Governor Kathy Hochul is lobbying President Joe Biden and his administration to invest a jaw dropping $20 billion to vastly expand research and development facilities at the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) campus, located on the eastern end of Long Island.
BNL is a United States Department of Energy national laboratory, formally established in 1947 to conduct nuclear energy research. The campus is managed, in part, by the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Hochul wants Biden to expand BNL’s research capabilities threefold, particularly in the area of mobile nuclear generators that could decarbonize the United State’s military’s vast carbon footprint without diminishing weapons capabilities.
Current research conducted at BNL includes nuclear and high energy physics, energy science and technology, environmental bioscience, and nanoscience, with a slew of national security related applications.
The 5,300 acre campus employs 2,750 people and contains several large research facilities, including the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider and National Synchrotron Light Source II. Seven Nobel Prizes have been awarded for work conducted at Brookhaven Lab.
Currently the Energy Department contracts universities and non-profit research groups to conduct research at the facilities, which were originally part of the Atomic Energy Commission.
Hochul wants the federal government to increase federal research staffing — highly paid research scientists and engineers — by an additional 5,500 permanent full time positions. She is asking Biden to increase federal funding to operate the campus from $550 million to more than $2 billion annually.