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President unveils fiscal year 2003 budget proposal. (Washington Window).

As part of his $2.1 trillion fiscal year 2003 budget proposal, President Bush is seeking an 8 percent increase in the nation's research and development budget. Most of the additional funds will go toward programs at the Department of Defense and the National Institutes of Health. Of the $111.1 billion in proposed R&D funding, $54.5 billion would go to the Department of Defense--an 11 percent increase over current levels. Here are highlights of budget proposals for key agencies.

Department of Defense: Even though the administration has requested a record increase for the defense budget, it would provide $9.7 billion for science and technology in fiscal year 2003, down about $300 million from current levels. That includes $1.4 billion for basic research, $3.8 billion for applied research, and $4.5 billion for advanced technology development.

Department of Energy: Renewable energy R&D would receive an overall 6 percent increase next year, for a total of $407.7 million. Winners include hydrogen (up $10.7 million for $39.9 million total), wind (up $5.4 million for $44 million total), high-temperature superconductivity (up $15.5 million for $53.5 million total), and hydropower (up $2.5 million, or 50 percent, for a $7.5 million total).

Within the fossil energy budget, carbon sequestration research would increase $21.8 million, for a total of $54 million, while the Vision 21 program (excluding hybrids) would increase $3.6 million, for a total of $31.6 million. The new FreedomCAR fuel cell vehicle program would receive $150 million. The president's Coal Research Initiative, which is a consolidation of the Clean Coal Power Initiative, and the coal research and development program, would be reduced $12.7 million, to $325.5 million. The Clean Coal Power Initiative would receive $150 million, unchanged from this year.

Nuclear energy research would increase 35 percent, rising $18.5 million, to $71.5 million mainly because the administration intends to expand the use of nuclear power in the United States. Toward that end, the budget creates a new Nuclear Power 2010 program to focus on resolving the technical, institutional, and regulatory barriers to the deployment of new nuclear power plants by 2010. The NP2010 program would receive $38.5 million in fiscal 2003, and the Generation IV power plant research program funding would be doubled from $4 million to $8 million.

To pay for the increases, the administration would eliminate the Nuclear Plant Optimization Program ($6.5 million), and would reduce funding for the Nuclear Energy Research Initiative (down $7 million, for a $25 million total), and for spent fuel pyroprocessing and transmutation (down $59 million for an $18.2 million total).

Finally, the nuclear waste disposal program would get a huge increase (up $149.8 million for a $527 million total) because of Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham's recent certification of the suitability of the Yucca Mountain, Nev., site for long-term nuclear waste storage.

National Science Foundation: The National Science Foundation is requesting $5 billion for fiscal 2003, which is $240 million, or 5 percent more than the previous fiscal year. The budget includes a second installment of $200 million for the president's five-year Math and Science Partnership Program to link local schools with colleges and universities to improve pre-K-12 math and science education, train teachers, and create innovative ways to reach out to underserved students and schools.

The fiscal 2003 budget request for the Engineering Directorate is $488 million, an increase of $16 million above this year's level of $472 million. The directorate seeks to enhance quality of life and national prosperity by investing in research and education activities that spur technological innovations. It also makes investments to ensure diversity and quality in the nation's infrastructure for engineering education and research. Engineering will support research in areas that include information technology, nanotechnology, biotechnology, and microelectronics.

The NSF request includes $221 million for nanotechnology research and $286 million for information technology research.

National Institute of Standards and Technology: The budget request for NIST is a mixed bag this year. The budget for scientific and technical research and services would increase $76 million, to $397.2 million. This is the main line item in NIST's budget and funds in-house laboratories and the Baldrige National Quality Program. The total includes $50 million to ensure that the Advanced Measurements Laboratory becomes fully operational.

The Advanced Technology Program, whose funding the administration tried to suspend last year, would see its budget reduced to $108 million, from $185 million. That is unlikely to happen as long as Sen. Ernest F. Hollings (D-S.C.) chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and State. After the administration tried to suspend the program last year, Hollings managed not only to save the program, but also to engineer a hefty increase.
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Title Annotation:research and development
Comment:President unveils fiscal year 2003 budget proposal. (Washington Window).(research and development)
Author:Dietz, Francis
Publication:Mechanical Engineering-CIME
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2002
Words:800
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