FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News

FY 2013 Appropriations Committee Reports: Department of Energy Office of Science

Richard M. Jones
Number 62 - May 8, 2012  |  Search FYI  |   FYI Archives  |   Subscribe to FYI

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The House and Senate Appropriations Committees have approved their versions of the FY 2013 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bills. Below are selections from these reports regarding the programs of the Office of Science.  Language within each report stands, unless there is a conflict that will be resolved in the final conference report.  This final conference report will also resolve differences in recommended funding levels.

A note to the reader: This FYI follows a different format, including both the House and Senate report language in a single issue.  It is 5,100 words in length.  Readers are urged to locate by heading the following sections:  Overall language on the Office of Science, Advanced Scientific Computing, Basic Energy Sciences, Biological and Environmental Research, Fusion Energy Sciences, High Energy Physics, and Nuclear Physics.  Percentage changes are calculated compared to the current year.  The House and Senate reports both contain tables in the back that provide additional detail on specific funding levels.

Office of Science:

FY 2012 appropriation: $4,873.6 million
FY 2013 Administration request: $4,992.1 million
FY 2013 Senate recommendation: $4,909.0 million, an increase of $35.4 million or 0.7 percent
FY 2013 House recommendation: $4,801.4, a decrease of $72.2 million or 1.5 percent

Senate Report:

“The Committee believes this level of funding will maintain U.S. leadership in science and technology during a time of significant funding constraints. Investments in basic research will lead to new and improved energy technologies and the construction and operation of new, large-scale scientific facilities will be vitally important for many areas of science as well as private industry, such as pharmaceutical and aerospace companies. Funding for advanced computing will also position the United States to maintain international leadership in scientific computing and simulation over the next decade.

Office of Science Priorities. -- The Committee continues to support the three highest priorities for the Office of Science: (1) the discovery and design of new materials for the generation, storage, and use of energy; (2) better understanding of microorganisms and plants for improved biofuels production; and (3) the development and deployment of more powerful computing capabilities to take advantage of modeling and simulation to advance energy technologies and maintain U.S. economic competitiveness.

Maintaining Program Balance for Lower-Priority Activities. – The Committee commends the Office of Science for identifying clear priorities and directing limited funding toward those priorities. However, the Committee is concerned by the Office of Science’s lack of strategic guidance and prioritization among lower priority research activities, such as fusion energy science, nuclear physics, and high energy physics. The Committee is concerned that the scope of work, which includes research, operations of existing facilities, and new construction, has not changed while the budget for these programs is decreasing. The Committee believes the Office of Science must evaluate the highest-priority needs for these programs in a fiscally constrained environment and make difficult decisions, including delaying construction projects and terminating research activities, to advance these fields of science in areas where the United States can lead and be competitive with other countries.”

House Report:

“The Office of Science funds basic science research across national laboratories, universities, and other research institutions in support of American innovation and the Department's energy-focused missions. Through research in physics, biology, chemistry, and other science disciplines, these activities expand scientific understanding and secure the nation's leadership in energy innovation. The Office of Science funds a significant portion of science research nationwide.

“The Science program office includes Advanced Scientific Computing Research, Basic Energy Sciences, Biological and Environmental Research, Fusion Energy Sciences, High Energy Physics, Nuclear Physics, Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists, Science Laboratories Infrastructure, Safeguards and Security, and Science Program Direction.

“The Committee recommendation is $4,801,431,000, $72,203,000 below fiscal year 2012 and $190,621,000 below the budget request. The recommendation includes $4,824,931,000 in new budget authority and a rescission of $23,500,000 in prior-year balances available due to the Office of Science's termination of two major items of equipment in fiscal year 2012. After accounting for that rescission and a rescission of $15,366,000 in fiscal year 2012, the recommendation is $64,069,000 below fiscal year 2012.

