Funding for $550 million project at MSU in jeopardy

(WXYZ) - Funding for a $550 million dollar project at MSU is in jeopardy. The project called FRIB or Facility for Rare Isotope Beams would study nuclear science, astrophysics and isotopes, especially their use in nuclear medicine.

The funding problem came to light Wednesday during a visit by the Secretary of Energy,Steven Chu, to the North American International Auto Show.

Chu would not commit to funding for the $550 million project, that was originally announced back in 2008. Chu said the funding is being reviewed in light of the budget deficit.

When asked directly about the project, Secretary Chu replied "We have to be very careful, we can't be starting six things and we can only afford four things."

Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon says they are just about to break ground on the building, which is where construction jobs figure in.

"We've already brought in 200 scientists to the state, and we are beginning the process of building what will be a world class, national facility."

Particularly upsetting to insiders, the Obama administration favors funding a facility in France rather than funding the MSU facility.

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