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  • DUNE Project to Drive Opportunities for UK Companies
    In a cleanroom at Fermilab, a technician works on a string of superconducting 325-MHz spoke resonator cavities for the PIP-II particle accelerator. (Credit: Fermilab)

DUNE Project to Drive Opportunities for UK Companies

Mar 23 2019 Read 259 Times

A ground breaking ceremony for the new PIP-II particle accelerator – which will power the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment – was held on March 15, at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), near Chicago, USA. The DUNE Project aims to address key questions about the origins and structure of the universe. The UK has committed £65 million investment to help build and operate DUNE, PIP-II and technology for the neutrino beam.

British Consul-General for Chicago, John Saville, who represented the UK Government at the PIP-II ground-breaking event said: “The UK is proud to be a strategic partner in PIP-II through our provision of key accelerator components. The scale of PIP-II reflects the scale of our commitment to promoting scientific discovery and the benefits of innovation that flow from this. We are excited to work with our US and global partners in pursuit of these mutual goals.”

The 200-metre-long PIP-II accelerator is the first accelerator project built in the United States with significant contributions from international partners. It will use the latest superconducting technology, and the UK is expected to win key contracts to provide the crucial cryomodules at the heart of the accelerator.

Peter McIntosh, the Deputy Director of the Accelerator Science and Technology Centre (ASTeC) at STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory, which is the UK’s Centre of Excellence for the study of the production, acceleration and delivery of charged particle beams, is leading one of the teams working on PIP II. “LBNF/DUNE provides the UK’s Daresbury Laboratory with a fantastic opportunity to harness its accelerator development expertise and use it to establish new manufacturing and system integration capabilities. Working in close partnership with UK industry and the team at FermiLab we can deliver critical superconducting accelerator systems for PIP-II, and this work will significantly strengthen the UK’s accelerator delivery impact for decades to come.”

Dr Alec Gunner, New Business Streams Manager for the technology engineering specialists TWI added: “The opportunities which arise from this project are firstly the project itself - the opportunity for UK industry to engage in large, prestigious Big Science programmes is an end in its own right. However, further possibilities arise from this programme as a consequence, eg the installation of a world-class high vacuum electron beam welding facility in the UK. This is an enabling capability which is available for use by industry in the development and manufacture of high value assemblies, including niobium for the medical sector, titanium for use in satellite propellant tanks and zirconium for power applications. TWI will be engaging directly with its industrial members and the wider community to allow UK industry to take full advantage of this exciting new facility.”

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