Our first FY14 budget news

Fermilab Director
Pier Oddone

Before I talk about the laboratory budget, I want to express sympathy on behalf of our lab for the victims of yesterday’s bombings and their families. Our thoughts are with them.

The President’s Budget Request for FY2014 was unveiled last week. This is the first step in the annual federal budget cycle and gives us a good idea of what we can expect for next year’s budget. The request contains essentially flat funding for our base scientific program, with a much-needed one-time allocation of funds for improvements to our utility systems. We have a momentous year ahead with the restart of our accelerator complex and the development and construction of many new projects. This budget, while constrained, allows us to make steady progress and improve the foundation for our future.

The best news in the President’s Request is the one-time allocation of $35 million for badly needed work on some of our critical utility systems. This funding, part of the Science Laboratories Infrastructure program, would allow us to improve our high-voltage electrical and industrial cooling water systems. Core components of these systems are 40 years old, and this funding will allow us to bring them up to modern standards needed to support our lab’s future programs.

The bulk of the lab’s funding, which comes from the Office of High Energy Physics, would stay essentially flat from this year. The request for next year is $368 million, up slightly from the $366 million we expect to receive in FY2013. It includes funding for our Muon Campus—$35 million for Mu2e and $9 million for Muon g-2. The Office of Science has also put the Muon g-2 experiment forward as a new start in a year when they are granting that status to very few new construction projects.

The $10 million requests both for LBNE and for the operation of the Homestake mine are also flat from this year to next. We are making great progress in securing international partners for LBNE and will continue to do all we can to cement the future of LBNE as a flagship project for U.S. particle physics, including working with Congress to improve the funding situation.

I will discuss the budgetary outlook for Fermilab and the major projects and initiatives for the coming year in an all-hands meeting on Thursday, April 25, at 9:30 a.m. in Ramsey Auditorium. The meeting will be webcast. I hope many of you will attend, and I look forward to answering your questions. In the meantime, you can contact me by e-mailing staffquestions@fnal.gov.