Dept. of Energy

"There is a spectacular future awaiting the United States in plasma science and engineering. But the national framework for plasma science must grow and adapt to new opportunities. Only then will the tremendous potential be realized." So argues a new report just released by the National Academies Plasma 2010 Committee, whose principal conclusion calls for a unified approach to the conduct and support of federal plasma science research in the United States.

5 Jun 2007

An important astronomy and astrophysics study was launched last week that will guide the decisions of Washington policymakers for many years.  "Astro2010" will survey and prioritize  ground-based and space-based astronomy and astrophysics scientific and technical activities for the period of 2010-2020.

11 Dec 2008

Despite NASA and the Department of Energy’s (DOE) struggle with budget constraints and mission prioritization, the Joint Dark Energy Mission (JDEM) appears to be on track. FYI previously reported on NASA and DOE’s commitment to JDEM in FYI number 74 and 78 respectively.

25 Nov 2008

A National Research Council committee has given a positive review to the Department of Energy's plan for the participation of the U.S. fusion community in the ITER program.  The committee's comments on U.S. funding for the ITER program were far more guarded, with it warning that a December 2007 congressional decision to withhold FY 2008 ITER money "threaten[s] to keep the U.S. from being a participant in this important endeavor, and thus its ability to capitalize on advancements from ITER."

19 Nov 2008

Gene Nardella, DOE Acting Associate Director of Science for Fusion Energy Sciences told the Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee that he would be discussing the program's "highlights and low lights" during his November 6 presentation.  The highlight: Congress is "still very supportive" of the fusion program.  The low light: the United States "cannot live up to our  commitments" to the ITER project with the amount of money Congress has previously appropriated.

14 Nov 2008

Yesterday, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced its determination that the construction license application submitted by the Department of Energy for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository was "sufficiently complete." This finding allows a review process to start which is expected to take up to four years.

9 Sep 2008

After twenty years of study by more than 2,000 scientists and engineers about the feasibility of using Yucca Mountain, Nevada as a permanent nuclear waste repository, the United States is about "three to four years away from answering that question and putting it to bed."  So stated Edward F. Sproat III, Director of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management of the Department of Energy at a congressional hearing last month.

29 Aug 2008

The Senate and House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittees have completed their FY 2009 appropriations bills. Both bills have been approved by the full committees, although the House Appropriations Committee has not filed its report.

22 Jul 2008

Earlier today, the Department of Energy's Office of Science announced how it would distribute the $62.5 million it received under the recently-enacted supplemental appropriations bill. This announcement follows a meeting last week at Fermilab during which DOE Acting Deputy Secretary Jeffrey Kupfer told Fermilab employees "this difficult time has come to an end." Kupfer was referring to cutbacks in staffing and research programs that had been made as a result of a far less-than-expected FY 2008 appropriation for the Office of Science. Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), Rep.

8 Jul 2008

Two notable successes occurred yesterday.  President Bush signed the supplemental appropriations bill providing $337.5 million in additional science funding for this year.  Later in the day,  the Department of Energy and National Science Foundation announced that the U.S. contribution to the Large Hadron Collider was complete (to be covered in a forthcoming FYI.).

1 Jul 2008

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