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From the Accelerator Directorate: Long Maintenance Down Time for the LCLS Linac
Important! E-Verify Reminder
Word of the Week: Uptime

SLAC Today

Friday - January 29, 2010

From the Accelerator Directorate: Long Maintenance Down Time for the LCLS

(Photo - John Seeman)  (Photo - Dale Knutson)
John Seeman (left) and Dale Knutson. (Photos courtesy John Seeman and by Brad Plummer, respectively.)

Why has Linac Coherent Light Source been down so long? After significant planning, a scheduled 3-month down time began in December, to allow a key maintenance period for the LCLS linac. In this accelerator down time, SLAC's Accelerator, LCLS and Operations Directorates plan to do annual linac maintenance, some accelerator upgrades, and to complete those parts of the ongoing LCLS Construction Project that affect linac operations.

The LCLS shutdown started December 19, 2009, and will end with first beam from the LCLS injector returning at the end of March 2010. The planning for this long down time started about nine months ago. The overall scope was planned with the relevant support groups during the summer months. Then in September, we began the process of identifying in detail the needed jobs, specifying the shop support that was needed and determining the duration of each task. The accelerator technical area managers collected, organized, and have been releasing this work based on the agreed on schedule. Safety reviews and Work Planning and Control processes for each of these tasks have been carried out to make sure all aspects of the work have been identified and any safety or resource conflicts mitigated.

Luis Tijiboy and Randy Moreno from the Power Conversion Department run lines in the Near Experimental Hall. (Photo by Olga Kuchment.)

"We use Microsoft Project planning software to plan and track all the jobs that we wish to carry out during the shutdown," said Stuart Metcalfe of the Accelerator Directorate Technical Planning Group. "The area managers adjust work scheduling to fit in the time available, then shop loading is compared with actual shop availability." Every Thursday at 2 p.m. in the Main Control Room, all groups go over the work plan for each job to make sure all related issues have been resolved. 

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Important! E-Verify Reminder

E-Verify is required for all U.S. and Non-U.S. Citizens hired after November 6, 1986. If you have completed the I-9 form any time prior to 2010, you will need to complete a new form and show current documents.

The E-Verify regulation imposes serious consequences: employees who fail to receive employment verification, through the E-Verify system, by March 2010 will not be eligible for continued employment with SLAC. The deadline to complete a new I-9 form is March 12. To all those who have completed their new I-9 forms: thank you! For all who are planning to come in on their scheduled week: thank you! There are still many who need to come in with their documents to complete the form.

We look forward to seeing you in the Employment and International Services Offices. Please contact Lisa Mongetta with any questions.

(Photo - SLAC Main Control Center)
Engineer-Operator-in-Charge Nate Lipkowitz in SLAC's Main Control Center. (Photo by Nicholas Bock.)

Word of the Week: Uptime

Beyond the current, planned shutdown at the Linac Coherent Light Source (top story), last week's power outage caused some unanticipated "downtime" for SLAC's accelerators, prompting the lab to take extra steps to accommodate users waiting for beam to return to the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource.

During user operations, both SSRL and the LCLS keep a close focus on uptime. This percentage is calculated as the portion of time an accelerator is providing beam for users ("up") in comparison to the amount of time scheduled for users. In its first user run last fall, the LCLS achieved outstanding uptime of greater than 95 percent, enabling groundbreaking experiments and satisfied users. In its 2008-2009 user run, SSRL reported a record average uptime of 99 percent. That's like taking only a half-week off, total, in a full year of continuous work—24/7. How exhausting!


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