FY19 Appropriations Bills: DOE Office of Science

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Publication date: 
31 May 2018
Number: 
66

Draft spending bills released by House and Senate appropriators would increase funding for the Department of Energy Office of Science by 5 and 6 percent, respectively, bringing its budget past the $6.6 billion mark. There is general agreement between the chambers that major research facility construction projects should move ahead as fast as possible.

Congress is set to deliver another substantial funding increase for the Department of Energy Office of Science, following on the heels of a 16 percent, $868 million increase for fiscal year 2018. Draft fiscal year 2019 appropriations legislation released by the House earlier this month would offer a $340 million, or 5 percent increase over the current level, bringing the office’s budget to an even $6.6 billion. The Senate’s draft legislation, released last week, would add an additional $50 million, a 6 percent increase.

The following chart summarizes proposed topline funding changes for the Office of Science and its six research program offices. The administration proposals were developed before fiscal year 2018 appropriations were complete. More details on selected accounts can be found in FYI’s Federal Science Budget Tracker.

Much of the additional funding would go to a number of major projects in development at national laboratories. These include upgrades to light source user facilities and construction on the Long Baseline Neutrino Facility and Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (LBNF/DUNE). Work on most of these projects began or ramped up substantially in fiscal year 2018. If enacted, the fiscal year 2019 proposals would increase funding further, allowing DOE to proceed apace with the projects and begin preliminary work on additional ones. The Trump administration, by contrast, proposed more limited support, which would keep many of these projects on the back burner.

The funding increase would also allow the Office of Science to vigorously pursue priorities shared by the administration and Congress. Most notably, work would continue to ramp up on exascale computing machines and quantum information science (QIS). The Senate report specifically endorses DOE’s proposal to increase funding for QIS across program offices to $105 million.

Additional funding specifications and policy guidance can be found in the House and Senate Appropriations Committee reports. A side-by-side comparison of House and Senate report language can be found at the end of this bulletin.

Basic Energy Sciences

The House and Senate respectively propose a 2 percent and a 5 percent increase for the Basic Energy Sciences (BES) office, which would bring its total budget to between $2.1 billion and $2.2 billion.

Appropriators in both chambers aim to press ahead with all the light source upgrades recommended in a 2016 BES Advisory Committee report on facility upgrades. Senate appropriators are also looking to move forward with the neutron source user facility projects considered in the report, which noted that “significant” scientific and engineering challenges still needed to be resolved before construction on them can proceed.

Together, these facilities provide access to unique research capabilities for thousands of scientists each year. Enhancements to them will allow these users to continue pushing the bounds of research in a variety of fields and to keep pace with researchers in other countries.

The Senate and House spending proposals for the projects are summarized in the following table. They roughly follow funding profiles recommended in pending authorization legislation, which the House Science Committee recently developed in consultation with leaders at DOE and the national laboratories. Additional discussion of each project follows below.

 

Project

FY18 Funding

Request

House

Senate

LCLS-II

$200m

$145m

$135m

$145m

LCLS-II-HE

$10m

$7m

$42m

$34m

APS-U

$93m

$60m

$130m

$140m

ALS-U

$30m

$12m

$52m

$52m

SNS-PPU

$36m

$0

$20m

$70m

SNS-STS

$0

$0

$0

$15m

Figures include construction funds and Other Project Costs (OPC).

 

Linac Coherent Light Source-II (LCLS-II) and High-Energy (HE) Upgrade. This will be the final year of construction funding for LCLS-II, a $1 billion facility at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory scheduled to begin commissioning in 2020. The House proposes $10 million less than requested but is also proposing $42 million to ramp up a follow-on project to double the facility’s energy to 8 gigaelectron-volts by fiscal year 2026. The Senate proposes $34 million for the upgrade, which is expected to cost in total between $260 million and $450 million.

Advanced Photon Source Upgrade (APS-U). Although the administration made its first proposal to ramp up work on APS-U in its fiscal year 2019 request, the House and the Senate have been pressing ahead more rapidly, prescribing spending increases in fiscal years 2017, 2018, and 2019. If enacted, the latest proposals will move work on the project into full swing. The upgrade, which will increase the brightness and coherent flux of APS beamlines by 100-to-1000 times, is projected to cost between $700 million and $1 billion, with completion targeted for fiscal year 2026.

