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Budget 2006 Proposal: Big Increases in Nuclear and Fossil Fuel Spending

Wrangling over the 2006 budget began today with the submission of the White House’s budget proposal to Congress. Details will change, but the President’s budget is the starting point.

Although the overall $23.4 billion Department of Energy budget proposal marks a 2% decrease from 2005, nuclear energy and fossil fuel energy counter that trend, with significant increases in spending proposed.

Below is a snapshot of select line items from the more detailed DOE budget submission.


A few comments on specific items.

Biological and environmental research, cut 6.9%,  includes programs in global climate change; environmental remediation; molecular, cellular, and systemic studies on the biological effects of radiation; structural biology; medical applications of nuclear technology; and the Human Genome Program. The program also supports science related to carbon sequestration and sequencing of genomes of microbes that use carbon dioxide to produce methane and hydrogen.

Vehicle technologies, cut 2.3%,  supports the FreedomCAR and 21st Century Truck partnerships with industry. Program activities encompass a suite of technologies, including lightweight materials, electronic power control, high power storage, and hybrid electric drive motors. The program supports research to improve the efficiency of advanced combustion engines, using fuels with formulations developed for such engines, and incorporating non-petroleum based components.

Many of the line items support research and efforts in others. The nuclear initiatives, for example, also involve investigation into the production of hydrogen. As a general statement, though, biofuels and biomass are trimmed, while fossil fuels and nuclear get a big boost.

We’ll see what happens as the negotiations progress.



Two things surprise me here. One is that all renewables except biomass are up. The other is that the amount dedicated to Fusion research is more than is allocated to the entire category of Energy Conservation.

So, some questions: Is there anything to fusion? Is there any particular reason for the cuts to Biomass R&D while other renewables are up or steady? Also, why is Biomass and BioRefinery Systems R&D listed under two headings, and what does it mean that one of those headings is Energy Conservation?


The pattern is rather clear and understandable.

1 Biofuels are better funded localy where the resource is abundant and thus cheap. This is far more effective faster and more efficient.

2 Solar is poised to make a great leap forward in usefullness spending a bit more now will realy be a big boon SOON. Same with wind it is reaping a reward thats good country wide.

3 Spending billions on gas fuel eff cars is stupid when we are in the process of making the damn things obsolete rubbish anyway. Its far better to get to fuel cell tech faster as we frankly are far closer then many people suspect.

4 coal we have a huge amount of it and not comming up with ways to use it safely would be stupid.

5 Nuke tech is definetely gona be vital soon. Making it safe as possible is very important.


I haven't seen this year's documents but I believe most of the increase in fission funding will go towards implementing Gen III reactors, which is hugely stupid. BWR/PWR designs are just inherently flawed and any money spend on them is pork for GE and/or Westinghouse (or perhaps a foreign firm, but I doubt it). DOE should be concentrating on Gen IV reactors, if anything.

Sam - it is my opinion that fusion is basically going nowhere in the next 50 years, so funding should be cut significantly and focused on computer modelling. Moore's law will eventually allow the problems of sustainable fusion to be resolved, for better or worse.


we are for bioenergy and engaged in Jatropha curcas cultivation as Each Jatropha curcas tree absorbs 8.5 kg of Carbondioxide from polluter air
so we aim carbon credit
but we do not know how to get it?

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