Press Release

J-PARC provides alternative research opportunities for MLF users

17 June 2011
J-PARC Center

The Japan Proton Accelerator Research Complex (J-PARC) in Tokai, Japan has taken measures to secure alternative research opportunities for the users of the Materials and Life Science Experimental Facility (MLF) in response to the suspension of MLF operation due to the major earthquake on 11 March 2011 in eastern Japan.

The MLF is aimed at promoting materials science and life science using high intensity pulsed neutron and muon beams, which are produced using 3-GeV protons at a repetition rate of 25 Hz. The MLF has been forced to suspend operation since the earthquake.

J-PARC is apprehensive about possible negative impacts caused by this suspension of MLF operation on the progress of studies that could eventually lead to a broad range of inventions and beneficial applications. The suspension may also interrupt the development of the next generation of researchers. To avoid such an undesirable situation, J-PARC has made arrangements to reallocate beam time to our researchers with the support of our collaborating laboratories.

J-PARC is working on the diagnosis and repair of damage of the devices, instruments, and ancillary systems of the MLF, aiming for a resumption of activities within fiscal year 2011.

1. Reallocation of beam time

J-PARC cancelled the operation of the MLF for the first half of 2011 (April to November). During this period, 208 applications were approved for the use of the beam at the MLF (184 for neutron experiments, 24 for muon experiments). After discussions with the applicants, and arrangements with collaborative facilities in Japan and around the world, beam time has been allocated to experiments at following four institutes. Details are shown in Table 1 and 2:

• Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Spallation Neutron Source (SNS)
• Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Lujan Neutron Scattering Center (LANSCE)
• Frontier Softmaterial Beamline (FSBL03XU)
• RIKEN, RAL Muon Facility

Details are shown in tables 1 and 2 (as of 16 June 2011).

Table 1: Neutron experiments

Institutes/ FacilitiesLocationNumber of experiments accepted
Oak Ridge, U.S.24
Los Alamos, U.S.5
Hyogo, Japan1

*) One of the neutron experiments has been reassigned to a synchrotron radiation facility.

Table 2: Muon experiments

Institutes/ FacilitiesLocationNumber of experiments accepted
Oxford, U.K.12

The following inatitutes also offer beam time:
• Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL)/ISIS, UK
• Canada’s National Laboratory TRIUMF, Canada
• The Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), Switzerland
• Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization (ANSTO), Australia
• Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI), Korea
• Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute (JASRI), Japan

2. Other support to be provided for MLF users

High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK) will provide assistance and technical support for the researchers who implement their experiments at other facilities as inter-university research projects. This will maintain a research environment equivalent to that at MLF.
J-PARC has received substantial support from the Japanese Society for Neutron Science in this matter.

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KEK Press Office
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JAEA Press Office
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About J-PARC

The High Intensity Proton Accelerator Facility aims to pursue frontier science in particle physics, nuclear physics, materials science, life science and nuclear technology, using a new proton accelerator complex at the highest beam power in the world. The plan has been discussed and proposed jointly by the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK) and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA). Previously, these institutions proposed the Japan Hadron Facility (JHF) at KEK and the Neutron Science Project(NSP) at JAEA, respectively. The present new joint plan is based on these past proposals.

About MLF

The Materials and Life Science Experimental Facility (MLF) is aimed at promoting materials science and life science using the world’s highest intensity pulsed neutron and muon beams, which are going to be produced using 3-GeV protons with a current of 333 micro-amps at the repetition rate of 25 Hz. As of March 2011, 10 neutron instruments and 2 muon instruments were open for the general use program with the beam intensity of 210kW (3GeV 70 micro-amps). Moreover, 3 neutron instruments are being commissioned and the construction of 3 neutron instruments is in progress.