[News-releases] Work begins on world-class isotopes research tunnel

Tim Meyer tmeyer at triumf.ca
Tue Nov 1 07:14:31 PDT 2011

NEWS RELEASE | For Immediate Release | Nov. 1, 2011
BC Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation | TRIUMF | University of


(Vancouver, BC) - Starting today, the first of 300 B.C. workers begin
building a tunnel and lab that will be used to demonstrate new ways to solve
medical isotope shortages, keep B.C. and Canada leading in particle and
nuclear physics, and create 160 permanent jobs.

The $62.9-million project is underway at TRIUMF, Canada's national
laboratory for particle and nuclear physics, with $30.7 million provided by
the provincial government. By 2015, ARIEL is expected to demonstrate a new
way to produce medical isotopes, which are used to diagnose and treat
cancer, heart disease, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

ARIEL, which stands for Advanced Rare IsotopE Laboratory, features an
underground beam tunnel surrounding a next-generation linear accelerator, or
e-linac. The e-linac is being designed and built by a 13-university
consortium led by the University of Victoria. The team is also collaborating
with researchers in India, Germany, the U.S. and the U.K.

The e-linac will produce intense beams of particles to create isotopes,
which are variants of atoms of a particular chemical element, with differing
numbers of neutrons. It will use new technology developed in B.C. that
produces some of the most powerful beams in the world: up to the equivalent
of 5,000 light bulbs concentrated in one square centimetre.

Isotopes are made at only a handful of facilities worldwide, and demand is
expected to escalate in coming years. ARIEL will allow TRIUMF to broaden its
research in studying and producing isotopes. The technology may also be used
for such things as reducing pollution from coal-fired plants and producing
fertilizers from chimney flue gases.

The heart of the linear accelerator is a superconducting radio frequency
cavity, a new and highly efficient technology for accelerating particle
beams. Only five groups in the world have the ability to make them, and one
is a partnership between TRIUMF and PAVAC Industries in Richmond.

TRIUMF attracts top scientists from around the world to work together on
research related to particle and nuclear physics, molecular and materials
science, and nuclear medicine. It is owned and operated by a consortium of
17 Canadian universities and is located on the University of B.C.'s
Vancouver campus.

In addition to the Province's $30.7 million, ARIEL is also being supported
by $14.4 million that includes nearly $13 million in federal funding from
the National Research Council toward TRIUMF's core operating budget, and
contributions from partners in the U.S. and India. China has also expressed
interest in investing in developing ARIEL further. In addition, the Canada
Foundation for Innovation provided $17.8 million, which will help fund the
e-linac portion of the project led by the University of Victoria. 


Richard T. Lee, Parliamentary Secretary for Asia-Pacific -
"TRIUMF is a world leader in accelerator technology and isotope production
research, and with the Province's support, ARIEL will build on that success.
Working with talent from Canada and our international partners, ARIEL will
break new ground in producing isotopes safely and efficiently for medical
and environmental applications, while creating and supporting more jobs in
British Columbia."

Mark Strahl, Member of Parliament for Chilliwack - Fraser Canyon, on behalf
of Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology) -
"Our government knows that investing in the people and ideas that will
produce tomorrow's breakthroughs will keep Canada's economy growing. ARIEL
will enhance the work undertaken by the talented researchers at TRIUMF and
will result in new medical isotopes to help diagnose and treat diseases. The
research advancements and knowledge generated by this new facility will,
without a doubt, play a pivotal role in advancing knowledge and improving
our country's standard of living and quality of life."

Howard Brunt, University of Victoria VP Research -
"The University of Victoria is proud to be the lead university for this
world-class project. It will have a huge impact on the research productivity
of our faculty and students for decades to come, placing UVic, and Canada,
at the forefront of innovative science and technology."

Nigel Lockyer, director of TRIUMF -
"ARIEL is proceeding in several phases, and today marks the beginning of the
major construction. Not only is this project a flagship for TRIUMF and B.C.,
it puts Canada on the global map for cutting-edge and truly relevant science
and technology. I am proud of what we're starting together here."


* The ARIEL project: www.triumf.ca/ariel 
* The building process: www.triumf.ca/node/13107
* Quick facts, a backgrounder, and full copy of the release is attached.


Deb Pearce
Senior Public Affairs Officer
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation
250 356-5613 
250 888-0299 (cell)


Timothy I. Meyer, Ph.D.
Head, Strategic Planning & Communications
TRIUMF -- Accelerating Science for Canada |
    Un accélérateur de la démarche scientifique canadienne
4004 Wesbrook Mall
Vancouver, BC  V6T 2A3  CANADA
Tel: 604-222-7674
Fax: 604-222-3791
Cell: 650-464-8955
E-mail: tmeyer at triumf.ca
WWW: http://www.triumf.ca

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