Monday :: Dec 24, 2007

Congress defunds!

by Turkana

Not the war, of course. Something much less important.

New York Times:

The Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, the nation’s premier center for plumbing the mysteries of the universe in the tiniest bits of matter, is planning to lay off more than 10 percent of its employees in the coming months, the result of impending budget cuts mandated by the spending bill passed by Congress this week.

Fermilab’s collaboration in an international project to design and build the International Linear Collider, which would slam together electrons and their anti-particles — positrons — at ever-higher energies, will slow to a halt. A Fermilab experiment called NOvA to look for an asymmetry in the laws governing evanescent particles known as neutrinos will be placed in limbo with hopes that it can be revived next year by new financing.

Outside of Fermilab, the spending bill also eliminated the United States’ planned contribution of $160 million to ITER, a test fusion reactor that is intended to lead to commercial energy production by emulating the process that powers the Sun.

They had expected to get more money, but they'll be getting less. It came down to a game of budget juggling. Earmarks. Cutting this, to pay for that. In other words, it's a question of priorities.

Turkana :: 9:36 AM :: Comments (6) :: Digg It!