jump to navigation

How much does it cost to build the International Linear Collider? December 1, 2007

Posted by apetrov in Particle Physics, Physics, Science.
trackback

How much does it cost to build the ILC? Well, according to the ILC Reference Design Report (already discussed here and here), it would cost about $7B (plus manpower) — not that expensive, if you put it in the perspective: for example, one new aircraft carrier costs about $8B.

Now, there is a letter to the Editor in the recent Physics Today which disputes this figure. In fact, Michael Riordan (UC Santa Cruz) claims that the correct estimate of the cost is not what was released in that report. To quote the article,

“The $7.5 billion total estimate cited is what such a collider might cost according to European accounting practices, assuming it were located at an existing laboratory, like CERN, that could absorb much of the construction management, R&D, and other costs into its normal operating budget. Nor does it include the costs of experimental detectors, contingency, or inflation. Adding those costs would push the total well north of $10 billion, by my calculations. If, as many of us hope, the ILC were to be built in the US, the Department of Energy would insist that all of the other costs be included, making it—as correctly reported in Science—a $10 billion to $15 billion project.”

Now, $15B — that is a big number. According to Burton Richter (Nobel Prize winner and former Director of SLAC), this number is about right:

“The cost in US terms is easy to calculate. The ILC value cost estimate leaves out lab personel costs, inflation, contingency, detectors, physics support buildings, and R&D in support of construction. When I put those in I get about 15-16 billion for the cost of the 0.5 TeV version as construction projects costs are usually calculated here.

The DOE has been through this before for ITER. The value cost of ITER is about $5 billion, but in US terms the budget throught he construction project for our share (10%) is not $500 million, but $1.1 billion. The DOE and the administration made the decision to join based on the cost in US terms. The same process will be used for the ILC. The US HEP community should take its head out of the sand and face the reality. A US 50 % share as host is within the
realm of possibility, but only if the community gets behind it and recognizes the true financial impact.

Feel free to circulate this iif you wish.

Burton Richter”


So… well, supersymmetry (or something truly exciting) is better be there – let’s see what LHC tells us about that…

Comments»

1. Economics Topics News » Blog Archive » How much does it cost to build the International Linear Collider? - December 2, 2007

[…] How much does it cost to build the International Linear Collider?By apetrovNor does it include the costs of experimental detectors, contingency, or inflation. Adding those costs would push the total well north of $10 billion, by my calculations. If, as many of us hope, the ILC were to be built in the US, …Symmetry factor – https://apetrov.wordpress.com […]

2. Coin - December 3, 2007

Could you clarify, is the idea that if the detector were built in Europe these “absorbed by existing laboratory” costs would be paid for by the hosting laboratory? Or does this mean that the costs would be paid for by ILC contributor states, but hidden from the initial estimate by European accounting practices?

Or in other words, is the idea here “if we build the ILC in the U.S., it will cost us twice as much”? Or is it “the ILC will cost us twice as much as the European estimates claim it will, and if we build it in the U.S. it will become impossible to hide this?”

3. UK pulls out of ILC « Symmetry factor - December 11, 2007

[…] How about that? And this is with all the ideas and plans that are already on the tabe… The International Linear Collider just became a chunck less international… This is really bad timing — as we learned recently, the real cost of ILC would also likely to go up… […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: