ESRF to close two beamlines in 2011


The ESRF, during the period 2011-2013, will have to manage a 6% reduction of its expenditure capacity compared with the previous medium-term planning that was in place until the end of 2010. This shortfall will have to be absorbed with the aim of affecting as little as possible the high quality service provided to the ~5000 scientists who use the ESRF every year. The main consequence of this 6% shortfall for the ESRF users is a process leading to the reduction of the overall amount of beamtime, and to a revision of the Upgrade Programme with the objective of preserving its main features; in particular, the eight Upgrade Beamline projects and the Accelerator Complex refurbishment.

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This process was initiated at the last Council meeting on 29-30 November 2010 with the adoption of an ad-hoc Resolution, and has since then matured into a proposal contemplating the reduction of the ESRF Public Beamlines Portfolio by two beamlines. The decision to close two public beamlines has been reached by the ESRF Council following a proposal prepared by the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) and Management.

Neither an Upgrade Beamline nor a recently refurbished beamline was considered for cancellation or closure. In narrowing down the analysis to the remaining beamlines, several complementary considerations were taken into account. The final proposal was based almost exclusively on logistic aspects and technical savings strictly connected with the implementation of the Upgrade Programme.

SAC and Management jointly proposed to Council the cancellation of the beamline project ID06/ID20 and the closure of the beamline ID32. Both measures are envisaged within 2011. Their scientific case will be reconsidered in due time, either if new resources become available or in the context of the Upgrade Programme Phase-II.

This proposal was endorsed by the ESRF Council on 11 February 2011. The ESRF Management will consult the Works Committee for advice on this measure and on its implementation, including the appropriate reassignment of the staff concerned.

The beamline portfolio of the ESRF will be reconsidered in the future. I am personally engaged to return to a portfolio of 30 public beamlines as soon as possible, in full respect of what has been laid down in the ESRF Convention.

Francesco Sette


Top image: Aerial view of the ESRF Experimental Hall