A unique and interesting aspect of the LBNF/DUNE initiative is that it represents both a facility built under U.S. Department of Energy procedures with significant international support, and an international experiment with a U.S. DOE contribution. From the U.S. DOE perspective, LBNF and DUNE-U.S. are one project, and as part of the DOE’s oversight, it conducts annual Independent Project Reviews (IPRs). These reviews are comprehensive and look at all aspects of a project, from technical maturity to project management systems.
The 2017 IPR took place at Fermilab from February 28th to March 2nd. Subcommittees for near and far site detectors, beamline, cryogenics, conventional facilities, project management, cost/schedule and environment/safety/health – seven in all – reviewed our designs and progress. In particular, they were charged to determine:
- Is the facility and experiment making sufficient progress to achieve the CD-2 milestone by December 2019? (The CD-2 milestone represents baselining of the project scope, cost and schedule.)
- Has LBNF made satisfactory progress in preparing to execute the CD-3A scope? (This is the conventional facilities scope necessary to support the first two detectors at SURF.)
The review committee also reviewed the status of ProtoDUNE, specifically checking that the U.S. was providing sufficient support. They checked our responses to past DOE reviews. Nothing escaped scrutiny!
The committee of course offered comments and recommendations. In particular, it recommended establishing additional milestones to provide better schedule granularity for the beamline and continuing the focus on completing agreements with participating institutions. It also recommended updating cost estimates that date from the CD-1R review in July 2015.
This review concluded with a strong affirmation of the development and increasing maturity of the project. Further, the review committee confirmed that, from a DOE perspective, the LBNF/DUNE initiative is on track for the CD-2 baselining milestone in December 2019. In particular, the coordinated work between the facility and experiment to develop an optimized beamline with greater scientific reach impressed the committee greatly, as did the importance of the ProtoDUNE effort and the significant amount of work the collaboration has accomplished in the past year.
See the web site for the review, which links to all the documents and to the closeout slides.