APS News

Washington Dispatch

A bi-monthly update from the APS Office of Public Affairs


President Bush's budget request for FY 2006 contains cuts to key research budgets. The DOE Office of Science budget would decline 3.8%; the NSF budget would increase 1.5% (after accounting for the transfer of a Coast Guard program), below the rate of inflation; basic research at the Defense Department would decline 12.8%; and NASA 's basic research would decline 7.1%. The NIST Labs would climb 12.4%, although the increase could vaporize once closeout costs for the Advanced Technology Program are accounted for. Please refer to the AAAS R&D Website (www.aaas.org/spp/rd) and AIP budget page (www.aip.org/gov/budginfo.html) for more details.


The U.S. State Department has announced that the duration of security clearances ("Visas Mantis" clearances) required for certain foreign science students and scholars applying for visas has been extended from one year to up to four years. Senators Norm Coleman (R-MN) and Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), meanwhile, have reintroduced a bill (S. 455) designed to further streamline the visa process for foreign science students and scholars entering the U.S.


The APS Panel on Public Affairs (POPA) will be issuing a Discussion Paper on nuclear power and proliferation resistance titled: "Securing Benefits, Limiting Risk". The report reviews three current federal programs: Technical Safeguards, Gen IV, and the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative. Several recommendations are made that would enhance the proliferation resistance of nuclear power. Roger Hagengruber chaired the study. Other authors include: John Ahearne, Robert J. Budnitz, Steve Fetter, Ernest Moniz, Burt Richter, Tom Shea, Francis Slakey, Jim Tape, and Frank von Hippel. When issued, the report will be available for download from the APS Washington Office website: http://www.aps.org/policy/index.cfm

Log on to the APS Web Site: (http://www.aps.org/policy/index.cfm) for more information.

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Editor: Alan Chodos
Associate Editor: Jennifer Ouellette