Underground Research at Kimballton Mine
In January 2008, the TUNL-ITEP double beta decay setup moved to the newly established Kimballton Underground Research Facility (KURF) in the Kimballton Mine in southwest Virginia. The Kimballton mine is located about 25 miles northwest of Blacksburg, VA.
courtesy of Google Maps
The drive-in access allows for the installation of individual labs enclosed in connex trailers.
Moving in to Kimballton in the snow!
Wild goats guard the entrance to the mine.
Looking back at the entrance from the inside. (photo courtesy of VT)
Kimballton Mine is an operating limestone mine with over 50 miles of roads and a current maximum depth of 2300 ft. Our present facility is located on the 14th level at a depth of 1700 ft, which corresponds to 1450 meters water equivalent. Our lab space is defined by a concrete pad on which a hangar structure was constructed. Inside this structure, individual labs are installed in the trailers.
The outside of the laboratory structure.
The TUNL connex is on the left, and the NRL connex is on the right.
The interior of the TUNL connex with the completed TUNL-ITEP double beta decay setup.
A 600 gallon LN tank completes the KURF facility, allowing us to set up automatic filling stations at each connex. This allows us to only need to access the facility about every three weeks. Data collection can be controlled remotely from TUNL, and cameras allow us to monitor LN levels.
The LN tank.