Advanced Light Source Upgrade (ALS-U). The administration proposed a modest spending increase for ALS-U, which is still in its conceptual design phase. However, appropriators are looking to raise spending on the project, located at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, close to its maximum projected annual expenditure. The upgrade to ALS will increase the brightness of facility beamlines by 10-to-1000 times. It is targeted for completion by fiscal year 2027 and to cost between $260 million and $420 million.

Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) projects. The two proposed projects to augment the nation’s neutron source user facilities both build on the existing SNS facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, located in the home state of Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), who chairs the Senate subcommittee responsible for DOE’s budget. Work on the first project, the SNS proton power upgrade, was funded for the first time this year. The Senate also proposes to begin funding the SNS Second Target Station (STS) next year at an initial level of $15 million. The STS would become the lab’s third high-flux neutron source user facility and could, according to the House Science Committee legislation, ultimately cost $1.5 billion.

New National Synchrotron Light Source-II (NSLS-II) beamlines. Senate appropriators also express interest in doubling the number of beamlines at NSLS-II at Brookhaven National Laboratory to 60, and propose that DOE include a plan for such a project in its fiscal year 2020 budget request.

Energy Innovation Hubs and Energy Frontier Research Centers. The administration, House, and Senate have all proposed flat funding for the BES Energy Innovation Hubs and Energy Frontier Research Centers at $39 million and $110 million, respectively.

Nanoscale Science Research Centers. The House proposes flat funding for the five Nanoscale Science Research Centers at $131 million, while the Senate proposes increasing funding 7 percent to $140 million.

sns-ornl.jpg

The Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

The Second Target Station of the Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory would be built over the small hill pictured in the center of this photograph. The original SNS target station is just to the hill’s left. The Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences is just to the front-right of the hill.

(Image credit – ORNL)

High Energy Physics

The House and Senate both propose to increase funding for the High Energy Physics (HEP) office by about 11 percent, bringing its budget above the $1 billion mark for the first time. If enacted, the appropriation would represent more than a 25 percent increase for HEP over the last three years. It would also be at least $180 million above the more optimistic scenario for constrained funding considered in the 2014 Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel (P5) report.

Proton Improvement Plan-II and LBNF/DUNE. The House and Senate both specify that much of the funding increase should go to projects based at Fermilab. The House proposes increasing the budget for the Proton Improvement Plan-II project from $25 million to $41 million, while the Senate is proposing $35 million. The House and Senate propose ramping up the budget for LBNF/DUNE from $95 million to $175 million and $145 million, respectively. LBNF/DUNE is targeted for completion in fiscal year 2030 with a total cost of between $1.3 billion and $1.9 billion, excluding contributions from international partners. Combined, these projects will advance the investigation of neutrino particles in the hope of discovering new physics beyond the reach of the prevailing Standard Model of fundamental particle interactions.

High-luminosity upgrades at CERN. The House specifies that $105 million should go to the high-luminosity upgrade to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Switzerland and to associated upgrades to LHC’s CMS and ATLAS particle detectors. The administration requested $77 million for the upgrade, which is targeted for completion in 2025. CERN is the world-leading facility for high-energy particle physics.

Stage 4 Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB-S4) experiment. The Senate report “urges” DOE to commence support for the CMB-S4 experiment recommended in the P5 report. The experiment will use dedicated ground-based telescopes to make improved observations of the cosmic microwave background. The goal is to gain insight into the earliest moments of the universe, the nature of dark energy, and other fundamental physical problems.

High-intensity ultrafast lasers. The Senate report also directs DOE to prepare a plan responding to the recommendations of the recent National Academies report on the erosion of U.S. leadership in the field of high-intensity ultrafast lasers. Among its conclusions, the report recommended that DOE plan “at least one large-scale open-access high-intensity laser facility that leverages other major science infrastructure in the Department of Energy complex.”

