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The European Spallation Neutron Source (ESS)

Final Report Summary - NEUTRONSOURCEESS (The European spallation neutron source (ESS))

In the late 90s the OECD Megascience Forum came to the conclusion that three third generation neutron sources are needed worldwide in order to maintain and to extent the capabilities provided by neutrons for science. While the USA and Japan started and in the mean time finished their respective neutron spallation sources, the process in Europe was especially in the political field rather slow. With the start-up of the research reactor at the Institute Laue Langevin (ILL) in the 70s - which is still the most powerful continuous neutron source - Europe traditionally was the centre of neutron science worldwide. This was also supported by a very wide network of national facilities. Hence, the slow process toward a European neutron spallation source (ESS) was starting to endanger the European leadership in many fields of research where neutron investigations are an indispensable and unique tool.

The ESS Preparatory Phase (NEUTRONSOURCEESS) had the overall goal to pave the way to and to facilitate a site decision and a final decision to construct and to operate the ESS. Work on technical and scientific aspects where on a very high standard already from the previous ESS project and only specific investigation (especially target material) was needed. Therefore the major effort was to cover more political, societal and environmental aspects in this ESS-PP project.

One of the goals - i.e. to reach a site decision - could be reached with (besides others) the help of this project. In addition, a wealth of additional information could be collected, compiled and assessed (a total of 33 deliverables) which will help the ESS project in Lund to realise the facility.

ESS will be the brightest source of neutrons that will be used for experiments to look inside the materials. It will be the best neutron source worldwide for practically all classes of instruments. ESS will provide much more intensity than the present neutron sources, brighter neutrons beams that, with a suite of more than 40 neutron scattering instruments, will enable scientist of all disciplines to investigate materials in situ, in vivo, in real time and for real life applications. This will have enormous positive consequences for society, industry and technology. It will also retain and strengthen Europe's lead in neutron science in quality and quantity.