The management at CERN has confirmed the restart schedule for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), following the recommendations from last week’s Chamonix workshop.

The new schedule foresees the first beams in the LHC at the end of September this year, with collisions following in late October. A short technical stop has also been foreseen over the Christmas period.

The LHC will then run through to autumn next year (2010), ensuring that the experiments have adequate data to carry out their first new physics analyses and have results to announce in 2010. The new schedule also permits the possible collisions of lead ions in 2010.

It’s thought that the new schedule is tight but realistic, and CERN Director General Rolf Heuer said, “The schedule we have now is without a doubt the best for the LHC and for the physicists waiting for data.”

“It is cautious, ensuring that all the necessary work is done on the LHC before we start-up, yet it allows physics research to begin this year.”

The new schedule represents a delay of six weeks with respect to the previous schedule, which foresaw the LHC ‘cold at the beginning of July’.

The cause of this delay is due to several factors such as implementation of a new enhanced protection system for the busbar and magnet splices; installation of new pressure-relief valves to reduce the collateral damage in case of a repeat incident; application of more stringent safety constraints; and scheduling constraints associated with helium transfer and storage.