Update on the HL-LHC Project Status

The project reached several key milestones since the last Newsletter. Among the many achievements I would like to highlight here the celebration for the completion of all Civil Engineering work in January at CERN. The new underground structures have been completed by the end of 2022 and the new surface buildings at P1 and P5 have been completed in January 2023. The work now shifts in 2023 towards the installation of the technical infrastructures in the new surface buildings and underground areas. In February we celebrated the completion of the non-linear corrector magnet production at LASA, Italy, marking the first completion of the full series production of HL-LHC components. In March and April, we fully validated at CERN the separation / recombination dipole prototype magnets D1 and D2 from Japan and Italy respectively, both reaching ultimate field, and the long nested orbit corrector magnets from Spain, reaching nominal field in all operational powering configurations and passing extensive endurance tests. Our American colleagues completed the assembly of the first horizontal Q1/Q3 cold-mass and successfully powered the magnet assembly to nominal operation current. Following the validation of the first two Q2 horizontal cryo-magnet assemblies built at CERN, this marks the completion of the successful validation of the new Nb3Sn magnet technology for the HL-LHC triplet magnets – a major milestone for the HL-LHC project! Three triplet magnet assemblies have by now passed successfully the HL-LHC acceptance criteria.

The focus of work changes now towards the preparation of the IT-String which is entering center stage in 2023. The cryogenic distribution line, the metallic platform and the technical infrastructure [e.g. water cooling circuits] for the power converters and magnet protection systems have already been installed in the SM18 test facility at CERN. The IT-String installation awaits the delivery of most of the magnet components and the cold powering system by the end of 2023. Magnet interconnections and pre-cooldown tests are then foreseen for the first half of 2024 and the actual cooldown of the IT-String in the second half of 2024 – hopefully in time for the reporting at the annual meeting in 2024.

The project office is currently preparing for the 7th Cost & Schedule Review, planned for November 2023. Following the request of the CERN Council, the project has agreed with the CERN management to organize the Cost & Schedule Reviews since 2022 on an annual basis, alternating a full review of the complete project with a lighter review that focuses on key aspects and technologies of the projects. Following the first Light Review implementation in 2022, the 2023 Cost & Schedule Review will be again a full review of the project.

Last but not least, the annual meeting for this year is being prepared again as an in-person meeting in Vancouver, Canada, marking the official start of the Canadian contribution to the crab cavity cryostating for the HL-LHC Project. I very much look forward to seeing all of you again in person in Vancouver by the end of the year to discuss the status of the project and the progress of our collaboration.