Delayed by three years as a fallout of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the international Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR), of which India is a part, will commence its first experiments in 2022, an official of its advisory board said here on Tuesday.
FAIR is being built near the premises of physical research institute the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research in Germany's Darmsadt.
"FAIR has suffered a time delay of three years. This is due to the fallout of the Fukushima disaster. Many of the radiation safety requirements were tightened. That caused a redesign of many of the safety features that led to delay (in construction)," Sibaji Raha, chairman of the Joint Scientific Council of FAIR and GSI, told IANS.
The council is the international advisory board of FAIR and GSI, giving advice to the FAIR Council, the GSI Supervisory Board (Aufsichtsrat) and and the Managing Directors of FAIR and of GSI in scientific and technical matters of fundamental importance.
"I believe, though it hurts us in the immediate future, there is nothing wrong with it. We must welcome and acknowledge it (safety measures)," Raha said.
FAIR is the new international accelerator facility for the research with antiprotons and ions for exploring the nature of matter and the evolution of the universe.
It is being built in cooperation with an international community of countries and scientists.
The facility will be financed by a joint international effort of so far ten member states, including India.
Construction will be completed by 2021 and the first experiments will take off in 2022.
"The first beam from accelerator will go out in 2022. Full version of the facility will be operational by 2025," Raha said.
Currently 46 institutes from India are participating in various FAIR experiments.
"There are about 300 scientists now. Our firm belief is that though people were a little discouraged by delay, but now that construction has started, we will see a sizeable upsurge in three years. We expect around 700 to 1000 scientists and students from India," Raha added.
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