China banking on neutron source facility in strategic emphasis on technology, manufacturing

China’s ambitions in technology leadership could rely heavily on the success of projects the newly-opened China Spallation Neutron Source (CSNS), the first neutron source facility in a developing country. Only six such research facilities exist, including others in the U.S., Japan, U.K., Switzerland, and Sweden.

The 1,000-acre government-funded complex is located in Dongguan City, the heart of China’s fast-growing tech corridor in the Greater Bay Area.

It includes a powerful linear proton accelerator, a rapid circling synchrotron, a target station and three neutron instruments. The Chinese government calls it one of the largest science and technology infrastructure projects in the country. Researchers there say it will have positive effects in promoting the sciences, high-tech development and national security.

State support for the facility is consistent with ‘Made in China 2025,’ the country’s strategic plan to upgrade technology and manufacturing. Issued by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, the initiative includes a series of benchmarks to advance the country’s manufacturing sector in the global supply chain with an emphasis on innovation.

More than 400 scientists and engineers are working at CSNS, including the only ones in the world to attempt polarized neutron scattering. Research using neutrons is very valuable to science and industry, as they are a non-destructive probe. There are many applications in archaeology, medicine, and products seen as attractive by foreign companies, such as the development of lithium battery technology.

Private users can keep their results, with acknowledgement of the CSNS; while public users are required to share their findings. Private companies can pay for user-time or construct new instruments.

Lane Luckie, a news anchor and reporter for KLTV in Tyler, Texas, is traveling to Asia to explore the current issues related to the important bilateral relationship between the world’s two largest economies, the United States and China. Click here to learn more about his special assignment.

The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of KLTV/KTRE-TV or Raycom Media. They are solely the opinion of the author. All content © Copyright 2018 Lane Luckie

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