KEK estimates the construction of the ILC to start in some five years – an international team starting work in August

The original article was published in the Iwate Nippo (June 27th edition). Read the original here.

On June 26th, KEK (Japan’s High Energy Accelerator Research Organization, in Tsukuba, Ibaraki) released its estimated schedule of the realization of the ILC to journalists. An international development team will begin work in August, and if things proceed smoothly with a preliminary organization, then they believe that in five years, we would see the forming of the organization that would run the ILC as well as the start to construction of the accelerator. They have begun their full-fledged preparations following the release of the next European strategy for particle physics in June, as it demonstrated a strong expectation for the realization of the ILC in Japan.

The international team would have its base set in KEK, and will work on designing a system and organization for the preliminary ILC organization, as well as conduct budget negotiations with the world’s universities and laboratories for the next year to year and a half. The members will be selected by ICFA (International Committee for Future Accelerators), which is made up of the heads of the world’s leading particle physics laboratories.

The next step would be to set up the preliminary organization, and to spend the next four years continuing to prepare for the ILC’s construction and operations. Should consensus be gained among the governments of related countries, then KEK surmises that the ILC’s main organization will be formed and construction will start in five years’ time. Construction will take around 10 years, and the ILC would start operations around 2035.

Operations would last for “more than 20 years,” but CERN (Switzerland) has continued to upgrade the accelerator in its underground tunnel, will operations for more than 60 years. The ILC is expected to develop in the same way.

The Linear Collider Collaboration (the team formed by the ICFA to push forth the ILC project) will dissolve with the forming of this new international team. The next European strategy for particle physics does not comment on which next linear collider project the LCC should promote, so it will form an organization around the ILC, a project stressed as important within the strategy.

Director Okada Yasuhiro of KEK used Zoom to talk to the journalists, saying, “Through international debate, the way forward for the ILC has been revealed.” Country budgets around the world have been impacted due to COVID-19, but, “The ILC is on a scale of 15 to 20 years, and we will move to the next phase while looking at how the world is faring. It will be crucially important to cooperate internationally through science and academia after the COVID crisis is over.”

The ILC is a project that seeks to uncover the mysteries of the universe. Its candidate site is in the Kitakami mountains that straddle Iwate and Miyagi prefectures. Within the next European strategy for particle physics, it places top-priority on the next accelerator being one that would look into the Higgs particle. They wish to collaborate with the ILC should it be realized in Japan in a timely manner.