If there’s a Continuing Resolution regarding the FY’11 budget, Oak Ridge National Laboratory shouldn’t be in terrible shape because it has such a robust funding level this year for most of its scientific endeavors.

ORNL-Comp-CourtyardIf there’s a Continuing Resolution regarding the FY’11 budget, Oak Ridge National Laboratory shouldn’t be in terrible shape because it has such a robust funding level this year for most of its scientific endeavors.

ORNL Director Thom Mason basically said as much during a brief interview Monday at the lab. The biggest concern, he said, would be the computing area where there’s a “strong budget request” for 2011 — with a $15 million increase for the lab’s Leadership Computing Facility.

When I asked him about the possiblity of a CR and how ORNL would plan to deal with it, Mason replied:

“Well, of course, every year you have to be ready for the possibility there’s going to be a continuing resolution, and we’re hopeful that won’t be the case. But it is true that we have had a strong budget in the current fiscal year, 2010, so that means that if we get continued at the current level, it’s not going to be catastrophic for us, and there are not too many new things we’re trying to get going.

“For example, the Nuclear Modeling and Simulation Hub, CASL (Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors), was awarded this year, so it won’t be a new start going into next year, and the funding currently there’s about $22 million. . . . For some period, it is so close (to the requested amount of $25 million in FY’11) that it won’t really impact us. We will be able to keep going without losing any momentum.

”We’ll have some challenges in computing because the budget request for ’11 is a strong budget request and has a nice increase over the current fiscal yeaer.”

That money request does not include money for a new computing facility, which Mason indicated the lab is hopeful of building with private financing.

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Source: Knoxville News Sentinel
Photo: Oak Ridge National Laboratory