H.R. 4905 (111th): Department of Energy Office of Science Authorization Act of 2010

111th Congress, 2009–2010. Text as of Mar 22, 2010 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

I

111th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4905

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 22, 2010

(for himself and Mrs. Biggert) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Science and Technology

A BILL

To guide and provide for research activities at the Department of Energy Office of Science, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Department of Energy Office of Science Authorization Act of 2010.

2.

Definitions

Except as otherwise provided, in this Act:

(1)

Department

The term Department means the Department of Energy.

(2)

Director

The term Director means the Director of the Office of Science.

(3)

Office of science

The term Office of Science means the Department of Energy Office of Science.

(4)

Secretary

The term Secretary means the Secretary of Energy.

3.

Office of Science activities

(a)

In general

The Secretary shall carry out, through the Office of Science, research, development, demonstration, and commercial application activities in science supporting the missions of the Department, including programs on basic energy sciences, biological and environmental research, advanced scientific computing research, fusion energy sciences, high energy physics, and nuclear physics.

(b)

Supporting activities

The activities described in subsection (a) shall include providing for relevant facilities and infrastructure, analysis, coordination, and education and outreach activities.

(c)

Other authorized activities

In addition to the activities authorized under this Act, the Office of Science shall carry out such other activities it is authorized or required to carry out by law.

(d)

Coordination and joint activities

The Department’s Under Secretary for Science shall ensure the coordination of activities under this Act with the other activities of the Department, and shall support joint activities among the programs of the Department.

4.

Basic Energy Sciences Program

(a)

Program

As part of the activities authorized under section 3, the Director shall carry out a program in basic energy sciences, including materials sciences and engineering, chemical sciences, biosciences, and geosciences, for the purpose of providing the scientific foundations for new energy technologies.

(b)

User facilities

(1)

In general

The Director shall carry out a program for the construction, operation, and maintenance of national user facilities to support the program under this section. As practicable, these facilities shall serve the needs of the Department, industry, the academic community, and other relevant entities to create and examine new materials and chemical processes for the purposes of advancing new energy technologies and improving the competitiveness of the United States. These facilities shall include—

(A)

high-intensity light sources;

(B)

neutron sources;

(C)

electron beam characterization centers; and

(D)

nanoscale science research centers.

(2)

Facility construction and upgrades

Consistent with the Office of Science’s project management practices, the Director shall support construction of—

(A)

the National Synchrotron Light Source II; and

(B)

a Second Target Station at the Spallation Neutron Source.

(c)

Energy frontier research centers

(1)

In general

The Director shall carry out a grant program to provide awards, on a competitive, merit-reviewed basis, to multi-institutional collaborations or other appropriate entities to meet energy research, development, demonstration, and commercial application needs identified in—

(A)

the Grand Challenges report of the Department’s Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee;

(B)

energy-related Grand Challenges for Engineering, as described by the National Academy of Engineering; or

(C)

other relevant reports identified by the Director.

(2)

Collaborations

A collaboration receiving a grant under this subsection may include multiple types of institutions and private sector entities.

(3)

Duration

Grants shall be provided under this subsection to a collaboration or entity for a period of not more than 5 years. Grants may be renewed for an additional 5 years on a competitive, merit-reviewed basis.

(4)

No funding for construction

No funding provided pursuant to this subsection may be used for the construction of new buildings or facilities.

(d)

Accelerator research and development

The Director shall carry out research and development on advanced accelerator technologies relevant to the development of Basic Energy Sciences user facilities, in consultation with the Office of Science’s High Energy Physics and Nuclear Physics programs.

5.

Biological and Environmental Research Program

(a)

In general

As part of the activities authorized under section 3, the Director shall carry out a program of research, development, demonstration, and commercial application in the areas of biological, climate, and environmental systems science to support the energy and environmental missions of the Department.

