CERN may stop Large Hadron Collider to save electricity

The Large Hadron Collider, where experiments are being conducted to study dark matter and the Higgs boson, can be turned off. This makes it necessary to save energy in order to reduce dependence on Russian gas supplies.

Large Hadron Collider. Source:

How does Russian gas affect dark matter?

Natural gas, which Russia is trying to turn into an instrument of blackmail to Europe, may affect fundamental physical research. In order to reduce the continent’s dependence on the aggressor country, various European organizations are developing measures to drastically reduce electricity consumption.

Among them is the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known as CERN. It announced that it was developing plans to stop its accelerators, including the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), where the Higgs boson was found a few years ago. 

Now this giant accelerator is working almost non-stop. Scientists continue to unravel the mysteries of the universe. They continue to study the properties of the particle that give matter mass and try to unravel what dark matter is. There is also a lot of experimentation with antimatter at the center.

Large Hadron Collider to be stopped for safety

The CERN is located on the border of Switzerland and France, but it is powered by the French network. During peak hours, it consumes 200 MW of electricity, which is three times less than neighboring cities. Despite this, the head of the center, Serge Claudet, expressed concern that the experiments could cause an overload of the system, which would lead to an emergency shutdown.

The HAC costs USD 4.4 billion, so its emergency shutdown can lead to significant damage. In particular, superconducting magnets that correct the trajectory of the particle beam cannot be turned off at all, although this would save another 25 percent of energy. According to Claudet, a general plan for suspending experiments will be presented within a month.

CERN is currently negotiating with its supplier, the energy giant EDF SA, to send them a warning about the need for a shutdown per day. Many Western European enterprises have agreements on this subject in case savings are needed, but nuclear physicists have not yet encountered such a need.

Despite the fact that the gas storage facilities of Western Europe are almost completely filled, the consumed thermal power plants have an increased load. The fact is that recently EDF SA noticed corrosion on the pipelines of one of its nuclear reactors and this caused the need to carry out repair work on all power units of this type.

Currently, 12 nuclear reactors have been shut down in France and thermal power plants are responsible for obtaining energy instead of them. Therefore, EDF SA needs to reduce the peak load on the power grid by 15 percent. But by the end of winter, nuclear power plants are promised to be launched again, so a possible stop to research into the mysteries of the Universe will be temporary.

According to

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