High-end computing highlights DOE tech request

Department of Energy

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A significant portion of the Energy Department's $24 billion 2005 budget requested by President Bush will aid advanced computing initiatives.

Two main branches of the DOE, the National Nuclear Security Administration and the Office of Science, will place millions of dollars into high-end computing and simulation programs. Overall, the president's request includes $2.7 billion for information technology, which is slightly higher than the $2.68 billion requested in 2004.

The NNSA's Advanced Simulation and Computing program for the science-based Stockpile Stewardship program received $741.3 million in the president's request. This figure represents a raise of $721.4 million in fiscal 2004 and a huge jump up from the fiscal 2003 funding of $674.5 million.

The Advanced Simulation and Computing program conducts high-speed computer simulations to predict the behavior of nuclear weapons and to maintain the safety and security of the weapons. The supercomputers used to perform these operations are shared resources for the national defense laboratories, including Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories.

In addition, the proposed budget also calls for the NNSA to allocate $23.5 million toward the Integrated Cyber Security Initiative, which is a significant increase from the $10.4 million requested in 2004.

The Office of Science's Advanced Scientific Computing Research program would get $204 million, about $2 million more than the 2004 request. The project runs scientific simulations on supercomputers able to manage, analyze, visualize and store massive amounts of information.

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