(b)

Biological systems science subprogram

(1)

Subprogram

As part of the activities authorized under subsection (a), the Director shall carry out a subprogram of research, development, and demonstration on fundamental, structural, computational, and systems biology to increase systems-level understanding of complex biological systems, which shall include activities to—

(A)

increase cost-effective sustainable production of biomass-based liquid transportation fuels, bioenergy, and biobased products that minimize greenhouse gas emissions;

(B)

remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, through photosynthesis and other biological processes, for sequestration and storage; and

(C)

destroy, immobilize, or remove contaminants from subsurface environments, including at facilities of the Department.

(2)

Research Plan

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, and at least once every 2 years thereafter, the Director shall prepare and transmit to Congress a research plan describing how the subprogram authorized under this subsection will be undertaken.

(3)

Bioenergy Research Centers

(A)

Establishment of centers

In carrying out the subprogram under paragraph (1), the Director shall establish or maintain at least 3 bioenergy research centers to accelerate basic biological research, development, demonstration, and commercial application of biomass-based liquid transportation fuels, bioenergy, and biobased products that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and are produced from a variety of regionally diverse feedstocks.

(B)

Geographic distribution

The Secretary shall ensure that the bioenergy research centers under this paragraph are established in geographically diverse locations.

(C)

Selection and duration

(i)

In general

A center under this paragraph shall be selected on a competitive basis for a period of 5 years.

(ii)

Reapplication

After the end of the period described in clause (i), a grantee may reapply for selection on a competitive, merit-reviewed basis.

(4)

Enabling synthetic biology plan

(A)

In general

The Secretary, in consultation with other relevant Federal agencies, the academic community, research-based nonprofit entities, and the private sector, shall develop a comprehensive plan for federally supported research and development activities that will support the energy and environmental missions of the Department and accelerate the growth of a competitive synthetic biology industry in the United States.

(B)

Plan

The plan developed under subparagraph (A) shall assess the need to create a database for synthetic biology information, the need and process for developing standards for biological parts, components and systems, and the need for a federally funded facility that enables the discovery, design, development, production, and systematic use of parts, components, and systems created through synthetic biology.

(C)

Submission to congress

The Secretary shall transmit the plan developed under subparagraph (A) to the Congress not later than 9 months after the date of enactment of this Act.

(5)

Computational biology and systems biology knowledgebase

As part of the subprogram described in paragraph (1), the Director shall carry out research in computational biology, acquire or otherwise ensure the availability of hardware for biology-specific computation, and establish and maintain an open virtual database and information management system to centrally integrate systems biology data, analytical software, and computational modeling tools that will allow data sharing and free information exchange in the scientific community.

(6)

Repeal

Section 977 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 16317) is repealed.

(c)

Climate and environmental sciences subprogram

(1)

In general

As part of the activities authorized under subsection (a), the Director shall carry out a subprogram of climate and environmental science research, which shall include activities to—

(A)

understand, observe, and model the response of the Earth’s atmosphere and biosphere, including oceans, to increased greenhouse gas emissions, and any associated changes in climate;

(B)

sequester, destroy, immobilize, or remove contaminants and carbon from subsurface environments, including at facilities of the Department; and

(C)

develop potential mitigation and adaptation options for increased greenhouse gas emissions and any associated changes in climate.

(2)

Subsurface biogeochemistry research

(A)

In general

As part of the subprogram described in paragraph (1), the Director shall carry out research to advance a fundamental understanding of coupled physical, chemical, and biological processes for controlling the movement of sequestered carbon and subsurface environmental contaminants, including field observations of subsurface microorganisms and field-scale subsurface research.

(B)

Coordination

(i)

Director

The Director shall carry out activities under this paragraph in accordance with priorities established by the Department’s Under Secretary for Science to support and accelerate the decontamination of relevant facilities managed by the Department.

(ii)

Under Secretary for Science

The Department’s Under Secretary for Science shall ensure the coordination of the activities of the Department, including activities under this paragraph, to support and accelerate the decontamination of relevant facilities managed by the Department.

