Federal Government May Not Uphold Commitment To $550 Million Facility For Rare Isotope Beams At Michigan State U

Ann McClure's picture
Thursday, January 12, 2012

A $550 million federal project that would establish a prized nuclear research facility at Michigan State University may not come to fruition.

The U.S. Department of Energy chose MSU to house the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) in 2008. It would allow nuclear scientists to study rare isotopes, unstable atoms that offer clues as to how the universe evolved. Additional applications for such research include medicine, national security, manufacturing and environmental science.

Now, though, the funding may not be available, and the federal government is not committing.

"We have to be very careful," U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu said Wednesday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, per WXYZ. "We can't be starting six things and we can only afford four things."

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