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LHC Offline Until June

LHC Offline Until June

It’s not easy investigating the Big Bang. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which sits under the French-Swiss border, started work in September to much hoopla, only to shut down a week later when an electrical fault caused a helium leak.

At the time it was said that the machine would be up and running again in April next year. Now June looks like the earliest date, and repairs alone could cost $16 million.

It was always a given that the LHC would be closed for the winter, since it consumes as much electricity as Geneva. The repair time includes two months to warm up the LHC so repairs can be made, and another month to re-freeze it, said Cern, which runs the project. Given the time frame, that will mean everything might be operational in June.

A Cern spokesman told ZDNet:

"We’re building in additional monitoring and protection systems to make sure this kind of incident won’t happen again, and this will take time."

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