US Congress Passes FY 2018 Budget

March 22, 2018

The US Congress has (finally) passed an Ominbus Fiscal Year 2018 budget and sent the funding bill to the President for signature. Fiscal Year 2018 began last October 1 and ends September 30, 2018.

The bill provides $532M for Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) compared to $380M last year (FY2017). This breaks down to $410 M compared to $330M (FY 2017) for the domestic fusion program and $122M compared to $80M (FY 2017) for ITER.

It also provides to the Inertial Fusion (ICF) and High Yield program within NNSA $545M compared to $522M (FY 2017).

The wording accompanying the bill is as follows:

For FES:
The agreement provides $277,665,000 for burning plasma science foundations, $52,246,000 for burning plasma science long pulse, and $80,200,000 for discovery plasma science. Within available funds, the agreement provides $17,500,000 for High Energy Density Laboratory Plasmas and $20,000,000 for Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing. The agreement also provides $122,000,000 for the in-kind contributions and related support activities of ITER. The Department is directed to assess science drivers for the NSTX-U to support future planning for the Fusion Energy Sciences program and provide to the Committees on Appropriations of both Houses of Congress a briefing upon completion.

For ICF:
Within funds for Inertial Confinement Fusion and High Yield, $344,000,000 shall be for the National Ignition Facility, $75,000,000 shall be for OMEGA, and $8,000,000 shall be for the Naval Research Laboratory