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FYI Number 107: September 27, 2002

House Appropriators Complete FY 2003 DOE Bill

The House Appropriations Committee has completed its consideration of the FY 2003 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill. Under this legislation, funding for the Nuclear Physics Program would increase by 6.1%, the Biological and Environmental Research Program by 4.4%, the Basic Energy Sciences Program by 1.6%, the High Energy Physics Program by 1.2%, with Fusion Program funding remaining flat.

See FYI #90 for the Senate Appropriations Committee report language on these programs. As previously outlined, the two versions of this appropriations bill recommend the following:

HIGH ENERGY PHYSICS PROGRAM:
Current budget: $716.1 million
Under the House bill, the budget would increase by 1.2% or $8.8 million.
Under the Senate bill, the budget would increase by 1.9% or $13.8 million.

NUCLEAR PHYSICS PROGRAM:
Current budget: $360.5 million
Under the House bill, the budget would increase by 6.1% or $21.9 million.
Under the Senate bill, the budget would increase by 7.5% or $26.9 million.

BIOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH PROGRAM:
Current budget: $527.4 million
Under the House bill, the budget would decrease by 4.4% or $23.2 million.
Under the Senate bill, the budget would increase by 0.7% or $3.8 million.

BASIC ENERGY SCIENCES PROGRAM:
Current budget: $1,003.7 million
Under the House bill, the budget would increase 1.6% or $15.9 million.
Under the Senate bill, the budget would increase by 4.1% or $40.9 million.

FUSION ENERGY SCIENCES PROGRAM:
Current budget: $248.5 million
Under the House bill, the budget would remain flat.
Under the Senate bill, the budget would increase by 4.4% or $10.8 million.

Selections from House Report 107-681, which has not yet been posted, follow:

THE COMMITTEE'S PERSPECTIVE ON THE OFFICE OF SCIENCE:

"The Committee is very supportive of the research conducted by the Department s Office of Science, but funding constraints preclude significant increases for fiscal year 2003. The Committee recommendation is $3,271,233,000, a decrease of $8,223,000 compared to the budget request, but $38,133,000 more than fiscal year 2002.

"As are many others, the Committee is concerned about the growing imbalance in the Federal investment in research in the physical sciences versus the life sciences. The recent emphasis on science research with direct applications to homeland security needs only exacerbates the under-investment in basic research in the physical sciences. Strength in the physical sciences is essential for the future well-being of the Nation because these sciences play a critical role in enabling U.S. technological innovation and global economic leadership. The physical sciences provide the foundation of knowledge for many fields of scientific endeavor, including the life sciences, and have many possible applications, including but not limited to national security and homeland defense.

"The Committee hopes that the Department submits a fiscal year 2004 budget request that will support a robust physical sciences research program in the Office of Science. In addition to funding the capabilities that already exist at the national laboratories, the next budget request should also invest in the future by supporting the development of the next generation of scientists and engineers and the next generation of research instruments. The Committee will support future growth in the Science budget if the Department is able to present a rational scheme for setting priorities among the various research areas and among the wide range of possible new projects (e.g., Next Linear Collider, Rare Isotope Accelerator, etc.), can improve its program and project management, and takes tangible and aggressive steps to implement external regulation at its Science laboratories. Continued self-regulation of these laboratories does not yield any measurable improvement in safety performance as compared to external regulation, and consumes resources that could be better spent on scientific research. The Committee firmly believes that a shift to external regulation would improve public trust and understanding of Office of Science activities, resulting in stronger Congressional support for its research programs."

HIGH ENERGY PHYSICS PROGRAM:

"The Committee recommends $724,990,000 for high energy physics, the same as the budget request and $8,890,000 more than fiscal year 2002. The previous subaccounts within the High Energy Physics account - research and technology and facility operations - are consolidated into a single account for fiscal year 2003, with the control level at the High Energy Physics level. The Committee is concerned about the difficulties being experienced with the luminosity upgrade of the Tevatron and with the Neutrinos at the Main Injector, both projects at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. The Committee expects the Department and the laboratory to exercise aggressive project management to bring these projects back on schedule, and to do so within the funds available for High Energy Physics. The Committee encourages the Department to work with the Office of Management and Budget to remove the existing limit on funding that may be spent for planning and research and development in support of the Next Linear Collider."

