Friday, 30 April 93 Washington, DC
1. DOD'S POST COLD-WAR R&D PRIORITIES: SDI STAYS, 82 POSTDOCS GO.
Overall research and development at DOD grows 2.3% to $38.3B in
the Administration's FY '94 budget, but the "6.1" targeted basic
and applied research category grows a meager 0.6% and the "6.2"
exploratory research is down 10%. The Office of Naval Research
postdoctoral fellowship program and the Independent Exploratory
Development program are proposed victims of the $54M cut in 6.2
funding. The Administration's "healthy dose of reality" for SDI
R&D is just a placebo. The ground-based SDI is now supposed to
shield the US against nuclear attack from the developing world,
and proposed funding is a near-record high $4B per year for four
years--chief non-federal recipients are Lockheed, Boeing and TRW.
2. HEPAP SETS PRIORITIES: 1) SSC, 2) MAIN INJECTOR, 3) B-FACTORY.
A letter from the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel (HEPAP) to
Will Happer, Director of Energy Research at DOE, recognizes the
country's difficult financial situation and prioritizes the three
major HEP projects under development. A SSC with a realistic
completion date is "the cornerstone of our future program." The
highest priority in the base program is "the effective use of the
existing facilities." Of the construction projects at existing
facilities, the Main Injector at Fermi has the highest priority.
The B factory at either SLAC or Cornell comes in third overall,
but HEPAP urges DOE and NSF to work quickly on site selection.
3. THE FUTURE OF FISSION: LIMIT OR ELIMINATE NUCLEAR ENERGY R&D?
Nuclear energy research and development at DOE is not dead yet,
but it's gasping. Excluding termination costs, proposed FY '94
R&D is down 45%--the Integral Fast Reactor
(WN 5 Mar 93) cut is
85% to $21M, and the Light Water Reactor is down 1.5% to $57.8M.
Congress is split. Marilyn Lloyd, chairwoman of the House Energy
Subcommittee, believes the Clinton budget proposal "is in direct
opposition to the will of Congress as stated in the 1992 National
Energy Policy Act." But that's last year's will. This week 22 of
55 House SS&T Committee members wrote Chairman Brown requesting
termination of advanced reactor R&D. Currently, the debate turns
on 3 points: Is the IFR just another Clinch River Reactor? Does
it have commercial benefit? Can it promote "de-proliferation"?
4. NASA LAUNCHED ANOTHER $1.7B SEARCH FOR GOOD PRESS ON MONDAY.
This time the shuttle has two Germans on board! Who paid for
them to be there? The German Space Agency "contracted" out the
Columbia for $150M (NASA covered the remaining $1.55B) and loaded
der Ladebucht mit die $400M Spacelab Instrumente sparking debate
in Germany over costly space projects. Astronauts Schlegel and
Walter will try to silence critics with new results on
balance-sensing organs in clawed frog tadpoles and colored perch larvae.
5. AN ERROR BY THE E-MAIL DISTRIBUTER .....
Made last week's "WHAT'S NEW" a bulky twenty pages.
Read our bits: no more more errors.