Fusion Energy Sciences

As has been the case over the last several years, House and Senate appropriators have divergent visions for the Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) office. While the House proposal increases its budget 11 percent to $590 million, the Senate proposal cuts it 20 percent to $425 million. The administration proposed to cut the office’s budget by 36 percent.

ITER. The Senate proposes to keep funding for the France-based ITER fusion energy project flat at $122 million and explicitly rejects providing any cash contributions to the project. However, the proposal represents a turnaround for Senate appropriators, who have advocated terminating support for the project in previous years. The House proposes $163 million, which matches the anticipated U.S. in-kind contribution of equipment for next year. The administration proposed $75 million for ITER, with future contributions contingent on the results of a nuclear energy policy review currently in progress.

Material Plasma Exposure eXperiment (MPEX). The House and Senate both recommend $7 million for MPEX, a recently greenlighted projected at Oak Ridge National Laboratory that will explore the effects of burning plasma conditions on materials to be used in nuclear fusion reactors. The administration requested $2 million for the experiment.

Fusion research programs. The House specifies that funding for FES research programs on burning plasma should increase about 33 percent over their combined levels for fiscal year 2017, the most recent year for which budget data for these accounts are available, while funding for discovery plasma science should increase 10 percent. The Senate did not specify funding for research, but between their proposed topline cut and flat funding for ITER, research programs would necessarily be severely curtailed under their proposal.

Nuclear Physics

The House proposes a $6 million, or 1 percent, increase in the Nuclear Physics office budget, bringing it to $690 million, while the Senate proposes a 4 percent increase of $26 million, bringing the budget to $710 million.

Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB). The House and Senate proposals both meet the administration’s request of $75 million for the construction of FRIB, a user facility based at Michigan State University that will enable new investigations of the physics of atomic nuclei. Funding is now ramping down ahead of the $730 million project’s anticipated completion in fiscal year 2022.

Stable Isotope Production Facility (SIPF). The House and Senate proposals for construction of SIPF at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are $10 million and $11.5 million, respectively. The administration requested $5 million for the project, a figure that DOE’s budget justification claims is based on technical considerations. When complete in fiscal year 2023, SIPF will reduce U.S. dependence on the foreign supply of certain stable isotopes used in research and medicine, among other sectors.

sPHENIX. Funding will commence for sPHENIX, a new detector at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory. The upgrade will permit new studies of the quark-gluon plasma produced with RHIC, promising new insight into the behavior of the fundamental constituents of matter. While the administration requested $1.2 million for sPHENIX, the House proposes $5.7 million.

Advanced Scientific Computing Research

The rapid increase in funding for the Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) office is set to continue next year, with the House proposing a 13 percent increase to $915 million and the Senate a 21 percent increase to $980 million. As recently as fiscal year 2017, funding for ASCR stood at $647 million.

Exascale Computing Initiative. The funding increase for ASCR is driven largely by efforts supported by both the administration and Congress to complete work on two pathbreaking exascale computers by the early 2020s. The administration and Senate both propose to increase funding for ASCR’s Exascale Computing Project by 14 percent to $233 million, while the House proposes a 10 percent increase. In addition, the administration has requested a 27 percent increase in the combined budgets of the Oak Ridge and Argonne Leadership Computing Facilities, bringing them to $340 million, with $240 million dedicated to preparations for the completion of exascale machines. The House proposes to meet that request and the Senate proposes a combined budget of $350 million.

National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC). While the administration proposes a 15 percent cut to NERSC, located at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the House and Senate propose a 6 percent increase to $100 million and a 17 percent increase to $110 million, respectively.

Energy Sciences Network (ESNet). While the administration proposed a 29 percent cut to ESNet, the House and Senate propose a 1 percent increase to $80 million and an 8 percent increase to $85 million, respectively. ESNet is a high-bandwidth network that facilitates collaboration between scientists working at universities, national laboratories, and other institutions.

Biological and Environmental Research

While the administration proposed to cut the budget for the Biological and Environmental Research (BER) office by 26 percent from its fiscal year 2018 level, the House proposes level funding at $673 million and the Senate proposes to increase funding by 6 percent to $715 million.

