The new SPIRAL2 particle accelerator at the French large heavy-ion accelerator GANIL (CNRS/CEA), inaugurated on November 3, will be able to produce immensely powerful particle beams, enabling scientists to push back the frontiers of knowledge. This will double France’s experimental capability in nuclear physics, especially with regard to research into atomic nuclei and the mechanisms of nuclear reactions, such as those that take place within stars. Initial experiments are expected to get underway in mid 2017.