Twenty-eight new and expanded science facilities were identified as investment priorities for the next 20 years in a Department of Energy blueprint for R&D growth laid out by Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham on Nov. 10.
About half of the 28 DOE Office of Science facilities would be completely new, said a senior DOE official, explaining that the list is broken into three six-year construction phases. It is a snapshot in time, the official stressed, to be reassessed by future presidents and congresses over the next two decades.
Initially, a list of more than 50 facilities was developed and ranked by six Science Office advisory panels, and the final selection was made by DOE Science Office Director Raymond Orbach (C&EN, Nov. 10, page 30).
||HEAVY ION COLLIDER Brookhaven National Lab is one facility on DOEs priority list.
BROOKHAVEN NATIONAL LAB PHOTO
The highest priority item is the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), a $5 billion fusion reactor being developed by an international consortium of countries.
Next comes a multisite unclassified computer system to speed todays civilian calculation capability by a factor of 100, a space-based probe to explore the universes dark energy, a new protein production facility, and the Linac coherent light source proposed for the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. All but a handful of the 28 have a chemistry, biology, or materials science flavor, and the official said it shows a change toward life-science-related R&D. This list is available at http://www.sc.doe.gov.
Congressional staffers told C&EN the list will be very helpful to Congress when setting funding priorities.
To fund all the projects, the Science Office would need a 60% funding boost over five years, the DOE official said, taking Science Office funding to $5.5 billion by 2008. Authorization for this increase is in the pending national energy bill. The blueprint would require a 4% annual funding increase thereafter.