Nuclear commission gives CLS green light
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission gave the U of S-based synchrotron the green light July 14 to begin regular operations for academic and industrial research.
The CNSC gave full approval to the $174-million Canadian Light Source facility to open its doors for high-intensity light-based experiments. It has been under construction for five years,
“As soon as the experimental facilities are ready, the users can come,” CLS Executive Director Bill Thomlinson. The first of an initial set of seven experiment beamlines is being completed. They feed ultra-bright synchrotron light to experimental stations, making possible new research on chemical reactions and materials structures in areas like medicine, computer-chip technology and environmental science.
The first call for research proposals for the CLS will go out this fall, with the first experiments expected to begin in early 2005.
U of S Vice President Research Steven Franklin says, “Our national synchrotron will be a catalyst for discovery and innovation that will be felt in the world of research as well as in our everyday lives.”
Before issuing the licence, CNSC studied written and oral submissions from CLS and CNSC staff, and held a June 8 public hearing in Saskatoon. The commission was satisfied that operation of the synchrotron will conform to health and safety regulations, environmental protection rules, and security and international obligations. More information is available at www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca.
Canadians will be invited to take a closer look at the synchrotron in October, when CLS hosts its grand opening celebrations. Events are planned for that whole month, including a gala evening, entertainment, public lectures on synchrotron science and light-related themes, and a public open house.