Tuesday, April 12, 2011

More Updates On Fire At Soudan Mines

A confirmation of the initial good news out of the Soudan Mines. As reported earlier, fire broke out at the underground laboratory that housed several important research projects. This could potentially be disastrous to the only underground research facility in the US. Luckily, the damage so far appears to be minimal.

Although the fire cut short by a month tests on detectors for the follow-on experiment, SuperCDMS, for which Cushman is co-spokesperson, she says those engineering tests will be "declared done" and the physics run will start this summer as planned.

Several smaller experiments in the underground lab, such as dark-matter search CoGeNT (Coherent Germanium Neutrino Technology), still have to be checked to see if their detectors have been compromised by having tiny amounts of material deposited on them due to the warming.

The Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search, a detector for neutrinos beamed from Fermilab 735 km away, has to be dried and its electromagnetic coil and other parts assessed. The MINOS lab needs a good cleanup from the firefighting foam and debris that got pulled in with it.

Like I said earlier, PHEW! This could have been a serious setback.


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