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BNL marks next stage in project construction

The Brookhaven National Lab held a “Closing of the Ring” ceremony today to recognize the completion of the first phase of $912 million project – a half-mile wide ring of steel called the National Synchrotron Light Source II, which is expected to provide numerous advancements in energy technology.

The NSLS II, the first of its kind in the country, will replace the lab's first NSLS, which was built in 1984. The NSLS II will be the world's most advanced synchrotron light source, expected to provide advancements in national and energy security and help develop new energy technology, BNL says.

Construction on the project began 15 months ago, aided by a $150 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and it is expected to be finished in 2014 – more than a year ahead of the initial schedule. The first phase of the project will be completed by February, and scientists will begin to work in the space at that time.

Steve Dierker, associate laboratory director for photon sciences, said more than 3,500 scientists will eventually travel to Long Island to research at the lab each year.

He said the NSLS II has many possibilities, including experiments involving splitting atoms and energy production.

“There are a number of exciting benefits to society expected to come from scientific advancements here,” he said.

The lab was also celebrating the start of construction on a nearby site. The Interdisciplinary Science Building, located across the street from the NSLS II, broke ground this year and will be a new house for scientists of multiple disciplines. The focus of the research in the building will be energy-related.

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