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European Spallation Source hit by Covid-19 costs and delays

Image: ESS

Under-construction infrastructure developing action plan to mitigate problems caused by pandemic

The European Spallation Source, a research infrastructure being built near Lund, Sweden, has said it is facing delays and extra costs as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Deliveries of components and installation work for what is designed to be the world’s most powerful neutron source have been “substantially impacted” by national lockdowns and travel restrictions, the ESS said on 25 March.

It said that delivery delays of five to ten months were expected, but could change, and that these in turn “lead to impacts on the overall timeline and additional costs for ESS, at the same time as the member countries’ budgets have become more strained as a result of the pandemic”.

The ESS executive council, made up of academics and officials from its 13 member countries, has asked the facility’s management to come up with a plan “that ensures project completion within the available resources, adjusting cost and timeline”.

Construction is to continue, with a “full reassessment” of the schedule to take place in the autumn. “All the buildings at ESS will be completed this year”, the facility said.