Department of Energy is seeking public input on environmental impact of new Fermilab PIP-II project

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Fermilab PIP-II

The Department of Energy has outlined some potential impacts on the environment and human health as a result of building and operating the facility.

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) has long been one of the world’s leading physics research facilities and is looking to expand. The latest project proposal is the Fermilab PIP-II project. The Fermilab PIP-II  project is an upgrade to the proton complex already in place at Fermilab. This upgrade will “provide increased beam power to generate an unprecedented stream of neutrinos — subatomic particles that could unlock our understanding of the universe — and support a growing program of physics research for many years to come including the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment.”

The Department of Energy has outlined some potential impacts on the environment and human health as a result of building and operating the facility. The agency is seeking public feedback on the proposed Fermilab PIP-II project with the comment period lasting from October 15th thru November 15, 2018.

Below are some bullet points the DOE has outlined:

  • Potential impacts on air, water and soil;
  • Potential impacts to biological and cultural resources
  • Potential impacts from construction accidents and transportation;
  • Potential impacts to both workers and the public from potential exposure to radiation under both routine operations and credible accident scenarios; and
  • Potential socioeconomic impacts.

DOE has posted the document online for public review and comment in accordance with its National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Implementing Procedures. It is available at http://pip2.fnal.gov/env-assessment.

The centerpiece of the PIP-II project is the construction of a new superconducting radio-frequency linear accelerator, which would fully modernize the frontend of the existing Fermilab accelerator chain and provide a platform for future enhancements. The plan is to install the new accelerator in a roughly 700-foot-long tunnel about 25 feet underground near Fermilab’s central laboratory building, Wilson Hall

The new accelerator will double the beam energy of its predecessor from 400 million to 800 million electronvolts. That boost will enable the Fermilab accelerator complex to achieve megawatt-scale beam power.

More information about the PIP-II project is available at http://pip2.fnal.gov.

There are two ways to submit your comments and feedback on the DOE’s Draft Environmental Assessment:

  • Snail Mail to: PIP-II Comments, U.S. Department of Energy, Fermi Site Office, P.O. Box 2000, Batavia, IL 60510
  • Email to: [email protected]

Before CERN came along, Fermilab was the world’s largest particle accelerator. Now that CERN has taken the big gun slot, Fermilab has been refocusing its efforts on projects like Fermilab PIP-II and others. I worked at Fermilab for over 16 years and while they’re no longer the big boy, I think they still have a lot to offer the physics and scientific communities.

What do you think of the Fermilab PIP-II project? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.

  Source: Fermilab
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