(3)

Next-generation ecosystem-climate experiment

(A)

In general

The Director, in collaboration with other relevant agencies who are participants in the United States Global Change Research Program, shall carry out the selection and development of a next-generation ecosystem-climate change experiment to understand the impact and feedbacks of increased temperature and elevated carbon levels on ecosystems.

(B)

Report

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Director shall transmit to the Congress a report containing—

(i)

an identification of the location or locations that have been selected for the experiment described in subparagraph (A);

(ii)

a description of the need for additional experiments; and

(iii)

an associated research plan.

(4)

Ameriflux network coordination and research

As part of the subprogram described in paragraph (1), the Director shall carry out research and coordinate the AmeriFlux Network to directly observe and understand the exchange of greenhouse gases, water, and energy within terrestrial ecosystems and the response of those systems to climate change and other dynamic terrestrial landscape changes. The Director, in collaboration with other relevant Federal agencies, shall—

(A)

identify opportunities to incorporate innovative and emerging observation technologies and practices into the existing Network;

(B)

conduct research to determine the need for increased greenhouse gas observation facilities across North America to meet future mitigation and adaptation needs of the United States; and

(C)

examine how the technologies and practices described in subparagraph (A), and increased coordination among scientific communities through the Network, have the potential to help characterize baseline greenhouse gas emission sources and sinks in the United States and internationally.

(5)

Regional and global climate modeling

As part of the subprogram described in paragraph (1), the Director, in collaboration with the Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research described in section 6, shall carry out research to develop, evaluate, and use high-resolution regional and global climate and Earth models and predictions to determine, and support efforts to reduce, the impacts of changing climate.

(6)

Integrated assessment research

The Director shall carry out research into options for mitigation of and adaptation to climate change through multiscale models of the entire climate system. Such modeling shall include human processes and greenhouse gas emissions, land use, and interaction among human and Earth systems.

(7)

Coordination

The Director shall coordinate activities under this subsection with other Office of Science activities and with the United States Global Change Research Program.

(d)

User facilities and ancillary equipment

(1)

In general

The Director shall carry out a program for the construction, operation, and maintenance of user facilities to support the program under this section. As practicable, these facilities shall serve the needs of the Department, industry, the academic community, and other relevant entities.

(2)

Included functions

User facilities described in paragraph (1) shall include facilities which carry out—

(A)

genome sequencing and analysis of plants, microbes, and microbial communities using high throughput tools, technologies, and comparative analysis;

(B)

molecular level research in biological interactions, subsurface science, and the interfaces of natural and engineered materials; and

(C)

measurement of cloud and aerosol properties used for examining atmospheric processes and evaluating climate model performance, including ground stations at various locations, mobile resources, and aerial vehicles.

6.

Advanced Scientific Computing Research Program

(a)

In general

As part of the activities authorized under section 3, the Director shall carry out a research, development, demonstration, and commercial application program to advance computational and networking capabilities to analyze, model, simulate, and predict complex phenomena relevant to the development of new energy technologies and the competitiveness of the United States.

(b)

Coordination

(1)

Director

The Director shall carry out activities under this section in accordance with priorities established by the Department’s Under Secretary for Science to determine and meet the computational and networking research and facility needs of the Office of Science and all other relevant energy technology programs within the Department.

(2)

Under Secretary for Science

The Department’s Under Secretary for Science shall ensure the coordination of the activities of the Department, including activities under this section, to determine and meet the computational and networking research and facility needs of the Office of Science and all other relevant energy technology programs within the Department.

(c)

Reports

(1)

Advanced computing for energy applications

Not later than one year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall transmit to the Congress a plan to integrate and leverage the expertise and capabilities of the program described in subsection (a), as well as other relevant computational and networking research programs and resources supported by the Federal Government, to advance the missions of the Department’s applied energy and energy efficiency programs.

(2)

Exascale computing

At least 18 months prior to the initiation of construction or installation of any exascale-class computing facility, the Secretary shall transmit a plan to the Congress detailing the proposed facility’s cost projections and capabilities to significantly accelerate the development of new energy technologies.

