03.16.16

SCHUMER, GILLIBRAND URGE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE TO BOOST FEDERAL FUNDING FOR THE KNOLLS ATOMIC POWER LAB IN THE CAPITAL REGION – FUNDING WOULD UPGRADE FACILITIES & ADVANCE TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES FOR U.S. NAVY

Schumer, Gillibrand: NNPP is a critical facet of our national and global security and a vital component of the training and readiness of the US Navy

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today urged federal appropriators to include funding for the United States Navy and the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory (KAPL) in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 budget. The Senators are requesting $1,420,120,000 in federal funding for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), particularly the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program (NNPP) at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory (KAPL). The funding would help maintain operations and upgrade critical infrastructure projects.

Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory operates the Kenneth B. Kesselring site in West Milton, NY.  Kesselring is home to two of the Navy’s prototype nuclear training reactors which provide hands-on technical training to all enlisted and officer propulsion plant operators who operate the 96 nuclear reactors that provide propulsion to the aircraft carriers and submarines operated in the U.S. Navy fleet around the world. KAPL develops advanced nuclear propulsion technology, provides technical support for the safe and reliable operation of existing naval reactors and provides technical training to naval personnel who operate them.

“We need this funding for the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory included in the Energy and Water Appropriations bill for 2017 so we can ensure this world-class facility can continue employing hundreds of local residents across the region and providing our Navy personnel with the top-notch training they need to perform in the field,” said Senator Schumer. “We need to make sure these sites are continually funded at the highest levels possible – so I will fight tooth and nail to make sure this $1.4 billion in funding is included in the final appropriations bill.”

 “The Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory is crucial for our Navy’s ability to do its job, for its energy security, and its investment in cutting-edge programs,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “I will continue to work hard to fight for this funding in the Fiscal Year 2017 appropriations bill to help advance the incredible high-tech research and training programs happening in the Capital Region’s military institutions.”

“The good work done at Kesselring boosts our local economy and our national security, and that’s why I partner each year with our Senators to make the case to Congress to fully fund this critical program. We must continue to support the research, development, and training that takes place here in the Capital Region. It is integral to our fleet’s readiness and operational success – as well as millions of dollars in economic activity in our area,” said Rep. Paul Tonko.

Schumer, Gillibrand and Tonko have long been proponents of ensuring KAPL has the necessary funding to keep its vital nuclear training reactor on line. The program, trains over 1,000 cadets per year to operate the 97 nuclear reactors that provide propulsion to Navy aircraft carriers and submarines. In their joint letter, the Senators said the NNPP is a critical facet of the national and global security and a vital component of the training and readiness of the U.S. Navy.

Full text of the Senators’ joint letter is included below:

Dear Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Feinstein,

As you begin your work on the Fiscal Year 2017 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill, we write to request your support for a Department of Energy (DOE) program of critical importance to the United States Navy. We urge you to fund DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), particularly the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program (NNPP) at the level of $1,420,120,000, the same as the President’s budget request.

The NNPP is a critical facet of our national and global security, and a vital component of the training and readiness of the US Navy. Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory operates the Kenneth B. Kesselring site in West Milton, NY.  Kesselring is home to two of the Navy’s prototype nuclear training reactors, designated MARF and S8G, which provide hands-on technical training to all enlisted and officer propulsion plant operators who operate the 96 nuclear reactors that provide propulsion to the aircraft carriers and submarines operated in the US Navy fleet around the world.

With this in mind, we request that you provide $212 million for Naval Reactors Operations and Infrastructure (NOI). NOI funding provides for operations and maintenance of two Naval Reactors Program sites, Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory (KAPL) and the Kesselring Site.  NOI primarily funds operations and maintenance of the two reactor plants at the prototype site, design and procurement of capital equipment, remediation and demolition of facilities no longer in use, and overall facility design, procurement, and maintenance. 

We ask that you fund Naval Reactors Development at $144M, as this funding provides for the research, development, analysis, engineering, and testing required to support operating and future nuclear-powered warships. In addition, this funding supports current ship construction and maintenance work, and design of new components and reactor cores-including unique technologies required only in naval propulsion plants. Together, NRD and NOI make up NR's non-discretionary base funding, which is required to safely maintain and operate our nuclear-powered fleet. 

OHIO-Class Replacement Reactor Systems Development funding provides for the necessary analysis, engineering and testing to design the reactor plant for the OHIO-Class Replacement SSBN.  This work is primarily accomplished at KAPL. Funding in FY17 supports ongoing component testing and work to develop the ship specifications, system descriptions, and component diagrams. For these activities, we ask that you provide $101 million.

S8G Prototype Refueling ($82M) -- funding provides for the refueling overhaul of one of the two land-based prototype reactor plants in New York.  FY17 funding enables design work required to support life extension of systems and components, overhaul planning, and long lead item procurement.  The core manufacturing development supporting the prototype refueling core is dual purpose-it supports the prototype refueling and validates manufacturing processes for the life-of-ship core for OHIO Replacement.  The overhaul is scheduled to begin in FY18.

Capital Equipment ($12M) and General Plant Projects ($14M)include capitalized equipment procurement and facilities and infrastructure improvements to ensure the two New York based DOE sites have the required capabilities to effectively and efficiency support the current nuclear-powered fleet at sea and the development of the future fleet.  (e.g., High performance computers, Knolls Pump House Upgrade, Knolls Utility Upgrade, and Kesselring Site Load Center Relocation).

In addition, Naval Reactors will be undergoing a number of important Major Construction Projects:

            1. The Engineroom Team Trainer facility at the Kesselring site will support the installation and operational testing of required advanced simulation equipment.  This equipment is integral to the nuclear-operator training mission at the Kesselring Site and will ensure the training pipeline is sufficiently sourced with high quality nuclear operators. We ask that you provide $33.3 million in funding for this project.

            2. The KS Security project at Kesselring will upgrade the security perimeter, perimeter lighting system, alarm system and replace the site entrance building.  This is necessary to support the protection of employees, equipment, and national security. This this project, we ask that you include $12.9M.

Finally, we ask that you include $8 million for Naval Reactors program direction, which supports the federal oversight necessary to ensure program integration and coordination.

Funding the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program at the requested levels is critical to New York, the United States Navy, and to long-term national and homeland security. Federal funding to keep both nuclear prototype reactors operational must be a priority as we demand a global presence from our military. Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can provide any additional information in support of this request.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator

Kirsten Gillibrand

United States Senator 

 

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