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Jefferson Lab work officially begins

Updated: September 3, 2010 - 3:35 pm

Posted: September 3, 2010

By Bill Cresenzo

bill.cresenzo@insidebiz.com

Jefferson Lab, the massive Newport News accelerator site where state-of-the-art atom research is conducted, has broken ground on a new, $73.2 million complex.

The new Technology and Engineering Development Facility will host scientists, technologists and engineers who study nuclear physics, accelerator science, applied nuclear science and technology.

The project will include the 70,000-square-foot Technology and Engineering Development building and a 30,000-square-foot addition to the existing adjacent Test Lab building. Also included in the construction contract is the modernization of a 96,000-square-foot test lab, said Deb Magaldi, a JLab spokeswoman.

Construction on the new Technology and Engineering Development building and the addition is expected to be completed by the end of 2011. The renovation of the test lab is expected to be completed in 2012.

"Features of the new facility will include a state-of-the-art 6,000-square-foot clean room that will be used for processing and preparing particle accelerator system components and three assembly lines for producing cryomodules [particle accelerating systems]," Magaldi said. "The layout of the new facility will streamline the flow for testing, processing and assembling R&D and production accelerator systems."

The new facility also consolidates the work space of design and engineering groups for the many disciplines required to develop and maintain the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility, Jefferson Lab's flagship research accelerator, and to contribute to new facilities elsewhere.

The accelerator celebrated its 25th anniversary last year. It was first known as the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator and is now known as the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. About 7,500 people work there.

Magaldi said that the construction of the new complex will provide jobs to nearly 500 people in Hampton Roads, and about 75 percent of the $54 million in construction costs will be spent locally.

The lab is operated by Jefferson Science Associates under the U.S. Department of Energy. nib