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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.

1 Apr 2016

In a letter addressed to attendees of the Nuclear Security Summit occurring this week, a group of 35 Nobel laureates urge transition away from use of highly enriched uranium in naval and research reactors and encourage development of non-radioactive alternatives to certain radioisotopes used in medical and research applications.

24 Mar 2016

At a hearing to review the Department of Energy budget request, multiple members criticized the administration’s proposed cuts to Fusion Energy Sciences, advocated for rethinking the department’s portfolio of fusion research, and asked questions about the status of ITER, the National Ignition Facility, the Advanced Photon Source, and the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility.

14 Mar 2016

Members of Congress are circulating a series of “Dear Colleague” letters on Capitol Hill to round up support for the Department of Energy Office of Science and specific user facilities in fiscal year 2017. The scientific community is also requesting increased funding for the office.

10 Mar 2016

At recent hearings on the Department of Energy budget request for fiscal year 2017, key appropriations leaders largely dismissed the president’s proposal for large funding increases to clean energy research and development as unrealistic and / or unbalanced. They then took familiar stances on research priorities, including support for basic energy research as well as skepticism about certain fusion energy projects.

8 Mar 2016

Members of a House appropriations subcommittee did not appear to oppose any major thrusts of the president’s fiscal year 2017 budget request for the Office of Science. Rather, members of both parties largely focused on longer-term efforts, expressing keen interest in the Department of Energy’s plans for upgrading user facilities, developing exascale computing capabilities, and improving technology transfer.

4 Mar 2016

In recent hearings, congressional and agency leaders highlighted their consensus on the need to modernize the aging U.S. nuclear arsenal and discussed concerns about the impending costs, including private concerns expressed by Energy Secretary Moniz that projected funding levels for future fiscal years are not sufficient to support needed improvements to National Nuclear Security Administration infrastructure.

2 Mar 2016

Republicans and Democrats in Congress are backing, with near unanimity, a bill that would promote collaboration on research and development of advanced fission and fusion energy reactors across the Department of Energy’s national labs, universities, and the private sector.

24 Feb 2016

The Department of Energy and two of its advisory bodies largely concur with the findings of the congressionally-chartered Commission to Review the Effectiveness of the National Energy Laboratories. The Commission’s report is the latest in a long series of studies which have discovered a dysfunctional relationship between the Department and the national labs.

18 Feb 2016

One element of the President’s request for a 2.9 percent funding increase for the National Nuclear Security Administration has already received considerable congressional attention: the proposed termination of the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility in South Carolina.

17 Feb 2016

In a year when overall spending is being held steady, the Department of Energy and its science programs stand out as winners in the President’s fiscal year 2017 budget request, with discretionary funding increases of 4.2 percent for the Office of Science and 20.3 percent for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy that grow even larger when the Administration’s proposals for mandatory funding are included.