An aerial view of Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton.

An aerial view of Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton. Credit: Brookhaven National Lab

The announcement that a state-of-the-art electron-ion collider will be built at Brookhaven National Laboratory already is paying off for Long Island, according to a major credit rating agency.

Moody’s Investors Service said Thursday that the giant atom-smasher, estimated to cost $1.6 billion to $2.6 billion, will reap economic dividends for Brookhaven Town and Suffolk and Nassau counties. The collider, which will be built over the next 10 years, is expected to create 4,000 construction jobs and allow the Upton lab to retain 1,000 positions, officials have said.

That means increased demand for new housing, higher property values and boosts in sales tax and property tax revenue for local municipalities, Moody’s said in its Weekly Credit Outlook for Public Finance.

“In the longer term, it will solidify Long Island’s position as a leader in scientific research and attract nuclear researchers from all over the world to the facility, a credit positive for local governments in the area,” including Stony Brook University, Moody’s said. “The large capital investment will offer [the State University of New York] a competitive advantage in attracting funding in the increasingly competitive sponsored research arena.”

The collider project, announced Jan. 9 by the U.S. Department of Energy, which owns Brookhaven Lab, is expected to help scientists learn more about the inner workings of the atomic nucleus, one of the essential building blocks of all life and matter in the universe.

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