Dirt, giant holes evidence of neutrino program upgrades
Construction on areas near MI-10, MI-39 and MI-60 are part of the neutrino upgrade to the Main Injector.
The shutdown has accelerated upgrades to Fermilab’s neutrino program.
Three building sites are currently under construction as part of the $4.7 million Main Injector Neutrino Upgrade Project: new service buildings near MI-10 and MI-39 as well as a building addition to house electrical equipment at MI-60. This work will support future neutrino experiments at Fermilab. The work at MI-39 also represents the first step in boosting the beam power from 400kw to 700kw for the NOvA project.
“Other than the Grid Computing Center, this is the first big construction project in the last few years, and the first big accelerator project since NuMI was built in 2004,” said Ron Foutch, FESS/Engineering MINU construction coordinator.
This summer was the first opportunity to make the neutrino upgrades to the Main Injector, which required time during an extended shutdown.
The upgrades allow for testing prior to NOvA’s installation, said Elaine McCluskey, project manager in the AD projects group.
The components installed at each of the three construction sites will also benefit other neutrino projects that will use power from the NuMI neutrino beam.
The construction project at MI-39 will be the most beneficial in the near term. The project will include a small building that will support a gap-clearing kicker string, a series of magnets that will help to prevent beam losses in the Main Injector tunnel.
To complete the project, excavation crews dug down to within 5 feet of the top of the Main Injector tunnel at the two new service building sites – MI-14 and MI-39. Once AD employees secured the section of the tunnel underneath the digging area, they exposed the top of the Main Injector tunnel. Crews drilled 12 12-inch-diameter holes at MI-39 and 18 12-inch diameter holes at MI-14 into the tunnel ceiling to install the conduits and other utilities.
AD and ES&H employees monitored the construction to ensure safety. They blanketed magnets to reduce exposure to excavation crews and drill experts, and monitored soil removed in excavation and caught and monitored water for contamination.
Once finished, crews filled the hole using a flowable fill concrete substance. The buildings will be constructed this fall and ready by the end of the year.
“This is the first accelerator hardware we’ve built that was destined for the NOvA project,” said Paul Derwent, AD associate project manager for NOvA. “To be able to see a physical thing is nice.”
-- Rhianna Wisniewski