Message from the Director

Message from the Director

On April 1, 2021, the Comprehensive Research Organization for Science (CROSS) Neutron Science and Technology Center started the third phase of the registered institution for facilities use promotion for specified neutron beam facilities. In April 2011, we started from the first phase, which started from almost zero, and the second phase, when the system was finally set up and we made full-scale support and selection work. Fiscal 2020 was a year that was swayed by the new coronavirus, such as stopping the operation of MLF, restricting the entry of users, conducting experiments on behalf of users who could not come to J-PARC, etc. in the user support business due to the issuance of a state of emergency by Government, and holding call for proposal 2020B + 2021A coalescing two rounds in the selection business. In the first year of the third term, all the staff of the center returned to their original intentions and renewed their willingness to push forward with the work of the registered institution for facilities use promotion. I would like to report and introduce some of these taking this opportunity.

First of all, on April 1st, a Zoom meeting called “Reiwa 3rd Year Activity Report” was held as a general meeting, and the section chiefs of each department introduced the activity plan. Despite the MLF operation phase, the number of participants reached more than 80% of the total 65 staff. With this activity policy statement, the center made a new departure toward a clear goal. The slogans raised at that time are the following five items.
1. Acquisition of new users and expansion into new fields of use by promoting cooperation between organizations.
2. Effective use of MW high-intensity neutron beam and improvement of beam time utilization efficiency.
3. Introducing new performance indicators and promptly disseminating excellent results.
4. Aiming to the world’s top level quantum beam facility, and to the facility of researchers from all over the world.
5. Fostering human resources who will contribute to the development of neutron science.
Beyond the achievement of these goals, I am confident that MLF as a top-level international research center will emerge.

Second, the Neutron Science and Technology Center has welcomed three new members. They are in their twenties, and this is the first time since the beginning of CROSS, indicating that CROSS has become socially recognized. I am looking forward to their success as the future of CROSS.

Third, the Neutron Science and Technology Center is promoting Functional Polymer Consortium as its own business. This year is the year of the compilation. I am looking forward to its evaluation as a demonstration example of a new usage pattern of neutron utilization. In addition, it has been decided that a Physical Properties Measurement System (PPMS) with a remote function will be introduced soon, and we will further enhance the function as an MLF utilization support organization.

Fourth, the operation of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) research reactor JRR-3 will begin in the middle of this year, and the neutron utilization map will change significantly. The Neutron Science and Technology Center will promote the use of neutrons through consultations and experimental support from a broad perspective, with a view to using not only pulsed neutrons but also stationary neutrons.

The third phase has begun while the future direction of COVID-19 is still unknown, but the Neutron Science and Technology Center will refresh its mind and promote the registered institution for facilities use promotion. We would appreciate the understanding of users and the community as a whole. Thank you for your support.

Shibayama Mitsuhiro

Mitsuhiro Shibayama
Neutron Science and Technology Center,
Comprehensive Research Organization for Science and Society
April 2021