Durbin, Foster Praise $48 Million in DOE Funding for Fermilab and Argonne

Recovery Act funding will protect jobs and support research at Illinois labs

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) today announced that the Department of Energy (DOE)’s Office of Science has awarded a total of $48 million in funding to Fermilab and Argonne National Laboratory to protect jobs and support critical research. The funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was part of the $1.2 billion in funding that will be announced later today for national labs.


“To continue leading the way in science and technological innovation, we must protect our nation’s critically important scientific infrastructure and workforce,” said Durbin. “The funding from the Recovery Act will allow America to remain a world leader as science labs like Fermi and Argonne are able to continue existing projects and to expand their research.”


“Having worked at Fermilab for twenty-two years, I know that this multi-million dollar science stimulus will benefit both labs and the communities surrounding them,” said Foster. “For the residents of the Fox Valley and DuPage County, today’s announcement that more than $40 million will come to these two sites in Northern Illinois marks a huge investment in our nation’s future and for our local economies. I am pleased to continue to support scientific research in Illinois, bringing additional funding to our facilities less than a year after we secured $29.5 million for Fermilab last year as part of the Supplemental Appropriations bill.”


With today’s announcement, Fermilab will receive $34.9 million in funding from the Recovery Act. Fermi will use $25 million of that funding for infrastructure projects, and the remaining $9.9 million will be used for the purchase and construction of a neutrino detector. This detector will be constructed in Fermilab’s Batavia facility and upon completion it will be used as part of the NOvA experiment with sites at Fermilab and in Ash River, Minnesota.


Argonne will receive $13.1 million in funding to make needed upgrades and replace major electrical switches and equipment at the oldest of the nation’s National Laboratories, a first step toward rehabilitation of the laboratory’s central campus, for research in computational and energy sciences. Today’s funding could create more than 300 jobs at Argonne.


Fermilab is the nation’s premier high-energy physics laboratory that employs roughly 1,900 people including about 900 physicists, engineers and computer professionals. The laboratory leads U.S. research into the fundamental nature of matter and energy, and in 2007, Fermilab’s researchers and facilities achieved results judged by the American Institute of Physics as among the Ten Top Physics Stories from around the world. Argonne National Laboratory is one of the U.S. Department of Energy's largest research centers. It is also the nation's first national laboratory which houses basic and applied scientific research across a wide spectrum of disciplines, ranging from high-energy physics to climatology and biotechnology. Argonne employs roughly 2,900 people, including about 1,000 scientists and engineers.