Alexander: Oak Ridge Officially Number One in the World in Supercomputing

Posted on June 25, 2018

“Supercomputers cost money, a lot of it. And this also would not have happened unless bipartisan majorities in Congress had for several years appropriated record levels of taxpayer dollars to make our country first in the world in supercomputing. President Trump has signed two of those appropriations bills and should include supercomputing as part of his ‘America First’ agenda.”— Lamar Alexander

WASHINGTON, June 25, 2018 – United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said today’s announcement by TOP500, a semiannual ranking of the world’s fastest computing systems, that Oak Ridge National Laboratory officially houses the world’s fastest supercomputer is “further proof that the Oak Ridge area’s scientific brainpower, energy research and technological capabilities are among  the best in the world.”

“Supercomputers cost money, a lot of it,” Alexander said. “And this also would not have happened unless bipartisan majorities in Congress had for several years appropriated record levels of taxpayer dollars to make our country first in the world in supercomputing. President Trump has signed two of those appropriations bills and should include supercomputing as part of his ‘America First’ agenda. This is one more example of how federal government sponsored research has been a crucial part of making it possible for the United States to produce 24 percent of the world’s wealth for just 5 percent of the world’s people.”  

Alexander is chairman of the United States Senate’s subcommittee on Energy and Water appropriations, which funds the government’s supercomputing programs.           

“Scientists around the world have been working to develop faster supercomputers for years – but scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory just built the fastest one: ‘Summit,’” Alexander continued. “According to the TOP500 list, the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory today houses the most powerful and smartest supercomputer in the world, which is further proof that the area’s scientific brainpower, energy research and technological capabilities are some of the best in the world. I’m proud of this area and what we have been able to accomplish.”

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) announced the public debut of Summit as the most powerful supercomputer in the world on June 8, and Energy Secretary Rick Perry was in Oak Ridge for the announcement. Supercomputers can be used to solve problems in virtually every area of scientific research, and having the fastest supercomputer in the world will allow scientists at Oak Ridge to solve bigger problems and simulate more complex things. Summit will also attract the best researchers in the world to Oak Ridge National Laboratory. 

###