FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 19, 2003
Sandia Labs budget may top $2.2 billion
Growing budget allows expansion of work in key laboratory programs
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The budget for the Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories is on the road to surpassing $2.2 billion for FY2004, a record amount as the Labs expands its efforts in key national security, energy, and defense programs.
Optimism over the Labs’ budget stems from the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act recently passed by the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives. Senator Pete Domenici, R-NM, who was instrumental in achieving agreement on the appropriations bill, announced that its provisions have far-reaching benefits for Sandia as well as other needs in New Mexico.
“We worked very hard to craft a bill under tight budget constraints that still meets our nation’s most urgent needs,” Domenici said. “I believe that this bill does so. I’m particularly pleased that our national labs, including Sandia, will be able to move ahead with projects that are vital to our national security.”
Sandia President and Labs Director C. Paul Robinson commended Senator Domenici for his leadership of the crucial nuclear weapons funding, as well as Senator Jeff Bingaman, D-NM, and Rep. Heather Wilson, R-NM, for their dedication and support of Sandia’s national security mission.
“I am extremely pleased to see that funding for our missions is strong, and that we will be able to advance important projects such as the Microsystems and Engineering Sciences Applications [MESA] project,” Robinson said. “These efforts strengthen our national security portfolio and position Sandia for a positive future.” Sandia now receives funding from many agencies of the U.S. government for supporting research and development from military systems to homeland security.
The Senate-House appropriations bill, which still must be signed by the President, includes $185 million in major construction projects for Sandia, including the following:
- $87 million to continue construction of the MESA complex.
- $29.85 million for construction of the Center for Integrated Nanotechnology, a joint venture of Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratory located at the Sandia Science and Technology Park in Albuquerque.
- $36.4 million for the test capabilities revitalization project, which includes the sled track complex, aerial cable facility and centrifuge complex.
- $20 million for exterior communications infrastructure modernization.
- $12 million for the Distributed Information Systems Laboratory (DISL) at Sandia’s facility in Livermore, Calif.
The MESA project is Sandia’s largest major capital construction project, with a total cost of $462 million and completion slated for 2008. It will create three facilities and provide the equipment required to design and prototype qualified microsystems-based components for nuclear weapons. MESA is part of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) microsystems engineering effort, which integrates essential activity for the Stockpile Life Extension Program (SLEP) and positions DOE/NNSA to meet new national security initiatives and directions.
Appropriated funds also provide $4 million for the Z-Pinch inertial fusion energy research program and $5 million for modification of the beamlet laser for the Sandia Z machine.
The appropriations bill includes $6.272 billion for all weapons activities throughout the NNSA laboratories, a $254 million increase over FY2003. The bill provides $1.327 billion for NNSA nonproliferation activities. Both Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories are key participants in this work.
The bill also funds key DOE programs in renewable energy, water desalination, and nuclear energy research and development, as well as diverse programs in the basic energy sciences. Sandia also performs work for other U.S. government agencies. The aggregate impact of all these funding sources is expected to exceed $2.2 billion for Sandia National Laboratories.
“Sandia very much appreciates the confidence Congress and the American people show in the nuclear weapons laboratories,” Robinson said. “The credit for that confidence goes directly to the thousands of hard working people at Sandia, the other laboratories, and staff within the NNSA and DOE.”
Robinson specifically cited Domenici for his continued support of Sandia and its mission. “Senator Domenici has always been a strong advocate of this laboratory and national security,” Robinson said.
Sandia media contacts:
Chris Miller, email@example.com, (505) 844-5550
John German, firstname.lastname@example.org, (505) 844-5199