NUCLEAR PHYSICS PROGRAM:

"The Committee recommendation for nuclear physics is $382,370,000, the same as the budget request and $21,860,000 more than provided in fiscal year 2002. The Committee hopes the Department will move expeditiously through the project approval process for the 12 GeV upgrade for the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility. The Committee recommendation includes the requested amount of $3,500,000 for research and development and pre-conceptual design activities in support of the Rare Isotope Accelerator."

BIOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH PROGRAM:

"The Committee recommendation for biological and environmental research is $504,215,000, the same as the budget request but $23,190,000 less than in fiscal year 2002. The Committee recommendation includes the requested level of funding, $5,841,000, for the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. The Committee encourages the Department to explore technologies for the preservation and recovery of frozen mouse gametes, which have the potential to reduce significantly the cost of developing and transporting strains of live mice around the country."

BASIC ENERGY SCIENCES PROGRAM:

"The Committee recommendation for basic energy sciences is $1,019,600,000, the same as the budget request and an increase of $15,895,000 from fiscal year 2002. For purposes of reprogramming during fiscal year 2003, the Department may allocate funding among all operating accounts within Basic Energy Sciences.

"Research.-The Committee recommendation includes $547,883,000 for materials sciences and engineering, and $220,146,000 for chemical sciences, geosciences, and energy biosciences, both the same as the budget request. Included within the material sciences and engineering account is $7,685,000 for the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), the same as the budget request and as the fiscal year 2002 funding level.

"Construction.-The Committee recommends the requested amount of $251,571,000, which includes $210,571,000 for construction of the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), $11,000,000 for project engineering and design of Nanoscale Science Research Centers at Oak Ridge, Lawrence Berkeley, and Sandia National Laboratories, $24,000,000 to initiate construction of the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and $6,000,000 for project engineering and design of the Linac Coherent Light Source at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center."

FUSION ENERGY SCIENCES:

"The Committee recommendation for fusion energy sciences is $248,495,000, the same as the fiscal year 2002 funding level and $8,815,000 less than the budget request. The Committee notes that the fiscal year 2002 funding level included $19,604,000 for the completion of decontamination and decommissioning of the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor (TFTR), leaving $228,891,000 available for fusion research and facility operations in fiscal year 2002. By comparison, the Committee recommendation for fiscal year 2003 makes this $19,604,000 available for fusion research and facility operations, including initiation of fabrication of the National Compact Stellarator Experiment (NCSX), an increase of 8.5 percent over the comparable amount available in fiscal year 2002.

"Within the funding available for fusion energy sciences, the Committee recommendation provides an additional $1,000,000 for National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) research, an additional $500,000 for NSTX operations, and an additional $1,000,000 for preliminary design for the National Compact Stellarator Experiment (NCSX).

"The Committee acknowledges the significant scientific and engineering advances accomplished both in magnetic and inertial fusion. The Department is directed to prepare an updated program plan for fusion energy sciences, with particular attention to improving the integration of the magnetic fusion energy program and the work on inertial fusion funded primarily under the National Nuclear Security Administration. This updated program plan should also identify and evaluate the logical next steps in the U.S. fusion energy program, including the possibility of re- engaging in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). The program plan should also address the specific concerns with fusion power that were identified in the August 2002 draft report by the Rand Corporation entitled 'Energy Technologies for 2050: A Methodology for Determining Research and Development Directions' and identify research actions to resolve those concerns. The Department should submit this updated program plan to Congress not later than March 31, 2003."

Following passage of this bill, H.R. 5431, on the House floor, appropriators from the House and Senate will conference to settle on a final version of this legislation.

Richard M. Jones
Media and Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics
fyi@aip.org
(301) 209-3095

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