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News Picks : Construction delays continue on Indian neutrino detector

By: Physics Today
13 January 2016

Nature: In January 2015 India's government approved the construction of a neutrino detector under a mountain in the state of Tamil Nadu. But the project has not even begun construction because of concerns from environmentalists and local government officials. If construction does not start soon, the detector will probably not be able to contribute to the global study of the masses of the three neutrino flavors. Regarding a legal challenge filed last March, the Madras High Court in Chennai declared that the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board must approve the project. Although normally a routine, 45-day process, that approval still has not occurred. Many of the concerns raised reflect a poor understanding of the project, such as the belief that the facility will be emitting radiation or storing nuclear weapons. Others deal with environmental impacts, such as whether the facility will threaten a nearby dam. Project scientists have attempted to directly educate the local communities, but they may have been hindered by the past history of the government ignoring locals in favor of major construction projects and by class and language barriers.

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