DOE FY1996 Budget Bill Goes To House Floor - Labs, Fusion, BES

Share This

Share/Save
Publication date: 
23 June 1995
Number: 
84

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 below, and in FYI #85:

LABORATORY CONSOLIDATION:  "The Committee believes the Department
is maintaining a facility and laboratory structure larger than
necessary to manage and execute programs....  Consequently, the
Committee expects the Department to review critically its facility
needs and be prepared to justify the existence of all current
facilities and laboratories in the next budget cycle."

Under the category of ENERGY SUPPLY, RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
ACTIVITIES:

FUSION PROGRAM:  "The Committee recommendation for the fusion
program is $229,144,000, a decrease of $136,901,000 [or 37.4%] from
the budget request of $366,045,000.  [FY95 appropriation: $368.4
million.]

"Given the mandate to reduce the budget deficit, the Committee is
not able to provide funding to support the direction of the fusion
energy program as requested by the Department.  It will be
necessary for the Department to develop a revised program strategy
for fusion energy at a much reduced funding level.  Budget
realities dictate that future funding will not be available to
pursue the course envisioned by the Department's budget request
which included funding both the International Thermal Experimental
Reactor and the Tokamak Physics Experiment project.

"The fusion program is currently being reviewed by the President's
Council on Science and Technology, but results of this review are
not yet available.  With the funding provided in fiscal year 1996,
the Committee expects the Department to propose a fusion program
which supports advancement of key research areas and exploration of
alternatives at a much smaller scale in laboratories and
universities.  This plan should be developed in consultation with
the fusion community and Congress, but with the understanding that
future funding levels are unlikely to increase and could well
decrease below the fiscal year 1996 recommendation."

BASIC ENERGY SCIENCES:  "The Committee recommendation for Basic
Energy Sciences is $792,661,000, a decrease of $18,758,000 [or
2.3%] from the budget request of $811,419,000.  [FY95
appropriation: $733.9 million.]

"The Committee acknowledges the important and essential
contributions of the Department in the Nation's basic science and
research programs.  The collaboration between the national labs and
the university community has provided the foundation for scientific
breakthroughs and achievements in energy-related research.  To
continue this progress, the Committee recommendation strongly
supports the budget request to enhance the utilization of the
Department's fundamental science and user facilities."

"Within available funds, $1,000,000 is provided to fund
peer-reviewed research on the potential energy applications of
sonoluminescence.  Sonoluminescence is an effect in which highly
concentrated sound waves in liquids generate very short bursts of
light from bubbles in the liquid.  Calculations have suggested the
possibility of its use in inertial fusion applications."

"The Committee has included the budget request of $8,000,000 for
research and design and conceptual design activities for a
spallation neutron source" [intended to replace the ANS as a
neutron scattering source.]

Within BASIC ENERGY SCIENCES, MATERIALS SCIENCES would receive
$368,400,000, an increase [of 5.8%] from the budget request of
$348,297,000.  [FY95 appropriation: $272.3 million.]

ENERGY SUPPORT ACTIVITIES:  Due to severe budget constraints, the
Committee recommendation does not include funding for the
University and Science Education programs.  [FY95 appropriation:
$69.6 million.]

Explore FYI topics: