The world-leading ISIS research centre will operate for an additional 30 days in 2009-10.
“The extension will ensure that UK scientists have access to neutron facilities during the Institut Laue-Langevin shut-down commencing in November 2009,” STFC Chief Operating Officer Professor Richard Wade said.
“I am delighted that it has been possible to provide continuity in access to neutron facilities for the benefit of the UK researchers who rely on these powerful analytical machines. Re-profiling ISIS operations within a fixed operating budget has allowed the extra 30 days in 2009-10 and accommodates a maintenance shutdown commencing in August 2010.”
ISIS is a world-leading centre for research in the physical and life sciences operated by the Science and Technology Facilities Council at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire, UK.
ISIS Director Dr Andrew Taylor said the additional days were expected to provide an operating cycle for experiments in February and March 2010.
“We can now operate for the full 150 days planned for this financial year allowing us to deliver the user programme recommended by the Facility Access Panels,” Dr Taylor said.
ISIS is a user facility providing beams of neutrons and muons that allow the properties of materials to be understood at the scale of atoms. Scientists use ISIS for research into subjects ranging from clean energy and the environment, pharmaceuticals and health care, through to nanotechnology, materials engineering and IT.
The Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) is located in Grenoble, France and operates the most intense reactor-based neutron source in the world. It was established in 1967 and the UK became an Associate in 1974. ILL is owned, funded and managed by France, Germany and the United Kingdom.
How is the extension of operations being paid for?
The operations budget of ISIS has been re-profiled between 2009-2010 and 2010-2011, to bring forward 30 days of operations costs and accommodate a long maintenance shutdown starting in August 2010.
This long shutdown is needed for refurbishment of part of the extracted proton beam from the ISIS accelerators and for commissioning a new accelerator main magnet power supply.
This shutdown will be about seven months duration, with the first experiment run cycle after the shutdown taking place in February or March 2011.
There is a current call for proposals for future beamtime at ISIS with a deadline of 16 October. This is for experiments between April 2010 and August 2010.
Because of the planned maintenance shutdown in August 2010, there will be no call for proposals in April 2010 at ISIS. The next call for proposals will be in October 2010.
We are issuing this announcement now so that researchers can plan their experimental programme at ISIS.