“The Committee is concerned about the long-term science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workforce pipeline development for underrepresented minorities and notes the National Academies recommendation that the federal government offer support for undergraduate and graduate STEM programs focused on increasing the participation and success of minority students through engaged mentoring, enriching research experiences, and opportunities to publish, present, and network. Accordingly, the Committee expects the Office of Science to provide continued support to minority serving institutions toward those ends.

Use of Prior-Year Balances- The Department is directed to use $9,104,000 of prior-year balances as proposed in the request.”

Advanced Scientific Computing:

FY 2012 appropriation: $442.0 million
FY 2013 Administration request: $455.6 million
FY 2013 Senate recommendation: $455.6 million, an increase of $13.6 million or 3.1 percent
FY 2013 House recommendation: $442.0; no change

Senate Report:

“The Committee recommends $455,593,000 as requested for Advanced Scientific Computing Research. Within these funds, the Committee recommends $68,500,000 as requested for the exascale initiative to spur U.S. innovation and increase the country’s ability to address critical national challenges.

“The Committee also recommends $94,000,000 for the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility to move forward with upgrades to its Cray XT5 with a peak capability of more than 20 petaflops, $67,000,000 for the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility to move forward with upgrades to its IBM Blue Gene/P systems with a peak capability of 10 petaflops, $68,105,000 for the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center facility at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to support operations and infrastructure expenses for the new Computational Research and Theory Building, and $35,000,000 to help support extended deployment of a 100 gigabit-per-second network to the national laboratories. Having high end open science computing will not only help the United States maintain leadership in computing and develop breakthroughs that will improve the everyday lives of our citizens through new technologies available to them, but will also support breakthroughs in the other research areas in the Office of Science.  Research programs such as fusion energy science, biofuels, and materials by design all stand to benefit from investments in open science computer modeling and simulation.

“The Committee recommends that up to $8,000,000 shall be available to pursue data-intensive science, but the Committee directs the Office of Science to develop a plan that explains the extent of the problem, how research efforts will address data analysis problems, and the funding needed to overcome these data challenges. 

“The Committee encourages the Office of Science to continue working with small- and medium-sized manufacturers and businesses to educate them about the benefits of using high performance computing for modeling and simulations to solve tough manufacturing and engineering challenges and reduce development costs. The Committee also encourages the Office of Science to simplify software and codes so a broader set of businesses can take advantage of these powerful tools.”

House Report:

“The Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) program develops and hosts some of the world's fastest computing and network capabilities to enable science and energy modeling, simulation, and research. The Committee recommends $442,000,000 for Advanced Scientific Computing Research, the same as fiscal year 2012 and $13,593,000 below the request.

Exascale Computing. -- The Committee continues to support the exascale initiative, which seeks to develop the next generation of computing systems three orders of magnitude faster than today's fastest systems. This decade-long effort is critical to enabling basic and energy-focused science research not previously possible and to maintaining the nation's global leadership in computing technologies.

“In the fiscal year 2012 conference report, the Department was directed to submit a detailed joint Science-NNSA exascale plan by February 10, 2012. This report, which would provide context for long-term resource planning and prioritization, still has not been submitted as of early April 2012. The Department was made aware of the reporting requirement after the House and Senate Committees completed consideration in June and September of 2011, respectively, and there has been ample time for preparation since. While the Committee appreciates the efforts within the Office of Science to draft the report, it remains concerned that such an extended approval process is necessary to summarize the programmatic outline of a central feature of the Department's computing programs. The Administration should not further delay the report's formal submittal due to a drawn-out concurrence process.

“The budget request highlights data-intensive computing as a necessary enabler for exascale systems and calls out work in this area separately from the exascale initiative. The Committee expects that the Department has integrated into the exascale report any plans for work on computing challenges related to data-intensive science.

Leadership Computing. -- 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. These systems' capabilities are a critical component of science and industrial research and development across the nation, and they should be maintained as world-leading facilities.”

