An Assessment of the
Science Proposed for
the Deep Underground
Science and Engineering
Ad Hoc Committee to Assess the Science Proposed for a Deep
Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL)
Board on Physics and Astronomy
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
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An Assessment of the Science Proposed for the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL) SEL title page.indd 1 1/10/12 8:33 PM Ad Hoc Committee to Assess the Science Proposed for a Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL) Board on Physics and Astronomy Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by Grant No. PHY1016162 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation and by Grant No. DE-SE00004240 between the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Department of Energy. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommenda- tions expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-21723-1 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-21723-7 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu; and the Board on Physics and Astronomy, National Research Council, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20001; Internet, http://www.national- academies.org/bpa. Copyright 2012 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to asso - ciate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
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COMMITTEE TO ASSESS THE SCIENCE PROPOSED FOR A DEEP UNDERGROUND SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING LABORATORY ANDREW J. LANKFORD, University of California at Irvine, Chair YORAM ALHASSID, Yale University EUGENIO COCCIA, University of Rome “Tor Vergata” CHARLES FAIRHURST, Itasca Consulting Group, Inc. BRADLEY W. FILIPPONE, California Institute of Technology PETER FISHER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology TAKAAKI KAJITA, University of Tokyo STEPHEN E. LAUBACH, University of Texas at Austin ANN NELSON, University of Washington RENE A. ONG, University of California at Los Angeles FRANK J. SCIULLI, Columbia University MARJORIE SHAPIRO, University of California at Berkeley and E.O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory JAMES M. TIEDJE, Michigan State University DAVID WARK, Imperial College London Staff DONALD C. SHAPERO, Director JAMES C. LANCASTER, Program Officer CARYN J. KNUTSEN, Associate Program Officer TERI G. THOROWGOOD, Administrative Coordinator BETH DOLAN, Financial Associate v
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BOARD ON PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY ADAM S. BURROWS, Princeton University, Chair PHILIP H. BUCKSBAUM, Stanford University, Vice Chair RICCARDO BETTI, University of Rochester JAMES DRAKE, University of Maryland JAMES EISENSTEIN, California Institute of Technology DEBRA ELMEGREEN, Vassar College PAUL FLEURY, Yale University PETER F. GREEN, University of Michigan LAURA H. GREENE, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign MARTHA P. HAYNES, Cornell University JOSEPH HEZIR, EOP Group, Inc. MARC A. KASTNER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology MARK B. KETCHEN, IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center JOSEPH LYKKEN, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory PIERRE MEYSTRE, University of Arizona HOMER A. NEAL, University of Michigan MONICA OLVERA DE LA CRUZ, Northwestern University JOSE N. ONUCHIC, University of California at San Diego LISA J. RANDALL, Harvard University MICHAEL S. TURNER, University of Chicago MICHAEL C.F. WIESCHER, University of Notre Dame Staff DONALD C. SHAPERO, Director ROBERT L. RIEMER, Senior Program Officer JAMES C. LANCASTER, Program Officer DAVID B. LANG, Program Officer CARYN J. KNUTSEN, Associate Program Officer TERI G. THOROWGOOD, Administrative Coordinator BETH DOLAN, Financial Associate vi
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Preface The size, complexity, and costs of the instruments of scientific inquiry are almost as diverse as the questions addressed in those inquiries. They range from atomic physics experiments that rest on a tabletop and might be assembled for less than a quarter of a million dollars, to accelerator complexes that spread over tens of square kilometers and cost billions of dollars to build. Underground laboratories are a relatively recent addition to this array of facilities. Built to shield extremely sensitive detectors from the noise of their surrounds and the signals associated with cosmic rays, underground facilities have been established over the last 30 years at a number of sites worldwide. To date, the United States’ efforts to develop such facilities have been modest and consist primarily of a small underground laboratory in Soudan, Minnesota, and the Sanford Underground Laboratory, a developmental research laboratory at the site of the proposed Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL) in Lead, South Dakota. Researchers from the United States who are interested in pursuing experiments that require these ultraquiet spaces have typically worked in collaboration with others in large underground facilities built in Europe, Japan, and Canada. Over the past 50 years, the U.S. underground science community, principally researchers in nuclear and particle physics, has pushed for a larger underground laboratory on the scale of the major facilities located in other countries. This push gained significant support during the long-range planning process of the nuclear and physics communities. The nuclear physics community placed the building of an underground facility as a top priority for its field, and the particle physics community recognized the importance of such a facility for achieving several of vii
