The budget slashes funding for a project to turn weapons-grade plutonium into fuels for nuclear reactors and questions the viability of the nearly $8 billion effort. The budget seeks $503 million for the mixed-oxide fuel plant being built at South Carolina's Savannah River nuclear site â¿¿ $200 million less than current funding. The plant is part of an international nonproliferation effort, with the United States and Russia committed to disposing of at least 34 metric tons each of weapons-grade plutonium to be turned into commercial nuclear reactor fuel.
The so-called MOX project has undergone years of delays, and the Government Accountability Office says the plant is $3 billion over budget. In its budget request, the administration says it supports the theory behind the project but says it "may be unaffordable."
The budget also includes $386 million â¿¿ a $76 million increase over current spending â¿¿ for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), a program that seeks to research on new ways to generate, store and use energy.
___Agency: Environmental Protection Agency Total Spending: $8 billion Percentage Change from 2013: 9 percent decrease Discretionary Spending: $8.1 billion Mandatory Spending: 0 Highlights: Despite President Barack Obama's tough talk on addressing global warming, his budget for the agency with the biggest role in reducing the heat-trapping pollution contains few bold moves. In fact, Obama's fiscal 2014 budget request for the Environmental Protection Agency presents his fourth consecutive cut for the agency, a 9 percent reduction from 2013 levels. On climate, the EPA will continue on the course it was on during Obama's first term: pushing for greater fuel savings so the nation uses less oil from cars, trucks and other mobile sources and supporting voluntary programs to boost energy efficiency. There's no mention of whether the EPA will control the gases blamed for global warming from coal-fired power plants, as it probably will be compelled to do by law. But the budget envisions a role for EPA in preparing communities for the unavoidable impacts of future climate change, by helping them prepare for extreme weather events linked to global warming.