The FY 2008 request, which is 26% more than last year’s, is designed to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy, clean coal through FutureGen and nuclear energy through the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership. This comes through the Advanced Energy Initiative (AEI) which promotes the development of cleaner sources of electricity production and which accounts for $2.7 billion of the total DoE budget.

The proposed $875 million budget for the Office of Nuclear Energy includes $395 million for the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative and other activities to support the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) and also includes $36 million to support Generation IV reactor development.

The budget request is $242 million or 38% up on last year and includes $114 million for the Nuclear Power 2010 programme, which will reduce barriers for light water reactor designs and deployment.

The Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management requests $495 million to further plan for a permanent, geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. At $50 million below the FY 2007 request, the latest budget sets the DoE on a path to file a licence application no later than 30 June, 2008.

Meanwhile the DoE’s Office of Science budget also incorporates $428 million in funding for basic research in nuclear fusion, including Iter. A full 39% of the budget is set aside for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to promote national security through a combination that includes maintaining nuclear weapons, promoting nuclear non-proliferation and threat reduction.

With a 5% overall increase, the $1.24 billion budget for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy includes significant funding boosts for hydrogen and biomass technology, while the Office of Fossil Energy plans to support research and development of low cost carbon sequestration technology, the Clean Coal Power Initiative, and the FutureGen project with its $863 million budget request. The programme aims to establish the capability and feasibility of co-producing electricity and hydrogen from coal with near-zero emissions for start-up in 2012. Some $427 million has been set aside for clean coal technologies, which includes $108 million for FutureGen, the public-private international partnership to build the world’s first near-zero emissions coal-fired plant. The budget request includes $79 million in FY 2008 for sequestration work including four large scale field tests, which have the potential to store more than 600 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide.

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