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Funding Asked for NIF

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U.S. Reps. Eric Swalwell (CA-15) and Zoe Lofgren (CA-19) led 24 House members in urging funding for the National Ignition Facility (NIF) program that maintains national security and keeps America moving toward a new energy future.

The lawmakers’ letter to the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee supports President Obama’s fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget request of $330 million for NIF under the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Inertial Confinement Fusion and High Yield Campaign. That is a $3.6 million increase over FY 2016.

NIF, located at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Swalwell’s district, is seen as a critical facility for the National Nuclear Security Administration and the scientific stockpile stewardship program. Its ongoing work ensures that the U.S. can abide by the moratorium on nuclear testing while maintaining a secure stockpile, and its groundbreaking research helps bring the nation closer to unlocking the potential of fusion energy.

“The National Ignition Facility is making important advances toward achieving fusion ignition in the laboratory for the first time, bringing star power to Earth,” Swalwell said. “It’s vital that the United States continue to fund this research and remain a world leader in this field, and not let China or Russia jump ahead.”

Swalwell and Lofgren serve on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Swalwell serves on the Energy Subcommittee, overseeing energy research and development as well as the Department of Energy laboratories and science activities, and also on the Research and Technology Subcommittee. Lofgren is Chair of the California Democratic Congressional Delegation.