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Texas wins the fight for a super prize.

Texas wins the fight for a super prize

The proposed $4.4 billion Superconducting Super Collider (SSC) finally has a home state. After years of study and intense lobbying efforts by officials from the seven state finalists (SN: 1/30/88, p.68), the Department of Energy last week identified a patch of gently rolling prairie 25 miles south of Dallas as its preferred site for what will be the world's most powerful particle accelerator -- if it gets built.

"The Texas site is the location that . . . will permit the highest level of research productivity and efectiveness of the Super Collider at a reasonable cost of construction and operation with minimal impact on the environment," Secretary of Energy John S. Herrington said in a statement announcing the selection.

"I'm delighted," says physicist Steven Weinberg of the University of Texas at Austin. "I think it's a very good site . . . and it's going to make life in Texas universities a lot more exciting."

Construction of the SSC's underground ring, which will completely encircle the town of Waxahachie (see map), will require tunneling through 53 miles of layered chalk and marl, a crumbly mixture of sand, silt and clay. The facility, to be named the Ronald Reagan Center for High Energy Physics, will take up 16,000 acres of land.

For Fiscal year 1989, Congress has appropriated $100 million for continued research and development and preliminary engineering design work on the project but has provided no construction funds. Whether Congress will agree to fund the full project isn't clear yet. The Energy Department must also complete an environmental impact statement before it makes its choice final.
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Title Annotation:Superconducting Super Collider
Author:Peterson, Ivars.
Publication:Science News
Date:Nov 19, 1988
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