FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 13, 1998

DOE Media Contact: Carol A. Morrison (for the Brookhaven Group); 630/252-2014

 

 

ENERGY DEPARTMENT FINDS NO SIGNIFICANT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT FROM PROPOSED BROOKHAVEN SPACE RESEARCH FACILITY

 

The U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued environmental documentation and a finding of no significant environmental impact from construction, operation, and eventual decommissioning of a proposed Booster Applications Facility (BAF) at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) in Upton, New York.

If constructed, the one-of-a-kind facility would provide the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) with valuable research capabilities for possible manned missions to space. Experiments at the facility would simulate radiation conditions in space. No facility in the United States currently has the capability of conducting this specialized research.

NASA and DOE have identified a national need for a facility that could simulate conditions essential to calibrating spacecraft equipment, establishing a thorough understanding of radiobiology, and assessing what radiation shielding is needed for future space missions.

"We welcome this cutting-edge research at Brookhaven," said George Malosh, DOE Brookhaven Group Manager, "which not only would provide knowledge for future space missions, but help us better understand the health effects on astronauts. It also demonstrates the value of intergovernmental cooperation."

The facility would provide proton and heavy ion particles from the laboratory's existing Booster accelerator through a beam line to the new 4,150 square foot facility for NASA space research. The laboratory awaits construction funding from NASA.

The environmental documentation supporting the finding of no significant impact is called an Environmental Assessment (EA). The EA evaluates alternative actions and their potential environmental impacts as well as the need for construction of the facility and associated structures.

DOE's preferred alternative is construction and operation of a BAF north of the laboratory's Booster facility. The EA also examined environmental impacts of two other alternatives--construction and operation of the proposed facility south of the BNL Booster Facility and a no-action alternative, i.e., not constructing and operating the facility.

Copies of the documents are available in repositories at the following locations:

Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library
William Floyd Parkway
Shirley, New York 11967

Longwood Public Library
Middle Country Road
Middle Island, New York 11953

North Shore Public Library
Route 25A
Wading River, New York 11792

Patchogue-Medford Public Library
54-60 E. Main Street
Patchogue, New York 11772

BNL Research Library
Brookhaven National Laboratory
Building 477A
25 Brookhaven Avenue
Upton, New York 11973

 

The documents will also be available on the DOE/Brookhaven Group's Home Page: http://www.doe.bnl.gov or through the Brookhaven Group Office at 516/344-3427.

 

--DOE--