In October 2010 the BER II research reactor was shut down to prepare the upgrade for a new cold source and the exchange of an in-pile beam tube after close to 15 years of operation. Both efforts turned out to become a time expensive and complicated effort but with joint forces of all participants last week everything was finished and ready and the reactor was restarted on Tuesday, March 27. It reached is nominal thermal power on Thursday, March 29 and now the neutron instruments in the experimental hall and neutronguide halls of BER II start to get back into normal user operation.
Parallel to this upgrade of the BER II reactor with the new cold source, which will increase the neutron flux by a factor of 1.6 for cold neutrons, all neutron guides in the neutron guide hall I have been exchanged and a number of instruments upgraded. The cold three-axis spectrometer FLEXX has been rebuilt and is now located at the end position of the neutron guide. The tomography station CONRAD was also rebuildt and is now equipped with a new guide with larger cross section. The tof spectrometer NEAT will get a new guide and a new position within an extension of the neutron guide hall, ready in 2013. A second tomography station - PONTO - is under construction and a test beam line for the ESS will be built within 2012.
All instruments are now in commissioning and the restart of the normal user operation is expected soon.