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FYI Number 95: July 21, 2003

DOE FY 2004 Science Funding Parameters Falling Into Place

The parameters for FY 2004 funding for the Department of Energy's Office of Science are established. Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have released their versions of the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill and the accompanying committee reports. The full House has passed its bill.

Both reports show the current appropriation for "Science" as $3.3 billion. The House recommends an FY 2004 appropriation of $3.48 billion; the Senate committee's figure is $3.36 billion. The current budget is $3.26 billion. These figures include items such as safeguards and security, workforce development, and program direction.

The following are selections from the two committee reports for the Office of Science programs tracked by FYI. Note that the figures are taken directly from the reports and do not reflect year-to-year changes in program content such as varying stages of facility construction. Also note that there is traditionally some inconsistency in accounting between years and committees.

HIGH ENERGY PHYSICS: Current budget is $717.9 million; FY 2004 request was $738.0 million.

HOUSE: "The Committee recommends a total of $747,978,000 for high energy physics, an increase of $10,000,000 over the budget request. The control level is at the High Energy Physics level. The additional funds are provided to increase operating time and enhance user support at the user facilities located at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. The Committee recommendation includes the requested amount, $12,500,000, for construction of the Neutrinos at the Main Injector project at Fermilab. The Committee recognizes the efforts of the staff from the Office of Science, Fermilab, and the other laboratories to bring the Tevatron luminosity upgrade back on schedule. The Committee also encourages the Department to accelerate progress on the Supernova/Accelerator Probe (SNAP), which will provide an important tool to advance our understanding of the history of the universe."

SENATE: "The Committee recommendation includes $737,978,000 for high energy physics, an increase of $15,714,000 over the current year level." No program direction was provided by the Senate report.

NUCLEAR PHYSICS: Current budget is $379.6 million; request was $389.4 million.

HOUSE: "The Committee recommendation for nuclear physics is $399,430,000, an increase of $10,000,000 over the budget request. An additional $7,500,000 is provided to increase operating time and enhance user support at the user facilities located at the Brookhaven National Laboratory and the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. The Committee recommendation includes $6,000,000 for research and development and pre-conceptual design activities in support of the Rare Isotope Accelerator, an increase of $2,500,000 over the requested amount for this project. The Committee strongly encourages the Department to make a prompt CD0 decision for the 12 GeV upgrade to the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility and to include adequate PED funding for this project in the fiscal year 2005 budget request."

SENATE: "The Committee recommends $389,430,000 for nuclear physics, an increase of $7,558,000 over the current year level. The nuclear physics program supports and provides experimental equipment to qualified scientists and research groups conducting experiments at nuclear physics accelerator facilities. These facilities provide new insights and advance our knowledge of the nature of matter and energy and develop the scientific knowledge, technologies and trained manpower needed to underpin the Department's nuclear missions. The Committee supports the Continuous Electron Bean Accelerator Facility at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility and encourages the Jefferson Lab to increase operational time and thereby reduce the significant backlog of peer reviewed and approved scientific experiments and begin work toward the 12 GeV upgrade. Therefore, the Committee urges the Department to grant approval and include adequate funds in its fiscal year 2005 request to continue this process."

BIOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH: Current budget is $ 503.6 million; request was $499.5 million.

HOUSE: "The Committee recommendation for biological and environmental research is $562,035,000, an increase of $62,500,000 over the budget request. The additional funds are provided to increase operating time and enhance user support at the user facilities located at various DOE laboratories that support the biological and environmental sciences user community, and to provide for additional university research grants for biological and environmental research."

SENATE: "The Committee recommendation includes $534,035,000 for biological and environmental research, an increase of $34,500,000 over the current year level.

"The biological and environmental research program develops the knowledge base necessary to identify, understand, and anticipate the long-term health and environmental consequences of energy use and development. The program utilizes the Department's unique scientific and technological capabilities to solve major scientific problems in the environment, medicine, and biology. The Committee recommendation includes an additional $3,000,000 for the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Washington and $7,776,000 for the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. The Committee recommendation includes the budget request of $17,496,000 for low dose radiation research.

"Genomes to Life- The Committee recommendation continues its strong support of the 'genomes to life' activities aimed at understanding the composition and function of biochemical networks that carry out essential processes of living organisms. This activity is funded at $69,039,000, an increase of $10,000,000 over the request.

"Energy-Water Supply Technologies- The Committee recommendation includes an additional $15,500,000 to support a research and demonstration program to study energy-related issues associated with water resources and issues associated with sustainable water supplies for energy production. The recommendation includes $6,000,000 to continue the arsenic removal research in conjunction with the American Water Works Association Research Foundation as begun in fiscal year 2003; $4,000,000 in support of desalination research consistent with the Desalination and Water Purification Technology Roadmap in partnership with the Bureau of Reclamation; and $1,500,000 to support the public/private ZeroNet Energy-Water Initiative. The Committee recommendation also includes $4,000,000 to fund a demonstration of a stand-alone stirling engine that will run on any fuel. The engine shall be a portable, closed-cycle, reciprocating, and regenerative heat engine used in conjunction with an electrical generator to convert heat, external to the engine, into electricity and usable thermal power. This engine should be combined with an advanced vapor compression distillation system for making drinking water from virtually any water source. The water system shall remove all contaminants, including volatile compounds. The goal of the combined stirling and water system is to provide safe water and power in remote rural areas. The value and efficiency of the combined system will come from using the emission free engine's waste heat to help power the water purifier. The demonstration of this technology should take place on Native American reservations.

