The world's most powerful neutron source should be built in Lund, Sweden, it has been announced by EU Research Ministers.
At a meeting in Brussels last night (28 May), seven countries voted in support of Lund's bid to host the European Spallation Source (ESS), with a further two voting with the majority.
The European Spallation Source (ESS) will be the world's most advanced centre for materials research, enabling scientists to study the atomic and molecular arrangement of a huge range of materials at a level of detail never before achieved.
Costing in the region of 1.3bn, the ESS will surpass facilities currently in operation in Japan and the US, and will allow Europe to reclaim its status as world leader in neutron science.
The chosen site, in Lund, will form part of a vast science network, close to Scandinavia's largest university and near to the proposed MAX IV laboratory, a state-of-the-art synchrotron light research facility. It will also be close to the Ideon Science Park, which hosts more than 250 innovation-based start-up companies.
Lund's bid for the site was one of three discussed by research ministers. The other bids were submitted by Debrecen, in Hungary, and Bilbao, in Spain.
Neutron imaging is a crucial tool for looking at how the atoms within materials are arranged and how they interact with each other. This information can help scientists modify and tailor materials to specific needs. The uses for this technology range from producing new drug compounds to target disease to improving metal alloys used in engineering components.
Professor Bob Cywinski, of Huddersfield University in the UK, is spokesman for the EU FP7-funded ESS Preparatory Phase Project, set up to move the ESS project towards construction. He says: "This announcement is fantastic news. The endorsement of Lund's bid by the EU's research ministers means this project now has a mandate to move forward to the final plannin
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