Kolkata to house Asia’s second lab to study supernova conditions


To be built at a cost of Rs 870 cr, the facility will help in the discovery of isotopes that could have medicinal applications

Asia's second advanced facility for conducting experiment of Unstable & Rare-Isotope Beams will come up at the Rajarhat campus of Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre (VECC) in Kolkata. Japan is the only other Asian country to have this facility. The USA, France, Canada are the other three countries to have similar research facilities.

The new facility called ANURIB (Advanced National facility for Unstable & Rare-Isotope Beams), which will come up over eights acres inside the 25-acre campus at a cost of Rs 869 crore, will conduct experiments that will help the scientists to understand the structure of nuclei, particularly the unstable ones.

"The facility and the research will give us complete information on nuclear forces and nuclear equators of a state which controls supernova explosions where all the elements heavier than Iron are produced. As far as the general usage is concerned, it is quite possible that it may help in the discovery of many isotopes, which could have great applications in the field of medicine and material science," said Dr Dinesh Srivastava, Director, VECC.

Bikash Sinha, an eminent Indian physicist, active in the fields of nuclear physics and high energy physics and the former director of Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics and VECC, said: "We have started the work in the 12th Five-Year Plan. The facility will be completed in three phases. The duration of period is not certain as of now. The first phase will be completed in five years, and the second phase will take 10 years to be completed."

According to Srivastava, the planning, design and the Detailed Project Report have been completed. "We have decided to start construction work in June this year," he said.

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