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ANSTO confirms synchrotron rescue

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The final piece in the Australian Synchrotron rescue puzzle has fallen into place, with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation confirming that it is to take over management of the facility.

The future of the synchrotron was put in doubt last year following a change of government in Victoria. The incoming Liberal-led government announced that it would discontinue funding for the facility, which it had criticised as being part of a “gravy train” culture in that state under the former Labor government.

Earlier this year, Canberra stumped up most of the $AU100 million needed to keep the synchrotron operational, but left the question of its future management up in the air.

ANSTO’s announcement says the organisation will now begin transferring synchrotron staff to a wholly-owned ANSTO subsidiary, Synchrotron Light Source Australia. The transition is expected to be complete by January 2013.

Director of the synchrotron, Professor Keith Nugent, says the agreement secures the facility’s future until 2016.

ANSTO, which was a foundation investor in the Australian Synchrotron and is one of its major customers, will now have the challenge of putting the synchrotron on a sound basis. ®

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