Earth and Environmental Systems Science. In recommending a decrease for BER, the administration specifically targeted its Earth and Environmental Systems Science programs, proposing to cut them by 41 percent from their fiscal year 2017 level, the most recent year for which budget data for these accounts are available. However, the Senate specifies that funding for these activities should increase to $344 million, which includes $97 million for Earth and Environmental Systems Modeling.

Biological Systems Science. The administration proposed to increase funding for Biological Systems Science programs by 4 percent from their fiscal year 2017 level, while the Senate specifies they should be boosted to $371 million, a 21 percent increase over fiscal year 2017.

Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility. The Senate proposes that funding for ARM should increase 4 percent over the enacted fiscal year 2018 level to $68 million, and that an additional $17.5 million in one-time funding be provided for replacing its 57-year-old G-1 aircraft, which undertakes airborne measurements for the facility.

Report Language

The following expandable tabs offer side-by-side comparisons of language from the House and Senate appropriators' reports on their respective bills. This language details funding proposals, policy guidance, and the appropriators' views on different research programs.

Basic Energy Sciences

Facilities operations

House: Within available funds, the recommendation provides … $130,500,000 for facilities operations of the nanoscience research centers; $500,000,000 for facilities operations of the nation’s light sources; $280,000,000 for facilities operations of the high flux neutron sources; …

Senate: The Committee recommends not less than $110,000,000 for the Energy Frontier Research Centers to continue multi-disciplinary, fundamental research needed to address scientific grand challenges. …

The Committee recommends not less than $519,009,000 to fully fund optimal operations at the five BES light sources and to adequately invest in the recapitalization of key instruments and infrastructure, and in staff and other resources necessary to deliver critical scientific capabilities to users. Within the available funds, the Committee recommends $118,200,000 for the operation of NSLS–II. Recognizing that the Department has constructed only half of the 60 beamlines that the NSLS–II can accommodate, and has not yet requested funding for the construction of additional beamlines in fiscal year 2019, the Committee directs the Department to submit as part of its fiscal year 2020 budget request a plan for the build-out of additional beamlines to fully leverage the capabilities of the NSLS–II.

The Committee recommends $285,000,000 for high-flux neutron source operations which will allow for both Spallation Neutron Source [SNS] and High Flux Isotope Reactor [HFIR] to proceed with the most critical deferred repairs, replace outdated instruments, and make essential machine improvements. The Committee does not recommend funding for the Lujan Neutron Scattering Center. The Committee recommends not less than $140,000,000 to fully fund optimal operations at the five BES Nanoscale Science Research Centers and to adequately invest in the recapitalization of key instruments and infrastructure, and in staff and other resources necessary to deliver critical scientific capabilities to users.

Facilities construction

House: Within available funds, the recommendation provides … $10,100,000 for Other Project Costs, of which $6,100,000 is for LCLS–II, $2,000,000 is for ALS–U, and $2,000,000 is for LCLS–II HE.

Senate: Within the amounts recommended for Construction, the Committee recommends $70,000,000 for the Proton Power Upgrade project at the Spallation Neutron Source, $15,000,000 for the Second Target Station preliminary engineering design and to continue work towards a project baseline, $50,000,000 for the Advanced Light Source Upgrade, $140,000,000 for the Advanced Photon Source Upgrade, $28,000,000 for LCLS–II HE, and $139,300,000 for LCLS–II. Not less than $14,100,000 is available for Other Project Costs, of which $6,000,000 is for the High Energy Upgrade at LCLS–II; $6,100,000 is for LCLS–II; and $2,000,000 is for the Advanced Light Source Upgrade.

Energy Innovation Hubs

House: Within available funds, the recommendation provides $24,088,000 for the Batteries and Energy Storage Innovation Hub; $15,000,000 for the Fuels from Sunlight Innovation Hub … The Committee supports the continued research and development for the Batteries and Energy Storage Innovation Hub to develop energy storage research prototypes to ensure the outcome of basic research leads to practical solutions that are competitive in the marketplace. The Committee encourages the Hub to focus on grid storage applications, particularly on chemistries with low cost reagents.

