Appropriations committees in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have recommended funding for a project that could reduce the Protected Area at the Y-12 National Security Complex by about 50 percent.
The House Appropriations Committee approved an energy and water appropriations bill on Wednesday, July 12, that recommended $23.4 million for the project, the West End Protected Area Reduction project, in fiscal year 2018, which starts October 1. That would be up from $2.5 million in fiscal year 2017. (See page 135 here.) If approved, the House bill would direct the National Nuclear Security Administration to give quarterly project updates to the appropriations committees in both houses of Congress “until such time as the NNSA can demonstrate a commitment to move the project forward.” (See page 105 here.)
The Senate Appropriations Committee approved an energy and water appropriations bill on Thursday, July 20, that recommended $5 million in fiscal year 2018. (See page 119 here.) That money is recommended to continue the design work for the project, according to a report on the Senate bill. (See page 98 here.)
The Trump administration did not request any funding for the project, and it’s not clear what level of funding might eventually be approved.
On Monday, Steven Wyatt, spokesperson for the NNSA Production Office in Oak Ridge, said the reduction of Y-12’s Protected Area will be accomplished by building a new section of the Y-12 high-security fence (known as a Perimeter Intrusion Detection and Assessment System, or PIDAS) to enable demolition of sections of the existing PIDAS fence where secure work is no longer performed.
Critical Decision-0, Approval of Mission Need, is expected by the end of fiscal year 2017, Wyatt said. Fiscal year 2017 ends September 30.
Y-12 is an NNSA site. The NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy.
U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, is chair of the Senate Energy and Water Development Subcommittee, the subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee that first approved the energy and water bill in the Senate.
In the House, U.S. Representative Chuck Fleischmann, a Tennessee Republican whose district includes Oak Ridge, is vice chair of the House Energy and Water Subcommittee, the subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee that first approved the energy and water bill in the House.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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