(d)

Applied mathematics and software development for high-End computing systems

The Director shall carry out activities to develop, test, maintain, and support mathematics, models, and algorithms for complex systems, as well as programming environments, tools, languages, and operating systems for high-end computing systems (as defined in section 2 of the Department of Energy High-End Computing Revitalization Act of 2004 (15 U.S.C. 5541)).

(e)

High-End computing facilities

The Director shall—

(1)

provide for sustained access by the research community in the United States to high-end computing systems and to Leadership Systems (as defined in section 2 of the Department of Energy High-End Computing Revitalization Act of 2004 (15 U.S.C. 5541)), including provision of technical support for users of such systems; and

(2)

conduct research and development on next-generation computing architectures and platforms to support the missions of the Department.

7.

Fusion Energy Research Program

(a)

Program

As part of the activities authorized under section 3, the Director shall carry out a fusion energy sciences research and development program to effectively address the scientific and engineering challenges to building a cost-competitive fusion power plant and a competitive fusion power industry in the United States.

(b)

ITER

The Director shall coordinate and carry out the responsibilities of the United States with respect to the ITER international fusion project pursuant to the Agreement on the Establishment of the ITER International Fusion Energy Organization for the Joint Implementation of the ITER Project.

(c)

Identification of priorities

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall transmit to the Congress a report on the Department’s proposed research and development activities in magnetic fusion over the 10 years following the date of enactment of this Act under four realistic budget scenarios. The report shall—

(1)

identify priorities for initiation of facility construction and facility decommissioning under each of those scenarios;

(2)

provide an assessment of the need for a facility or facilities that can examine and test potential fusion materials; and

(3)

provide an assessment of whether a single new facility that substantially addresses magnetic fusion, inertial fusion, and next generation fission materials research needs is feasible, in conjunction with the expected capabilities of facilities operational as of the date of enactment of this Act.

(d)

Fusion materials research and development

The Director, in coordination with the Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy of the Department, shall carry out research and development activities to identify, characterize, and create materials that can endure the neutron, plasma, and heat fluxes expected in a commercial fusion power plant.

(e)

Fusion simulation project

In collaboration with the Office of Science’s Advanced Scientific Computing Research program described in section 6, the Director shall carry out a computational project to advance the capability of fusion researchers to accurately simulate an entire fusion energy system.

(f)

Inertial fusion energy research and technology development program

The Secretary shall carry out a program of research and technology development in inertial fusion for energy applications, including ion beam and laser fusion.

8.

High energy physics program

(a)

Program

As part of the activities authorized under section 3, the Director shall carry out a research program on the elementary constituents of matter and energy and the nature of space and time.

(b)

Neutrino research

As part of the program described in subsection (a), the Director shall carry out research activities on the nature of the neutrino, which may—

(1)

include collaborations with the National Science Foundation on relevant projects; and

(2)

utilize components of existing accelerator facilities to produce neutrino beams of sufficient intensity to explore research priorities identified by the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel or the National Academy of Sciences.

(c)

Dark energy and dark matter research

As part of the program described in subsection (a), the Director shall carry out research activities on the nature of dark energy and dark matter. These activities shall be consistent with research priorities identified by the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel or the National Academy of Sciences, and may include—

(1)

the development of space-based and land-based facilities and experiments; and

(2)

collaborations with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, or international collaborations on relevant research projects.

(d)

Accelerator research and development

The Director shall carry out research and development in advanced accelerator concepts and technologies to reduce the necessary scope and cost for the next generation of particle accelerators.

(e)

International collaboration

The Director, as practicable and in coordination with other appropriate Federal agencies as necessary, shall maximize the access of United States researchers to the most advanced facilities and research capabilities in the world, including the Large Hadron Collider.

9.

Nuclear Physics Program

(a)

Program

As part of the activities authorized under section 3, the Director shall carry out a research program, and support relevant facilities, to discover and understand various forms of nuclear matter.

