In 2007, the DOE/NSF Nuclear Science Advisory Committee (NSAC) released its most recent five-year plan (PDF, 12MB): "The Frontiers of Nuclear Science: A Long-Range Plan for the Next Decade." The document, compiled from feedback from the broad nuclear science community, sets the direction of nuclear science research in the United States.
Here is the No. 2 community priority called out in the document:
We recommend construction of the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB), a world-leading facility for the study of nuclear structure, reactions, and astrophysics. Experiments with the new isotopes produced at FRIB will lead to a comprehensive description of nuclei, elucidate the origin of the elements in the cosmos, provide an understanding of matter in the crust of neutron stars, and establish the scientific foundation for innovative applications of nuclear science to society.
In fall 2006, NSCL released a 413-page whitepaper, "Isotope Science Facility at Michigan State University," describing a vision for the laboratory's future. The document, widely distributed throughout the U.S. and international nuclear science community, provides detailed scientific and technical plans for achieving the goals of a next-generation U.S. facility. NSCL faculty have since continued to help shape future directions in U.S. nuclear science, including by serving on the NSAC committee that produced the 2007 long-range plan.