News of the WeekU.S. Science Policy

NSF Won't Build Underground Lab; Scientists Hope That DOE Will

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Science  17 Dec 2010:
Vol. 330, Issue 6011, pp. 1596
DOI: 10.1126/science.330.6011.1596

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Summary

Plans to convert an abandoned gold mine in South Dakota into the world's largest underground lab may have to be scaled back and could fall apart entirely after the National Science Foundation's (NSF's) oversight board rejected the current proposal. On 30 November, the National Science Board, which sets policy for NSF, turned down the agency's own request for additional money to support development through 2011 of the $875 million Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory at the Homestake mine in Lead, South Dakota. That puts the onus on the Department of Energy, NSF's partner in the project, to pay for whatever it wants to build.

* With reporting by Jeffrey Mervis.