London, December 1 (ANI): Reports indicate that physicists in Britain fear that the country's entire programme of nuclear research is under threat from a budget crisis at CERN, which could leave the country incapable of training the technicians required for new nuclear plants to meet energy needs.
According to a report in The Times, nuclear physicists believe their field is especially vulnerable to a swath of cuts, due to be announced by the Science and Technology Facilities Council on December 16, to fill a 40 million pounds black hole in its budget.
As the agency's spending commitments in particle physics and astronomy are largely fixed by binding international agreements, such as participation in the CERN laboratory and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), nuclear projects are among the prime candidates for cuts.
"I find these proposed huge cuts in funding, and the idea that the whole of UK academic nuclear physics research is under threat, mind-boggling," said Jim Al-Khalili, Professor of Physics at the University of Surrey.
"Nuclear technicians and engineers are trained largely by academics working in nuclear physics and funded by the council," he added.
Cuts would also affect research into radiotherapy for cancer, medical imaging and trafficking in radioactive material. (ANI)