The Variable Electron & Cyclotron Centre here is setting up an advanced facility to research how elements heavier than iron were created during supernova explosions.

A Rs. 870-crore project

The facility, Advanced National Facility for Unstable and Rare Ion Beam (ANURIB) will come up at its Rajarhat campus at an estimated cost of Rs. 870 crore.

Work on the facility is expected to start in June and to be completed by 2017.

Speaking to The Hindu , Institute director Dinesh Kumar Srivastava said the facility “would also help us understand structure of nuclei, particularly the unstable nuclei”.

 This new facility will be an extension of the Radioactive Ion Beam (RIB) facility which is already functioning at the Salt Lake campus of the centre for the last few years.

“While the primary beam at RIB is an alpha beam, the one at ANURIB will be a beam of 50 meV electrons,” Mr. Srivastava said.

The research facility will provide frontline research opportunities in nuclear physics, materials science, atomic physics, biology and isotope production and applications, he said.

Apart from Indian scientists, the facility will be open to scientists from international institutions like TRIUMF, Canada’s national laboratory for nuclear and particle physics.