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New training course helps CERN address greenhouse gas emissions

On February 18, 2020, CERN held a training session on handling fluorinated gases, also known as F-gases, in the large LHC experiments. The session was developed as part of a drive to increase the awareness of the impact of greenhouse gases at CERN, and to deploy the Organization’s limitation and mitigation efforts. CERN has set itself the objective of reducing the emission of F-gases by the LHC experiments by 33% by the end of 2024. This equates to an overall reduction of 28% of the Organization’s total direct greenhouse gas emissions.

The large LHC experiments are the main focus for reducing greenhouse gas emissions at CERN. The Organization has three main axes to do so. The first is replacing F-gases with CO2 in the detector cooling systems. The second is optimising F-gas recirculation systems and gas distribution systems. The third makes the ongoing repair of leaks a priority.

The February training session consisted of two parts: one theoretical lecture and one practical exercise. The theoretical part provided basic knowledge of relevant environmental issues including climate change, the Kyoto Protocol, and the European and international regulatory framework. It also included CERN-specific information, such as how to prevent emissions of F-gases from the large LHC experiments. In the practical exercise, the participants worked with the F-gas and refrigerant, R-134a,safely, learning how to transfer the gas from one system to another while avoiding leaks, in particular by using leak detection equipment.

The session was run by an external expert on greenhouse gases, and CERN’s Environmental Protection group was responsible for talking about the F-gases used at CERN from an environmental perspective.

This training course is recommended for everyone working with F-gases at CERN’s experiments. For more information and to sign up for the course, visit the Learning Hub. The next session will be scheduled as soon as possible, and when at least eight people have signed up.

For questions about the use of greenhouse gases at CERN, contact environment.info@cern.ch.