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SST Committee Approves DOE Research Infrastructure Legislation

Nov 15, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON - The U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, chaired by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), today unanimously approved three bills enhancing Department of Energy (DOE) basic research. The Department of Energy Research Infrastructure Act (H.R. 4376) was introduced by Rep. Steve Knight (R-Calif.), vice chairman of the Energy Subcommittee. The Accelerating American Leadership in Science Act (H.R. 4377) was introduced by Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.), a member of the Energy Subcommittee. The Nuclear Energy Research Infrastructure Act (H.R. 4378) was introduced by Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas), chairman of the Energy Subcommittee.

Chairman Smith: “Maintaining America’s leadership in energy research infrastructure is a crucial priority for our Committee. Together, these three bills direct and authorize investments in DOE user facilities across the country that jointly host more than 30,000 researchers each year. I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their commitment to our shared goals of supporting basic research and continually improving the world’s best science facilities.”

Vice Chairman Steve Knight: “For over a century, the United States has lead the world in scientific discovery and advanced technology. The discoveries and innovations created by American minds have not only provided immeasurable value to our economy, but have also improved the quality of life for all of mankind. The research advanced in this bill has the potential to be a generational leap in our understanding of the natural world.”

Rep. Hultgren: “The crown jewel in our nation’s research ecosystem—our national labs—lead the world in groundbreaking scientific research and employ thousands of scientists working on vital experiments. Open to the entire research community and other federal agencies, these facilities are the envy of the world, and other nations working to catch up and replicate our success. The Department of Energy’s Office of Science operates and maintains this large-scale research infrastructure which no single university or business has the capacity to propose. I introduced the Accelerating American Leadership in Science Act to ensure the United States remains the destination for the best and brightest in the world to continue their work exploring the outer reaches of our scientific knowledge. The research done at these facilities, and the technology they produce, reaffirms American leadership in fields that will improve lives and increase domestic jobs here in Illinois.”

Chairman Weber: “Access to fast neutrons is a critical part of the development of next generation materials and fuels for advanced nuclear reactor technology. The Nuclear Energy Research Infrastructure Act allocates funds from within the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy for the construction of the Versatile Neutron Source. I’m grateful for the opportunity to work alongside my fellow Texans, and the other members of this Committee, to support research infrastructure that will keep America safe, globally competitive and encourage nuclear innovation.”

Background

Vice Chairman Knight’s DOE Research Infrastructure Act directs and authorizes the secretary of energy to upgrade the Advanced Light Source, to complete the Linac Coherent Light Source II High Energy upgrade and to complete construction of the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams via funding allocated from within the DOE Office of Science budget. It was introduced on November 13, 2017. The bill text can be found here.

Rep. Hultgren’s Accelerating American Leadership in Science Act directs and authorizes the secretary of energy to upgrade the Advanced Photon Source, to construct a Long Baseline Neutrino Facility, to provide a proton power upgrade to the Spallation Neutron Source and to construct a second target station for the Spallation Neutron Source via funding allocated from within the DOE Office of Science budget. It was introduced on November 13, 2017. The bill text can be found here.

Chairman Weber’s Nuclear Energy Research Infrastructure Act directs and authorizes the secretary of energy to construct a Versatile Neutron Source user facility via funding allocated from within the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy. It was introduced on November 13, 2017. The bill text can be found here.

115th Congress