Ground-breaking ceremony for the High-Luminosity LHC

The civil engineering work for the High-Luminosity LHC gets under way. Here we see the earthmovers at work on the new 80 metre access shaft at Point 5. (Image: Julien Ordan/CERN)

The earthmovers are at work on the ATLAS site in Meyrin and at CMS in Cessy, digging the new shafts for the High-Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC). The start of the work for this new phase of the project was marked by a ceremony held on 15 June, which was attended by VIP guests including the President of the State Council of the Republic and Canton of Geneva, the Prefect of the Rhône-Alpes-Auvergne region, the Mayor of Meyrin, the Deputy Mayor of Cessy and representatives of CERN’s Member and Associate Member States.

“All the chapters of CERN’s history have begun with a shovel of earth, and each chapter has begun with the promise of great progress in fundamental knowledge, new technologies that benefit society, and collaboration on a European and now a global scale. This was true of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and its experiments and it is true of the project for which we are gathered here today,” said Fabiola Gianotti, CERN Director-General.

A time capsule was placed at each site as a souvenir of the day, each containing a historical document presented by one of the two Host States as a symbol of cross-border cooperation. The capsule at the site in Cessy contains a document presented by the Geneva authorities, the telegram that was sent in 1952 by the then President of the State Council, Louis Casaï, informing the members of the Geneva government of the decision to establish a European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva. In exchange, for the capsule on the Point 1 site in Meyrin, the French authorities presented the entry for “Geneva” in the Encyclopaedia of Diderot and d’Alembert, which was written by d’Alembert in 1756 while he was staying at Voltaire’s estate in Geneva. In their speeches, the representatives of the Host States and CERN underlined the importance of the High-Luminosity LHC for the Laboratory and the crucial role played by CERN’s Member and Host States in bringing it to fruition.

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The French and Swiss authorities and representatives of CERN cover the time capsule placed on the Point 1 site to mark the launch of the civil engineering work for the High-Luminosity LHC. From left to right: Lucio Rossi, High-Luminosity LHC project leader, Sijbrand de Jong, President of the CERN Council, Pierre-Alain Tschudi, Mayor of Meyrin, Pierre Maudet, President of the State Council of the Republic and Canton of Geneva, Fabiola Gianotti, CERN Director-General, Stéphane Bouillon, Prefect of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, Pascal Larour, Deputy Mayor of Cessy, and Frédérick Bordry, CERN Director for Accelerators and Technology. (Image: Maximilien Brice, Julien Ordan/CERN)

The civil-engineering work centres on Points 1 (ATLAS) and 5 (CMS), where most of the equipment required to increase the luminosity for the two experiments will be installed. At each of the two sites, the underground facilities to be built consist of a shaft around 80 metres deep, a service hall that will house cryogenic and other equipment, a 300 metre long tunnel for electrical equipment (power converters) and four 50 metre service tunnels that will connect the new structures to the accelerator tunnel.  These four tunnels will house specific systems, such as radiofrequency equipment and the superconducting and cryogenic lines. Around 100 000 m3 of earth will be excavated to create the underground structures, which are due to be completed in 2021.

Five buildings representing a total surface area of 2800 m2 will then be constructed above ground to house the cooling, ventilation and electrical equipment.

In parallel, the teams are working flat out to develop the equipment needed for the new accelerator. The goal is to install the first components, such as the 11-tesla dipole magnets, certain collimators, instrumentation and shielding, during the second long shutdown in 2019-2020. However, the installation of most of the equipment and the major experiment upgrades are scheduled for the third long shutdown from 2024 to 2026.

More information on the civil engineering work for the High-Luminosity LHC is available here.
Further information about the High-Luminosity LHC project can be found here and here (FAQ).


Canadian government announces special contribution to HL-HC project

On 25 June, the Canadian Minister of Science announced a contribution of 10 million Canadian dollars from Government of Canada to the HL-LHC project with an additional 2 million dollars in in-kind contributions. Working with the Canadian research community and industry, the TRIUMF particle accelerator centre will lead the production of five cryogenic modules for the crab cavities.

“Today, I am pleased to announce support for Canada’s outstanding researchers, engineers and technicians, whose combined efforts will further our reputation as a global leader in particle physics. Their hard work will take us one step closer to understanding the fundamental nature of matter while delivering new technologies, training and job opportunities for the next generation,” said Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities.

“We are very pleased with Canada’s contribution to the HL-LHC project, which is another important milestone in a long-standing, fruitful collaboration with CERN,” says Fabiola Gianotti, CERN Director-General. “The technology and expertise of TRIUMF and Canadian industries, working with the strong particle physics community in the country, will be crucial for the realisation of very ambitious accelerator components for the next major project at CERN.”

The HL-LHC project led by CERN is supported by an international collaboration of 29 institutes in 13 countries, including the United States, Japan and Canada.

Read TRIUMF press release.