Basic Energy Sciences:

FY 2012 appropriation: $1,694.0 million
FY 2013 Administration request: $1,799.6 million
FY 2013 Senate recommendation: $1,712.1 million, an increase of $18.1 million or 1.1 percent
FY 2013 House recommendation: $1,657.2, a decrease of $36.8 million or 2.2 percent

Senate Report:

“The Committee recommends $1,712,091,000, a decrease of $87,501,000 below the budget request, for Basic Energy Sciences.  Of these funds, $110,703,000 is provided for construction activities as requested, which includes $47,203,000 for the National Synchrotron Light Source-II at Brookhaven National Laboratory and $63,500,000 for the Linac Coherent Light Source-II at SLAC. Of the remaining funds for Basic Energy Sciences, $692,666,000 is for research activities in materials science and engineering and chemical sciences, geosciences, and biosciences, and $908,725,000, which is $49,698,000 above fiscal year 2012 enacted levels, is to increase operating times to near optimum levels of world-class scientific user facilities.  The Committee encourages DOE to continue research and development activities that will lead to even more powerful light source facilities, which are a key part of the nation’s innovation ecosystem and critical to America’s international economic competitiveness. The Committee also encourages DOE to explore the suitability of using existing U.S. synchotron radiation facilities, including non-DOE user facilities, at universities to serve as training grounds for beamline designers, machine physicists, and other users.

“Within the research funds provided, the Committee recommends up to $100,000,000 to support the 46 Energy Frontier Research Centers, $24,237,000 for the Fuels from Sunlight Hub, and $24,237,000 for the Batteries and Energy Storage Hub. Up to $10,000,000 shall be available for materials and chemistry by design to improve predictive modeling and accelerate material discovery for energy applications. The Committee encourages the continuation of catalysis research and encourages partnerships with universities to support research and development of novel device materials for alternative energy applications.

“The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research [EPSCoR] program was created by Congress over concerns about the uneven distribution of Federal research and development grants. The Committee recommends $20,000,000 for EPSCoR and encourages DOE to sponsor a workshop to examine the geographic distribution of its budget, how best to utilize states at the forefront of energy production, and ensure that they are included in important policy and research initiatives. The Committee also encourages DOE to continue funding to support research and development needs of graduate and post-graduate science programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

“Within the funds provided for scientific user facilities, the Committee recommends $25,000,000 to support early operations of the National Synchrotron Light Source-II at Brookhaven National Laboratory and $32,000,000 for Major Items of Equipment, which includes $20,000,000 to continue the upgrade to the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory and $12,000,000 for activities that add beamlines to the National Synchrotron Light Source-II at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

“The President’s budget request notes the cancellation of the power upgrades project for the Spallation Neutron Source’s second target station. Given the large number of construction projects currently underway in the Office of Science, the Committee encourages the Office of Science to consider the second target station as a long term planning item and include it in the Office of Science’s phased construction schedule for major construction projects in the outyears.

“No funding is provided for new collaborative efforts with the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy that would expand the scope of work of Energy Frontier Research Centers and divert funding from operations of facilities. No funding is provided to expand mesoscale research efforts. While the Committee understands that there may be merit in pursuing mesoscale science to advance future energy technologies, DOE has not provided sufficient justification for a significant new investment. The Committee directs the Office of Science to work with the Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee to develop a plan that can be presented to Congress for mesoscale science that identifies the scientific needs for pursuing this research, what facilities are available to effectively pursue this research, and possible measureable outcomes.”

House Report:

“The Basic Energy Sciences program funds basic research in materials science, chemistry, geoscience, and bioscience. The science breakthroughs in this program enable a broad array of innovations in energy technologies and other industries critical to American economic competitiveness. The Committee recommends $1,657,146,000 for Basic Energy Sciences, $36,854,000 below fiscal year 2012 and $142,446,000 below the request.

“The program's budget consists of funding for research, for the operation of existing user facilities, and for the design, procurement, and construction of new facilities and equipment. The long-term success of the program hinges on striking a careful balance between these three areas. However, the increasing level of research commitments and completion of new facilities make it difficult to adequately fund all three components of the Basic Energy Sciences program within realistic budgetary constraints. The Committee cautions the Department against assuming an ever-increasing budget when planning the balance between facility runtime, construction, and research funding.

