House Appropriators Recommend 1.8% Increase for
DOE Office of Science
The House Appropriations Committee has sent to the House floor its
version of the FY 2006 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill.
H.R. 2419 provides an increase of 1.8% or $66.2 million for the Office
of Science. Under this legislation, the Office of Science budget would
increase from $3,599.9 million this year to $3,666.1 million in FY 2006.
For perspective on the Energy and Water Development Appropriations
Subcommittee bill, note that the Bush Administration requested a cut
of 3.8% in the FY 2006 Office of Science budget to $3,462.7 million.
The subcommittee's bill is $203.4 million above the Administration's
request. The subcommittee is chaired by David Hobson (R-OH); the Ranking
Member is Peter Visclosky (D-IN).
House Report 109-086 provides the subcommittee's funding recommendations
for various physics-related programs of the Office of Science. Selections
from the report follow; the entire report may be viewed at http://thomas.loc.gov/
The Senate has not yet drafted its bill. The final bill will be written
"The Department of Energy is the largest financial supporter
of research in the physical sciences. The essential role of DOE is
often neglected in discussions of government science, yet DOE funding
and facilities have supported major discoveries, including many that
have resulted in Nobel prizes. Its initial work with nuclear reactors
and particle accelerators has led DOE to support a wide range of government,
academic, and industrial research by providing light sources and neutron
sources for use in studying the structure of materials and processes
at the atomic and subatomic scale. Researchers from diverse fields
and backgrounds rely increasingly on the advanced capabilities provided
by the DOE user facilities. Existing and planned new facilities will
offer researchers the revolutionary ability to observe chemical reactions
as they happen, including those that take place within living cells.
"While DOE Science laboratories and researchers possess
many multidisciplinary research capabilities, the unique niche that
DOE fills is in the area of large research instruments (big
iron') such as accelerators, colliders, and most recently the Spallation
Neutron Source. These projects are of such a scale, complexity, and
cost that they exceed the capabilities of universities, private companies,
and even other government agencies. The DOE Office of Science takes
on these challenging, high-risk research projects, and while it does
not always achieve its schedule and budget targets, this experience
in managing high-risk science projects has helped shape its science
activities. In many ways, the work of the DOE Office of Science complements
the funding strengths of the National Science Foundation and National
Institutes of Health with their focus on providing grants to individual
researchers and research teams. While DOE also makes grants and has
committed to increasing use of agency-wide research announcements
inviting open competition among universities, government labs, industry
and others, often DOE is the provider of state-of-the art user facilities--both
research machines and computers--that are used by NSF and NIH grantees.
The health and success of science programs at DOE is critical to the
overall health of research and development in the United States. National
security, both from an economic and a defense perspective, rests on
a foundation grounded in the physical sciences, and depends on DOE's
continued leadership in these fields.
"The Committee was disappointed in the Department's
budget request for the Office of Science in fiscal year 2006. The
Committee recommendation is $3,666,055,000, an increase of $203,337,000
compared to the budget request and $66,184,000 over the fiscal year
2005 enacted level. The Committee has provided additional funding
for the Office of Science to address the following Committee priorities:
high performance computing; additional operating time at Office of
Science user facilities; and redirection of fusion funding to restore
domestic fusion research that was displaced by the International Thermonuclear
Experimental Reactor (ITER)."
HIGH ENERGY PHYSICS: Down 0.1% or $0.5 million from this year's
budget of $736.4 million.
"The Committee recommends a total of $735,933,000 for high energy
physics, an increase of $22,000,000 over the budget request. With the
proposed transfer of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) to
the Basic Energy Sciences account, the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
will become the only remaining high energy physics national laboratory
in the country. High energy physics is the cornerstone of our understanding
of the physical universe, and the Department of Energy maintains unique
capabilities that cannot be duplicated in the academic or private sector,
or by any other federal agency. The Committee provides an additional
$22,000,000 to maintain high energy physics at the fiscal year 2005
enacted level. Of the additional funds, $11,000,000 is provided for
research on the next-generation international linear collider and $11,000,000
is provided for upgrades to the neutrino research program. The Committee
supports the Department's decision to maximize the operating time of
its high energy physics user facilities during fiscal year 2006. The
control level is at the High Energy Physics level."
NUCLEAR PHYSICS: Up 0.9% or $3.5 million from this year's budget
of $404.8 million.
"The Committee recommendation for nuclear physics is
$408,341,000, an increase of $37,600,000 over the budget request.
An additional $6,000,000 is provided to initiate a competitive down-select
process for design and operations concepts for the Rare Isotope Accelerator,
and an additional $31,600,000 is provided to restore operating time
of the user facilities in the Nuclear Physics program (i.e., RHIC,
TJNAF, HRIBF, and ATLAS) to fiscal year 2005 levels."
BASIC ENERGY SCIENCES: Up 6.2% or $68.6 million from this year's
budget of $1,104.6 million.
"The Committee recommendation for Basic Energy Sciences
is $1,173,149,000, an increase of $27,132,000 over the budget request.
