50 USC 2791 - Laboratory-directed research and development programs

(a) Authority 
Government-owned, contractor-operated laboratories that are funded out of funds available to the Department of Energy for national security programs are authorized to carry out laboratory-directed research and development.
(b) Regulations 
The Secretary of Energy shall prescribe regulations for the conduct of laboratory-directed research and development at such laboratories.
(c) Funding 
Of the funds provided by the Department of Energy to such laboratories for national security activities, the Secretary shall provide a specific amount, not to exceed 6 percent of such funds, to be used by such laboratories for laboratory-directed research and development.
(d) “Laboratory-directed research and development” defined 
For purposes of this section, the term laboratory-directed research and development means research and development work of a creative and innovative nature which, under the regulations prescribed pursuant to subsection (b), is selected by the director of a laboratory for the purpose of maintaining the vitality of the laboratory in defense-related scientific disciplines.