FRIB Safety Updates

August 13, 2019

Michigan State University is establishing the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams as a scientific user facility for the Office of Nuclear Physics in the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE-SC). FRIB is funded by the DOE-SC, MSU, and the State of Michigan. Supporting the mission of the Office of Nuclear Physics in DOE-SC, FRIB will enable scientists to make discoveries about the properties of rare isotopes, nuclear astrophysics, fundamental interactions, and applications for society, including in medicine, homeland security, and industry. A community of 1,400 scientists from around the world are ready to conduct research at FRIB.

Civil construction of the tunnel for the linear accelerator and support buildings on the surface began in March 2014 and reached beneficial occupancy in March 2017. Technical construction—the construction of the equipment and infrastructure needed to make beam and conduct experiments—started in October 2014 and continues. FRIB completion is scheduled for 2022, with the project team working toward early completion in 2021.

Several technical milestones have been achieved in the past year. In July 2018, beams were accelerated in the first three (of 46 total) beam-accelerating superconducting cryomodules to 1 percent of FRIB’s final beam energy. In August 2018, FRIB circulated liquid lithium and established lithium film in its charge stripper. FRIB is the first in the world to use liquid lithium as a charge stripper to remove electrons from its ion beams for efficient acceleration. In December 2018, the 2 Kelvin cold box in the FRIB cryogenic plant cooled liquid helium to 2 degrees above absolute zero. FRIB is the first superconducting heavy-ion linear accelerator to operate at 2 Kelvin. In February 2019, FRIB accelerated beams through its first 15 cryomodules to 10 percent of FRIB’s final beam energy. Beam testing to date has demonstrated that FRIB is on track to becoming the world’s most powerful superconducting heavy-ion linear accelerator.

FRIB recently completed its switch from the OHSAS 18001 registered safety management system to the ISO 45001 safety management system. Two auditors from the certification organization NSF International Strategic Registrations (NSF-ISR) completed their five-day on-site audit after visiting various departments within the FRIB Laboratory and interviewing staff members.

The audit resulted in zero non-conformances and NSF-ISR recommended the FRIB Laboratory for registration to the ISO 45001 standard and continued registration to the ISO 14001 registered environmental management system standard. The external auditors will return for an annual audit in 2020.