The HFBR had become trapped in a economic and political battle between the Department of Energy and the US congress, with the latter refusing to release funds to restart the reactor. Moreover, it was costing $23 m per year to keep the reactor in standby mode. The high cost of restarting the reactor, and the cost of paying for upgrades to other neutron sources in the US, led to the decision to permanently close the reactor. "While I don't believe the Brookhaven reactor is a threat to the public or the environment, we need to focus our limited resources on productive research," said Bill Richardson, head of the DOE.