The SSC Laboratory in Dallas, the Department of Energy's newest national laboratory, says that its 54-mile proton accelerator will cost about 25% more than what the department had estimated. The price of the facility was pegged at $4.4 billion by DOE when it announced Texas as the site of the mammoth supercollider project in December 1988; DOE officials later increased that figure to $5.9 billion to account for the cost of inflation over its eight-year construction cycle. The new estimate, which SSC lab officials say is the first accurate calculation of what it would take to build the type of machine they want in Texas, is $7.2 billion, and Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Texas), is worried about the impact of "sticker shock" on a Congress that last year appeared solidly behind the project. The increase comes from technical changes - the use of a more powerful injector and a change in...

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