For purposes of reprogramming during fiscal year 2006, the Department
may allocate funding among all operating accounts within Basic Energy
Sciences, consistent with the reprogramming guidelines outlined earlier
in this report.
"Research.--The Committee recommendation includes $772,025,000
for materials sciences and engineering, and $223,051,000 for chemical
sciences, geosciences, and energy biosciences. An additional $19,737,000
is provided to maintain operating time on the Basic Energy Sciences
user facilities at fiscal year 2005 levels, and an additional $7,395,000
is provided to restore university grants for core research in the
basic energy sciences. The Committee recommendation funds nanoscale
science research and the science research portion of the hydrogen
initiative at the requested levels. Also included within this account
is $7,280,000 for the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive
Research (EPSCoR), the same as the budget request.
"Construction.--The Committee recommendation includes
$178,073,000 for Basic Energy Sciences construction projects, the
same as the requested amount. The Committee recommendation provides
the requested funding of: $41,744,000 for the Spallation Neutron Source
(99-E-334) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory; $2,544,000 for Title
I and Title II design work (03-SC-002) and $83,000,000 to initiate
construction (05-R-320) for the Linac Coherent Light Source at the
Stanford Linear Accelerator Center; $36,553,000 for the Center for
Functional Nanomaterials (05-R-321) at Brookhaven National Laboratory;
$9,606,000 for the Molecular Foundry (04-R-313) at Lawrence Berkeley
National Laboratory; and $4,626,000 for the Center for Integrated
Nanotechnologies (03-R-313) at Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories."
FUSION ENERGY SCIENCES: Up 8.1% or $22.3 million from this year's
budget of $273.9 million.
"The Committee recommendation for fusion energy sciences
is $296,155,000, an increase of $5,605,000 over the budget request
but with a significant redirection of funds as outlined below. The
Committee is concerned that two-thirds of the proposed increase for
the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) would
be achieved by reducing domestic fusion research and operating time
on domestic user facilities. Under the proposed fiscal year 2006 budget,
operating time at the three major fusion research facilities (DIII-D,
Alcator C-Mod, and NSTX) would be reduced from 48 weeks in fiscal
year 2005 to a total of only 17 weeks in fiscal year 2006. If the
United States expects to be a serious contributor to international
fusion research in general and to ITER in particular, the Nation needs
to maintain strong domestic research programs and user facilities
to train the next generation of fusion scientists and engineers. The
Department's proposal to increase support for ITER at the expense
of domestic fusion research is unwise and unacceptable. Such an approach
is not only short-sighted, but inconsistent with prior Congressional
guidance. Therefore, the Committee directs the Department to utilize
$29,900,000 of funding proposed for ITER and the additional $5,605,000
to restore U.S.-based fusion funding to fiscal year 2005 levels as
follows: $7,300,000 for high performance materials for fusion; $14,305,000
to restore operation of the three major user facilities to fiscal
year 2005 operating levels; $7,200,000 for intense heavy ion beams
and fast ignition studies; $5,100,000 for compact stellarators and
small-scale experiments; and $1,600,000 for theory. As in previous
years, the Committee directs the Department to fund the U.S. share
of ITER through additional resources rather than through reductions
to domestic fusion research or to other Office of Science programs.
If the Department does not follow this guidance in its fiscal year
2007 budget submission, the Committee is prepared to eliminate all
U.S. funding for the ITER project in the future."
BIOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH: Down 9.7% or $56.2 million
from this year's budget of $581.9 million.
"The Committee recommendation for biological and environmental
research (BER) is $525,688,000, an increase of $70,000,000 over the
budget request. The Committee approves the Department's decision to
maintain the operation of BER user facilities at fiscal year 2005
levels. Within available funds, the Department shall continue to fund
the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory until the expiration of the
current contract. The Committee recommendation provides an additional
$70,000,000, with $35,000,000 for Congressionally-directed university
and hospital earmarks and $35,000,000 for Medical Applications and
Measurement Science. Congressionally-directed projects are shown in
the table below." [This table was not provided in the electronic
version of the report.]
ADVANCED SCIENTIFIC COMPUTING RESEARCH: Up 5.9% or $13.6 million
from this year's budget of $232.5 million.
"The Committee recommendation is $246,055,000, an increase
of $39,000,000 over the budget request. The additional $39,000,000
is provided to support the Office of Science initiative to develop
the hardware, software, and applied mathematics necessary for a leadership-class
supercomputer to meet scientific computation needs; not more than
$25,000,000 of this increase should be dedicated to hardware, and
$9,000,000 of the total increase should be dedicated to competitive
university research grants. The Committee is disappointed that the
Department's fiscal year 2006 budget request did not preserve the
increases that Congress provided for this purpose during the past
two fiscal years. Consistent with guidance provided in prior years,
the Committee has chosen not to earmark these additional funds for
a particular laboratory or a particular technology. However, the Committee
expects the Department to make full use of the laboratory-industry
capabilities that have already been selected competitively in previous
years and not reinvent the wheel' each fiscal year."
Richard M. Jones
Media and Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics email@example.com