Geneva (Switzerland) - Yesterday, CERN announced that it has confirmed an updated restart schedule for the ailing Large Hadron Collider. While the "first beams" will be seen in September, no true collisions will be activated until late October. The forecast also shows a shutdown over Christmas, where it will run through until Fall, 2010.
"The schedule we have now is without a doubt the best for the LHC and for the physicists waiting for data," said CERN Director General Rolf Heuer. "It is cautious, ensuring that all the necessary work is done on the LHC before we start up, yet it allows physics research to begin this year."
The new schedule is a six week delay over the previously planned schedule. The delay is reportedly due to "implementation of a new enhanced protection system for the busbar and magnet splices, installation of new pressure-relief valves to reduce the collateral damage in case of a repeat incident; application of more stringent safety constraints; and scheduling constraints associated with helium transfer and storage."
Some of these components, such as the new pressure relief system, are being installed in stages, the last of which will be completed on September 19. Additional relief values on four of the LHC's eight sectors will also be installed this year, with the remaining four sectors updated in 2010.
See CERN's full press release.