APS News

APS President Urges Congress to Support Neutron Science

D. Allan Bromley (Yale University), APS president and former science advisor to President George Bush, sent a letter to Senator Alfonse D'Amato (R-NY) and Rep. Michael Forbes (R-NY) in response to their submission of companion legislation (S. 1140 and H.R. 2384) calling for the permanent closure of the High Flux Beam Reactor at Brookhaven National Laboratory, one of only four major neutron scattering facilities in the US Calling the action "unwise and unwarranted," Bromley also sent copies of the letter to all members of the House and Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittees.

In his letter, Bromley asked for the support of D'Amato and Forbes in convincing Congress of the necessity for a strong program in neutron science to maintain US status as a technological leader. He described Brookhaven as "one of the gems of our nation's scientific enterprise," and the High Flux Beam Reactor in particular as an "integral part" of the laboratory's program. He added that should Congress approve the legislation, "It is urgent that Congress provide the Department of Energy with the financial resources necessary to move forward rapidly with the development and construction of new neutron science facilities and upgrades of other existing facilities."

Bromley enclosed a copy of the statement adopted by the APS Council in April 1997 (see APS News June 1997) and distributed to Congress on neutron scattering facilities, which stresses the critical role that neutron science plays in a wide range of technologies across many fields. The APS statement also called attention to the loss of American leadership in this area of research, and the risks that the nation will face if the problem is not soon redressed.