mardi 3 mai 2016

Repairs ongoing on electrical installations at CERN

CERN - European Organization for Nuclear Research logo.

April 3, 2016

Image above: On Friday 29 April 2016, a short circuit in one of the electrical transformers cut power to the LHC. It was caused by a beech marten (Image: Margot Frenot/CERN).

At around 5:30 am on Friday 29 April 2016, a small beech marten found its way onto a large, open-air electrical transformer situated above ground at CERN, causing a short circuit and cutting the power to part of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

The concerned part of the LHC stopped immediately and safely. Since then the entire machine has remained in standby mode.

When the little animal jumped onto the transformer, it created a small electrical arc, damaging high-voltage transformer connections.

Many of CERN’s sites are located in the countryside and similar events have happened a few times in the past. They are part of life of such an accelerator, as with any large industrial installation.

A team assessed the situation over the weekend and found no indication of damage inside the transformer. Repairs to the connections are hoped to be completed by the end of the week, as the LHC continues to prepare for the 2016 physics run.


CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is one of the world’s largest and most respected centres for scientific research. Its business is fundamental physics, finding out what the Universe is made of and how it works. At CERN, the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments are used to study the basic constituents of matter — the fundamental particles. By studying what happens when these particles collide, physicists learn about the laws of Nature.

The instruments used at CERN are particle accelerators and detectors. Accelerators boost beams of particles to high energies before they are made to collide with each other or with stationary targets. Detectors observe and record the results of these collisions.

Founded in 1954, the CERN Laboratory sits astride the Franco–Swiss border near Geneva. It was one of Europe’s first joint ventures and now has 22 Member States.

Related article:

CERN: A weasel puts down the world's largest particle accelerator

Related link:

Large Hadron Collider (LHC):

For more information about the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), visit:

Image (mentioned), Text, Credits: CERN/Harriet Jarlett.


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