SOLEIL synchrotron for Saclay
Sep 13, 2000
The French research minister, Roger-Gérard Schwartzenberg, has announced that SOLEIL, a third-generation synchrotron radiation source, will be built near Saclay, about 20 km south-west of Paris. The announcement comes a year after Claude Allègre, Schwartzenberg's predecessor, dropped the original plans for the source on grounds of cost. French researchers had been working on plans for SOLEIL for almost a decade.
The intense X-rays from SOLEIL will be used for a range of experiments in physics, chemistry and biology. The machine is expected to come on-line in 2005. According to Schwartzenberg, the French government will pay no more than 20% of the total costs, leaving regional and local authorities to contribute 75%, with the remaining funds coming from the UK, Spain, Belgium and Portugal. France is already a partner in DIAMOND, a similar third-generation synchrotron that will be built at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in the UK.