April 1, 2005  


PEP-II Approved for Restart

By Matthew Early Wright

The B Factory has been given permission by the Restart Validation Team (RVT) to resume operations after nearly five months of downtime. During this period, the staff has worked hard to ensure that the restart can proceed safely and efficiently.

Shown left to right: Michael Stanek, Sonya Hoobler, Tom Sommer, and Kathleen Donnelly (all AD) in the Control Room. The group has been hard at work over the last month preparing for the restart of PEP-II and the Linac.

The B Factory staff has updated many key safety protocols and made several necessary hardware upgrades, according to John Seeman, Head of the Accelerator Department. “Each individual, with their supervisor, has re-examined the safety issues of their workplace,” Seeman said. “Many maintenance and construction procedures have been clarified or added to improve the safe operation of the linac, PEP-II and BABAR.”

For example, the protocol for replacing worn klystrons has been updated to allow for enhanced safety. Of the nearly 245 klystrons installed in the linac, two to three per month require replacement, making this a relatively routine procedure.

The staff also updated department-level training procedures to grant workers clearance into the linac tunnels. The new training focuses extensively on how to safely enter the tunnels, what safety gear is required and how to conduct various routine maintenance operations.

In all, the RVT identified seven such protocols that required updating. Also, an electrical walkthrough in February identified 44 electrical items that needed fixing or replacing. In the last month, the B Factory staff has been working through this list making the necessary changes.

Tailoring procedures to make them both safe and practical has been the key challenge during this effort, Seeman said. “We can sit in our office and make procedures, but when we get in the tunnel, there are additional constraints,” he added. “We have to be totally safe, but we also have to allow people in the field to continue their work.”

The RVT granted final approval for the restart, with concurrence from the SLAC Director and the DOE site office, on Thursday, March 24 at noon. Since then, the team has been turning on the klystrons and other hardware. After so much downtime, some of the equipment required tuning or minor repairs. Maintenance crews have been working hard to keep up with these repairs, Seeman said.

“Everything is essentially going according to plan,” Seeman added. “Everyone is working hard, and we are all looking forward to having full beams and generating collisions for BABAR.”

For more information, see: http://www.slac.stanford.edu/accel/pepii/home.html




The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center is managed by Stanford University for the US Department of Energy

Last update Wednesday March 30, 2005 by Emily Ball