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The European Spallation Neutron Source (ESS)


The European Spallation neutron Source (ESS) will be the world’s most powerful source of neutrons. Its design parameters makes it the most cost-effective top tier source for 40 years or more. A genuine pan‑European facility, it will serve a user community of 5,000 users annually across many areas of science and technology. Neutron beams produced by reactors are inherently intensity-limited. The ESS R&D and design phase (>50 M€; all major European labs, >100 top scientists) has shown the feasibility of MW spallation sources. In line with the global neutron strategy endorsed by OECD ministers in 1999, the US has now commissioned its facility, based on an early ESS design, and Japan will follow suit in 2008. The initial long pulse configuration of ESS provides substantially higher power, maximum complementarity and the largest instrument innovation potential. Its technical layout guarantees a long-term top position. ESS will also offer new modes of operation and user support to maximally facilitate industry, in addition to university and research lab users. At present, two official bids for siting with a financial contribution in excess of 320M€ have been made by Spain (Bilbao) and Sweden (Lund). Hungary is expected to come forward with a similar bid soon. From the technical side the ESS is mature and detailed construction design work could start immediately after a positive decision has been taken. The cost issue (WP5) was very carefully assessed in the past and only needs final updating and inclusion of the decommissioning costs. Strategic, legal and governance issues have been investigated by the several possible sites. This information will be updated and collated (WPs 4,6,7). WP 8 will deal with Health, Safety and Environmental questions arising from possible different target materials (WP 9). WPs 1 and 2 concerns the management and the coordination of the project, respectively, and WP 3 the project assessment by an external Advisory Committee.

Call for proposal

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Forschungstrasse 111
5232 Villigen psi

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Schweiz/Suisse/Svizzera Nordwestschweiz Aargau
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Irene Walthert (Ms.)
EU contribution
No data

Participants (10)