Following the 11th HL-LHC Collaboration Meeting in October, CERN and the HL-LHC project had the pleasure of welcoming the CMAC members in person on the CERN site between the 8th and 10th of November for the 5th HL-LHC Cost and Schedule review. During a 3-day program of plenaries and two parallel technical sessions, they were presented with the impressive progress made across all 18 work-packages over the two years since the last CSR in November 2019.
As usual, this process has provided a very valuable checkpoint, yielding several follow-ups and recommendations on key deliverables and remaining challenges of the project. These include recommendations on Nb3Sn quadrupole production, the strategy for dealing with delays of in-kind contributions, the overall project schedule and the acquired delays due to COVID-19 measures and the remaining cost risks given the volatile market conditions due to the global pandemic. All these will be addressed carefully in the coming months to support the project strategy going forward.
Since the CSR 2019, additional costs have inevitably arisen under the effect of COVID-19, including claims from the civil engineering contractors, the implementation of several measures to mitigate technical or schedule risks of collaborations, and due to increased project scope as decided by the project management. This led to an overall added cost of 14.2 MCHF which was presented for scrutiny at the CSR 2021 and fully endorsed by the reviewers. Schedule wise, the impact of the pandemic could be limited to around six months on average thanks to the relentless efforts of CERN colleagues and collaborators to pursue activities despite the stringent regulations, which has been very positively received by the review committee.
After having chaired all five LIU/HL CSRs since 2015, Norbert Holtkamp (SLAC) will pass on the chair of the CMAC to Mike Seidel (PSI). On behalf of past and present management, we’d like to thank him warmly for his support, insight, and tough love.
By Markus Zerlauth, HL-LHC Deputy Project leader