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FYI Number 151: November 24, 2004

Congress Increases DOE Office of Science Funding

The Department of Energy's Office of Science receives a 2.9% increase in H.R. 4818, the omnibus appropriations bill. Until the text of this bill was released, it was impossible to determine the parameters of the FY 2005 budget, since only the House had passed its version of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill (the Senate bill was never considered by Senator Pete Domenici's (R-NM) subcommittee.)

Selections from the report accompanying H.R. 4818 are below; the full text is available at http://thomas.loc.gov/home/approp/app05.html The FY 2005 figures include the mandated across the board reduction, and are compared to the FY 2004 budget. Note that changes in any program content have not been included. Figures also include overhead expenses such as charges for safeguards and security and include the use of prior year unused balances.

OVERALL OFFICE OF SCIENCE BUDGET:

Up 2.9% or $99.7 million from $3,500.2 million to $3,599.9 million.

"The conferees encourage the Department to request sufficient funds for the Office of Science in fiscal year 2006 to operate user facilities for as much time as possible, to enhance user support, and to upgrade essential equipment at the Department's Science user facilities.

"The conferees reiterate their support for broader participation by universities in DOE's research programs, including existing user facilities and potential new user facilities. The conferees are aware of the Office of Science's strategy for future facilities. Where existing facilities provide capabilities critical to a new user facility, co-location is appropriate; where this is not the case, the location of new user facilities should be openly competed. Regardless of location, broad participation in design by staff from national laboratories, user faculty from colleges, universities, and industrial investigators and groups should be sought. All of these user groups must have access to these capabilities on a competitive basis."

HIGH ENERGY PHYSICS PROGRAM:

Up 0.3% or $2.1 million from $733.6 million to $735.7 million.

"The control level is at the High Energy Physics level. The conferees encourage the Department to proceed with the Dark Energy Mission even if the primary science of the mission and mission development must be pursued by the Department so as to avoid schedule delays resulting from implementing the mission jointly with NASA. International cooperation and appropriate launch arrangements should be pursued where appropriate. The conferees recognize that an excellent and energized science team has been assembled for this exciting mission. Within available funds, the conferees redirect $5,000,000 from the Science Laboratories Infrastrucuture construction funds at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center MEL-001 Subproject 36 to the High Energy Physics account for the research program at SLAC."

NUCLEAR PHYSICS PROGRAM:

Up 3.9% or $15.2 million from $389.6 million to $404.8 million.

"An additional $5,000,000 is provided to continue research and development and initiate concept design activities for the Rare Isotope Accelerator, and an additional $7,000,000 is provided to increase utilization of the user facilities in the Nuclear Physics program."

BASIC ENERGY SCIENCES PROGRAM:

Up 9.3% or $94.0 million from $1,010.6 million to $1,104.6 million.

"The conference agreement includes $628,228,000 for materials sciences and engineering research, and $253,422,000 for chemical sciences, geosciences, and energy biosciences. For purposes of reprogramming during fiscal year 2005, the Department may allocate funding among all operating accounts within Basic Energy Sciences. The conference agreement also provides the request of $7,673,000 for the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR)."

FUSION ENERGY SCIENCES PROGRAM:

Up 4.3% or $11.3 million from $262.6 million to $273.9 million.

"The additional $12,000,000 [over the budget request] is to be used to increase the utilization of existing large and small experiments; further work in inertial fusion technology; take advantage of opportunities in High Energy Density Physics, including research on fast ignition, and large-scale scientific computing; and provide for cost- effective construction and development of the National Compact Stellarator Experiment. The conference notes the delay in site selection for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) and directs the Department to reduce its planned expenditures on ITER in fiscal year 2005 in consideration of this delay."

BIOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH PROGRAM:

Down 10.8% or $69.5 million from $641.5 million to $572.0 million.

"The conference agreement provides an additional $10,000,000 to initiate Project Engineering and Design for the proposed new facility for the production and characterization of proteins and molecular tags. The Conferees do not agree with the Department's strategy of restricting competition for such a facility to only the DOE national laboratories. The Department should present in the fiscal year 2006 budget request an alternate procurement strategy for this and future Genomes to Life (GTL) facilities that will maximize rather than limit competition and will allow universities and other entities to compete with DOE national laboratories for these new GTL facilities. The Department is encouraged to consult with NASA, which for decades has conducted competitions for the development of research instrumentation among universities, NASA, DOE, and other government laboratories, and other entities including for-profit corporations."

The report language then lists 102 earmarks for various facilities.

"Molecular Medicine.--The conferees continue to support research that brings together PET imaging, systems biology and nanotechnology to develop new molecular imaging probes. These probes should provide a biological diagnosis of disease that it informative of the molecular basis of disease and specific for guiding the development of new molecular therapies.

"The conferees are concerned about consequence mitigation activities and public health impacts associated with the threat of any radiological event and strongly encourage the Department to develop therapeutic radiological countermeasures to protect against exposure to the effects of ionizing radiation. The conferees are aware of the potential of inositol radiation and encourages the Department to support research of this emerging technology. The conferees recommend that the Department fund medical therapy research and other treatment options to protect the public health against radiation exposure.

"The conferees strongly support the Department's efforts to maintain the scientific infrastructure of the Nation's structural biology assets, and encourage the Department to work to address the needs within the broader community. The Department should continue to work constructively with the non- profit entity operating the X4A and X4C beamlines to fund state-of-the-art detectors, goniometers, and automated sample changing equipment, using available funds."

ADVANCED SCIENTIFIC COMPUTING RESEARCH PROGRAM:

Up 14.9% or $30.1 million from $202.3 million to $232.4 million.

". . . with not more than $25,000,000 devoted to hardware. The conferees support the House Report language on ASCR." (See http://thomas.loc.gov/home/approp/app05.html )

SCIENCE LABORATORIES INFRASTRUCTURE:

Down 22.7% or $12.3 million from $54.3 million to $42.0 million.

" . . . including an additional $5,000,000 to correct safety deficiencies at Science laboratories, and $6,100,000 additional for excess facilities disposal.

"The conference agreement provides the requested amounts of $1,766,000 for infrastructure support, $5,079,000 for Oak Ridge landlord costs, and $24,391,000 for construction of various infrastructure projects (MEL-001). Of this increase, $5,000,000 additional is provided to continue infrastructure subproject 18 under MEL-001 to support continuing activities at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to replace the infrastructure being displaced by the closure of the 300 Area at the Hanford site."

SCIENTIFIC WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT:

Up 18.8% or $1.2 million from $6.4 million to $7.6 million.

"The conferees encourage the Department to provide funds and technical expertise for high school students to participate in the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) robotics competition."

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

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