I’m pleased to tell you that today, the Energy and Water Development bill, the Lab’s principal source of funding, was signed into law by the President. The bill appropriates to DOE funding for Fiscal Year 2019 that will support breakthrough science at the Lab. The fiscal year begins Oct. 1, and this is the first time since 1999 (FY2000) that our primary appropriations bill was finished before the start of the fiscal year. I’m thankful we can begin the next 12 months with a final budget, allowing us to plan and execute our research with confidence.
A few highlights in this year’s bill:
The Advanced Light Source Upgrade is allocated $62M, which will allow us to begin the planned seven-year process to improve the existing ALS so it can produce highly focused beams of soft x-ray light that are up to 1000 times brighter than that of the existing ALS.
Cleanup of legacy waste at Berkeley Lab is funded at $35 million, allowing us to make major strides toward making way for new facilities.
Funding for NERSC is set at $105M, an increase of about $11M, which will allow it to proceed with the NERSC-9 upgrade project.
ESnet will receive $85M, which will fund the much-needed upgrade to ESnet6 and allow the network to keep pace with the explosion in scientific data.
The appropriations bill provides $5M for developing the design of the planned Biological and Environmental Program Integration Center (BioEPIC), which keeps it on schedule for a construction start in 2021.
Incidentally, a few weeks ago I received word that for the first time in its history, Berkeley Lab’s budget topped $1B in funding commitments for FY18. When the final numbers come in, we expect the annual total to be about $1.09 B, or about 15% above FY17. With the FY19 bill just signed into law, I expect the Lab to fare even better in FY19. Support like this is a testament to your dedication and excellent work, and it represents the trust that the President, Congress, our colleagues at DOE, and the nation’s taxpayers place in us to act as stewards of the Lab’s resources and its scientific mission–trust that we must re-earn every day by doing great work while paying close attention to operational discipline at every level.
Thank you for your contributions that have made the Lab a leader in fundamental science, and for your commitment to stewardship of this valuable national resource.