Senate: The Committee recommends $24,088,000 for the Batteries and Energy Storage Hub, the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research [JCESR]. The Committee is highly supportive of the work of JCESR to develop energy storage research prototypes for transportation and grid applications beyond lithium-ion technologies. These prototypes will demonstrate the potential to scale up manufacturing prototype batteries to decrease costs and increase energy density of novel energy storage concepts. The Committee supports the continued research and development for JCESR, to ensure the outcome of basic research leads to practical solutions that are competitive in the marketplace.

The Committee recommends not less than $15,000,000 for the Fuels from Sunlight Hub. The Committee directs the Department of Energy to submit a solar fuels research initiative strategic plan within 120 days after enactment of this act. The 10-year plan shall include research challenges and opportunities, program goals and milestones to overcome scientific and technological impediments, a description of coordination between the Office of Science, EERE, and ARPA–E to leverage basic research and early-stage translational research in solar fuels to accelerate the pace of innovation, an assessment of U.S. leadership in solar fuels research relative to international competition and the extent to which the Department’s investments are sufficient to maintain U.S. leadership.

Polymer research

House: The Committee encourages the Department to continue to provide support for basic research in polymers and polymer-based materials for energy applications and also encourages the Department to implement neutron research efforts for polymeric materials for the materials community. The Committee is aware of the discovery of physical phenomena in the light harvesting systems of photosynthetic organisms that has potential applications in quantum computing. The recommendation provides $10,000,000 for research of artificial light harvesting systems that promise to significantly increase computational processing power and speed.

Senate: The Committee supports funding for energy research activities related to enhanced efficiency in energy conversion and utilization, including emergent polymer optoelectronic technologies, to ensure continued competitiveness in a global marketplace. The Department is directed to continue its partnership with qualified institutions of higher education in this effort.

High Energy Physics

Planning and prioritization

House: The Committee supports the Department’s efforts to advance laser-driven accelerators and encourages the Department to explore how this technology fits within future planning efforts for the High Energy Physics program. In addition, the Committee strongly urges the Department to maintain a balanced portfolio of small, medium, and large scale experiments, and to ensure adequate funding for research performed at universities and the national laboratories.

Senate: The Committee strongly supports the Department’s efforts to advance the recommendations of the Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel Report [P5], which established clear priorities for the domestic particle physics program.

In accordance with the P5, the Committee strongly urges the Department to maintain a balanced portfolio of small-, medium- and large-scale experiments, and to ensure adequate funding for the basic research program at universities and the national laboratories. In particular, in addition to the support for the Long Baseline Neutrino Facility to study neutrino physics, the Committee urges the Department to support the P5 recommendation for a next-generation Stage 4 Cosmic Microwave Background experiment for precision studies of the early universe.

Four years into executing the P5, the Committee commends the Office of Science and the high energy physics community for achieving significant accomplishments and meeting the milestones and goals set forth in the strategic plan, including advancing the high-luminosity accelerator and detector upgrades for the Large Hadron Collider, construction of the Long Baseline Neutrino Facility/Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, completing the construction of second generation dark matter and dark energy experiments, operating the world’s highest power beams for neutrino physics, building a successful prototype of the strongest accelerator magnet ever built, and discovering new configurations of matter. The Committee encourages the Department and the high energy physics community to continue to provide progress reports on meeting P5 goals.

Ultrafast lasers strategy

Senate: A recent National Academies study, Opportunities in Intense Ultrafast Lasers, Towards the Brightest Light, highlighted the importance of investing in high-intensity laser technology to maintain U.S. leadership and open up new frontiers of science. To help advance this important area of research, the Committee directs the Department to provide a plan within 90 days after enactment of this act that responds to the recommendations of this study concerning this important national capability.

Fusion Energy Sciences

Fusion research

House: Research.—The Committee recommends $281,704,000 for burning plasma science foundations, $61,246,000 for burning plasma science long pulse, and $84,050,000 for discovery plasma science. Within available funds, the recommendation provides $18,000,000 for High Energy Density Laboratory Plasmas, $25,000,000 for Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing, $2,500,000 to provide upgrades to the Safety and Tritium Applied Research facility, and $7,000,000 for the Materials Plasma Exposure Experiment.

