I would like to wish everyone a happy new year.
During the last year, despite major waves of coronavirus outbreaks with no signs of convergence, moves to resume socioeconomic activities "with coronavirus" proceeded both domestically and internationally. We at J-PARC were also able to proceed with our research activities while continuing to take appropriate infectious disease control measures. I am pleased that we were able to ensure the safe and stable operation of the accelerators and experimental facilities under such circumstances. I would like to thank everyone for your cooperation and efforts. We have gradually resumed travels to and from overseas, and I was thrilled to welcome our colleagues from abroad back to the J-PARC site. Last year, the world experienced a severe situation that shook world peace with Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Experiences through international collaboration and joint research with researchers from around the world are crucial for cutting-edge research at J-PARC and elsewhere in the world. I believe that the experience of "sharing various experiences" will lead to long-term cooperative relationships and, eventually, to international peace. I hope further to promote international cooperation and collaboration in the future.
Last year, the RCS/MLF succeeded in providing a stable beam at intensity of 830 kW since April with an extremely high operating efficiency of about 95%. Various results have come from the MLF experiments, including the results of elemental composition analysis of samples from the asteroid Ryugu, brought back by the asteroid explorer Hayabusa-2, and the development of a fuel cell. In 2023, we will continue to increase the beam intensity and achieve stable operation, aiming for even more results.
After years of work at MR, construction work to increase the beam power was completed by the end of FY2021. This upgrade is a significant undertaking, replacing many major components. The reborn MR is now being commissioned and this year, high-intensity beam operation using the new MR will finally begin full-scale operation. I am very much looking forward to this and expecting further achievement.
The mission of J-PARC is to contribute to improving the "Quality of Life" of humanity by developing research in a wide range of fields, such as elementary particle/nuclear physics and material/life sciences, and to delve into the mysteries of space, materials, and the origins of life. We will continue our efforts to achieve a safer J-PARC and to improve our safety management to an even further extent.
The development of J-PARC is made possible by the efforts of J-PARC members, users worldwide, and the cooperation of all related companies involved. Even under the unclear prospects due to COVID-19 countermeasures and international situations, we would like to recall the mission of J-PARC and sincerely continue to develop research projects. Let's make the new year a better one.
Takashi Kobayashi, Director, J-PARC Center