In the years after World War II, the federal government set up nine major national laboratories to capitalize on the expertise generated by building the first atomic bomb. Today, the Energy Department spends about $7 billion a year to operate them and its other research facilties. The labs are trying to find a new role--and new funding--in the post-Cold War world, while President Clinton wants to cut $10 billion in Energy Department spending.
The U.S. Energy Department's National Laboratories
1) Los Alamos: Nuclear weapons, nonprolifertaion, remote sensing, advanced materials.
Budget: $1.24 billion.
2) Lawrence Berkeley: Nuclear and particle physics. Performs no classified research.
Budget: $307 million.
3) Lawrence Livermore: Nuclear weapons, fusion, human genome.
Budget: $1.17 billion.
4) Sandia: Nuclear weapons, advanced materials, energy.
Budget: $1.4 billion
5) Pacific Northwest: Hanford Nuclear site clean-up, climate change.
Budget: $525 million.
6) Idaho Engineering: Radioactive waste disposal, biotechnology, chemistry.
Budget: $737 million
7) Argonne: Advanced fission reactors, fusion, energy.
Budget: $694 million.
8) Oak Ridge: Nuclear energy, waste management, environmental protection.
Budget: $772 million.
9) Brookhaven: Particle physics, nuclear medicine, biology.
Budget: $503 million.
Changing Ways at the Weapons Labs
While spending on weapons work represents a smaller piece of each lab's overall budget today, the absolute level of weapons spending has stayed the same.
\o7 Source: U.S. Department of Energy, Science, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.\f7