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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release January 21, 1998
                       FOR SPALLATION NEUTRON SOURCE 

                 Says Down Payment Will Begin Construction 
                   Of $1.3 Billion Advanced Accelerator

                    FY 1999 Budget Includes Funding for 
               Tennessee Valley Authority Non-Power Programs 

OAK RIDGE NATIONAL LABORATORY, TN -- Citing Oak Ridge National Laboratory's critical role in helping to keep America the world leader in technology, Vice President Al Gore today (1/21) announced a $157 million down payment on the construction and development of the most advanced accelerator-based Spallation Neutron Source in the world.

The Vice President also announced that the President will request $76.8 million in his fiscal year (FY) 1999 budget to Congress for Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) non-power programs including Land between the Lakes and the Chickamauga Lock.

"Oak Ridge National Laboratory is a world-renown facility for research and development," the Vice President said. "That's why I'm so proud to announce today that Oak Ridge National Laboratory will be the site for the most advanced accelerator-based Spallation Neutron Source in the world. This new facility will help us to reclaim America's position as the world leader in a technology we invented, while creating new jobs and opportunities for the people of Tennessee, and putting us on the cutting-edge of the new, high-tech economy."

The Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) will cost $1.3 billion to complete. The Vice President announced that the President will request from Congress $157 million as a down payment on the construction and development of the SNS in his FY 1999 budget to Congress. During its construction, the SNS is expected to create new 2,210 jobs; during its operation, the SNS is expected to sustain 1,890 new jobs.

When completed, the SNS will produce the most powerful pulsed neutron sources in the world, which will help give scientists detailed snapshots of the structure of even the smallest samples of physical and biological materials. Experiments with neutron scattering science helped to invent computer floppy disks, and the magnetic strips on the back of credit cards. They helped develop bullet-proof vests, and plastic automobile bumpers that are lighter and more effective than older chrome bumpers. Studies on developing medical isotopes have helped to create life-saving treatments and diagnostic techniques for cancer.

The Vice President made the announcement during a speech to scientists, employees and invited guests of Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He was joined at the event by Tennessee Governor Don Sundquist; Dr. Alvin Trivelpiece, Director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Department of Energy Secretary Federico Pena; and William Brinkman, Vice President of Physical Science Research at Bell Laboratories; among others.

Prior to making the announcement, the Vice President viewed a demonstration of how neutron scattering science is helping to produce better plastics and industrial materials and took part in a materials analysis using a remote electron microscope.

Although Oak Ridge National Laboratory was the site of the world's first experiments in neutron scattering, the world's leading neutron source is no longer in the United States; it is now in Europe. "A new Spallation Neutron Source will change that," the Vice President said. "Given the medical, scientific, economic and environmental benefits available through neutron science, it would be irresponsible not to reclaim world leadership in this critical field."

Regarding funding for TVA's non-power programs, the Vice President said that the President's FY 1999 budget includes $76.8 million: $6.8 million for Chickamauga Lock preconstruction work; $6.9 million for Land Between the Lakes; $5.5 million for the Environmental Research Center; and $57.6 million for land and water management.

Congress must approve funding for both the SNS and TVA's non-power programs.

"I may no longer be elected solely by the people of Tennessee -- but I've never stopped fighting for the people of Tennessee. I look forward to working with our Congressional delegation to make these proposals a reality," the Vice President said.