I'd like to extend New Year's greetings to everyone.
I sincerely pray for the repose of the souls of those who lost their lives in the Noto Peninsula earthquake while offering heartfelt condolences to all those affected by this calamity. My earnest wish is for the swift restoration and reconstruction of the affected areas.
Last year, on May 8th, the restrictions on activities were lifted for the first time in three years due to the reclassification of COVID-19 to Class 5. At J-PARC, while continuing to implement appropriate infection prevention measures, we were able to advance research activities, research meetings, and public relations activities. I would like to express my gratitude to everyone for their cooperation.
In April and June, fires broke out at facilities subject to KEK's control. Fortunately, these incidents did not result in any personal injuries. Nevertheless, I would like to extend my apologies to the local community and everyone affected for causing concern and inconvenience. Following investigations into the causes, implementation of preventive measures, and safety confirmations, we resumed operations. Regrettably, these incidents significantly inconvenienced and troubled many of our users due to their impact on beamtime. I would like to offer my sincere apologies once again.
Meanwhile, starting in April, the RCS has been supplying beams to MLF at an exceptionally high operational efficiency of over 95%, reaching 840 kW. This has led to various successful outcomes in experiments conducted at the MLF. In 2024, our focus remains on augmenting beam intensity and ensuring stable operations to achieve even more research breakthroughs. Additionally, through long-standing upgrades, the MR achieved a significant increase in beam intensity sent to the Neutrino Experimental Facility, elevating it from 510 kW to 710 kW by the end of 2023. Anticipating further advancements, we are eager to explore possibilities for further intensifying the beams, fostering greater advancements in neutrino research.
The mission of J-PARC is to advance research across a wide spectrum of fields, encompassing particle and atomic nucleus physics, as well as materials and life science. Our goal is to explore the mysteries surrounding the origins and diversity of the universe, matter, and life, thereby contributing to the improvement of the global Quality of Life. Upholding safety management as the foremost and crucial foundation for our endeavors, we are committed to continuously enhancing it.
The progress of J-PARC relies on the understanding and collaboration of our local community, users worldwide, and all those involved with us. I extend my heartfelt gratitude for your understanding and cooperation, which are essential for our development and societal contribution. I would like to express my anticipation of your ongoing support and partnership this year.
Takashi Kobayashi, Director, J-PARC Center