The US has built and operated many large facilities such as the synchrotron radiation facilities for the benefit of public users. These users are not charged for their time on the machines, provided they publish the results of their experiments in the scientific or technical literature. But Congress is now looking at the large expenditures on such user facilities and wondering if more of the costs should be shouldered by users. Thus a provision in the Budget Reconciliation Act instructs the Department of Energy to explore ways “to reasonably increase revenues to the United States through users fees” and report back this spring. The study is to include facilities of all agencies, not just DOE.

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