Restarting and reaching out

Fermilab Director
Pier Oddone

As June begins, we continue to make excellent progress on preparing for the restart of the full Fermilab accelerator complex and the experiments that will use our new, more powerful beams of protons and neutrinos. Today’s Fermilab Today feature article describes the details of the heroic efforts by the Accelerator Division over the past year to prepare the Main Injector, Recycler and NuMI beamline to deliver proton beams at double the power. I also want to commend the efforts of the many employees across all divisions, sections and centers that have made essential contributions to the completion of this major project that truly brings us into the Intensity Frontier era.

But this is only the beginning, and over the last two weeks we have had several opportunities to tell our employees and our nearest neighbors about the next major project on the horizon—the Long-Baseline Neutrino Experiment.

On May 23, employees, users and neighbors attended informational meetings about the experiment and its ongoing environmental assessment. LBNE scientists and engineers, as well as DOE officials, were on hand to present project plans and answer questions. The attendees included many Fermilab neighbors who sought details about the new experiment and related construction activities, including proposed new buildings, caverns and beamlines on the western side of the lab. The environmental assessment process, begun late last year, will investigate the potential environmental impacts that the LBNE project may have and ways that the lab may minimize them. Another round of public meetings and solicitations for public input will be held in 2014 when the draft environmental assessment document is complete.

Last Tuesday evening, I had the pleasure of giving a presentation to the Batavia City Council on the state of Fermilab and the proposed LBNE. We had been asked to meet with the group to share details of current and upcoming projects as well as to answer questions. The meeting was a wonderful opportunity to further strengthen relations with our hometown, and we received very positive feedback both on our ongoing scientific mission as well as our community outreach.