It took five long years of planning and organization, but this January, Congress approved $55 billion dollars in funding for the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, better known as FRIB. This facility is going to be built on the Michigan State University Campus and has the potential to completely revolutionize how we use nuclear power.
“We have had nuclear science at MSU since the 1960s,” Dr. Thomas Glasmacher, the head of the FRIB project, said. “We’ve had isotope science since the 1990s. We used to have the world’s most powerful rare isotope machine, but the Japanese have overtaken us and the Germans are building something larger.”
This facility is a necessity for the United States to remain competitive on the world stage and to utilize nuclear power to its utmost effectiveness. It is expected that the FRIB will be the cornerstone for new advances in nuclear energy in the United States.
“The research that will be done at this state-of-the-art MSU facility is critical to Michigan and the entire country, and will create thousands of jobs in our state,” stated US Senator Debbie Stabenow. “When this bill passes, Michigan State will finally be able to start work on this project in the next few months.”
US Senator Carl Levin continued, “FRIB is essential to America’s continued leadership in nuclear science. It’s a powerful statement about Michigan’s role in maintaining that leadership. And it’s a major economic boost for our state. FRIB funding in this legislation is a key milestone in turning FRIB’s promise into reality and strengthening Michigan’s role in advanced science.”
The project will bring an estimated $1 billion to the Michigan state economy and will create at least 5,500 jobs for engineering candidates as well as construction. This is fantastic news for the beleaguered East Lansing economy and could very well spur a recovery that will be state wide.
The building is expected to be completed by 2017, and will be completely up and running by 2020. While it’s still early, there is definite progress being made to turn the focus onto nuclear power for clean energy and the potential it has to reshape the United States as a global power.