December 18, 2012

The way the date is written varies across the world. Even within calendar systems, the order of month/day/year occurs in all possible permutations. In the United States, in which the month/day/year convention dominates, we use day/month/year on customs declaration forms. But sometimes we get days on which it doesn’t matter; Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - 12/12/12 - was such a day. As we were riding the train, Bob McKeown also remarked that we would be unlikely to see the next similar situation. Â That date - January 1, 2101 - is a long way in the future.

We got into this different calendar game for the end of the financial year and pondered what FY2013 might hold. We are still in a continuing resolution. On the other hand, the Department of Energy did try to front-load the budget for the 12 GeV Upgrade project. So, we are moving forward as aggressively as possible with the project and the installation.

But the turn of the calendar is traditionally a time to reflect on the year past. For us, we can point to a number of achievements. I will pick out a few big ones.

The experimental nuclear physics program went extremely well, with the accelerator performing remarkably to deliver beam to experiments running in all three halls. This, as you will recall followed a six-month shutdown during which the magnets in several of the accelerator arcs had been refurbished and replaced. Commentary on how well this was done was featured prominently in a report following the Science and Technology Review.

The Technology, Engineering and Design Facility project made enormous advances. It successfully achieved what is called Critical Decision “4A” marking completion of the Technology and Engineering building. Additionally, the TED received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold rating for its environmentally friendly and sustainable design. Good progress also has been made with the Test Lab Addition and with the last phase of the project, the renovation of the Test Lab itself. Step by step, the superconducting radiofrequency work is starting up in its new quarters.

The 12 GeV Project has some difficulties, but can you name a project that doesn’t? The superconducting magnet procurements and construction for the experimental halls are a challenge. This was one of the areas stressed in the Lehman Review a couple of weeks ago. Two years ago, the Hall D magnet was featured in the December Montage when we had just tested one of the four coils; today that magnet is sitting in Hall D with all four coils and a complete cryogenics system. It is just starting on the path to cool-down. Also in other areas, there has been enormous progress. All the experimental detectors are making excellent progress in construction. The newer, silicon-based technologies, strip detectors and photomultipliers, have seen major leaps forward. We are particularly pleased with the progress in the accelerator segment of the project. Here the successful commissioning of the first cryomodule in the early hours of May 18, as the accelerator operation came to an end, is emblematic. We are looking forward to starting to commission in late 2013, less than a year from now.

In every part of the lab we had achievements to celebrate in 2012, and we are proud of all of them. That pride showed on all the Jefferson Lab faces when we entertained thousands of the public at our open house on May 19.

To cap off the year, the 121212 train ride was to Washington to receive our grades for the year from the Office of Science; they were very good. They were well pleased, and so are we. I would like to thank you for all your efforts during 2012, and to wish you a happy and recreational holiday season.