Feeds

LHC knocked out by ANOTHER power failure

'Birdy bread-bomber from the future' involved?

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Exclusive The Large Hadron Collider - most puissant particle-punisher ever assembled by the human race - has suffered another major power failure, knocking not only the atomsmasher itself but even its associated websites offline. The machine remains unserviceable at present. However its crucial cryogenics seem to have been unaffected, and no catastrophic damage is thought to have occurred.

The component believed to have downed the LHC

No baguette visible this time.

News of the outage emerged when keen amateur LHC-watchers (at independent site the LHC Portal) noticed that most of CERN's web presence related to the Collider had disappeared. Presently much of it returned, and with it came an official account of events released by control-room staff.

It appears that a failure occurred at 01:23 Swiss time this morning in an 18,000-volt power line at the Meyrin site above the mighty collider's subterranean circuit. This caused a power cut across the site, shutting down the main computer centre among other things and causing an abrupt cessation of operations.

However according to CERN controllers and the publicly-viewable web readouts (now back online) the LHC's magnets stayed chilled down to their operating temperature, just 1.9 degrees above absolute zero - colder than deep space. This is critical, as re-chilling the magnets had they warmed beyond a certain point would have been a lengthy and involved process.

"Diesels cut in OK" noted the controllers, adding that the Meyrin site is now drawing limited grid power from an alternative connection via the Prevessin site. The boffins don't anticipate resuming operations until at least 18:30 local time today. They later supplied the pic above of the faulty high-voltage component believed to have caused the problem.

The exact cause of the fault remains to be established, though in a machine so complex a lot of routine teething troubles are to be expected. However, with interest in the LHC so intense, colourful speculation is to be anticipated.

"Maybe it was a birdy bread-bomber from the future," jokes Chris Stephens of the LHC Portal - referring to the well-known wingnut theory that that the mere possibility of the LHC unmasking certain phenomena engenders forces which act backwards through time to sabotage it before this can happen.

We ourselves find it hard not to suspect the involvement of some pan-dimensional police force, seeking to prevent humanity acquiring parallel-universe portal capability before we're ready to use it responsibly. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.