"Molecular Medicine- The Committee recommendation includes an additional $6,000,000 for programs that bring together PET imaging, systems biology and nanotechnology to develop new molecular imaging probes. These probes should provide a biological diagnosis of disease that is informative of the molecular basis of disease and specific for guiding the development of new molecular therapies. The programs must bring together chemists, physicists, biologists and imaging scientists to produce new technologies and science in the stated area. The particular disease orientation is in cancers such as breast, prostrate, colorectal, melanoma and others and degenerative neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

"The Committee is concerned about consequence mitigation activities and public health impacts associated with the threat of any radiological event and strongly encourages the Department to develop therapeutic radiological countermeasures to protect against exposure to the effects of ionizing radiation. The Committee is aware of the potential of inositol signaling molecules as a therapy for exposure to ionizing radiation and encourages the Department to support research of this emerging technology. The Committee recommends the Science and Technology Division of the Department of Energy fund medical therapy research arid other treatment options to protect the public health against radiation exposure."

BASIC ENERGY SCIENCES: Current budget is $1,016.7 million; request is $1,008.6 million.

HOUSE: "The Committee recommendation for basic energy sciences is $1,016,575,000, an increase of $8,000,000 over the budget request. For purposes of reprogramming during fiscal year 2004, the Department may allocate funding among all operating accounts within Basic Energy Sciences.

"Research.--The Committee recommendation includes $575,711,000 for materials sciences and engineering, and $220,914,000 for chemical sciences, geosciences, and energy biosciences. The additional $8,000,000 in the material sciences and engineering account is provided to increase operating time and enhance user support at Basic Energy Sciences user facilities. Also included within this account is $7,673,000 for the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), the same as the budget request.

"Construction.--The Committee recommendation includes $219,950,000 for construction, the same as the requested amount. The Committee recommendation provides the requested funding of $124,600 for the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), $35,000,000 for the Molecular Foundry, $29,850,000 for the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, $20,000,000 for the Center for Nanophase Material Sciences, $7,500,000 for PED for the Linac Coherent Light Source, and $3,000,000 for PED for the Center for Functional Nanomaterials at Brookhaven National Laboratory."

SENATE: "The Committee recommendation includes $1,008,575,000, the same as the budget request."

"Research: The Committee recommendation includes $788,625,000, the amount of the request, for materials sciences, engineering research, chemical sciences, geosciences, and energy biosciences.

"Construction:

"Spallation Neutron Source- The Committee recommendation includes the budget request of $124,600,000 to continue construction at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the Spallation Neutron Source [SNS] to meet the Nation's neutron scattering needs.

"Nanoscale Science Research Centers- The Committee recommendation supports the high priority given to nanoscale research and has included the budget request totaling $87,850,000 for the nanoscale science research centers at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the joint effort between Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory.

FUSION ENERGY SCIENCES: Current budget is $246.9 million; request is $257.3 million.

HOUSE: "The Committee recommendation for fusion energy sciences is $268,110,000, an increase of $10,800,000 over the budget request. The Committee is cautiously supportive of the Administration's proposal to re-engage in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project, but is disappointed that the budget request provides $12,000,000 in funding for the U.S. ITER effort only at the expense of displacing ongoing domestic fusion research. The additional $10,800,000 includes $4,000,000 for burning plasma experiments, including support for ITER and for the domestic FIRE project, $5,200,000 for fusion technology, and $1,600,000 for advanced design and analysis work. If the Department intends to recommend ITER participation in the fiscal year 2005 budget request, the Committee expects the Department will do so without harm to domestic fusion research or to other programs in the DOE Science budget."

SENATE: "The Committee recommendation for fusion energy sciences is $257,310,000, an amount that is equal to the budget request.

"The fusion energy sciences program supports research emphasizing the underlying basic research in plasma and fusion sciences, with the long-term goal of harnessing fusion as a viable energy source.

"International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor- The Committee recommendation includes the budget request of $1,990,000 to allow the Department to enter multilateral international negotiations aimed at building the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor [ITER], a burning plasma physics experiment many view as an essential next step toward eventually developing fusion as a commercially viable energy source. Reasonably conservative estimates suggest that the United States' participation in ITER will require approximately $1,500,000,000 over the next 10 years in direct contributions to the construction of ITER and in supporting science. The Department's request of less than $2,000,000 in direct support of the ITER project for fiscal year 2004 certainly leads the Committee to question the Department's commitment to supporting ITER without prejudice or damage to alternative fusion technologies, much less other Departmental science programs.

"The Department's proposed fiscal year 2004 budget proposes to cut severely long-term activities in fusion technology and advanced design that will have significant impact on the ultimate attractiveness of fusion power. The Committee recommends that, within available funds, the Department should make adjustments to redress the imbalance resulting from these cuts."

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

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