Brookhaven Lab's National Synchrotron Light Source II Approved to Start Routine Operations

Milestone marks transition to exciting new chapter

UPTON, NY—The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has approved the start of routine operations at the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) at Brookhaven National Laboratory, beginning a period of significant transition in project activities from construction and commissioning to operations. Passing this milestone comes after many years of diligent planning, design, and construction by staff within the Lab's Photon Sciences Directorate along with staff from many other Brookhaven Lab organizations, and will lead to an exciting new chapter of synchrotron science. 

NSLS-II, a third-generation synchrotron light source, will be the newest and most advanced synchrotron facility in the world when it comes online later this year. As a DOE Office of Science User Facility, it will offer researchers from academia, industry, and national laboratories new ways to study material properties and functions with nanoscale resolution and exquisite sensitivity by providing state-of-the-art capabilities for x-ray imaging and high-resolution energy analysis.

"I look forward to the exciting science and benefits that NSLS-II will deliver to the U.S. Department of Energy and the nation," said Steve Dierker, Associate Laboratory Director for Photon Sciences at Brookhaven Lab. 

On September 22, after an Accelerator Readiness Review (ARR) team comprised of recognized experts in accelerator safety and operations from peer institutions completed an extensive review, DOE approved Brookhaven Lab's request to begin routine operations, an important milestone on the pathway to full scientific productivity.

In a letter to Dierker, David Freeman of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the ARR team lead, said, "The ARR Team believes that the facility, documentation, and personnel are in place and ready to transition into routine operations in a safe and environmentally acceptable manner." 

Congratulations streamed in as the momentous news was shared with the Lab and the larger scientific community. 

"It has been a long and challenging road, but one which you and the larger team have navigated very successfully," said Brookhaven National Laboratory Director Doon Gibbs in a note to Dierker. "On behalf of the Lab, thank you for your unwavering commitment and effort. There is much remaining to do, both to complete the project and start a world-class science program. It is a very exciting and important time for the Lab." 

The next steps for NSLS-II project staff include completing commissioning activities, continuing assembly of the first set of experimental stations (beamlines), and the official opening of NSLS-II for scientific research, expected to occur later this year. 

NSLS-II will support the Department of Energy's scientific mission by providing the most advanced tools for discovery-class science in condensed matter and materials science, physics, chemistry, and biology—science that ultimately will enhance national and energy security and help drive abundant, safe, and clean energy technologies. 

Brookhaven National Laboratory is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy.  The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.  For more information, please visit

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