Friday, May 20, 2005

House Appropriations Committee: Fusion Funding News

Blatantly stolen (and mildly reformatted) from the American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Science Policy News

Up 8.1% or $22.3 million from this year's budget of $273.9 million.

"The Committee recommendation for fusion energy sciences is $296,155,000, an increase of $5,605,000 over the budget request but with a significant redirection of funds as outlined below. The Committee is concerned that two-thirds of the proposed increase for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) would be achieved by reducing domestic fusion research and operating time on domestic user facilities. Under the proposed fiscal year 2006 budget, operating time at the three major fusion research facilities (DIII-D, Alcator C-Mod, and NSTX) would be reduced from 48 weeks in fiscal year 2005 to a total of only 17 weeks in fiscal year 2006. If the United States expects to be a serious contributor to international fusion research in general and to ITER in particular, the Nation needs to maintain strong domestic research programs and user facilities to train the next generation of fusion scientists and engineers. The Department's proposal to increase support for ITER at the expense of domestic fusion research is unwise and unacceptable. Such an approach is not only short-sighted, but inconsistent with prior Congressional guidance. Therefore, the Committee directs the Department to utilize $29,900,000 of funding proposed for ITER and the additional $5,605,000 to restore U.S.-based fusion funding to fiscal year 2005 levels as follows:

$7,300,000 for high performance materials for fusion

$14,305,000 to restore operation of the three major user facilities to fiscal year 2005 operating levels

$7,200,000 for intense heavy ion beams and fast ignition studies

$5,100,000 for compact stellarators and small-scale experiments

$1,600,000 for theory

As in previous years, the Committee directs the Department to fund the U.S. share of ITER through additional resources rather than through reductions to domestic fusion research or to other Office of Science programs. If the Department does not follow this guidance in its fiscal year 2007 budget submission, the Committee is prepared to eliminate all U.S. funding for the ITER project in the future."


Mild clue from the House? WTF is the world coming to?

Not a big clue or else they'd be beating DOE over the head with a bat to do more in house fusion work, but...its progress.

No comments: