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Nearly $31M supports isotope research at new lab


Vancouver, BC – TRIUMF, Canada’s national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics which is located at the University of British Columbia, has received $30.7-million in provincial funding. The funding is for ARIEL (Advanced Rare IsotopE Laboratory), a $62.9-million project to build an underground beam tunnel that will surround a ground-breaking linear accelerator. ARIEL will allow TRIUMF to broaden its research in producing and studying isotopes for medicine and physics, including materials science.

The linear accelerator, or e-linac, will produce intense beams of particles to create isotopes of chemical elements. It uses new technology that produces some of the most powerful beams in the world: up to the equivalent of 5,000 light bulbs concentrated in one square centimetre. In addition to medical applications, the laboratory will expand TRIUMF’s capacity for addressing a wide range of issues, including reducing fertilizer runoff, making paper mills more efficient, and developing systems to remove pollutants created by coal-fired plants around the world.

The project is also being supported by $14.4 million through TRIUMF and its partners and $17.8 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation. The foundation’s contribution directly supports the linear accelerator portion of the project, which is led by the University of Victoria.

TRIUMF was Started by the University of Victoria, UBC and Simon Fraser University in 1968, when it was called the TRI University Meson Facility, TRIUMF is now owned and operated by a consortium of 15 Canadian universities.

“We’re very excited about the tremendous potential of the ARIEL project and our role in it,” said David Turpin, University of Victoria’s president. “This facility will have a dramatic impact in multiple sectors of research, the health sciences and commercialization, and sends a clear signal to the world about Canada’s commitment to accelerator physics and engineering.”