“The Committee recognizes the critical contribution that the program's light sources, neutron sources, and other user facilities make to scientific discovery and American industry. The United States is currently host to the world's most advanced and productive basic energy science user facilities, and the Department is urged to develop a plan for the next generation of light sources and other user facilities in order to maintain American leadership through the next decade.

Research.--The Committee recommends $1,559,943,000 for Research within Basic Energy Sciences, $17,343,000 above fiscal year 2012 and $128,946,000 below the request.

“The recommendation includes $24,237,000 for the fourth year of the Fuels from Sunlight Energy Innovation Hub, the same as the request; $24,237,000 for the second year of the Batteries and Energy Storage Energy Innovation Hub, the same as the request; and $100,000,000 for Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRC's), $20,000,000 below the request. The recommendation does not include additional funding for joint work between the EFRC's and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy due to inadequate justification by the Department; any such joint work can be supported by the funding provided for the EFRC's. However, any such effort should be communicated to the Committee prior to commencement.

“The recommendation includes $10,000,000 for predictive simulation of internal combustion engines, the same as fiscal year 2012 and $1,000,000 below the request. The Committee provides no funds, $8,520,000 below fiscal year 2012 and the request, for the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research.

“The recommendation includes $32,000,000 for major items of equipment, $41,500,000 below fiscal year 2012 and the same as the request, to include $20,000,000 for the Advanced Photon Source Upgrade and $12,000,000 for NSLS-II Experimental Tools, both the same as the request.

“The recommendation includes $776,568,000 for facility operations, $46,000,000 above fiscal year 2012 and $33,426,000 below the request. The increase above fiscal year 2012 is for preliminary operations of the NSLS-II as it completes construction and to increase operating time of other Basic Energy Sciences facilities to near-optimal levels.

Construction.--The Committee recommends $97,203,000 for Basic Energy Sciences construction projects, $54,197,000 below fiscal year 2012 and $13,500,000 below the request. The reduction from fiscal year 2012 is due to the planned decrease in funding for the National Synchrotron Light Source II as it nears completion. The recommendation includes the first year of construction funding for the Linac Coherent Light Source II two-tunnel upgrade project.”

Biological and Environmental Research:

FY 2012 appropriation: $611.8 million
FY 2013 Administration request: $625.4 million
FY 2013 Senate recommendation: $625.4 million, an increase of $13.6 million or 2.2 percent
FY 2013 House recommendation: $542.0, a decrease of $69.8 million or 11.4 percent

Senate Report:

“The Committee recommends $625,347,000 as requested for Biological and Environmental Research. Within these funds, the Committee recommends $309,773,000 for biological systems science and $315,574,000 for climate and environmental sciences.

“Within the funds provided for biological systems science, the Committee recommends $75,000,000 as requested for the Bioenergy Research Centers. The Committee supports the continuation of the 3 research centers and is encouraged by some of the early successes related to developing next-generation bioenergy crops, improving biomass deconstruction with enzymes and microbes, and advancing biofuels synthesis. The Committee is also encouraged that in the last 5 years the Bioenergy Research Centers have released 914 publications and 237 invention disclosures that resulted in 115 patent applications and 51 patent application licenses. The Committee encourages the Office of Science to continue investing in synthetic biology tools and biodesign technologies to accelerate the cost-effective production of next generation biofuels that could serve as secure, national energy resources.

“The Committee commends the Department of Energy’s National Laboratories and the National Institutes of Health for their collaboration on research and development projects. These collaborations have resulted in advances in bioinformatics and breakthroughs in atomic resolution structural biology. The Committee strongly encourages the Department of Energy to continue planning, discussions, and funding activities with the National Institutes of Health to further research and development efforts. The Committee understands that Radiological Sciences is transitioning from its historical focus on nuclear medicine research and applications for health to research focused on metabolic imaging of plants and microbes relevant to biofuels production. However, the Committee is concerned that the Office of Science has not coordinated research activities with other Federal agencies to continue nuclear medicine research with human application. Within these funds, the Committee recommends $5,000,000 to continue nuclear medicine research with human application unless the Office of Science can demonstrate this research is being continued more effectively and efficiently by another Federal agency.

