MEXT Panel of Experts: Confirming the report draft

The original article was published in the Iwate Nippo.

The 5th meeting of the MEXT panel of experts on the ILC was held on July 7th, where they confirmed the report put together by the internal working group tasked with reviewing policy on securing and training human resources. The report draft stated the importance of strategically training human resources and suggestions like actively appointing young workers to accelerator projects. It also calls for the national government to deliberate policy to address this matter. As the panel continues to verify the potential of ILC experiments, the next topics to be discussed will be technology needed for the ILC and cost reduction.

The report draft was put together in June by 12 members. This working group has been held a total of six times since November 2015, where they had in-depth discussions about securing and training workers needed to build and operate the ILC.

The draft states that during the 9 years of construction, an average of 1,100 workers per year will be needed to build the ILC. During the peak of construction, around 2,500 workers will be needed per year when adding workers needed to install parts. The draft stresses the importance of planning for human resource development as “at current levels it is clear that domestically we lack both the quality and number of workers needed.” As a countermeasure, the draft suggests appointing younger workers to senior positions on new accelerator projects, and to build a network between domestic facilities. It states that “we expect that MEXT will deliberate on policy to address this matter.”

The panel also deliberated on their next topic of discussion, and the following suggestions were made:

▽Regulations for construction

▽The feasibility of building the ILC with current technology, and the potential of cost-saving through new technology

▽Topics that require international cooperation

▽Topographical and geological requirements

▽Contributions from the region and local companies

One member said, “It is important to cultivate workers who can manage researchers, companies, and international institutions.” The final report will reflect this discussion, and will be released within the month.

The panel of experts was instated in June 2015. Head of the panel, Shinichi Hirano (former president of Nagoya University), stated, “For large-scale projects, you must train human resources, get results, and think about how to link that to future development. We will install working groups as necessary and deliberate regarding future challenges.”

The Japanese national government will take into account the deliberations of the panel when they make their decision on whether or not to host the project. The decision is scheduled to be made sometime in 2017 to 2018.