The Fermilab web-site today has a message from Director Oddone about prospects for funding an extension of the Tevatron run after FY2011, as recommended by the Physics Advisory Committee. He has asked the DOE for additional funding of $35 million/year to pay part of the cost of an extended run, with the rest to come out of slowing down other planned experiments. If the DOE turns this down, it seems the plan is to shutdown the Tevatron next year.
This leaves prospects for the Tevatron’s future very much up in the air, especially given the dysfunctional nature of the US federal budget process. With FY2011 about to begin, the Congress has yet to pass a budget, shows no signs of doing so anytime soon, and is in the middle of an election campaign dominated by calls for cutting federal spending. The general assumption is that they’ll deal with this by continuing funding at FY2010 levels, until finally getting around to passing appropriations bills all together as part of an “omnibus” bill sometime deep into the fiscal year. The process of dealing with the FY2012 budget starts next February with the President’s budget request, but again there’s no reason to believe there actually will be a budget until long after they’ve already started spending the money. Luckily, the Fermilab people by now have many years of experience dealing with this system.