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Recovery Act Funds SLAC Infrastructure Projects

SLAC ARRA projects include the modernization of two of the lab's more than 40 year old electrical substations, including Substation 40s, located behind Building 40. (Photo by Kelen Tuttle.)

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds recently awarded to SLAC include $21.8 million for three infrastructure projects: seismic upgrades to the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, modernization of lab utilities, and updates to the lab's electrical infrastructure.

"These upgrades have been long in the planning, and will enhance site infrastructure and safety," said Laboratory Director Persis Drell. "All of these projects will contribute to the laboratory's readiness to carry out our science mission."

The SSRL project will upgrade the lightsource's accelerator, booster rings and SPEAR Injector Building for earthquake safety, since many portions have never been retrofitted. The work will include new reinforced shielding roof and wall blocks, as well as a new monolithic cast-in-place concrete tunnel in portions of the SPEAR III ring. New steel bracing for the roof and the wall will be installed for the SPEAR Injector Building as well. The accelerator and booster rings provide synchrotron radiation, a name given to X-rays or light produced by electrons circulating in a storage ring at nearly the speed of light, to hundreds of researchers each year.

The utility infrastructure modernization project will replace aging and unreliable heating and cooling piping to buildings in the main SLAC campus area, and compressed air pipes throughout the facility. The project will replace old and inefficient air compressors and add new compressors for back up. In addition, sanitary sewer lift stations will be upgraded with electronic monitoring equipment and obsolete fire emergency pull stations will be upgraded to new technology.

The electrical modernization project will update two of SLAC's more than 40-year-old electrical substations, replacing obsolete switchgears and transformers that have already surpassed their intended lifecycles. It will also reconfigure the Motor Control Center in the central campus utility plant. This work will ensure that critical buildings in the campus area continue to receive reliable power.

In all, these projects will significantly improve the operations and reliability of infrastructure around the site, ensuring that it will reliably support the laboratory for years to come.

This story is the forth in a series about Recovery Act projects at SLAC. See also "SLAC Puts Federal Stimulus Funds to Work," "FACET: Toward the Tabletop Accelerator and "Recovery Act Funds Accelerate LCLS Instruments."

—Kelen Tuttle
SLAC Today, July 14, 2009