The Senate Appropriations Committee today approved legislation that fully funds President Obama's request for the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams at Michigan State University, which would allow for construction to begin in fiscal year 2014, Michigan Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin announced.
The legislation now goes to the full Senate for consideration.
"This state-of-the-art facility is critical to Michigan and the entire country, and will create thousands of jobs in our state," said Stabenow. "I'm glad the Senate Appropriations Committee recognized the importance of FRIB and fully funded this project."
"This is a major milestone for FRIB, which is vital to America's preeminence in nuclear research and an important investment in Michigan," Levin said. "I'm grateful that the Appropriations Committee has recognized FRIB's value to the nation, and we will continue to work to ensure that this funding receives final approval and FRIB continues moving forward."
The funding is included in the energy and water appropriations bill for the 2014 fiscal year approved today by the Senate Appropriations Committee. Earlier this week, the House Appropriations Committee also approved the full $55 million budget request. In early June, a Department of Energy review panel found FRIB was well-managed and supported moving forward.
FRIB is a $550 million project that will allow researchers to create and study rare elements that are not normally found on Earth. The research offers enormous promise to help physicists further understand the universe and harness the power of nuclear science for practical applications. The Department of Energy selected MSU to host the project in 2008. FRIB will cement MSU's status as one of the world's leading centers of nuclear research, create hundreds of permanent jobs as well as hundreds of jobs during construction, and contribute an estimated $1 billion to the Michigan economy in its first decade.
Site preparation work already has begun on the MSU campus in East Lansing. The $55 million funding request for fiscal 2014 would allow construction to move forward.