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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.

8 Feb 2019

Several federal agencies are working to curb foreign nations, particularly China, from using talent recruitment programs and other methods to capitalize on the fruits of U.S.-financed R&D. In the latest major development, the Department of Energy announced last week that it will restrict its employees and future grantees from participating in recruitment programs operated by “sensitive” countries.

6 Feb 2019

Over the past two years, Congress passed legislation updating and endorsing a wide range of federal R&D activities, including marquee bills focused on quantum information science, energy research, weather forecasting, and hazard preparedness.

1 Feb 2019

Efforts by Congress and the Department of Energy to spur the development and commercialization of advanced nuclear reactors have gained steam in recent months, though some moves have received criticism.

4 Jan 2019

The enactment of the National Quantum Initiative Act on Dec. 21 creates a multiagency program spanning the National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Science Foundation, and Department of Energy. As part of the initiative, NSF and DOE will each establish between two and five competitively awarded research centers.

18 Dec 2018

The Department of Energy has launched a two-year effort to establish a consensus strategy for its fusion research program, using recent long-range planning exercises in high energy physics and nuclear science as a model.

31 Oct 2018

A National Academies study committee has begun a decadal survey of progress and opportunities in plasma science that will complement a separate forthcoming assessment of U.S. research programs in magnetic confinement fusion.

26 Oct 2018

With recent funding increases, the Department of Energy is advancing a suite of upgrades to its light and neutron source scientific user facilities, helping them remain competitive with European facilities. Meanwhile, there are new discussions about building a new reactor-based neutron source, even as Congress pushes ahead with a different reactor for nuclear energy R&D.

26 Sep 2018

President Trump has signed a fiscal year 2019 spending package that rejects his proposed cuts to the Department of Energy’s applied R&D programs for the second year in a row. Funding for renewable energy R&D remains stable, while government investment in nuclear energy R&D will continue its rapid increase.

21 Sep 2018

Within a 4 percent overall budget increase for the National Nuclear Security Administration, funding for most weapons and nonproliferation R&D programs will remain steady in fiscal year 2019. Congress rejected steep proposed cuts to inertial confinement fusion programs and greenlit development of a controversial new low-yield nuclear warhead.

19 Sep 2018

The Department of Energy’s Office of Science will receive a 5 percent funding increase for fiscal year 2019, bringing its total budget to $6.59 billion. The additional funding will advance work on exascale computing, user facility upgrades, and quantum information science, among other priority areas.