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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.

The National Nuclear Security Administration’s budget is increasing steadily in support of work to reconstitute plutonium production capabilities and other key infrastructure supporting the nuclear weapons stockpile, though funding for some science programs is under pressure.

The National Nuclear Security Administration’s budget is increasing steadily in support of work to reconstitute plutonium production capabilities and other key infrastructure supporting the nuclear weapons stockpile, though funding for some science programs is under pressure.

A new study sponsored by the American Physical Society concludes that U.S. systems for intercepting intercontinental ballistic missiles cannot be relied on to counter even a limited nuclear strike and are unlikely to achieve reliability within the next 15 years.

Science and technology provisions included in Congress’ latest defense policy update reflect lawmakers ongoing interest in accelerating the adoption of emerging technologies; advancing specific technology categories such as quantum computing, microelectronics, and biotechnology; and streamlining collaboration between the Defense Department and extramural researchers.

Climate change, the pandemic, and emerging technology governance were major themes of President Biden’s first address to the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 21. Meanwhile, a series of high-level meetings have set the stage for more intense technology cooperation between the U.S. and partner nations.

According to a new advisory panel report, the U.S. is losing ground to Europe and China in several key research areas supported by the Department of Energy's Basic Energy Sciences program. The report recommends several strategies for better retaining talent in the U.S. and maintaining world-leading facilities.

House and Senate appropriators largely match the administration’s topline request for the National Nuclear Security Administration for fiscal year 2022 but reject proposed cuts to weapons stockpile science programs while slashing funding for the Stockpile Responsiveness Program.

The House and Senate both propose to increase funding for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science in fiscal year 2022. While the proposed funding levels are similar to the amount requested by the administration, they fall well short of those recommended in recent House-passed legislation and could result in slower progress on certain projects.

The National Academies has kicked off development of a strategy for the Department of Energy's low-dose radiation research program. DOE terminated the program in 2016 but recently revived it at the behest of Congress.

Physical chemist Geri Richmond and soil scientist Asmeret Asefaw Berhe appeared before a Senate committee this week for a hearing on their nominations to assume the top two science jobs in the Department of Energy. Both nominees appear likely to secure Senate confirmation, despite the top committee Republican questioning Berhe’s qualifications.