Last week, Congress passed and the President signed into law an omnibus spending bill that will fund the federal government through the end of September. The bill contains good news for U.S. particle physics and for our laboratory.
Funding for the two federal agencies that supply most U.S. particle physics funding — the Department of Energy’s Office of Science and the National Science Foundation — is up about four percent from FY13. The Department of Energy’s Office of High Energy Physics, which provides more than 90 percent of Fermilab’s funding, will receive $797 million for this fiscal year.
As is the case every year, it will be some time before we know what this means for Fermilab’s FY14 bottom line and for our projects, research and operations. However, some crucial details for our projects and for nationwide initiatives important for the future of U.S. particle physics are spelled out in the bill, including:
- $26 million for LBNE, including $10 million for R&D and $16 million for project engineering and design;
- $15 million to support minimal sustaining operations at the Homestake Mine in South Dakota, which will be the location of the LBNE far detector;
- $35 million for Mu2e construction;
- $35 million for Fermilab utility upgrades through the Science Laboratories Infrastructure program; and
- $10 million for the nationally competitive Accelerator Stewardship program administered by the DOE Office of High Energy Physics.
While not spelled out in the bill, the passage of the omnibus bill also means that the Muon g-2 experiment will proceed toward construction in FY14. These funding numbers send a positive signal for the future of our country’s, and our lab’s, broad particle physics program.
I will discuss more details of the FY14 budget and lab’s current and future projects and programs at an all-hands meeting scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 6, at 10 a.m. in Ramsey Auditorium. I hope you will be able to attend.