“Within the funds provided for climate and environmental sciences, the Committee recommends $47,700,000 as requested for the operation of the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The Committee also recommends $11,700,000 as requested for the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment in the Tropics, which will be the first and only U.S. experiment in the tropics to help predict climate change, reduce uncertainty, and improve predictive modeling.”

House Report:

“The Biological and Environmental Research program supports advances in energy technologies and related science through research into complex biological and environmental systems. The Committee recommends $542,000,000 for Biological and Environmental Research, $69,823,000 below fiscal year 2012 and $83,347,000 below the request.

“The Committee continues to support the Biological Systems Science program, which focuses on the biology of plants and microbes with the ultimate goal of enabling future generations of biofuels from a variety of sustainable domestic biomass sources. In addition to reducing our nation's dependence on petroleum-based fuels with chronically high prices, the biofuels produced through this program's science breakthroughs can lower the cost of, improve the sustainability of, and ease industry's transition to those fuel alternatives.

“The Committee recommends $75,000,000, the same as fiscal year 2012 and the request, for the first year of the second five-year term of the three BioEnergy Research Centers (BRC's). However, the Committee notes that the report justifying the renewal of the BRC's, due on February 6, 2012, has not yet been submitted. The funding for the BRC's in fiscal year 2013 and the Committee's approval of their renewal is therefore contingent upon the Department's submission of the report. Further, the Department is directed to report to the Committee, not later than 60 days after enactment of this Act, on the specific recommendations for improvements to the BRC's that came out of the 5-year review and the Department's plan to implement those recommendations.”

Fusion Energy Sciences:

FY 2012 appropriation: $402.2 million
FY 2013 Administration request: $398.3 million
FY 2013 Senate recommendation: $398.3 million, a decrease of $3.9 million or 1.0 percent
FY 2013 House recommendation: $474.6 million, an increase of $72.4 million or 18.0 percent

Senate Report:

“The Committee recommends $398,324,000 as requested for Fusion Energy Sciences. Within these funds, the Committee recommends $150,000,000 as requested for the U.S. contribution to ITER. Similar to the Nuclear Physics program, the Committee is concerned by the lack of strategic direction for the fusion energy program. The Committee understands that the budget request provides a $45,000,000 increase to the U.S. ITER contribution but even with the increase, the U.S. contribution is still $50,000,000 short of the project plan. The Committee also understands that the increase to the U.S. contribution came at the expense of the domestic fusion program. The Committee is concerned that additional cuts to the domestic fusion energy program may undermine U.S. advances in fusion and the U.S. ability to take advantage of scientific developments of the ITER project.

“The Office of Science believes that it can take advantage of international programs and facilities to build and maintain U.S. expertise in fusion energy sciences. However, a February 2012 Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee report cautioned that international facilities in Asia and Europe will not be operating for several more years and international collaborations cannot come at the expense of a domestic research program that can benefit from ITER. The Committee directs the Office of Science to assess the impact to the domestic fusion energy sciences workforce and the ability of the United States to take advantage of ITER to advance fusion energy before recommending any further cuts to the domestic program. The Committee also directs the Office of Science to assess alternatives to participating in the ITER project, including reducing contributions to the project, and the impact of withdrawing from the project, if necessary, to maintain domestic capabilities. 

“Further, the Committee directs the Office of Science to include a project data sheet with details of all project costs until the completion of the project for ITER in the fiscal year 2014 budget submission.  The Committee understands that DOE provides funding for ITER as a Major Item of Equipment rather than a line item construction project, which would be consistent with DOE Order 413.3B. However, the Committee feels that a multi-billion dollar project, especially of this scale and complexity, should be treated as a construction project and follow DOE Order 413.3B guidance.”

