Sweden gives 300m more kronor to Lund neutron accelerator

The Swedish government announced plans on Tuesday to grant 300 million Swedish kronor extra to the ESS research institute in Lund, southern Sweden.

Sweden gives 300m more kronor to Lund neutron accelerator
The ESS building site in Lund, southern Sweden. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

“ESS is a strategically important investment for Swedish and European research, and the facility will contribute within climate research, life science, new materials and clean energy, areas where we see several of the world’s major societal challenges,” education minister Anna Ekström said on a visit to the facility. “ESS strengthens Sweden’s position as a leading research nation.”

“The construction delay caused by the pandemic must be addressed, and as host country, the Swedish government takes action with additional funding.”

In December, ESS – the European Spallation Source – announced that the research site would not be fully functional until 2027, four years after originally planned, while they simultaneously noted a substantial increase to the cost of the project.

“My assessment is that 300 million is what is needed to continue the process of completing the project,” Ekström continued. The new funds will be included in a budget proposal to be presented on Tuesday.

Newswire TT asked Ekström whether these funds would be taken from other research projects.

“No, this money comes from the budget for adult education, where not all funds have been used,” she replied.

Construction commenced on the ESS project in 2018, and the facility will have the world’s most powerful neutron source when it is finished. Sweden and Denmark are host countries for ESS, but there are representatives from 13 different countries on the ESS council.

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How is the global Crowdstrike IT outage affecting Sweden?

A widespread computer outage causing the 'blue screen of death' on Windows computers has hit major businesses around the world, like banks, airlines and TV and radio broadcasters. Here's how Sweden is affected.

How is the global Crowdstrike IT outage affecting Sweden?

The problems were first reported in Australia overnight with banks, supermarkets and airports among the companies reporting major disruption due to the outage, reportedly triggered by a faulty update to the CrowdStrike cybersecurity platform used by Microsoft.

But as Sweden woke up on Friday it became apparent that it too is affected by the issue. Windows users are reporting getting the notorious ‘blue screen of death’ error screens on their systems which are preventing them from carrying out their work as usual.

On Friday, public transport companies in multiple regions were having technical issues with their apps, with Örebro, Halland, Sörmland, Värmland, Blekinge, Kalmar and Kronoberg all affected. In the regions in question, travellers were unable to search for timetable information or buy tickets on the app, but were still able to buy tickets in-person.

Airline SAS wrote on its website that it was experiencing issues with its booking system.

“We are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible,” the statement read.

READ MORE: European travel services hit by major global IT glitch

A SAS spokesperson told DR the airline was “fully operational, but we expect delays”.

Swedavia, who own the ten largest airports in Sweden, also reported issues on Friday.

“We are currently experiencing IT issues which are affecting check-in with some airlines,” the company wrote on its website. “For information on your journey, please contact your airline or travel agent.”

Those planning international travel should be aware that there are issues with major European airports, such as Berlin and Schiphol, as well as Spain’s airport company Aena, which manages 46 airports in Spain.

Major airlines like Swiss Air, Air India, Air France, Ryanair, Eurowings, Brussels Airlines and Lufthansa are also affected, with companies warning of possible delays and cancellations.

Airport chaos in Europe: What are your rights if flights are delayed or cancelled?

Airlines advise that passengers arrive at the airport in good time.

“We advise all passengers to arrive at the airport at least 3 hours before their scheduled departure time,” Ryanair wrote on X.

A number of private companies, like insurance company Trygg-Hansa and car supply chain Biltema, also saw issues with their websites on Friday. Biltema also had issues with processing payments, as did the Åhlens chain of department stores and all Swedish football clubs in the Allsvenskan league.

The LKAB mine in Malmberget was evacuated shortly after lunchtime on Friday, according to Aftonbladet. LKAB’s head of press Anders Lindberg told the newspaper that the evacuation was a safety measure and that no one was in danger.

“We’re affected by the global IT outage,” Lindberg said. “As a safety precaution we have stopped all work below ground, but there is no immediate danger.”

Swedish radio P1 also had issues broadcasting programmes just before lunchtime on Friday, Aftonbladet reports, although the issue had been solved by noon.