The Latin American Consortium for Underground Experiments
Neutrinos and search for Dark Matter are becoming every day more important, sitting at the frontier between nuclear physics, particle physics, astroparticle physics and cosmology. These studies are only possible in underground laboratories where the experiments are shielded from cosmic rays by more than 1000m of rock. These laboratories are located in mines and tunnels, and the 10 currently operating laboratories are to be found in the northern hemisphere: Europe, USA, Rusia, Canada and Japan. It is worth noting that these topics need the efforts of both the governments and scientific communities, and Europe is an example of such an integration with a network of investigation programs, common laboratories and integrated systems for education and investigation, allowing knowledge transfer to its institution and the society.
Consorcio Latinoamericano de Experimentos Subterráneos, CLES)
Latinoamerican countries could follow this example and play a protagonic role in this field by taking advantage of the construction of the Agua Negra tunnel - currently in prospection phase in the San Juan and Coquimbo provinces - to plan the construction and operation of an underground laboratory in it.
The Agua Negra tunnel is of mayor importance for the region and the MERCOSUR. It will allow a stronger integration in the region, especially between Argentina, Chile and Brazil. We propose for the ANDES underground laboratory to be also a regional effort, with strong contribution of these three countries. Other latinamerican countries with strong community in this field (such as Mexico) are also expected to participate, as is, more generally, the whole international community.
We therefore aim for a scientific board ruling the ANDES laboratory with representative of every CLES country, and an equivalent sharing of the operating costs.