SURF tour impresses DOE VIP


secty-orr-visit-deepthoughtsOn July 5th, Under Secretary Franklin Orr visited Sanford Lab in Lead, SD to visit the proposed site of the LBNF far site facilities and tour the laboratory’s 4850L. As the DOE Under Secretary for Science and Energy, Orr advises the Secretary and Deputy Secretary on science and energy research initiatives, including DUNE/LBNF, and on clean energy technologies. His visit, for which he skipped a day of his family vacation in South Dakota, demonstrated his interest in this project, and it offered an excellent opportunity for an in-depth show-and-tell.

Mike Headley and others provided Orr with an update on the LBNF/DUNE initiative during his afternoon at Sanford Lab, including the status of planning for the CD-3A milestone, the results of the underground test blast and vibration study, and the recent progress on the CM/GC (construction management) contract that will be used to execute the conventional facilities construction work and provide contract management services.

Orr exhibited a genuine recognition of the scale and challenges of the project and asked very informed questions.

“Sectretary Orr was keenly interested in the specific nature of the LBNF 4850L site’s rock mass and its ability to fulfill the LBNF project goals,” said David Vardiman.  “We discussed the geologic history, the deformational complexity and the rock mass rating, which is the basis for the design of the proposed excavation sequencing and ground support.”

Orr expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to visit the site and gain a better understanding for the project’s construction strategy.

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Under Secretary Orr (in green shirt) listens as Mike Headley (in black shirt) discusses science in a laboratory at the 4850L. Courtesy Sanford Lab


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NIgel Lockyer and Under Secretary Orr listen as David Vardiman describes the layout of the LBNF caverns near the Ross campus at the 4850L. Courtesy Sanford Lab