Construction Begins on World-Class Light Source at Brookhaven National Laboratory

Project will enable scientific discoveries for the 21st Century, bring jobs to Long Island

Photo of Chu

Steven Chu

UPTON, N.Y. – The U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory announced today that it is beginning construction of the conventional facilities at the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II), a project that will advance energy research for the nation and create hundreds of jobs for Long Island over the next several years. Energy Secretary Steven Chu visited the laboratory earlier this year and announced $150 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for the facility, some of which went towards accelerating the construction of NSLS-II.

“The NSLS-II will allow the scientific community to focus on some of our most important scientific challenges while creating jobs and promoting a clean, affordable energy economy,” said Secretary Chu. “Pioneering research will remain critical if the U.S. is to stay a global leader when it comes to innovation and competitiveness.”

Rendering of NSLS-II enlarge

Artist's rendering of the National Synchrotron Light Source II.

NSLS-II will be an advanced, highly optimized, third-generation medium energy storage ring that will provide sophisticated, new tools for discovery-class science – science that will enhance national and energy security and help drive abundant, safe, and clean energy technologies. The x-ray brightness and resolution of NSLS-II will be world leading, exceeding that of any other light source currently existing or under construction, and it will be 10,000 times brighter than the present light source at Brookhaven Lab.

Photo of Aronson

Sam Aronson

“NSLS-II will provide the world's finest capabilities for x-ray imaging, with the ability to detect single atoms,” said Brookhaven National Laboratory Director Samuel Aronson. “It will provide advanced tools for discovery-class science in many fields including condensed matter physics, materials science, chemistry, and biology. Discoveries made at NSLS-II will enhance national and energy security and help drive abundant, safe, and clean energy technologies.”

Torcon, Inc., a New Jersey firm with many projects in New York State, has been chosen to construct the building that will house the accelerator ring, the largest component of the machine. Torcon estimates that 90 percent of the total construction contract cost of more than $170 million will be spent directly with Long Island contractors and suppliers. This phase of the facility’s construction is expected to last through 2012.

For more information about the NSLS-II project, go to

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