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Will the Extreme Light Infrastructure facility come online as planned in 2018?

To advance laser physics, European scientists are constructing the Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) project, to eventually include four sites and some of the most powerful lasers in the world. Three of the facilities are currently under construction in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Romania, while the fourth site is yet to be determined.

Each facility is a "pillar" of the ELI. The Czech facility, called ELI-Beamlines, will develop short-pulse radiation sources. ELI-ALPS (Attosecond Light Pulse Source), in Hungary, will feature lasers with short pulses and high repetition rate over a broad range of frequencies. The Romanian facility will be called ELI-NP (nuclear physics) and will use the most powerful laser in the world to explore basic nuclear physics and develop applications such as destruction of nuclear waste or cancer radiotherapy. All three sites are slated to be operational by 2018.

Construction of ambitious physics facilities can be fraught with difficulties and delays, however. CERN's Large Hadron Collider, for example, was initially expected to be completed in 2005, but operations did not commence until 2009. The National Ignition Facility in California was originally estimated to be completed in 2002, but also experienced delays until dedication in 2009.

Will the first three pillars of ELI be completed as scheduled in 2018?

For this question to resolve as positive, an ELI press release or report from a credible news outlet must report that the last of the three pillars is complete and operational (taking at least test data using essentially the full system) on or before December 31, 2018.


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