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March 2, 2021

Construction of mega-laser starts in Magurele

Nicolae Zamfir, the director general of the “Horia Hulubei” National Nuclear Physics and Engineering Institute (INFIN-HH), has stated that the more than 1,000 geothermal pumps necessary for the biggest European project in the laser domain have started to be drilled. The “Romanian Waters” National Administration has issued its green light with a delay of 11 months so the timetable of the works will have to be redone. However, according to the director general of INFIN-HH, the delay will most probably total one month, without endangering the commitments taken before the European Commission. The civilian construction will most likely be ready in July-August 2015, compared to June 2015, and the laser and gamma system will be fitted in the autumn of 2015, so that the first experiments can start in 2018. The more than 1,080 geothermal pumps are meant to offer the huge amount of energy that the biggest ELI-NP research center needs.
The project costs a total of EUR 356 M, with the state budget set to cover approximately 20 per cent of that. We remind our readers that the Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) project is a pan-European scientific research project launched in 2005, a project in which 13 European countries work together in order to build the world’s most powerful laser. The Czech Republic, Romania and Hungary are the host states that will each build a part of this project. More precisely, several lasers will be built in each of the three states. These are three complementary projects, each country set to do research into high-intensity light in a different domain. ELI-NP, the complex that will be built in Magurele, has the task of researching nuclear physics by using laser and gamma beams.
Of the three pillars of the ELI project, the pillar that will be built in Romania – the ELI – Nuclear Physics (ELI-NP) – is the most complex. ELI-NP will be built in the city of Magurele, close to Bucharest, at the “Horia Hulubei” National Research-Development Institute for Nuclear Physics and Engineering. Through this project, in collaboration with the Czech Republic and Hungary, Romania will develop the most powerful laser in history and will develop technology superior to that used by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), according to the National Authority for Scientific Research.
In September 2012 the European Commission announced that it had approved the financing of the ELI-NP project, the most powerful laser in the world that will be built in Magurele. The financing approved was for the first part of the project, namely EUR 180 M, with the difference remaining up to EUR 356 M, which is the total cost of the project, set to be earmarked in the next European multiannual financial exercise (2014-2020).

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