The Tohoku ILC Project Development Center is formed – 22 local governments and universities of Iwate and Miyagi

The original article was published in the Iwate Nippo (August 8th edition). Read the original here.

The Tohoku ILC Project Development Center was formed on August 6th by 22 organizations (local governments, universities, etc) of Iwate and Miyagi, the location of the ILC candidate site. In response to the international research community forming an international development team and moving towards the full-fledged preliminary preparation stage, the Tohoku region is accelerating its push towards developing the region and infrastructure to receive the ILC.

A formation meeting was held within Ichinoseki City on the 6th, with Prof. Suzuki Atsuto (president of Iwate Prefectural University) selected as the center’s representative. Underneath him are fellows from local governments and talented researchers from both Japan and abroad, as well as an advisory board. Members are currently being selected.

Up until this point, the Tohoku ILC Preparation Office (a part of the Tohoku ILC Promotion Council) had served as the lead organization preparing the region for the ILC, but has now been disbanded in favor of involving a wide variety of entities, and its mission taken on by the new development center.

Among issues to be deliberated are how to develop cities with an eye towards the eventual realization of the ILC, effects on the natural environment and local society, and promoting the development of accelerator-related industry. For the time being, they will conduct survey research into the area’s topography and geology, as well as study the distribution of goods using sea ports. They will form working groups to deal with various issues.

The International Committee for Future Accelerators (ICFA) decided to form an international development team for the ILC as their main organization on the ground on August 2nd. Their base-of-activities will be at KEK (Japan’s High Energy Accelerator Research Organization, in Tsukuba, Ibaraki), and they have begun discussions with related organizations/labs in other countries as well as improving technology for the facility, in preparation for creating a preliminary organization that will lead the ILC.

The Tohoku ILC Project Development Center will work with the international development team to proceed with developing the environment in order to bring about the ILC. President Suzuki said, “We will move from our work thus far in attracting the project into actually preparing to build the ILC. As the candidate site, I want to quickly push forth deliberations on how to create the preliminary ILC organization as well as what comes next.”

The ILC will be a large-scale particle physics laboratory that seeks to answer the mysteries of the universe’s origins. The world’s leading candidate site is the Kitakami mountains that stretch across Iwate and Miyagi prefectures. KEK surmises that should negotiations go well domestically and abroad, the ILC could start its experiments around the mid-2030s.

The organizations the make up the Tohoku ILC Project Development Center are as follows:

Tohoku University, Iwate University, Iwate Prefectural University, Miyagi Prefecture, Sendai City, Kesenuma City, Tome City, Kurihara City, Osaki City, Iwate Prefecture, Morioka City, Ofunato City, Hanamaki City, Kitakami City, Tono City, Ichinoseki City, Rikuzentakata City, Oshu City, Kanegasaki Town, Hiraizumi Town, Sumita Town, Iwate Prefecture ILC Promotion Council