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Cern announces more measures to save energy amid fuel crisis

Image: SimonWaldherr [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

End-of-year technical stop for equipment upgrades and maintenance brought forward by two weeks

Europe’s nuclear research organisation, Cern, has announced more measures to “significantly reduce” its energy consumption, as fuel prices remain elevated across the continent due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“In light of the current global energy supply and cost crisis, and as part of its social responsibility, Cern will be implementing measures that will significantly reduce the laboratory’s energy consumption,” the organisation said on 30 September.

The new measures include starting a year-end ‘technical stop’—during which use of equipment by researchers is paused to enable upgrades and maintenance—two weeks earlier and reducing operation of the Cern particle accelerator complex by 20 per cent in 2023.

Other new measures include switching off street lighting and delaying the heating of buildings. Cern said previous measures had already brought about a 10 per cent reduction in its energy use.

“Since well before the current energy crisis, as part of its wider strategy to improve sustainability, Cern has been actively working to reduce its electricity consumption,” the organisation said.

Russia normally supplies a significant portion of Europe’s gas, but supplies have stalled after the EU imposed sanctions on Russia due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine. Energy bills have soared by orders of magnitude in EU member states.