FY 2004 Budget Request: DOE Office of Science

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Publication date: 
6 February 2003

In introducing the FY 2004 DOE budget request, Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham's primary emphasis was on the department's long-term vision to transform the nation's energy economy to a zero-emissions future through R&D in areas such as fusion and hydrogen. He specifically cited the Administration's recent decision to rejoin ITER, and President Bush's announcement of a FreedomFuel hydrogen initiative.

Under President Bush's FY 2004 request, DOE's Office of Science would receive $3.3 billion. According to DOE, this is a 1.4% increase above the comparable request for FY 2003. However, because the FY 2003 appropriations process has not been completed, one way to look at the FY 2004 request is to compare it to the appropriation for FY 2002, which is final, to see how funding would change over the two-year period. The FY 2004 request is less than 1.0% above the comparable FY 2002 appropriations level.

According to Office of Science Director Ray Orbach, due to the ramping down of construction on projects like the Spallation Neutron Source and Neutrinos at the Main Injector and some other program changes, the request actually reflects an increase over the FY 2003 request of nearly 4.5% for the science performed by the Office. As priorities for his Office, Orbach listed ITER negotiations and supporting R&D; Next Generation Computing Architecture; Nanoscale Science, Engineering and Technology; Genomes to Life; the Climate Change Research Initiative; Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing; a new Workforce Development initiative with DOE labs contributing to teacher professional development; and both new instrumentation and more operating time at user facilities.

Even with the decision to participate in ITER, the FY 2004 request for Fusion Energy Sciences remains the same as the FY 2003 request, although greater than the FY 2002 appropriation. High Energy and Nuclear Physics would each experience increases above both their FY 2003 request and FY 2002 appropriations levels. Funding for Biological and Environmental Research would increase over the FY 2003 request but would not reach the FY 2002 funding level. Basic Energy Sciences funding would fall from the FY 2003 request, largely due to the Spallation Neutron Source construction approaching completion, although the requested amount still represents an increase over FY 2002 appropriations.

Explanations for the budgets of selected Office of Science programs, taken from the DOE "Budget Highlights" document, are quoted below. The figures for the FY 2002 appropriations and FY 2003 request given below have in some cases been adjusted by DOE so that they reflect "comparable" program content to the FY 2004 request.

FUSION ENERGY SCIENCES (FES): $257.3 million; up 6.7% from FY 2002 appropriation; equal to FY 2003 request.

"The FES facilities include the DIII-D at General Atomics in San Diego, the Alcator C-Mod at MIT, and the National Spherical Tokamak Experiment at Princeton. Starting in FY 2004, DOE will participate in negotiations to construct an international burning plasma experiment, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor."

"The FES program has identified $12 million within its existing programs that support preparations for ITER. The program will maintain operation of its three primary facilities at the proposed FY 2003 levels and will continue with design and fabrication of the National Compact Stellerator Experiment at Princeton. Within available funding in FY 2004, the FES program will establish up to two Centers of Excellence in Theory and General Plasma Science."

HIGH ENERGY PHYSICS (HEP): $738.0 million; up 5.8% from FY 2002 appropriation; up 1.8% from FY 2003 request.

The HEP "research program is primarily carried out at the two major scientific facilities: Tevatron at Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois, and Stanford Linear Accelerator Center in California. The DOE is participating in the construction of the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. The HEP program also funds a program of non-accelerator physics that investigates dark energy, supernovae, solar neutrinos, black holes, and other topics."

The HEP program continues to give priority to two "windows of opportunity:" the search for the Higgs Boson, which will be "the primary emphasis at Fermilab for the next several years," and "research on charge-parity violation at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center.... DOE continues participation with the European Center for Nuclear Research on construction of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The LHC funding profile has changed, and DOE will now fund the project through FY 2007 and then become a partner in its research program. The HEP program has enhanced its program of non-accelerator physics, including $6.9 million for the SuperNova Acceleration Probe that will investigate ‘dark energy'.... Construction of the Neutrinos at the Main injector (NuMI) project is continued."

NUCLEAR PHYSICS: $389.4 million; up 11.1% from FY 2002 appropriaton; up 1.8% from FY 2003 request.

The Nuclear Physics program "funds two large flagship national user accelerator facilities, the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility at Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News, Virgina, and the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York. It also supports several other laboratory and university facilities and a program of non-accelerator physics."

"The Nuclear Physics program will focus its FY 2004 resources on research and operations of its three largest facilities." Operating time at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider will increase from 22 weeks to 29 weeks, while operating times at the Bates and Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator facilities will each drop by a week. "In order to support other facility operations, the 88-inch Cyclotron at [Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory] will shut down in FY 2004. Funding for R&D on a proposed new facility, the Rare Isotope Accelerator, is maintained at $3.5 million."

BIOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH (BER): $499.5 million; down 9.9% from FY 2002 appropriation; up 3.2% from FY 2003 request.

The BER program "is structured into four subprograms:" Life Sciences, Climate Change Research, Environmental Remediation, and Medical Applications and Measurement Science.

The BER program "has several high visibility initiatives. The Genomes to Life program increases by $24.5 million for additional research on function and control of molecular machines for energy and environmental applications. This is partly offset by a reduction of $12.2 million in the Human Genome Project, representing completion of human DNA sequencing. The Climate Change Research program is increased by $5.0 million to study the response of ecosystems to environmental change. Funding for the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory increases by $2.0 million for research on lowering the cost of environmental cleanup activities."

BASIC ENERGY SCIENCES (BES): $1,008.6 million; up 3.0% from FY 2002 appropriation; down 1.0% from FY 2003 request.

"There are two BES subprograms:" Materials Sciences and Engineering, and Chemical Sciences, Geosciences and Energy Biosciences. "The BES program is currently constructing a major new scientific user facility, the $1.4 billion (total project cost) Spallation Neutron Source, which will be the world's most powerful neutron scattering facility when completed. The BES program is also constructing several Nanoscale Science Research Centers as part of its nanoscale science initiative."

Funding for the Spallation Neutron Source "decreases by $82 million in FY 2004 [construction: minus $86 million, research: plus $4 million], as the project moves to completion in FY 2006. This savings makes funding available for a $64-million increase in the Nanoscale Science program, including funding for five Nanoscale Science Research Centers. Funding is also increased for operation of the scientific user facilities and design of the next-generation Linac Coherent Light Source."

Regarding the new WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT initiative, with a request of $6.5 million, the "Budget Highlights" explains, "To give added emphasis to education activities, the Science Education subprogram of Program Direction has become the new Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists program, and funding has been increased to support a new pilot program for teachers."

DOE's FY 2004 budget request and supporting materials can be found at http://www.mbe.doe.gov/budget.

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