Legislation Would Preserve Funding for Lawrence Livermore Laser Projects
Members of the US Senate and House of Representatives are ironing out legislation that, if passed, would infuse additional funds into Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to continue laser research.
Under a provision in the bill, an additional $60 million would cover operation of the laboratory's atomic vapor laser isotope separation program for six months. The program, operated by government-owned US Enrichment Corp., aims to develop laser-based technology for enriching natural uranium. Because Congress limited spending to $364 million in 1992, the program now faces a legal spending cap. The new funds would enable research to continue until the program is privatized, which could take at least six months.
Besides preserving the program and averting 600 layoffs, the bill would ensure $229 million in funding for the National Ignition Facility's super laser.
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