Report on the 26th SESAME Council meeting held on 26-27 May 2015 and hosted by UNESCO in Paris.
In order for commissioning to start in mid-2016, and for the first stage of Phase 1 to be completed in 2017, some additional capital funding is still needed. Egypt will join Iran, Israel, Jordan, and Turkey (which are each providing $5 million) in making a voluntary contribution, which will partly fill the gap.
The Council was updated on progress in fabricating the magnets for the main storage ring, which is being managed by CERN, in collaboration with SESAME, using funds provided by the European Union. The first of 16 cells of the main ring was assembled at CERN in March 2015. Tests showed that the quality of the magnets exceeds the specification. Meanwhile the fabrication of the radio-frequency cavities, which will accelerate the beam, is beginning in Italy, funded by the Italian Government.
Chris Llewellyn Smith, president of the Council and Khaled Toukan, director of SESAME reported that, on behalf of the Council, they had thanked the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, and the Director General for Research and Innovation, Robert-Jan Smits, and the Director General of CERN, Rolf Heuer, for their vital support, when they visited SESAME in April 2015. During the visit, the Commissioner expressed his strong support for SESAME and his delight that the European Union was becoming a SESAME Observer.
Rolf Heuer will succeed Chris Llewellyn Smith as president of the SESAME Council. The latter agreed that the hand-over will take place after the formal opening of SESAME in late 2016 or the first half of 2017.