The Canadian Neutron Initiative (CNI) went public today with an op-ed article in Post-Media papers. Karen Chad and Rob Baker, VP’s of Research for the University of Saskatchewan and McMaster University, respectively, called for Canada to “plan ahead to retain our Canadian program and capacity for materials research with neutron beams” following the expected closure of the NRU reactor in 2018. The closure of our neutron source is in contrast to what the Canadian Minister of Science and the Governor General saw during their state visit to Sweden last week (pictured), where the European Spallation Source is under construction and is expected to be the world’s most powerful source of neutron beams.
Some excerpts from the CNI’s statement:
Canada must follow Europe’s example and plan ahead to retain our Canadian program and capacity for materials research with neutron beams.
Responding to the urgent situation, a working group of research leaders has formed to establish a new framework for leadership, management and funding of Canada’s capacity for materials research with neutron beams, building on existing national and international resources.
This Canadian Neutron Initiative is being led by the University of Saskatchewan, home to both the Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation and the Canadian Light Source, and by McMaster University, home to the Brockhouse Institute for Materials Research and the McMaster Nuclear Reactor that supports a portion of Canada’s neutron user community.
Canada needs to act quickly in order to maintain highly qualified personnel and facilities, by funding a program to enable access to alternate neutron sources. Access to these powerful tools will allow Canadians to continue contributing to the leading edge of science and technology, and to maintain long-term opportunities for new commercial technologies and international partnerships.
More information about the state visit is available here: https://europeanspallationsource.se/article/canadian-state-visit-sweden-puts-ess-collaboration-spotlight