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SAIF: from a dream in 2017 to a reality in 2022/23

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  • September 22, 2022September 23, 2022

The International Nuclear Physics Conference (INPC), that was successfully hosted by NRF-iThemba LABS at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) from 11-16 September 2022, could be seen as an affirmation of the scientific and technical reputation of iThemba LABS by the international nuclear physics community. And what a great pleasure it was for delegates attending the conference to be able to see the progress that has been made in realizing  The South African Facility (SAIF). The dedicated 70-MeV cyclotron has been installed at iThemba LABS with approximately 80% of the construction, mechanical and electrical work being completed. It was a privilege to have Prof Art McDonald join the celebratory tour. Prof McDonald was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2015 and is acutely aware of the sense of achievement that comes through dedication and commitment. We are looking forward to the inauguration of the facility in 2023 when the production of isotopes will be migrated to the new facility. This will not only increase the production yield of needed radiopharmaceuticals and chemicals, but it will also free up the Separate Sector Cyclotron (SSC) to be dedicated to fundamental and applied nuclear physics research.