Forward in small steps. Support for the candidacy of the Sos Enattos mine in Lula (in the province of Nuoro) for the Einstein telescope is growing. The Minister of University and Research, Anna Maria Bernini, will be visiting the mining site made up of driveway tunnels and wells equipped with lifts that reach a depth of 200 meters on Monday. This is a further step forward in the race for the candidacy of the mining complex to host the interferometer for the study of gravitational waves, in a game that is worth a total of 6 billion in 9 years and around 36,000 jobs, for the duration of the nine years, between direct, indirect and induced.
An important step
«The visit with Minister Bernini to the Sos Enattos mine represents an important stage in the process of bringing Sardinia and Italy closer to the objective – said the president of the Region, Christian Solinas -. With the hoped-for green light for the construction of the powerful third generation gravitational wave detector in Sardinia, Sardinia and Lula will be projected to the attention of the world. We have before us a unique, unrepeatable opportunity to give our Island the concrete opportunity of a goal of immense prestige that brings with it important economic repercussions, the emblem of a Sardinia, an ideal place for high technology and scientific research. The growth opportunities linked to the ET must not be missed, with repercussions in every economic sector and in different professional fields both in the phase of construction of the infrastructure and with the entry into force of the observatory, with over 35 thousand new jobs ».
A mine born in 1868
The Sos Enattos site, opened in 1868 by the Paganelli company to extract galena, blende (from which lead and zinc are obtained) and silver has been at a standstill for decades. In the race to host the Einstein Telescope, it competes with the Meuse-Rhin, a territory located between Holland and Belgium. Not an abandoned place, given that other activities have been underway for years, preparatory to the study of gravitational waves. In fact, in the underground spaces of the mine, seismic measurement laboratories have been active since 2010 as well as other instruments for measuring “quantum fluctuations” in which INFN scientists work as well as researchers from the universities of Cagliari and Sassari.
The elements in favor
The low anthropization of the area and the absence of seismic movement favored the choice of the Sardinian site. Elements which, according to the experts, should give the Nuorese site an extra hand when choosing where to install the interferometer. «The Einstein Telescope – the minister remarked on several occasions – is a project of extraordinary importance. A large international infrastructure which for Italy represents a strategic opportunity not only for scientific research but also for the national industry and for the country’s economy».
Another piece in the mosaic
In the mosaic, another piece, which weighs 50 million euros, has been placed. This is the Etic project which aims to build in Italy what has been defined as the new large European observatory for gravitational waves. To finance the ETIC (Einstein Telescope Infrastructure Consortium), of which the National Institute of Nuclear Physics is the proponent and leader, 50 million euros from the Pnrr. All with the aim of preparing and carrying out the feasibility study of the Italian site within thirty months and the creation of a network of research laboratories for the development of technologies that will be adopted by the new observatory.