KEK releases its proposals for ILC implementation, including international cost-sharing

The original article was published in the Iwate Nippo (October 3rd edition). Read the original here.

Japan’s High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK, in Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture) released a proposal on ILC implementation that was developed by their international working group. They proposed that Japan, as host country, would be responsible for the costs associated with civil engineering, around 22% of the total cost of construction of the accelerator facility (total cost: up to 583 billion yen, excluding labor costs). They added that all member countries using the accelerator should share costs. They hope for the central Japanese government to use this as reference in their international negotiations.

KEK has been holding its working group meetings since May, with seven researchers from Japan, the US, France, Germany, and India. They put together their ideas on how to divvy up ILC costs as well as operations and governance of the organization that would run the ILC.

Previously, the Panel of Experts within the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT, central government) calculated that construction costs for the first stage of the accelerator (a length of 20 kilometers) would equal around 635 to 702.8 billion yen, with labor costs included as 119.8 billion yen. KEK’s working group determined that civil engineering costs (22% of the whole) would be the responsibility of the host country, Japan.

They proposed that the costs of accelerator components (calculated from 404.2 t0 454 billion yen) be among member countries, but did not produce any proposals regarding percentages.

Operations of the ILC would equal from 36.6 to 39.2 billion yen per year, to which they said that the member states should come together on an agreement regarding how to share these costs.

They also suggested that during the preparation phase before construction, each country should set up an ILC preparation facility/lab within their major physics laboratories, and KEK would support the international negotiations from its position as the major physics lab within the host country. After coming to an international agreement, these functions would move to the official ILC laboratory, which would take on the long-term responsibility for accelerator construction and operations.

The proposal has already been submitted to MEXT. Leader of the working group, Yasuhiro Okada of KEK, said, “We think our proposal will help as the governments come together to exchange opinions, and as the research organizations continue their preparations.”