Yesterday I received a letter from Office of Science Director Bill Brinkman in which he describes the DOE decision regarding the future of the Long-Baseline Neutrino Experiment. DOE has decided that it cannot support the LBNE project in its current form in the current budget climate. The Office of Science remains very supportive of the experiment’s scientific goals, however, and has charged Fermilab with investigating options for achieving these goals that fit within the more restrictive budgets predicted in future years.
Fermilab and the LBNE project team and collaboration remain committed to achieving these goals, which have broad support from the scientific community. We will work closely with DOE and the particle physics community over the coming months to outline options for a phased approach to the long-baseline neutrino experiments as per Dr. Brinkman’s request:
- In order to advance this activity on a sustainable path, I would like Fermilab to lead the development of an affordable and phased approach that will enable important science results at each phase. Alternative configurations to LBNE should also be considered. Options that allow us to independently develop the Homestake Mine as a future facility for dark matter experiments should be included in your considerations.
The excellent work of the LBNE project team and the collaboration have resulted in an advanced conceptual design, which will be reviewed as planned, and important decisions over the past few months regarding the experiment’s technology choices. We will continue to put this expertise to work to ensure an achievable, high-quality program for long-baseline neutrino physics using beams from Fermilab accelerators.