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Fermilab gets $35 million from stimulus

BATAVIA – Efforts to expand and improve the region's premier physics laboratory soon will be stimulated.

Monday, U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Batavia, and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, announced that the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory will receive almost $35 million, thanks to the federal government's program to stimulate the national economy.

About $25 million of the sum will be used to pay for a number of infrastructure projects at Fermilab. The remaining $9.9 million will be used by the lab to purchase high-tech components for a neutrino detector, planned to be built at Fermilab in coming months.

Argonne National Laboratory also will benefit from the stimulus bill, formally known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Argonne will receive $13.1 million to upgrade and replace aging electrical components.

"For the residents of the Fox Valley and DuPage County, today's announcement that more than $40 million will come to these two sites in northern Illinois marks a huge investment in our nation's future and for our local economies," Foster said in a prepared statement.

Fermilab spokeswoman Judy Jackson said the money will help "keep Fermilab at the forefront" of particle physics.

She said the infrastructure dollars will be used to build new structures on the grounds of the federal laboratory, as well as expand and upgrade existing structures. Contracts for those projects will likely be awarded within weeks, Jackson said, and work will begin soon after.

She said the infrastructure work will pay for more than 100 construction and related jobs.

Jackson said the laboratory expects to break ground on its neutrino detector May 1. The device will be used in research conducted as part of the Nova experiment.

Neutrinos are subatomic particles that travel near the speed of light, carry no electrical charge and can pass through ordinary matter virtually undisturbed.

The Nova project will cost about $250 million and will be conducted at Fermilab and at a site operated by the University of Minnesota in Ash River, Minn.  The University of Minnesota received $40 million to fund part of its share of the experiment.

Jackson said Fermilab is aware of public concern over the use of stimulus funds. She said the lab will soon set up a Web site to track the money it receives from the Department of Energy as part of the stimulus package.

BATAVIA – Efforts to expand and improve the region's premier physics laboratory soon will be stimulated.

Monday, U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Batavia, and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, announced that the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory will receive almost $35 million, thanks to the federal government's program to stimulate the national economy.

About $25 million of the sum will be used to pay for a number of infrastructure projects at Fermilab. The remaining $9.9 million will be used by the lab to purchase high-tech components for a neutrino detector, planned to be built at Fermilab in coming months.

Argonne National Laboratory also will benefit from the stimulus bill, formally known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Argonne will receive $13.1 million to upgrade and replace aging electrical components.

"For the residents of the Fox Valley and DuPage County, today's announcement that more than $40 million will come to these two sites in northern Illinois marks a huge investment in our nation's future and for our local economies," Foster said in a prepared statement.

Fermilab spokeswoman Judy Jackson said the money will help "keep Fermilab at the forefront" of particle physics.

She said the infrastructure dollars will be used to build new structures on the grounds of the federal laboratory, as well as expand and upgrade existing structures. Contracts for those projects will likely be awarded within weeks, Jackson said, and work will begin soon after.

She said the infrastructure work will pay for more than 100 construction and related jobs.

Jackson said the laboratory expects to break ground on its neutrino detector May 1. The device will be used in research conducted as part of the Nova experiment.

Neutrinos are subatomic particles that travel near the speed of light, carry no electrical charge and can pass through ordinary matter virtually undisturbed.

The Nova project will cost about $250 million and will be conducted at Fermilab and at a site operated by the University of Minnesota in Ash River, Minn.  The University of Minnesota received $40 million to fund part of its share of the experiment.

Jackson said Fermilab is aware of public concern over the use of stimulus funds. She said the lab will soon set up a Web site to track the money it receives from the Department of Energy as part of the stimulus package.

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