability to hire enough workers to manage the expected onslaught of new nuclear reactor applications will be crippled without increased funding, a report by the investigative arm of Congress says.

NRC Chairman Dale Klein said he, too, was concerned about the agency's ability to handle the license requests unless it receives more money from Congress. Without a new budget, the agency will be $95 million, or 12 percent, short.

"It will slow (the licensing) down," he said in an interview.

A Government Accountability Office report released Wednesday examined his agency's workforce challenges.

"The funding and full-time equivalent restrictions ... would have a crippling impact on our ability to manage human capital," Klein wrote in a response included in the GAO report released Wednesday.
To read a plain text copy of the report, click here.

Late last week, in a letter to the Senate Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, Senators Tom Carper and George Voinovich warned that if the NRC was held to FY 2006 funding levels in the FY 2007 budget...
[W]e believe the NRC will be unable to fulfill critical regulatory responsibilities not just in FY 07, but for several subsequent fiscal years.
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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Let's just hope this budget shortfall isn't "solved" by raising fees.

KenG said...

In reality, virtually all NRC activities related to licensing of new nuclear units will be paid for by fees charged for those activities. However, the way the government works the NRC needs budget authorization to hire the employees that will spend the time to earn those fees. I'm sure there will be criticism of this "added" funding as a waste of taxpayer money but it won't actually affect tax revenues.