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Kimballton Underground Research Lab is Open for Business

      Bruce Vogelaar, Director of KURF says, " The Kimballton Underground Research Facility, or KURF for short, is located about half an hour from the Virginia Tech campus, and provides a low background environment for detector development with drive-in access." The lab currently consists of a 35,000 square foot building, which sits under an overburden of 1700 feet, or 1450 mwe. Liquid nitrogen, fiber-optic internet, and ample power are all available. The host mine is in limestone so the radon level and rock background are lower than many comparable labs. The Kimballton mine offers a tremendous amount of room for future expansion.

      Several projects are currently underway in KURF including:

  • double beta decay to excited states (Duke supported by DOE);
  • development of point contact HPGe detectors called MALBEK (UNC supported by DOE);
  • low background materials screening (a collaboration of NCSU, UNC and VT supported NSF);
  • development of a fast neutron spectrometer (a collaboration of NIST and UMD supported by DOE);
  • development of ultra-low background argon (Princeton supported by NSF);
  • the mini-LENS prototype detector (a collabration of VT, LSU and BNL supported by NSF).
Notre Dame recently conducted a successful low-energy neutron check as part of a vetting process to locate a nuclear astrophysics accelerator underground (a project supported by NSF).

      Anyone interested in using space at KURF, is encouraged to contact Prof. Vogelaar.

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