WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Bill Frist (R-TN) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) today announced that the Fiscal Year 2004 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill, which passed the Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday, includes significant funding for Tennessee energy and water priorities, including significant funding for Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant.
“Oak Ridge is widely recognized for its cutting edge science, its critical role in protecting our national security through its nuclear weapons work, and for advances in environmental cleanup activities. This bill provides critical funding for each of these important priorities,” said Frist. “The Spallation Neutron Source, a world-class science user facility, is fully funded and will stay on time and on budget. ORNL will be the first DOE lab to build a nanoscience research center, focusing on the next frontier of scientific research. The Laboratory will be positioned to compete for new funds in the areas of supercomputing and biology research. And Y-12's important work in preserving our nuclear deterrent will receive strong support. I’m pleased by the Appropriations Committee's action, and look forward to full Senate consideration of this important bill.”
“I am pleased the Appropriations Committee is fully funding the Spallation Neutron Source,” Alexander said. “It will be the premier neutron science facility in the world. I will be in Oak Ridge this week to see first hand the progress of its construction. This is an important investment, which will further Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s crucial role as an innovative leader in science.”
Some of the key Tennessee projects included in the Senate version of the FY 2004 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill include:
$143 million for the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) for continued construction, the same amount as the President’s request. Upon completion, SNS will be the most powerful research facility of its kind providing researchers an opportunity to study basic and applied research as well as develop technology in the fields of condensed matter physics, materials sciences, magnetic materials, polymers, chemistry, biology, earth sciences and engineering.
$20 million for the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences to begin construction of a new nanoscience research facility at ORNL.
$185 million for the Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) program. The program is critical to the Department of Energy’s goals for advanced scientific computing and this funding will allow ORNL to compete for a major new DOE initiative. The funding is $10 million over the President’s budget request.
$69 million for the Genomes to Life program, a $10 million increase over the President’s budget request. The funding will be used to expand efforts in microbial research. ORNL participates in this program and will receive a portion of this funding.
$257 million for Fusion Energy Sciences to continue research into this important energy source and to join a new international effort to build the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). ORNL will be one of the primary beneficiaries of this funding.
$48.5 million for modernization of the Science Laboratory Infrastructure across the DOE complex. Of this funding, $5 million is earmarked for ORNL.
$4 million to upgrade facilities housing radiological operations and storage at ORNL. This funding is above the President’s budget request.
$812 million for programs at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant. This is $17 million over the President's budget request.
Full funding of the President’s request for environmental management activities at ORNL. This will allow the site’s accelerated cleanup plan to move forward, it was stated.
The bill now awaits full Senate consideration