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Preface viii the scientific goals in its field.1 Proceeding with the development of a major under- ground research facility was also encouraged and supported through workshops and advisory committees sponsored by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Consequently, the NSF, working with DOE and the science community, formally evaluated the science that might take place at such a facility, developed an initial suite of experiments, and then selected a potential site for those experiments, an abandoned mine in Lead, South Dakota (the “DUSEL facility”). During the final deliberations on whether to proceed with the program, DOE and NSF approached the National Research Council (NRC) and requested that it provide an independent assessment of the science possibilities associated with construction of the DUSEL facility and how the program proposed for the facil- ity would impact both the stewardship of the research communities involved and broader public interests. The statement of task for the committee that was assem- bled to carry out this effort—the Committee to Assess the Science Proposed for the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL)—is as follows: The committee will undertake an assessment of the proposed DUSEL program, including: • An assessment of the major physics questions that could be addressed with the pro- posed DUSEL and associated physics experiments, • An assessment of the impact of the DUSEL infrastructure on research in fields other than physics, • An assessment of the impact of the proposed program on the stewardship of the research communities involved, • An assessment of the need to develop such a program in the U.S., in the context of similar science programs in other regions of the world, • An assessment of broader impacts of such an activity, including but not limited to education and outreach to the public. Shortly before the committee’s first meeting in mid-December 2010, the National Science Board (NSB), which is the governing board of the NSF, decided not to provide an interim $29 million for bridge funding to support the further development of the DUSEL facility until it would enter its final design stage in the summer of 2011. As described in the FY2012 budget request for NSF’s Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Science submitted several months later, the decision not to provide the bridge funding was part of a larger determination by the NSB that because the scope and likely cost of the project were outside of NSF’s core mission responsibilities, NSF would not be the principal steward of the DUSEL 1 DOE/NSF. 2007. The Frontiers of Nuclear Science: A Long Range Plan. Report of the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee, p. 7; DOE/NSF. 2008. US Particle Physics: Scientific Opportunities: A Strategic Plan for the Next Ten Years, Report of the Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel, p. 2.
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Preface ix facility.2 From the time of that December 2010 decision through the time this report was written, DOE and NSF have been discussing whether to proceed with some or all of the program described in the material developed for the DUSEL project. Those discussions notwithstanding, the path that will be taken for developing an integrated underground research facility, or even whether such a facility will be built, has not been decided. The NSB’s decision not to proceed as steward of the program had an immediate impact on the approach that this committee needed to take in addressing its charge. Obviously, the “proposed DUSEL program” referred to in the statement of task did not have the same meaning after the NSB’s decision as it had had before. For any underground laboratory, the facility itself is part of the experiment, and much of the science that can be pursued depends on the specifics of that facility—among them, how deep it is; how large its experimental chambers are; how structurally sound it is; and how far it is from other facilities with which it intends to jointly pursue research. Before NSB’s December 2010 decision, a specific suite of experi- ments was to take place at specific underground locations in a specific site for the committee to evaluate. Since that decision, the scope of the DUSEL program has become much more amorphous. Nonetheless, for purposes of this report, the com- mittee chose to treat the slate of experiments described to it at the first meeting as the “proposed DUSEL program.”3 Furthermore, it understands that those experi- ments will be included in a preliminary design report to be submitted to the NSF by the project’s principal investigator. Although the committee understands that the DUSEL program envisioned when this committee was assembled is not proceeding, the science to be accomplished in the principal physics experiments proposed for that program remains compelling and argues for the value of developing a U.S. facility, not necessarily on the scale of the originally proposed DUSEL, where these crucial experiments can be conducted and resources shared. As a final note, at the committee’s first meeting, representatives of the NSF asked the committee to address issues such as whether the NSF-DOE partnership, as it then existed, is necessary and is appropriately structured and whether the DUSEL program merits the investment required to accomplish it. Because these issues are only tangentially, if at all, related to the science questions to be addressed, the committee respectfully declined to make these judgments.4 2 Available at http://www.nsf.gov/about/budget/fy2012/pdf/fy2012_rollup.pdf, page Overview-9. Last accessed on July 6, 2011. 3 See Statement of Task, Appendix A. 4 As pointed out in a recent NRC study, Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 2010), deciding whether or not to pursue a multiagency collaboration and, then, if one chooses to proceed, how to do so effectively, raises many difficult issues and challenges. That report provides guidance for addressing those issues.
