Federal Research:

Concerns About Developing and Producing Magnets for the Superconducting Super Collider

T-RCED-91-51: Published: May 9, 1991. Publicly Released: May 9, 1991.

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GAO discussed the status of the Department of Energy's (DOE) Superconducting Super Collider (SSC), focusing on the DOE and SSC laboratory's approach in developing and industrially producing SSC laboratory's superconducting magnets. GAO noted that: (1) although the industry produced superconducting magnets for an accelerator, it was difficult to determine whether the DOE and the SSC laboratory would be similarly successful, since they took a different approach in developing and producing the magnets for a substantially larger accelerator; (2) DOE did not build or test full-size superconducting collider dipole magnets for the current SSC design, and a significant risk remained regarding whether the magnets would work as intended; and (3) the compressed development schedule for those magnets increased the risk that they will not work as intended, since DOE did not allow enough time to resolve any problems that it may encounter.

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