(b)

Facility construction and upgrades

Consistent with the Office of Science’s project management practices, the Director shall carry out—

(1)

an upgrade of the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility to a 12 gigaelectronvolt beam of electrons; and

(2)

construction of the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams.

(c)

Isotope development and production for research applications

The Director shall carry out a program for the production of isotopes, including the development of techniques to produce isotopes, that the Secretary determines are needed for research or other purposes. In making this determination, the Secretary shall consider any relevant recommendations made by Federal advisory committees, the National Academies, and interagency working groups in which the Department participates.

10.

Science laboratories infrastructure program

(a)

Program

The Director shall carry out a program to improve the safety, efficiency, and mission readiness of infrastructure at Office of Science laboratories. The program shall include projects to—

(1)

renovate or replace space that does not meet research needs;

(2)

replace facilities that are no longer cost effective to renovate or operate;

(3)

modernize utility systems to prevent failures and ensure efficiency;

(4)

remove excess facilities to allow safe and efficient operations; and

(5)

construct modern facilities to conduct advanced research in controlled environmental conditions.

(b)

Minor construction projects

(1)

Authority

Using operation and maintenance funds or facilities and infrastructure funds authorized by law, the Secretary may carry out minor construction projects with respect to laboratories administered by the Office of Science.

(2)

Annual report

The Secretary shall submit to Congress on an annual basis a report on each exercise of the authority under subsection (a) during the preceding fiscal year. Each report shall provide a brief description of each minor construction project covered by the report.

(3)

Cost variation reports

If, at any time during the construction of any minor construction project, the estimated cost of the project is revised and the revised cost of the project exceeds the minor construction threshold, the Secretary shall immediately submit to Congress a report explaining the reasons for the cost variation.

(4)

Definitions

In this section—

(A)

the term minor construction project means any plant project not specifically authorized by law for which the approved total estimated cost does not exceed the minor construction threshold; and

(B)

the term minor construction threshold means $10,000,000, with such amount to be adjusted by the Secretary in accordance with the Engineering News-Record Construction Cost Index, or an appropriate alternative index as determined by the Secretary, once every five years after the date of enactment of this Act.

(5)

Nonapplicability

Sections 4703 and 4704 of the Atomic Energy Defense Act (50 U.S.C. 2743 and 2744) shall not apply to laboratories administered by the Office of Science.

11.

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary for the activities of the Office of Science—

(1)

$6,221,000,000 for fiscal year 2011, of which—

(A)

$2,020,000 shall be for Basic Energy Sciences activities under section 4;

(B)

$700,000 shall be for Biological and Environmental Research activities under section 5; and

(C)

$469,000 shall be for Advanced Scientific Computing Research activities under section 6;

(2)

$6,656,000,000 for fiscal year 2012, of which—

(A)

$2,220,000 shall be for Basic Energy Sciences activities under section 4;

(B)

$791,000 shall be for Biological and Environmental Research activities under section 5; and

(C)

$515,000 shall be for Advanced Scientific Computing Research activities under section 6;

(3)

$7,122,000,000 for fiscal year 2013, of which—

(A)

$2,440,000 shall be for Basic Energy Sciences activities under section 4;

(B)

$894,000 shall be for Biological and Environmental Research activities under section 5; and

(C)

$567,000 shall be for Advanced Scientific Computing Research activities under section 6;

(4)

$7,621,000,000 for fiscal year 2014, of which—

(A)

$2,690,000 shall be for Basic Energy Sciences activities under section 4;

(B)

$957,000 shall be for Biological and Environmental Research activities under section 5; and

(C)

$624,000 shall be for Advanced Scientific Computing Research activities under section 6; and

(5)

$8,154,000,000 for fiscal year 2015, of which—

(A)

$2,960,000 shall be for Basic Energy Sciences activities under section 4;

(B)

$1,060,000 shall be for Biological and Environmental Research activities under section 5; and

(C)

$686,000 shall be for Advanced Scientific Computing Research activities under section 6.