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Power Science

Revived LHC Could Run Through the Winter 164

Posted by samzenpus
from the if-at-first-you-don't-succeed dept.
Jack Spine writes "When you are powering nuclear particle beams that could drill a hole through 30 metres of copper, you don't want to be paying a premium for electricity. However, Cern scientists are determined that the delayed experiment will get some workable results, and so are preparing to run the machine throughout the winter."
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Revived LHC Could Run Through the Winter

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  • Odd... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nametaken (610866) on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @10:40PM (#28118563)

    They were normally going to be closed during the winter?

  • by DerekLyons (302214) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .retawriaf.> on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @11:40PM (#28118943) Homepage

    Actually, the British follow the universal practice of properly capitalizing acronyms. The literate ones do anyways.

    As such, no the writing style is not correct.

  • Re:"Laser" (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 27, 2009 @11:42PM (#28118953)

    So what happens when the beam reaches 30 meters?

  • Re:"Laser" (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lord Crc (151920) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @03:53AM (#28120287)

    I read some while ago that the LHC was the first particle accelerator powerful enough to basically destroy itself if the beam was dumped directly into the walls.

    The energy stored in the entire beam will be [web.cern.ch] around 350MJ, which, if I did the conversion correctly, is equivalent to about 83kg TNT. Of course it won't be able to dump all of it in an instant (at least not in the same location), but I imagine it could still be quite destructive if it fails.

  • Re:Odd... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hughk (248126) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @04:26AM (#28120465) Journal

    I am currently working in IT at the trading arm of a major European energy supplier. Large variations in seasonal power demands are normal. Major consumers often attempt to hedge their consumption on the market (they may also link to the weather indices as one element is clearly ambient temperature).

    Normally, reserves have to be used over the winter peaks. One of Cern's suppliers, EDF uses a lot of nuclear but that tends to run at a fairly constant rate. Power tends to get balanced by the use of hydroelectric systems (paired reservoirs coupled through pump/generators) but these tend to be good for hours at best. There are higher-cost emergency power systems based on things like gas which can come on line in minutes. Anyway, normally Cern would close for maintenance over winter but one of the side effects of the depression and with factories working at lower capacity is, of course, cheaper electricity.

Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster? -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"

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