The following are Professor emeritus Masakazu Yoshioka of KEK’s comments from the February 6th seminar in Morioka.
“The geological conditions of the granite bedrock of the Kitakami candidate site are very good, and a tunnel can be easily excavated. This area has the smallest amount of vibrations felt in the bedrock in all of Japan – even during the 2011 earthquake, it was quite stable. There are no issues with the infrastructure in the area, and the candidate site is blessed with a nice natural environment.
Parts of the Science Council of Japan’s report on the ILC struck me as a bit odd. One was their questioning of the economic benefits of the project. They said it wasn’t clear how private businesses would be able to use superconducting technology, but this type of technology is already widely used by the private sector. The truth is that particle colliders are the key to technological innovation around the world.
Another odd thing was their point that there would be a drop in population in the area after construction completes, since scientists would be able to use the internet to remotely work on the ILC. But in fact, laboratories around the world are always overflowing with people, and they are always competing to build them.
If the ILC is built, then thousands of researchers will come to the area. If related businesses are set up, then even more people will come. This will help towns that are struggling with an increase in elderly and population decline, and we can expect it to improve education as well. I hope that particle physics can serve as a base for the area, and people can use its special characteristics to create an area of rich culture and a balanced mix of primary, secondary, and tertiary industries.”