Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of



Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) was established in 1947 on the eastern end of Long Island at the former site of the U.S. Army’s Camp Upton. Originally built out of a post-World War II desire to explore the peaceful applications of atomic energy, BNL now has a broader mission: to perform basic and applied research at the frontiers of science, including nuclear and high-energy physics; physics and chemistry of materials; nanoscience; energy and environmental research; national security and nonproliferation; neurosciences; structural biology; and computational sciences. Over its history, BNL has housed three research reactors, numerous one-of-a-kind particle accelerators, and other cutting-edge research facilities responsible for discoveries leading to many advances for science and society as well as seven Nobel Prizes.

current missions

BNL advances the mission of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Science through the study of nuclear and particle physics to gain a deeper understanding of matter, energy, space, and time; photon sciences and nanomaterials research to address energy problems of critical importance to the nation; and cross-disciplinary research to understand the relationship between climate change, sustainable energy, and Earth’s ecosystems.


  • Energy Security: Exploring scientific solutions to improve the efficiency of energy storage, use, transmission, and sustainable generation to reduce the nation's carbon footprint and grow our energy economy.

  • Nonproliferation and Homeland Security: Efforts to improve homeland security are focused on the detection and control of radiological sources, as funded by the Department of Homeland Security, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and the National Nuclear Security Administration.

  • Photon Sciences: BNL’s light source works as powerful microscope for studies of material structures and properties at the atomic and nanometer scales to enable the design of new energy-efficient materials, pharmaceuticals, and more.

  • QCD Matter: Recreating matter as it existed just after the Big Bang—more than 13 billion years ago—to study how fundamental subatomic particles and their interactions gave shape to the visible matter of the universe today.

  • Physics of the Universe: Conducting world-leading research to unravel the secrets of the universe, from the origin of mass to the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy.

  • Climate, Environment, and Biosciences: Researching climate change, ecosystems, and sustainable energy to provide a scientific basis for informed climate change management strategies, approaches to adaptation, and policy decisions.

cleanup issues

In October 2005, the DOE and BNL marked the completion of major environmental restoration projects on and near the Laboratory site. The high-priority cleanup work was defined in a 1992 agreement among DOE, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC).

DOE’s Office of Environmental Management (EM) is also in the procurement process to perform demolition, decommissioning, and site clearance of the High Flux Beam Reactor (HFBR) and related buildings at BNL.


Brookhaven National Laboratory is located in the Town of Brookhaven, within Suffolk County, New York.


FY 2018 Enacted FY 2019 Enacted FY 2020 Request
515,399 538,570 483,934

(Within Office of Science funding. Amounts in thousands of dollars. Click here for the latest site budget.)


Brookhaven Science Associates – The management and operating contractor, which was founded by the Research Foundation for the State University of New York on behalf of Stony Brook University, and Battelle, a nonprofit applied science and technology organization. The operating contract expires January 4, 2020.


Federal Government

State Government


  • BNL Stakeholder Relations Office

    • Nora Sundin, Stakeholder Relations Manager

      • Phone: (631) 344-4458

Site News

Updated August 2019.
 Information in this profile is sourced from DOE, NNSA, and the site’s online resources.