Particle collider's Russian supplier bankrupt: report

Aug 03, 2011

A Russian factory producing the crystals used in the world's biggest particle collider is bankrupt, a report said Wednesday, questioning why the government would not bail out the unique facility.

The Bogoroditsk Techno-Chemical Plant, once the pride of the small town in central Russia's Tula region, produced 80,000 lead tungsten crystals used in equipment to measure particle energies at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research's () .

But now most employees have been fired and electricity and water cut off as the plant is closing down, weighed down by debts of $10 million accrued after orders ran thin, Izvestia newspaper reported from the plant.

"The Bogoroditsk plant is submerged in darkness and is empty like a sunken ship," the paper wrote. "There are times when idols perish, but it happens so quickly and senselessly only in the theatre of the absurd."

Bogoroditsk is situated only 200 kilometres south of Moscow, and factory employees have protested and written letters to the Russian leaders for almost a year since a regional arbitration court pronounced the plant bankrupt last September.

After CERN's contract for crystals ran out, the plant invested in solar panel production, but faced little demand and could not pay its creditors, and other investors failed to materialise.

Meanwhile, the government put off signing a crucial agreement to participate in an international project FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research in Europe), which would allow the plant to supply crystals to build the new German-based facility, Expert magazine wrote earlier this year.

After the plant's demise, a Shanghai-based institute will dominate crystal production, despite President Dmitry Medvedev's appeals to modernise and innovate the Russian economy, it said.

The Large Hadron Collider is located near Geneva in a deep tunnel beneath Switzerland's border with France and launched in September 2008. The Russian were used in its electromagnetic calorimeter.

Explore further: Dailymotion should stay in European hands, France says

Related Stories

Officials seek cause of reactor shutdown

Nov 03, 2006

Authorities are investigating the cause of the nuclear reactor shutdown at Three Mile Island near Harrisburg, Pa., although no radiation leaked in the incident.

A plant's arsenal of crystalline darts and sand

Aug 06, 2009

Pet owners have heard the warnings to keep certain poisonous houseplants away from their pets, such as Dieffenbachia (dumbcane), Philodendron, peace lily, and pothos. For houseplants like these and others, ...

Recommended for you

Dailymotion should stay in European hands, France says

4 hours ago

France opposes exclusive talks between Orange and Hong Kong's PCCW group for a 49 percent stake in Dailymotion, preferring a European partner for the French video-sharing platform, the finance ministry indicated ...

FTC's Google investigation probed by Senate antitrust chief

19 hours ago

The chairman of a U.S. Senate antitrust panel will look into the release of a confidential Federal Trade Commission report on an investigation of Google Inc.'s search business, which was closed in 2013 without an enforcement ...

Traffic court goes digital: Startup fosters settlements

19 hours ago

Traffic court is going digital. Michigan startup Court Innovations has developed a software solution that allows drivers to settle traffic violations by negotiating in a virtual environment instead of showing up to court ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.