August 19, 2016

Most of the Montage articles I have posted have addressed a single subject. This is different; I have a number of subjects I will try to cover which characterize the current menu of activities at the Lab.

We ran CEBAF during May to provide data for the proton radius (PRAD) experiment, and indeed completed the experiment. During the summer period, we limit operations to benefit from the electricity charge structures provided by Dominion Power. It has become traditional to concentrate on remedial and maintenance work. A good example is the next step in the gradient maintenance program. The refurbishment of one of the cryomodules by the teams in the SRF Institute has been completed and the module tested. Today, this module has been installed in the CEBAF tunnel, and there is every expectation that it will contribute significantly to the gradient capability of the machine.

Closely linked to our ability to deliver machine performance is the health of the cryosystems. Good performance depends on good maintenance. A cleanup program was executed for the Linac distribution system. Considerable effort was expended on replacement of crucial components in CHL1, which have suffered from wear and tear over the 20 years that it has been operated. Work on the newer CHL2 systems had much more the nature of routine maintenance, for example, the work on the main compressor systems.

Of course, this work is being done in anticipation of the physics running of the machine. Based on the current schedule, this will start in October with the new fiscal year. We hope to total about 26 weeks of operation, including the commissioning time for Halls B and C, which is part of the 12 GeV Upgrade project. The plan in Hall A is to continue to run the nucleon form factor experiments and the Deeply Virtual Compton Scattering experiments, which were started in the spring of this year. For the spring 2017 running, we’ll introduce a sequence of measurements to compare isotopes with different three-nucleon combinations to enable incisive comparisons of the up- and down-quark distributions in the nucleon.

In Hall D, the spring 2016 running provided a considerable body of data for the experimentalists to examine and to analyze. The quality was good, and conference presentations have already demonstrated great potential. So, we anticipate that the FY17 running will constitute the first serious assault on the search for new and interesting meson resonances.

On the 12 GeV Upgrade front, we continue to make good technical progress with the magnet fabrication and commissioning. The first of the magnets from France for Hall C should be shipped from Brittany through Antwerp to Norfolk starting next week; the others will follow during the fall. In Pennsylvania, all the Hall B solenoid coils are complete and the integration of the complete cold mass, with all five of the coils included, is scheduled to happen during the next few weeks. In Hall B, the Torus magnet has been pumped out and cooling has been started. The critical parameter for the project at this stage is the schedule. Aggressive, but careful advance planning for the work to bring the magnets into operation here at Jefferson Lab, and then its execution, is of utmost importance.

In addition to the work directly related to the nuclear physics program, we have direct participation in the project to construct the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams at Michigan State University. Our involvement is in the cryoplant and distribution systems. Work in these areas has been going well, as has the design work associated with two different types of cryomodule. Different types are needed to accommodate the changing speed of the heavy particles, which continues to increase as they progress through the accelerator. The LCLS-II project achieved CD2/3 during the course of the year.  The Jefferson Lab responsibilities for this project also encompass cryoplants and cryomodules. This includes not only design, and in some cases assembly and fabrication, but also the procurement of a substantial fraction of the components. The cryoplant design work is well advanced and many components have passed their design reviews. The contracts for superconducting cavity manufacture have been placed and the first cryomodule, the prototype we are using to verify the assembly techniques, is well advanced. We expect it to be in the test cave during October. So, all is well on the western front.

Some of the work that we do is relatively discrete. In the main, that’s not true for Facilities Management and Logistics. After a start which was delayed to enable the accelerator to operate, we start to see the new building to house the ESH&Q group emerge. Across the road, the Cryogenics Test Facility building extension is almost complete and equipment is arriving. We walked around the communications trenches leading to the computer center for a while, and we have also changed our driving habits on several occasions as Lawrence Drive closed for work associated with the easement and then as Rattley Road was closed for a rebuild. Lots of activity and some real improvements to the place we work.

Unfortunately, after about 15 months of no incidents, no recordable injuries, and no Days Away or Restricted, this calendar year has not been so stellar. We detected what we called a flurry of notable events early in the year, and then more recently, more incidents. The latter led to us taking a one-hour stand-down from work to discuss three separate events that came to light within a few days. The response from staff was actually quite positive. Managers added value to the bare facts with their presentations. Staff responded with suggestions and comments. The latter have been compiled and are ready for posting along with management responses. We hope that the exchanges will pull us back together into a pristine safety status.

I chose the title omnibus following the congressional term for a budget bill which rolls everything together, but smorgasbord might also have been appropriate. In any case, although the description above by no means covers all the activities, it is clear that we have been busy. But we should take care not to overdo the haste if it puts safety at risk.