March 10, 2016

Schumer, Gillibrand Urge Senate Appropriations Committee To Provide Robust Federal Funding To Brookhaven National Lab

Schumer, Gillibrand Have Long Fought to Secure Increased Federal Funds for BNL- Funding Helps the U.S. Remain On The Forefront of Scientific Research

Long Island, N.Y. – U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, today urged Senate leaders of the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development to support critical funding for Brookhaven National Lab (BNL) through the Department of Energy for Fiscal Year 2017. The Senators are urging the Subcommittee to match the President’s budget request of $5,672,000,000 for the Department of Energy Office of Science, from which BNL receives a substantial portion of its funding. This funding would enable Brookhaven National Laboratory to continue to ramp-up operations of the National Synchrotron Light Source-II (NSLS-II) accelerator, commission recently completed beamlines, and bring additional beamlines on-line; and would provide 3500 hours of operation on 18 beamlines in support of approximately 900 scientists from universities, industry, and government. Further, the Senators are supporting the President’s budget request for the Nuclear Physics program at $635.7 million, including $179.7 million specifically for operating BNL’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) for 24 weeks in FY17, allowing for this user facility to continue to support the over 1000 scientists and 200 students who conduct important research annually.

“Investing in Brookhaven National Lab’s ion collider and the cutting-edge Light Source will keep our nation at the forefront of innovation and boost Long Island’s economy,” said Senator Schumer. “I will continue to fight for increased federal funds in Congress to make sure the Brookhaven Nation Lab and its ion collider continues to operate.”

“Brookhaven National Laboratory is a major economic engine for Long Island and plays a critical role in maintaining U.S. competitiveness,” said Senator Gillibrand. “If we are going to out-innovate and out-compete other countries in the fields of science and technology, we must continue to invest in cutting edge facilities like the country's only ion collider at Brookhaven National Lab and new facilities like NSLS-II. I will continue to work hard to ensure that this funding is included in the Fiscal Year 2017 appropriations bill, ensuring our nation’s continued edge in research and supporting BNL’s central role in Long Island’s economy.”

Last month, Schumer and Gillibrand announced their support of President Obama’s budget request to increase funding for Brookhaven National Lab, which included an increase in federal funding for the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) totaling $179.7 million, $111.8 million for the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS-II) project and $1.8 million for the Core Facility Revitalization project. Brookhaven National Lab’s collider currently supports 850 jobs and is the only remaining particle collider of its kind in the country. BNL’s National Synchrotron Light Source-II is a next-generation X-ray light source scientific user facility that is poised to foster breakthroughs in fields such as advanced materials, biology and medicine, and chemical, geo-, nano-, and environmental science. When fully instrumented NSLS-II will serve over 4,000 university, industry, and government-sponsored programs.

 

Full text of the Senators’ joint letter is included below:

 

Dear Chairman Alexander and Ranking Member Feinstein:

 

As you begin work on the Fiscal Year 2017 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill, we write to request your support for a number of programs at the Department of Energy (DOE) that are of critical importance to Brookhaven National Laboratory. We urge you to strongly support the President’s budget request for the DOE Office of Science, particularly its Nuclear Physics and Basic Energy Sciences programs. 

 

The DOE Office of Science is the nation’s primary sponsor of basic research in the physical sciences.  With the funding it receives from the DOE Office of Science, Brookhaven National Laboratory brings together some of the nation’s best and brightest scientists to conduct the cutting-edge research necessary to improve our nation’s energy security, address environmental challenges, and produce innovative technological breakthroughs that will fuel our economy and create jobs.  Brookhaven also operates and maintains a number of scientific facilities on which approximately 2500 university, industry, and government-sponsored scientists from across the country and around the world rely to conduct research.  For these research activities and facilities, we urge you to provide $5,672,000,000, the same as the budget request, for the DOE Office of Science in FY17.

 

The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) is a unique scientific user facility that allows over 1000 scientists and 200 students from around the world to study what the universe may have looked like in the first few moments after its creation. This research helps us better understand matter and why the physical world works the way it does, from the smallest subatomic particles to the largest stars.  RHIC has fueled work with industry, the Department of Defense, and other DOE programs on next-generation hadron radiotherapy facilities for cancer treatment, superconducting magnet energy storage systems, high-current energy recovery linacs for potential defense applications, and advanced medical imaging techniques and detectors. 

 

For all of the critical benefits RHIC provides, we urge you to support the President’s budget request for Nuclear Physics program at $635.7 million. We ask that within this amount, you include $179.7 million for RHIC operations.  This will enable a RHIC run of 24 weeks in FY17.  While still only 74.1% of RHIC’s optimal run time, this level of funding will ensure reliable and efficient RHIC operations. 

 

The Basic Energy Science (BES) program within the DOE Office of Science supports the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS II) at Brookhaven National Laboratory. The NSLS II is a next-generation X-ray light source scientific user facility that will foster breakthroughs and discoveries in fields such as advanced materials, biology and medicine, and chemical, geo-, nano-, and environmental science.  NSLS II was designed to accommodate up to 60 beamlines in support of approximately 4000 users, but it will take a number of years to fully build out the beamlines and other tools needed to accommodate so many additional users. The funding requested in FY17 will enable the team at Brookhaven National Laboratory to continue to ramp-up operations of the accelerator, commission recently completed beamlines, and bring additional beamlines on-line as quickly as funding allows.  More specifically, this funding will provide for 3500 hours of operation on 18 beamlines in support of approximately 900 scientists from universities, industry, and government.  We support the President’s budget request of $1,936,700,000 for the Basic Energy Sciences (BES) program within the DOE Office of Science. Within this amount, we request $489.1 million for Synchrotron Radiation Light Sources and $111.8 million for the operation of NSLS II.

 

We support the budget request of $130 million for the Science Laboratories Infrastructure program within the DOE Office of Science, which includes $1.8 million for the Core Facility Revitalization Project at Brookhaven National Laboratory.  This multi-year, $63.4 million project will provide the physical facilities and infrastructure that will enable computing and data storage capabilities in support of the lab’s growing computational science needs.  The funding requested for this project in FY17 will be used for preliminary and final design, as well as project management and support activities.

 

We recognize the difficult budget constraints under which you are working, and appreciate your consideration of our requests.  We believe that Brookhaven is an asset to New York and the nation, and that federal funding for cutting-edge research and development conducted at places like Brookhaven must be a priority if we, as a nation, are to lessen our dependence on foreign oil, reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen our national and homeland security, help U.S. industry remain innovative and competitive, and create the jobs of the future.  Please let us know if we can be of assistance to you in any way.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Charles E. Schumer                                                                

United States Senator

 

Kirsten Gillibrand

United States Senator