Deferral of Appropriations for the Clinch River Breeder Reactor Project

OGC-77-21: Published: Jun 28, 1977. Publicly Released: Jun 28, 1977.

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The President's proposed deferral of $31.8 million in budget authority appropriated to the Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA) for the Clinch River Breeder Reactor Project (CRBRP) was reviewed to determine if the action was properly classified and if proposed curtailment of CRBRP exceeded statutory authority. The proposed deferral was submitted for a required 45-day period during which the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy was to consider plans to change the CRBRP from a demonstration plant program to one for systems design. Before the recent executive branch actions, the CRBRP was scheduled to be operational by 1984.

It was believed that terminating the project and then restarting it would produce costs outweighing benefits. It was also felt that the President lacked legal authority to implement plans for curtailing the project. The withholding proposal was thought to be properly submitted as a deferral of budget authority rather than a rescission.

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