India-based Neutrino Observatory Project
India-based Neutrino Observatory Project (INO) is a particle physics research project under construction to essentially study atmospheric neutrinos in a 1,300 meters (4,300 ft) deep cave under Ino Peak near Theni, Tamil Nadu-Kerala border, India. INO is notable in that it is anticipated to provide a precise measurement of neutrino mixing parameters. It is a multi-institute collaboration and one of the most significant experimental particle physics projects undertaken in India.
Neutrino is an electrically neutral and belongs to the lepton family. It is weakly interacting elementary subatomic particle with half-integer spin. There are three types of neutrinos like electron neutrinos, muon neutrinos, and tau neutrinos.
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The project was actually to be completed earlier in 2015 at an estimated cost of ₹ 1,500 crores which has been cleared by the Ministry of Environment (India) for construction in the Bodi West Hills Reserved Forest in the Theni district of Tamil Nadu. Although delayed, the project is underway as of 2015.
When the project gets completed, the main magnetized iron calorimeter (ICAL) experiment will include the world’s largest magnet and also four times larger than the 12,500-tonne magnet in the Compact Muon Solenoid detector at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. The ICAL detector consists of 2 inch thick Iron plates as passive material, with RPCs in between as active material.
Facts about India-based Neutrino Observatory Project
- Neutrino research is an underground project, jointly supported by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST).
- The Observation will comprise a complex of caverns; the main cavern is a house detector which is 130 metres long, 26 metres wide and 30 metre high.
- Along with the main cavern, there will be two smaller caverns that will be used for setting up experiments for double neutrino detector and dark matters.
- A 2-km long tunnel will approach this underground complex.
- It will host experiments such as the neutrino-less double beta decay and the search for dark matter.
- It also involves Inter-Institutional Centre for High Energy Physics (IICHEP) and Iron Calorimeter Detector (ICAL).
Current Scenario in India-based Neutrino Observatory Project
Union cabinet meeting has approved the India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) project on the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border in Theni district, without insisting on the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) and public hearing. Prime Minister Narendra Modi headed this cabinet meeting.
The Central government has ordered the Union Cabinet Secretary PK Shenha to implement the Neutrino Observatory project soon. The federal government has sent a letter to the State government on the Neutrino Research Center.
The construction of the neutrino inspection center has been shelved for more than 2 years. The environmental organization of the Government of Tamil Nadu has been asked to set up a neutrino research center immediately without delaying the project.
Farmers Against India-based Neutrino Observatory Project
The farmers of Theni are annoying that we will never allow the environmental damage. As far as the tenure of the Theni district is concerned, the Neutrino Observatory Project will affect about 20 damages like Mullai Periyar, Vaigai, and Idukki. Furthermore, the minaret will be constructed at 2 km length with the mountain. It is planned to explode 11,25,000 tonnes of rock by using 1000 tonnes of explosives.
This will lead to huge environmental damage, and thus, the wild animals are afraid and coming out from the forest and getting into the village. There will be a need of 2.5 lakh litres of water to cool the magnetic instrument which is used for the Neutrino Observatory Project. What farmers fear is that agriculture, which is dependent on bigger irrigation, loses 10 TMC water in Neutrinos. Therefore, the farmers insist the central government to abandon the malicious anti-people policies.
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