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U.S. Sen. Gary Peters tours the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams to ensure federal funding

September 21, 2015
<p>From left to right, Mark Burnham, vice president of governmental affairs for MSU, Sen. Gary Peters (D.-Mich.) and Paul Mantica, deputy laboratory director and deputy project manager, tour FRIB on Sept. 21, 2015. Alex Kurrie/The State News</p>

From left to right, Mark Burnham, vice president of governmental affairs for MSU, Sen. Gary Peters (D.-Mich.) and Paul Mantica, deputy laboratory director and deputy project manager, tour FRIB on Sept. 21, 2015. Alex Kurrie/The State News

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) toured the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams or FRIB on Monday as part of his bipartisan effort to continue funding to the project and help shape new legislation regarding nation-wide research. 

Peters is the Ranking Member on the Space, Science and Competitiveness Subcommittee and met with researchers and academic officials from MSU in order to gain input on how research will be conducted as well as the benefits these studies will reap, namely in the medical field.

“Today’s discussion with scientists and researchers from Michigan State provided important guidance on how best to invest in Michigan’s world-class research institutions to ensure that we can continue to build on decades of scientific research and remain a leader in innovation around the world," Peters said in a press release. 

Peters' visit is part of a series of bipartisan discussions with members of the American science and research community to help inform the Senate Commerce Committee as it starts to draft new legislation which will shape federal research policy. 

“As the Senate formulates new legislation to set federal research priorities for the coming years, I will be working to ensure that Michigan continues to play a vital role in our nation’s research and development efforts,” Peters said in a press release. 

Peters praised MSU’s physics department as the “place to be” and a “top class institution” for innovative new studies such as FRIB.

The commitment from the university is strong, Peters said, and “it is amazing how much work is being put into it.”

Construction for the FRIB is planned to be completed by 2022, although it could be finished as early as 2020.

The rare isotopes produced by FRIB will allow nuclear scientists and researchers explore fields such as energy, medicine and national security for things such as finding cures for diseases and finding processes to destroy nuclear waste. 

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