This month, we are celebrating two milestones for the National Synchrotron Light Source II Project.
The NSLS-II Project has made tremendous progress since the groundbreaking ceremony in June 2009, when many of us sat under a tent at the edge of a dusty construction site. Today, the entire ring is enclosed and completed, and we are moving quickly to install accelerator and beamline components.
The $912-million NSLS-II Project is now over 70 percent finished, and we are on schedule and on budget. In fact, we anticipate commissioning in 2014, a year early. This is because of our determined push forward, enabled by excellent staff performance and an early infusion of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars.
I congratulate Torcon, the general contractor, for doing a great job of completing the ring building on schedule. The company began work in April 2009 under a $170-million contract, the single largest contract in the NSLS-II Project. Torcon spent about 90 percent of its contract to hire subcontractors and suppliers on Long Island and in the region, bringing direct economic benefit to Long Island and New York State. On average, 155 construction workers a day were on the NSLS-II site, most from local labor unions. At the peak of activity, in 2011, more than 240 men and women in hard hats were working on the ring building.
Construction of the ring building was done in five sections, the first completed in March 2011 and the final section this past February. Taking official occupancy of the building from Torcon has allowed us access to the entire ring to install equipment and components for the accelerator and experimental stations.
The NSLS-II accelerator will consist of three sections: a linear accelerator, or linac, where electrons are generated and accelerated to 200 million electron volts; a booster, which takes electrons from the linac and speeds them up to 3 billion electron volts; and a storage ring, where the electrons circulate to create synchrotron light in the form of x-rays. These x-rays are directed to experimental stations around the ring.
The linac was manufactured by RI Research Instruments, a specialty company in Germany. Installation was completed in February and commissioning started at the end of March. During commissioning, we will bring the linac to its designed operational parameters in a safe way. I congratulate RI Research Instruments for a job well done.
On April 26, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., we will suspend our activities in the building to give the Lab community and our extended family of users a first-time opportunity to walk all the way around the half-mile ring. Following the clockwise path of the electrons to come in the accelerator tunnel, we will start in pentant 1, which we officially occupied in March 2011, and complete the circle to pentant 5, which we claimed in February 2012. Along the way, we will pass the linac, interior to the ring building and out of sight.
I invite you to join me for a “Celebration of Jobs Well Done!”