Boring Company Could Lower Cost of Europe’s Next Generation Particle Colliders

Boring Company Could Lower Cost of Europe’s Next Generation Particle Colliders

Brian Wang |
January 18, 2019 |

The Civil Engineering for the proposed next-generation particle collider is 5 billion euros.

Above: Cross section of an FCC-hh arc. The grey equipment on the left side of the tunnel represents the cryogenic distribution line. A 16 T superconducting magnet can be seen in the middle, mounted on a red support element. Another superconducting magnet on a transport vehicle is shown next to it, in the transport passage.

The principal structure of the FCC-hh collider is a quasi-circular tunnel composed of arc segments interleaved with straight sections with a diameter of 5.5 meters and a circumference of 97.75 km. Approximately 8 km of bypass tunnels, 22 shafts, 14 large caverns and 12 new surface sites are also planned.

Boring Company tunnels are currently 3.8 meters in diameter. The area of the FCC tunnel would be 23.76 square meters. The Boring Company single-bore tunnel was constructed used a 4.2-meter (14 ft) diameter tunnel boring machine which gives a finished 3.8-meter (12 ft) internal diameter tunnel. The Boring company tunnel is 11.34 square meters.

The wider FCC tunnel would take about twice as long and would cost about twice as much.

Elon Musk recently proposed building a 50-kilometer tunnel for Australia through mountains for $750 million. It is not clear if Elon Musk was talking about Australian dollars or US dollars. If it was Australian dollars then the price in US dollars is about 1.4 times less.

A future collider tunnel that is twice as long with twice the diameter would still be $3 billion from Boring Company. This would save about half the cost of the 5 billion euros. (US$5.7 billion). This is based upon near term price quotes for the Australia project. However, Boring Company will be massively lowering costs. The Future Collider tunnel could be built by the Boring Company after a few years of planned improvements for only $300 million.

Prufrock Will Be Boring Company’s Third Generation Tunneling Machine

Boring Company is working on speeding up tunneling by another ten to twenty times over the next few years. The future cost of Boring Company tunneling could be far less.

The Prufrock machine should be ready in about two years.

Boring Company Cost Reduction

Boring Company will use Tesla battery packs and Tesla electric motors to power the borer and “muck trains,” instead of using diesel engines (which fill tunnels with noxious fumes) or high-voltage electrical power lines (which weigh a ton).

They will installing a passing lane so that trains carrying away dug-out waste can operate in the same tunnel that a boring machine is digging.

Transforming that waste — which companies ordinarily pay to have hauled away and dumped in a landfill — will be turned into brick which can be sold. Bricks will be sold and will provide structural supports to shore up the tunnel.

Installing those structural supports along a tunnel as it is dug, to permit continuous digging.

Enabling continuous digging by itself will triple or quadruple the speed of digging. Eliminating the cost of waste removal could cut construction costs by 15% to 20%.

Perhaps lost in the transport debate is that @boringcompany built a 6000 ft tunnel in LA for ~$10M with V1 (Godot). Next tunnel will be made with V2 (Line-Storm). V3 (Prufrock), aspirationally 10X better, should be operational next year. For reference:

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 19, 2018

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