After more than five years of design, the securing of funding and preliminary construction activities, work has officially begun on the civil construction for the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams. The official groundbreaking took place on March 17 on the Michigan State University campus.
FRIB is a new national user facility for nuclear science, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science and operated by MSU. Supporting the mission of the Office of Nuclear Physics in DOE-SC, FRIB will enable scientists to make discoveries about the properties of rare isotopes in order to better understand the physics of nuclei, nuclear astrophysics, fundamental interactions, and applications for society, including in medicine, homeland security, and industry.
The heart of FRIB is a high-power superconducting linear accelerator that accelerates heavy ions and produces rare isotopes by in-beam fragmentation. FRIB will enable scientific research with fast, stopped and reaccelerated rare-isotope beams, supporting a community of currently more than 1,350 scientists from around the world.
It’s also anticipated that FRIB will contribute nearly $1 billion in economic activity to the region. That includes construction, spinoff and annual DOE operational funding once FRIB begins operations.
“FRIB will be the core of our nation’s research infrastructure, advancing knowledge in areas such as science, medicine and homeland security, as well as providing answers to questions we have even yet to conceive,” said MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon. “This facility also will be a training ground for the world’s next generation of nuclear physicists and attract scientists and engineers from all corners of the earth, securing MSU’s position as the driver in the knowledge economy.”