CERN confirmed today that the Large Hadron Collider remains on schedule to restart this fall, albeit two to three weeks later than originally expected. A specific restart date, and the beam energy for the initial run of the LHC, are yet to be determined.
After a much-hyped startup on September 10, 2008, the LHC shut down nine days later when a connection, or splice, between two superconducting magnets failed. Today's press release discusses the cause of the failure and steps that have been taken over the past nine months to repair the damage to the LHC and ensure that a similar incident won't happen again. The release also details ongoing tests to the 10,000 splices that connect the LHC magnets. The results of these tests will determine the LHC's restart date and maximum beam energy for its first run.
For those who would like more details on the fixes to the LHC and the systems that are being put in place to prevent future incidents, the reports and past presentations of two external committees set up by CERN in the wake of the failure are available online.
The first committee was tasked with reviewing the LHC's enhanced protection system, which will detect (and protect against) abnormally high resistance splices such as the one that caused the LHC to fail. The second panel, the LHC Risk Review, examined the risks to future operation of the LHC, taking into account the technical and operational measures planned and being implemented following the failure.