Neighbors Enjoy Underground Tour|
Last Saturday, about 250 neighbors living near the southwest corner of the Fermilab site visited Fermilab to take a tour of the completed MINOS near detector and hall. The NuMI project offered this by-invitation-only tour in appreciation of the patience that the neighbors had shown during the construction of the NuMI project, especially the sometimes noisy blasting during the excavation phase that began in May 2000.
Almost 1,500 households in the Woodland Hills and Savannah neighborhoods
received an invitation to tour the MINOS experimental hall 360 feet underground,
that hosts a 980-ton neutrino detector made of steel and scintillating plastic. Because of safety regulations, neighbors were assigned a specific tour time, at which they were taking underground for 30 minutes in groups of 10. Eight Fermilab docents and close to 30 scientists were on hand to organize the tours and answer questions. Program Director Dan Shanahan filmed one of the tours for Batavia Access Television.
"It was not only great to go down 360 feet and see what you are doing there, but I was really, really, really impressed with all of your people," said Robert Douglas, who lives in Woodland Hills. "They were all so proud and so positive. You are a real asset to the neighborhood. Thanks very much."
In the last six months members of the NuMI project have given tours to more than one thousand people, from neighbors to reporters to VIPs. With the start-up of the beam line and the experiment, the scope of future tours will be limited.