April 2, 1998


Statement by BNL Director John Marburger
on HFBR Funding Announcement by Cong. Forbes and Sen. D'Amato


In their announcement today, Senator D'Amato and Congressman Forbes are taking a position on the High Flux Beam Reactor that is consistent with their previous actions.

Under BSA management, Brookhaven National Laboratory will also be consistent in the safe, clean operation of all its facilities. I would welcome their support in cleaning up the environmental legacy due to past practices, and in making the best use of BNL's capacity for outstanding science.

The press release issued by D'Amato and Forbes read as follows:




WASHINGTON, Thursday, April 2 - U.S. Senator Alfonse M. D'Amato (R-NY) and Representative Michael Forbes (R-Suffolk County) today announced they have written the Senate and House Appropriations Subcommittees requesting re-approval of legislation to stop the reactivation of the 32-year-old High Flux Beam Reactor at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

"Keeping this aging nuclear reactor shut down is necessary for the health of Long Islanders and the safety of their drinking water," said D'Amato, who wrote Energy and Water Subcommittee Chairman Pete Domenici (R-NM) requesting approval of the provision. "Restarting the reactor would not only jeopardize our environment and drinking water, but would imperil the other great work done at the lab."

"We are committed to ensuring this faulty, 32-year-old nuclear reactor will never again threaten our environment, particularly the sensitive sole source aquifer that supplies drinking water to all Long Island," Forbes said. "Senator D'Amato and I were able to include an amendment in this year's Energy Department spending bill to keep this nuclear reactor shut down, and we will prevail again for 1999. This is critical to protect the future of Brookhaven Lab and the 3,200 jobs held by our neighbors there."

D'Amato and Forbes passed legislation in October of 1997 keeping the reactor shut down through Fiscal Year 1998, which ends in September.

The new legislation would prohibit the use of Fiscal Year 1999 federal funds to restart the High Flux Beam Reactor.

In letters to the Congressional appropriating committees, D'Amato and Forbes also requested increased federal funding over what is contained in the President's Fiscal Year '98 budget for several programs at the lab, including:

"We're encouraged by the ongoing environmental clean-up at the lab and want to help accelerate its pace," D'Amato and Forbes said. "And the additional research funding will help ensure that Brookhaven Lab remains an economic and scientific asset for Long Island and the world's scientific community."