CaSE has revealed how a £3.4m shortfall in funding is putting the Isis neutron source, a £400m world-leading facility, out of action for 60 days a year. The situation is akin to Manchester United building a £400m stadium which they then can’t play in because they can’t afford to turn the lights on.
The loss in scientific capacity at Isis is one of the earliest consequences of the cuts to the science budget, which will become more prevalent over the coming years.
CaSE Director Imran Khan said:
The FoI data is as follows:
The total capital cost of the ISIS facility:
The current gross replacement cost for ISIS is £400M; this is the integrated cost for the original accelerator and first target station plus the recent investment of £140M in the second target station.
The operating (resource) cost – this year:
The resource operating cost for FY 11/12 is £28M; in addition, we use a further £9M of operational capital (equivalent to resource, but because of Treasury accounting rules, this appears as capital). With efficient management this will deliver 120 days of user operation.
The current number of days it’s running is and the optimal number of days it should run:
In this Financial Year, ISIS will operate for 120 days of user operation; ISIS is geared up to operate for 180 days per year.
How much an additional 30 day cycle would cost:
An additional cycle of 30 days costs £1.7M