Energy

Program

The House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment held a hearing on
March 7 to review the Department of Energy's fusion energy sciences
program.  Testimony centered on the recent Fusion Energy Advisory
Committee (FEAC) report (see FYIs #13 - 15.)  The over-all message
of this hearing: general support for continuation of a restructured
DOE fusion program, against a background of considerable skepticism
among some key Members of Congress.

13 Mar 1996

Fifty Members of the House of Representatives have signed a letter
to Department of Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary and John Gibbons,
Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, encouraging
the Administration to request $275 million for fusion energy
research in FY 1997.

23 Feb 1996

Last month, the Fusion Energy Advisory Committee (FEAC) issued its
report, "A Restructured Fusion Energy Sciences Program."  During a
two-day meeting in Washington, FEAC briefed Dr. Martha Krebs,
Director of DOE's Office of Energy Research, about the report's
findings and conclusions (see FYIs #13-16.)

21 Feb 1996

At its meeting in Washington on January 26 and 27, the Department
of Energy's Fusion Energy Advisory Committee (FEAC) presented its
recommendations for a revised fusion program to DOE's Director of
Energy Research, Martha Krebs.  After Congress cut the program's
budget by one-third over last year, DOE asked FEAC to restructure
the program to fit within lower funding levels.  The committee
responded by developing a new mission and goals for the fusion
program that would emphasize basic plasma and fusion science and

31 Jan 1996

"...the FY 1996 budget was a de facto decision to end U.S.
leadership [in fusion energy.]"
      ---Robert Conn, UC San Diego; Fusion Energy Advisory
Committee Chairman

31 Jan 1996

As reported in FYI #13, the Department of Energy's Fusion Advisory
Committee reviewed three budget scenarios for fusion funding in
fiscal year 1997 and beyond.  The committee's recommendations for
a fusion energy program at annual budget levels of $250 million and
$275 million are presented, in full, below.  The committee also
examined the case of a budget significantly lower than $250
million, but found it would result in "a very painful conflict"
among program goals.

                               * * *

31 Jan 1996

Consistent with a cut of one-third in funding from last year,
Congress instructed the Department of Energy to restructure its
Fusion Energy program, assuming "a constant level of effort in the
base program for the next several years."  The FY 1995 fusion
energy budget was $357.2 million; the program received $244.1
million for FY 1996.  DOE asked its Fusion Energy Advisory
Committee (FEAC) to make recommendations "in light of congressional
guidance and budget realities."  FEAC presented its conclusions to

31 Jan 1996

In mid-April, the Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (FESAC) met to review the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) Detailed Design Report. At this meeting, and in a report now available at http://wwwofe.er.doe/gov/ the committee gave the Department of Energy a green light to proceed, perhaps accompanied by an occasional flashing yellow light.

9 May 1997

In a move catching everyone by surprise, President Clinton nominated Federico Pena to be the next Secretary of Energy. Pena, now Transportation Secretary, appears before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on January 30 for his confirmation hearing. If history is a guide, Pena will be confirmed as the next Secretary of Energy.

14 Jan 1997

In a move catching everyone by surprise, President Clinton nominated Federico Pena to be the next Secretary of Energy. Pena, now Transportation Secretary, appears before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on January 30 for his confirmation hearing. If history is a guide, Pena will be confirmed as the next Secretary of Energy.

14 Jan 1997

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