Total funding for the Department of Energy would increase by 2.7 percent,
to $21.9 billion, under President Bush's FY 2003 budget request. The
war on terrorism receives major emphasis in this budget request; of
DOE's major missions, the largest increase would go for Nuclear Security.
Funding for DOE's Office of Science (SC) would remain essentially flat,
with a 0.1 percent increase to $3.3 billion. According to DOE budget
documents, "Setting aside funds for the Spallation Neutron Source
[SNS] and projects that required one-time funding in FY 2002, science
funding increases by about 5 percent." Most of the Office of Science
programs tracked by FYI would receive increases, although not all would
keep pace with inflation: Nuclear Physics would grow by 6.5 percent,
Fusion Energy Sciences by 4.0 percent, Basic Energy Sciences by 2.0
percent, and High Energy Physics by 1.7 percent. Biological and Environmental
Research would fall by 11.6 percent, mainly due to the elimination of
prior congressional earmarks. Science Laboratories Infrastructure would
see a 15.1 percent increase, to $42.7 million.
Explanations for the budgets of selected Office of Science programs,
taken from several DOE budget documents, are quoted below:
HIGH ENERGY PHYSICS REQUEST: Up 1.7 % to $725.0 million
DOE's "Budget Highlights" state, "High Energy
Physics gives priority to two 'windows of opportunity.' First is the
search for the elusive Higgs Boson, the expected source of mass. This
will be the primary emphasis at Fermilab for the next several years.
The other priority is research on charge-parity (CP) violation at
Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, which may explain the preponderance
of matter over antimatter in the universe. The other major FY 2003
activity involves the December 1997 agreement between DOE and NSF
with the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) concerning U.S.
contributions to construction of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
DOE will continue LHC project funding through FY 2005 and will then
become an active participant in its research program. The program
will also continue construction of the Neutrinos at the Main Injector
Additional budget materials add that HEP "has a unique
opportunity during the next five years to make a key discovery that
will help scientists worldwide understand the origin of mass in the
universe, one of the great unsolved questions in physics. Until the
Large Hadron Collider in Europe becomes operational sometime after
2005, the HEP program is the only one in the world with facilities
capable of detecting the elusive Higgs Boson.... Additionally, one
of the persistent mysteries of modern physics is the general absence
of observed anti-matter in the universe - a puzzle that HEP could
resolve within the next five years by explaining the role of Charge-Parity
NUCLEAR PHYSICS REQUEST: Up 6.5 % to $382.4 million
"The Nuclear Physics program is working to synthesize
for the first time in a laboratory the extreme state of matter that
existed microseconds after the Big Bang: a Quark-Gluon Plasma. This
scientific achievement will reveal the nature and behavior of the
most fundamental building blocks of matter. Now that SC's Relativistic
Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) facility is fully operational, intensive
study is underway that could lead to the human-made creation and discovery
of an extreme form of matter (Quark-Gluon Plasma) that existed just
after the Big Bang at the start of the universe."
"Nuclear Physics will focus its additional FY 2003 resources
on expanding facility operating times. For the three largest facilities,
Bates will increase operations from 21 weeks in FY 2002 to 27 in FY
2003. Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility increases from
26 to 28 weeks of operation. The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider increases
from 11 weeks to 22 weeks."
FUSION ENERGY SCIENCES: Up 4.0 % to $257.3 million
"Fusion offers the potential for abundant, safe, environmentally
attractive, affordable energy. Research in the science and the technology
of fusion has progressed to the point that the next major step in
the program is the exploration of the physics of a self-sustained
fusion reaction, or a burning plasma physics experiment. SC will conduct
research that supports such an experiment. In addition, SC will explore
innovative approaches to confining, heating, and fueling plasmas."
"Fusion Energy Sciences [FES] completed decontamination
and decommissioning activities for the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor
in FY 2002, freeing up funding to initiate design and fabrication
of the National Compact Stellerator Experiment at Princeton. FES will
also be providing enhanced operating times for all of its major facilities."
BASIC ENERGY SCIENCES: Up 2.0 % to $1,019.6 million
"The U.S. will be restored to a position of leadership
in neutron scattering research after the [Spallation Neutron Source]
becomes operational in FY 2006."
"[F]unding for the Spallation Neutron Source begins
to taper down in FY 2003. This and a small program funding increase
make funds available for other priorities, including nanoscale science
which is rapidly gaining importance in BES, Plant Engineering and
Design and construction of Nanoscale Science Research Centers, enhanced
operation of its scientific user facilities, design of the next-generation
Linac Coherent Light Source, and improved instrumentation for the
neutron and x-ray scattering facilities."
BIOLOGICAL & ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH: Down 11.6 % to $504.2 million
"Biological and Environmental Research completed $69.8
million of earmarked projects in FY 2002; these funds are redistributed
among all Science programs in FY 2003. Genomes to Life increases by
$15.2 million for additional research on microbes for energy and environmental
applications. The high-visibility and inter- agency Human Genome Project
and Climate Change Research programs are each funded at slightly elevated
levels in FY 2003. The 'Mouse House' construction project was completed
in FY 2002. The request includes $2.9 million for the Administration's
new Climate Change Research Initiative."
Audrey T. Leath
Media and Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics