The International Workshop for Future Linear Colliders, which is attended by researchers from around the world, was held starting on October 23rd in Strasbourg, France. The Tohoku ILC Promotion Council, which is working to bring about the International Linear Collider in the Kitakami mountains of Iwate Prefecture, was there to show off how passionate the region of Tohoku is for the ILC project. The director of the council’s own Tohoku ILC Preparation Office, Atsuto Suzuki (also president of Iwate Prefectural University and former director-general of KEK), was also there to report on what Tohoku is doing to prepare for the ILC.
The Council also sent a group of its members, including joint representative Hiroaki Takahashi, to publicize the region. The Iwate Prefectural government also sent more staff aside from President Suzuki, including Senior Executive Director (in charge of ILC matters), Hisashi Odaira. Director Suzuki is slated to give a speech on the 27th, the last day of the conference, on the activities of the ILC Preparation Office. He will talk about their policies to secure electricity and water in the Kitakami mountain region, the selection of the most suitable places for access tunnels, and other matters regarding what the region is doing to prepare for the project.
Mr. Takahashi talked about the region’s desire for the ILC at the Industrial Session on the 25th, and two companies from Miyagi Prefecture and Tokyo introduced technology they had that could be used in building parts for the ILC. There was also a booth set up to introduce both the ILC and Tohoku, and staff worked to network with attending researchers.
The ILC would be a 31km long linear collider built in a tunnel underground, and construction costs for the facility alone (including labor) would surpass 1 trillion yen. Operating costs would climb to around 49 billion yen per year, so the issue remains whether Japan, the US, and Europe can work together to share the costs. The International Committee for Future Accelerators is working to greatly reduce costs by reducing the initial length of the ILC to 20 kilometers, and to lengthen the accelerator in stages.
President Suzuki stressed that, “We in the local region around the ILC site are preparing so that when the Japanese government gives the go sign, we can move quickly towards construction. I will tell the national government to decide as quickly as they can.”
The LCWS is a conference for researchers from around the world to discuss the ILC and other linear accelerators, and related technology. Around 300 people will attend LCWS2017, and there will be workshops on ILC staging and ways to improve the efficiency of the accelerator devices. It is held on a rotating basis in Asia, Europe, and North America, and it was held in Morioka City, the capital of Iwate, in December of last year.