In the latest issue of the CERN Bulletin, the laboratory reports that vacuum leaks have been found in two "cold" sectors of the Large Hadron Collider. Repairing the leaks will require the affected part of each sector to be warmed to room temperature, but will not affect the vacuum in the beam pipe. The repairs will push the collider's restart date to mid-November.
All planned repairs have been completed to the sector damaged last fall when a connection, or splice, between two superconducting magnets failed. Four of the LHC's eight sectors, and one-third of a fifth sector, have been equipped with new pressure release ports. The ports allow for a greater rate of helium escape from the magnets, thus avoiding the possibility of dangerous pressure build-ups that contributed to September's damage. The remaining sectors will not receive new ports until the next shutdown, so for the upcoming running period will receive an interim fix, with spring release clips replacing their standard release ports.