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9. RISAC Report From National Academies- National Research Council
(W. Nazarewicz )

The long awaited Report from the Rare Isotope Science Assessment Committee (RISAC) of the National Academies- National Research Council on "Scientific Opportunities with a Rare-Isotope Facility in the United States" is finally public. The report gives strong endorsement to the vital place of nuclear structure and astrophysics in the nuclear science portfolio of the U.S., and specifically to the science and applications of exotic nuclei and to the role of an advanced U.S. facility for rare-isotope beams (dubbed FRIB in the report) for their study in the U.S.

Specifically, the report states "that studies of nuclei and nuclear astrophysics constitute a vital component of the nuclear science portfolio in the U.S. Failure to pursue such a capability will not only lead to the forfeiture of U.S. leadership but will likely erode our current capability and curtail the training of future American nuclear scientists." The report concludes that "the U.S. should plan for, and develop the technologies for, a national facility for rare isotope science of the type embodied in the FRIB concept."

Section 3.1 of the the report gives an overview of existing rare-isotope facilities in the Americas. The description of current HRIBF capabilities and proposed upgrades can be found on p. 31. Concerning the uniqueness of the current U.S. radioactive nuclear beams program, the report states:

"The current U.S. program is world leading, with the highest intensity fast exotic beams available at the NSCL and a unique set of beams from actinide targets at HRIBF."

"Clearly, the major national user facilities in the United States (NSCL at MSU, and HRIBF at ORNL) are now competitive with the world's other leading facilities and, thus, are extremely important."

The RISAC report will provide crucial input for the 2007 NSAC long-range planning process. The long-range plan town meeting on Nuclear Astrophysics / Study of Nuclei was held January 19-21, 2007, in Chicago. The meeting was well attended and the final resolution reaffirms the priorities of the field. The program and presentations can be found on the meeting's website.

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