Brookhaven National Lab’s High Flux Beam Reactor got a major boost last month when a Department of Energy committee recommended that a proposed $20 million upgrade of the reactor be included in next year’s budget. A DOE official says that the project “has a good shot” of making it into the president’s 1990 budget request, which will be submitted next January. The upgrade will allow the 23-year-old reactor to remain the nation’s primary neutron source for the next dozen or so years, according to Martin Blume, the lab’s deputy director. Blume is already preparing arguments to overcome the reactor’s next hurdle, a current congressional embargo on new DOE construction projects. “Even if that restriction is extended through 1990,” Blume says, “we would argue that this is not a new start but rather an improvement to an existing facility.”

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