Michigan Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow announced Tuesday that the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water approved a spending bill for Fiscal Year 2013 that includes $30 million for the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams at Michigan State University, a substantial increase from the administration's budget request.
Construction of the facility would create approximately 5,000 construction jobs in Michigan, with 400 permanent jobs at the facility after completion.
"This is a strong show of bipartisan congressional support for a project that is important to Michigan and to America's continued leadership in nuclear science," Levin said. "Combined with similar strong support in the House, today's actions are important steps in making sure that FRIB gets the funding it needs to continue on track."
"This project means thousands of Michigan jobs and will make Michigan a world leader in this new cutting-edge technology," said Stabenow. "We must continue working to build bipartisan support to ensure that Michigan State has the resources necessary to keep this critical project moving forward."
In 2008, Michigan State University won a Department of Energy competition for FRIB. The $550 million facility would build on MSU's globally recognized nuclear science program, allowing researchers to create and study rare atoms that are not normally found on Earth and that have unusual numbers of neutrons. The research offers enormous promise to help physicists further understand the universe and harness the power of nuclear science for practical applications.
Earlier this year, the administration proposed $22 million in FRIB funding for 2013. Today's Senate vote, and earlier action by a House Appropriations subcommittee, signals strong bipartisan support in Congress for funding at a level above that initial request.