DOE FY1996 Budget Bill Goes To House Floor - HEP, Nuclear, ICF

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Publication date: 
23 June 1995
Number: 
85

The House fiscal year 1996 appropriations bill for the Department
of Energy, H.R. 1905, passed the House Appropriations Committee on
June 20.  It is scheduled to go to the House floor sometime next
week.  The accompanying report, House Report 104-149, provides
details of the Committee's views.  The report states that "funding
recommendations for Department of Energy programs in fiscal year
1996 are significantly below the Department's fiscal year 1996
budget request in many areas."  Selected portions of the report are
summarized in FYI #84 and below:

Under the category of GENERAL SCIENCE AND RESEARCH ACTIVITIES:

"The General Science and Research Activities programs are concerned
with understanding the nature of matter and energy and the
fundamental forces and particles of nature....  While these
programs are not directly associated with energy technology in the
near- or mid-term, they support basic research whose aim is to
provide new knowledge which is expected to have long-term
scientific and technological impacts on energy development and
utilization and on other aspects of our society.

"The Committee's funding recommendation for General Science and
Research Activities reflects the continued role of the federal
government in fundamental scientific research where research is not
market-driven and is difficult for the private sector to conduct.
The Committee strongly supports the budget request [of $100
million] for the Scientific Facilities Utilization Initiative to
enhance and increase the use of fundamental science and user
facilities, but due to severe funding constraints, has found it
necessary to reduce the overall budget request.  It is the
Committee's hope that Congressional actions such as merging
operating and capital funding along with a lessening of
departmental internal regulations and oversight reviews will
compensate in part for this reduction."

HIGH ENERGY PHYSICS:  "Due to budget constraints, the Committee
recommendation for high energy physics is $677,000,000, a reduction
of $8,552,000 [or 1.3%] from the budget request of $685,552,000."
[FY95 appropriation: $642.1 million.]

NUCLEAR PHYSICS:  "The recommendation for nuclear energy physics is
$304,500,000, a reduction of $16,578,000 [or 5.2%] from the budget
request of $321,078,000."  [FY95 appropriation: $331.5 million.]

PROGRAM DIRECTION:  "Funding for program direction has been reduced
[by 12.8%] to $9,500,000 from the request of $10,900,000."  [FY95
appropriation: $10.4 million.]

TOTAL, GENERAL SCIENCE AND RESEARCH ACTIVITIES:  $991,000,000;
reduced by 2.6% from a request of $1,017,530,000.  [FY95
appropriation: $984.0 million.]

Under the category of ATOMIC ENERGY DEFENSE WEAPONS ACTIVITIES:

INERTIAL CONFINEMENT FUSION:  "The Committee is pleased to
recognize the achievements of the Naval Research Laboratory which
has recently completed the Nike laser, and the University of
Rochester which has completed the OMEGA laser.  The Committee has
consistently supported these facilities and expects both to
contribute to the research and technology development efforts in
the inertial confinement fusion program.

"Funding for construction of the National Ignition Facility has
been deferred without prejudice by the Committee.  The Committee
supports a strong stockpile stewardship program in the absence of
underground nuclear testing, but is concerned that it will be
difficult to assure funds are available in the future to support
this project as well as other critical needs in the weapons
program.

"While not agreeing to the start of capital construction, the
Committee has provided $33,600,000, an increase of $10,000,000 over
the budget request, to continue preliminary design activities
associated with the National Ignition Facility.  This will permit
the Department to move beyond the conceptual stage of the facility
design and begin some construction design of the conventional
facilities and the laser and target special equipment."

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