EAST LANSING (AP) – Michigan State University is picking up the pace on plans for hosting a $615 million nuclear research facility.

The Lansing State Journal reports the start of construction on the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams now is expected to begin next summer, about a year earlier than planned. The school is using its own money to kick-start the project.

The official completion date for the facility was expected in 2020, but the school now hopes to finish by 2018.

The university already committed to paying nearly $95 million for the nuclear science research facility. Now, the school plans to make part of the investment earlier. The facility is designed to accelerate atomic nuclei to high speeds, then shatter them to create rare isotopes not found on Earth.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.

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