SNOLAB is a Canadian underground physics laboratory at a depth of 2 km in Sudbury, Ontario in Vale Inco's Creighton nickel mine. The original Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) experiment has ended, but the facilities have been expanded into a permanent underground laboratory.
SNOLAB is the world's deepest underground lab facility; the deeper Kolar Gold Fields experiments ended with the closing of the mine in 1992, and the planned DUSEL laboratory is not expected to begin construction before 2012.
Although accessed through a dirty commercial mine, the laboratory proper is maintained as a class-2000 cleanroom, with very low levels of dust and background radiation. The 6800 ft (2070 m) overburden of rock provides 6010 metres of water equivalent (MWE) shielding from cosmic rays, providing a low-background environment for experiments requiring high sensitivities and extremely low counting rates.
By kjfitz @ 2010-01-29 08:29:05