1. HRIBF Update and Near-Term Schedule
(J. R. Beene)
In the last two editions of the Newsletter, the HRIBF Update dealt primarily with the July 2008 Operational Emergency (OE) and its aftermath. If you are not familiar with the OE, I encourage you to have a look at the HRIBF Update in the February 2009 Newsletter, since I will make reference to events, committees and reviews in this article without providing full background information. I am pleased to report that this Update will have a more optimistic tone than the last two. There have been many positive developments in the December 2008 through June 2009 period. First and most important, we have completed some excellent science with long-lived radioactive ion beams (7,10Be and 26Al) operating in "batch mode". Other important accomplishments included completion of the required corrective actions which were developed based on the Management Investigation Team report, and completion of the Triennial Review of the HRIBF by the ORNL Accelerator Safety Review Committee. We have now completed the phased restart plan discussed in the February 2009 Newsletter and obtained permission for full operation of the HRIBF. In addition, excellent progress has been made on the IRIS2 project, including completion of the Accelerator Readiness Review (see the Update on IRIS2 in this newsletter), which will be fully operational before the end of calendar year (CY) 2009.
In spite of an extended Continuing Resolution to start FY2009, HRIBF is in better fiscal shape than it has been in many years. We actually may be able to make much-needed additions to the facility staff as part of a long-standing, but much delayed, facility staffing plan. The President's Request for fiscal year (FY) 2010 also looks very encouraging, though the congressional marks are less so.
Restart of an accelerator facility after an extended shutdown (almost a year in this case) is seldom easy. ORIC has always been vulnerable to the effects of such shutdowns, and this case has been no exception. We have experienced several intermittent failures during the initial weeks of operation. We are systematically working through these problems to ensure successful RIB campaigns. We have obtained $2.5M of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA/stimulus) funds which will be applied to the refurbishment of ORIC systems over the next four years. Our current plan is to complete the ongoing fluorine campaign in the fourth quarter of FY2009, and move to an extended neutron-rich campaign which will continue well into CY2010. This campaign will be the first to take advantage of a completed and fully commissioned IRIS2.
This has been very difficult and frustrating year. The HRIBF
operations staff deserves high praise for the way they maintained
morale and for the work they accomplished. Of course we realize that
it has also been a terribly frustrating time for our users as well.
We are determined to recover quickly from the restart issues, and to
provide a much improved level of facility operation with IRIS2 on line
and with new investments in ORIC beginning to have an impact
article on HRIBF driver upgrade in the February Newsletter).