02.02.00

Schumer Announces President's Budget to Include $3 Million for Improvements, Additional Staff at Brookhaven Light Source

Senator Touts "New Beginning" for Brookhaven Lab

US Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that the President's budget for Fiscal Year 2001 will include three million dollars for the National Synchrotron Light Source at Brookhaven National Laboratory. The funds will allow Brookhaven to begin construction of two experimental stations and to hire 12 additional staff members.

"These funds represent a new beginning for Brookhaven Labs," said Schumer. "When the Department of Energy decided last year to close Brookhaven's highflux beam reactor, we were concerned about making sure that Brookhaven retained its scientific leadership. The Light Source is the ideal facility to carry on that leadership and I am delighted to announce that the President's budget signals his commitment to the Light Source and Brookhaven."

In November 1999, the Secretary of Energy decided to decommission Brookhaven's highspeed beam reactor. At that time, Sen. Schumer met with officials at Brookhaven who told him that enhancing the Light Source would help Brookhaven to maintain its scientific excellence. Another project which may aid Brookhaven's renaissance is the President's initiative on nanotechnology, which Sen. Schumer strongly supports.

"The President's nanotechnology initiative could be a great opportunity for Brookhaven to be on the cutting edge of new technology," said Schumer.

The Light Source brings more than 2,400 visiting scientists each year to Long Island, more than any other research facility in the world. Recent discoveries at the Light source, involving many collaborating institutions in the U.S. and around the world, include the first images of the AIDS virus attaching itself to a human cell; landmark progress in understanding the structure of the ribosome, the most complex component in each living cell; pivotal work on the Lyme disease bacterium, leading to a vaccine; and pioneering studies on hepatitis. In addition, New York based IBM and Lucent Technologies are using the Light Source for materials science work that will lead to better computer chips and improved optical communications. The facility also trains approximately 800 students.

"We are pleased to expand the capabilities of the Light Source and boost support to our users, who engage in breakthrough science," said Denis McWhan, Brookhaven Lab Associate Director for Basic Energy Science. "With the additional funds, we expect to begin construction of two experimental stations to take advantage of research and development work done at the Light Source over the past few years."

"The Brookhaven National Laboratory has been conducting worldclass  
scientific research since 1947," said US Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. "Providing additional funding for the National Synchrotron Light Source will ensure that Brookhaven maintains its prominence in the fields of scientific and technological research through this century and beyond."

The Light Source receives an operating budget through the Department of Energy. The President has proposed these additional funds for improvements that would not be possible within the operating budget. Congress must now appropriate the funds.

"The benefits of this funding will reach far beyond Long Island because of the scientific advances it will make possible," said Schumer. "I intend to work vigorously to ensure that Congress appropriates these funds for the Light Source."

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