House Report:

“The Fusion Energy Sciences program supports basic research and experimentation aiming to harness nuclear fusion for energy production. The Committee recommends $474,617,000 for fusion energy sciences, $72,440,000 above fiscal year 2012 and $76,293,000 above the request.

“The domestic fusion program is a critical component of United States science leadership and a necessary building block of any successful fusion projects, including ITER. The recommendation includes $296,617,000 for the domestic fusion program, $560,000 below fiscal year 2012 and $48,293,000 above the request. The request proposes to shut down the Alcator C-Mod facility and provides only enough funding for decommissioning and existing graduate students. The Department is instead directed to continue operations at the Alcator C-Mod facility and to fund continued research, operations, and upgrades across the Office of Science's domestic fusion enterprise.

“The recommendation includes $178,000,000 for the United States contribution to ITER, the international collaboration to construct the world's first self-sustaining experimental fusion reactor, $73,000,000 above fiscal year 2012 and $28,000,000 above the request.

“ITER is an important international collaboration that represents a major step forward in fusion energy science, but its funding requirements will create substantial budgetary challenges throughout the decade. The Committee appreciates that the Office of Science is grappling with these challenges but notes that the budget request does not propose a viable or well-planned solution. The Committee recommendation includes funding to continue the domestic fusion program at approximately the fiscal year 2012 level, and to increase ITER towards its planned funding level for fiscal year 2013. Looking forward, however, the increasing requirements for ITER will continue to pose challenges, and the Committee believes that long-term policy decisions for the Fusion Energy Sciences should be guided by impartial analysis of scientific needs and opportunities, and with an eye on American competitiveness and leadership. The Committee therefore reiterates the importance of the ten-year plan for Fusion Energy Sciences directed in the fiscal year 2012 appropriations conference report, of that plan's timely delivery, and of the inclusion of priorities across domestic and international fusion facilities, projects, and programs.”

High Energy Physics:

FY 2012 appropriation: $791.7 million
FY 2013 Administration request: $776.5 million
FY 2013 Senate recommendation: $781.5 million, a decrease of $10.2 million or 1.3 percent
FY 2013 House recommendation: $776.5 million, a decrease of $15.2 million or 1.9 percent

Senate Report:

“The Committee recommends $781,521,000, an increase of $5,000,000, for High-Energy Physics. Within these funds, the Committee recommends $25,000,000 as requested for the Muon to Electron Conversion Experiment, which includes $20,000,000 for construction and $5,000,000 for other project costs. The Committee also recommends $26,000,000 for the Long Baseline Neutrino Experiment, which includes $10,000,000 for research and development and $16,000,000 for project engineering and design.  The Committee is concerned about proposed cost estimates for the Long Baseline Neutrino Experiment and encourages the Office of Science to consider all alternatives to reduce the cost of the experiment while still meeting the highest priority scientific goals. The Committee recommends that $730,521,000 of the remaining funds be used for research in the energy, intensity, and cosmic frontiers.  Within these funds, the Committee recommends $15,000,000 to support minimal, sustaining operations at the Homestake Mine in South Dakota.”

House Report:

“The High Energy Physics program supports fundamental research into the elementary constituents of matter and energy, and ultimately into the nature of space and time. The program focuses on particle physics theory and experimentation in three areas: the energy frontier, which investigates new particles and fundamental forces through high-energy experimentation; the intensity frontier, which focuses on rare events to better understand our fundamental model of the universe's elementary constituents; and the cosmic frontier, which investigates the nature of the universe and its form of matter and energy on cosmic scales. The Committee recommends $776,521,000 for High Energy Physics, $15,179,000 below fiscal year 2012 and the same as the budget request.

Research. -- The Committee recommends $740,521,000 for Research, which includes activities in proton, electron, non-accelerator, and theoretical physics. The recommendation includes $10,000,000 for dewatering and minimal operations of the Homestake mine, the same as the request, as the Department continues to evaluate a path forward for the Long Baseline Neutrino Experiment and its alternatives.