Senate: The Committee recommends not less than $7,000,000 for the Material Plasma Exposure eXperiment and not less than $92,500,000 for DIII–D. The Committee directs the Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee to review establishing a reactor concepts research, development, and deployment activity. Within 180 days after enactment of this act, the Department is directed to brief the Committees on Appropriations of both Houses of Congress on a recommendation, which if supported, will include a technical plan, program and eligibility requirements, and funding profile for future fiscal years.

ITER construction

House: The Committee recommends $163,000,000 for the U.S. contribution to the ITER project. The Committee continues to believe the ITER project represents an important step forward for energy sciences and has the potential to revolutionize the current understanding of fusion energy.

Senate: The Committee recommends $122,000,000 for the in-kind contributions and related support activities of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor [ITER] project. The Committee does not recommended funding for the cash contribution.

Nuclear Physics

Planning and prioritization

Senate: The Committee recommends $710,000,000 for Nuclear Physics, and strongly supports the Long Range Plan for Nuclear Science released in October 2015 to address important scientific questions with modest or constrained growth in the nuclear science budgets, while still maintaining a strong, vital and world-leading program.

Facilities operations

House: The Committee directs the Department to give priority to optimizing the operations for the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility, the Argonne Tandem Linac Accelerator System, and the Brookhaven Linac Isotope Producer Facility.

Senate: The Committee further recommends optimal operations at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility, the Argonne Tandem Linac Accelerator System, and the Brookhaven Linac Isotope Producer Facility.

Facilities construction

House: Within available funds, the recommendation provides $10,000,000 for the Stable Isotope Production Facility, $6,600,000 for the Gamma-Ray Energy Tracking Array, and $5,660,000 for the Super Pioneering High Energy Nuclear Interaction Experiment.

Senate: Within available funds, the Committee recommends $75,000,000 for the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams [FRIB], and encourages the Department to work with Michigan State University to commence early operations at FRIB. The Committee also recommends $11,500,000 for the Stable Isotope Production Facility to provide increased domestic capacity for production of critically needed enriched stable isotopes for research, defense, and industry, and reduce the Nation’s dependence on foreign supplies. The Committee also recommends $6,600,000 for the Gamma-Ray Energy Tracking Array, which will enable advanced, high resolution gamma ray detection capabilities for FRIB.

Advanced Scientific Computing Research

High performance computing facilities

House: In addition to the long-term exascale initiative, the Committee supports continued upgrade and operation of the Leadership Computing Facilities at Argonne and Oak Ridge national laboratories and of the High Performance Production Computing capabilities at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The recommendation includes $140,000,000 for the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility, $185,000,000 for the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, and $100,000,000 for the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Within available funds, the recommendation includes $10,000,000 for the Computational Science Graduate Fellowship program and $80,000,000 to support necessary infrastructure upgrades and operations for ESnet.

The Committee is concerned that the increased costs of the Exascale Computing Initiative compared to previous high performance computing (HPC) efforts are not transparently presented because the Department’s budget request contains inadequate detail on the cost of its HPC procurements. In its fiscal year 2020 budget request, the Department shall submit a budget justification for Advanced Scientific Computing Research that clearly details funding amounts requested for base research and development activities, operations, and procurements for the Exascale Computing Initiative.

Senate: The Committee recommends $232,706,000 for the Exascale Computing Project. In addition, the Committee recommends $205,000,000 for the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, $145,000,000 for the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility, $110,000,000 for the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, and $85,000,000 for ESnet. The Committee supports the Department’s efforts to fully fund an upgrade to ESnet and urges the Department to submit budget requests that provide ESnet the ability to procure the technology and operational resources needed for mission success. Further, the Committee recommends $10,000,000 for the Computational Sciences Graduate Program.

Computing research

House: The Committee notes the importance of a strong research program in applied and computational mathematics to the Department’s mission. The Committee encourages the Department to prioritize research in applied and computational mathematics, supercomputing, and quantum computing to ensure the U.S. remains competitive in this field.

