Michigan State University’s Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) project passed an important milestone last week when it earned Critical Decision 1 approval from the U.S. Department of Energy. This means that work can continue on the preliminary design of the project in fiscal year 2011-2012 with full financial support.
The centerpiece of the new user facility will be a superconducting linear accelerator that will dramatically increase the reach of rare isotope research in the United States. The preferred alternative moving forward is to construct this linear accelerator with two folds giving it the appearance of a paper clip.
Construction of FRIB is anticipated to begin in late 2013. The project is expected to bring $1 billion in economic development to the region and is expected to be completed by 2020.
The facility is already attracting top nuclear researchers and engineers from around the world. In the 18 months since it was announced that MSU would house FRIB, about 25 scientific and engineering positions have been filled for FRIB and another 20 positions are currently open.