LHC Report: The machine under maintenance

The LHC Christmas break started on 12 December. Since then, teams have been working hard to complete all the maintenance work planned to ensure the reliable operation of the LHC in 2012.


Installation of shielding at Point 1.

The maintenance work is being carried out on key infrastructure such as the cooling, ventilation, electricity and safety systems. Maintenance work is being carried out not just in the LHC but also across the whole accelerator complex, which makes planning the work even more complicated.

At the time of going to print, 50% of the cryogenics system maintenance has been finished, which, according to the schedule, will allow the LHC teams to start cooling down the first sectors next week to have the entire machine cold by the end of February. A lot of activity is going on in order to mitigate the effects of radiation on equipment installed in the LHC tunnel and underground areas during 2012 operation. To this end, teams have installed additional shielding at Point 1 (see photo) and they are relocating the UPS modules at Point 5. In addition, some preparatory underground civil engineering work is being carried out in order to allow improved shielding in the machine tunnel around Point 1.

The aim of this work, which is being organized and coordinated by the Engineering Department, is to ensure reliable LHC operation in 2012. In order to help with the complex task of coordinating all the different activities, a new GS-AIS tool has recently been made available to the team in charge of the work-planning and coordination. This tool, called IMPACT (password protected) is now used to perform, approve, and track all the activities.

by Katy Foraz for the LHC Team