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Brinkman’s Comments to High Energy Physics Advisory Panel

Richard M. Jones
Number 126 - October 23, 2009  |  Search FYI  |   FYI Archives  |   Subscribe to FYI

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Yesterday William Brinkman, Director of the DOE Office of Science, addressed the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel at the start of a two-day meeting in Washington. Brinkman spoke on the following subjects:

FY 2010 Budget:

The Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill is one of only four FY 2010 funding bills sent to President Obama. Saying this “has been a tremendous year” in which an “enormous amount” had been accomplished, Brinkman pointed to three DOE funding bills passed this year: the FY 2009 bill (left over from last year), the economic stimulus bill, and the FY 2010 bill. Earmarking was reduced by approximately $20 million from last year. Stimulus money is being spent to avoid large “mortgages” in future years.

Energy Innovation Hubs:

Brinkman stated that DOE “failed to explain ourselves early on” when it sent Congress its FY 2010 request for eight Energy Innovation Hubs. Appropriators provided funding for only three hubs. A slide included the statement “Hope to add additional hubs in FY 2011.” Brinkman noted that because Yucca Mountain is no longer being considered as a repository a hub on nuclear waste would be desirable.

Doubling of the Office of Science Budget:

“We are . . . heading for the doubling by 2016,” Brinkman told the panel.

Office of Science Education Programs:

“People don’t seem to appreciate the enormity of our education” programs, Brinkman said. About 300,000 students in all grade levels are touched by Office of Science programs every year. A wide range of programs are offered, from open houses at laboratories to those that support early career research.

High Energy Physics Research:

“I like the idea of a little competition” Brinkman told the panel, referring to Fermilab’s Tevatron and the Large Hadron Collider. Approximately 1,000 U.S. scientists work at the LHC. About the LHC, he commented: “hopefully it will be an exciting time.” “We want to keep alive high energy experimentation in the U.S., but need continued strong justification” he said, adding the science case made to Congress for future research is “not a simple story.” Later in the program, Dennis Kovar, Director of the DOE Office of High Energy Physics stated that funding will be requested in FY 2011 to run Fermilab’s Tevatron because of the delay in the operations of the Large Hadron Collider.

International Linear Collider:

Responding to a question from a HEPAP member about the proposed International Linear Collider, now estimated to cost $20-$25 billion, Brinkman said “In my opinion, the price pushes it way out . . . onto the back burner.” Kovar said the decision that was to have been made in FY 2012 about the ILC will now be made later.

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