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  • $1.2B Allocated to Science
Mar 2009
UPTON, N.Y., March 24, 2009 – $1.2 billion in new science funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was announced Monday by Department of Energy (DoE) Secretary Steven Chu. The amount includes support for research in particle and plasma physics, solar energy, solid-state lighting and superconductivity.

Chu said the money will be used for major construction, laboratory infrastructure and research efforts sponsored by the DoE Office of Science. He made the announcement during a visit to Brookhaven National Laboratory, one of 10 national laboratories overseen by the Office of Science. Many of the projects funded under the Recovery Act are located at national labs (21 national laboratories and technology centers operate under the DoE).

“Leadership in science remains vital to America’s economic prosperity, energy security and global competitiveness,” said Chu. “These projects not only provide critically needed short-term economic relief but also represent a strategic investment in our nation’s future. They will create thousands of jobs and breathe new life into many local economies, while helping to accelerate new technology development, renew our scientific and engineering workforce, and modernize our nation’s scientific infrastructure.”

The package also provides substantial support for both university- and national laboratory-based researchers, working on problems in fields ranging from particle and plasma physics to biofuels, solar energy, superconductivity, solid-state lighting, and electricity storage and materials science, among others, Chu said.

Included among the approved projects:
  • $150 million to accelerate ongoing construction on the National Synchrotron Light Source-II at Brookhaven. This new, state-of-the-art high-intensity light source is expected to facilitate major breakthroughs in next-generation energy technologies, materials science and biotechnology that could lead to advances in battery technology and photovoltaics.

  • $123 million for major construction, modernization and needed decommissioning of laboratory facilities at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), in Oak Ridge, Tenn.; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), in Berkeley, Calif.; and Brookhaven.

  • $65 million to accelerate construction of the 12-Billion-Electron-Volt Upgrade of the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF) at Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (TJNAF) in Newport News, Va. The CEBAF upgrade will provide an international community of physicists with a cutting-edge facility for studying the basic building blocks of the visible universe. The advanced particle accelerator technology being developed for this project also has had important medical applications.

  • $277 million for Energy Frontier Research Centers, to be awarded on a competitive basis to universities and national laboratories across the country. These centers will accelerate the basic science needed to develop plentiful and cost-effective alternative energy sources and will pursue advanced fundamental research in fields ranging from solar energy to nuclear energy systems, biofuels, geological sequestration of carbon dioxide, clean and efficient combustion, solid-state lighting, superconductivity, hydrogen research, electrical energy storage, catalysis for energy and materials under extreme conditions.

  • $90 million to create and save jobs for other core research, providing support for graduate students, postdocs and PhD scientists.

  • $69 million to create a national-scale prototype 100-Gb/s data network linking research centers nationwide.

  • $330 million for operations and equipment at Office of Science major scientific user facilities, used annually by more than 20,000 researchers. Facilities supported by Recovery Act funding include, among others, the Spallation Neutron Source at ORNL, the world’s most intense pulsed accelerator-based neutron source, used in advanced materials science, chemistry and biology research; the Nanoscale Science Research Centers located at five national labs nationwide, which provide nanotechnology instrumentation; the ARM Climate Research Facility, a collection of climate measurement facilities located around the globe that gather atmospheric data needed to reduce uncertainty about climate change; the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), which provides unique instrumentation and computational capabilities for environmental science; and the Linac Coherent Light Source, currently under construction at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) in Menlo Park, Calif., which will enable scientists for the first time to observe chemical reactions at the molecular level in real time.

In addition, the Recovery Act funding provides $125 million for needed infrastructure improvements across nine DoE national laboratories: Ames Laboratory in Ames, Iowa; Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, Ill.; Brookhaven National Laboratory; Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill.; LBNL; ORNL; PNNL in Richland, Wash.; SLAC; and TJNAF.

The $1.2 billion is the first installment of a total of $1.6 billion allocated by Congress to the DoE Office of Science under the Recovery Act legislation. Officials are still working to facilitate approval and release of the remaining $371 million.

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