Summer 2010
Pic of PSL Director Farshid FeyziFrom the Director’s Desk:

Updates on progress since the last newsletter:

Daya Bay

PSL has been involved with Daya Bay for about 5 years; during the last several years the focus has been on construction and now assembly. 

While the underground halls are being constructed near Ling Ao Nuclear Power Plant in China, eight anti-neutrino detectors (AD) will be assembled in the Surface Assembly Building and filled with scintillator liquid; they will then be tested and moved to underground halls.

Presently, the acrylic vessel AD#1 is being tested and AD#2 will follow.  AD#3 & AD#4 are still in production and will be sent to China in the near future.

At the same time, the liquid filling system is being tested at PSL. Each vessel will hold 100 tons of liquid.  It is critical that the fill rate and the mixture of the fluid be precisely controlled. PSL is currently testing a filling system which will meet those requirements.  We anticipate this system should be completed and shipped to China by the end of this year.

All of the  Photo Multiplier Tubes (PMTs) and special devices on the ladders, such as the temperature sensors, cameras (housing made at PSL) and LEDs, were hooked up to electronics in the Surface Assembly Building using the dry run set of cables made at PSL. Things are working fine, but there are a few calibration and data issues that need to be sorted out, which is typical for a first run.

DUSEL (Deep Underground Science Engineering Laboratory)

DUSEL is in the early planning stages as a new neutrino oscillation research project.   As described in the previous newsletter,  the idea is to send an underground neutrino beam 800 miles from Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois to DUSEL,  which will be constructed deep in a gold mine in Lead, South Dakota.

There has been great progress so far in 2010 with planning of the neutrino detector.  As of July, the conceptual design has been completed.   Questions regarding how many caverns will be needed and how many detectors have been settled.   Two caverns will be excavated and each will house a detector.

The detector will be a vessel with the dimensions of 56 meters in diameter and 64 meters in height.  This large vessel will be filled with 150k ton of ultra pure water and will hold 50,000 Photomultiplier Tubes (PMTs).

Design of the vessel, waterproofing liner, system of supports and deployment are all in the preliminary stages.  The experimental deck on top of the detector will house electronics, services plus calibration equipment as well as provide access to interior of the detector.

Other sub-systems are being designed. One system consists of magnetic coils which will compensate for the earth’s magnetic field.   Another system will circulate and monitor the water surrounding the photomultipliers.  The conceptual designs are all completed and ready for submission.

Now the major challenge will be estimating costs for construction, design, assembly and testing that is planned to take place over the next ten years. This fall there will be a round of reviews by the different funding agencies, which we hope will result in the project’s approval. 

Farshid Feyzi


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