Novosibirsk physicists start up $14 million synchrotron in U.S. amid sanctions

The U.S. Department of Energy has resumed the access of Russian scientists to a number of U.S. laboratories restricted in early April, Deputy Director of the Russian Academy of Sciences Siberian branch's Nuclear Physics Institute Yevgeny Levichev told reporters in Novosibirsk on Tuesday.

The U.S. Department of Energy has resumed the access of Russian scientists to a number of U.S. laboratories restricted in early April, Deputy Director of the Russian Academy of Sciences Siberian branch's Nuclear Physics Institute Yevgeny Levichev told reporters in Novosibirsk on Tuesday.

"A circular letter has been released to say that everyone wishing can visit [the U.S.] and here [Russia]," Levichev said.

Nuclear Physics Institute researchers were adjusting the control system of a synchrotron, which was built at the institute and moved to the Brookhaven National Laboratory in the United States as a component part of the new synchrotron light source under construction at the laboratory, at the time the restrictions were imposed, he said.

A U.S. laboratory representative failed to visit the institute in the period of sanctions for checking up on works done under another contract, Levichev continued.

The synchrotron contract was concluded in 2010, he recalled.

"The work has a value of $14 million," the scientist said, adding that the synchrotron had been started up and produced a particle flow with the required parameters.

The synchrotron light source will help create new materials and stage experiments in microbiology, chemistry and other spheres, he said.

Nuclear Physics Institute junior research fellow Pavel Cheblakov said he had visited the Brookhaven National Laboratory together with a colleague shortly before the sanctions were imposed and their third colleague was denied access.

"Most employees [of the Brookhaven National Laboratory] were surprised by the sanctions, the restrictions and the inability of the third colleague to go there. Everyone was confused and upset because [the sanctions] affected our work," he said.

The U.S. Department of Energy barred Russian scientists from its facilities, among them the Brookhaven National Laboratory, in early April until further notice.

The department also prohibited U.S. scientists in its employ from visiting Russia but in the cases related to nuclear security, weapons of mass destruction or "top-level national security interests."

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