If you do a search here on the LHC, you find all kinds of news articles.
The LHC was completed in April, except it wasn't, and parts broke, or were still being designed and testing will be delayed, except it's unimportant and it will still be the greatest thing ever. Maybe it will be. Or it will be another Hubble.
After yesterday's statements by CERN Director General Robert Aymar it's still unclear when it will be done or how it will work but, he says, 'good progress has been made on all fronts.'
So here's the latest:
The LHC is now fully installed in its 27 km tunnel. The second of the two transfer lines that will carry beams into the LHC in opposite directions was successfully commissioned at the first attempt at the end of October.
Two of the LHC’s eight sectors are currently cooling down to their operating temperature of 1.9 degrees above absolute zero, with a further three sectors being prepared for cool down.
“The impressive speed of commissioning LHC beams right through CERN’s injection complex bodes well for a fast and efficient commissioning of the LHC itself,” said Aymar. “Today, we’re on course for start-up in early summer 2008, but we won’t be able to fix the date for certain before the whole machine is cold and magnet electrical tests are positive. We’re expecting that in the spring”
Any difficulties encountered during this commissioning that require any sector of the machine to be warmed up would lead to a delay of two to three months.
That's an important detail. Cancelling the low energy run means it will be full energy in one go - the black hole in Europe if things go wrong that people have joked about.
He didn't even mention the delays they have talked about on the Hardware Commissioning Coordination site, much less the progress in fixing the leaks seen during cooldown.
Here's a video of a talk addressing some of the leaks. Obviously you never want to penalize people for their honesty in discussing problems, it's just confusing to have bureaucrats not seem to know they exist and make odd claims, like they will commission something of this size in one go, and basically ignore warning signs until it is too late.
In approving the laboratory’s 2008 budget, the 145th Council also paved the way for the renovation of the LHC’s injector complex, including replacement of the Proton Synchrotron accelerator, which was first switched on in 1959. This process will allow the LHC’s beam intensity to be increased by around 2016, improving the experiments’ sensitivity to rare phenomena.