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Agreement would provide land for Jefferson Lab’s expansion

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The city of Newport News and a contractor for the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility have agreed on principles to transfer property needed for a major lab expansion.

Jefferson Lab is one of two sites in the nation vying to be the home for a $1 billion U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) electron ion collider.

The collider would be a nuclear physics research facility providing capabilities for the study of quantum chromodynamics.

Under the agreement between the city and the lab, about 16 acres would be deeded to SURA (the majority partner of Jefferson Science Associates, which manages the lab for DOE) in preparation for collider construction.

Half of the property is currently owned by the city. The other half is occupied by the city school board’s Service Center for Operations & Transportation, which will be relocated to make way for expansion and development of the proposed Tech Center Corporate Research Park.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe is putting funds in his budget for the lab to perform preliminary site and project management for the eventual competition.  The General Assembly approved $3.95 million earlier this year for that purpose.

Last week, the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee, a scientific advisory group for the National Science Foundation and DOE, made its formal recommendation for the project to be built. 

The project now must be reviewed by DOE with budget planning and development to support the project.  The Jefferson Lab’s sole competitor is the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York.  

The lab currently attracts over 1,300 researchers to Newport News

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