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US atom-smasher lab plans world's No. 1 accelerator

Fermilab, home of the nation's largest atom smasher, has jumped into the race to build the world's largest nuclear accelerator and outstrip projects now under construction in Europe and the Soviet Union.

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The Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory of the US Department of Energy proposed Wednesday building a $3 billion, 20 trillion-electron-volt accelerator 70 miles in circumference. The nuclear accelerator would be an underground race track for subatomic particles which would be accelerated to nearly the speed of light and smashed into tinier particles.