Stabenow, Peters Applaud Facility for Rare Isotope Beam Funding in Government Spending Bill

Funding Will Support Construction of Advanced Research Facility at Michigan State University

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters applauded the year-end government spending bill released today includes $100 million in federal funding to continue constructing the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) at Michigan State University. The appropriations bill, the Fiscal Year 2016 Omnibus Appropriations Act funds the government through September 30, 2016, and Stabenow and Peters worked with their Senate colleagues to ensure this funding would be included in the final legislation.

"MSU continues to make terrific progress in building this state-of-the-art facility, which is critical for Michigan and our entire country,” said Senator Stabenow. “This new funding will bring MSU one step closer to creating thousands of jobs in our state.”

“The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams will generate millions of dollars in economic activity for the Lansing area, create thousands of jobs and play a central role in training the next generation of nuclear physics researchers,” said Senator Peters, Ranking Member of the Space, Science and Competitiveness Subcommittee. “I’m proud to have worked with my colleagues to secure funding for FRIB to ensure this world-class facility will be able to deliver new scientific breakthroughs and discoveries that will drive innovation in Michigan.”

In November, Stabenow and Peters sent letters to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development requesting $100 million in funding to ensure construction of FRIB, which is running on schedule and on budget, continues through fiscal year 2016. Since 2009, FRIB has been allocated $218 million in federal funding to complete the project.

"MSU officials are pleased with the appropriation, which supports the next phase of the project. MSU appreciates that FRIB remains a national priority and thanks the Michigan Congressional delegation for their leadership and unwavering support of the project," said Mark Burnham, MSU Vice President for Government Affairs.

FRIB will house a high-powered superconducting linear accelerator that accelerates heavy ions and produces rare isotopes, which are short-lived atomic nuclei that cannot be found on Earth. The rare isotopes produced at FRIB will allow nuclear scientists and researchers to explore a range of potential applications in the fields such as energy, medicine and national security, including diagnosing and curing diseases, improving next generation nuclear reactors for energy and finding processes to destroy nuclear waste. FRIB will create as many as 400 jobs for scientists, engineers and staff, and bring together nearly 1,400 nuclear scientists from around the world to conduct research at the new facility. Construction of the $730 million facility is expected to be completed in 2022.

Senator Stabenow has been a long-time advocate for FRIB, leading the effort to secure over $200 million in federal funding that allowed Michigan State to begin facility construction in March 2014.

Earlier this year, Senator Peters toured FRIB and held a roundtable discussion with academic leaders and researchers from Michigan State University to gather input to help craft new legislation shaping federal science research and development priorities for the coming years.