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Ken Bloom | USLHC | USA

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LHC update — vacuum leaks

This message was sent from Director General Rolf Heuer to the CERN community today:

The foreseen shutdown work on the LHC is proceeding well, including the powering tests with the new quench protection system. However, during the past week vacuum leaks have been found in two “cold” sectors of the LHC. The leaks were found in sectors 8-1 and 2-3 while they were being prepared for the electrical tests on the copper stabilizers at around 80 K. In both cases the leak is at one end of the sector, where the electrical feedbox, DFBA, joins Q7, the final magnet in the sector.

Unfortunately, the repair necessitates a partial warm-up of both sectors. This involves the end sub-sector being warmed to room temperature, while the adjacent sub-sector “floats” in temperature and the remainder of the sector is kept at 80 K. As the leak is from the helium circuit to the insulating vacuum, the repair work will have no impact on the vacuum in the beam pipe. However the intervention will have an impact on the schedule for the restart. It is now foreseen that the LHC will be closed up and ready for beam injection by mid-November.

No one said that this would be easy. We of course hope for the best and will keep doing all we can to be ready for beam.

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