The ILC site evaluation committee of Japan has announced the result of the assessment of the two candidate sites for an International Linear Collider (ILC). In a press conference held at the University of Tokyo on 23 August, the committee recommended the Kitakami mountains in the Iwate and Miyagi prefectures as the preferred location.
The search for an appropriate candidate site for the construction of an ILC in Japan has been ongoing since 1999, with more than 10 candidates announced in 2003. In 2010, the list was further reduced to two, consisting of Kitakami in the north-east of the main island of Japan and Sefuri in Kyushu, on Japan’s south-west island. The process to assess these two remaining candidates to narrow them down from a scientific point of view began in January this year.
A site-evaluation committee of eight members was formed within Japan. In addition, two sub-committees of 16 technical experts and 12 socio-environmental experts were created separately to provide expertise on issues such as geological conditions, environmental impact, possible problems during construction and the social infrastructure of each candidate site.
After more than 300 hours of meetings, the site-evaluation committee made a tentative choice in early July. This choice was then submitted and reviewed by an international review committee. The committee recognized that the process to choose the site had been conducted with great care and that the selected site has excellent geological conditions for tunnelling and stability.
• For more information, see the Japanese ILC Strategy Council website http://ilc-str.jp/.