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July 31, 2021

Commissioner Corina Cretu suggests high-level meeting in Brussels to unlock Magurele-based ELI-NP project

During a meeting in Brussels on Thursday with Minister of Research and Innovation Nicolae Hurduc, European Commissioner Corina Cretu suggested a high-level meeting to help unlock the second phase of the Magurele-based laser project, which requires the installation of a gamma beam system.

According to a release of the European Commission’s Representation in Romania, at the meeting with Minister Hurduc, Commissioner Corina Cretu expressed the European Commission’s concerns regarding the stalling of the implementation of the second phase of the Magurele-based ‘Extreme Light Infrastructure – Nuclear Physics (ELI- NP)’ project and emphasized the need for the Romanian authorities and the selected contractor to find as fast as possible a solution to make sure the project is completed during the 2014 – 2020 programming period.

“To this end, I suggest all the parties involved in the ELI-NP project to have a high-level discussion, this time in Brussels, together with my colleague Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, to make another attempt to get the project out of this deadlock. The Magurele laser project is a flagship project not only for Romania but for EU research as well,” said Commissioner Corina Cretu.

The European Commission’s concerns arose following the roughly one-year-long dispute between the beneficiary of the project – the ‘Horia Hulubei’ National Institute of Physics and Nuclear Engineering, and the European consortium EuroGammaS (EGS), which should deliver and install the gamma-ray system under a 66 million euro contract.

The ‘Extreme Light Infrastructure – Nuclear Physics’ project, part of the pan-European research infrastructure, started in the 2007 – 2013 financing period and is now in the second phase of implementation. Its budget amounts to a total of approximately 250 million euro, with funding provided under the Operational Program for Competitiveness. A special laser and gamma beam and experimental facility was built in the first phase of the project; the second phase consists of the construction of machines and equipment for a 10-PW laser and a gamma beam, as well as for their installation.

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