Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday, March 21
2 p.m.
LHC Physics Center Topic of the Week Seminar - WH11SE, Sunrise
Speaker: Harrison Prosper, Florida State University
Title: Practical Bayesian Analysis – Lecture 4
2:30 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar - One West
Speaker: David Moore, California Institute of Technology
Title: Constraints on Light Dark Matter from the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
All Experimenters' Meeting - Curia II
Special Topics: Preparing for Onsite Cyber Security Audit; Completion of DES Test Simulator Work; NuMI Target Updates

Tuesday, March 22
11 a.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West (NOTE DATE & TIME)
Speaker: Istvan Danko, University of Pittsburgh
Title: First Results from The T2K Experiment
2 p.m.
LHC Physics Center Topic of the Week Seminar - Sunrise, WH11NE
Speaker: Christos Leonidopoulos, CERN
Title: The CMS Trigger and the 2011 Run
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Accelerator Physics and Technology Seminar - One West
Speaker: Jeffri Narendra, Michigan State University
Title: Microwave Powered Microplasmas: Applicator Design, Characteristics, and Applications

Click here for NALCAL,
a weekly calendar with links to additional information.

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Current Security Status

Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe
Monday, March 21
- Breakfast: Croissant sandwich
- Italian minestrone soup
- Patty melt
- Chicken Cordon bleu
- Herb pot roast
- Chicken melt
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Szechuan green bean w/ chicken

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, March 23
- Hearty vegetable lasagna
- Caesar salad
- Chocolate fondue

Friday, March 25
Guest Chef: William Wester
- Roasted butternut squash salad w/artisan goat cheese
- Pan seared duck breast w/fig sauce
- Rice pilaf featuring Ojibwe wild rice
- Purple asparagus and French style green beans w/toasted almonds
- Vegan chocolate cake w/warm chocolate ganache and fresh berries

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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Soudan mine shaft fire 99 percent out

Firefighters send foam and water down the Soudan mine access shaft on Friday night. Photo: Minnesota Incident Command Center.

Over the weekend, the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center provided updates on the situation at the Soudan Underground Mine, which houses two Fermilab experiments. Responders to the mine shaft fire reported Sunday that a fire which began the evening of Thursday, March 17, appears to be out, but they were not able to determine its exact location. The Soudan mine is owned and managed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The Soudan Underground Laboratory, which is managed by the University of Minnesota, is located on level 27 of the mine, about a half-mile underground. The laboratory houses the far detector for the MINOS neutrino experiment and the detector for the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search experiment.

A three-man team, using the mine’s operational elevator, descended slowly into the shaft on Sunday, dropping to level 27 in the mine. It was their first descent into the shaft after thousands of gallons of foam and water had been sprayed into the mine. The team was only able to descend after determining that carbon monoxide levels were safe and underground communications were established with the surface.

The crew did not find any active fire. They started critical sump pumps on levels 12 and 22, and water is flowing from the sump pumps to the surface. On level 27, the mine’s lowest level and where a third pump is located, they encountered large amounts of foam. The crew tested communications from that level, but did not enter the laboratory chamber.

Fire officials will not declare that the fire is officially out until its source has been located and any smoldering ashes or embers have been extinguished. Sunday’s inspection did not indicate the location of the fire. The cause has not been determined.

The fire was detected at around 9 p.m. on Thursday evening. No personnel were in the mine at the time. Smoke continued to come out of the access shaft Friday. Minnesota DNR officials said in a press release on Friday that they believe the fire was burning inside the shaft between levels 23 and 25 in the mine. The Soudan Underground Laboratory is located further down the shaft.

The fire detection system cut off the power to the underground laboratory on Thursday evening, as it is designed to do in the event of a fire alarm. Battery-powered backup systems continued for some time to power equipment in the underground laboratory, including infrared-sensitive video cameras. Dan Bauer, Fermilab Operations Manager for experiments at Soudan, said that laboratory staff did not detect any smoke or fire in the underground laboratory while the cameras were working. By Saturday morning the backup batteries for the cameras were exhausted and scientists lost contact with all equipment in the underground laboratory.

“We are blind to the actual status of the laboratory and its equipment until we can go inside the underground laboratory again,” Bauer said.

