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Department of Energy

In covering DOE’s science-related activities, FYI focuses on the Office of Science, including its six program offices and 10 national laboratories. FYI also covers the Advanced Research Projects Agency—Energy and the science-related activities of the National Nuclear Security Administration, including its three national laboratories.

3 May 2019

The National Nuclear Security Administration proposes to ramp up funding for new plutonium experimentation and production facilities while paring back support for inertial confinement fusion in its latest budget request. Meanwhile, funding for nonproliferation programs would increase slightly overall.

22 Apr 2019

Efforts in the Senate to promote technology innovation as a way to combat climate change are beginning to progress. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) has renewed his push to “double energy research funding,” while the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has begun to develop legislation to promote technology development and commercialization.

12 Apr 2019

President Trump’s fiscal year 2020 budget request for the Department of Energy includes a $2 billion cut to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and smaller but still sizeable cuts to nuclear and fossil energy R&D programs. The request proposes increases for electric grid resilience programs that would support new R&D efforts.

2 Apr 2019

The president’s fiscal year 2020 budget request calls for a $1 billion, 16 percent cut to the Department of Energy Office of Science, which would erase much of the budget increase Congress has provided it over the last two budget cycles. Beneath its toplines, the request also proposes small amounts to begin planning on a variety of new experiments and facilities.

19 Mar 2019

The Department of Energy and the National Institute of Standards and Technology have recently turned their attention to the long-term future of their research reactor user facilities. Meanwhile, unplanned shutdowns at both facilities have put a temporary strain on the U.S.’ already heavily subscribed capacity for neutron-beam research.

12 Mar 2019

Energy R&D has emerged as a focal point for bipartisan collaboration in the new Congress. At recent hearings, lawmakers heard testimony in favor of large spending increases spread across a variety of technologies.

8 Feb 2019

Several federal agencies are working to curb foreign nations, particularly China, from using talent recruitment programs and other methods to capitalize on the fruits of U.S.-financed R&D. In the latest major development, the Department of Energy announced last week that it will restrict its employees and future grantees from participating in recruitment programs operated by “sensitive” countries.

6 Feb 2019

Over the past two years, Congress passed legislation updating and endorsing a wide range of federal R&D activities, including marquee bills focused on quantum information science, energy research, weather forecasting, and hazard preparedness.

1 Feb 2019

Efforts by Congress and the Department of Energy to spur the development and commercialization of advanced nuclear reactors have gained steam in recent months, though some moves have received criticism.

4 Jan 2019

The enactment of the National Quantum Initiative Act on Dec. 21 creates a multiagency program spanning the National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Science Foundation, and Department of Energy. As part of the initiative, NSF and DOE will each establish between two and five competitively awarded research centers.

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