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CERN Approves Revised Plan

Photonics.com
Sep 2010
GENEVA, Sept. 20, 2010 — During an intense series of meetings, the CERN Council overwhelmingly approved the laboratory’s revised Medium Term Plan for the period 2011-2015.

The plan was originally presented at the council’s June session, at which CERN management was asked to introduce cost-saving measures. In the revised plan, member state contributions will be reduced by a total of 135 million Swiss francs over the five-year period, with measures to consolidate CERN’s social security systems bringing the total reduction to the program to 343 million Swiss francs. The plan protects the flagship Large Hadron Collider (LHC) program, achieving cost savings by slowing down the pace of other programs. CERN management considers this a good result for the laboratory given the current financial environment.

“The plan we presented to Council is firmly science-driven,” said Rolf Heuer, director general of CERN. “It reduces spending on research and consolidation through careful and responsible adjustment of the pace originally foreseen in a way that does not compromise the future research program unduly. The reductions will be painful, but in the current financial environment, they are fair.”

Among the program to be affected is the upgrade to the LHC’s beam intensity, which will allow the experiments to accumulate data at a faster rate. This will now proceed later than originally planned, with a new linear accelerator being connected in 2016 instead of 2015.

There will be no running of CERN’s accelerators in 2012. The decision not to run the LHC in 2012 had already been made in February for purely technical reasons. The whole CERN accelerator complex will now join the LHC in a yearlong shutdown.

Looking further ahead, the plan allows for continuing R&D on the Compact Linear Collider Study, CLIC and high-intensity proton sources, but at a slower pace than originally foreseen. Work on CLIC may provide technology for the development of a new machine to study in depth the discoveries made by the LHC, while high-intensity proton sources will allow CERN to play its part in global developments for neutrino physics.

“Council’s decision is an important one for European science,” said Michel Spiro, council president. “Although Council acknowledges that the cuts will be painful, we recognize the excellent performance of the LHC and its detectors, and consequently took decisions that minimize the disruption to CERN and its global user community. Council’s decision underlines Europe’s commitment to basic research and is testimony to the robustness of the CERN model of international collaboration in science. Council is grateful for the pragmatism and the realism of the CERN management in proposing real cost savings in time of crisis.”

CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is the world’s leading laboratory for particle physics. At present, its member states are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. India, Israel, Japan, the Russian Federation, the US, Turkey, the European Commission and UNESCO have observer status.

For more information, visit:  www.cern.ch 




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