Panel to pick site for new accelerator


Japan will choose a site as early as next month for a proposed next-generation particle accelerator to study the fundamental components of the universe, according to the head of the selection panel.

The panel will release a final report on the selection as early as the end of July, Hitoshi Yamamoto, a professor at Tohoku University, told a news conference Monday at the university in Sendai.

The panel will choose between two sites on the candidate list — the Kitakami mountain area straddling Iwate and Miyagi prefectures, and the Sefuri mountain area located in Fukuoka and Saga prefectures.

The proposed facility, the International Linear Collider, is almost certain to be built in Japan once the government approves the project and decides on fiscal spending. No other country has proposed to host the ILC.

Teru Fukui, senior vice science and technology minister, is leading government discussions on whether to approve the project.

The release of the final report will precede a budget request period this summer. “We researchers want (the government) to decide to host (the ILC) within a few months,” Yamamoto said.

The sharing of the ILC’s estimated construction costs of some ¥800 billion will be determined through future negotiations among participating countries.