APS News

Washington Dispatch

ISSUE: Science Research Budgets

Since floor approval of the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science appropriations bill in June, the full House has acted on funding bills for NSF ($6.02B; +7.8% over FY06), NIST core programs ($0.47B; +18%); DOD basic research ($1.56B; +6.1%), DOD applied research ($5.25B; +1.5%), and NASA Science ($5.41B; +3%). The Senate Appropriations Committee has also passed the bills funding DOE Office of Science ($4.24B), NSF ($5.99B), NIST core programs ($.47B), DOD basic research ($1.48B), DOD applied research ($4.81B), and NASA Science ($5.40B), but the full Senate has yet to vote. It is widely anticipated that many of these funding bills will not see final action until after the November elections.

The proposed funding levels for DOE Office of Science, NSF, and NIST core programs are generally consistent with the President's American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI) request.

For details of the FY07 budget process, go to http://www.aaas.org/spp/rd/fy07.htm

ISSUE: Interim Nuclear Waste Storage Study

The APS Panel on Public Affairs Nuclear Energy Study Group met on August 8th and 9th to examine technical and programmatic issues associated with the centralized interim storage of spent nuclear fuel. The study group received briefings by representatives of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), DOE, and the nuclear industry, as well as Congressional staff and independent experts. The study group report is expected to be available by mid-November. The members of the study group are Roger Hagengruber (Co-Chair), John Ahearne (Co-Chair), Robert J. Budnitz, Margaret Chu, Kevin Crowley, Richard Meserve, Ernest J. Moniz, Burton Richter, Frank Von Hippel, and Francis Slakey.

ISSUE: POPA Electricity Storage Study

The APS Panel on Public Affairs Electricity Storage Study Group held a workshop on August 14th and 15th to examine the technical issues associated with electricity storage. Technology experts provided briefings on the current status of the technologies used for electricity storage. In addition, representatives from industry, DOE, and the utilities sector briefed the study group on the implementation and current status of electricity

ISSUE: Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW)

The Nuclear Weapons Complex Assessment Committee (NWCAC), in which the APS is informally participating, had its second meeting at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The NWCAC received both classified and unclassified briefings on the technical issues associated with the proposed Reliable Replacement Warhead (RRW). A report is anticipated to be completed by early next year.

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Editor: Alan Chodos
Contributing Editor: Jennifer Ouellette
Staff Writer: Ernie Tretkoff