LS1 Report: working night and day

In the LHC tunnel, the first underground activities of the SMACC (Superconducting Magnet And Circuit Consolidation) project have begun. In sector 5-6, the opening of the W bellows, which form the outer shell around the circuit connections between each of the cryo-magnets, is underway.


On 18 April, CERN Director General, Rolf Heuer, assisted in opening of the first interconnection in sector 5-6 of the LHC tunnel.

By 15 April, 22 interconnection bellows had been opened. Elsewhere in the LHC, the warming up of the different sectors to room temperature continues. Sector 4-5 should be at room temperature by the end of April, with sector 6-7 not far behind.

At the SPS, 16 magnets (12 dipoles and 4 quadrupoles) have been removed from the machine. These magnets will be equipped with specially coated vacuum chambers in order to measure the effectiveness of this coating in reducing the build-up of electron cloud phenomena around the LHC beam during acceleration in the SPS.

The removal of the old ventilation system in the PS tunnel continues. This work will continue throughout 2013 and will cover all of the eight PS tunnel ventilation rooms. So far, the work is concentrated at points 6 and 8, where around 80% of the old ventilation system has been removed. Work is planned to start at points 1 and 2 next week. As the original ducts contain traces of asbestos, this dismantling is performed in special sealed tents, which have been installed inside the PS. These tents are designed to avoid the possibility of any contamination from the rest of the tunnel.

On top of the daytime work, last week teams of magnet experts were working overnight to complete a number of important electrical tests on the PS magnets. This work is done at night so as not to impact the progress of the shutdown activities in the tunnel. Such tests are vital at the start of a long shutdown, as they allow the magnet specialists to identify potentially weak elements, which are then changed during the shutdown as part of the preventive maintenance programme.

In building 193 (the AD Hall) preparations for the construction of the new annex to the AD Hall, which is part of the ELENA project, are complete. Many DC and control cables have been re-routed to allow the construction work on the new building to start in May.

by Simon Baird