WASHINGTON-A $363 million request for the Superconducting Supercollider, part of the Department of Energy's proposed research budget, faces an uncertain future in Congress.
DOE officials will face some tough questions on the SSC at hearings later this week, said Edd Nolan, an aide to Rep. Tom Bevill (D-Ala.), chairman of the House appropriations subcommittee on energy and water. Bevill "doesn't know where the money is going to come from," said Nolan.
The new proposal would consume one-fifth of the agency's budget for basic sciences research. Last year Congress approved $25 million for the SSC, but cut out $10 million sought for construction. A similar decision this year would leave $64 million for research.
DOE's existing laboratories and new research facilities received favored treatment in the 1989 budget. Leaving aside the SSC, funding for research facilities is projected to increase by 11 percent, from $550 million to $610 million. The cost...