Under a government decision approved on Wednesday, the Extreme Light Infrastructure - Nuclear Physics (ELI-NP) facility managed by Bucharest's "Horia Hulubei" National Research & Development Institute for Nuclear Physics and Engineering, an institute coordinated by the Ministry of Education and Research, was declared Installation of National Interest.
The Ministry of Education and Research said in a release that the Decision on completing the list of special installations and facilities of national interest funded by the Ministry of Education and Research was approved at the government's Wednesday sitting; the list currently includes 30 such facilities selected according to the methodology and criteria established by minister's order. The ELI-NP project was added to the list starting this Wednesday.
According to the cited source, ELI-NP has reached "technical and functional maturity", as the laser works at the full design parameters, it serves as "a major support" for R&D activities in strategic fields, ensuring at the same time the scientific, technical and logistic support for international cooperation, including various research infrastructure programs Romania is a party to.
"At this date Romania is home to the world's most advanced research infrastructure in the field of high power lasers. The following have been handed over and commissioned as part of the project: the special buildings and the geothermal system that ensures the environmental conditions required for the operation of the scientific equipment, the high power laser system with two 10 PW laser arms, two 1 PW arms, two 100 TW arms, the target laboratory for laser-matter interactions, the optical lab, as well as all the experimental assemblies provided for by the technical experimental designs approved by the ELI-NP International Scientific Committee," the Ministry said.
In addition to confirming the functionality and the delivery of the design parameters for the High Power Laser System, the first experiments have been carried out with its lower power arms, which is a world premiere.
"Supporting the operation of this system with a view to starting the experiments planned for this period is absolutely necessary, given that the interaction chambers necessary for the laser's operation at maximum power will be installed by the end of 2020," says the Ministry.
Access to this infrastructure is provided not only to researchers from the R&D public law facilities, but also to researchers and users from the private law R&D units and to companies.
Special installations and facilities of national interest are research and development structures without legal personality which operate within an R&D unit with legal personality, ensuring scientific and technological support for one or more areas of the National Research, Development and Innovation Strategy, as well as logistic support for international cooperation.