KEK (Japan’s High Energy Accelerator Research Organization in Tsukuba, Ibaraki) has retracted an application for the ILC project to be entered into the Ministry of Science (MEXT)’s Roadmap for large-scale academic research projects; the reasoning being that the state of international cooperation has progressed forward since KEK submitted their application. They will make a trajectory correction to their strategy for realizing the ILC.
On September 8th, MEXT began accepting public comments on the draft for the Roadmap, which is why KEK made their announcement. They submitted their application on February 28th, and withdrew on March 27th.
According the public relations office at KEK, it was only after their application that ICFA (International Committee for Future Accelerators) decided to form an international development team to push forward preparations on the preliminary ILC laboratory organization. This was an even stronger push towards bringing the ILC to fruition – moreso than what was written in the application. They retracted their application as to update its contents.
The Japanese central government is currently deliberating on whether or not to accept the ILC, with its candidate site in the Kitakami mountains that stretch across Iwate and Miyagi prefectures. In January, the Science Council of Japan released its master plan, and the ILC was positioned within as one of the large-scale research projects that possess academic significance. Taking this into account, the ILC community made the application for the project to be put on MEXT’s roadmap – the next step to take domestically.
KEK’s PR office said, “The original suggestion did not have any concrete mention of next steps like the international team being formed, and a framework being created for international cooperation. It would be useless to apply with an old plan. The international team will push forth to bring us closer to the day of the ILC’s realization.”
The international team was formed in August, and with KEK as their base, they have begun work establishing a preliminary laboratory organization for the ILC.