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(Vancouver, BC) - Today, the Canadian Province of British Columbia announced a $30.7 million civil-infrastructure investment in TRIUMF that launches the construction of a new research facility to produce and study isotopes for physics and medicine. The heart of the facility is a high-power electron linear accelerator utilizing superconducting radiofrequency (SRF) technology. This new project places TRIUMF and Canada firmly among the world leaders of next-generation accelerator science and technology.
Today's funding announcement supports ARIEL (Advanced Rare IsotopE Laboratory), a $62.9-million project to build an underground beam tunnel surrounding the ground-breaking linear accelerator that will broaden TRIUMF's capabilities for isotope research and development.
"This is a tremendous step for TRIUMF, for B.C., and for Canada," said Nigel Lockyer, director of TRIUMF. "Building on our strengths, ARIEL and the e-linac will attract global talent and ideas to B.C. with intellectual, economic and social benefits for all Canadians."
In addition to the Province's $30.7 million contribution, ARIEL is being supported by $14.4 million through TRIUMF and its partners and by $17.8 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation. The foundation's contribution directly supports the linear-accelerator portion of the project, led by the University of Victoria. The new accelerator will become one of the most powerful in the world by delivering beams of up to 0.5 Megawatts.
"The B.C. government's investment in TRIUMF's superconducting e-linac project supports the important role that TRIUMF plays on the international stage. As well as being a cutting-edge research facility for Canada, the e-linac will also be an important test-bed for future international facilities," said Rolf Heuer, Director General of CERN.
TRIUMF attracts top physicists from around the world who collaborate on research related to particle and nuclear physics, molecular and materials science, and nuclear medicine. In partnership with TRIUMF, MDS Nordion produces 2.5 million patient doses of medical isotopes a year at its Vancouver site using cyclotron technologies.
R.K. Bhandari, Director of India's Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre, Department of Atomic Energy, in Kolkata, said: "It's great news. This significant investment by the B.C. and Canadian governments in TRIUMF will broadly advance the Superconducting RF technology in Canada and around the world. TRIUMF has no doubt established expertise in this next-generation technology, and as a collaborating partner in the development of this state-of-the-art e electron linac, we are looking forward to the successful development jointly with TRIUMF in a span of a few years for photo-fission research and acceleration of rare-isotope beams in India."
"B.C. has a well-earned international reputation for its contributions to nuclear medicine, which has saved millions of lives by detecting and treating cancer and heart disease," B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell said at the morning announcement at TRIUMF. "Our latest investment in TRIUMF will provide the tools to demonstrate one new way to produce the radio isotopes needed around the world by doctors and patients, and to help Canada continue its leadership in emerging global industries based on nuclear physics."
"I am pleased that our government has helped fund this new isotope lab. This facility will bring employment, health, and scientific benefits for British Columbians and people across Canada," said Stockwell Day, federal Treasury Board president, minister responsible for British Columbia, and Member of Parliament for B.C.'s Okanagan Coquihalla region.
ARIEL is projected to increase the province's gross domestic product by an estimated $70 million over five years, and to result in $7.5 million added provincial tax revenues over the same period. The sophisticated SRF technology elements of ARIEL will be manufactured in partnership with PAVAC Industries, in Richmond, B.C., an advanced electron-beam welding firm.
TRIUMF is Canada's national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics. Located on the south campus of the University of British Columbia, TRIUMF is owned and operated as a joint venture by a consortium of the following Canadian universities, via a contribution through the National Research Council Canada: University of Alberta, University of British Columbia, University of Calgary, Carleton University, University of Guelph, University of Manitoba, McMaster University, Universite de Montreal, Queen's University, University of Regina, Saint Mary's University, Simon Fraser University, University of Toronto, University of Victoria, York University.
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