Late this afternoon, PG&E restored power to the substation that provides electrical power to the Lab’s main hill site. Now we will begin the hard work of restoring the Lab to normal, safe operations. Please note: As we have previously communicated, it will take 36-48 hours for Lab personnel to return the main site to safe and stable operations after power is fully restored. Thus, the Lab will remain closed for business on Friday, Oct. 10. Our optimistic estimate is that normal Lab operations could resume Monday morning, October 14.
Why does it take so long to restore the Lab to normal operations? The answer lies in the complexity of the Lab and its systems. To return the Lab to safe operations, qualified Lab staff must systematically restore power to each of the nearly 100 individual buildings on the hill and then restore power to individual pieces of equipment in stages, certifying that each piece of equipment is stable and safe to operate. They must carefully return all life safety systems, such as fire protection systems, heating, cooling, and ventilation systems, elevators, and other support systems to normal operation. Some equipment, such as large chillers, can require several hours before they can be certified as fully and safely operational. Once all equipment is operating normally, teams from EH&S will then conduct a walk-through of each building to make sure it is safe to occupy.
All of this must be accomplished with careful attention to the safety of our operations and support teams. During this time, only emergency-essential personnel approved to be on site will be permitted on the hill. Unless you have been specifically recalled to assist with our power recovery efforts, please do not come to the Lab until you are instructed to do so.
I want you to know that we understand that this power shutdown has significantly impacted the Lab’s important work. I appreciate your patience as we have navigated this unprecedented event for the Lab and the Bay Area.
For updates, continue to monitor status.lbl.gov, 1-800-445-5830, and @LBNLstatus on Twitter.
Deputy Lab Director for Operations and
Chief Operating Officer