Construction. -- The Committee recommends $36,000,000 for construction, $8,000,000 above fiscal year 2012 and $16,000,000 above the request. The recommendation includes $20,000,000 for project engineering and design of the Muon to Electron Conversion Experiment.

“The recommendation also includes $16,000,000, $12,000,000 above fiscal year 2012 and $16,000,000 above the request, for project engineering and design of the Long Baseline Neutrino Experiment (LBNE) and its alternatives. The recommendation includes no funding for long-lead procurements or construction activities for the LBNE project, the same as fiscal year 2012. The Committee recognizes the importance of this project to maintaining American leadership in the intensity frontier and to basic science discovery of neutrino and standard model physics. However, the Committee also recognizes that LBNE construction must be affordable under a flat budget scenario. As such, the Committee supports the Office of Science's challenge to the High Energy Physics community to identify an LBNE construction approach that avoids large out-year funding spikes or to identify viable alternatives with similar scientific benefits at significantly lower cost.”

Nuclear Physics:

FY 2012 appropriation: $550.0 million
FY 2013 Administration request: $526.9 million
FY 2013 Senate recommendation: $539.9 million, a decrease of $10.1 million or 1.8 percent
FY 2013 House recommendation: $547.9 million, a decrease of $2.1 million or 0.4 percent

Senate Report:

“The Committee recommends $539,938,000, an increase of $13,000,000 above the budget request, for Nuclear Physics. The Committee is concerned about the lack of strategic direction for nuclear physics and the inability of the program to adapt to a changing budget environment. The Committee believes that the budget request puts at risk all major research and facility operations activities without significantly advancing nuclear physics goals. For example, the budget request reduces the operating times of two major facilities -- a 50 percent reduction in operating time for the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory and a 15 percent reduction at the Argonne Tandem Linac Accelerator System at Argonne National Laboratory. At the same time, the budget request does not provide sufficient funds to advance the new Facility for Rare Isotope Beams at Michigan State University, and the current construction project to upgrade the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility at the Thomas Jefferson National Laboratory is at risk of falling behind schedule. The Committee directs the Office of Science to charge the Nuclear Physics Advisory Committee to submit a report by December 1, 2012 to the Office of Science and the Committee that proposes research and development activities for nuclear physics under a flat budget scenario over the next 5 fiscal years. The report should specifically identify priorities for facility construction and facility decommissioning to meet those priorities.

“To address some of these concerns, the Committee recommends $40,572,000 in construction funds for the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility, which the Nuclear Physics Advisory Committee concluded was the highest priority for the Nation’s nuclear physics program. The Committee also recommends $30,000,000 for the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, which includes funding to complete design and engineering work and, if the Office of Science approves a performance baseline, site preparation activities.  The Committee also recommends $163,600,000 for the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider to maintain 20 weeks of operations.”

House Report:

“The Committee recommends $547,938,000 for Nuclear Physics, $2,062,000 below fiscal year 2012 and $21,000,000 above the request.

“The Committee notes that funding requirements for construction and operation of all operating and currently-planned facilities in the Nuclear Physics program are likely to be in excess of available budgets in future years. The Committee therefore supports the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee's review of these facilities and encourages an expedited process that can inform the prioritization and hard decisions that will likely be necessary next year.

Operations and Maintenance. -- The Committee recommends $507,366,000 for nuclear physics operations and maintenance, $7,366,000 above fiscal year 2012 and $21,000,000 above the request. The recommendation includes $159,571,000 for Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider Operations, $1,954,000 above fiscal year 2012 and $3,000,000 above the budget request, to support a standalone run of approximately 15 weeks in fiscal year 2013. The recommendation also includes $40,000,000 for the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, $18,000,000 above fiscal year 2012 and the request, to continue activities leading towards the approval of construction.

Construction. -- The Committee recommends $40,572,000, $9,428,000 below fiscal year 2012 and the same as the request, to continue construction of the 12 GeV Upgrade of the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility.”

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