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Rodents Vs. Facilities: Weasel Takes Out Supercollider

May 6, 2016 Leave a comment dridrive

European Pine Marten, Martes martes against brown backgroundNeed more proof that no matter their size, rodents are a big threat to your operations? Look no further: a weasel just took down the world’s largest particle smasher.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) reported that a “severe electrical perturbation” on April 29 caused the Large Hadron Supercollider to go offline. The cause? A short circuit caused by weasel on a 66-kilovolt transformer, which took several days to repair.

In 2013, the collider – a 17-mile tunnel – was used to prove the existence of the Higgs-Boson Particle (AKA, “the God Particle”), which confers mass. As a result, it underwent a two-year upgrade to double its energy levels. And all it took was a curious critter to take it offline!

It’s probably needless to say, but the weasel didn’t survive the jolt.