Green Light for Long-Awaited Facility

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Science  23 Jan 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5350, pp. 470-471
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5350.470

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The $1.3 billion Spallation Neutron Source, planned to be built at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, will be the largest new science project in the U.S. budget for 1999. It will give neutron-scattering scientists a welcome boost after the demise of the $3 billion Advanced Neutron Source in 1995 and the closing last year of an important reactor at Brookhaven National Laboratory. The facility, which would generate neutrons with an accelerator instead of a reactor (see sidebar), could begin construction by 2000, say those familiar with the effort. Unlike other DOE facilities, this one will be built as a collaboration of five labs, creating a political juggernaut, say supporters. Skeptics, however, caution that the management structure could prove cumbersome and expensive, and that federal funding remains tight.