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DOE publishes update of plan: 'Facilities for the Future of Science: A 20-Year Outlook'
Date:10/11/2007

s government makes its decisions on such important and costly facilities in the open with a transparent process.

The Facilities Outlook, as intended, has served as a roadmap, providing an overarching strategic framework and long-term vision to guide year-by-year DOE policy and funding decisions, Dr. Orbach says in the Interim Report. Significant progress has been made in implementing the plan and deploying many of the planned facilities. For example:

  • In 2003, the number one priority, ITER, the international collaboration that aims to harness fusion energy, which powers the sun and stars, to generate electricity, was the subject of negotiations. In late 2006, the U.S. signed the ITER agreement with six international partners, and construction of the large-scale experimental fusion reactor is scheduled to begin in the 2008 fiscal year.
  • When the original Facilities Outlook was published, its number two priority, Ultrascale Scientific Computing Capability, was a proposal to increase by a factor of 100 the computing capability available to support open (as opposed to classified) scientific research. DOE now leads the world in civilian supercomputing, enabling researchers to understand combustion processes, analyze climate change data, reveal chemical mechanisms of catalysts and study the collapse of a supernova.
  • As planned in 2003, one of four facilities tied for the third priority, the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), is now under construction at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, with approval to start initial operations planned for the 2009 fiscal year. The LCLS will be the worlds first x-ray free electron laser, enabling scientists for the first time to observe chemical reactions at the molecular level in real time with countless potential applications to medicine, pharmaceuticals, electronics, materials science, nanotechnology and fields not yet invented.

At the same time, Dr. Orbac
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Contact: Jeff Sherwood
jeff.sherwood@hq.doe.gov
202-586-4826
DOE/US Department of Energy
Source:Eurekalert

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