Inside the FRIB

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It's full steam ahead on the FRIB.

"There's no question that we have to continue to make these kinds of investments in basic science," said Sen. Gary Peters, (D) Michigan, who spend the day 35 feet underground.

He toured the tunnel that will eventually hold the superconducting linear accelerator.

In scientific terms, "What we're going to do is accelerate particles up to half the speed of light, smash those particles onto a target and then produce rare isotopes that can be used to do basic discovery science," said the FRIB's Deputy Project Manager, Paul Mantica.

In English, that means scientists will be able to discover new radioactive elements, that can help improve today's technology.

It's already five weeks ahead of schedule, and construction workers say they're confident they'll easily beat their deadline of 2022.

The project relies on federal funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, the Office of Science and the Office of Nuclear Physics.

And Senator Peters says, this much progress this year will make it easier for him to secure that funding.

"I will be very aggressive to make sure we continue to get the funding," Sen. Peters said. "And I will use my position as the ranking member on the science committee to make sure that occurs."

Which will bring hundreds of jobs, and a new future for East Lansing.