Financial contributions from states applying for the proposed
$4.4 billion superconducting super collider will be considered in
the process used to select the site for the coveted research
laboratory, the U.S. Department of Energy has told an Oklahoma
"The (Reagan) Administration has confirmed a widespread rumor -
that the site selection for the SSC (superconducting super collider)
will essentially be handled in a similar manner as a bidding war,"
Rep. Glenn English, D-Okla. said Wednesday.
English was responding to a letter he received from the office
of Secretary of Energy John Herrington.
English, in whose district the Oklahoma site is located, had
asked Herrington on what criteria the applications would be judged.
The Oklahoma site, according to the geologists conducting the
research locally, is one of the top three sites in the nation, based
on scientific attributes of the 16,000-acres west of Kingfisher.
The proposed project is expected to need an estimated 4,500
workers to build, employ about 2,500 persons full time when it is
completed, and add a healthy $11 billion boost to the economy of the
area where it is built.
But the response from Herrington's office indicates financial
contributions from the states also will be a factor in determining
which state will be home to the project.
Oklahoma has committed about $1.5 million to the project so far,
but stands little chance of competing with the financial incentives
of Texas and Illinois, who have dangled offers of more than $1
billion each, observers have said.
"For each proposal meeting the qualification criteria," the
letter reads, "a life cycle cost estimate will be prepared for the
construction phase plus a 25-year operating phase. Any financial or
in-kind contributions offered by the proposer, other than the cost of
the land, will be considered, as appropriate, in the LCC (life cycle
cost) in determining recommended best qualified list.
"Cost considerations are important to the selection process and
will be used in conjunction with the technical evaluation criteria
in selecting the preferred site. The cost and schedule for
constructing the SSC (superconducting super collider) will depend
upon site features, such as geological and geohydrological
"The tunnels, access shafts, and experimental halls are major
cost elements of the project. The availability of usable buildings
and facilities on the proposed site would favorably affect both cost
and schedule. Annual operating costs, including those related to
local wage scales, utility rates, site accessibility, etc., will
also be considered. Operation and construction costs must be
evaluated over the long term to achieve an optimum balance. …