Support of the LLB-ORPHEE (France)
menl at llb.saclay.cea.fr
Wed Mar 29 19:38:31 CST 2000
As you probably know, the LLB-ORPHEE neutron facility is in a very
preoccupying situation. The parent organisations (Commissariat à
l'Energie Atomique and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
have not reached any agreement concerning the renewal of the
Convention which expired on December 31, 1999. The problems are
essentially budgetary and are a consequence of the restrictions
imposed by the French Ministry of Research and Technology relative to
the financing of large scale installations (problems also exist with
the proposed synchrotron SOLEIL and the LURE and GANIL facilities).
We ask the national and international community of neutron users to
support us in our efforts to re-establish adequate long term funding
for LLB-ORPHEE. We believe that in addition to the European neutron
source at the ILL, there is need in France for a modern and high
performance national neutron source as is the case in Germany
(Berlin, Jülich, Geesthacht and soon also Munich) and the UK (ISIS).
A number of different independent select committees have also reached
If you wish to support the LLB-ORPHEE facility, please would you send
us by e-mail the text of the letter of support or alternatively the
message "I wish to sign the letter of support concerning LLB-ORPHEE".
Please send your reply to:
soutien at llb.saclay.cea.fr
and include, within square brackets, your signature:
[Surname, First name, Laboratory, Address ]
The members of LLB-ORPHEE thank you for your support.
Alain Menelle l bat 563 piece 328
Laboratoire Leon Brillouin l Tel1:(33) 1.69.08.96.99
CEA Saclay l Fax: (33) 1.69.08.82.61
91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex l menl at llb.saclay.cea.fr
France l http://www-llb.cea.fr/index_e.html
Letter in support of the LLB-ORPHEE neutron facility.
Following the denunciation of the convention between the CEA
(Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique) and the CNRS (Centre National de
la Recherche Scientifique) in December 1996 and three years of
procrastination, the situation at the LLB-ORPHEE neutron facility is
still completely blocked. The project for a new Convention,
elaborated during seven rounds of negotiations between the CEA and
the CNRS, remained non-ratified at the last meeting of the Council of
Directors on December 20, 1999. Furthermore, the budgetary
restrictions imposed by the Ministry of Research and Technology
obliged the CNRS to announce a 30% reduction in its contribution for
the year 2000. This reduction was finally cancelled but the future of
the facility remains very uncertain.
As a user of neutron sources for my research, I consider this
situation to be unacceptable. A facility like LLB-ORPHEE requires
long term support to develop large scale instrumental projects, to
stimulate collaborations and to establish the national and
international partnerships which, we are reminded, are necessary for
the sound financing of such a facility.
The LLB-ORPHEE facility offers a modern, secure and high performance
neutron source. The multidisciplinary scientific activity developed
there has received very positive assessments from several advisory
committees, as well as from the four sections of the "Comite National
de la Recherche Scientifique" in charge of evaluating its activity.
It has been clearly demonstrated that the needs of the French neutron
community concerning experimental beam time, the training of users
and instrument development cannot be covered by the European ILL
The total annual budget of LLB-ORPHEE (including salaries) is 135 MF
(21 MEuro) which represents only about 40% of the budget of the
German national neutron sources. Studies have shown that a reduction
in activity would be damaging to scientific policy and would only
marginally reduce the running costs.
In view of this, it is difficult to understand why purely financial
considerations alone continue to be applied to a facility which is
generally accepted to be of much use and value. This leads to a
situation which is prejudicial to research work, to the training of
young scientists and to collaborations.
I earnestly request the parent organisations to end the current
uncertain situation by signing a new convention as rapidly as
I urge the French Ministry of Research to ensure the future of
LLB-ORPHEE by providing adequate funding for at least the four year
term of the projected convention.
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