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2014 laser fusion budgets: Rochester going up, Livermore down

2014 laser fusion budgets: Rochester going up, Livermore down

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LaserFocusWorld published an article on the 2014 budgets for fusion energy. The Omega Laser at the University of Rochester received a boost in funding during House and Senate markups on the energy budget. However, the National Ignition Facility did not fare as well, with the markup maintaining the Obama Administration’s cut. From the article:

Markups of the fiscal 2014 energy budget by the U.S. House and Senate Appropriations Committees provided only a small amount of good news for laser-fusion labs. The panels boosted funding for the Omega laser at the University of Rochester (Rochester, NY) from the Obama Administration’s proposed level-funding of $60 million to either $66 million or $67 million (an uncertainty that must be resolved later). But they let stand a $50 million cut in the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) budget for the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Livermore, CA) to $329 million in 2014. The 2013 budget had been $379 million before sequesters. Office of Science funding for high-energy-density laboratory plasma experiments was also slashed.

The changes reflect reaction to NIF’s failure to achieve ignition by the target date, and an exceptionally tight budget. They will impact the future of inertial-confinement fusion and of Livermore, where NIF accounts for nearly 30% of the $1.1 billion budget expected in 2014.

To read the full article, click here.