Seoul seeks cooperation with US lab on new particle accelerator
Korea is seeking to work with a U.S. laboratory on the construction and operation of an envisioned particle accelerator that will significantly help advance the country's research in various areas, including nuclear fusion, the government said Wednesday.
A memorandum of understanding for cooperation will soon be signed with the United States' Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, which has the world's second-largest particle accelerator, according to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
The move comes as the country plans to begin construction of its first large particle accelerator, named the Korea Rare Isotope Accelerator (KoRIA), in June 2013. There are currently about 90 small and medium particle accelerators in Korea.
Seoul and the Fermi laboratory are also considering setting up a new joint research center at the U.S. laboratory that will help train South Korean engineers and researchers to use the Korean accelerator, the ministry said.
"The ministry plans to continue expanding its cooperation with other accelerator-equipped laboratories in the United States, Europe, Japan and Canada," it said in a news release.
The ministry earlier said the KoRIA will be the most advanced of all accelerators currently in operation or being built as it will consist of both linear and circular accelerators, which will lead to the production of more exotic beams that are not normally found in nature.
The project is expected to cost 460 billion won ($411 million) with the preliminary operation of the accelerator slated to begin in 2017. (Yonhap)