News / Press Release

The NSRRC’s Response to “a Brief Shutdown of the Accelerators for an Early Annual Maintenance”
The following is the response from the National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center (NSRRC) to the news articles regarding “a brief shutdown of the accelerators for an early annual maintenance.”

1.The NSRRC adjusted operation schedules due to the nationwide Level 3 alert and the worldwide pandemic situation.

The NSRRC is Taiwan’s largest national research facility, operating accelerator-based light sources for facilitating fundamental research and development on cutting-edge technologies. Each year there are more than 10,000 user visits to the NSRRC from all over the world for on-site experiments.

During the past year, most synchrotron facilities in the world were closed due to a serious threat caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. To reduce the risk of cross-region travel and to contain the spread of the virus, these facilities have gradually changed their mode of operation to mail-in, remote access, for example.

2.Scheduled maintenance moved up to adapt for the severity of the recent COVID-19 situation.

The NSRRC is being very cautious about the pandemic because the majority of the users come from the universities and research institutes in Taiwan. Schools at all levels across Taiwan are temporarily closed as the COVID-19 alert has been raised to Level 3. To avoid non-essential travel, the NSRRC accepts mail-in and remote access so that users have the option to conduct their experiments without being onsite. However, less than 30 percent of the users chose these alternatives, and beamlines were not able to reach optimum efficiency under such circumstances. The NSRRC’s decision to adjust operation schedules was made based on the overall consideration of the pandemic as well as the announcements of the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC). The scheduled annual maintenance was brought forward instead, which has been announced to both international and domestic users of the NSRRC.

Over the years, the NSRRC has been devoted to fulfilling social responsibilities as a large national research facility. In order to maximize the contribution in this national fight against the COVID-19, the NSRRC is doing everything possible to avoid non-essential travel and to protect the health of students and scientists. Operation schedules will be reviewed and adjusted whenever necessary based on the COVID-19 situation and the announcements made by the CECC. Users are encouraged to use mail-in or remote access while user operation is running under Level 3 alert. The ultimate goal is to keep scientific research moving forward and to reduce the impact of the pandemic on scientific progress.