Europe’s energy crisis may slow down the Large Hadron Collider

The energy crisis in Europe is not only disrupting business and household finances, but it is also affecting the core of critical scientific research and experiments.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research, CERN, the world’s largest particle-physics laboratory and home to the Large Hadron Collider, could shut down some accelerators and could disable the LHC to ensure grid stability in nearby French and Swiss regions amid an acute energy crisis. In Europe, said Serge Claudette, chair of the Energy Management Committee at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) The Wall Street Journal.

Europe is experiencing an unprecedented energy crisis amid the interruption of Russian gas supplies via the Nord Stream pipeline, the decline in nuclear power generation in France, the energy crisis in Switzerland, and rising gas and energy prices.

Large European industrial companies have already announced a factory or production line due closing to rising gas and energy prices, while governments in Europe are formulating plans to rationalize potential gas supplies to industries according to their identified priorities.

The crisis became much worse at the end of last week, when the Russian gas giant Gazprom said after A three-day maintenance Friday said Nord Stream will remain shuttered until “operational defects in the equipment are eliminated,” adding to the cost of the gas war against Europe.

For most governments in Europe, the indefinite suspension of the flow of Russian gas through the main pipeline to Germany came as no surprise; They expected such a move from Putin. But that doesn’t make the EU’s job of ensuring light and heating this winter any easier. Switzerland and France – which CERN uses to power its super collider, seven other particle accelerators to study matter and two decelerators to study antimatter – were among the hardest hit.

Switzerland admitted that the country may have to resort to it Using oil to generate electricity This winter as Europe deals with low levels of Russian natural gas supplies, which could be further cut off or cut off entirely.

In France, electricity prices for the next year have jumped to $1,001 (€1,000) per megawatt-hour For the first time ever Last month. French energy prices have now increased tenfold over the past year, as Drought and hot weather this summer have added to France’s nuclear power generation Problems at the worst possible moment. French Energy Transition Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said last week that EDF will restart all of its nuclear reactors in the country this winter. Currently, more than half of EDF reactors are out of operation either due to maintenance or technical reasons.

One of EDF’s biggest clients is none other than CERN, which Uses 1.3 TWh of electricity annually. That’s enough energy to fuel 300,000 homes in the UK for a year. At peak consumption, usually from May to mid-December, CERN uses about 200 megawatts, which is about a third of the amount of energy used to feed the nearby city of Geneva in Switzerland.

May to mid-December It is the period of active work at the Large Hadron Collider, the largest and most powerful particle accelerator in the world, which ten years ago discovered the existence of Higgs boson which gives mass to elementary particles. The collider was just It restarted in July this year After a three and a half year hiatus for promotions.

However, due to the energy crisis, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) is now studying how it can disable the world’s most powerful collider.

“What worries us is the stability of the grid, because we are doing everything we can to prevent blackouts in our area,” Claudette told the newspaper.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and its energy supplier, EDF, are now discussing the possibility of implementing daily warnings about the instability of the energy grid in the research park to determine when it will need to conserve energy and use less electricity, the chair of the CERN Energy Management Committee said. (CERN) for The Wall Street Journal. He added that the organization would shut down other accelerators first, before it had to turn off the world’s largest particle accelerator. With some other accelerators shut down, CERN can cut its power consumption by 25%.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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