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Sanford underground lab seeks $20 million budget

LEAD (AP) — The Sanford Underground Research Facility in South Dakota's Black Hills is seeking a $20 million budget for the next year.

The Black Hills Pioneer reported the lab is seeking $12.7 million from the U.S. Department of Energy, $2 million from state government, $3.8 million from a gift given by T. Denny Sanford, and some money from other funding sources.

Officials at the federal supported lab nearly a mile underground are conducting research on complex subjects such as nuclear reactions within stars and dark matter, an elusive substance that scientists believe makes up 25 percent of the universe.

Sanford Lab Executive Director Mike Headley says most of the operating money is used for salaries, and the lab tries to operate as efficiently as possible.