Slaughter Invites Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration to Visit the University of Rochester Laser Lab
ROCHESTER, NY — Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (NY-25) has invited Lisa Gordon-Haggerty, administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration, to Rochester to tour the University of Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE). This invitation is part of Slaughter’s effort to reverse the cuts proposed in President Trump’s budget, which would close the facility over the next three years. The lab supports 1,000 jobs, including 360 directly at the facility, while playing a critical role in our national security.
“I invite you to Rochester for a tour of the LLE so that you can see firsthand the world-class facilities that draw more than 400 scientists from around the world to Western New York every year to carry out fundamental research and to meet the more than 360 scientists, engineers and technicians, and support staff that work at the lab,” Slaughter wrote in a letter to Gordon-Haggerty. “Investing in LLE is an investment in the technical capacity of our nation’s nuclear and optical scientists that is a crucial component of our national security and critical for our country.”
The LLE is an essential component of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) and High Yield Campaign. As home to two of the world’s largest and most powerful lasers (OMEGA and OMEGA EP), LLE is recognized nationally and internationally as one of the preeminent research facilities for the DOE’s ICF and high energy density physics (HEDP) programs in partnership with three national laboratories (Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore, and Sandia). The LLE is the largest DOE/NNSA program at a university and the only facility that trains graduate students in ICF and HEDP serving as a vital pipeline of future talent that is critically important to our national and economic security.
Slaughter has been a vocal advocate of the lab, understanding that it is a leader in developing innovative approaches to increase our energy independence and enhance our national security while playing a crucial role in New York’s growing high-tech economy. She routinely leads the effort to fund the facility every year, and continues to reach out to colleagues on both sides of the aisle to fight President Trump’s proposed cut.
A copy of Slaughter’s letter is included below and is available online here:
The Honorable Lisa Gordon-Haggerty
National Nuclear Security Administration
1000 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20585
Dear Administrator Gordon-Haggerty;
It has long been my pleasure to represent the University of Rochester Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE), which includes the OMEGA and OMEGA-EP facilities. The OMEGA lasers are the largest and most capable found at any academic institution. LLE is internationally recognized for its groundbreaking research in high energy density physics and high power lasers.
The LLE is the most cost-effective facility in the science-based stockpile stewardship program – performing 80 percent of all the target shots used in the national Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) and high energy density physics programs with only 13 percent of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) ICF budget. I believe LLE provides enormous value and deserves continued support.
As you testified during your Senate confirmation hearing, recruiting and maintaining the “best and the brightest” is a priority for NNSA. LLE is the only major facility that trains graduate students and also supports users from the 55 universities and over 35 centers and national laboratories. By fulfilling this role, LLE serves as a pipeline to educate and train future talent. Investing in LLE is an investment in the technical capacity of our nation’s nuclear and optical scientists that is a crucial component of our national security and critical for our country.
LLE’s benefits go well beyond the more than 2,100 experiments OMEGA conducts annually in support of the ICF program. As the foremost example of our region’s world-wide leadership in scientific research, LLE also provides a strong stimulus to New York’s economy as a driver of the region’s optics, imaging, and photonics sectors and source of new start-up companies.
I invite you to Rochester for a tour of the LLE so that you can see firsthand the world-class facilities that draw more than 400 scientists from around the world to Western New York every year to carry out fundamental research and to meet the more than 360 scientists, engineers and technicians, and support staff that work at the lab.
I look forward to hosting you in Rochester in the near future. Please contact Clayton Cox on my staff with any questions and to arrange details. He can be reached at (202) 225-3615 or email@example.com.
Louise M. Slaughter
Member of Congress