Fire doors separate the MINOS cavern and the CDMS cavern from the area next to the Soudan mine access shaft. Because there is a strong upward draft in the access shaft and the video images showed no evidence of smoke in the underground laboratory on Friday, scientists are optimistic about the state of the experiments. Responders found no water on the floor when they arrived at the 27th level on Sunday.

On Saturday, responders discovered that the cages had not been damaged by the fire (see Saturday evening’s press release). The ability to raise and lower the cages allowed the staff to send monitoring equipment down the shaft, including a carbon monoxide monitor, temperature gauges and a camera that provided critical information about the condition of the shaft.

The response to the incident involved many different agencies. They included the Breitung Township and Tower Volunteer Fire Departments, Inver Grove Heights Fire Department, staff from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the University of Minnesota and the U.S. Department of Energy.

The U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. National Science Foundation, and several international funding agencies support the MINOS and CDMS experiments.

More information is available on the Minnesota Incident Command System website.

In the News

Soudan mine fire 99 percent out

From MPR News, March 21, 2011

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says a fire in the state's oldest, deepest mine is 99 percent extinguished.

A three-man crew that made it to the bottom of the Soudan Mine in northern Minnesota Sunday afternoon didn't find an active fire.

The crew wore oxygen masks for their descent in the old iron mine's elevator at Soudan Underground Mine State Park. The mine caught fire Thursday.

Read more

ES&H Tip of the Week: Safety

Focus on the right eyewear

One type of anti-fog goggle used in Fermilab's Accelerator Division. File photo

March is Workplace Eye Wellness month. According to the National Safety Council, more than 2,000 people injure their eyes at work each day. About one in 10 injuries require one or more missed workdays. Of the total amount of work-related injuries, 10 to 20 percent will cause temporary or permanent vision loss.

Experts believe that the correct eye protection could have lessened the severity or even prevented 90 percent of those eye injuries.

Though Fermilab has an effective eye safety program, we can do more to prevent eye injuries. In the last two years the laboratory has had nine eye injuries. Three of them were recordable cases and the other six required first-aid treatment. This was out of a total of 90 first-aid cases and 36 recordable injuries. That translates into eye injuries accounting for six percent of first-aid and eight percent of recordable cases. Most of those injuries involved were foreign objects striking the eye.

Fermilab relies on hazard analyses, safety procedures and the posting of warning signs to identify the type of eye protection needed. Some Fermilab organizations, such as the Technical Division's Machine Shop, impose strict requirements on the type of safety eyewear that may be used. It is best to check with your supervisor for your eyewear requirements.

You can get safety wear in a variety of ways. Non-prescription safety glasses are available from the Fermilab stockroom in clear, amber or dark (optical density 3) lenses. Organizations at Fermilab may purchase other non-prescription eyewear as approved by their division or section Senior Safety Officer. Prescription safety eyewear is available from a vendor that is onsite from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesdays in Wilson Hall in the ground floor ES&H Training Room.

-- John Dawson

Photos of the Day

New employees - Feb. 14, 28

New employees who began work on Feb. 14: Alex Naumov, TD; Giovanni F. Tassielli, PPD. Photo: Cindy Arnold

New employees who began work on Feb. 28: Jacob Linacre, CMS Center; Andrei Khilkevich, AD; Jennifer Raaf, PPD; Yujun Wu, CD; and Doug Howard, TD. Photo: Cindy Arnold

Accelerator Update

March 16-18

- Four stores provided ~44.25 hours of luminosity
- Recycler kicker problems
- Operators filled the Antiproton Source water system
- FESS configured the MI-30 LCW pump to run remotely

Read the Current Accelerator Update
Read the Early Bird Report
View the Tevatron Luminosity Charts


DocDB unavailable - March 24, 7-8 a.m.

Creative Writers - March 24

ProCure Proton Therapy Center Tour deadline - March 28

Jazzercise Discount for Employees

2011 Co-ed Softball League

Free T-shirt for March gym memberships

FREE Intro to Argentine Tango classes start March 23 and 30

Want to read scientific journals from home?


View UEC Tax presentation for users online

School's Day Out: March 28-April 1

Fermilab Arts Series Presents "Reduced Shakespeare Company: Complete World of Sports, Abridged" - April 2

ACU Offers $1,000 Scholarship deadline April 25

Fermilab Arts & Lecture presents: Dramatic Reading of "Copenhagen" by Wheaton Drama - April 8

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