The European Commission is concerned about the delays within the Magurele laser project. European Commissioner for Regional Development, Corina Cretu has met the new minister of Research, Nicolae Hurduc on Thursday, with Cretu stressing the Romanian authorities must find a solution as quickly as possible together with the chosen contractor to implement the second phase of the project. „ The situation must be avoided that, besides the financial loss, it could affect including the credibility and the reputation of the Romanian researchers,” Corina Cretu said, while making a call for the unblock of the second phase as soon as possible. The second phase would involve the delivery and installing a system of a gamma bright beam and it should be concluded by 2020.
„I encourage the involved parties to try reaching a compromise so that this project should be concluded in the current financial framework. I propose them to have a high level discussion, this time in Brussels, together with my colleague Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, to make a new attempt to break this deadlock. The project of the Magurele laser is not only a flagship project for Romania, but also for the entire research field in the EU,” Cretu said.
The EC’s concern came amid the existing row between the project’s beneficiary, „Horia Hulubei” National Institute of Physics and Nuclear Engineering and the European consortium EuroGammaS (EGS), which should deliver and install the gamma bright beam, based on a contract worth EUR 66 million.
Romania benefits of a EUR 22 billion allotment within the cohesion policy for 2014-2020, with EUR 422 M being destined to the public research.
The most powerful laser in Europe and the second worldwide, under construction in Magurele, near Bucharest, has been assembled and has already begun the first tests, professor Nicolae Zamfir, project leader of Extreme-Light Infrastructure – Nuclear Physics (ELI-NP), announced in May 2017.