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August 30, 1966 - Image 22

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1966-08-30

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

PAGE TEN

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

TUESDAY, AUGUST 30, 1966'

PAGE TEN TUE MIChIGAN DAILY

w uESDaY.i Ais{~tuST. 4, v. I~VV

v

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LOCAL AREA CONSIDERED:
AEC To Choose Particle Accelerator Site

By WALLACE IMMEN
The Atomic Energy Commission
is about to make an announce-
ment which may make a site near
Ann Arbor the home of what has
been termed "the scientific prize
of the century."
The prize is a proposed 200 bil-
lion electron volt atomic particle
accelerator and laboratory costing
$375 million to build and with an
annual operating budget of $50
million. It will consist of an ac-
celerating ring a mile in diameter
with its center occupied by labora-
tory buildings. Its purpose will be
to boost protons, the nuclei of
hydrogen atoms, to nearly the
speed of light in order to study
their constituent parts as they
strike instrumented targets and
leave trails in the heavy liquid
of a "bubble chamber."
A location in Northfield Town-
ship, a few miles northeast of Ann
Arbor is one of six applicants still
being considered from an original

group of over 200. Teams of in-
vestigators spent more than a year
making visits to each of the sites
and narrowed the list first to 85,
then recently to just six.
All of the remaining sites are
considered excellent by the AEC
committee in terms of the physical
requirements established for the
accelerator. A suitable geologic
structure of the area is necessary
to support the weight of the equip-
ment. Proximity to good transpor-
tation and preferably a large city
and adequate supplies of water
for cooling were also given heavy
consideration.
The selection officials have re-
peatedly said, however, that the
most important factor in the deci-
sion is the location of one of the
nation's major universities with a
strong faculty nearby to give the
project support through participa-
tion in design and operation.
If constructed as planned, the
accelerator will be the world's
largest and will be used in basic

research which will provide knowl-
edge necessary for more advanced
work in nuclear physics. Its im-
mense capacity is needed if science
is to understand the true nature
of particles which have never be-
fore been produced. Scientists
throughout the country have hail-
ed its exciting possibilities and
have urged its construction as
soon as possible.
The project has been scheduled
to take seven years to complete
with costs incorporated in annual
budget requests throughout the
period of construction. During the
first two years, final designing and
engineering studies will be made.
Then. contracts for actual con-
struction will be awarded to priv-
ate local firms on a competitive
bid basis. Finally, the accelerator
staff will be selected, attracting
some of the nation's finest nuclear
scientists. If the present schedule
is adhered to, the facility will be-
come operative in late 1973.
But its $375 million cost has
made it a subject of political in-
trigue and the maneuvering which
has accompanied the selection
process has caused several delays
of the final announcement. The
implications of the accelerator's
influence, both on the political im-
portance and change it will bring
to the community. has generated
political heat which was not fore-
seen by the AEC planners.
They are carefully re-evaluating
the sites and the final decision,
once set for February has not yet
been made and non-commital
statements by committee members
point to delay until December.
Funds can not be appropriated
until a site selection is made final
and so the schedule may well have
to be re-evaluated. Originally, the
first budget request for designing
was to have been made this year.

but without a site, designers arej
working only on a small scale
with money received from the Na-
tional Science Foundation. In the
meantime. economic crosscurrents
threaten to cancel the entire pro-
ject.
A number of alternative pro-
posals ranging from scaling down
the plans to directly eliminating
them as infeasible have been sub-
mitted to Congress by legislators
who are seeking cutbacks in
spending in view of such expenses
as the war in iVet Nam.
Opposition has also come from a
small group of local residents who
fear the project will cause a
"whirlwind" growth of the area
and surround the city with sprawl-
ing tract housing. To this. Vice
President for Research A. Geof-
frey Norman has answered that
the proportions of any influx in
population would not be large and
would be gradual over the period
of seven years. He feels the city
of Brighton, which is closer to
the site would receive most of the
new personnel
Location of the accelerator in
Northfield would have important
economic consequences for the
Ann Arbor area. as most of the
$50 million yearly budget will be
spent locally. Existing businesses
would be used to supply the plant
and new "spinoff" concerns would
grow from commercial applica-
tions of developments made at the
accelerator.
The University also would bene-
fit from the nature of the staff of

the facility. A great deal of ex-
change, including possible joint
appointments between accelerator
and classroom are anticipated.
Professors and graduate stu-
dents will probably participate in
a great deal of the work and in-
formation from research at both
facilities will be exchanged. The
laboratory would attract visiting
scientists from all over the world
and provide exciting opportunities
for guest lectures and discussions
Presently, the proposed site con,
sists of 5000 acres of farm land
most of which is state owned. A
few private farms in the plot
would have to be purchased and
the residents of those farms are
eager for a quick site selection to
know whether they will be re-
quired to move. The state has of-
fered to make the land available
to the AEC at no cost with the in-
ducement of lowering the project's
cost.
Until the decision is made, how-
ever, the fate of the project is un-
certain with rumors and conjec-
ture leading some to believe the
proposal will never become a real-
ity. The importance of a 200 BEV
accelerator for the Ann Arbor
area and the University. however,
has been recognized by area legis-
lators and University officials who
believe the project will become a
reality. They are continuing to
exert influence and make admir-
able efforts to guide the "scien-
tific prize of the century" to the
Ann Arbor area.

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(Continued from Page 1)
tions will take. Here, too, the Re-
gents have set out no guidelines
for the committees and decisions
must be made by discussion.
There is even talk on the stu-
dent committee of making a joint
faculty - student recommendation,
instead of sending separate lists
of names to the Regents, as an
outgrowth of their fairly extensive
contacts with the faculty. Though
neither Regents nor faculty seem
to object to the idea, nothing def-
inite has yet been done about it.

IMPORTANT
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What happens to the advisory
committees after they have made
their formal recommendations is
another moot point. No one has
said anything officially, but the
faculty and students both want to
stay around until the final deci-
sion. is made. Briggs emphasizes
that the committees are free to
do anything they want and even
suggests that the committees may
have a role to play after their
"final" recommendations are turn-
ed in.

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