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SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

SSRLUO Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

Meeting Notes: October 22, 2004 3:30 - 5:15 pm

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Previous SSRLUO Minutes

Attendees:   Juana Acrivos, Joy Andrews, Benjamin Bostick, Michael Brzustowicz, Lisa Downward, Lisa Dunn, Britt Hedman, Bob Hettel, Keith Hodgson, Cathy Knotts, Richard Lee, Piero Pianetta, William Schlotter, Glenn Waychunas

Welcome/Introduction of Newly Elected Members

Ben Bostick called the meeting to order at 3:30 pm and announced the 2004 election results. New members were introduced and welcomed to the committee: Juana Acrivos, Alex Bell, Michael Brzustowicz, Kate Newberry, Joseph Noel, Bill Schlotter

Since this was the last meeting of the old committee, and the first meeting of the newly constituted committee, one of the first orders of business was to nominate candidates to serve as Vice Chair for 2005 (Vice Chair will organize the next users' conference and will serve as Chair in 2006). Juana Acrivos nominated Joy Andrews, and Joy accepted the nomination. Glenn Waychunas nominated Dick Lee, and Dick accepted the nomination. Cathy Knotts will circulate an email to the full SSRLUOEC requesting members to vote for one of these candidates, after which the new Vice Chair will be announced.

SSRL Directors Update

Keith Hodgson reported that an electrician was seriously injured in an electrical accident at the SLAC linac on October 18th, receiving 2nd and 3rd degree burns on about 50% of his body. Keith reiterated that safety is a top priority, and accidents are taken very seriously here and at all DOE facilities. All of SLAC is subject to safety stand-downs and mandatory safety training, but the users' meeting and workshops were allowed to continue as scheduled. Most of the site remains on work restrictions, including the accelerators. All work involving high voltage, lock/tag out, elevated platforms, hoisting and rigging will continue to be restricted, and the accelerators will remain shutdown for an indefinite period of time.

Because this has been categorized as a 'Type A Accident' (the most serious level), the specific details of the accident are being rigorously investigated by a team assembled by the Department of Energy. Although it is still impossible to provide an accurate estimate of the length of the shutdown because everything is out of our hands at the moment, we now believe that the current shutdown will likely last at least 6 weeks, which means that we MAY be able to restart in early December. This estimate will only be true if our assumptions turn out to be correct, that is to say, that the accident investigation concludes within 3 weeks which is the scheduled time frame, that the accident report is prepared and analyzed within about a week, that any actions mandated by the report can be readily implemented, that SPEAR3 turns back on with no difficulties so that commissioning activities can resume, and that Radiation Protection is available to review and approve each beam line for user operations. We estimate that this puts us into early December, but it could take longer before DOE allows SLAC and SPEAR to resume regular activities.

Although we are not aware of any user safety issues and have not been required to change any of our procedures, Keith wants to take this opportunity to review all safety related issues within the lab, and to encourage user input into this process. In addition, Keith requested 1-2 volunteers from the users organization to work with him, Ian Evans (SSRL Safety Officer), Cathy Knotts (Manager, User Services), and others in forming a panel to review current user safety documentation, processes, and procedures. The group will be charged with reviewing existing documentation and asking rigorous questions in order to ensure that everything is as it should be and/or to identify any safety pieces which may be missing or which may need updating. Juana Acrivos volunteered, and Ben Bostick volunteered Linda Brinen to work with SSRL on this panel. Keith repeated that he wanted a quick response on this. He also requested that safety be placed on the agenda of future SSRLUOEC meetings as a mechanism for users to continue to discuss safety and for these representatives to provide updates to the full SSRLUOEC.

SSRLUO Representative to ADCC

Bob Hettel reported that the SLAC Computer Coordinating Committee is about to be re-assembled with a membership of ~15 representatives around the site. The committee functions to provide management oversight of computing strategy, establish operational policies, and provide guidelines for the development of computing resources. Since the technical issues driving management decisions require a detailed and working knowledge of SLAC's needs and the available technologies, a Computer Coordinating Committee (CCC) will be appointed to be responsible for developing and bringing to the Associate Directors' Committee on Computing (ADCC) potential technical solutions which will guide management decisions in addressing computing problems. The CCC will consist of leaders of the major computing efforts around the Lab - major experiments, controls, SSRL, HEP and SSRL users, business computing, server farm, networking, and desktop computing. The Deputy Research Director, Steve Williams, will chair this new committee. The ADCC management oversight of computing with the technical advice of the CCC will serve the laboratory in its need to deal with changing technology within limited resources. Clemens Wermelskirchen and Martin George will represent SSRL, and the SSRLUOEC was invited to have an additional user representative on the CCC. Michael Brzustowicz expressed interest, discussed the issue with Martin George who reported that the meetings cover many issues, few of which actually relate to SSRL. Mike will ask Martin to keep him informed of any information related to SSRL. Mike will serve as a liaison between the CCC and the SSLRUOEC, and he will present the collected information at the SSRLUOEC meetings.

SSRLUO Representative to SLAC's Security Coordination Group

Cathy Knotts reported with Deanne Jackson Rudd graduating and leaving the committee, SSRL is in need of another user volunteer to serve on the SLAC Security Coordination Group. This group meets periodically to coordinate security communications and to establish integrated security groups for the laboratory, reporting to the laboratory director, to provide for the collaborative implementation of security policies. Since Ben Bostick has participated in other meetings on related to security and site access, he volunteered to serve on this committee.

Update of User Activism and DC Meetings

Ben Bostick reported that, within the last several months, there seemed to be little response or interest from user representatives from the other light sources for a trip to DC, likely because of the political uncertainty due to the upcoming election. Ben recommended that users continue to try to meet with their local representatives and that, whenever possible, it would be most effective to try to meet with individuals at higher levels within Congress, DOE, or OSTP, rather than staff members at lower levels. It was noted that previous user meetings with government officials had tremendous impact in raising awareness about basic science programs within the DOE, and that well organized visits and meetings should be continued. Keith reported that future budget projections would likely be flat or declining. Juana Acrivos suggested that members of the SSRLUOEC approach the senior management of their institutions to support funding for basic sciences, particularly heads of major universities (organizations such as the AAU could have significant influence). Public outreach was discussed as a way to increase the visibility of user facilities and the need to support basic sciences (e.g., town hall meetings, public lecture series, community outreach).

Update on SLAC Guest House

Cathy Knotts reported that the Guest House needs to have 80% occupancy in order to break even on their costs. They are occasionally sold out, but have not been reaching this goal overall. Only about 12 rooms a month have been attributed to SSRL, so it is essential that users specify their affiliation with SSRL when reserving rooms. There are problems with the on-line reservation system in that if you request a particular type of room that is not available, you are not informed of many other types of rooms that are available. Cathy encouraged users who have difficulties securing reservations on line to call the Guest House directly (650-926-2800). Cathy requested that users keep her informed of their experiences with the Guest House, as she will be serving on a special committee that SLAC Director Jonathan Dorfan is convening to address Guest House issues such as reservations, occupancy, etc.

Juana Acrivos suggested that if available, it would be a good idea to extend transportation into the evening hours for users and visitors who do not have their own transportation.

The meeting adjourned at 5:15 pm.

Cathy Knotts
SSRL Liaison to SSRL Users' Organization Executive Committee

2575 Sand Hill Road, MS: 99, Menlo Park, California, 94025, USA Tel: 650-926-4000 | Fax: 650-926-4100