The Large Hadron Collider: is it worth it?
The Large Hadron Collider(LHC) is to be unveiled this year. It is designed to solve the much talked about energy crisis, and hopes to do so, but can it be worth all of it?
(On October 25, 2005, a technician, JosÃÂ© Pereira Lages, was killed in the LHC tunnel when a crane load was accidentally dropped.
The construction of LHC was approved in 1995 with a budget of 2.6 billion Swiss francs, with another 210 millionfrancs (Ã¢ÂÂ¬140 M) towards the cost of the experiments. However, cost over-runs, estimated in a major review in 2001 at around 480 million francs (Ã¢ÂÂ¬300 M) for the accelerator, and 50 million francs (Ã¢ÂÂ¬30 M) for the experiments, along with a reduction in CERN's budget, pushed the completion date from 2005 to April 2007. 180 million francs (Ã¢ÂÂ¬120 M) of the cost increase have been due to the superconducting magnets. There were also engineering difficulties encountered while building the underground cavern for the Compact Muon Solenoid. In part this was due to faulty parts lent to CERN by fellow laboratories Argonne National Laboratory or Fermilab (home to the Tevatron, the world's largest particle accelerator until CERN finishes the Large Hadron Collider).  The total cost of the project is anticipated to be between US$5 and US$10 billion.
On March 27, 2007, there was an incident during a pressure test involving one of the LHC's inner triplet magnet assemblies provided by Fermilab and KEK. No people were injured, but a cryogenic magnet support broke. Fermilab director Pier Oddone stated 'In this case we are dumbfounded that we missed some very simple balance of forces.' This fault had been present in the original design, and remained during four engineering reviews over the following years. Analysis revealed that its design, made as thin as possible for better insulation, was not strong enough to withstand the forces generated during pressure testing. Details are available in a statement from Fermilab, with which CERN is in agreement.)