Senate: The Committee recommends not less than $24,000,000 for Research and Evaluation Prototypes. The Committee recommends not less than $159,000,000 for Mathematical, Computational, and Computer Sciences Research to support the development of critical tools for advanced computing. The Committee is supportive of recent research thrusts to develop scientific machine learning tools to enhance scientific discovery from user facility data and fundamental research in quantum information science that will lay the groundwork for deployable quantum computing systems.

The Committee recommends $75,667,000 for Computational Partnerships [SciDAC]. Within available funding for SciDAC, the Committee recommends up to $13,000,000 to support work on artificial intelligence and big data focused on the development of algorithms and methods to identify new ways of extracting information from data generated at the Office of Science’s large user facilities or validating use of machine learning in the Office of Science’s program’s scientific simulations. This is the only funding recommended within the Office of Science that shall be available for this work. Further, none of the funding in the Office of Science is available for clinical trials or therapeutics.

Artificial intelligence initiative

House: Artificial intelligence technologies that may improve the analysis and interpretation of big data can lead to substantial improvements in the Department’s ability to meet its nuclear security, energy, and science missions. The Committee provides $26,000,000 to launch an artificial intelligence and big data initiative.

Biological and Environmental Research

Facilities operations

House: The Committee directs the Department to give priority to optimizing the operation of BER user facilities and the programs that utilize them. The recommendation provides $100,000,000 for the Bioenergy Research Centers and $70,000,000 for the Joint Genome Institute.

Senate: The Department is directed to give priority to optimizing the operation of Biological and Environmental Research User Facilities. The Committee recommends $371,000,000 for Biological Systems Science, including not less than $100,000,000 for the four recently selected Bioenergy Research Centers. The Committee directs the Department to maintain Genomic Science as a top priority and recommends $90,000,000 for Foundational Genomics Research and $34,908,000 for Biomolecular Characterization and Imaging Science. The Committee recommends $70,000,000 for the Joint Genome Institute, an essential component for genomic research. …

Within available funds, not less than $133,500,000 is recommended for Facilities and Infrastructure in the Earth and Environmental Systems Sciences program, including $45,000,000 for the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, and $68,000,000 for the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement [ARM] User Facility. The Committee also recommends an additional $17,500,000 to replace the ARM mobile unit.

Earth observations and modeling

House: The Committee continues to support the Department’s funding for academia to perform studies, including independent evaluations using existing data sets and peer-reviewed publications that include the collection and evaluation of atmospheric data from satellite observations obtained in cooperation with NASA. Satellite observations of the atmosphere, within the context of the Earth as a global system, provide information that is critical in the interpretation of earth-based observations.

Senate: The Committee recommends $344,000,000 for Earth and Environmental Systems Sciences. Within available funding for Earth and Environmental Systems Sciences, the Committee recommends not less than $40,000,000 for Terrestrial Ecosystem Science, of which not less than $10,000,000 is for NGEE-Arctic, $8,300,000 is for the SPRUCE field site, $5,800,000 is for Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments Tropics, $6,800,000 is for Watershed Function SFA, and $5,700,000 is for AmeriFLUX Long-Term Earth System Observations. Within available funding for Earth and Environmental Systems Sciences, the Committee recommends not less than $22,143,000 for Subsurface Biogeochemical Research, including not less than $3,000,000 to support on-going research and discovery related to mercury biogeochemical transformations in the environment.

The Committee recommends $97,000,000 for Earth and Environmental Systems Modeling and directs the Department to expend appropriated funds for earth system modeling, and regional and global model analysis. The Committee further directs the Department to make land-energy interactions, land biogeochemistry, uncertainty quantification, and model evaluation (e.g., ILAMB) a priority within the regional and global modeling activities, and continue to support performance optimization of coupled systems for execution on high performance and exascale systems. The Committee recommends $15,000,000 to support the exascale computing initiative. …

The Committee encourages the Department to increase its funding for academia to perform independent evaluations of climate models using existing data sets and peer-reviewed publications of climate-scale processes to determine various models’ ability to reproduce the actual climate.

Microbiome research

House: The Committee recognizes the importance of the emerging field of microbiome research and encourages the Department to explore establishing a national microbiome database to maintain leadership in the field.

