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Upgrades on Tap for 2007

The New Year and its requisite resolutions may still be a month off, but plans for a 2007 "self improvement" project are already well under way at SLAC.

A number of SLAC's underground piping systems will be replaced and various building structures will be seismically retrofitted under the Safety and Operational Reliability Improvements (SORI) Project. SLAC is currently in the process of selecting general contractors for the work, which will start in February or March of 2007. "These upgrades will help support the continuation of great science at SLAC for years to come. This project will be implemented with minimal disruption to SLAC operations, taking advantage of scheduled downtimes whenever possible," says Hieu Dao, SORI Project Manager.

The laboratory's underground piping systems, like most of its infrastructure, date back to the original construction of the facility between 1962 and 1966. After four decades, many of these systems are reaching the end of their functional life spans and are becoming costly to maintain. The project will address these issues in systems carrying natural gas, chilled water, hot water, cooling tower water, fire protection water, sanitary sewage, and storm drain runoff. Anticipated upgrades include replacing old piping, welding pipe joints, and installing valves, drains, and manholes.

The seismic retrofit portion of the project is aimed at minimizing risks and recovery time from large earthquakes. Although no one knows when a major earthquake might strike the Bay Area, geologists predict that the probability of such an event within the next three decades is high (over 60%). Facilities to be retrofitted—approximately 180,000 square feet in total—include the PEP Mechanical Equipment Buildings, Cooling Tower Chemical Storage Huts, Cooling Tower 101, the Cooling Tower 1701 basin, B050, the Computer Center, B044, Klystron Test Lab equipment anchorage, SSRL B120, SSRL B140 Booster Ring, and SSRL's SPEAR Ring. Upgrades will vary according to the needs of each facility, and will include such work as installing seismic restraints and supports, strengthening flooring and reinforcing building columns.

The SORI Project Team has been in communication with managers of affected facilities to coordinate work in their area. "The project will be carried out in an orderly, coordinated fashion with minimum disruption while always remembering that safety comes first," says Dao.

The project is scheduled for completion in December 2009.

—Jennifer Yauck
    SLAC Today, December 18, 2006

Above image: Cooling Tower 101 is one of several buildings slated to be retrofitted in 2007.