Dear staff and users,
The ALS-U project has recently made an extensive update to its project plan, resulting in a nine-month delay to the start of the dark time, the one-year period with no user operations that will be used to install our new synchrotron. The planned start date of the dark time has moved from October 1, 2025, to June 22, 2026. This change accounts for a number of factors including supply chain disruptions the project has been facing and incorporates the project team’s experience to-date as well as the experience of similar projects, particularly the Advanced Photon Source Upgrade (APS-U) project.
We understand how important beamtime is for the community. The ALS will continue user operations until the start of the dark time, with two long shutdowns per year beginning in January and July, each lasting approximately 13 weeks. These shutdowns are required to install the accumulator ring and to complete as much work as possible for the storage-ring seismic retrofit and radiation shielding upgrade before the dark time.
The updated project schedule will allow the ALS to deliver more beamtime to users before the start of the dark time and further reduces the possibility that the ALS dark time will overlap with the APS’s ramp-up to full operations following their upgrade, currently in progress. This change gives us confidence that the project will efficiently and effectively carry out the necessary work during the dark time and will allow the upgraded ALS to be ready for user operations as quickly as possible following the upgrade.
More information on the ALS-U project, timeline, and impacts is available on the ALS website.
Dave Robin (ALS-U project director) and Dimitri Argyriou (ALS director)