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LI congressional delegation joins push to save Brookhaven's ion collider

President Obama's 2014 budget includes $165 million for

President Obama's 2014 budget includes $165 million for Brookhaven National Laboratory's heavy ion collider, which could keep the facility running for another year. (Credit: Newsday, 2005 / John Paraskevas)

Long Island’s four members of the U.S. House of Representatives have joined the push to increase federal science funding to keep Brookhaven National Laboratory’s ion collider from closing.

The region’s congressional delegation has asked the White House budget office to increase the U.S. Department of Energy’s nuclear physics program by $50 million, echoing a request made Monday by New York Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.

The push for increased funding comes after a scientific advisory committee ranked Brookhaven’s atom smasher last among three projects vying for funding before potential federal budget cuts. If Washington doesn’t boost nuclear research funding, the Upton facility, which supports about 800 jobs, could be shuttered.

“Strengthening federal support for nuclear physics will fuel the engine of scientific discovery and technological innovation necessary for the United States to maintain its position as a scientific and economic leader,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to budget officials, signed by Tim Bishop (D-Southampton), Peter T. King (R-Seaford), Steve Israel (D-Dix Hills) and Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola).

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