How the NRC is Funded: Following the Money

The NRC recently amended its regulations to reflect the fees we will charge for FY 2012. This may seem like an odd thing – a federal agency collecting fees for its services. But the NRC is required, by law, to recover about 90 percent of our budget authority directly from the industry that we regulate. This means the American taxpayer only foots the bill for 10 percent of the agency’s budget.

The NRC received a bit more than $1 billion for FY 2012, so the amount we will recover in fees by Sept. 30 is approximately $909.5 million. We collect those fees and send the money back to the U.S. Treasury.

We have two types of fees. One is for specific NRC services, such as licensing and inspection, which apply to a specific license; these make up about 40 percent of the total fees we recover. The other 60 percent comes from an annual fee for generic regulatory expenses and other costs not recovered through fees for specific services.

The recently published final fee rule has a few changes over the FY2011 fee rule. We increased our hourly rate very slightly from $273 to $274, and revised the flat license application fees to reflect the new hourly rate. Also, the FY 2012 annual fees increased for some licenses due to the increased direct budgeted resources for operating reactors, most material users, fuel facilities and transportation. However, the annual fees decreased for research and test reactors, spent fuel storage facilities and most uranium recovery licenses.

The NRC works hard to be efficient and effective and to keep the fees to the industry as low as possible so that we are only requesting from Congress the funding necessary to perform our vital mission.

Arlette Howard
Fee Policy Analyst

Author: Moderator

Public Affairs Officer for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

6 thoughts on “How the NRC is Funded: Following the Money”

  1. Mr. Heffner, no one is a troll. Your comment is that of an ad hominem attack. You completely ignored the facts the NEI lobby’s the NRC and Congress. The NEI also writes policy and regulation for the NRC. Lobbying an agency then writing policy for the same agency is an ethical dilemma. You do not address those problems, you wage an attack. Is that the way you stand before the NRC when asked questions about operational deficiencies?

    You say you have “disagreements with them,” what does that mean? Does it mean you ignored their findings? Do you ignore important facts when involved with “NRC inspections?”

    Because of attacks such as you submit lead people to think that there is a problem. Particularly with personnel reliability and human factors integration with the complex system we call a nuclear reactor.

  2. What a crock! I’ve been on the receiving end of NRC inspections. While I have disagreements with them about interpretations of regulations/guidance, I have no doubt about their dedication to the public’s health and safety as their #1 priority. Troll somewhere else.

  3. @Dayvon Polar Fan, I really think that the NRC will continue to work hard to be efficient and effective. It is a must because they really have to keep the fees to an industry low. Well Said Garry, citizen health and safety should be a first priority instead of the support of the nuclear industry. Great Post.

  4. I honestly hope the NRC will continue to work hard to be efficient and effective and to keep the fees to the industry as low as possible. @Garry Morgan, well put out. I totally agree with you!

  5. Follow the money-absolutely. Nothing about how the NEI writes policy for the NRC, or how the NEI writes new reactor licensing guidelines and policy for you. Why does the NRC not have a contract for services with the NEI?

    Follow the money, absolutely follow the money, the near $700million the nuclear industry pours into PACs and lobbying governmental entities, including the NRC, in support of nuclear power in the last decade. The facts, the truth matters not to a corporation and its puppet regulator. The NRC supports the nuclear industry’s corporate bottom line, not the health and welfare of citizens it is supposed to protect.

    Stop supporting the nuclear industry first and start supporting citizen health and safety first!

    Garry Morgan

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