On July 6th in Sendai, Prof. Atsuto Suzuki, president of Iwate Prefectural University and director of the Tohoku ILC Preparation Office, gave an update to the media on the office’s activities. The international research organizations heading the project are currently deliberating on shrinking the initial length of the ILC (part of its staging strategy), and the office is researching technology needed to construct it.
The International Committee for Future Accelerators (ICFA) will shrink the initial length of the ILC from 31 km to 20 km, and introduce a staging strategy that will reduce construction costs. According to Director Suzuki, the office is putting together methods of tunnel construction that will enable construction to start quickly after the Japanese government makes a decision on the ILC.
They are also deliberating on how the facilities should be set up, with a plan for setting up testing facilities at local ports for superconducting cavities to be imported from overseas. They are proceeding forth with a community development design plan centering on the research facility and stretching to reach from Morioka to Sendai.
The Tohoku ILC Preparation Office was set up by the Tohoku ILC Promotion Council in June of last year. There are 4 working groups for PR, regional affairs, technology, and industry, and 2 expert working groups working on things like a master plan for the area. They aim to release the results of their deliberations sometime during the end of August to September.
The leading candidate site for the ILC is in the Kitakami mountains that straddle Iwate and Miyagi prefectures. The Japanese government shall make a decision on hosting the ILC sometime from this year to next year.
Also in attendance at the presentation was vice-director of the office, Fumio Ube (advisor to the Tohoku Economic Federation), and Senior Executive Director of the Iwate Prefectural Government, Hisashi Odaira. Director Suzuki said, “It has been one year since our office was formed, and I’m in awe in how far we have come. We hope to work to our utmost so that the Japanese government makes its decision as quickly as possible.”