Senate: The Committee recognizes the importance of the emerging field of microbiome research to the mission objectives of the Office of Science and more broadly within the Department, especially in relation to energy security and environmental sustainability. To address programmatic opportunities in microbiome research and development and to maintain U.S. leadership in the field, the Committee recommends an additional $10,000,000 to begin the establishment of a national microbiome database. The Department should lead this effort in collaboration with other Federal agencies.

Office-wide and other

Quantum information science

House: The Committee appreciates the Department’s focus on quantum information sciences and encourages the Department, in addition to activities referenced in the budget request, to explore research and development on precision sensors.

Senate: The Committee supports the Office of Science’s coordinated and focused research program in quantum information science to support the Department’s science, energy, and national security missions. This emerging field of science promises to yield revolutionary new approaches to computing, sensing, communication, and metrology, as well as our understanding of the universe, and accordingly the Committee recommends $105,000,000 as requested across the Office of Science programs to advance early stage fundamental research in this field of science.

Beyond Batteries Initiative

Senate: Beyond Batteries Initiative.—The Committee is supportive of the Department’s approach to consider energy storage holistically, and focus on advances in controllable loads, hybrid systems, and new approaches to energy storage. The Committee agrees that advances in this wide range of energy storage technologies will allow for loads to be combined with generation from all sources to optimize use of existing assets to provide grid services, and increase grid reliability. The Department shall continue to use all of its capabilities to accelerate the development of storage technologies, including the basic research capabilities of the Office of Science, the technology expertise of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the grid-level knowledge of the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response, and the rapid technology development capabilities of ARPA–E. The Committee directs the Department to coordinate efforts among various existing Department programs to maximize efficiency of funds and expand vital research. The Department is encouraged to prioritize achieving a long-term goal of deploying technologies at $100/kWh or less cost installed while being able to cycle twice per day, discharging for at least 4 hours, with a lifetime of roughly 20 years or at least 8,000 cycles.

Public access plan implementation

House: Public Access Plan.—The Committee appreciates the Department issuing its Public Access Plan on July 24, 2014. The Committee urges the Department to continue efforts towards full implementation of the plan and expects an update on progress be included in the fiscal year 2020 budget request.

Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists program

Senate: The Committee recommends $24,500,000 for Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists. Within available funds, the Committee recommends $11,300,000 for the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship; $1,000,000 for the Community College Institute of Science and Technology; $4,500,000 for the Graduate Student Research Program; $1,200,000 for the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship; $2,900,000 for the National Science Bowl; $750,000 for Technology Development and Online Application; $600,000 for Evaluation Studies; $500,000 for Outreach; and $50,000 for Laboratory Equipment Donation Program.

Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR)

House: The Committee encourages the Department to resume annual, or biennial, Implementation Grant solicitations when making awards in support of the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. The Department is directed to provide to the Committees on Appropriations of both Houses of Congress not later than 90 days after the enactment of this Act a report that provides a plan for these future solicitations.

Senate: The Committee continues to support the EPSCoR program and its goals of broadening participation in sustainable and competitive basic energy research in eligible jurisdictions. The Committee recommends $20,000,000 for EPSCoR and directs the Department to resume annual or at minimum, biennial, Implementation Grant solicitations. The Committee further directs the Department to submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations of both Houses of Congress not later than 90 days after enactment of this act that provides a plan for future solicitations.

Small Business Innovation Research program

House: The Committee encourages the Department to evaluate methods to educate new and existing minority and women-owned small businesses about SBIR and STTR grants, and directs the Department to provide to the Committees on Appropriations of both Houses of Congress not later than 180 days after the enactment of this Act a report on current and planned outreach efforts in this area.

Senate: The Committee recognizes the importance of small businesses in meeting the research and development mission of the Department and is concerned that the Department’s previous delays in issuing Small Business Innovation Research [SBIR] and Small Business Technology Transfer [STTR] awards had a negative impact on small businesses. The Committee directs the Department to meet its congressionally mandated deadlines of reviewing small businesses’ applications for SBIR/STTR awards as required by P.L. 112–81.

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