Durbin: Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Bill That Preserves Funding for Fermilab and Argonne National Lab

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced that the Senate Appropriations Committee, of which he is a member, has approved a bill that preserves essential federal funding for scientific research and development programs that will support work at two Illinois labs – Argonne National Laboratory and Fermilab which together employ over 4,000 Illinoisans.  These projects were included in President Obama's FY2013 Budget and supported by Durbin.   


“Science labs like Fermi and Argonne are the backbone of our nation’s scientific infrastructure and workforce.  Today’s legislation provides a fiscally responsible path that will allow them to continue existing projects, expand their research and protect America’s position as a leader in scientific and technological innovation,” said Durbin.


“We applaud Sen. Durbin’s effort to increase funding for physical sciences research,” said Eric Isaacs, director of Argonne National Laboratory.  “This critical funding will support basic and applied research vital to the national interests and our economic well-being.  These funding levels will permit Argonne, other Department of Energy national laboratories, and other research institutions to advance the development of clean energy technologies, which will help to spur the economic growth of the country.”


The Fiscal Year 2013 Appropriations Bill for Energy and Water – which now awaits action by the full Senate – includes funding for the following energy research and development accounts that fund projects at Argonne National Laboratory and Fermilab:


  • Basic Energy Science: $1,700,000,000 in funding for the Office of Science’s Basic Energy Science account which is Argonne National Laboratory’s largest funding source (approximately 40% of Argonne’s funding support comes from this account);


  • Major Items of Equipment:  $20,000,000 in funding is included for the Advanced Photon Source Upgrade at Argonne National Laboratory.


  • Energy Innovation Hub for Batteries and Energy Storage: $24,237,000 in funding included in the Office of Science’s Basic Energy Sciences account for the Energy Innovation Hub for Batteries and Energy Storage for which Argonne is a very strong applicant. 


  • Advanced Scientific Computing Research: $137,500,000 in funding for the Office of Science’s Advanced Scientific Computing Research account under which Argonne National Laboratory’s Leadership Computing Facility receives $67,000,000 to maintain operations and purchase a new supercomputer.


  • High Energy Physics: $781,000,000 in funding for the Office of Science’s High Energy Physics account which is the primary source of funding for Fermilab;


  • Long Baseline Neutrino Experiment: $26,000,000 in funding is included in the Office of Science’s High Energy Physics account for the Long Baseline Neutrino Experiment, a primary focus at Fermilab.  Research in neutrinos represents the next frontier of particle physics.  An additional $15,000,000 is provided to maintain operations at the experiment’s detector site in South Dakota


  • The Muon to Electron Experiment: $25,000,000 in funding is included in the Office of Science’s High Energy Physics account for the Muon to Electron Experiment which could result in the development of a revolutionary technology in the field.  (Of that funding, $20,000,000 million is included for construction and $5,000,000 for other project costs).


Argonne National Laboratory is one of the U.S. Department of Energy's largest research centers. It is also the nation's first national laboratory which houses basic and applied scientific research across a wide spectrum of disciplines, ranging from high-energy physics to climatology and biotechnology.  Argonne employs roughly 3,400 people, including scientists and engineers. 


Fermilab is the nation’s premier high-energy physics laboratory that employs over 1,000 people including physicists, engineers and computer professionals.  The laboratory leads U.S. research into the fundamental nature of matter and energy. Fermilab is a world-leading laboratory in the study of neutrinos and very rare processes using existing and upgraded facilities.