Originally appeared in Thursday, July 10, 2003 Oak Ridger
DOE science funding looks good
Science funding is looking up.
About $169 million up, if the Energy and Water Appropriations subcommittee mark holds. The committee approved Tuesday funding DOE science programs at $3.48 billion, an $169 million increase over the budget request, and $219 million above 2003 levels.
"This is extremely good news," said Bill Madia, director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in a phone interview from Columbus, Ohio. Madia is the lab's director until the end of the month when he takes a position with UT-Battelle headquarters.
"I'm very hopeful for what this might mean for Oak Ridge, and quite frankly the speculation in Washington is that the Senate mark, as well as the conference mark, will take this further," Madia said.
He complimented the efforts of local house delegation.
Madia said that the funding is up in four areas where ORNL is strongly positioned to collect the dollars: biology, supercomputing, fusion and modernization.
"This doesn't guarantee a big fraction of this funding will come to Oak Ridge, but when you look at how they intend to spend it, we are extremely well positioned to get well more than our fair share," he said.
The mark fully funds the Spallation Neutron Source.
The bill, still a long way from active budget, also addressed Y-12 National Security Complex funding, accelerated cleanup and other Oak Ridge projects.
Earlier this week the Senate put a $9 million appropriation on ORNL's SensorNet platform technology, up $3 million from the House mark. "We're very thankful to Sen. (Bill) Frist and Sen. (Lamar) Alexander for their help on that," said Billy Stair, public affairs chief for ORNL.
The $143 million for the SNS, the world's largest science project, was expected news for keeping the project on track.
"The full-funding level keeps the project on schedule and on-budget for the coming year," said U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, R-3rd District. "Upon completion in 2006, premier scientists from all over the world will travel to Oak Ridge to work with the SNS on everything from medical miracles to transportation breakthroughs."
The subcommittee mark also includes:
$30 million increase over the Bush Administration's request for the Y-12 Weapons Plant. "This additional funding is needed to meet the added workload requirements and increased safeguards and security at Y-12," said Wamp.
The subcommittee included full funding of the Administration's request for accelerated environmental clean-up in Oak Ridge.
$20 million for ORNL's Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences. The CNMS will be used in conjunction with SNS and the High Flux Isotope Reactor in Oak Ridge for research in the areas of energy conservation and transmission.
$40 million increase in high-speed computing research for the nation-wide Advanced Scientific Computing Research program, which will support DOE's mission through scientific computation. The ORNL is a national leader is high-speed computational sciences.
$28 million increase over the Administration's request for infrastructure improvements and to correct safety deficiencies at the nation's science laboratories.
The full House Appropriations Committee is expected to consider the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill on Tuesday. The bill is expected to reach the floor of the House before the August District Work Period.Copyright 2003, The Oak Ridger, All Rights Reserved.
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