Over the past two years, the University of Windsor has led a pan-Canadian effort to address Canada’s ongoing neutron needs in the CFI-IF 2023 competition. Considering previous engagements and the discussion at recent workshops, the CINS Executive Board proposed the following statement in support of the proposal to seek additional funding from CFI resources. In the subsequent online survey, CINS members were over 97% in favour of the statement.
CINS supports the University of Windsor’s multi-university, multi-disciplinary proposal to the CFI 2023 Innovation Fund (IF), entitled “Building a Future for Canadian Neutron Scattering, Phase 2,” because it is an essential contribution to the emerging national neutron strategy.
CINS has cooperated with the Canadian Neutron Initiative (CNI) working group in the development of a strategy to rebuild Canadian capacity for materials research with neutron beams. The Canadian neutron beam community is aligning around this strategy and is optimistic about the future, as demonstrated by active participation in the CNI national roundtable meeting in December 2020, and the CINS CFI & Road Map planning workshop in March 2021. The recent success of the pan-Canadian McMaster-led CFI 2020 IF award (i.e. Phase 1) represents a significant contribution towards the national neutron strategy. This award will dramatically expand neutron scattering capacities at the McMaster Nuclear Reactor, Canada’s only domestic source of neutron beams, and provide increased access for Canadian scientists at high brightness neutron sources abroad. Although this is an excellent start towards addressing Canada’s neutron needs, much more investment is still required to meet the national demand.
“Building a Future for Canadian Neutron Scattering, Phase 2” has emerged as the natural next step for building Canadian neutron infrastructure, and the goals of this proposal already enjoy broad support among the user community. It advances key objectives of the national neutron strategy, including foreign partnerships that will leverage access to more critically-needed beam time and provide Canadians with world-leading capabilities complementary to those secured in Phase 1. It will also include the development of a prototype compact accelerator-based neutron source, which will enable Canada to explore the potential of this source technology and determine its place among the options for new domestic neutron sources in the long-term. This prototype will add to Canada’s domestic neutron beam capabilities in the areas of neutron diffraction and Boron Neutron Capture Therapy. It will also play a unique role in developing Canadian expertise in pulsed neutron sources and instrumentation.
In order to brighten the future of neutron scattering for Canada, CINS will work with project leaders to organize and facilitate the necessary workshops to plan, and engage the community in, this project.