Representatives of the members of SESAME met at the headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] in Vienna on 28-29 May 2013 for the 22nd meeting of the Council. This was the first Council meeting in which China participated as an Observer.
The Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East [SESAME] is a “third-generation” synchrotron light source under construction in Allan, Jordan, and will be the Middle East’s first major international research centre.
The European Physical Society [EPS] (along with Member Societies, the Institute of Physics [IoP] and German Physical Society [DPG]) supports the SESAME Training Programme and the EPS was represented at the Council by the EPS President John Dudley.
While the SESAME Council was being held at the IAEA, the European Commission and the European Organization for Nuclear Research [CERN] announced in a joint press conference in Brussels that the European Commission agreed to provide €5 million to fund construction of the magnets for the new main ring, which will be led by CERN with support from SESAME. Other contributions have been announced: Iran, Israel, Jordan and Turkey will provide $5 million each. Italy is awaiting the agreement of the Parliamentary Commission to approve a €1 million contribution to SESAME.
This represents a tremendous boost to the construction programme and should be a key financial contribution allowing the facility to come into operation in 2014/2015 with four ‘day-one’ beamlines and will allow SESAME to go forward into developing new scientific initiatives in the region and internationally.