Large Hadron Collider Meets Small Weasel, Disaster Follows For Both

May 03, 2016

By Steve Anderson - Contributing Writer

While the Large Hadron Collider spent a good while as the topic of disaster-speculation worldwide, it recently experienced a disaster of its own. A report from Fox News Science details how the system was completely shut down recently as a weasel found its way into the system's wiring, decided that it really needed to chew on whatever it had just found, and caused a power outage.

Of course, once the weasel's chewing had concluded—after it found the wires connected to a 66,000-volt transformer that gave the collider its power—the weasel didn't survive the incident itself. Yet this report was just part of a string of disasters that week for the Large Hadron Collider, calling it part of a string of “several small glitches” that was delaying plans to restart the mechanism and send it back doing its thing.

No one's sure why weasels and the like seem to have an attraction for electrical transfer mechanisms like power cables, but word from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences' head of the Biodiversity Research Lab, Roland Kays, notes that it's neither uncommon nor being taken lightly. Kays noted that there was “...quite a bit of engineering...” currently taking place to lessen the problem's impact, which isn't just hitting the Large Hadron Collider but also things like car wires, among others.

Whether it's a weasel going after the Collider or a squirrel going after a power transformer, blackouts can happen at literally any time of the day or night, even on a clear blue day with nary a rumble of thunder. Being prepared for these power outages, therefore, is particularly important, and where tools like Minuteman's line of power management tools can be useful. Providing users with the ability to save work and shut down a system properly, Minuteman's tools help bridge the gap between normal operations and power-related shutdowns.

In the end, we see the importance here of having backup power systems. No matter what kind of rodent or small mammal is running amok in our wiring, we need those systems whole and intact to operate. When those systems are offline, we need backup sources or we risk losing opportunities to succeed. Thankfully, there are a host of options available when it comes to backup power generation, and determining which is right for a particular use is all that stands in the way of having it in play.

Whether it's Minuteman or some other power generation system, the importance of having the backup in the first place cannot be understated. Be prepared for the next power outage...or be prepared to lose opportunity until the lights come back on.

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