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AEC Site Selection Pledged This Year

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AEC Site Selection Pledged This Year

Team Takes Area Tour

An Atomic Energy Commission team today promised a decision on the location of the AEC’s $350 million atomic accelerator sometime in 1966.

Glenn Seaborg, chairman of the commission, said in a press conference at the University Administration Building that the AEC did not know more specifically when it would reach a decision.

Seaborg and other AEC officials were in Ann Arbor today to inspect the Northfield Township site proposed tor the facility.

"Our assignment is to take the best site in the United States, a site which will prove best for the 200-billion-volt electron accelerator," the AEC chairman said.

"We are on a fact finding expedition and will visit five of the six sites now, and the sixth later," he told newsmen. 

Asked if the AEC inspection team looked favorably on the Northfield Township site, Seaborg said: "I think all of the six sites would meet our requirements. Our task now is to find out which one is best."

Asked by newsmen if politics were affecting the selection, he said:
"It all depends what you call politics. There is a great deal of interest by people of political orientation all over the country.
"It's a balance of all factors, including housing cultural attractions, scientific support and access to scientists nationally," he said.

Seaborg said cost of construction -- which could differ between site -- also would be a factor. 

State officials, including U-M President Harlan Hatcher and Gov. George Romney, promised the support and cooperation of Michigan if the local site is selected. 

"We would pledge cooperation in every way and you would find all of the universities in Michigan, including the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University, providing full support," Hatcher said. 

Romney told the group: "I don't think you can find any place in the world that would have a comparable research complex nearby. We are prepared to do anything we can to ben this facility to this location in Michigan. 

The delegation representing the state included Romney and Sen. Gilbert E. Bursley, R-Ann Arbor, Rep. Marvin L. Esch, R-Ann Arbor, and other legislators and officials. 

Congressman Weston E. Vivian, D-Ann Arbor, and former Michigan governor G. Mennen Williams toured the site with the AEC group. 

The team, led by Seaborg, toured the site in a University bus, followed by a long line of autos carrying newsmen. 

The team toured the entire perimeter of the site and came back through selected areas including the site of recent test borings.

The bus carrying the tam drove through the Bromley and Orchard Hills subdivisions on Plymouth Rd., apparently surveying possible housing for the facility's employees. 

The bus stopped momentarily at the locations of industrial facilities along Plymouth Rd. including Bendix Systems Division, Parke Davis and Co., Climax Molybdenum Co. and Conductron Corp. 

The group then toured the U-M North Campus before going to the University Administration Building for the press conference. 

Members of the delegation representing the state presented the AEC team with copies of a concurrent resolution passed in the Legislature yesterday that promises Michigan will "provide the site and basic development for the location of a nuclear accelerator center." 

Seaborg said this "would be helpful." 

While the AEC team inspected the snow - covered site, a group of township residents were making plans for a meeting to discuss their concerns about the accelerator with state officials. 

John L. Kennedy, 7105 Sutton Rd., who says he represents 40 persons who would be displaced if the AEC picks the Northfield sire, is calling for the meeting. 

He said the state "is trying to soothe us so we won't make an uproar but they haven't told us what they will do for us."

Kennedy, who said he lives on a centennial farm which has been in his family since 1835, said there are about 100 homes on the site, including several centennial farms and a number of new homes. 

Mrs. Grace Anderson, 8315 Dixboro, Northfield Township, said today that a "significant number" of township residents, many of whom own land near or adjacent to the site, including herself, would welcome its location there. 

The Northfield site is one of six finalists from a group of about 200 original bidders for the vast project. Other contenders are near Sacramento, Calif., Brookhaven, N.Y., Denver, Colo. and Madison, Wis.

A sire near Chicago had been under consideration, but residents of the area have actively protested the accelerator's location there. But an alternate site in that area is to be inspected tomorrow. 

Mayor Wendell E. Hulcher welcomed the AEC team, stating that if the Northfield Township site is selected that "we would be delighted to welcome as valued citizens and neighbors those people who would be associated with it."

AEC Team Arrives At Site

Top-level Atomic Energy Commission officials, along with state and local representatives, inspect the Northfield Township site being considered for a 200-billion-electron-volt BEV proton accelerator. The site is one of six still in the running. Discussing the site are (left to right) University President Harlan Hatcher, AEC Commissioner Gerald Tape, AEC Chairman Glenn T. Seaborg, Gov. George Romney, and Second District Rep. Weston E. Vivian. (Another picture on Page 25)