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FYI Number 40: March 27, 2003

Final FY 2003 DOE Office of Science Appropriation

The months-long struggle to enact the final FY 2003 appropriations bill has been followed by weeks of calculations by federal agency budget officers trying to determine exactly how much money they have for this year. In order to make the numbers add up, several percentage deductions (not often clear) were made by the appropriators in different parts of the 3,000+ page conference report. FYI will report on these final numbers as they are made available. This FYI presents the final budget numbers for physics- related programs of DOE's Office of Science, as calculated by the Department of Energy. Selections from the final conference report language in House Report 108-010 are provided.

The TOTAL BUDGET for the Office of Science declined $48.3 million, or -1.5%, from $3,309.5 million in FY 2002 to $3,261.2 million for the current fiscal year (FY 2003). The report states that "the conference agreement does not include language specifying funding allocations as contained in the House report and Senate explanatory statement."

The HIGH ENERGY PHYSICS program budget increased $20.5 million, or 2.9%, from $697.4 million in FY 2002 to $717.9 million for the current fiscal year (FY 2003). The report language states: "The conferees have provided an additional $2,000,000 for operations and activities of the program."

The NUCLEAR PHYSICS program budget increased $29.0 million, or 8.3%, from $350.6 million in FY 2002 to $379.6 million for the current fiscal year (FY 2003). The report language states: "The conferees encourage the Department to use these additional funds to enhance operation of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at the Brookhaven National Laboratory and the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, and to continue research and development and preconceptual design in support of the Rare Isotope Accelerator."

The BASIC ENERGY SCIENCES program budget increased $37.2 million, or 3.8%, from $979.6 million in FY 2002 to $1,016.7 million for the current fiscal year (FY 2003). The report language states: "The conference agreement includes $551,378,000 for materials sciences and engineering research, and $221,551,000 for chemical sciences, geosciences, and energy biosciences. For purposes of reprogramming in fiscal year 2003, the Department may reallocate funding among all operating accounts within Basic Energy Sciences.

"The conference agreement provides the requested amounts of $210,571,000 for construction of the Spallation Neutron Source, $6,000,000 for project engineering and design (PED) for the Linac Coherent Light Source at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, and $24,000,000 for the design and construction of the Oak Ridge Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences. The conference agreement provides $4,500,000 in additional funding to complete PED and initiate construction of the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, and an additional $1,000,000 to initiate PED in fiscal year 2003 for the Brookhaven Center for Functional Nanomaterials.

"The conference agreement also provides $11,985,000 for the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR)."

The FUSION ENERGY SCIENCES program budget increased $5.8 million, or 2.4%, from $241.1 million in FY 2002 to $246.9 million for the current fiscal year (FY 2003). The report language states: "The conferees note 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 conference agreement for fiscal year 2003 makes this $19,604,000, plus an additional $1,505,000, available for fusion research and facility operations, an increase of 9.2 percent over the comparable amount available in fiscal year 2002.

"Within the funding available for fusion energy sciences, the Department should make additional funding of $1,500,000 available to the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory to support the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) research, NSTX operations, and preliminary design for the National Compact Stellarator Experiment (NCSX). Within available funding, the Department should report back to the Appropriations Committees no later than August 1, 2003, with an evaluation of the 'fast ignition' concept and with any recommendations regarding the schedule and milestones of the High Energy Density Physics Program."

The BIOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH program decreases $50.5 million, or -9.1%, from $554.1 million in FY 2002 to $503.6 million in the current year (FY 2003). The report language consists entirely of funding amounts for specific projects.

The ADVANCED COMPUTING RESEARCH program increases $17.2 million, or 11.5%, from $150.2 million in FY 2002 to $167.4 million in the current year (FY 2002). The report language states: "The conferees provide these additional funds for the Department to pursue alternative approaches to advance the United States capability in advanced scientific computing. The recent developments by the Japanese on scientific supercomputing are cause for concern. The conferees strongly support DOE's role in Advanced Scientific Computing development missions, and will consider a request for reprogramming of fiscal year 2003 funds in order for U.S. manufacturers and laboratories to address the recent developments by Japan relating to the Earth Simulator."

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

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