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Preface x At its first two meetings, the committee heard from a number of people who are either formally or informally involved in helping to develop the DUSEL facility and program. The committee is grateful to these individuals for their information and insights; the materials they provided were a valuable resource for the commit- tee’s work. Finally, I am particularly grateful to the members of this committee and to the staff who worked diligently on a demanding schedule to produce this report. Andrew Lankford, Chair Committee to Assess the Science Proposed for the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (DUSEL)
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Acknowledgment of Reviewers This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Lisa Alvarez-Cohen, University of California at Berkeley, Frank Calaprice, Princeton University, Francis Halzen, University of Wisconsin at Madison, Wick Haxton, University of California at Berkeley, Ernest Henley, University of Washington, Joseph Hezir, EOP Group, Inc., Mark Peters, Argonne National Laboratory, John Schiffer, Argonne National Laboratory, and Yannis Yortsos, University of Southern California Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive com- ments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or xi
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acknowledgment reviewers xii of recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Julia Phillips, Sandia National Laborato- ries, as monitor, and James Brau, University of Oregon, as coordinator. Appointed by the NRC, they were responsible for making certain that an independent exami- nation of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.
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Contents SUMMARY 1 1 OVERVIEW 5 Study Background, 5 The DUSEL Program, 5 This Study, 7 Science Overview, 9 Physics Experiments, 9 Nonphysics Experiments, 14 Broader Impacts, 15 Co-location of Experiments, 15 National Facility, 16 2 DESCRIPTION OF UNDERGROUND FACILITIES 19 General Characteristics of Underground Laboratories, 19 Survey of Selected Laboratories, 21 Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory/Sanford Underground Laboratory (United States), 22 Soudan Underground Laboratory (United States), 23 Sudbury Neutrino Observation Laboratory (Canada), 24 Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (Italy), 24 Kamioka Observatory (Japan), 25 China Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory (China), 26 xiii
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contents xiv 3 SCIENCE ASSESSMENTS 28 Physics Program, 29 Dark Matter, 29 Tests of Grand Unification Theories, 38 Neutrino Physics Overview, 41 The Nature of Neutrinos—Oscillations (Long-Baseline Neutrino Experiment), 43 The Nature of Neutrinos—Antiparticles, Mass Scale (Neutrinoless Double-Beta Decay), 51 Proton Decay, 58 Nuclear Astrophysics, 63 Neutrino Astrophysics, 69 Nonphysics Science and Engineering Programs, 72 Overview, 72 Subsurface Engineering Challenges, 74 Geoscience Challenges, 76 Bioscience Challenges, 79 Limitations, 80 Experimental Details, 81 Potential Future Lines of Inquiry, 86 4 IMPACTS OF A NATIONAL UNDERGROUND FACILITY 88 Shared Infrastructure and Integrated Oversight, 88 Stewardship for the Research Communities, 90 Need to Develop Such a Program in the United States, 95 General Considerations, 95 Specific Considerations, 97 Summary of the Need, 100 Broader Impacts, 101 Visibility of the U.S. Scientific Accomplishment, 101 Educational and Outreach Opportunities, 102 APPENDIXES A STATEMENT OF TASK 107 B MEETING AGENDAS 108 C BIOGRAPHIES OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS 112 D SURVEY OF THE PRINCIPAL UNDERGROUND LABORATORIES 118