WASHINGTON — President Bush said Friday that Japan is interested in helping build an $8.25-billion super collider, while a senior Administration official said the Soviets have agreed to negotiate for possible participation.
But neither country has pledged any money toward the 54-mile underground ring being tunneled in Texas, Bush and Deputy Energy Secretary W. Henson Moore said.
Critics said they were skeptical that either country would come up with cash to help build the giant atom smasher, which recently survived votes in the House and Senate after heated debate about its cost and the lack of foreign contributions.
Bush said he had discussed the superconducting super collider with Japanese Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu at his summer home in Kennebunkport, Me., Thursday, but Kaifu made no commitments.
The Administration is hoping to raise $1.6 billion from foreign countries and is counting on Japan for a large share of that.
In Washington, Moore said that he had formally invited the Soviet Union to participate in building and operating the collider.