EAST LANSING (WWJ) Michigan State University will soon be home to a new high-tech research facility that should mean thousands of new jobs in the state.

MSU President Lou Anna Simon says groundbreaking ceremonies will take place Monday morning for the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, a new national user facility for nuclear science.

What will happen here? On its website, it says workers at the facility will provide “intense beams of rare isotopes (that is, short-lived nuclei not normally found on Earth) … (that) will enable scientists to make discoveries about the properties of these rare isotopes in order to better understand the physics of nuclei, nuclear astrophysics, fundamental interactions, and applications for society.” Get complete details here.

The university won the project during the Great Recession when the future of the auto companies was in jeopardy and Michigan was at its low point, Simon said.

“We’re excited that we were awarded a project that will make it a $600 million project, we’ve already hired about 200 individuals, who would be the equivalent of a brand-new high tech firm, and that number will grow over the years as the facility becomes operational,” Simon says.

Simon says the facility is expected to be up and running by the end of the decade and attract students and researchers from around the world.

“When the project was originally conceived, and this has been awhile ago because of delays in federal funding, it was estimated to have a billion dollar economic impact on the state overall,” Simon said.



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